Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of recording the second episode of Over the Top Rope with fellow writer and WWE enthusiast Spencer Love – and though the company was terrible, we had a constructive, in depth conversation prior to the recording. We talked about what first drew us into wrestling (The Rock for me, nostalgia for Spencer) and what keeps us invested through the “down” periods in the business. Sports entertainment has always had a particular knack for suspending disbelief, going so far to evoke tears from some and riotous reactions from others.
Every event run by any promotion presents a new problem in how to captivate your audience. Some go to extremes with 60 minute deathmatch gauntlet matches. WWE books a 6’8 man to shatter an upright bass guitar over another man’s back.
I have nothing else to say. Let’s take a look at this week’s episode of Monday Night RAW!
A Quick Recap
- John Cena def. the Miz. Miz enters the Elimination Chamber at No. 1
- The Revival def. The Club
- Bayley def. Sasha Banks
- Absolution def. Mickie James and Alexa Bliss
- BRAUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN pummels life out of Elias
- Roman Reign def. Elias
- Finn Balor & Seth Rollins double pin Bray Wyatt- both added to Elimination Chamber match
This Week’s Predictions
Thus far, the announced matches are a 6 Woman Tag Team Match (Sasha Banks, Bayley, Mickie James v. Alexa Bliss & Absolution) and a Gauntlet Match featuring the Men’s EC competitors. So much for individual rivalries, am I right? With that said, both pools have a number of interesting rivalries that have been fleshed out in the past few weeks.
RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss has tried to mend fences with former partner Mickie James in the past two weeks, as the free for all Elimination Chamber match looms ahead of them. Sasha Banks and Bayley have exhibited some unfriendly competitiveness within the same two weeks; will this lead to their friendship imploding? It’s been a hot topic within the rumour mill – many thinking another classic match waits for the both of them at this year’s Wrestlemania. This leaves Absolution out. Since Paige has reportedly retired from in-ring competition, both Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville have been losing steam. What car are they driving on the road to Wrestlemania? Probably a Ford Fiesta or something.
The Men’s divison is no different, though they’re not driving Ford Fiestas. Tonight’s gauntlet match is a stage for a few interweaved rivalries.
Seth Rollins has had an unlucky streak with partners. Both former Shield-Brother Dean Ambrose and Jason Jordan are on the shelf for the foreseeable future, leaving Seth scant for a shot at the RAW Tag Team Titles. Rollins is back into the fray of single’s competition on the Red brand, with a plethora of matches lying in front of him. Old rivalries with Finn Balor have reheated lately. Both men pinned Bray Wyatt for their spot in the Elimination Chamber. But it seems like Balor may have enough on his plate dealing with the Intercontinental Champion, The Miz. Miz and Balor have gone back and forth online, fueling speculation the two may be facing off in the near future, possibly with the title on the line.
Though Miz and John Cena have had words with eachother recently, I wouldn’t count on a prolonged program. Cena has unfinished business with Elias, who pinned The Franchise Player to secure his last-place entry into the Chamber match. Maybe John Cena and a certain Monster among Men will combine their powers to eliminate The Drifter. Conversely, their powers combined could summon Captain Planet. You never know.
The number of interchangable, interlocking rivalries can cause some migraines, with is amplified if you follow SmackDown Live! (If you don’t, check out Spencer Love’s writeup tomorrow.) A nice respite comes in the RAW Tag Division, with clear cut rivalries beginning to take shape. The Revival knocked off The Club last week on RAW, supposedly setting up a Tag Team Title match against Cesaro and Sheamus in the near future – perhaps at Elimination Chamber, but possibly on this evening’s edition of RAW. Gallows and Anderson have a bone to pick – an attack by Dash and Dawson before the match put them at a sharp disadvantage during the match. Count on them to be out for some payback, James Brown style.
- Nia Jax and Asuka face off tonight. What more can I say?
- Jeff Jarrett is entering the WWE Hall Of Fame – though this debatably should have been a focus of the article, a lack of familiarity aside from alcohol abuse and destroyed marriages is the only insight I have to JJ.
- Rich Swann and WWE have “parted ways”. The phrasing of the release article suggests both parties left on good terms, and leaves an open door for Rich Swann. Best of luck, Rich!
That’s it for this article; but what are your thoughts? Let us know. See you next week, and as always, thanks for reading!