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WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 18 | Bleacher Report



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    Credit: WWE.com

    Champions have been crowned. Sasha Banks and Bayley captured the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships in a brutal elimination chamber match where they outlasted the best teams on Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live to emerge victorious.

    The Boss 'N' Hug Connection promised long before there were championships that it would be tag team champion. Now the duo needs to keep up its game, as it has a target on its back. Every woman on Raw and SmackDown will for that new gold.

    While Raw was less of a focus than SmackDown at the event, there were still several important moments for the brand that set up and interesting night. Most notably, Finn Balor became the new WWE intercontinental champion by pinning Lio Rush in a handicap match.

    This left Bobby Lashley without gold and angry with his hype man, lashing out at The Man of the Hour. Now that he has realigned himself with Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre, he is a dangerous man looking at his gold as quickly and decisively as possible.

    Ronda Rousey made quick work of Ruby Riott only to get taken out by Becky Lynch , who used crutches she feigned needing, lashing out at The Baddest Woman on the Planet and Charlotte Flair. This feud continues to heat up.

    These were just a few important setups for this week's Raw that made it a vital episode on The Road to WrestleMania.

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    Triple H droned on a bit too long About what happened last night at Elimination Chamber before announcing that four of the biggest stars in NXT right now will be debuting on Raw. Ricochet, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa were all given small video packages.

    He also announced the first match of the night with Braun Strowman set to fight Baron Corbin again, this time in a tables match.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    This was a lazy way to open the show. Hunter tried to sell everything he was saying as a big deal, but it just felt like a recap dump followed by the laziest introduction possible to four of the best young stars in the business.

    While it was cool to know that Ricochet, Black, Gargano and Ciampa would make their debuts on the main brand, there were more interesting ways of making that clear. This field like HHH just trying to showcase some NXT guys, who will head back to the developmental brand after Monday.

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    A confident Corbin quickly lost his smile as Strowman threw him around the ring and dominated despite his injuries from Elimination Chamber. The lone wolf was sold to the ring and ran up to catching the lone wolf. through a table in the corner.

    Afterward, as the monster walked to the back, he caught Paul Heyman with a choke and flustered The Advocate.

    Result

    Strowman def. Corbin by table break

    Grade

    C +

    Analysis Analysis

    two have had in the past including on sunday. They just fought to finish and used weapons for the primary spots. It was simple and fun enough while avoiding unnecessary interference.

    It's hard to say what the point of this was though. Lashley and Drew McIntyre were not seen just one day after they helped shape Constable win a similar match.

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    Heyman introduced a video package of Brock Lesnar's dominance streak in WWE. It reminded fans of The Beast's biggest moments including ending the Streak. The Advocate then made fun of fans of thinking that Seth Rollins could be beyond the dominance of The Beast Incarnate.

    Grade

    C +

    Analysis

    This was a perfectly generic attempt to keep this feud going while Lesnar is not around and The Architect is healing up. WWE can craft a strong video package, but there is no real purpose to any of this, especially Heyman appearing to introduce the video.

    Rollins vs. Lesnar has a ton of potential, but it has no momentum behind it right now. The two need to make this feel like a WrestleMania main event. 4 of 11

      Balor came to enjoy his moment in the spotlight as a new champion before Rush distracted him to allow Lashley to assault his rival. Ricochet came to even the odds, setting up an exciting tag team that lived up to the expectations.

      The One and Only showed how great he can while The Extraordinary Man's own athleticism was as always on display. The man of the hour tripped Balor though, leaving him grounded with a bad knee and isolated by the heels.

      This kept the NXT call-up fresh for his hot tag as he ran around both heels and caught Rush with a diving back uppercut into a 630 splash for the win.

      Result

      Balor and Ricochet final Lashley and Rush by pinfall

      Grade

      B +

      Analysis Analysis

      Despite a shockingly apathetic crowd, this was an electric tag team match with Ricochet and Balor looking right at home working together. The two crazy athletic stars pulled off some insane spots with Lashley and Rush doing their part to make it all look impressive. [Idon'tknowthatrightnowistheperfectopportunityforTheOneandOnlyonthemainrosterbutheshowedthathewillbehugeonthemainrosterwithhisathleticismbeingtrulyincredibletokeep

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    Curt Hawkins looked better than he has in months as the hot tag in this match, but Zack Ryder got taken out outside to force Hawkins to fight two-on-one odds. He took a headscissors takedown into a roll by Lince Dorado for three.

