3/8 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s live review Bobby Lashley vs. The Miz for the WWE Championship, Lashley’s championship celebration Braun Strowman wants Shane McMahon to apologize, the build to WWE Fastlane continues

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,450)
Live from Tampa, Florida at Tropicana Field
Aired March 8, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] Raw opened with a recap of everything that led to Bobby Lashley beating The Miz to win the WWE Championship on last week’s show… Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe were on commentary and said the WWE Championship match would be the first match of the night…

Footage aired from earlier in the day “The Hurt Business” Bobby Lashley, Cedric Alexander, Shelton Benjamin, and MVP arriving backstage Sarah Schreiber approached Lashley and asked for a word with him. MVP dismissed Alexander and Benjamin, then Lashley cut a promo about what he went through over 15 years before he finally won the championship.

Lashley said he would make an example out of Miz to show the locker room what will happen to anyone who steps into the ring with him. He also said he would heading into WrestleMania as champion. Lashley held up the belt and declared, “The Almighty Era has begun”…

The Miz and John Morrison made their entrance for the WWE Championship match. Once in the ring, Miz took a mic and said he was empty handed because Lashley won the championship. Miz accused Shane McMahon of pulling a fast one on him. He spoke of all the special appearances he’s made for the company and said that he doesn’t take vacations.

Miz said he told everyone that he didn’t feel well due to stomach cramps and yet he still successfully defended his championship when he was counted out (in the first match against Lashley last week). Miz said the only way a champion can lose the title is if he’s pinned or submitted. He said he had the champion’s advantage, used it, and outsmarted everyone.

Miz said his contract did not state that he must defend his championship twice in one night. He said he was forced to do so and was physically threatened. He said it was unfair that he was forced to work in a lumberjack match and that Lashley brutalized him afterward and has no repercussions coming to him.

“The WWE did one thing right, tonight I get my rematch,” Miz said. He said he wanted everyone who was celebrating Lashley’s championship win all week to lean in close to the device they were watching the show on and know that there would be an #AndNew hashtag…

Bobby Lashley and MVP were shown walking backstage. MVP was still using a cane to get around. The broadcast team hyped the WWE Championship match for after the break… A WrestleMania ad used the phrase “Back In Business” and hyped limited combo and single tickets on sale starting March 16… [C]

Powell’s POV: Miz’s promo was well delivered, as always, but it just felt empty in terms of his excuses for losing and somehow being a threat to beat Lashley this time around.

Lashley and MVP made their entrance, which includes a lightning effect on the stage. There was also a brief video package that listed him as “All Mighty”…

Powell’s POV: Petty writer complaint. Last week it was The Almighty, this week it’s back to being The All Mighty. Pick one and stick with it. Thanks.

1. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. The Miz (w/John Morrison) for the WWE Championship. Lashley entered the ring and stood on the ropes and then some pyro shot off around the venue. Ring announcer Mike Rome delivered introductions from the floor once both men were inside the ring. The bell rang and Miz rolled to ringside to stall. Rinse and repeat.

Miz got distracted by MVP the second time and Lashley grabbed him by the head. Miz clotheslined Lashley with the ropes, but Lashley came right back with a vertical suplex. Drew McIntyre was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Lashley drove shoulders in Miz’s gut in the corner of the ring.

Lashley tried to charged Miz in the corner, but Miz moved and Lashley crashed and burned. They went to ringside where Miz sent Lashley into the ring post. Lashley came right back with a bad clothesline heading into a break. [C]

Miz avoided Lashley’s press slam attempt. Lashley charged Miz, who pulled the top rope down, causing Lashley to tumble to ringside. Lashley avoided Miz attempting to kick him through the ropes. Lashley hoisted Miz onto his shoulders and ran him into the ring post.

Back inside the ring, Lashley put Miz down with a Flatliner and then threw punches at him. Lashley followed up with the one-armed spinebuster. Lashley push Miz in the Hurt Lock and got the submission win…

Bobby Lashley beat The Miz in 9:05 to retain the WWE Championship.

