3/23 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s review of Randy Orton responding to Edge’s WrestleMania challenge, Brock Lesnar’s appearance, the build to WrestleMania 36 continues


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

WWE Raw on the USA Network (Episode 1,400)
Aired live on March 23, 2020 from Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center

[Hour One] Paul Heyman opened the show while standing in front of a backdrop. Heyman sang the praises of Brock Lesnar and said his list of victims is endless. Heyman mentioned Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, John Cena, “and even Undertaker at WrestleMania.” Heyman said no one has ever been so dominant for so long.

They cut to Drew McIntyre standing in front of the same backdrop and said that everything Heyman said was true. “And then Lesnar ran into me,” McIntyre said. Footage aired of McIntyre eliminating Lesnar from the Rumble. McIntyre recalled Lesnar having “a bad day at the office” when he gave him three Claymore Kicks on Raw. McIntyre said he backs up what he says so he would choose his words carefully. McIntyre said he would Claymore Lesnar, then pin him and win the championship…

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman stood in the ring at the WWE Performance Center. Heyman said we live in uncertain times and need a little certainty in our lives. Heyman said Lesnar is that certainty. Heyman said McIntyre can train his ass off and spar with MMA fighters, but can’t beat Lesnar at WrestleMania, not at this unique WrestleMania, which he said is too big for just one night.

Heyman said McIntyre could get down on his hands and knees, but God’s prayer line will give him a busy signal. Heyman said the only prayer is that Lesnar will make it quick and painless, but he said Lesnar will make it quick, but he won’t make it painless. Heyman said McIntyre is a made man because of the fight that he’s brought to Lesnar, but when WrestleMania is over, McIntyre won’t be champion. Heyman used the “then, now, and forever” to describe Lesnar as champion…

Tom Phillips checked in on commentary and hyped Lesnar vs. McIntyre, then shifted to hyping Randy Orton’s response to Edge’s challenge to a Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania… [C]

Powell’s POV: The usual good quality from Heyman. It will be interesting to see if he drops any “spoilers” during next week’s go-home show.

Phillips spoke about being at the WWE Performance Center while clips of the venue were shown. Byron Saxton was on commentary with Phillips, and he recapped Undertaker taking out Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson last week. Saxton said AJ Styles would appear live later in the show…

Phillips set up Brock Lesnar defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat from the Royal Rumble 2015. The full entrances were shown followed by Lilian Garcia’s in-ring introductions and then the actual match. Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble were in the corner of Rollins. They cut to break several minutes into the match. [C]

Powell’s POV: I understand the circumstances require the company to fill some time, but going back to 2015 for this match feels more random than their other recent pay-per-view match selections.

After several more minutes, Rollins performed a top rope elbow drop that put Lesnar through the Spanish broadcast table. [C] Phillips hyped that Rollins would appear live on the show, then they went back to the Triple Threat match and had another commercial break. [C] In a shocking development, Brock Lesnar still won the match…

The broadcast team recapped Rob Gronkowski’s appearance on Smackdown and touted him as the host of WrestleMania… Highlights aired of AJ Styles’ recent verbal jabs at Undertaker, and Undertaker roughing up Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson last week. Saxton hyped Styles as coming up after the break… [C]

The broadcast team set up an Undertaker and Styles video package…

Powell’s POV: Are they trying to set a record for the number of times they recap the same segment in one show?

[Hour Two] Styles, Gallows, and Anderson made their entrance while ring announcer Mike Rome introduced them. They stopped on the stage where Styles delivered a promo. He said for the first time, WrestleMania is too big for one night. Styles said he doesn’t care whether the match is held on Saturday or Sunday, but Taker might care since he’s not sure which night Michelle McCool lets him leave the house.

Styles also made old jokes about Taker, including that he wears diapers and labeled him a gothic version of the Tiger King. Styles set up footage of a video with Taker and McCool asking viewers to help save tigers. Styles mocked it. Styles said Taker also posts selfies on Instagram and questioned what happened to him. Styles said he wants the Undertaker from yesteryear at WrestleMania.

Styles said he will bring back The Deadman. Styles spoke of facing Taker in a Boneyard Match. Styles said he had the perfect plot picked out to bury Taker in. He said it’s the same plot that McCool picked out when she buried Taker’s career…

Powell’s POV: This was a strange promo. I like the attempt to be current with the Tiger King reference, but it just wasn’t very clever. The Boneyard Match is likely an example of a match that WWE will shoot outside the WWE Performance Center, which should help with the flow of the show rather than running everything from the empty venue.

