This week on RAW, WWE Intercontinental Champion the Miz wrestles in two singles matches against Finn Balor and Seth Rollins. Cesaro & Sheamus defend the RAW Tag Team Championships against Apollo & Titus in a best two out of three falls match. Braun Strowman battles Elias in the main event. Oh, and Ronda Rousey debuts on RAW.
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Anaheim, CA
RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and Mickie James make their way out to start the program and Bliss puts over her victory at Elimination Chamber as it will be talked about for many years. Bliss gives some credit to Mickie James saying she learned a lot from her and then insults Absolution. Bliss considers Bayley to be a sad situation. She thinks that Sasha Banks lost the match last night because of her ego. Bliss is confident that she’ll end the undefeated streak of Asuka. Alexa believes Nia should be in the title match and not Asuka. Asuka eventually comes out and Bliss slowly talks loudly so that Asuka can understand her because that’s not a poor taste thing to do. Jax comes out and attacks Asuka, but Asuka but lays out both Mickie and Alexa. Sasha and Bayley make their way out to brawl and lead into our first match of the night.
Opening Contest: RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, Mickie James & Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks, Bayley & Asuka: Mickie and Bayley start the match off trading holds. Bayley rams Mickie into the corner head first a few times. Bayley scoop slams Mickie followed by an elbow drop for a two count. Mickie hits a hurricanrana out of the corner and a forearm shot for a two count. Jax gets tagged in beats on Bayley with strikes. Jax splashes Bayley in the corner before tagging in Alexa Bliss. Bliss works over Bayley in the corner until she’s dropped over the top turnbuckle. Bayley rams Bliss head first into the corner several times and gets a two count. Bayley clotheslines a seated Bliss to keep control. Banks tags in and hits a running knee strike for a two count. Bliss forearms Banks several times but Banks takes the champ down for a two count. Banks knee strikes Bliss from the apron followed by another knee strike in the corner for a near fall. Bliss rolls to the floor to regroup and meets with Mickie. Banks takes them both out with a dropkick. Jax runs over Banks with a shoulder block on the floor. Bliss gets a near fall in the ring and drives Banks face first onto the mat. Bliss sends Banks awkwardly into the corner and Banks rolls to the floor as we go to commercial.
Nia has been tagged in but Banks drops Jax with a jawbreaker. Jax drives Banks into the corner and Jax chokes Banks over the middle rope. Mickie comes off the ropes to kick Banks on the mat for a near fall. Mickie knee lifts Sasha before tagging in Bliss and she stomps away on Banks. Bliss stands on Banks like a surfboard and rams Banks head onto the mat.
Banks takes Bliss down but Bliss quickly gets up and clotheslines Banks. Banks takes Bliss over with a snap suplex. Bayley short arms Banks on the tag attempt!
Banks is able to tag in Asuka, who hammers away on James and hits a running butt strike. Asuka kicks Jax off the apron but Mickie delivers a kick. Asuka knee strikes James and follows up with several kicks to the chest. Asuka knocks Jax off the apron with a butt strike for a two count. Bayley takes Bliss over with a side suplex. Asuka takes Mickie down with an arm bar and Mickie is forced to submit. (**. I liked the direction they are going with Bayley, but I don’t think she’s the one turning heel. It’s about time she’s sticking up for herself, which has to piss off Banks. The action was okay, and Asuka’s involvement was the best part of the match, I’d say.)
John Cena makes his way out to talk about his plans, or lack thereof, for WrestleMania. Last night was rough for him, but he’s faced failure before in his career. He felt sorry for himself for maybe five minutes. Nobody comes out and accepts their failures on television like he does. He’s going to figure out his path to WrestleMania and issues a challenge to The Undertaker. However, he says that match isn’t going to happen. Instead, Cena says he’s going to Smackdown Live to find his own path.
There is a segment involving Bray Wyatt destroying Heath Slater and Rhyno. Wyatt plants Slater with Sister Abigail and we don’t get an official match. Bray Wyatt cuts a promo on Matt Hardy saying all of this was Matt Hardy’s fault. Their feud is far from over.
WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz makes his way out with Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas: Miz considers himself to be the best champion of all-time and not anyone else. He’s tired of being disrespected and feels he should be in the main event at WrestleMania. His Mania dreams won’t end because he is the champion. He wants to know who his opponent is tonight, and that eventually brings out Seth Rollins.