Powell’s POV: The match went longer than it needed to, but the outcome was never in doubt. It’s also the biggest thing they will probably have on this episode, so I can see why they would want to stretch it out a bit.

The broadcast team hyped WrestleMania for April 10-11. A video package aired with The Rock saying “Finally” a couple of times when they played up the “back in business” slogan…

Backstage, Schreiber attempted to interview Drew McIntyre, who cut her off and said he’s the only true challenger. McIntyre said he went through five former WWE Champions in the Elimination Chamber. He started calling out Lashley when he was attacked by Sheamus. McIntyre was knocked down and then Sheamus barked at him that their feud isn’t over. Sheamus stormed away. McIntyre pulled himself up and threw a plastic crate… [C]

Powell’s POV: Good fire from McIntyre. That intensity was so much better than the John Cena and Roman Reigns approach of shrugging off their title losses.

A Rhea Ripley video package aired. She was still listed as coming soon to Raw… Sheamus’s attack on McIntyre was replayed…

McIntyre was still fuming backstage when he encountered Adam Pearce. McIntyre asked Pearce to make a no disqualification match between him and Sheamus as quickly as possible…

Footage aired of last week’s segments involving Pearce, Braun Strowman, and Shane McMahon…

Braun Strowman was shown walking backstage and the production team played boos. R-Truth approached Strowman and said he wrote something down. Truth read to Strowman and requested his help getting the 24/7 Championship back. Truth apologized to Strowman for a number of things. Strowman said he wasn’t looking for an apology from Truth. He said he was going to the ring to demand an apology from Shane. Truth said in that case, it never happened and added that he’s a “fragment of Strowman’s imagination”…

Powell’s POV: Truth wasn’t funny in that segment, and Strowman demanding an apology seems like a sappy idea, but we’ll see where it goes.

Phillips announced McIntyre vs. Sheamus in a No DQ match for later in the show. He said they could battle all over the venue, but the pinfall or submission had to occur inside the ring…

Braun Strowman made his entrance. Once in the ring, Strowman said he thought Shane was laughing at him rather than with him. He said that couldn’t be the case, though, because he could snap Shane’s neck like a twig. Strowman said he also knows that Shane could fire him on the spot. Strowman demanded that Shane come out and apologize.

Shane McMahon made his entrance. Once in the ring, Shane went face to face with Strowman. “I apologize,” McMahon said. Shane left the ring and his music played. Once Shane made it to the stage, he turned and teased saying something, then started to walk toward the back. Strowman told Shane to say whatever it was he was going to say…

Powell’s POV: That was the best Shane segment in years.

Sheamus was shown walking backstage while Phillips hyped his match against McIntyre as coming up shortly. They replayed the footage of Sheamus attacking McIntyre… [C]

Phillips congratulated Bad Bunny making his debut on the Grammy Awards next Sunday on CBS…

Backstage, Schreiber confronted Shane and asked if he had more to say regarding Strowman. Shane declined to elaborate…

Powell’s POV: Another fantastic Shane segment.

Sheamus made his entrance and was immediately hit from behind on the stage by McIntyre. Once they entered the ring, the referee called for the bell to start their match…

2. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus in a No DQ match. A graphic listed Xavier Woods vs. Shelton Benjamin for later in the show. McIntyre had some scrapes on his back, presumably from the earlier attack.

[Hour Two] Sheamus clotheslined McIntyre over the top rope, then gave him a top rope clothesline. Sheamus covered McIntyre for a two count. They fought to ringside and McIntyre tossed Sheamus over the broadcast table and onto the broadcast team’s chairs. Sheamus regrouped and shoved McIntyre’s back into the edge of the ring, then clotheslined him.

McIntyre rallied and slammed Sheamus onto the bottom half of the ring steps. Sheamus tried to hit McIntyre with a kendo stick, but McIntyre ducked it. McIntyre ended up with the kendo stick. Sheamus knocked it away from him once he returned to the ring. Sheamus picked up the kendo stick and worked over McIntyre with it.

Both men returned to ringside. McIntyre picked up Sheamus, who slipped away and shoved McIntyre’s head into the ring post. Sheamus slammed McIntyre onto the broadcast table. [C] Back inside the ring, McIntyre performed a spinebuster that led to a two count.

