WWE RAW 2/12/18 – SAP Center, San Joe, CA – We’re trying something a little different for TVE/PWP today, a live RAW review. Refresh this page throughout the night between 7pm and 10:15pm, as it’s a live review of tonight’s show and will be continuously updated. This is a review, so a little more in depth than the live results we’ve done in the past, but this won’t be like most sites that do the live play-by-play. If it works out well, I’ll see about doing it again next week and maybe eventually doing it for Smackdown Live as well.
First update will probably be around 7:15 pm CT, and each time a segment or match ends I’ll update with a brief recap of what happened with my thoughts posted underneath it.
~ RAW opened with John Cena talking about making the impossible possible by winning the Elimination Chamber and going on to WrestleMania to beat Brock Lesnar to win the Universal Championship. Cena was interrupted by Miz who claimed he’d win and go on to beat Lesnar. Cena challenged Miz to a match where the loser would enter the Chamber first. Miztourage attacked Cena, and Miz accepted. Kurt Angle made the match official and ordered Axel and Dallas to the back.
Stinger’s View: A decent opening segment.
Match 1: The Miz vs. John Cena – A back and forth match. Miz survived the STF and kicked out of an Attitude Adjustment. Cena likewise escaped the Figure Four and kicked out of the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz attempted a Super Skull Crushing Finale, but Cena reversed it into a Super Attitude Adjustment for the one, two, three. Miz will enter the Elimination Chamber first.
John Cena defeated The Miz via pinfall.
Stinger’s View: A good opening match between these two who have always had fairly good chemistry. Miz was booked to look quite strong in this match, which was great to see considering he was alone and more importantly is the Intercontinental Champion.
~ A “Woken” Matt Hardy video promo aired with Matt talking about his second chance. He said the seven dieties will help him render the other three individuals in the Fatal Four-Way obsolete and that he’d turn the Elimination Chamber into the Deletion Chamber.
Stinger’s View: A short and entertaining “Woken” promo that did an effective job of hyping up the four-way match in the main event.
Match #2: The Good Brothers vs. The Revival – Anderson and Gallows did a backstage video calling The Revival nerds. The Revival attacked The Good Brothers from behind as they were making their entrance. This was your pretty standard match from these two teams that we’ve been seeing for the past few weeks. The Revival picked up the win by pinning Karl Anderson.
The Revival defeated The Good Brothers via pinfall.
Stinger’s View: These are two of the best tag teams in the entire company and both deserve better tan this meaningless feud. This would be a great feud for the titles, instead we’re getting these mostly short throwaway matches with each team trading wins. I won’t knock the match because it was decent for what it was, but I do question the booking.
~ Kurt Angle announced that Ronda Rousey will be signing her WWE contract at Elimination Chamber. Angle then announced that Jason Jordan had an MRI and had to have neck surgery. The fans cheered when Angle announced Jordan would miss WrestleMania, and Angle said the fans should be ashamed of themselves. Seth Rollins interrupted and said he was sorry about Jason. Rollins said he wanted RAW to be Monday Night Rollins again. That he wanted to be the man and wanted to beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Seth wants in the Elimination Chamber match and proposed that Angle add him to the second chance match and make it a Fatal Five-Way. Angle was reluctant, but left it up the fans. Seth was added to the match tonight.
Stinger’s View: A nice in ring segment. Good of WWE to announce the Ronda Rousey appearance at Elimination Chamber well ahead of the event. A contract signing itself isn’t typically a big deal, but in this case it is. I assume that contract signing will be setting up Ronda’s WrestleMania match. As far as Seth Rollins goes, I like the addition of him to the match and it makes sense considering the other four men are getting a second chance having already lost an opportunity to get into the Chamber, so it isn’t as if Rollins is getting some unfair advantage.
~ A Bray Wyatt video aired with his usual talking. He said he’d win the Elimination Chamber for the second straight year and would once again have the whole world in his hands.
Match #3: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley – Sasha worked heelish, talking trash, working over Bayley’s injured shoulder and even using the ropes for extra leverage. In the end, her heeling it up wasn’t enough as Bayley caught Banks with a Bayley to Belly from the second rope for the pinfall.
Bayley defeated Sasha Banks via pinfall.
Stinger’s View: Really good match between the two best friends. Sasha’s playing up the heel wasn’t surprising. After the match, the two had a staredown and then Nia Jax appeared from behind Sasha and laid out both women. Bayley tried to move Sasha out of the way, but wasn’t fast enough.
~ Nia did an interview saying Bayley and Sasha took Asuka to her limit, and she just laid out both of them in seconds. Nia says she’ll defeat Asuka at Elimination Chamber.
