This week’s WWE Raw was the last Raw before WrestleMania with WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Universal Champion Roman Reigns on the show.
Matches announced for this week’s Raw include: RK-Bro vs. The Usos, The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio and Natalya, Shayna Baszler, Queen Zelina Vega & Carmella vs. Sasha Banks, Naomi, Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan. I’m glad WrestleMania week is here. It’s going to be a busy one for me, but I love it. Safe travels to everybody going to Dallas and have fun.
Earlier on Monday, WWE aired a video of Seth Rollins visiting Vince McMahon at WWE Headquarters in Stamford, CT and meeting about WrestleMania. That’s where Vince informed Seth that Seth will face an opponent of Vince’s choosing. Seth will find out the opponent at WrestleMania Saturday according to this tweet WWE put out. We know it’s going to be Cody Rhodes and we’ll see it happen on Saturday. I look forward to it. We will have a preview up later in the week. I haven’t decided if it’s going to be one part or two. We’ll figure it out.
Raw started with the introduction of the smiling cowboy WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. Good pop for Brock. The commentary team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton was joined by Smackdown’s Michael Cole as well, so it’s a four-man team this week.
A video aired about Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns issues on Smackdown over the last couple of weeks. Two weeks ago on Smackdown, Roman got away from Brock in a car while Brock ripped a door off its hinges. This past Friday on Smackdown, Lesnar smashed the windows of the car that Roman arrived in. When Brock tried to get after Reigns, Roman hid behind security guys and Lesnar ended up beating up the security guys with a steel chair. Reigns was able to avoid a beating.
Let’s Hear from Brock Lesnar
Lesnar said for the last 20 years, the loudmouth Paul Heyman has done the yapping for him, but Lesnar has to do this tonight. Lesnar welcomed us to Raw. Brock said that was fun, but he thought it kind of sucked. Lesnar said he likes to give out country ass whoopings. Lesnar said that this Sunday they’ll take a trip down memory lane, some fans chanted “WHAT” and Lesnar said you can play along if you want. Lesnar said they’ll take a trip to Suplex City, then the Beast of Broadway, hit the carnival and go for a ride on the F5. The fans chanted “WHAT” at Brock, who said Steve Austin will be there too, he’s an ass-kicker but he didn’t kick Brock’s ass. Lesnar said that they are going to have a wedding where they will unify the WWE Title and the Universal Title and they will unify those titles with Lesnar getting full custody. Lesnar said there’s no more running and nowhere to hide this Sunday. Lesnar said this Sunday he’ll stand above Reigns with two titles in his hands and they will state that he’ll be the unified WWE Champion…Brock Lesnar. The fans cheered while Lesnar left.
Analysis: Cowboy Brock is fun. You can tell he’s really enjoying this run since he even let the crowd chant “WHAT” at him. Lesnar might win at WrestleMania, but I can see it going either way. I’ll save a prediction for later in the week in our WrestleMania preview.
The announcers plugged what’s coming up this week on Raw.
The Miz made his entrance for singles action. A replay was shown Miz getting a cheap shot on Rey Mysterio last week and hitting a Skull Crushing Finale on the floor. Miz stole Rey’s mask after the match, so Miz faces Rey after a break.
The Miz did a promo introducing us to Lucha Logan aka Logan Paul, who made his entrance wearing Rey Mysterio’s mask from last week. Miz called Lucha Logan the greatest luchador in history. Miz said he’s going to keep taking respect. Miz said tonight he’s going to take another mask from Rey tonight. Rey and Dominik Mysterio entered for this singles match. Dominik tackled Miz and punched him repeatedly. Paul ran away from Rey and Dominik. Graves had a funny line: “Which one is Rey and which one is Logan?” Dominik was ejected from ringside due to his pre-match attack.
The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio
Miz with punches, Rey with a headscissors and Rey went after Paul again, but Miz caught Rey on the floor with Miz slamming Rey into the barricade. Miz hit a DDT on Rey on the floor. That led to a break.
Rey was in control with a senton off the top onto a standing Miz and Rey kicked Miz in the head. Miz tried a Powerbomb, but Rey countered with a sunset flip pin for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: *1/2 We only got to see two minutes of the match due to the commercial. Why not time it better and show the whole match? That’s weird that you wouldn’t show most of the match.
