By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair brawl: A fun over the top brawl involving the WrestleMania main eventers. It looked like a River Dance fight at times with all three women handcuffed and kicking one another. The highlights were Rousey and Lynch looking at one another for a moment before resuming their brawl in the back of the squad car, Rousey somehow driving the car into another car, and Flair delivering the big knee as Rousey’s head was sticking out of the broken squad car window. The path to the WrestleMania event has been overbooked madness, but they came through with the most memorable segment on the go-home show.
Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins: A simple yet strong segment. The build to Lesnar vs. Rollins has been basic, which is refreshing considering how overbooked the Rousey vs. Lynch vs. Flair and WWE Championship match builds have been. Rollins showed good fire in his promo and while the low blows felt a little wonky, I liked that Rollins showed no fear heading into the match with Lesnar. Paul Heyman and Lesnar were both very good in their roles, and it’s interesting that we never got the spoiler line from Heyman regarding the outcome of this match.
Batista: A brief segment with Batista simply telling Triple H to kiss his ass before leaving. The video package that showcased Batista’s domination of Triple H over the years was well done. It’s just a shame that Triple H never bothered to sell viewers on the threat of his in-ring career being in jeopardy. Hunter took a lighthearted and super confident approach during his promos. And while they were entertaining, they just didn’t make the stipulation feel important regardless of what they do on Sunday. It is interesting that Batista never put his own career on the line. I assume this is a one-off match for Batista, but there’s nothing stopping the from stretching this out if Batista is interested in doing more and his film schedule allows it.
The Revival vs. Ricochet and Aleister Black for the Raw Tag Titles: A good match with the type of count-out finish that protects the babyfaces and puts heat on the heels rather than the company. Sadly, this is the highlight of The Revival’s tag title reign thus far. Hopefully we get a lot more moments like this one, as casting the Revival as a credible team that will do whatever it takes to retain their titles is exactly what the division needs.
Drew McIntyre attacks Roman Reigns: Another good beatdown by McIntyre. I would love to see them use these attacks as an excuse for Reigns to lose on Sunday. The Reigns character has every excuse to lose. McIntyre scoring the upset win would make him the dominant heel that the company needs while also giving Reigns a real mountain to climb.
Sasha Banks, Bayley, Beth Phoenix, and Natalya vs. Nia Jax, Tamina, Peyton Royce, and Billie Kay: A minor Hit for a good showcase match for Phoenix going into the women’s tag title match at WrestleMania. The post match scene was solid in terms of showing tension between the babyface teams.
WWE Raw Misses
Apollo Crews vs. Jinder Mahal in lumberjack match: A brief match to set up the predictable big brawl between most of the Andre the Giant battle royal entrants. Unfortunately, the field of entrants looked so underwhelming that it actually worked against making the match feel significant. Is it just me or did EC3 look like he wished he could have been anywhere else? I can’t blame him. EC3 strikes me as a high level heel, but he’s been spinning his wheels since he was called up from NXT.
Baron Corbin vs. Rey Mysterio: A flat match to close the WrestleMania go-home show. I get the idea of pulling Kurt Angle from the match rather than asking him to work another match before WrestleMania, but it felt like a better storyline explanation should have been given.
Heavy Machinery vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable: A comedown match from the big women’s brawl. It didn’t factor into WrestleMania and thus it was hard to really care about the match. Roode seemed to be showing that he was dejected and perhaps even bitter over Gable taking the loss for their team, so perhaps that will lead to something.
The Demon checks in: A comically bad clip with Finn Balor morphing into the Demon persona and then making faces while sticking his tongue out. I’m happy to see the Demon return, but this was corny.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest PCO, who discusses the ROH and NJPW G1 Supercard event that will be held on April 6 at MSG, taking crazy bumps at age 51, what he still wants to accomplish in pro wrestling, and much more.