After a newsworthy week last week, Monday Night Raw headed to Philadelphia last night with plenty of buzz and excitement in the air. From Batista’s return to the wrestling world, to Roman Reigns returning from his fight with leukemia, and finally the Ronda/Becky twitter beef, the excitement and buzz was easily warranted. Was Raw able to live up to the hype? Let’s take a look.
Triple H calls out Batista
The biggest story development from Raw last Monday was the return of Dave Bautista to the WWE. And it was notable to say he wanted the attention of one man, which resulted in him going through Ric Flair to get it. That man was Triple H, and Triple H went out there last night to not reason but understand why. He would go into detail that last week wasn’t a celebration for “The Nature Boy”, but for the man many few people know, Richard Fliehr (the real name of Flair). He discussed how just a year ago, Ric had been sick and every time he his phone rang during that time, he thought that he not only lost his friend, but a piece of his family. And Batista went out of his way to ruin that just to get his attention? Not acceptable. Triple H brought up how Batista was doing the usual villain like stuff with “I don’t like Philadelphia, I don’t like Pittsburgh”. He called him out for that, but also complaining about wanting his last match with Triple H for the last two years online. But he then continued, saying “Dave” was going to do what he always does in the end, which is quit. This isn’t a game to him like Batista continued to say on his Instagram, this is personal. Triple H said this isn’t about characters, this is about the man, and that this man is going to fight him anywhere if that is what he wants. He will go to his house, he will find him, and he will fight him. In the end, Triple H told him to put him to show up next week if he really is a man, a man who was willing to look past all the good times between Triple H, Flair, and himself. This story continues to grow at an incredible rate, and with a “Face-to-Face” set for next week between these two, it becomes must watch.
Sierra, Hotel, India, Echo, Lima, Delta. Shield. One Last Ride
At the beginning of last night’s show, Roman Reigns made his way to the ring to essentially “get the band back together” one last time. And what became weird as Reigns continued was that he was real in the fact he discussed that Dean Ambrose would be leaving and this may very well be the last time this could ever happen. Reigns started off with asking Seth Rollins to come out because there was something, he had to talk to him about and there was no reason to hold it off. As Seth came out, he discussed that he knows what it feels like to lose a championship without actually losing it, and if anyone deserves to slay the beast more than him one more time, it is Reigns. However, Reigns said it wasn’t about that, to the glee of the crowd. Seth said he would do anything for his brother, so what Reigns was talking about was the up and down relationship with Dean Ambrose and how for one last time, Reigns wants The Shield side by side once more. Which Rollins immediately shot down after what he and Ambrose had gone through following Roman’s departure just four months ago. Roman would continue trying to get Seth to agree, bringing up that what he learned when he was gone was that you can’t dwell on something, and have to appreciate enjoy all you can, because eventually there is an end to it all. This seemingly struck a cord with Rollins, leading him to agree to join in on one more ride for The Shield. Reigns would then call for Ambrose to join his two brothers in the ring, and when Dean finally came out, with microphone in hand, it was all for not. A lead up from last week, Elias would come out and strike Ambrose in the back, leaving the possible Shield reunion in question.
As the night continued on, both Reigns and Rollins would talk to Ambrose individually in hopes of the one last run, however, he would shrug it off and say he is just trying to get ready for his match. And when they finally got to the match, Ambrose’s woes would continue. While the match would be back and forth, it would come down to an attempted diving elbow by Ambrose, where he would be caught by the knee of Elias, then getting hit with the Drift Away, suffering another consecutive loss. As his Shield brothers came down the ring to try and get their brother back on track, Ambrose refused again and left through the crowd. As he was half way up the stairs in the crowd, Baron Corbin’s music hit as Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre followed. They brought up that they thought of laying down a challenge for Sunday at WWE Fastlane that The Shield could take on this alliance that we have been witness to for a few months now, but with Ambrose saying no, they can just lay the beat down now. As the trio began to beat down Reigns and Rollins, Ambrose tried to walk away but could not, returning to the ring to save his brothers from the beat down to get the upper hand. As The Shield would stand tall, both Reigns and Rollins would extend their fists for the signature “Shield pose”, and finally, Ambrose would join in. The band will be back together one last time, as this coming Sunday, The Shield will take on the trio of McIntyre, Corbin, and Lashley. It very well could be the last time we see The Shield for a long time as a single unit.
Raw MVP: Ronda Rousey
Last week, Ronda Rousey laid down the Raw Women’s Championship in front of Stephanie McMahon, telling her it is time to make the right decision and put Becky Lynch in their match. And if not, Ronda essentially threatened to be gone from the company in due time. So last night, Stephanie McMahon announced that Becky Lynch’s charges have been dropped and her suspension will officially be lifted, and to the delight of the WWE Universe, she would be competing this Sunday vs Charlotte Flair for the vacant Raw Women’s Championship. Later in the night, she would have to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement to leave WWE not responsible for anything that would happen in her match with Charlotte. As the night was coming to a close, Stephanie would head to the ring to make the Fastlane match official. Charlotte would come to the ring, followed by “The Man”, Becky Lynch, who continued with crutch in hand and a noticeable limp. Stephanie would go on to talk about how it wouldn’t be the companies fault if she is hurt, and Becky made the point that she simply doesn’t care if she has only one leg, because she already beat Charlotte in the Royal Rumble with one leg. And then comes Ronda Rousey, storming through backstage, heading directly for the ring in short fashion.
As Rousey stormed to the ring to confront Stephanie, Becky, and Charlotte, her expression did not change. She was pissed off. Rousey was there to make a point, telling Stephanie that she wanted Becky Lynch added to the match, not be excluded. She demanded her championship back, which Stephanie agreed to, and then something switched. Stephanie announced that at WWE Fastlane, if Becky beats Charlotte, she will be added to the match. But then, Ronda Rousey became the killer everyone wanted her to be since day one. She stated she was done “entertaining” the fans, and she stated how she could break both Charlotte and Becky if she wanted to. She isn’t owned by WWE, and she knows Stephanie only cares about her wallet. Ronda would end her promo with this; “Damn the Man. Screw the Woo. And no more Mrs. Nice Bitch.” And finally, Rousey became unglued, taking out Charlotte and going after Becky Lynch after months of Twitter feuds and continuous battles on the mic. When Charlotte tried to get the upper hand, Ronda stared her down and Charlotte retreated. Rousey would lock in the armbar three separate times on Becky, while also continuously beating her down with flurries of punches and judo throws. The night would end with Becky down and injured, Stephanie McMahon sizzling in anger, Charlotte fearing for her life, and “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” standing tall. This was the side of Rousey that we should have seen since Day One, which is why she was the MVP of Raw. A Killer.
Monday Night Raw was slow for most of the night as they built to a Shield reunion and the ultimate turn of events when Rousey showed her anger and her ability to destroy. Hopefully this Rousey only continues in the future, and we even see it at Fastlane. Make sure to comeback tomorrow for the SmackDown LIVE Rundown!