WWE RAW 8/26/19 Results and Review

Opening Segment

Monday Night RAW started with Sasha Banks coming to the ring. We were given a video package which reminded us of Banks’ return, attacking Natalya despite her emotional reminiscing about her late father, and beating up Becky Lynch who came in to save Natalya. The package made it obvious that Natalya is a stepping stone to get to Lynch. Back to the live feed, Banks said while she was gone and off TV all she heard was people talk about her. She talked about how she was frustrated over being in a Wrestlemania tag match while Lynch was in the main event. It’s interesting how she said Lynch main evented against Ronda Rousey, ignoring the fact that Charlotte Flair was also in the match. Banks said her return was the perfect timing. She took another cheap shot, mentioning Natalya’s father. Mid-promo, she was interrupted. Natalya came running down the ramp, brawling with her. They fought until they were pulled apart. The broadcast went to break after this. This was fine I guess. I still don’t like the digs Natalya’s father, and I don’t see myself coming around to liking it soon.

After the commercial break, The Street Profits were backstage hyping this episode of RAW. They talked about the King of the Ring matches and explained the tag team turmoil match which is happening later.

Match 1: Ricochet vs. Drew McIntyre (King of the Ring First Round Match)

The first match of the evening was Ricochet versus Drew McIntyre in a King of the Ring first round match. McIntyre was in control at the start, tossing Ricochet across the ring with a belly to belly german suplex. McIntyre was thrown outside the ring. Ricochet tried for a moonsault to the outside off the turnbuckles but McIntrye avoided it. McIntyre avoided a hurricanrana, throwing Ricochet onto the ringside barricade and then the ring apron before we went to commercials. When we came back, McIntyre had Ricochet in a submission hold in the ring. Ricochet started to make a comeback. After a few moves, Ricochet did a missile dropkick, sending McIntyre outside the out. He did a dive over all three ropes to McIntyre. Back in the ring, Ricochet tried to lift up McIntyre but couldn’t. He tried for an inverted huricanrana but couldn’t make McIntyre fly. McIntyre reversed by throwing Ricochet stomach first onto the mat for a two count. Ricochet was picked up and slapped. McIntyre dove into a corner but was caught by Ricochet. Ricochet did a northern lights suplex, but then his next move was reversed, getting tossed by McIntyre. Ricochet landed a kick and then an elbow off the top rope. He hit a standing shooting star press for a two count. Ricochet was on the ring apron and tried for a kick but it was caught, getting hit with a forearm that sent him out of the ring. Ricochet gave McIntyre a kick, then when Ricochet came flying at him, McIntyre countered by headbutting him. They went back in the ring where McIntyre had a Claymore Kick reversed by a superkick. Ricochet landed a few kicks but then was given a clothesline and a powerbomb for a close kickout. McIntyre went to the second rope, with Ricochet on his shoulders. Ricochet got out of the position, then landed a Recoil. Ricochet went to the top rope for a 630 to get the win. Fun match, and it was cool how they played up the size differential. He moves on and will face Samoa Joe next week.

Interview with Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman

In the next segment, we had an interview with Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins, who are the new RAW Tag Team Champions. The interview was recorded last week. Strowman, who is fixated on winning Rollins’ Universal Championship asked who he will face at Clash of Champions in a singles match. He challenged him for his Universal Championship at the PPV, to which Rollins accepted.

Match 2: The Miz vs. Baron Corbin (King of the Ring First Round Match)

The second match of the night was also a King of the Ring first round match. Before The Miz faced Baron Corbin, he cut a promo. The match started with Corbin distracting The Miz by throwing his button-up shirt at him, then punching and kicking him. The Miz gave Corbin a clothesline to outside the ring, then tried for a kick but Corbin avoided it, then landed a punch. So really, the same spot we saw at the start of the Ricochet and Drew McIntyre match too. Corbin ran Miz into a barricade then threw him back in the ring. Corbin did his run around the ringpost and then a clothesline before we went to break. Back from the break, Miz was starting to make a comeback. Miz did double knees in the corner to Corbin. Corbin hit a Deep Six for a two count. After a ton of counters, Miz tried for a roll-up but wasn’t successful. Miz got out of a Deep Six and landed a DDT for a close pin attempt. Miz did Yes Kicks, but Corbin dodged the final one, landing a roll-up. Corbin did his thing around the ring posts, but was hit with a Skull Crushing Finale when getting back in the ring. He kicked out at two. Miz threw Corbin into the barricade outside the ring and then put him back in the ring. Miz went off the top rope but Corbin avoided the move. Corbin hit an End of Days to win the match. This wasn’t an amazing match, but it was still pretty good. Corbin will face Cedric Alexander in the second round. After the match, Corbin put on the crown and sat on the throne on the stage. He cut a decent promo.

Match 3: Bayley vs. Nikki Cross

Before the next match, we were reminded that NXT is moving to USA on September 18th. We were also told that Rey Mysterio will return next week. Bayley faced Nikki Cross, since Bayley crashed Alexa Bliss’ show last week on Smackdown. I can’t say I completely understand this match, because while Bayley crashed the show, she was targeting Charlotte Flair, not Bliss or Cross. Plus people have crashed the show before and it didn’t really matter. Oh well. After a few minutes, Bayley did a sidewalk slam and then an elbow drop to win the match. Unintentional, but the referee sorta did Cross dirty with a quick count at the end.

