PHOENIX — Just like Sunday’s Royal Rumble, Monday Night Raw turned into the Becky Lynch Show.
Lynch’s surprise appearance on Raw set the stage for what should be a big run as she officially challenged Raw women’s champion Ronda Rousey for the title at WrestleMania 35.
After Rousey, who was heavily jeered throughout the night, defeated Bayley in a good match, Lynch made her way to the ring to a thunderous ovation and chants of “Becky! Becky!”
The two cut passionate promos against each other, although you could barely hear Rousey’s in the arena because she was being drowned out by boos. Her slamming of the mic at the end got the point across, setting up what should be an intense build to the match that, by all rights, should go on last at MetLife Stadium.
Men’s Royal Rumble winner Seth Rollins also had a choice to make. The ever-popular Rollins, easily the second most popular person on the show, was put on notice by Triple H at the start of the show to have his choice made by the end — although not before Triple H had to overcome a booming “NXT!” chant.
Rollins chose Brock Lesnar, but his plan of attacking first didn’t go as planned. He ended up eating six F5s and found himself on the business end of a severe beating by the Universal Champion. After Raw went off the air, Rollins composed himself and was given a cheer from the crowd for his efforts as he slowly made his way back to the locker room.
The show was also strong on legends — however, it didn’t go the way the crowd would’ve hoped.
Those in attendance were shocked by how quickly Baron Corbin dispatched of WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle. There was an audible gasp when Corbin knocked off Angle, and even more disappointed as the beatdown continued after the match.
However, one of the biggest moments of the night came when both Jeff Jarrett and Road Dogg interrupted Elias, continuing what started the night before next door at Chase Field.
Road Dogg curiously sported a Lynch t-shirt and played along with the crowd just like he does with fans on Twitter.
Both Jarrett and Road Dogg received huge welcomes, with both men’s catchphrases sending small children for cover with how loud the reaction was. But, much like Angle before them, both Road Dogg and Jarrett were taken out by guitar shots by Elias, but not before the two sang the classic “With My Baby Tonight,” and Jarrett got some of the best looking punches seen inside a WWE ring in quite some time in on Elias.
All told, despite the long show the night before, the crowd rested up well and brought energy during much of the show (although many seemed more interested in singing to Bayley rather than watching her match with Rousey). It was without doubt a smaller crowd than NXT TakeOver two nights prior — while some upper bowl sections were open for that, the entire upper bowl was tarped off for Raw. But what was open of the lower bowl was pretty much all full.
In matches taped for Main Event prior to Raw, Lucha House Party squared off with Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers and The Ascension battled The B-Team.