By: Jamie Henry –
Last night’s WWE RAW from the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan begins with Kurt Angle talking about his excitement for Wrestlemania 34. The Olympic gold medalist talks about his mixed tag team match with himself and Ronda Rousey against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. He then brings up Lesnar vs Reigns, calling it a ‘match for the ages’ and that Brock Lesnar is not available tonight, to the crowd booing. Reigns comes out and asks what kind of repercussions Lesnar will face before answering “nothing” because he’s “Vince’s Boy”. He then goes on to say that the problem is Vince McMahon and that “he will not be disrespected by Vince McMahon” before slamming the microphone down and making his backstage to Vince, getting in his face. Shane McMahon, pushing Reigns away, tries to protect his dad.
When we return from commercial, Renee Young is backstage, waiting for Reigns and McMahon to leave McMahon’s office. Reigns exits, ignoring Young completely with McMahon following, who talks to Young about Lesnar, respect and scolding Reigns with a quote from The Rock: ‘know your role and shut your mouth’. He promises that Lesnar will be at RAW next week, and that Reigns has been (temporarily) suspended. I hope of course, that we’re going to see Reigns mess things up tonight despite that.
Sonya Deville, alongside Absolution, is waiting in the ring for a match against Sasha Banks. Bayley is in Sasha’s corner, but doesn’t look too enthused to be there, which makes me happy that they are still going along with her storyline of being fed up of Banks. Banks nearly pins Deville with the double knees but when Rose tries to distract Banks, Bayley attacks Rose, allowing Banks to pin Deville for the win.
Miz comes out next to confront Seth Rollins and Finn Balor about their Wrestlemania 34 match. Miz tries to talk both men into a single match at Wrestlemania instead, though neither agrees. Both argue with the Miz however, and it seems like the Miz gets what he wants when they begin arguing with one another, suggesting the two wrestle tonight as the crowd chants yes. However, both men look towards the Miz and begin to attack him after he tries to run away.
Cesaro and Sheamus enter the ring next for a tag team match against The Miztourage, who attack before the match begins. The Bar then attacks The Miztourage and while doing so, The Revival comes out to attack The Bar, and then Anderson and Gallows follow and then Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews and Heath Slater and Rhyno, emptying the entire tag team division into the ring.
John Cena comes out next to reveal that he will not be appearing at Wrestlemania 34, since he doesn’t have a match. He clarifies that this doesn’t mean he’s quitting, or not going to be at Wrestlemania 34. He’s just going to watch. He begins to go through the crowd, getting them chanting, both ‘this is awesome’ an attempt at ‘let’s go Roman’ and the ‘let’s go cena/cena sucks’ chants. He then challenges the Undertaker for a match at Wrestlemania, which I’m not actually happy with since it was clear that last year, when he faced Reigns, he shouldn’t be wrestling anymore. Cena tells the Undertaker to get over his ego so they can wrestle and to stop hiding behind his excuses.
The Bar is backstage talking to Angle, saying they feel attacked and not safe and they want to be traded to Smackdown, since they’ve heard about a Superstar Shakeup after Wrestlemania. Angle announces a RAW Tag Team Battle Royal tonight, where The Bar’s Wrestlemania opponents will be discovered.
Elias comes out next and plays some music before leaving, clearly in pain, saying the audience doesn’t deserve him.
Braun Strowman talks about how he doesn’t have a Wrestlemania match and he’s going to do something about that. I find myself not caring because it’s Strowman and I’m not behind the ‘monster behind men’
Up next is Rollins vs Balor. The two men beat each other back and forth, with Balor showing more aggression throughout the match. When it seems like Rollins is going to pin Balor with a Falcon Arrow, Balor manages to pull a reversal, pinning Rollins, leaving Rollins angry as he leaves the ring.
Asuka comes out next to explain why she went to Fastlane to challenge Charlotte at Wrestlemania. Before she can explain, Alexa Bliss interrupts and when it seems like a fight is going to happen when Asuka mentions she’s beaten Bliss before, Bliss says Asuka can wrestle Nia Jax in her place, pointing to the back for Jax to come out. When Jax doesn’t’ come out, Mickie James, who had come out alongside Bliss, attacks Asuka.
Asuka vs Mickie James almost breaks Asuka’s winning streak on a count out after Asuka kicks the post instead of James, but she eventually wins. Bliss is seen backstage, talking to Jax, who has a match next, which is why she didn’t come out when ‘called for’, and I wonder how much longer we have to wait for Jax vs Bliss to be fully set up.
Jax is wrestling against a no name indie wrestler, which is a bummer because I would love to see her wrestle an actual WWE superstar who isn’t given as much television time. The match barely lasts a minute but we’re cut to a scene of Bliss and James talking about Jax and her weight and her intelligence, which leaves a bad taste in my mouth since we all know Bliss suffered an eating disorder and wouldn’t say things like this. Jax goes after Bliss, clearly angry, but Bliss and James manage to get away without getting caught.
When we return, the ring is filled with tag teams for the battle royal and The Bar comes out to watch the match. Before it can begin though, Strowman comes out. The referee starts the match, and Strowman dominates early, winning the match and leaving everyone in disbelief.