The “go-home” episode of Raw was surprisingly solid. Far from great, but these episodes are usually examples of the creative team being lazy, and just wanting to make it to the pay-per-view.
We didn’t see anything too major, but it’s a decent send off to the Royal Rumble event. Here are my five takeaways from the final Raw before the Royal Rumble.
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5. Titus Is In The Rumble!
I hope you catch my sarcasm here. This is obviously going to be WWE trying to replicate the infamous slide at the Greatest Royal Rumble show.
In case you missed it, Titus O’Neal entered the match and ran to the ring. He then proceeded to slip, and slid down the entrance ramp, until he ended up underneath the ring. In an admittedly hilarious spot, this company will undoubtedly attempt to have O’Neal do something similar for a cheap laugh. It could be funny, but it will likely seem like a way too forced spot.
4. Hawkins And Ryder Re-Unite?
An underrated and underutilized tag team of the last decade or so is Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. The duo originally debuted as The Major Brothers before a heel turn aligned them with the World Heavyweight Champion at the time, Edge, as The Edgeheads.
They eventually became who they are today, but never received a strong enough push. With the Raw Tag division in the current state it’s in (A.O.P. on the shelf; The Revival wanting their release), don’t be surprised if Hawkins and Ryder make a play at the Raw Tag Team titles sooner rather than later.
3. Alexa Bliss Returns To Action!
This may not seem like a big deal to some, but this announcement is major news. Bliss has been on the shelf for months, and many worried it would be even longer before we saw her in action again. This fear wasn’t helped by the debut of her new talk show, “Moment of Bliss”.
Fortunately, Bliss officially announced her entry in the 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble match. I doubt “The Goddess” will win it, but it means she is healthy enough to perform again, and that is great news.
2. Lesnar Beats Down Bálor
Paul Heyman took to the ring with Brock Lesnar to cut his usual promo about how no one can beat the Beast Incarnate. Eventually, Vince McMahon, Braun Strowman and Bálor came out, setting up a match between the latter two.
It was a pretty solid match, one which saw Lesnar attack his upcoming challenger on two occasions before he was called for a disqualification (it seems as though this referee was officiating the Rams-Saints game on Sunday, with how lenient he was with the rules). The Universal champion hit Bálor with an F-5 in the ring before all was said and done.
This was pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. The much larger champion asserts his dominance, putting the challenger in even more of the underdog role before their big match. Nothing spectacular, but nothing horrific here, either.
1. Banks Makes A Statement
Nothing intensifies a rivalry like good old competition! With Bayley at the side of Sasha Banks, and Natalya at the side of Ronda Rousey, the four went at it in a tag team match to close the show.
It was a good match, one that saw plenty of action and drama throughout. The match ended with Banks submitting Natalya with the Banks Statement to, you know… make a statement to her upcoming opponent, Rousey.
Like the Lesnar-Bálor buildup, there isn’t anything new or special about it, just basic feud building. However, sometimes WWE overthinks things, and keeping it simple is all you need.
What are your opinions on this week’s Raw? Did it build your excitement for Royal Rumble? Are you excited for the potential reforming of Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder? Let me know what you learned from Raw this week! As always, please share this article, thanks for reading, and have a great day!