A brilliant crowd at the State Farm Arena, in Atlanta, on 2/25/19, help welcome us to the night that Ric Flair celebrates his 70th birthday live.
The guests appear on the backstage red carpet throughout the night including names like Ricky Steamboat, Johnny Gargano and Shawn Michaels. That segment will likely end the show, but we start off with a truly fantastic moment for not only fans of the sport, but fans of the human being that is Roman Reigns.
“The Big Dog” is back with a beaming smile, set to reclaim his yard after doing battle against Leukemia since he relinquished the title months back.
He speaks openly and honestly about his faith as well as the multitude of thoughts, prayers and messages sent to him and this beautiful crowd makes his feel like a million bucks. It truly brings a tear to the year and it’s a heart-warming scene.
The big news is simple, Roman Reigns is in remission and he has swung for the fences as promised and that ball is still sailing. Reigns is back and it’s just a matter of time before he’s entertaining his great fans and doing what he loves once again. He is in great shape and I, as well as members of the Scrum Sports staff, are truly happy to hear about his imminent return.
Welcome home Roman, we’re eager to have you back in the ring.
So to is “The Architect” Seth Rollins who “burns it down” with a big hug for his brother as the segment ends. Reigns shook everyone’s hands and signed many an autograph. That was really cool to see.
Baron Corbin is called out backstage about comments he made the line Reigns left and he says that when Reigns returns, he hopes they don’t cross paths, for Reigns sake. We know who will be fed to the “Big Dog” first. The fans will love that.
Ricochet and Aleister Black defeat The Revival via pin fall in a non-title match after a Black Mass on Dawson.
We go from great news to a great match, albeit a short one.
The NXT elite are on display once as Ricochet dazzles with his top rope acrobatics and aerial assault as Black takes to the air as well as the ground with high-impact strikes. Dawson can’t get his legs underneath him as he turns right into a Black Mass that puts his lights out and the new arrivals win.
This was great for Black and Ricochet, but I’m puzzled, as were my colleagues.
Why the champs? Why not feed the Jinder Mahal’s and the lower card talent to them. The champs have lost non-title bouts two weeks in a row, not a good look to be honest.
We try to “Walk With Elias”, but Lacey Evans is quick to interrupt with her weekly walk and brief appearance. Elias tries to continue, but he is then interrupted by Dean Ambrose, who lays down a challenge to Drew McIntyre for a No DQ match tonight.
He then asks Elias to play a song and he references the AC/DC classic. Elias tries tio hit him with a guitar, but Ambrose ducks, hits Dirty Deeds and leaves.
The Riott Squad heads to the ring and they’ll be taking on Ronda Rousey and Natalya in a handicap match up next.
Natalya and Ronda Rousey defeat The Riott Squad via DQ after interference from Becky Lynch.
The match was what it was, Rousey won display and Riott got in some good offense but the end shockingly came when the action spilled to the outside and Becky Lynch, once again on crutches, attacked Natalya and went after Rousey again, earning them the DQ victory.
Lynch was taken away by local authorities as was promised by Triple H last week. Everyone had to seperate the two and the crowd was thoroughly behind Lynch.
Rousey fought out the ring crew and as Lynch was cuffed and removed from the scene, she says she was the one robbed and not to cuff her hands because they will be holding up the women’s title. That was awesome.
After a break, Rousey saw that Natalya was helped up the ramp after the attack and she stormed back to the ring and called out Vince McMahon. Stephanie responds and Rousey said enough is enough and she wants Lynch reinstated for a triple threat match at ‘Mania.
Steph says Becky’s road took her from Wrestlemania to jail. Rousey demands that they don’t press charges and Steph goes bonkers, but then Rousey quickly lets her know that she’s made her money and doesn’t dance for Stephanie like so many others. She says the Women’s title is worthless is they don’t main event ‘Mania and that it’s nothing more than a gaudy belt.
She leaves the title in the middle of the ring at Stephanie’s feet and then she takes her leave. That was one heck of a promo. It’ll be interesting to see if Lynch returns later tonight to interrupt the Flair bday celebration. We’ll find out.
Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers are in the ring after a break, upset that they didn’t get an invite to Ric Flair’s bday celebration later tonight. He is issuing an open challenge and the Olympic Gold Medalist is out to accept!
Kurt Angle defeats Jinder Mahal via submission with ankle lock.
Angle looked better tonight then he had in recent weeks and we can only be led to believe that this has to be his farewell tour. Mahal sold very well for Angle and the end came when Kurt applied the ankle lock and that was it.
After the match, each of the Singh Brothers received a german suplex for their efforts and Angle leaves with a needed win.
“A Moment Of Bliss” is next and after “The goddess” Alexa Bliss tells Ronda Rousey to not let the red carpet that the WWE rolled out for her hit her on the way out, she welcomes out the new IC Champ, Finn Balor.
Bliss flirts heavily with Balor and says if he shows her his abs, she’ll him her and then Lio Rush interrupts him and becomes Corey Graves’ least favorite wrestler ever.
