By: Jamie Henry –
Last night’s (Feb. 26th) WWE RAW at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, kicks off with Mickie James and the RAW Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss. Bliss talks about how she was able to change the company then, now and forever before giving credit to James, telling her every woman in the locker room can learn from her. She goes through each woman, before pointing at the Wrestlemania sign, saying that it feels good to do that, and says she cannot wait to finish the job Nia Jax did to Asuka. Asuka comes out, not saying anything as Bliss continues to talk, saying Jax deserves to be in the spot at Wrestlemania, teasing Asuka by speaking slower and lower under the false belief that Asuka cannot understand her. Jax then comes out but before she gets to the ring, Asuka strikes James and Bliss first until Jax enters the ring and tries to throw Asuka. Asuka puts her in a hold and then Bliss and James come to Jax’s aid, and the three women beat up Asuka. Bayley and Banks come out to help Asuka but Jax, Bliss and James are the ones remaining tall. Kurt Angle makes the women battle in a six-tag match.
James and Bayley begin the match, each throwing out a few moves before Bayley tries to pin James, but James kicks out. Jax is tagged in after, who trash talks Bayley before tagging in Bliss after a double team on Bayley. Bliss gives Bayley kicks to the stomach in the opposite corner before Bayley takes over when Bliss is distracted by the referee. Banks tags in, and attempts to pin Bliss but she kicks out. Banks attempts to pin Bliss once more but Bliss kicks out. The two continue for a few minutes before Jax joins in, throwing Banks to the ground, causing cheers from the crowd, which comes as surprise as Banks tends to be a fan favorite wherever she goes. James and Banks are in the ring, Banks, defeated and tired as she tries to get to Bayley in the corner to tag her. Bayley jumps off the apron though, no doubt in retribution to the Elimination Chamber moment of Banks pushing Bayley off the pod. Asuka nearly pins James, Bliss breaking it up where Bayley helps Asuka. Asuka then pins James by submission with an Armbar. The match was good but the ending was not a surprise, which dulled the finale.
John Cena comes out to discuss his road to Wrestlemania 34. Cena admits he has failed, how no other wrestler will step into the ring and say “I failed” because “when you say you failed, the disappointment is on you. It is your fault, and you go failure alone.” He teases about wanting to wrestle The Undertaker, but reveals he’s been told the match is not happening, which really, should be obvious as last year, when Taker faced Reigns, he physically struggled to get through the match. Instead, Cena shows his desperation for a Wrestlemania moment that he says he’s headed to Smackdown Live tomorrow night since he’s a free agent. He leaves the ring with a “see you tomorrow night,” but the following quote is more memorable: “Your character is put to the test when your back is put against the wall. And for me that time is now”
Bray Wyatt goes up against Heath Slater next. Chants of ‘delete’ are started when Wyatt goes to the middle of the ring, causing him to beat Slater hard in the corner. He moves Slater into a Sister Abigail before blaming Hardy for making Wyatt hurt the ‘innocent’ men and that their feud is far from over.
The Miz is backstage, making his way to the ring with the Miztourage. Entering the ring, he stays that Kurt Angle takes his stars for granted and that in 62 days, he will become the longest intercontinental Champion of all-time. He has all those accolades with no merchandise and that he should be the one facing Brock Lesnar. “I am sick of being taken for granted, I am sick of the disrespect,” he as Angle responds with the bomb that his opponent tonight might determine who he faces at Wrestlemania 34. Rollins comes out, and takes over in the match early but Miz brutally begins throwing Rollins around, including on top of the barricade. Miz gives a set of Yes Kicks that Rollins eventually counters, throwing Miz across the ring and planning to flip him over the top rope, which Miz counters, having Rollins land on the floor outside of the ring. In the end, Rollins clinches the victory with a Frog Splash.
Finn Balor is out to face the Miz and no doubt, this will end up in a triple threat match with Rollins vs Miz vs Balor. Before the match begins however, the Miztourage attacks Balor, which results in them being ejected from ringside by Kurt Angle, who threatens Mix by saying that if he doesn’t continue the match, he won’t be going to Wrestlemania 34. Miz goes after Balor, dominating throughout, but Balor pulls out the win with a Coup De Grace.
Roman Reigns comes out for his face to face with Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar. “I’m a man of my word,” Reigns says. “I said I was going to win the Elimination Chamber and I did. So when I say I’m going to Wrestlemania and can beat Brock Lesnar, I’m telling the truth. ” Read the rest of the promo below because it’s one of the best Reigns has given to date.
“You guys want to know the truth? They’re not going to like it back there, but I’m going to say it anyways – Brock Lesnar isn’t here tonight. Up until about 30 minutes ago, I thought Brock was going to be here but something happened or he didn’t show. And nobody will say this back there but I’m going to say it: Brock Lesnar is an entitled piece of crap who hides behind his contract. We are six weeks from Wrestlemania and the Universal Champion is not here today. We were in Vegas last night, and Brock was in Vegas, but he wasn’t at the Elimination Chamber, guess where he was. He was runnin’ around the strip taking pictures with Dana White and the UFC on social media. Want to know why? Because he doesn’t respect me, he doesn’t respect any of you and he doesn’t respect anybody in that locker room. I’m sick of it. We’re all sick of it. We all know it back there, we all know it. Every single week me and the boys run across this world and we bust our ass. And Brock just shows up whenever he wants to, whenever the money’s right or the city’s right. But we don’t care. It doesn’t matter how many people show up or how big the town is, I’ll be there, because I said I’ll be there. And Brock and Paul [Heyman], don’t worry, they’re going to come out here and say we’re businessmen. Well guess what, I was born in this business! My family and my bloodline is this business! And I was taught at an early age that there’s a fine line between business and respect. And I’ll say this right now, I don’t respect Brock Lesnar. And I damn sure don’t fear that bitch. I think I’ve said enough now. I’m going to go ahead to the back and take my ass-chewing like a man because unlike some people, I actually care and respect this place.
Sheamus and Cesaro vs Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews for the RAW Tag Team Championship are up next, this time however, it’s two out of three falls. Sheamus gets the first fall immediately with Brogue Kick when Cesaro distracts Titus. Despite their best efforts, Cesaro and Sheamus pin Crews and once again retain their titles. They cut a brief promo saying they have beaten everyone and there is no one else to beat, which reminiscent of what The Uso’s said a few weeks ago and makes me wonder if they’re setting up a feud between the two teams.
Elias vs Braun Strowman is up next. Strowman goes after Elias like he usually does with Elias getting in a few good shots, including the use of a fire extinguisher which disqualifies him, but it does finally get the crowd interested in their feud. Elias continues his assault on Strowman with the extinguisher before punching Strowman. Strowman rises, and the two trade blows before Strowman attempts to throw Elias through a table before Elias escapes, running backstage with Strowman following.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon end the show with a segment with RAW’s newest signee, Ronda Rousey. McMahon demands that Angle come out and give an apology but instead it’s Rousey coming down the ramp, stream-rolling to the ring. Angle says he lied and that he’s sorry, but only after he said he needed his job, which makes the apology seem insincere. Rousey says she wants an apology from McMahon or she’ll rip Stephanie’s arm off. McMahon gives a half-assed apology before exiting the ring as Triple H sucker punches Angle with Rousey looking on.