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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (2/19/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Seven Man Gauntlet Match: John Cena, Elias, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, The Miz, Finn Balor & Braun Strowman; Strowman wins.
  • The Bar VS Titus Worldwide w/ Dana Brooke; Titus Worldwide wins.
  • Six Woman Tag: Mickie James, Bayley & Sasha Banks VS Alexa Bliss & Absolution w/ Paige; Mickie, Bayley & Sasha win.

PLAY BY PLAY

“Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the WWE…”

A moment of silence for the victims of the Parkland, FL tragedy and their families.

 

Seven Man Gauntlet Match: John Cena, Elias, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, The Miz, Finn Balor & Braun Strowman!

All seven men involved in this match will be part of the first-ever Seven Man Elimination Chamber match this Sunday! We start with The Big Dog, Roman Reigns!

Before entering the Universal Championship #1 Contenders Chamber match, Roman will test if he can survive the other six men. This choice was the Raw General Manager’s, and that means he could be in “for a very long night.” How does he feel about taking on such a match this close to the Pay-Per-View event? “I’m not concerned at all about tonight.” He does worry about the Chamber, however. Roman’s never been in one but he’s seen them all, “how rough it is, what it does to the men’s bodies.” On top of that, he’ll be up against some of the best competition in the entire world, from John Cena to Seth Rollins to Braun Strowman. “But all those guys have one thing in common: they cannot beat Brock Lesnar.” That is why this is Roman’s time. And if the WWE Universe don’t think it’s true, watch Wrestlemania 31 and see how close Roman got. But then his first opponent, Seth Rollins, comes out!

The Architect also wants at The Beast, but he’ll have to take on his Shield Brother here and at the Chamber to do it! Will either of these two make it to the end of the Gauntlet?

The bell rings and the fans already duel. Rollins and Roman slowly circle, and the fans chant “Burn it Down!” They tie up, Roman keeping Rollins back. Roman puts Rollins in a corner, then lets him out cleanly. They circle again, they tie up again, and Rollins gets the standing switch. Roman pries the hold open and reverses to a wristlock. Rollins rolls and spins to reverse that onto Roman. Roman reverses again, into a headlock, and doesn’t let Rollins out. He throws Rollins with the headlock takeover and continues to squeeze Rollins’ head. The fans keep up their chanting while Rollins endures. Rollins gets up and to his feet, but Roman brings him back down. Rollins uses headscissors and Roman pops out to again get Rollins in the headlock takeover. Roman says, “I told you, I know all your tricks.”

He keeps up the grind but Rollins gets back up. Rollins powers out this time, but Roman runs him over with a shoulder. The fans are a mix of cheers and jeers as things speed up. Rollins arm-drags Roman then transitions to La Mahistrol, TWO! Rollins keeps on Roman with a backslide, TWO, so he mule kicks and runs, but Roman stands right up to stare him down. The Shield Brothers are even while we go to break.

Raw returns to see Roman has Rollins back in a headlock. The fans duel with chanting, and Rollins stands up again to fight out with body shots. A jawbreaker breaks the hold and Rollins runs, but into Roman’s back elbow! Roman checks his teeth before going back to the dazed Rollins. Rollins staggers at the ropes, but Roman keeps on him with right hands in a corner. Rollins staggers again, Roman whips him corner to corner. Roman runs in but into Rollins’ boot. Rollins comes out but into the tilt-o-whirl slam! Cover, TWO! Roman keeps his cool while Rollins stirs. The fans keep dueling, but Roman keeps focused on Rollins as they both stand up. He whips but Rollins kicks back, then Rollins throws a back elbow. Another boot and Rollins hops up, for the flying blockbuster! They keep moving, Slingblade for Roman.

Roman ends up in a corner and Rollins gets that leg moving as he runs corner to corner. Roman puts Rollins on the outside but Rollins punches him away. Rollins springboards and hits the flying clothesline. The fans fire up as Rollins clotheslines Roman out of the ring. Roman lands on his feet but Rollins builds speed to DI- Roman’s right hand rocks Rollins! Rollins is limp on the second rope as Roman gets space, to hit a Drive-By Dropkick! The referee starts a ring count while Roman catches his breath. He puts Rollins in the ring and follows, but Rollins swings. Roman rallies with clotheslines, then corner clotheslines at close range. Roman gets all ten, then runs to boot Rollins down. The fans are mixed as Roman gets to a corner. Roman locks and loads, takes aim and runs in, but into the wristlock. Roman headbutts Rollins away, then runs back in, but Rollins mule kicks the punch down. Rollins grabs Roman, powerbomb lift and buckle bomb this! SUPERMAN PUNCH outta nowhere! Both men are down as we go to another break.

