Raw continues down the Road to WrestleMania!
Having made it through the Fastlane, Raw focuses on WrestleMania! And to make this night even bigger, RHEA RIPLEY finally arrives!
- Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Sheamus; Lashley wins.
- Asuka VS Peyton Royce; Asuka wins.
- Jeff Hardy VS The Miz / John Morrison; The Miz wins.
- AJ Styles w/ Omos VS Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods; Kingston wins.
- 2v1 Handicap: The Hurt Business VS Drew McIntyre; McIntyre wins and bans The Hurt Business from ringside at WrestleMania.
- Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke VS Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler; Jax & Baszler win.
- Braun Strowman VS Elias w/ Jaxson Ryker; Strowman wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Bobby Lashley heads to the ring!
The All Mighty WWE World Champion opens Monday Night Raw, with MVP by his side, and he’s ready to finish off The Fella after what Drew McIntyre did to Sheamus in Fastlane’s No Holds Barred match! Will there even be anything left of the Celtic Warrior after this?
Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Sheamus!
The bell rings and Sheamus ties up with Lashley. They’re in a deadlock but Lashley turns Sheamus to a waistlock, drags him down, then floats to a facelock. Lashley gator rolls but Sheamus powers him to a corner. The ref counts, Sheamus lets off at 3, and the two reset. Lashley waistlocks, Sheamus goes after the arm and elbows Lashley to a wrench. Sheamus grinds an elbow into Lashley’s shoulder but Lashley endures. Sheamus shifts to a facelock, they end up in ropes, and the ref counts. Sheamus lets off but he and Lashley tie up again. Lashley powers Sheamus to a corner, both men push forearms into the other’s face, but Sheamus throws a haymaker! Lashley fires off in return!
The ref backs Lashley off but only for a moment before he runs in. Sheamus boots Lashley, runs but Lashley hurdles! Sheamus still clotheslines Lashley down, knees him back to the corner, then stomps him down! Sheamus digs his knee into Lashley’s head, lets off as the ref counts, and Sheamus brings Lashley up for forearms to the back! Sheamus reels Lashley in but Lashley holds ropes. Lashley headlocks, clubs Sheamus, then brings him around to snap suplex! Lashley keeps on Sheamus with a chinlock and grinds Sheamus down. Sheamus endures as Lashley shifts to digging a knuckle into his head.
Sheamus fights up, fights back and fireman’s carries, but Lashley slips out to spin Sheamus for a neckbreaker! Cover, ONE!! Sheamus is still in this but Lashley grinds him back down with a chinlock. Sheamus endures, fights up, and fights back again. Lashley knees low, throws forearms and haymakers, then brings Sheamus around to whip. Sheamus reverses, Lashley holds ropes then dumps Sheamus out. But Sheamus hotshots Lashley back! Sheamus catches his breath, but the rest of the Hurt Business appears! Sheamus focuses on Lashley and catches him, but Lashley elbows out of the Bodhrain to CLOBBER Sheamus!
The Hurt Business distract the ref, Shelton Benjamin CLOBBERS Sheamus! MVP asks what they’re doing, this wasn’t their plan. Are Benjamin and Alexander doubting their Chief Hurting Officer? Lashley and MVP try to figure that out while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as Lashley has Sheamus in a cobra clutch. Sheamus fights up while the Hurt Business coaches Lashley. Sheamus throws elbows to get free, but Lashley CLUBS and shoves Sheamus to ropes. Sheamus kicks back, runs but into a SPINNING POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Lashley tells Alexander to calm down, he’s got this. But Sheamus rolls Lashley up! TWO, and Lashley runs in, only to get POST! Alexander tells Lashley to shake it off but Sheamus rallies with ax handles! Lashley blocks to elbow away on Sheamus, then runs, only for Sheamus to send him out to the apron! Sheamus clubs away on Lashley’s back, then clubs away on his chest with the Bodhrain!
Lashley blocks at 5 but Sheamus CLUBS Lashley down! Sheamus climbs and leaps to DIVING LARIAT Lashley!! Sheamus gets Lashley in, climbs up again, and leaps for another LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! The Hurt Business coaches Lashley but Sheamus fireman’s carries. Lashley slips off, CLUBS Sheamus’ back and then brings him around for body shots. Lashley suplexes but Sheamus slips out to KNEE Lashley down! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus almost caught Lashley with that one! The Hurt Business continues to coach Lashley while Sheamus goes to a corner. Sheamus comes back, Lashley dodges the Brogue but runs into an elbow!
Alexander gets on the apron, Sheamus swipes at Alexander, Lashley hits the ALL MIGHTY SPINEBUSTER!! Lashley drags Sheamus back up for a HURT LOCK!! Sheamus taps, Lashley wins!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by submission
The Hurt Business celebrates with the champion, but they almost cost him, too! But then Alexander and Benjamin are piranhas as they drag Sheamus out and beat him down! But here comes McIntyre! Deep down, McIntyre is still Sheamus’ friend! He RAMS Benjamin into barriers, catches Alexander and RAMS him into barriers then tosses him over them! McIntyre dares Benjamin to do something but he stands down. McIntyre then glares at Lashley and goes into the ring. Lashley stares McIntyre down and holds up the belt.
McIntyre and Lashley shout at each other but MVP tells Lashley to save it for Mania! McIntyre says Lashley needs to prove he’s the baddest, “Do it! Move your man outta the way, throw the first punch!” MVP shouts that this isn’t about emotion, this is about business! But McIntyre still dares Lashley to do something! Lashley listens to MVP and stands down. Will we see this battle of titans tear down the house on the Grandest Stage of Them All?
The Hurt Business regroups backstage.
Lashley asks Alexander & Benjamin what the heck they were doing out there! What does he mean? When you mess with the Hurt Business, you mess with everyone. No, it wasn’t about The Hurt Business, that was Lashley and Sheamus 1v1. Lashley didn’t want nor did he need their help! MVP gets Lashley to cool off and asks if the others realized what they did. They tarnished Lashley’s image by making it seem like he couldn’t beat Sheamus alone. It was an embarrassment, just like when these two lost the Raw Tag Team Championships. And when you embarrass yourselves, you embarrass the All Mighty. So think about what to do to make that right.
