WWE Monday Night Raw broadcasts live on the USA Network at 8 p.m. ET with the final show before Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.

Raw opened with a moment of silence for the Parkland, Florida tragedy. The screen would fade to black, which was then followed by the usual opening intro music.

Roman Reigns Promo

Reigns claimed to not be concerned with the gauntlet match set for later in the night, but he is concerned with the Elimination Chamber match coming up on Sunday. As has been typical fashion leading up to the WWE Network Special, Reigns stated why he’s best to face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.

Per Monday Night Raw opening segment rules, Reigns’ promo would be interrupted by Seth Rollins’ music, as the gauntlet match is going to open the show.

Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns by pinfall

Worth noting that a gauntlet match is basically just a series of matches in which the winner continues to fight the next challenger. Basically, the winner of Rollins-Reigns goes on to the next guy up.

The start of the match was literally a rest hold, followed by a little action, culminating in the commercial break of doom.

After we learned about fast-food products and the like, the action in the ring really picked up. Great back and forth tomfoolery, with both guys getting their offense in. The highlight here, before yet another commercial break, was Rollins hitting a buckle-bomb with Reigns immediately hitting his Superman punch after it.

Coming back from the break, Rollins missed a frog splash. We hit 25 minutes into Raw, three commercial breaks, and we’re on the first match still. Don’t say the WWE is against the in ring product.

Rollins actually got the pinfall, advancing in the gauntlet match, by rolling up Reigns.

John Cena’s music would hit as Reigns put his hand out to shake Rollins, and we have our next entrant in the gauntlet match.

Seth Rollins def. John Cena by pinfall

After getting some offense in early, the duo played to the idea that Rollins was tired from the match before.

A weird spot was when Cena hit three belly-to-belly suplex moves in a row in a rather unremarkable way. No rollover over flipping or anything to make them fancy. Just three standard belly-to-bellies with little to no fun attached to them. A commercial break would hit and we have reached 40 minutes of Monday Night Rollins.

Rollins, who has been excellent, is really showcasing how/why the WWE needs him back in the main event. Cena, who is far better than given credit for, did hit an awful Diamond Cutter (or RKO or Stone Cold Stunner… whatever, it was bad).

At this point in the match, Rollins is playing the role of exhausted talent. Cena is playing up the “make sure he’s OK, but I will keep whooping him if need be” character. It has been tremendous. Another commercial break!

In what turned out to be a legit — at the very least — four-star match, Rollins kept making little comebacks and even kicked out of the AA. In a neat twist, Rollins would counter a Cena Super-AA by hitting an AA on Cena.

Rollins would win by hitting Cena with the Kingslayer followed by the curb-stomp. It wasa great match and an ABSURD performance by Rollins up until this point.

Elias’ music would hit and we have our next match (Rollins has been wrestling for 58 minutes).

Elias def. Seth Rollins by pinfall

Rollins made it one hour and five minutes. This match was short, but fine. Obviously, the biggest takeaway is how Seth “Burn It Down” Rollins reminded the world he is the best in the business today.

Finn Balor’s music would hit as “thank you Seth” chants were being shouted.

Finn Balor def. Elias by pinfall

This match got some time with plenty of good action. The crowd — because we don’t deserve nice things — did chant for Braun Strowman at some point. A real shame, because Elias and Balor were excellent. Everyone gets it, though. It is hard to follow the historically great performance Rollins put on, but still!

Monday Night Rollins might be over, but the quality of the in-ring work has continued. Balor would eventually hit his finisher, followed by Balor getting jumped by Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. The Miz is up next!

The Miz def. Finn Balor by pinfall

Another excellent match. In what has been done all night, the guy who has been in the match prior, here being Balor, played the role of the guy too tired.

It also helped The Miz that Balor was being jumped by his goons.

With help, The Miz gets the win. It is now Braun Strowman time.

Braun Strowman def. The Miz by pinfall (wins gauntlet match)

The Miz, when realizing he had to face Braun next, ran away from the big man as quickly as he could. Strowman would eventually catch up, whack our beloved heel, and we head to commercial break.

This was NOT a one-sided match. The Miz did well and even hit his finisher on Braun. Obviously, Strowman kicked out and earned the victory.

Strowman would cut a short promo, then go back to the ring to destroy The Miz and his buddies a little more.

What a solid first two hours of Raw.

Asuka Promo

Short promo that was only there so Nia Jax could interrupt and wallop Asuka.

Obviously, this was meant to elevate Nia headed into Elimination Chamber.

Titus Worldwide def. The Bar by pinfall

This match was not great, but that is likely due to the fact it had to follow two hours of awesomeness. Anyway, it wasn’t even really a standard tag match, but one with a shocking finish. Titus Worldwide wins via a rollup.

Sasha Banks, Bayley and Mickie James def. Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose and Alexa Bliss by submission

Another pretty solid match. It didn’t get the time as the gauntlet earlier (I mean, to be fair, that was given two hours). It was a little disappointing it was this way, as the entrances and commercial breaks basically gave the women 13 minutes of on-air action.

To be Camp Crystal Lake clear: This was still a great match that featured good action. What the six women did in the allotted time was fantastic. Simply wish there was more of it.

Banks hit the Banks’ Statement for the victory.

The heels would jump the faces after the match, but Bliss and James ended Raw by hitting Deville with a double-DDT.

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WWE Monday Night Raw (2/19/18): Two hour gauntlet match, Seth Rollins is a hero @WWE/Twitter
Joseph has been covering college basketball for nearly a decade. He's also the co-host of the Off The Wall podcast. Marty Jannetty is better than HBK.
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