The broadcast team hyped the Street Profits vs. Angel Garza and Andrade for the Raw Tag Titles at WrestleMania. Saxton said both teams would be in separate matches during Raw…

Backstage, Charly Caruso interviewed Andrade, Garza, and Zelina Vega. Vega said the Street Profits could dance around with their red cups, but they wouldn’t be dancing around with the title belts after WrestleMania. Andrade and Garza spoke briefly and then the trio left. Garza returned to smile at Caruso, who hyped them as being in action after the break… [C]

Phillips and Saxton stood on the stage and noted they were at the WWE Performance Center, then questioned what a Boneyard Match entails. They setup a video package that recapped Edge’s promo from last week…

1. Angel Garza and Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander. The heels came out first and tried to attack a clean shaven Ricochet when he came out, but he got the better of them. Alexander made his entrance and the match got underway moments later. The Street Profits came out and joined the broadcast team on commentary heading into a break. [C]

Powell’s POV: One change that WWE made since Smackdown is that they are pointing the hard camera at the ring with the big screen behind it. In other words, viewers don’t have to see empty seats in every hard camera shot, which is a nice improvement.

Alexander performed a nice Flatliner on Garza for a near fall. Ricochet tagged in and they doubled up on Garza. Ricochet capped it off with a standing shooting star press and went for the pin, but Andrade broke it up. The babyfaces took out Andrade with a double superkick. Garza leapt into a Ricochet dropkick going into another break. [C]

Ricochet was going for a springboard move, but Andrade tripped him up from the floor. Garza drilled Alexander with a knee that led to a near fall. Garza performed a nice moonsault off the middle of the second rope that led to another two count. Ricochet came back with a flip die onto Garza. In the ring, Alexander executed a Michinoku Driver on Andrade for a near fall. A short time later, Andrade hit the back elbow on Alexander. The referee stopped on the third count, then made it while Alexander was kicking out. Weird.

Angel Garza and Andrade defeated Ricochet and Cedric Alexander in roughly 19:00.

After the match, the heels jawed at the Street Profits, who fought with Andrade and Garza and quickly cleared them from the ring… [C]

Powell’s POV: I have no idea what Garza and Andrade’s characters did to earn a tag title shot at WrestleMania, but I really like their team and I’m looking forward to the match. Because the challengers are not established, I thought this might be a more decisive win, but I’m not going to grumble about getting a lengthy first-run match on Raw these days. The finish was clearly botched by someone and I guess that means the show really is live. The slow motion replay of the back elbow looked cool, as Alexander’s spit went flying when he was hit by the elbow. Will Andrade to double duty by challenging for the Raw Tag Titles one night while defending the U.S. Title on the other night at WrestleMania?

A sponsored ad recapped Kofi Kingston winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania last year… Saxton said he’d never forget Kingston winning the title. Phillips transitioned to recapping Steve Austin’s appearance from last week while highlights were shown. Phillips asked if Saxton is sterile (after being kicked in the balls by Austin). Saxton said he’s just lucky he has bass in his voice…

2. Raw Tag Champions “The Street Profits” Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford vs. Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink in a non-title match. No ring entrances took place. Ford was isolated for a stretch, then Dawkins took a hot tag and worked over Thorne and Vink. Ford tagged back in and performed a top rope frgosplash on Thorne and scored the pin…

The Street Profits beat Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink in 4:10 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: A solid showcase win for the tag champions. Thorne hasn’t appeared on NXT television lately, so it was a nice surprise to see him even if he was in enhancement mode for this match.

Highlights aired from over the weekend of R-Truth pinning Riddick Moss at an outdoor setting to regain the WWE 24/7 Championship…

Phillips hyped Shayna Baszler appearing after the break… [C] An ad for NXT focused on the Performance Center brawl between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. The narrator said they went too far and now must answer to Triple H…

A WrestleMania video aired. We are 12 days away… Phillips hyped Rob Gronkowski as the WrestleMania host. Phillips and Saxton ran through the WrestleMania lineup. They made Elias vs. King Corbin official…

[Hour Three] Caruso conducted a sit-down interview with Baszler in the ring with with most of the lights off. After a couple seconds of silence, Caruso said Baszler may be the most intimidating woman in WWE history and recalled her dominating the Elimination Chamber match. Caruso asked how Baszler intends to conduct herself as champion if she beats Becky Lynch.