Asuka VS Peyton Royce!
The Empress of Tomorrow almost got even with Shayna Baszler in regards to having a tooth knocked out of her mouth. But for now, the Queen of Spades can wait. Will Asuka be ready for a very determined Venus Flytrap?
Raw returns and Peyton makes her entrance. The bell rings and Peyton circles with Asuka. They tie up, go around, and around a little more, before ending up on ropes. Peyton powers back to a headlock and takeover but Asuka headscissors. Peyton kips out, Asuka headlocks but Peyton blocks the takeover. Peyton powers out, Asuka goes up and over and then dances around. Asuka dodges Peyton, runs, and runs her over! Asuka is still having fun as she rolls Peyton to whip. Peyton reverses, Asuka dodges and whips again but Peyton sunset flips! Asuka rolls through, Peyton ducks the Shining Wizard to get a leg pick! Asuka gets a ropebreak then boots Peyton away!
Peyton storms back over, wrenches and spins Asuka for an arm-drag, but holds the wrist, only for Asuka to turn that into an ARMBAR! Peyton pops free, gets a leg, BRIDING CALF CRUSHER?! Asuka endures this innovation and manages to turn over to stomp Peyton away! Peyton goes to a corner, Asuka runs in but Peyton throws her into buckles! Asuka checks her face, Peyton drags her up to club away on her neck! Peyton snap suplexes Asuka, rolls through to a cover, TWO! Peyton is seething as she looms over Asuka. “I am sick of you!” Peyton pushes Asuka around but Asuka hits back. Peyton CLUBS Asuka to a corner then looms over her again.
Peyton drags Asuka up, but Asuka sends her into buckles! Asuka runs in, Peyton boots her away! Peyton slips outside, Asuka goes up and out to follow but Peyton slides inside! Asuka returns, dumps Peyton out and BACK HANDS her! Peyton wobbles, Asuka runs but the hip attack misses! HEEL KICK, DRAPING NECKBREAKER!! Peyton looms over Asuka again as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and both Peyton and Asuka are down. A standing count begins, both women get up slowly and Peyton is up first at 4. Asuka follows, Peyton walks into a dropkick! Pop-up KNEE! Peyton ends up in a corner, Asuka runs in, hip attack! Peyton fights the German, kicks but Asuka blocks to spin. GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka isn’t done yet! She runs to SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, TWO! Peyton survives but Asuka throws her armbands away. Asuka goes to a corner, climbs up top, and leaps to missile drop- NO! Peyton dodged the kick, brings Asuka up, but Asuka spins to waistlock. Peyton switches, Asuka elbows but back hands into the Gory Especial, WIDOW’S PEAK!! Cover, TWO!?!
Peyton can’t believe Asuka survived! Peyton grimaces as she looms over Asuka again. She drags Asuka up, Asuka wrenches to the chicken wing! ASUKA LOCK!! Peyton moves around, victory rolls, TWO!! Heel kick misses but the CODE BREAKER hits! Cover, TWO!! Peyton lives and Asuka is the one shocked now! Asuka drags Peyton up, puts her in a corner and hoists her up top. Asuka climbs up to join Peyton, but Peyton fights back! They brawl and Peyton shoves Asuka away! Peyton adjusts, leaps, DOUBLE STOMPS to Asuka’s back! Cover, TWO!! Asuka still lives and Peyton is losing her mind! Peyton argues with the ref but then turns around into a mule kick!
Asuka storms over, Peyton tries to drag her down, but Asuka makes it an ARMBAR!! Peyton kicks and gets through but now she’s in a body scissors! ASUKA LOCK!! Peyton taps, Asuka wins!!
Winner: Asuka, by submission
That level of competition is what the Raw Women’s Championship is about! But wait! Is that Rhea Ripley!? We knew she was heading to Raw, but she’s aiming right for the top! The Nightmare goes right to the ring, gets a mic, and tells Asuka, “You’re one of the greatest women’s champions in WWE history. You’ve proved your point. Now, last I saw, Charlotte Flair was out here challenging you for the Raw Women’s Championship while you were recovering from having your teeth knocked out?” But Charlotte isn’t here right now, recovering from COVID. So then, Asuka… Rhea wants an answer. On her first official night here on Raw, straight up, she challenges Asuka for a MANIA MATCH!!
Asuka takes the mic, nods and says, “Oh, oh, oh~!” Rhea’s got guts, huh? But Rhea is NOT ready for Aaaasukaaa~!! But… Asuka still accepts! The Empress, the Nightmare, WrestleMania 37! Can it get any wilder than that?
Adam Pearce finds McIntyre backstage.
McIntyre VS Sheamus was huge, but makes Pearce wonder why McIntyre helped Sheamus out there after beating each other senseless. Well yeah, hitting half the guys on this roster that hard, they’d all turn to dust. But McIntyre wasn’t going to let Sheamus get beaten down by two guys. But Pearce isn’t here for all that so what is it? Pearce says Alexander and Benjamin want a 2v1 Handicap against McIntyre, but Pearce doesn’t feel right making that match. So he’s letting McIntyre consider this first. Right, that’s not very sensible this close to Mania. But McIntyre admits he isn’t the most sensible guy.
Well, let’s spin it like this: Lashley did whatever it took to get the title, and whatever it takes to defend the title. So McIntyre beats Hurt Business, they’re banned from ringside at Mania! Deal? Consider it done! Will McIntyre be able to remove some obstacles on his Road to WrestleMania tonight?
Raw presents an all new Miz TV!
The Miz and John Morrison make their entrances, and welcome us to the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show. Before discussing WrestleMania, Miz needs to get something off his chest about the last couple of weeks. Great highs, terrible lows, but the last thing he needed was to be laughed at and ridiculed by Damian Priest and Bad FREAKIN’ Bunny! Without reason, too! To Bunny’s credit, he’s one of the biggest stars in music today, multi-platinum hits, one of the most famous people in the world. And with Bad Bunny, you think about it and go, “Who do you think you are?!”
