By: Jamie Henry –
Last night’s WWE Raw, coming from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio begins with surprisingly enough, Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman at his side. Heyman begins talking about Lesnar’s dismantling of Reigns last week, as Lesnar smirks with satisfaction. Heyman goes on to insult Reigns’ manhood by saying that Reigns was raised by all the men in his family (“his father Sika, his uncle, Afa…”), and that his family raised him to do all of these things (“wrestle, show up, work hard….”), but unfortunately, not to be man, since he’s not in the arena despite his suspension being over. Suddenly, the camera cuts to Reigns walking through the crowd toward the ring with a steel chair. Lesnar barrels through Reigns, knocking him down and then attempting to throw him into the ring post before Reigns counters, and crushes Lesnar with the chair. Reigns tries to do a Superman Punch but Lesnar counters with a German Suplex outside of the ring – both men having a hard time getting up. Lesnar eventually grabs a steel chair, hitting Reigns with it numerous times before throwing Reigns in the ring, The WWE Universal Champion then hits Reigns with the steel steps, knocking him down once more.
Is Lesnar done? Nope. He’s got one more F5 in him as he destroys Reigns with his finisher as he points to the Wrestlemania sign as Reigns clutches his ribs in agony.
Nia Jax comes out next, a woman clearly on a mission and looking good while doing so. We see a clip from Alexa Bliss and Mickie James trash talking Jax two weeks ago, which none of us needed to see again. Bliss comes out to accompany James, who distracts Jax during the match as James attacks Jax’s knee, knocking her down. Jax gives James a flawless Samoan Drop before pinning James for the win. Afterwards, Bliss blindsides Jax and the two stare each other down before Jax nearly chases Bliss down, stating “You can run all you want, you little Bliss. I know I can catch you, right here, Wrestlemania.”
Cedric Alexander is up next, teaming with Mustafa Ali to go against Drew Gulak and TJP. Ali pins TJP with an 054 for the win, after tagging himself in from Alexander, who hadn’t realized it. Both men are winners, but are also facing one another at Wrestlemania for the Cruiserweight Championship, and one wonders if the respect they have for one another will remain.
The Miz is now out in the ring with his Miztourage for an ‘episode’ of Miz TV. The Miz quickly snaps at his Mixtourage of Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, saying that he has given them everything and he’s received nothing. He goes on to tell Dallas that he should ‘bo-lieve himself back to catering,” a play on Dallas’ old saying. Seth Rollins interrupts though, saying he can mediate the group’s argument, and asks Miz if he’s ever thanked the Miztourage, stating that without the Miztourage, Miz wouldn’t even be the Intercontinental Champion. Miz then goes on to say what he would be, even without the Miztourage, with Dallas adding in “a phony A-lister who can’t fight.” But before Dallas can explain himself though, Finn Balor interrupts. Balor manipulates Dallas into admitting what he said in front of Miz, who turns towards him angrily while the audience and crowd begin cheering. Miz slaps Dallas before Axel gets in the middle of the two, telling them to calm down. When it looks like Dallas and Axel are going to attack Miz, they attack Balor and Rollins instead. As they continue to attack Balor, Anderson and Gallows come out to help Balor before Rollins attacks Miz, who was going after Balor. The two stare each other down, as Balor holds the IC title, then Rollins, then Balor once more when he attacks a returning Miz and Rollins, leaving fans to wonder who’s going to win at Wrestlemania and if the Miztourage managed to play the crowd with their group fight.
In a brief segment, Matt Hardy, in his ‘woken’ gimmick, enters himself into the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at Wrestlemania.
Bayley and Sasha Banks are backstage next, where Bayley says she will be entering the Women’s Battle Royal at Wrestlemania. The two have words with Bayley saying that Banks knows she can never beat Bayley and Banks saying she’s a four-time Raw Women’s Champion. Bayley snaps back by asking how long Banks kept those championships, Banks to attack Bayley. The two begin to wrestle backstage before getting broken up by referees.
Braun Strowman comes out next to face Sheamus. Sheamus and Cesaro request to know who Strowman is choosing as a partner and Strowman states that they will find out if Sheamus wins against him tonight. However, Strowman squashes Sheamus and he gives them no names.
Kurt Angle enters the ring next and talks about how there are two weeks until Wrestlemania, and introduces Ronda Rousey into the ring. Rousey says that Stephanie McMahon is going to get everything that is coming for her and Absolution interrupts, which I do not understand. Paige offers Rousey the opportunity to become the fourth member of Absolution, which makes no sense, and which Rousey turns down before Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville attack Rousey, Rose being stopped by Angle. Deville is knocked down by Rousey, who goes after Rousey, knocking her down as Angle holds her hand up and then continues to attack Rose. Rousey is left standing, and I get the feeling I’m meant to worry about Stephanie McMahon’s possibility of losing after that segment but since both Deville and Rose are still very green in the ring, I can’t help but laugh a little. Rousey had also received two promos before this little segment had even occurred and with my bitterness towards the Asuka situation still in my mind, I gladly move on from this segment.
Elias comes out and sings us a song, looking quite thrilled as the crowd boos him. Throughout the song, we learn that Angle has asked Elias to be involved at Wrestlemania, thank goodness. Before he can continue, Rhyno and Heath Slater come out and Elias faces off against Rhyno. Elias pins Rhyno with a Drift Away within five minutes, surprising me since the match was so quick. He attacks Slater quickly and one can only wonder what’s going to happen with Elias, and if he will team with Strowman, as rumors go, or do something else for Wrestlemania.
John Cena comes out for his match against Kane in a no-disqualification showdown. Kane delivers a Suplex to Cena on top of a metal barricade, which nearly bends the barricade in half. When it appears like Cena is down and out, Cena sits up a la The Undertaker, and the crowd goes wild. Cena throws Kane into the turnbuckle before mocking the Undertaker and Choke Slamming Kane, which he kicks out of. While Cena sets up a table, Kane sits up and tries to throw him on top of the table. Cena pins Kane for the victory by throwing him through the second table that was set up by Kane. Cena yells for Undertaker to appear when the match is done, wondering where he is, as the crowd chants for Undertaker.
“You don’t get to be mysterious here,” Cena said. “Silence is not an answer. It’s either yes, or it’s no. I’m fine with no because I will go to Wrestlemania as a fan, but get your eyes out of the back of your head and look at the energy when they chant yes, when they chant Undertaker, when they chant do something for god sakes — Do something because now you only have one week left. One week that sums up your entire career. You can do something, or you can do nothing. And if you do nothing, you let me down, you sure as hell let Kane down, but most importantly, you made it crystal clear to every single person who has ever believed in the Undertaker, that you do not care about them, you care only about yourself. I hope, for the sake of all that is good inside of this ring, I see you next week.”
We’re left wondering if we will see The Undertaker next week, as the show ends with John Cena walking away with a look of disgust.