Drew McIntyre comes out, and talks about how hard he worked to get to the top. Lashley shows him respect and says he was a great champion, but his time is over, even though everyone is afraid of him. Lashley calling Drew McIntyre a great champion and says everyone is afraid of Drew. Drew McIntyre putting over the Hurt Lock. I really like it. Two dominant wrestlers admitting they're both good. It makes me want to see which one is better. For some reason Baron Corbin is repeatedly involved in this and I don't know why.
Xavier Woods (w/ Kofi Kingston) defeated AJ Styles (w/ Omos)
There are a lot of stoner jokes between Riddle and New Day. Lots of them.
AJ Styles went unbeaten in singles matches for months and months and months and has lost three times to build up to a tag title match. I would like to see about 10 percent as many distraction finishes. Kofi throws a mic at Omos, and it leads to a distraction win. Ah boy.
Braun Strowman defeated Elias & Jaxson Ryker
Braun Strowman whipping Shane McMahon's ass for a bunch of people I've blocked on Twitter. He says it's for everyone that's been called stupid. Braun Strowman is going to throw Shane McMahon off the top of the cage through a table. Shane McMahon will win and continue to call Braun stupid. That was probably one of Braun's better promos.,I wish they would have just let the cage up for this handicap match. Ryker and Elias get some offense in, but Braun powerslams both and pins them. Completely fine build up to this match for the go home show.
Backstage, Miz and Morrison paint all over Bad Bunny's Bugatti. The funny thing is, Bad Bunny has done interviews where he says he can't stand the $3 million car, and it's been a nuisance to him. He seems pretty upset when he discovers it and gets jumped, though.
Damian Priest makes the challenge for a tag team match at WrestleMania. Bad Bunny LOVES THIS BUSINESS. Bad Bunny cut a long promo that was fine, especially with the language barrier. He gave a Bugatti to THIS BUSINESS.
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax (w/ Reginald) defeated Asuka & Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley is great as usual, and Reginald is involved as usual. WWE really wastes no time in making everyone look like dorks by getting distracted during wrestling matches. There's a lot of passive aggressive coexisting in this match. Asuka gets the hot tag. They could not coexist. Rhea Ripley whipped Asuka's ass and Asuka got pinned. Okay. I just don't care. On to the match. Asuka is one of the worst booked champion in recent memory.
A top contender Tag Team Turmoil Match is now set for Wrestlemania. Riott Squad, Tamina & Natalya, Mandy & Dana, Lana & Naomi are advertised. Billie Kay is there, too, but they've already advertised Carmella as her partner.
Bobby Lashley defeated Cedric Alexander (w/ Shelton Benjamin)
Feels like we are about 20 minutes and two commercial breaks in between wrestling matches
Cedric and Shelton confront MVP and call him a washed up has been leeching off of Lashley. MVP cuts a great promo about them only being relevant because of him. Even when split, The Hurt Business are the best thing about Raw.
This is a really good match, and it takes everything Lashley has to put Cedric Alexander down. One he gains an advantage at the end, he keeps it and throws everything at Cedric. Both Cedric and Shelton passed out to the Hurt Lock instead of tapping out. Lashley beats up Shelton to end things, too. Lashley looking great heading into WrestleMania. Just a shame it came at the expense of one of the best stables in recent memory.
Riddle defeated Ali
Riddle zooms right in between Ali and Sheamus. I really wish they'd book Riddle against some different people. You know this match is going to be good, because their matches are always good, but it's going to the well over and over again. There's some really great chain wrestling work, especially in and hour of high level submission. The finish is great, as Riddle catches Ali midair and goes into a Bro Derek for the win. A really good match, where the right person went over.
Drew McIntyre defeated King Corbin
You know the drill here. Drew McIntyre is winning this match and we're getting a drawn out one here. They would have been better bringing someone back, or bringing someone in from NXT to do this instead of Corbin if they wanted to create intrigue. They way they've booked him reduces buzz associated with the show. The match itself is really good. They're working hard, all the offense looks good, and they're treating it like it matters, WWE just have never consistently treated Corbin like he matters. This is huge slam after huge slam. They've been at it for a while. MVP hands Corbin a cane, but a Claymore hits. Lashley comes to the ramp and they look at each other as the show goes off the air. This did not feel like a WrestleMania go-home show, but it's one of the worst built Mania shows ever.
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!