WWE Raw was live last night for their final stop before Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay per view. Two hours of the three hour show featured a 7 man gauntlet match with the members of the men’s Elimination Chamber match. Hour three consisted of poor Asuka trying to cut a WWE style promo, The Bar vs. Titus Worldwide AGAIN and a 6 women tag match. Needless to say, hours one and two were much better than hour three. Let’s get to the five stars, including a historic night for Seth Rollins.
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5-2 The Gauntlet Match
Raw started off with Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns in the first of six consecutive matches. Over an hour later, Rollins was still wrestling. His performance went from enjoyable to engrossing to record setting. Rollins is one of the best wrestlers/athletes on either roster, so watching him shine last night was wonderful. You know you’re having a great night when you pin both Reigns and Cena and that’s the last thing people are talking about. Rollins and Reigns have great chemistry, and they set the pace with last night’s show opener.
Cena/Rollins started a little bit slower, but once the near falls started popping up the crowd was super into it. I loved the roll through AA spot from Rollins, and this was one of the most human performances from Cena in a long time. John tends to still try to wrestle like super human Cena, but he’s much more enjoyable when he’s wrestling vulnerable.
The night belonged to Rollins though, who showed the best character work of his career. Imagine if THIS was the Seth Rollins we got when he was the champion instead of relying on J & J Security and Kane to win matches? I wasn’t sure if he could pull off the gutsy baby face role, but if you have doubts after last night you’re a crazy person. He gets compared to HBK from time to time, but this is the first time I saw some similarities in their character and in ring work. Fantastic stuff from Rollins.
Finn Balor & Miz
After Rollins was finally eliminated by Elias, Finn Balor entered the gauntlet. Balor and Elias are two of the best mid card guys in WWE, so it wasn’t a surprise that they had a solid match. Balor picked up the win, as he should have, and then was sneak attacked by Miz. I’m glad that Elias and Miz solidified themselves as the heels in the gauntlet match. After Rollins beat Cena, Elias rushed the ring and immediately attacked Rollins. It was a heel move, but also a logical one, because by that point Rollins was running on fumes. After Balor won a hard fought match against Elias,
Miz had Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel distract Balor while Miz attacked him from behind. Miz and Balor would be my dream IC title match at WM, and I was a little surprised Gallows and Anderson weren’t out there to help Balor. If they do fight again at Mania, Balor Club vs. Miz-Tourage would be a fun secondary story.
Once the match got going it was a lot of fun, and Balor fires up better than most guys. I loved the spot when he took out Dallas and Axel with a flip to the outside, and he was seconds away from beating Miz. Ultimately the numbers game was too much, as Axel and Dallas stopped Finn from hitting the Coup De Grace. That allowed Miz to recover and hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the win. I liked that decision for two reasons. 1. Miz won, but needed the help of the Miz-Tourage to do it. That could/should lead to Balor getting a shot at the IC title after the Elimination Chamber. 2. It set up Miz vs. Strowman, with everyone in the universe wanting to see Strowman destroy some human beings. It also produced this great GIF of Miz realizing his fate:
the feeling when BRRRAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNN pic.twitter.com/OilxoJ6cdx
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) February 20, 2018
The final gauntlet match of Strowman vs. Miz was another great showcase for Braun. It began with Braun chasing down the Miz in a legitimately disturbing feat of quickness and ended with numerous power slams. If that’s the way every Strowman match ended from now until the end of time, I’d be OK with that. I thought having Braun enter the gauntlet last was perfect, as it allowed Rollins, Elias, Balor and Miz to do their thing without compromising the monster among men. Plus, the crowd knew he was coming eventually, and when he finally did appear, they were hot as hell for it. Braun also got to cut a quick, precise promo on the Elimination Chamber and Lesnar. It was perfect, and he followed it up with a few more power slams to the delight of the crowd.
If you needed more proof that Braun is ready for the title, watch his segment last night. There is no one even close to him right now, and if WWE pulls the trigger and puts him vs. Lesnar at Mania, they’re going to have a lot of happy fans. Unfortunately, I think having Reigns and Cena be the only two to not win a match in the gauntlet was done by design. I’ll get into this more in my Elimination Chamber preview, but I’ll be shocked if the final two in the chamber aren’t Roman and Cena.
1. Main Event
The 6 women tag main event featuring the participants in the first ever women’s Elimination Chamber was a good prequel for Sunday’s match. I thought Sasha, Bayley, Mandy and Sonya looked the best, and I’m glad there are multiple story lines that will exist within the chamber match. Everyone knows the chamber is every women for themselves, but it’s good to have to friendships and alliances that exist between the competitors. Sonya and Mandy are apart of Absolution; Bayley and Sasha are long time friends; Mickie and Alexa have struck up an unlikely friendship over the past few weeks.
That’s three different storylines within the match. I don’t foresee Mandy and Sonya having a chance to turn on each other, but I cant’ say for same for the other two alliances. Bayley and Sasha are friends now, but they were heated rivals in NXT. Mickie and Alexa are new found friends, but it’s clear Alexa is using Mickie so she has some type of backup in the chamber. Plus, Mickie has a history of ulterior motives, especially when it comes to winning championship gold.
