WWE Raw Review – 2.24.20
After yet another attack on a vulnerable Matt Hardy last week, Randy Orton made his way to the ring to kick off Raw.
Orton says he needs to apologize because his emotions have become unbalanced of late. Orton lets the crowd know 15 years ago (the last time Raw was in Winnipeg) he was the Intercontinental Champion and encountered a man that we all know as Edge.
As Randy goes on with his apology, Kevin Owens comes out to confront the Viper. KO tells Randy that he is going to put his feud with his Seth Rollins on hold to deal with another delusional person. Owens then cut a passionate promo about seeing Edge get his dream back and getting to possibly share the ring with him.
Owens then lays down the challenge to fight Randy, tonight, and the Viper accepts!
Not a massive fan of a 15-minute promo segment to open Raw, but both men did a great job with their promos. The emotion they showed here resonated with the crowd, and this may be the best Orton has been in years. You can tell he is all-in with this storyline.
What took place on the rest of Raw? Check out the rest of my Raw review, followed by my rating of the show.
Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton:
Early on, this match spilled to the outside, and Owens hit a cannonball on Orton, who was sitting lifeless along the barricade. But just as KO went to the top rope, Rollins and company came out onto the ramp, and this allowed Randy to gain the edge into the commercial break.
But to even the odds, the Viking Raiders and Street Profits came running from the back to attack. This left Orton and Owens one-on-one in the ring. KO hit a Senton off the top rope, but then Rollins interfered, and Orton took advantage. Rollins then grabbed Owens leg on the outside, and this allowed Randy to hit the draping DDT.
However, the referee hit a VERY quick three count, and Orton was the winner. Rollins then went for two chairs and slid them into the ring toward Randy. Orton obliged, and Seth was screaming from the outside, “You know what you want to do, Randy!”
Owens, though, got up with a steel chair in hand, and Randy backed off. KO grabbed the referee and ripped off his shirt to reveal a “Monday Night Messiah” shirt. This sent Owens over the edge, and he hit the poor guy with a stunner.
Not quite finished, KO rolled out of the ring and grabbed a table, and planted the referee through it. Message sent to Rollins, he is not going anywhere. This was quite the ending as the crowd was on their feet for the closing moments.
Drew McIntyre sit-down interview:
The 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble winner sat down for a one-on-one interview. Drew guided us all down the twisted road of his journey from being the chosen one to being fired to now being back and having his first shot for the WWE Championship.
WWE is all about storytelling, especially when Wrestlemania season rolls around, and the story Drew has is one of redemption. You can tell Drew has rebuilt his brand since getting fired, and seeing this side of Drew will get the fans invested for his match even more.
I say all that to say, if McIntyre does not win, it is an absolute joke, and the company should be ashamed of themselves.
Elimination Chamber Contract Signing:
Five of the six women were out here for the contract signing, as Shayna Baszler was nowhere to be seen. Asuka was quick to point out the Queen of Spades was not here, but they went on with the signing without her.
As the contract was being passed around, Baszler’s music hit and she made her way through the crowd. After signing the contract, Baszler got in the face of Natalya, but Asuka stepped in, and an all-out brawl took place.
Liv Morgan did a dive over the table to take out Ruby Riott, and the five women not named Baszler took each other out. As Shayna was admiring the situation, Becky Lynch’s music hit, and ‘The Man’ wasted no time going after Shayna.
These two women took each other down and had to be separated by officials. This upcoming Elimination Chamber match seems absolutely meaningless, we all know where this is headed. Baszler vs. Lynch for the title at Wrestlemania, which will be one heck of a feud.
As for the rest of the women in this match, they are essentially being shoved to the back burner. Sucks to see, especially for Liv and Asuka.
Erick Rowman vs. Aleister Black:
So I guess the Erick Rowan saga is not quite over. Aleister Black made his way to the ring, still feeling the effects of the beatdown handed to him by the OC. This injury allowed Rowan to beat down Black for the early part of the match.
On the outside, Rowan was thrown into the timekeeper’s area. After the break, Rowan slammed Aleister down to the mat and gained a two-count. Black then countered with a knee strike, but that was only good for a near-fall.
Rowan tried to take Black on the outside, but Aleister stepped aside, and Rowan knocked the cage off the steps. Erick was distracted by his cage and walked into a pair of Black Masses, and Black picked up the win.
This was Black’s best showing in quite some time. Despite entering the match less than 100 percent, he fought through an early assault from Rowan and still put the big man down. While this was a great building block for Aleister, WWE needs to capitalize on this star in the making. May I suggest having him beat Styles next week?
