Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 28 Jan. ’19

Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix AZ. Picture from TripAdvisor.com

The WWE is on the Road to Wrestlemania. Seth Rollins gets to drive down it first. You really could have resisted pointing at the sign but you’re getting paid to do it so I understand. HHH is comes out and congratulates him. HHH then gives him the ultimatum that he needs to choose by the end of the night. Rollins is ready to respond when Dean Ambrose appears. Ambrose taking a page out of Tomasso Ciampa’s play book and trying to split up HHH & Rollins. Ambrose wants a match against Rollins. Ambrose asks if HHH needs his Father In Laws permission to make the match. The crowd chants “Yes he does” which is hilarious. HHH makes the match.

The match is going on after they come back from commercial. Nothing much happens before the next commercial. Rollins takes his time going for a Frog Splash and then comes up empty. Rip Cord Knee by Rollins turns the momentum again. Rollins gets the Stomp on the first attempt. Wow, that was quicker than I expected.

Next Day Note: This match makes more sense if the news reported today is correct that Ambrose will be leaving shortly after Wrestlemania. Considering that Ambrose won then lost the Intercontinental Title in short order, what has happened on TV certainly supports him leaving.

Ambrose is sitting in a chair in the ring after another commercial. Nia Jax comes out with Tamina, who are teaming for a chance to get into Elimination Chamber. Jax & Ambrose have a friendly conversation. Jax pushes Ambrose out of the ring. Alexa Bliss & Mickie James are their opponents. Tamina doing the work for their team since Jax isn’t selling the offense. Jax gets to beat on Bliss for a moment. I’m glad Mickie was smart enough to duck a cheap shot. She gets the tag shortly after. Mick Kick sends Tamina into her corner. Jax tags in. Double Samoan Drop on Mickie & Bliss. Jax pins James for the win.

Kurt Angle has a match with Baron Corbin. Why is Dasha Fuentes off camera for this interview? It’s so awkward. Angle just wants pay back on Corbin. Angle gets a quick start but Corbin starts a methodical beat down. I can’t concentrate on the match because of the crazy bickering of the announcers. I’m not sure why Michael Cole decided to pile on because he usually sits these out. Corbin wins with an End of Days. That was anti-climatic. Angle really can’t wrestle again after being squashed twice in a row. The WWE even pointed out the other squash in the Angle interview so, ouch.

Finn Balor comes out in street clothes. He’s hurt but he’s not ready to hang his head. Brock gave him his second beating because he made Lesnar believe. Cue Bobby Lashley with Lio Rush. It’s a disgrace that Balor got a chance at the Universal Championship. Rush doesn’t think Balor has a chance against Lashley. Balor takes a jab at Lashley about his time in the Royal Rumble. Lashley attacks and leaves Balor laying. We have a feud for Elimination Chamber, at least. I’d be kind of surprised if it doesn’t go until Wrestlemania.

The Revival is taking on Curt Hawkins & Zach Ryder. Corey Graves correctly points out that Ryder should have helped Ryder before now. I would hope they’ve pitched a tag reunion prior to now since they’ve been doing a podcast since Hawkins basically came back into the WWE. Shatter Machine for the win. Hold on, didn’t they break up because of losses the last time we saw them together?

Daniel Bryan is walking the halls with Erick Rowan. Bryan would have beaten AJ Styles without Rowan’s help. If Rollins chooses him, he’ll end Rollins Wrestlemania aspirations tonight.

Elias wants everyone to shut their mouths as usual. Jeff Jarrett shows up again. I’m not sure how JJ conned the WWE into giving him money again. I may have to respect him just for that. Road Dogg comes out in JJ’s support. They sing their song. I don’t feel nostaglic. Elias takes a guitar against Road Dogg’s back. Jarrett gets the upper hand for a moment. He goes for the guitar. Elias punches him in the gut. Elias breaks the guitar over Jarrett’s back.

Dana Brooke tries to convince Natalya that she isn’t losing all the time. Natalya is rightly unconvinced.

Mojo Rawley is talking to himself in the mirror. Weird time to be repackaged.

Is anyone surprised that Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan are moving on against Nattie & Dana? Nah? Good. That’s my review of the match.

Ronda Rousey is getting booed because she’s not Becky Lynch. She tries to cut a promo about Sasha Banks being a worthy opponent but can’t quite spit it out. Bayley saves her by coming out. Rousey tweaks her knee on an up & over. Bayley goes to work on it. Rousey starts rag dolling Bayley but both her arm and leg give out. Bayley locks in a knee bar. Rousey spins out of it. They fall to the floor. Bayley to Belly into the barrier. Bayley connects with the apron drop kick. Bayley locks in a Bank Statement. Rousey reaches the ropes. Bayley takes her to the top ropes. Rousey reverses into an Arm Bar, which takes them to the mat, for the win. Rousey helps up Bayley like she did Banks. Becky Lynch comes out with a knee brace on. Becky wonders why Ronda never came looking for her after the beating she suffered at her hands. She did cost you the SD Women’s Championship. Lynch doesn’t need time to choose like Rollins. Lynch is ready to break Ronda’s mystique. Rousey fires back that she’s been a household name for a decade. She’s owned where ever she goes. Rousey vows to tap out Becky at Wrestlemania.

Next Day Note: Becky is correct that Ronda never truly came looking for Lynch or Charlotte for that matter. It’s big to cost you a belt but I understand the Becky logic too.

Braun Strowman tells Rollins that he earned it last night. His match with Drew McIntyre is next. It seems up against the big announcement with their hard 11 out. McIntyre drop kicks Braun who is charging around the ring. Baron Corbin interferes to cause a DQ. Strowman enacts revenge on them. McIntyre recovers finally and gives Strowman a Claymore. I smell a three man match at Wrestlemania.

Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman come out first. Heyman says that Rollins has an easy choice, fight Daniel Bryan because no one wants a piece of Lesnar. Rollins comes to the ring and attacks Lesnar. Rollins ends up getting F5ed a four of times, the last of which is on the Universal Championship. Rollins recovers and asks Lesnar whether that’s all he’s got. Lesnar F5es him again. Cool.

– Kevin DiFrango

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