Raw returns while Rollins climbs to the top rope. He takes aim at Roman, jumps, Frog Splash flops as Roman rolls out of the way. Both men are down again and the referee starts a ten count. The count reaches 3 before the two stir, and 6 when the two stand back up. Rollins swings forearms into Roman, Roman fights back with haymakers. Roman’s uppercut staggers Rollins, but then Rollins throws Roman out of the ring. Rollins runs, DIVES and hits!

He gets back in the ring and goes again to DIVE! Rollins puts Roman back in the ring and climbs over to a corner. He springboards again, SUPERMAN PUNCH knocks him out of the sky!

Cover, TWO! Roman feels some frustration on top of his exhaustion. He sits up while Rollins crawls for ropes. The fans are thunderous both ways but Roman gets up and to a corner. He lets out the howl, then runs but into Rollins’ kick. Rollins mule kicks, goes for the Curb Stomp but Roman evades to roll up, TWO, Rollins rolls up, ROLLINS BEATS REIGNS!!

They’re both shocked but the fans are chanting “YES! YES!” Roman accepts this loss, he and Rollins are still Shield Brothers.

However, the Gauntlet shows no mercy as it brings out…

JOHN CENA!

The Face that Runs the Place wants to get to Wrestlemania by any means necessary. He earned his way into the Elimination Chamber and wants to challenge for his first ever Universal Championship, but can he get through The Architect and the Gauntlet? He turns around Rollins attacks Cena right away! Cover, TWO! The Architect shows no mercy either as we go to break.

Raw returns and Cena now has control as he puts Rollins in a thrashing headlock. Cena has one of Rollins’ arms trapped but Rollins tries to use that other arm to go after Cena’s face. Rollins slips his trapped arm out but Cena just brings him back to the mat and re-traps the arm. Cena makes it a cover but Rollins gets up at ONE. Rollins keeps moving and gets out again. He fights back with body shots, then haymakers. Rollins runs but into Cena’s clothesline. Cena gets serious as he finally takes off his shirt.

He covers, ONE, but Cena keeps focused. He stalks Rollins and Rollins can sense it. Cena still rocks Rollins with a right hand, then whips him corner to corner hard. Quick cover, ONE, so Cena goes back to the headlock. Cena drags Rollins into a sleeper and body scissors. Rollins endures but he’s turning red. He reaches and resists but Cena’s wrapped on tight. Rollins gets out of the body scissors but Cena maintains the headlock. They stand up again and Cena forearms Rollins in the back. Cena kicks Rollins in the head, then drags Rollins up to throw him out. Rollins bumps barriers while Cena waits in the ring. The ring count begins and perhaps Cena wants the easy win, given the circumstances. The count gets up to 9 but Rollins narrowly beats it! He even dares Cena to bring the fight.

Cena keeps on Rollins with another low kick. Cena glares down at Rollins, he wants the ref to count like a Last Man Standing match. He tells Rollins to stay down but Rollins refuses. Cena waits for Rollins, grabs him for a side belly2belly, then rolls into another! He hits a third belly2belly, covers, TWO! The Architect frustrates the leader of the Cenation while we go to break.

Raw returns again and Cena still has control. Rollins staggers to his feet but with Cena stalking him. Cena brings Rollins up but Rollins slips out, kick and DDT! Cover, TWO!

Rollins is too sore and tired to be mad. He and Cena stir, then get to their feet. Rollins throws haymakers and chops on Cena, but Cena ducks to lift Rollins again. Flapjack stunner, TWO! Cena looks frustrated, he isn’t sure what to do to Rollins now. He gets up and glares down at Rollins again. Rollins drags himself to a corner, but Cena backs off. He wants Rollins to get up, and Rollins drags himself to his feet while the fans duel. Rollins puts his dukes up but Cena drops him with a haymaker.

Cena circles Rollins as he stands up again, to knock him down again. He even brags, “I feel great right now.” Rollins won’t give up, so Cena starts boasting and flaunting. He evades Rollins and knocks him back down, ONE. Rollins gets fired up, shoving Cena. They both get fired up and a brawl starts with back and forth haymakers! Rollins runs but into Cena’s back elbow. Cena covers, TWO, and Rollins gets under the rope and out to the apron. Rollins drags himself up, Cena runs and blasts Rollins off the apron. The ring count begins, but Rollins is stirring at 3. He crawls to the ring, but is only halfway there at 6. The count reaches 9 again, and Rollins again beats the count. Cena is both shocked and frustrated while we go to break.

Raw returns once more, and Cena again looks down at the exhausted Rollins. Cena waits for Rollins as he gets back up. Cena runs and starts rallying with those signature shoulder tackles. He goes for the spin-out but Rollins counters with a headlock takeover that puts Cena in a corner. Rollins runs at Cena but Cena puts him on the apron. Rollins punches Cena away then springboards, but Cena catches the leg! STF! Cena has Rollins down, far from ropes! Even so, Rollins drags himself over. Cena lets go to drag Rollins back, but Rollins shoves Cena away. They both get up, Slingblade to Cena! Cover, TWO! Rollins’ bad leg slows him down but he still stands up. He keeps his eyes on Cena as they go corner to corner. Rollins runs in and hits a forearm smash, then snap suplex roll-through to Fa- roll up from Cena, TWO! Spin-out powerbomb! And that always means one thing: “You Can’t See Me!”