Second Contest: WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Seth Rollins in a non-title match: Miz shoulder blocks Rollins and taunts the crowd for a moment. Rollins comes off the rope and attempts a kick, but Miz is able to roll out of the way. Rollins misses a right hand and knocks Miz. Rollins knee lifts Miz and clotheslines Miz over the top to the floor. Rollins goes for a suicide dive but Miz is saved by Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. Rollins avoids Miz trying to him him. Rollins brings Miz back into the ring but Miz knocks Rollins off the apron. Miz drops Rollins over the railing chest first. Miz attempts a cover back in the ring but only gets a two count. Rollins stops Miz with a jawbreaker but runs into a knee lift to the midsection. Miz delivers several kicks to Rollins chest. Rollins ducks a kick and nearly pins Miz with a rollup. Rollins continues to work over Miz with chops. Miz holds onto the ropes and backdrops Rollins over the top as we go to commercial.
Rollins and Miz begin to trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Rollins decks Miz while on the apron and hits a springboard forearm followed by the Slingblade. Rollins hits the blockbuster but Miz kicks out at two. Rollins goes to the top rope but Miz rolls away to avoid anything. Miz sends Rollins throat first into the middle rope and connects with a DDT for a two count. Miz charges the corner and dropkicks Rollins a couple of times. Miz delivers a running clothesline in the corner. Miz heads to the top rope but Rollins crotches Miz. Rollins hooks Miz for a superplex but Miz holds onto the top rope. Miz headbutts Rollins off the middle rope but Rollins runs the ropes and takes Miz over with a superplex and the Falcon Arrow for a near fall.
Rollins kicks Miz but is tripped by Curtis Axel. Rollins gets a rollup on Miz for a two count. Rollins takes out Axel and Dallas with a suicide dive to the floor. Miz is sent to the floor as well and Rollins takes all three men out with a suicide dive. Rollins knee strikes Miz and heads to the rope. Rollins hits a frog splash over halfway across the ring for the win. (**1/2. A fine match, and I gotta say that Rollins has been on fire in recent weeks. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed him more than I have been in the past two months or so. He seemed to rethink the frog splash considering the Miz was so far away, but he hit it fairly well and it looked great. I’d get behind Rollins as IC Champion in the future.)
Seth Rollins doesn’t seem to be very happy about Finn Balor wrestling Miz, but he walks off.
Third Contest: WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Finn Balor in a non-title match: Miz doesn’t want to fight here and Balor is beaten down by Axel and Dallas causing the bell to sound quickly. Balor is met with a DDT but here come Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson to make the save brawling with Axel and Anderson. Kurt Angle appears and says the match will be happening as he ejects everyone else from ringside. There will be a winner, and if there isn’t then Miz will not be going to WrestleMania.
Miz decks Balor with a clothesline in the corner and a quick DDT but Balor pops his shoulder up at two. Miz comes off the ropes to kick Balor and sends Finn to the floor. Balor brawls with Miz on the floor where Balor awkwardly sends Miz into the steps. Miz kicks Balor away as they return to the ring. Miz takes Balor over with a snap suplex for a two count. Miz delivers another DDT for a near fall. Miz nails Balor with a running knee strike for a near fall as we go to commercial.
Miz has kept control on Balor with a sleeper hold as Rollins is watching backstage. Balor stops Miz with a jawbreaker. Miz punches Balor and is met with a Pele kick. Balor connects with a double stomp after Miz is taken down to the mat. Balor chops Miz in the corner and kicks Miz off the middle rope. Balor drops Miz with a reverse DDT for a near fall. Balor rolls Miz up for a near fall but Miz comes back with a backbreaker/neckbreaker for a two count. Miz misses a kick and Balor delivers a kick to drop the champ. Balor proceeds to kick Miz several times followed by a dropkick for a near fall. Balor dropkicks Miz into the guard railing and they return to the ring. Balor plants Miz with Slingblade and a dropkick into the corner. Balor goes to the top and hits a double stomp for the win. (**1/2. Similar to the opener, and I don’t like Miz losing two matches in a row. There’s no question that Miz can get his heat back easily. I’m kind of hoping that Miz ends up retaining if there is a triple threat match.)
Seth Rollins is interviewed and he’s not all that impressed by Finn’s win. Rollins wants Miz and the WWE Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.
Ronda Rousey is talking with Kurt Angle, but we can’t hear anything. That’s weird to have her first RAW appearance being a talking segment we can’t even hear.
Roman Reigns makes his way out and cuts a promo on WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Reigns calls Lesnar an entitled punk who hides behind his contract, and that’s why he’s not here tonight. He thinks Lesnar only shows up when the money and town is right. Reigns is going to take the ass chewing backstage like a man, because that’s what he is. That was designed to come across like a shoot.