McIntyre cut off Sheamus on the ropes and superplexed him and then covered him for a near fall. Sheamus came back with White Noise for a near fall of his own. Sheamus grabbed a chair from ringside. McIntyre cut off Sheamus from using the chair and then gave him a Future Shock DDT onto it.

McIntyre set up for his finisher and did the countdown, but Sheamus threw the chair at McIntyre’s head (McIntyre put his hands up). Sheamus blasted him with a knee to the head. Sheamus wedged the chair in a corner of the ring between the ropes.

McIntyre ended up sending Sheamus into the chair and then hit him with a Claymore Kick, but Sheamus was knocked out of the ring. McIntyre went to ringside and sold back pain while picking up Sheamus and then rolled him onto the apron. McIntyre followed, but Sheamus rolled right back to ringside.

When McIntyre went back to the floor, Sheamus dropped him with a Brogue Kick. Both men picked up pieces of the ring steps and ended up slamming them together. Sheamus was down at ringside, and McIntyre tumbled over the barricade. The production team piped in “this is awesome” chants. The referee checked on McIntyre, then checked on Sheamus, who didn’t respond. The referee called for the bell, then stood up and yelled that he needed help.

Drew McIntyre beat Sheamus via apparent ref stoppage in 18:10 in a No DQ match.

Referees and trainers checked on both men… [C]

Powell’s POV: So much for Lashley vs. Miz being the biggest thing on this show. The story was that that the ring steps hit the heads of both men when they rammed the steps together, though the broadcast team focused more on Sheamus being injured by the steps. I don’t know if they actually announced McIntyre as the winner, but the referee checked on him first and didn’t call off the match, then checked on Sheamus and called it off, so I assume that was the idea. As much as I enjoyed this match, I am begging all pro wrestling companies to ban the use of kendo sticks for at least one year. Kendo sticks are so overused that I can’t be the only viewer who has become numb to them.

The broadcast team said McIntyre and Sheamus were receiving medical attention… A video package aired on the storyline involving Randy Orton, The Fiend, and Alexa Bliss… Saxton wondered if Orton had an escape plan from the nightmare situation he was in.

Phillips sent things backstage to new broadcast team member Kevin Patrick, who interviewed AJ Styles while Omos stood by. Styles spoke about how Orton has voodoo magic on him. Styles said it was ridiculous and then he and Omos laughed.

Orton showed up and asked Styles if he was saying there was something funny about a grown man having his mind messed with. Styles said it wasn’t funny, but he found it to be weak. Orton challenged Styles to meet him in the ring later in the show so that he could show him just how weak he is. Styles said Orton has problems, but if he wants bigger problems then he accepted the match…

Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston made their entrance heading into a break… [C] Phillips announced Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin vs. Kingston and Woods for the Raw Tag Titles for next week’s Raw… Benjamin and Alexander made their entrance…

3. Shelton Benjamin (w/Cedric Alexander) vs Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston). Woods dazed Benjamin with a forearm shot and then rolled him into a pin. Benjamin came right back with a move that the cameras missed. Benjamin jawed with Kingston and ended up being caught in an inside cradle and was pinned by Woods…

Xavier Woods beat Shelton Benjamin in 3:45.

Powell’s POV: The distraction finish is as overused in WWE as kendo sticks are everywhere in pro wrestling. Am I the only one surprised that we haven’t had a women’s match yet on International Women’s Day? Anyway, I like that they are actually hyping a tag title match a week in advance.

Riddle stood on a scooter in the Gorilla Position set and was interviewed by Schreiber. He wondered where he should park it because he claimed he got a ticket when he left it backstage and feared Ali would break it if he brought it to the ring. The New Day duo walked through the curtain.

