By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,503)
Live from Jacksonville, Florida at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
Aired March 14, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] Raw opened with a memorial graphic for Scott Hall…
Highlights aired of Kevin Owens inviting Steve Austin to be a guest on his WrestleMania talkshow, followed by the video that Austin released to accept the invitation… The broadcast team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton…
Kevin Owens made his entrance and delivered an in-ring promo. “Hey, yo,” Owens started in tribute to Scott Hall. Owens turned the focus to his WrestleMania segment with Austin. He said no one would say “oh, hell yeah” at the end of the segment, they’d be saying “oh, hell no” after he beats the hell out of Austin. Owens kicked a cameraman who was in the ring and then left him lying with a Stunner…
U.S. Champion Finn Balor made his entrance for a match against Damian Priest heading into a commercial break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Sean Waltman confirmed via Twitter that the WWE report regarding the death of Scott Hall is accurate. I assumed the worst when Michael Hayes issued his condolences via social media just minutes before the show started. I have a separate story on the main page, but I once again want to offer my condolences to his friends, family, and fans.
Damian Priest made his entrance coming out of the break. Just as the referee was about to start the match, Austin Theory made his entrance. A video package recapped Theory’s storyline with WrestleMania opponent Pat McAfee…
1. U.S. Champion Finn Balor vs. Damian Priest in a non-title match. Austin Theory sat in on commentary. Priest took Balor to ringside and gave him a crucifix bomb onto the broadcast table. [C]
Balor battled back and had Priest down in the ring. Balor started to go up top for his finisher, but Theory stood up and distracted him. Balor fought off Priest, then went to the floor and threw a dropkick at Theory. Balor returned to the ring where Priest immediately hit The Reckoning and scored the pin.
Damian Priest defeated U.S. Champion Finn Balor in 7:35 in a non-title match.
After the match, Theory entered the ring and performed the ATL finisher on Balor after Priest headed to the back. Theory took selfie photos while kneeling in front of Balor…
An angry Seth Rollins was staring into space in the backstage area when Kevin Patrick approached him and asked if he was still not part of WrestleMania. Rollins glared at Patrick until he walked away…
Omos made his entrance for a match against Commander Azeez… [C]
Powell’s POV: I assume the Priest win sets him up with a rematch for the U.S. Championship at WrestleMania since they don’t do automatic rematches in most cases these days. I also assume that Omos vs. Azeez will be more of an angle than a match, because that’s one you’d think they would make a big fuss over in advance rather than just throwing it out there without advertising it ahead of time.
Commander Azeez and Apollo Crews made their entrance coming out of the break…
2. Omos vs. Commander Azeez (w/Apollo Crews). The match was billed by the broadcast team and a graphic as The Battle of the Giants. The wrestlers looked each other up and down and then locked up. Omos eventually knocked Azeez out of the ring with a shoulder block. Azeez returned to the ring and was clotheslined back to ringside.
Crews distracted Omos, allowing Azeez to clotheslined Omos over the top rope. Azeez performed a splash in the corner and set up for a suplex, but Omos countered into a slam. Omos performed his finisher and scored the pin.
Omos defeated Commander Azeez in 2:00.
After the match, Omos reached over the ropes and pulled Crews into the bring by his head. Omos hit Crews with his finisher. Graves said there’s not a man on earth who can hang with Omos…
Powell’s POV: Well, color me surprised. I’m baffled by their decision not to advertise the spectacle match in advance. That said, it did leave me wondering if they have someone else in mind to face Omos at WrestleMania or if it’s as simple as him winning the annual battle royal.
Backstage, Kevin Owens tried to give Seth Rollins a pep talk by telling him that he would help him come up with something for WrestleMania. Rollins didn’t looked pleased initially, but then he acted like a lightbulb went off. Rollins stopped Owens from talking, then smiled and excitedly walked away…
Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley made their entrance for Morgan’s match against Queen Zelina… [C] As Zelina and Carmella made their entrance, a pre-tape aired with Zelina calling out Carmella for being distracted ever since her reality show started. She told her that she needed to focus on their tag titles…
3. Liv Morgan (w/Rhea Ripley) vs. Queen Zelina (w/Carmella). Early in the match, Zelina caught Morgan with a running knee and covered her for a two count. Morgan came back and went to the ropes, but she was distracted by Carmella, which allowed Zelina to powerbomb Morgan.
