Bobby Lashley is the WWE Champion.
16 years after his starting with the WWE, Lashley is finally king of the mountain, taking out The Miz in the main event of Monday Night RAW. It’s definitely good for business as now The Hurt Business has two titles in their stable, joining Tag Team Champions Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. It also gives Lashley a chance to grab a main event slot in WrestleMania, something he surely is deserving of as they move out of The Miz’s transitional and very short reign as WWE Champion.
Now, will we get Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre on the biggest spotlight in the industry or will it be another road? Could it be a Lashley vs. Brock Lesnar match in the offing? That surely would add some spice to the two-night event in April for sure.
He was our star of the week last week and no reason to look anywhere else for another one for this current seven days. Lashley endured the mess that was The Miz and his constant evading of going one-on-one with him until he was forced into the lumberjack match that saw his demise.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Sheamus
- Nia Jax defeated Naomi
- RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin defeated Braun Strowman & Adam Pearce to retain titles
- Damian Priest defeated Elias
- WWE Championship Match: Bobby Lashley defeated The Miz by count out – The Miz retains title
- Charlotte Flair defeated Shayna Baszler
- Riddle & Lucha House Party defeated RETRIBUTION
- Non-title United States Championship Match: Mustafa Ali defeated Riddle
- WWE Championship Lumberjack Match: Bobby Lashley defeated The Miz to win title
Drew vs. Sheamus – Kudos for those guys for going toe-to-toe and leaving it all out there in a match that’s worthy of any PPV. They said they would put on a war and they did. Good way for the former WWE Champion to get back going after a tough loss at Elimination Chamber.
Randy. Randy. Twice as Dandy – The trilogy of Alexa Bliss, Randy Orton and The Fiend is easily the best thing going on Monday nights. Each week, we seem to get a new WTF moment and this week did not disappoint. Is The Fiend coming back as Randy Orton’s alter ego? My curiosity is peaked to the max!
Bobby Lashley vs. The Miz – I thought it was well done the way they portrayed the WWE Championship Match throughout every hour of RAW. Sure, The Miz running out to keep his title at 9pm seemed like a WTF moment. But it’s what a true heel would do to keep his belt. Total desperation. Plus, it led to Shane McMahon putting together the lumberjack match in which Lashley sealed the deal to become WWE champion. The Hurt Business is truly a stable of gold my friends!
Elias vs. Damian Priest – Priest continues to shine and Elias provides the foil for Bad Bunny.
Ali vs. Riddle – An impromptu one-on-one match between these two after RETRIBUTION lost to the team of Riddle & Lucha House Party was a nice surprise. Mustafa Ali getting the win in their first meeting also sets up a possible title match down the road too. Give these two 20 minutes and we’ll all be winners.
Nia Jax vs. Naomi – Just keeping it short doesn’t do it justice. It’s just a waste of time. I’d rather see a pre-produced piece with Naomi or have her wrestle someone else. Jax gives me nothing in the ring. She could take a few pointers from Tamina on SmackDown, who’s putting things back together for some interest.
Charlotte Flair wants a title match – Yawn if we’ve seen this before. Flair wants Asuka at WrestleMania. OK. Nice win over Shayna Baszler though after dismissing the double team from the tag team champs.
The very bad:
Braun Strowman, Adam Pearce and Shane O’Mac – I will never understand why WWE doesn’t want anyone in the WWE Universe to know that Adam Pearce was a 5-time NWA Champion. Instead, they’d rather him be portrayed as a bumbling buffoon in the wrestling ring. It’s a missed opportunity in this day and age where histories and backstories can be brought up in a click or a tap on social media. As for Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman fighting each other, which is where all this is going, I couldn’t care less. Plus, does it make any sense to put the tag team championship in the middle of it after Shane said last week that you don’t just come to the ring and get a title shot? Short memory folks.
- NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch defeated Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher to retain titles
- Ember Moon defeated Aliyah
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez
- Cameron Grimes defeated Bronson Reed
- Non-title NXT Championship Match: Finn Balor defeated Roderick Strong
A champ. A controversy. A Cameron throwing cash. That’s NXT wrapped up in a nutshell Wednesday.
First up, Finn Balor. He dominated the show from start to finish. Not only did the NXT Champion start the night with a tongue lashing for Roderick Strong, who began the night begging for an explanation from Adam Cole on his betrayal actions of the last two weeks, he also took care of Strong in a very good main event. In between, Balor got Cole’s attention by offering him a title shot coming up this week, an offer that Cole gladly accepted and went face-to-face as the show ended and after the cameras went dark. Balor has definitely upped his game the past month as we hit the road to WrestleMania.
The controversy comes in the form of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. Dusty Rhodes Women’s Tag Team Classic winners Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez got their promised title match, but it didn’t quite end the way they wanted. After a decent back-and-forth, Jax and Gonzalez not only took out themselves over the announce table, but also left the NXT referee out of commission. So, when Baszler put Kai in the Kirifuda Clutch, WWE official Adam Pearce brought in his own RAW referee to call for the end of the match and the win for the champs. Of course, Kai wasn’t the legal woman in the ring, that was Gonzalez, who was left outside the ring. So, while William Regal and Pearce argued in closed quarters after the match, the NXT general manager has vowed an announcement that will change NXT forever this Wednesday. Could it be NXT’s own Women’s Tag Team Championship or could it be something for WrestleMania? All eyes are on your Mr. Regal.
