3/22 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s live review of Rhea Ripley’s debut, WWE Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Sheamus in a non-title match, Raw Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Peyton Royce in a non-title match, Kofi Kingston vs. AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz, WWE Fastlane fallout

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,452)
Live from Tampa, Florida at Tropicana Field
Aired March 22, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe were on commentary… The Bobby Lashley video played and then he and MVP made their entrance. Sheamus followed with his entrance for the opening match. Highlights aired of his Fastlane match with Drew McIntyre…

1. WWE Champion Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Sheamus in a non-title match. The broadcast team played up the welts on Sheamus’s body and said he can’t be 100 percent coming out of the match against McIntyre. Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin showed up at ringside. Lashley clotheslined Sheamus off the apron. Alexander distracted the referee and then Benjamin clotheslined Sheamus. Lashley and MVP seemed surprised heading into a commercial break. [C]

Lashley power slammed Sheamus. Alexander climbed onto the apron and wanted a fist bump. Lashley told him not now. Sheamus rolled up Lashley for a two count. Sheamus picked up additional near falls. Lashley came back briefly, but Sheamus blasted him with a knee to the head and got another near fall. Lashley avoided a Brogue Kick, but he ran into an elbow. Alexander distracted Sheamus, then Lashley performed a spinebuster and applied the Hurt Lock for the win.

WWE Champion Bobby Lashley defeated Sheamus in 11:40 in a non-title match.

Afterward, Alexander and Benjamin pulled Sheamus to ringside and worked him over. Drew McIntyre ran out and roughed up Alexander and Benjamin at ringside while Lashley and MVP watched from the ring.

McIntyre turned his attention to Lashley and entered the ring. Lashley and McIntyre jawed at one another while MVP tried to keep Lashley calm. McIntyre put his hands behind his back and dared Lashley to throw the first punch. MVP said “WrestleMania” repeatedly and got Lashley to leave the ring…

The broadcast team spoke about The Fiend’s new look, which was shown on the screen. They hyped that Randy Orton would summon The Fiend later, and teased a look back at their pay-per-view segment… [C]

Powell’s POV: Another good, physical match. I like that Sheamus was protected both with the broadcast team putting over the physicality of his pay-per-view match and with the outside interference from Alexander and Benjamin. The post match angle was solid with McIntyre saving his former friend and then getting in the face of his WrestleMania opponent.

Backstage, Lashley took issue with Alexander and Benjamin getting involved in his match. He told them that he doesn’t need their help. MVP accused them of tarnishing the legacy of Lashley and said they embarrassed themselves by losing the Raw Tag Titles, which also embarrassed Lashley. MVP told them to think about what they need to do to make things right…

A video package aired on Randy Orton, Alexa Bliss, and The Fiend… Asuka made her entrance for a non-title match… [C] Highlights aired of Asuka’s ruthless attack on Shayna Baszler from last week. Peyton Royce made her entrance while footage aired from her appearance on Raw Talk from two weeks ago where she called for a match against Asuka…

2. Raw Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Peyton Royce in a non-title match. Asuka caught Royce in a cross arm breaker, but Royce escaped it. Royce wrenched the knee of Asuka while bridging. A graphic hyped Miz TV for later in the show. Royce picked up a two count and showed frustration. Royce avoided a hip attack while standing on the apron and then threw a soft kick at Asuka’s back before pulling her to ringside. [C]

Asuka executed a German suplex and a kick that led to her getting a two count. Asuka went for a missile dropkick, which Royce avoided. Royce got another near fall. Asuka made a play for the Asuka Lock, but Royce rolled her into a pin for a two count. Asuka got a two count of her own off a Codebreaker. Royce rallied again and performed a double stomp to the back of Asuka and got another near fall.

Royce kicked the bottom rope and argued with the referee about his count. Asuka kicked Royce, then went for a submission hold and eventually applied the Asuka Lock for the win.

Raw Women’s Champion Asuka beat Peyton Royce in 11:15.

After the match, Rhea Ripley made her entrance and entered the ring. Ripley said Asuka is one of the greatest women’s champions in history and has proven her point. Ripley recalled Charlotte Flair challenging Asuka for the championship while Asuka was recovering from having her teeth knocked out.

