Reviews

Raw Review 03/23/2020

Raw Review 03/23/2020

RAW REVIEW 03/23/2020

Tonight we continue to get closer to the WrestleMania that’s “Too Big For One Night” airing on April 4th and 5th! Will Randy Orton accept Edge’s challenge to face him at WrestleMania in a Last Man Standing Match? Plus, as their WWE Championship Match inches closer what will happen when Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are live on Raw to address Drew Mcintyre? There is also tag team and single’s action set for tonight!

Raw comes to us from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.

Raw kicks off with us with vignettes from Paul Heyman and Drew Mcintyre.

Raw Kick-Off:
Heyman introduces himself and the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. Heyman says for 18 years his client has demonstrated he is the single most dominating force in the history of the WWE. he says his list of victims is endless and goes on to name some of the biggest names to fall to Lesnar. He says that no one has ever been so dominant for so long.

We then see a vignette from Drew McIntyre. He says that what Heyman says was all true, there’s never been some quite as dominating as Brock Lesnar until Lesnar ran into him. McIntyre says in case Lesnar thought it was a fluke he showed Lesnar he finally met his match. McIntyre says he learned to never make a promise he can’t back up so he is going to pick his words carefully. He says he is going to Claymore Brock Lesnar, kick him in the face, knock him on his ass, and pin him to become the Undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion of the world.

In-Ring Segment: Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar
Heyman tells us that we live in most uncertain times right now. He says at a time where we all need a certainty he gives in it in Brock Lesnar. He says that McIntyre can do anything he wants to, he can train his ass off, go to the gym, or spar with mixed martial artists but Drew McIntyre cannot beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Not at this WrestleMania, too big for one night. He says McIntyre can get down on his knees but God’s prayer line will only give him a busy signal right now. He says it will be Brock Lesnar who answers the prayer and makes it quick and painless, although after what happened at the Royal Rumble and on Raw it will be quick but not painless. He goes over how McIntyre put down Lesnar 3 times on Raw and now he is a made man for the fight he brought to Brock Lesnar but after WrestleMania, he assures McIntyre will be just another bitch that tried and another guy who got douched out by Brock Lesnar.
My Opinion:
This was a good start to the night to hype up the WWE Championship Match. There isn’t much left to say in this story and now it comes down to what happens in the ring. This is McIntyre’s big opportunity and he has to go and take advantage of the chance while he has it. No matter the circumstances of this WrestleMania McIntyre still has the chance to win his first world title in the WWE and he seems more focused than ever on that task. Lesnar seems confident as well but it seems that he hasn’t done much to change his style or adapt to someone as powerful as McIntyre. If Lesnar and Heyman treat McIntyre like any other opponent it will definitely be to their detriment.

Royal Rumble 2015: John Cena vs Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar (c): Triple Threat Match For The WWE Championship
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton introduce us to the replay of the John Cena vs Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble 2015. This was an awesome match between these three that ultimately Brock Lesnar would go on to retain the WWE Championship. Brock dominated a lot of the match in the early going as it seemed very bleak that Cena or Rollins could contain The Beast. Things turned around though when Rollins flew off the top rope and drove Lesnar through the announcer’s table. Cena and Rollins would then battle one another turning things into more of a one on one match. Both men had chances to win the match, especially Rollins who had the help of J&J Security. Brock Lesnar would fight back from injury and interject himself back in the match. After a devastating F5 to Seth Rollins Lesnar would go on to get the 1 2 3 and the win. It was a classic match in Royal Rumble history!

***We then get hype for WrestleMania reminding of the two night special and the special guest host Rob Gronkowski! We then take a look back at the budding rivalry between The Undertaker and AJ Styles. We are told AJ Styles is here and will be live, next!