Fourth Contest: RAW Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Titus O’Neill & Apollo in a best two out of three falls match: I’m really not interested in this continuing. Titus and Apollo haven’t won the titles despite beating the champs at least twice already in 2018. Titus gets distracted by Cesaro leaving the ring and Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick to quickly win the first fall. Okay…
Cesaro knee lifts Apollo and runs into a boot in the corner. Apollo hits a middle rope crossbody for a two count. Apollo gets a rollup on Cesaro but gets decked by Cesaro with an uppercut. Apollo dropkicks Sheamus for a one count. Titus gets tagged in and Sheamus begs off and tags in Cesaro, who quickly gets knocked down. Titus continues to beat on Cesaro with right hands in the corner. Apollo shoulder rams Cesaro and comes off the ropes to hit an elbow drop after a scoop slam from Titus. Cesaro comes off the ropes and is met with a double shoulder block. Titus sends Cesaro hard back first into the corner to keep control of the match. Apollo press slams Cesaro gut first to the mat and hits a standing shooting star press for a two count. Apollo kicks Sheamus off the apron. Apollo takes the champs out with a moonsault off the apron to the floor. We go to commercial.
Apollo and Cesaro are trying to get to their corners with Cesaro prevents Apollo from making the tag. Apollo backdrops Cesaro over the top to the floor but can’t reach Titus. Sheamus enters but Titus gets tagged in and works over Sheamus in the corner. Titus tosses Sheamus out of the corner but is poked in the eyes. Titus powerslams Sheamus and plays to the crowd. Titus splashes Sheamus and knocks Cesaro off the apron. Titus hits a sloppy looking Dominator for a near fall. Apollo comes off the top to hit a frog splash but Cesaro makes the save. Titus sends Cesaro to the floor but Sheamus sends Titus to the floor. Apollo drops Sheamus with a kick and hits a standing moonsault for a near fall. Apollo tries to tag out but Cesaro pulls Titus off the apron. Sheamus sends Titus into the guard railing. Apollo takes Sheamus out on the floor, which the camera misses. Sheamus stops Apollo on the top and the Bar hit their double team finisher to win the match. (**. Like I said, there’s no reason for this match to take place. The camera work was awful here as they missed several spots by Apollo. I’m really not sure who should challenge for the tag titles moving forward.)
Sheamus and Cesaro are interviewed following their victory. They do a joke about the Bar and how nobody gets up from them. They list the tag teams they’ve beaten, such as the Hardy Boys and the Shield team of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Cesaro acts like he forgot who Jason Jordan is. Sheamus thinks they are going to be punished for WrestleMania because they are so good. Who will they face if there’s nobody else to beat.
Elias does his usual song routine.
Main Event: Elias vs. Braun Strowman: Braun tosses Elias across the ring and Elias bails to the floor. Elias kicks Braun several times and bails to the floor to avoid a clothesline. Elias hammers away on Braun but is met with a clothesline back in the ring. Braun runs into a boot and axe handles a charging Elias. Braun tosses Elias across the ring. Braun splashes Elias in the corner. Braun drops Elias with a short arm clothesline. Braun nails Elias with a running kick to his ribs. Braun strikes Elias down to the mat with a strike to his chest. Elias drops Braun throat first over the top and comes off the top to deliver a double axe handle. Braun stops Elias with a clothesline. Braun sends Elias chest first into the guard railing a few times. Elias escapes the ring and crawls away on the floor. Braun prevents Elias from going under the ring. Elias comes out with a fire extinguisher and blows it Braun’s face leading to a DQ to end the match. (*. Wasn’t really much of a match and seems to be setting something up bigger between the two.) After the match, Elias nails Braun with the extinguisher. Braun fights Elias away and then goes to the floor to chase after Elias. Braun knocks Elias down from behind. Braun brings Elias to the announcers table and attempts a powerslam, but Elias eye rakes Braun and runs backstage. Braun chases after Elias. Elias is running away from Braun backstage and a limo pulls up. Braun is screaming because he’s pissed.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon make their way down to end the program. Stephanie is blaming Kurt Angle for what happened last night with Ronda Rousey. Stephanie considers Ronda to be someone who acted like a savage and that’s why she slapped her. Stephanie wants Angle to apologize for what happened and that brings out Rousey. Rousey is pissed but is held back by Angle. Ronda has never been slapped before and certainly isn’t anyones property. Angle tells Ronda that he lied last night. Rousey wants Stephanie to apologize for what happened last night or she’ll rip her arm off. Stephanie apologizes, but Triple H attacks Angle and bails to the floor as Ronda checks on Angle to end the program.
RAW was an average show this week as they are shaping up WrestleMania for the RAW brand. I don’t know if I’m thrilled about Kurt Angle likely teaming with Ronda at Mania. I’d probably consider this a skippable program as nothing noteworthy takes place.
Thanks for reading.