Wednesday, May 29, 2024
EditorialRAW 2/11/19 Review: Tag Teamin' and Not Much Else

RAW 2/11/19 Review: Tag Teamin’ and Not Much Else



Hey, folks! For those of who you cannot be bothered to tune into RAW or Smackdown each Monday and Tuesday (believe me, I get it), I am hoping to recap more of these shows. I used to, and it fell off a bit. So, let’s see how this goes!

Worst: Hypocrisy At Its Finest

RAW begins with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon doing what they do best. Recapping events that can easily be viewed on YouTube or with a Google search. Did you guys know that Ronda Rousey will face Becky Lynch at WrestleMania if she can beat Ruby Riott?

Yeah, well anyway, Becky comes out and we are informed that doctors will clear her in time in order to get her WrestleMania match.

However, Hunter and Stephanie inform Becky that she won’t be getting anything unless she apologizes for smacking the taste out of both of their mouths. This after Triple H already told Becky to put the past behind her.

The reason why I hated this segment is that as recently as December, the McMahon family came out and said they weren’t doing a good job. Their solution? They’d shake things up and that from now on, “we are the authority”. Cool.

So, someone explain this to me. If we are supposed to be the authority and that we’d get what we want, which is clearly Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania, why are The Authority out here just over a month later trying to actively sabotage WrestleMania’s presumed main event?

Forcing Becky to see the doctor in the hopes she wouldn’t get cleared in time? Forcing her to say sorry? I don’t even understand why Triple H and Stephanie are in this whole ordeal to begin with? Surely it wouldn’t have to do with The McMahons having to inject themselves to the hottest act on the roster, right? Surely not.

Building up the drama as to whether or not Becky will say sorry is just incredibly weak. Just let Becky be Becky, let Ronda be Ronda, and remove all of these red herrings.

Worst: Typical RAW Stuff

After that, we got a triple threat match between RAW’s participants in the tag team elimination chamber match, with the loser being forced to compete first.

Of course, they didn’t clarify which loser because in a triple threat match, there is only one winner and two losers. So would both of the losers be forced to start first? Is it just the team that gets pinned? WWE doesn’t clarify, but don’t think too hard about it.

So, we get ourselves a basic tag team match, and they play up Sasha Banks having to leave Bayley on her own due to injury. This definitely leads to speculation of whether or not Banks is actually cleared to compete.

Bayley goes it solo, does her best, she loses to the incredibly clunky team of Nia and Tamina, and Bayley and Sasha will have to run the gauntlet in order to win. This is setting up drama in order to win for them if you ask me. The match was what it was. Pretty dull.

Then, we have Elias getting abruptly interrupted by a backstage segment of Finn Balor talking to Becky Lynch and a generic recap video of Seth Rollins. In other words, Elias is not that important, so we will get to more pressing matters first. Then, he is interrupted by Lucha House Party, and they say….um, something. Nothing entertaining, that’s for sure.

I have to say it is quite embarrassing to see what Elias is reduced to. I think he’s officially a part of the WWE machine, where he comes out and does variations of the same thing week after week.

What is Lucha House Party even doing here? They serve no purpose. None. This segment overstayed its welcome and the payoff was Elias taking out Kalisto from behind.

This was just a segment to pad time and to place people with nothing productive going on at the moment to do stuff. It wasn’t entertaining at all and sounded visibly forced at times.

Worst: Needlessly Long and Painfully Obvious

One of my favorites games when watching RAW is when I can see where a segment is obviously telegraphed and I can predict what is going to happen sequence by sequence.

Finn is facing Drew. Bobby is at ringside. Finn can’t afford a clean loss right in front of his opponent, and Drew shouldn’t lose, like, ever. So what’s gonna happen? Bobby’s gonna cause a DQ of course.

They’ll jump him, but based on the ending of RAW last week, we know that Angle will come out to give Drew some with his painfully awkward stance and even more awkward punches.

