REVIEW: Making It Official And Rejecting The Hug

Rapid Results:

  • Kurt Angle confirmed that he will join forces with Ronda Rousey to take on Stephanie McMahon and Triple H at WrestleMania 34.
  • Asuka tapped Nia Jax out.
  • Bayley defeated Mandy Rose and gave Sasha Banks the cold shoulder after she saved Bayley from an after-match attack.

The Rundown

Kurt Angle kicked off the show by calling out Triple H. However, Stephanie McMahon‘s theme hit and the Commissioner came to the ring. Stephanie says Triple H hasn’t even arrived and begins taking personal digs at Kurt Angle and his family. She mentions Kurt’s Olympic and WWE achievements and says that’s not paying any of this bills, being RAW GM is. She blames Kurt for Ronda’s actions at Elimination Chamber and says the punch from last week made them even. She tells Kurt to use his head and not his ego.

Ronda Rousey strutted out and hugged Kurt Angle, then offering Stephanie a handshake. Ronda Rousey chants filled the arena as she said she’s starting to realize the people who got her in WWE aren’t who she thought they were. She called them bullies and Stephanie says she just doesn’t understand why bosses do what they do. She reminds Ronda that she signed a contract and she’s a part of the company that she oversees. She says she granted Rousey her dream and she’s able to have her debut on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania! Stephanie confirms that Ronda is able to pick her opponent, as long as they’re not a champion and they must be an active Superstar on the roster.

Ronda Rousey announces Stephanie McMahon as her opponent and the crowd explodes with yes chants! Stephanie begins to say she’s not a part of the active roster and Triple H came out. Kurt reveals that Stephanie has both an executive contract and a Superstar contract, therefore she will face Ronda at WrestleMania! Kurt says Triple H has a second contract as well and announced that at WrestleMania, it will be Triple H & Stephanie McMahon vs Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle!

Stephanie went to slap Kurt, but Ronda caught her arm! Triple H tried to sneak attack Kurt, but Kurt countered. Ronda got into Triple H’s face and Stephanie tackled her from behind! Ronda jumped to her feet and Stephanie sprinted out of the ring! Kurt Angle got Triple H into an ankle lock and Stephanie pulled him out of the ring. Ronda snatched McMahon by her hair and ripped her into the ring! She pulled Stephanie up and got her onto her shoulders. She then laid her out with a Samoan drop!

Nia Jax was set to face Asuka next! The bell rang and Asuka started with hard hitting strikes against Nia. Nia pushed her into the corner and body pressed her multiple times, then ramming her with her butt in the corner. Asuka tried to escape Nia’s hold, but Jax nailed Asuka with a headbutt and hair toss. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James were shown backstage.

Alexa said Nia’s chances look good tonight and she needs to win. She then claims that Nia might not only end the streak, but end her career. Jax tried to splash Asuka in the corner, but The Empress dove out. She tried to capitalize, but Jax caught Asuka and hit her with a backbreaker. She then went for another maneuver, but Asuka caught her in the octopus stretch. Nia managed to escape and Asuka tried to roll her up, but Nia didn’t budge, The Irresistible Force pulled her up by her hair and pushed her into the corner. She then stomped on Asuka’s stomach and nailed her with right hand once Asuka was on the top rope. She lifted Asuka and swung her through the air before slamming her face first onto the canvas.

Back from commercial and Nia is whipping Asuka’s body around like a rag doll. During the commercial break, Nia powerbombed Asuka into the ring pole. Asuka gets Nia to her knees and goes for the hip attack, but Nia kicks out with absolute power. Nia picked Asuka up and tackled her into the corner. She then laid her out with a crucial body press. She picked Asuka up to her shoulders, but Asuka wiggled out. She pushed her into the ropes and nailed her with a pop-up Samoan drop! Asuka kicked out and Nia tormented the undefeated Superstar. She put Asuka back on her shoulders and nailed her with a deadly gorilla press. She then went to hit a leg drop, but Asuka moved out of the way.

Nia tried to pick Asuka up, but she flipped her into an armbar! She then lifted Asuka and slammed her with a powerbomb, but Asuka didn’t let go! Jax slammed Asuka into the corner and back on the canvas, but Asuka still had it locked in! Jax got back to her feet, but Asuka bounced off the ropes and flipped Nia back over into the armbar! Nia grunted and screamed in pain until she tapped out. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James were shown backstage, both looking rather worried.

Nia Jax clutched her arm and was finally able to get to her feet. Disappointment shown across Nia’s face as the crowd clapped for her as she walked backstage.