Ripley said Flair wasn’t there because she was recovering from COVID. Ripley said she would need an answer. She challenged Asuka to a championship match at WrestleMania. Asuka took the mic and yelled in Japanese, then said, “You are not ready for Asuka.” Asuka accepted the challenge to a WrestleMania match…

Drew McIntyre was shown walking backstage when he was approached by Adam Pearce, who asked why he helped Sheamus after they beat one another senseless the night before. McIntyre said he wouldn’t stand idly by while Sheamus was jumped. Pearce informed McIntyre that Alexander and Benjamin challenged him to a handicap match. McIntyre said that wouldn’t make much sense when he’s three weeks away from WrestleMania. McIntyre asked for the stipulation that the duo would be banned from ringside at WrestleMania if he beat them. Pearce accepted the terms…

The production crew set up the ring for Miz TV while Phillips said the segment would have WrestleMania implications…

Powell’s POV: Asuka vs. Royce had a lot of near falls, but I can’t say that I was wowed by the match. It seemed like they really wanted it to be a breakout match for Royce despite her taking the loss. It was solid, but it didn’t make me suddenly see Royce in a new light. Meanwhile, Flair actually announced via social media that she’s recovering from COVID before it was announced on Raw. Here’s wishing her the best in her recovery. It will be interesting to see if they go with Asuka vs. Ripley straight up or if they end up adding Flair to the match. I was down on Flair being added to the Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch match, but I’m open to her being added this year given that she beat Ripley at last year’s WrestleMania.

The WrestleMania video aired. We are 19 days away… The broadcast team announced that Asuka vs. Ripley is official for WrestleMania…

The Miz and John Morrison made their entrances for the Miz TV segment. Morrison had his hair slicked back on the sides again for reasons that only make sense to him.

[Hour Two] Once in the ring, Miz welcomed viewers to Miz TV. Miz heeled on Bad Bunny and Damian Priest and boasted that he’s a two-time grand slam champion. Miz said he and Morrison don’t get the respect they deserve. They had the WrestleMania poster appear on the big screen and complained that they are not on it (nor is Charlotte Flair).

Miz had footage air of him hitting Bad Bunny with a guitar. Miz hyped that there will be a Dirt Sheet next week that will feature the world premiere of “Hey Hey Hop Hop” that they will dedicate to Bad Bunny. They showed part of the video, which featured Miz and Morrison dancing and singing in bunny costumes.

Miz challenged Bad Bunny to a match at WrestleMania. He said he wouldn’t just end his musical career, he’d end his career period. Miz told Bunny to watch his match against Jeff Hardy for a preview of what he would do to him at WrestleMania. Hardy made his entrance… [C]

Powell’s POV: The best thing I can say about Miz and Morrison is that they weren’t in the opening segment for a change.

3. Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz. Before the match, Hardy said everyone knows Morrison would interfere and encouraged Miz to be a real man and send him to the back. Miz obliged. Hardy performed a second rope splash for a two count. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but Miz slipped away and ran Hardy through the ropes and into the ring post. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale and scored the pin…

The Miz beat Jeff Hardy in 4:20.

After the match, Miz was boasting into the camera while getting his arm raised when Bad Bunny showed up. Bad Bunny hit him from behind with a guitar and then left the ring. Once Bad Bunny made it to the stage, he accepted Miz’s challenge to a match at WrestleMania…

Powell’s POV: Poor Jeff Hardy. The Miz didn’t get a boost heading into his WWE Championship win, but now he gets a clean win because he’s facing Bad Bunny. You can’t make it up.

AJ Styles and Omos were shown walking backstage. Omos stopped Styles, then Riddle drove his scooter past them. Phillips hyped Styles vs. Kofi Kingston… [C] Phillips announced Bad Bunny vs. The Miz is official for WrestleMania…

AJ Styles and Omos made their entrance. Styles delivered an in-ring promo about facing New Day at WrestleMania in Omos’s debut match. New Day eventually made their entrance. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods took issue with Styles claiming that he and Omos would beat them. Kingston spoke about Styles being a small man who has a giant doing his bidding. Woods told Omos that Styles would bring him down.

