WrestleMania week is upon us and tonight’s go home show is packed to bursting. Stephanie McMahon has an announcement to make about the RAW Women’s Championship WrestleMania main event. Brock Lesnar is stopping in to bounce around while Paul Heyman talks. And Batista is popping in for another chat. The SmackDown Live Women’s division is well-represented on tonight’s RAW. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair will be forced to team with Ronda Rousey again The Riott Squad, and The IIconics are in eight-woman tag action, teaming with Nia Jax & Tamina against Beth Phoenix, Natalya, & The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection. There will be all the build for the other WrestleMania matches as well. And Aleister Black & Ricochet have a RAW Tag Team titles match against The Revival, ahead of the NXT Tag Team Championship match at NXT TakeOver. Got all that? Good.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection def. The IIconics, Nia Jax, & Tamina
Apollo Crews def. Jinder Mahal
The Revival (C) def. Aleister Black & Ricochet
Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, & Charlotte Flair def. The Riott Squad
Heavy Machinery def. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable
Braun Strowman def. Michael Che & Colin Jost stand-ins
Baron Corbin def. Rey Mysterio
Note: This is normally split into Key Bits and Other Bits, but this is the WrestleMania go home show – everything is important!
» Stephanie McMahon’s announcement opened the show. After pranking the audience that she was adding herself to the match, she told us the Charlotte Flair’s belt will also be on the line at WrestleMania. Winner Takes All.
» Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar were the first to the ring. Lesnar bounced while Heyman said it was almost poetic that Stephanie McMahon had used the phrase ‘Winner Takes All’ because it describes Lesnar’s match at WrestleMania perfectly. The winner, Brock Lesnar, will take all Seth Rollins has to offer. The winner will take Seth Rollins’ best shot. Then the winner will take all Seth Rollins has in life because that’s what Brock Lesnar does to people at WrestleMania. Brock Lesnar took the streak at WrestleMania and took Roman Reigns hopes and dreams last year. On Sunday, Lesnar will end Rollins’ career. Apparently, he’s also going to violate Rollins and desecrate the name of WrestleMania, which sounds slightly dodgier…
Eventually, Rollins came out to make Heyman stop talking, got straight in the ring and walked past Lesnar for a mic.
He said it’s the biggest match of his career, but what Lesnar and Heyman don’t understand is that it’s also the biggest match of Lesnar’s career. After WrestleMania, everything changes for Lesnar because he can’t just walk in making demands and acting like a bully. No one wants Lesnar here, not Rollins, not the locker room and not the WWE universe. He knows Lesnar doesn’t care, he’s made a lot of money out of being Brock Lesnar, the most decorated athlete in combat sports history. And Rollins beating him at WrestleMania may be improbable, but it’s not impossible. He’s going to beat him and take his title and there’s not a damned thing Lesnar can do about him.
Lesnar laughed and barged past Rollins to leave the ring. Rollins spun him around and delivered a low blow. Ok, so Rollins took a German suplex, but he struggled free before he could be given an F5, delivered another low blow, a superkick, and a Stomp. Seth Rollins held the title belt over Lesnar’s head with a roar as the champ lay clutching himself, then threw the belt onto him and left.
Backstage, Charly Caruso reminded Rollins that if he does that on Sunday, he’ll be disqualified and won’t become champion. Rollins said Lesnar had it coming and he’s not a Champion… yet.
» The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection and Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs Nia Jax & Tamina and The IIconics was the first match of the night. Banks and Phoenix argued over who would start. Sasha Banks won and started against Peyton Royce. Beth Phoenix did get to come in, and her first act was a double team with Natalya on Billie Kay. Peyton Royce came in to save her partner when Phoenix had her above her head and the rest of Phoenix’ team swarmed the ring to help. Nia Jax and Tamina stayed on the outside. Jax and Tamina made it very clear they weren’t interested when they jumped off the apron as Royce went for a tag. On the other team, they had the opposite problem, Beth Phoenix was so anxious to get in she shoved Banks off the apron herself, tagged in, and took everyone out. Tamina pulled the rope down as Phoenix was getting fired up to finish, spilling Phoenix out of the ring. Beth Phoenix powered her through a barricade. Peyton Royce dragged Phoenix back into the ring, took a Glam Slam, and got pinned.
