The Abominable Strowman Will Eliminate Us All – A Raw Recap for 2/7/18

Monday’s Raw came to us from Des Moines, Iowa.

I’m back, dear reader!  I’ve been swamped with work this past month and had to sacrifice all my wrestling watching time to edit dumb videos for money.  The good news is it’s almost all over and I’ll be able to enjoy Mania weekend that much more this year.  I’m a little late to this episode but we’ll get back to a regular schedule next week.

Give Me All The Matches

This was a very match heavy episode of Raw.  I can only think of one promo that didn’t immediately have a match attached.  Well, that is, besides this whole Jason Jordan drama.

  • We start off the show with a qualifying Elimination Chamber match between Bray and Roman Reigns.  These two have great chemistry.  Corey even called them “Lex Luthor and Superman…Batman and The Joker.”  I think the second comparison is more apt.  Bray feels way more like an anarchist than anyone that really has a solid plan.  He just wants to watch the world WWE burn.  It was probably my favorite match of the night, probably because I forgot Raw was three hours and I got a bit fatigued by the end of it.  Roman fights out of a Sister Abigail and hits a spear for the win.  Matt Hardy shows up to get revenge for Bray distracting him and causing him to lose against Elias last week.
  • Bálor was originally scheduled for a singles match with Scott Dawson until the “tag team specialists” challenged them him to join with one of his “love buddies” for a tag team match.  Finn chooses Karl.  It’s a fine match with Finn hitting a Coup de Grace on Dawson for the win.  As a writer on Cageside Seats pointed out, the specialists lost to a team that wasn’t actually a tag team.  They should have kept is a singles match with Wilder trying to use their tag team tricks to help out Scott.  And Bálor could have gotten the win here and it would have hurt no one.
  • I guess this is a promo:  Sasha is watching herself lost to Asuka, apparently for the 15th time, when Bayley comes in asking for tips.  Sasha gives her attitude and keeps all the tips to herself.  It’s also ignoring the fact that Bayley had a much more higher profile match with Asuka in Dallas two years ago.  Yes, she lost, but so did Sasha.  What tips could you possibly get from her that you couldn’t get from watching your own tape?  Either way, it got weird and Bayley brought up how she bested Banks at Takeover Brooklyn years ago.  This seems like this is the seeds to a feud.
  • Let’s go ahead and jump to that match.  It’s technically Asuka Vs. Bayley II but it never really gets out of first gear.  This was also the match I watched right before having lunch.  Maybe it was better and I was just cranky?  Asuka made Bayley tap out to an armbar.
  • There was an excellent Cruiserweight Match pitting Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander Vs. Drew Gulak & Tony Neese.  Cedric looked great in this.  He’s finally reaching the levels that we saw him get to in the CWC.  Cedric wins it all with an absolutely incredible Lumbar Check.  Gulak’s selling made it even better:
  • Also, I’d like to quickly mention how I’m all in on Drake Maverick.  I love his suit and he’s great on commentary.  I really think he could do double-duty as a commentator and a GM.
  • After claiming that he’ll be the first co-holder of the IC and Universal Championship, Miz goes on to soundly defeat Apollo Crews to qualify for the Chamber.   Just because Miz got a definitive win doesn’t mean that Apollo didn’t look good.  Like Alexander, he’s starting to fire on another level.  This whole Titus Worldwide business is…weird, but he needed it.  He’ll eventually shed it and be a fine independent wrestler again maybe in a year or so.
  • Nia Jax took on some local talent that I’m not even sure had a name.  Cole kept on referring to her as “young lady”.  As one can expect, Nia wins this with a impressive gorilla press and leg drop combo for the pin.
  • Sonya Deville defeated Mickie James.  I’m not going to lie.  I spaced out on this one.  I don’t hate either of these wrestlers.  It was just getting to be a long show.  And I’m only 80% sure that Deville one the match really.  I could look up the result, but I think that would be untrue to my experience watching the show.
  • Finally we close the show with a triple threat with the three confirmed entrants of the EC at the beginning of the show: Elias, Braun Strowman, and John Cena.  The winner gets to be the confirmed last entrant into the Chamber.
    • This was probably my third favorite of the night, the first being Bray Vs. Roman and the second the Cruiserweight match.
    • Elias and Cena teamed up against Strowman pretty early in the match.  Probably the most impressive moment on Raw was Cena hitting a AA onto the steps on Braun, effectively keeping him out of most of the match.  Elias quickly follows it up with a guitar to Cena’s back and gains control of the match for a while.  Just as Cena regains control, Braun returns and hits a Running Powerslam on John.  He tries to get Elias but he wiggles out and pushes Strowman out of the ring.  He pins Cena to become the last entrant in the EC match.  Strowman isn’t too happy and hits repeated Running Powerslams on Cena and Elias.  Iowa actually comes alive for this last moment.  As he got ready to leave the ring, the Iowans in attendance started to boo.  When he moved back towards Cena, they cheered.  One thing is clear about the EC, Braun Strowman will destroy us all.

Everything Else

  • Kurt announced the other 5 women in the EC match.  It’s Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Mickie James.  Nia Jax will battle Asuka in a match to determine if she’s added to a triple threat at Mania.
    • Alexa had a really excellent promo with Kurt.  She argued that it was unfair that she had to defend while Brock just got to sit at home and kill deer with his bare hands.  You know, equality and all that.  You really have to ignore the fact that the logic doesn’t make any sense.  The last Elimination Chamber had Cena defend against 5 other people.  And Kurt mentioned that Alexa hasn’t defended the title since October.  Alexa blames the man who makes the matches, Kurt Angle.  He seemed dumbfounded by it.  So the good news is Alexa is becoming an excellent promo.  The bad news is the writing is still terrible.
  • Let’s talk about Jason Jordan.  All the rumor sites mention that his neck is in terrible shape.  He’s having a hard time gripping things.  He’s been trying to avoid surgery but it seems like he went through a minimally invasive surgery on Tuesday and is out indefinitely.  This sucks if this is completely true.  WWE’s willingness to make this a storyline kind of makes me question if we’re getting worked, even just a little bit.  If he really is messed up with a neck issue, why is he even on Raw?  Why are they making this a story?  Rollins teamed up with Roman to take on the Bar for the last shot at the Tag Team Titles.  Jason Jordan got them disqualified when he hit Cesaro to keep him from leaving the ring.  Why have any physical altercation if he’s really hurt?  Could they be playing up a future win where Jordan enters a match and wins with “a broken freakin’ neck”?  If he really is hurt, I hope he recovers quickly.  I just can’t help but feel that this feels a little fishy like Rollins’ knee “injury” last year.