Ripley walked toward Carmella, who ran and jumped into the arms of Corey Graves, who was seated at the broadcast table. In the ring, Morgan hit her Oblivion finisher on Zelina and pinned her.
Liv Morgan defeated Queen Zelina in 2:55.
After the match, Zelina glared at Carmella, who was still seated on the lap of Graves…
Seth Rollins made his entrance while the women from the previous match were still in the ring. Rollins entered the ring and danced around while Morgan and Ripley made their exit… [C]
An ad for NXT 2.0 hyped a special edition of Miz TV with new NXT Champion Dolph Ziggler…
Powell’s POV: More of the same with Zelina getting upset with her partner for putting her relationship with Graves ahead of their tag team. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if Miz and Ziggler being advertised for NXT leads to a ratings boost for the Tuesday night show.
The broadcast team hyped Austin 3:16 Day and the release of Broken Skull American Lager beer for Wednesday… Highlights aired of Roman Reigns leaving Brock Lesnar lying at the recent Madison Square Garden live event, along with footage from Smackdown of Lesnar chasing Paul Heyman out of the building…
Seth Rollins stood in the ring and told the crowd that he had a plan to get himself to WrestleMania. He said he thought all hope was lost after he and Kevin Owens failed to win the Raw Tag Titles. He credited Owens with reminding him of who he is.
[Hour Two] Rollins called for Kevin Owens to join him in the ring while explaining that he wanted his best friend to share in the moment. Owens made his entrance and joined Rollins inside the ring. Rollins hyped Owens’ talkshow with Steve Austin at WrestleMania.
Rollins asked what if he also had a talkshow and his guest was Steve Austin. Owens told him that he couldn’t have a talkshow and added that Austin would be his guest at WrestleMania. Rollins said Owens was right, there could only be one talkshow at WrestleMania.
Rollins challenged Owens to a match with the winner hosting the talkshow and having Austin as a guest. Owens told him no. Owens said the talkshow with Austin was his idea, and he told Rollins to get his own idea.
Sonya Deville walked out and said she liked Rollins’ idea. She booked Owens vs. Rollins and said that if Rollins wins, he would replace Owens at WrestleMania. Rollins celebrated the news while Owens showed his frustration…
Powell’s POV: Cody Watch 2022 continues.
Highlights aired of the recent segments involving The Miz, Logan Paul, and the Mysterios…
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance for a rematch against Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin… [C]
The WrestleMania 38 video aired. We are 19 days away from the two-night event…
Jacksonville imagery was shown. Jimmy Smith said the city has great weather and great sports teams, and added that Byron Saxton once worked in Jacksonville…
Powell’s POV: They often show images of the local sports teams, but I think we all know why they didn’t show the Jacksonville Jaguars any love. Funny.
Owens was shown pleading his case to Deville in the backstage area…
4. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. “The Hurt Business” Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. The Hurt Business entrance was not televised. The Miz and Logan Paul made their entrance before the opening bell and sat in on commentary for the match. Miz said Paul is ready for their WrestleMania match.
Late in the match, Rey performed a huracanrana on Alexander that caused Alexander to knock his partner off the apron. Rey and Dom hit a double 619 on Alexander. Rey dove onto Benjamin on the floor. Dom pointed at the WrestleMania sign and then performed a frogsplash on Alexander and pinned him to win the match.
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio defeated Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in 3:25.
Afterward, The Miz and Logan Paul attacked Rey and Dom. Miz grabbed Rey from behind. Rey kicked Paul and then sent Miz to ringside. The Mysterios surrounded Paul. He tried to escape, but they both caught him with kicks. Rey and Dom set up for a double 619, but Miz pulled Paul to safety at ringside…
Powell’s POV: It looks like they just teased us with the payoff to the WrestleMania match. Regardless of which team wins, you have to think that Logan Paul will be taking a double 619 either during or after the match.
