3/25 Powell’s WWE Raw TV Review: Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair face Riott Squad in Beat The Clock Challenge matches, Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe, the penultimate edition before WrestleMania 35

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on March 25, 2019 from Boston, Massachusetts at TD Garden

[Hour One] The broadcast team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young opened the show by talking about the news of Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair headlining WrestleMania 35. Graphics showed mainstream media coverage and wrestler tweets…

Ronda Rousey made her entrance for the first Beat The Clock Challenge match. A graphic showed Lynch vs. Liv Morgan, Rousey vs. Sarah Logan, and Flair vs. Ruby Riott as the three matches. Rousey stood in the ring and scowled as the fans booed and then chanted “We Want Becky.”

Rousey noted that her match will headline WrestleMania. “And I only have one thing to say… you’re welcome,” Rousey said. She dropped the mic and then picked it up and said she will tap out Lynch and Flair at the same time. She dropped the mic and picked it up again. Rousey said she had no idea what a Beat The Clock Challenge is. She assumed it was another gimmick, called it a farce, and said she wanted to get it over with. The Riott Squad made their entrance.

Becky Lynch came out with a mic in hand. Lynch said Rousey showed up with a big contract and the whole world yawned. Lynch said nobody gave a damn about Rousey “until The Man came around.” Lynch said she’s the best thing that happened to Rousey. She said she saved her title run and made her better, and that’s why they are in the WrestleMania main event. She said WrestleMania will end with her holding up the title and Rousey’s skull beneath her foot.

Charlotte Flair made her entrance. She said the women are in the main event because what she’s done the last seven years. Flair said that’s why she was handpicked and groomed to be the main event of WrestleMania…

1. Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Logan (w/Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan) in a Beat The Clock Challenge. The bell rang and Logan left the ring. Rousey chased her. Riott and Morgan stood in the way, but Rousey plowed through them. Morgan caught Rousey with a kick as she returned to the ring. Rousey came back with a leaping elbow and then applied the armbar for the win…

Ronda Rousey defeated Sarah Logan in 1:25.

2. Charlotte Flair vs. Ruby Riott (w/Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan) in a Beat The Clock Challenge. Rousey watched the match from the stage while Lynch remained at ringside. Flair applied the Figure 8, but Riott didn’t tap before the time limit expired.

Charlotte Flair failed to beat the clock.

3. Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan (w/Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan) in a Beat The Clock Challenge. Lynch entered the ring and took a kick from Flair before the bell. Lynch went for a Disarmer, but Morgan threw her into the corner. Morgan went for a move, but Lynch countered into a pin for the win. Rousey and Lynch jawed at one another from a distance…

Becky Lynch defeated Liv Morgan in 1:18 to win the Beat The Clock Challenge.

Finn Balor was shown backstage. Cole said Balor would face Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush in a handicap match and if he wins he gets a an Intercontinental Title match at WrestleMania…

Powell’s POV: The opening was successful in terms of putting the WrestleMania main eventers on camera together, giving Lynch a quick win, and making Riott Squad look terrible. Meh. WWE’s Beat The Clock gimmick works better when something is at stake beyond bragging rights. Meanwhile, you’d think Lashley would have learned his lesson from the last time he teamed with Rush in a handicap match against Balor.

A graphic noted that WWE has topped 17 million followers on Instagram…

Entrances for the handicap match took place. Rush came out in street clothes and said Balor should have quit while he was ahead. He said Balor will now leave beaten and broken like Rob Gronkowski. Rush said he wasn’t medically cleared, so Lashley would instead team with Jinder Mahal…

Powell’s POV: I was going to give Lashley credit for learning his lesson after all, but was better off with Rush as his partner.

4. Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley and Jinder Mahal (w/Lio Rush, The Singh Brothers) in a handicap match for a shot at the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania. The sidekicks ran a distraction, allowing Lashley to clothesline Balor off the apron heading into a break during the opening minute of the match. [C]

Balor performed a flip dive that took out the Lashley, Mahal, and the minions. Balor rolled Mahal back inside the ring, hit the Coup de Grace, and scored the pin to win the match. After the match, Lashley snapped and beat up the Singh Brothers and then speared Mahal…

Finn Balor defeated Bobby Lashley and Jinder Mahal in a handicap match in 4:45 to earn a shot at the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania.

