We’re four weeks away from the biggest event of the year, and the battle lines have been drawn. The Universal Championship will be on the line at WrestleMania, as Lesnar and Reigns renew an old rivalry. It’s as if WWE hit the reboot button, and we traversed through time, going back to 2015 when Reigns and Lesnar squared off.
The circumstances are eerily similar; Lesnar was on his way out of WWE, and WrestleMania was expected to be the coronation of Reigns as WWE’s next mega star. However, all those plans were nixed when the fans refused to embrace Roman as their new top star. Instead, it was Seth Rollins that cashed – in his Money In The Bank briefcase to become the new WWE Champion.
Fast forward to 2018, and this time around, Brock might legitimately be on his way out of the WWE, as he continues his public romance with the UFC. Roman is guaranteed to become the new Universal Champion, and come rain or high water, will be the new mega face of the company.
This brings us to the old guard; John Cena tried his luck at the Elimination Chamber PPV and at Fastlane. The 16 time world champion couldn’t book his place in a title match at WrestleMania, and something had to give in Detroit.
This week’s RAW was monumental for a couple of reasons. Let us take a look at what transpired this week.
Roman Reigns calls out Lesnar and Vince McMahon
The General Manager of RAW, Kurt Angle kicked things off this week, as he addressed the crowd. Brock was scheduled to appear on this week’s show, but Angle was the bearer of bad news, as he informed the fans that Lesnar didn’t turn up.
This led to Roman Reigns making his way out, and the ‘Big Dog’ was none too pleased with Lesnar once again no – showing on RAW. Reigns didn’t mince his words, calling Brock ‘Vince’s boy’, and said that he did not respect him or the fans. Roman took offense to Lesnar being treated differently, and said he was being given privileges that weren’t afforded to anyone else.
Reigns then walked to the back and confronted Vince McMahon, who was over – seeing the production. Vince told the truck to go to commercial, as he tried to smooth things over with Reigns.
Backstage, Vince McMahon rebuffed the notion of him protecting Lesnar, and announced that Reigns was temporarily suspended, which drew cheers from the fans.
WWE continues to tease tensions between Sasha Banks and Bayley
Best of friends make the worst of enemies, and the tensions between Sasha and Bayley have created a chasm between both the Superstars. What started as a banter between two friends spiraled out of control, and on this week’s show, Bayley and Sasha had the opportunity to put the past behind them.
Banks faced Sonya Deville, with Paige and Mandy Rose at ringside. Bayley made her way out to bring some semblance of control, as Sonya used her aggression to take control of the match. However, Sasha soon turned the tables, leading to Mandy trying to intervene. Bayley however took care of Rose, leading to ‘The Boss’ picking up the win.
Post match, Bayley walked out on Banks, leaving her to fend for herself against Absolution. Rose, Deville and Paige stood tall over a beaten and battered Banks to end the segment.
Miz’s attempt to create animosity between Seth and Balor backfires
Last week, Kurt Angle announced that The Miz will defend the WWE Intercontinental title in four weeks’s time at WrestleMania. The A – Lister will face Balor and Rollins in a triple threat match, which didn’t sit well with The Miz.
On this week’s show, Miz invited his WrestleMania opponents as guests on MizTV. The IC Champion tried to rile up both the Superstars, bringing up their past, and tried to get under their skin. His attempts proved to be futile, as Rollins and Balor were left unfazed. However, both the Superstars looked like they had enough, and confronted each other only to attack Miz, sending him out of the ring.
Rollins then laid out Balor with a punch to end the segment.
For weeks, Sheamus and Cesaro have been taunting the tag team division to step up and give them a fight. This week, they were scheduled to face the Miztourage, but before the match could get underway, the entire tag team division poured out and attacked the champions! Cesaro and Sheamus escaped the melee, almost ruing their decision of antagonizing the locker room.
John Cena calls out The Undertaker
The 16 time world champion once again fell at the final hurdle in his attempt to win the WWE Championship. Cena has been lobbying for a title match at WrestleMania, and had the chance to win both the Universal title and the WWE Championship. At Fastlane, Cena came agonizingly close to getting his hands on the title, only for his dreams and aspirations to crumble in front of his eyes.
Cena appeared on RAW this week, still searching for his WrestleMania opponent. The Leader of Cenation then said that he would do the one thing that the WWE officials told him not to – call out The Undertaker. John took shots at The Deadman, and said that he was being a coward, hiding behind his excuses. Cena asked The Undertaker to show up, and give the fans one more match at WrestleMania.
Elias made his way out, still in pain and distress, and proceeded to sing, only for the fans to knock his attempts. A visibly frustrated Elias then walked to the back.
Braun Strowman then appeared and cut a promo, asking why he wasn’t on the WrestleMania card. Strowman delivered an ominous message, saying he would carve his own path of destruction en route to WrestleMania.
Finn Balor faced Seth Rollins in a singles match, after Rollins unceremoniously dropped Balor on his back with a punch. Both the Superstars put on a solid match, and in the end, it was the gritty Irishman that picked up the win.
Alexa Bliss antagonizes Asuka
At WWE Fastlane, Asuka finally made her decision. The Empress of Tomorrow won the first ever women’s Rumble match, and earned the right to face either the SmackDown Women’s Champion, or the RAW Women’s Champion at WrestleMania. Asuka confronted Charlotte Flair, pointing towards the WrestleMania sign, implying that she would face ‘The Queen’ at the mega event.
This week on RAW, Asuka was in the ring for an interview to elaborate on her decision, but was interrupted by Alexa Bliss and Mickie James. Bliss concluded that Asuka was scared of her, and thus decided to challenge Charlotte instead. Asuka fired back by saying she wanted to face the best, and thus chose the SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Mickie landed a cheap shot on Asuka, leading to a match between the two. Asuka once again proved her dominance by picking up the victory over Mickie, courtesy of the Asuka Lock.
Alexa Bliss reveals her true colors, angers Nia Jax
Nia faced enhancement talent Joan King, and after weeks of bitter disappointment, was left standing in the ring. The cameras then cut backstage to Mickie James and Alexa Bliss watching Nia on the screen, and Bliss revealed her true colors, poking fun at Jax. Bliss made fun of Nia’s size, and said that she sought approval from Bliss. Charlie then appeared and informed Bliss and James that the mic was hot!
Meanwhile, Jax wiped a tear and charged to the back. Alexa and Mickie hightailed from their dressing room, as Jax appeared fuming. She ransacked their locker room, before bursting into tears and screaming in anger.
Braun Strowman wins the tag team battle royal all by himself
In the main event, all the tag teams competed in a battle royal, with the winners going to WrestleMania to face The Bar for the RAW Tag Team Championship. Before the match could get under way, Strowman made his way out, and yelled at the referee to start the match! All the Superstars tried to eliminate Braun, but the behemoth was too dominant for the wrestlers to tip over the top rope.
As the numbers started to dwindle, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows and the Miztourage remained defiant. However, Strowman manhandled the remaining Superstars, eliminating them one – by – one, and last eliminated Karl Anderson to pick up the win!
As Strowman stood tall, with Cesaro and Sheamus looking perplexed – and worried, the announcers wondered who would partner with Braun as the show faded.