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Monday Night RAW in Grand Rapids: The Man is Out, The Queen is In

We open tonight with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in the ring. The two cut a promo for Elimination Chamber, pretty much reminding everyone of what the card is this weekend. We then get a recap from last week’s RAW where Becky Lynch attacked Stephanie McMahon after she was suspended by Steph. We then get the recap of last week’s Smackdown Live where Triple H reprimanded Becky for her actions on RAW followed by the smack to Triple H’s face by Becky. Becky Lynch then comes out joining Triple H and Stephanie in the ring. The crowd pop for Becky is insane, it’s not an understatement to say that she’s at the top right now, she might be the number one superstar at the company right now.

Triple H informs everyone that Becky has been cleared by both her doctors and WWE’s doctors, her suspension is over, and that she will be facing Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania. Stephanie tells Becky that her match will be on as long as Becky does one thing, apologize to Stephanie McMahon and Triple H for her actions last week. Becky emphatically states that she will not apologize, she will fight the whole McMahon family but she will not apologize for her actions. Triple H tells her that if she doesn’t apologize by the end of the night, she will not compete at WrestleMania. Sasha and Bayley come out to break the tension, it’s quite a juxtaposition, the tension between Triple H and Becky followed by Bayley’s peppy music, it strikes quite a different tone.

The first match is a triple threat tag team between Bayley and Sasha, Nia Jax and Tamina, and the Riott Squad. The loser will have to enter the elimination chamber first for the Women’s Tag Team Champion match first at Elimination Chamber. The math primarily features the Riott Squad against Nia Jax and Tamina to start. Logan and Morgan take some slams from Nia Jax and Tamina respectively, leaving for a very one-sided match to start. Sasha and Bayley are just laughing on the side of the ring as they watch the action. Bayley decides to tag in just as Liv Morgan starts picking up steam, but gets put down by Nia Jax. Liv Morgan tags in and starts to put Bayley in a submission, and then tags in Tamina to continue the beat down on Tamina. Sarah Logan takes out Sasha Banks outside of the ring which causes an elbow injury to Sasha Banks.

The injury appears to be bad enough that Sasha was escorted out by medical staff leaving Bayley to fend for herself. She’s able to avoid a superkick by Tamina to tag in Liv Morgan as she escapes the ring. Sarah Logan tags in but takes a quick beat down from and Nia Jax. Liv Morgan is able to tag in, but then Bayley tags in to take out Morgan. She is able to takes out everyone, the whole Riott Squad including Ruby, Nia Jax and Tamina, she is turning into a superhero and the crowd loves it. She gets a top rope elbow drop on Morgan, nearly gets the three count but it’s broken up by Sarah Logan. She manages to get the Bayley to Belly on Liv Morgan, but Tamina comes in a kicks Bayley before she can get the pin. Nia Jax tags in to put the Samoan drop on Bayley and pin her for the win. The results mean that Sasha Banks and Bayley will enter the elimination chamber first. The match was very good, however the result seemed predictable. It accentuates the point that Sasha and Bayley will have an amazing come from behind victory on Sunday to win the Women’s Tag Team Championship.

Elias is on stage next, but before he can start it cuts to backstage where we get a segment between Finn Balor and Becky Lynch. Finn recommends that Becky swallow her pride and not let it get the better of her. He also uses it as an opportunity to promote his match against Bobby Lashley. He finishes off by telling her that pride has gotten the better of many men but it shouldn’t get the better of The Man.

It’s back to Elias in the ring, but then it cuts to a promo for Seth Rollins going back to last February when he first started calling himself Monday Night Rollins.

Elias tries to start but he is interrupted by the Lucha House Party, which is amazing. Elias is so flummoxed and does not know what to do, it’s interesting for Elias to be interrupted by other wrestlers, but being interrupted by promo packages is something else indeed. I like what they’re doing with Elias, sometimes the fact that he is not allowed to perform is as good as his actual performances. Also, that they are finding new and interesting ways to mess with Elias, as if it is someone in the production booth who will use promotion packages and backstage interviews to interrupt him, almost as if he wasn’t meant to perform.