Except Rollins kicks Cena, then mule kicks, to mule kick again! Cover, TWO! Cena rolls to the apron but both men are running on fumes now. They both stand up, Rollins hobbles over to Cena. Rollins wants to suplex Cena in, but Cena counters. Cena brings ROllins to the outside but Rollins kicks him away. Rollins runs in, but Cena side-steps to send Rollins into the post! Cena runs back in, but Rollins side-steps to send Cena into steel steps! A ring count begins again but for both men. It reaches 5 before either man stirs. The count reaches 9, Cena and Rollins both beat it by the skin of their teeth.

The fans chant “Burn it Down!” for Rollins as he and Cena get to their feet. Cena throws haymakers, then spin-out powerbomb Rollins again! Five Knuckle Shuffle, then the fireman’s carry, but Rollins rolls down to cover, TWO! Takedown into a Crossface! Cena endures the submission, and uses his superhuman strength to get up to his feet! He puts Rollins in position, AA- But Rollins lands on his feet! Enziguri! Cena is down, Rollins hurries up top! FROG SPLASH!!

TWO!! This is a match moving past 50 minutes and yet Rollins is still going. He and Cena both get up, Rollins goes for the ripcord, but Cena with the fireman’s carry and AA! TWO?!!? Did Rollins kick out?! The referee tells Cena he did! The fans continue to chant “Burn it Down!” for Rollins but Cena climbs up top. Rollins revives and climbs up quick, to SUPERPLEX roll-through to Falcon Arrow!

TWO! Rollins won’t stop here, he gets up and waits for Cena. He runs in for the Stomp but Cena gets that leg again! STF reapplied!

Rollins endures, drags himself to ropes, ropebreak! Cena lets go, yanks Rollins up and ducks the enziguri to put the STF on a third time! Rollins rolls it but Cena rolls it back. Rollins endures the hold, reaches for more ropes and gets another break! Cena holds on a little longer, then finally lets go. Rollins rolls out of the ring and Cena just lets him stay there. The count gets high again but Rollins comes back. Cena intercepts him and brings him up to the top rope. After some positioning, Cena has the fireman’s carry. Rollins fights out! He slips down, Cena jumps but Rollins catches and rolls through, for an ARCHITECT AA!! TWO!! The fans are loving this! Both men are stirring slowly, but Rollins gets himself to a corner. Rollins drags himself up to the top, and the fans fire up for him. He stands up, PHOENIX- No, he has to roll through when Cena isn’t there. Cena grabs Rollins in the fireman’s carry, AA! But that’s not all, eh rolls through to lift again. But Rollins, Kingslayer Knee! Mule kick, CURB STOMP!! ROLLINS BEATS CENA!! After roughly an hour, Rollins is up 2-0 in the Gauntlet!

But here comes Elias!

The Drifter already knows he’ll be last into the Chamber, but he’s fourth in this Gauntlet. And perhaps this will be foreshadowing of things to come, as he goes right after the exhausted Rollins. He covers, TWO! Elias stomps out The Architect, drops a knee, covers, TWO! Elias whips and elbows Rollins down, TWO. Rollins is somehow still going while we go to break.

Raw returns, and Elias has Rollins in a Half-Crab. Rollins endures as he is not the Hour Man, having lasted 60+ minutes. Meanwhile, Cena is interviewed backstage over his “tough loss.” How will he pick up the pieces this Sunday? First, he must compliment Rollins on his abilities, he’s worthy of being Mr. Monday Night. However, Rollins’ focus is only on Mondays. Rollins gets a ropebreak as Cena relates that he’s got his hands full of many things. Rollins can focus on wrestling and wrestling alone, but Cena doesn’t want that to sound like an insult. Cena is trying, and is putting the pressure on himself to win the Chamber. He needs to win, or he might not have a Road to Wrestlemania. Cena will take these six days to sort himself out and try again.

Back to in the ring, Elias stomps away on Rollins again. He yanks Rollins up but Rollins lands on his feet, only for that bad leg to give out again. Elias keeps on Rollins with a mudhole stomp in a corner, then wraps the leg around the ropes. The ref counts, Elias lets go then back hands Rollins in the chest. Rollins chops back, so Elias chops more, and now it’s a slap and chop fight! Rollins backs Elias down with his furious forearms, then more chops. Elias kicks out the bad leg then runs, but into a SUPERKICK! TWO! Rollins is so exhausted, and Elias gets out of the ring. Even so, Rollins forces himself up and slingshots out for a big plancha! Elias goes down but Rollins’ bad leg slows him down again. Rollins rests against the barrier before putting Elias back in the ring. Another mule kick, Rollins runs but into Elias’s boot. Rollins shouts at Elias to bring it, so Elias hits him with a jumping knee! Then, Drift Away! Cover, Elias beats Rollins! The incredible run comes to an end at 65 minutes and two eliminations.

