What does Raw have in store for us this week?
With just a DOZEN DAYS before a two-night WrestleMania, Raw has Randy Orton’s response to Edge’s challenge as well as BRRROCK! LESNARRR!
- From WWE Royal Rumble 2015 – WWE World Championship Triple Threat: Brock Lesnar VS John Cena VS Seth Rollins.
- Andrade Almas & Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega VS Ricochet & Cedric Alexander; Almas & Garza win.
- The Street Profits VS Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink; The Street Profits win.
- Aleister Black VS Leon Ruff; Aleister wins.
- From WWE WrestleMania 34 – SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Asuka.
PLAY BY PLAY
Paul Heyman addresses the WWE Universe.
The Advocate to the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World opens Raw and says that for 18 years, “beyond the shadow of a doubt,” his client has been the most dominant force in the WWE. The list of victims is endless. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Ric Flair, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena and even The Undertaker and his undefeated WrestleMania streak. “No one has ever been so dominant for so long.”
But Drew McIntyre begs to differ. Here’s a shocker: Everything Heyman just said is true. There has n ever been anyone in the WWE that dominated and conquered like Lesnar. Until Lesnar ran into McIntyre at the 2020 Royal Rumble. Sweet Sixteen was the Scottish Stud, and he stunned the world when he eliminated Lesnar. If Lesnar thinks that’s a fluke, then what does he call it when McIntyre gave him THREE Claymores in one night? McIntyre doesn’t make promises he can’t back up, so he’ll choose his words very carefully. He will Claymore Lesnar again and pin him to become the NEW reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World at WrestleMania!
Raw now goes to Heyman and Lesnar in the ring.
Once again, the Advocate introduces himself and the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE World Champion, Brock Lesnar. “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s all be honest with each other for a change here.” These are truly uncertain times. And at this time, where we all just need some certainty, Heyman gives us that certainty in Brock Lensar. McIntyre can do anything that he wants to, from training his ass off to sparring with mixed martial artists, but McIntyre cannot beat Brock Lesnar. And certainly not this most unique, most extraordinary WrestleMania that is “too big for one night.”
McIntyre could pray to God on hands and knees, but he’ll only get a busy signal. The next time McIntyre prays for Mania, Lesnar will answer with a “quick and painless” answer. Though, after the Royal Rumble and Brooklyn, it won’t be painless at all. What McIntyre accomplished at the Royal Rumble, and then in Brooklyn, he is already a made man! He is already a main event player just for the fight he brought to Lensar. But Heyman assures us all, when it’s all over, McIntyre will be just another “b*tch” that tried to stop the greatest WWE Champion “then, now and forever,” BRRROCK, LESNARRR! Will a legacy continue or will a new era rise when WrestleMania is not one but two nights this year?
From WWE Royal Rumble 2015 – WWE World Championship Triple Threat: Brock Lesnar VS John Cena VS Seth Rollins!
To give context to the dominance of The Beast, Raw relives him going up against both the Face that Runs the Place and The Architect, pre-Monday-Night-Messiah.
The introductions are made, Philly boos Cena and are divided on Mr. Money in the Bank. The belt is raised and the Road to WrestleMania could change right here!
Lesnar rushes Rollins but Rollins bails out, and Cena goes after Lesnar! Lesnar gets Cena in a waistlock for a German Suplex! That’s one! Lesnar looms over Cena while Rollins watches, and Lesnar gives Cena another German Suplex! Rollins rushes in but Lesnar gets him in a fireman’s carry! J&J Security rush in to save Rollins, but Lesnar gives THEM a DOUBLE GERMAN SUPLEX! Cena lurks behind Lesnar, and gets a fireman’s carry of his own. Lesnar slips off and shoves Cena into Rollins’ enziguri! Lesnar grabs Rollins for a HUGE toss! Rollins staggers but Lesnar gives him big knees to the stomach. Lesnar stalks Rollins to the ropes, waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES! That makes for four! Or five since J&J was a double.
Cena runs in but gets another GERMAN for himself! Fans cheer The Beast as he stands tall. Rollins staggers up first but Lesnar knees him back down. Lesnar drags Cena up to snap suplex him across the ring! Lesnar stalks up and gives Rollins another German Suplex! Rollins and Cena are sputtering while Lesnar paces about. Lesnar drags Cena up for another snap suplex! Philly cheers Lesnar and Lesnar gives Rollins a BIG snap suplex! Rollins ends up outside the ring! Lesnar drags Cena up to throw body shots. Fans chant “E C DUB!” for Heyman as his client grabs Cena’s arm! Lesnar has a Kimura and body scissors! Cena endures and manages to power up. He manages to lift Lesnar off the ground! Rollins flies in with a flying knee and he takes them both out!