Elias complains that he keeps getting interrupted and that he wrote a song that he will perform; Kalisto informs Elias that tonight Lucha House Party wants to walk with Elias. The song takes apart Grand Rapids, Michigan (the host city of course), at the end of the song Lucha House Party determines that Elias’ song sucks (as per the crowd suggestion). Kalisto offers to take over for Elias, he sits on the stool, takes Elias’ guitar and begins to perform; Kalisto plays a few chords and the crowd loves it. Elias is so impressed he offers to do a duet with Kalisto, he grabs another guitar and assaults Kalisto.

Next out is Bobby Lashley accompanied by Lio Rush, he will be watching a match against Finn Balor and Drew McIntyre.  McIntyre quickly takes out Finn, but Finn is able to recover and take out McIntyre. Lashley then interferes and takes out Finn, Kurt Angle then takes out Lashley, McIntyre and Rush, then Baron Corbin comes out to take out Angle, as Lashley, McIntyre, and Corbin beat up Finn and Angle. Finally, Braun Strowman comes out to take out Lashley, Corbin, and McIntyre. Strowman starts to try and beat down Corbin but he’s rescued by McIntyre.

Lashley, Corbin, and McIntyre leave as Strowman, Angle, and Finn remain in the ring. It was a very frenetic segment with a lot of action happening in a short amount of time. I’m not sure why they want to force a team up with Strowman, he’s big enough now (no pun intended) that he should be going for the belt single handedly. WWE needs to pull the trigger and turn Strowman into an unstoppable monster who takes out everything in his path.

The match that follows is a 6-man tag match between Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, and Braun Strowman, vs. Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, and Drew McIntyre. The match features power slams by Braun Strowman, suplexes by Kurt Angle, and high-flying hits by Finn Balor. Bobby Lashley gets a few holds on Kurt Angle which slows down the match, Finn Balor tags in and starts taking out all three of his opponents in quick fashion in a way that only he can. He eventually gets taken down by Baron Corbin and then Bobby Lashley takes over to beat down Finn. Outside of the ring McIntyre and Strowman go at hit, keeping them both out of the match. Finn tries to get the jump on Lashley but he can’t do it, Lashley takes out Finn and gets the three count on Finn, however Finn had his foot on the rope meaning the count should not have counted.

The team of McIntyre, Lashley, and Corbin win the match. Another official comes out to tell the in-ring official what happened, due to this development the match is restarted. Lashley and Finn wind up facing off again and Lashley puts a brutal beatdown onto Finn. Finn has no one to tag to as Strowman and Angle have been taken out by McIntyre and Angle, leaving Finn to deal with Lashley by himself. Braun Strowman is able to get up and he takes out everyone in remarkable fashion. He shoulder charges Lashley, Corbin, and McIntyre, he takes everyone out inside and out of the ring, even Leo Rush. He gets back into the ring with Lashley to take him out with a running power slam, he tags Finn in so he can finish Lashley off with a coup de grace, and gets the pinfall. It was a great end to the match, it was closer to what I want to see from Braun Strowman. There is a scenario where it might be fun to see Strowman and Finn tag up as a David and Goliath combo but at this point, I just want to see Strowman on his own.

We get a promo from Kevin Owens where he’s at a bowling alley with his family. He talks about how he’s been recovering but he’s been enjoying time with his wife and kids. We get some news that he will be coming back in about a month, he hasn’t been told whether he’ll be coming to RAW and Smackdown but he will be coming back in about a month.

Nikki Cross comes out next to face against Ruby Riott. As with all her matches Nikki gets out with a lot of quick hits and screaming. I personally love her matches, it’s like letting a caged squirrel out and seeing what kind of stuff it can mess out. Nikki manages to get a cross body on Ruby Riott, but Riott gets back up and manages to put some submission holds on Nikki. Ruby follows up with a few kicks and knees to the back of Nikki Cross. Nikki counters with some elbows and then drops Riott onto the apron. Riott manages to get back into the ring, gets Nikki off the ropes, and gets the Riott kick off on Nikki to get the pinfall for the win. Ruby Riott will face Ronda Rousey at Elimination Chamber for the RAW Women’s Championship.

