Monday Night Raw was live from Boston, MA as we are now just two weeks out from the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania. As it was announced earlier in the day, the Raw Women’s Championship match would be the headline match of WrestleMania, being the first time in its history that women would main event the big show. It was then announced prior to Raw that along with the last match between former TNA rivals Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle that the three women involved in the main event of WrestleMania would compete in Beat the Clock matches to start off the night. So, without further ado, let’s run it down.
“The Man” Beats the Clock
As the Beat the Clock Challenge match made its seemingly unexpected return last night as the three faces of the WrestleMania main event would compete in all separate matches against the Riott Squad. Ronda Rousey would kick the show off to an intense Boston crowd who tried to boo her out of the building. She didn’t look phased, but rather happy to get this treatment. As she would begin to talk, “WE WANT BECKY” chants would fill the TD Garden as Ronda told the fans she doesn’t care what they think anymore. She would bring up how women would finally main event WrestleMania, and simply saying “You’re Welcome”. She would drop the mic before picking it up a few more times to remind the fans she wants nothing to do with them and that the Beat the Clock stipulation is a joke, as well as make a vow that at WrestleMania, she will leave both Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch tapping out. Finally, the Riott Squad would head to the ring as Rousey would face Sarah Logan in the first matchup. And just before the bell would ring, “The Man” would come around to the glee of the WWE Universe. She would tell Ronda to stop being a weirdo, and that she knows that without Becky being her rival, her championship reign would be lackluster and forgotten. Then would continue to discuss how before she came around, there was no women’s WrestleMania main event. She would ultimately finish her point saying that the only scene at the end of WrestleMania will be Becky holding the championship high with her foot on Ronda’s skull. Charlotte would finally come on out, stating that Becky’s six months and Ronda’s one year isn’t the reason they’re in the main event, but what she has done in the past seven years.
After all this talk, the Beat the Clock Challenge would finally begin. Ronda Rousey would face Sarah Logan. Logan would sprint around the ring to try and get the time up on Rousey, before ultimately bating her in to a reverse cloverleaf submission hold. Of course, Ronda would get out of the hold when she would turn it into a hanging armbar that dripped over the top rope. Ronda would go into kill more, hitting a step-up punch to the face of Logan before locking on the armbar for the quick finish, as the time to beat would be set a 1 minute and 25 seconds.
Next up would be Charlotte as she would take on Ruby Riott. Riott, a former top contender for both the Raw and SmackDown LIVE Women’s Championships would be no easy matchup for Charlotte. Every time it seemed Charlotte had an opening, Riott would get out of the way and continue to be a difficult match for “The Queen”, as she would finally catch Ruby, locking in the Figure 8 with seconds to go. As Ruby came close to tapping, the time would run out and Rousey would remain the leader in the challenge.
Becky Lynch would step up now to face Liv Morgan in hopes of beating the clock. Lynch would first be hit by Charlotte with a big boot before the bell would ring, leaving her behind from the start. Morgan would thank Charlotte before going at “The Man”. As she would continue her offense on Lynch it looked as though Ronda would win the challenge after all. With around 30 seconds to go, Becky would begin to fight back as much as she could, trying to lock in the Dis-Arm-Her in the process. She would get slammed into the turnbuckle, as Liv would go for her finish, but would get reversed into a bridge pin by Lynch as with seconds to go, Becky Lynch would win the Beat the Clock Challenge, having all the momentum with one week to go heading into WrestleMania.
Seth Rollins Plans Burn Down Suplex City
As the build to WrestleMania rolls on, many fans have wondered what has happened to the build of Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar. Last week, it finally began to pick up after a few weeks of it really being let go. Brock cost Rollins his match last week, which would lead to last night when Rollins would head to the ring to discuss his match at WrestleMania once again. He would discuss how this match has been his goal for such a long time, a WrestleMania world championship match. But he brought up how he realizes that it isn’t only important to him, but it is important to the fans as well. He would continue to be told one thing from all of his fans, which was to slay the beast. Out would come the advocate of Lesnar, Paul Heyman. Heyman would go on to explain how it is clear Rollins has no idea how to beat Lesnar, which is why it is a handicap match at WrestleMania. The Beast vs Rollins and the WWE Universe. Heyman would say that Rollins was asking for the “thoughts and prayers” of the fans to help an “undersized” guy beat someone like Brock Lesnar. As Heyman turned to walk away, Rollins would chase him down the ramp, saying that he wasn’t asking for “thoughts and prayers”, but instead answering them. He would finish it by saying he is bringing an army to the gates of Suplex City, and he will Burn It Down at WrestleMania. Seth Rollins is ready for WrestleMania, doing all he can to get the fans excited for the possible moment he becomes the “Beast Slayer”.