Dominik Mysterio appeared after the match and tossed Paul into the ring. Paul avoided a double 619, but Rey ripped off Paul’s mask. Rey and Dominik hit a double 619 on Miz. Dominik went up top, he hit a Frog Splash on Miz and Rey also hit a Frog Splash off the top rope. Logan Paul was on the floor watching the whole thing.
Analysis: That makes me think maybe Miz/Paul will win at WrestleMania. I’m not sure who I’m picking right now. It was good as a post match angle.
The Seth Rollins-WrestleMania story is up next.
A video aired about how Veer Mahaan is coming to Raw next week. Veer: “Your fear is here.” We have to pretend it is Veer’s debut even though he was on Raw plenty of times before October. It will be his first time on Raw since the October draft.
There was a Seth “Freakin” Rollins video package about all of the matches that have been set up for WrestleMania while Seth has been trying to get a match on Raw. Seth said it was “bullshit” at the end of last week’s Raw and wanted his WrestleMania moment.
Seth Freakin Rollins Meeting with Vince McMahon
They aired the video about Seth “Freakin” Rollins meeting WWE Chairman Vince McMahon at WWE Headquarters earlier today at 6:57 am. Seth was shown wearing a unique blue suit. The clock was shown on the screen showing it was 9:05 am, so that meant that Seth was waiting for over two hours. Vince sat down with Vince in his office, which had a huge dinosaur skull on the wall. Seth put his feet on the desk, which Vince did not like. Seth wondered if he was going to be fined, suspended or even fired. Vince said he didn’t bring Seth in there to fire him. Vince admitted he was surprised that Seth didn’t win his way into WrestleMania while Seth complained about how Pearce, Sonya and said it’s a long story. Vince said Seth should have asked him. Vince spoke about how this year’s WrestleMania is stupendous and he wondered how it could be stupendous without Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Vince said that Seth needs to be in his own main event. Vince told Rollins he’s going to WrestleMania, Seth asked if this is a trick and Seth asked for his opponent. Vince said that the opponent is somebody of Vince’s choosing and Seth will know who it is when the opponent is introduced. Seth shook Vince’s hand with Vince saying: “You better not disappoint.” Seth celebrated the good news while even jumping on Vince’s desk to dance: “Seth Freakin Rollins at WrestleMania, baby! We did it, baby!”
The graphic was shown letting us know it is Seth Freakin’ Rollins vs. an opponent of Vince McMahon’s choosing. That match is on WrestleMania Saturday.
Analysis: It’s obviously going to be Seth facing Cody Rhodes, who is making his WWE return at WrestleMania. I think if they set it up on TV weeks ago it would have been great, but I don’t really mind waiting until WrestleMania itself to see who Seth is facing. It reminds me of 2017 when it was rumored the Hardy Boyz were coming back, so WWE brought them back at WrestleMania itself. In this case, the Cody teases started weeks ago. I think it should lead to a huge reaction for Cody at WrestleMania Saturday and I look forward to the match.
Omos made his entrance for a 2-on-1 handicap match against The Viking Raiders.
Omos vs. Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)
Viking Raiders are from Smackdown, but those brand extension rules are ignored during WrestleMania week. Erik with a running forearm, Omos no sold it and Omos hit a clothesline. Erik went to the floor holding his head Ivar checked on his partner. That was less than one minute.
Winner by countout: Omos
Analysis: DUD It was not exactly a match of the year contender. Strange booking to end it with a countout.
Ivar jumped on the apron, so Omos kicked him off the apron to the floor.
Omos was interviewed in the ring by Kevin Patrick with Omos saying that he’s dominant and undefeated. Patrick wondered if there was someone…and here comes Bobby Lashley.
Bobby Lashley walked out in his wrestling gear. Lashley was injured at Elimination Chamber due to a concussion storyline, but in reality, he was dealing with a shoulder injury. Lashley walked down to the ring to face off with Omos. There was support from the crowd for Lashley with some fans chanting “Bobby” for him. Omos shoved Lashley away, Lashley charged with a shoulder tackle and Omos tossed Lashley into the turnbuckle. Lashley charged again, which had no effect, Omos sent Lashley into the ropes and Lashley hit a running shoulder tackle. Omos rolled out to the floor, the fans chanted “Bobby” and both guys pointed at the WrestleMania sign. A replay was shown of Lashley’s third shoulder tackle that knocked Omos down.
