3/15 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s live review Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods for the Raw Tag Titles, Riddle vs. Mustafa Ali for the U.S. Title, Raw Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler in a non-title match

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,451)
Live from Tampa, Florida at Tropicana Field
Aired March 15, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] The broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe checked in and officially announced Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship for WrestleMania…

WWE Champion Bobby Lashley made his entrance along with MVP, who was still using a cane. Once in the ring, MVP said we are living in the All Mighty Era. Lashley said he’s proven all the haters, naysayers, and doubters wrong. He said he had to fight for the title and wasn’t given anything.

Lashley said he destroyed McIntyre at the Elimination Chamber and will do so again in the main event of WrestleMania. Lashley said he will do the same to everyone on Raw once he finishes with McIntyre, then he also touted it as the All Mighty Era.

The Miz and John Morrison made their entrance. Morrison had his hair slicked back on the sides and poofy on top. Miz said he should be preparing for his match against Drew McIntyre, but he had to come out and praise Lashley’s suit.

Miz said he felt like their rivalry was just getting started. Miz and Morrison listed some legendary feuds and said they all had WrestleMania matches. Miz impersonated Steve Austin while calling for a “hell yeah” from anyone who wanted to see him challenge Lashley at WrestleMania. Morrison responded with a “hell yeah.” Miz complained that he had to defend the WWE Championship twice in one night while battling cramps.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance and joined Lashley and MVP inside the ring. McIntyre said he hadn’t had the chance to formally congratulate Lashley. He noted that Lashley took 16 years to win the title, then said he knows something about that because it took him 17 years.

McIntyre spoke about how they both outworked others. He recalled beating Brock Lesnar to win the championship in under five minutes. He pointed out that Lashley made a deal in order to win his title. MVP tried to interrupt. McIntyre questioned why MVP was even there.

Lashley said McIntyre should be worried about him. “And me,” Miz said while standing on the apron with Morrison. McIntyre said he forgot that Miz was standing there. McIntyre told Miz that he would turn his back and allow Miz to attack him from behind or run for his life.

McIntyre spoke about going to war with Sheamus at Fastlane, then called Lashley a “big, bald bitch” while stating that he would take the title back. MVP held Lashley back. Miz told McIntyre to calm down, then Lashley attacked McIntyre from behind. Lashley and MVP left the ring, then Miz attacked McIntyre.

As Lashley was heading toward the back, Sheamus ran out and attacked him. Sheamus got the better of Lashley until referees intervened. MVP held back Lashley heading into a commercial break… [C]

Powell’s POV: So McIntyre didn’t have to win a match to get the title shot, and they just announced the match without any fanfare at the beginning of Raw. Strange. McIntyre is deserving of a shot in a storyline sense because of the way he lost the championship, but I am surprised that they didn’t come up with some type of match for Fastlane with the title shot at stake. And I realize that Miz has a match with McIntyre, but do they really need to work him into the opening segment of damn near every Raw?

Backstage, Sarah Schreiber asked Sheamus about his attack on Lashley. Sheamus spoke about facing McIntyre at Fastlane, and accused Lashley of sticking his nose in his business. He called for a match against Lashley…

A referee was checking on McIntyre in the ring. Meanwhile, the broadcast team hyped the three previously advertised matches…

1. Drew McIntyre vs. The Miz (w/John Morrison). McIntyre indicated that he was ready, then Miz attacked him to start the match. McIntyre quickly took offensive control. Miz caught McIntyre with a kick, but McIntyre no-sold it and glared at him, then knocked him down with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt.

Morrison tossed his sunglasses at McIntyre, who stomped them with his foot. Miz attacked McIntyre from behind. McIntyre came back quickly with an Alabama Slam. McIntyre set up for his finisher, but Morrison pulled Miz to ringside. The referee ejected Morrison from ringside. [C]

Miz DDT’d McIntyre and covered him for just a one count. McIntyre stuffed a Skull Crushing Finale attempt and came back with clotheslines and a suplex. McIntyre roughed up Miz at ringside and slammed his head into the ring steps repeatedly before rolling him back inside the ring.

