HomeWrestlingWWE Monday Night RAW: Two Weeks Before Mania

WWE Monday Night RAW: Two Weeks Before Mania

I want to ask a question. Serious question. Which brand championship has more value? The WWE Championship, or the Universal Championship?

Brock Lesnar has the Universal Championship, and has largely been absent from television. The Intercontinental Championship appears to have been the main title on RAW, with The Miz constantly defending in high-profile matches. One might argue, did the feud between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar need a title?

The WWE Champion, AJ Styles is always on TV. Plenty of matches, yet we all know Shinsuke Nakamura and Styles will NOT be the main event of WrestleMania.

Just something to think about.

The show begins with Rabbi Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. WWE tries really, really hard to make the fans hate Brock. The whole bit about not showing up when advertised, might have worked, if Roman Reigns wasn’t the challenger. The live crowd cheered and thanked Lesnar for roughing up Reigns last week. This week Heyman gloats, cuts a great promo, which in interrupted by a sore Reigns. Chairs come into play, and Lesnar gains the upper hand, delivering a might chair-assisted beatdown.

Once again, crowd happy. If it was anyone else, crowd would have turned on Lesnar.

Nia Jax defeats Mickie James

The path to WrestleMania is littered with the corpses left by a rampaging Nia Jax. I like she is heading to Mania to face Alexa Bliss. Not a fan of the damaged self-esteem angle. Jax is better than that. Make her a female wrecking machine who was used by Bliss. Leave out the body-shaming.

Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak & TJ Perkins

It is about time Alexander gets his shot at the Cruiserweight title, and at WrestleMania no less. Good match tonight, and seeing Rockstar Drake Spud Maverick continuing to thrive in his role, once again, shows major improvements to 205Live.

MizTV Takes a Wild Turn

Okay. MizTV segments typically break down into brawls and debacles. Tonight, was a work of art. Miz loses his mind early on, berating Bo Dallas. Seems Dallas is going to snap, until Seth Rollins hits the ring and fuels the rage, starting a “Miztourage” chant with the fans. Miz and Dallas verbally rip into each other. Curt Axel attempts to make peace, until Miz says he will be a greater IC champion than Mr. Perfect. Oops. This sets off Axel, just in time for Finn Balor to come out. Miz finds himself in the middle as everyone is about to beat him senseless. Dallas and Axel jump… Attacking Balor and Rollins. Back and forth, with Rollins and Balor chasing them off, until they bicker over the title. Balor sucker-punches Rollins to close the segment.

Very well done. Had everyone believing, or Bo-lieving Dallas and Axel were about to revolt on Miz, much like Damien Sandow once did. I can’t wait for their title match.

Backstage Promo: KANE promises to send John Cena to hell. Well then. Haven’t heard this before.

Asuka defeats Jamie Frost

Frost gets a pre-match promo, about three times longer than the match, where Asuka clobbers her with ONE KICK to end the match in seconds.

I get they want Asuka to be majorly strong… but geez.

Corey Graves puts down Michael Cole for his distaste of the Ultimate Deletion. Cole doesn’t get it, and Graves loses it. Funny stuff. Woken Matt Hardy announces Bray Wyatt has been DELETED and he is moving onto the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. 

Backstage: Bayley and Sasha Banks have a tense conversation which turns into a fight. Well, there’s another WrestleMania match for ya.

Braun Strowman defeats Sheamus

Good match. Seems like Strowman got hurt during the match, and managed to carry himself, but definitely slowed down. Hope it’s not serious. Announce team did a good job of selling it.

Ronda Rousey Segment

Kurt Angle brings out Rousey. Started off calling Stephanie “trust fund tough” which was funny but then she continued to find synonyms which killed it. She got a little better on promo. I do like how she turns on this Terminator look when she starts beating people up. This week, it was Absolution, she wrecks both Sonya Deville and locks up Mandy Rose. Angle has to calm her like a velociraptor.

Balor Club defeats Miztourage


Elias defeats Rhyno

The best part is the pre-match promo and song. Elias teaming up with Braun would be great. Post match, Elias beats up Heath Slater. Damn it! He’s got kids! Elias is such a great performer. One moment has the crowd in his hands, the next turning on them.

John Cena/Undertaker promo package

Hyping up how Cena decided to get to WrestleMania. Recap of the promos and Kane chokeslamming Cena. yay!

John Cena vs. Kane

Well, this one went all sorts of ECW. Suplex crash, warping a crowd barrier and Kane lobbing Cena through a table. Cena mocking Undertaker throughout, sitting up, thumb across the neck, even doing a chokeslam. I was waiting for a Tombstone. Cena wins via AA through a table. Decent main event match, good using No-DQ rules.

Post-match, Cena screams for The Undertaker to show himself. The crowd gets a chant going. Cena continues to demand an answer and will not accept silence. I get WWE is going with the “Let’s be edgy and real” promos. It worked in past years, and the “do something” bit is the last ditch effort to keep Undertaker relevant? It sort of portrays him as a loser. I could be wrong. I think it tarnishes and hurts the career of the deadman.

Well, overall, good show. Next week, I imagine will be huge.

Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis has been a writer for The Pop Break since 2010. For over a decade he has contributed columns featuring Anime, Comics, Transformers, Television, Movies, and most notably, Professional Wrestling. Additionally, one of the key players in the original Angry Nerds column and a guest on one of Bill's various podcasts. When he is not grinding away at his next feature, or shouting expletives at the television while playing video games or watching wrestling, Michael actually has a full-time job,as a Mental Health Professional, working at a medical practice in New Jersey, and runs his own telehealth private practice. A family man through-and-through, requiring his three children to memorize all the Autobots and Decepticons on the collection shelves while also educating them in all things Marvel and Star Wars. You know, the stuff Disney owns.

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