RAW In A Nutshell: Last Stop Before Hollywood!

This is it folks, the final RAW In A Nutshell before WrestleMania, which makes this the last stop before Hollywood!

Yep, no more shows for WWE (not counting NXT) until we hit Hollywood on Friday for SmackDown.

Are we excited yet? We probably should be, right?

After all…saying it again…tonight is the last stop before Hollywood!

What does that mean? Final hype, for sure.

Maybe we get some other wrinkles added into the mix, but it’s mostly final hype.

Cody faces Solo, ahead of the biggest match of his WWE life.

Will Roman Reigns exit Hollywood with all the gold still?

Might WWE do just enough to make us think Omos and Brock Lesnar really is a big deal? Like, would this be Lesnar’s best match ever (putting over the Nigerian Giant?)

So, it is our last stop before Hollywood, and it should be a busy three hours.

With that said…let’s get this going…it is time for…

RAW In A Nutshell: Last Stop Before Hollywood!

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and get this show on the road!

Best Match of the night:

Becky and IYO was really good.

Cody and Solo was just that much better. Holy cow, as much as Sunday is Cody’s time…I did not think Sikoa would take his first main roster loss tonight.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Worst match of the night:

I want to see more from Ali, but before WrestleMania wasn’t when it would start.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Also, I get the appeal of Rey versus Dom, father versus son.

However, I feel like this one could have easily been a tag match as a means to get Damien Priest and at least Santos Escobar onto the card.

Matches like Rey versus Priest tonight just makes that more clear,  but not happening.

Star of the Night

I have to give Dom a nod, for what might have been his best mic work. Seriously, after goading his dad for months, he had the audacity to ask, out loud, what kind of parent hits their kid!?

Solo and Cody delivered.

Becky Lynch and IYO too.

Heck, even the 4 men’s teams in the tag match brought the goods.

Spot of the Night:

For some reason or other, WWE had this done with Theory…

This was neat too…

Jobber of the Night:

Ali. You knew he had no shot against Seth Rollins on the RAW before WrestleMania.

I am not hating Ali’s latest iteration, for what it’s worth. Hoping he has some nice run after ‘Mania.

Guys like him are why I would not hate seeing WWE bring back a cruiserweight title.

Upset of the Night:

Omos was upset? Maybe?

Angry, perhaps, but he looked solid.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

WWE might have done it.

They might have me actually interested in an Omos match.

Omos has looked every bit the monster against Brock Lesnar in recent clashes. Tonight was no different.

My hope? It has been said that Lesnar himself signed off on this match, as is his prerogative.

Hopefully, Lesnar did so because he sees this as a chance for him to put Omos over and give WWE a new monster.

Botch of the night:

Not a botch, just a nit to pick…but Becky Lynch, catching her breath between her remarks?

That sharp inhalation was caught each and every time on the mic. I could have done without that.

LOL Moment of the night:

I suppose this was supposed to be funny?

It was OK? But the Brawling Brutes covering the 40 Year Old Virgin was better.

Noteworthy Moment:

As expected:

I have to say though…the presentation felt like it was swiping that from The Fiend.  IE, not original.

Here’s another not original…and also not the first time this YEAR where Theory was caught taking someone else’s schtick.

And, that is after he basically took over Tyler Breeze’s selfie thing.

Overall lowlights:

Maybe lowlight is too strong, but I am disappointed by a lack of Michelle McCool in the Hall of Fame.

Actually, if I am being honest, the 2023 class almost feels…underwhelming?

Rey deserves it…when he’s retired.

Muta is great…but never worked a WWE match.

Kaufmann is dead and while a great bit of wrestling history as one really good heel…maybe I don’t have a complaint here.

Stacy Kiebler was supremely popular during her time, but I feel like McCool or someone else might have been more deserving?

Or, at least, put more folks in? I remember the long-winded ceremonies where it felt like WWE inducted 20 people.

Barring any additional announcements at the last moment, we will have just four. Actually…this last one might be a plus?

Overall highlights:

Stealing the last line from lowlights…if we really only have four inductees in the Class of 2023, maybe that isn’t a bad thing?

Opening segment got things rolling pretty nicely.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

The men’s big tag match was better than expected.

Super excited, like, really really excited for the tag title match too…

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

GUNTHER looks unbeatable.

Dom actually getting more comfortable in his role is a good thing…but I’d love if we had Legado even more involved (like, in the match).

Cody and Solo brought it in the main event…but seriously did not expect a Sikoa loss there.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

After the final bell:

Well, what else is there to say, but after tonight…it’s time for WrestleMania, basically.

After all, Phoenix was the last stop before Hollywood, and I really feel pretty good about how this show went.

John Deegan

Introduced to professional wrestling in the 1980's thanks to Superstars and Saturday Night's Main Event, John's passion for the medium was reborn thanks to ECW in the 90's. A former in-ring "talent" with a career 0-2 record, he finds it more rewarding, and far less painful, to write about wrestling now.

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