If The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection are still the sentimental favorites to become the first-ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, the betting odds might no longer be in their favor: Thanks to a Triple Threat loss on Raw, Sasha Banks & Bayley drew the dreaded No. 1 entry into the Elimination Chamber this Sunday, meaning they’ll have to walk the longest, hardest road possible to reach the historic benchmark.
Similar to last week, Bayley had to go it alone when The Riott Squad united to cheap-shot Sasha to the sidelines, but her heroics were a lot less effective in Triple Threat rules: Tamina broke up a would-be pinfall with a superkick to the face of the former Raw Women’s Champion moments after The Huggable One had Bayley-to-Bellied Liv Morgan. The Sultress of Savagery hauled the limp Morgan to Jax for a tag, and it was all elementary from there, as The Irresistible Force planted Bayley with a Samoan Drop to send her to the starting line of the Elimination Chamber.
Of course, adversity is nothing new to Sasha & Bayley. As they mentioned in a pre-match interview, they’ve put each other through the ringer to get to this moment, but they might find the hill harder to climb with five other teams standing in their way.
Save for the most stringent of haters, it’s been painfully clear for a while now that The Revival’s ascension to championship status was a matter of when, not if, and the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions finally made good on their promise to dethrone Bobby Roode & Chad Gable in a 25-minute showcase that saw them employ all of their (extensive) tag team acumen and become Raw Tag Team Champions for the first time.
It was a clinic in every sense of the word, but don’t think that Roode & Gable were schooled. The champs hung tough with Dash & Dawson at every turn; three months of championship matches will, of course, give you a leg up when it comes to knowing your opponents’ tendencies, and Gable in particular seemed to be dishing out suplexes at will to anything that moved. But The Revival had been learning from their losses as well: Dawson saved Wilder from a brutal-looking neckbreaker-German suplex combo at the last possible second, and thanks to a timely tag, they were lying in wait for Gable to go high-risk. When he did, they caught him mid-flight with the Shatter Machine to win the titles. The match was a classic, and the "Top Guys" won. Just the way they like it.
After receiving advice from half the locker room — Finn Bálor, Alexa Bliss and even Ronda Rousey — Becky Lynch did what she had to do to keep her WrestleMania match and apologized to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, albeit with a warning that she still didn’t trust them and a vow that anyone who tried to steal her dream away from her would be in for the fight of their life. The McMahons accepted her apology. Or at least most of them did.
There was one member of the ruling family who wasn’t quite on board with The Man’s contrition, and it was the one with the deciding vote: Mr. McMahon emerged with just minutes to go in the broadcast, and he had harsh words in store for Becky's “bad attitude” and apparent belief that she was bigger than WWE. (Same went for Ronda, who came to the ring for a staredown with her challenger following Becky’s apology). “You’re not The Man, I’m The Man,” The Chairman declared before throwing down a 60-day suspension for Lynch that expires five days after WrestleMania. That meant Rousey needed a new challenger — a Superstar, Mr. McMahon said, who knew their lane and how to stay in it. The woman in question turned out to be Charlotte Flair, who emerged after a glowing introduction from The Chairman with a smile on her face while Becky fumed in the ring.
And The Chairman made no bones as to who he preferred to win the new-look title match, raising The Queen’s hand as Raw went to black — a preview, he said, of what awaits Rousey at WrestleMania. Any controversy aside, Mr. McMahon’s ruling now sets up Rousey to face an exceptional foe who has bad blood with the champion and a knack for making history at her opponents' expense. Becky Lynch, on the other hand, has now lost everything. Which, of course, means she now has nothing to lose.
In other action … Triple H and Stephanie McMahon demanded Becky Lynch apologize for attacking them … The Lucha House Party interrupted Elias … Braun Strowman, Finn Bálor & Kurt Angle def. Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre & Baron Corbin …Ruby Riott def. Nikki Cross … and Paul Heyman confronted Seth Rollins.