It’s the go home show for Elimination Chamber and, despite being suspended and hitting both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon last week, Becky Lynch has been invited back to RAW. Another very vague preview. Seth Rollins will be on the show, but not wrestling. Dana Brooke might fight Natalya, Finn Balor might get an Intercontinental Championship match. Ruby Riott has a RAW Women’s Championship match at Elimination Chamber, so we’ll be hearing about that. And Kurt Angle might have another go at telling us his future plans.
I’m Amanda, and this is the RAW review.
Nia Jax & Tamina def. The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection and The Riott Squad
Finn Balor def. Drew McIntyre
Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, & Kurt Angle def. Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre & Baron Corbin
Ruby Riott def. Nikki Cross
Dean Ambrose def. EC3
The Revival def. RAW Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode & Chad Gable – TITLE CHANGE
The Key Bits
» Stephanie McMahon and Triple H opened the show. After promoting Elimination Chamber, they turned the subject to Becky Lynch. They showed footage of Lynch attacking them both last week, then McMahon revealed that Becky Lynch has seen her doctors over the weekend. Becky Lynch came out before her introduction was complete, again.
Lynch said it’s nice to be there, and to see them looking so well. Triple H said the whole thing escalated quickly but he wants to put it behind them. He apologised for crossing the line with the things he said last week. She saw her doctors, not theirs, but WWE doctors have agreed there is no tear or structural damage to Lynch’s knee and she’ll be cleared after a couple of weeks of rehab. So, the suspension is lifted and her WrestleMania match is on.
Stephanie McMahon hyped the match then said it would take place if Lynch could do just one thing, apologise to them.
Becky Lynch didn’t seem to understand what she had to apologise for. McMahon tried to placate her and was told to shut her face. Lynch said she doesn’t trust any of them, right up to Vince McMahon, the whole family has been screwing people over for decades. They tried to take her opportunity, and no one is stealing that from her. She will fight anybody to get to where she wants to, but apologise, hell no! They’re telling her what she needs to do, so she’ll tell them what to do, take their apology and shove it up their arse.
Lynch tried to leave, McMahon stepped in front of her and they yelled in each other’s faces until Triple H stopped them. He told Lynch this was not the hill she wants to die on. She needs to think clearly and put her pride and stubbornness behind her. Does she want to fight there, or at WrestleMania? Does she want the chance to fight for her dreams? Does she want everything she’s ever worked for, or does she want to throw it all away tonight?
If telling her is a problem, he’s not telling her anything, he’s giving her a choice. By the end of the night, she needs to decide whether she’s going to WrestleMania to fight Ronda Rousey and show the world she’s The Man, or whether she’s going to throw it all away.
Throughout the show, Becky Lynch was approached and advised.
Finn Balor told her not to let pride get the better of her. Bide her time. He won’t tell her what to do, but he’s seen pride get the better of many a man, don’t let it get the better of The Man.
Charly Caruso asked what she’ll tell her fans if she refuses to apologise and denies them the chance to see her fight Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania. Lynch said it’s none of her business.
Ronda Rousey spoke to Lynch and asked what was more important, her ego or making history. It’s time for The Man to ‘man up’. She doesn’t have to mean it but if she goes out and says anything other than, ‘I’m sorry’, she’s admitting to the world she’s too scared to face her at WrestleMania.
Alexa Bliss urged Lynch not to apologise because the second she apologises she shows weakness. Becky Lynch saw through Bliss’ ulterior motive despite Bliss’ protestations. Bliss said if she apologises no one will see her as The Man anymore, just the Irish girl who swallowed her pride and sold out. Lynch said, if she does apologise, the only thing she’ll be selling out is WrestleMania.
The final segment of the evening was given over to Becky Lynch’s decision. When Triple H and Stephanie McMahon got to the ring, they told her that whether she believes it or not they want this to work out. This could be the biggest match in WrestleMania history, but she has to accept the consequences of her actions. Lynch looked to the crowd, Triple H told her to shut them out and focus on what she wants. Does she want WrestleMania?
