Monday Night Raw
Date: February 12, 2018
Location: SAP Center, San Jose, California
Commentators: Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman, Michael Cole
Tonight is still about the Elimination Chamber, with the final spot in the men’s match being set this week. That means a four way match between most of the people who already lost qualifying matches, because that’s the way to make people care about them. Other than that we have an appearance from John Cena, which could go multiple ways. Let’s get to it.
Here’s a fired up John Cena to get things going. It’s a special time of year because Wrestlemania is right around the corner and that means everyone gets to be a legend all over again. However, with less than two weeks to go before the Elimination Chamber, Cena has to win the match. If he doesn’t do it there, he might not have a road to Wrestlemania. Yes, they’re seriously trying to say that Cena won’t be on WRESTLEMANIA if he’s not in the main event.
Anyway Cena talks about how insane his path is, as he has to win the Chamber to get to face the unbeatable Brock Lesnar. That sounds impossible, but impossible is what Cena does. Cue the Miz, to say Cena is the founder of Suplex City. He’s going to become the first ever Universal and Intercontinental Champion. Cena laughs off the idea of Miz beating Lesnar, unless Brock misses his flight or gets frozen in a block of ice.
Miz brings up the smart point of not being dumb enough to charge at Lesnar like Cena would. He knows how to adapt, which is why he beat Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Title. Cena says he likes Miz because he’s a big talker and sometimes backs it up. Since we’re in what seems to be Miz country (due to the CENA SUCKS chants), how about a match right now with the winner entering the Chamber first?
Miz doesn’t think much of it so the Miztourage jumps Cena, laying him out with a reverse 3D. That’s enough for Miz to accept….but here’s Kurt Angle to interrupt. After stumbling over his lines a bit, Angle says he likes the match and says it’s on. Here’s a referee, but the Miztourage is being sent to the back.
The Miz vs. John Cena
Non-title. Miz covers for two and hammers away for two more as we take a break. Back with Miz hitting his top rope ax handle for two and putting a knee in the ribs for the same. Some rights and lefts to the ribs set up a sleeper for a good while, eventually taking us to a second break.
We come back again with Cena being put into the Figure Four, only to easily raise Miz’s leg for the break. That sets up the STF but Miz is quickly in the ropes. Instead Miz heads up top for a high crossbody, only to have Cena roll through into the AA. That’s countered as well with Miz grabbing a DDT for two. The AA hits on the second attempt but that’s only good for two as well.
Miz crotches him on top and we hit the Figure Four again, but Cena reverses into a Crossface of all things. After the rope is grabbed again, Miz grabs a quick Skull Crushing Finale for two more and frustration is setting in. The frustration is so strong that Miz takes Cena up top for a super Skull Crushing Finale, only to be reversed into the super AA to give Cena the pin at 16:04.
Rating: B. They did a good job of teasing an upset here and while that doesn’t make up for the fact that the Intercontinental Champion lost clean, it does make things a lot easier. Miz being in at #1 will help him a bit as he’ll lose the match but have taken such a beating that it doesn’t matter as much. Also, another good match from these two as that Wrestlemania match looks more and more like a fluke every time they’re out there.
Post match Cena goes into the crowd to say something to a handicapped kid, who also gets a wrist band. Miz is announced as the loser, just to hammer the point home.
Matt Hardy promises to turn the Elimination Chamber into the Deletion Chamber through the power of the seven deities.
Anderson and Gallows are sick of Revival being all nerdy and want to beat them up.
Revival vs. Anderson and Gallows
Revival jumps them in the aisle and it’s a chop block to take Gallows’ knee out. The match is on anyway with Gallows hammering on Dawson in the corner. A big right hand rocks Dawson again and everything breaks down. Anderson distracts the referee, allowing a second chop block to take Gallows down again.
Back from a break with Revival working on the knee, as they certainly should be doing. A big boot is enough to set up the hot tag to Anderson and house is cleaned in a hurry. Anderson knees Dawson in the face (“HI-YAH!”) and scores with a jumping neckbreaker. Gallows gets sent outside though, leaving Revival to hit the Shatter Machine for the pin at 7:43.
Rating: C. That should do it for the feud and Revival winning is quite the relief. Now can we get the titles on some faces so Revival can win the things, hopefully at some point in the next few months. The Bar has been fine as champions but we need some fresh blood. By fresh, I mean one of the most old school teams in years of course.
We recap the Tag Team Title situation from last week, including Jason Jordan having a severe neck injury and being out for awhile.
Here’s Angle for a chat. First of all, at Elimination Chamber, Ronda Rousey will be signing her contract at Elimination Chamber. That brings him to Jordan, who will be out of action for a long time with that neck surgery. He’s actually going to miss Wrestlemania, which certainly pleases the fans. Angle says he’s going to be a father for a change now, and goes into a bit of a rant against the fans, saying Jordan tries and now the fans are happy he’s missing Wrestlemania.
