A 7-man Elimination Chamber is set, Fastlane's main event gets bigger this week in WWE

Robert O’Neill: We’re back for another week of Raw. And they’re opening with… Miz and John Cena? I’m here for it!

Chris Novak: Yup, a match to determine who is the #1 entrant in the Chamber. Basically, both of these dudes are trying to stave off the loss, because it could doom them come the Chamber.

Robert O’Neill: Every time I watch Miz I’m surprised by how good he is. Which is probably more on me than him, since he’s been elite for about 3 years and very good for 7.

Chris Novak: Very good match between Miz and Cena. I have no problem with Cena going over. Him being in an “Against All Odds” situation would have been, uh, way too #VintageCena for me. Miz being put in this spot fits for me because of how much he whines. So, now, he has his back against the wall.

Robert O’Neill: Matt Hardy came on the tron and said some shit. Excited* for his Mania preshow match with Bray Wyatt. *Not excited*

Robert O’Neill: AHEM. TOP GUYS WATCH: Dash and Dawson came out and attacked Gallows and Anderson from behind prior to their match, then worked the injured knee for the entire match. That’s good heeling and storytelling. They also won!

Chris Novak: Weird. I was told The Revival were buried six feet under after getting attacked 9-on-2 on RAW 25. They’re not supposed to win that emphatically after their heel work at the start of the match. It’s almost like people were fear mongering!

Robert O’Neill: Kurt Angle is here with a couple announcements! First, Ronda Rousey is going to Raw (interesting, more on that later.). Second, Jason Jordan is out indefinitely with a neck injury.

Chris Novak: Kurt is getting REALLY bad at this speaking thing. Also, Seth is now in the main event tonight. Should be a hoot. I still think Finn is going to win, but Seth being in is a wild card.

ANYWAY IT’S BAYLEY-SASHA TIME IN SAN JOSE.

Robert O’Neill: That was good. Bayley got a hometown victory, they teased a turn from Sasha, and Nia annihilated both of them.

Chris Novak: Tremendous showing of cockiness from Sasha. Great limb work. Great selling from Bayley. A really, really good finish. Loved Bayley fighting with adrenaline to hit Sasha with the middle-rope B2B. That was a very, VERY good match. Bayley has her mojo back, baby.

Robert O’Neill: Seth Rollins suddenly doesn’t have much going on, which is pretty exciting because he has a lot of options. As noted, he’s in the main event to maybe get in the Chamber, but he’ll also be tagging with Roman against The Bar at some point if the backstage interaction is to be believed.

Chris Novak: I’m not sure what they’re going to be doing with the Tag Titles or anything like that, but I expect that sooner or later… Rob will be happy here. What that means for us all? I don’t know.

Robert O’Neill: Alexa Bliss has a match tonight! She’s tagging with Mickie James against Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. This is a rare spectacle.

Chris Novak: Yeah, I feel like I’ve seen a unicorn. Mickie took the fall and got beat up, but then Alexa rescued her (again). I respect what they’re doing here. The match was fine, but it’s the story that matters here. And that story, of course, is that Absolution can and will run amok in the Chamber. And Alexa, fearing for her title, wants the assistance from Mickie, who she brought back last year, so that she can feel secure in the Chamber.

Chris Novak: I have COMPLETELY LOST IT. That segment with Braun and Elias was the greatest and the God damn funniest thing I’ve seen in WWE in a long time. THE MAN SMASHED A CELLO OR A DOUBLE BASS OR WHATEVER IT WAS ON ELIAS. AND BROKE THE STRINGS.

Robert O’Neill: Braun is quickly becoming one of the most entertaining superstars in WWE history. That’s not hyperbole, either.

Chris Novak: It’s amazing thinking about him and how fearful everyone was that he was going to face Undertaker at WrestleMania and be Vince’s new “pet” that he loved because he was big. Now, seemingly EVERYONE loves him.

Robert O’Neill: Roman Reigns had an amazing TV match. Drink.

Chris Novak: Hard-fought effort by Sheamus, but yeah, this was expected. I’m interested in seeing what Sheasaro do from there, considering there’s… well… no face teams right now on RAW. Another multi-team tag match at WestleMania? Perhaps.

Robert O’Neill: Ivory was always cool, I guess. Glad she’s going in the Hall of Fame. Probably would have put Victoria or Jazz or Molly Holly or CHYNA in, but now that people know what GLOW is (thanks Netflix!), there’s kind of a natural tie in. My only memory of Ivory is watching the Sunday morning WWE recap show (Bottom Line?) that she hosted with Todd Grisham or Josh Matthews. Help me out here and tell me this was a real thing, Chris. 

Chris Novak: Bottom Line was a thing! Yes. You’re correct, Rob. Also, I’m fine with Ivory getting in. She was always super-duper underrated. I can dig it.

