WWE Raw advertised comments from Alexa Bliss after she brutally attacked Bianca Belair in a backstage segment last week. Raw also advertised Austin Theory, who will be seeking his next challenge after defeating Seth Rollins to retain the WWE United States Championship.
Last week’s broadcast of WWE Raw was up almost 50% from its record low with 1.605 million viewers.
Baron Corbin has been out of sight, out of mind for about a month now. In his return, he lost an opening match to Kevin Owens. JBL and Baron Corbin were so promising on-paper, but they’re closing in on the vaunted comedy role, and there isn’t enough time for them right now. Corbin and JBL could actually be lethal in NXT
Kevin Owens became the rare modern-day babyface to fight off a gang of top heels—let alone The Bloodline—by himself.
Solo Sikoa remains with the s—ts, as he was the only Uso who wanted to continue to fight Kevin Owens, even while wielding a steel chair. It may seem like a little thing, but WWE continues to protect Solo Sikoa as a legitimate badass.
Adam Pearce announced Solo Sikoa vs. Dolph Ziggler, and The Usos reacted like he had to fight The Undertaker.
Alexa Bliss mentioned Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy before crowning herself as the “Queen of Evil.” Though the storytelling was very slow-paced throughout Bliss’ heel turn last year, tonight escalated quickly.
After a Darby Allin-like vignette, Uncle Howdy made an appearance before the live crowd, and a terrified Alexa Bliss, but then Raw went to commercial with no follow-up.
Bayley def. Michin
Bayley, or Damage CTRL don’t seem to have a clear path to WrestleMania. Hopefully WWE doesn’t squander what could be a great WrestleMania match involving Bayley, Iyo Sky and/or Dakota Kai.
It seems WWE is going to build to a storyline where Michin received backup against Damage CTRL. Bayley beat down Michin backstage later on. With so many high-profile women off television lately, the possibilities are endless.
Austin Theory, who continues to dress like Maverick from Top Gun, is the one of only WWE Superstar on the roster who is allowed to fire back at “What” chants every week.
I knew Seth Rollins wasn’t injured given how tight his silver leather pants were. No way you could squeeze into those things with a bum knee.
Fans loved Seth Rollins way more than they hated Austin Theory. They couldn’t wait sing his theme song. They wouldn’t even let him start his promo.
Seth Rollins announced his candidacy to win the Royal Rumble. But as quickly as these fans cheered Rollins, they erupted for Lashley and chanted “Bobby!”
Austin Theory being hunted by two top stars is going to do wonders for him. Especially if he gets to beat them both. Unfortunately, Bobby Lashley and Seth Rollins seemed more interested in winning the Royal Rumble.
There’s no way Candice LeRae was going to win this match against Rhea Ripley, whom WWE is building up to win the Rumble. Right on cue, Ripley dominated the first several minutes of this match. Corey Graves made sure to hammer that point home.
LeRae was the perfect wrestler to have a David vs. Goliath match against Ripley. Not only was the size difference jarring, LeRae bumped like crazy for Ripley. LeRae might have only got one offensive move in.
Backstage, WWE began a storyline for MVP and Bobby Lashley to reunite as The Hurt Business.
WWE aired its latest Cody Rhodes recovery vignette, and it was the best yet. The rest of this show just felt like a commercial for the Cody Rhodes documentary.
Though WWE Raw figures to get crushed by the National Championship game, it was around this time that TCU vs. Georgia went to the break with Georgia up by 31 points (38-7). If they keep this up, casual Raw viewers may tune out of the game early.
Dolph Ziggler was supposed to be a punishment for Solo Sikoa. But with The Usos being barred from ringside, all that means is there’s nobody there to pull Solo off Dolph.
The first half of this match was basically the men’s version of the Rhea Ripley vs. Candice LeRae match. But Dolph was able to sustain his offense.
The Usos ended up crashing this match anyway. There have been rumors that Roman Reigns may be stripped of one of his titles due to The Bloodline constantly disrupting WWE Raw. Tonight will only intensify those rumors.
Dominik Mysterio is now wearing a purple bandana around his face to go along with his teardrop tattoo. The segment already won me over before it even started.
Dominik Mysterio continues to exaggerate his time in “prison.” By the end of this feud, he’ll be on a purple electric chair putting in the order for his last meal.
The Miz, who was somehow the babyface in this exchange, was just as incredulous as everybody else that Dominik Mysterio did hard time.
Though some may claim WWE is pandering to negative stereotypes with the Dominik Mysterio character, I wholeheartedly disagree. The heat with this character is that people know Dominik Mysterio is not about that life. As Miz mentioned, he was wearing a $500 off-white flannel. He literally grew up before our eyes on WWE TV, and his character is a spoiled, rich kid. It’s not low-hanging fruit, it’s actually quite layered.
The crowd was more than silent for most of this match.
Less than one week after doing the job in Japan, Anderson did the honors in Birmingham, AL. Of course, WWE made no mention of Anderson competing at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
By the time Raw came back from the commercial break, the crowd decided to wake up. especially when Dominik Mysterio got involved.
Shelton Benjamin, Cedric Alexander and MVP being back on television all but confirms The Hurt Business reunion.
The pace of this match quickened the second Benjamin and Alexander hit the ring.
Rhea Ripley and Dominick Mysterio threatened Kevin Patrick as he begun to question Mysterio’s street cred.
By the time it got to Alpha Academy vs. Judgment Day, there were so many heels in the ring, fans were chanting “we want Otis!”
Otis continues to grow out his beard and hair, and tonight he did The Worm.
Finn Balor injured his shoulder and Dominik went into the match kicking and screaming. He almost allowed Finn Balor to continue competing.
Kevin Patrick hilariously said “Instagram stories have lasted longer than Dominik Mystery was in jail.”
Angelo Dawkins hit a top rope dive that was almost as good as Montez Ford’s, which is the highest bar there is.
With a Tag Team Turmoil main event, WWE booked this show like it knew it was going to get slaughtered by the National Championship Game. Little did they know, that game would be over by the first quarter.