McIntyre dropped Miz with a Future Shock DDT, waited for him to get up, and put him down with a Claymore Kick. McIntyre opted against going for the pin. Instead, he pointed at the WrestleMania sign and then put Miz in The Hurt Lock (Full Nelson) and won via submission…

Drew McIntyre defeated The Miz in 11:20.

Powell’s POV: This match had to happen given the way Miz stole the belt from McIntyre via the Lashley attack and then the Money in the Bank cash-in. They explained away the length of the match by having McIntyre indicate that he wasn’t happy with just beating Miz. All of that said, Miz is so cold that it’s not even fun to watch him get his ass kicked.

The broadcast team spoke about Bad Bunny winning a Grammy Award. Bad Bunny was shown walking backstage with Damian Priest…

Highlights aired from last week of the Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman segment… Braun Strowman was shown walking backstage… [C]

Braun Strowman stood in the ring and called for Shane McMahon to come out and talk to him. Shane made his entrance and spoke from the stage while pretending he had no idea why Strowman was mad at him. Strowman said he’s been bullied by guys like Shane his entire life about being stupid.

Shane said he would never make fun of another human being. Strowman said McMahons don’t apologize for anything. Strowman said Shane stumbled over his words last week because he was afraid that his mouth was going to write a check that his ass couldn’t cash. Strowman said Shane was afraid of what he could do to him.

Strowman said he knows Shane wants a match with him, but he doesn’t have the balls to say it. Strowman said he would make it easy and called for a match against Shane tonight. Shane said Strowman couldn’t handle him and now he knows he’s stupid. Shane said that if Strowman wanted brains versus braun then he’s on…

Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Naomi, and Lana were talking backstage when R-Truth showed up wearing a Steve Austin vest and holding a beer. The women informed him that 3:16 day was on Tuesday. Truth offered them a beer, but they said they had a match. Truth chugged some beer and delivered his own version of Austin’s catchphrase…

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler made their entrance while the broadcast team assumed they had eyes on the upcoming tag team match… [C]

2. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Naomi and Lana. Rose and Brooke’s entrance was not televised. Jax and Baszler sat in on commentary. Jax spoke about Reginald favorably, while Baszler rolled her eyes. A few minutes into the match, Asuka made her entrance. Baszler got up and ran toward her.

Asuka threw a kick and then threw punches at Baszler until three WWE producers pulled her off. In the ring, Brooke made a blind tag. Lana performed a facebuster on Rose, but Brooke checked in and dropped Lana with a neckbreaker and then pinned her…

Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke beat Naomi and Lana in 4:30.

Powell’s POV: The match was forgettable, but I like the way they used it to add a little steam to the Asuka vs. Baszler match for later in the show.

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were at the Gorilla Position when Riddle arrived on his scooter and said he came to wish them luck. Woods said they could all ride off together after they win the tag titles and Riddle retains the U.S. Championship. Riddle said they could get matching tattoos and get all you can eat pancakes. When New Day didn’t care for that, he suggested they get matching scooters, which they were excited by. Kingston and Woods made their entrance… [C]

A sponsored video spotlighted Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin…

[Hour Two] Alexander and Benjamin made their entrance…

3. Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods for the Raw Tag Titles. Ring announcer Mike Rome delivered introductions from the floor once both teams were in the ring. Benjamin performed a nice spinebuster on Kingston early on and followed up with a couple of bodyslams.

Later, Woods knocked Benjamin to ringside with a forearm, then worked over Alexander, who rolled to ringside. Kingston and Woods went for stereo moves through the ropes, but the champions ran them into the ring steps and broadcast table, respectively. [C]

Benjamin suplexed Kingston from the top rope and went for the pin, but Woods broke it up. Moments later, Kingston hit Trouble In Paradise on Benjamin. Woods tagged in and performed a top rope elbow drop while Woods dove onto Alexander at ringside. Kingston tagged back in and double stomped Benjamin, who was lying across the knee Woods, then scored the pin.

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods defeated Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in 13:20 to win the Raw Tag Titles.

After the match, AJ Styles made his entrance with Omos while Kingston and Woods were celebrating their win. Styles said they were there to congratulate New Day on another tag title victory. Styles said it was just in time for WrestleMania, and he and Omos don’t have anything planned for WrestleMania.