The women didn’t have a ton of time with the men’s gauntlet match going two hours, but I enjoyed the tag match as a build towards the chamber match.
Heading into yesterday’s competition, Norway was the only country in Olympic history with 100+ gold medals. Thanks to Shaun White’s gold medal in snowboard half pipe, that list now includes the USA.
Shaun White Snowboard Half Pipe Gold Medal Run
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 14, 2018
Shaun White also won gold in the snowboard half pipe in 2010, and his performance last night was just as special. While winning a gold medal on it’s own is amazing, winning the 100th gold medal in US Olympics history has to feel extra special. For those of you that thought White would get to enjoy his gold medal, you must have forgotten the culture we live in. Some news outlets decided to bring up past sexual harassment allegations. Some decided to rag on him for dragging the American flag on the ground. Granted that was Fox News, but unfortunately they have a cult like following on social media.
The sexual harassment stuff I understand because that’s what we do now. Our culture loves to sit on things until the person does something you THINK we can universally love. Then they beat you to death with all the awful things that person has done so no one can be happy, not even for a second. As far as the flag dragging, it was obviously accidental, and if you’re relying on Fox News for your political takes you’re already too far gone.
Congratulations to Shaun White on another Olympic gold medal. The opposite of congratulations to our society for sucking the fun out of everything.
The 2018 Winter Olympics are now in full swing. The opening ceremony was Friday night and the action has continued through the weekend. During the mixed ice skating event on Thursday, Team Canada decided to skate to a haunting cover of the U2 song ‘With or Without You’. I wasn’t sure who was signing the cover version, but Twitter came to my rescue almost immediately.
I couldn’t agree more! It was sung by my friend @AprilMeservy Check her out on ITunes or YouTube!
— Katie Love Smith (@katie_love) February 11, 2018
April Meservy & Aaron Edson – With or Without You (U2 Cover)
Saying April Meservy has the voice of an angel is an understatement. This song isn’t going to boost your mood, but goddamn is it beautiful. Team Canada might not win gold in ice skating, but they’ve definitely struck gold with their song selection. Have a great day on purpose everybody.
Average Nobodies Podcast
for February 9, 2018.
On today’s show we’re chatting about Super Bowl 52, Quentin Tarantino, we have another Logan Paul update and we wrap up with some trailer reviews. You can chat with us on Twitter, toss us a like on Facebook and heart all our pictures on Instagram. Don’t forget, this podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and YouTube.
Life on the road is a huge part of being a WWE superstar. You’re constantly traveling from town to town, mostly via rental cars. Shelton Benjamin is a WWE veteran who is used to this grind. What he’s not used to is renting a car that has a goddamn loaded gun in the glove box.
Shelton Benjamin on Twitter
Thank you @Budget (LIT) for your great service of putting my reputation, freedom and quite possibly my life in jeopardy I’ve unknowingly been driving your car around the last 4 days with a F’N LOADED GUN in the Glove compartment!!🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬 pic.twitter.com/NZj7GmtA8V
— Shelton J. Benjamin (@Sheltyb803) February 7, 2018
Not great! It’s one thing to leave some leftover tissues or candy wrappers in a rental car. It’s another thing to have a loaded gun left in the glove compartment. 1. How does Budget not catch that? 2. Who doesn’t realize they no longer have their loaded Ruger? Just a whole bunch of crazy shit happening to poor Shelton. Thankfully he found this before something awful happened, like getting pulled over in Little Rock, Arkansas with a loaded gun in your glove compartment.
Natalie Portman stopped by 8H to host SNL for the second time last Saturday night. This was the 4th SNL in a row for the cast and writers, and you could tell they were a little worn out. It was a tough situation to avoid with the Olympics starting tomorrow and taking over NBC. SNL had to run a bunch of episodes in a row since they’ll be off until March 3rd. The show started off strong with Revolutionary War and another classic Portman rap. It got a little wacky towards the end with Alien Lover & Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, but overall I enjoyed it. The funniest sketch for me was Stranger Things 3.
Natalie Portman – SNL
I enjoyed everyone’s role here. Mikey Day as the horny version of Mike was great. Portman as Eleven trying to explain ‘momma’ and her nose bleeds was funny. I legitimately laughed out loud when Beck Bennett’s Fourteen started a small fire and threw up in his mouth. Ditto for Cecily Strong’s Nine reading people’s minds and then farting. I’m not sure if it’s worrying that people throwing up in their mouth and farting is a guaranteed laugh for me, but that’s a battle for another day. Also, whoever came up with the character that cooks great chili but gets a brain bleed should win some type of award.
Make Movie Great Again podcast #48
for January 31, 2018.
You can chat with us on Twitter @MakeMovieGreat, toss us a like on Facebook @MakeMoviesGreat and heart all our pictures on instagram, @MakeMoviesgreat. Don’t forget, this podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and YouTube.