Date: February 28, 2019
Location: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Percy Watson, Renee Young
We’ve reached that time of the week to find out how much WWE can ignore various storylines that they present as some of the biggest stories on their television shows. I’m sure we’ll see a lot from Raw of course, as it’s building towards Wrestlemania and Smackdown’s build to Fastlane means absolutely nothing. Let’s get to it.
Rezar vs. No Way Jose
Jose sidesteps him to start and we hit the early dancing but Rezar throws Jose down without much effort. We’re already in the chinlock, followed by right hands to the face and a standing side choke. That’s switched up into a laying side choke until Jose fights up with a slam. Some right hands have little effect as Rezar drives him hard into the corner again. A chokeslam finishes Jose at 5:28.
Result: Rezar b. No Way Jose – Chokeslam (5:28)
We look back at Roman Reigns announcing that he had leukemia and had to vacate the title.
Here’s Reigns, in street clothes, to open things up to an absolute ROAR. Reigns takes a long time high fiving people and stops to hug three women in the front row, likely family. He hits the pose on the ropes and stares at the ring for a bit before getting back inside. Reigns thanks the fans, which he’ll likely be doing a lot. He missed us all because there is no job like this.
Reigns says this is our yard and believed that God had his back the whole time. He was scared back in October and didn’t know if he wanted to tell everyone about the condition. Fans: “IT’S OK!” When he got home from making the announcement, he couldn’t believe all of the messages he received and he was so touched that God’s voicemail was full about him. Reigns is going to use his platform to support people and raise awareness for the condition he went through.
So as for the announcement, he’s done better than swinging for the fences. They’ve hit a home run because he’s in remission. After one heck of an ovation for that, Reigns says that the Big Dog is back. The fans greet that with some barking and a WELCOME BACK chant and Reigns says thank you so much. No return date is given. Reigns leaves to another ovation and here’s Seth Rollins to hug him.
Guess who’s back:
We open with the contract signing, as Daniel Bryan and Rowan are in the ring with Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon (twice in a week). Shane hypes up the match and shows us some of Kofi’s career highlights in a package. With that out of the way, Stephanie talks about Kofi’s recent history in that weird way of hers, such as saying approximately two weeks ago (it was two weeks ago), Kofi lasted over an hour in the gauntlet match with a “globally trending” victory over Bryan.
This brings out New Day with Kofi saying that he’s been here for eleven years and he’s FINALLY getting a chance. He wouldn’t be here without Big E. and Xavier Woods and we stop for a YOU DESERVE IT chant. There’s only one thing left for him to do now, and he’ll do it at Fastlane when he beats Bryan to become WWE Champion. They both sign….and here’s Vince McMahon.
Vince thanks Kofi for everything but it’s his job to give the fans the biggest matches they can get. That’s why Kofi is being replaced at Fastlane with a returning superstar who will face Bryan instead. That man is…..Kevin Owens (who once destroyed Vince). Kevin comes out and signs as New Day protests, though Kofi is devastated.
How to shake things up:
Kofi Kingston/Kevin Owens vs. Daniel Bryan/Rowan
Rowan shoves the upset Kofi down to start so it’s off to Owens to try his luck. Owens slugs away but gets caught with a dropkick of all things for two. It’s off to Bryan who gets elbowed in the face to send him outside. That means the big running flip dive from Owens and we take a break.
Back with Rowan cranking on Kofi’s neck before it’s back to Bryan for some nose ripping. Rowan comes back in to drive Kofi ribs first into the corner, setting up Bryan’s top rope superplex for two. The LeBell Lock goes on but a boot on the rope gives Kofi a breather. Kofi hits the double stomp out of the corner and brings Owens in to beat up both villains.
A superkick knocks Owens off the apron and the Pop Up (sitout this time) powerbomb gets two on Bryan. Owens leans over the ropes so Rowan can hit him in the face. Kofi dives onto Rowan and posts him though, allowing Owens to avoid a charge and Stun Bryan for the pin at 16:20.
Result: Kevin Owens/Kofi Kingston b. Daniel Bryan/Rowan – Stunner to Bryan (16:20)
Post break Rousey demands that Vince get out here right now but she gets Stephanie McMahon instead. Becky has just been arrested but Rousey doesn’t want anything other than the suspension being lifted. Stephanie says Rousey can face Charlotte at Wrestlemania because Becky is unprofessional and brought this on herself. Rousey appeals to Stephanie’s legacy and her three daughters but it’s still a hard no.
That’s not good enough for Rousey so Stephanie shouts about being Rousey’s boss. Rousey says she’s not like everyone else because she’s Ronda Rousey and the Raw Women’s Champion. This is just a belt (that’ll be a fine) and it’s not even her style. It’s time for Vince to make the right decision. Rousey lays the title down and walks away.
The champ is no longer here:
Here’s Charlotte to talk about what happened on Raw. She compares herself to Kevin Owens earlier tonight because she’s here to save Wrestlemania. Charlotte isn’t scared of Wrestlemania and shows us a clip of Ronda from November where she says if you can’t do your job as champion you need to step aside. She’ll be on Raw to see what Ronda thinks about Wrestlemania.
Maybe the champ is here:
Apollo Crews vs. EC3
EC3 runs him over to start and poses as the announcers talk about the other NXT callups. The fans are split as Apollo fights out of a top wristlock and takes EC3 down with an armdrag. We take an abrupt break and come back with EC3 hitting a suplex and slapping on a nerve hold. The EC3 elbow gets two but they both try crossbodies at the same time for a double knockdown. Crews gets back up and kicks him in the face, setting up a high crossbody for two. An enziguri sets up the standing moonsault for the pin at 10:18.
Result: Apollo Crews b. EC3 – Standing moonsault (10:18)
From Raw to wrap it up.
With the roster on the stage, the ring is ready for the party and HHH and Stephanie handle the introductions. After HHH recaps the night, Stephanie introduces the special guests: Shawn Michaels, Ricky Stemboat, Kurt Angle and Sting. HHH introduces a video on Flair as we’re running low on time.
Back in the ring, Stephanie unveils a custom made title (which she also calls a belt) so we can get to the introduction…and there’s no Flair. We cut to the back where Batista of all people has commandeered a camera man and goes into Flair’s locker room. A fight is heard and Batista pulls Flair out of the room. Batista: “Hey Hunter. Do I have your attention now?” HHH runs to the back and finds agents and referees around Flair to end the show.
Now that’s just mean:Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1.
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