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Raw review 26/02/24






We have less than six weeks to go before Wrestlemania and after Elimination Chamber, two of the biggest matches for the show are officially set. Drew McIntyre and Becky Lynch won the Elimination Chamber matches, meaning they’re off to challenge Seth Rollins and Rhea Ripley respectively. Those matches are likely to get a lot of attention this week so let’s get to it.



People arrived earlier today.


Long Elimination Chamber recap.


Here is Dominik Mysterio in the ring, where he is immediately booed out of the building. Dominik brings out Rhea Ripley, who is far less booed. Ripley talks about how she may be from down under but she is always on top.


Cue Becky Lynch to interrupt, saying she has come around to Wrestlemania to face Ripley. What a night they both had on Saturday and now Ripley can lose at Wrestlemania. Dominik: “Nobody talks to Mami that way.” Becky: “Shut your mouth you little kumquat.”



Lynch talks about everything Ripley has done, but she has done it too, while writing a bestselling book. Ripley: “You done? Cool.” Ripley says the man always thinks she does everything but behind every great man, there is a greater woman.


With Ripley and Dominik gone, cue Nia Jax to jump Lynch from behind and lay her out. This was a tease of Lynch vs. Ripley tearing each other apart but we need Jax involved to start (likely before Lynch beats her soon) because reasons.



Post break, Jax says she should be going to Wrestlemania over Lynch. Tonight, Liv Morgan is getting ten times the beating she already gave Lynch.



Match 1 Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura


Nakamura takes him up against the ropes to start but Zayn is right back with an armdrag into an armbar. They go outside with Zayn hitting a moonsault off the barricade but coming up holding his ribs as we take a break. Back with Zayn fighting up and striking away, setting up a Michinoku Driver for two. A tornado DDT sends Nakamura outside again but he’s right back in to cut off the dive.



We take another break and come back again with Zayn grabbing the Blue Thunder Bomb for two, meaning it’s time for frustration to set in. Nakamura knees him back down and sends Zayn outside, with a dive back inside barely bating the count. The Kinshasa misses though and Zayn hits the Helluva Kick to the back of the head. A regular Helluva Kick finishes for Zayn at 14:54.


Official Result Sami Zayn Wins



Rating: B-. This is a good example of a match that was hurt by the breaks, as nearly half of the match was spent in commercials. It’s hard to get into the groove of things when you keep going to a break but Zayn gets a big win and moves on the Road To Wrestlemania. I’m not sure where he’s going, but if he wants a title match, is there anyone left but Gunther?


Video on Imperium vs. New Day, who have somehow been feuding for nearly two years. How is that possible?


Pat McAfee is in WWE2K24 and is rather pleased.



Match 2 Chelsea Green vs. Raquel Rodriguez


Green says she is competing under protest here because Rodriguez stole her battle royal win last week. Then Rodriguez went all the way to Australia to lose? Green can make her loses here too. Rodriguez crosses a line that Green draws on the mat and starts fast, including a fall away slam. The Tejana Bomb finishes Green at 1:18.


Official Result Raquel Rodriguez wins


Sami Zayn needed that win and says he is on his way to becoming a champion. Ludwig Kaiser, followed by Gunther, interrupt and the fans like that.



Cody Rhodes is ready for the Rock’s response to his challenge this week on Smackdown. As for tonight, he’s ready for Grayson Waller.


Here is Imperium for a chat. Gunther brags about retaining the title last week and says Jey Uso gave him a fight last week. Gunther got lucky and retained because no one is perfect, but he comes close. It is time to address his future, because there aren’t many left for him to beat. Who is he supposed to face at Wrestlemania?


Cue Judgment Day of all people, with Damian Priest saying they don’t sweat Gunther. Judgment Day is going to run the table at Wrestlemania, including winning the Intercontinental Title. Gunther wants to know who is coming for the title and Dominik Mysterio steps up.


Dominik says the title belongs to the Judgment Day and Priest has to be held back from Gunther. I’m intrigued by this, but please not another multi-man ladder match. It’s a way to get the title off of Gunther without a loss, but my goodness please find anything but that.



Post break, Judgment Day runs into Rhea Ripley, who says they better know what they’re doing with Gunther. Dominik runs into Andrade, who is looking for his first opponent.



Match 3 New Day vs. Imperium


Street fight and New Day have their hockey jerseys on. They waste no time in fighting to the entrance until we go down to ringside. Kingston’s table is cut off so New Day hit a flip dive over the top/dropkick through the ropes as we take a break.



Back with the fight in the crowd before it goes back to the ring, where Woods gets chaired down. Woods is knocked outside but Kofi comes back in with a double high crossbody as house is cleaned. Kaiser gets a kendo stick to clean house but Kofi is back up. Vinci drops Kofi again and unloads on Woods with the stick as we take a break.


Back with New Day fighting back as well and loading up a table at ringside. Woods splashes Vinci through said table for two before throwing Kaiser back inside. The Midnight Hour is broken up and Kofi is sent crashing through a table at ringside. Woods is sent head first into a chair in the corner to give Kaiser the pin at 18:10.


Official Result Imperium win



Rating: B. While I’m still trying to get my head around the idea of these teams feuding for nearly two years, this was a good, hard hitting fight and that’s what it was supposed to be. I’m a bit surprised that New Day lost here but it sets Imperium up with maybe their biggest win on the main roster. New Day will be fine and Imperium could be on the way to a title shot down the line, with a good fight included.


Video on Grayson Waller.


Chad Gable comes in to see Adam Pearce and wants to challenge Gunther at Wrestlemania. Gunther reduced his daughter to tears last time and Gable wants it more than anyone else. Pearce considers this.



