A brand new week brings a brand new episode of RAW to our screens, as well as a brand new review by me where I try not to have a complete meltdown, but let’s be honest here, the WWE doesn’t make it easy. Even with the new 10 Count Rating system in place, it’s hard to not go off the rails when it comes to the flagship show, as it seems as if they’re going out of their way to put out a product that is, at times, completely unwatchable. But I’m nothing if not a glutton for punishment, so with that in mind, let’s lace up our boots and head to the ring for this week’s WWE RAW: Feb 24th Review.
Randy Orton/Kevin Owens Promo
10 Count Rating: 4
Y’all should know how this goes by now.
Randy Orton makes his way, very slowly, out to the ring. After he enters he spends about five minutes explaining how he’s sorry about what he did to Edge, but we’ll never understand the reasons why.
With everybody suitably bored to death, the company sends Matt Hardy out to confront The Viper, but as The Broken One took a hell of a beating we were going to need another sacrifice this week.
Surprisingly, it was K.O who answered the call and the only reason that Owens went out there was that the show hailed from Canada.
Deciding to ignore the fact that he’s in a feud that never seems to end with Seth Rollins and his cronies, more on that later, he came out to ask “Why Randy, why?”, too which he got the standard “I’m not saying nothing” response that ended with them making a match for later in the evening.
What started as a very clever way to have Orton/Edge at WrestleMania has descended into a very pointless cut and paste segment each week with Randy not saying anything and Edge still being “injured”.
I expect this to pick up speed next week as Beth Phoenix is scheduled to appear on the red brand to give an update of Edge, which will have Randy show up and threaten her, only for Christian to make the save (calling it now), but for a feud that started so hot, it’s now become something of a let-down and one I can’t wait to end.
Humberto Carrillo vs. Angel Garza
10 Count Rating: 6
It seems that not only did Andrade disappear with the United States Championship when he got sent home for being a naughty boy last month, but it also looks as if he’s taken Humberto’s push with him as well.
Since Garza has been splitting his time between NXT and RAW, Humberto hasn’t been able to buy a win, which leads me to believe that Andrade’s replacement has done such a good job in his absence that he’s the one now getting the push.
I don’t blame Angel Garza for this, he saw an opportunity and took it, but the way that the WWE has cooled on Carrillo so quickly just proves that they don’t seem to have any long-term plans for any wrestler outside of those in and around the Main Event.
This might explain why the likes of Tommaso Ciampa have no interest in being called up to the so-called big leagues.
As the week’s pass with Garza and Vega getting more and more victories together, I think the idea of Andrade returning as a Face isn’t so far-fetched after all.
Winner: Angel Garza
Ricochet vs. Luke Gallows
10 Count Rating: 6
It seems that every wrestler across both RAW and SmackDown has been kind of phoning it in over the last couple of shows.
I suppose with Super Blood Money on the horizon that makes sense, to a degree, but I’d rather see Ricochet and Luke Gallows go at it properly than put on a small advert for how the Lesnar match could go.
It was obvious that Rick was going to get the win here, and the Shooting Star-Press he hit from halfway across the ring was pretty f*cking awesome, but this just didn’t seem to get out of first gear and when you already know the end of a match, those involved need to put on a show to make it worth your time.
The OC Beat Up Aleister Black
10 Count Rating: 7
Credit where it’s due, I had this marked down as low as I possibly could when it first happened, but seeing how it would all pan out, I’m giving it the thumbs up.
Hindsight, you gotta love it.
After losing to Ricochet, The O.C was seen backstage arguing among themselves until A.J got them to shut up.
A few bits of bragging later and Aleister Black walked past them, offending them with his presence, so they beat him down and left.
Now, I thought that this was done so they could hand Erick Rowan his win back when the two faced off later in the night, but as we shall see, this was a swerve that worked for once.
Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman Promo
10 Count Rating: 7
God, there was a lot of talking on this week’s show.
Having just sat through The O.C beating on Aleister Black it was time for Brrrrrrrrrrrrrock Lesnar and his advocate, Paul Heyman, to cut a promo and if it hadn’t been for the former ECW Mastermind, then this could’ve been just what it took to push me over the edge into Rantsville.
Luckily, Paul Heyman could sell snow to Santa Claus and he was at his usual brilliant best here.
Insulting everyone, claiming that Brrrrrrrrrrock Lesnar owed Ricochet a beating, telling us if his Auntie had balls she’d be his Uncle, which had me rolling in the aisle, by the way, he did what he was sent out there to do, get people interested in the title match at Super Blood Money.
And that’s the genius behind Heyman.
We all know that Ricochet isn’t taking the belt off of Brock, that’s going to be McIntyre at Wrestlemania, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t manage to pique my interest in it.
Which would be great, if I had any intention of watching the show, but I don’t, because, y’know, I have a soul.
Erick Rowan vs. Aleister Black
10 Count Rating: 7
This should’ve ended with Erick Rowan getting his win back.
The beating that Black had suffered at the hands of The O.C should’ve been more than enough to mean that he lost here, but was still “protected” due to not being able to properly compete, yet, that’s not what happened.
It might not have been my Fight of the Night, but it was a damn fine effort from both men, and even though Erick’s push is now over and he’ll go back to beating up jobbers before becoming one himself, I’m a lot more interested in Black’s character arc than I was seven days ago.