But then, Corbin will come out because that’s what he did last freaking week. So, who’s left? It wouldn’t happen to be Baron Corbin’s opponent for Sunday, Braun Strowman would it? Oh, and would you look at that? Six wrestlers and a manager? Surely this wouldn’t lead to a……hit it Teddy Long, SIX MAN TAG TEAM MATCH PLAYAS!

WWE condensing three separate story arcs in 10 minutes is the most WWE thing I can think of. The fact that they were able to do this means that all of these feuds either suck or are just plain meaningless.

What makes this even more mundane is that we got Angle and Strowman vs. Drew and Corbin in last week’s horrible and boring main event, and they think by adding Finn and Bobby, the match is new.

It’s all just kind of sloppy and uninspired, like most of this night so far. It is also painfully slow-paced considering most of the men in this match are super heavyweights. How many times are we going to see Corbin and Drew ganging up on Strowman?

If you also didn’t think things could get any worse, they decide to, get this folks, do a Dusty finish on a six-man tag match. Lashley pins Balor, but Balor’s foot is on the ropes. That’s right, the ref counts to three even though his head is literally right in front of everything.

Instead of just saying Balor got screwed and letting us live with the fact Lashley didn’t truly beat Balor, we instead get another ref who for some reason insists we haven’t suffered enough and orders this match to continue.

We also don’t get the match immediately restarted. We need ANOTHER commercial break and another heat segment. At this point, we are bordering on nearly 25-30 minutes for this mess. After getting hit by Braun’s finisher, Balor hits his, he pins Lashley, and Finn will probably lose Sunday.

I mean, what was the point of the Dusty finish? What purpose does it serve other than to obviously waste time? Ugh.

Worst/Best: It’s Something

Next, we have a woman who has not yet given us a reason to vigorously root for her, and a woman who has not yet given us a reason to….care about her despite being here for over a year.

I give this a slight best because it is something that leads to something (yes, my standards are pretty low), but the crowd is burnt out and these two do not do anything to get me invested in the match.

Although, I must say that hearing the announcer’s team trying to pass off Ruby as some sort of threat to Ronda was quite hilarious. I can’t remember the last time Ruby was in a title match, and the Riott Squad don’t even have a gimmick so much as they have an idea of what a gimmick could be. They don’t win, like, ever, yet I’m supposed to believe that Ruby can defeat Ronda, the latter of whom is undefeated in singles matches? Ruby won’t even pass a decent warm-up.

We didn’t even get a chance for Ruby to sell herself to Ronda. Hell, there was even a backstage segment with Becky and Ronda during their match because evidently, she’s just an irrelevant third wheel.

Ronda isn’t even bothering to mention Ruby because she has no reason to be concerned. Everyone is proceeding as if Ronda as Women’s Champion is a sure thing at WrestleMania. So why should we be expecting a competitive affair?

Worst: No Cigar

I love Seth Rollins and I love Paul Heyman, but this was the most “by the book” promo segment ever. This was full of catchphrases and carefully rehearsed lines. It wasn’t bad, but I hate promos that just look choreogrpahed, and Paul Heyman is just saying variations of the same thing.

Brock Lesnar is big and strong. He will beat you at PPV X. That is not a prediction. That’s a spoiler. Seth Rollins goes, “Yeah, but I will still burn it down and will win!” It’s safe, it’s inoffensive, but the worst thing a promo can be is boring and uneventful, and that was what this was.

Since Brock Lesnar only comes to RAW every so often, the promos are going to have to be carried by Seth and Paul until then, and if that’s the case, this wasn’t a promising start. Oh, and Dean tells Seth to beat Brock and Seth just smiles. Maybe because he knows Ambrose isn’t gonna be here past Mania?

Worst: 50/50 Booking

Well, we were promised fresh matchups by the McMahons, and we can see how long that lasted.

EC3 made his RAW debut last week by defeating Dean Ambrose with a weak roll-up. So, as par for the course for the night, Ambrose and EC3 just fight again, and because wins and losses matter or something in a predetermined sport, Ambrose needs to get his win back, so he does so with perhaps an even weaker cradle pin.