Lesnar staggers but Rollins kicks him in the leg. Rollins keeps throwing kicks and even haymakers. Lesnar knees back but Cena throws hands on Lesnar! Rollins and Cena work together to double suplex Lesnar! Cena fireman’s carries Lesnar for an ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT! But Rollins throws Cena out and covers Lesnar, ONE!! Cena returns to rain down right hands on Lesnar but Lesnar knees back. Lesnar knees Rollins then throws him out. Lesnar drags Cena up for a snap suplex! Cena bails out and Raw takes a break.
Raw returns as Cena takes ANOTHER German Suplex! Lesnar drags Cena up again for ANOTHER! Lesnar holds on but Rollins SUPERKICKS him away! Rollins leans on ropes to stay standing, then he runs to KNEE Lesnar in the back! Lesnar is out but Cena gives Rollins a scoop Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Heyman goes around to check on his client while Rollins and Cena slowly rise. Cena runs in but Rollins elbows him away. Rollins hops up to hit a flying BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, but Lesnar breaks it! Lesnar clubs Rollins on the back, and again. Lesnar throws Rollins out but Cena hits back with body shots! Cena runs but Lesnar stays up out of the clothesline. Cena keeps trying, and finally gets Lesnar down! But Rollins drags Cena out!
Rollins climbs up and springboards, but into the fireman’s carry! F5!! Cover, but Cena breaks it! Cena saves the match and Rollins gets away, to flop out of the ring. Lesnar drags Cena up for ANOTHER GERMAN SUPLEX! Lesnar looms over Cena before going outside. He clears off the announce desk, much to Philly’s delight! He even SMASHES a monitor on the steel steps just to vent his frustration. But he returns to Cena to get ANOTHER AA! And ANOTHER! Lesnar is up but Cena gives him a THIRD AA IN A ROW!! Cover, Rollins drags Cena off the cover! Rollins throws Cena into the steps! Rollins gives Lesnar a CURB STOMP!! Cover, but Cena breaks it again! All three men are down and Heyman is thanking God. Philly says “This is Awesome!”
Lesnar crawls out of the ring but Cena follows. Heyman coaches Lesnar up and Lesnar is back on his feet. Lesnar still hobbles but Cena RAMS him through the barriers!! Philly loses its mind over that one! Cena manages to get up from the wreckage and Lesnar still stirs. Cena hobbles back to the ring and manages to drag himself up. But Lesnar rises, and Cena hurries back, to throw him into steel steps! Heyman himself barely gets clear of that wreck! Cena picks up part of the steel steps, and RAMS them into Lesnar! Lesnar ends up on the desk, but Rollins wrecks Cena with a dropkick! Rollins FROG SPLASHES ON LESNAR, THROUGH THE TABLE!! Philly is thunderous as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again as Philly again declares, “This is Awesome!” Cena crawls after Rollins and brings him into the ring. Cena leaves Lesnar for dead and fans boo. But Rollins gets Cena in a cradle, TWO! SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Rollins is frustrated and sore but he and Cena still sit up. Cena gets to a corner, and both he and Rollins slowly stand. Rollins runs in but Cena pops him up to the fireman’s carry! AA but Rollins handsprings out! To run into a POP-UP BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives but both men are down. Heyman shouts for doctors because he fears Lesnar is too injured to fight. Cena drags himself over to Rollins at the apron, and brings him to the corner.
Cena drags Rollins up to the top, but Rollins resists the superplex. Rollins rakes Cena’s eyes and gets up and over! Sunset flip and RUNNING BUCKLE BOMB! Cover, TWO! Rollins is at his wit’s end but he has to keep going. He gets to a corner while Cena stirs. Fans rally up as Rollins runs in, but Cena trips him up! Cena gets the STF!! Rollins crawls and reaches, but J&J attack! Mercury and Noble can attack without disqualifying Rollins, and that’s what they do! Medics bring out a stretcher for Lesnar as Rollins has J&J drag Cena up. They mock The Shield with the TRIPLE POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO!?! Cena survives again, and Raw takes a break.
Raw returns again and Rollins grabs the MITB briefcase. Not to cash in, but to aim at Cena! But Cena dumps Rollins out! Cena throws Noble into Mercury, and picks them both up! J&J get a DOUBLE AA!! Cena catches Rollins for an AA!! Cover, TWO!?! Philly is thunderous again as both men are down again! Medics still attend to Lesnar as fans rally and duel. Rollins and Cena rise and start throwing haymakers! They go back and forth, and Cena fireman’s carries. Rollins slips out, mule kicks but runs into another carry. Rollins again escapes to enziguri! Then he runs to CURB STOMP!! Cover, TWO!?!? Cena survives yet again and Rollins can’t believe it! Rollins looks down at Cena like he’s seen a ghost. But he goes for broke and goes up top.
