Date: February 28, 2022
Location: Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH
The Big Takeaway --
AJ Styles will be Edge’s WrestleMania opponent. Edge turned heel in the segment, giving Styles a con-chair-to.
Finn Bálor will (likely) be Damian Priest’s WrestleMania opponent. Priest turned heel in the segment, giving Bálor a Razor’s Edge onto the announce table.
Read more below.
Show Recap --
Raw kicked off with a new intro video.
Kevin Owens entered wearing a cowboy hat (sideways) and he introduced his best friend Seth Rollins.
The announcers ran down tonight’s card.
KO Show with guests Alpha Academy
Owens said he and Rollins had yet to get a spot on WrestleMania and they’d be the biggest stars in history to miss the show. Rollins said they have one more chance to get on and that was by winning the tag team titles.
Owens said people were wrong if they thought his disdain for Texas would distract him from winning the tag titles. Not even Texas legends like JBL and Shawn Michaels could distract him. He angrily stomped on his cowboy hat. Rollins reminded him that they were not in Texas tonight and he introduced their guests, Alpha Academy.
Owens said they had Otis’ chair re-enforced. Chad Gable thanked them for inviting them on the show. Owens noted how weird it sounded anytime Gable said “thank you.” Gable didn’t think so. Gable noticed he’s been hearing a lot of asses making a lot of ass-umptions about the tag titles.
Gable put over his intelligence and insulted Ohio State University which got a ton of heat (the crowd was oddly quiet for everything right up until that). Gable said it was ridiculous that Owens and Rollins got themselves added to the title match and they were so obsessed about their WrestleMania spot that it was pathetic.
Gable said Owens and Rollins have each had their chances at Mania but it was time for himself and Otis to get their first opportunities. Gable told them to shoosh so Owens told him to shush and they yelled “shoosh” and “shush” back and forth until Owens gave Gable a stunner.
Seth Rollins & Kevin Owens defeated Raw Tag Team Champions Alpha Academy in a non-title match (approx. 12:45)
Owens made a hot tag and gave Gable a frog splash off the apron to the outside but Otis ran him over. (This started during a break and they went to another break after about four minutes of wrestling.)
Gable worked over Owens until Owens hit an enziguri. Rollins tagged in and hit a slingblade, springboard knee and falcon arrow for two. Owens tagged himself in, superkicked Gable and hit a pumphandle neckbreaker but Otis broke up the cover. Otis gave Owens a Vader Bomb and Gable followed with a moonsault but Rollins broke up the cover.
Rollins took out Otis with a dive and gave Gable a buckle bomb. Owens followed with a stunner and Rollins finished him off with a curb stomp for the pinfall win.
Fun match and the crowd was into Rollins and Owens as babyfaces.
There was an Omos video package followed by an interview. Omos mentioned all of the teams he has dominated over the past year as well as AJ Styles. He said T-Bar was his biggest opponent to date and he was going to dominate.
Omos defeated T-Bar (0:39)
Omos attacked T-Bar during his entrance and dragged him into the ring. The referee at least waited until T-Bar (barely) got to his feet before starting the match. Omos turned him around with a clothesline before hitting a tree slam for the pinfall win.
Nikki ASH and Doudrop did a promo about their upcoming six-woman tag match. Nikki called herself a hero and Doudrop said she was just fine being a villain. Becky Lynch showed up and said she was happy to team with Doudrop despite their recent issues because they were both willing to do whatever it took to win. (Nikki put her hand out for a fist bump but her partners already left.)
After a break, Liv Morgan asked Rhea Ripley what their strategy should be. Ripley responded, “brutality.” Bianca Belair entered the frame and told them to let her have Lynch when she enters the match. Belair and Morgan offered a fist bump to Ripley who reluctantly accepted.
Six-woman tag team match: Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan defeated Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, Doudrop & Nikki ASH (12:18)
Lynch wanted to face Belair to start the match but, of course, she bailed when Belair entered. Belair and Ripley gave Doudrop a double vertical suplex before Morgan wiped out all three opponents with a dive.
Belair and Lynch actually did have an exchange following a break. Belair went for a suplex but Lynch reversed into a cradle for two. Lynch followed with a thrust kick before yanking Belair by her braid and driving her head/shoulder into the post. Lynch followed with a diving leg drop for two.
Lynch, Doudrop and Nikki traded tags and worked over Belair. Lynch specifically used Belair’s hair to her advantage until Belair tagged in Ripley. Ripley was all over Lynch and tried a pin but Doudrop broke up the cover. Nikki tagged herself but Belair gave her a Glam Slam variation.
Belair went for a handspring move but Lynch yanked her out of the ring. Morgan hit Lynch with a suicide dive. Everyone traded moves until Belair had Nikki pinned but Lynch broke up the cover, again going for the braid.
Belair responded by whipping Lynch repeatedly with her braid until Lynch bailed. Lynch backed up the ramp really selling it hard. (I’m not sure how they did it but the first braid shot, in particular, sounded like a shot with a kendo stick.) Lynch had visible bruises on her abdomen.
Nikki tried a rollup as Belair watched Lynch but Belair kicked out and hit KOD for the pinfall win.
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Robert Roode (w/Dolph Ziggler) (2:42)
Ciampa kneed Ziggler off the apron before beating Roode with a schoolboy.
After the match, Roode attacked Ciampa from behind and Ziggler followed with a superkick. Ziggler grabbed a mic and issued a warning to Ciampa (and Bron Breakker) ahead of their tag match tomorrow on NXT.
