Following the best WWE Fastlane show in its history, Raw was live from Pittsburgh, PA as WrestleMania is just four weeks away. With an Intercontinental Championship match scheduled ahead of time as well as a “Face-to-Face” between two legends, Raw was looking to be a good show. And, well, it was certainly a show. Let’s take a look.
The All Mighty Wins Back the Intercontinental Championship
On Fastlane, it was announced that the following night we would be getting an Intercontinental Championship match between champion Finn Balor and the former champion, Bobby Lashley. And for those who forget, Lashley was never pinned for the championship, and this would finally be his chance to try and make up for the mistakes prior, possibly getting back what he feels was rightfully his. Bobby Lashley would come to the ring without his hype man, Lio Rush, which was said to be due to him getting ran over by the truck they call Braun Strowman a week ago. And as the match finally got going, Bobby Lashley was “The Dominator” in this one. He made it look for much of the match that Finn Balor was not in his lane, dominating from the bell. The difference in Lashley’s style was a fresh sight to see, finally seeing “The All Mighty” show his dominating side that he displayed many months ago when he took Kevin Owens out of action. Of course, the champion would finally fight back, as Finn Balor hit him with a swingblade then his signature missile dropkick into the corner. As he climbed to the top for the Coup de Grace. Yet, the bell started ringing. It was a hooded Lio Rush ringing the bell to confuse Balor, as Balor would chase him. As Balor managed to take out Lio, he would go for a springboard into the ring, and get caught by a striking spear by Lashley, leading to the 1…2…3 for the win and a new Intercontinental Champion, Bobby Lashley. It is interesting to see the unexpected title change here on Raw, but there could be bigger plans for both Balor and Lashley come WrestleMania.
Official: Triple H vs Batista in a No Holds Barred Match at WrestleMania
As it was announced last week, Triple H would finally face off with Batista. Last night, Triple H was dressed to fight, heading straight to the ring, hands all taped up, waiting for Batista to arrive. As his music hit, “Hollywood Dave” was here, bringing security to aid him in case Triple H had any ideas. And it became simple, Batista continuously said that he was in control and he wanted Triple H to simple “Give me what I want!” And for anyone who has been following Batista for the past few years, it was one last match, at WrestleMania, against Triple H. Triple H continued to say no, deny that he was just going to give him what he wants. Batista made the point that he quit because he wanted to get as far away as possible from Triple H. He stated how he always felt held down by him and was simply done with that. Batista continued to be fired up, demanding he gets what he has wanted for years now. Triple H would give it to him and Batista made one thing perfectly clear. He would be getting everything he ever wanted, that last match to end his career on his terms, but also added the opportunity to also end Triple H’s career on his terms. Triple H would end it by saying that Batista better pull every part of “The Animal” he has left, because at WrestleMania, their match will be No Holds Barred. This was exactly the fiery promo between the two that fans expected, and at WrestleMania, it will all come to an end in Batista’s final match.
Kurt Angle Announces his Farewell Match at WrestleMania
Last night, Raw hailed from Kurt Angle’s hometown of Pittsburgh. So, it was fitting for Kurt to address his future where it all began. He came out to the ring with his usual “You Suck” chants and a smile on his face. As he grabbed a mic, he made the announcement to the world that at WrestleMania, he would wrestle his “Farewell Match” and will officially retire from in-ring competition. It was a long time coming following his continuous defeats, especially the one by Drew McIntyre a few months ago where it certainly seemed he was quite possibly done. Thankfully, Kurt will get a sendoff that he deserves with a one on one WrestleMania match. He would go on to face Apollo Crews as a part of his “Farewell Tour” and his last match in Pittsburgh. Angle would defeat Crews with the Angle Slam, as the talk of who will be Kurt Angle’s last opponent will rise with just three weeks to decide following Raw.
Raw MVP: Drew McIntyre
To no one’s surprise, The Shield defeated the team of Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, and Drew McIntyre at Fastlane, and would announce their farewell at the head of Raw. They discussed how Roman Reigns would return to single’s action against Corbin later in the night, while Dean Ambrose would be moving on to who knows what, and Seth Rollins would be going to slay the beast. Fast forward to the main event of the evening, Roman Reigns would make his entrance for his first singles match back. As he got into the ring to face Corbin, he would be taken out by Drew McIntyre. He would get tossed around by the “Scottish Psychopath”. McIntyre would nail Reigns with a Claymore kick before Reigns could even fight back. McIntyre would then send Reigns’ head into the LED ring post with another Claymore kick before he would take off. This would leave the crowd quiet and medical personnel coming down to attend to Reigns. Seth Rollins would also head to the ring to check on him, and you could hear Reigns say he has a headache and was seemingly not all there. As they were heading to the trainer, Dean Ambrose checked in, went to Triple H and demanded a Falls Count Anywhere match with McIntyre, which he would certainly get.
Ambrose would get to the ring, and as Drew was talking on the ramp, Ambrose would go for him immediately. They would fight through the crowd, throwing at each other continuously. Drew and Dean would find themselves fighting at the concessions during the commercial break. As they came back, they would make their way back to ringside. Though, this would be a moot point as they would spill back out to the crowd and towards the stage. On the stage, McIntyre would finally get the upper hand. He would toss Ambrose into the LED banner of the stage twice. He would then go for the kill, sticking Ambrose’s head between these steel bars set up on a pair of steps, nailing Ambrose with a Claymore kick and defeating him once again. This was the dominant night that McIntyre needed, and while nothing is confirmed, it certainly seems we are headed for Roman Reigns’ first singles match, being at WrestleMania against the psychopath that is Drew McIntyre.
While Raw wasn’t as good as it has been in a few weeks, it still started up and gave fans a clear idea of some WrestleMania storylines. It will be interesting to see how they build this show, as well as what will happen tonight on SmackDown LIVE surrounding Shane McMahon and the WWE Championship situation. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the SmackDown Rundown.
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