~ A backstage segment aired with Roman and Seth talking and joking about Seth possibly being in the Elimination Chamber. They were interrupted by Cesaro and Sheamus, who were joking about how bad a partner Seth Rollins must be and wondering if Ambrose and Jordan are rehabbing together.
~ A video package on Asuka aired. 860 days since her WWE debut, and she is 240-0.
Stinger’s View: I really hope WWE doesn’t blow the Asuka undefeated streak. 240-0 is amazing, and when she finally does lose it needs to be a big deal and more importantly the time for it needs to be right and make storyline sense.
~ A backstage interview took place with Titus Worldwide. Titus interviewed Apollo Crews about the Fatal Five-Way match upcoming. Dana Brooke said “Crews can’t lose.” Apollo said he would take one small step for Apollo Crews, one giant leap for Titus Worldwide.
~ Still backstage, Mickie James asked Alexa Bliss what she was up to and why they’re teaming up tonight. Alexa said she just wanted to clear the air and that she said mean things about Mickie in the past because she was jealous of Mickie.
Stinger’s View: Fun segment. Alexa and Mickie have always had good chemistry.
Match #4: Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville w/Paige vs. Mickie James & Alexa Bliss – Mickie and Mandy started things off. Mickie and Alexa worked well together, but still lost when Mickie got pinned. After the match, Absolution was beating down Mickie when Alexa made the save. A short match.
Absolution defeated Mickie James and Alexa Bliss via pinfall.
Stinger’s View: The Coach said that Mandy Rose wanted to be referred to as “the Total Package,” and I have no objection to that. This was a really short match, and didn’t do much. I’ve liked the pairing of Mickie and Alexa since their Smackdown days, and this was more of the same. They’re a fun pair, even when Mickie doesn’t trust her. Meanwhile we’re entering the third hour and have only had four matches, two of which were pretty short.
~ Elias came out and performed a new song, but before he did so he ran down California and got the crowd to repeat what WWE stands for. The song was about Elimination Chamber, and was a good one. JoJo interrupted and introduced Braun Strowman who appeared in a spotlight on the stage area with a large cello and sung a song for Elias that was very entertaining. Strowman then laid waste to Elias and then shattered the cello across Elias’ back.
Stinger’s View: Elias has quickly become one of my favorites. By far one of the best characters in WWE currently, and he’s pretty good in the ring as well. Should be a major star in the future, he definitely has the “IT” factor. As good as Elias was, the Strowman stuff was awesome. Funny song and a good moment for the big man. This was the best segment I’ve seen on RAW in sometime and between two guys who should be the future of the company. This solidifies that Strowman is the best face in the company right and McMahon would be foolish not to pull the trigger on him. If you didn’t see this segment, track it down on YouTube or something. Fantastic from start to finish.
~ A Finn Balor backstage video aired. He wants to make the most of his second chance and getting closer to recapturing what he never lost, the Universal Championship.
Match #5: Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns – A competitive match between Sheamus and Reigns. Roman picked up the win after sometime following a spear to Sheamus who had jumped from the top role.
Roman Reigns defeated Sheamus via pinfall.
Stinger’s View: I cringe every time Roman comes to the ring, not because I just dislike Roman, but rather because I know Michael Cole is about to say that stupid “It’s the BIG DAWG” line that is equally as annoying as “it’s BOSS TIME.” That aside, this was a good match and both men worked hard. This was a win Roman needed heading into Elimination Chamber, and the finishing spear was pretty cool. Good stuff.
~ A video package aired for new Hall of Fame inductee Ivory.
It’s main event time!
Second Chance Fatal Five-Way Match: Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor vs. Matt Hardy vs. Apollo Crews vs. Seth Rollins – Really strong main event that got over 20 minutes. It’s a five way match, so you know how these multi-men matches go. Things really picked up near the end. They did the powerbomb/superplex spot involving four men, and as a result both Rollins and Finn Balor covered Bray Wyatt and the ref counted to three. There was confusion as both men won the match, and RAW went off the air without a definitive answer.
Seth Rollins and Finn Balor won the Second Chance Fatal Five Way Match via pinfall on Bray Wyatt.
Stinger’s View: Great main event. I liked the finish. I don’t think anyone would’ve expected to see two people win by pinning the same person at the same time, so kudos for shaking it up some. I also like they we don’t know what’s going to happen. RAW ended on a cliff hanger, and that makes you want to tune in next week to see what happens. I suspect we’ll get Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins next week, just so they can really milk this sixth spot out. Having said that, I hope they change things up and let both men in. Just start the Chamber as a Triple Threat and let the other four enter as usual.
Overall, an enjoyable RAW and a memorable one thanks in large part to the amazing Elias/Strowman segment and the finish to the main event.