Bunny walks around here, came in at the Royal Rumble and decided to stick around. it’s one thing to do special performances but it’s another to hang on and hang on with his “bouncer” Damian, while showing zero respect towards The Miz. Miz will remind us who he is: A two-time GRAND SLAM CHAMPION! Who else is a two-time Grand Slam Champion? NOT John Cena. Correct! NOT Brock Lesnar. CORRECT! And NOT The Undertaker! COOOOORRECT! Miz is the ONLY one to do that in the history of the WWE! Miz has been the backbone of WWE for over 15 years! John Morrison has been a multi-time champion in his own right yet they don’t get the respect they deserve!
Don’t believe that? Look at the Mania promotional material! Two mean with over 30 years combined experiences, with titles more than you can count on hands and feet, and yet BAD BUNNY is featured “on the most significant poster in the WWE year.” Last week was the last straw! Congrats, Bunny, you wanted Miz’s attention, and you’ve got it and a lot more. It was a bold strategy, but how did that work out? The footage shows Priest winning his match with Ryker, but Morrison distracting him and Bad Bunny for Miz to GUITAR SMASH Bunny from behind! Morrison says THAT was a smash hit.
Miz says let that be a lesson to all celebrities that think they can do what superstars do. That they can waltz in here and walk all over them! Bunny probably hopped back down his rabbit hole. But for those who love MC M I Z and Johnny Drip Drip, drum roll please… Next week, on a special edition of the Dirt Sheet, it will be the world premiere of the highly anticipated track, “Hey Hey, Hop Hop,” dedicated to Bad Bunny! And the opposite of Bad Bunny is a Good Rapper! They give us a preview, and it’s them in bunny onesies…? They say Bunny’s career is about to be over faster than Vanilla Ice’s!
WWE is their domain, and Mania will be Bunny’s nightmare! Because Miz challenges Bunny to a match!! “I will not just end your music career, I will end your career period.” And if you want a sneak preview of that, watch Miz VS Jeff Hardy, NOW! Is the Charismatic Enigma about to feel what’s coming for Bad Bunny in three weeks?
Jeff Hardy VS The Miz / John Morrison!
Raw returns and Hardy gets a mic. He knows Miz will get in trouble and ask Morrison to help. So if Miz was really a man, he’d ask Morrison to go to the back right now! Miz takes Hardy up on the challenge and Morrison heads out. The bell rings, Hardy and Miz circle and tie up. Miz knees low, clubs Hardy down, then brings him up for haymakers. Miz stalks Hardy to a corner, goes to bump Hardy off buckles but Hardy blocks and bumps Miz instead! And then off another corner! Then another corner! Hardy completes the set of four, then brings Miz up to jawbreaker! Miz staggers, Hardy runs but Miz BOOTS him down! Miz stomps Hardy, puts him on ropes and chokes!
The ref counts, Miz lets off to then run and straddle attack! Miz grins as he looms over Hardy. Hardy sits up, Miz runs and basement BOOTS him down! Cover, TWO! Miz is still cocky as he brings Hardy back up. Hardy counter punches Miz, whips him to ropes, but Miz reverses to kitchen sink Hardy down! Miz says, “I’m the man! Me!” then he digs a knee into Hardy’s back! Miz clamps onto Hardy’s chin, drives an elbow in, then wraps on a chinlock. Hardy endures, fights up and fights out as fans rally on their screens. Hardy spinning back kicks and Miz ends up in a corner! Miz comes back to get more counter punches from hardy!
Hardy whips, Miz reverses but Hardy hits back with forearms! Atomic drop, takedown and leg splitting leg drop to basement dropkick! SPLASH, cover, TWO! Hardy keeps on Miz with a stomp, but Miz reverses the whip. Hardy boots Miz down, goes up and drops a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Hardy calls for it, fans rally on their screens again, but Miz denies the Twist to POST Hardy! SKULL CRUSHING FINALE! Cover, Miz wins!
Winner: The Miz, by pinfall
He DID do it fair and square, 1v1! Miz is ready to show Bad Bunny what for, but SMASH!! Bad Bunny hits Miz with a guitar in return!! Bunny gets a mic and says, “I accept your challenge, BITCH!” Bunny and Miz go smash hit for smash hit, who will be the first one to drop at WrestleMania?
AJ Styles and Omos walk backstage.
But wait, what’s that revving sound? “Looking good, Skipper!” Matt Riddle zips by on his scooter! Styles says he’s not the Skipper anymore, that was Survivor Series! But see what New Day is doing? They’re inspiring goofs like Riddle! Styles is inspired to make New Day look really bad! BOOM! Gottee! The Phenomenal One takes on Kofi Kingston after the break!
AJ Styles w/ Omos VS Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods!
The Phenomenal One is only missing tag team championships in his WWE Grand Slam, so he and his colossal cohort are going for gold at WrestleMania! But will one half of the New Day be enough to prove Styles isn’t ready to be W, W, E, Raw, Tag, Team, Champion~?
Styles gets a mic to say, “It is going to happen! AJ Styles and Omos VS The New Day at WrestleMania!” And it’ll be Omos’ in-ring debut! What a debut it’ll be! Because it’ll be for the Raw Tag Team Championships! Does it get any better than that? It does! Because Omos will be tagging with one of the greatest superstars in WWE history, AJ Styles! Styles is so excited about what Omos will do to Xavier and Kofi! Omos will literally put them through the rings! Literal holes in the ring floor! Omos will bury them in their graves! But what a way to go out at WrestleMania! New Day are the longest reigning tag team champions ever, and they’ve earned everything they’ve gotten.
But Styles & Omos will still defeat them! They can’t lose! Styles’ wisdom and acrobatics and all the things that makes him Phenomenal, and then Omos’ size and strength, they can’t lose! But the New Day interrupt with their entrance! Kofi asks Styles if he really said he and Omos are going to beat them for the W, W, E, World, Tag, Team, Championships~ at Mania?! That’s what he said. Bury them like in the Boneyard, and then take the titles and become unstoppable! But pray tell, future King Woods, in order to become an unstoppable tag team, dost one not first have to become a team? Yes. And yet, we see no team here.
