As you will likely well know by now, WWE has set up shop in Philadelphia for a few days. They kicked the weekend off on Saturday with an incredible NXT Takeover, then followed up on Sunday night with two terrific Royal Rumble matches. The show must go on however and now they needed Raw to impress. Following on from Raw 25 and the arrival of Ronda Rousey, there were likely going to be a lot of eyeballs on Monday night’s show, so it needed to impress.
5. Back To The Campaign Trail For Kane
Kane may still be The Devil’s Favorite Demon in some form or fashion, but really the man behind the mask has a life and career outside of wrestling nowadays. His latest stay in WWE has lasted longer than many would have expected but it looks like it may have come to an end on Monday night. The Big Red Machine went one on one in a last man standing match with Braun Strowman, the winner booking themselves a spot in next month’s Elimination Chamber which will decide Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania opponent. That match did not take long. Strowman littered weapons around the ring before Kane had even come through the curtain and used them to debilitate his opponent. Just a few minutes in The Monster Among Men tipped over the stage that the announce table is on, crushing Kane underneath it. Needless to say he did not answer the ten count.
4. Roman Reigns’ Road To WrestleMania Is Becoming Clearer
It is widely believed that the Universal Title match at WrestleMania 34 will be between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. For the time being The Big Dog hasn’t officially begun his journey towards that match and instead had unfinished business with The Miz to take care of on Monday night. Reigns cashed in his contractually obligated rematch for the Intercontinental Championship but with everything going on at ringside via The Miztourage, it was always going to be a tall order for the former IC Champ to reclaim the crown. While taking care of Bo Dallas, Reigns was rolled up by The Awesome One who saw an opportunity and took it. Next week on Raw? Presumably an Elimination Chamber qualifier for The Big Dog.
3. Asuka Faced Her Toughest Test Yet
Raw opened on Monday night with Stephanie McMahon announcing that next month there will be the first ever women’s Elimination Chamber match. In the same breath she informed Asuka that she may want to wait to decide which champion she faces as the Raw Women’s Title could change hands inside the demonic structure. The two ladies were interrupted as Sasha Banks came to the ring to brag about her showing in the first ever women’s Royal Rumble. What resulted was the booking of a match between the aforementioned first’s two MVPs. The Empress of Tomorrow’s undefeated streak faced its biggest threat yet in the form of The Boss. Both women went about looking like they wanted to kill one another and in what ended with a battle of submissions it was Banks tapping to the Asuka Lock.
2. Third Time Unlucky For Titus World Wide
The last two times that Apollo Crews and Titus O Neil have taken on The Bar they have managed to pull of shock wins. The question is how many shock wins do you have to pull off before those victories are no longer surprising? Titus Worldwide got another shot at Sheamus and Cesaro this past Monday but this one had an added twist. The Bar won the Raw Tag Team Titles at the Royal Rumble and had to put them on the line just 24 hours later in this one. Turns out those other two wins will still be considered shocks or anomalies though as Crews and O Neil couldn’t get it done and make it three straight wins over The Bar. The European pair remain your Raw Tag Team Champions for the time being.
1. John Cena Is Just Trying To Get To WrestleMania
In the last of three Elimination Chamber qualifying matches on Raw, John Cena took on Finn Balor for the first time ever. Elias and Braun Strowman had already booked their spots earlier in the evening and now it was the turn of these two men. Despite it being their first meeting one on one, there was a little bit of built in animosity between the pair. Just 24 hours prior Cena eliminated Balor from the Royal Rumble. A pretty good match ensued and it quickly became a story of the 16 time World Champion desperately trying to figure out what exactly he needed to do to put the Irishman away. Well eventually he figured it out and finished Balor off with an AA from the second rope, thus booking his spot in next month’s Elimination Chamber.
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