Bayley came out to address her actions last week in the tag team match. Charly Caruso confirms that Bayley will face Mandy Rose but she has to ask about what Bayley did. Before Bayley could really explain what had happened, Absolution’s theme hit. Paige said Bayley finally grew a backbone and she doesn’t need Sasha to change her diaper anymore! She says Bayley is a stupid little kid who pushed the only person who liked her away. She then stated that life in the WWE is easier with backup, and if you have no one, you have nothing.

The two started with a lockup and Bayley held Mandy from behind. Rose pulled Bayley’s foot from under her and spun with a cartwheel. Bayley got to her feet and Mandy nailed her with a dropkick. Bayley got ahold of Mandy’s arm and began wrenching it. Mandy got out, and sent Bayley into the ropes. She caught Bayley midair and slammed her into the corner. She then nailed Bayley with a scoop slam. Bayley was able to spear Mandy into the corner and tried to hit her with a back elbow, but Mandy dove out of the ring.

We return from commercial and Mandy has Bayley leveled with a headlock. Bayley fought out, but Mandy sent Bayley into the air and held her up with a suplex. She then dropped Bayley to her feet and nailed with a wicked right hand. Bayley got Mandy with a few forearms and roll ups, but Rose escaped. Bayley ran off the ropes, but Mandy awaited her arrival with a hellacious bicycle knee to her face! She attacked Bayley with a series of forearms and mounted her for a pin, but Bayley kicked out.

She pushed Bayley over into the ropes, but Bayley fought her off and pushed her through the ropes and dropped her with her signature apron stunner. She took Mandy down with her signature comeback and began slamming Mandy’s head into the turnbuckle and hitting her with a side suplex. She went to the middle rope and Sonya Deville jumped on the apron. She nailed Mandy with the back elbow and hit Deville off the apron. Mandy tried to roll her up, but Bayley countered into a pin of her own! Bayley picked up the win!

Absolution tackled Bayley and gave her the beatdown of her life. Sasha Banks ran out and took out both Absolution members. She rose Bayley’s hand and tried to hug her, but Bayley pushed her off.

Nia was seen backstage icing her arm as Alexa Bliss and Mickie James approached her. She sent Mickie away and sat down next to Nia. She says she knows Nia’s disappointed she lost to Asuka and lost her WrestleMania opportunity. She says it’s embarrassing and says she doesn’t want Nia to feel like she let herself or her family down.

She claims she knows Nia won’t be at WrestleMania this year, but she will next year. She states Nia should be proud of what she has accomplished thus far. She says Jax has been bullied and she sees how people look at her. Tears streamed down Nia’s face as Alexa said everyone will lose respect for her if she lets this become her downfall.

RAW Talk:

I won’t be too hard on Ronda. She’s been here for such a short time and came from a totally different company. She needs to work on her promos and the way she talks. She seems so flat and quiet. Her announcing Stephanie as her opponent was so anticlimactic. Girl could have least yelled or got louder, but no. Nobody could barely hear her over the impromptu drumroll. And her Samoan drop? Girl, that was WEAK. But it’s okay. She’s extremely new and she has time to train before WrestleMania. Plus, I can already tell you this match isn’t going to be based off the wrestling ability, it’s more off the storyline. But that doesn’t make it any less important or exciting.

As for Nia Jax vs Asuka, I’m indifferent. Sure, I was pissed off when Nia lost again, but the after-match moment and backstage segment made me feel otherwise. Perhaps Nia is going face. And honestly, I’m not against it. Asuka’s streak is extremely annoying and makes her matches seem less interesting with us knowing she won’t lose on an episode of RAW. However, the performance is always there. This match was slow at first. I wasn’t really into it. But it started picking up and I loved Nia pulling out these new moves.

The way Nia was slamming Asuka around and she wasn’t letting go was cool and honestly refreshing, but maybe a little unrealistic. But isn’t the majority of what they do unrealistic? Regardless, I hope this results in Nia Jax vs Alexa Bliss (maybe vs Mickie James as a triple threat) at WrestleMania. The talk Alexa gave to Nia was just so fake-nice, it makes me feel like they’re totally going to face off sooner or later. And Mickie James needs to explain herself and put Alexa on notice to insert herself into the match. Asuka can face Charlotte and show up to FastLane after her defense against Ruby Riott.

Mandy Rose vs Bayley was a quick meaningless match just to build off the tension between Sasha Banks and Bayley. Which I’m not mad about, but I wish Mandy could win or Absolution was involved in a storyline worthwhile. Anyways, let’s focus on Banks and Bayley. I loved how Sasha went for the hug and Bayley pushed her away. It’s adding depth to the feud rather than Sasha being the only one to torment the other.

Bayley showing a dark’er’ side is honestly cool. I mean, I’m pretty sure Sasha is still going heel, but it’s nice that they’re making an effort into trying to throw us off or try to add more details to the storyline instead of making so black and white. If this does indeed happen at WrestleMania, I have no doubt that this will be amazing.

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