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WWE Monday Night RAW: They Finally Got the Audience to Cheer Roman Reigns

Stephanie McMahon plants Ronda Rousey through a table

Decent opening segment, Rousey makes a funny about which arm of Steph’s to break, you know, so she can still sign her paycheck. The Authority wins the physical portion of the segment which got a big pop from the crowd. Didn’t expect that, now did we?

Bayley defeats Sonya Deville

Decent match, except for one off the turnbuckle spot which confused me. Confused me more to see WWE highlighting it on Twitter. Deville works so hard to come off as a bad-ass fighter, when a real bad-ass MMA fighter, Shayna Baszler is on NXT.

Post match fun, with Mandy Rose joining in beating up Bayley, but is saved by Sasha Banks. It’s like the Mega Powers exploding because of uncontrolled jealousy by way of legitimate desire to be the best. If you think about it, Bayley was just so gosh-darned steamed at how Banks would actually fight her at both Elimination Chamber and Royal Rumble matches. This is how it works, right? Yet Bayley seemed to have been given a pass at her “But I thought we were friends” angle. I’m honestly shocked the announce team didn’t railroad her character for it, but I guess she still has to look good for the fans.

Nice video package featuring Asuka. There was a video package for Reigns and Lesnar, but nothing new, and nothing we really need to see again.

Maryse had the baby! Mazel Tov Miz and Maryse!

Seth Rollins defeats Finn Balor

Insane. Awesome. Unbelievable. Please, let them fight forever. Miz, is amazingly complimentary at ringside, claiming to have turned over a new leaf following the birth of his baby girl. It sounds like his character is showing more respect and humility. Kudos to Miz for toughing it out and traveling to RAW. The match, that match. Balor and Rollins blew the roof off the arena. WrestleMania is going to be nuts. I have a hard time predicting a winner as of tonight.

More video packages featuring Brock Lesnar.

Backstage Rabbi Paul Heyman wishes someone a Happy Pesach, maybe it was me? He assures Kurt Angle there will be no chaos tonight, until Angle questions Brock’s safety. Uh oh. Paul Heyman then quotes Ma Nishtana from the Passover Seder.

Bubba Dudley Approved!

The Bar comes to the ring, giving up their quest to find out who will team with Braun Strowman. They don’t care, until Strowman comes out, and announces he has a partner, who wants a match, right now. Cesaro and Sheamus agree, and out comes… Brains Strowman. He could be his twin! Oh wait, it’s really Braun. Ha ha. Hysterical segment. Fantastic.

Matt Hardy Wakes Up Goldust

Goldust backstage quotes from The Princess Bride, while Matt Hardy cuts a promo rendering him obsolete. Well, they have a match, and Matt effectively deletes Goldust for the night. Michael Cole still can’t believe he is seeing this.

Backstage: Mickie James and Alexa Bliss continue to body-shame Nia Jax. I get WWE wants us to really hate Bliss. Later on, they do a backstage interview where Nia is praised for being a strong individual and represents all the women who have dealt with bullies and shaming, standing up for who she is and sending a message to all women to be strong and be who they are. She calls Bliss an insecure brat who is nothing more than a playground bully. I’m torn on the angle. Great to have a role model for those who have felt the sting of being bullied, but it seems a bit forced.

John Cena Wants The Undertaker to DO SOMETHING!

He begins by saying he doesn’t want to go into another match, because he doesn’t want to take a spot deserved by a full-time roster superstar. Interesting to cut a promo that route, continuing to say he isn’t interested in hogging a spotlight and taking a spot from an up-and-comer and doesn’t need “John Cena” to give a match a push. He puts over Balor, Rollins, Bryan, Styles, Elias, Rusev, and others. He cuts a classy promo saying it might be time for a change, and this year, he goes to WrestleMania as a fan. One last ditch attempt, using the crass way to call out the Deadman, saying not only did he leave his hat in the ring, but also some other personal items from his anatomy. Doesn’t work.

Well. They are really dragging this out to WrestleMania. A bit unexpected, a letdown for sure, but WWE likely thought we believed tonight to be the night, and behold, no Undertaker.

WWE Continues to Try To Make Us Like Roman Reigns

Backstage, he tells Kurt Angle to take his peace treaty with Heyman and Lesnar and go sell it to the same pawn shop he sold his Olympic Gold Medals.

Asuka & Dana Brooke defeated Alexa Bliss & Mickie James

James taps out to Asuka, and post match Nia Jax makes the save. Good match, Brooke got a decent amount of ring time. My wife noticed before I did she nearly had a wardrobe malfunction before the first commercial break.

The Final RAW Go-Home Segment: Roman Reigns & Brock Lesnar

Before the segment, Angle pleads with Heyman not to trigger Reigns. As Brock and Heyman stand in the ring, Angle sends out the middle card to block the ramp, and Heyman points this as an act of cowardice and lack of control on Angle’s part. Heyman brings up the Death of the Streak at WrestleMania in New Orleans a few years ago. He points out how both men who defeated The Undertaker will clash at this year’s WrestleMania. He puts over Reigns and his accomplishments. Heyman then says, by some stroke of accident, such as Brock slipping on a banana peel, and he loses the Universal Championship, Brock and Heyman will leave RAW. The rest of Heyman’s promo puts over Brock as someone above and beyond anyone else in WWE and all others pale in comparison.

Heyman completely verbally decimates the WWE locker room to put Lesnar over. Oh boy. He finally says Roman Reigns will be Brock’s b****. This brings out Roman who plays the “full-timers against the part-time bastard” card, which entices the mid carders to part ways and allow Reigns to pass through like Moshe through the Dead Sea.

It finally happens. The entire arena is chanting for Roman Reigns. Congrats WWE, you did it.

Reigns hits five consecutive Superman punches, but one lapse in attention allows Lesnar to toss him with an F5. The Big Dog has been put down before WrestleMania.

There you have it folks. In my opinion, I can cut and paste what I said about last year’s WrestleMania. The Mid-card will be better than the main event, which will undoubtedly be the Universal Championship match, despite the Royal Rumble winner challenging for the WWE Championship for the second year in a row.

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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