I can’t say I’ve really kept up with the WWE – or any pro wrestling for that matter – for quite some time. But a trip to last year’s Sunday Stunner in Daytona Beach was enough to reignite a guilty pleasure I had not felt for many years since the likes of The Ultimate Warrior or Jake “The Snake” Roberts were mixed in among the various other He-Man or G.I. Joe action figures I had at the time while growing up (back when it was still known as the WWF).
So when the chance to cover WWE Raw at the Amway Center for Rewind It Magazine presented itself, I couldn’t resist (even if my wife/photographer was less than thrilled with the notion). And while I might not be completely up to speed with all the lingo per se, I got the gist of what was going on, and what exactly I liked. Case in point; the very first match of the night this past Monday, February 6, was between two extremely easy-on-the-eyes ladies in the form of Dana Brooke and Indi Hartwell that immediately caught my attention (Brooke walked away from said match victorious).
A tag team match between the Creed Brothers (Brutus and Julius Creed) and the Good Brothers (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) followed (with the latter winning) before commentator Corey Graves introduced the one and only Edge and Beth Phoenix (one of the best moments of the night occurred when Edge stopped to take a selfie with a young fan during his entrance music, no doubt making said fan’s night). An all-out brawl then ensued as the two took on bad guys The Judgement Day, featuring Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, Rhea Ripley, and Damien Priest.
A little drawn-out drama (complete with seemingly every ref in the house stepping in) then ensued before Angelo Dawkins of The Street Profits took on Priest one-on-one, leading him to actually toss Priest onto the judges table at one point, although Priest would ultimately come out with the win. This was followed by one of the quickest matches of the night, seeing Dexter Lumis taking out Baron Corbin via pinfall in about five minutes time.
The crowd then got a brief taste of what was to come between Becky Lynch and Bayley with some behind-the-scenes drama before the mighty Brock Lesner emerged to call out (and eventually body slam) Bobby Lashley in an effort to get him to sign a contract to face him again.
Things really heated up once Candice LeRae struted out and onto the ropes wearing pixie wings, ready to battle Carmella, Michin, and Piper Niven in a four-way qualifying match. Carmella eventually reigned supreme in the match (in a red bikini top nonetheless) even after Niven laid the three other ladies out flat in one swift shot at one point.
Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin then joined forces to take down The Alpha Academy, hands down one of the most entertaining and fun tag team matches of the night with the antics of Otis and Chad Gable adding an extra layer of hilarity.
The crowd then got a look into what was to come next week between The Miz and Rick Boogs, before Chelsea Green took to the ring in what felt like the closest thing to a striptease of the night. Her optimism was short-lived though, as wild woman Asuka took her down quickly. Montez Ford and Elias also went at it (with Ford walking away with the W) to qualify for the elimination chamber before the main event of the night.
Superstars Bianca Belair and Cody Rhodes (with Paul Heyman by his side) also made some brief appearances before stepping aside for Seth Rollins and Austin Theory to briefly duke it out before said main event – the steel cage match between Bayley and Becky Lynch, which was every bit of pure adrenalized excitement as one would imagine a match in a steel cage between grown women could be. Lynch ultimately emerged with the victory after the one and only Lita made a surprise return to help see things through.
Although it might not be the same wrestling I knew growing up as I alluded to in the beginning of this article, it was still without a doubt a night to remember, and there’s a good chance you might just find Rewind It Magazine there the next time the WWE comes through town again.