What is here is a wee little man trying to overcompensate for his size, or rather lack there of, *exaggerated royal laugh* hiding behind a GIANT and commands the giant to do his bidding! That’s what they see! Styles tells them to shut up! Or what?! What he gonna do? Sick Omos him? Maybe. Well who could possibly pin Omos’ shoulders to the mat? Joining Styles will only bring him down! Styles says Omos shouldn’t listen to them! Styles found Omos, he’ll take care of him! Found him? You don’t even know him! Yes he does! Then what is his favorite color? Red! Actually, it’s mauve. WHAT?! That’s not a real color!
What’s his favorite flavor of ice cream? Vanilla bean! Peanut Butter Caramel. Well he was close. HAH! Styles doesn’t know nothing! But then here’s a softball pitch. Who (who who who) is Omos’ favorite WWE superstar of all time? Easy! AJ Styles! No, Andre the Giant. HAHA!! Think about this, Omos. There has to be trust in a team, but how can you trust a man who doesn’t know your favorite color? Styles says enough of this! Kofi should just get in the ring so Styles can beat him like they will at Mania! Because… “A! J ROCKS! A! J ROCKS!” Omos chants along and the New Day are upset, but this will sort out and get underway, after the break!
Raw returns and the bell rings. Kofi and Styles circle, Styles kicks but Kofi blocks to spin Styles to a headlock and takeover! Styles grinds forearms but Kofi thrashes him about. They stand, Kofi holds on as Styles tries to power out, and Kofi grinds Styles back down. Styles fights up, rolls to a cover, ONE! Kofi holds on, Styles gets up but Kofi still holds on as Styles tries to power out. Styles gets up, throws body shots and gets free, but Kofi runs him over! Cover, ONE, but Kofi gets another headlock takeover! Styles fights up again, Woods gives his own play by play, but Styles puts Kofi in a corner. Styles pops out but Kofi gets him in a headlock again. Styles powers out and gets Kofi in a headlock!
Styles grinds Kofi, Kofi powers out but Styles runs him over! Things speed up, Kofi hurdles, hurdles and back elbows! Cover, ONE! Kofi gets the headlock back, puts Styles in a corner, but Kofi lets off to throw haymakers. Styles staggers to another corner, Kofi keeps on him and back hands him down. Kofi brings Styles up but Styles knees him low. Styles throws Kofi down, throws him out, and catches his breath before he slingshots! Kofi avoids the plancha and DECKS Styles on the apron! Styles rolls to a corner, Kofi runs in, MONKEY FLIP! Cover, ONE!! Kofi CHOPS Styles in a corner, whips him corner to corner, but Styles reverses, only for Kofi to go up and missile dropkick!
Kofi gets Styles in a body scissor catch, cover, TWO! Kofi dropkicks Styles out of the ring! But Styles is on the side where Omos stands. Styles drags Kofi out, Kofi DECKS Styles, and stares down Omos. Kofi whips Styles, but Styles reverses to throat chop! Styles RAMS Kofi into steel steps! Woods wants to check on Kofi but Omos stands in his way! Omos tells Woods to back down as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Kofi fights with body shots and haymakers to back Styles down! Kofi whips, Styles reverses and Styles elbows Kofi down! Kofi checks his face, Styles drags him up and wraps on a chinlock. Styles grinds Kofi down but fans rally up on their screens. Kofi fights up, throws body shots, but Styles wrangles him back down. Kofi keeps fighting, keeps getting up, throws body shots and headbutts! Kofi runs, dodges Styles then hits a leaping forearm! Kofi rallies with double chops, then dropkicks Styles down! Kofi runs to LEAPING LARIAT! Kofi runs for the NEW~ DAY~ Boom Drop! Kofi powers up in the corner and claps while Woods plays the trombone. Styles PELES Trouble in Paradise away!!
Woods coaches Kofi but he is moving slowly. Kofi gets to a corner, Styles runs in but Kofi swing kicks from the corner! Woods fires up as Kofi climbs up top. Styles intercepts with a haymaker! Styles climbs to join Kofi, but Kofi fights off the superplex! Kofi throws body shots, and GOURD BUSTERS Styles down! Kofi adjusts, but he’s still a bit dazed. Kofi LEAPS to SPLASH Styles on his back! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives and Kofi grows frustrated. Kofi gets up, Woods shouts, “FINISH HIM!” But Styles avoids SOS to roll Kofi for a CALF CRUSHER!! Kofi endures, looks but is the wrong direction for the ropes! Kofi drags himself towards the side, and gets the ROPEBREAK!
Styles lets go, Kofi clutches his knee, but Styles drags him up. Styles wants the leg again, lifts but Kofi makes that a sunset flip! TWO, and Styles dropkicks the leg out hard! Omos nods, Styles goes to the apron. Styles aims, springboards, but Woods’ trombone playing throws him off! Omos storms over but Woods dares him to bring it! Styles springboards, into SOS!! Cover, Kofi wins!!
Winner: Kofi Kingston, by pinfall
Kofi gets away before Omos can storm into the ring! The New Day showed up the lack of teamwork between Styles and Omos, but will this only make the giant more determined to crush them?
Bakcstage interview with Sheamus.
After Fastlane’s war, why did Sheamus accept tonight’s match with Lashley? Because that’s who he is, fella. Sheamus doesn’t back down or run from a fight. Sheamus lives for the fight! If you have to ask Sheamus that, you have no clue about him. Then what does Sheamus have to say about McIntyre helping him against the Hurt Business? Sheamus says that was about respect, something the world needs more of. But Sheamus didn’t ask McIntyre to come save him! He can’t stand the ground McIntyre walks on. But before Sheamus can say more, Riddle zooms in on his scooter and circles Sheamus while asking him about the Loch Ness Monster and if leprechauns are real. If Sheamus could make a wish, what would he wish for?
Sheamus tells Riddle to stop! What is he doing? Just asking questions. Then Sheamus will ask Riddle a question. Is that scooter easy to ride? Yeah, bro! Super easy! Riddle greased up the wheels! The brakes are dodgy, but you sacrifice stopping power for speed. Sheamus puts a foot on the scooter and bets they’re hard to handle. And then he JAMS Riddle with the handle bar!! Was it something Riddle said?
2v1 Handicap: The Hurt Business VS Drew McIntyre!
