29th Jan2019

WWE Raw – Jan 28th 2019: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

2018-raw-logo

Welcome to this week’s Raw review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a big episode of Raw that might have actually been good. I know, I know…Raw can’t be good.

Match #1: Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Seth Rollins has won the Men’s Royal Rumble Match, he’s pointed at the sign, and he’s off on The Road to WrestleMania, whether he’s ready or not. Though The Kingslayer had promised to take his time deciding who he would challenge at The Showcase of the Immortals, Triple H came out to force his former protégé’s hand by informing him that WWE Champion Daniel Bryan and Universal Champion Brock Lesnar would both be in the building later in the night, and Rollins had to pick his poison by the end of the night. The King of Kings’ session was quickly interrupted, however, by Dean Ambrose, who successfully wheedled his way into a match against Rollins by dropping a salient point or two (Rollins has pretty much never beaten him without help) and striking a nerve with Triple H, who was hesitant at first to make the match (“Do you need to ask your father-in-law for permission?”). Ambrose did indeed have Rollins’ number at the outset, as some combination of wear and tear and the magnitude of the choice before him seemed to leave The Architect a step slower than usual. In fact, Ambrose nearly ensnared Rollins in La Magistral, but The Kingslayer rallied in characteristic fashion, answering with the bucklebomb, superkick, and a Stomp to put Ambrose away — much to the visible frustration of The Lunatic Fringe.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was good, but not great. Seth looked excellent, but Dean just wrestles like a deer in head-lights. I never thought I’d be saying that about Dean, but he really needs to take another year off to let his body finish healing. That being said, Dean doesn’t have the luxury of taking a little time off just to relax, so I’ll just hope that he gets his full range of motion back, even if it’s slow. Also, this match was a reminder of how boring the WWE style is, because the whole thing was just a formula that felt produced, rather than wrestled.

Match #2: Nia Jax & Tamina def. Alexa Bliss & Mickie James to qualify for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

We officially have a tandem in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match — and, perhaps, a front-runner: The first tag team to qualify for the historic bout will be Nia Jax & Tamina, thanks to a victory over Alexa Bliss & Mickie James. The lion’s share of credit for the win goes to The Irresistible Force, whose dominant stint in the Men’s Royal Rumble Match seems to have reinvigorated her confidence. (She even stepped to a still-stewing Dean Ambrose before the match, expelling The Lunatic Fringe from the ring with an elbow to the back of the head). Bliss & Mickie wisely tried to keep Nia out of the ring, but when she got into the match, she seemed certain put it away. That she did, courtesy of a double Samoan Drop that took out both her opponents and, perhaps, provided a taste of things to come inside the Elimination Chamber.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was a fun mess of a match that looked like it hurt. Jax and Tamina are still really rough around the edges, but there’s still hope for them, so there’s that. Alexa and Mickie are a good team, but having Mickie as a servant to Alexa just feels like a waste. Why not have Mickie be her teacher? Any-way, this was fine and it got the job done.

Match #3: Baron Corbin def. Kurt Angle

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

You may remember a few months ago when Kurt Angle was savaged by Drew McIntyre, but what you may not recall is that The Olympic Hero was originally slated to face Baron Corbin that night. So, Angle’s bout with the former General Manager-Elect wasn’t just a grudge match with the man who replaced him as Raw’s showrunner, but a chance for the WWE Hall of Famer to exact some long-stewing redemption. Unfortunately, redemption slipped through his fingers, as did The Lone Wolf’s ankle. Angle ensnared Corbin in his signature Ankle Lock and cranked hard, but Corbin escaped the maneuver, dropped his foe with the Deep Six and kept him down for three. Eager to rub his victory in the audience’s face, Corbin returned to the ring to administer the End of Days to Angle and cap off an evening of complete vindication — though not, perhaps, for the man everyone expected.

My Take: 2 out of 5 – This was a waste of Kurt. Baron winning is nice for his career, but he’s not ready for what beating Kurt would normally do for his career. Plus, having Kurt just put over any-one Vince is interested in just dilutes beating Kurt at all. Are you going to pay to see Baron Corbin? Why should Baron beat a proven draw in Kurt Angle if Baron can’t draw? Screw it. Kurt lost and no one will care in a month any-way.

Match #4: The Revival def. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins’ reunion last week was a major moment almost 10 years in the making, but the former WWE Tag Team Champions have a long way to go before they can hang with the likes of The Revival, who are borderline telepathic at this point in terms of their communication and skill. Add onto the fact that Hawkins still can’t quite shake the bad juju of his losing streak, and The Prince of Queens was ripe pickings for a Shatter Machine after a surging Ryder was sent tumbling out of the ring. The Ultimate Broski was more than supportive of his friend after the loss, but there’s still work to be done.