Seth Rollins comes out next to a raucous cheer from the crowd. He talks about how he feels like he’s on top of the world right now, but then talks about what Brock Lesnar did to him after the Royal Rumble. He tells the crowd he’s hurting right now from taking six F5s. Seth Rollins tells everyone that if his match at WrestleMania is his last, and before we can hear the end of that sentence, there is an interruption from Paul Heyman. He tells Rollins that he may be talented, but he has not shot against the beast Brock Lesnar. He warns Rollins that taking the Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar would make Seth Rollins the architect of his own demise. Rollins does not want Lesnar to hold the Universal Championship hostage any longer, and he will do whatever it takes, including burn in hell, to take that Championship from Lesnar. It was a fantastic promo, one that I hope can lead to a good match at WrestleMania between the two.

After the promo Dean Ambrose comes out to confront Seth Rollins. He gives Rollins only one message, “slay the beast,” it seems to be some sort of reconciliation that Ambrose is offering Rollins. It would be nice for Rollins and Ambrose’s feud to end relatively amicably to avoid leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth before Ambrose’s rumored departure.

Dean Ambrose is facing off next against EC3. Dean Ambrose goes at him quick to get in a few hits, EC3 counters with a side drop kick followed by a vertical suplex. EC3 tries to spear Ambrose in the corner but Ambrose dodges. Ambrose counters with a side slam but EC3 kicks out of the pin. Ambrose goes for the top rope but EC3 knocks him down, Ambrose is able to get EC3 in the roll up to pin EC3 for the three count and win. It was a quick match but a good showcase for EC3 despite the loss.

The next match is Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. The Revival for the RAW Tag Team Championships. I feel like we are in reruns with The Revival and Chad & Roode. At this point it’s a bad version of groundhog’s day that won’t end. In general, the tag team division in RAW has felt very one sided, it may be the lack of fun personalities, but Roode and Gable haven’t really injected anything fresh into the division. Both Chad Gable and Bobby Rode are impressive, as are Dawson and Wilder as both teams showcase significant throws and slams of the top rope.

Roode eventually tags in and starts taking out both members of The Revival. He gets a spine buster on Wilder but Wilder barely escapes. Scott Dawson comes in and counters with a face buster to Roode with an assist from Wilder. The match turns around as the two teams being trading pinfall attempts. The energy of the match becomes incredible as so many near falls are avoided by teammates breaking up the pins. At one-point Gable pulls off a sunset flip into a bridge to try and pin Dawson but he kicks out. Eventually Dash Wilder pulls off the shatter machine of Gable and manages to get the pin making The Revival NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS.

Despite my earlier comments I have to admit it’s nice that The Revival finally won the RAW Tag Team Championships in a great match. Hopefully the Revival can have a good run as Tag Team Champs, they’re talented and are interesting enough to have some good feuds.

Becky comes out followed by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Triple H and Steph try to convince Becky that she can have a match at WrestleMania, and all she needs to do is accept the consequences of what she did was wrong and apologize for her actions. Triple H tells Becky to shut out the crowd who doesn’t want her to apologize. Becky tells them that despite all of her feelings, if all it takes to get her WrestleMania is to say “I’m sorry,” then she’ll do it. She apologizes but tells them that no one can stand in her way to get to Ronda Rousey. Triple H and Steph agree, and tells Becky that she’s going to WrestleMania to face Ronda Rousey. Ronda comes out to face Becky, before anything can get started, we get a visit from the chairman of the board, Mr. McMahon!

He tells Becky that she doesn’t like her attitude and he doesn’t accept her apologize. In fact, he doesn’t like Becky’s attitude and is serving her with a 60-day suspension, which ends five days after WrestleMania. He wants a proper superstar to represent WWE at WrestleMania that’s why Charlotte Flair will be facing off against Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania. This was an amazing development that will most likely lead to a Triple Threat match at WrestleMania, which is very exciting.

This was a fantastic RAW that started and ended with the best way it good, the top wrestlers in company feuding with management, making up, and then management reigniting the feud. I’m thrilled with how management is interacting with Becky, and how tonight’s developments will ignite the feud between Ronda and Becky, I can’t wait for the RAWs leading up to WrestleMania.


DJ Chapman
DJ Chapman
DJ also enjoys tabletop board games, role playing games of any kind, and being right. He is a die-hard Dolphins, Devils, and Yankees fan, screw the Knicks.

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