Match 4: Ivar and Erik (The Viking Raiders) vs. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas (The B Team) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (The OC) vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler vs. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik w/ Kalisto (Lucha House Party) vs. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder (The Revival) vs. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder vs. Tucker and Otis (Heavy Machinery) (Tag Team Turmoil Match) (RAW Tag Team Championships #1 Contender Match)

The next match was a “tag team turmoil” to decide the #1 contenders for the RAW tag team championship match. To explain the match, two teams face each other, and when one loses another comes out until all eight have come out and the final team has been pinned. The match started with The Viking Raiders and The B Team. The team hit the Viking Experience powerslam to eliminate The B Team. Next came out Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. One of the Viking Raiders did a dive to the outside, which took out his partner and Karl Anderson. After they all brawled in the ring, both teams got disqualified. Well, that’s a way to speed it up. The next two teams were Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler and Lucha House Party. Ziggler gave Metalik a kick to the back of the head to score a pinfall. The Revival were next. The Revival had a near fall, doing a leg drop double team move on Ziggler. They kept Ziggler isolated in their corner of the ring. Roode gave Dawson the Glorious DDT to eliminate The Revival. After a break, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder were eliminated. The final team was Heavy Machinery. Roode called a timeout, but Tucker didn’t respect it. Otis got his hot tag and did his caterpillar elbow drop. Roode tried for a roll-up on Otis but it didn’t work. Tucker was tagged in, and they were going to do a double team move but Ziggler disrupted it. He took out Tucket, then gate Otis, who was holding Roode, a ZigZag, onto Tucker. That was a really good move. Roode gave Tucker a Glorious DDT to win the match. Obviously, the crowd had no reaction to a newly made tag team beating Heavy Machinery.

Match 5: Sasha Banks vs. Natalya

In the next match, Sasha Banks faced Natalya. This was the in-ring return for Banks. Natalya gave Banks a good german suplex for a two count. Outside the ring, Natalya was thrown into an office chair and a ringpost. Banks put in a Banks Statement which Natalya tried to fight out of but eventually tapped out of. After the match, Banks left but came back to put in the Banks Statement yet again. What a heel.

Cedric Alexander vs. Cesaro

The next match was between Cedric Alexander and Cesaro. Early on in the fight Alexander tried for a dive but was hit with an uppercut. Cool spot, but that’s the third time tonight that the first dive of the night was reversed. Later on, Alexander landed a dive over the top rope, then did an elbow off the top rope back into the ring. Cesaro did a superplex off of the second rope a few minutes later. After Alexander kicked out, Cesaro transitioned into a half crab. Cesaro tried for an ankle lock, which Alexander got out of, launching Cesaro out of the ring. Cesaro got back in and was given a lumbar check to finish the match. This was a real good match, which should come as no shock to anyone.

AJ Styles vs. Braun Strowman (United States Championship Match)

The main event of the night was AJ Styles facing Braun Strowman in a match for Styles’ United States Championship. Right off the bat, Stowman threw Styles over the top rope and then rap through him with two shoulder tackles. Styles went off the top but was hit with a chokeslam. Styles avoided a pinfall, putting a leg on the bottom rope. Strowman gave Styles a big boot to knock him off the apron. After a break, Styles put in a calf crusher which Strowman escaped. He headbutted Styles for a two count. Stroman tried for a running powerslam, but Styles avoided and went into a ringpost. The referee dodged it by getting onto the ring apron, and then stayed there for a few moments, talking to Strowman for some reason. No surprise, he was knocked off the apron. Styles gave Strowman a low blow and then used a steel chair. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson came out and attacked Strowman. He fought back, and then used a steel chair on them. The referee turned around as Strowman was holding the steel chair, making him ring the bell, thinking he hit Styles with it. After losing, Strowman used the chair against all three members of The OC. The show ended with Strowman standing over everyone else. 

WWE RAW 2/18/19 Results and Review

Let’s look at the RAW that happened the night after the 2019 Elimination Chamber PPV.

Opening Segment

Before RAW started, we saw a photo remembering Pedro Morales. Monday Night RAW started with Triple H in the ring. He talked about the Elimination Chamber, which was last night. HHH mentioned how the first members of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2019 is D-Generation X. He then dropped an even bigger announcement, saying that NXT wrestlers will be debuting tonight. The wrestlers that debuted were Ricochet, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Gargano and Ciampa are both champions in NXT currently.

Braun Stroman vs. Baron Corbin (Tables Match)

Braun Stroman faced Baron Corbin in the first match, with the stipulation being a tables match. This comes after Stroman was Triple Powerbombed through two tables on the night before. At the start of the match, both guys fought extensively outside of the ring. They made their way to the announce table but were back in the ring when we came back from commercials. Corbin went off the apron at one point and was met with steel stairs from Stroman. Corbin did a move where he went outside the ring, around a ringpost and back in, but when he went back in he was caught for a Running Powerslam through a table to end the match. I love when we get stipulation matches on TV, but this wasn’t the best match. It felt like 90% of it was outside the ring, which was a little too much for me. As Stroman was leaving, Paul Heyman was on the ramp. Stroman grabbed onto Heyman but didn’t do anything to him.

Paul Heyman Talking

Heyman had a microphone but struggled to speak. After a break, he was more able to speak. He talked about Brock Lesnar, and then a video package played that featured him. It included footage of his college wrestling and his earlier years of wrestling, and MMA photos.

Finn Balor & Ricochet vs. Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush

Finn Balor came into the ring in the next segment and talked. He was giving a generic story about representing the title or whatever until Lio Rush came out. Rush said that Bobby Lashley deserves to be the champion. Lashley came from behind and jumped Balor. Both guys picked on Balor until Ricochet came out. Ricochet saved Balor, and then after a break, we got a match. After Balor was in the ring for a long time, he started to tease tagging in Ricochet. Ricochet eventually got tagged in and went wild on everyone. Ricochet did a back 450 Splash to end the match. Ricochet didn’t get a ton of time in the ring, but showed off his skills in the time he had.

Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik) w/ Kalisto vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder

The next match was Lucha House Party versus Hawkins and Ryder. A week or so ago there was a segment where Ryder told Hawkins that he will get him out of his losing streak. Hawkins seemed to be somewhat in control of this match but then lost it all after Metalik on the apron distracting him, making him get put into a roll-up to end the match. Curt’s losing streak continues, but he seems to be improving.

Heavy Machinery & Lacey Evans Segment

Heavy Machinery was brought out to be interviewed. They talked about how they get the job done. During the interview, Lacey Evans walked up and down the ramp and then left, similarly to what she did the night before. Heavy Machinery walked down the ramp after, doing a chest bump at one point. They did a Bushwacker march around Evans.

The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) vs. #DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano)

The Revival fought Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano in the next match. Fun fact, all members of this match currently hold championship belts. #DIY won the match with a double team move onto Scott Dawson where Gargano did a Superkick while Ciampa did a running knee. This felt like a tough match because no matter who wins you’re making someone who should be treated important lose. We saw another promo with Kevin Owens this week. He nearly dropped his phone but picked it up. These videos feel so weird. Like, what are they getting at with this goofier Owens.

Sasha Banks and Bayley Celebrate Their Win

Sasha Banks and Bayley, who are the first women’s tag team champions, made an appearance. They both talked about their win. As they finished their segment, Nia Jax and Tamina came out. They tried to storm Banks and Bayley but were unsuccessful. The crowd went mild. Before the next segment, we saw a video package promoting DX being inducted into the Hall of Fame. We were told that the tickets for the Hall of Fame Ceremony go on-sale on Friday.

Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre

The next match was Dean Ambrose versus Drew McIntyre. Ambrose got McIntyre outside the ring an then did a dive. Back in the ring Ambrose landed a Neckbreaker. McIntyre dodged a move and then hit a Claymore Kick. Korakuen Hall crowd right now. He landed another to end the match. It’s like they’re playing a game of which WWE writer can bury Ambrose the most. We saw another video package about Brock Lesnar.

Elias vs. Aleister Black

Elias came out for a performance. Before he got to start his song, Aleister Black came out. They had their scheduled match after. Black won the match with a Black Mass Kick. This match was short but made Aleister look good. We were reminded that next week will be the Birthday Celebration for Ric Flair, live from Atlanta, GA.

Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan vs. Ronda Rousey (WWE RAW Women’s Championship Match)

The main event of RAW was a rematch from last night. I’m sorry, why? Riott got beat pretty decisively the night before. Riott turned a Triangle Choke into a pin attempt which made Ronda let go of it. This match went way longer than their PPV match, with Riott actually getting quite a bit of moves in. Riott tried for a move off the top rope but Rousey tried turning it into an Armbar. Riott’s buddies dragged her out but ate a Crossbody off the top rope to the outside because of it. Riott tried for a Reverse Huricanrana but got thrown into a corner instead. Rousey put in the Armbar to win the match and retain her Championship.

This was an interesting RAW. No storylines moved forward, but it wasn’t a bad episode either.

WWE RAW 1/28/19 Results and Review

After a hectic Royal Rumble last night, we had an episode of Monday Night RAW to follow it. 

Opening Segment

The show started by showing the Wrestlemania sign in the building, which was a physical one like they do every year. I don’t know where it was last night. Seth Rollins came to the ring to talk about his Royal Rumble Match victory last night. Rollins pointed at the sign because it’s all he’s ever wanted to do. He said that he will have to think about which champion he wants to challenge at Wrestlemania. After he said this, Triple H came out. The crowd started an NXT chant when his theme cut. It became obvious that this would be a more rowdy crowd than usual for RAW. HHH talked about how he is happy for Seth. HHH said that Seth needs to make the decision tonight. He said that Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan are both going to be here tonight. Dean Ambrose came out after that, with Dean saying that HHH didn’t believe in Seth when he did. HHH mentioned that Dean backstabbed Seth, and of course mentioned that was the was same night that Roman Reigns announced that he has leukemia, which they can’t ever stop wedging into a storyline. Ambrose asks HHH to book a match tonight between Seth and Dean. Without comment, HHH was in the process of leaving the ring. Ambrose annoyed HHH by asking if he has to ask his father in law for permission before booking the match. He then books the match. First of all, when did HHH become a good guy again? I must have missed when that happened. Also, I don’t know what made Ambrose want the match.

Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose

After the second break in this match, Rollins hit a Crossbody off the top rope. He did a Tope Suicida a minute or so later, twice. Rollins hit a Curbstomp to win the match. He lost clean and then we went to a break. After the break, Dean was sitting in the ring. Before he got out whatever he was saying, Nia Jax and Tamina came out. Dean was hit in the head from behind, and then left after a while. Dean losing a match clean, allowing himself to get hit and then just leaving made him look very weak. I can’t imagine that they will have him on TV for a week or so.

Nia Jax & Tamina vs. Alexa Bliss & Mickie James (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Qualifier Match)

The next match was a qualifying match for the Women’s Tag Team Championship match at Elimination Chamber. After Alexa Bliss was beat up on for a long time, Mickie James was given the hot tag. James beat up Tamina which made her tag in Jax. Jax picked up James for a Samoan Drop, but picked up Bliss as well because she was on the top rope for no reason. I thought Bliss should have won this match since she returned last night, and because what most people will remember about Jax at the Rumble is getting beat up by the men in the men’s Rumble.

Baron Corbin vs. Kurt Angle

Kurt Angle is returning for this match after his return at the Royal Rumble last night. Corbin taunted Angle on the mic before the match, which earned him a punch in the face. Angle hit a three amigos of a German Suplex. Angle hit an Angle Slam for a two count. Fast forward a little, Corbin hit a Deep Six to win the match. This is kind of hilarious. Angle’s last RAW match was one where he was absolutely destroyed, and here we are again.