Rollins PHOENIX SPLASH!! But Lesnar rises?!!? GERMAN SUPLEX OR ROLLINS!! GERMAN FOR CENA!! But how?!? Lesnar glares as he has Rollins for another, but Rollins lands on his feet! BRIEFCASE SHOT! And another! Rollins puts Lesnar’s head on the case, but Lesnar gets a fireman’s carry, for an F5!!! Cover, Lesnar wins!!
Winner: Brock Lesnar, by pinfall (still WWE World Champion)
The Beast is the Beast because he’s inhuman! And now he heads to WrestleMania 31’s main event!
But that was 2015. Will Lesnar continue his legacy into the New Decade? Or will McIntyre’s time finally come?
The OC are here!
AJ Styles and the Good Brothers are back, even after the beating The Undertaker gave Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson last week. Styles says that “for the first time in WWE history, WrestleMania is just too big for just one night.” And now, it is official: Styles VS Taker 1v1! Styles doesn’t care what night it’ll be, it could be either one. But maybe Taker cares, because who knows when Michelle will let him out of the house. Taker has no control over anything! Like last week, Taker had his big stretchy pregnant mom pants! Maybe with Depends, too. But Gallows knows what Styles is getting at: Maternity pants. Right! And on top of that, Taker was like a goth Dog the Bounty Hunter, or maybe the Tiger King. Sweet burn!
But speaking of tigers, did anyone see Taker’s Twitter? That’s ridiculous in itself, Taker on Twitter. But there was this video where Taker was swimming with a tiger at Myrtle Beach Safari. Don’t take the OC’s word for it, just watch. Footage rolls of Taker, Michelle and a young tiger in a pool, plugging a charity to help both environment and tiger population. Wow, yeesh! This is real. “This guy is talking about tigers.” Who is this man? Has he lost control of his life? Ever since losing The Streak, Taker hasn’t been the same since. Style wants to take Taker’s soul, but maybe wifey Michelle already did that. The mystique is gone but that happened a long time ago. Taker’s on social media giving Likes and posting selfies. “Who is this man?!”
Styles doesn’t want Mark Calaway who writes things on social media. He wants Taker of yesteryear! But that man is nowhere to be found. But… Styles will give the fans what they want! Styles promises the fans will get what they want to see. “I’m going to bring back The Dead Man in a match that he would love to be in.” It will be… A BONEYARD MATCH! “This is your match, Taker! This is for you!” Styles says when it’s over, he has the perfect place to bury Taker. It ironically is the same plot that his wife, Michelle, picked out when she buried Taker’s career. GOTEE! But strong words and a bold choice, will Styles win this ominously named Boneyard Match?
Raw has big news for WrestleMania!
The Street Profits will defend the Raw Tag Team Championships against Zelina Vega’s stable! Will El Idolo y El Latino both become campeones as part of this historic WrestleMania Weekend?
Backstage interview with Zelina Vega and team.
Vega snaps Charly Caruso out of her daze looking at Garza, and she asks how the “clients” are preparing for the match. Aw look, it’s Charly! She looks… maybe not “good,” but… And as far as their team goes, they will show us tonight why they are the most talented and charismatic team in the WWE. Then Almas will be the most decorated champion in all of WWE. After Mania, the Profits can party all they want, but it won’t be with the titles. The Profits want the smoke, but Almas and Garza want the gold. And they are men who know what they want. Will Almas and Garza both be golden?
Andrade Almas & Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega VS Ricochet & Cedric Alexander!
La Muneca’s team take on another new team as The One and Only joins forces with the Ebony Lion. Will this fast and furious match be a bit more than a tune-up for the lethal Latino alliance?
Alexander and Ricochet are ready for anything as Almas and Garza flank the ring. The teams calm down and go to their corners. Almas and Ricochet start, and Almas rushes Ricochet at the bell! Ricochet blocks the boot and throws forearms and CHOPS back! Ricochet whips Almas but Almas breaks free to throw forearms and CHOPS! Almas BOOTS Ricochet down and Garza cheers his tag partner on. Almas whips Ricochet but Ricochet rolls off his back then ducks under to handspring headscissor, and dropkick! Cover, TWO! Almas backs off and tags to Garza, but the ref sees Garza didn’t have the tag rope. The ref brings Garza to the corner, and Almas sucker punches Ricochet!
Ricochet gets up and goes after Almas with haymakers in the corner! Vega protests, but Almas hurries to the same corner as Almas. There are tag ropes here, can Garza use those? He tags in but the ref says that’s not their corner! Garza goes back to the corner and Almas gets another cheap shot on Ricochet! Almas puts Ricochet in the corner but Ricochet BOOTS him away! Ricochet hops but but Almas shoves him down! Ricochet crashes and burns, and Garza goes after him! Garza throws Ricochet into the LED before Alexander can run him off. But here come the Street Profits! Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins get eyes on their future challengers as they join commentary. Los Latinos complain while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Almas grinds Ricochet down with an armlock. Ricochet fights his way up as the Profits watch closely. Almas wrenches and elbows Ricochet, then tags in Garza. They mug and double whip Ricochet, then pop-up KICK him down! Cover, TWO! Garza kicks Ricochet down, and off comes the pants! Garza hits another Penalty Kick! He drags Ricochet up and headlocks him. He puts Ricochet on the ropes to CHOP! Almas tags in and the mugging continues. Ricochet fights back but Almas kicks and stomps Ricochet down. The Profits give Almas and Garza the proper credit as a team as Garza tags back in. Almas runs but into a SUPERKICK!
