After multiple weeks of quality programming, WWE finally slips up quality-wise with Monday Night Raw this week. There were a few solid parts of the show, but rather disappointing overall.
Lackluster storytelling along with poorly executed promo work assisted in a poor program last night.
Let’s take a look at five takeaways from this week’s show, shall we?
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5. Lio Rush Impresses in Main Roster Debut
Despite being on the main roster for a couple months now, Lio Rush had yet to actually compete in the ring. He made his debut on the main roster this week against Finn Bálor, and he looked good.
The result is irrelevant (with Bobby Lashley interfering), but he still made an impact. This is how WWE should be using their cruiserweights on a weekly basis, instead of just classifying them as “205 Live guys”. This is why Neville left, and this was a showcase of what kind of matches WWE can expect with the “little guys” on the main roster.
4. EC3/Ambrose Feud?
After weeks of buildup, followed by two completely meaningless main roster appearances, EC3 was scheduled as a guest on A Moment of Bliss. Just before he could talk, however, Nia Jax interrupted, followed by Dean Ambrose. The former IC champ asked him many questions, but followed them up with more. This happened so quickly, that EC3 didn’t have time to answer.
He soon after beat Ambrose in a quick match. It appears as though this could turn into a decent rivalry, as well. I’m not sure why Creative is keeping EC3 as a mute, but if he wins a feud with Ambrose, that might be a worthwhile payoff.
3. Sasha & Bayley Qualify For Elimination Chamber
As we all could predict, Sasha Banks and Bayley qualified for the Women’s Tag Team title match at Elimination Chamber. The duo beat the unique, yet highly entertaining team of Alicia Fox and Nikki Cross. The latter two started things off with a pre-match assault on the eventual winners.
Banks suffered enough damage to keep her out of the majority of the match. This meant Bayley was left to fight a two on one handicap match. Banks eventually lent a hand to her partner, allowing Bayley to get the win on Fox.
I’m not sure what else to say about this match, but I’m no longer positive that these two will be the first ever tag team champions. I do know, however they need to leave Wrestlemania 35 with the straps around their waists.
2. “Stone Cold” Becky Lynch Gets Suspended
Stephanie McMahon “invited” Becky Lynch to Raw this week, and begged the Royal Rumble winner to get her injured knee checked out by the doctor. “The Man” refused, and received a suspension for it. Lynch snapped, and pummeled her until McMahon kicked Becky’s bad knee. This gave Stephanie enough time to escape.
I know many have already noticed the similarities in Becky’s character to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, but I have to emphasize this one more time. Lynch seemingly has as much momentum as the “Texas Rattlesnake” from the late 90’s. This current story with Stephanie McMahon only emphasizes those parallels.
1. Raw Suffers Without Seth Rollins
The cherry on top of this episode was the lackluster main event. Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin teamed up to defeat Braun Strowman and Kurt Angle by disqualification. The in-ring action wasn’t very exciting, and the ending was uninspired.
I don’t have an issue with any of the four men in the match, but none of them can fill the hole in the card left by Seth Rollins (save for Drew McIntyre). The Architect is reportedly dealing with a back injury, which means he could be resting up for a bit, leading into Wrestlemania.
If Rollins is held off of television entirely until then, this could mean Raw could be as poor as this one for the next few weeks. Seth Rollins is the glue which holds Raw together. Without him, the show will suffer drastically.
Those are my takeaways from Raw this week. What are your thoughts on the show? What’s your opinion on the Becky Lynch/Stephanie McMahon angle? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section and be sure to share this with your friends. Thank you very much for reading!