Bobby Lashley and MVP say that if someone takes out Drew McIntyre, they get a title match at WrestleMania. Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander are berated, but stand up for themselves. Bobby Lashley beats both of them up and sends them packing, and says they're both out of the Hurt Business. Splitting up the Hurt Business is a bad idea. What!? They go to Adam Pearce and want Shelton Benjamin vs. Lashley tonight, and Cedric wants him next week. I don't want Hurt Business to split, but I love Shelton and Cedric Alexander going straight to Adam Pearce and calling out Lashley!
Bobby Lashley defeated Shelton Benjamin (w/ Cedric Alexander)
I think the ring announcer accidentally referred to this as a handicap match. Lashley beats the brakes off of Shelton. Lashley runs off Cedric Alexander, and eats a Paydirt from Shelton and kicks out. Tom Phillips did a great job playing up Lashley kicking out of Paydirt, and even asking MVP why he didn't. Lashley wins with The Hurt Lock
Sheamus defeated Riddle
"Yeah, they checked me earlier, I'm fine," -- this Riddle line popped me when Titus asked him if he was okay after Riddle wanted Titus to roast a pig at WrestleMania. Sheamus attacks Riddle after this.
You know this is going to be an incredible match, they always are with these two. Riddle does a modified Spanish Fly, Sheamus hits a White Noise on the apron. The strikes are stiff and heavy here, but Sheamus gets the win. I loathe WWE pinning champions. Even they get 50-50'd. He's lost to Mustafa Ali and Sheamus now since winning the title. There are other ways to earn title shots besides beating the champion. Like....beating other people.
Braun Strowman defeated Jaxson Ryker (w/ Elias & Shane McMahon)
Shane McMahon comes out and cuts another dog shit promo, this one about Braun's report card, and Braun Strowman interrupts it. He has a match with Ryker and wins, but it's not a complete squash. Well, they kept the train sound that got universally clowned last week. Elias and Shane jump Braun after the match. Braun says Shane is getting a cage match with him. I hope this ends up with Shane being thrown off something, because confining those two to the ring doesn't sound fun.
We get the Hey Hey Hop Hop video, which is good, but way too long. This could have been a solid minute shorter, but this is a three-hour Raw, so I see why it didn't. Bad Bunny tells Miz that he's going to make him his bitch. Damian Priest gives Miz a crack at Bad Bunny, but Bunny PUNCHES HIM. Bad Bunny has a good working punch. Bunny tears down the set.
There's a Randy Orton promo, and it's nothing you haven't seen or heard before in this feud. He's doing his best, but this feud SUCKS. We see another from Alexa Bliss, where she says at WrestleMania, the legend killer DIES.
Xavier Woods (w/ Kofi Kingston) defeated AJ Styles (w/ Omos) via DQ
AJ Styles is talking trash, but New Day say they don't wanna wrestle, they want to do game night. AJ doesn't want to, but gets goaded into it. Kofi and Xavier do much better at charades, and Omos doesn't even try. Much of the same with Pictionary. Omos is TANKING for a better draft pick, I think. AJ Styles getting mad when he loses at games is true to life.
Xavier Woods and AJ Styles first wrestled in October 2007, when Woods replaced Pacman Jones to team with R-Truth to take on Styles & Tomko at Bound For Glory. This is a pretty straight forward match, but there was a cool press slam/back body drop spot. Omos interferes and causes a DQ, then throws Kofi over the barricade. I'm not much on DQ finishes, but this one made sense. The nonsensical one dilute stuff like this.
Naomi (w/ Lana) defeated Shayna Baszler (w/ Nia Jax)
Mandy and Dana Brooke are on commentary. There's some good submission and transition here between Naomi and Shayna. Reginald gets involved, but Lana beats him up. Lana sends Nia into Mandy and all hell breaks loose. Naomi gets the pin on Shayna as a result. Almost nobody gets over here.
Asuka and Riddle chat it up before Riddle strolls away. Rhea Ripley continues to be the tallest 5'7" woman of all time. She's shown standing next to Ryan Ward. Rhea pretty quickly flips the table onto Asuka, in a NASTY spot. Nia Jax and Shayna come out. What? So.....right after they had Shayna lose, they have her trash talk Rhea? ANOTHER "can they coexist" story. Why? Who gives a shit? They're facing each other at WrestleMania. Either way, they're gonna beat the tag champs next week.
Drew McIntyre defeated Ricochet
Drew McIntyre sends a warning to anyone coming for him ahead of the show. AJ Styles and Omos talk a little trash to him later, but say they're too busy. He tries to get Riddle and Braun to attack him, but they say they're busy. Drew challenges everyone and ends up beating up Gulak, Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza. Ricochet tells Drew if he wants a fight, he'll give him a fair fight. Ricochet tells MVP backstage this isn't about Lashley's bounty.
Ricochet takes some crazy ass bumps. He fights back with some amazing offense that we almost never get to see because they never book Ricochet. Seeing the offense in this match, I keep thinking about what Andrade said about Drew McIntyre making sure he looked good when Drew was supposed to crush him. Mustafa Ali attacks Drew after the match, and Drew gives him a match.
Drew McIntyre defeated Mustafa Ali
We come in to see Ali working the leg of Drew McIntyre. Drew does a Glasgow Kiss midair and Claymores Ali for the win. This was a good, albeit short match. Glad to see Ali in there. This is the Drew McIntyre that got over big.
Bobby Lashley comes out and Drew says no matter what, it's them at WrestleMania. They go at it and slug it out until Lashley is knocked out of the ring. KING CORBIN shows up and attacks Drew McIntyre. Corbin stands tall and Lashley puts Drew in The Hurt Lock.
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!