Garza headlocks Ricochet fast and throws Ricochet with a takeover, but Ricochet turns it to a cover! TWO, and Garza dropkicks Ricochet down hard! Garza puts Ricochet in the corner and throws strikes. He backs off but Ricochet fights back! Ricochet CHOPS and forearms, but walks into Garza’s kitchen sink knee! Garza drags Ricochet up, tags Almas in, and feeds Ricochet to the sunset flip! Almas feeds Ricochet back tot he basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Vega is frustrated for her team as Almas drags Ricochet up. Almas brings Ricochet to a corner and CHOPS him in the chest from above. Almas drags Ricochet up but Ricochet breaks free. The two scrap and Ricochet kicks then NO HAND STEINERS!
The Profits fire up on commentary and Vega shouts to Almas. Hot tags to Alexander and Almas! Alexander rallies on Garza and the Profits love it! Strike fest and corner forearm! Alexander rolls Garza for a basement dropkick! Alexander runs but Garza puts him on the apron, only to get a boot! “GET OVER HERE!” Swinging Complete Shot! Cover, TWO!! Vega is freaking out as Alexander drags Garza up. Tag to Ricochet, the two double whip but Garza holds ropes. Garza boots Alexander then boots Ricochet. But he runs into an atomic drop and gets an enziguri, tot he gourd buster! Standing shooting star! Cover but Almas breaks it!
Alexander goes after Almas but gets an elbow. Almas CHOPS Ricochet, then CHOPS Alexander, but Ricochet boots. DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Garza mule kicks Alexander out then spins Ricochet for a SUPERKICK! Garza climbs up and leaps, into a dropkick! The Profits are loving it but Vega is panicking as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns once again, and Almas brawls with Alexander. They go from their knees and back to their feet, but on wobbly legs. Almas hits again but Alexander throws another forearm. alexander gets the edge, back kicks then whips. Almas reverses but Alexander handsprings, NEURALIZER! Cover, TWO! Alexander grits his teeth as Almas gets to a corner. Alexander runs corner to corner but into a drop toehold and into buckles! Vega rallies up for Almas as he fires himself up. Almas goes corner to corner, CIEN SHADOWS! Cover, TWO!! Alexander bringing the toughness that made him a WWE/NXT Cruiserweight Champion back in the day!
Garza tags in but Alexander fights back! Garza boots and clubs Alexander into a dragon sleeper. He suplexes and has Alexander off the top rope, for an inverted suplex! Cover, TWO! Garza grabs Alexander’s arm for an armlock and chinbar. The Profits know Garza and Almas are giving their all but it isn’t scaring them. Almas tags in, he and Garza mug Alexander, and Almas CHOPS! Tag to Garza and they double whip. Alexander gets TU LO SABE! Cover, but Ricochet breaks it! Almas goes after Ricochet but gets thrown out instead. Ricochet slingshots but Almas trips him up! Garza drags Ricochet up but Alexander rolls him up, TWO! Alexander’s boot is blocked into a KNEE! Cover, TWO!?!
The Profits are loving what “Ceddy” and Ricochet are doing, but Vega wants to show them what they’re in for. Garza goes up the ropes, MOUNTAIN TOP MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Tag to Almas and they drag Alexander up. They double suplex but Ricochet saves Alexander. Ricochet enziguris Almas then runs to FLY onto Garza! They crash into barriers as Alexander springboards at Almas. Almas dodges but runs into the SCOOP MICHINOKU! Cover, TWO!?! Ford says this is “Tag team action at its finest!” Alexander drags Almas up but Almas grabs ropes. Alexander stomps him down but Vega complains. The ref counts and Alexander lets up to get Almas up. Almas elbows back but Alexander clubs him down. Alexander lifts but Almas sunset flips, ONE! Boot feint to ELBOW!! Cover, Almas & Garza win!
Winners: Andrade Almas & Angel Garza, by pinfall
A little hiccup with the shoulder check but Vega’s team still comes out on top! The Profits applaud that win but are still very confident in their own chances. The Profits gamble by going to ringside, and Vega’s team rushes them! Almas and Garza brawl with Ford and Dawkins! Dawkins tackles Almas down, ROCKS Garza and Ford dropkicks Garza down! Almas comes back for more, and Garza keeps throwing hands, but the Profits run their challengers off! Things just heated up for Mania in Florida! Who will hold the Raw Tag Team Championships at the end of the WrestleMania Weekend?