Powell’s POV: Will The Demon show up on WrestleMania Sunday? If so, we could use a big beatdown from Lashley on Balor between now and then.

The broadcast team hyped Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe, then set up an Elias video package…

Elias was shown standing in Times Square in New York City with his guitar. Another guitar player showed up and started playing. Elias cut him off and said he’s a solo artist. He told the man to worry about selling out the subway while he focuses on WrestleMania. Graves said it was like going to see Kiss live and being more excited about the opening band…

Powell’s POV: I actually lived that when I was slightly more excited to see Motley Crue when they opened for Kiss in 2012. And I was right. Kiss was fun, Crue put on the better show that night.

Aleister Black made his entrance while Cole hyped Black and Ricochet facing The Revival after the break… [C]

5. Raw Tag Champions “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder vs. Ricochet and Aleister Black in a non-title match. The remainder of the entrances were also televised. The teams fought once they were both in the ring. Ricochet and Black got the better of it. The ref waited until Wilder took off his ring jacket off and title belt and then called for the bell to start the match. Ricochet and Black were in offensive control going into a break. [C]

Late in the match, Black caught both Revival members with a Black Mass kick at the same time. Ricochet followed up with his 630 splash on Wilder and scored the pin…

Ricochet and Aleister Black defeated The Revival in a non-title match in 9:00.

Powell’s POV: Another loss for The Revival. I assume this leads to a tag title match at WrestleMania. Just imagine how much bigger it would feel if The Revival had been made to look strong heading into a first-time showdown match with Ricochet and Black. Instead, Dawson and Wilder lose repeatedly on television, and we’ve seen them work with Ricochet and Black several times already. What a shame.

The broadcast team hyped that Triple H will tell his side of the story in response to Batista’s promo last week… Drew McIntyre made his entrance. Cole said he wanted an answer to his challenging Roman Reigns to a match at WrestleMania… [C] An ad for Smackdown focused on how New Day will respond to Kofi Kingston being screwed on last week’s show…

McIntyre stood in the ring and said he doesn’t give a damn if he’s liked, but he will be respected. McIntyre set up footage of his attack on Roman Reigns from two weeks earlier. McIntyre boasted about his recent success. He assumed that Reigns wants to accept his challenge, but he wanted to appeal to “Joe” the man and husband. “Think about your family,” McIntyre said. “Haven’t they been through enough. Think of your children, they had to watch Daddy fight for his life already. Do you want to put them through that one more time at WrestleMania when you know you’re going to lose?”

[Hour Two] A “Roman” chant broke out. McIntyre said he could stand in the ring all night and hold the show hostage until he gets his answer. Roman Reigns’s entrance music played and he made his entrance. Graves scolded McIntyre for using Roman’s family and children to goad him into turning down his challenge. Young said he deserves to be punched in the mouth.

Reigns entered the ring and went face to face with McIntyre. “Roman accepts your challenge,” Reigns said. He told McIntyre that what he was about to say wasn’t coming from Roman. “Don’t you ever run your mouth about my wife and kids,” he said. Reigns attacked McIntyre and ended up running him into the barricade and then tossing him back inside the ring. McIntyre caught Reigns with a low blow. McIntyre waited for Reigns to stand up and then put him right back down with a Claymore Kick…

Graves hyped Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe, and Young hyped Seth Rollins appearing on the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good angle in terms of Reigns standing up for himself, yet not getting his revenge. I like that McIntyre got the better of Reigns again. These two should have a hell of a WrestleMania match.