Robert O’Neill: This Fatal Five-Way (stupid name, I hate calling it that), is cool. I would prefer if it was elimination instead

Chris Novak: Fatal Five-Way is [trash emojis]. Anywho, VERY good match. Abrupt end to the show, but this no doubt will plant some seeds between Seth and Finn going forward and also set up a qualifier for the final spot for next week’s main event. This is a better outcome than having nothing going on in the final show except a revolving door promo, an episode of MizTV with everyone on, or a six-man tag. This will be fine.

Robert O’Neill: After the show went off the air, Kurt Angle announced both Rollins AND Balor would be in the Chamber. This should be fun.

 

Quick Results

  • John Cena d. The Miz
  • The Revival d. Gallows and Anderson
  • Bayley d. Sasha Banks
  • Absolution d. Mickie James/Alexa Bliss
  • Roman Reigns d. Sheamus
  • Balor/Rollins d. Bray Wyatt, Matt Hardy, and Apollo Crews

Robert O’Neill: The coolest part of Ziggler leading off the show was I immediately went to start preparing my dinner. Apparently Owens and Zayn beat the hell out of Ziggler and Baron Corbin, which makes sense from a storyline perspective.

Chris Novak: It does. Of course they wouldn’t want either of them in the match. Ruins their chances of winning. I’m not excited for how this is going to end. I can just picture Shane going on about Land of Opportunities or whatever and making it a 5-way at Fastlane. Shoot me.

Anywho, time for a match with Sarah Logan and Charlotte. And… oh, here come Becky and Naomi to “even the odds.” Did we need to have all these girls in the same segment? The difference between how RAW and SDL use their women is night and freaking day. SDL, in general, has had their division in the freezer since the brand split, to me.

At least the match was good. Logan has talent. Frankly, all of Riott Squad does.I just wish they’d, like, you know, make this more impactful.

Robert O’Neill: Shane and Bryan are talking and… look at that! The thing you said was going to happen, happened, Chris!

Chris Novak: I’m so not happy to be right.

Robert O’Neill: So Baron Corbin is facing Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler is facing Sami Zayn. Zayn and Owens can’t get involved in the other’s match or they’ll be removed. Corbin got the win and actually got cheers. Shame on you, Bakersfield.

Chris Novak: It’s actually pretty miraculous that they got people to cheer Corbin. Maybe SDL isn’t as bad as we think it is.

Robert O’Neill: BOB ROODE is here! He’s bringing the US Title Open back! Unfortunately, Randy Orton was the one to answer. Then, Jinder Mahal came out to say some stuff and everyone argued about the Smackdown top 10 list from last week and Orton RKO’d Sunil Singh.

Chris Novak: I liked Jinder being a bit of an agitator, to be honest. He played his role well, forced his cohort to get beat, and then beat up both Roode and Orton. Jinder is MUCH better in this role than being a main event heel. So this all worked well for me.

Robert O’Neill: I like New Day and I like American Beta, so it’s no surprise that this match was fun. The Smackdown tag division remains quite good. I’m here for it.

Chris Novak: More than okay with the possibility of a New Day feud with Benjamin and Gable. Find it amusing that it was over pancakes tonight. But, Shelton and Chad have been on an anti-fun crusade. So it all really adds up. Very fun match here. Figured Benjamin and Gable would win, but, New Day needed the dub anyway. Fun stuff.

Robert O’Neill: Ziggler was interviewed by Renee Young. Something about opportunities and whatever. Watch any Ziggler promo from the last 4 years and it was the same thing.

Chris Novak: It’s unfair, I guess. Actually, no it’s not. I just have no interest in anything Dolph does. He’s just been the same character for years now. I can’t do it.

Robert O’Neill: The match was actually fine. My problem with Dolph has never been in-ring. It’s that he’s a shithead both behind the scenes and in character. He won and the match is a fatal five-way (not a thing), but Styles is going to retain so… what does it matter?

Chris Novak: Sami and Dolph had a great match. I just don’t care about Dolph at all. The 5-way should be fun at Fastlane. Let’s just hope they don’t do anything crazy and just have the road to WM be Nakamura vs. Styles.

Quick Results

  • Charlotte Flair d. Sarah Logan
  • Baron Corbin d. Kevin Owens
  • New Day d. Gable and Benjamin
  • Dolph Ziggler d. Sami Zayn

MIXED MATCH CHALLENGE

Robert O’Neill: I’ll defer to our resident Bayley expert for this.

Chris Novak: This Tournament is trash. Trash, trash, gutter trash. Terrible concept. Terrible idea. It’s dead to me. I’m glad they’re hemorrhaging viewers! I hope Facebook wants nothing to do with them anymore after this is over! They deserve it!

Robert O’Neill: Lana and Rusev won.