REWIND-A-RAW 2/19/18: The Longest Match in WWE History; Jeff Jarrett HOF

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John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE RAW 2/19/18 featuring:

The longest match in WWE history takes place with a 7-Man Gauntlet highlighted by an hour-plus performance from Seth Rollins, Jeff Jarrett will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Asuka speaks, and a very lacklustre 6-Woman Tag Team main event closes the show.

We discuss NJPW’s terrific Golden Lovers video, Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2018 teaser by Wrestling Arcade, and Wai gives his spoiler-free thoughts on Black Panther.

Plus, Café feedback to WWE Raw from the POST Wrestling Forum.

Rewind-A-Raw Theme by Colby John

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Opinions on Raw based on the Highlights:

Seth vs Roman:
Excellent match and I agree with others who say that Seth should be one of the first Roman feuds to follow up his title run.

Seth vs Cena:
An above average match with a surprisingly strong finish. It’s clear as day that Roman is out wrestling Cena in the current era of wrestling. Cena isn’t just a ‘nostalgia’ wrestler yet but he’s definitely passed his peak based on what we’ve seen from him in 2017-2018. Massive props to Seth who has definitely been elevated in my eyes as a performer because of this Raw.

Seth vs Elias:
Elias was EXPOSED in this episode. This confirms what many of us knew but perhaps denied. Elias is NOT deserving of the main event picture. I don’t even think he deserves a midcard picture. This guy has yet to put on a great match and in the face of good performers he brings DOWN the product. In my opinion the best use of Elias going forward would be to make him the go to “call up from NXT indroduction feud” guy that Ziggler was in 2017. Just don’t book Elias to lose 95% of his matches leading into said feuds.

Elias vs Finn:
To further explain my thoughts above…the crowd was only into this match until Seth was pinned and then dead. No one cared anymore. Finn is one of your more over stars right now and he couldn’t save this. Classic pop for entrance and finish match. Between that this might as well have been any and all 205 Live matches in 2017. No disrespect to Finn whose amazing but Elias dragged him down like a Bray Wyatt feud.

Finn vs Miz:
Disappointing. This is the kind of feud that could be excellent as Miz is currently at his best and Finn is clearly amazing. Unfortunately this match was just okay rather than being a chance to truly bring the crowd back into the gauntlet match as whole. I would like to think these two could deliver a Seth vs Cena level experience but it wasn’t in the cards tonight.

Miz vs Braun:
A paint by numbers Braun match which is honestly something I’m bored of at this point. There was certainly some fun here with the Miz’s reactions and selling but I could but at best this was passable.

Titus Worldwide (TW) vs The Bar:
I want to cheer for TW and see them get a proper push but this was nonsence booking and the fan interest really showed this. This was not as strong as we’ve seen these two before which is a bit of a shame given that you really want to get the crowd behind a new team. 3rd win by schoolboy pin is NOT how you build another team especially with the build and moveset of TW.

Awful. How could they miss the mark so badly on a go home show match that was already pretty weak?
Hopefully they learn from this interview but really they should have already learned a long time ago because of Asuka’s great NXT promo’s.

Matt vs Wyatt:
I would say Wyatt is bringing down Matt here but if we’re being honest they are perfect for one another. I have zero interest in Broken Matt and I have zero interest in Wyatt. Let these two feud forever rather than bring down others on the roster. Or better yet, take Wyatt off tv and rework his character. Then either push Broken Matt to 11 as a final experiment or drop the character completely.

Womans Match:
Poor match. This exposed Absolution and brought down hype for their match in the ppv as a result. I both intrigued and perplexed by the James and Bliss team up. I think this helps the match but its also such an out of nowhere pairing that I think it makes for bad storyline.

Imagine if Roman came out to help Miz pin Braun to end the Gauntlet match…that’s the kind of random head scratching booking we have with Mickie and Bliss.

Amazing Raw just because it felt new and fresh!
If you break down all the components its really just a 50/50 show or worse but that’s pretty easy to look passed given how rare it is they deliver a free for tv experience like this.

I fully agree with you guys that this gauntlet has taken Seth from being just another guy on the show to an acceptable main eventer. The guy has a lot of upside to him and WWE could consider him for that top babyface role if used right.

It’s the most WWE thing ever to decide to have more wrestling on a show and immediately jump to “the longest match in company history”. If they decide next to have a show with less commentary, it will probably end with Michael Cole getting into an exploding limo.

The gauntlet match was a great match, but I see it as lazy from a storytelling perspective. Logically, why would any of the guys in the gauntlet match want to exhaust themselves in a throwaway TV match that meant nothing when they are less than a week away from Elimination Chamber? Maybe if they hadn’t already used the “Winner Enters The Match Last Stipulation”, they could have gone with that. It just didn’t make sense. WWE has given us good match quality, but at the expense of losing dynamic storytelling and a well-established mid card.

I love the huge deal that they’re making about The Miz being the first entrant in the Elimination Chamber. Three of the seven guys in the match (a shade over 42%… and that’s a real percentage, not a WWE percentage) would have to go “wire-to-wire” to win the thing.

It’s like the annual Royal Rumble tradition of pretending that drawing #1 and #2 aren’t exactly the same.

Whilst I agree about why someone would want to exhaust themselves for no real reason, I have also wondered why The Miz didn’t let Finn Ballor beat him. Surely The Miz is clever enough to realize that he would have to face Braun. So with no real consequences, he should have willingly lost. You could have Corey basically point out that he would have been smart to do so for self-preservation.

I think that with real stakes, these kind of plot holes can be fixed.

I also think that this could be a yearly event on Raw for the last entry in the Elimination Chamber match or even as a PPV, where the winner gets a championship match at Summerslam. It would be better to have a concept PPV instead of one of the generic ones.

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Don’t know if this was covered in another thread about Apollo Crews name… From what I heard the actor Terry Crews has started some sort of beef over the name or even is suing?