(Please note these are UK times)
4:10 – That’s the end of that then. Who was in the damn limo? Is this going to be another unsolved mystery that maddens and frustrates wrestling fans forever? Or maybe it was just Hunter and Steph and the announcers forgot to mention it. Who knows, it’s after 4 am and I am beginning to hallucinate like Kurt Angle. Goodnight everybody.
4:08 – Steph wants to put everything behind them but Ronda is unwilling to let it go until Steph says sorry for slapping her. She threatens to rip Steph’s arm from its socket if she doesn’t. The crowd approve. Steph – for the first time in her life showing humility – apologizes profusely and bails. On the way out, Triple H decks Kurt with a punch to the mouth. For bantz, I assume.
4:05 – Kurt runs out to stop Ronda from ripping Steph and Triple H’s head off. Ronda is having none of it, furious about being slapped and disrespected. Kurt, begging for his job, claims what Steph and Trips said about him lying is true and he apologizes. He’s been manipulated, you see.
4:03 – Steph says that Kurt Angle was hallucinating last night and none of what he said was true. Nice try. Steph then explains how things work in WWE – in short, she is in charge and everyone is underneath her and answers to her. Yeah, tell us something we don’t know. Steph demands that Kurt comes out to apologize but Ronda marches to the ring instead with hell in her eyes . . .
4:00 – That’s three times this Rousey/Chamber package has aired now.
3:59 – It’s time for Ronda Rousey to bow down to Stephanie McMahon
3:54 – Who is in the limo? The Rock. Doubtful. Vince McMahon? Probably not. Brock and Heyman? Maybe, but it’s not their style. I have no idea!
3:53 – Elias gets himself disqualified by using a fire extinguisher on Braun on the outside. Despite being blinded, Strowman still manages to get the better of Elias. I don’t really agree with him selling so much. This is a man who has walked away from certain death repeatedly over the past year. Unloading a fire extinguisher in his eyes shouldn’t have any impact whatsoever on the guy. Braun’s pursuit of Elias spills backstage where an ominous black limo pulls up besides him. The announcers completely ignore it, making them look like imbeciles.
3:48 – The reaction to Strowman is not what it has been of late. Seems that despite destroying everyone – with one notable exception – in last night’s Elimination Chamber match, him taking a pinfall defeat has hurt his aura. The same thing happened when he jobbed to Brock Lesnar at No Mercy. Braun is over because he is invincible, once the cracks start to show the appeal diminishes. WWE need to be very careful with Braun, because he is one of their great success stories of the past few years and they are in danger of having him be in the dreaded Lex Luger “choker” spot.
3:45 – Man has this third hour been a slog so far. Nothing has happened!
3:35 – It is time for another feud that won’t die – Elias vs. Braun Strowman. Elias regales us with a song, as ever.
3:30 – There’s a nice video for the Warrior Award Hall of Fame inductee Jarrius “JJ” Robertson, a 15-year-old who had battled incredible adversity with liver illness since birth. The debate will rage on forever about WWE using Warrior’s name for the award because it was not at all what he intended when pitching the award and also given his own unsavory past, but it is tough to criticize something like this. Anyway, it’s a Hall of Fame with Koko B. Ware, The Godfather and The Bushwhackers in it, so what does it really matter anyway?
3:25 – Sheamus and Cesaro wonder about WrestleMania, assuming they will be punished for being too good and having beaten everyone in their path. “Who is there left to beat?” They’ve got a point.
3:23 – That was FAR too long. The Bar win it 2-0, hopefully ending this mundane rivalry forever.
3:11 – Brogue Kick, 1-0 Bar. Poor Titus.
3:10 – We have our first pay-per-view repeat match, as Titus Worldwide receive another tag title shot at The Bar, this time in a 2/3 Falls Match. I have seen this match approximately 1,427 times this year already. Please, let this be the end of it!
3:09 – For those who haven’t seen it.
— WWE (@WWE) February 27, 2018
3:02 – That might have been the babyface promo of the year from Roman Reigns.
2:59 – Roman says Brock is not here and he is an “entitled piece of crap who hides behind his contact” then he buries Lesnar for being in Vegas taking pictures with Dana White while WWE were presenting Elimination Chamber in the same city. “He doesn’t respect anyone, and we’re all sick of it”. Man, this is one HELL of a babyface promo from Reigns. It’s a helluva way to bury Brock on the way out and make the audience side with Roman. It might actually work . . .
2:55 – It’s time for the Roman Reigns showdown with Brock Lesnar. There is a definite sense of déjà vu about this. I hope they don’t have a tug of war with the title belt . . .
2:52 – Okay, I was wrong about the Strowman thing. I still think that is the direction they will go though, eventually. Perhaps leaving Balor to face Rollins at WrestleMania, which is a match with some history that would be another worthy addition to what could be the strongest card on paper in many years.
2:47 – “Let’s get Mantaur out here. Let’s get Abe ‘Knuckleball’ Schwartz, he might want to go to WrestleMania” – Corey Graves has fully lost his mind. Maybe there was something in that bleach he used on his hair.
2:45 – Why is everyone so worried about what they are doing at WrestleMania? It is still six weeks away. Everyone just needs to calm down a bit. There’s no need for this urgency.
2:42 – It’s just dawned on me that this is essentially a one-man gauntlet for The Miz (I fully expect he will lose to Balor, wrestle Strowman next, lose, then Strowman, Balor and Rollins with battle in a three-way next week for the shot at Miz). I wonder if WWE just assumed the gauntlet stip was the draw last week rather than the long, mostly good matches?