Rush says Balor shouldn’t be the champ, Lashley should. Rush says that he’ll see the title back on the “Almighty One”, even if Rush has to pry it out of Balor’s hands himself. Balor takes that as an opportunity to meet a challenge from Rush, putting the title on the line against Rush, who isn’t that happy.
Bliss asks if he’s man enough to do the job by himself. Rush says he’s up to the challenger and that leather jacket and his tight drawers isn’t enough. Bliss says he’d better be ready, because their match is next.
We had “Big” Snoop Dogg earlier and now Maria Menuonos, as well as Titus O’Neil and “The Icon” Sting backstage on the red carpet. An incredibly assembly of talent is on hand talent for Flair’s celebration.
Finn Balor defeats Lio Rush via pin fall with a Coup De Grace to retain the IC Title.
I know Rush has somewhat of a “reputation” allegedly for antics backstage, but this dude can work. Rush and Balor had a quality match for the IC title, including a beautiful hurricanrana spot where Rush nearly seized the pin fall victory and the title.
Balor sold an injured leg for the majority of the match and Balor nailed the 1916 as a counter to the bottom rope springboard stunner attempt from Rush. Balor went up top and hit the Coup De Grace, retaining the title.
Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman are announced for singles action tonight as well. We then see The Ascension backstage and they confront Tucker Knight, mocking Otis Dozavic. It’s great to see The Ascension getting camera time.
Knight narcs on the Ascension and Otis gets frantic, barreling through poor Konnor and Victor. They are left laying and that’s all she wrote.
Bobby Lashley is backstage berating Lio Rush after a hard-fought loss and we get some real emotion from Lashley.
Lashley says he was supposed to secure a title match and not take one for himself. He asks the dejected Rush if he can trust him tonight and Rush says yes, he can. They head to the ring to compete against Braun Strowman.
It’s a match that never happens. Whether it be a gradual recovery from Strowman’s nagging injuries or because they were short on time, Strowman surges towards the ring and attacks both Lashley and Rush, using that bull in a china rope rush that he does on the outside.
The heels were left laying and Strowman left to a monster pop. He states “I’m coming for all three of you”, surely referncing Lashley, McIntyre and Corbin.
We find out that Bayley and Nia Jax are in singles action later tonight as well.
Drew McIntyre defeats Dean Ambrose via pin fall in a NO DQ match with a Claymore Kick after interference from Elias.
This was given some good time and we saw a dominant McIntyre as well as Ambrose getting his spots in too. For a guy that’s leaving the company here shortly, and even though he’s putting over talent on the way out, he still gets plenty of exposure.
McIntyre tried to bring the steel ring steps crashing down on Ambrose on the outside, but Ambrose ducked and McIntyre hit himself. Ambrose was set to score the victory when Elias attacked, getting retribution for earlier. Ambrose is fed into the ring, Claymore, ballgame.
Lashley and Corbin, as well as Elias, attacked alongside McIntyre after the match. Boots rained down until Seth Rollins hit the ramp! He’s not alone! “The Big Dog” is here! Rollins evens the odds and Reigns fires up superman punches a-plenty for the heels before hitting a crucial spear. The Shield bump fists and we get a grand moment in front of this red-hot crowd.
Bayley defeats Nia Jax via pin fall after a top rope elbow.
This was not the result I was expecting and I’m pleased to see the result. If Bruce Pritchard is already writing the broadcast or at least helping to produce tonight’s show? Well good on him.
Jax controlled a good deal of the match, but Sasha Banks was at ringside cheering her teammate on. Bayley stayed in it, and as Tamina fumbled her way down the ramp, trying to attack Banks, she missed only to hit the ring steps, back in place, by the way.
Jax was distracted and Bayley capitalized, heading to the top rope and planting the elbow for a huge victory. Jax and Tamina are the forthcoming contenders it would seem, so congratulations to them for making the champs look strong.
It’s time for the grand celebration and along with a delightful cake for Flair’s 70th bday celebration, we get a video package and a slew of legends as referenced earlier.
“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels is there, Kurt Angle, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and “The Icon Sting”. Faces and heels alike are atop the ramp for this momentous occasion, as I can see Braun Strowman, Tommasso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano and many others.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon hit the ring and dedicate the video package before introducing the man himself. Flair is introduced, but he never makes his way out.
We pan backstage to see “The Animal” poised to strike! Batista has returned! Batista enters the dressing room of Naitch and beats the holy hell out of the Hall of Famer. He drags the battered carcass of Flair out and looks deadpan at the camera and asks “Hunter” if he has his attention now.
The Hollywood megastar is donning the best of the best and he has in a blue nose ring, that is awesome. Everyone appreciates a good “Bluetista” reference and “The Animal” has returned as a full-fledged villain, laying waste to a hall of famer on his seventieth birthday. Triple H and Batista at ‘Mania? Sign me up.
If you want a quality Raw broadcast, you have it here tonight. The action, the emotion and the returns. Well done “fed”, well done indeed.
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