Lucha Legend Randy Orton
Well, this is where we're at. We're at Randy Orton wearing a generic mask and cutting a long but honestly pretty good promo about Bray Wyatt being responsible for Alexa Bliss burning his face off. He says he's going to enter the Royal Rumble, and would do so even if he didn't have limbs. Well, this sure is different, but I think we've established that Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt probably should never feud because WWE will make it ridiculous as possible.
Charlotte Flair defeated Lacey Evans
Lacey Evans says she's just LEARNING from Ric Flair. Well, this leads to a rematch with Peyton Royce, which means we're about to get a 50/50. In the middle of the match, Lacey Evans comes out in a Flair robe, but doesn't distract Charlotte Flair enough. The match is pretty good, and I'm glad Peyton Royce is in a match this length, but they have her playing fourth fiddle here. Charlotte Flair ends up tapping out Peyton Royce, so that 50/50 prophecy comes true. I guess Peyton winning ahead of this served the "anything can happen" deal, but it's bad booking. Charlotte keeps the Figure Eight on after the bell and Peyton Royce sells her ass off.
Charlotte says that she's tired of dealing with this TRASH backstage.
Mace (w/ Retribution) defeated Xavier Woods
I'm so glad WWE showed the Mustafa Ali promo from the dugout at Tropicana. More stuff like that, please! He wants to make Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods miss WrestleMania and take their opportunities, just like he missed his opportunity a few years ago. Conveniently left out of that story is that Ali did get his opportunity. Mace messed up the Cruel Angel's Thesis as the match finish. Xavier had to overcome distractions and the like. You know, it's WWE Raw. Heels can't just win clean, if they do, they get beaten up after the match.
Shayna Baszler (w/ Nia Jax) defeated Mandy Rose (w/ Dana Brooke)
Shayna and Nia Jax argue with each other about the Royal Rumble ahead of the match. Lots of joint manipulation in this match. They should rename Riddle's submission finisher Joint Manipulation. Shayna Baszler picks up a much needed win via submission. She argues with Nia Jax after the match and Dana Brooke dropkicks Nia into her. Dana Brooke keeps doing cool stuff when given the chance. Nia and Shayna argue backstage, but say Asuka and Charlotte aren't either and want their rematch for their titles. Automatic rematches have been gone from WWE since 2018.
AJ Styles (w/ Omos) defeated Ricochet
"Thank you so much for the opportunity to prove myself two years after I debuted on Raw."- Ricochet pretty much. Drew Barrymore didn't have selective amnesia in 50 First Dates, she had anterograde amnesia and terrible brain damage. Also, that movie is 17 years old. Who wrote this shit?
I hope the world appreciates AJ Styles while we have him. Ricochet does a lot of flying headscissors and ends up getting caught and thrown down by Omos. Ricochet has some good Sirloin Beef Sunsabitches level offense in general, much less for someone billed at 188 pounds. Styles catches Ricochet midair in what looked like a botch, but who cares? It looked good. Brainbuster and Ushigoroshi aren't enough to win. Ricochet counters a Phenomenal Forearm with a Recoil. Styles wins with one of the best Styles Clashes of all time, he caught Ricochet on the rebound on a slingshot suplex.
Omos being more verbal outside the ring in recent weeks is good.
The Dirt Sheet
Gillberg has been booked across four decades on WWE programming as that character, it's good to see him. They also have a short fat Drew McIntyre. Miz and Morrison argue while Gillberg makes faces. This segment is completely pointless besides the Gillberg performance. Miz says HE'S NEXT.
The Hurt Business defeated Lucha BROS (Riddle & Lucha House Party)
Shelton Benjamin says Riddle probably takes the HIGH ROAD a lot. There's an absolutely dogshit exchange between Lashley and Riddle where Lashley stomps on his foot, and Riddle says that foot will be UP HIS ASS later.
Alexander gets cocky and tries to show out, and won't tag Shelton Benjamin. Hurt Business gives him the cold shoulder before Shelton tags himself in. The story is all about the dissension between Hurt Business throughout this match. Cedric Alexander tags himself in, but then Lashley tags himself in and wins with a Spear and Hurt Lock. Riddle cracks Shelton Benjamin and scampers out of the ring.
- Drew McIntyre says he's coming back to WWE Raw next week.
- No Keith Lee, Goldberg, Sheamus, and this show really felt it.
Jeff Jarrett also makes his predictions, and name drops Toby Keith. Toby Keith was a decade younger than Goldberg is right now when he wrote "As Good As I Once Was" and also was popping the equivalent of Bluechew (code Fightful) to get his wiener hard to bang a couple of cowgirl twins in the music video so there's your #SeanRossStats for tonight
Jeff Hardy defeated Jaxson Ryker (w/ Elias) via DQ
Jeff Hardy has entered the Royal Rumble, but not before he faces Jaxson Ryker....again! I'll save you the time. Jeff Hardy is about to win, and then Elias causes a DQ. Jaxson Ryker gets upset as they can't decide what the other person means. Per usual, the winner gets laid out after the match. This was so completely pointless.
Alexa Bliss defeated Asuka
We see Alexa Bliss' playhouse gimmick. Asuka acting afraid of Alexa is stupid. I really thought Asuka vs. Alexa would be the WrestleMania title match at one point, with Bliss taking the title. Asuka lays a beating down.
The lights go out, and after the commercial, Alexa Bliss is TRANSFORMED. The commentary team is quiet and says Asuka is intimidated. Alexa Bliss blocks all of Asuka's offense, which is pretty cool. Alexa goes for the Mandible Claw, but settles for beating the shit out of the Women's Champion instead. Asuka fires up, but gets caught in a Sister Abigail. So why do Asuka and Charlotte have those tag titles again? Alexa transforms
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!