In-Ring Segment: AJ Styles
Styles says as of last week the Phenomenal One and the Phenom will go at it at WrestleMania. He says he doesn’t care what night it’s one but maybe the Undertaker cares because he doesn’t know when his wife will let him come out of the house. Styles says when Taker came down to the ring in his big stretchy pants looking like the gothic version of Dog The Bounty Hunter or even better the Tiger King. Styles then brings up The Undertakers Twitter account and Taker’s posts of him swimming with Tigers. He then shows the PSA video. Styles says this guy is talking about tigers, who is this man? Has he lost complete control of himself? Styles says he hasn’t been the same since he lost to Brock Lesnar and even though he wanted to take his soul it looks like his wife Michelle McCool beat him to it. He asks again who is this man and where has he gone? He says he wants The Undertaker from yesteryear and he’s nowhere to be found. Styles says he is going to give the WWE Universe what they want to see. He says he is going to bring back The Deadman in a match he would love to be in, a boneyard match. He says when it’s over he has the perfect place, perfect plot for him and it’s the same plot that his wife Michelle McCool picked out when she buried his career.
My Opinion:
Styles continues to pick at The Undertaker even after Taker attacked Gallows and Anderson last week. Styles is one of the best going today but he is going to be stepping in the ring with a legend. Even though Undertaker may be living life freer than he did in the past, it doesn’t mean that he can’t still step in the ring and be The Deadman. I think Styles will be humbled by Taker but that doesn’t mean Styles can’t win this match. Although I think Taker will bring that big fight, Styles could and should bring a bigger one because this would go down as one of the biggest wins of his career. It’s a legend vs a legend in the making and no matter what kind of match this comes to be I’m ready for it!

Backstage Segment: Andrade & Angel Garza & Zelina Vega
Charly welcomes Angel Garza, Andrade, and Zelina Vega. She asks Vega how her clients are preparing for their Tag Team Championship Match. Vega says they will show in their match why they are the most skilled and charismatic in all of WWE and Andrade will be the most prestigious champion. She says The Street Profits can dance around all they want but they won’t be dancing anymore. Andrade adds that they want the titles.

***We then take a look back at the words and the challenge laid down by Edge last week!

Match 1: Andrade & Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega vs Ricochet & Cedric Alexander
Before the match begins Ricochet goes right after Garza and Andrade and knocks them out of the ring. His partner Cedric Alexander then makes his way to the ring.
Ricochet and Andrade start the match and Andrade gets the early advantage. Ricochet is able to fight back and gets Andrade in the corner. Garza provides a distraction and it allows Andrade to get back in the match. Ricochet is sent to the outside and Garza takes a cheap shot. The Street Profits then come out to get a better look at their WrestleMania opponents and join the commentary team as Raw goes to break.
As Raw returns, Andrade and Garza double team Ricochet as Garza is able to land a big kick to the midsection off the throw from Andrade. Garza now works a side headlock. Garza keeps control and backs him to the ropes. Andrade tags in and keeps Ricochet down. He taunts him before tagging Garza. Ricochet fights back momentarily but Garza quickly gains control and beats him down. He continues the strikes in the corner but
Ricochet now fights back. He takes it to both Garza and Andrade. Garza gets back in control and keeps Ricochet at bay. Andrade tags in and pops up Ricochet for a dropkick from Garza. Ricochet is able to come back and finally fight off Andrade. They both make tags and Alexander comes in hot to take down Garza. Alexander hits the flatliner and goes for the cover but Garza kicks out. Ricochet tags back in and he and Alexander work together to take down Garza. Ricochet goes for the cover after Garza is planted but Andrade breaks it up. Andrade is now hit with a superkick. Garza comes back with one of his own. Garza flies but he is caught in mid-air and dropped as Raw goes to break.
As Raw returns, Alexander and Andrade trade blows. Alexander comes off the ropes and hits the back elbow. He goes for the cover but Andrade is able to kick out. Andrade gets back in control and hits the double knees in the corner. He covers now but this time it is Alexander who kicks out. Andrade now works the arm and tags in Garza. Garza hits a big boot and then hammers on the back of Alexander. Garza gets him on the ropes and is able to slam him stomach first on the mat. He covers but Alexander again kicks out. Garza now works the arm and tags Andrade. Andrade lands a knee and a chop to follow. Garza tags in again and the two double Alexander slamming him to the mat. Garza goes for the cover but Ricochet breaks it up. Ricochet then takes out Andrade and looks to fly off the ropes but Andrade is able to get up and push him off. Garza fights off Alexander and hits him with a devastating knee strike. He covers but Alexander kicks out. Garza now hits a moonsault but still, it isn’t enough to win. Andrade tags in and again they try a double team but Ricochet saves Alexander. Ricochet now flies and sends Garza hard into the barricade. Alexander hits the Michinoku driver on Andrade and covers but Andrade kicks out. Alexander hits Andrade with big boots to the back. Andrade comes back but Alexander knocks him down to the knee and continues to work on his back with big strikes. Andrade comes back with a huge elbow. He covers and gets the 1 2 3.
*** After the match, Andrade, Garza, and Vega share words with The Street Profits. The Street Profits make their way to the ring and the two teams go at it. The Street Profits are able to get the advantage and stand tall as they send Garza and Andrade retreating up the ramp.
Winners: Andrade & Angel Garza
My Opinion:
This was a great showing for Andrade and Garza as a team. Ricochet and Alexander really put them to the test but they stayed in it and continued to hit them with hard offensive maneuvers. There was also undeniable chemistry between Garza and Andrade and that will come to help them a ton. Vega is the wild card and although she didn’t do much on the outside tonight you can expect her to be a factor at WrestleMania with gold on the line. The Street Profits definitely made their statement loud and clear but they have a tall task ahead of them in order to retain the titles.

