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RAW Recap & Review – Episode 1343

WWE RAW
Episode 1343
#RAW

Original Air Date: February 18, 2019
Event Date: February 18, 2019
(aired live)

City: Lafayette, LA
Venue: Cajundome

Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome

 

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Pedro Morales (1942 – 2019)

 

Ring Area
Triple H is entering the and the show starts. He wants to know if we can feel the excitement of this time of year in WWE. Last night, Bayley and Sasha Banks became the first women’s tag champs, Finn Balor became the IC Champ, and Kofi Kingston captured the hearts and imaginations of the world. And then Becky Lynch showed that not a suspension nor a knee injury would keep her from getting at Charlotte and Ronda Rousey. All of that was pretty cool. What’s also pretty cool is that D-Generation X is getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.

And if all of that didn’t convince you that the road to Wrestlemania is exciting, then Triple H announces that four NXT starts will make their in-ring debuts on RAW tonight: Ricochet, Alesiter Black, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa. Also tonight, there will be a table match between Baron Corbin and Braun Strowman.

 

Match 1
Tables Match
Braun Strowman vs Baron Corbin
(referee: John Cone)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Braun Strowman wins by hitting Baron Corbin with a running powerslam through a table
Time: 10:04 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
This was kind of boring to me. I’m sure there are people who liked it, but there was nothing here for me. It was basically a rematch from the PPV, which is the exact same thing they did the night after Corbin and Strowman’s TLC match in December. But this rematch made even less sense, because even though there were no disqualifications tonight (just like last night), Corbin didn’t have his friends come out and help him again. He actually got dumber in 24 hours. This was pointless.

 

Ring Area
As Strowman walks up the ramp after the match, Paul Heyman comes out. Heyman has a few words for Strowman, so Strowman grabs Heyman by the throat. Strowman lets go and leaves. Heyman needs a minute to recuperate.

After a commercial break, Paul Heyman is in the ring. He isn’t surprised at what Strowman just did. Strowman is right to be jealous of Brock Lesnar. To illustrate why Lesnar is the greatest WWE star of all time, Heyman introduces a video.

Video
This is the story of a real life beast, as narrated by Paul Heyman. Lesnar is headed to Wrestlemania where his opponent will have no hope of victory. Lesnar grew up on a farm where he honed his killer instincts. He then became the best collegiate wrestler in the country. WWE approached Lesnar, and it only took him two years to beat everyone who was anyone in WWE. That’s when he left for the true competition of UFC. Lesnar was so good that he grew bored of UFC. He came back to WWE to end The Undertaker’s streak.

Ring Area
Back in the ring, Heyman takes an impromptu survey. He asks the crowd how many of them think that Seth Rollins will emerge from Wrestlemania as Universal Champ. Some people cheer. Heyman begins to respond when Finn Balor interrupts and heads to the ring.

Ring Area
After a commercial break, Balor is in the ring and Heyman is gone. Balor says it feels good to wear a title belt again. It’s been a dream of Balor’s to hold the IC Title, and he’s proud to continue its legacy. As he speaks, Lio Rush interrupts and comes out to the stage.

Rush tells Balor that he doesn’t deserve to be IC Champ. Bobby Lashley deserves that title. As Balor looks up at Rush, Lashley attacks Balor from behind. Lashley and Rush beat up Balor until Ricochet runs down to the ring. Ricochet eliminates both Rush and Lashley from the ring.

 

Match 2
Finn Balor (IC Champ) & Ricochet vs Lio Rush & Bobby Lashley
(referee: Darrick Moore)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Ricochet pins Lio Rush after the 630 senton
Time: 14:42 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This was mostly a match to highlight Ricochet, but it did manage to keep the Balor/Lashley feud going at the same time. Ricochet started the match and dominated Rush. Lashley tagged in and Ricochet tagged out to Balor after a short while. Balor did well, but he began to get dominated by the team of Lashley and Rush. Then, Ricochet came back into the match which led to a fun finish. The layout of the match felt pretty standard, but the quality of action was very high. Ricochet and Balor make quite a good team.

 

Backstage
Triple H is speaking with Natalya when Drew McIntyre shows up. Natalya excuses herself. Drew McIntyre tells Triple H that he wants Seth Rollins. McIntyre says he will do anything main event Wrestlemania. Dean Ambrose walks up and says that he isn’t doing anything tonight, so why doesn’t McIntyre fight him? Ambrose then slaps McIntyre and walks away. McIntyre asks Triple H to give him Ambrose tonight instead of Rollins.

Video
Last night, Ronda Rousey beat Ruby Riott in seconds. Then, when Charlotte confronted Rousey, Becky Lynch came to the ring through the crowd. Becky attacked Charlotte with her crutch, then Becky did the same to Rousey.

 

Match 3
Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado w/ Kalisto vs Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Lince Doardo pins Curt Hawkins with a hurricanrana
Time: 3:38

Match Thoughts
This was short, it it was mostly just to add another RAW loss to Hawkins’ streak. It’s adding more fuel to Hawkins and Ryder’s story.

 

Ring Area
On the stage, Charly Caruso welcomes Heavy Machinery. Tucker Knight tells everyone about Heavy Machinery. They like steaks and weights. They have each other’s backs, and they are ready to face any other tag team on either roster.

Lacey Evans comes out, walks down the ramp, then walks back up. Heavy Machinery then does the same thing. Then the segment ends.