» Batista showed a hype package of his kicking Triple H’s ass repeatedly, overlaid with the words, ‘There is nothing this man hasn’t done in this business, except beat me’. When the video finished, he took his glasses off, stared into the camera and said, ‘Hunter, kiss my ass’. That was it.
» Elias was outside the WrestleMania venue. He thinks he’ll get through his performance without being interrupted and he’ll be the only thing anyone is talking about afterwards.
» Jinder Mahal vs Apollo Crews had a Lumberjack match. They, and all the Lumberjacks, will be in the André The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The Ascension, The B-Team, No Way Jose, EC3, Tyler Breeze, Lucha House Party, EC3, Heath Slater & Rhyno, and Titus O’Neil didn’t have anything to do during the short match, which Crews won, but there was a mini battle royal afterwards. Apollo Crews threw Mahal and both Singh Brothers out of the ring at the end of it.
» Kurt Angle gave a farewell speech instead of having a match. He wanted everyone to know how appreciative he is for the good times and the bad times. From the bottom of his heart, he wanted to say thank you. The crowd chanted and a tribute package was played that was so long he could have had a match. He was in tears by the end of it.
Baron Corbin came out to spoil the party and mock-apologised for interrupting the walk down memory lane. He said the video should have been in black and white because it’s ancient history. The man in it is not the man who was stood in the ring. The man in the ring struggles to take his jacket off and can’t go more than two minutes without huffing and puffing. He can’t hang with the superstars of today. Corbin is sick of the WWE universe filling his social media with messages saying Angle deserves someone better as his last opponent.
Angle said they will square off on Sunday, but how about they have an exhibition match tonight, as it’s his last night. Corbin strode to the ring, got on the apron, then backed off and said that’s the old Angle intensity, but where’s the intelligence. If he gets in the ring, then Angle won’t make it to Sunday.
Rey Mysterio ran in and said, ok, Corbin doesn’t want to fight Angle tonight, but someone needs to teach him a lesson, so how about they throw down? Corbin yelled that he wasn’t going to do that, then cheap-shotted Mysterio and tried to do the same to Angle. They tussled, Mysterio came off the top turnbuckle onto Corbin then Angle gave him an Angle Slam.
» The big question going into The Revival (C) vs Aleister Black & Ricochet was, would Black and Ricochet be walking into NXT TakeOver for their NXT Tag Team Championship match at NXT TakeOver: New York, as the RAW Tag Team Champions. I really don’t think anyone would have complained about this as a WrestleMania match, it was awesome. After a run of near falls on Dash Wilder from Ricochet, Scott Dawson caught Ricochet with a cheap-shot, but it was only good enough for two. Black pulled Dawson off the apron to stop Wilder tagging out, took Dawson out at ringside with a knee in the face, then got tornado DDT’d by Wilder. Ricochet took The Revival out with a dive over the corner post and everyone was down and out. Wilder made it back into the ring. Ricochet would have if Scott Dawson hadn’t grabbed his leg. The Revival retained via count-out, but each took a Black Mass and Dawson took a 630.
» Two Tyler Breeze sightings in one RAW. Shame he wasn’t wrestling in either of them. Breeze epitomises the term deserves better. He was in a backstage segment with Alexa Bliss, EC3, and Braun Strowman to remind everyone that Michael Che and Colin Jost are in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Two extras got scapegoated by Breeze and EC3 for watching SNL. Strowman yelled at them, then told them they would be the substitutes for Michael Che and Colin Jost, so they had to face him in the ring.
Braun Strowman vs The Michael Che and Colin Jost stand-ins was a massacre. The best thing Che and Jost can do on Sunday was diving over the top rope and running. Strowman threw them out of the ring and ran them down, twice, before he rolled them back into the ring, squished them both in a corner and powerslammed them one at a time then both together.
» Roman Reigns had a backstage interview about Drew McIntyre putting him down twice and was asked if he’s really ready to be back in single’s competition. He said he’s one hundred percent cleared, then Drew McIntyre attacked him and threw him into the scenery.
