Raw Recap and Reactions (March 4, 2024): Seth Rollins is a loser

raw It started with Cody Rhodes asking San Antonio what they wanted to talk about. We all knew the obvious answer. He invited Seth Rollins to the ring and the two accepted The Rock & Roman Reigns' invitation to attend smack down this week. Wonderful, wonderful. That's not really what I want to talk about here. The thing that surprised me was Seth.

Cody gave him a logical way out if Seth decided not to accept teaming with him against Rocky and Roman V Obsession. The guy has a match with Drew McIntyre, which deserves all his attention. Ironically, this is the same thing Drew said last week when he advised Seth not to worry about what happens on Friday nights. Seth told Cody the same thing he told Drew: defeating the dynasty at this point is bigger than anything else. If he were Captain Jean-Luc Picard, he would have said the line should be drawn here!

The way Seth dismissed Drew as someone he could easily deal with speaks volumes. Seth clearly isn't focused on the big guy and I understand why. Roman with him is more than personal. He feels responsible for the past few years and wants to end them. From Seth's perspective, he brought Roman into this world, and he can take him out. He believes that with Rock's position in the company, if they don't stop Roman now, his former SHIELD partner will gain the absolute power he's always craved. Yes, that's enough to make me or maybe anyone else forget about Drew.

It's a character-driven story that opens up a path where Seth loses his title because he's really focused on the bigger picture. The only reason the tournament is around Seth's waist is because of the Romans; Seth's mission statement is a covenant unlike his counterpart on Friday nights. raw Show how this could undo Seth in a simple but effective way during the main event.

Jey Uso vs. Drew. Drew wants the apology he never got while Jay thinks Drew is a whiny, disrespectful kid. There's enough history between these two that the match doesn't need a lot of setup. The only question was when the bloodline would appear and how they would corrupt Jay.

They did some misdirection with Solo coming out first and Cody making the save. But then Jimmy appeared out of nowhere and threw Jay off his game. Drew, once again, took advantage of the Bloodline shenanigans he swore he hated, earning a W. and hammering home his hypocrisy.

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But then Seth hit the ring to fend off Jimmy and protect Jay. He did this while Drew was still in the ring and lurking behind him the entire time. Then this happened:

This is exactly what Drew warned Seth about. As Drew said earlier in the show, Seth doesn't listen and is addicted to the spotlight. He cares too much about destroying Roman and his comrades. That he ignores a very dangerous opponent.

These are all very powerful things that bring all of these stories together in one circular way. I really like this type of storytelling and it's something WWE does very well when they stick to it. Seth is in trouble, and instead of just saying it, they tell us it over and over again.


B-Aspects

Lucky star

If you're a Kabuki Warrior, I'm not a fan of Shayna Baszler and Zoe Stark's victory over Katana Chance and Kayden Carter. Although I didn't expect them to dominate the former tag team champions, I would have liked a more decisive win. Katana and Kaiden beat up their opponents at the after party. Had Shayna not saved the ball at the last second, they would have lost the match. In fact, if it wasn't for Zoe catching Katana off guard with a quick throw, they wouldn't have won.

It's the equivalent of a comeback victory, which is usually not a bad thing. But with Damage CTRL being explored and then giving Zoey & Shayna the championship match they wanted, I wanted to get a bigger W from their future challengers. They were gunning for victory in a match that seemingly made the champions believe they deserved a title shot.

Meh.

No tears

On the other hand, it's Nia Jax vs. Becky Lynch. The shadow of Liv Morgan loomed over this match due to Becky interfering in Liv's match against Nia last week. Quick catch up for those who missed it or don't remember (a lot happens in a week): Looks like Liv had Nia right where she wanted her but Becky jumped in to get some of that sweet revenge on Nia. Liv lost the match by DQ and faced Becky next. Liv had every right to remind Becky that it's not all about her.