Omos recalled telling Styles that they should be Raw Tag Champions. Styles told Omos that it’s his time to shine and jaws will drop when people see what he’s capable of. Styles issued an official challenge for the Raw Tag Titles at WrestleMania. Kingston grabbed a mic and asked if they were even registered as a tag team and whether they know how to work as a team. “You want your match, big man, you’ve got it,” Woods told Omos…

Powell’s POV: I went from not being a fan of taking the tag titles away from Alexander and Benjamin to being cool with it once Styles and Omos made their challenge. Granted, they could have done the same match without the tag titles being at stake and kept Alexander and Benjamin relevant, but I do like the idea of Omos debuting at WrestleMania. Putting that aside, is there a reason they are announcing multiple Raw matches for WrestleMania yet only have McIntyre vs. Sheamus announced for Fastlane?

Backstage, Damian Priest and Bad Bunny crossed paths with The Miz and John Morrison. Priest and Bunny taunted Miz about losing the WWE Championship. Miz said Bunny wishes he had even a fraction of his success, then asked Priest what titles he’s won. Priest said it would take a minute to accumulate Miz’s accomplishments. Priest got in Miz’s face and said maybe he should start now. Miz backed off.

R-Truth showed up holding an Austin 3:16 lunchbox over his head. He told Priest and Bunny that it wasn’t what it looked like. Priest said it looked like he was sneaking up on Bad Bunny. Truth said exactly, then presented Bunny with a replica belt, an Austin doll, and the lunchbox.

Bunny asked Truth what he wanted. Truth pointed at the WWE 24/7 Championship. Bunny spoke to Priest in Spanish. Bunny said he respects Truth and the business, then gave him the 24/7 Championship belt. The usual suspects chased after Truth… [C]

Powell’s POV: Let me guess, the celebrity didn’t want to do a job?

Phillips announced that the WrestleMania on-sale date that was scheduled for Tuesday was moved. He said they were still working things out and would announce a new on-sale date soon…

4. Damian Priest (w/Bad Bunny) vs. Jaxson Ryker (w/Elias). Ryker and Elias’s entrance was not televised. Ryker attacked Priest at the bell. Priest came right back with a Broken Arrow and Hit The Lights and scored the pin.

Damian Priest beat Jaxson Ryker in 0:35.

Elias attacked Priest afterward. Elias grabbed his guitar to use as a weapon, but Bad Bunny took it away from him. Elias hoisted up Bad Bunny, who slipped away, blocked a punch, and then hit Elias. Priest took over and hit his finisher on Elias. John Morrison came out and distracted Priest and Bunny, then Miz snuck in from behind and slammed a guitar over the back of Bad Bunny…

Powell’s POV: Let me guess, the celebrity didn’t want to take a guitar shot to the head? Anyway, it took Priest fifteen minutes to beat Elias on the March 1 Raw but only 35 seconds for him to beat Elias’s muscle tonight.

Backstage, Bobby Lashley and MVP were interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. MVP said the All Mighty Era has begun, and Sheamus won’t be 100 percent at Fastlane once Lashley is done with him. He said the same thing that happens to Sheamus on Raw will happen to McIntyre at WrestleMania…

Shane McMahon stood in the ring and then Braun Strowman made his entrance for their match. Shane ducked to ringside and said he needed to warmup for the match. His warmup included playing hopscotch, which he said would help Strowman learn to count. Strowman chased Shane around the ring.

Strowman caught Shane and ran him into the barricade. Strowman did his lap around the ring and charged at Shane, who grabbed a camera from a cameraman and hit Strowman with it. Shane kicked Strowman and then worked him over with punches before hitting him with the camera again. Shane hit Strowman with the camera again, which knocked Strowman onto the broadcast table.

Shane went to the top rope and performed an elbow drop that drove Strowman through the table. Shane taunted Strowman and called him stupid. Shane pulled a bucket of green slime out from underneath the ring and poured it over Strowman’s head. Shane grabbed another bucket of green slime and dumped on Strowman while taunting him…

Powell’s POV: Is it wrong that this made me crave my annual Shamrock Shake on St. Patrick’s Day? Are we getting Shane vs. Strowman in a Nickelodeon Slime match at WrestleMania?