Baszler didn’t reply. Caruso followed up. Baszler told Caruso that she looks nervous. “Are you afraid I’m going to bite?” Baszler asked. “Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.” Caruso asked if the biting is the type of brutality that Lynch should expect. Baszler said Lynch should expect to lose. Baszler said she wants the title because she loves to destroy, and when she takes the title, it will destroy Lynch.

Suddenly, Baszler was hit from behind with a chair. The lights turned up and Becky Lynch was shown in the ring with a chair in hand. Lynch hit Baszler with the chair again. Lynch surveyed the damage, then her music played and she headed up the ramp. Lynch turned back and smiled before going backstage…

Saxton hyped that Aleister Black was in the building and looking for a fight… [C]

3. Aleister Black vs. Leon Ruff. Black made his candle entrance while Ruff was already in the ring. Ruff showed a look of fear and apprehension while Black slowly walked toward him. Black sat down crosslegged. Ruff called for him to get up. Ruff threw a kick at Black, who ducked. Black stood up and blocked a kick from Ruff, then put him down with a Black Mass kick that led to the pin…

Aleister Black beat Leon Ruff in 1:00.

Powell’s POV: I thought this was Ruff’s night. All kidding aside, I actually enjoyed the last two enhancement matches because they showcased the stars similar to the way the squash matches did in the territory days and even in the early WrestleMania years.

Phillips hyped Seth Rollins appearing after the break… [C]

Kevin Owens stood in the ring coming out of the break. He said he was there last week to answer Rollins’ challenge, but Seth was nowhere to be found. Owens said that he heard Rollins is in the building and told him that if he had something to say then he was all ears.

Seth Rollins made his entrance. “This place looks pretty nice,” Rollins said. He added that he was struggling to wrap his head around Owens thinking he had an advantage by facing him at the WWE Performance Center. Rollins said he didn’t train at the PC, but he recalled Owens saying he created memories while training there.

Rollins said the PC didn’t exist when he was training. Rollins said it was built on his sacrifice and his success. Rollins said he trained at a dilapidated warehouse on his first day and was told that everything he did before he arrived in WWE didn’t matter. “My whole life’s work, up in smoke, just like that, gone,” Rollins said. He added that he had to persevere and succeed for people like Owens to have a chance to train in a beautiful facility.

Rollins remained on the ramp and said that without him, there would be no Kevin Owens. Owens tried to respond, but Rollins asked him to let him finish. Rollins questioned why Owens picked WrestleMania to make an example out of him. Rollins said he won the Intercontinental Championship, the WWE Universal Championship, he beat Brock Lesnar and Triple H, and cashed in the Money in the Bank contract successfully at WrestleMania.

Rollins said he’s had more WrestleMania moments than he can count, whereas Owens has had nothing but failure. Rollins mocked Owens for not even being good enough to be on the WrestleMania card last year. “You can’t beat me on my worst day,” Rollins said. “And WrestleMania is never my worst day because under pressure I become a god. You really don’t stand a chance.” Rollins’ music played while Owens stood in the ring looking contemplative…

Powell’s POV: A good segment with Rollins coming across ultra confident heading into the match with Owens. I suspect that they are setting this up to be a big upset win for Owens go give him his Mania moment.

Phillips set up Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka from WrestleMania 34 in 2018. The full entrances were shown.

Powell’s POV: It’s a little known fact that I was the gladiator that stood directly behind Flair. Hey, good luck proving it wasn’t me. Seriously, though, Asuka was hot going into the match after having a great NXT Women’s Championship reign. Unfortunately, the company ended her unbeaten streak and clearly had no plan for her to bounce back, as she’s still trying nearly two years later.

There were a pair of commercial breaks during the match, including one break that included hype for WrestleMania 32 airing on ESPN on Sunday night. No CGI changes, Flair still won via submission with the Figure Eight…

Powell’s POV: I understand the need to run classic matches and they seem to be performing well in the ratings, but I really hope we they take a more traditional approach for go-home week with entire shows dedicated to the current product.

Charlotte Flair was standing backstage when Caruso asked her what it was like to relive that WrestleMania moment. Flair said it was inspiring for her, and she assumed it made Ripley want to be just like her. Flair said she is the master class at making history. She said she ended Asuka’s streak, retired the Divas Championship, and was one of the first women to main event WrestleMania. She said if Ripley needs a history lesson then she is free to watch more of her legacy matches. “She might learn a thing or two,” Flair said…

The broadcast team hyped Randy Orton appearing after the break… [C] An ad for Smackdown focused on the Firefly Funhouse returning, and New Day vs. The Usos for a shot at the Smackdown Tag Titles at WrestleMania…

Randy Orton was introduced and he walked onto the stage with mic in his hand. Orton said he’s done and said some things over the last few months that have been misunderstood. He said what he’s said and done came from a place of love, but they have been taken as acts of brutality and violence. Orton looked into the camera and said he was talking to Edge.

