Becky Lynch, Women’s Royal Rumble winner and next woman up to Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, found herself slapped with an indefinite suspension just a week after challenging The Baddest Woman on the Planet, potentially endangering what may well be the most anticipated match of WrestleMania 35.
How did The Man fall so hard, so fast? Blame another heated confrontation, this time with Stephanie McMahon. The former Raw Commissioner was all smiles in her intro of Lynch, but tension rose when Stephanie insisted Becky undergo a medical examination on the knee she injured in the Rumble Match, under the pretense that The Man would not be allowed to compete unless cleared.
Becky sensed a trick. Stephanie insisted otherwise, citing a concern that Becky was hurting more than she let on. When The Man still refused to budge, the former Commissioner brought down the hammer, levying a suspension that would stand until Lynch was medically cleared by WWE staff. The Man cracked Stephanie in the face and unleashed a barrage of haymakers to prove a point, but she might have proved Stephanie’s: Her leg was tweaked again in the struggle, leaving The Man barely able to walk out of the ring under her own power. Becky didn't get where she is by capitulating in any sense of the word, but as a heated backstage confrontation with Rousey revealed, their match could be in very real jeopardy; for all her defiance, she's now playing with straight fire.
If there’s one Superstar who’s angrier at Becky Lynch’s suspension than The Man herself, it’s Ronda Rousey. The Raw Women’s Champion was fighting mad after her WrestleMania challenger got herself sent to the bench, as the suspension could have repercussions on their match. The Riott Squad, then, played the unlucky role of Rousey’s personal punching bags, with The Baddest Woman on the Planet quickly submitting Liv Morgan before inviting Sarah Logan to try her own luck. Logan fared marginally better and at least made it a fight, but she fell to the Armbar just like her cohort.
Ruby Riott hopped up on the ring apron and seemed to contemplate making her own move against the champion until she thought better of it, though she balked at the idea she was running away during a backstage interview. Rather, she claimed she was tending to her injured friends, opting to place their own unbreakable bond over personal gain — something she said a so-called “opportunist” like Rousey wouldn’t understand.
Like the proverbial bad penny — but with more tag team wrestling acumen — The Revival are back to challenge Bobby Roode & Chad Gable for the Raw Tag Team Titles that have doggedly eluded them for the last several months. And for all their underhanded tendencies, no one can say the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions weaseled their way into this one: Dash & Dawson earned the win by surviving a frantic Four Corners Tag Team Match featuring Team Red veterans and one beefy team of rising stars.
That would be Heavy Machinery, who competed in a similar match on SmackDown LIVE last week when they eliminated The New Day. Despite a spirited effort by The Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado in particular), the match seemed to come down to Heavy Machinery and The B-Team, whose Bo Dallas found himself flattened by the Caterpillar and on the verge of a match-ending Compactor. The Revival interrupted the massive finishing maneuver, however, and quickly took Heavy Machinery out of the running via some sneaky tags and high-lows over the ropes. Dallas tried to steal the win with a fisherman’s cradle, but the “Top Guys” prevailed, executing the Shatter Machine to bring themselves back to the brink of true tag team greatness.
Kurt Angle’s post-General Manager career has not been quite as kind to The Olympic Hero as he might have liked, but what seemed like his attempt to call it a dignified day as an in-ring competitor quickly turned into an opportunity for redemption when his two most recent rivals came calling.
Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre, each of whom humiliated Angle in their own fashion over the last several months, reared their heads to stop the Olympian before he could reveal exactly why he'd come to the ring. They decided to make Angle’s potential retirement decision for him by putting the Hall of Famer down for good, but Braun Strowman, another recent rival of Corbin and McIntyre’s, thundered down to even the odds. His arrival both sent Angle’s would-be annihilators scurrying into the crowd and seemed to give the Olympian something of a second wind, or at least enough reassurance that, for all his recent woes, he doesn’t have to lay down for Father Time just yet.
No Boss, no problem: Despite a pre-match ambush from Alicia Fox & Nikki Cross that sidelined Sasha Banks, Bayley all but singlehandedly punched The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection’s ticket to the Elimination Chamber, where they’ll compete to become the first-ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.
The Boss didn’t have a single second of offense in the match, but she did have one key defensive contribution, yanking Bayley out of harm’s way and causing a charging Cross to collide painfully with the ring post. When Alicia tagged in to finish off the depleted Bayley, The Huggable One rolled up the self-proclaimed “Captain” to ensnare the win and send the team to the Elimination Chamber. Odds against them, competing at half-strength, and history at stake? This was never even a question: Bayley and Sasha had ‘em right where they wanted ‘em all along.