Everyone in the WWE Universe applauds Rollins’ heroic efforts as a referee helps Rollins to the back.

However, Elias can’t rest for long, either, because his opponent is…

FINN BALOR!

Even the Extraordinary Man gives props to the Architect on his way out.

Elias is ready for Finn as Finn heads in, but Finn is ready for Elias, too. Finn throws hands on Elias all around the ring, but Elias knees low. The fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while Elias whips but Finn reverses. Sunset flip but roll through, Finn dropkicks Elias. Cover, TWO, but Finn is focused. He chops Elias in a corner, whips but Elias reverses. Finn side-steps and swing kicks Elias down, then heads up top! He takes aim but Elias bails out, no double stomps yet. The Drifter catches his breath while we go to break.

Raw returns and Elias has Finn in an armlock. The fans rally and Finn fights out, only for Elias to snapmare and knee drop. “Who wants to walk with Elias?!”

Phoenix, Arizona has mixed reactions. Meanwhile, Rollins has his turn with a backstage interview. Elias rams Finn into buckles while Rollins notes that he “pinned two of the best in the world”, back to back and that’s something. However, Rollins knows it doesn’t mean a thing if he doesn’t win this Sunday.

Back to the ring, Elias has Finn in a keylock. Finn fights his way up but Elias scoops him. Finn slips out and forearms Elias back. Elias keeps on the arm, then scoops Finn again for the shoulder breaker. Cover, TWO, but Elias keeps his cool. Elias climbs up and takes aim at Finn, hitting a double ax handle to the shoulder. He even toys with Finn before wrapping that arm around the bottom rope. The ref counts, so Elias lets go, to then take Finn’s arm and slam it on the apron. The fans chant “We Want Strowman!” to mostly troll Elias for what the Monster Among Men did to Elias last week. Elias drags Finn around into a hammerlock and then throws that arm into buckles. Cover, ONE, but Elias keeps focus. Elias wrenches that arm some more in another armlock. Finn endures, gets up and round but Elias brings him back down. Elias rakes and hooks Finn’s nose as well, but Finn keeps it together.

Finn stands up, but Elias throws him to ropes. Finn kicks back, but Elias yanks on the bad arm again. Elias shoves Finn, then forearms him on the rebound, but Finn hits the Pele kick! Both men go down and the fans chant for Finn. Finn gets up and to a corner. Elias runs in but into boots, Finn rallies with running forearm smashes. He whips but Elias reverses, Finn still gets another forearm. Elias end up in a corner, Finn hist him with a running chop. They go corner to corner, Elias back elbows Finn away before hopping up, but then Finn swing kicks him down to the outside. Elias staggers about, Finn goes out and takes aim, blasting dropkick sends Elias into the barriers! Finn drags Elias into the ring, Slingblade drops him down. He takes aim again, but runs into a big lariat! Cover, TWO! Elias  stalks Finn, hoists him up onto his shoulders, spinning powerbomb!

TWO! Both men tough it out while we go to break.

Raw returns to see Finn throw Elias out of the ring! He gets himself to the apron, and hits Elias with a Penalty Kick! Finn brings Elias over with a headlock but Elias powers out to shove Finn into a post! Elias drags Finn up and in, then goes to drop an elbow, but Finn evades. Finn rolls up, TWO, into a Fujiwara armbar!

Finn endures the torque on that beat-up arm, but Elias keeps him away from ropes. Elias keeps on that arm but Finn keeps his teeth grit. Finn drags himself back to those ropes, so Elias drags him away again. Finn counters with double leg takedown and double stomps! The fans fire up for Finn, but Elias kicks that bad arm. Finn hits back with a forearm, then a slingblade! He blasts Elias with another dropkick, and then climbs up again! Finn takes aim, COUP DE GRACE! Finn beats Elias!

There are only two men left to go in this match, but Finn must face…

The Miz!

The Intercontinental Champion sends his Miztourage out first to distract Finn, Miz attacks from behind! The A-Lister rains down lefts then grins before hitting the low DDT.

He covers, TWO. Miz keeps his cool, brings Finn back up, and hits another low DDT. TWO, so he tries again, TWO. Miz grows frustrated, he is going to be first in the Chamber so he wants to stay as fresh as possible. He runs and boots Finn down, Bo and Axel cheering him on. Miz boots Finn down again, but Finn doesn’t stay down. Miz hits a third low boot, covers, TWO. He waits for Finn to stand up, Finn fires off forearms! He whips but Miz reverses, MIz hits a low knee, then throws Finn out of the ring. Miz embraces the heat before trying to distract the ref. The referee doesn’t fall for it, he sees The Miztourage lurking near Finn. Miz uses that so he can slip out and throw Finn into barriers. He puts Finn back in then takes that bad arm and puts it through the ropes. Miz holds on and snaps back to tweak that arm! Miz grins and Finn writhes while the referee checks on him and we go to break.

