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Raw recap & reactions: Bait and switch


WWE.com

I didn’t like the close of Elimination Chamber. After cooling down, I thought of what the benefit was to having Lashley out there helping Miz. It was definitely to get Lashley a title match.

As it turns out, that’s exactly what the plan was. Good! Lashley’s been super protected for months and he honestly deserves a title match. He honestly deserves to be champion.

They started with that on this show, aaaaand then shenanigans and bait and switch galore. Braun Strowman has to be involved, Shane McMahon has to be involved, and now Bobby has to fight to get what he’s owed.

Oh and now Bobby will face Miz next week. Only problem is – this is wrestling. You know what’s happening next week. More bait and switch! Someone’s interfering. They have to drag it out and extend it to Fastlane.

So if you want to have the match at Fastlane, just… announce it for Fastlane. But what will they do if they don’t do bait and switch, interferences, and disqualifications? That’s just the easy and lazy way of doing it. Bleh.

Let’s get to the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!


Bobby Lashley is MY WWE Champion

WWE Champion Miz came out to start Raw.

He talked about how people thought he would be fired within three months in WWE 16 years ago. Name dropped Batista, Cena, Rock, and Bobby Lashley as not up to his longevity. Then MVP and Lashley came out and MVP mentioned the deal they cut last night. Miz tried weaseling his way out of it and Lashley gave him an hour to make his decision.

This was easily Bobby Lashley’s best promo since returning to WWE. To be honest, I’d totally watch the “How Lashley sent me to the Emergency Room” reality show. Did you SEE that suit? My God, y’all. As soon as he walked out I said “that’s MY WWE Champion!” Dude looked incredible. Miz played his role well here. I actually was not annoyed by him, and I didn’t mind the promo.

By the way, Miz’s “side plates” were the generic WWE side plates that come with the main titles just reversed to look like M’s. That’s pretty brilliant.

Then it was time for Miz to reveal his decision, to which he just decided he needed more time. Lashley didn’t like that, but neither did Braun Strowman because he decided to come out. He tried to strong arm Adam Pearce into a title match for himself, but then Shane McMahon came out and said that if he beats Lashley later, he’ll get added to the title match next week.

Lashley and Strowman hossed it up and beat the crap out of each other. Lashley tried to get the Hurt Lock in but couldn’t due to ya know… It’s Strowman. Strowman was able to get Lashley in the powerslam and Lashley kicked out. Lashley speared Strowman and won. Miz tried to attack and got chokeslammed and speared for his troubles.

A great and dominant performance by Lashley, and I already know what’s happening next week. As an evil rich bastard would say, there’s “no chance in hell” Lashley is walking out next week with the title. He doesn’t have Braun in the match, but that doesn’t mean Braun won’t be there! Also, Drew was nowhere this week so you can bet he’ll likely show up next week as well.

This is predictable, and not the good kind.


The greatest pairing in modern history

Bad Bunny and Damian Priest were backstage and Priest saw Truth in a corner with a referee.

Truth tried playing it off, and then said “my bad, Bunny” which made me howl. The funniest I’ve felt Truth had been in months.

Priest clotheslined Garza and got a near fall immediately. Garza ripped off his pants and threw them at Bunny. How dare he. Garza drop kicked Priest in the face and started taunting Bad Bunny.

Garza was wearing Priest down, but he looked like he was almost enjoying the pain with his facial expression. But my God is he vicious when he is angry. I thought the match was going to be over pretty quick, but they were setting up a Garza/Bunny face-off and not of the Travolta/Cage type. Priest took advantage of the distraction and got the victory.

Then some 24/7 familiar faces ran down to the ring and Priest took out two of them, while Bunny threw Gulak over the top rope.

Yeah, I don’t want Bad Bunny off my television screen any time soon. The 24/7 title is at its most prestigious, and probably will never reach this status again when it eventually comes off the star.

Unless like… I don’t know Beyonce or Taylor Swift come in and wins it.


Is Randy Orton okay?

Look this was a wild promo where Orton was just talking about being distracted.

Not distracted by The Fiend, no, distracted by Alexa Bliss. Orton threw to a video package of Bliss in her Fiend revival from last week.

And then the blood came.

What made this epic was actually the announcers reaction when they cut to ringside. HOWLED, y’all. That shit was hilarious.


The Rest

Riddle defeated John Morrison

Morrison went for a standing shooting star press, and Riddle ducked it for a triangle submission. Gut wrench suplex to Riddle couldn’t put him away. Morrison had this nasty submission but then they spilled outside and Morrison’s knee looked like it gave out. Riddle suplexed Morrison on the hardest part of the ring. Riddle has great sprints in his matches where every movement matters. Morrison’s Spanish Fly got him a near fall, but he fell to a Bro Derek. Morrison and Riddle have great ring chemistry with each other.

New Day defeated RETRIBUTION

T-Bar started off with Woods and Woods didn’t get much offense. Mace and Kingston took charge and had the same result. Mace and T-Bar double chokeslammed Kingston, and then Ali tried to get them to do it again but he hit Trouble in Paradise on both men and got the pin on T-Bar. Ali got the mic after and berated the group for failing him time and time again. Interested to see where this goes. To be honest I wouldn’t mind Ali dropping one of more of these members and recruited one or two new ones?

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Charlotte Flair and Asuka

Asuka started with Baszler and you could just see Flair in their corner totally out of it. They were able to double team the champions and it started to look like she was snapping out of it. Baszler was torturing Asuka twisting her arm and Jax continued the hurting. Flair finally got tagged in again and got some offense in on both women. They were able to isolate Charlotte but she fought back and Charlotte had a figure four on Baszler broken up by Jax. Flair tagged Asuka and cleared house but shenanigans ensued. Asuka got kicked in the head by Flair and lost the match. I thought Charlotte was finally turning on her “friend” but they’re teasing Asuka turning. No please.

Charlotte saw her father backstage and they did serious damage control on that whole thing by making it clear Ric is not the father and he was just doing Ric Flair things last week. He said he wanted to elevate the women’s division by being behind the Raw women’s title picture and Charlotte had a decent promo telling him to go home and that she wants to be on her own.

AJ Styles defeated Ricochet

Ricochet was lit on fire to start this match. Styles’ snap suplex in the corner looked nasty. Ricochet is a great seller. Ric got mad and beat up on Styles but Styles hit him in the throat. He got hit in the face and then got put in a Styles Clash and my God the selling of all of this was incredible. Omos grabbed Ricochet’s limp body and picked him up real high and dropped him. Man Ricochet is incredible. That blue gear too… *chef’s kiss* Quick win for Styles and strong showing for Omos. I just have to accept that this is what Ricochet’s WWE career will be.

The Hurt Business defeated Lucha House Party

We had a tornado tag this time around, which was good for continuing to sow the seeds of dissension when MVP was trying to get them focused. LHP almost pinned Benjamin but Alexander was playing around and making MVP upset. Benjamin ended up hitting pay dirt to win. Because they won, MVP lost his annoyed demeanor when they won, but we all know they’ll continue this storyline.

Sheamus defeated Jeff Hardy

Sheamus did Sheamus things. Jeff Hardy did Jeff Hardy things. This isn’t a slight on both performers. This match just got the “Drew’s attention has officially wandered elsewhere” treatment. I’ve seen this TOO MANY TIMES.

Grade: C+

What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?

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