Analysis: I thought it was an effective segment to set up a WrestleMania match. The fans were strongly behind Bobby there. I think Omos is going to win at WrestleMania, but I’m happy was able to make it back from the shoulder injury and get a WrestleMania payday. Lashley will probably miss more time after WM with the shoulder injury, but for now, he’s back at least for this coming weekend.
They said Universal Champion Roman Reigns was up next.
Analysis: The first hour of Raw had about three minutes of televised in-ring action. Three minutes during a commercial too. Is that the lowest ever for an hour of Raw? Maybe. I don’t know. It’s really low.
Dana Brooke, the 24/7 Champion, was shown backstage with Reggie. They were holding hands. Reggie got down on one knee, he was ready to ask her to marry him and Dana said it was so sudden. Dana said “yes” to the proposal. Tamina showed up, she shoved Dana into an equipment case and tried to pin her. Reggie saved Dana, so they ran away. Akira Tozawa showed up in a suit and had a ring as well. Tozawa awkwardly proposed marriage, Tamina said yes and Tozawa had a ring that was too small, so Tozawa put it in his mouth, got it wet and then slipped the ring on. R-Truth was shown looking with binoculars with a referee with Truth saying that gave him an idea.
Analysis: That was mildly funnier than some of the segments they usually do, so at least I’ll give them some credit. Comedy marriage proposals will lead to some poorly acted segments at WrestleMania or soon after, I guess.
Let’s Hear from Roman Reigns and The Bloodline
The Bloodline group consisting of Universal Champion “The Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns, Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos and Special Counsel Paul Heyman made their entrance. The group took their time as usual. The announcers put over Roman’s greatness with Cole saying Roman was about to be in his sixth WrestleMania main event, which is the second-most of all time.
Reigns: “Pittsburgh…acknowledge me!” That led to some boos, cheers and a whole lot f noise in general. Reigns said he was going to shine on you, talk about God mode, how he used to run Monday Night Raw until Smackdown came begging him to run Smackdown, which is all true. Reigns said he’s done everything you can do in this business. The fans chanted “WHAT” at the crowd with Reigns saying if they keep doing that he’s going to smash them all like he’d smash Steve Austin, just like he’ll smash Brock Lesnar. Reigns said that he’s done everything (the fans kept chanting “what”) except beat Lesnar at WrestleMania and that pisses Roman off. The fans chanted “Suplex City” to piss off Reigns some more.
Reigns spoke about how what really bothers him about Brock is that a couple of weeks ago, Brock was out for blood because it was personal to him. Reigns said that Brock already spilled Roman’s blood and noted that in 2018, Brock cut Roman’s head open in two spots. Reigns said he was busted open so much that his children didn’t want to see him, his wife didn’t want him n the business and his family doubted him. Reigns said that after that, the Tribal Chief changed the game. Reigns said that they will take everything from him by taking the advocate and making him the Wise Man. Reigns said he already beat his reign as the longest-reigning Universal Champion, he already bloodied him at Madison Square Garden and then at WrestleMania, he’s going to take Brock’s title at WrestleMania. Reigns said that he’s going to make it personal because it’s always been personal to him. Reigns dropped the microphone, turned to the WrestleMania and The Bloodline did their “one” salute to end it.
Analysis: That was a money promo from Roman Reigns. It’s been so great to see him evolve as this character in the last two years and his promos have really improved as well. Roman takes his time, he delivers his lines with confidence and he’s believable in everything he does. The crowd was really fired up when Reigns mentioned Steve Austin’s name, so that would be a huge match to do some day although Austin wrestling again is unlikely. I’m just saying the crowd reaction to that was very strong. Anyway, I like what Reigns said about how he has yet to beat Brock at a WrestleMania and he’s right in talking about Brock beating up Reigns at WrestleMania 34 in 2018. Great job by Reigns. I’m surprised there was no promo from Heyman, but Reigns did really well, so it’s cool with me.
Carmella and Queen Zelina Vega were shown backstage with Vega doing her fake accent while going between different accents. Natalya & Shayna Baszler appeared to tell them to work together tonight for their tag team match and then they are opponents at WrestleMania.
The music of Sasha Banks hit as Sasha entered with Naomi, Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan for a tag team match.
This Friday on Smackdown: The Men’s Andre the Giant Battle Royal takes place, plus Ricochet vs. Angel vs. Humberto. Those matches were announced on Smackdown last week.