This brings out Seth Rollins to say he understands what it’s like to miss Wrestlemania. Rollins doesn’t have a title right now or a Money in the Bank briefcase or a match at Elimination Chamber. Angle suggests that he can find Seth another partner but that’s not what Seth had in mind. Seth used to be the World Champion and he wants to turn this place back into Monday Night Rollins.
That’s why he wants Brock Lesnar and he wants the Universal Title at Wrestlemania. The only way he can do that is by winning the Elimination Chamber, and there happens to be one more spot available. Seth wants the main event to become a fatal five way but Angle says that’s not fair to the other four. Instead, Angle puts it up to the fans, who agree to let Rollins in the match. I’ll give them points for trying to make us believe that it’s going to be anyone other than Reigns winning. I mean, it’s hard to believe anything else, but they’re trying.
Bray Wyatt says he’s a hungry shark who is going to win his second straight Chamber.
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Feeling out process to start but they’re both seeming rather aggressive here. Sasha sends her into the corner and scores with the running knees to a seated Bayley for two. Bayley gets sent outside and Sasha holds the ropes for her, much to Bayley’s annoyance. The somehow still bad shoulder is sent into the barricade and Sasha is in control as we take a break. Back with Sasha still on the shoulder and hitting the running knees in the corner. Sasha tries it again but charges into a clothesline.
It’s time for the comeback with Bayley getting all fired up and hitting another clothesline for two. The top rope elbow misses though and the Bank Statement goes on. Bayley FINALLY crawls over to the ropes, despite Sasha putting her foot on the rope to keep them away. A hard toss sends Sasha face first into the middle buckle and they’re both down. Sasha heads up top but gets caught, setting up a super Bayley to Belly for the pin at 12:22.
Rating: B-. Another pairing with good chemistry and that’s always going to be the case. Bayley needed this win a lot more than Banks did and given that there’s a chance of a new champion in the Chamber, it’s nice to have something like this actually mean something. Also, thankfully they gave Bayley a hometown win for a change, which doesn’t often happen.
Post match they stare each other down and tease a fight, only to have Nia Jax come in and run them over. Jax hits a pair of Samoan drops before saying these two took Asuka to the limit. Now she destroyed them both, so she can destroy Asuka. Coach says that’s easier said than done and she beat them both up after a five star match.
Rollins and Reigns are in the back and trade some barbs about going on to Wrestlemania. The Bar comes in and says they’ll put the two of them in the hospital with Dean and Jason. Reigns: “What happened to your mouth? Oh that’s right: you ran into the Shield.” More insults send the Bar scurrying.
We get a Rumble by the Numbers video on Asuka’s undefeated streak:
4 Continents Asuka has defeated them in
11 Countries she’s won in
8 Opponents have been former champions and they’ve all tapped out
2.5 years undefeated
523 Days as NXT Women’s Champion
7th Longest Reign All Time
7 People have been a Sole Survivor of a Survivor Series match and won the Royal Rumble with Asuka as the first woman
15 Former Champions Asuka defeated in the Royal Rumble
Apollo Crews isn’t worried about being deleted because he’s going to create history. He isn’t scared of the eater of worlds because Bray can’t digest him. Tonight he’ll extinguish Seth’s fire and he’s in the only club he wants to be in. Dana Brooke coins the term Crews Can’t Lose and dancing ensues. Crews was showing some good fire here and it was a lot better than his usual talking.
Mickie James doesn’t trust Alexa Bliss’ offers of friendship, mainly because of the whole Mickie is old stuff from a few months back. Bliss praises her and Mickie wants to know what she wants. Alexa lets it slip that she wants a friend in the Chamber and Mickie isn’t surprised.
Absolution vs. Alexa Bliss/Mickie James
Mickie headscissors Mandy down to start but it’s off to Sonya for a little more success. An elbow drops Sonya but she’s right back up with shoulders in the corner. A hurricanrana out of the corner gives Mickie a breather so she’s right back up with a Thesz press. Mandy is right back in and hammering Mickie down, only to get caught with a neckbreaker. Sonya runs over to pull Bliss off the apron though, allowing Rose to hit her lifting sitout Pedigree for the pin at 4:03.
Rating: D. This was all it needed to be with Absolution getting a little momentum before the pay per view. I’m hoping the Bliss stuff is just a ruse for the Chamber as turning her face so soon isn’t the brightest idea in the world. I’m sure she could play a face but why do that when she’s so awesome with the character she already has?
Bliss saves James from a post match attack.
