Let’s look at this week’s RAW, which included an unannounced return, an announcement from Roman Reigns and much more.
Monday Night RAW started with a video package about when Roman Reigns came out in October to announce that the was battling leukemia. After that, Roman Reigns’ music hit. The crowd was very loud and supportive of him. Reigns looked like he was on the brink of tears when he first saw the crowd. He went around the border of all of the front row high fiving fans. At first he said thank you to everyone. He said that he was scared before his announcement in October. He was overwhelmed by all of the support he got after the announcement and that he will use his platform to raise awareness and help others who were in his situation. Reigns eventually said he will give us his long awaited update. The update was that he is in remission for his leukemia. The crowd started cheering and chanting because of this. He said thank you one more time and then left. This was genuinely great news and a great way to start the show. Roman Reigns is truly inspiring because of this. You could tell that the support from others had him in high spirits through his battle and even moreso afterwards. I can’t wait to see him return.
The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet
In another one of these NXT versus main roster matches we had Aleister Black and Ricochet face The Revival. Before the first break both Black and Ricochet were diving all over the place. Black ended the match with Black Mass. Like I’ve said before, these matches are good but I don’t like that they take up so much TV time since they have nothing to do with any storylines. Like I understand squash matches but it took up so much of the show last week. Also, they should focus on the dudes they called up earlier in the year before they focus on a new pack.
After a break we saw backstage a red carpet for Ric Flair’s Birthday Celebration. We also saw a video from Snoop Dogg wishing Ric Flair a happy birthday.
Elias Can’t Get A Song Going
Elias was in the ring to play on his guitar but then was cut off by Lacey Evans and Dean Ambrose. When Dean came out he issued a challenge to Drew McIntyre in a No DQ match. Poor Elias can’t get his own part of the show. Elias tried playing his guitar but Ambrose asked what he was doing. Elias tried surprising Ambrose with a guitar shot but he dodged it and was hit with the Dirty Deeds.
Sarah Logan & Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Ronda Rousey
The next match on this show was two members of the Riott Squad versus Natalya and Rousey. Rousey and Natalya did a double team on Morgan on the outside. Natalya got beat up for a long time and then Rousey got a hot tag. As Ronda was on a roll the match got called off because Becky Lynch came from the crowd and hit Natalya. Ronda and Lynch tried fighting but got separated. Lynch was handcuffed and brought away. After the break Ronda got on a mic and called out Vince McMahon. Vince didn’t come out, but Stephanie McMahon came out. Ronda begged for Becky to being reinstated but Stephanie refused to do so. After more arguing and a semi-good promo from Ronda (at points it seemed like she stumbled but a lot of it was good), she left Stephanie with the decision.
Jinder Mahal vs. Kurt Angle
After commercials, we saw a video from Stone Cold Steve Austin wishing Ric Flair a happy birthday. In the ring we saw Jinder Mahal issue an open challenge to anyone who was invited to Flair’s party. Kurt Angle took the challenge. Kurt Angle won after hitting a ton of spots and whatever. Cool, but why?
A Moment of Bliss w/ Finn Balor
Alexa Bliss started her talk show by talking about how she is available for the Wrestlemania main event. I think she was under the assumption that Ronda was out of the Wrestlemania main event or something? Anyways, Finn Balor is her guest this week. He was dressed in in-ring attire, so I assumed his match was next. Bliss was about to make a deal that if Balor showed his abs she would show something but she got interrupted while talking. Why cut a deal when he’s going to fight? His abs are gonna be visible in like seconds. The thing that cut off Bliss was Lio Rush coming out. Rush said something about Balor’s IC title. Balor interpreted this as Lio wanted a title shot, so he gave it to him.
Finn Balor vs. Lio Rush (Intercontinental Championship Match)
Early in this match Rush was getting tons of moves in. He did a Moonsault off the apron and then two Tope Suicidas. In fact the match felt like it was meant to make Rush look really good. Like, nearly on Balor’s level type of good. Balor eventually ended the match after reversing a move and then landing a Coup de Grace. After the break Lashley was behind the curtain scolding Lio Rush. He said that he was supposed to get a title shot for him, not Rush. He then forced a beaten up Lio Rush to come out with him.
Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush vs. Braun Stroman
Stroman fought Lashley next. Well, he was going to, but their match never started. Lashley tried jumping Stroman but ended up losing the brawl. I could easily be wrong, but I get the feeling that Rush is turning babyface soon and Lashley will turn against him.
Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre (No Disqualification Match)
Dean Ambrose called out Drew McIntyre earlier in the night. Later in the show he got his wish. During this match Elias came down and attacked Ambrose. This was of course because Elias was interupted by Ambrose earlier. After that, McIntyre gave him a Claymore Kick to end the match. After the match it was Elias, McIntyre, Lashley and Corbin all beating up Ambrose. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns came out to save Dean. Reigns landed Superman Punches, and Seth landed a Curbstomp. Reigns did a Spear to McIntyre.
Bayley w/ Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax w/ Tamina
To preview what is most likely the first rivalry for the women’s tag belts, Bayley fought Nia Jax. The finish of the match was Nia Jax being distracted by pulling Banks’ hair, giving Bayley the chance to kick her and land an elbow drop for the win.
Ric Flair’s Birthday Celebration.
The finale of the show was the Ric Flair Birthday Celebration of course. This has been promoted for weeks. Now. The ring had a cake, balloons and a table with something covered. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out while the rest of the roster stood on the ramp. They brought out Shawn Michaels, Ricky Steamboat, Kurt Angle and Sting. After seeing a video package about Ric Flair, they unveiled a custom World Heavyweight Championship belt. When he was finally introduced, he didn’t come out. Backstage we saw Batista storming into Flair’s dressing room, most likely beating him up, and then dragging him out. He said “Hey Hunter, do I have your attention now?” HHH then ran backstage to attend to Flair. The show ended with HHH shouting for a doctor. Not going to lie, this was a big surprise to me and I’m kind of hyped because of it. It’s been a long time since Batista last wrestled, and I’m so ready to see it again.
While the ending of the show was good, the whole show wasn’t amazing. There was lots of just plain boring segments. My favourite match this week is easily Rush versus Balor.