The Street Profits VS Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink!
The night isn’t done for the Raw Tag Team Champions! That scrap with Almas & Garza was a good warm-up, but will Ford & Dawkins keep rolling against NXT’s Worst and Smug?
The teams sort out and Dawkins starts against Thorne. Dawkins and Thorne tie up, Thorne gets around to a waistlock then shifts to a headlock. Dawkins powers up and throws Thorne off! Thorne gets up but Dawkins headlocks him now. Thorne powers out but Dawkins hurdles to run Thorne over! Ford is still fired up from commentary as Dawkins tags him in. The Profits whip Thorne and Ford dropkicks him down! Ford applauds himself as Thorne gets to a corner. Ford wants everyone to hear this CHOP! “Did you like that?!” He CHOPS Thorne again! Ford mocks the pain as he puts Thorne in the corner. Thorne boots back and dodges Ford to tag in Vink! Vink BOOTS Ford down!
Vink rains down rights on Ford then hauls him up for big hands and stomps! The ref counts and Vink backs off, but Thorne chokes Ford on the ropes! Vink drags Ford up and CHOPS Ford back! Now Ford really is stinging as Vink throws big forearms. Vink scoops Ford and slams him down to cover, TWO! Vink brings Ford up in a facelock but Ford endures. Ford fights up and pries free. Ford throws body shots but Vink picks him up to RAM him into the corner! Tag to Thorne and Vink whips Ford to the open corner. Thorne runs in to CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! Thorne keeps on Ford with a knee in the back and fingers hooking his face! The ref reprimands but Thorne lets up to stomp Ford down.
Thorne drags Ford up with a chinbar and drags him over, but Ford jawbreakers free! Vink tags in and grabs a foot. Ford uses Vink’s strength to help him get up and enziguri back! Vink staggers and Ford crawls, hot tags to Thorne and Dawkins! Dawkins BODY CHECKS Thorne then throws big hands on Vink. Then he uses an Exploder to throw Vink! Dawkins flapjacks Thorne and hits a cyclone splash on Vink! Then one for Thorne! SPINE BUSTER for Thorne, tag to Ford! FROM THE HEAVENS! Cover, The Profits win!
Winners: The Street Profits, by pinfall
Cash Out and frog splash, and it’s another win in the bank for Ford & Dawkins! Will the Profits be higher than ever before after WrestleMania Weekend?
Raw shares footage from WWE’s YouTube.
The WWE 24/7 Champion is jogging around the block. WWE may be forced to cancel live events, but there are no days off for The Riddick Regimen. He finishes up a run when a car pulls up. A WWE referee? Well there’s no way he lives in this neighborhood, it’s too pricey. Riddick demands to know who the ref is here with. The ref says he was just giving his new car a test drive. But out of the trunk, it’s R-Truth! Truth rolls Riddick up on the lawn for the cover! Truth WINS!
Winner: R-Truth, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)
Truth ends the historic 40 day reign of Riddick and shouts, “You need to go back to football, Mr. Randy Moss!” Then Truth hops in the driver’s seat and drives away with the title! Riddick is disappointed in the ref, but the ref says that car was leased under his name! The 24/7 Championship chase aside, can the ref chase down Truth and get his car back?
Raw makes another WrestleMania announcement!
Two more matches have been added! First, Mania host Rob Gronkowski gets his wish of Elias VS Baron Corbin! Will the Drifter make a fool out of the Wolf King for Gronk?
Second, Aleister Black takes on Bobby Lashley for the first time ever! Will the Rocky Mountain Machine #FadeToBlack on the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Charly Caruso has an in-ring interview with Shayna Baszler.
The Queen of Spades stares intensely at Charly as Charly notes Shayna is the most intimidating woman in the WWE ever. Shayna became #1 contender to the Raw Women’s Championship by ripping through all five opponents in the Elimination Chamber. That is a historic first for the WWE. Shayna is very talented in the ring, and will have her match with Becky Lynch during WrestleMania Weekend. How does Shayna intend to conduct herself as champion? Shayna doesn’t say anything, so Charly does note Shayna lets her actions speak for her. But does Shayna have any words to share?
“You look nervous, Charly. Why’re you nervous? Afraid I might bite? Sorry, couldn’t help myself.” Inappropriate timing aside, that is a good segue. It was a very shocking moment for Shayna to bite Becky’s neck. Is that the level of brutality to expect at Mania? Becky should expect to lose at Mania. Charly points out Shayna agreed to the interview so there’s no need to be hostile. Then maybe Charly should ask Shayna the question we all know she wants to ask! “Why do you love to destroy? And if all you care about is destroying, why do you want to win the Raw Women’s title so bad?” The answer is Shayna wants that title because she loves to destroy! When Shayna takes the title from Becky, it will destroy Becky! “It’s not that complicated.” From the beginning, Shayna has shown everyone exactly who she is.
