Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 19 Feb. ’18

The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix AZ. Saved from

The WWE is yet again trying to sabotage my usual introduction by having Roman Reigns come out to start the gauntlet match between the Elimination Chamber participants. He isn’t worried about tonight’s match. He’s focused on the EC. Seth Rollins is his opponent. Rollins doesn’t get to talk. The match is slow up until the break. Reigns is working over Rollins after it. Interesting seeing Reigns wrestle the heel portion of the match so that baby face Rollins can have the big come back. Reigns takes back over in short order. Corey Graves finally gives the Rainmaker Knee a name, Revolution Knee. Buckle Bomb followed by a Superman Punch leads to another break. No one should really want to win this match. You gain nothing from it. Rollins connects with two suicide dives. Spring board into a Superman Punch. Rollins kicks out. Rollins catches Reigns going for a Spear. Rollins reverses into a roll up for the win.

John Cena is the next man out of the backstage area. Rollins kicks Cena who is still mugging for the crowd. Cena has the upper hand after a break and maintains it until the next one. Jonathan Coachman is correct in pointing out Cena trying to use less energy. It is helping re-establish Rollins some even when he loses. Michael Cole is incorrect about this style match being the same. Multiple people can be involved in the match at any time so you don’t necessarily need to go through everyone. Someone will be gone before Elias enters the EC on Sunday. Bold prediction, I know. Rollins dodges a charging Cena who crashes into the stairs. Rollins can’t capitalize though. Rollins gets a Cross Face locked in. Frog Splash gets Rollins a close two count. Cena nails Rollins with an AA. Rollins kicks out. Rollins catches Cena going to the top. Superplex followed by a Falcon Arrow. Cena locks in an STF. Rollins reaches the ropes. Cena puts it on again. Rollins gets another break. Rollins rolls to the floor. Cena goes for the Super AA. Rollins reverses into an AA. Cena kicks out at two. Phoenix Splash is aborted. AA by Cena. Cena rolls through. Rollins reverses. Revolution Knee. Kick to the gut. The Stomp for the win.

Elias is out next. Elias goes for pins quickly. Rollins makes it another commercial break. Renee Young interviews John Cena. He talks about tipping his hat to Rollins and how he could have approached the match differently. He’s going to regroup and be ready for the EC. Rollins super kicks Elias to break the tide. Plancha onto Elias on the outside. Drift Away for the win.

Finn Balor is out next. He gets things going his way early. Elias starts working over Balor’s arm. Rollins admits that if he doesn’t win the EC, it’s a disappointment. “We want Strowman.” You suck Phoenix. Enjoy what you have. Balor kicks Elias off the apron. Drop kick into the barrier by Balor. Elias catches Balor charging with a clothes line. I’m at the point of wondering if this Raw will be only this gauntlet match. Elias is using a Fujiwari Arm bar. Balor gives Elias a Sling Blade. Corner drop kick. Coup De Grace for the win.

The Miz is the next man up. He uses Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel as a distraction. They come out on stage while Miz attacks from behind. Miz DDTs Balor but he kicks out. The Miz is going for the pin but he can’t put away Balor. Elias is ready to take advantage of being last out of the EC. Who wouldn’t be? Balor takes out the Miztourage with a flip dive after they interfered. Balor has to fight both of them off after a corner drop kick. Skull Crushing Finale for the win.

Braun Strowman is either making short work of Miz or he’s getting counted out. The Miz tries to duck out but as Michael Cole so eloquently put it “Bear paws” Miz to knock him over. We’re making this a two hour event. Strowman keeps tossing Miz around. Strowman misses a charge but only temporarily loses control. Balor is happy that the Miztourage will not be involved in the EC. He’s ready to go to WM. The Miz gets in a Skull Crushing Finale. It barely phases Strowman. Running Power Slam for the win. Braun doesn’t fear the unknown. He’s winning the EC and he’s gunning for Brock. Strowman has some unfinished business. Power slams to Axel & Dallas. The Miz tries to run off. Power Slam to Miz, again. And again.

Asuka‘s destiny is to win the Championship at Wrestlemania. Asuka thinks that Nia Jax isn’t as strong as she thinks. Asuka claims she will tap out on Sunday. Nia Jax attacks. Samoan Drop. Jax follows up with three leg drops. Video package for Rowdy Ronda Rousey. Good as usual. Trianing Montage Edition.

Sheamus & Cesaro have a team match. They’re taking on Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews. The later gets the beat down from Sheamus & Cesaro. Apollo gets to roll up Cesaro for the win. The string of fluky wins continues for Titus Worldwide.

Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy get to have more split promos. Hardi is the best thing that has ever happened to Wyatt.

Sasha Banks, Mickie James & Bayley are teaming against Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville and Alexa Bliss. James starts the match so Bliss begs off. Bayley gets worked over by the heels. Sasha gets a hot tag but the ref says he didn’t see it. Bayley tags in James. She goes hot. Senton onto Rose. Deville tries to interfere. Bliss stays out of the situation. Rose uses Eric’s favorite move, the Abdominal Stretch. Rose gives James an inverted gut wrench suplex. Deville cuts off a tag attempt by James. Bliss still won’t attack James. She gets tagged in moments later to face Sasha. She cleans house. Bliss rams Banks into the middle turn buckle. Bliss takes her time going for the DDT. Banks rolls her into a Bank Statement for a tap out win. Absolution take out Bayley & Banks. James & Bliss team to take out Absolution. It is practical for James to have a partner. – Kevin DiFrango

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