Original Air Date: February 25, 2019
Event Date: February 25, 2019
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
This past October, Roman Reigns announced that he needed to take time away from WWE because he is suffering from leukemia.
Roman Reigns heads to the ring. He takes his time and slaps hands with as many fans around ringside as he can. After he enters the ring, Reigns starts by saying “thank you.” Reigns says he missed the WWE Universe. There’s no other job like his, and there’s no other fanbase like the WWE’s.
Reigns says he is a man of faith, but he was terrified before his announcement last October. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to share his secret with the world, but he has been overwhelmed with the support people have shown him. Reigns feels like he can do anything with the strength and love people have given him. Reigns want to use the platform he has to support people who are in need just like he was.
Reigns then updates everyone on his condition. He is in remission, and he is back.
Reigns makes another trip around the ring to be with the fans. As he heads up the ramp, Seth Rollins comes out. The two men hug.
Aleister Black & Ricochet vs The Revival (RAW Tag Champs)
(referee: Rod Zapata; watching in the back: Bobby Roode, Chad Gable)
Result: Aleister Black pins Scott Dawson after Black Mass
Time: 2:06 (joined in progress)
This was certainly exciting and extremely fast-paced, but it was very short and just barely a match. The Revival attacked Ricochet and Black before the bell, and the ensuing brawl continued into a commercial break. After the break, The Revival had control of the match, but that was quickly turned around. Black and Ricochet were just too quick for The Revival. The Revival thrives when they can methodically use tag rules to their advantage, but Black and Ricochet just went full speed ahead for nearly the entirety of the match. This was fun to watch, but I definitely want to see The Revival get some solid wins as the tag champs. That hasn’t happened yet on RAW since winning the titles.
Charly Caruso welcomes Baron Corbin. Caruso asks Corbin if he’s concerned about what Reigns will do now that he’s back on RAW, especially considering what Corbin said about Reigns after he left. Corbin tries to excuse what he said, and he says he hopes his and Reigns’ paths don’t cross.
Dasha Fuentes talks with Shawn Michaels as they get ready to celebrate Ric Flair’s birthday. Johnny Gargano walks up and is welcomed by Shawn.
Snoop Dogg wishes Ric Flair a happy birthday.
Elias is in the ring, but before he can do anything, Lacey Evans uses the ramp like a catwalk. She walks down, turns around, and walks back up. With Evans gone, Elias attempts to begin again. He is immediately interrupted by Dean Ambrose who heads down to the ring.
Dean Ambrose feels good, and when he feels good, he feels dangerous. Ambrose issues a challenge for a rematch with Drew McIntyre, but he wants that match to be no DQ. Elias begins to play his guitar. He says that before he was interrupted, he was about to play a song about how much he loves Atlanta. Elias then insults Atlanta’s football team.
Ambrose says he came out to request a song. He makes a few suggestions. Ambrose then asks Elias if he knows “Dirty Deeds.” Elias says he can play anything on his guitar, it’s just a matter of what he wants to do with it. Elias wants to smash the guitar on Dean Ambrose, but Ambrose avoids the guitar shot and hits Elias with Dirty Deeds. Ambrose walks away.
As Elias gets up, the Riott Squad heads to the ring.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat is backstage for Ric Flair’s party.
Sarah Logan & Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan vs Natalya & Ronda Rousey (RAW Women’s Champ)
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Natalya & Ronda Rousey win via DQ when Becky Lynch punches Natalya at ringside
Time: 6:34 (1 break)
Pretty good match. At times it felt like you could see Ronda and Natalya thinking about what was coming next, but this wasn’t a bad match. In the end, it mostly just felt like the match was filling time until Becky Lynch came out and attacked Natalya and Rousey though. The segment was ultimately about Becky and Ronda more than anything else.
After the match, Becky Lynch tries to continue her attack on Ronda Rousey, but officials and police come out to break up the fight. Lynch is taken away in handcuffs by the police.
