The 19th February 2018 edition of RAW at a glance
The show started with a moment of silence for the Florida School Shooting.
After that, we get to see Roman making his entrance while being greeted by the Arizona crowd with loud boos. He gets in the ring, plays with the crowd a bit and then “BURN IT DOWN”, the gauntlet starts.
The Arizona crowd was hot for Rollins since the beginning. With the chants of “Let’s go Rollins” and “Burn It Down” filling the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The bell rung, and the two Shield brethren locked horns once again after their classic encounter back in MITB 2016. Roman was playing the heel in the match, and to his credit, he plays it the better. Rollins went for the buckle bomb, he hit it and Roman retaliated with a Superman punch. Rollins with two consecutive suicidal dives. Throws Reigns into the ring goes for a springboard clothesline and meets with another Superman punch. Rollins kicks out, Rollins goes for the Blackout, Reigns side-steps, catches Rollins for a roll-up and Rollins reverses and stacks him up for the 1-2-3.
ROLLINS PINS ROMAN (ROMAN IS ELIMINATED)
They fist bump and Cena makes his way to the ring.
Rollins straightaway attacks Cena with a clothesline for a near fall. Cena takes control of the match with a chin-lock. Rollins was the babyface of the entire gauntlet. Cena took over the role of a heel from Reigns in this match and roll with it. Cena taunting Rollins and asking the Ref to check for a concussion was well executed. There was one particular sequence that stood out, that was when Cena was dancing around Rollins and Rollins was swinging and missing. Cena would connect a right but Rollins would get right back up and shove him, uttering the words, “Come on you piece of crap”. That was wild and the crowd responded accordingly. The action would then shift towards Cena and Rollins both trying to hit the finishing move on each other. There was a sequence where Cena goes to the top rope, hits the diving cross body, Seth catches him and rolls through ultimately hitting the AA on Cena. This was the similar sequence from their Summerslam 2015 match. The end of the match, saw Rollins hitting the Ripchord Knee and the Blackout for the win.
Next came Elias, the two had a decent back and forth with Elias getting the last laugh on Rollins with the Drift away.
SETH ROLLINS WAS FINALLY PINNED AFTER 65 MINUTES OF A SOLID IN-RING PERFORMANCE.
The crowd gave him a standing ovation and rightfully so he deserved it.
That was a man on a mission.
Next came Finn Balor. He reignited his feud with Elias as the two went toe-to-toe with each other. A good performance from Finn saw him hitting the Coupe-De-Grace on Elias for the pin.
The Miz was due next, but the Miztourage showed up instead, drawing Finn’s attention as their leader ambushed Finn from behind. The match was booked in a way to set up a Club vs. Miztourage feud heading into Wrestlemania. A solid match with the Miztourage playing a key factor in getting the Miz his win over Finn until, “BRRAAAAUUUUUNNN”
Strowman absolutely dominated the whole group. They did manage to distract him, which resulted in Miz giving him a Skull Crushing Finale. The Miz went for the cover and Braun kicked out at two and with such force that it drove the Miz away from the ring and outside on the floor. The cat and mouse game continued for some time until Miz got those hands and ate a running powerslam for the win.
After the match, Charly Caruso interviewed Strowman, as he said that Brock Lesnar will get those hands after everyone in the Chamber gets them. Strowman then powerslammed Dallas, McGuillicutty and The Miz to end the GAUNTLET.
I don’t think anyone gave a damn after this, so they had The Bar vs. Titus Worldwide, where Titus and Apollo got the “upset” win. WHO CARES???
They had Asuka come to the ring to get attacked by Nia. Nia beat her down to further their feud and to remind us that they have a match at the EC.
Moving on, it was time for the worst main event in the sport’s history for a while.
Botch fest. That’s the perfect way to describe it. The face team had three accomplished wrestlers (that isn’t the concern here), the heel team had Alexa Bliss and Absolution’s Deville and Mandy (which is the point of concern). The question WWE needs to ask is that if Deville and Mandy couldn’t handle a TV match, how are they going to work a Chamber match????????????????????????????????????????
Anyway, the show was completely ass-backward. They should’ve ended the night with the Gauntlet match. Then again, they are on this “first-time ever, women’s” spree.