Raw returns, and Miz pulls Finn’s bad arm back more in a seated armlock. Finn endures, refusing to give up. The fans rally for him and Finn gets up while Elias has his backstage interview. Elias knows he has his huge advantage of going in last for the Chamber. He did quite a bit to Rollins, and that’s what will happen to the other five competitors, too. He’ll pick up the scraps, go on to Wrestlemania and give the “performance of a lifetime” on the Grandest Stage of Them All. Then the entire world will learn what WWE truly means.

Back to the action, Miz prepares his “It Kicks” for Finn. Miz kicks, and kicks, and kicks, firing up more with each one.

Kick after kick after kick, then Miz prepares the buzzsaw, only for Finn to duck and chop back. Finn rocks Miz with a strike fest, then runs to dropkick him. Dragon sleeper, elbow drop DDT! TWO! Finn keeps his focus, gets to his feet, then chops Miz in the conrer. They go corner to corner for another chop. Corner to corner again for a third chop. The fourth time, Miz boots Finn away, prepares the Finale but Finn rolls it, TWO. Miz wrenches and wrings that arm to throw Finn on the mat. Miz runs, but Finn leans back and rolls up, TWO! Finn swings but ends up in the full nelson, but gets the ropebreak. Miz lets go, but Bo cheap shot hotshots the bad arm! Roll-up, TWO! The Miztourage is frustrated for Miz, but the fans rally for Finn. Finn gets running, and FLIES onto the Miztourage!

He’s fired up now, swing kicking Miz away. He gets to a corner, blasting dropkick sends Miz back! Axel gets back up but gets knocked back down by Finn. Finn climbs up, Bo comes back but is sent away. Miz trips Finn up on the top! Skull-Crushing Finale! Miz beats Finn! Fans boo and jeer but Miz grins as he points at the sign.

However, he’s forgotten about the seventh man.

BRAUN STROWMAN!

The Monster Among Men is the last man to enter this Gauntlet, and he’s more than ready to go after the Intercontinental Champion. Miz already looks to be begging Strowman for mercy. He runs out of the ring, but Strowman comes back out to follow him. Miz goes to the crowd but Strowman pursues! He runs Miz down right at the end of the production area, then drags Miz all the way back. Strowman tosses Miz over the barriers, and the fans join in on the victorious roar while we got to break.

Raw returns and Strowman is throwing Miz around. He throws Miz across the ring again, and The Miztourage is very concerned for their leader. Strowman kicks Miz while he’s down and almost punts him out of the ring. Strowman throws Miz again, making sure the first man in the Chamber is no better off than any of the others. The Miztourage try to distract but are scared away. Strowman runs corner to corner, but Miz dodges and kicks away on Strowman. That isn’t enough, Strowman shoves Miz down and away. Strowman walks over and drags Miz up, Miz hotshots him back. Miz hurries back in and dropkicks Strowman to a corner. Meanwhile, Finn has his backstage interview, and Finn voices his frustrations about The Miztourage. However, the Chamber will lock those two out, so Miz will be locked inside and alone with Finn and the other five superstars. Finn vows to win the Chamber, then face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.

Back in the ring, Miz goes to dropkick Strowman again, but Strowman comes back with a dropkick of his own! Strowman drags Miz up, to club him back down. The fans cheer for Strowman while Strowman dares Miz to get back up. Miz begs for mercy again, but Strowman won’t have any of it. He brings Miz up and headbutts him, then runs at him. Miz dumps Strowman out but Strowman lands on his feet. Miz boots Strowman, runs and wrecking ball dropkicks Strowman! Strowman staggers, but then comes back to run Miz over! The Miztourage backs off while Strowman puts Miz back in the ring. Axel tries to hook his foot, Miz gets Skull Crushing Finale!! TWO! And Miz gets LAUNCHED out of the ring! Miz topples the Miztourage over, but he hurries back into the ring, only to get run over again. Strowman drags Miz up, scoops him, and hits the Monster Slam! Strowman eliminates Miz and wins the Gauntlet Match! With such strength, speed and dominance, can The Monster Among Men conquer the Chamber to get another shot at The Beast?

On-stage interview with Braun Strowman.

Truly a dominating performance, but what will his mindset be in his first Chamber match? “I dont’ fear the unknown, the unknown fears me.” And just like tonight, Sunday’s PPV will end the same way, and then Strowman goes after Lesnar!! “You hear me, Beasty Boy? Because I’m not finished with you.” At Wrestlemania, Lesnar will #GetTheseHands. Now if Charly will excuse him, he has some “unfinished business.” He goes after The Miz and Miztrouage! He drags them all into the ring, Monster Slam for Axel! Monster Slam for Bo! Miz cowers away, but Strowman comes for him, too! Miz makes it to the back but Strowman throws him back out! Then down the ramp! Strowman stalks Miz back to ringside, drags him up and into the ring, and then, making sure everyone’s watching… MONSTER SLAM! Yet, that’s still not enough. The fans want one more, and Strowman will give it. Miz takes a third Monster Slam!