It was announced that The Steiner Brothers will be inducted into the 2022 WWE Hall of Fame this Friday. It was announced on Monday morning. They didn’t mention that Rick is the father of Bron Breakker, but that’s a cool thing about it as well.
Analysis: The Steiners are awesome and well-deserving as one of the best tag teams in wrestling history while they also had a lot of success as singles wrestlers. Scott was a WCW World Champion while Rick won some titles as well. Scott complained about the Hall of Fame for years, but that’s happened in the past with other inductees in previous years as well. It’s not like he’s the first guy to trash WWE and still get inducted. I think they probably understand it’s a good time to be inducted since Bron Breakker is going to be a big part of WWE’s future.
Sasha Banks, Naomi, Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan vs. Carmella, Queen Zelina Vega, Natalya & Shayna Baszler
Natalya worked over Naomi in the heel corner while Graves was being really annoying about his fiancée (the wedding is coming up soon) Carmella in the match. Naomi got a hold of Vega and gave her a bulldog into the turnbuckle. Banks tagged in, double team move by her and Naomi on Vega, so Carmella made the save. They did the sequence where the women each hit a move and then rolled out of the ring. Vega whipped Banks into the barricade followed by a running knee. That led to a break.
Carmella was in control of Banks with a chinlock while Carmella was wearing her protective face mask. Banks fought her way out of the heel corner, Banks with a backstabber on Carmella and then the heels pulled Baszler/Morgan off the apron. Baszler tagged in to prevent Banks from tagging out Banks came back with a kick, but Baszler caught her with a submission across the back. Natalya and Baszler hit a Hart Attack clothesline. Vega tagged herself in and broke up Natalya’s pin attempt. Baszler decked Carmella with a punch while they were on the floor. Naomi got the hot tag with a kick on Vega, Morgan kicked Vega in the back right into Ripley who tagged in, and Ripley hit the Riptide slam on Vega for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Sasha Banks, Naomi, Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan
Analysis: **1/2 The faces worked together well while the heels didn’t get along. That was the story of the match since Natalya could have got the win after the Hart Attack, but Vega was selfish and it all broke down from there. It was fine for what it intended to be. Graves was annoying with all the Carmella talk although they are getting married soon, so I understand why it keeps getting pushed. I’ll probably pick Banks/Naomi to win at WrestleMania. I should point out also that Graves had a line about “keep my fiancee’s name out of your mouth” during the match, so it was a parody of the Will Smith thing at the Oscars.
They showed some highlights of Kevin Owens impersonating Steve Austin last week.
There will be a video package about Steve Austin’s career after a break.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin Video
A video package aired about the legendary career of one of my favorite wrestlers of all time: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. They played the song Bawitdaba by Kid Rock, which came out in 1998, which is the year when Austin won his first WWE Title. It featured comments from Triple H talking about how everybody wanted to be like Steve Austin while Randy Orton said Austin had tough, redneck attitude. Kurt Angle praised Austin as well, Stephanie McMahon said it invigorated a generation of people and they showed some of the famous Austin-McMahon bits with Austin raising hell as usual. Vince McMahon spoke about how every once in a while somebody very special comes along, but no one will come close to that. The Rock said that Austin was solely responsible for a seismic shift in wrestling and truly iconic. They showed some more Austin moments in the ring along with beer bashes.
Analysis: That was great. It encompassed everything that made Austin special with all the clips of segments, promos, the catchphrases, the great matches, winning titles and the comments from important like Vince McMahon, The Rock and Triple H. Vince knows how special Austin was to him and the company and he’s not afraid to say it. Austin is one of my favorite wrestlers ever. He’s in that top three range for me.
