5 things that could happen on RAW next week
WWE RAW has now gone two weeks in a row presenting us with a solid professional wrestling television show. The talk was minimal, the wrestling content was focused upon, and the wrestling itself was strong. I liked the show overall and it was another easy 3 hours to get through, but I have a few issues that I’ll get to. The biggest one that I think needs to be aired here as well as below in my predictions, is the inclusion of Nia Jax vs. Asuka at the Elimination Chamber PPV. What has Nia Jax done to earn a shot at getting into the title match at WrestleMania? I feel the exact same way about having the female competitors just getting announced for the Chamber instead of having to qualify like the men, especially since that match is actually for the title, but at least they have to survive the structure and outlast 5 other women. Nia only has to beat one woman to get to WrestleMania. Yes, that one woman is the nearly infallible Asuka, but it’s just poor booking. Is it because in mid-January Asuka was unable to pin Nia? That’s the only “reason” they could give to have the match, but even then it’s terrible because Asuka won by TKO. She hurt Nia so much that she couldn’t continue. Anyway, more of that later. Here’s what I predicted last week.
- Tag Team Turmoil gets set up for Elimination Chamber
Tag teams didn’t get much love this week on RAW. Yes, the Tag Titles were defended in a good match that saw Sheamus & Cesaro beat Rollins and Reigns, subbing for the injured Jason Jordan, retain their titles by DQ. The match was made specifically to further the issue between Rollins and Jordan, which might not even happen at WrestleMania as previously rumored if Jordan won’t be cleared to wrestle by then. If he can’t wrestle, I hope the rumors of Rey Mysterio coming back are true, because I’d love to see Rollins vs. Rey at ‘Mania. In other tag team events, The Revival lost again, this time to Finn Balor and Karl Anderson. I get that Finn and Karl go back 5 years and have been friends and partners for longer than Dash and Dawson, but they were also never regular tag partners. No idea why this match had to take place. Poor booking, unless it’s leading to a radical transformation for The Revival, which would be wildly unnecessary.
- Female Elimination Chamber match participants are announced
As expected, the women’s Elimination Chamber match just had the participants straight-up announced. The men had to qualify, but in this one, 5 women are getting a shot at the Women’s Championship without having earned it. That’s crappy, and Alexa Bliss pointed it out. WWE clearly doesn’t care that much about it because Bliss complaining about it to Kurt Angle was just a storyline trigger to make Bliss look like a complainer trying to get out of the match. She got cheered to start because the fans agreed with her, but they made sure to turn the audience right back around before the end of the segment, thus making her “inequality” speech completely pointless and forgotten. Oh, it’s so upsetting.
- Finn Balor is a guest on Miz TV
Wrong again. The Miz was busy qualifying for the Elimination Chamber match, and Balor’s evening was covered above. It’s a definite possibility that Balor ends up qualifying next week only to get eliminated from the Chamber by The Miz, which could lead to a program for the IC Title at WrestleMania, but we’ll have to see what happens. I’m still hoping that they are going to set up Cena vs. Balor at ‘Mania. Maybe Finn can eliminate Cena from the Chamber just like Cena eliminated him from the Rumble match, which leads to them going one-on-one in New Orleans. Samoa Joe is being advertised to return in mid-March though, so there’s still a chance that he could get back into a program with Cena. Or they could just do Cena vs. The Undertaker and we can all let out a collective groan.
- Braun Strowman gets the week off
I’m very glad they didn’t go this direction, because the main event on RAW this week, which only a decent match at best, was a very good idea. The three men who first qualified for the Chamber match faced off to see which one would earn the right to enter last. That leaves out the other three men who will be in the match, so doing it this week instead of waiting until all the participants are decided is a bit short-sighted, but at least they came up with the idea, and I appreciate that. Elias looked great and took advantage of his situation to win the match. He may have been destroyed (along with Cena) by Braun afterward, but that’s what Braun does, so it’s all good. Plus he got to pin Cena, which not a ton of people get to do.
- Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Jason Jordan qualify for the Elimination Chamber
Wow, I was way off on this one. Roman was obvious, of course, but I’m shocked that Seth isn’t going to be in the match. Where does that leave him for the pay-per-view? If Jordan can’t wrestle, they can’t have a match, and it was made clear that no matter what, this was Rollins’ last match for the Tag Titles against The Bar. An immediate idea doesn’t spring up for him. Like I said, I think a match with Mysterio at WrestleMania is an obvious way to go if they can make that happen, but could he actually be left out in the cold at the Elimination Chamber show? Odd. Or interesting. I’m not sure yet. Hopefully we will get some idea next week as to what his direction will be.
#5 Six-Woman Tag Team Match
Now, this isn’t as big of a damnation on the handling of the women’s division as it usually is when I say there’s going to be a multi-woman match taking place. This match could actually have some good storyline purpose behind it. This week on RAW we saw Alexa Bliss save Mickie James from a post-match attack at the hands of Absolution. Alexa brought Mickie back to WWE when she was the SmackDown Women’s Champion in order to gain an ally when every other woman was out to get her. Their alliance has since fallen apart, but Alexa may be trying to get back in her good graces so she can have some help in the match.
In the tag team match, Bliss would team with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville to take on Mickie James, Bayley and Sasha Banks. Alexa could help the other team win in order to attempt to form a stronger alliance with Mickie and try to forge something with Banks and Bayley. Alternatively, it could be a short match that doesn’t even see the champ get tagged in, and after the match, a brawl could take place with Alexa coming to the aid of Mickie, Sasha, and Bayley instead of just sticking with the heel/face alliance that WWE usually goes with. It makes sense to take out the strong unit of Rose and Deville, and everyone can see that Sasha and Bayley are having trouble, so with Rose and Deville gone, Sasha and Bayley focus on each other, which gives Bliss a better chance, numerically, at holding onto her title.