It also doesn’t hurt that he’s going up against A.J on next week’s show and I fully expect the Phenomenal One to take the loss, as he’s pretty bulletproof these days, which will only enhance the mystique surrounding the Master of the Black Mass.
Winner: Aleister Black
Drew McIntyre Promo
10 Count Rating: 5
I like Drew McIntyre, but I think that by now I was burnt out on promos and just wanted to have some more wrestling on my wrestling show.
He said all the right things, admitted it was his fault he failed in his first outing with the company, claimed he’d let Big Vinny down, blah, blah, blah, but it was just a very “meh” sit down promo all around.
I’d much rather have just watched him boot Mojo Rawley in the face again if truth be told.
R-Truth vs. Bobby Lashley
10 Count Rating: 3
God, I hate this sh*t.
What was supposed to be another talk-show segment/unwanted promo turned out to be a match between Truth and Lashley where Big Bob pretty much squashed the former Ron Killings.
What was the point?
If it was supposed to promote the King of the Mountain match at Super Blood Money then all it did was make Truth look weak as, bar a few John Cena moves, Lashley ran over him.
It was just another excuse to have Lana come out to the ring and yell at everyone, and I am so sick to death of that that I wish she’d get laryngitis for a few weeks, just so I wouldn’t have to listen to the sound of a million fingernails being dragged down a blackboard on every single RAW.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Elimination Chamber Contract Signing
10 Count Rating: 2
This is how the Elimination Chamber is going to pan out.
Logan and Natalya will start it off, with Logan only being there to eat the first pin, Liv and Ruby will get into it to advance their feud, and Asuka and Baszler will be the last two standing so when she defeats the Empress of Tomorrow she proves that she’s truly worthy of facing Lynch at WrestleMania.
This makes the whole contract signing pointless and it only happened so a massive brawl could break out.
If it wasn’t for The Man showing up to trade blows with the woman who will beat her at the Show of Shows, this would’ve gotten a single point.
Murphy vs. Angelo Dawkins
10 Count Rating: 1
If they wanted to have Seth take on Montez Ford, then they should’ve just booked Seth to take on Montez Ford.
Winner By DQ: Angelo Dawkins
Montez Ford vs. Seth Rollins
10 Count Rating: 7
See what I mean?
If they’d just done this in the first place I’d have been a lot happier, as Rollins and Ford put on a brilliant match that was my Fight of the Night.
Fast-paced and hard-hitting, this is what happens when you let wrestlers do their job and wrestle, with both men involved having the kind of back and forth action that you don’t get enough of in the WWE, outside of NXT.
The Monday Night Messiah picked up the win with a nasty-looking Kerb Stomp, but there was enough skill on offer here that Ford didn’t come out of this looking weak.
I’m hoping that the age-old trope works here and the Street Profits are crowned new Tag-Team Champions at Super Blood Money as I’d love to see them work together in a proper program heading into Wrestlemania.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Main Event: Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
10 Count Rating: 5
Where to start with this?
First off, Kevin Owens decided to leave his common sense gland at the door when during this match, Rollins music hit, and The Monday Night Messiah and his boys came out, meaning that K.O forgot he was in the middle of a wrestling bout and turned his attention to them instead of The Viper.
Secondly, that f*cking fast count.
I said last week that I was intrigued as to what was going to happen now that the Street Profits had given the good guys the numbers advantage, well, it turns out that the refs are now getting involved as the man in the middle hit an unbelievably quick 1-2-3 before being exposed as a convert to Rollins when his zebra shirt was torn off to reveal a Monday Night Messiah one.
So, there was nobody in the back who they could’ve gotten involved in this?
No one who could do with the rub of being in the Main Event storyline on RAW, no matter how dumb I think it is?
Fine, Seth’s got his pet ref, but that only happens if the WWE ignores the fact they have a corrupt official on their books, which they might, or might not, or…y’know what, I don’t care.
This was stupid as sh*t and ruined what could’ve been a really good Main Event.
Finally, Orton was in the ring with someone who should be a legitimate threat to him, only to have the match ruined by this ending.
And once again, K.O ends up looking like a schmuck as he doesn’t back up his words and takes the loss.
He’s in danger of becoming a pre-Fiend Bray Wyatt at this rate.
Winner: Randy Orton
Another week, another RAW that fills me with nothing but apathy.
If you look across the show as a whole you can see why this happens more often than not, as even though there are some really good parts there’s far too much crap clogging up the system.
When this happens it leaves you aware that you’re watching a three-hour show and it would only take allowing the wrestlers on the show to have longer matches, and to put in the kind of work that Rollins and Ford managed this week, to fix that problem.
Instead, we get pointless squash matches and far too many talking segments to make RAW anything more than a drag these days, and considering they swore that they’d listen to the fans and put on a proper wrestling show, you’ve got to wonder how sustainable this business model is.
Certain sections of the wrestling community think it’s almost blasphemy for others to want AEW to succeed, but they’re wrong.
If Cody and the boys can get their product up to speed and become a legitimate alternative, if not a threat, for fans who are desperate for such a thing, then it will force the WWE into reevaluating their shows and to put on more wrestling to stop people from walking away.
Competition is key in this day and age, and if you can’t see that then you’re even blinder than those who think Lashley and Lana is what the people want.