Raw Recap & Reactions: The Almighty Era (WWE.com)

Big Money Drew


Raw is now the Bobby Lashley show.

They put him over huge, and we’ll talk about it in a moment, but because of how good he’s being presented, it’s making the rest of the show look quite dull.

Two of the top feuds heading into WrestleMania are “guy chokes up black liquid magically put in his mouth by a possessed Fiend stan” and “guy calls another guy stupid.” These are our WrestleMania matches on Raw.

Meanwhile, SmackDown has Roman Reigns and Edge, Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair, and probably Big E and Apollo Crews. That’s… way more interesting.

One of the more interesting acts on the show, Bad Bunny and Damian Priest, weren’t even on the show! And after last week’s lackluster match… that’s a little worrisome. Who knows what they’ll be doing at WrestleMania at this point.

Who knows what Raw will even look like by Fastlane?

Let’s get to the main hits and misses on this show. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!

Who will stop Bobby Lashley?

Bobby Lashley started off the show and said he’s been through a lot. Enough to break a normal man, but he’s not a normal man. For 16 years he waited for his opportunity and now, no one will take the title from him.

After Lashley’s awesome promo, Miz and Morrison came out to the ring and said that Shane McMahon pulled a fast one after all Miz has done for WWE. Because he doesn’t get sick, everyone should have believed his cramps from last week. Basically he just made himself look good.

He mentioned the champions advantage and that he outsmarted everyone. He was intentionally counted out and that means Lashley blew it. He argued about his contract not stating he needed to defend his championship more than once in one night. McMahon threatened him into an unfair situation.

Such a sniveling little jerk. Well I can’t say he’s necessarily wrong. But screw it, he’s a jerk anyway.

So the match was next, and holy shit Lashley’s new presentation is phenomenal. New pyro, new graphics, and a ThunderDome of cheers. Miz toyed with Lashley and then sent him into the post. Lashley bounced him off the table and the post, and set up for the Hurt Lock. He locked it in and Miz tapped out.

Drew McIntyre, the “presumptive challenger” and said that Lashley gifted Miz the title so he could be Miz and become the champion. Then Sheamus attacked him, but we’ll talk about that in a moment.

Both Lashley and Miz cut great promos to sell this match. Naturally the right man won, and I’m actually fine with the length it went. This guarantees Lashley is the champion at WrestleMania and that’s a great thing. As for who is challenger will be, well Drew’s an easy bet. I don’t know though.

With WrestleMania being “back in business” anything can happen.

Brawlin’ buddies

Drew McIntyre was in the back getting interviewed about Lashley, when Sheamus attacked him.

Sheamus beat him down and said that it isn’t over between them after he lived in Drew’s shadow for 20 years. In response, McIntyre found Adam Pearce and said he wanted a no disqualification match and it was granted.

Sheamus made his grand entrance, but McIntyre attacked him on the stage. Sheamus uppercut and slammed McIntyre onto the mat but Drew got right back up. Sheamus got McIntyre in the eyes and went up to the top rope for a diving clothesline.

McIntyre sent Sheamus over the announce table and potato-ed Sheamus right in the head. Just a few minutes in and these guys were spent. They love to brawl. Sheamus smartly kicked the middle rope as Drew was getting back into the ring so it low-blowed him. He then grabbed a kendo stick and beat Drew with it.

Something called the “Dublin Smile” was done to McIntyre and he looked like the Joker for a moment. Didn’t work though as Drew hit a neckbreaker. Sheamus got tied up on the top rope and McIntyre raked his eyes and did a superplex for a near fall. Sheamus grabbed a chair but Drew got it from him and sent Sheamus face first with the futureshock DDT.

Sheamus saved himself by throwing that chair at Drew’s head when he went for the Claymore. Ow! Then Drew hit the Claymore and it sent Sheamus out of the ring. And then they ran steel steps into each other!

And… then it was over. The referee called for the bell and they replayed the moment a hundred times. That was a really awesome match with a blah ending. Look, if you wanted the feud to continue, there was no need to make this match for this show. Fastlane is very close! Could have just done it there.