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin wanted to help Lashley when he didn’t want them, but now they might help him here tonight. Can Primed Alexander and the Gold Standard do damage to the Scottish Warrior before WrestleMania? Or will McIntyre clear them both out of the way so he has a clear shot at the champion?
Raw returns as the Hurt Business make their entrance. They sort out, and Benjamin starts against McIntyre. Benjamin throws his shirt at McIntyre, McIntyre throws the shirt out. McIntyre kicks low, puts Benjamin in a corner and stomps him down then CHOPS him hard! McIntyre whips to run Benjamin over with an elbow! He doesn’t stay away, either, he DEAD LIFT SUPLEXES Benjamin! Cover, TWO! McIntyre looms over Benjamin but Alexander talks trash. McIntyre just hip tosses Alexander into the ring and CHOPS him in a corner! McIntyre whips Alexander corner to corner then back drops high and hard!
Benjamin runs in to waistlock, and he gets McIntyre down to the mat! McIntyre fights up, Benjamin throws him again, but McIntyre fights up to pry the hold. McIntyre gets Benjamin’s arms apart but Benjamin clubs him on the back! McIntyre still runs Benjamin over! McIntyre bends Benjamin’s fingers and stomps the hand! He bumps Benjamin off buckles, bumps him off more buckles, then whips him corner to corner. Benjamin elbows back, throws haymakers, backs him to a corner, and whips McIntyre corner to corner. McIntyre comes back to CLOBBER Benjamin! Benjamin gets up, but Alexander saves him from the Claymore!
The Hurt Business regroups but McIntyre goes out after them! McIntyre ROCKS Benjamin, POSTS him, then brings him up to give him SNAKE EYES on the barriers! Alexander protests but McIntyre puts Benjamin in the ring. McIntyre stays between Benjamin and Alexander as he throws more haymakers. Benjamin knees low, headlocks, and Alexander tags in before McIntyre powers out. McIntyre elbows Alexander, ROCKS Benjamin, but Alexander chop blocks a leg! Benjamin KNEES McIntyre out of the ring! Alexander builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit at the ramp! Alexander hurries back to the ring and tags Benjamin back in.
The Hurt Business go after McIntyre together to RAM him into barriers! McIntyre is down and the Hurt Business is fired up as we go to break!
Raw returns and Alexander grinds McIntyre down with a chinlock. McIntyre fights up as fans rally but Alexander CLUBS him back down! McIntyre throws body shots, forearms, and then shoves Alexander away! Benjamin tags in, Alexander dropkicks the legs out, and Benjamin KNEES McIntyre down! Cover, TWO! Benjamin hurries to get McIntyre up, tags Alexander in, then uses an atomic drop to feed McIntyre to Alexander’s KNEE! Benjamin BOOTS McIntyre down, Alexander covers, TWO!! Alexander is furious but he hammers away on McIntyre’s back. Alexander claws at McIntyre’s face but argues with the ref. Tag to Benjamin and the Hurt Business mugs McIntyre.
Benjamin drags McIntyre up but McIntyre hits back. Benjamin throws knees, clubs him with forearms and hammers McIntyre back down to the mat! Alexander shouts, “LET HIM KNOW!” Benjamin clamps on with a chinlock and grinds McIntyre down. Fans rally up, McIntyre fights up and rams Benjamin into a corner! McIntyre throws forearms, CHOPS Benjamin, but Benjamin kicks back! McIntyre rocks Benjamin, drags him up but Benjamin hits back. McIntyre kicks low, shoves but blocks a kick, only to get the DRAGON WHIP! But he gives a GLASGOW KISS in return! Both men are down but only Benjamin has someone to tag! Alexander reaches, Benjamin crawls, hot tag!
Alexander runs in but McIntyre CLOBBERS him! And again! McIntyre whips and OVERHEAD SUPLEXES Alexander! And then OVERHEAD SUPLEXES again! Benjamin runs in but gets FUTURE SHOCK! McIntyre sees Alexander and hits the NECKBREAKER! McIntyre kips up, aims from a corner and sees Benjamin get up first. CLAYMORE! Alexander back kicks then runs, but McIntyre dodges to CLAYMORE!! Cover, McIntyre wins!!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
And with that, the Hurt Business CANNOT be ringside for Lashley at Mania! Is this only going to upset Lashley and MVP more? Will there be no excuses when WrestleMania becomes the Clash of the Titans?
MVP talks with Alexander & Benjamin.
“That was stupid.” They try to help Lashley when he doesn’t ask for their help. But then, in some crazy way of trying to make it up to Lashley, they fight McIntyre 2v1 and still lose! Now they can’t even- Lashley storms in and says if these two can’t get the job done, he’ll go find someone that can! Lashley looks in the Raw locker room and offers an open opportunity! Any one of them that takes out McIntyre before Mania, they can get McIntyre’s shot at the WWE World Championship! Who will make good on this open hit on the Scottish Warrior?
Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke VS Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald!
The #SexyMuscleFriends are going against the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions but the #RavishingGlow is on commentary to see it. With the Road to WrestleMania in the home stretch, will we see Mandy & Dana get into pole position for the title chase?
The teams sort out, Shayna wants Nia to stop worrying about where Reggie’s gonna sit, and Mandy goes right at the Queen of Spades! Mandy fires off hands, then powers Shayna to the corner! Mandy RAMS into Shayna over and over, Dana tags in and Mandy scoop SLAMS! Dana handsprings to SPLASH, then covers, TWO! Reggie and Nia are too busy talking, Shayna shoves Dana and gets around her for a swinging BACKBREAKER! Dana writhes, Shayna drags Dana up but Nia is distracted! Dana rolls Shayna, TWO and Dana bumps into Nia! KIRAFUDA KLUTCH! But Mandy dropkicks Shayna away! Nia tags in and she CLOBBERS Mandy!