McIntyre was shown walking backstage where he crossed paths with Dean Ambrose, who took exception to McIntyre claiming that he exterminated him. Ambrose said he doesn’t feel exterminated, then challenged him to a last man standing match. McIntyre said he doesn’t know how Ambrose is standing, but he won’t be after tonight…

6. Sasha Banks (w/Bayley) vs. Natalya (w/Beth Phoenix). Natalya went for a Sharpshooter, but Banks fought out of it and Natalya ended up at ringside. Banks threw a running knee at Natalya against the barricade going into a break. [C]

Banks applied a Banks Statement, but Natalya rolled through and into a Sharpshooter. Banks eventually powered out. Nia Jax nd Tamina showed up and attacked everyone for the DQ.

Sasha Banks fought Natalya to a no-contest in 7:35.

After the match, Phoenix fought off both heels and performed her Glam Slam finisher on Tamina. Fans responded with a “you’ve still got it” chant for Phoenix…

Powell’s POV: It seemed like they were expecting a big ovation from Banks in her hometown, but it just didn’t happen during the ring entrances. The fans got into the match after the commercial break and it was nice to hear Phoenix get a favorable reaction at the end of the segment.

The broadcast team hyped previously announced matches and then set up a Hall of Fame video package for the Hart Foundation as the latest entrants. Afterward, Natalya was shown in the ring wiping tears from her eyes and then pointing to the sky…

Kurt Angle was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. Angle said he appreciated Samoa Joe coming to Raw to face him (I’ll bet the fans in Allentown, Pennsylvania at tonight’s Smackdown house show don’t feel the same) and noted that this will be his final match in Boston. Baron Corbin showed up and told Angle that fans cheer him because he should have retired ten years ago. Corbin said the headlines the day after WrestleMania will read that the former olympic gold medalist disgraced himself. “Screw you,” Angle replied…

Alexa Bliss made her entrance for the “A Moment of Bliss” talkshow. Graves said her guests would be Colin Jost, Michael Che, and Braun Strowman… [C]

Caruso interviewed Banks and Bayley backstage and ran through their recent issues with Natalya and Phoenix, Jax and Tamina, and The Iiconics. Banks said they would take them all on at WrestleMania…

Bliss hosted her talkshow inside the ring rather than on the stage. Bliss said the women will headline WrestleMania for the first time ever. “Am I good or what?” Bliss asked. She set up a video package on Strowman’s issues with Jost and Che. Bliss said she was hoping for a moment of healing, then introduced Strowman as her first guest.

Bliss ran through some of Strowman’s big stunts and asked what would happen if Jost and Che “get those hands.” Strowman said that when Jost tried to give him the sports car, all he thought about was smashing his pasty face. Bliss introduced Jost and Che as being live via satellite from New York City, which drew some boos.

Jost and Che wear seated on the Saturday Night Live set. Jost said he was wrong to put on a Mets hat last time and learned from his mistake. Jost put on a Yankees hat instead. Che said he’s a lifelong WWE fan and he respects the hell out of Strowman, but he crossed the line when he went after Jost. Che said Jost is a good guy.

Jost said he was being sincere when he added to his Twitter bio that he wants to be a mentor to Strowman. He said he could teach him how to read a newspaper or do his taxes. Jost asked if they could handle things like adults. Che said Jost wasn’t making things better, but they were just trying to find a way to make things right. Jost asked Strowman to repay him for the car he destroyed plus interest, and get him an autograph from his favorite wrestler Brock Lesnar.

Strowman said if they want to make things right then Jost will enter the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Jost said that’s insane. Strowman told him to enter the match where he can hide behind other wrestlers or hang out backstage with Che where he can find them alone.

Che agreed that Jost would be in the match. Jost wasn’t happy. Che said there was a chance something bad would happen to Jost in the battle royal, but something bad would definitely happen to them if Strowman found them backstage. Che added Jost to the battle royal. Strowman told them to shut up and then asked Bliss to make it official, which she did somehow…

Powell’s POV: A painful segment, but the live crowd took the bait on the cheap heat gimmick by chanting “Yankees suck” due to Jost’s hat. This didn’t do anything for me, but WWE should be able to get some mainstream attention for Jost and Che being in the battle royal.