Well, this was certainly unexpected. In what’s already shaping up to be the most unlikely comeback story of this very young year, WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett stepped into the ring with Elias in his first Raw match since the Attitude Era. And while he didn’t get the win, Double J did get the last word, thanks in no small part to an assist from Road Dogg.
Indeed, remembering the words to “With My Baby Tonight” was just the beginning of the D-O-Double-G’s contribution to Double J’s comeback match: The former WWE Tag Team Champion dogged (so to speak) The Living Truth from the jump, forcing Elias into the defensive while Jarrett landed haymaker after haymaker. Elias fought back and defeated Jarrett with Drift Away, but the Dogg’s distraction of The Living Truth allowed the Hall of Famer to sneak up behind him and bash a guitar over his back. No one can begrudge Elias for his frustration, but to put a spin on an old catchphrase: He should have known.
Points to Bobby Lashley for creativity, but it may end up taking a little more than a last-minute switcheroo to hold off Finn Bálor. The All-Mighty’s big plan to upend his match with the Irishman on Raw — in which a victory would potentially give Bálor a crack at Lashley’s Intercontinental Title — was to sub in his hype man Lio Rush and only grant Finn the title bout if he “entertained” the champion enough to earn one.
Unfortunately, Lashley’s attempts to humiliate Bálor got the better of him. The All-Mighty got himself thrown out of the match halfway through, and despite an impressive effort by The Man of the Hour that saw him target Bálor’s tenderized ribs, the former Universal Champion evaded Lio’s Final Hour frog splash, drilled his opponent with a dropkick and spiked a Coup de Grâce to conclude a thoroughly entertaining match. Whether it was enough to get Finn a title opportunity, however, is a question for another day.
Among all the new arrivals to WWE, EC3 has easily been the most enigmatic. So it was somewhat understandable that Dean Ambrose crashed The Top One Percent’s “Moment of Bliss” interview before EC3 could even get a word out, perhaps sensing the new arrival would be easy pickings for an in-ring embarrassment. And true, Ambrose did pry EC3 away from the hungry eyes of Alexa Bliss (though in fairness, Nia Jax had already interrupted the proceedings to brag about her accomplishments over the past week), but the newcomer left the former WWE Champion seeing red when he defeated The Lunatic Fringe with a jackknife cover. The loss left Ambrose fuming for the second straight week, and EC3 walked out having made quite the statement — not bad for a guy who still hasn’t spoken.
With redemption in the balance, Kurt Angle didn’t win the main-event match on Raw in which he teamed with Braun Strowman to take on Drew McIntyre & Baron Corbin. But he did get a "moment of glory," giving a turn-back-the-clock performance that The Monster Among Men helped facilitate as if they’d been teaming for 20 years: Strowman bailed Angle out when necessary and softened their foes up for the final sprint, dropping Corbin and McIntyre with a double suplex before tagging in the Olympian.
Unfortunately, their opponents executed their game plan to near-perfection, mounting a match-long effort to bait Strowman into disqualifying himself that finally bore fruit when The Gift of Destruction hauled off and slugged Corbin while Angle was the legal man. Despite suffering a Claymore that knocked him into the audience, Strowman came through one more time to save Angle from being slammed onto the steel steps by The Scottish Terminator and The Lone Wolf. Arriving with seconds to spare, The Monster Among Men planted McIntyre and Corbin on top of the steps one after the other and raised the Olympian’s hand as the show went off the air. It wasn’t a victory, per se. But it sure was sweet.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Ronda Rousey defeated Liv Morgan by submission (w/ Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan) (1:25)
- Ronda Rousey defeated Sarah Logan by submission (w/ Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan) (5:00)
- The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) defeated Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight) & The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) & Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik) (w/ Kalisto) to be the #1 Contender for the WWE Raw Women's Championship (11:20)
- Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Alicia Fox & Nikki Cross to qualify for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match (6:00)
- Elias defeated Jeff Jarrett (w/ Road Dogg) (7:20)
- Finn Bálor defeated Lio Rush (w/ Bobby Lashley) (8:00)
- EC3 defeated Dean Ambrose (2:40)
- Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre defeated Braun Strowman & Kurt Angle by disqualification (12:15)
Other on-screen talent