Nia drags Dana up, Dana enziguris! Dana runs and handsprings in to elbow Nia! Dana keeps going but Nia CLOBBERS her now! Reggie “apologizes” to Mandy but Mandy shouts at him to stay out of it. Reggie scurries into the ring, Nia headbutts Dana but Reggie shows off his moves for Nia. Nia drags Dana up, scoops her, but Dana slips off to chop block! Mandy tags in to BULLDOG! Mandy DECKS Shayna, KNEES Nia down, cover, TWO!! Mandy stomps Nia, tags Dana, and Reggie is worried! Shayna yanks Mandy off the apron, Dana DECKS Shayna, but Reggie distracts! Nia trips Dana up! Mandy swipes at Reggie, he handsprings away and Shayna CLOBBERS Mandy!
Nia gets Dana for the SAMOAN DROP!! Cover, Nia & Shayna win!
Winners: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler, by pinfall
Naomi & Lana say this ain’t right. They want a rematch, and maybe even a shot at Reggie. Reggie and Nia celebrate but Shayna is beside herself. Will the Queen of Spades have to start doing things on her own with the third wheel sommelier rolling with them?
Alexa sits in her playground.
She hums to herself while sitting on her swing. “Randy, I know you wanted me out of your life, but I’m still here~! And so is he.” But y’know what they say: You can’t always get what you want. But tonight… Alexa says Randy should be careful what he wishes for. Alexa laughs and swings again… And then in the Fiend’s voice, says “LET ME IN.” Will The Viper bring the Fiend back to Raw, and regret it?
Ladies and gentlemen: Elias.
But not just Elias, as he has Jaxson Ryker and Shane McMahon with him again. Shane still has a knee brace and a crutch, and he says that while many are upset about what didn’t happen last night, Shane is most upset. He would’ve wiped the floor with “that peanut brained” B-B-Braun. But their match will happen once Shane’s leg is healed up. And Elias didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, but he didn’t get the job done. Elias tries to explain but Shane tells him not to interrupt. But now, Elias had time to prepare and he’s having a rematch with Braun tonight! And they are going to present a song they put together: Braun Is Stupid.
Elias plays the guitar, and it’s a duet between him and Shane. “There’s a man named Braun, who’s big in size. But his brain is small, and he’s not too wise. Shane, he struggles, with solving 2+2. I don’t think he can tie his shoes. He lives in a forest, filled with stupid trees. And any smart man can clearly see, Braun is Stupid. So stupid, his IQ has been diluted. Braun is stupid, so stupid, that in a cell, we’ve concluded… B-B-B-Braun is sooooooooo stuuuuupiiiiid~!” But speaking of… Here comes BRAUN~!
The Monster Among Men has a mic and says they think they’re all so funny. It doesn’t matter if Shane has a peg leg, there’s nothing stopping the ass whooping that’s coming! But here’s a song for Elias, that he might be familiar with: The Man Who Got These Hands! Braun gets a rematch with Elias, after the break!
Braun Strowman VS Elias w/ Jaxson Ryker & Shane McMahon!
Raw returns and Braun powers Elias right to a corner to hammer away on! Braun headbutts Elias down, stalks him then bumps him off buckles, then bumps him off more buckles! Braun drags Elias up, CLUBS him in a corner, then throws more haymakers. Braun digs his boot into Elias’ head at a corner, but lets off at the ref’s count. Braun glares at Shane, drags Elias up and whips him corner to corner hard! Elias bounces off buckles and hits the mat! Braun KICKS Elias in the ribs! Elias goes to ropes, Braun chokes him against the ropes! Braun says this is on Shane! Braun throws Elias out of the ring, storms out and Shane hobbles away.
Braun kicks Elias around, puts him back in the ring at the count of 5, then gets in at 7. Elias runs in to KNEE Braun to a corner! Elias fires off stomps and fast hands! The ref backs Elias off, Elias runs corner to corner, into a MONSTER SHOTGUN! Ryker gets on the apron but Braun DECKS him! Braun sees he has targets, and he gets the Strowman Express going! Wait, is there an actual train sound? Braun BLASTS Ryker over the announce desk! And then he BLASTS Elias into barriers! Braun drags Elias up and into the ring, Elias staggers around and Braun runs corner to corner, and blocks a boot to ROCK Elias with an uppercut!
Braun scoops, for the MONSTER SLAM!! Cover, Braun wins again!
Winner: Braun Strowman, by pinfall
But then Shane gets in the ring to SMACK Braun with the crutch! But Braun doesn’t even flinch!! The crutch is bent! “You must be one of the stupidest sons of bitches I’ve ever seen!” Braun chases Shane, and Shane is actually running on that “bad leg!” Braun gets a mic to point out Shane’s knee looks good now, running off with his tail between his legs! Braun is fed up with the games. No more chasing him around, no more Shane calling Braun stupid. Braun vows to end this. Is Shane man enough to face Braun 1v1? Because Braun wants a match at WRESTLEMANIA! Pony up, golden boy! Braun VS Shane to end it all!
Shane has a mic and accepts the challenge! Any match type Braun wants, Shane will win, because Braun is STUPID. But is Shane the fool for giving Braun a blank check on the match type?
Randy Orton heads to the ring.
He has a mysterious black bag and is bringing it with him to gorilla. Is what’s inside going to summon The Fiend to Raw?
WWE confirms matches for Nights 1 and 2 of WrestleMania Weekend!
For night one: The WWE World Championship, Bobby Lashley VS Drew McIntyre; The Miz VS Bad Bunny; and the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Sasha Banks VS Bianca Belair!
For night two: The WWE Universal Championship, Roman Reigns VS Edge; and the Raw Women’s Championship, Asuka VS Rhea Ripley!
Randy Orton heads to the ring!
The Viper didn’t beat Twisted Lil’ Bliss thanks to the resurrected and mangled Fiend that rose from the ring mat. Orton says it seems like it was just yesterday that he was standing right here, watching The Fiend burn alive! He apparently didn’t finish the job because he could smell it. The smell that gets stuck in the nose, the smell of burning flesh. Orton saw an abomination! So tonight, Orton finishes the job. After tonight, there will be no more mind games! There will be no more Alexa Bliss, there will be no more Fiend! “After tonight, the bullshit comes to an end.” But Alexa makes her way out! She has her spooky little jack-in-the-box, too.