Humberto Carrillo vs. Angel Garza:
Despite these two men interacting seemingly every week over the past month, they have yet to have a true one-on-one match. To no one’s surprise, this match was an incredible TV match.
Both men dug deep into their arsenal to try and put the other man away. They battled on the apron for a bit until Garza landed a moonsault onto Carrillo on the outside. Later on, Carrillo went to the top rope, but Zelina Vega ran interference to shut down Humberto and allowed Garza to land a Spanish Fly for a near fall.
Garza would come away with the win after he and Carrillo traded pinfall attempts late in the match. Overall this match was excellent, and I would not mind seeing a rematch on a pay-per-view later down the road.
Street Profits vs. Rollins and Murphy:
These two men do an incredible job of connecting with the crowd and hyping their match up.
Angelo Dawkins and Murphy only battled for a few minutes when Rollins interfered on Murphy’s behalf to protect him from another loss. As the two heels ran away, Montez Ford grabbed a mic and delivered a wicked line, telling Rollins that “Dawkins beat Murphy so bad last week they removed his first name.”
Ford then told Rollins would do the same thing to him too, which sends Seth back into the ring. An early dive from Montez gets the crowd into a frenzy. After the break, both Murphy and Dawkins were thrown out from ringside.
This entire segment, in my eyes, was all about showcasing the type of star Ford can be in the future. Montez went toe-to-toe with a former Universal Championship and took him to the wire. His high-flying style and charismatic attitude in the ring is just what WWE needs in a babyface.
Ford nearly put Rollins away when he countered a Pedigree and planted Seth with a DDT. However, after Ford connected with a sunset bomb, but then missed a splash, and then Seth hit a stomp for the win.
Even in defeat, Ford still showed he can hang with the big boys.
As for the tag team title match on Thursday, I hope the Street Profits win, but I fear that they will be the next casualty for the Monday Night Messiah and company.
Ricochet vs. Luke Gallows:
Ahead of his WWE Championship match this Thursday at Super Showdown, Ricochet was out here to take on big Luke Gallows. Early Ricochet landed a dive to the outside but was quickly shut down by a big boot from Gallows.
Big LG gave Ricochet a sample of what he could be in for later on this week when he faces Brock Lesnar. Gallows took several minutes beating down the No. 1 contender, but Ricochet was able to fight back and knocked the big man down to the mat with a step-up enzuigiri.
Still, on the attack, Ricochet landed a standing shooting star press for a two-count. Staying on the attack, he hit the recoil on Big LG before hitting a shooting star press from the top rope for the win.
Going into his title match Thursday, this was an excellent showcase for Ricochet. Backstage Paul Heyman looked on with a grin. The WWE Title match this week should be a good one, but we all know the outcome, right?
Backstage, AJ Styles calls out Aleister Black, who just happens to be passing by. The OC then jumps Black and leaves him laying after a three-on-one beatdown.
The Beast makes an appearance:
Brock Lesnar has his “mandatory” title defense this Thursday and decided to cross north of the border to grace the fine folks of Winnipeg with his presence.
Heyman says Brock feels like he owes Ricochet one after Ricochet went low on the beast in the Royal Rumble, which led to the Beast’s elimination.
Paul did his best to paint the picture of what happens “IF” Ricochet pulls off the ultimate upset. But Heyman is confident is his client’s ability and predicts his client will crush Drew McIntyre at Wrestlemania.
I think Paul Heyman is an excellent promo and does a great job at hyping matches, but how many times are we going to see this? That is the one bad thing about having Lesnar on the show a lot, he does not talk and does not fight, so Heyman has to cut a different version of the same promo.
It was the winter premiere of Truth TV, which featured Bobby Lashley and Lana. But, of course, Lana got on the mic and interrupted Truth and let him know he has a match against Bobby.
Truth’s comedy here was superb as always, but the match was to promote two members of the gauntlet match this Thursday at Super Showdown for the prestigious Tuwaiq trophy.
R-Truth used the moves of his childhood idol John Cena, but they were not enough as Lashley landed a spear for the win. Though these trophies from Saudi Arabia often lead nowhere, but they are building Lashley up to potentially be the holder of the Tuwaiq trophy.
Overall, this was a step up from last week’s subpar show. Kevin Owens fought against the Monday Night Messiah and company and even had to endure a referee seemingly under the spell of Rollins.
The Drew McIntyre interview was so simple, yet so effective. It paints the picture of a guy who had it all, lost it, and now is where he wanted to be from day one. Also, the Becky/Shayna feud would be excellent if it was not for the elimination chamber match being in the way. But I do enjoy Baszler being put right at the top of the card immediately from NXT, I wish that would happen with more NXT stars.
This was a step up from a week ago overall. My rating: 3.5 out of 5.