Match 2: The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink
Thorne works a headlock and gets in control but only for a moment as Dawkins fights back and is able to drop him to the mat. Ford tags in and continues the attack. He gets him in the corner and hits him with a huge chop. Ford then hits him with another chop. He goes for a third but is met with a big boot. Vink comes in and hits a big boot. He gets Ford in the corner and keeps control. Vink works a front face lock and keeps Ford to a knee. Ford tries to fight out but Vink uses his strength to stop him and drive him in the corner. Thorne tags in and hits Ford with a big strike. He covers but Ford is able to kick out. Thorne now wrenches on the face of Ford. Ford is able to land a jawbreaker but Thorne gets a tag. Vink comes in and slows down Ford but eventually, he fights off and tags Dawkins. Dawkins takes it to both Thorne and Vink. Dawkins sets up for the Cash Out as Ford tags in and hits the big frog splash and gets the 1 2 3 on the cover.
Winners: The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
My Opinion:
I was really impressed by Vink and Thorne as they made the most of their opportunity in this one. This was such a competitive match between these two teams and The Street Profits were really tested. I think for The Street Profits this was a great match for them to have as they were facing guys who looked to be fighting for their lives. This is a step up from people who may not have as much to fight for. This gave them a good challenge and helped them tremendously in getting ready for Garza and Andrade. It is going to be an amazing athletic contest between these two teams and both proved tonight they will not go down without a fight, I’m very excited for this unique and intriguing match-up for the Raw Tag Team Championships!

***We are then shown the video from this past weekend where R-Truth pins, Riddick Moss, on a sidewalk to win the 24/7 Championship!

***Shayna Baszler is live, next!

In-Ring Segment: Shayna Baszler Interview
Charly tells that Shayna could be considered the most dominating woman ever in the WWE. she tells how Shayana dominated the Elimination Chamber and eliminated everyone to get her shot at Becky Lynch. Charly asks how she would conduct herself as champion. Shayna doesn’t answer. Charly tells Shayna she knows she does most of her talking through her actions but can she put it into words. Shayna asks Charly why she looks nervous? Shayna then asks Charly if she thinks she will bite? Charly then asks what Becky can expect at WrestleMania. Shayna says Becky can expect to lose. Charly tries again to get a question but Shayna stops her and says just ask why I love to destroy. She says why would I want the title if I only want to destroy but I want the title because it would destroy Becky Lynch. Charly then asks about Survivor Series but before Shayna can answer Becky Lynch attacks Shayna with a steel chair. She takes out Shayna leaving her laid out in the ring.
My Opinion:
Shayna is definitely trying to intimidate Lynch but obviously it is not working. I think Lynch is tired of the talking and is ready to just face Shayna already. Shayna, of course, is a destroyer but she has been beaten before and by people that are not on Becky Lynch’s level. Lynch has a big experience advantage and you know she will do whatever it takes to retain her title. For Shayna, this is the biggest match in her career and you know she will also do whatever it takes to win this match. Expect this one to be more of a fight than a wrestling match.