After a commercial break, Fit Finlay and Adam Pearce help Natalya get backstage while Ronda Rousey heads back to the ring. Rousey calls for Vince McMahon to come out to the ring. Instead, Stephanie McMahon heads to the ring.
Rousey demands that Stephanie reinstate Becky Lynch for Wrestlemania. Stephanie says that Becky Lynch has been arrested. Rousey tells Steph to tell her “daddy” to drop the charges and reinstate Lynch. Steph says it’s not that easy. She knows Ronda wants Becky, but Ronda’s opponent at Wrestlemania will be Charlotte. Becky is a victim of her own actions and emotions. Rousey knows that reinstating Becky is best for business. Steph says her answer is “a hard no.”
Rousey doesn’t accept that and once again demands that Stephanie reinstate Becky. Steph finally gets angry. She says Ronda is just like Becky. She has a bad attitude and is unprofessional. No one is bigger than WWE, not even Ronda. Ronda says the McMahons have turned the title into just a belt. It doesn’t represent the best of the best when she has to defend against who the McMahons choose. Ronda drops the title at Stephanie’s feet and walks away. Stephanie looks down at the title as the show goes to a commercial break.
Steve Austin wishes Ric Flair a happy birthday.
Stephanie holds the RAW Women’s title and stares at it as she walks backstage. Triple H joins her, and he doesn’t look happy.
Jinder Mahal and the Singh brothers are in the ring. Mahal wonders what Ric Flair has ever done to deserve a celebration on RAW. Also, Mahal is upset because he wasn’t invited to the party. So Mahal has issued an open challenge to anyone in the back. Kurt Angle answers the challenge.
Jinder Mahal w/ Singh Brothers vs Kurt Angle
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Kurt Angle wins via submission with an ankle lock
This was kind of fun. It was short, as expected, and it ended in an expected way. This was a nice moment for Angle though.
On the stage, Alexa Bliss welcomes everyone to A Moment of Bliss. She starts by saying she would have never disrespected the women’s title like Rousey just did. If the McMahons need someone to replace Ronda at Wrestlemania, they know where to find Alexa.
Alexa then welcomes Finn Balor to the stage. She compliments Balor on his recent IC Title when, then she compliments him on his abs. She begins to offer to show Balor something if he’ll show her his abs, but Lio Rush interrupts the proceedings.
Rush comes out and says Balor doesn’t deserve to be IC champ. Bobby Lashley deserves the title. Balor says Lashley knows where to find him if he wants a title shot. Rush says Lashley is preparing for Braun Strowman right now, so Balor has to answer to Rush. Balor twists Rush’s words so that it sounds like Rush wants an IC Title shot to prove he’s better than Lashley. Rush protests, but Balor says Rush deserves the opportunity. Balor accepts Rush’s challenge. Rush hesitates, but he is goaded into accepting the title match by Alexa and Finn.
Maria Menounos wishes Ric Flair a happy birthday.
Sarah Schreiber talks with Titus O’Neil at Flair’s party. Titus welcomes Sting as he arrives.
Intercontinental Title Match
Lio Rush vs Finn Balor (IC Champ)
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Finn Balor wins via pinfall after Coup De Grace
Very good match. Balor hurt his knee early in the match, and that gave Rush a clear opening. Rush concentrated on Balor’s leg for much of the match. Balor had to fight through the pain and try to hit some big moves to keep Rush from completely dominating. Balor was able to pull of some very timely counters to Rush’s offense, and that kept him in the match. This was a very good match. We need more competitive matches with cruiserweights like this and less of treating cruiserweights like a joke on RAW.
The Ascension tries to intimidate Tucker Knight while making fun of Otis Dozovic. Otis walks up, and Knight tells Dozovic what The Ascension said. Otis and Tucker knock Konnor and Viktor down. That’s what you get when you mess with Heavy Machinery.
Bobby Lashley is upset with Lio Rush. Rush had one job: to get a title match for Lashley. Lashley wonders if he can trust Rush. Rush says he can, but Lashley doesn’t seen to be convinced.