Will the Chamber even survive having the Monster Among Men inside?

 

The next Hall of Fame Inductee: Jeff Jarrett!

Aka Double J, “J E double F, J A double R E double T”, the man from Music City had confidence and arrogance but the flash to back it up. He would strut, boast, rock ‘n’ roll, and win matches. He was an Intercontinental Champion, and European Champion simultaneously, “whether you like it or not!” Jarrett would use a Figure Four, a Full-Nelson Facebuster and a guitar smash to bring himself to the top.

 

Asuka comes to the ring!

The Empress of Tomorrow is still undefeated, but she’s scheduled to face the newest Irresistible Force this Sunday. Should Asuka lose then, she won’t only lose her streak, but she’ll have to worry about Nia joining her should she choose the Raw Women’s Championship for her Wrestlemania match. What does Asuka think of a potential Triple Threat for the title? “I control my own destiny.” And that destiny is to win a championship at Wrestlemania! Yes, but Nia has had bold things to say, such as she is the only woman who can beast Asuka. “Very strong words from a very strong woman,” but Asuka didn’t think Nia didn’t look that strong in their last match, since Nia limped away from the ring. But Nia wants to damage Asuka’s face so much, she’ll have to wear the mask all the time. Nia likes to talk, but Asuka will show her Sunday that “she will not be talking, she will tap out!”

However, Nia appears from the crowd! Asuka is ready, kicking back at the Brutal Beauty. Asuka uses back hands, but Nia then throws her to a corner. The Empress hurries up but Nia is already upon her, fireman’s carry to Samoan Drop!

Nia goes to leave, but has another idea. She runs, and drops the leg! Then another leg drop! And… a third leg drop to the back of Asuka’s head. Nia takes her leave now, but Asuka’s still stirring. Both women are dangerous, and both women are determined, which woman will come out the winner going towards a Wrestlemania Women’s Championship match?

 

Raw takes a look at the WWE’s newest recruit: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey!

The Royal Rumble made history with its inaugural Women’s Rumble match, but Rousey made the biggest splash when she appeared by surprise. She pointed to the Wrestlemania sign to make her intentions clear. She conquered judo, conquered Women’s MMA, and even made a name for herself in Hollywood. Rousey wants to join WWE to test herself, and will officially sign her contract this Sunday. What will happen to the WWE Women’s Division when it’s put up against Rowdy Rousey?

 

The Bar VS Titus Worldwide w/ Dana Brooke!

The Raw Tag Team Champions, Cesaro & Sheamus, may have underestimated Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews a few times, but that doesn’t mean Titus & Crews haven’t earned legitimate wins. Can the Real Deal and his top client #MakeItAWin and earn a title match in the near future?

The bell rings and Cesaro starts against Titus. They tie up, and The Gator puts the Swiss Cyborg in a corner. Cesaro turns it around, and the break is clean but chippy. Titus puts Cesaro back in the corner and starts chopping. He tags Apollo then they double whip and double elbow Cesaro down. Apollo covers but Titus’s inadvertent miscue makes that a TWO. Apollo keeps on Cesaro, then tags Titus back in. Titus brings Apollo around for an assisted corner tackle on Cesaro. Apollo feeds Cesaro to Titus’ scoop slam, and then Titus barks at Sheamus. Titus goes to tag Apollo but Cesaro knees low. Apollo still gets the tag while Cesaro walks away, Titus Worldwide brings him in for a big clothesline. Sheamus runs in but gets dropkick’d out, so Cesaro knees Apollo out. The referee keeps Cesaro back, so the Celtic Gladiator runs Apollo over with a clothesline. The Bar regains control while Dana checks on Apollo. Cesaro tags Sheamus, and Sheamus brings Apollo up to throw him into barriers. He keeps on Apollo with European Uppercuts before putting him back in the ring. Sheamus tags Cesaro, and The Bar whip Apollo into the corner. The Bar goes Super Saiyan Kicks on Crews, then Cesaro taunts Titus.

The Bar embraces the heat before Cesaro puts Apollo in a chinlock. Dana rallies the fans, Apollo reaches for Titus but Cesaro tags Sheamus first. Sheamus kicks Crews, then Bar Lariat brings him down. Fans boo and jeer while Sheamus drops a knee, cover, TWO. Sheamus puts Crews in a seated keylock while Dana rallies the fans again. Sheamus tags back to Cesaro, Cesaro flies in with double ax handles. Cover, TWO, tag back to Sheamus. They stomp Apollo, but Apollo fights back. Sheamus keeps him grounded but the fans rally, so Sheamus takes out Titus first. Hot tag to Cesaro, no one home for Crews. Even so, Apollo gets out of the way and lets Cesaro run into the post! He then dumps Sheamus out of the ring and roll s Cesaro, Titus Worldwide wins again!! The Bar is furious and frustrated, but will they have to face the truth that Titus Worldwide are #1 contenders to their titles?