“I need to apologize,” Orton said. “Three weeks ago I lied to your wife when I said that you were a junkie for the roar of the crowd.” Orton said Edge is actually a junkie for his own ego. “Adam Copeland is a junkie for Edge,” said Orton.

Orton said he was handed an opportunity because of his last name, but that doesn’t guarantee a Hall of Fame career. Orton said he won the Intercontinental Title a year after he was called up and then less than a year later he became the youngest world champion in history. Orton said Mick Foley didn’t pass him a torch, he threw him in a pile of thumbtacks, so he spat in his face, beat him, and took the torch.

Orton said he went from being a third generation prospect to the three most deadly letters in sports entertainment. “Was that handed to me?” Orton asked. He said no. He said it’s because he has grit, which Edge claimed he didn’t have. Orton said grit to him is longevity in an industry that seldom has any. Orton said grit to him is being the one constant in the WWE locker room. He said he looks around the locker room and he doesn’t see anyone who has accomplished what he has.

“Nobody has as much grit as me, nobody, including you,” Orton said. He recalled Edge calling him an entitled brat. Orton laughed and then noted that Edge calls himself the ultimate opportunist. He questioned if Edge would have declined if Triple H had offered him a spot in Evolution.

Orton said everything he’s done is because he loves Edge and his family, but now Edge wants to face him in a Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania. “Edge, you may be writing this story, but at WrestleMania I’m going to write the last chapter and end it,” said Orton. “I accept.” Orton’s music played as he stared into the camera.

An Edge vs. Orton graphic was shown for WrestleMania while the broadcast team discussed the Last Man Standing stipulation. Orton paced on the stage while Phillips said the question now is who has more grit and whether Orton will write Edge’s last chapter at WrestleMania…

Powell’s POV: Another top notch promo from Orton, who has been doing the best mic work of his career since this storyline with Edge started. Raw closed on a high note, and Edge and Orton has received a hell of a build thus far. Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade in our weekly post show poll. I will have more to say about this episode in my audio review for Dot Net Members coming up later tonight.


Readers Comments (11)

  1. Sad to see RAW go back to 2015??- I thought they’d have actual matches?- even though no audience, you still have the audience at home??- going stir crazy???

  2. Powell hates WWE obviously. Always shitting on them and nitpicking everything. But has a huge boner for do everything right AEW. Smh just stfu

    • If you only knew how many times that fans who treat Impact like it’s their hometown sports team have accused me of having a WWE bias. And then someone will say that I have “a huge boner” for WWE and hate everything AEW does. I call everything as I see it, and if people disagree then that’s fine. But it’s pretty pathetic when some folks can’t just accept that I have an opinion that differs from there’s and feel the need to reach for the bias nonsense. Grow up or go away. Either way is fine with me.

      • Seriously, go back and read your stuff. Always have something critical for them. Whether it be storylines or reality. When reading your opinion, it definitely comes off like somebody is pulling your teeth to watch it. So why even watch it? If I don’t a show I’m watching, I just don’t watch it. Much like your reviews. Always critical, so I’m don’t reading it. Enjoy your Elite wrestling

        • You know, in a sense, he is a wrestling critic. So maybe him saying critical things is something you should expect when reading. Just a thought.

        • Why watch it? Because it’s his job, you absolute ignoramus.

          golly i just dont get it this richard roeper guy gives so many movies bad reviews if he doesnt like them why does he even watch????

          ^^^ That’s you.

          • My point is if WWE and AEW did the same exact thing, he would find ways to criticize E and give glowing reviews to Elite. And Jim, how is that mothers basement of yours, you mark?

            Still, Jason is way better than jabroni Meltzer

  3. It will be interesting to see if he drops any “spoilers” during next week’s go-home show.

    Kind of hard to do when they already taped the go home show tonight and WM isn’t taped until Wednesday.

    • I was referring to the usual Paul Heyman spoiler alert that he does ahead of Brock’s matches when he claims that it’s not a prediction, it’s a spoiler that Lesnar will win.

  4. “It’s a little known fact that I was the gladiator that stood directly behind Flair. Hey, good luck proving it wasn’t me.”
    I can prove it. It was ME! (tongue stuck firmly in cheap) Good luck proving that given you were doing a live report on it! LMAO!

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