She said she still thinks the two of them don’t want her anywhere near the match. But if all that’s keeping her away from her dream is two little words then, ’Stephanie, Triple H, I’m sorry’. She looked for reassurance her path to WrestleMania is clear. If anybody gets in her way, they will face the fight of their lives, no matter who it is. No one is taking her dream away from her.
Triple H said he wouldn’t have it any other way and congratulated her. They shook her hand and left the ring. She double checked and Triple H said, that’s it, she’s going to WrestleMania.
Lynch started cutting a promo on Ronda Rousey, Rousey came to the ring and Vince McMahon came out before they could get into it.
He said that Stephanie is right, that could be one of the greatest main events of all time… it could be. But he thinks Lynch has a bad attitude, and so does Rousey. He doesn’t like bad attitudes. She’s not The Man, he is. He’s not accepting Lynch’s apology. He suspended Becky Lynch for 60 days, which takes us to five days after WrestleMania. They need someone to take her place. Someone with charisma and charm, someone who knows their lane and how to stay in it. Someone who will take Ronda Rousey to her absolute limit. They need… Charlotte Flair. He brought Flair out and told Rousey to get used to this sight, because it’s what she’ll be seeing at the end of WrestleMania, and raised Flair’s hand while Lynch and Rousey stared daggers at them from the ring.
» The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection vs The Riott Squad vs Nia Jax & Tamina was the first match of the night. The losers of this match enter the Chamber first against a SmackDown Live team to be chosen tomorrow, so will have to outlast all the other teams. I like these matches, they’re fun and confusing, and hellish to cover because everyone’s tagging everyone else. Sasha Banks was taken out on the outside by Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan and was led from the arena by medics leaving Bayley alone. They’d stayed out of the early part of the match, except for Banks’ opening slap to Nia Jax and they should have stuck with that. Bayley took a beating from everyone but eventually managed to tag in Morgan so the other teams went back to beating on each other while she recovered.
When she came back in, she came in strong, and twice nearly pinned Liv Morgan. Tamina superkicked Bayley after she’d delivered a Bayley to Belly to Morgan and had to decide who she wanted to pin. She dragged Morgan over to Jax so Jax could tag herself in, and a Samoan drop to Bayley finished the match.
» Finn Balor has a handicap match at Elimination Chamber against Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush. They were ringside for Finn Balor vs Drew McIntyre and immediately got on the apron to distract Balor and give McIntyre the early control. Balor dodged McIntyre on the apron and McIntyre hit the post hard. Rush got involved again, so Balor dropkicked him into Lashley. Bobby Lashley shoved Balor off the top turnbuckle when he went up for the Coup de Grace (awkward looking fall), got McIntyre disqualified, then Lashley and McIntyre began the beatdown. When McIntyre went for the steps, Kurt Angle came down to make the save. Baron Corbin hit Angle from behind, and Braun Strowman joined the party to stop Angle getting beaten up. McIntyre saved Corbin from a powerslam, and a tag match broke out in the break.
Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, & Braun Strowman vs Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, & Baron Corbin was a long match. Angle took a ton of punishment after some underhanded tactics by Lashley. He managed to tag Balor in, who, despite a good start, was quickly in the same predicament. Corbin knocked Angle off the apron, then he and McIntyre took Strowman down between them, so Balor had no one to tag. Lashley waited much too long to go for a spear and ended up shoulder-first in the ringpost, and Balor launched himself over the top rope onto Corbin and McIntyre. He was ready for Lashley’s attack, knocked him down, and went for the Coup de Grace but a Lio Rush distraction gave Lashley time to knock Balor’s legs from under him and scoop him up to drop him on the mat and pin him. Balor got his foot on the rope, but the ref counted three and the bell rang.
After some collaboration between officials, it was restarted. Angle was still down and Strowman was tipped over the barricade during the ads, so Balor was on his own again. Finally, Strowman made it back and tagged in. He took all three of his opponents down, then ran through them all (including Rush) at ringside. Kurt Angle got up for long enough to suplex Corbin on the outside. McIntyre was clotheslined out of the ring by Strowman. Then Strowman gave Lashley a running powerslam and tagged in Balor to finish him with the Coup de Grace.