***Aleister Black is in action, next!

Match 3: Aleister Black vs Leon Ruff
Black comes to his opponent and sits down staring at him. Ruff misses the kick and Black gets up quickly grabbing him and hitting him with Black Mass. he goes for the cover and gets the 1 2 3.
Winner: Aleister Black
My Opinion:
Ruff made the mistake of trying to land that one big move and Black took advantage. Black can put down an opponent very easily and he should do that tonight. He isn’t intimidated by anyone and is always up for the challenge. It seems at WrestleMania he has a big task ahead facing Bobby Lashley but this is something Black dreams of. He gets to face a big name on the big stage and show what he is made of. Black is one of the best today and I hope with the world watching he can prove his dominance and everything he can do in the ring.

In-Ring Segment: Kevin Owens & Seth Rollins
Owens tells Rollins that last week he was here to answer his challenge but he (Rollins) was nowhere to be found. He says he heard he (Rollins) was here tonight so where is he? He tells the Messiah to grace us with his presence and out comes Rollins. Rollins says just the man I was looking for and tells Owens he had a couple of questions for him regarding his comments last week. He asks Owens if he honestly believes that fighting him in this building gives him the home-field advantage. Rollins says he didn’t train here and Owens did, making friends and earning his job in WWE. Rollins asks him does he know how he got to train in this building? Rollins says this building was built on his blood, sweat, and tears. Rollins says he got a dilapidated warehouse and when he got there he was told that his whole life’s work didn’t matter. He says he had to come back, suffer, and succeed for people like Kevin Owens so they could get the opportunity to train in a beautiful facility like this. He proclaims that he has been trying to do the same thing for Monday Night Raw but he keeps getting in his way and fails to fall in line. He says none of this exists without Seth Rollins. No NXT, no Gargano, no Undisputed Era, no TakeOver, no Women’s Revolution and most importantly without Seth Rollins there is no Kevin Owens. Owens says he isn’t going to listen to his delusional speech. Rollins interrupts angrily and says you’re all about fighting and less talking but for once can he just finish what he has to say? He then asks Owens why he picked WrestleMania and asks if he knows his track record at WrestleMania? He then goes over his long list of accomplishments at WrestleMania and reminds Owens he has zero. He says Owens track record reads like this: failure, after failure, after failure. He then says last year Owens wasn’t even good enough to be on WrestleMania. Rollins says Owens can’t beat him on his worst day and WrestleMania is never his worst day because under pressure he becomes a god. He tells Owens he really doesn’t stand a chance.
My Opinion:
Rollins had a lot of strong words to say to Owens but it didn’t seem like they resonated. I think Rollins believes everything he said but can’t expect Owens to accept it and agree with it. Owens is coming for a fight and this is a chance to prove that he is better than Rollins. Of course, Rollins has done so much in his career but for Owens, if he can beat him he can prove he is just as good and deserves to be the guy just as Rollins has been. I think this match means more for Owens in the grand scheme of things but then again in Rollins mind, this probably means just as much. They both have a lot to lose but it seems Owens even more than Rollins has the most to lose. If he wins he will have done what he’s been working for but if he doesn’t he goes back to fighting his way back up to the top of Raw.

WrestleMania 34: Charlotte Flair (c) vs Asuka: SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
We are shown the epic clash between Asuka and Charlotte Flair from WrestleMania 34. Going into this match Asuka had won the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble, she was also undefeated heading into this match. Asuka seemed like she would be the odds on favorite to win this match but then she ran into The Queen. Asuka dominated in the early going of the match. Eventually Charlotte would figure it out and the two superior athletes would have the back and forth contest you would expect. Charlotte would go figure out Asuka and end her run of dominance going on to win and retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Charlotte winning received mixed reactions but there was no doubt it was an amazing showing for Asuka on the grandest stage of them all and it was a great contest between these two Superstars!

