As John Cena Returns, Jey Uso Shockingly Turns Heel.
WWE Raw advertised the return of John Cena, which coincided with reports that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was also backstage. Though McMahon’s presence at WWE Raw will undoubtedly lead to panic among wrestling fans, media and talent, McMahon’s visit was reportedly not linked to any creative direction or even a cameo appearance on television. McMahon’s presence, even if temporary, is the latest development in what seems to be an inevitable return to creative.
Raw also featured yet another instantly classic segment from The Bloodline as Jey Uso dramatically turned heel. After appearing to side with Zayn, Jey promptly super kicked Sami as The Bloodline laid waste to Zayn. Cody Rhodes came to Zayn’s rescue as the show went off the air in an unbelievably heated close to the show.
Raw also advertised a confrontation between Logan Paul and Seth Rollins. WWE Raw also advertised Raw women’s champion Bianca Belair taking on Carmella in non-title action and Sami Zayn vs. Jimmy Uso.
Kevin Owens def. Solo Sikoa by DQ
Before the show, Paul Heyman gave a harsh pep talk to Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso before pulling out his phone and saying “call Roman Reigns.” On a loaded show like tonight, the only thing that would make it more loaded is Reigns.
Because WWE had to protect both Solo Sikoa and Kevin Owens, a disqualification was almost inevitable.
Sami Zayn extended his hand to Kevin Owens, which Owens declined. As he should have. Similar to builds like Rey Mysterio-Dominik and Reigns-Cody, WWE is taking its time to tell a compelling story.
Backstage, Kevin Owens doubled down and told Sami Zayn to leave him out of Zayn’s revenge tour. Fans booed.
Bianca Belair def. Carmella
WWE did everything it could to make fans think Carmella was going to lose. Carmella was cornered by Chelsea Green, and she even rolled up Bianca with her feet on the ropes. Belair still prevailed.
Asuka, who struggled to walk in heels, spit blue mist into Chelsea Green’s face (which should lead to some more great Karen content from Chelsea) and fans chanted for Asuka over Belair when the two faced off.
Seth Rollins Comes Face-to-Face with Logan Paul
Fans sang the hell out of Seth Rollins’ theme song. It felt like some of them paid for a ticket to do just that. They certainly got their money’s worth.
Logan Paul strolled in and barely had to even try to be the most-hated heel in this business. There is a very short list of heels in this business who get more heat than Logan Paul. Dominik Mysterio is on it, MJF may or may not be. Paul needs to be considered as a potential WrestleMania headliner next year. When they’re in the cantankerous city of Philly.
Logan Paul vs. Seth Rollins was made official for WrestleMania, but not before Paul KO’d Rollins with a very realistic-looking punch.
Omos def. Dolph Ziggler
Though a squash match against Omos isn’t ideal for Dolph Ziggler, WWE also used this match to advance his current feud with Mustafa Ali.
Mustafa Ali hilariously led a facetious cheering section for Dolph Ziggler.
As expected, Ziggler was squashed quickly and mercifully.
Johnny Gargano def. Finn Balor
Corey Graves is so good at putting over Dominik Mysterio as an ex-con in an over-the-top manner.
The second-biggest pop of this match came when Gargano took out Dominik with a dive. The biggest pop came when Edge’s theme music hit.
Piper Niven def. Nikki Cross
Nikki Cross pounced on Piper Niven, like a wolverine, to start this match, and Niven sold it well. It may not have all been selling because Niven appeared to have a bloody nose.
The finish of this match was completely botched as Niven hit a Boss Man Slam, essentially deadlifting Cross. Niven was visibly disappointed by the spot.
John Cena Returns And Destroys Austin Theory
John Cena received a monster pop from the Boston crowd and he seemed legitimately moved by it. Theory’s music played the moment Cena’s stopped, and he received massive heat for it.
Austin Theory challenged John Cena to a WrestleMania match and Cena responded by saying “no.” He then hit him with this bar: “I’m not interested in your gift, because you haven’t earned the right to give it.” Cena then called Theory a “generic kid.”
Cena eviscerated Theory by comparing him to Ruthless Aggression John Cena. Cena doubled down by saying nobody cares about Theory and he’s wasting their time. It felt like a promo designed to inspire Austin Theory into reaching the next level. Over the next few months, Theory can only sink or swim after a promo like that.
Theory mocked John Cena’s bald spot and coaxed Cena into revealing his infamous bald spot. Cena responded by saying WWE has to pipe in fake crowd noise for his matches. My goodness.
Cena even said whether Theory wins or loses
To Theory’s credit, the place exploded when Cena asked them if they wanted to see Austin Theory vs. John Cena at WrestleMania. Cena accepted by saying “I may not care about you, but I’ll never give up on them.” A tepid endorsement of Theory to say the least.
Chad Gable def. Baron Corbin
It wasn’t too long ago that this match was being competed for King of the Ring. Both Gable and Corbin have stagnated (at best) since. That’s on WWE, not either of these talents.
The most over man in or around this match was Otis, who received chants of “we want Otis.”
Stratus, Lita and Lynch Challenge Damage CTRL for WrestleMania
Fans popped for Trish Stratus’ entrance but did not seem to be as into the idea of Lita, Lynch and Stratus vs. Damage CTRL. Perhaps they were still recovering from the Cena segment.
Lita and Lynch won’t be defending the Women’s Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania, opening the possibility of them dropping them on the Raw After Mania.
Sami Zayn def. Jimmy Uso; Jey Uso Turns Heel
Solo Sikoa was thrown out of this match, suggesting Zayn was going over.
WWE did a good job using the Bloodline storyline to promote SmackDown this Friday, where Jimmy Uso has a deadline to deliver Jey.
Jey Uso received a huge pop upon showing up in the crowd. He seemed dejected at seeing Jimmy lose, but it was still unclear whose side he’s on. Jey made things clear by embracing with Sami Zayn, which led to a monster pop from Boston and chants of “Ucey!” and “Holy [expletive!] Then Jey super kicked Sami Zayn and the Bloodline pounced on Zayn. This brought out Cody Rhodes, to a monster pop, to fend off The Bloodline. Unbelievable segment.
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