Backstage
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable congratulate Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano on their RAW debut, but they wonder why Ciampa and Gargano are facing The Revival tonight. After all, new guys should start at the bottom. Gargano says he and Ciampa are the best, and they are here to take over.

The Revival walks up. Ciampa says he and Gargano are here to make an example of The Revival. The Revival isn’t scared.

 

Match 4
The Revival (RAW Tag Champs) vs Tommaso Ciampa (NXT Champ) & Johnny Gargano (NXT NA Champ)
(referee: Shawn Bennett; watching in the back: Bobby Roode, Chad Gable)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tommaso Ciampa pins Scott Dawson after Meet in the Middle
Time: 8:13 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. This was a straightforward match from two teams that know each other well. Ciampa and Gargano haven’t teamed up like this in a very long time, and even though they both seemed to do their own thing for the most part, they did work together towards the same goal. In that way, their actions in this match feels a lot like their actions recently on NXT. They’s working in parallel. The Revival looked very good, but this was DIY’s (and NXT’s) night.

 

Backstage
Charly Caruso asks Finn Balor about teaming up with Ricochet. Balor says tonight is about Ricochet, so Balor welcomes Ricochet to RAW and walks away. Ricochet says we haven’t seen the last of Ricochet on RAW. This is just the beginning.

Backstage
Ronda Rousey warms up.

Backstage
Ruby Riott gets pumped up by Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan.

Selfie Promo
Kevin Owens gives everyone an update from the lobby of a movie theater. As he eats popcorn, Owens says he has remembered why he fights. He’s ready to fight once again.

Ring Area
Sasha Banks and Bayley head to the ring. Bayley can’t believe she and Sasha are the first ever women’s tag champs. Sasha thinks it’s amazing how far they’ve come, and she couldn’t imagine taking that journey with anyone other than Bayley. Bayley says that together, they’re changing the world. Sasha says they will defend their titles anywhere and on any show. Bayley says there is no stronger connection than the Boss and Hug Connection.

As Bayley and Sasha hug, Nia Jax and Tamina come out to the stage. Jax and Tamina say stuff that gets no crowd reaction as they walk towards the ring. Bayley and Sasha prevent Jax and Tamina from entering the ring, so Jax and Tamina go away.

Video
D-Generation X is the first WWE Hall of Fame Announcement for 2019.

 

Match 5
Dean Ambrose vs Drew McIntyre
(referee: John Cone)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Drew McIntyre wins via pinfall after the Claymore Kick
Time: 1:57

Match Thoughts
Well. Dean Ambrose’s tour of losing continues. This match was short and definitive.

 

Video
Paul Heyman narrates part two of The Chronicles of The Beast (or whatever). Brock Lesnar beat a lot of the current WWE guys. Including Seth (freakin’) Rollins. Now, Lesnar will put Seth Rollins down again. That’s the end of the story (for Seth Rollins).

Backstage
Seth Rollins says Paul Heyman is not a liar. Heyman is a little mixed up though. Seth Rollins doesn’t have a death with, he has simply accepted his fate. Now Lesnar needs to accept his fate, his fate of losing the Universal Title.

Dean Ambrose walks up. He’s in pain. Seth Rollins asks Ambrose if he can help Abrose with something. Ambrose wonders where Seth Rollins was while he was getting beat up a few minutes ago. Rollins wonders if Ambrose has lost his mind. Ambrose doesn’t seem sure.

Ring Area
In the ring, Elias is tired of how he’s been treated lately. He is sick of being constantly interrupted. Tonight, Elias will sing a song for himself. He hopes the song will help him forget that anyone in Lafayette even exists. Aleister Black immediately interrupts Elias’s song as he heads to the ring.

In the ring, Aleister Black offers to give Elias the silence he wants as Elias fades to black.

 

Match 6
Elias vs Aleister Black
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Aleister Black wins via pinfall after Black Mass
Time: 4:37 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. It was kind of short, but Black looked impressive. Elias got in a few good hits himself including a very nice jumping knee strike, but Elias did what he does best.

 

Match 7
RAW Women’s Title Match
Ruby Riott w/ Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan vs Ronda Rousey (RAW Women’s Champ)
(referee: Darrick Moore)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Ronda Rousey wins via submission with an arm bar
Time: 8:03 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. This should have happened on the PPV, but at least it happened. Ruby Riott had a better game plan that Rousey, and Riott actually out-wrestled Rousey. Unfortunately for Riott, Rousey wouldn’t be beaten by moves that would beat pretty much any other competitor in the women’s division. Riott helped make Rousey look very good in this.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan try to attack Ronda Rousey. They fail.

 

Show Impressions
I enjoyed this episode. There wasn’t really a main story on the show. Nearly every segment was self-contained. Instead of a story, there was a theme to this RAW. And that theme was NXT.

It seems strange debuting four wrestlers from NXT, two of who are current champs. It doesn’t feel as much like a call-up as it feels just like a highlight of NXT. Especially since the previous call-ups Are only just starting to get established on the main roster (with Lars Sullivan not even showing up yet even though he was announced before any of the rest). It will be interesting to see how Ricochet, Black, Ciampa, and Gargano are used in the next few weeks.

Match of the Night
The Revival vs Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
It was a tough decision between this and the Balor/Ricochet vs Rush/Lashley match. Both were about equally good, though the tag team work in Revival vs DIY was a lot better.

 

Official Results:https://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2019-02-18

 

 

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