» Through the show, Flair, Rousey, and Lynch had backstage interviews. Charlotte Flair was asked if she’s worried about her title being on the line on Sunday. She isn’t. She’ll be the winner who takes all. And she’s not worried about losing her cool tonight because she’s a professional.
Ronda Rousey’s interview was short. She said she didn’t feel like talking she felt like fighting. She’s going to destroy The Riott Squad and let Becky and Charlotte watch. Sunday is going to be judgement for Flair and Lynch, unless they provoke her then judgement day could be tonight.
Becky Lynch got the last interview. She said she’s walking out of WrestleMania as the first RAW and SmackDown Live Women’s Champion. She knows they’re hoping she’ll lose her cool, so they can kick her out of the match but she’s wise to them. She’s made an enemy of the McMahon family and the only way she can make sure they don’t sink her after it’s over is to take home all the gold. Charlotte and Ronda might talk about wanting to make history, she’s got no choice but to make history.
Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, & Charlotte Flair vs The Riott Squad was almost all Becky Lynch, she seemed to be determined to do it all by herself. Flair eventually tagged herself in, only for Rousey to tag herself in while Flair was still arguing with Lynch. Liv Morgan tried to take advantage and got tapped out in an armbar in seconds. The moment the bell rang, Rousey punched Flair and it descended into an all-out brawl. Security ran down to break it up and got beaten up for their troubles. ‘Police officers’ ran down as backup. Rousey launched herself at Lynch, hit an officer, and got handcuffed. Becky Lynch went after the cuffed Rousey, and also got handcuffed. Charlotte Flair watched from the ramp shaking her head until they led Rousey out of the ring. Flair attacked Rousey then kicked Lynch while the police were holding her, and all three were led from the arena in handcuffs, and they were still struggling and kicking at the officers.
Cameras followed them being put into cars, still in handcuffs. Lynch and Rousey were put in the same one and started fighting. Rousey kicked a window out of the car. Lynch was dragged from the car and attacked by Flair, and Rousey somehow managed to drive one car into the back of the other. As the final act, Charlotte Flair kneed Rousey’s face into the rim of the missing car window.
It was later confirmed all three had been arrested, but the charges were unknown when the show went off the air.
» Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs Heavy Machinery was the comedown match after the chaos of Rousey, Lynch, and Flair. Lacey Evans did her catwalk bit during the match, to absolutely no effect whatsoever. Otis caught Gable as he flew off the top turnbuckle and a Compactor finished the match.
» Bobby Lashley had an in-ring interview. Charly Caruso showed him footage of Balor beating him and Mahal to win the opportunity to face him at WrestleMania for the Intercontinental Championship. Lio Rush said it was a fluke and Balor didn’t even beat Lashley. The only thing they’re worried about is where the after-party will be. Caruso asked if he was worried the demon might make an appearance and Lashley said he’s not worried about some little Irish fairytale.
Balor appeared on screen and said Lashley should be concerned because he’s always been a guy who had demons and at WrestleMania, his demon will be Lashley’s nightmare. The screen smoked over, and the demon was there when it cleared.
» Rey Mysterio vs Baron Corbin was the final match of the show. We got all the proof that none of us needed that Corbin might be bigger and stronger than Mysterio, but he doesn’t have a tenth of the skills. After being given the run-around by Mysterio in the early going, Corbin dominated the mid-portion of the match, throwing Mysterio around and injuring his ankle. Rey Mysterio was practically out after being slammed face-first into the ringpost, but Corbin wanted to humiliate him instead of pinning him. He picked Mysterio up and found himself in a sleeper. That was the start of Mysterio’s fightback, and a tilt-a-whirl DDT put Corbin on the mat. That only got two, but Mysterio had momentum. Corbin took a 619 but moved when Mysterio came at him off the top turnbuckle. Rey Mysterio didn’t get chance to recover from the failed frogsplash, he took a Deep Six and got pinned.
Kurt Angle jumped Corbin from behind when he got to the stage and put him in an ankle lock.
And that was the WrestleMania go home show. Stock up on the caffeinated drinks and high energy snacks, because there’s a very good chance that this year’s WrestleMania will be the longest ever. Join us next week for the fun and games that are always part of WrestleMania Monday.