    Result

    Lucha House Party's Gran Metalik and Dorado final. Hawkins and Ryder by pinfall

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    This was a fine and completely unremarkable tag team match that continues the uninspiring run of Hawkins and Ryder reunited. To be fair, The Long Island Iced Crew to his friend to break his undefeated streak is fun idea, but it has not been to memorable matches despite great competition.

    Raw's tag team division needs to start, but no one here really feels like they can help that with Lucha House being more likely to catch fire in the right situation

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    Tucker and Otis talked about their relationship, looking out for each other, before Lacey Evans came out to strut. This inspired Heavy Machinery to make their own strut with Evans seemingly impressed.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis This was a bizarre segment. At best, this was an attempt to set up The Lady as the manager of Heavy Machinery, but it felt more like WWE was just putting these three on TV to have them forgotten about the biggest NXT stars.

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    Backstage, Chad Gable and Bobby Roode questioned Gargano and get a shot at The Revival in their debut. Both NXT champions were unfazed, saying they had been running NXT as the hottest brand before Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson walked in and declared their greatness.

    Picking up where they left off, DIY looked great against the champions and showed off their cohesion as a team. They survived a Shatter Machine attempt before they hit their signature move in the middle of the victory.

    Result

    Gargano and Ciampa def. Revival by pinfall

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis Analysis

    Few teams have been better together than these two. They have a chemistry that is almost impossible to match. Despite being separated for years, they went right back to here with new characters and newly crafted movesets and put on another spectacle.

    Despite being a great match, it was an odd decision to have The Top Guys just one week into their title reigns so decisively. This finish derailed their momentum more than it helped Gargano and Ciampa.

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Boss A Hug Connection celebrated their huge victory with their championship hero high. They talked about how much they were supposed to be standing together with the gold. Nia Jax and Tamina predictably interrupted to challenge the men but got taken out by Banks and Bayley.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    This was a celebration of the crowning of the first WWE women's team team champions. Banks and Bayley cut fine promos about just how important this moment is for them and hinted at who could challenge them soon.

    Jax and Tamina are not all that interesting, but they make sense as the first to step up. Hopefully, SmackDown's teams are not left out of the shuffle.

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Backstage, McIntyre demanded a shot at Rollins from HHH, which seemsingly set off Dean Ambrose who slapped The Scottish Psychopath

    This aggravated the big man who absolutely destroyed The Lunatic Fringe in their match. With back-to-back Claymores, McIntyre stood tall over the forms WWE champion.

    Result

    McIntyre def. Ambrose by pinfall

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    talent on raw, but it was also a clear statement that the lunatic will not be treated like a real top threat anymore. His final months are going to be disappointing.

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Elias demanded better treatment and blamed the new NXT call-ups for taking away from his spotlight. Black took exception, promising to make The Drifter fade to black

    The musician looked good early but grew more and more frustrated as The Dark Destroyer stayed in this match. Elias at the crowd and his opponent before taking the Black Mass, giving the NXT stars a clean sweep in their main roster debut.

    Result

    Black def. Elias by pinfall

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    This wasn't all that exciting a match, but it worked for what it needed to be. Black got to look good without steamrolling his more seasoned main roster opponent. The two have similar styles with Black being better at executing on that style.

    Of all the guys to come up tonight, it is Black that feels the most ready to stick around. He has done his work in NXT and can compete with anybody on the main roster while looking impressive.

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    Credit: WWE.com

    An angry Rousey took down Riott early with vicious arm drags. Even with Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan at ringside to help their leader, it is only to a more competitive loss with the champion looking more vulnerable

    Riott escaped Piper's Pit and hit The Riott Kick for a nearfall. The Baddest Woman on the Planet survived a second Riott Kick off the second rope with a kickout, giving her a second wind that finally led to the armbar for the submission.

    Result

    Rousey def. Riott by

    getting completely steamed on Sunday? It doesn't matter because the gift fans had the match that Rousey and Riott should have had at the Elimination Chamber. With a bit of help, the stable leader pushed the champion.

    It was unnecessary to have her kick out of two Riott Kicks, but otherwise the contest was a solid main event that only faltered for feeling like it needed some drama that was never there.


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