HomeTelevisionMonday Night RAW in Portland: The Luck of Irish

Monday Night RAW in Portland: The Luck of Irish

No introduction needed when The Man comes round. Stephanie McMahon is waiting in the ring as Becky Lynch makes her way down the ramp. I love it already. There’s no doubt in my mind that Steph is trying to throw a wrench in the machine that is the Becky Lynch train. Long story short, she wants Becky to get checked by the medical team to see if she is cleared to fight under penalty of suspension.

Becky’s response?

“You say that again, I’m not gonna be responsible for my actions, Steph” The man answers to no one and shakes her head “no” at Steph. Stephanie promptly suspends Becky, and The Man lays into her without hesitation. Right before Becky can lock in the disarm-her refs and security restrain Becky, but she takes them all out on one leg. The “Becky” chants roar throughout.

This is absolutely brilliant. This gives the whole story that Stone Cold vs. the McMahons feel we’ve been waiting for. This also provides an opening for Charlotte to make her way into the Raw Women’s title match in the meantime. Meanwhile, Becky will defy all the odds (and the McMahons) to get back to the main event of Wrestlemania. It writes itself.

Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey

This was a quick match and quick tap out my Liv. Logan tries to interfere a few times, and Morgan performs a very impressive “Matrix Move” type dodge. But this match was over before it started.

Winner: Ronda Rousey

Ronda pics up a mic. I won’t lie. I’m nervous after last week. She takes a shot at the fans, (After smiling and high five-ing them moments earlier) and at Sarah Logan. I like the booking for Ronda, but she is going to be a “less is more” type on the mic. Let her do most of her talking in the ring.

Sarah Logan vs. Ronda Rousey

Ronda beats on Logan for pretty much the entirety of the commercial break before another quick tap out.

Winner: Ronda Rousey

Ruby Riott slowly approaches the ring, hesitates, and slowly retreats with the Riot Squad. This is the absolute right call as Ruby has a very bright future ahead of her. Ruby is interviewed and says that she’ll meet Ronda in the ring when the time comes for her
to face her for the title. Ruby also stresses being a team player for the Riot Squad.

Lucha House Party vs. The B-Team vs. The Revival vs. Heavy Machinery

It’s time for a four way elimination tag team match to determine the number one contenders for a “Future Raw Tag Team Title opportunity.” This is pretty much a match directly copied from last week’s Smackdown Live. Speaking of Smackdown, It seems as though Heavy Machinery have the advantage as they have been involved in both the SDLive AND Raw number one contenders matches. Don’t get me wrong, I love these guys. But this just seems unfair. Regardless, Otis Dozovic is the WWE’s Chris Farley and great in the ring. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so as Graves makes a, “Living in a van down by the river” Matt Foley reference. Classic.

Heavy Machinery dominates early and often as they dump most of the competitors out of the ring. (There was also a short Bush Whackers nod as well) Shortly thereafter Lucha House Party takes over. I love me some Lucha House Party! (Minus those Lucha House Party rules) Lince Dorado really impresses in this match as he performs a dropkick – into a moonsault – into a pin cover. The Golden Lynx then performs a back handspring double stunner! However, chaos shortly ensues and after some quick tags, the Revival get the much needed win via the Shatter Machine.

Winners: The Revival

After recently feeling the wrath of Drew McIntyre, Kurt Angle may have just been “Re-tyred.” After much speculation Angle comes to the ring to announce that he is facing his greatest opponent of all, Father Time. Naturally he is interrupted and blatantly disrespected by Baron Corbin. Drew McIntyre joins in to put the beat down on the former Olympian.

However, The Monster Among Men comes to Kurt’s aid. Corbin and Drew retreat before they get those hands. I’m not necessarily a fan of the Corbin/McIntyre pairing especially since McIntyre has just separated from Ziggler. Also, I have the worst feeling that they don’t know what to do with Strowman who was on fire last year, but they slept on him. Braun pretty much gave his blessing to Rollins for Mania, so I’m not sure what they are going to do with him. Also, I think all the Angle retirement stuff is a misdirect. (For now anyway) Later tonight we’ll see Angle/Braun vs. Corbin/McIntyre.

The Black History month tribute reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King’s time in a Birmingham jail during a time of massive segregation and bombings. As Big E states, “He did not see this as a Black problem, but he saw it as an American problem.” The WWE always does a great job with these tributes.

Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Alicia Fox & Nikki Cross

Earlier in the night, The Hug & Boss connection were interrupted mid-interview by the new team of Alicia Fox and Nikki Cross. I absolutely LOVE this team up as they tell their opponents, “Don’t Cross the Fox!” Bayley and Banks should have listened because they are jumped by the Scottish Psychopath and Foxy pre-match. Bailey takes a beating throughout the match and even kicks out of Fox’s scissor kick finisher. Somehow Bayley single-handedly beats her opponents with a roll up on Fox. Great performance by the founder of Hug Life. Sasha hugs her partner in a nice moment after a big win. I’m not sure the direction they are going after this drawn out Banks and Bayley story arc, but Graves insists Sasha has bad intentions. Regardless, the Boss & Hug connection are headed to the Elmination Chamber PPV, but my money is on Tamina and Nia.