Riddle asked Woods about playing Call of Duty. Kingston went into happy spaz mode. Riddle said something about inviting Reginald over, then left his scooter with the duo. Riddle made his entrance for a match against a Revolution member… [C]

Slapjack and Mustafa Ali made their entrance. Phillips hyped Riddle vs. Ali for the U.S. Championship on next week’s show…

4. U.S. Champion Riddle vs. Slapjack (w/Mustafa Ali) in a non-title match. Riddle performed an early Broton and followed up with a kick. Slapjack rolled to ringside and was barked at by Ali. Later, Riddle blasted Slapjack with a knee to the head. Ali yelled at Riddle from ringside. Slapjack came back with a kick and got a two count. Riddle avoided a move and then hit a knee to the head and Bro Derek for the win. Ali yelled at Slapjack after the match…

U.S. Champion Riddle beat Slapjack in 3:55 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: Two title matches advertised a week out? I’m officially calling for a Vince McMahon welfare check because booking two matches a week in advance just doesn’t seem like something he would do at this stage in his booking career.

The broadcast team recapped the Braun Strowman and Shane McMahon segment from earlier in the show…

Adam Pearce approached Shane McMahon in a room backstage and wondered what else he was going to say to Strowman. Shane said everyone was being nosy. Shane said there was something else he wanted to say to Strowman and told Pearce to tell him to meet him in the ring… [C]

Shane McMahon stood in the ring. Braun Strowman made his entrance and joined Shane inside the ring. Shane acted like his mic was out and then went to ringside and grabbed another mic. He patted on the mic and acted like he was testing it while walking to the stage.

[Hour Three] Shane admitted that he had fun last week. “That’s what I do, Braun, I have fun,” Shane said. He told Strowman that he should have fun too. Shane admitted that he has fun at the expense of others and said it’s okay in his book as long as it benefits him. “One thing we have to get done…” Shane said. “I don’t know if I can talk to you about this.”

Strowman asked why they were even out there. Shane said he wanted to get stuff done. He said he needed to come to an understanding with Strowman. Shane walked toward the ring, then started walking toward the stage again.

Strowman asked if Shane was trying to make him look stupid. Shane said he would never do that. Shane said he could tell that Strowman was very upset with him. Strowman said he wasn’t playing games. Shane said he would never make Strowman feel stupid.

Shane said there are other words that Strowman may have heard in his life. He threw out a bunch of lines about stupidity and said he wasn’t the one saying that. Shane once again said he would never calling stupid, then said, “Bra, Bra, Bra, Braun.” Shane ran backstage and Strowman chased after him. Strowman arrived just as a car was driving away. Strowman shook his head in disgust and walked away. Shane showed up after Strowman was gone and said, “So stupid”…

Powell’s POV: Shane’s last two words summed up my feelings about this angle.

Naomi and Lana made their entrance while Phillips hyped “Girl Up” and International Women’s Day. A video package aired on the Girl Up campaign. The broadcast team hyped a WWE Women’s Tag Title match as coming up next… [C]

Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax made their entrance and were accompanied by Reginald. Jax said he was down on his luck after being fired by Carmella, but she enjoys a good glass of wine and invited him to be at ringside. “Isn’t he cute?” Jax asked…

5. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax (w/Reginald) vs. Naomi and Lana for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles. The challengers got the better of Jax to start, which led to her tagging in Baszler. Phillips said Baszler didn’t seem thrilled about the situation with Jax and Reginald. Naomi dove onto Baszler and Jax heading into a break. [C]

Naomi performed a Rearview on Baszler that came up short, then worked over Jax. Naomi used her legs to drive Jax’s head into the mat and covered her, but Baszler reached in from ringside and broke up the pin. Naomi ran the ropes, but Reginald grabbed her leg. Naomi tagged out and then grabbed Reginald, who was kicked by Lana. Jax took out Naomi and then powerbombed and pinned Lana…

Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax defeated Naomi and Lana in 8:00 to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: Reginald was a lousy character on Smackdown, and now he can bounce from brand to brand as long as he remains aligned with the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. Or maybe he just gets to bounce around since he’s not a wrestler. Either way, lucky us?