Finn Balor came out to talk about his match with Brock Lesnar. He was interrupted by Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush. Rush says that Lashley would beat Lesnar. Balor said that he lasted longer with Brock Lesnar than Lashley lasted in the Rumble. This made Lashley beat up Balor. We knew this wouldn’t lead to an immediate match because Balor was in dress clothing.

Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder (The Revival) vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder

The Revival face Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, for some reason. Hawkins took a Shatter Machine to end the match, extending his multi-year losing streak.

Elias Segment

Elias was in the ring for a performance. He seemed more heelish again. He said his songs are for him, not the crowd. He then tried performing a song but got interrupted by Jeff Jarrett once again. Jarrett was a little more clothed compared to last night. As Jarrett was talking, Road Dogg came out. Dogg and Jarrett did a duet. Elias eventually didn’t like this and hit Road Dogg with a guitar. During a brawl Jarrett got a guitar and almost hit Elias with it, but Elias ended up using the guitar.

Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan vs. Dana Brooke & Natalya (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Qualifier Match)

We got another Championship qualifier match next. Morgan won the match with a roll-up after Ruby Riott distracted Brooke, giving the team a three-on-one advantage. Just to clarify, the title match will be an Elimination Chamber match as well.

Ronda Rousey vs. Bayley (RAW Women’s Championship Match)

Ronda Rousey came out to cut a promo on her Royal Rumble victory. The crowd was booing immensely, with Becky Lynch signs everywhere. After Ronda cut her promo, Bayley came out and challenged her to a match. Bayley was actually getting some moves in this match but lost to an Armbar eventually. They shook hands after the match. After this Becky Lynch unexpectedly came out, which got a big reaction from the crowd. She limped out to the ring and then grabbed a mic. She said “unlike Seth Rollins, I don’t need much time to think. I choose you.” Lynch cut a good promo which sounded even better with an electric crowd. When Ronda started talking she got heavy boos. Ronda also had a decent promo, talking about how Becky has only been “the man” for a little amount of time.

Braun Stroman vs. Drew McIntyre

Backstage Braun Stroman shook Seth’s hand and told him to make the right choice later. The next match was Braun Stroman versus Drew McIntyre. This match went on until Baron Corbin attacked Stroman. Michael Cole was working overtime tonight to explain every single little plot point. Stroman gained control of the brawl but then got hit with a Claymore Kick from McIntyre.

Seth Rollins Picks Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came out since tonight was Seth’s time to pick who he wants to face. Seth Rollins interrupted them and then started a brawl with Brock. Rollins got absolutely steamrolled, hit with five F5’s. Felt a little excessive, but alright. I didn’t find this as a surprise at all that he would choose Lesnar. I don’t think anybody did.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t like this episode of RAW. There was dumb, pointless segments, there was boring segments, with the only good segment being Rousey and Lynch.

WWE Royal Rumble 2019 Results and Review

It’s time to review what is easily my favourite show every year. Of course I am talking about the Royal Rumble. Along with the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches, the third biggest match on the show was Brock Lesnar versus Finn Balor, who is replacing Braun Stroman after Stroman angered Vince McMahon on RAW three weeks ago. On the Smackdown brand, AJ Styles was challenging for the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan. Also, Asuka faced Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Let’s start with the pre-show matches.

Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs. Rezar w/ Drake Maverick & Scott Dawson

At the analyst desk for the Royal Rumble Kickoff was Johnathan Coachman, Beth Phoenix, Booker T and Jerry Lawler. After 45 minutes of the pre-show, we had our first match. The match that kicked off the show was an odd one. Since Akam, one-half of The Authors of Pain is injured, he teams with Scott Dawson from The Revival for a tag match. I can only assume this is to remind people that AoP exists. There was some sort of stipulation announced that if Rezar and Dawson won they would both get title shots for their teams or something. Early on there seemed to be issues with the team of Rezar and Dawson as Rezar gave a shocked expression when he was involuntarily tagged out. Roode was on a roll late in the match, hitting a Blockbuster. Dawson pulled the tights during a roll-up but it didn’t help him. Rezar got hit with Dawson’s move by accident and then was taken out of the ring by both Roode and Gable. With the help of Roode, Gable hit a Moonsault on Dawson to end the match. This was a dumb match. Why bring back Rezar while his partner is injured just to lose? The finish didn’t feel like it was proper, and the bad chemistry between Rezar and Dawson existed but wasn’t really shown enough, especially at the end.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev (WWE United States Championship Match)

The first championship match of the show was Nakamura versus current champion, Rusev. During this match Nakamura wore a very red outfit. Rusev was dominant early on, clotheslining Nakamura out of the ring after a couple of suplexes. He then threw Nakamura towards the steel stairs, but Nakamura dodged it and came back with a kick. He threw Rusev into a barricade and then kneed him in the chest. Back in the ring, Rusev got hit with a knee in the corner for a two count. Rusev got himself back together and got on a roll. He landed a Spin Kick off the ropes for a two count after a combo of moves. They must have cut to Lana 20 times during this match. Nakamura escaped an Accolade attempt and landed some kicks. Was there a “kicks only” stipulation for this match that I missed? Rusev landed a Matchka Kick and than a slam move which got turned into an Armbar by Nakamura. Shinsuke turned the Armbar into a Triangle Choke, and then a Guillotine when Rusev tried escaping. Rusev landed a Suplex to finally escape. The pin attempt following it got a very close count. Nakamura went to the turnbuckle after a near fall and took off a pad. Lana got on the apron and tried to let the ref know. Nakamura got in her face, and Rusev tried to attack him during this. Shinsuke dodged Rusev, and hit Lana instead. This distracted Rusev, letting Nakamura hit a Kinshasa to win the match. This match could have cooled down on the kicks. It’s hard to tell if the crowd is quiet or they are just hard to hear.

Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami vs. Buddy Murphy (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

The final pre-show match was a fatal-four-way for the Cruiserweight Championship. Early in the match there was a nice move where Tozawa dove to the outside and hit Kalisto, who Huricanrana’d Murphy. Later on Murphy did a dive onto all three opponents. Hanging off the second rope Murphy was hit with a Huricanrana and seemingly planted his head in the canvas. Murphy landed a Powerbomb onto Kalisto but Tozawa broke up the pin. Kalisto gave Itami a Salida del Sol for a two count. Murphy gave a good knee to Kalisto as he was coming off the ropes. After a combo of moves against Itami he hit Murphy’s Law for the win. This match had some good stuff in it, with a lot of impressive spots.

Becky Lynch vs. Asuka (WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Match)

Opening the PPV was Becky Lynch versus Asuka. Early on in the match Asuka was kicked off the apron, landing flat on the floor. Outside the ring Lynch did a Beckslpoder onto the barricade. Lynch went off the second rope and was hit with a knee. Asuka landed a close count after a hit attack. Asuka went off the top rope but Lynch avoided her, and then hit a Rock Bottom for a two count. Lynch fell into an Armbar and almost escaped but then got put in an Asuka Lock. Lynch rolled to the ropes to get out. Back on the apron, Asuka gave Becky some sort of Suplex onto the floor. Becky made it back into the ring before the ten count. They traded slaps in the ring until Asuka landed a spinning kick for a two count. The fight found its way onto the top rope, where Lynch landed a Super-Becksploder for a two count. Asuka dodged a Leg Drop off the top rope into an Asuka Lock. Lynch did a Disarmer and then turned it into an Asuka Lock of her own. Asuka got out and then did a kick. After a chain of moves Asuka did a Chokehold to retain. I thought Lynch would win, but she didn’t. This match had good moments but felt like it wasn’t always entertaining. Like I mentioned before the crowd sounded dead, which didn’t help this match.

The Miz & Shane McMahon vs. Sheamus & Cesaro (The Bar) (WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match)

The next match was for the Smackdown tag titles. Right off the bat Sheamus was caught off guard was Shane speared him. Outside the ring Cesaro was put on a commentary table for an Elbow drop but got out of it. Instead, Shane did an elbow drop to Sheamus, who was standing. Late in the match Shane got a hot tag and did a ton of moves, including his horrible punches. Shane was going to give both members of The Bar a Coast-To-Coast, but Cesaro caught him and did his spinning move. Shane put in a Triangle Choke which Sheamus broke up by going off the ropes. The Miz went after Sheamus but was given a Clothesline outside the ring. Sheamus got tagged in, and then the team did a Double Team move for a two count. Sheamus tried for a Brouge Kick but The Miz shoved Cesaro, letting him get hit with it. The Miz gave Sheamus a Skull Crushing Finale, and then Shane surprisingly hit a Shooting Star Press to win the match.

Sasha Banks vs. Ronda Rousey (WWE RAW Women’s Championship Match)

After the Smackdown Women’s Championship match started off the show, the RAW women’s title match was two matches later. Near the start the fight went to the outside where Ronda punched a ringpost because Sasha dodged a strike. Sasha landed a dive and then put Ronda back in the ring. After a Double Knees in the corner Sasha got a two count. After Ronda dodged another Double Knees she tried for a Pipers Pit which was turned into an Armbar. She turned it into a Banks Statement, which Rousey eventually got out of. Rousey landed a Pipers Pit. Rousey was really selling her injured arm from the ringpost spot. Rousey went to the top rope, and Banks went up to it as well. Banks landed a Superplex for a two count and then went right back into another arm move. Ronda did Judo Throws and then got thrown outside of the ring. Rousey put Banks in a move outside the ring after catching a dive. Banks tapped out of this but that didn’t matter since they were outside of the ring. Banks put Rousey in a Banks Statement and used part of her attire to choke Rousey. This was transitioned into an Armbar which Rousey escaped and turned into a Gutwrench Powerbomb. She then landed a Pipers Pit to win the match. This was a good match in my opinion. It’s wild to think that Rousey debuted at the Rumble a year ago and put on a match like this only a year after.

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

The first Royal Rumble match of the evening was the women’s one. Beth Phoenix was a guet commentator for this match. #1 Lacey Evans was the first entrant, starting against #2 Natalya. Evans did a promo before the match started. #3 Mandy Rose was the next entrant. Evans missed a Moonsault while Mandy was coming out. Natalya gave both of them a Sharpshooter. #4 Liv Morgan. Morgan charged at Natalya and was thrown out. Evans gave both Mandy and Natalya a Bronco Buster. #5 Mickie James. #6 Ember Moon. #7 Billie Kay. Kay refused to get in the ring once arriving. She told the English announcing team that she was waiting for Peyton Royce. #8 Nikki Cross. Cross attacked Kay at ringside and then did a Crossbody off the top onto everyone in the ring. #9 Peyton Royce. Royce went in and tried to aid Kay. They teamed up on Nikki Cross. #10 Tamina. Tamina gave Nikki Cross a Frogsplash.

#11 Xia Li. Mickie James was kicked off the apron and eliminated by Tamina. #12 Sarah Logan. Ember Moon resisted elimination by having her feet hung on the bottom ropes. Nikki Cross was taken out by The Iiconics. Cross came off as very weak in this match. #13 Charlotte Flair. Xia Li was taken out with a kick from Charlotte. #14 Kairi Sane. Sane gave Logan an InSane Elbow Drop. #15 Maria Kanellis. Kanellis was hit with a Spear from Charlotte after doing a dance or something. #16 Naomi. Naomi and Mandy fought early on since they are currently in that homewrecker story. On the apron Naomi kicked Rose and then shoved her to the floor. Naomi was almost taken out by Rose but got onto the barricade, and then jumped to the steel steps. Rose shoved her eventually, eliminating her anyways. Charlotte eliminated Lacey Evans. #17 Candice LeRae. #18 Alicia Fox. After Fox gave a few people dropkicks Maria Kanellis tried forming an alliance. This worked, as they both worked on Sane. Maria stomped on Alicia’s hat, which made her freak out. This was a comedy spot that fell flat. Maria was eliminated shortly after #19 Kacy Catanzaro. #20 Zelina Vega.