Well… probably will do it there too because that’s how it works, right?

We’re getting there!

Braun Strowman asked Shane McMahon what his motivation is for screwing with him.

Why did he pick Adam Pearce as his tag partner? Why did he make him tag Pearce in? McMahon must be laughing at him because of the textbook reading level “joke” from last week.

Strowman said he isn’t asking to be fired but the more he talks he wants to snap McMahon’s neck. That brought Shane-O-Mac out, and he said he apologized after aggressively walking up to him.

And then… he just started walking out. He stopped on the stage and looked back, then kept walking.

That was actually hilarious. You just need to see it in order for it to be funny. And honestly you still might not laugh, but I’m in a weird mood tonight and I cackled at this.

So Shane had Strowman come out later and he grabbed two mics because the first one “wasn’t working” and he started walking up the ramp. He said he had fun last week and likes having fun at other people’s expense. He said he would never come out and make Braun look stupid. He kept playing games and talking about nonsense until he said some phrases with stupid in them.

Shane ran to the back as Braun went looking for him and got in his truck and sped away. At least that’s what we thought. Braun walked away and then Shane reappeared and called him stupid.

This part… wasn’t as funny.

We’re clearly getting Strowman/McMahon at WrestleMania.

Slowly, but surely.

The Rest

Ring posts of fire (AJ Styles defeated Randy Orton)

This match came about because Styles was making fun of Orton in the back to this new Sheamus sounding backstage guy Kevin Patrick. Orton punched Styles in the face a few times and it rocked Styles immediately. Orton went for a quick RKO and Styles ran away. Styles went to the outside and Orton did his classic announce table move, locking eyes with Omos the whole time. Styles got the upper hand after the break and targeted Orton’s left leg. Styles had a sleeper on Orton but he fought out of it in a corner and hit a clothesline. He set Styles up for the DDT and Styles reversed into the Calf Crusher. Orton got out of it and successfully hit the DDT.

Before the RKO, Omos took Styles out of the ring and Alexa Bliss popped up on the tron. She wound up a jack in the box but stopped right before it was going to open and said “not yet!” That was cool. She then lit a match and blew it out, and then the ringposts shot out fire. The black fluid also made a return, as did Styles with a Phenomenal Forearm to win. Ring posts of fire and Orton coughing up black liquid didn’t stop the match. Imagine that. This is another slow “burn” to the next Wyatt/Orton match. Heh. I’m funny. Right?

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Naomi and Lana

Reginald came out with Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. Already knew what the end result of this match was. Lana and Naomi took out Jax and Lana and Naomi worked over Baszler. Baszler and Jax were about to attack Lana outside and Naomi dove onto them. Baszler went to stretch Lana’s arm in many different and painful ways. Reginald got involved of course and Jax pinned Lana to win. I’ve seen enough of Reginald screwing around with SmackDown’s women’s division. I’m almost happy Asuka isn’t around at the moment because they’d probably put him in a match with her for the Raw women’s championship.

Xavier Woods defeated Shelton Benjamin

Benjamin kept on the attack against Woods and slammed him on the mat. He took advantage of Woods getting tied up in the ropes and hit him with a vicious knee. Woods fired back with some chops and a forearm to the face. But Benjamin made a fatal mistake – trash talking and not wrestling. Woods rolled him up and got the win. We have a Raw tag team championship match next week between New Day and The Hurt Business. I don’t want Hurt Business to lose titles right now, but I don’t know. I feel like they’re going to make the switch.

Riddle defeated Slapjack

Riddle caught Slapjack and tossed him about. Slapjack hit a snap suplex in the corner and did a great drop kick with huge air. Ali told him to go to the top rope and Riddle met him there but Slapjack got him down. It wasn’t enough and Riddle hit the Bro Derek to win. Ali berated Slapjack for embarrassing him again. Ali will be in a United States championship match next week in a week of titles being defended on Raw it seems. I see Ali losing because of RETRIBUTION’s interference. Maybe that will finally split the group up?

Grade: C

What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?