Shayna Baszler's Memorable, Bloody Debut, Samoa Joe Return, More WWE Raw Fallout - Bleacher Report
- By --
- 11 February 2020 --
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It's starting to feel like WrestleMania season. WWE Raw focused wholly on laying the foundations for The Show of Shows on the February 10 edition of the red brand.
Some stories were simply moved forward. Drew McIntyre got a chance to show he has fully committed to playing a babyface by laying out MVP, while Angel Garza and Aleister Black looked dominant.
However, other stories just began to form, and they have a chance to truly get people excited on this Road to WrestleMania.
Shayna Baszler debuted as a member of the Raw roster and attacked Becky Lynch, causing a bloody mess. This match has been a long time coming and has a high ceiling for success.
Samoa Joe returned from injury to continue acting as a thorn in Seth Rollins' side with Kevin Owens and The Viking Raiders.
Randy Orton hurt another legend in Matt Hardy as he seems to be rekindling an old flame on his way to a fated date in the ring with Edge.
Rhea Ripley made her second straight appearance on Raw to again to question whether Charlotte Flair was ready to fight her.
Altogether, it was a night that laid foundations that will continue to be built with time. The question remains what will get everyone excited. Something has to happen soon.
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After Becky Lynch fully put Asuka behind her in an impressive match that ended with a Rock Bottom, Shayna Baszler attacked The Man, cutting into her neck with her teeth.
The Raw women's champion recovered enough later in the night to storm back to the ring and promise to make The Queen of Spades pay.
This was what it needed to be, even if it was odd. Baszler biting Lynch made an impact, and it got people talking. That's all you want out of a story like this for now.
As it progresses, The Man and The Queen of Spades will get more vicious and personal. They will cut some great promos that build this as the angle to watch in WWE. Other than Drew McIntyre vs. Brock Lesnar, nothing has a higher ceiling to get everyone's attention.
Lynch needed Baszler, and Baszler needed Lynch. It is a parallel story that is perfect for The Grandest Stage of Them All. I hope they get all the time they need to deliver.
It could be special watching what these two can do together. Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey seemed like the money match, and it still is if The Baddest Woman on the Planet returns. However, this clash has a much higher ceiling for success.
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Sarah Logan interrupted Rhea Ripley's interview backstage to challenge the NXT women's champion. The Australian accepted and made quick work of the challenger. Afterward, Charlotte Flair continued to leave Ripley waiting.
The NXT women's champion has been on Raw in back-to-back weeks. She may be in it for the long haul until WrestleMania 36. This is a smart decision as she can build her image with a larger audience.
While Adam Cole is working a solid program with Tommaso Ciampa, and Keith Lee has finally reached the mountaintop, Ripley feels the most distinctly relevant on the black-and-gold brand. She is the one obviously going to The Show of Shows on April 5.
Even if there is a plan to keep teasing The Queen's answer for a few more weeks, the answer is clear. This is the match Charlotte needs. She has to be able to put over a young star this year.
The Queen has spent too much time on top while Ripley has barely even gotten started. It is great to The Nightmare showing her promise as champion and getting a well deserved spotlight.
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Randy Orton was ready to explain his reasons for attacking Edge last week, but Matt Hardy interrupted.
He called out The Viper for not respecting The Rated-R Superstar's need to end everything on his own terms. Orton attacked the veteran and hit him with an RKO and con-chair-to.
The Legend Killer is seemingly back as Orton continues to hurt the veterans of the past. He is destroying those who came up with him. His exact explanation is still to come, but it is already an interesting dynamic.
Given his contract situation, Hardy could easily be done with WWE after this. His promo was fine but hard to believe, and it did not make sense for him to be in that spot. It was the most relevant he has been in over a year, though.
If The Apex Predator continues to play legend killer, he could make this whole story more interesting. It would be nice to fully invest in one of his stories again.
The payoff will certainly be great as Edge gets to make The Viper pay for ruining his moment and potentially hurting many of his friends.
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Samoa Joe returned to even the odds in the fight against Seth Rollins. However, while he started the show on top with Kevin Owens and The Viking Raiders, he ended the night on the mat after taking The Stomp from The Monday Night Messiah while he had Buddy Murphy tapping out to the Coquina Clutch.
The Samoan Submission Machine has had to deal with too many injuries in his career. It would have been a shame if he missed WrestleMania, but luckily he recovered quickly.
Everyone involved in this story has been able to put on some great matches, but it feels like the story is always the same. KO can get anyone to help him, but he cannot win.
Joe is a great ally for Owens, but he has shown himself to be good enough to overcome this group even though the lines have been drawn evenly.
It will be remarkable if WWE can extend this all the way to The Grandest Stage of Them All, but the payoff of Owens finally getting to The Messiah will be incredible.