“I told you, Randy. Be careful what you wish for.” All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel~. The monkey thought ’twas all in good fun. POP, goes the weasel. The lights start going out and the screens start turning off! And when the lights come back up, FIRE and red light! THE FIEND IS HERE! Orton turns around to see him, and finally gets a good look at what he did to him! But Orton goes to his bag, and brings out… A tank of gasoline! Orton splashes some on The Fiend, but he doesn’t move. So Orton keeps splashing him with more! The Fiend doesn’t seem to react at all! So Orton gets a match! But then the Fiend moves, into an RKO!!
Alexa is there, but Orton stares her down. But The Fiend is getting up! Orton turns around, runs, but into the MANDIBLE CLAW!! The Fiend smothers Orton, then gets him into the SISTER ABIGAIL! Alexa laughs and skips around before standing by the Fiend’s side. She points to the WrestleMania sign! The Fiend wants to end this on the Grandest Stage of Them All! It’s made official!! Will this rematch be the most horrifying Mania moment of them all?
While Fastlane underdelivered, this Raw was a great rebound. I was very surprised to see we’d be getting Lashley VS Sheamus, and it was very good, especially with the tie in from the other Hurt Business members and McIntyre. McIntyre and Sheamus have respect for each other, but they don’t really like anyone else. Sheamus was already annoyed by Riddle in the past, so him hitting Riddle with his own scooter fit in, but this is clearly setting things up for Riddle VS Sheamus for the US Championship. That match could go either way, really, but they had great matches against each other before, so that US title match is going to be awesome.
McIntyre VS Hurt Business was really good, but of course McIntyre wins because he needs to roll towards Mania. Adding the part about banning Hurt Business from ringside at Mania is an interesting story twist. Lashley also giving the mid/lower card locker room a bounty on McIntyre. That is going to be an interesting detail to the next three weeks, but I could totally see McIntyre turning these into matches rather than brawls, and McIntyre taking on guys like Drew Gulak, Humberto Carrillo and (sadly he’s buried down to this level) Ricochet will make for some great match-ups. No one’s going to take McIntyre out, but it’ll help McIntyre build some momentum and maybe end up “behind the 8 ball” if someone gets a good shot on him.
Asuka VS Peyton tonight was perhaps the best match Peyton’s had ever. I’m glad that after her great Raw Talk promo calling Asuka out, she gets to show this much aggression and ability. That modified Calf Crusher is really good, she should definitely keep that in her arsenal. But of course Asuka wins, and then Rhea Ripley shows up to call Asuka out right from the start. Charlotte being sidelined because of COVID sucks for her and for how we could’ve gotten a rematch from Mania, but in a way, Rhea is getting her own Mania redemption because now it’ll be in Raymond James Stadium, in front of fans, and fans will get to cheer these two on as they’re both fan favorites.
Miz TV was alright, but of course it sets up for a match with Bad Bunny. Miz VS Hardy was good, and Miz wins clean so that Bunny could blast him with the guitar and accept the challenge. We all expected this to be a tag match, but Morrison has also not been wrestling much lately, maybe there’s an injury WWE wants to hide since it isn’t so serious as to keep Morrison off television. Braun VS Elias rematch was a touch better than Fastlane’s, but at least Fastlane didn’t add a train sound to Braun’s “Strowman Express” spot. Braun wins again, Shane is of course exposed as a faker, and of course we’ll get this at Mania.
With Braun allowed any stipulation, I feel like he’ll choose something from the No Disqualification family, which of course will allow Shane to bring in whoever he thinks can help him, and maybe that’s why Shane wins. Or it could all be used to build Braun back up by just destroying everyone put in his path. I hope it’s the latter. We got an interesting Women’s Tag moment. Reggie was all over the place, being annoying, but that was of course the point. The champs win, even with Reggie being a distraction to Nia, but I am still hoping things build to a very big match for Mania. Ravishing Glow, Sexy Muscle Friends, and then Natty & Tamina from SmackDown, all against Shay-Nia for the titles.
Styles & Omos had a pretty good promo segment with the New Day, though I feel like Omos wasn’t able to deliver as well as he could, because he might’ve been starting to laugh. Styles VS Kofi was a great match, but naturally Woods and Omos become an element because they were ringside. Kofi beats Styles as a way to show the new “team” is not ready for what that means, but if Omos isn’t going to get in a match before Mania, I feel like Styles will have to face Woods and then Omos finds a way to get back at him so Styles can tie the series 1-1. I don’t see New Day losing at Mania, but it could happen if Omos focuses on defense while Styles is legal and does the heavy lifting.
The final segment with Orton, Alexa and this undead Fiend was alright. I should’ve figured Orton would want to burn The Fiend up again but I also expected a bit more from the “summoning.” He really more egged Alexa on into summoning The Fiend rather than mockingly tried it himself first. Like, he should’ve tried a Bloody Mary/Candyman creepypasta thing first. But of course Fiend and Alexa stand tall here to set up the Mania match. A little disappointed it won’t be Firefly Funhouse 2, but I did want to see how zombie Fiend battles first. Maybe it changes into a Fun House match in the middle to reference the very disappointing Orton VS Wyatt match from a few years ago, but then finally make it what it should’ve been back then.
My Score: 8.5/10
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.11.2021
Day 3 of the Champion Carnival had video on demand issues, so it wasn’t uploaded until the 12th. Hopefully Day 3 continues the positive momentum the first two days have already created!
Hard to say I wasn’t a little annoyed the VOD took so long to post, but better late than never; especially when the next event isn’t until the 17th.
Anyway though! Zeus looks to topple the current Triple Crown champion and continue his undefeated Carnival streak and Ashino has to do something to get off the bubble; but Kento is a big ask. We could be looking at a quick favorite to win as well as the walking dead.
Let’s hope nothing too drastic happens! Check it out!
- Jake Lee vs Koji Doi: Jake wins via D4C @8:10 – **
- Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuma Aoyagi: Ishikawa wins via Single Leg Cradle @11:13 – ***
- Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino: Ashino wins via Grapevine Ankle Lock @12:11 – *** ½
- Zeus vs Suwama: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @19:52 – *** ¾
Jake Lee vs Koji Doi
Total Eclipse inner faction fighting! Since Jake is the leader, he starts off in typical heel leader fashion telling Koji to lie down and eat the pin. Koji lies down; Jake drapes himself in a cocky cover, so Koji goes for the crucifix at the 2 count. Jake snaps up and he looks shocked that Koji went against an order, but then we get to a match.