A teaser aired for Charlotte Flair’s appearance on tonight’s “Straight Up Steve Austin” season finale, which follow Raw…

Schreiber told Orton that there are rumors that other wrestlers in the locker room are concerned about his wellbeing. Orton acted surprised that he had friends in the locker room. He said their concern surprised him because none of them ever said it to his face. Orton shifted his focus to Styles and said he would be reintroduced to the letters RKO… [C]

Another Rhea Ripley teaser video aired. She’s still listed as coming soon to Raw…

Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke were interviewed backstage by Schreiber, who asked them about trying to get a championship match. Rose said that unlike Charlotte Flair, they haven’t declared that they want a title shot, but it doesn’t mean they’re not serious about it. Brooke spoke about how hard they work. Flair showed up and said she wants a title shot at WrestleMania. Rose and Brooke said they do too. Flair said they have five weeks to show her what they have. She said she hopes their bite is as strong as their bark…

Powell’s POV: Because nothing says “We want singles title shots” quite like losing a bunch of tag team matches. A strange segment.

Backstage, Kevin Patrick asked Styles if he regretted anything he said about Orton. Styles said Bray Wyatt twisted Orton’s mind and Orton should be focused on The Fiend. Styles said he would give Orton a loss that he would take into WrestleMania. Styles asked Omos what the voices in Orton’s head think about it. Styles made his entrance with Omos… [C]

Phillips hyped Riddle, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Peyton Royce as the guests for Raw Talk… Highlights aired of Lashley’s new entrance video and his win over The Miz from earlier in the show… Randy Orton made his entrance…

6. AJ Styles (w/Omos) vs. Randy Orton. Phillips labeled it a WrestleMania worthy matchup. Orton pushed Styles into the corner. The referee wedged himself in between the wrestlers, and Orton took advantage by hitting Styles with a cheap shot to take offensive control.

Orton continued to dominate as they went to ringside and he dropped Styles on the broadcast table in front of Omos. Orton threw Styles back inside the ring, but Styles hit him and then dove onto him at ringside. [C] Styles was in offensive control coming out of the break until Orton dropped him with a big clothesline.

Styles ended up with a bloody lip. Orton gave him a sidewinder backbreaker. Orton placed Styles on the top rope and threw punches at him. Orton wanted to go for a superplex, but Styles fought out of it. Styles went for his finisher and was tripped up by Orton.

Styles stuffed a draping DDT attempt and then rolled Orton into a Calf Crusher. Orton eventually came back and performed a draping DDT and then smirked at Omos. Orton played to the virtual screens and then struck the Viper’s Pose. Omos pulled Styles to ringside.

Alexa Bliss appeared on the big screen while sitting in the middle of a pentagram that was drawn on a floor with candles around it. Bliss called out for Orton, played with a jack in the box, lit a match, and blew it out. Kane’s old pyro shot up in three corners of the ring. Orton started coughing up black goo again. Styles hit him with a Phenomenal Forearm and pinned him…

AJ Styles beat Randy Orton in 15:40.

After the match Bliss was shown laughing at Orton on the big screen to close the show…

Powell’s POV: Insert your own joke here about the Raw pyro compared to the AEW Revolution “explosion” at the end of last night’s pay-per-view. Bliss toying with Orton is so tired and predictable. How long are they going to drag this out before they finally bring back The Fiend? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not excited about that character returning, but this crap with Orton and Bliss is awful. Meanwhile, Orton and Styles are stars, but they are both heels, Styles has been defined down, and Orton feels like he’s in a holding pattern. In other words, their main event didn’t excite me, especially since I assumed it would end with another round of Bliss madness.

Overall, though, the show had its moments, particularly the WWE Championship match and the McIntyre vs. Sheamus match. It’s strange that there’s only one more Raw to go before WWE Fastlane and they haven’t announced any Raw matches for the pay-per-view. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. “That was the best Shane segment in years.” Thanks Jason, now I have to clean up the spit-take. That was funnier than anything you ever said about Ziggler’s shitty music (which was always funny)

    • Ha! Thanks. I just wish they would have stopped there. Yikes.

      • So they’re setting up Shane McMahon to wrestle Strowman so the owners son can have another EM moment. Do they not have enough full time wrestlers?
        Gee, I wonder if he’ll jump or fall off something really high… again.

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