#21 Ruby Riott. Ruby Riott came out with Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan, who were eliminated previously. They pulled Charlotte out of the ring (still in the match) and then teamed up on her. They did the same thing to Fox. Vega went under the ring on the other side. Fox was thrown out of the ring by Ruby. Candice was Powerbombed into a barricade, brought back into the ring and then eliminated. #22 Dana Brooke. Kairi Sane was eliminated by Ruby Riott. They kept cutting to Vega who was smugly hiding under the ring. #23 Io Shirai. Shirai went after The Riott Squad immediately, who were beating up Sane at ringside. Shirai landed a Moonsault off the top rope to the trio. #24 Rhea Ripley. Catanzaro was given a Baseball Slide to the outside but did a Handstand to the corner and got back in the ring. This match felt like a Best of John Morrison and Kofi Kingston with all of these close call eliminations. She was eliminated only moments later. #25 Sonya Deville. Ripley kicked Brooke out of the ring. Vega poked her head out of the ring again but this time Hornswoggle came out as well. Hornswoggle chased Vega, making her get into the ring and get thrown out by Ripley. #26 Alexa Bliss. Up to until this point Charlotte felt like the only person who had a realistic chance of winning. Deville was eliminated after getting hit with a punch from Bliss. #27 Bayley. Bayley took out Ruby Riott and Rhea Ripley. Not sure where the rest of the Riott Squad went. #28 Lana. Lana was playing up her injury from Rusev’s match. She had to get checked by medical staff halfway down the walkway. #29 Nia Jax. On the way to the ring Nia Jax attacked Lana and her leg. Jax caught a Moonsault from Io Shirai and threw her out of the ring. Shirai sort of folded when hitting the floor. Natalya was thrown out shortly after. #30 Carmella.

Carmella earned her #30 sport because she won the second season of the Mixed Match Challenge. Becky Lynch came out and negotiated with Fitt Finlay, and replaced Lana in the match. Bliss and Ember battled on the apron for some time. Bliss did a leg sweep to take out Moon. Bayley and Carmella teamed up to eliminated Bliss, but got clotheslined by Nia Jax right after. Charlotte kicked Carmella off the apron, making it only four left. Jax picked up Bayley and the got kicked, making her drop Bayley out of the ring. The final three were Jax, Lynch and Charlotte. Charlotte lifted Nia Jax and then dropped her. Charlotte put Jax on the apron, and then Lynch pushed her off the apron since she was outside the ring. Lynch was pushed by Jax which made her fall and get hurt. Just before Charlotte’s hand was raised, Lynch came in and the match continued. Charlotte targeted the injured leg frequently. Charlotte went over the ropes after charging Lynch, and then was hit, making her fall the floor. Becky Lynch won the Women’s Royal Rumble.

I enjoyed this Rumble. I thought it was good that they laid off the legends since they were a big focus of the women’s Rumble last year. Instead they gave many spots to NXT wrestlers. I thought the stars or potential contenders for the Rumble were a little too stacked at the end of the list. In the first ⅔ of the Rumble, Charlotte was the only real big name that came out. Lynch was the right one to win, as she will most likely challenge Asuka.

Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship Match)

The WWE Championship was in the unfortunate position of cool-down. In this match Styles started bleeding through his nose. Bryan got a close pin attempt after a good looking Dragon Suplex. Later on, Bryan stopped a Springboard 450 by putting his knees up, and then put on the Lebell Lock. During the match Erick Rowan came to the ring. The ref was taken out, which gave Rowan the opportunity to give Styles a Chokeslam. Bryan pinned Styles to win. This was very disappointing. For one, the match placement was horrible. Also, the match was way too long and the crowd didn’t like it.

Finn Balor vs. Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman (WWE Universal Championship Match)

Right off the bat Balor jumped Lesnar as he had his back to him. Balor eventually lost control of the match, with Lesnar throwing him around. Lesnar took apart a commentary table, but then was rammed into it by Balor. Balor did two dives to the outside at one point, with the second one looking really good. Back in the ring Finn tried for a Coup de Grace, landing it, but Lesnar kicked out. Lesnar put in a Kimura right after, with Balor tapping. After the match he beat up Balor further. This match also felt like it didn’t have a ton of hype behind it, but didn’t have the cold reaction that Bryan versus Styles got. This was okay, I guess. Lesnar won, which is predictable. They kept it short, which was nice.

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

The main event of the evening was the men’s Royal Rumble match. #1 Elias was the first entrant. He was going to perform for the crowd, but was interrupted by #2 Jeff Jarrett. Elias asked Jeff if he wanted to do a duet with him. Before it start Elias attacked Jeff, making the match start. Elias smashed his guitar on Jarrett’s back and then threw him over the ropes. #3 Shinsuke Nakamura. #4 Kurt Angle. Angle came out to a good reaction. #5 Big E. Nakamura kicked Angle on the ropes and took him out. #6 Johnny Gargano. #7 Jinder Mahal. Mahal was accompanied by the Singh Brothers. Mahal was eliminated very quickly by Gargano via kicks. #8 Samoa Joe. Big E was thrown out by Joe. #9 Curt Hawkins Hawkins came in and out of the ring making weak attacks. He got caught in a Cohena Clutch from Joe, but escaped it because of Elias. Hawkins went under the ring. #10 Seth Rollins. Elias was eliminated by Rollins because he was holding onto a corner post but then got his hands hit.