Elias stood out front of Madison Square Garden. He had a cop with him and spoke about drinking herbal tea. A random person walked up and dropped a quarter inside the cup. Elias barked at the man and asked if he had any idea how much people would pay to see him in New York…

Powell’s POV: Why, yes, that is the venue that will host the ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard during WrestleMania weekend.

Baron Corbin made his entrance… [C] A Snickers ad aired with Chad Gable and Bobby Roode mistakenly hitting one another during their “Glorious” entrance…

7. Baron Corbin vs. Apollo Crews. Graves took issue with fans being upset with Corbin being Angle’s final opponent when it was Angle who issued the challenge. Young said Corbin isn’t worth it. Crews caught Corbin with a kick and followed up with a frogsplash for a two count. Corbin came back and hit End of Days for the win. Corbin teased leaving, then stopped and hit his finisher again afterward…

Baron Corbin defeated Apollo Crews.

Powell’s POV: The live crowd didn’t seem to care based on how quiet they were before, during, and after the match.

Cole hyped Seth Rollins for after the break… [C] An ad hyped that the last hour of the WrestleMania Kickoff Show will air on USA Network… Young touted that Rousey, Lynch, and Flair will be on ESPN SportsCenter on Tuesday… The broadcast team recapped the Beat The Clock Challenge matches…

Graves announced Rousey, Lynch, and Flair vs. Riott Squad in a six-woman tag match on next week’s Raw…

[Hour Three] Seth Rollins made his entrance for a promo and said he and Brock Lesnar are not cut from the same cloth. He said the two roads they are taking to WrestleMania could not be any different. He said there is only one road out of WrestleMania and it will be forged by the man who defines the future of the business. Rollins said he wants to be a champion who inspires people like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Triple H, and “even John Cena inspires people.”

Rollins said Lesnar does not inspire people. Rollins said this is the biggest match of his career. He said he didn’t realize until recently how important the match was to the fans. He said everyone at an autograph signing the day before told him to please beat Lesnar at WrestleMania.

Paul Heyman interrupted Rollins as he was reaching his closing line. Heyman thanked Rollins for letting him know that the match at WrestleMania is now a handicap match. Heyman said it will be Lesnar against Rollins and the entire WWE Universe. Heyman said he likes the odds because Rollins’s chance of winning are zero. Heyman said Rollins sounded pathetic as he sought the fans love and adulation.

Heyman mocked Rollins for needing the thoughts and prayers of the fans as if his dog was going to the vet. He said Rollins will need their thoughts and prayers when he’s beaten, conquered, and victimized. Heyman said Rollins doesn’t have a prayer when it comes to beating Lesnar. Heyman said he wants Rollins to take it personally when he and the entire WWE Universe lose at WrestleMania.

Heyman tossed his mic and started to leave. Rollins ran after him. Heyman pleaded that he’s just an advocate and even said he hopes that Rollins wins. Rollins laughed and said he’s not looking for thoughts and prayers, he’s looking to answer them. Rollins said “we” when talking about winning the title at Wrestlemania. Rollins dropped the mic onto Heyman and then walked backstage.

As Heyman was sitting on the ground with his head in his hands, Kurt Angle made his entrance and pointed at Heyman while the fans sang “you suck.” Angle headed to the ring for his match with Joe… [C]

Powell’s POV: A solid segment with Rollins continuing to be positioned as the man of the people going into his title match.

The WrestleMania video aired. We are 13 days away…

Samoa Joe made his entrance with a mic in hand. He said he didn’t bring a bouquet for Angle because he’s not a sentimental person. Joe said it’s WrestleMania season and he has a very special gift for Angle on his final night in Boston. He said he couldn’t think of a better way to send him off than to put his ass to sleep one more time…

8. U.S. Champion Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle in a non-title match. Joe headbutted Angle in a reversal of their initial TNA angle. Joe dominated going into an early break. [C] Joe continued to control the offense with Angle getting a brief hope spot that Joe cut off with a snap power slam.