A Rhea Ripley video aired. She’s still listed as coming soon to Raw… “Highlights” aired of last week’s Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss angle…

Backstage, Alexa Bliss was on a swing set and had Rey Mysterio’s contacts in her eyes (or something). She said that if Orton wants her out of his life, he will have his chance at WWE Fastlane. She asked if he would take the chance and then laughed…

Asuka made her entrance… [C] Footage aired of Shane Helms informing Molly Holly of her WWE Hall of Fame induction in an emotional segment on The Bump. Tweets from Holly’s peers were shown while Saxton hyped that the Hall of Fame will stream exclusively on Peacock in the United States…

Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax made their entrance.

[Hour Three] A pre-tape aired with Baszler talking about how much she enjoyed what she did to Asuka and how she would enjoy doing it even more in this match. Asuka attacked Baszler and Jax before the bell.

5. Raw Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler (w/Nia Jax) in a non-title match. Baszler threw a knee to the face of Asuka, who was tied up in the ropes. Asuka came right back with an armbar. Asuka released it and took out Jax at ringside. Baszler went for her finisher, but Asuka avoided it and went for her own. Baszler countered back into the Kirifuda Clutch. Asuka rolled onto Baszler and got the pin.

Raw Women’s Champion Asuka beat Shayna Baszler in 1:30 in a non-title match.

After the match, Baszler held the Kirifuda Clutch. Asuka acted like she was out, but blocked Baszler from kicking her face. Asuka threw kicks at Baszler and then shoved her face first into a turnbuckle pad. Asuka removed Baszler’s mouthguard, then put her mouth over the exposed turnbuckle and used her foot to press Baszler’s head. Asuka put her foot behind Baszler’s head and was going to kick her face into the exposed turnbuckle, but the referee intervened and asked Asuka what was wrong with her…

Powell’s POV: Asuka’s character was out for revenge and Baszler is definitely a heel, but Asuka was so aggressive and sadistic that it left me wondering if she’s turning heel. By the way, the server company had a hiccup, so I apologize if you are reading this live and couldn’t access the site for a few minutes.

Backstage, Mustafa Ali was giving a speech to Retribution when Riddle drove through on his scooter. The broadcast team hyped their match for after the break… [C] The broadcast team ran through the WWE Fastlane lineup and added Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon, and Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus to go along with the previously advertised matches…

6. Riddle vs. Mustafa Ali (w/T-Bar, Mace, Reckoning, Slapjack) for the U.S. Championship. Riddle drove his scooter to the ring. Rome delivered introductions from the floor while both wrestlers stood inside the ring. Ali performed a neckbreaker on the apron to the floor heading into an early break. [C]

Ali continued to target Riddle’s neck coming out of the break. Riddle rallied and performed a suplex followed by a Broton. Riddle followed with a suplex for a near fall. Ali stuffed a move and connected with a kick, but Riddle came back with a shot of his own and rolled Ali into a pin. Ali rolled onto him, but T-Bar was distracting the referee. Riddle applied the Bromission and got the win.

Riddle beat Mustafa Ali in 8:50 to retain the U.S. Championship.

Afterward, Ali yelled at T-Bar while Riddle celebrated his win…

Backstage, Schreiber asked Randy Orton for his reaction to Alexa Bliss challenging him to a match at Fastlane. Orton laughed and recalled Bliss daring him to kick her out of his life. “Well, that is exactly what I am going to do,” Orton said…

Drew McIntyre made his entrance for a promo… [C] A PSA aired with WWE wrestlers encouraging people to get the vaccine…

Powell’s POV: Riddle vs. Ali was underwhelming only because they got about nine minutes with a long commercial break. The finish was clever in terms of giving Riddle a win that protected Ali to some extent while also furthering his issues with his Retribution henchmen. I continue to hope that WWE will pull the plug on the faction and let them unmask.