Let’s Hear from Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens was in the ring saying that was nothing compared to his tribute to Austin last week. Owens said people thinking that he was mocking Austin were lying. Owens claimed he was paying homage to the great Stone Cold that we all love and remember. Owens said that everybody is ecstatic that Austin is his guest in the main event of WrestleMania Saturday. Owens said last week on Raw was the last time we’ll see the old Stone Cold that we used to admire. Owens said that Stone Cold has been gone for 19 years and he ain’t ever coming back. The fans booed. Owens said that at WrestleMania on the KO Show, it’s not Stone Cold anymore, it’s Steve. Owens said that it’s the same Steve that has been drinking himself to oblivion for 19 years and so bored on his ranch that he asks people to go on his podcast to talk about the good old days. Owens said that Austin still looks and sounds like Stone Cold. Owens said that Steve is not coming to the KO show to pick a fight with Owens because knows what would happen if he picks a fight with Owens. KO said that Steve is going to have a chat about his career. Owens said he’s a good person that will give Austin the big platform on the WrestleMania main event edition of the KO Show. Owens said that beer is disgusting, which drew boos and he’s going to drink a beer with Austin. Owens said that Austin will pass the torch to Owens as the new Stone Cold and the master of the Stunner because his Stunner is better than Austin’s Stunner. Owens asked the crowd to give him a “hell yeah” if his Stunner is better than Austin’s Stunner. Some people chanted it. Owens said that if you try to get funny with Owens, Austin will be on the receiving end of a Stunner. Owens said if you try to pick a fight with Kevin on the KO Show, Owens will pour a beer on Austin’s carcass and “that’s the bottom line because KO said so.” Owens was booed to end it.
Analysis: It was an excellent promo from KO as usual. He got a lot of heat with his comments and had some clever lines. Owens mentioned that the KO Show with Austin is the main event of WrestleMania Saturday, so that should confirm some rumors that were out there about that.
There was a graphic providing confirmation about Omos vs. Bobby Lashley on WrestleMania Sunday.
Ricochet, the Intercontinental Champion, entered for a match against Austin Theory after the break.
Austin Theory entered for singles action. Theory did a pre-tape promo ripping on Ricochet as well as Austin’s WrestleMania opponent Pat McAfee with Austin talking about taking his biggest selfie ever.
Ricochet vs. Austin Theory
Theory with a fallaway slam, Ricochet came back with a dropkick and sent Theory into the turnbuckle. Ricochet hit a springboard clothesline followed by a running Shooting Star Press. Ricochet went for a running attack, Theory avoided it and then Ricochet with a jumping kick. There was a “We Want Pat” chant as Theory tripped up Ricochet on the turnbuckle. Theory got a hold of Ricochet with the ATL slam into the knee for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall: Austin Theory
Analysis: *1/4 A quick match to put over Theory because he’s on the WrestleMania card while Ricochet is not. The fact that Ricochet is the IC Champion doesn’t really mean much in terms of booking since WWE loves to book champions to lose.
A clip aired of Bianca Belair getting attacked by Becky Lynch in the past and now Belair is back.
There were images shown of media coverage about Triple H announcing his in-ring retirement last week. Cole and Graves talked about how much Triple H meant to their careers. They showed tweets of support for Triple H.
Let’s Hear from Bianca Belair
Bianca Belair made her entrance. They showed two weeks ago when Becky Lynch attacked Belair by using a chair to send Belair into the ring post. Belair challenges Lynch for the Raw Women’s Title on Saturday night.
Belair spoke about how her confidence threatens Lynch and that’s why Becky acts the way that she acts. Belair said that Lynch tried to take Belair out of WrestleMania while Becky plays the victim and tries to ruin Belair’s reputation. Belair congratulated Becky for taking her out for a week, but now Belair is back like she never even left. Belair said ever since SummerSlam, Becky has tried every trick in the book while adding that Becky has done cheap attacks and attacking Belair’s throat. Belair said that there’s nothing Becky can do to stop her while Belair said she’s going to take Becky’s title and walk out as the new Raw Women’s Champion.
Becky Lynch’s music hit as Becky appeared at ringside with Belair showing she was ready for her. Belair was aggressive with punches, but Lynch did a hair pull. Lynch hit Belair in the back with a steel chair. Lynch had a bag where she revealed some giant scissors and Lynch tried to cut off Belair’s hair, but Belair fought back and hit a KOD (Kiss of Death) slam on Lynch. Belair picked up Lynch and hit the KOD again. Belair looked at the scissors in the ring, Lynch was selling like she was knocked out and Belair cut a handful of hair. Belair cut some more hair, then sat her up and some officials along with referees tried to stop Belair. Belair cut a few handfuls of hair. Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville got Belair to back off. Belair left celebrating while Lynch was furious about having some of her hair cut. It’s not like Belair cut a lot of it, but she did cut a few handfuls of hair. The camera closed on Lynch, who said: “I’m going to end her.” The fans chanted “you deserve it” at Lynch, who looked at the crowd with a look of disgust.
Analysis: It was another way to make it more personal. I liked it with Belair cutting some hair to piss off Lynch a bit. Belair’s promo was the usual sign of confidence that we get from her all the time. I think Belair should win at WrestleMania, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen.
