We’re only 6 days away from Wrestlemania. That means it’s time for WWE to wrap their stars in bubblewrap and cotton wool for the week so they don’t get hurt, and also time for them to make one final push to attract more viewers and sell the last few handfuls of tickets for “The Showcase of the Immortals”. Let’s see what the go-home episode of Raw had in store…
The show kicked off with a contract signing for the match between The Authority and the team of Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey. Apparently the WWE Universe submitted a few questions on social media for this. Before Coach can ask them, HHH wants to ask one: he brings up all Kurt’s accomplishments and mentions the 3 I’s. He agrees with the Intensity and Integrity, but he’s always questioned Kurt’s Intelligence.
The questions are as hard hitting as we always get from the intellectual goldmine that is the WWE Universe: How important is it that you win? Are you happy to team with Ronda?
Ronda is already getting a lot more confident on the mic though, and she had a great one-liner where she asked Steph is she left or right handed, because she wants her to still be able to sign her paychecks after Sunday. They had a pre-match photo op/staredown, HHH decked Kurt, Ronda grabs HHH, then Steph puts her through a table… we knew Steph needed to get one up on her at some stage. This match needs to be 10 minutes of Kurt & HHH, then 30 seconds of Ronda obliterating old Bollocksjaws.
We had John Cena come out to the ring to call out Undertaker again. He says we’re out of time, and that at this point Taker’s silence means no. He apologises to the fans and says he done everything he could to try get Taker back, but he failed. Cena talks about how we’ve had 4 weeks straight of people pouring their hearts out for Undertaker, and he gave them nothing. He’s pissed Taker is now essentially ignoring the people, and that now he’s a “Dead Man Walking”. His parting shot is that Taker left his hat in the ring, but he left his balls at home….
Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman were in the arena to “hype” the potential Wrestlemania main event. There were backstage segments where Kurt addressed Roman Reigns & Brock about essentially not causing any trouble. Heyman & Brock were in the ring to close the show (surrounded by Raw superstars), and Heyman cut a promo about if Lesnar loses on Sunday, this is the last time we see him on Raw. He says Roman will just be another notch on Brock’s title belt, and that Roman is Brock’s bitch.
Roman comes out and says are the full time talent really going to protect that part time bitch. This caused the predominantly heel group to leave him through (WHY?) to a chorus of cheers from the crowd. Roman and Brock brawl, there’s multiple Superman Punches and Roman stands tall. He picks up the title and stares at the Wrestlemania sign, but that distraction give Brock time to recover, and he hits a F5 to close the show.
The whole segment was fine, but why did they have to have heels out there to do something that was clearly going to get cheered. Something small, but it kinda annoyed me.
Seth Rollins faced off against Finn Balor just 6 days before they both take part in a triple threat match for the Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania. The match itself was great, but I don’t like giving it away so close before they face off in a title match. Rollins gets the win after a nice sequence of reversals leads to him hitting a Curb Stomp. Miz (who was on commentary) stands on the commentary table after the match and shouts some trashtalk down the ramp to Rollins. That’s probably gonna be match of the night on Sunday, to be fair.
Bayley beat Sonya Deville in a grand match. After the match Mandy Rose jumped Bayley, and Absolution beat her down until Sasha made the save. They clear the ring, and Sasha and Bayley have a standoff. They end up brawling a bit, then Absolution hit the ring to lay them out again, and leave with their hands raised in celebration. Still think they delayed the Sasha-Bayley turn too long.
We also had Alexa Bliss & Mickie James facing Asuka & Dana Brooke. Asuka wins (of course) by making Mickie submit. After the match Alexa & Mickie attack Asuka, and Nia Jax makes the save. That was grand, but nothing special. I still think Nia to win the title within 3 minutes at Mania.
So there we have it; there’s no answer from Undertaker, we don’t know who Braun’s tag partner, and this go-home episode of Raw felt a bit like another preshow. You’d be forgiven for forgetting that the biggest show of the year is this Sunday, because this has been a fairly poor build overall, to be honest. Let’s hope the show itself is good though, and we end the WWE year with a bang!
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