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WWE Raw 2/8: Rating and Ranking Every Match

WWE Raw kicked off with Shane McMahon and Adam Pearce in the ring to make a big announcement. At the Elimination Chamber, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre will defend his title in an Elimination Chamber match. McIntyre will face Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, The Miz, Sheamus, and Randy Orton.

Each WWE Raw match will be reviewed and rated, as well as ranking from worst to best.

Matches Ranked from Worst to Best

8/7) Tables Match: Lana defeats Nia Jax
Nia Jax continues her previous feud with Lana after putting her through a total of 9 tables over the last year. Jax uses her power early and often, including connecting with a powerbomb. Jax then swings Lana by her feet as she smashes her head into the turnbuckle. Lana attempts a comeback but it’s quickly cut off by the overpowering Nia Jax. Jax finds herself knocked off the apron and then pushed through a table by Lana.

After the commercial break, we get an impromptu Shayna Baszler vs Naomi match. Baszler gets the early advantage but when Baszler gets distracted by Lana, Naomi rolls her up for the quick win.

Match Analysis: The table match was rough stuff. Lana doesn’t seem like she’s ready to wrestle on this stage and Nia seems constantly careless. Nothing at all to see from either match. Take a Pass. DUD for the Tables Match, * for the Baszler/Naomi.

Bad Bunny Arrives

6) Damien Priest defeats Angel Garza
Edge comes to the ring to discuss who he will be facing at Wrestlemania. The Miz, John Morrison, and Angel Garza then confront the Rated R Superstar. The Miz warns that he might cash in his MITB briefcase if Edge wins the title a Wrestlemania. After Edge exits, Bad Bunny comes to the ring as he is in the corner of Damien Priest on WWE Raw. Priest gets the early advantage with an attack in the corner and a spin kick on Garza for two.

The Miz gets a cheap shot on Damien Priest allowing Garza to lock in an ankle lock. Priest is then closelined over the top allowing Miz and Morrison to double team on the outside. Bad Bunny grabs the MITB briefcase to draw Miz and Morrison back into the ring. The ref tosses Miz ad Morrison as Priest hits the Reckoning on Garza for the win.

Match Analysis: I get the mainstream appeal of Bad Bunny, but this angle isn’t working so far. This delivered nothing of note. Take a Pass. *

Tag Team Action

5) The New Day vs Retribution (T-Bar & Slapjack)
Mustafa Ali is on commentary raging about corporate WWE. Xavier Woods starts things off with Slapjack using a headlock to wear down the masked man. Kofi Kingston tags in and connects with a top rope dropkick/Russian leg sweep double deep. T-Bar makes the tag in who uses his power to get the quick advantage on Kingston, including a chokeslam takedown. Kingston is able to knock T-Bar and Slapjack to the outside before taking them both out with a plancha.

The match resumes with Retribution wearing down Xavier Woods with a variety of strikes and submission holds. A double team chokeslam/backdrop to Woods only gets a 2 count. Kofi Kingston makes the hot tag in who cleans house before mocking Ali on the outside. The New Day then hit Day Break for the win on WWE Raw.

Match Analysis: As a match itself it was fine, but the real stand out was the commentary from Ali. It’s only a matter of time before Retribution adds another member or Ali breaks free. Skim It. **1/2

WWE Raw: Father-Daughter Conflict

4) Lacey Evans defeats Charlotte by DQ
Ric Flair and Lacey Evans come down to the ring on WWE Raw as they both run down Charlotte. Charlotte then makes her way down to the ring and accepts Evan’s challenge. Evans jumps Charlotte to start as she works over the arm. Charlotte makes her come back with a rollup and a dropkick. Evans goes back to the arm and sweeps Charlotte to the ground. A slingshot elbow from the apron to the ring by Evans continues her offense. As Charlotte attempts a comeback, Evans uses Ric as a shield to cut her off before a commercial break.

WWE Raw returns with Lacey Evans holding on to momentum but then goes to the top rope. Evans misses a moonsault leading to Charlotte unloading on Evans with a big boot getting a 2 count. Ric Flair distracts his daughter on the outside leading to Evans going back to the arm. Charlotte connects with several elbows on Evans in the corner but is then disqualified after pushing the referee.

Match Analysis: A better than expected match as the Charlotte vs Ric/Lacey feuds is actually getting interesting. People can hate on Ric all they want, but he is a star that is doing his best to rub off on Evans. Worth a Watch if you include the pre-match promo. **1/2

WWE: Phenomenal Enigma

3) AJ Styles defeated Jeff Hardy
Both men are former WWE Champions and champions during their days in IMPACT Wrestling. Jeff Hardy is able to overwhelm AJ Styles with a series of chain wrestling, before a sitting dropkick and a backdrop gets a two count. Hardy continues his offense until his knee buckles causing him to retreat to the outside. Styles capitalizes by taking out Hardy’s leg leading him to smash it into the steel steps.

Back from a commercial break on WWE Raw as AJ Styles is continuing on his attack to Jeff Hardy’s knee. Hardy makes his comeback, including a sitting dropkick and a face-first release suplex which both get a two count. After Styles attempts the Styles-Clash, Hardy is able to reverse it but then misses the Swanton bomb. Styles then locks in the calf-crusher again which gets the win.

Match Analysis: Solid, yet unspectacular match between both men. While nothing happened that would fit on a highlight reel, both men told a story and it worked well enough. Worth a Watch. **3/4

WWE Raw: Main Event

2) Non-Title Match: Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton
The WWE Raw main event starts lightening quick as Orton goes for the RKO but it’s blocked by McIntyre. Drew attempts a Claymore but Orton is able to mail to the outside. Drew catches Orton on the ropes and attempts a draping DDT but is unable to connect. Sheamus’ music hits and the Celtic Warrior appears. Drew is distracted causing Orton to take advantage.

After the commercial break, Randy Orton continues his assault on Drew McIntyre until the champion turns the table with a neckbreaker. A spinebuster by McIntyre gets only a two as he quickly heads to the top rope. Orton cuts him off with multiple right hands. A superplex by Orton and a cover by McIntyre kicks out at 2 and a half. A draping DDT by Orton gives him the control once again but an RKO attempt is reversed into a Future Shock DDT. Sheamus then runs into the ring and hits a BroKick on Orton before McIntyre connects with a Claymore. McIntyre celebrates to end the show.

Match Analysis: Perfectly acceptable wrestling from two veterans, though there was nothing we haven’t seen before. The run-in from Sheamus makes sense as it protects everyone heading into the Elimination Chamber in two weeks. Skim It. **3/4

WWE: US Title Confrontation

1) Keith Lee defeated Riddle
Riddle quickly applies a flying armbar but Keith Lee is able to power out of it as Riddle lands on his feet. Riddle attempts several submissions, but Lee is able to shake them off without much issue. After landing several hard strikes, Riddle is met with a huge tackle by Lee after an attempted splash.

Keith Lee and Riddle exchange forearms before Riddle attempts an exploder suplex. Lee counters with a double overhand chop. Riddle counters a spirit bomb before a knee to the face gets two. A Floating Bro by Riddle gets two followed by three brotons. Lee catches a Riddle knee who then reverses again into an armbar. The Final Flash knee by Riddle connects but Lee shakes it off to land a Spirit Bomb for the win. After the match, Lashley runs into the ring to attack Lee and Riddle.

Match Analysis: Good match but unfortunately it fell victim to the WWE Raw complex of keeping it too short and restricting the hard-hitting action. A Lashley program with Keith Lee will be a lot of fun though, so I’m all for it. Worth a Watch. ***1/4

 

Robby Steven

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