Kingston said Styles doesn’t even know Omos. The New Day duo challenged Styles to name Omos’s favorite color, his favorite ice cream, and his favorite WWE wrestler. Styles was wrong about all three, including when he assumed that he was Omos’s favorite. Omos said it was actually Andre the Giant. Styles did an “AJ Rocks” dance to taunt New Day… [C]

A sponsored video package spotlighted the NWO… The broadcast team touted the announcement of Eric Bischoff’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame…

4. AJ Styles (w/Omos) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods). Styes and Kingston ended up at ringside. Styles hit Kingston in the throat, then ran him into the ring steps. Woods walked over to check on his partner, but Omos blocked his path. [C]

Kingston set up for Trouble In Paradise, but Styles beat him with a kick to the head. Cool spot. Kingston came back with a splash from the ropes onto Styles’ back. Styles caught Kingston in the Calf Crusher, but Kingston reached the ropes.

Styles dropkicked the knee of Kingston and then set up for his finisher, but he was distracted by Woods playing the trombone. Omos walked toward Woods. Styles still went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Kingston caught him and performed an SOS for the win…

Kofi Kingston beat AJ Styles in 13:55.

Powell’s POV: The pre-match tone was silly and downright annoying, but the actual match was fun.

Kevin Patrick caught up with Sheamus backstage and questioned why he accepted the challenge of Lashley after the war he had with McIntyre the night before. Sheamus said he lives for the fight. Patrick brought up McIntyre having his back. Sheamus said it’s called respect and said it’s something the world needs more of.

Sheamus said he didn’t ask for McIntyre’s help and didn’t need his big ego sticking his nose in his business. Riddle drove through on his scooter and asked Sheamus a bunch of silly questions. Patrick split. Riddle showed off his scooter to Sheamus, who then jabbed him in the gut with it…

Drew McIntyre made his entrance for the handicap match… [C] Phillips touted that WWE’s YouTube page has 50 billion total views…

[Hour Three] Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin made their entrance…

5. Drew McIntyre vs. Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in a handicap match. McIntyre suplexed Benjamin and got a two count in the opening minute. McIntyre brought Alexander into the ring and gave him a big backdrop. McIntyre continued to dominate until Alexander caught him with a chop block to the back of his leg. Benjamin sent McIntyre to ringside, then Alexander hit him with a suicide dive. The heels ran McIntyre into the barricade. [C]

Alexander and Benjamin double teamed McIntyre coming out of the break. McIntyre eventually put Benjamin down with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. McIntyre worked over both opponents. He took out Benjamin with a Claymore Kick. Alexander kicked McIntyre, but then McIntyre put him away with another Claymore kick and pinned him…

Drew McIntyre beat Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in 13:10 in a handicap match.

Powell’s POV: A rough couple of weeks for Alexander and Benjamin as far as WrestleMania is concerned. They lost the Raw Tag Titles last week, then lost this match and are now not allowed to be in the corner of Bobby Lashley at the big show. At the rate things are going, they’ll end up in the Andre The Giant battle royal. That said, this was a well worked match. I enjoyed it more than most handicap matches.

The broadcast team hyped the Randy Orton and Fiend segment for later in the show… [C] The broadcast team hyped WrestleMania tickets and noted that there were limited combo and single tickets remaining…

Backstage, MVP scolded Alexander and Benjamin for losing. Lashley showed up and said that since they couldn’t get the job done, he would find someone who could. Lashley entered what appeared to be the WWE 24/7 Challengers locker room. He told Akira Tozawa, Humberto Carrillo, Drew Gulak, Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, and Ricochet that if they want an opportunity to be WWE Champion then they should take out Drew McIntyre…

Powell’s POV: Those characters can’t take out R-Truth, but now they’re going to take out Drew McIntyre? Um, sure.

6. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax (w/Reginald) vs. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke in a non-title match. Lana and Naomi sat in on commentary. Reginald did a bunch of flips down the entrance ramp. Footage aired from his shopping spree. A graphic listed Braun Strowman vs. Elias for later in the show.

Reginald entered the ring and did some acrobatic moves, which Jax seemed to enjoy. Baszler pulled Rose off the apron. Reginald distracted Brooke, allowing Jax to cut her off on the ropes. Jax performed a Samoan Drop on Brooke and then pinned her. Lana and Naomi said they want a rematch with Baszler and Jax…

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax beat Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke in 2:45 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: In a shocking development, Brooke and Rose lost to Baszler and Jax again. Only this time Reginald did a bunch of flips. Joy.