Charly wants Shayna to focus on the last time she and Becky had a match. That was Survivor Series, the Women’s Champion Triple Threat. Wait, someone SMACKS Shayna with a chair! It’s BECKY! The Man finally gets some payback on Shayna as she SMACKS her again! Becky smiles as she leaves Shayna writhing. There’s no more need for words, because those actions spoke very loudly. But will Shayna’s response be even louder?
Aleister Black VS Leon Ruff!
The Embodiment of the End prepares for a fight with Bobby Lashley in a test of toughness and dominance in the Raw roster. But first, will Evolve’s young star be the one to #FadeToBlack?
The bell rings and Ruff is wary of Aleister. Ruff approaches but Aleister stays in the corner a moment longer. When Aleister does step out, Ruff backs off. Aleister sits down cross-legged to put the ball in Ruff’s court. Ruff wants Aleister to stand up but he won’t. So Ruff runs in, but Aleister gets under the kick! Aleister gets up, blocks Ruff’s next kick, and holds Ruff at a distance. Aleister then spins Ruff for BLACK MASS!! Cover, Aleister wins!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall
That probably could’ve been a win by knockout. Will the Rocky Mountain Machine crumble when hit with that same destructive strike? Or will Aleister even be able to use his best move against such a powerful force?
Raw returns with Kevin Owens already in the ring.
The Prizefighter gave his challenge to the Monday Night Messiah for WrestleMania, and now he wants to hear the response in person. Kevin has a mic to say, “Last week, I was here to answer your challenge, but you were nowhere to be found.” Rollins is here tonight, though, so Kevin is all ears. Come on out, Rollins! Rollins makes his entrance, but his disciples are conspicuous by their absence. “Kevin, just the man I was looking for.” Rollins has some questions for Kevin. The Performance Center looks pretty nice as an arena. But does anyone honestly believe that fighting Rollins here gives Kevin the advantage? Kevin did train here, he did make tons of memories and friends here, and earned his place in the WWE here. But does Kevin understand how he even got that opportunity?
When Seth Rollins came to the WWE, there wasn’t even a Performance Center for him to go to! “This building was built on my blood, sweat and tears, Kevin!” On Rollins’ sacrifices and success! Rollins’ first day in the WWE, he was in a “dilapidated warehouse,” and was told everything he did before the WWE didn’t matter! All of his life’s work, up in smoke. Does Kevin understand that? How could Kevin understand that day after day, Rollins suffered, persevered, and had to succeed. Not for himself, no. It was never about himself. It was for wrestlers like Kevin, so that one day they could come to a place like the WWE PC.
Rollins rebuilt the system from the ground up and wants to do that for Raw, but Kevin is in his way. Rollins isn’t sure if it’s Kevin’s selfishness or ego that gets in the way and refuses to fall in line. But none of this exists without Seth Rollins. NXT doesn’t exist without Seth Rollins. The WWE PC doesn’t exist without Seth Rollins. Every person who came through these doors after him owe their careers to Rollins! There is no Gargano, no Ciampa, no Undisputed Era, no Women’s (R)Evolution without Seth Rollins! But most importantly, without Seth Rollins, there is no Kevin Owens. Kevin is fed up with this delusional speech, but Rollins interrupts. Kevin always goes on about less talk, more fighting, but just let Rollins finish this speech.
Rollins’ next question is even more important. Why did Kevin pick WrestleMania to make an example out of him? Does Kevin know Rollins’ Mania record? WWE Intercontinental Championship, the WWE Universal Championship, beating Triple H, cashing-in his MITB contract on Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns to win the WWE World Championship! Rollins has more Mania moments than even he can count! And Kevin has… none. Kevin’s track record goes more like this: failure after failure after failure. What happened last year? Oh that’s right, Kevin wasn’t even good enough to be on Mania. So there’s no way Kevin beats Rollins even on his worst day. And Mania is never Rollins’ worst day, because under pressure, Rollins becomes “a god.” Kevin stands no chance.
From WWE WrestleMania 34 – SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Asuka!
Back in 2018, it was “To be the Woman, you’ve got to beat the Woman.” The Empress of Tomorrow pits her undefeated streak against the Queen of Flair’s title!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and one wrestling royal will be made to bow down to the other!
The fans are thunderous, and the two circle. They tie up, Asuka goes for the arm, but Charlotte reverses the hold. Asuka uses the ropes to flip through the reversal but Charlotte rolls to do the same, but Asuka kicks out a leg. Charlotte gets up and cartwheels to break free and shove Asuka. Charlotte styles and profiles, and even lets out a “WOO~,” then they tie up again. Asuka kicks then puts Charlotte in a headlock. Charlotte powers out and things speed up, Charlotte trips Asuka but Asuka rolls her, TWO. Asuka hits Charlotte with a sliding knee, cover, TWO. Charlotte and Asuka back off but the fans applaud.