Best: Finally

For all the crap the RAW Tag division (rightfully) gets, The Revival and Roode/Gable killed it here. I remember Bayley posted a recorded video of these two teams getting “This is Awesome” chants at a recent live event. Obviously, we know that these two teams aren’t amateurs.

The Revival is arguably the 2nd best tag team to come out of NXT depending on where you have the Undisputed Era, and Chad Gable has had quite his run-ins with them teaming with Jason Jordan.

But I think a former NXT Champion is a decent substitute. We know these teams can go if they wanted. Problem is, they aren’t given the opportunity.

Instead of just giving us wrestling that makes sense, we have been bombarded with bizarre and nonsensical subplots of what constitutes cheating, incompetent refereeing and 3 on 2 Handicap matches in which the face get an unfair advantage.

But for a change, for one night, we just got two teams who know how to wrestle go out there and have a wrestling match with a clean finish. And for as dead as this crowd was, we got This is Awesome chants towards the end, which I was not expecting.

Even if the match wasn’t as good as it was, this still would have gotten a best just because The Revival won. The only source of sorrow here is the fact that WWE effectively drained most of the excitement from the crowd from the previous garbage we have had to sit through.

If the content was better, (or if we weren’t in Grand Rapids), this should have gotten a much louder reaction. A minor gripe, though. This was a well-worked match, which is a welcome sight in comparison to everything else about this show.

Let’s just hope these kind of matches become somewhat of a habit and a changing of the guard is in place for RAW’s Tag division.

Worst/Best: Um, What?

Okay, so I’m giving the ending a slight best just because of the shock factor of Vince bringing out Charlotte to announce that Becky’s out and Charlotte’s in. Whether you like surprises or not (maybe Charlotte being involved wasn’t a surprise, but the timing was), I do like something from out of nowhere.

Also, the music guys briefly playing Vince’s music for a second before cutting it off was funny as well. Vince probably should have fired them on the spot, since that’s his shtick.

Now, of course, the worst. The segment starts with Becky just giving in and saying she’s sorry, and Triple H/Stephanie essentially going, “K, thanks.” Now, we all knew that wasn’t going to be the end of the segment.

Because according to the WWE book, you do not just end a segment with a popular face acquiescing to the heels without some sort of catch. Becky even catches on to the awkwardness.

I mean, I’m confused here. Wasn’t Vince the same guy who was pleased when AJ Styles knocked Vince out clean because he wanted the “real” AJ Styles? Well, right now, we are essentially seeing the “real” Becky Lynch, and now when Becky slaps his jacked son-in-law who has won 14 world titles, Vince doesn’t like his attitude? Pardon me?

Is this not the same person who brought out the entire locker RAW locker room in 2002 and asked who had Ruthless Aggression? Hell, Vince has fought with Shane (WM 17), Triple H (Armageddon 1999) AND Stephanie (No Mercy 2003) on PPV.

Of course, this is a different era, but it’s the same Vince. He sure chooses a funny time to decide when to get mad and when to get satisfied with something.

This is obviously a ploy to set up a triple threat match between the three and a way for Becky to overcome authority figures a la Stone Cold, but this needed to be just Ronda vs. Becky all the way. Charlotte is not needed in this capacity at all.

We have already seen Charlotte get a singles bout with Ronda, and Becky deserves that same shot. Even more so, considering she, you know, won the Rumble? I would have much preferred if Charlotte challenged Asuka, telling her that she never beat her and ended her undefeated streak.

That would have been a decent story to play into WrestleMania. Don’t get me wrong. Ronda vs. Charlotte vs. Becky is still a great match, but let’s face it. Singles bouts are what sells WrestleMania, and Becky and Ronda beef is literally months in the making. Just unnecessary to me.


Overall, I give this RAW a 3.5 out of 10. Aside from the tag match and some brief surprises, the majority of this show is lifeless and nonsensical. There are so many things happening at once, and WWE isn’t doing a good job at explaining why they are happening.

If it’s not for the RAW tag team division having their greatest showing in forever, this is easily one of the worst RAW’s of all time.

I’d definitely give the tag title match a shot from start to finish, but believe me when I say you’ve missed nothing here.

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