 

Bray Wyatt speaks.

“Some say the end is near. But personally,” Wyatt hopes they’re right. Especially for Matt Hardy, for his end will be at Elimination Chamber.

But WOKEN Hardy interrupts!

“Bray Wyatt and I have been engaging in battle since the dawn of time.” But this is only the beginning. Bray says Hardy is a liar, but Hardy says Wyatt is the liar. “His words mean nothing. Just empty promises from a deeply disturbed and twisted man.” Yet darkness clouds Wyatt, while Hardy has the power of illumination. Hardy must be silenced, but Wyatt must be made OBSOLETE. The Woken World will become a nightmare, but the Woken Warriors will make Wyatt surrender to reality. Elimination Chamber, “Hardy will burn”, but “Wyatt shall be DELETED!” Which man’s ways will ring true this Sunday?

 

Six Woman Tag: Mickie James, Bayley & Sasha Banks VS Alexa Bliss & Absolution w/ Paige!

Elimination Chamber makes history Sunday with its inaugural Women’s Elimination Chamber match for the Raw Women’s Championship. However, The Goddess must work together with enemies to make sure other enemies don’t get ahead in the game. Can dysfunction be kept out of the way to achieve victory tonight?

The bell rings and we start with Kickie James and The Goddess. Of course, Alexa is surprised to see her “friend” is there, so she tags out to the Gladiator, Sonya Deville. Mickie and Sonya circle, Mickie staying away from the MMA-trained superstar’s grip. Paige gets the fans on Absolution’s side, saying, “This is OUR House!” Sonya and Mickie tie up, Mickie gets a wristlock and a headlock, but Sonya turns that into a waistlock and slam. Mickie gets up and drop toeholds, then float to facelock. Mickie brings Sonya over and Sasha tags in. Sasha kicks and wrenches but Sonya forearms and wrenches back. Sasha fights back with body shots but Sonya powers Sasha to Absolution’s corner. Tag to Mandy the Perfect Package, she rocks Sasha with a forearm. She scoops but Sasha shoves Mandy into buckles. Sasha tags in Bayley and Bayley bumps Mandy off buckles before bringing her down, cover, ONE. Bayley puts on a waistlock but Mandy picks a leg and trips her up. Bayley counters with a sideways headscissor throw but Mandy cartwheels through. Mandy boasts and pie-faces Bayley, but Bayley brushes it off. Mandy whips her hair in Bayley’s face, so Bayley tackles Mandy to a corner. Bayley stomps a mudhole into Mandy, even as Paige protests. Mandy staggers out into Bayley’s exploder suplex! Mandy slips out and regroups with Absolution while we go to break.

Raw returns once more, and Mandy has control of Bayley in a chinlock. The fans rally for Bayley and she gets up. Bayley fights out then rolls up, TWO. Mandy kicks Bayley, Bayley kicks back and even takes the fight to Sonya and Alexa nearby. Mandy runs in but gets a flapjack that bumps her off the top buckle! Bayley heads for her corner but Mandy crawls after. Bayley elbows Mandy away but Mandy comes back. Mandy holds on even as Bayley forearms, then reverses a whip. Bayley goes up but Mandy catches her and throws her down on her face. Cover, TWO, and Mandy is a bit surprised. She rains down rights on Bayley, covers again, TWO. Mandy drags Bayley over, Alexa tags in when Sonya wanted it.

The fans cheer, even as Alexa clubs and bumps Bayley off buckles. Alexa stomps a mudhole into Bayley, then brings her back around. Bayley blocks and bumps Alexa back. She heads for her corner but Alexa intercepts. Bayley fights back but Alexa bumps her again. Alexa backs up and runs in for a screaming SLAP! She kicks Bayley while she’s down, then brings her over to tag in Sonya. Sonya mugs Bayley, covers, TWO. She wraps Bayley in bodyscissors to squeeze, but the fans and her teammates rally. Bayley makes it a cover, TWO, but jawbreaker sends Sonya away. Bayley heads for her corner but Sonya intercepts, and Mandy helps! The referee shouts for her to get out, Bayley gets the tag to Sasha! But since the referee didn’t see it, it doesn’t count! Paige helps coordinate Absolution, Sonya goes out and Mandy comes in to bring Bayley around. Bayley throws Mandy off of her, but into Sasha! The Boss goes down, Mandy staggers over but Bayley slips under to tag Mickie! Mickie rallies on Rose, then keeps moving with forearms. She hits a low dropkick on Mandy, then a boot for Sonya. Flapjack for Mandy and Paige gets pissed.