Cameron Grimes was back in the ring, full of cash to take on Bronson Reed. But instead of what looked like it was going to be a sure loss, LA Knight, who had some timely glances with Reed before the match, got involved to cost Reed the win and give Grimes an unexpected victory. Could it be an alliance moving forward or just a one-time coincidence? Either way, both Knight and Grimes walkaway winners for the night.
Elsewhere, Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher stepped up to take the tag team title match that MSK was supposed to have before Wes Lee’s broken hand took that off the table. In the end, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch retain the titles as Imperium with Alexander Wolfe watch on. Something tells me, Mr. Wolfe has something in mind for the champions.
Kayden Carter is looking for revenge and will try to get it coming up this week against Xia Li. Also, looking for revenge is NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai, who accepted Toni Storm’s request for a one-on-one title match. I’d expect that one to open the show this upcoming week.
Don’t mess with Legado del Fantasma! Santos Escobar and crew made that well known, returning from last week’s No DQ loss to Karrion Kross to take out Breezango and Ever-Rise in short order, blowing up their expected match. Who’s next on their radar?
Finally, what do we make of The Way. Johnny Gargano brought the “family” to therapy in hopes of getting them all back on the same page after last week’s fiasco with Dexter Lumis. In the end, Gargano gets his way, paying off the therapist to have Austin Theory believe that Lumis didn’t like him at all. It served its purpose to give the show some levity for sure.
- King Corbin defeated Montez Ford
- Angelo Dawkins defeated Sami Zayn
- Dominik Mysterio defeated Chad Gable
- Bianca Belair defeated Shayna Baszler
- Steel Cage Match: Daniel Bryan defeated Jey Uso to win Universal Championship Match at Fastlane
Whenever I start to watch SmackDown on Friday nights, there’s always a good and bad part to their opening segment for the past few months. The good – Roman Reigns is a part of it almost every week. The bad – it’s a talking segment almost every week. This week, we get Daniel Bryan and Reigns facing off with Michael Cole in a promo segment that was very truthful, very real and very believable. Unfortunately, it took until 26 minutes into the show to get any in-ring action. Just saying folks. Switch it up from time-to-time.
King Corbin really doesn’t like Sami Zayn. That works and it builds perfectly into Zayn’s conspiracy theory. So, when Corbin refuses to be Zayn’s partner, we get a pair of singles matches with Angelo Dawkins taking on Zayn and Corbin fighting Montez Ford. Ironically, Zayn’s distraction helps out Corbin to get a victory but the favor isn’t reciprocated in Zayn’s loss to Dawkins. Friends. No. Enemies. Maybe.
Payback is a Mysterio I guess. Last week, Otis had the upper hand but this week, it’s Dominik Mysterio with the upset victory over Chad Gable. Plus, Rey gets a little physical with Otis over the announce table to boot. Looks like this feud is just getting going.
Shayna Baszler being anything less than a badass and brutalizing everyone in the WWE is no longer acceptable. To me, her pairing with Nia Jax needs to end and let Baszler go on her reign of terror. But of course, that’s not going to happen anytime soon as she loses to Bianca Belair in a singles match Friday night. The match was nothing amazing and got the predictable chaos outside the ring with Jax and Reggie getting involved. Talk about your rough night for Reginald. First, he gets fired by Carmella. Then, he gets decked by Belair outside the ring before being slapped by his favorite Banks. Then, Jax says he’s cute Poor Reggie! I feel for the guy.
BTW: Why exactly are Banks and Belair getting another title shot at Fastlane? Lack of creative maybe?
Welcome back Buddy Murphy. I guess we’ll just forget about the whole betrayal of Seth Rollins a few months ago, right? Murphy told Rollins he could help him out with the Cesaro situation. But all Murphy got for his trouble was a swing and a miss.
You can tell that things are looking up for Apollo Crews. Now, he has bodyguards, a spear and a new accent. Apparently, it’s the “real” Apollo Crews from Nigeria. Maybe Vince has been watching Coming To America 2 lately.
Ding Dong. Hello. Well, it seemed more like we needed to fill two minutes of time. Sorry Bayley, that was a stinker with your sweet tweets.
It was fitting that Bryan caps off the night by making Jey Uso tap out in the Steel Cage main event match. Bryan’s climb back into the title picture saw another level of Bryan’s determination to get another chance, a fair chance this time at Reigns championship after a loss at Elimination Chamber. Watching Bryan celebrate on top of the steel cage reminded me of a similar celebration I watched here in Providence, Rhode Island when Bryan came back from the dark side and the Wyatt family. Given the even championship match this time, Bryan vs. Reigns could be a classic at Fastlane.
Last week, it was Paul Wight defecting from the WWE to show up in AEW. This week, Wight says there’s another “Hall of Fame worthy” star that he knows is coming to AEW at this Sunday’s Revolution PPV. All the expected suspects have been rumored. CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Christian and others are on that list. I’ll add in Tessa Blanchard and Gail Kim as a pair who should be thought about as well although Tony Khan, the President and owner of AEW said in an interview on Busted Open on Sirius XM that “he” would help us in referring to the superstar coming in to All Elite Wrestling. Either way, AEW has done a better job in building this “surprise” up than they did by just dropping Wight’s signing over a social media post. Make no bones about it, AEW is stepping up their game against the WWE and this Sunday’s Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley exploding barbed wire death match for the AEW Championship should be worth the hype.
Coming up this week:
All Mighty Championship Celebration of Bobby Lashley
NXT Championship Match: Finn Balor vs. Michael ColeNXT Women’s Championship Match: Io Shirai vs. Toni StormXia Li vs. Kayden Carter
Big E returns – Apollo Crews demands match
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