Here’s Elias, who Cole and company are now calling the WWE’s Bob Dylan. Elias rips on San Jose for only being an hour away from a real city like San Francisco. We hear about his win last week but Elias doesn’t seem to think much of this crowd. The song is called the Elimination Chamber Blues but Elias won’t sing over the booing. But never mind because he’s sounding really good tonight so he’ll do it anyway. Elias sings about the people he’s going to beat and why none of them have a chance.
Cue Braun Strowman…..with his own chair and microphone. He goes off into the shadows…..and pulls out a freaking string bass, which he puts on his lap like a regular guitar. Naturally that breaks as well but Strowman sings about wanting to hurt Elias anyway. Since he broke it though, there’s only one thing left to do. He throws the bass over his shoulder and carries it to the ring where Elias grabs the guitar. The powerslam crushes Elias and he crawls up the ramp, only to have Strowman crack the bass over his back. This was HILARIOUS and the sight gag of Strowman whipping the bass out was incredible.
Finn Balor says he’ll win tonight.
Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
Reigns wastes no time in hitting a clothesline to send Sheamus outside for a breather. They slug it out on the floor with Sheamus being whipped into the barricade, only to come back with a Regal Roll. Back from a break with Sheamus working on the ribs before throwing him shoulder first into the post for two. Sheamus slaps on the Cloverleaf for a bit but Reigns powers over to the ropes.
The Samoan drop gives Roman two, followed by White Noise for the same on Reigns. There’s the Superman Punch for two more on Sheamus, only to have him come back with a knee to the face for two of his own. They head outside again with the apron dropkick being clotheslined down. Sheamus goes up top, only to have Reigns spear him out of the air back inside for the pin at 14:24.
Rating: B-. These two can beat each other up with the best of them and that’s what we got here. I liked the idea of having Reigns win here as it’s not like he’s beating anyone else in the Chamber and it’s not like Sheamus losing a singles match means that much to him. Good brawl here, which is all it needed to be.
Ivory Hall of Fame video, which is one of the most amazing displays of dancing around a name having very little business being in the Hall of Fame. They call her title defense at Wrestlemania XVII the peak of her career. For those of you who don’t remember, she was squashed less than three minutes. Oh and ESPN broke the story. They put up a picture of Victoria in their tweet, but they did break the story. Ivory was a good hand in the ring but if you couldn’t get Molly or Victoria this year, it might have been better to just not have a female entrant.
Bray Wyatt vs. Matt Hardy vs. Apollo Crews vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
One fall to a finish and we’re joined in progress with Crews cleaning house until Balor sends him to the apron for a kick to the head. An Eye of the Hurricane gives Finn two on Bray but Matt has to break up Sister Abigail. Crews and Rollins head up top but it’s Bray breaking up a superplex. The release Rock Bottom into the backsplash is good for two on Crews and we take a break.
Back with Matt applauding Bray before hitting him with the Side Effect. It’s too early for the Twist of Fate though with Rollins making the save. A double Blockbuster takes Crews and Wyatt down, followed by a suicide dive on Wyatt. Back in and one heck of a clothesline gives Bray two on Rollins. The Sling Blade cuts Bray down but Rollins breaks up the Coup de Grace. Bray gets back up so Matt grabs a Twist of Fate for two of his own.
Rollins hits the Curb Stomp on Balor for two with Crews diving in for the save. A pop up Samoan drop into the standing moonsault gives Crews two on Rollins. The standing shooting star gets the same and frustration is setting in. Bray pulls Matt outside for Sister Abigail on the floor to knock him silly. Back in and Bray loads up a superplex on Crews, only to have it reversed into the Tower of Doom. Balor and Rollins cover Wyatt at the same time and it’s a double pin at 16:18.
Rating: B. Fun match and the ending is acceptable enough. I can get the idea that they’re going with of wanting the Wrestlemania moment, assuming you can ignore Cole saying it doesn’t get much bigger than this. You know, if you ignore the match they’re trying to get into for a shot at the bigger match. Anyway, this had a lot of good action and energy, though I’m getting a bit tired of having these free for all matches so often.
They argue and we fade out, with commentary not even saying good night.
Overall Rating: B. For some reason I couldn’t quite bring myself to love what was a pretty awesome show. There was good wrestling up and down the card, an outstanding Strowman segment and a story to get us to the Chamber where Reigns is the most obvious winner ever. I liked almost everything they did tonight though as this was one of the moving day episodes of the show. They got some stuff done and built towards the pay per view while giving us a reason to come back next week. Good show here as they actually did what they were supposed to do.
John Cena b. The Miz – Super AA
Revival b. Anderson and Gallows – Shatter Machine to Anderson
Bayley b. Sasha Banks – Super Bayley to Belly
Absolution b. Mickie James/Alexa Bliss – Lifting sitout facebuster
Roman Reigns b. Sheamus – Spear
Seth Rollins and Finn Balor b. Apollo Crews, Bray Wyatt and Matt Hard – Double pin on Wyatt
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