#11 Titus O’Neil.  When running out to the ring Titus was cautious to avoid falling. O’Neil went under the ring because he saw Hawkins, and then chased Hawkins into the ring and then went over the ropes. Hawkins celebrated, but was thrown out right after. #12 Kofi Kingston. #13 Mustafa Ali. Ali dropkicked Nakamura off the top rope and to the outside. Ali was thrown into a corner by Joe brutally. #14 Dean Ambrose. Kofi got thrown to the outside but avoided elimination by keeping his feet on the apron and rolling to the stairs. Ambrose eliminated Johnny Gargano. #15 No Way Jose. No Way Jose came out with his big conga line. When coming in the ring he was eliminated immediately, possibly breaking the Santino record. He barely missed a beat, partying with the conga line to the back. #16 Drew McIntyre. McIntyre headbutted No Way Jose and threw around a few conga line members on the way to the ring. He took out everybody when entering the ring. #17 Xavier Woods. Kofi avoided elimination by giving Xavier a Sunset Flip but keeping one foot in the air. Xavier held on to Kofi, putting him on the stairs. Once entering the ring they were both taken out by Drew McIntyre. #18 Pete Dunne. Dunne had a good combo of moves on many guys when coming in. #19 Andrade. #20 Apollo Crews.

#21 Aleister Black. Black eliminated Ambrose with a kick. #22 Shelton Benjamin. Joe was thrown out by Ali after being hit with a very nice kick from Benjamin. #23 Baron Corbin. Crews was eliminated by Corbin. #24 Jeff Hardy. Corbin threw out Black, catching him off guard. Dunne almost did a finger breaking spot on Corbin but was hit with a kick from McIntyre. Drew threw out Dunne after. #25 Rey Mysterio. Corey Graves talked about how Rey has had a “career resurgence” as of late, as if Rey was in a slump recently. #26 Bobby Lashley. Bobby Lashley was accompanied by Lio Rush. Lashley was thrown out the match very quickly, and the took Seth out of the ring from the bottom rope. Rush and him took apart commentary tables. Seth was Chokeslammed through the English table. #27 Braun Stroman. Stroman took out Corbin since he costed him the title shot that he was supposed to have. He took out Benjamin shortly after. #28 Dolph Ziggler. Jeff Hardy was eliminated at Ziggler came out. Ziggler immediately eliminated McIntyre. #29 Randy Orton. There was a four man Superplex spot involving Rollins, Andrade, Stroman and Mysterio. #30 R-Truth.

While coming out Nia Jax attacked R-Truth. Nia Jax took R-Truth’s spot. Jax took out Mustafa Ali. She turned around and had a face off with Randy Orton. He tried for an RKO, but was shoved against the ropes by Jax. Jax told Rey to do a 619 but then caught him when running. When Rey was held by Jax she was Superkicked. She then was hit with a 619 and then an RKO. She was taken out shortly after. Orton gave Rey and RKO and then eliminated him. Andrade took out Orton right after. Ziggler and Andrade were duking it out until Stroman came back in the ring. Rollins gave Stroman a Frogsplash. Stroman took out Andrade, making the final three Stroman, Ziggler and Rollins. Stroman threw Rollins and Ziggler over the ropes but they hung on. Stroman charged at them, which eliminated Ziggler. Rollins tried flipping Stroman over but he escaped the perdicament after Chokeslamming Rollins. Both guy went over the top rope and fought on the apron. Stroman was shoved into the post, kicked him and then did a Curbstomp to eliminated Braun Stroman. Seth Rollins won the 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble Match.

This match was okay. I was hoping that there would maybe be one or two more surprise entrants that weren’t NXT wrestlers. One small production thing that ticked me off was how they never showed the entrance stage when someone’s music hit. They would only ever show the stage after someone appeared, like it was a WWE video game.

In general the Royal Rumble had a lot of good stuff. There were some matches that didn’t do as well as they could, with only some of that being their fault (match placement, etc). I know it most likely won’t change so there’s no point in complaining about it, but the show was just too long. Even if it’s great wrestling, more than five hours of it is asking for a lot of viewers.

WWE RAW 1/21/19 Results and Review

Monday Night RAW began this week with a tribute to Martin Luther King since today is Martin Luther King Day in the United States. MLK was given a 10 bell salute. After this, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came to the ring. Heyman talked about how Finn Balor pinned John Cena last week. Heyman said that Lesnar trained for Braun Stroman but will be fighting Balor, who is a completely different style. He said that Balor will be a martyr when he faces Lesnar. This was a good promo from Heyman. After Heyman finished his promo, Vince McMahon came out. Vince told Heyman that he should promote the fight as more of a David vs. Goliath story, but doesn’t believe that Finn can actually defeat Brock. Braun Stroman came out shortly after as well.

Of course, McMahon and Stroman are still on bad terms because Stroman flipped his limousine last week. Stroman says that once Brock defends his belt he will be ready to rip him apart like one of Vince’s limos. The talk of the town, Finn Balor, finally came out after this. Finn reminded us that he earned his title match by beating three people last week. After Finn says he will beat Brock Lesnar, Brock left to the ramp. To finally end the segment, Vince booked Braun Stroman vs. Finn Balor for after the break.

This was one of those straining 25-minute openings for RAW. This felt like a step backwards after what was a pretty good opening last week. It’s good that Stroman is still involved in these segments since he is most likely the Wrestlemania program against Lesnar.

