RAW starts off with Triple H in the middle of the ring to tell us that it is so close to mania that you could cut the tension with his nose! He highlights last night, and the awesome moments like Sasha and Bayley, or like Kofi coming so close to the title. He then brings up Becky, and how nothing will stop her from getting to Charlotte or Ronda. Corporately, he must say that if she does this again, she will be arrested and prosecuted. Personally, however, it was pretty damned cool. It was. Speaking of pretty cool, there was a special release on ESPN this morning – the first inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame are….D-Generation X. HBK, HHH, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, X-Pac, and Chyna.If that’s not enough to prove to you that we are on the Road to Mania, he’s going to pour gas on the fire. He brings up NXT. He wants to introduce us to some people who will be making their debut tonight revealing that NXT stars Ricochet, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa would all appear on tonight’s Raw.
Tables Match: Braun Strowman defeated Baron Corbin. Strowman was covered in k-tape due to being powerbombed through tables at Elimination Chamber. He won after powerslamming Corbin through a table in the corner.
Paul Heyman appeared and showed a video of Paul Heyman (?) putting over Brock Lesnar.
Finn Bálor cut a promo about how he wanted to be a good Intercontinental Champion. Lio Rush and then Bobby Lashley interrupted and attacked him, but Ricochet made the save, leading directly into a tag team match (player).
Finn Bálor and Ricochet defeated Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush.Ricochet pinned Rush with a 630 senton.
Lucha House Party defeated Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. Hawkins took the pin to continue his losing streak.
Heavy Machinery got interviewed on the stage. Lacey Evans interrupted, walking down the ramp and then back up. Heavy Machinery then walked down the ramp and back up. Evans looked impressed. I have no idea what’s going on, if you’re reading this, it’s too late.
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa defeated The Revival. DIY pinned the Raw Tag Team Champions with Meeting In The Middle.
Bayley and Sasha Banks cut an awkward promo about how they’ll defend the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship on Raw, Smackdown, and NXT. They were interrupted by Nia Jax and Tamina. Bayley and Banks ran them off without incident.
Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose. McIntyre won easily with a pair of Claymore Kicks.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose asked Seth Rollins why he wasn’t out there to help him. Rollins asked Ambrose if he’d lost his mind. The twist is that we’ve all lost our minds.
Aleister Black defeated Elias. Black pinned Elias after hitting Black Mass.
The crowd is dead silent for all of this, by the way. Shout-out to Lafayette.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey (c) defeated Ruby Riott. Rousey kicked out of two Riott Kicks, beat up the entire Riott Squad by herself, and won with an armbar.
Thoughts: It's a testament to WWE's shitty treament of NXT callups over the years that this show is treated with mild (if any) excitement. And why should it? Is there an actual plan for these 4? Or did Vince just panic, again, when he saw how weak the Raw roster looks and he decided to fill it with more NXT guys (which he tried again just last month)?
For me, the best case scenario here is that Vince decided to put these 4 on tv because he wants them to get more exposure in case FOX decides to air NXT as well. That would mean that this is a short term situation and that Gargano, Ciampa, Ricochet and Black won't leave NXT just yet. And I really hope that is the case. While we could make an arguement about Black being ready for the main roster, the other 3 still have a lot of unfinished business in NXT.
The NXT stuff aside, I was glad to see Ruby get a more competitive match with Ronda this time. Creative probably felt bad about the way she was jobbed out on Sunday.