- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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!"
- 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 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)
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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!