Joe placed Angle on the ropes and Graves said he was thinking about a Muscle Buster, but Angle fought him off and performed a missile dropkick. Joe put Angle in a sleeper and held on even as Angle countered into a pin for the three count…

Kurt Angle pinned Samoa Joe in a non-title match in 9:00.

Powell’s POV: I loved the headbutt to start the match as it was a fun callback for fans who remember their TNA feud. I’m sure it was an honor for Joe to put over Angle in their last match, but it is disappointing to see the U.S. Champion lose clean on television again. I really didn’t expect Joe to win here, so this is more about the losses that led up to tonight. It’s as if there’s a race between Joe and The Revival to see who can lose more televised matches while wearing championship gold.

The broadcast team hyped Angle vs. AJ Styles for Smackdown… A shot aired of Dean Ambrose backstage while the broadcast team hyped his last man standing match with McIntyre… Triple H made his entrance heading into a break… [C]

Triple H stood in the ring wearing his leather jacket and a t-shirt and mockingly said how great it was that the fans stood up and gave him a standing ovation throughout the entire commercial break. Hunter congratulated the women for being in the main event of WrestleMania, and he also congratulated every woman who ever stood in the WWE ring. He said they should all be proud because they played a part in it. “It was not given, it was earned,” Hunter said.

Triple H joked about being happy he had a dry mic and not the one that Batista spat all over two weeks ago. Hunter struggled to pull an envelope out of his pocket. “I’m doing a job for an envelope,” Hunter said. Triple H said the envelope contained a letter from Batista’s lawyer who stated that Batista won’t compete at WrestleMania without one more stipulation.

Hunter said it included something about Batista coming to the realization that he started Evolution to keep the title around his waist longer. Hunter mocked the idea of Batista just figuring that out. Hunter also said Batista doesn’t feel Evolution helped his career. He made a crack over Batista following D-Von Dudley around with a collection plate. Hunter said the lawyer also requested that they move the date of WrestleMania due to Batista’s movie shooting schedule. Triple H read from the letter and mocked the “Give me what I want” line while doing a Spice Girls bit.

Triple H said the letter asks him to put his career on the line. He said it’s another example of Batista trying to quit. He said he won’t let Batista quit this time. Hunter said Batista believes he’s obsessed with him, but he doesn’t give a crap about Batista and never has. “The only thing I’m obsessed with is kicking your ass,” Hunter said. He said that if he can’t beat a self-deluded douchebag like Batista then he has no business being in the ring anyways. Hunter agreed to put his career on the line…

Powell’s POV: Does Batista put his career on the line next week? If not, is there a chance they stretch this out somehow and have both men put their careers on the line at SummerSlam or another big event?

Elias stood on a street corner and had money in his guitar case. A man stopped and grabbed some of the money and ran away. Elias said it’s okay because he will make a lot more than that at WrestleMania. Elias played his guitar. Meanwhile, the man came back and took the entire guitar case…

Dean Ambrose made his entrance for the main event… [C] Cole hyped Angle vs. Rey Mysterio for next weeks’ Raw. Young hyped the six-woman tag match for next week and said that if Rousey, Lynch, or Flair betray their team they will forfeit their WrestleMania opportunity. Graves hyped Brock Lesnar appearing on next week’s Raw…

Powell’s POV: So Rousey could attack either teammate and get out of defending the title at WrestleMania? I get what they are going for, but it’s a silly stipulation and I think everyone assumes they will get through the match and then go after one another.

9. Drew McIntyre vs. Dean Ambrose in a Last Man Standing match. Cole noted that Reigns accepted McIntyre’s challenge to a WrestleMania match via social media. McIntyre was on the offensive early and tossed Ambrose into the barricade heading into a break roughly 90 seconds into the match. [C]

McIntyre used a kendo stick as a weapon coming out of the break and continued to dominate until Ambrose caught him with Dirty Deeds. McIntyre beat the referee’s count by standing up at eight. Ambrose pulled out a table and set it up in the corner of the ring. McIntyre picked up Ambrose and drove him through the table. Ambrose got up at nine, but McIntyre put him right back down with a Claymore Kick for the win.

Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose in a Last Man Standing match in 9:55.

McIntyre stood on the ropes and looked at the WrestleMania sign to close the show…

Powell’s POV: This was nowhere near as good as their falls count anywhere match from a couple weeks ago and it didn’t have a chance to be. The match didn’t get enough time and the commercial break eating up what we did see on television didn’t help the cause. The right guy obviously went over, but it just didn’t feel as hot or meaningful as their previous match.

My level of enthusiasm for WrestleMania is at a 5 on a scale of 0-10 coming out of the penultimate edition of Raw before the big event. There are some good matches advertised and it has the potential to be a fun, crowd pleasing show, but the build has been a mess, particularly on the Raw side. They really need a hot go-home show next week and I’m not even sure how much that would move me at this point. I will have more to say in my same night members’ exclusive audio review, and in Tuesday’s WWE Raw Hit List. Thanks for watching along with me.

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Eric Bischoff discussing whether there are similarities in Vince McMahon’s WWE booking and Verne Gagne’s booking of the AWA during its dying days, a network shakeup that could potentially be an issue for All Elite Wrestling, Eric’s WrestleMania week show with Tony Schiavone in New York New York, and much more.


Readers Comments (9)

  1. I anticipated wrongly a switcheroo thinking maybe Cena would come out(There’s still an hour left) so it’s still possible. I thought the beat the clock challenge was pointlessly dumb. I can’t get into the Raw side of WM 35 card except Women’s triple threat and that has become convoluted. Oh well. Once again SmackDown stories are more compelling. Kudos SmackDown creative. Raw needs a lot of work.

  2. WWE does an atrocious job building the secondary champions. I stopped watching as soon as banks music hit and it was much of the same every week.Did they need to have Joe face Angle? Maybe it was a favor to Kurt for one last match with Joe.the way the revival is booked is a crime. All these minds back
    There and this is the result

    • They’ve spent so long doing the *blank* has pinned the *blank* champion(s)! schtick that it just feels like self-parody at this point. They literally have no other play in the playbook to set up the tag and undercard championships at this point. Shit. There isn’t even a playbook anymore. It’s maddening.

  3. When do we find out Corbin isn’t Angle’s Wrestlemania opponent? Cena still isn’t booked. Just put Corbin in the battle royal where he belongs.

    • I have a bad feeling that they are serious about going with Corbin as Angle’s final opponent. WrestleMania is inching closer and they haven’t made the change yet. Corbin is more or less a jobber to the stars and Angle will likely be going over which makes Corbin the ideal choice as losing to Angle won’t damage him anymore than he’s already been damaged. I doubt Cena or The Undertaker are going to return just to put Angle over.

  4. Triple H and possibly Batista putting their careers on the line seems rather pointless. Both seldom wrestle so if either was forced to retire from in ring competition it wouldn’t be that noticeable. It would just create supposed bragging rights about how one could claim they “retired” the other. I took Batista’s comments to mean he was going to physically beat Triple H so badly that Triple H would barely be able to walk again yet alone wrestle. I never would have thought they’d make this a possible career vs career match assuming they have Batista put his up since technically this is supposed to be his final match anyway.

  5. Sucky show, Powell admits it, yet…..he will have so many “hits” in the “hits and misses” column. I have, as Powell does, such very little interest in this card. Triple H and Batista is the bottom of the barrel, yet it only goes down from there.

  6. So all three Riott Squad members get beaten in roughly around a minute, pretty much? And for what reason? Nothing even came of it, other than setting up a six man tag, that could’ve been set up 19 other ways. It’s garbage, like this show. Those ladies deserve better than being cannon fodder. WWE creative is lazy, the writing is awful. This show is pitiful.

  7. Fingers crossed Flair betrays the team next week.

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