2:37 – “Miz might face Outback Jack at WrestleMania” – Corey Graves. Erm . . . Okay.
2:36 – Kurt Angle’s decision making comes into question once again as he books Finn Balor vs. The Miz during the break. The Miztourage save their leader which brings out Balor Club for the pier-sixer. Kurt Angle appears on the screen and declares that Miz vs. Balor will happen with Miztourage and Balor Club banned from ringside. If there is no winner then Miz won’t be at WrestleMania. I don’t know why Angle has it in for Miz, but he clearly does. I also don’t know why WWE are booking Miz as the sympathetic babyface but, hey, it’s WWE: most things don’t make sense.
2:28 – Seth Rollins beats The Miz with a frogsplash from three quarters of the way across the ring. Michael Cole almost has an aneurysm putting over the leap. It was alright. Hardly “something we will be talking about for a very long time” like Coach claims. For some reason, here comes Finn Balor . . .
2:19 – It’s already been a very talky show tonight and there is a lot more to come with Ronda Rousey, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. How strange that WWE would follow a show with a near two-hour match that did a super strong rating with the polar opposite this week.
2:17 – This whole “might” business feels very much like “we don’t really know for sure yet so we will just throw some stuff out there and see what sticks” to me. Maybe they have had second thoughts about wasting Strowman in such a meaningless spot. I hope so.
2:15 – Remember, you can tweet us your questions and comments about Raw, Elimination Chamber or anything else to @jdixonwriter
2:11 – Miz loses his temper at Kurt Angle telling him tonight’s opponent “might” determine who he faces at WrestleMania. He tells whoever it is to come and fight him right now. To my surprise – and the crowd’s – Seth Rollins answers the challenge. The rumored match (that nobody wants) is Miz vs. Braun Strowman, and it might still be, but this is a curveball.
2:05 – Miz points out that he is 62 days away from becoming the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time (cumulatively, not for a single run) name-dropping Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Pedro Morales, Edge, and Chris Jericho and declaring himself better than them all. He’s not, but he is certainly one of the best IC champs in history in terms of what he has done for the title when carrying it.
2:00 – WWE are heavily pushing Ronda Rousey’s appearance tonight, repeating last night’s Elimination Chamber showdown with Triple H and Stephanie for the second time in a prime channel flipping spot. I don’t blame them of course. When you have a star the caliber of Rousey it makes all the sense in the world to use her to bring in a new audience.
1:58 – Miz finds out his WrestleMania opponent next. I think we all know who it is already but formalities are what they are.
1:56 – Bray wipes out Rhyno and Heath Slater then goes on one of his typically ludicrous rants. As usual he is all big talk and threats, despite his constant inability to back it up. He tells Matt Hardy they will meet again but neglects to say when, in what sort of match, or indeed why anyone needs to see it for the millionth time. Unless this is Final Deletion (or the WWE equivalent) I have little interest in seeing them clash again.
1:54 – Break out the beach balls, it’s time for Bray Wyatt
1:49 – TROLLING! Cena says the match is not happening. He claims he has been told it is not happening because it is “impossible”. Apparently that’s a lesson for the crowd in disappointment. How bizarre. Cena declares he is going to go to SmackDown Live tomorrow night to figure out a path to ‘Mania that way. He is advertised for Fastlane, so that makes sense. Worry not though, The Undertaker match is still going to happen – this is merely the appetite whetting portion of the build. They will get there. They wouldn’t throw ‘Taker’s name around in such a manner (or have him randomly on Raw 25) and make people want it without having a payoff.
1:45 – Cena puts out a WrestleMania challenge to . . . (drum roll) The Undertaker! The crowd, as you might expect, goes bananas.
1:42 – John Cena stares at the WrestleMania sign and calls himself a failure. In the 24 hours since last night’s breakdown on Raw Talk he has figured out his Road to WrestleMania . . .
1:35 – HOW WILL JOHN CENA GET TO WRESTLEMANIA? We will find out next. My money is on Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Who is with me? There was actually a year that he declared himself in that, until he bagged himself a real match, of course.
1:32 – Asuka wins (of course) by tapping Mickie James (again, of course) after a nice final sequence. After the match, Sasha glares at Bayley, who stares glassy-eyed into the distance. Oh, it’s on with these two. And you know what? Good! If they can do anything approaching their classic in Brooklyn three years ago then it will be a worthy addition to the card.
1:31 – Sasha goes for a tag and Bayley drops off the apron like she is Sid Justice in 1992, denying her the salvation. Well it’s about damn time!
1:30 – “It’s one thing to ask your body to do it, it’s another thing to force your body to do it” – Jonathan Coachman on . . . who the hell even knows? I can only assume he is describing how he once got piles . . .
1:28 – I am not sure what the purpose of this match is. It feels like filler, and the opener is a strange spot for filler. On another note, the last I heard the plan was to still do Charlotte vs. Asuka for the SmackDown Women’s Title at WrestleMania, and I am not sure how they are going to get there from this current booking thread. Obviously nothing is going to happen on that front until after Fastlane, but it feels like WWE are wasting time hyping something (Bliss vs. Asuka) that is not happening.
1:23 – This is my thought exactly. It’s as if it were booked by two different crews.
@JDixonWriter apparently the WWE creative didn’t watch last nights EC because the woman’s storyline makes no sense.
— Der Mexikanische (@Gojira202) February 27, 2018
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