The announcers went over some WrestleMania matches in this order. Here’s the WrestleMania Saturday, April 2nd lineup.
* Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair
* KO Show – Hosted by Kevin Owens with Steve Austin
* The New Day – Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland (w/Butch)
* Seth Rollins vs. ?????
* Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos (c) vs. Rick Boogs & Shinsuke Nakamura
* Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz & Logan Paul
* Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
* Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin
Drew McIntyre from Smackdown made his entrance carrying Angela the sword in his hands. Drew’s in a 2 on 1 handicap match.
They announced that Brantley Gilbert will perform America the Beautiful at WrestleMania Saturday and Jessie James Decker will perform America the Beautiful at WrestleMania Sunday. They are country music singers. I have never heard of them. Sorry. It’s not my kind of music.
Becky Lynch was somewhere backstage with Sarah Schreiber trying to interview her. Lynch shoved the microphone down and looked into the camera: “Bianca, you bitch!” That was it.
Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss
Corbin locked up with Drew, then Corbin bailed to the floor while Moss tagged in. Drew sent Moss into the turnbuckle and worked him over with punches. Drew hit Moss with a belly-to-belly suplex followed by a neckbreaker. Drew sent Moss into the turnbuckle, Corbin teased tagging in and then Corbin left. Drew hit Moss with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt followed by the 3-2-1 countdown leading to the Claymore Kick for Drew for the pinfall win. It went about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: * An easy win for Drew beating up Moss while Corbin did the cowardly thing by running away instead of wanting to fight.
Post match, Corbin attacked Drew with a forearm to the back followed by Corbin whipping Drew into the ring post two times. Corbin hit the End of Days on Drew leading to boos. Corbin stole Angela the sword and left to the back with the announcers saying that was a big mistake.
Analysis: It was a cheap shot that was done to give Corbin the advantage for a change. I think McIntyre beating Corbin at WrestleMania is a lock. Drew should get the sword back on Smackdown or they might save it until WrestleMania.
They showed Edge hitting AJ Styles with a chair to the back on Raw last week.
Edge did a seated promo in a darkened room. Edge spoke about how he needed to put fate in his hands while telling Styles that they need eachother. Edge said he needed Styles to become what Edge has become with Edge saying he was the benchmark of WWE. Edge said that he will keep soaring while Styles will stay where he is. Edge talked about how for the last 20 years they have run parallel winning titles all over the world and said after 20 years they’ll finally have a match for the ages. Edge took off a ring and told AJ that his judgment is sealed.
Analysis: I think Edge vs. Styles might be the best match out of all the matches taking place on both WrestleMania nights. I’m looking forward to it. Most of the feud has featured promos from Edge with Styles talking a bit, but not that much really. I think Styles should win. If Edge wins then it will probably lead to a rematch.
AJ Styles was interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Styles said that Edge used a lot of words to justify another cheapshot. Styles said that it was a month ago when Edge cracked AJ in the back of the head not once, but twice. Styles noted that since then, Edge’s music changed, he’s changed and he’s tried to get in AJ’s head. Styles said that if Edge wants the pitbull, then he’ll get something worse than that and Styles wants to destroy him. Styles said that the verdict is already in because he’s going to give a beating to Edge that the WWE Universe will never forget this Sunday at WrestleMania.
Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura made their entrance for a match. They are going for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania.
The announcers did a rundown of the Sunday, April 3 WrestleMania lineup:
* Edge vs. AJ Styles
* Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory
* Women’s Tag Team Championships: Carmella & Zelina Vega (c) vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler
* Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
* Anything Goes Match: Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville
* Raw Tag Team Championships: RK-Bro – Randy Orton & Riddle (c) vs. The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins vs. Alpha Academy – Otis & Chad Gable
* Winner Take All – Title vs. Title: Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar
Analysis: Sunday has seven matches while Saturday has seven matches, plus the Owens-Austin talk show segment.
The Usos made their entrance as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. There was a pre-tape promo from The Usos saying they are going to keep their titles at WrestleMania. They reminded us that they’re “The Ones” with Cole noting they were champions for 252 days, which is a record for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. The Usos taunted Nakamura/Boogs at ringside. That tag team match against RK-Bro is next.
A video aired for WrestleMania letting us know that it’s just five days away. Stupendous.
The Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) made their entrance with about 20 minutes left in the show. Good pop for the popular champions.
RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
Orton started with Jimmy with Orton hitting a forearm. Riddle into the ring led to Orton lifting Riddle for an assisted splash. Orton and Riddle both wanted RKO’s, but The Usos left the ring. Orton and Riddle followed them out there with Orton and Riddle each delivering belly to back slams to each Uso onto the commentary table. That led to a break.
There were about seven minutes left in the show as Riddle was still the face in peril while Jey slammed him down. Riddle got some momentum going with a running kick to knock Jey down. Orton got the tag against Jimmy with Orton delivering clotheslines, Jey made a blind tag and Orton hit a snap body slam on Jimmy. Jey got a rollup on Orton for two leading to Orton delivering a snap body slam on Jey. Riddle kicked Jimmy and Riddle hit a corkscrew body attack onto Jimmy on the floor. Orton hit the draping DDT off the ropes. That’s when The Street Profits arrived to attack Orton from behind for the DQ finish. It went about 15 minutes.
Winners by disqualification: RK-Bro
Analysis: ***1/4 A very good tag team match by two of the best teams in WWE or any wrestling company. I am not shocked that they opted for a DQ finish rather than beating either of these teams clean on the last Raw before WrestleMania. It made sense to end it that way even though I know fans want to see a pinfall or submission most of the time. Anyway, I liked the story of the match with Riddle as the face in peril, The Usos were great at working him over and the fans really got into it with Orton getting the hot tag. It was nice to have at least one good match on the show.
The Street Profits duo of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins attacked Orton together. Nakamura & Boogs took out The Usos as those four guys went brawling to the back. Orton was isolated against both Profits, but then Riddle hit an RKO on Dawkins. Riddle launched Ford into the air leading to Orton hitting an RKO on Ford. That was a great double team move. The fans chanted “one more time” as Orton hit Ford with another RKO. Riddle hit an RKO on Dawkins as well.
Analysis: I was a bit surprised that the heel team of Chad Gable & Otis didn’t do the cheap attack there. It made The Street Profits a bit heelish by doing an attack like that. Anyway, RK-Bro looked dominant in that post match attack. It was great.
There was a rundown of some of the big WrestleMania matches on Saturday and Sunday. They ended on the Lesnar-Reigns match that main events WrestleMania on Sunday.
Orton and Riddle celebrated as the Raw Tag Team Champions some more. That was the end of the show.
Three Stars of the Show
- Roman Reigns
- RK-Bro/The Usos
- Kevin Owens
6.75 out of 10
Last week: 6.75
It was a solid show overall. A promo heavy as usual on the last Raw before WrestleMania while plenty of Smackdown stars were on the show as well. The best match was clearly the main event between RK-Bro and The Usos, which was also given a lot of time. The other matches were short. It’s not a major complaint or anything because I understand that’s what we get on the last Raw before WrestleMania.
A lot of the major matches at WrestleMania saw top stars delivering quality promos. I thought Roman Reigns may have had the best promo, Kevin Owens was great as well and Brock Lesnar had some fun while also getting serious when needed. Bianca Belair cutting some of Becky Lynch’s hair makes that feud feel even more personal. Edge continued his evil promos while AJ Styles responded with confidence.
Most people that watch Raw are going to watch WrestleMania anyway because it’s so cheap to watch it. I don’t think there was anything that might convince somebody to watch WrestleMania that otherwise may have skipped it. This was kind of what you expect from the last Raw before the biggest show of the year.
The next WWE Premium Live Event is WrestleMania 38 from Dallas, Texas on Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3. Here’s the lineup so far:
Saturday, April 2nd Lineup:
KO Show – Hosted by Kevin Owens with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
Seth Rollins vs. ?????
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos (c) vs. Rick Boogs & Shinsuke Nakamura
Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz & Logan Paul
Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin
The New Day – Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland (w/Butch)
Sunday, April 3rd Lineup:
Winner Take All – Title vs. Title: Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar
Raw Tag Team Championships: RK-Bro – Randy Orton & Riddle (c) vs. The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins vs. Alpha Academy – Otis & Chad Gable
Edge vs. AJ Styles
Anything Goes Match: Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Carmella & Zelina Vega (c) vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler
Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory
WrestleMania 38 is a two-night event steaming LIVE on Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.
Check out the WWE PPV Review archive right here. You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Toronto Raptors, Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. Be safe and smart out there.
Thanks for reading.