Bobby Lashley heads to the ring for a match. He is accompanied by Lio Rush. Braun Strowman comes out next, and Lashley attacks Strowman before the match can begin. A brawl breaks out. Strowman gets the better of Lashley in the brawl. Strowman knocks down both Lashley and Rush at ringside before leaving the ring area. Rush looks hurt, and Lashley looks angry.
Charly Caruso welcomes Seth Rollins. Rollins is still focused on taking the Universal Title at Wrestlemania, but tonight is all about Roman Reigns returning to RAW. Rollins excuses himself so he can go celebrate with his friend and brother.
Ric Flair arrives in a limo.
WWE celebrates Black History Month with a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum.
No DQ Match
Dean Ambrose vs Drew McIntyre
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Drew McIntyre wins via pinfall after the Claymore Kick
Time: 5:48 (1 break)
Good match. it was kind of short, but I liked how Ambrose’s interactions with Elias earlier in the night came back to hurt him in the match. It made perfect sense. The fight between McIntyre and Ambrose was good as well, though it could have gone on a little longer.
After the match, Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley head down to the ring. Corbin, Lashley, Alias, and McIntyre all gang up on Ambrose. After a few moments, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns march down to the ring. Rollins and Reigns make quick work of the four men attacking Ambrose. Rollins and Reigns leave the ring without Ambrose. As Rollins and Reigns make it to the ramp, they turn around and look at Ambrose. Rollins seems angry, Reigns seems neutral, and Ambrose just smirks.
Bayley w/ Sasha Banks (Women’s Tag Champs) vs Nia Jax w/ Tamina
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Bayley wins via pinfall after a diving elbow
Time: 5:44 (1 break)
Good match. Bayley fought hard and never let up. Jax got a few moves in, but Bayley’s tenacity was the difference tonight. I think this was a good match for Bayley and the tag champs as a team.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon lead a procession of superstars as they head to the ring for Ric Flair’s birthday celebration.
The ring is decorated with baloons and a cake for Ric Flair’s 70th birthday celebration. On the stage are many RAW superstars. Triple and Stephanie McMahon head to the ring. Triple H talks about tonight’s show, but he says all that pales in comparison to celebrating the 70th birthday of Ric Flair. Before bringing out Flair, Stephanie starts by introducing some invited guests. First is Shawn Michaels, followed Ricky Steamboat, Kurt Angle, and Sting.
Triple H then introduces a video tribute to Flair. After the video, Stephanie unveils a custom title belt for Flair based on the 10 pounds of gold title. Triple H finally introduces Flair, but Flair doesn’t come out.
Batsita drags a cameraman to Ric Flair’s dressing room. After a few seconds, Batista drags Flair out of his dressing room and leaves him lying on the ground. Batista stares at the camera and asks Hunter if he has his attention now.
Triple H runs backstage. When Triple H makes it to Flair, Batista is already gone. Flair is attended to as the show ends.
I enjoyed this show pretty well for the most part. Seeing Reigns healthy again was nice, though I hope they ease him back into story lines slowly. I also hope they find a spot for him other than chasing the Universal Title.
The Becky/Ronda stuff felt like more of the same. Rousey dropping the title is an interesting development though. It could be interesting if they do an unsanctioned match between Ronda and Becky. That would free up Charlotte to fight Asuka (which is what should happen). I am not happy that the crowd was chanting for a triple threat. I don’t want that, and a recent poll on WWE.com showed that nearly 75% of the fans don’t want that either.
The Revival needs to start winning now that they’re champs…
The Riott Squad needs to stop being an afterthought.
Ambrose dropping the germaphobe gimmick is a good thing. I like him a lot more when he’s just being his old non-caring self.
Batista showing up was fun, but I’m not looking forward to Batista versus Triple H taking up a spot at Wrestlemania. I want to watch Batista in movies, not in a WWE ring.
Match of the Night
Finn Balor vs Lio Rush
This was a solid, competitive match with some good injury psychology. Though some of the other matches were fun, this was easily the best match of the night.
Official results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2019-02-25