Fast forward to this week and Liv returned the favor. Before Becky lost the match by DQ, she and Nia had a pretty good outing. Nia took control early, so it was all about Becky withstanding the attack and coming back. This was violent and Becky was badly beaten. It turned into a competitive and compelling match between two giants. Becky got the advantage right Before Liv intervenes and ruins everything for her.

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This led to some words backstage between Liv and Becky, which of course led to a match between the two.

This is great but is it all on the ground? I want more Becky vs. Nia. A sentence I never thought I'd write but here we are.

Back discussion

Welcome back Andrade raw officially! With Judgment Day Watch, Andrade defeated Apollo Crews in his first match on the red brand.

Despite the deadline: where did they find Apollo? I haven't seen that guy in months! After watching his entire NXT career, it's strange to see him without a notebook. I guess you never know what you've got until it's gone.

Apollo is a good hand, so this accomplished what it had to do without wowing me. I'm curious how Judgment Day will affect Andrade's future. Is he a future member or is he making himself their next target?

Good afternoon

If there is one entity that can turn Doomsday into good people, it is the Imperial Entity. Seriously, San Antonio cheered for Damian Priest and Finn Balor like they were rockstars that day. People really don't like these imperial cats, do they?

What I liked most about this match was how easily Finn and Damian fit into their “good guy” roles. After Finn took a cheap shot on Giovanni early in the match, it looked as if someone called Odie the moment the crowd started cheering for the Prince. They fought from below and sold everything that Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser did as if they were world speculators. Specifically, Finn, who took the brunt of the beating and felt every second of IMPERIUM's methodical offense. He bought himself some time with the evil Sling Blade after IMPERIUM nearly messed up his tandem move.

Damien got the hot tag and it was pretty much up from there. Damien is one hell of a hot guy if Doomsday always turns away from the dark side, and that's what it might look like.

Judgment Day got a W thanks to the southern sky, and IMPERIUM slipped into the moonlight.

Hold the line

My favorite moment from Sami Zayn and Ivar's amazing match came in the third act. It was a simple thing, but it is a detail, and I love matches that pay attention to details, no matter how small. Sami tried to use the explosive on the turnbuckle earlier in the match, but I mean we've all seen Ivar. Once that didn't work, Ivar regained control and Sami lost his slight advantage. So when Sammy got another chance to make it happen, he tried a different strategy. He hit Ivar's back with several forearm shots, weakening the big man and making him more vulnerable to flipping over.

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mission accomplished.

It's just smart psychology and character development during the match. Plus they make it feel like a real battle where strategies evolve because they have to.

Sammy eventually got a W, which was part of his need for momentum ahead of next week's gauntlet match for a spot in the Wrestlemania Against Günter.

This is the part where I mention the challenge match:

I love Challenge matches and this match has incredible stakes. Sami laid out his case on why he got Gunther before the match, but Bronson Reed said “no” to all of it:

Sami spoke. Chad Gable spoke, he was incredibly passionate and he cut probably the best promo of his career when he talked about taking Gunter's smile and giving it to his daughter. But Bronson spoke with his actions. This suits him because while the Aussie can talk, he lets his fists handle the actions. He doesn't have the emotional logic like Sammy or Chad. He just wants gold and wants to fight.

For the record, I support Chad and I think he gets the nod. He has the most compelling story, as he and Gunther visited a clinic last fall, and the reaction he'll get in Philadelphia after defeating the Ring General may show that the city actually has a heart. I still can't say much about their tastes since they encourage dirty birds, but that would at least prove they're human.


Aside from that tag match between Katana & Kayden and Shayna & Zoey, this show didn't leave me much to complain about. The stuff with Seth and Drew is really interesting to me now. It is a thoughtful story that is sometimes subtle but not unnoticed.

Finally, a big shout out to Michael Cole, Pat Mac, and Cody for shouting out Sting. Even though Cody wasn't as visible as the commentary team, he was still noticed and appreciated.

What do you say, Cagesiders? Did you enjoy the show this week? Were you expecting Pat to call Sting's final match “epic”?

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