Winners: Bayley and Sasha

Backstage, Apollo is interviewed about Kurt Angle in a somewhat awkward segment. He’s interrupted by Drake Maverick which seems to be setting some sort of angle with AOP.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Elias

For the first time in nearly 20 years, Double J is back to compete in a match on Raw with Road Dogg in tow. Elias interrupts their “nostalgia act” and even takes a shot at last night’s halftime show. Of course he said he was originally offered the gig, which is just great. Since everyone is getting a heel turn these days, Elias is back in full heel form. (It’s the right call). Elias also kills it in the ring as he mocks the taunts of both Jarrett and Road Dogg. Jarrett hangs with Elias who is in top form. I’m just thankful double J isn’t wearing his Royal Rumble attire again. Jarrett hits a nice enziguri on his opponent but Elias quickly picks up the win with the Drift Away. Road Dogg hits some signature strikes on Elias post match and double J hits him with the guitar. The guitar does not break.

Winner: Elias

Lots of backstage segments tonight as Dana Brooke sorta kinda apologies to Natalya for last week. Nattie seemingly shuns Dana Brooke as the former Titus World Wide member gets heated. She says she’s going to ask the McMahons for a match against the Queen of Hearts next week. I like it and I hope they give this match some time to let both of these competitors shine. Oh yeah, Nattie was wearing headphones the whole time.

Curt Hawkins feels like a loser and doesn’t want to bring his old pal, Zack Ryder down. Ryder references last week’s production error in which his name was spelled wrong and says he also feels like a loser. The former internet champion fires up his friend and says that they can return to their former glory. Good on WWE for addressing the error head on.

Lio Rush vs. Finn Balor

You read that right. A banged up Balor was scheduled to take on Lashley but after some chit chat and another pre-match beatdown the match is Rush vs. Balor. On paper I’m stoked for this match, but Balor is banged up and Lashley keeps interfering. It’s a shame because these two could put on an epic match. Lashley is ejected, but Rush is able to hit his impressive offense on Finn. He even fakes out the camera man at one point with a low rope seated back springboard … well, we’ll never know what. Still Balor is able to hit the coupe de grace for the victory.

Winner Finn Balor

Paige comes out to plug the new movie, Fighting with my Family that yours truly will be reviewing for The Pop Break. Expectations are high, but I’m also very interested in Paige’s role in the company after the movie is released.

It’s now time for a much needed Moment of Bliss and tonight’s guest is EC3. I’m glad we’re past the cameo bit, but I’m not a fan of this no dialogue thing. The mic is EC3’s friend, unlike some others. Nia Jax interrupts again, but is interrupted by Dean Ambrose who I did not expect to see on tv this week. Ambrose is doing his thing the past couple weeks and I really like it. No gas masks, no germaphobe rants, just Dean Ambrose. Ambrose provokes EC3 and EC3 makes his RAW in ring debut.

EC3 vs. Dean Ambrose

I’m honestly surprised at the lack of EC3 support as the crowd chants are for “Ambrose” (Obviously due to recent news) Ambrose works the arm and dominates early, but EC3 quickly gets the W with a jackknife pin of all things. He goes up to the crowd but only one person stands up to celebrate with him. This is why I don’t like the way they are introducing some of these NXT guys to the casual wrestling fans.

Elsewhere, Mr. Rawley hasn’t lost his Mojo, but rather his marbles. Glad to see him back in the mix.

Drew McIntyre & Bacon Rorbin vs. Kurt Angle and Braun Strowman

Poor game planning here as Angle starts in the ring and is overpowered by his opponents. Drew even hits an Angle Slam and attempts to make Kurt tap with his Ankle Lock submission. Angle escapes and makes the hot tag to Braun. Strowman impresses with a double suplex on both of his opponents before he is forced to tag Angle back in. Things get chaotic and Braun ignores the ref causing a DQ. Corbin gets those hands but MCIntyre hits the Claymore kick on Braun into the crowd. Angle is thrown into the steps and is about to be decimated but Braun again comes to his aid. A chokeslam each onto the ring steps for Corbin and Drew, and we’ll call it a night.

Winners via DQ: Corbin and McIntyre

The show started out on an extremely high note but fizzled out from there. The formula was pretty standard throughout with interruptions aplenty, and pre/post – match beatings all over. If anything, this episode truly tested the luck of the Irish.

7.5 out of 10

Rob Crowther IV
Rob Crowther IVhttp://bobculture.podbean.com
Rob "Bobman" Crowther IV is host of The Bob Culture Podcast and drummer for local Jersey rockers, Vextion. This drummer with a mic can often be found on the site reviewing wrestling, superhero shows, and movies. Rob loves to put the spotlight on up and coming local bands and indy wrestling talents. @bobculturepod

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