Backstage Segment: Charlotte Flair
Carly asks Charlotte what it was like to relive that match. Charlotte says it was inspiring and for Rhea she probably wants to be like her. She says that she makes history and goes over her accolades at WrestleMania. She says at WrestleMania 36 she will be the first to win the NXT Women’s Champion at WrestleMania and if Rhea needs any tips she is more than welcome to watch any of her legacy matches, WOOOOO!

In-Ring Segment: Randy Orton
Orton says over the last few months he has done and said some things that have been misunderstood. He says what he did and what he said came from a place of love but it has been seen and taken as an act of brutality and an act of violence. He says Edge I’m talking to you, I’m here to respond to your challenge. He says he has something to get off his chest. He says he lied to Edge’s wife Beth when he said Edge was a junkie for the crowd. He says he actually is a junkie for his own ego. Adam Copeland is a junkie for Edge. Orton tells that he was handed an opportunity, he was handed an opportunity for what his name is. He says just because he was handed an opportunity a Hall Of Fame career wasn’t guaranteed. He then goes over how he won the IC championship one year after being on the main roster. He then brings us Mick Foley and says he spat in his face and took the damn torch. Orton says he made the three most destructive letters in the WWE because he has grit. He says grit to him is longevity. He says grit is being the one constant in the WWE locker room. He says nobody has as much grit as him including Edge himself. He then tells how Edge called him an entitled brat. He then asks if Edge is the ultimate opportunist and asks Edge if he really would have said no to the things he has done like joining Evolution. He says everything he has done is out of love. He loves Edge;s daughters and he sent their daddy back home. He then mentions how Edge challenged him to a Last Man Standing Match. He tells Edge he might be writing the story but at WrestleMania, he is going to write the last chapter and end it. Orton finishes by saying, I accept.
My Opinion:
Absolutely strong words from Orton tonight. I think he spoke a lot of truth tonight and as much as Edge has condemned Orton he did to take advantage of every opportunity he got. Orton has accepted the match so now we get the Last Man Standing Match between these two and it will be nothing short of brutal. This has gotten very personal and it almost seems like both men are trying to put the other out. This has gotten so personal and it seems like any more words between the two will just add fuel to a roaring fire. It’ll be interesting to see if we get one final build-up for this anticipated clash!

Final Thoughts:
Given the circumstances, this was another good Monday Night Raw. First, we saw some very competitive tag team matches which were awesome. Especially after tonight, I’m super excited to see The Street Profits defend the Raw Tag Team Championships against Andrade and Angel Garza. I think they will have one heck of a match and it’s definitely going to be a back and forth showdown between these two teams. Next, the build-up for Lesnar and Mcintyre could have been better but I think the problem more so is that the talking has run thin. There isn’t much left to say and I think everyone is just ready to see these two go head to head in the ring. I did like how Becky Lynch attacked Shayna. This is another one of the matches where the talking has run thin but it was done perfectly having Becky attack her and show she isn’t afraid and she is ready for that big fight! We also saw AJ Styles comments to The Undertaker, Styles is doing his best to get under the skin of Taker and from what happened last week it’s definitely working. I’m not sure what a boneyard match is but I’m excited to see what they do at Mania! We got to see some great recent matches as well which was cool, it’s something that they need to do right now to help fill time but it’s also a lot of fun to see these again.
Other notes, Rollins and Owens could have had better hype for their matches. There was a better way to do what they did as it just felt Rollins was speaking words and they didn’t allow him to move the story forward. Also, Aleister Black dominated in his match as he usually does but since he will be facing Bobby Lashley there could have been something done to help push that ahead. I liked what Orton had to say. In the end it was a lot of stuff that seemed to be true. This has gotten very personal and now these two friends will turn foe and face off in a match where you try to incapacitate your opponent. This is going to be one for the ages and I can’t wait to see how this unfolds! Once again WWE did their best to entertain and it was very enjoyable. Wrestling will always be forever. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy and sometime soon we can get back to the shows we all know and love. Best wishes to everyone!
Overall Rating: 7/10

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