Match 4 Shayna Baszler/Zoey Stark vs. Indi Hartwell/Candice LeRae


Baszler and Stark are upset because Hartwell and LeRae got a title shot at Elimination. LeRae knocks Stark to the floor to start but Baszler cuts off a tornado DDT. A hard knee drops LeRae and Stark comes in to work on the arm. LeRae Codebreakers her way to freedom, allowing the tag off to Hartwell. Baszler tags herself in though and gets the Kirifuda Clutch to finish Hartwell at 2:48. As dominant as it should have been.


Official Result Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark win


R-Truth made it to the show so here are DIY and Miz, the former of whom play into Truth thinking they’re DX. They have a plan to deal with Judgment Day.


Here is a rather happy Drew McIntyre for a chat. McIntyre: “We did it.” He thanks everyone for praying for his success and now he’s off to Wrestlemania.


McIntyre is exhausted and hurt, having burst his eardrum in the Chamber. The doctor said he might not be at Wrestlemania, but he asked if the doctor thought he was CM Punk. McIntyre sits down ala Punk and calls out Seth Rollins for a chat.


Rollins answers and welcomes us to his show, before congratulating McIntyre. We get a recap of what McIntyre has been wanting to do since 2020 but Rollins is the one thing left in his way.


McIntyre doesn’t see the point in playing to the fans and won’t care about Smackdown when he wins the title. They’ll have a great match at Wrestlemania where he wins the title, but until then, back off.


Rollins respects everything McIntyre said, but some risks are worth taking. He has played every possibility in his head over and over and McIntyre may be right.


Rollins’ body may give out or the Bloodline might get to him, leaving McIntyre with an easy night at Wrestlemania. But what if McIntyre is wrong? There are things that are bigger than them, such as the title at taking out the Bloodline. At Wrestlemania, they’re going face to face for the title and may the best man win. Rollins was showing some fire here, but he needs to keep his feuds separate.



Match 5 Nia Jax vs. Liv Morgan


Liv slugs away to start but gets knocked into the corner for a hip attack. The stretch muffler has Morgan screaming and Jax swings her into the corner. The apron legdrop misses though and Morgan hits a dive to take her down as we take a break. Back with Morgan snapping Jax’s throat across the top, setting up a middle rope Codebreaker for two.


Jax headbutts her into the corner but misses a charge into the post. That sends Jax out to the floor, where Morgan is Samoan dropped against the post. Cue Becky Lynch to jump Jax for the DQ at 8:06.


Official Result Nia Jax wins via DQ


Rating: C-. This didn’t have to make much of an impact due to the commercial break in the middle. Becky coming to get her win back over Jax is the right way to go as it clears everything else out for Wrestlemania. Lynch vs. Jax is likely taking place next week and that should wrap it up. For now though, Morgan didn’t get squashed and Jax seems to be ready to drop a bit so I’ll call it a positive.


Grayson Waller, with Austin Theory, is ready to disrespect Cody Rhodes like Rhodes did on Saturday. Unless I’m mistaken, Paul Heyman could be seen in the background.


Commentary acknowledges the passing of Ole Anderson at 81 years old.


Becky Lynch talks to Adam Pearce and gets Nia Jax next week. Liv Morgan comes in to yell at Lynch for interrupting, saying not everything has to be about her.


Jey Uso was ready to win the Intercontinental Title last week but Jimmy Uso interrupted. Drew McIntyre interrupts to say he gets what Jey is going through. From the bottom of his heart, Jey deserves this. The fight is on and is quickly broken up. Jey took that whole Jimmy interference last week better than I expected.



Match 6 Grayson Waller vs. Cody Rhodes


Austin Theory is here with Waller. Rhodes takes him into the corner to start and hits the chops, only to get kneed in the face. A rather delayed vertical suplex puts Waller down again and Rhodes throws him over the top.


We’re told Paul Heyman is backstage and we take an early break. Back with Rhodes having to dive onto Theory, allowing Waller to get in a shot of his own. The Cody Cutter into the Cross Rhodes finishes for Cody at 7:46.


Official Result Cody Rhodes wins


Rating: C. Not much to see with this one and that’s how it should have been. There was no reason to believe that Waller was going to be a serious threat to Rhodes and they didn’t waste time trying to make you think otherwise. Rhodes gets to look dominant and move on to something with Heyman to wrap up the show, which is ok than the usual 15 minute main event.


Post match here is Paul Heyman, with Cody immediately grabbing a chair. Rhodes doesn’t care what is waiting on him here, but Heyman says Rhodes needs to get The Rock’s name out of his mouth. You don’t just say someone’s name and get a match….unless you’re the Rock and want to face Roman Reigns, but Cody screwed all that up. Heyman says withdraw the challenge to the Rock or else. Rhodes: “Or else what?”


Rhodes says he hasn’t talked trash about the Rock because he was a big fan. He came from a family where every meal they had was based on ticket sales and no one sold more tickets than the Rock. Rhodes grabs the chair again so Heyman has some private security get on the apron. Heyman asks if he can get in the ring but Rhodes isn’t having that.


The security gets in the ring and Rhodes says if anyone else gets in, he’s dropping them all. Heyman asks if that includes him, which it certainly does. Rhodes cleans house as Heyman calls the Rock and Roman Reigns. That’s fine with Rhodes, who is hunting the Bloodline. This was a bit of a long segment but Rhodes looked smart and fired up, which he needs to be on the Road To Wrestlemania.



Overall thoughts




The wrestling had some high spots this week but the focus was on the storytelling. Rhodes took it to a new level for his feud with Reigns, McIntyre and Rollins had a good segment and Gunther seems ready to face a bunch of potential challengers for the Intercontinental Title. That’s a lot to pack into a show, though most of the matches weren’t the strongest and they dragged things back down a bit. There is a long way before Wrestlemania though and this was a show that was taking some time to get places, as it should have.

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