Updated: Mar 3, 2020
With WrestleMania 36 on the horizon, the world of professional wrestling is heating up. The buildup of superstars and storylines is thriving, especially when it comes to the younger talent in @WWE. On my way to Monday Night Raw in Brooklyn, NY I was contemplating what we’d be witnessing. Maybe a huge return, such as The Undertaker, or maybe a character turn in the tag team division. Anything is possible weeks before the “Grandest stage of them all.”
As a fan it’s always fun to reenact moments and that’s exactly what I did. As I made my way down to my seat, I looked up at the WrestleMania sign, which was enormous opposed to previous years, and wondered what it'd be like to attend the event. The picture I posted below is my reaction to being in that moment and following WWE tradition, by pointing to the sign.
I assumed Raw would start with The Viper, @RandyOrton making his way to the ring to setup either another match or buildup for the returning @TheBethPhoenix later in the night. As the smoke from the opening pyrotechnics faded, out came The Beast, the WWE Champion- @BrockLesnar and his advocate, @HeymanHustle. There’s something about the way Heyman gives a promo that creates the perfect combination of reality and storytelling. Aside him stands Lesnar, who paints the picture of emotion with a slight smirk and eventual smile. Straight to the point as Heyman normally is, he supposed, “We’re here to hype up the main event…” and it was with slight verbal attack on his opponent that the challenger and 2020 Royal Rumble winner, @DMcIntyreWWE, made his way to the ring confidently, something we rarely if ever see in a Brock Lesnar fight. We finally received the face-off we’ve been waiting for, but not without any altercation. In quick fashion, McIntyre hit a Claymore kick straight to the face of Lesnar even leaving a laceration above the eye of Brock. It took Heyman a moment to get Lesnar back on his feet and to the back, right before Drew returned with 2 more consistent Claymore Kicks. The crowd erupted as if McIntyre won the championship then; something I hadn’t experienced at a Live WWE event in quite some time. It was in that moment when McIntyre held the WWE Championship over his head and pointed to the WrestleMania sign that fans knew a change of guard was coming in just 34 days.
Now being at a Live WWE show, fans never really know when they’re in the middle of a commercial break. A particular moment that I knew was when WWE officials handed me a stack of red solo cups and said, “Pass them down.” I was confused. Red solo cups? Ah, it clicked! The Street Profits were about to make their entrance. If you really pay attention to The Street Profits entrance, they make their way through the crowd while everyone is waving red solo cups in the air. For those wondering, I was sitting on the aisle seat nearly 6 rows up from the floor where the camera aims; I was featured on screen nearly the entire night! The match that was next had me on my feet! It was the last opportunity The Street Profits were receiving for the RAW Tag Team titles, but wouldn’t WWE hold that big moment off until WrestleMania? In this case, no. With a little help from their friend, @FightOwensFight, The Street Profits were able to capture the RAW Tag Team titles- a moment I’ll never forget! Just a year ago this popular tag team were just winning the NXT Tag Team titles and to see this rise in such short time was astonishing.
A match I never thought I’d see, let alone see live was Riddick Moss (who?) vs. @KingRicochet for the WWE 24/7 Championship, a title in which I personally believe should just be retired. Now this match went on for way longer than it should’ve, but I gave it a chance because Ricochet, who is loved by many, was featured. I thought to myself, “Ricochet can’t lose this match, right?” Maybe I jinxed it, maybe not, but his worst nightmare came true. Moss got a huge win over Ricochet with what seemed to be a unique spinebuster, not exactly sure. What bothered me most was that just a few short days ago at WWE Super ShowDown, Ricochet was competing against Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship and here he is on RAW losing to someone nobody actually knows. Monday, March 2, 2020 we saw the burial of Ricochet. Was this a Vince McMahon move? Is there a plan for him? Is Vince/ creative “done” with him? Whatever the case may be, it’s a sad sight to see such a talent wasted. This is probably the biggest issue around the WWE today besides creative direction, but that’s another time and article.