My Take: 2 out of 5 – There wasn’t much here for a match, but it was nice to see Zack and Curt together again and I think a feud with The Revival will do well, if they get more than two minutes to wrestle.

Match #5: Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan def. Natalya & Dana Brooke to qualify for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Give Dana Brooke credit: She gets better each time she steps foot in the ring. Still, insisting she’s better than Natalya might be a bit bold, especially when she’s teaming with Natalya and an opportunity at history is on the line. Suffice it to say, the impromptu team of Dana and The Queen of Harts will not be heading to the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, as The Riott Squad’s Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan defeated them in a qualifier for the all-important WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match. Brooke proved harder to put away than anticipated, though Natalya handily took control of the match by trapping Morgan in the Sharpshooter. Dana attempted to run interference against Ruby Riott on the apron and succeeded, only for Logan to bulldoze her into Natalya, breaking the hold and leaving her vulnerable to a roll-up from Liv. Natalya was understandably having none of Brooke’s post-match apologies, but Dana has never been one to let her setbacks get to her. Perhaps she’ll rise to this opportunity as well.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was a solid match that saw Brooke look pretty good with Natalya as her partner. The Riott Squad were excellent here and were the right team to get the victory.

Match #6: Ronda Rousey def. Bayley – Raw Women’s Championship Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Sasha Banks took Ronda Rousey to the limit at Royal Rumble. Bayley very famously defeated Sasha Banks in a match that provided one of the cornerstones of the Women’s Evolution. So, could The Huggable One succeed where her tag team partner failed against The Baddest Woman on the Planet? No, she could not. But she came very close, thanks in part to the lingering damage from The Boss and the open-challenge stipulation that gave Bayley an element of surprise. An injury to The Baddest Woman on the Planet’s knee gave Bayley an extra leg up as well (so to speak), and The Huggable One capitalized with an impressive kneebar. She even tried to literally succeed where Banks failed by applying the Bank Statement. When that failed, Bayley went high risk by climbing to the top rope, and Rousey struck, rolling her off the turnbuckle and right into an Armbar for the submission win. Of course, conspicuous by her absence was the Superstar who had won the Women’s Royal Rumble, who has harbored a grudge against Rousey for months and who was slated to make her decision as to who she’ll challenge at WrestleMania: Becky Lynch. The Man’s shadow loomed large even as Rousey and Bayley shook hands in the ring. And then…

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was really good and had some fine wrestling. Ronda did well here and gave Bayley a lot to work with. Bayley was at her best and gave a great performance that brought her the most credibility that she’s had in a year. The submission moves were especially convincing and it was nice to see Bayley get her chance to wrestle for the title.

Match #7: (Main Event) Braun Strowman def. Drew McIntyre via Disqualification

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Braun Strowman fought the good fight and narrowly missed out on WrestleMania in the Men’s Royal Rumble Match. And, having congratulated Seth Rollins on a battle well won, The Monster Among Men turned his attention to some unfinished business with Drew McIntyre, who helped injure Strowman a couple months ago and has been skating by untouched ever since. That certainly ended as Strowman administered These Hands to The Scottish Psychopath, but ultimate payback was snatched from him in more than one fashion: Baron Corbin’s interference handed Strowman the disqualification win (a literal, if not satisfying, victory), and a two-on-one attack from the pair ultimately got the better of The Gift of Destruction, who suffered a double chokeslam atop the steel steps.

My Take: 2 out of 5 – This had a lot of potential, but it never really went anywhere, as it was all a ruse just to have an angle with Baron Corbin and Drew attacking Braun until he was half-dead.

News Of The Night:

  1. Elias is a heel again.
  2. Jeff Jarrett, along with Road Dogg, made his triumphant return to Raw and brawled with Elias.
  3. Becky Lynch officially challenged Ronda Rousey to a title match at Wrestlemania.
  4. Seth Rollins brawled with Brock Lesnar to close Raw. According to the WWE website, this was meant to be Seth’s challenge to Brock for a title match at Wrestlemania, so that should be enough to say that the two are fighting at Wrestlemania.
  5. Nia Jax is being pushed as someone who can fight men, with her attack on Dean Ambrose really selling this angle.
  6. Finn Balor is being pushed as the contender to Bobby Lashley and the Intercontinental Title.
  7. Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre are feuding with Braun Strowman.
  8. Triple H is being sold as the guy that will ruin the McMahon family’s unity in running the WWE, with Dean Ambrose’s line about “needing your father in law to make decisions” being the reason why the opener even happened.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

There were a lot of instances of faces being knocked out by heels, but the matches were good with a few strong ones, as well as Wrestlemania getting a big kick-start and Elimination Chamber being built nicely.

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