Alexa Bliss was on her swing set backstage with black makeup around her eyes. She said Randy Orton wanted her out of his life, but she’s still here and so is “he.” She said you can’t always get what you want, but tonight he should be careful what he wishes for… [C]

Footage aired of Shane McMahon informing Elias that he was taking his place at Fastlane, then they cut to a clip of Strowman pinning Elias…

Shane McMahon stood in the ring with Elias and Jaxson Ryker. Shane said he would have wiped the floor with “peanut brain” Braun Strowman had it not been for his bad knee. He said the match will happen once his knee heals. Elias said something about not having time to prepare. Shane told Elias to never interrupt him again. Shane said he and Elias wrote a special song called “Braun Is Stupid.” Elias and Shane sang the song together.

Braun Stupid made his entrance. He said nothing would stop him from getting to Shane. He also said he had a song called “the man who gets these hands” for Elias… [C] A sponsored recap focused on The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18… Phillips touted Hogan and Titus O’Neil serving as the WrestleMania hosts…

7. Braun Stupid vs. Elias (w/Jaxson Ryker, Shane McMahon). Shane had his knee wrapped over his jeans (so you know his injury is serious!) and used a crutch. Stupid dumped Elias to ringside. When he tossed Elias back inside the ring, Elias attacked him. They ended up back at ringside. Stupid made a hand gesture and then the production team played a locomotive sound as he ran round the ring dishing out shoulder blocks. Back inside the ring, Stupid hit his finisher and scored the pin.

Braun Stupid defeated Elias in 3:05.

Afterward, Shane slammed the crutch over Stupid’s back, but Stupid no-sold it. Shane ran to the stage. Stupid took the mic and said Shane’s knee seemed to be fine because he had no trouble running away with his tail between his legs. Stupid asked Shane if he’s man enough to face him one on one, then challenged him to a WrestleMania match. “I accept, Braun, any match that you want,” Shane said. “I’m going to win. You know why? Because you are stupid.” Shane did his stupid dance on the stage…

Randy Orton was shown walking backstage… [C]

Powell’s POV: Reginald followed by Stupid followed by The Fiend. Why do they hate us?

The broadcast team announced the following WrestleMania Saturday matches: Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship, Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, The Miz vs. Bad Bunny. They had a technical issue and mistakenly showed Miz vs. Bunny multiple times.

The following matches were listed for WrestleMania Sunday: Roman Reigns vs. Edge for the WWE Universal Championship, and Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley for the Raw Women’s Championship.

Randy Orton made his entrance and carried a black bag with him. Orton said it felt like it was just yesterday that he watched The Fiend burn. Orton said there would be no more Bliss or Fiend after tonight. “After tonight, the bullshit comes to an end,” Orton said.

Alexa Bliss made her entrance to a distorted version of the Firefly Funhouse theme. She carried the jack in the box toy with her and set it off. The Fiend lighting wind down occurred and then the charred version of The Fiend appeared in the ring. Orton pulled a gas can out of the bag that he brought to the ring with him.

Orton poured gasoline onto The Fiend, who stood motionless. Orton grabbed a box of matches, but he ended up giving The Fiend an RKO. Bliss entered the ring. Orton stared her down. The Fiend got to his feet. Orton charged at him, but The Fiend applied the Mandible Claw, then gave him Sister Abigail. Bliss laughed, then pointed at the WrestleMania sign. Fire pyro shot up around the WrestleMania sign. The Fiend and Bliss struck crucifix poses while the fire balls continued.

The broadcast team recapped the segment. A graphic for Randy Orton vs. The Fiend was shown for WrestleMania. Fiend and Bliss looked at one another. A graphic listed Rhea Ripley, Sheamus, and Braun Stupid for Raw Talk to close the show…

Powell’s POV: The final segment was painless compared to some of the nonsense we’ve seen from that program. There was no indication as to whether Fiend and Orton will have a cinematic match or more of a traditional match. Overall, Raw ran out of gas (pun intended) in the third hour. I will have more to say about the show in 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 (1)

  1. Patrick Peralta March 22, 2021 @ 11:52 pm

    Those characters can’t take out R-Truth.

    acctually they can take out R-Truth and be 24/7 Champ all of 1 minute before loseing it again.

    the other question are the Cops at the donut shop. Orton tries to set the Fiend on fire and not Refs, fake security or local Cops come down to stop him.

    but if someone like Drew McIntyire …tried that the entire lockerroom ,local Cops , indy security and Refs would rush down to calm him down and try to stop him.

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