The Shield

  • The Shield kick off Raw, in what is said to be their "farewell address."
  • Reigns says that if this is it, he's okay with that and has no regrets. He's on the road to WrestleMania, but needs to have a one-on-one match first.
  • Reigns and Ambrose leave Rollins in the ring to talk Brock Lesnar, but he's interrupted by Paul Heyman.
  • Rollins and Heyman take turn saying Brock Lesnar's name because that is a thing that happened.
  • Rollins points out that Lesnar had trouble with Finn Balor, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan -- guys his size and stature.
  • Heyman throws to a video, and it's cut off by Shelton Benjamin attacking Seth Rollins to start a match.
  • WTF is a brand split?

Seth Rollins defeated Shelton Benjamin
5.75/10

  • Before Monday night, Shelton Benjamin's last match on WWE Monday Night Raw was in April 2009 against Christian.
  • Paul Heyman joins commentary. I love the idea of Shelton Benjamin competing against Lesnar's opponent, but I want them to make sense of it.
  • Heyman says Shelton isn't a friend of Brock's, he's a trainer.
  • Benjamin belongs in premier matches like this.
  • Shelton does a great step-up apron kick to thwart a suicide dive.
  • Heyman gets a phone call and announces that Lesnar will be at Raw next week.
  • Rana into the turnbuckle, Slingblade, springboard clothesline for Rollins.
  • Shelton Benjamin went for an F5, but Rollins counters into a Stomp. GREAT TOUCH!

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Bobby Lashley defeated Finn Balor (c) to become champion
5.25/10

  • Balor encounters Rollins on the ramp, a friendly exchange.
  • Lashley applies a vice, and NOTHING CAN GET OUT OF A VICE.
  • Balor has one of his best dropkicks and apron kicks ever.
  • Lashley hit Balor with a barricade slam outside the ring. He also drops Balor across the apron really well.
  • Lashley can't get the Deposit, but does get Snake Eyes.
  • Slingblade, dropkick, but Lio Rush is ringside ringing the bell. This distracts Balor
  • Balor takes out Lio because he's a dummy and eats a spear. Lashley is a two-time champ.
  • Lashley is thrilled with Lio.

Ronda Rousey

  • Real Ronda Rousey is out and tells the crowd to shove it and calls them bandwagon bitches.
  • Rousey tries really hard to hit those big lines. She sounds like she read right from a script.
  • She calls Becky and Charlotte jokes and throws down the mic.
  • Dana Brooke is out -- in really good shape -- and says she has nothing to lose and she's tired of Ronda's venom.
  • Dana Brooke cut a pretty decent promo about loving WWE, needing a chance and not accepting Rousey's disrespect.
  • She got her ass kicked REAL PROPER and Rousey also slapped a ref.
  • The promo from Dana was good and the beating from Ronda was great.

Aleister Black & Ricochet defeated Roode & Gable
5.5/10

  • Listen, they can just bring back the damn automatic title rematch if it keeps them from mentioning it 200 times a week.
  • Roode has a great spinebuster and backbreaker, per usual. He and Gable do an assisted moonsault.
  • Roode and Gable hit the German Blockbuster in a scary spot, but Ricochet is okay.
  • Fireman's carry knee hits for Ricochet, Black Mass from Aleister.
  • This was a sprint, but it was a good one. We need more of this for the tag team division.
  • This would have been rated higher if it was longer.
  • The Revival attack the winners after the match.

Moment of Bliss

  • Alexa Bliss puts over her SCOOPS about WrestleMania's host.
  • Kim Kardashian (boos), The Rock (cheers), New Day (mixed reaction) are mentioned as previous hosts.
  • It's Alexa. The crowd chants "yes!"

Other crappenings

  • Braun Strowman is asked about Colin Jost, and says Colin Jost needs to stay away from him. Jost sent Braun a car to butter him up. Braun is too small for the car and tears it apart. This is Braun at his best.
  • Lacey Evans comes out, whispers something to the announce team and walks away.

Elias

  • Elias gets an amazing reaction as they're in his hometown.
  • He shits on Pittsburgh and says he is a statistical anomaly that he became a success story.
  • Elias hilariously name drops Antonio Brown, too.
  • What the shit is No Way Jose's hair? He gets attacked by Elias. The conga line is beaten up too.
  • Drift Away on the steel ramp.

Natalya (w/ Beth Phoenix) vs. Nia Jax (w/ Tamina)
N/A

  • Nia and Tamina encounter Lacey on the ramp
  • I like Natalya helping get over the Rousey turn by saying she doesn't trust Ronda anymore.
  • She brings out a YOLKED Beth Phoenix.
  • This match just doesn't last. Beth Phoenix comes in and clears house.
  • Nia Jax and Tamina run off, walking right into a waiting Bayley and Sasha in Gorilla.
  • There's a huge brawl that has to be broken up.
  • I like this segment. It got six (maybe seven) people over more, took us out of the ring and accomplished a lot.

EVOLUTION IS A MYSTERY

  • Triple H comes out in street clothes.
  • Batista is out in his Dibiase jacket with well dressed indie scum security.
  • Batista said that he learned from the dirtiest -- HHH and Flair. He wants things on his terms, and wants something.
  • Triple H calls Batista a nose ring model and an entitled Hollywood star. He calls Dave's security Guardians Of The Independent Scene.
  • They argue about a match at WrestleMania until Triple H gives in, with both of their careers on the line. Great promo that leads to a Mania match.

Kurt Angle defeated Apollo Crews
5/10 (short)

  • Kurt Angle comes out and says he's going to wrestle in his farewell match at WrestleMania.
  • He's having one last match here in Pittsburgh. What a great reaction. His opponent is Apollo Crews.
  • Angle scores a nice belly-to-belly suplex. Crews gets his signature spots in as well.
  • Crews misses a frog splash, and Angle wins with an Olympic slam.
  • Angle raises Apollo's hand after the match.

Reigns attack

  • Drew McIntyre attacks Reigns before the match and posts him.
  • A series of Claymores land on Reigns outside the ring, including one into the post.
  • Hey I can get behind Drew vs. Reigns at Mania if they go this way. Just please not Corbin.
  • Rollins comes out to help Roman. Reigns sells this incredibly.
  • Ambrose joins them backstage and they urge Reigns to get checked out.
  • Ambrose goes up to Triple H and wants Drew right now. Falls Count Anywhere. Triple H agrees.

Falls Count Anywhere
Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose
5.75/10

  • This is a nice way to make a one night angle, a decent main event, hold off Roman Reigns' Raw match return and help get Drew over.
  • Drew taunts Ambrose by saying Reigns squealed when he got beat up.
  • They brawl up to the press box, and Drew slings Ambrose into the wall.
  • Drew suplexes Ambrose on the floor and hits him with stairs.
  • A bunch of cool stuff happens during the commercial.
  • Ambrose hits Drew in the ballsack.
  • Drew's head gets smashed into a water bottle. There was a terrible spot where Ambrose pushed McIntyre on a cart.
  • Drew hits Ambrose in the ballsack and throws him into the LED boards with Snake Eyes.
  • McIntyre uses a PENCIL TO THE EYE. Ambrose's head is trapped in the railing. A NASTY Claymore hits and Drew wins.
  • Imagine if they didn't nerf Drew by having him get beat up by a guy who is on hiatus.
  • Another Claymore as we go off the air.

Rating guide

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. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!

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