The fans fire up ans Mickie stares down Alexa. Alexa stays away while Mickie climbs up, flying seated senton! Sonya returns but gets the neckbreaker! Mickie is on fire as she aims at Mandy, mule kick to knee lift, then runs but Sonya swipes at her. Sonya gets a wrecking ball dropkick, Mandy comes back with the running knee strike! Cover, but roll-over, then roll back. Mandy hammers away to keep Mickie down, then drags her back up for the abdominal stretch. Mickie endures the bend and stretch, Sonya and Paige cheering Mandy on. The fans rally for Mickie and she slips out to arm-drag Mandy away. Mandy drags Mickie back, pulls her up, and then modified gutwrench suplex! Cover, TWO, so Mandy tags to Sonya. Absolution mugs Mickie, Sonya brings Mickie down with knee strikes. Sonya brings Mickie back up and bumps her off buckles while the fans cheer Mickie on. Mickie fights back, Mick-canrana throws Sonya away. Sasha is waiting, so Sonya intercepts again to carry and dump Mickie down. Cover, TWO, but Sonya keeps her confidence.

She drags Mickie over and tags Mandy. Absolution double suplexes Mickie, but gets double neckbreaker counters! Mickie and Mandy are both down while the fans rally. They crawl for their corners, hot tags to Alexa and Sasha. Sasha rallies on Alexa, and counters the kick with the knee. She runs in but Alexa puts her on the apron, Sasha still kicks Alexa way. Flying double knees on Sonya! Sasha gets back up and sees Alexa coming to counter with a buckle bump and wrecking ball double knees. Alexa is thrown out to the center, Sasha hits flying double knees, but Mandy breaks the cover! Bayley returns, Saido Suplex to Mandy! Alexa rolls Sasha, TWO and Sasha has the cover, TWO. Alexa throws Sasha hard into buckles! She drags Sasha up and out, but Sasha rolls her into the Bank Statement crossface! Alexa taps, Sasha’s team wins!

But then Absolution attacks! They mug Sasha 2v1 but Bayley comes in for the save. However, that’s still 2v1, she gets a roundhouse to facebuster! Sasha gets taken out with the knee strike and a sliding knee. Alexa likes that, but then slowly realizes, she’s not on Absolution’s team anymore. They corner her, but Mickie comes back for the save! She and Alexa give Sonya a double Mick-DT!

Does The Goddess have an ally in the Chamber now? Can alliances even survive a match like The Chamber?

 

My Thoughts:

This Raw, especially as it was a go-home, was amazing. I didn’t expect them to open with the Gauntlet Match, but they did, and it was a PPV level string of action. Rollins starts by doing what none of the fans expected, he eliminated both Roman Reigns and John Cena. Cena does a great job in giving Rollins compliments as the face of Raw while weaving in his own story of wondering what it will take for him to maintain his top tier level of performing. Rollins not making it all the way to the end is also fine, given the amount of time and quality of action he was giving plus the dynamics of Faces and Heels; Rollins may want to be The Man again, but WWE doesn’t want him to already outshine Finn Balor and Braun Strowman, who are each being built up in their own paths. Finn gets to shine against Elias but is then used to help Miz’s Heel heat before Strowman becomes the monster everyone loves to watch squash mortal men, like the Miz. In a perfect WWE, Strowman would be the one primed to face Lesnar at Wrestlemania for the Universal Championship because of how he has everything everyone could want. But WWE isn’t perfect so it’ll probably be Roman.

Since the Gauntlet Match dominated the night, the rest of the three hours didn’t feel like a drag. Bray and Hardy again sell their characters perfectly, but I just hope some part of their match is the BROKEN Universe pre-recorded stuff to help extend the Great War to Wrestlemania and include the rest of the Wyatt and Hardy families. Titus Worldwide gets another “upset” victory over The Bar, so I hope that at some point, Titus Worldwide challenges for the Raw Tag Team Championships. Asuka clearly struggled to smooth out her English in the promo, but honestly, we can cut her some slack because she is still miles ahead of a good number of women in the WWE right now. Nia attacking and actually getting the better of Asuka was really great, too, because now there will be some “real animosity” in their Sunday match to add to the championship implication motivations. Then the Six Woman Tag, while repetitive on paper, was actually pretty fresh given Alexa and Mickie are reviving their former friendship from SmackDown. The champion loses but also stands tall tonight, so I don’t know how that works for 50-50 booking. Both scenarios, Alexa losing and Alexa winning, can work out logically in a match like Elimination Chamber. The keys to making it a great one may be how they book this as an unofficial triple threat tag; Mickie-Alexa VS Bayley-Sasha VS Absolution for a long stretch could be fun, especially if Sasha finally goes full Heel on Bayley before the end.

My score: 8.5/10


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