HomeTelevisionReview: Monday Night RAW in Philadelphia was a Slow Crawl to Fastlane

Review: Monday Night RAW in Philadelphia was a Slow Crawl to Fastlane

The show kicks off with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. In a move which paralyzes 80% of the WWE fanbase, Rollins suggests Reigns deserves the title match against Brock Lesnar. You could hear the confusion. Do we boo the guy who just overcame leukemia? Faces hurt, but the segment moved on as Reigns asked Rollins to reunite the Shield. After some hesitation, Rollins agrees and Dean Ambrose comes out, only get blasted via El Kabong courtesy of Elias. 

I don’t get it. You plant that seed so quickly after he returns? WWE Creative better think twice, because if the fans want to boo Roman Reigns… they inevitably will. The Rollins/Ambrose feud was a hot ticket just months ago, but then again, it’s not a stretch to see the Shield reform just to get people over again.

Bobby Lashley, Bacon Rorbin, and Drew McIntyre defeated Braun Strowman, Kurt Angle, and Finn Balor

Well. It was a decent match. I’m not confused why we are still getting these. There is nothing for Corbin and McIntrye right now, and it seems the feud between Lashley and Balor will continue rolling on. Corbin being front-and-center fits for now, despite how much I hate seeing his talentless face on television. If anything, McIntrye should be the frontman of this higher-class of 3MB. At least Angle got to toss everyone with German Suplexes.

In a segment which couldn’t be any worse if they tried, we see The Ascension, B-Team, and Hawkins/Ryder make fun and verbally bash on Heavy Machinery. Cut to the big duo, and Otis is sad. HE IS SAD!!! Tucker says Otis hurts people who hurt his feelings.

Oh crap.

Natalya defeats Ruby Riott

Decent match. Nothing worth noting though… Oh wait, Lacey Evans struts out again.

This is going to be as bad as all those endless promos for Emma.

Stephanie McMahon introduces WrestleMania’s “guest correspondents” in the form of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update Hosts, Colin Jost and Michael Che.  This dissolves into some horrible, horrible television which later sees the dumb duo backstage as EC3 sprays himself in front of a mirror, a photo with Titus O’Neal and ends with No Way Jose dancing away.

Tell me I’m watching a bad episode of WCW Thunder. Please.

In what is sadly the best segment of the night, Triple H cuts a ruthless promo on Batista. He goes “real” by using Ric Flair’s real name, shares how he almost died, and attending the funeral for Reid. Crowd goes silent fast. My eyes bug out a bit. Triple H cuts a promo where he portrays an angry-yet-compassionate individual who wanted to do something special for his friend and mentor, and was powerless as it was ruined. Batista is in trouble. Because he did get The Game’s attention.

Backstage: Stephanie McMahon announces the Women’s Championship is now vacant, and at FastLane, the newly reinstated Becky Lynch will face Charlotte to crown a new champion.

Well, that’s interesting. I expect Rousey will find her way back into WrestleMania somehow. But this bugs me. Lynch winning the title from Rousey would have been THE Mania moment. But, it seems WWE wanted to somehow stick to the original plan of having Charlotte and Rousey in the main event. Also, as Bill pointed out, this is a way to protect Rousey from losing the championship directly. It’s an odd way to go.

Heavy Machinery defeats all the teams who made fun of them.

Seriously, this was goddamned horrible. Also, consider this. Heavy Machinery, an established team drafted to the main roster just a couple of months ago, is in the purgatory of bad booking, while the recently drafted Aleister Black and Ricochet are getting a tag team title match against The Revival.

I know, I know. It’s WWE and nothing ever makes sense. I feel like I’ve been transported back into 1995 where booking was so inconsistent, anything rational was mindjarring.

Torrie Wilson is the next inductee into the Hall of Fame.

Backstage: We have a few attempts by Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to talk sense into the senseless Dean Ambrose. They fail.

Backstage (again): Charlotte says the WWE Universe will “Bask in her glory” after FastLane.

We’re going to get a feud with Keith Lee now.

Elias defeats Dean Ambrose

Post-match, Rollins and Reigns attempts to reconcile again, but Ambrose leaves through the crowd. Aww. But wait! Bacon Bits Rorbin, Drew McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley arrive to threaten the 2/3rds Shield. As Reigns and Rollins lose steam, Dean Ambrose finally snaps and charges in to save the day.

Guess what happens next… The Shield gets back together! They will face NewMB at FastLane.

Tamina defeats Sasha Banks to build momentum for FastLane when Tamina and Nia Jax challenge for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. TAMINA WAS IN A MATCH… AND WON!!!

Speaking of tag championships, the Men’s RAW Tag Team Championships were featured. Aleister Black and Ricochet wind up losing the match by DQ, when Bobby Roode and Chad Gable come out and beat up The Revival. Following that beatdown is a brawl. So, possible triple threat for the tag titles at FastLane? I’m somewhat intrigued.

Nice promo for WWE’s partnership with the GirlUp foundation, featuring Alexa Bliss celebrating Women’s History Month.

Does it surprise anyone, once again the Women conclude the show and of course, Lynch has a solid segment? It’s an easy safe bet to say women’s wrestling has the better main event than the men’s. Unless a certain 11-year veteran finally gets a WWE Title match at WrestleMania.

Regardless, we get a contract signing of sorts, where Lynch signs her life away and won’t hold WWE liable if she gets hurt on Sunday. Ha Ha! No one ever gets hurt, right? Well, the contract gets signed, but suddenly, a wild Ronda Rousey appears! Man, she looks like a penguin when she does her pouty-boo-boo-face tantrum walk. In a strange twist, following Rousey’s verbal whining, Stephanie returns the title to her, then stating if Lynch defeats Charlotte, she is added to the WrestleMania match, making it a triple threat. At this point, Rousey snaps, goes full-heel, tears into the fans hard, and beats the crap out of Becky Lynch while Charlotte stands aside.

Well. That got interesting.

“Damn The Man and Screw the Woo.”


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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