Seth Rollins' Growing Cult, Shayna Baszler Shines Again and More WWE Raw Fallout
The February 24 edition of WWE Raw was the last chance to build toward Thursday's Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia, but that was hardly clear according to the focus points of the red brand.
Beyond Ricochet continuing to look more like a solid midcard challenger than the No. 1 contender to the Universal Championship, this show had its sights clearly focused further forward.
Shayna Baszler stepped into the ring preparing for Becky Lynch, but a huge future challenger stepped in her way. Asuka quietly began the build to an incredible clash of former NXT women's champions.
While Andrade will return at Super ShowDown, Angel Garza remains the star of the show as Zelina Vega's charming new client, making Humberto Carrillo's life terrible.
It was a night to talk about incessantly. Familiar stories built further beyond the confines of easy jokes, and stars continued to rise to the challenge.
Seth Rollins' Cult Is Growing to Include WWE Officials
Seth Rollins interrupted Kevin Owens' match with Randy Orton. Even after The Viking Raiders and The Street Profits fought off AOP and Murphy, The Monday Night Messiah returned to screw KO out of the win.
Afterward, Owens found out the referee who gave him a fast count was wearing a Rollins T-shirt and powerbombed him through a table.
As Rollins' message spreads far and wide, it is only right that his following grows. He has the right ears for his gospel. A referee suddenly revealing himself to be a fan was hilarious and well worth the awkward setup of Owens vs. Orton.
The match wasn't much to write home about, and the interference was far too much. What mattered was that fans have something to remember the night by. The image of a referee in a Rollins T-shirt was the best approach to this story.
While The Monday Night Messiah has chosen his disciples, he has plenty more potential openings for followers. It could be fun to see just who he can recruit to his side.
Every moment will make KO only more paranoid. He will never know for sure who has taken Rollins' words to heart.
Angel Garza Has Earned a Major Role on Raw Even After Andrade Returns
Humberto Carrillo finally got his shot at Angel Garza, and the cousins showed just how well they knew each other. It was a back-and-forth high-octane encounter that ended with a surprise roll-up by the latter to take the victory.
Andrade will return at Super ShowDown in the Tuwaiq Trophy gauntlet match, so this was the last show where Garza was truly needed to work alongside Zelina Vega. However, the WWE hierarchy will be impressed by the work of the supposed stand-in.
Garza has been a consistently star in recent weeks and worked so well off of everyone. His work with Carrillo has been inspired, and he has earned his victories.
When El Idolo returns, it should be as an addition to Vega's group. He should not be sending Garza back down the line. The two heels can do so much with the manager promoting them, setting up a future explosion as the heels turn on each other.
It will be fun to watch what comes next. This story including Garza, Carrillo, Andrade and Rey Mysterio has led to much of the strongest wrestling on the red brand.
Ricochet Barely Feels Like a Threat to Brock Lesnar
Ricochet defeated Luke Gallows with the Recoil into a shooting star press. Paul Heyman watched backstage before bringing out Brock Lesnar and talking about how The Beast Incarnate would easily run through both The One and Only and Drew McIntyre.
As the No. 1 contenders to the Universal Championship wait for their opportunities, it is hard to see Ricochet on the same level as McIntyre. The Scottish Psychopath can talk up wanting anyone at WrestleMania 36 come April 5, but he really wants Lesnar.
The inevitable clash of behemoths on The Grandest Stage of Them All will get everyone talking. It is the rare match that can deliver on just how big The Beast has become. He feels unstoppable except next to McIntyre.
The Royal Rumble winner is far more important to Raw than The One and Only. Ricochet is a good performer, but he does not have the charisma or mic skills to be great.
He is just a speed bump along the way. A lack of strong storytelling has left him as the odd man out in a one-off scenario. No one sees him as having a real chance Thursday.
Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka Is a Money Match Waiting to Happen
Shayna Baszler was the last to come out for the Elimination Chamber contract signing, and Asuka called her out for it. As the action began to break down, The Empress of Tomorrow stepped up to The Queen of Spades as the two greatest NXT women's champions stood face-to-face.
This was a surprise delight. The two women have a wealth of stories they can tell in the ring. They will be the biggest names in the Elimination Chamber and will likely be the final two competitors in the match at the March 8 pay-per-view.
However, it is more than just that. They have an incredible match in them down the line. The paired technical ability could be a sight to behold. Few are as good as these two are at wearing opponents down one move at a time.
NXT highlighted both women for a reason. It may be Baszler's time right now, but Asuka will get another run on top. She is far too good not to. Her WWE Women's Tag Team Championships run feels like a placeholder for something bigger.
The seemingly inevitable clash of these two could be an event that will live forever, and Baszler certainly looked ready to get this fight going.