Asuka taunts Charlotte as she sits in the corner. Charlotte comes out, but Asuka gets her in a takedown and double stomps. Asuka runs, but Charlotte catches her, only for Asuka to victory roll, TWO. Charlotte chops Asuka with the Flair family chops, backing Asuka into a corner. Charlotte whips Asuka corner to corner but Asuka reverses, so Charlotte tumbles to the apron. Asuka runs over, avoids the shoulder and gives kicks back. Asuka runs again, and hip attacks Charlotte to the barriers! The referee checks on Charlotte while Asuka dances in the ring, and Raw takes a break.
Raw returns and Asuka grinds Charlotte’s arm. Charlotte rolls and forearms out of the hold, but Asuka hits back with a knee. Asuka runs in, but into the backbreaker and STO from Charlotte! Charlotte grabs Asuka, Asuka turns things around, but Charlotte resists the Asuka Lock! Asuka hops up onto Charlotte, but Charlotte runs for the backpack stunner! Charlotte runs in, blocks boots, and turns Asuka around to forearm away on the back. Asuka elbows back, but Charlotte yanks Asuka in through the ropes to drop the knee on her head! Charlotte keeps going with another Flair knee drop! Asuka is down, so Charlotte climbs up. Charlotte MOONSAULTS! But Asuka catches her into a triangle hold!!
Asuka has her, but Charlotte hammers away with fists. Charlotte gets free, and puts Asuka in a Boston Crab! Asuka endures the hold, crawls and pops out, cover, TWO, Charlotte covers, TWO! The fans are loving this, even as Charlotte and Asuka glare at each other. Asuka hits first and fast, then yanks Charlotte’s bad arm into the ropes. She keeps going, kicking Charlotte back into the ring. Cover, TWO, and Asuka grows frustrated. She stalks Charlotte, going after that bad arm and kicking Charlotte right in the face. Charlotte ends up in a corner but Asuka keeps kicking. Charlotte blocks one to shove Asuka down, but that bad arm slows her down. Asuka trips Charlotte up, then runs, but her hip attack misses! Charlotte’s boot doesn’t!
Asuka ends up on the apron with Charlotte. Charlotte brings Asuka up, but Asuka resists the suplex. Asuka shoves Charlotte, then kicks her into the post. Asuka grabs Charlotte now, for a suplex to the floor! Both Queen and Empress crash land! The referee checks on them, but they’re somehow okay to continue, and Raw takes a break.
Raw returns again as Asuka sits on the top rope. She wants to bring Charlotte up but Charlotte SLAPS and CHOPS and CHOPS back! Charlotte then climbs up to join Asuka, for a SUPER SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Asuka survives and Charlotte can’t believe it, but fans know “This is Awesome!” The two slowly rise, and Charlotte hits Natural Select– No! Asuka uses that to put on a grounded Octopus stretch! Asuka bends Charlotte all sorts of ways, Charlotte tries to escape, but Asuka rolls through to keep it! Charlotte suddenly pops and goes for Figure Four but Asuka kicks here away! Charlotte blocks the roundhouse and unloads CHOPS, but Asuka blocks one for a takedown! Asuka Lock attempted but Charlotte stands up.
Asuka jumps for bodyscissors and brings Charlotte down, but Charlotte rolls through to make it a cover, TWO! Buzzsaw kick from Asuka! Asuka won’t let her Streak end, but she runs into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO! Charlotte knows she’s close, but she’s growing frustrated and desperate. The fans fire up as she goes for the Figure Four, and gets it! Charlotte bridges, it’s the Figure EIGHT! Charlotte can’t keep her bad arm extended, she has to use just one arm. Even so, she holds on, and Asuka taps!! Charlotte wins and ends The Streak!!
Winner: Charlotte, by submission (still SmackDown Women’s Champion)
It finally happened! After 914 days, someone defeats The Empress! And it’s none other than The Queen!
Two years later, The Queen is now the challenger, hoping to end another incredible run. Will even the Riptide #BowDown to Charlotte?
Raw returns to the present with a backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
What was it like for her to relive that Mania Moment? For Charlotte, “Inspiring.” But for Rhea Ripley, she surely wants to be just like Charlotte. WrestleMania 34 was both Charlotte’s successful defense of a title but also her ending Asuka’s incredible undefeated streak. Charlotte assumes Rhea is excited to be the first NXT Women’s Champion to be part of WrestleMania, but Charlotte is the “master class of making history.” WrestleMania 34 wasn’t even the first time Charlotte made history. It was WrestleMania 32 when Charlotte retired the WWE Diva’s Championship to become the new WWE Women’s Champion.
Then WrestleMania 35, Charlotte was part of WrestleMania’s first women’s main event match! So WrestleMania 36 will make Charlotte the first woman to win the NXT Women’s Champion on The Grandest Stage of Them All. So if Rhea wants, she can watch some of Charlotte’s “legacy matches,” and learn a thing or two. Will the Queen reign again after this year’s WrestleMania Weekend?
