If you woke up early to follow the NHL trade deadline, then I’m guessing you had a difficult time getting through this episode of Raw. It wasn’t a bad episode, but it’s tough to get through three hours when you’re exhausted.
Triple H got little to no reaction when his music hit. That’s probably because they’ve confused the audience on who to cheer for.
Hunter’s promo actually sounded very similar to the one on Smackdown. A few words were changed, but it carried the same message. Couldn’t he get more creative? This promo didn’t engage the audience whatsoever.
Ambrose was a much welcomed surprise to this segment. His promo alone was enough to reenergize this crowd. The dialogue between the two was excellent. They spoke with a lot of substance which was enough to captivate me. My only gripe with this promo was that it went longer than it should have. Towards the end there were a few unnecessary lines that just prolonged the segment. Regardless of the length, a potential Triple H – Ambrose match would definitely peak the interest of all fans.
Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch
This was the first time in a while that I was excited to see these two wrestle each other. Over the past few months this particular match up was overexposed.
The two competitors wrestled with urgency, and showcased that this match meant something to their characters. At times it wasn’t the most technically proficient, but the fast pace overshadowed that aspect. This was also the first time in a while that the live crowd was invested in a women’s match. The spot of the match was undoubtedly the sunset flip, mainly because of the impact. I figured that this would end in some sort of draw, but I didn’t anticipate the double pin. It was obvious that they wanted to go for a triple threat at Wrestlemania, and I believe this was the best way to kick start the feud.
Miz vs Dolph Ziggler
Before I could finish editing my review on the last match, the Miz picked up a victory over Ziggler. Since the two seem to be good friends in real life, I imagine they’d be great as rivals. I’m interested in seeing what happens next. Hopefully we don’t get weeks of the two exchanging wins.
Stephanie McMahon Promo
The crowd absolutely hated Stephanie, but that was the plan. I thought she was brilliant in this promo. This was the best use of McMahon that we’ve seen in a while. Her passion had me sold from the start.
The League of Nations vs The Lucha Dragons
I didn’t care to see this. It’s comical how I find myself saying that about every match involving the League of Nations. The announcers continuously try to put this group over, but it doesn’t work. As heels, I don’t think they’re connecting. It bothers me that Kalisto has yet to be given a singles program, as he is the US Champion. He’s a good champion and he needs something to work with. Also, he should not be eating pins.
Ryback vs Adam Rose
With the previous match and this match, I realized the show had hit it’s low point. I don’t have anything against Ryback, however the creative team hasn’t given me a reason to care about him. The Social Outcasts came across as babyfaces in this match. I’m guessing they won’t be making the switch, but needed to make Ryback look scarier.
The New Day vs Chris Jericho & AJ Styles
I can’t believe the New Day hasn’t made a “Damn Daniel” joke yet. Normally they’re up to date on their internet memes. It pains me to see the New Day planting seeds for a feud against the League of Nations. I continue to hope that their program is just an internet feud.
These two teams have amazing chemistry together. With “Y2AJ” being an official thing, the tag division has just gotten stronger. The spot of the match was the Pele kick from Styles, because of how well Big E sold it. They can easily ride this program into Mania. I don’t believe the two teams have even scratched the surface on what could be a great feud.
Mr. McMahon/Undertaker Promo
It’s great to see that the Undertaker has grown his hair out. I always believed that long hair added to his character. So Taker didn’t turn heel, yet he wasn’t exactly a babyface. The role of a “tweener” is probably the best choice for him. It keeps him neutral, while still having a part in this feud. It didn’t make any sense that Taker only stood in the ring for about a minute. Why fly him out to Nashville then? This promo was the most heavily advertised part of the show, and they sold us short.
Jey Uso vs Bubba Ray Dudley
Amongst all the feuds lost in the midcard, the WWE has done a swell job at keeping this one strong. The match accomplished what it needed to, which was furthering the feud. The spot of the match, if not the show, was D-Von Dudley whipping a table at Jimmy Uso. I legitemately marked out when I saw that.
Kevin Owens vs The Big Show
Why were there so many rematches on this show? I actually enjoyed this match from Smackdown, but they could have waited before booking it again. If anything, this could have been more effective on this week’s Smackdown, especially if it was promoted.
Brie Bella vs Naomi
There’s no doubting that this was a throwaway match, however both competitors were very sharp. I was especially impressed with Brie. Usually her ability to execute offence comes across as awkward, but not in this contest. Most of the match went by pretty smooth, and then the two had several botches in the finish. That’s definitely a pattern in many WWE divas matches.
Dean Ambrose vs Alberto Del Rio
In a show filled with rematches, we were given a fresh main event. I can’t recall these two ever wrestling each other. The League of Nations actually fit better in this part of the show as opposed to the tag match. Del Rio looked like a monster in this bout. Every move he executed was done with precision and strength. After this was over, I viewed him as the most credible superstar in the League of Nations. For the sake of this man’s talent, I hope he doesn’t get lost in a tag feud for Mania. Ambrose looked great selling Alberto’s moves. I’d love to see them feud one day, as they have chemistry in the ring.
The WWE loves showing the fans what could have been. Ambrose and Hunter meshed so well together, that it’s unfortunate they’re not the main event of Mania. Triple H has been miraculous as a fighting champion. Yes, he’s a heel, but I love how he’s not scared to step in the ring. At least the two will wrestle a match before April 3rd, and I’m guessing that’ll happen March 12 in Toronto.
Maybe it’s because I was tired, but this show was all over the place. There was a serious lack of consistency. To an extent, certain parts lacked urgency .They pushed the main feuds, while still keeping some stars in limbo. As of now, there is four episodes of Raw left until Mania, and I’m shocked they haven’t built a more concrete card. The low point of the show was the League of Nations vs the Lucha Dragons, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show a 6/10.