With just a few days to go until WrestleMania Backlash, Monday Night RAW once again came from us from the ThunderDome as the go-home show for WrestleMania Backlash. While not as bad as previous weeks, Raw once again felt slow and painful to go through as RAW once was again hurt by rematches from previous RAW episodes, multi-person tag team matches, as well as a slow pacing as RAW’s three-hour time slot, continued to hurt the flagship show. Despite all the negatives, I am here to once again bring you the positives for RAW as I once again bring you the top 5 moments from this week’s edition of Monday Night RAW ahead of WrestleMania Backlash.
5. Humberto Carrillo and the United States Champion, Sheamus push each other to the limit
Before Humberto Carrillo and Sheamus could face each other, The United States Champion would cut a short promo just before the match on his Championship reign as well as talk about Humberto Carrillo and Mansoor talking about how dominant he was after giving both men a Brogue Kick last week on RAW. Humberto would start the match strong against The United States Champion as he sent Sheamus outside the ring, however, The United States Champion would quickly regain the advantage as he threw Carrillo over the barricade near the timekeeper’s area as RAW went to an ad break.
Sheamus would continue to inflict pain on Humberto Carrillo with Sheamus taking Carrillo to the rope to hit the Beats of the Bodhran on Carrillo. However, Carrillo would fight back and would eventually hit The Celtic Warrior with a slingshot sunset flip powerbomb with both men landing outside the ring awkwardly as Sheamus’s body landed on the knees on Carrillo. This would eventually lead to the referee calling for the bell as the match was called a no-contest with Carrillo’s status being unknown as it was not clear as he suffered a legitimate injury after the referee called the match off.
While it is unfortunate that the match was called short due to a booking decision or a legitimate injury suffered by Carrillo. Both men still put on a solid effort in the short time they had with Carrillo looking like a legitimate threat as he pushed The United States Champion to his limit. With Carrillo potentially being injured after the bump, it will be extremely interesting to see who the next challenger for Sheamus’s United States Championship will be.
4. Randy Orton, Riddle, Xavior Woods and Kofi Kingston take on AJ Styles, Omos, Elias and Jaxson Ryker in an eight-man tag team match
After Jaxson Ryker and Elias were defeated by Riddle and Randy Orton and Omos and AJ Styles defeated The New Day all eight men would have a chance to face each other in an eight men tag team match. All eight men would put on a solid match as the massive Omos continued to look strong once again as he dominated The New Day once again. The match also did a solid job in advancing the tag team story of Riddle and Randy Orton as Riddle and Orton continue to rise up the tag team division as they continue to work well together. Before the match started, Riddle would talk to The New Day backstage talking about his reaction to seeing The Viper get tomatoes thrown at him by Ryker and Elias last week. This would lead to Orton confronting The King Of Bros telling him how he found killing legends and burning people fun showing his sadistic side to Riddle.
Riddle and Elias would start the match off for their teams with The King Of Bros getting the early advantage over Elias. However, the momentum would quickly change as Elias tagged in the giant Omos who dominated Riddle despite Riddle’s best efforts. Omos would then once again dominate The New Day making quick work of Woods and Kingston. The Viper would confront Omos as both men stared at each other to send us to the ad break. After the ad break Elias, Styles and Ryker would continue to work over Riddle. Riddle would then tag in Woods but the heels would quickly get the upper hand over Woods.
Woods would continue to fight on for his team and would eventually get the hot tag to Riddle who took the fight to the team of heels, leading to Riddle hitting the Bro-Derek on Elias. Omos would stop the pin with the match breaking down with Riddle tagging Orton in the chaos. Orton would then wait outside the ring as The New Day distracted Omos by attacking AJ Styles outside the ring. This would allow Orton to hit the RKO on a vulnerable Elias to get the win for his team. After the match, Orton would show his true colours as he gave an RKO to Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods before leaving Riddle in the ring as RK-Bro remains to be undefeated despite the massive difference in attitudes between Orton and Riddle.
3. John Morrison and Damien Priest fight for the stipulation ahead of The Miz’s match with Priest
After Damien Priest beat John Morrison in a solid match last week, Priest would talk to WWE official Adam Pearce this week with Damien Priest adding high stakes for his rematch against Morrison this week with the stakes being the winner gets to choose the stipulation for the match between The Miz and Damien Priest at WrestleMania Backlash. Despite The Miz’s objection to this, John Morrison would accept the challenge further creating miscommunication between the two men as The Miz cost John Morrison his match against Damien Priest last week on RAW after Miz accidentally distracted the referee when Morrison had Priest pinned for a three count. Both men would exchange strikes early in the match with both men showing off their agility in the process, however, the numbers game would hurt Priest as Morrison sent Priest outside the ring allowing The Miz to hit a cheap shot on The Archer Of Infamy outside the ring with Morrison following the cheap shot up with a neck breaker for a close nearfall.