Randy Orton is here!
The Viper has a mic because we’re all expecting his answer to Edge’s WrestleMania challenge of a Last Man Standing match! “Over the last few months, I have done some things, said some things, that have been misunderstood.” What Orton did and said all came from “a place of love.” But everyone has taken it as “an act of brutality.” Orton wants Edge to listen to this. Before responding to the challenge, Orton needs to apologize. Orton lied to Edge’s wife, Beth Phoenix, in the ring. He lied when he said Edge was a junkie for “the roar of the crowd.” That’s not true. Edge is a junkie for his own ego. “Adam Copeland is a junkie for Edge.”
Last week, Edge did say something that ring true. That is the fact that Orton didn’t have to pay his dues. Orton will be the first to admit that he was handed his opportunities in the WWE because of who he was. He was handed those opportunities because of his last name. But being handed opportunities doesn’t guarantee a Hall of Fame worthy career. Orton asks Edge and all of us this. One year after Orton’s “call up” from OVW, Orton wins the WWE Intercontinental Championship. And then after that, he became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion ever. Were those handed to him? No.
Edge says that Mick Foley deserves the credit, and that he “passed the torch” to both Edge and Orton. Orton says Foley didn’t pass anything to Orton. Foley handed Edge the torch and he threw Orton onto a pile of thumbtacks! Orton spat in Foley’s face, beat him down, then took the torch. Orton takes a moment before he continues. “I went from being a third-generation prospect to the three most deadly leaders in sports entertainment. Was that handed to me? No. That all happened because I have the one thing, the one trait, that last week on Raw you said I didn’t have. And that is grit.”
But who knows? Maybe “grit” means different things to different people! “Grit” to Orton isn’t “sitting at home for nine long years on your couch, looking up to the sky and asking yourself, ‘What if?’” What “grit” means to Orton is “longevity in an industry that seldom has any.” To Orton, “grit” means being the one constant in the WWE locker room. Orton looks all around, and he doesn’t see anyone as nearly as accomplished as him. “Nobody has as much grit as me. Nobody, including you,” Edge. And yet Edge says Orton is entitled? Isn’t Edge the ultimate opportunist? Is Edge trying to say he wouldn’t have done the very same thing, had the opportunity come along? If HHH had asked Edge to join Evolution, would Edge have said no?
Orton says that everything he’s said these last few months, they still come from love. Orton loves Edge, his family, the Copeland daughters, Lyric and Ruby. That is why Orton sent their father back home. But Edge’s challenge of Last Man Standing at WrestleMania… Orton says Edge is writing the story, but Orton writes the ending. “I accept.” The Viper makes it official! He and the Rated R Superstar will fight until only one can get back to his feet! Who proves they have true grit?
Honestly, a really good episode! And that’s with two PPV match replays. Of course, they made great selections. I remember watching the Royal Rumble PPV in 2015 and loving that match, but I wasn’t doing wrestling coverage like this back then, so this was the first time I typed it all out like that. Still a great match even the second time around. The same goes for the SmackDown Women’s Championship for WM 34, which I did cover in 2018. I touched that one up a bit given the commercials changing the flow. To be honest, I would’ve used Lesnar VS Taker at WM 30 to also help give some support to Styles’ claim that Taker should’ve retired back then. That way it’s two birds, one stone to build the Lesnar VS McIntyre and Taker VS Styles matches.
Speaking of Styles, I like that he wants to up the ante given Taker beat down the Good Brothers. But what is a Boneyard Match? With Mania apparently being recorded and filmed before April 4th and 5th, it could be just about anything, but I’m thinking the go-home next week should give us that match’s rules. I’m going to guess right now that it will be a Street Fight in a graveyard, maybe with a Buried Alive Match twist. And while I’m glad to see Almas & Garza are an official tag team competing for the Raw Tag Team Championships, I’m a bit unsure why it’s happening now. Why not keep it to the Monday Night Messiah story and make it AOP? But even with that, Almas & Garza VS Ricochet & Alexander was a great match tonight. I hope Alexander and Ricochet stick together to be a team in the next phase.
Aleister VS Lashley is definitely outta nowhere, but maybe A) we would’ve gotten that build if the world wasn’t in crisis and B) this match is to fill time now that Mania is going to be two nights. That match will still be really good, and I’d imagine the winner moves on to a title. I therefore feel Aleister wins to go after the US Championship and Almas. Even if I’ve been advocating for Aleister as WWE 24/7 Champion with a John Wick style montage of matches, Aleister and Almas having a return to their NXT title feud sounds really good. Then we got great promos out of Seth Rollins and Randy Orton that add even more intensity to already intense feuds. I’m actually looking forward to Kevin VS Rollins, and how could I not want to see Orton VS Edge, Last Man Standing?
My Score: 8.3/10