Braun Stroman vs. Finn Balor

Brock Lesnar was sitting at ringside for this match. The match was nearing its end when Balor headed to the top rope for the Coup de Grace. Instead, Stroman shoved him off the ropes and sent him to the outside where he was caught and thrown down by Lensar. For some reason, the match didn’t end via DQ, with Balor diving to the outside onto Lesnar on two different occasions, and then reversing Stroman’s momentum for a Coup de Grace. Lesnar came in the ring and landed an F5. The match ended via DQ this time. So, I’m sorry, is Balor so good that he nearly beat Stroman, the original #1 contender, while fighting off the champion Brock Lesnar?

Bobby Lashley’s Championship Celebration

The next segment on RAW was Bobby Lashley’s Intercontinental Championship celebration. Lio Rush wore the title and talked for Lashley. Lashley got on a pedestal and got the championship put on him. His posing session was interrupted by Apollo Crews. Crews was challenged to a pose-off. He took the challenge. Both guys took turns posing, with Apollo’s last pause being broken up by Lashley jumping him. Lashley got taken out of the ring, and then caught Rush, who was thrown.

Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush vs. Apollo Crews

After a commercial break, we came back to Lashley versus Crews, which was already underway. As Crews was ahead in the match, Lio Rush got on the apron. Rush was brought into the ring and picked up by Crews. While still holding Rush, Crews got speared by Lashley to end the match. After the match commentator Michael Cole said: “a lot of leeway given by the referee” as if the first match didn’t let a DQ slide.

Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre

Before the next match, it was announced that the Bella Twins will be on Jimmy Fallon on Friday. Seth Rollins was in the ring and talked about how we could learn a lot from Martin Luther King. He someone tied MLK into his own situation. Seth says that the Rumble this weekend will be a longshot, but his whole life has been a longshot. He cut a pretty good promo. I don’t know if comparing himself to Martin Luther King was the best thing to do though. Drew McIntyre came out and cut a promo of his own after. These two fought an already scheduled match after a commercial break. Late in the match, Rollins tried for a Draping Double Stomp but was thrown off the ropes. McIntyre was hit with a Superkick for a two count. Both wrestlers traded chops, with McIntyre winning the exchange because of a headbutt. McIntyre gave Rollins a Samoan Drop off the second rope but Rollins kicked out. He was given a Powerbomb and kicked out again. Wow, McIntyre must be weak. McIntyre picked up Rollins for a Clothesline but Rollins reversed it into a roll-up for the win. Felt odd to finish a move-heavy match like that with a roll-up.

Backstage we saw Vince McMahon talking The Revival and Curt Hawkins. The Revival was asking for a guest referee for a match. Vince decides to make Hawkins the guest referee for The Revival’s match.

Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers vs. Lucha House Party

After the break, we saw a promo from Dean Ambrose, who also quoted MLK and then compared the quote to his situation. Our next match was a six-man tag match with The Singh Brothers and Jinder Mahal facing Lucha House Party. I don’t know the last time I saw the brothers compete, but it was a nice surprise. During this match Corey Graves was in full banter mode, telling people that Kalisto’s mask is fused to his head. Gran Metalik pinned a Singh Brother after a Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker. Someone was coming in for a pin but seemingly didn’t get there in time, and that was the finish. I think this was a genuine mistake. You could hear a sense of shock in the commentators after this happened. After this, we saw a video package for EC3 and then saw him talking to Dana Brooke backstage.

Elias vs. Baron Corbin

In the next segment, Elias performed in the ring. Before Elias got to perform a song he was cut off by Baron Corbin. Corbin is no longer in a position of power, but this was yet another week where he came out in formal clothing. Elias got Corbin’s mic cut, and then made a song about him. Corbin eventually charged the ring and dodged a swing of a guitar. Corbin put away Elias with an End of Days.

“A Moment of Bliss” Women’s Royal Rumble Edition

We had another “Moment of Bliss” segment this week. Alexa Bliss announced a list of women’s wrestlers who will be in the Rumble. Her guest this week was Nia Jax. Before Nia got a sentence in, Ember Moon came out to say that she would win the rumble. Then came Alicia Fox, Mickie James, The Riott Squad, Nikki Cross and Tamina. Bliss got fed up with all of the run-ins and stood on her chair and listed reasons as to why they shouldn’t brawl. Of course, they all brawled to the backstage. This left just Bliss, who said that the women in the Rumble are passionate. She then announces that she will also be performing in the Royal Rumble match. Lacey Evans came out, took Bliss’ mic and said that she will win the match. “A Moment of Bliss’ goes 0 for 3.

The Ascension vs. Heavy Machinery

The next match was a quick squash match for Heavy Machinery. The team did a pretty cool finishing move. Otis Doszovic did the worm during the match as well.

The Revival vs. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (WWE RAW Tag Team Championship Match) (Curt Hawkins Guest Referee Match)

The next tag team match was for the tag championship. Roode was on a roll late into this match but got a move reversed into a Crossbody by Hawkins. During a pin attempt, Dawson was pinning down Roode’s feet. Hawkins caught this. During another pin attempt later, Hawkins had his feet on the ropes. Hawkins saw this as well. Dawson reversed a Crossbody into a roll-up but the pinfall was stopped due to Dawson pulling the tights. Gable won off of a roll-up after Hawkins broke up another cheating attempt from The Revival. It looks like Curt Hawkins is the best referee in WWE history. Hawkins was attacked after the match, which made Zack Ryder come out to help out Hawkins.

Ronda Rousey & Natalya vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley

The main event was a four-woman tag match to promote the women’s tag match. Before this match, Ronda cut a promo backstage where it was hard to understand what kind of tone she was trying to convey. The rivalry between Banks and Ronda is the big story in this. Ronda put Banks in an Armbar but Banks rolled to the ropes. Natalya was tagged in and did a Sharpshooter, but Bayley broke it up. Bayley took Ronda off the apron and then got hit with a Clothesline by Natalya. Banks put Natty into a Banks Statement to end the match. This match was lame for the most part but had a pretty good ending sequence.