Randy Orton “could not” explain his attack on Edge
Results: Last week, Randy Orton shocked the WWE Universe when he RKO’d Edge and unleashed a brutal steel chair attack on him. Medical evaluations indicate that the Rated-R Superstar didn’t suffer any long-term damage, but they didn’t explain why Orton did what he did. The Apex Predator promised to provide those answers, but backtracked when the crowd in attendance made quite plain how they felt about Orton and his actions, prompting him to simply say “I can’t do this” before returning to the locker room.
Analysis: I can’t remember the last time Randy Orton got that type of heat. This is the man that punted Vince McMahon and John Cena’s dad, kissed Stephanie McMahon after DDTing her with Triple H handcuffed and watching. But this singular act has generated him more heat in over a decade in his career.
Liv Morgan def. Lana; Ruby Riott returned and attacked Morgan
Results: That’s two in a row for Liv Morgan against Lana. Despite neither Rusev nor Bobby Lashley being barred from ringside this time around, the “personification of karma” had little issue putting the Ravishing Russian down for the second week in a row. The problems for Morgan didn’t start until after the match, when former stablemate Ruby Riott returned from a shoulder injury. When Riott’s music hit, Morgan seemed elated, and the feeling appeared to be mutual, until Ruby planted Liv into the mat and inexplicably beat her down, leaving Lana to pick the bones afterwards with a sitout facebuster.
Analysis: Things just got more interesting. Somehow Ruby Riott is going to get tied into the whole Lana angle but how, I don’t know. Regardless, this will be a true test to how dedicated WWE is to letting Liv Morgan have a singles career.
RAW Tag Team Champion Buddy Murphy & AOP def. Kevin Owens and The Viking Raiders (Six-Man Elimination Tag Team Match)
Results: No Samoa Joe? No problem. Even in the face of the loss of his closest ally in his ongoing war against Seth Rollins and his disciples, Kevin Owens continues to forge ahead, enlisting the help of The Viking Raiders in a Six-Man Elimination Tag Team Match against Buddy Murphy and the AOP. Even though the match was meant to be 3-on-3, it quickly became 4-on-3 thanks to interference from Seth Rollins. In fact, it became 4-on-1 thanks to Rollins actions behind the official’s back resulting in the eliminations of both Erik and Ivar. Despite this, KO still managed to take out both Buddy Murphy and Akam, but more interference from the Monday Night Messiah cost Owens his chance to finish off Rezar as well, and therefore the match.
Analysis: Face or heel, Kevin Owens has no shortage of resources, allies, or determination. That has been the story of this angle, and it’s made it great to watch.
Rey Mysterio def. Angel Garza w/Zelina Vega via Disqualification
Results: If there was a championship for cunning and resourcefulness, it would no doubt go to Zelina Vega. Despite losing her main client Andrade to a vicious attack by Humberto Carrillo last week, Vega wasted no time in finding a replacement. And be it a temporary replacement or a permanent addition, she found a good one in Angel Garza. For Garza’s part, he is still looking to bounce back from losing the NXT Cruiserweight Championship at Worlds Collide. The move by Zelina is more brilliant than most may realize as Garza is Carrillo’s cousin. The scheduled match between the cousins never got underway as the two brawled to the point that Rey Mysterio had to intervene to save Carrillo from suffering another concrete floor predicament. The ensuing match between Mysterio and Garza broke down as well, as Vega forced a confrontation on the outside, allowing Garza to drop Rey with a Hammerlock DDT on the concrete. It forced a disqualification, but the damage was already done.
Analysis: Zelina Vega makes Andrade, not the other way around. But it would seem that the suspended Superstar will be hanging on to the United States Championship.
NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley challenged Charlotte Flair for Wrestlemania
Results: Usually, the Royal Rumble winner challenges the champion. But in an unusual and bold move, the champion challenged the Royal Rumble winner. Just as Charlotte Flair seemed ready to reveal whom she would challenge at Wrestlemania 36, NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley burst onto the scene and laid down the gauntlet herself. Ripley’s message was clear. Flair has already defeated RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley. But she never defeated Ripley. In fact, it’s Ripley that owns the victory over Flair. With that in mind, Flair simply took her leave, begging the question: Will she accept The Nightmare’s challenge?
Analysis: From a storyline and entertainment perspective, this would be the logical route for all the reasons Rhea Ripley stated. Charlotte Flair has beaten both Becky Lynch and Bayley in championship matches on several occasions. She has not, however, ever beaten Ripley. But there is also another reason why WWE would make this move. Ronda Rousey has stated that she wants to see the NXT Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania 36. And with the impeding challenge of Bianca Belair and the potential threat of former champion Shayna Baszler, this would be the perfect opportunity to do it.
RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch agreed to face Asuka again
Results: At the Royal Rumble, Becky Lynch finally settled her final debt by defeating Asuka. Or so she thought. But Asuka wants another go. And Lynch is going to give it to her. After defeating Natalya, the Empress of Tomorrow made clear she wants a rubber match to settle things once and for with The Man. For Lynch’s part, she has renewed confidence after beating Asuka and she would be glad to do it again.
Analysis: I’m in conflict with Lynch’s reaction. The arrogance has become a part of “The Man” gimmick, however her feeling of “having superpowers” after beating Asuka is more appropriate for Becky’s time before this gimmick.
Ricochet def. RAW Tag Team Champion Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley (Triple Threat WWE Championship #1 Contender’s Match)
Results: There is no doubt that Drew McIntyre will be challenging for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 36. Exactly who he will be challenging is still a question. Before Wrestlemania, Brock Lesnar will defend the WWE Championship at Super Showdown. To determine who would challenge The Beast in Saudi Arabia, Ricochet, Seth Rollins, and Bobby Lashley competed in a Triple Threat to settle the matter. Things looked like a surefire win for Rollins with the arrival of Buddy Murphy and the AOP, but Kevin Owens and the Viking Raiders with steel chairs in hand drove them away. This essentially took Rollins out of the running, leaving Ricochet to drop down on Lashley with a 630 splash to pick up the biggest opportunity of his career. His celebration was cut short however, as Lesnar quickly rushed the ring to F5 the victor.
Analysis: BROCK LESNAR HAS BEEN ON RAW FOR THE FIRST FIVE WEEKS OF 2020!!! WHAT IS GOING ON?! Oh yeah and congratulations Ricochet.