The Archer Of Infamy would then fight back against Morrison hitting Morrison with a roundhouse kick then would hit Morrison with the Shinjiro Otani spinning wheel kick. Both men would continue to go back and forth late in the match Preist hitting Morrison with a diving spinning wheel kick late in the match for another nearfall. Unfortunately for Morrison, The Miz would once again cost him the match as The Miz distracted the referee when Priest tried to connect with Hit The Lights, however, Morrison would reverse it into a crucifix pin for a 3 count only for The Miz’s distraction to cost Morrison, allowing Priest to connect with Hit The Lights to pin Morrison for the win with Priest later going back to Adam Pearce later in the night and making his match against The Miz a lumberjack match so that The Miz cannot run away from Priest in their match.
This was a great match from two men who work extremely well together as their agility and style mix incredibly well. The continued miscommunication between John Morrison and The Miz continues to be an interesting dynamic as both men continue to get in each other’s way. It will be interesting to see if this will lead to either The Miz breaking up with John Morrison, or Morrison breaking up with The Miz and becoming a singles star for the first time since his recent return to WWE.
2. Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander face each other in a grudge match
Shelton Benjamin would have a chance to get revenge on his previous tag team partner as Benjamin took on Alexander this week after Alexander insulted Benjamin, breaking up with his tag team partner, blaming Shelton with their recent poor form. Both men would put on a great match as they told a simple but effective story in the time they were given. Alexander would start off the match strong against Benjamin with Alexander taking out the knee of Benjamin after hitting him with a dragon screw through the ropes then locking in a heel lock on Benjamin, inflicting more pain on the injured leg of Benjamin.
Despite Benjamin’s best efforts, Cedric Alexander would cut off Benjamin every time he tried to get back into the match. Benjamin would continue to get dominated by Alexander as Alexander began to insult a hurt Benjamin. Alexander would continue to run his mouth as he even called out the announce table. Unfortunately for Alexander, his ego would cost him the match as it allowed Benjamin to recover to hit the t-bone suplex on Alexander for the win over his former tag team partner.
This short match told a simple but extremely effective story as it made Cedric Alexander look strong in a sense as he dominated his former tag team partner, while still showing the inexperience of Alexander as his ego and trash-talking cost him the match. Hopefully, this is not the last we see of Alexander and Benjamin on tv as both men struggled to remain relevant before joining The Hurt Business despite both men being extremely talented and gifted.
1. Drew Mcintyre and The All-Mighty Bobby Lashley face each other in a WrestleMania rematch
Drew Mcintyre would have a chance to get revenge on the All-Mighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley this week on RAW as both men main evented RAW this week in a rematch to their match at WrestleMania this week. Before the match happened MVP, would once again play a factor heading into the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania Backlash this Sunday as MVP confronted The Monster Among Man, Braun Strowman. MVP would talk about Drew Mcintyre costing Braun Strowman his match against Bobby Lashley the previous week. MVP would then suggest that Strowman and Bobby Lashley should team up and take out Drew Mcintyre making their match at WrestleMania Backlash a singles match. Strowman would tell MVP to leave with Strowman not giving a straight answer. MVP would later get more time on the mic as he talked about how Bobby Lashley beat Drew at WrestleMania and how Lashley will stay WWE Champion at WrestleMania with MVP once again doing a great job at being the manager for Bobby Lashley as his skills on the mic are a highlight for RAW every week.
Things would start off hot between Lashley and Mcintyre as Lashley tried to put Drew in The Hurt Lock early up in the match with Drew reversing. Both men would go back and forth, showcasing their incredible strength as they put on a great main event. Late in the match, Lashley would throw Mcintyre into the ring post face first. Lashley would then attempt a spear only for Drew to send Lashley into the turnbuckle and do a Ric Flair flip in the process. Mcintyre would then hit the leaping neck breaker and would try to hit the Future Shock DDT only for Lashley to block it. Lashley would then attempt to put Drew in the Hurt Lock, once again with Drew reversing and surviving a fisherman suplex from Lashley to hit the Claymore on Lashley only for The Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman to come out and attack Drew.
Strowman would then go and help Lashley to his feet and looked ready to accept the offer from MVP earlier in the night, however, Strowman would show he wanted to side with no one as he suddenly hit Lashley with a running powerslam. Strowman would then hit another powerslam on Drew, however, Strowman wasn’t done there as he hit Lashley with a powerslam through the barricade and would hit another powerslam on Drew as he stood tall against Lashley and Strowman as RAW went off the air.
These were my top 5 moments from an average but improved edition of Monday Night RAW this week. What were your top 5 moments from Monday Night RAW this week and what are your predictions and thoughts for the RAW matches heading into WrestleMania Backlash? Let us know in the comment section down below.
AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.
With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.
1. Johnny Gargano
Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?
WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.
2. James Storm
This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.
Watch your Money and your Alcohol.
Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”
3. Big Cass
Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.
Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.
4. Bronson Reed
The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.
Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?
5. Bray Wyatt
And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.
To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.
– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!
King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy
As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI. Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.
Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.
I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”
Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match
Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!
Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect
On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.
Swanton Bomb From The Heavens
When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.
Hardy Wins The WWE Championship
In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.
Straight Edge Problems For Hardy
The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.
The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE
Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.
Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut
From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.
This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.
As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.
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