Koji does a solid job keeping Jake off balance with power attacks, Shoulder Tackles and an interesting Football Tackle with the lift and slam. Jake eats a decent amount of offense, including a few short arm Lariats, before he starts stabilizing with Knee Lifts and Yakuza Kicks.
Lucky for Jake, even though Koji countered the D4C once, after Giant Killing, Koji wasn’t countering anything. Jake hits D4C and gets his second win of the tournament! Not a flashy match honestly felt a little silly at points with how quiet and echoed the arena made the match feel. Hopefully the setting doesn’t continue to plague the atmosphere of the matches.
Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuma Aoyagi
Now this was decent, though the hollow quiet atmosphere of venue is really detracting from the matches. Yuma was trying to find openings, but Shuji continued to run him over and abuse him with power early. And it was during these slower spots, the deafening silence of the venue made for weird watching.
Even though Shuji hit a Scoop Slam into the corner of the arpon, multiple Tsunamis and a flashing Scoop Fire/Thunder Driver, Yuma stayed resilient. Yuma nearly made the bigger man tap in End Game, but Shuji was able to find the ropes. Yuma hits an O’Connor Roll into the Japanese Leg Clutch, Shuji manages to get out of that, goes for a Tsunami, Yuma slides and tries to scoop Shuji for a Roll-Up, but at two Shuji manages to reverse the Roll-Up, grab a single leg and keep Yuma down for a three count!
Even though I have yet to be convinced by Yuma, the fact he got a finish that still made him look strong while putting up a good fight against a decorated opponent like Ishikawa; that says a lot about his potential rise on the card.
Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino
Ashino is in the unenviable position of last place after two days. With a 0-2 record, he really REALLY needs this…and he of course has Kento as his roadblock. They’ve traded wins in the past, and come off as rivals who don’t really like one another.
The match starts quick with Ashino shooting the half, grabbing a leg and searching for the Ankle Lock early. Kento fights out, but Kento is surprised and Ashino stays on him. Ashino pulls Kento to the ring post and wraps Kento’s left leg against the post a few times. Kento fires and Snake Eyes lands Ashino into the corner of the apron. This gives Kento plenty of time to walk off the early ankle damage and play into his cocky arrogance, all while messing with the referee and his opponent.
Whenever Ashino managed to get back in the ring, he was greeted by Blackouts to the front and back of his head. It wasn’t really until Kento went for the Shutdown Suplex, that Ashino hit a second wind. Both men trade German Suplexes, Ashino continues with a Deadlift Overhead suplex and he starts building momentum back.
He teases a German from the apron to the floor, but Kento blocks, fights off and Piledrives Ashino instead. Kento fires off Blackouts as Ashino once again barely beats the count out, but after landing his ninth Blackout of the fight, Ashino grabs the left leg, rolls through and goes for the Ankle Lock. Kento tries to fight off, but Ashino refuses to let go, readjusting, rolling through, pulling Kento back into the center away from the ropes; eventually dropping down into the Grapevine. Kento has no other option but to submit!
Ashino finally gets on the board, and Kento joins him in the 1-2 portion of the standings! I wonder how much the ankle will play into the rest of Kento’s carnival.
Zeus vs Suwama
Last year during Zeus’ carnival winning run, he had a match with Suwama which resulted in Suwama sustaining an arm injury. Thanks to this knowledge, and the sting of a failed challenge when Suwama recovered, Zeus came out attacking the arm and trying to replicate some of his success from last year.
The beauty in Zeus’ arm attacks, is not only were the Key Lock and Arm Bars effective to play on the old injury, they also inhibited Suwama from executing the Last Ride Powerbomb. Zeus’ attack really did great, as well as giving him the power advantage against someone who can usually match him in that department. Zeus lifted out of Boston Crabs, met Suwama head on with Biceps Explosions and even broke out the Frog Splash a few times.
In a nice reference, Suwama was able to fight out of the Arm Trap Facelock this time, but Zeus had too much of an advantage. Zeus peppered in Chokeslams, Lariats, another Frog Splash and eventually ended the match with an impactful Jackhammer. This was a solid struggle throughout, injured only by the awkward venue setting.
Who will be the first person to hang a Carnival loss on Zeus since 2019?
Overall Score: 6.75/10
While there wasn’t really a lot to complain about in terms of action, I really hated the venue. With the Japanese crowd rules of not being able to scream and having to just clap or stomp, it was very noticeably irritating in this event. Slower moments felt empty and stupid, almost back to the empty Quarantine times, which definitely impact smaller events and smaller companies.
Aside from that, we got a lot of really great finishes. Ashino finally getting on the scoreboard AND over Kento is great. Zeus continuing his streak from last year, Jake well…doing Jake things and Shuji looking strong as a current title holder should. Otani and Sato were missed a little today, but let’s check out the standings!
- Zeus: 3-0 – (6 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 2-1 – (4 Points)
- Jake Lee: 2-1 – (4 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 1-2 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 1-2 – (2 Points)
- Suwama: 1-2 – (2 Points)
- Koji Doi: 1-2 – (2 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 1-2 – (2 Points)
Lucha Central Weekly: NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver…DELIVERS! Plus Too Many AEW Factions, WWE WrestleMania Week, and more!
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Join Miranda Morales, Brendan Barr, and Dusty Murphy as they bring you another edition of Lucha Central Weekly–one just as action packed as lucha libre itself!
This week the trio discusses the abundance of factions on AEW, the week-long celebration that is WWE WrestleMania, and a look at NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver!
About Lucha Central Weekly
Your one-podcast stop for all of the week’s top stories from around the world of lucha libre and lucha libre around the world. Join hosts Miranda Morales, Brendan Barr, and Dusty Murphy along with special guests as they cover Lucha Libre AAA, CMLL, top Mexico indies as well as lucha related matches in WWE, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Ring of Honor and beyond. Whether you are trying to dive deeper into the world of masked mayhem or you’ve been following for decades, you are going to find things here you won’t find on any other airwaves!
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