» Seth Rollins appeared to talk about his upcoming match with Brock Lesnar, and the last 12 months of his career. He did have an incredible 2018 and he’s very grateful for all of it. He was on top of the world after Royal Rumble but the next night the bottom dropped out in the form of six F5’s from Lesnar. He had to go home and think about some stuff for a couple of weeks, and he had some good news and some bad news. The bad news is he took six F5’s and he’s in pain. Maybe it’s wear and tear, but the pain he endured from the F5’s was like nothing he’s ever felt. The good news is he took six F5’s and he’s still here and still standing. If he can stand he can fight and if he can fight then he can Stomp and if he can Stomp, he can beat Brock Lesnar.
He had a lot of family and friend ask him if it was worth the cost. He said that if WrestleMania is the last match of his career… then he was interrupted by Paul Heyman.
Heyman fake introduced Lesnar, like anyone believed he’d be there. Then in his wonderfully loquacious way, told Rollins that all men are not created equal. Rollins is one of the best he has ever seen, but Lesnar is a beast, a career killer, a merciless sadist. The WrestleMania match is a suicide mission. If Rollins walks into WrestleMania and tries to take the title from Lesnar, he will be the architect of his own downfall.
Rollins said Heyman was right, but what he didn’t seem to understand is that he doesn’t care. Lesnar has held the industry hostage for two long years and he won’t stand for it any more. He doesn’t care if it’s a suicide mission because he will sacrifice everything to make sure Lesnar doesn’t leave as the Universal champion. And that’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.
Dean Ambrose came out after Heyman left and asked Rollins for the mic. He said he’s only got one thing to say to him. Slay the beast. Then he nodded at him and left.
» Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs The Revival – RAW Tag Team Championship match – This should have been on the PPV. RAW seem to have trouble hyping their tag division recently. This opportunity was won last week, but the match didn’t even appear on the preview. Wrestling-wise, it was easily the match of the night, and it was given a good amount of time. It was well paced with some incredible action, but the quiet crowd did it no favours. They got into it eventually though. The Revival have had missed opportunity after missed opportunity, but tonight was finally their night. A Shatter Machine to Chad Gable finished a spectacular match with new Tag Team Champions.
The Other Bits
» Elias was introduced three times. The first time they cut away to the Lynch Balor chat, the second to a Seth Rollins hype package. The third time, Lucha House Party came out. Elias yelled at them and they said they want to walk with Elias. He sang a mean song about Grand Rapids then asked what Lucha House Party thought, they gave it the thumbs down and said the people think he sucks. Elias offered them a chance to do better and Kalisto took him up on it and played a bit on the guitar. He’s good. Elias asked him if he wanted to do a duet, then smacked him over the head with his spare guitar and ran away before the other two could get to him.
» Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riott was great, but not long enough. Ruby Riott came out alone. Unfortunately, we missed a load of the match while they cut to Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey. Cross got to show more of what she’s capable of, including some of her favourites like trapping Riott in the ring skirt. Ruby Riott lost some of her extensions. The end came quickly, while Cross was firmly in control. Ruby Riott kicked Nikki Cross’ leg out from under her while she was on the turnbuckles, delivered a Riott kick, and got the pin.
» Dean Ambrose vs EC3 was Ambrose’s attempt to get some pride back after taking a quick pin last week. EC3 had the best of things for the majority of the match. Ambrose pulled it back mid-match by sending EC3 into the post, but he took too long going to the top, and EC3 knocked him down. As EC3 leaned over him on the mat, Ambrose rolled him up tight and pinned him.
Kevin Owens delivered a video update on his condition from a bowling alley. He’ll be back in about a month, and he’s a terrible bowler.
There were Elimination Chamber promos during the show for the Women’s Tag Team Championships. The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection did one before their match, Fire and Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville) had a pre-recorded interview, as did The IIconics. I have a feeling that will be one of the highlights of a very good PPV.