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Original Plans for Ricochet on Monday’s WWE RAW, Ronda Rousey Match Changed, More Backstage Notes

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WWE originally had plans to do a non-title singles match between Ricochet and WWE Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor at Monday’s RAW, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio.

Vince McMahon reportedly went into Monday’s RAW wanting great wrestlers putting on solid in-ring work, which could have been a response to AEW or the ratings, or a number of issues. This is the reason for the appearances from WWE NXT – Ricochet, Aleister Black, NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa and NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano. Vince is said to be not that high-up on NXT, or maybe just not as familiar with the brand, but he wanted the best guys from the brand and that’s what we got. It’s believed that Triple H did not know about the call-ups before others did as Meltzer noted that there was a communication issue there. It’s also not known if Vince requested these 4 NXT Superstars by name, or if he just asked for the top talents from the brand. The idea was reportedly decided on last week. Black had been rumored for a main roster spot for some time now but DIY and Ricochet were not on the main roster radar.

Regarding Balor vs. Ricochet not happening, that was a Triple H call. Triple H got the match pulled with the idea being that they could go out and have an incredible match, which is why it was booked in the first place, but he felt that doing a babyface vs. babyface match would create issues as Balor had just won the title on Sunday, and because they didn’t want to defeat Ricochet in his debut. There were no plans for Ricochet and Balor to feud, officials just wanted them to have a hot match. Triple H got the match changed to Ricochet and Balor vs. Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush, which also didn’t make much sense because Lashley had just turned on Rush following the title loss to Balor at Elimination Chamber on Sunday. Triple H just felt like doing Balor vs. Ricochet was the wrong thing to do, and the wrong way to introduce a new babyface.

The match between DIY and RAW Tag Team Champions The Revival was already scripted, and apparently went on as planned. This was not confirmed but apparently Black vs. Elias also went on as scheduled.

We noted earlier how Seth Rollins was booked to be all over Monday’s RAW but the script had to be re-done due to Rollins not being cleared to compete by doctors. The show was scheduled to be built around Rollins but his segments were changed, and he ended up doing the backstage interview with Charly Caruso. Vince reportedly got to RAW in Lafayette at around 2pm on Monday and the show was then re-written, mainly due to Rollins. The final RAW script was reportedly not completed until 30 minutes before showtime, and officials were still making changes during the show.

On a related note, WWE originally had RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss booked to be a quick squash match on RAW. Officials needed more time out of Rousey’s match, due to the Rollins-related re-writes, but there was a feeling that Rousey vs. Bliss would not have been good as a long match. However, Rousey and Ruby Riott were comfortable working together and they went with that match instead, a rematch from the Chamber pay-per-view. Rousey vs. Riott was not planned going into RAW, and the two didn’t even know of the match until the day of.

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