Drew McIntyre, The Miz, John Morrison, Mandy Rose, and Dana Brooke were advertised for Raw Talk…

The broadcast team spoke at ringside briefly. Phillips said they expect a new on-sale date for WrestleMania within the week. They also recapped the Raw Tag Title change followed by AJ Styles and Omos challenging them to a tag title match at WrestleMania. Phillips announced that the tag title match is official for WrestleMania…

McIntyre delivered an in-ring promo. He said he and Sheamus would bring a level of physicality at Fastlane like fans had never seen before. McIntyre said Sheamus is looking to take him out before WrestleMania, but he is going to beat the hell out of him. McIntyre said he was going to grab a chair and watch the Lashley vs. Sheamus match from ringside…

Bobby Lashley and MVP made their entrance, then Sheamus made his entrance… [C]

7. WWE Champion Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Sheamus in a non-title match. McIntyre was at ringside. Lashley was dominant early. The wrestlers went to ringside and when they returned to the ring, Sheamus caught Lashley with a kick. Sheamus delivered some kidney punches. Sheamus tried to clothesline Lashley from the apron, but Lashley caught him and suplexed him on the floor. MVP stood between Lashley and McIntyre heading into a break. [C]

Lashley worked over Sheamus and then jawed at McIntyre, who gave him a mocking thumbs up while seated at ringside. Lashley charged Sheamus, who moved, causing Lashley to crash and burn in the corner. Sheamus performed a top rope clothesline and covered Lashley, who kicked out at one. Sheamus threw elbows at the head of Lashley.

Lashley stood up and fired forearms at Sheamus, then charged him. Sheamus moved and Lashley flew over the top rope. Sheamus used the top rope to clothesline Lashley, then delivered his clubbing forearms to the chest. Sheamus pulled Lashley back inside the ring and gave him the Irish Curse and covered him for just a one count.

Sheamus performed a second Irish Curse and got a two count. Sheamus applied a variation of the Cloverleaf, which Lashley eventually kicked his way out of. Lashley performed a powerslam for a two count. Lashley ducked a Brogue Kick and tried to apply his own finisher, but Sheamus avoided it.

Lashley dropped Sheamus with a Flastliner and covered him for a two count. Lashley placed Sheamus on the top rope. MVP told him to end it. Lashley superplexed Sheamus. Lashley went to a corner and waited for Sheamus to get up and then tried to spear him, but Sheamus caught him with a knee. Sheamus hit White Noise for a two count. Sheamus pulled himself up using the ropes and set up for a Brogue Kick, but Lashley speared and pinned him.

WWE Champion Bobby Lashley beat Sheamus in 17:40 in a non-title match.

Afterward, Lashley put Sheamus in the Hurt Lock. McIntyre entered the ring. Lashley released the hold and stared at McIntyre. Sheamus inadvertently bumped MVP into Lashley. McIntyre took advantage of the momentary distraction by dropping Lashley with a Claymore Kick. McIntyre jawed at Sheamus about having a match at Faslane that “they’re never gonna forget” to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A good, physical match. As much as the focus is on Lashley and McIntyre, Sheamus continued his streak of strong in-ring performances. Overall, WWE filled the three hours better than usual, and it was a newsworthy show in terms of Fastlane and WrestleMania match announcements. Unfortunately, I can’t say that they really moved me on Fastlane, which feels thrown together on the Raw side. Join me on Sunday night for my live review of WWE Fastlane. I will have more to say about Raw in my weekly same night audio review. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

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Readers Comments (6)

  1. We get it, you don’t like Bad Bunny.

  2. Patrick Peralta March 15, 2021 @ 10:19 pm

    celebritys are always protected in wrestling matches. after all they want to protect their looks as well as acting or singing talent or what ever they do. their agents won’t let them do somethng that will get them hurt and cost them money.

  3. If this is the launch of psycho clown Asuka… Oh boy

    Also I hate all celebrities when they’re on wrestling shows too

  4. Patrick Peralta March 15, 2021 @ 10:25 pm

    I hope Asuka does turn heel again she was a heel briefly with Kari Sane during their tag team run and useing the green mist. when the Great Muta had done during his career.

  5. Didn’t Shane McMahon lose a “loser leaves WWE” match about a year or so ago to Kevin Owens? I don’t recall any explanation being given as to why he’s not only back, but is taking away television time from far more deserving people.

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