Something that caught my eye was the bout between @QoSBaszler and @KairiSaneWWE and the reason being that the live crowd was not into it. At one point the Brooklyn crowd was chanting, “Boring” for nearly 2-3 minutes. I for one was not invested in the match. A couple of years ago during the Mae Young Classic and NXT storyline involving these two I was heavily invested, but this match was thrown together to help build Baszler on RAW. In my opinion, she should’ve made short work of Sane, despite the shocking arrival of the RAW Women’s Champion, @BeckyLynchWWE, who I have completely changed my views on. This match was initially intended to make Baszler look strong and confident going into this Sundays Elimination Chamber match.
Let me elaborate on my views of Becky Lynch. She attempted to cost Baszler the match by coming onto commentary during it, which in my mind creates a heel vibe and also makes me think Becky is scared of Shayna just by the fact of trying to get into her head. Becky wore a huge furry coat with her trademarked sunglasses to present the idea of confidence or arrogance, I personally haven’t decided which works better for her. She even wore @JerryLawler crown, which in my mind is not the Becky Lynch I was a fan of during ‘Mania season last year. At this point in time knowing the current character stances, I want to see Baszler win the Chamber this Sunday and choke out Lynch at WrestleMania, almost giving Becky an awakening. Maybe that’s where we finally see Lynch admit she’s off track and the climb starts all over.
My favorite match of the night was the tag team bout between the biggest Latino stars WWE has to offer today: Rey Mysterio, Andrade, Angel Garza, & Humberto Carrillo. I’m invested in all of these Superstars, especially Angel Garza, because he presents a unique persona, almost similar to a young Eddie Guerrero (RIP). My hands were flying and my mouth was gaped open watching this match. The crowd was heavily involved too chanting at Garza, chanting “619!” and chanting, “EDDIE!” All I know is that Eddie would’ve been so proud. It was Humberto Carrillo who got the pin over Andrade with his patented Moonsault, which he executes better than most today. I cheered and clapped as this match was finalized, but more importantly, I thought about the future and where this storyline can go. I hope to see these Superstars compete in a Fatal 4 Way at WrestleMania for the United States Title in a Ladder match! That match would be a show-stealer! Plus, creative can add others to make it a 6-Man Ladder match like Ricochet and Aleister Black. Either way, this story is going to rise to the occasion!
Now to the part of the show where most are probably cringing just thinking about- the main event segment involving Randy Orton and Hall of Famer, Beth Phoenix. I’ve never seen Beth so vulnerable, which really helped get over her husband, Edge, injury. We all knew how this night would end, if history ever happens to repeat itself. We knew we’d be seeing Orton attack Beth in some shape or form, but the buildup was emotional and cringe. Orton spewed a story so twisted and real that I even contemplated agreeing with. He blamed Beth and called her an “enabler” for not keeping Edge home. At a point I wanted to leap through the crowd and RKO Orton myself because of the disrespect he stowed upon a vulnerable mother and wife. With the face of death and red in her eyes, the Hall of Famer had enough and slapped Randy with all of her grit, reaching down and keeping the thoughts of her daughters and husband in mind. The crowd was stunned waiting for Orton to strike, which didn’t happen. Can it be? Maybe Orton was going to leave it alone and leave the ring. For those at home, Orton’s wife and children were all sitting ringside watching this all play out. This segment wasn’t easy for anyone to witness. In classic Orton fashion and “Outta nowhere” he picked his head up carrying a devilish mask and uttered the word, “b*tch,” which led Beth to kick Orton. This led to what everyone around the world was waiting for- an RKO to the wife of the Rated R Superstar, Edge. As Orton slithered his way out of the ring and to the back a group of worried friends made their way to ring despite being too late. Natalya, R-Truth, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, D-Von Dudley, and Rey Mysterio, all friends of the family attempted to pick up the pieces and help Beth to her feet. I can only imagine what Edge was thinking seeing this all play out. His best friend, his brother, attempting to take away his love and his life. With all of this behind us, I can only imagine if next week’s Monday Night RAW will be Rated R...