Ciampa had new music.
Mixed tag team match: 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke & Reggie defeated Tamina & Akira Tozawa (1:42)
Reggie pinned Tozawa with a flipping senton.
Brooke gave Reggie a big kiss after the match. Byron Saxton was very excited.
Tozawa wanted a kiss from Tamina again and this time she gave it to him. Tozawa acted love-struck.
Kevin Patrick interviewed the Street Profits. Montez Ford said if they beat RK-Bro tonight, they’d find themselves next in line for the titles. Angelo Dawkins referred to Seth Rollins as Doctor Eggman.
The announcers gave us a non-update regarding the Madison Square Garden show. They said Bobby Lashley was still in concussion protocol and if he’s unable to compete on Saturday, Brock Lesnar will still defend the WWE title.
Rey and Dominik entered and issued a warning to Miz and Logan Paul. Miz entered to recap his entire career before boasting about joining forces with Paul last week. He called that a career highlight. Miz noticed a few cheers last week and wondered if he was finally getting the respect he deserved. The crowd chanted “you suck.” Miz talked forever before calling himself awesome.
Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander defeated Rey & Dominik Mysterio (4:27)
Dominik posted Benjamin but Miz grabbed him by the foot as he tried entering the ring. Rey chased Miz off but the distraction allowed Benjamin to roll-up Dominik for the pinfall win.
Shelton Benjamin and Rey Mysterio first wrestled each other on TV 19 years ago in 2003 when Team Angle (Benjamin and Charlie Haas) beat Rey and Billy Kidman on Smackdown.
Riddle told Randy Orton he was colouring in his colouring book and trying to stay within the lines to stay focused. He hasn’t been able to focus since last week and wasn’t sure if it was because he got stomped or because he put the high in Ohio. Orton thought he seemed just fine and even referred to Riddle as his friend. Orton was ready to kick ass. Riddle was happy and they were on the same page.
They aired a clip from Smackdown of Naomi and Sasha Banks saying they would win the tag titles.
Queen Zelina told Carmella that she watched her reality show and said all they talk about was sex. Carmella said if Zelina thought that was something, just wait to see what happens when they retain their titles at WrestleMania. She planned “celebrating” with her fiancé in the ring.
(I don’t think they ever actually referred to Corey Graves by his name.)
The Street Profits defeated Randy Orton & Riddle (8:36)
Something went wrong here.
After a break, Riddle wiped out Dawkins before Ford hit Orton with a frog splash. Ford took his time to make a cover as Orton slowly rolled toward the rope. Orton tried to get his foot on the rope as Ford made the cover but he couldn’t reach and the referee counted three.
(Dawkins tried “preventing” Orton from getting his foot on the rope but he didn’t really need to because of what happened.)
You see the referee and wrestlers checking on Orton while going along with the result. Orton was grabbing his shoulder after the splash so maybe he got hurt.
Owens and Rollins did a quick interview where Owens insulted Dallas again.
Veer is coming.
Austin Theory was with Vince McMahon in his office and he spoke about McMahon going on Pat McAfee’s show. Theory said it would be McMahon’s first sit-down interview in 20 years and the last time he did one, he slapped the papers out of the interviewer’s hands. Theory wondered what if something like that happened here and offered to be there with McMahon (as protection). McMahon said it wasn’t that kind of interview.
I wish I timed it but Finn Bálor was in the ring forever before his match started. Bálor entered, they went to break, aired the Veer video, aired a Smackdown recap, Damian Priest entered, went to break again, and aired the McMahon/Theory segment.
Finn Bálor defeated Damian Priest to win the United States Championship (11:01)
Bálor hit a flip dive and they went to break (they did the same thing earlier when Ford gave Riddle a flip dive).
They had a pretty good strike exchange but Bálor missed a Coup de Grace and Priest followed with a clothesline. Bálor followed with a rollup for two and Priest came back with a sit-out chokeslam for a nearfall.
Bálor reversed a Reckoning into a headlock elbow drop, hit a shotgun dropkick and Coup de Grace for the pinfall win. Bálor is the new champ. Crowd got into it and they popped for the win.
After the match, Priest grabbed a mic and said the fans carried Bálor to a win. Priest said the fans never gave him that respect despite all of his success. Priest told Bálor he planned on winning the title back and the crowd’s motivation wouldn’t be enough. Bálor got in Priest’s face and Priest decked him.
Priest chucked Bálor out of the ring and gave him a Razor’s Edge onto the announce table (which didn’t break). The crowd booed and Priest said, “Yeah, I am the bad guy, that’s right.”
I liked this.
Edge said it was time to see who it was going to be. He begged someone to step up. Nobody came out and Edge wondered, “what’s happened to this place?”
AJ Styles entered. Edge smiled.
Styles told Edge, “I accept.” Edge was thrilled. He noted that he’s wanted this match for a long time and so has Styles. Edge wanted the bulldog Styles, not the guy playing Omos’ bitch. Styles was caught off guard by that remark.
Edge offered a handshake and decked Styles before he could accept. Edge hammered away but Styles fought back. Edge avoided a Phenomenal forearm and kicked Styles in the nuts.
Edge mounted Styles and hammered away as the crowd booed.
Edge grabbed two chairs and set up for a con-chair-to. Edge put the second chair down and reconsidered before grabbing it and smashing Styles’ head.
(When this started, I thought maybe Edge was just being a dick to fire up Styles, but this was almost certainly a heel turn — meaning they did two big heel turns in back-to-back segments.)