Triple H Puts It All On The Line
Following last week when Batista would have his sit-down interview discussing why he wants to end Triple H, Hunter would come out to the ring to respond. Going down the comical route, he would discuss how he received a letter from Batista’s lawyer saying he wouldn’t compete at WrestleMania unless Triple H agreed to one last stipulation. And before getting to what that would be, he would discuss everything Batista would say in the document, discussing how Triple H created Evolution to try and keep the World Heavyweight Championship, which he would respond saying “you think?” laughingly. He would continue to repeat all the reasons that Batista said last week to why he wants to fight Triple H in his last match, before finally getting to the final stipulation before Batista would show up to WrestleMania. Batista demanded that Triple H puts his in-ring career on the line in order to have a shot at him. Triple H would bring up how Batista beat a 70-year-old man who just last year was on his death bed. He stated how if he couldn’t beat the sorry excuse of a man that Batista is, he shouldn’t be wrestling in that ring to begin with. He told Batista he was on. With one week to go, the longtime friends and enemies prepare to do battle one last time at the biggest show of them all.
Raw MVP: Drew McIntyre
The Raw MVP is usually the star that makes the biggest impact on the show of the week, and while that continues to be true, a theme has brewed as well. Just two weeks ago, Drew McIntyre left Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose laying on his way to becoming the most dangerous man on the Raw brand and possibly in the company. That resulted in him being the MVP, just two weeks ago. Last week, he defeated the number one contender for the Universal Championship, marking another dominant week over The Shield. Last night, it would only continue as he was the MVP once again. He seems to be built up as the companies top male heel right now, and if you like him or not, you got to respect what he is doing in the ring. He would first come out last night to get his answer from Roman Reigns, after laying down the challenge a week ago, challenging him to a match at WrestleMania. This would he would state that for Roman’s sake, he hopes he says no. He hopes his family got to him before he makes a big mistake and has his career ended. Unlike last week, Reigns would show up and agree to the match. But this time, he would take it to Drew, telling him to never talk about his family again. Reigns would toss McIntyre around before getting low blowed by the “Scottish Psychopath”. McIntyre would then lay a Claymore Kick on Reigns, leaving him laying yet again.
After the fact, Dean Ambrose would be seen backstage again, challenging McIntyre to one more match despite never getting the best of him in any of their bouts before. However, this time with a new twist: last man standing. McIntyre would happily accept. On to the match, a physical one at that. Both men were marked up in this one, with Drew bleeding and Ambrose having the lashes of a kendo stick across his waist. McIntyre would dominate much of the match per usual, showing is dangerous, heartless persona once again against Ambrose. Ambrose was not out of this one though, continuing to fight back, including when he finally laid out McIntyre with a Dirty Deeds for a seven count. Ambrose would introduce a table into the ring, but before he could even get McIntyre near it, he would be lifted by the psychopath, being planted into the table with the match seemingly over. Dean would rise to his feet one last time but being put to rest immediately as McIntyre would plant the Claymore on him, ending the match. This would show an incredible view, with McIntyre just sitting in a disturbed way as the referee counted to ten. Raw would go off the air once again with McIntyre standing tall over his foe, marking yet another MVP performance by the former chosen one.
While the build to WrestleMania continues to be confusing to say the least, one thing has become clear in the past few weeks – Drew McIntyre is here to put the entire company on notice with dominance and nothing less than that. As we continue down the road to WrestleMania, SmackDown LIVE will continue to the Kofi Kingston saga and what is next for him and the WWE Champion, Daniel Bryan. Tune back tomorrow for the SD Rundown!