A video package recapped Edge’s promo from last week’s show. Edge was listed as coming up next… The broadcast team hyped the WWE 2K22 video game… [C]
Sharmell’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame was touted by the broadcast team. Saxton said she would be inducted by husband Booker T…
Edge made his entrance with the same video technique that was used last week. An audio track played with him saying: “You think you know me? You never did.” It was followed by laughter and then he came out to a different Alter Bridge song than his previous theme by the same band.
Edge stood in the ring and said he’s the benchmark of WWE. He told the fans that it’s above their capability to understand what he’s become. He said he would put things in terms they could understand. Edge said he’s better than everyone. He said he’s better than the fans.
Edge said he’s better than every single person in the entire industry. He also said the fans don’t matter to him. He said that in trying to appease them, he took his eye off the prize. He blamed the fans for Randy Orton injuring his triceps, for Seth Rollins to break into his home, and for Roman Reigns to stack pin him at WrestleMania.
Edge said AJ Styles would leave that Edge in the dust. Edge declared that Edge as dead. He said he won’t be judged by the fans, anyone in the locker room, or AJ Styles. Edge called it a big if that Styles makes it to WrestleMania. Edge said that if Styles makes it, it will be two generational talents meeting on the grandest stage of them all. Edge closed by saying that if Styles makes it, then Styles will be judged…
Highlights aired from two weeks ago of Bianca Belair whipping Becky Lynch with her hair…
Backstage, Belair was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber, who asked about Belair’s hair being an advantage in the ring. Belair said it is an advantage, but he only used it after Lynch tried to wrap it around the ropes.
Belair said Raw has been so peaceful since she cracked Lynch’s throat and she can’t run her mouth. Belair spoke about facing Doudrop and then made her entrance for the match… [C]
An ad for Smackdown hyped a Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns confrontation… In a shocker, Veer Mahaan is “coming to Raw”… Doudrop and Nikki ASH made their entrance. A pre-tape aired with Doudrop daring Belair to do to her what she did to Becky Lynch…
5. Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop (w/Nikki ASH). Doudrop had Belair down against the ringside barricade. Doudrop went for a cannonball, but Belair moved. [C] In the end, Belair powered up Doudrop and hit the KOD before pinning her.
Bianca Belair defeated Doudrop in 7:00.
After the match, Becky Lynch attacked Belair. She ran her into the ring steps and then slammed her head onto the broadcast table. Lynch set up a chair and then slammed Belair’s face onto it. Lynch wrapped the chair around Belair’s head and then pulled on her braid, causing her to slam into the ring post…
Powell’s POV: I’m surprised we haven’t seen Lynch make a play to remove Belair’s braid. We get it, Belair can perform her KOD finisher on Doudrop. It’s really impressive, but we just saw her do it two weeks ago, so it didn’t pack a punch this time around. I wonder if Doudrop and ASH are going to be additional challengers in the WWE Women’s Tag Title match at WrestleMania?
A video package recapped the Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey parking garage angle from Friday’s Smackdown…
Raw Tag Team Champions “RK-Bro” Randy Orton and Riddle made their entrance for their championship celebration… A sponsored ad featured Steve Austin beating Shawn Michaels with Mike Tyson as the special referee at WrestleMania 14… [C]
[Hour Three] A video package recapped Orton and Riddle winning last week’s Triple Threat. Orton and Riddle stood in the ring where there were some balloons and a table with popcorn and soda on it and a homemade sign with “RK-Bro” written on it. Riddle touted that they were going to WrestleMania.
Orton said this will be his 18th WrestleMania appearance and it will be the first time that he goes in as a tag team champion and once again labeled Riddle a friend. Orton recalled Riddle throwing a party the last time they won the titles. He said he returned the favor, but he’s not exactly a party planner, but he tried and said that’s what counts.
Riddle said it was the coolest night of his career. Riddle wondered if Orton got the popcorn from a gourmet place in Jacksonville. Orton said it was from the concession stand. Riddle pointed out that Orton also got him gum. Orton pointed out that there was one additional gift in a small bag.
“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins made their entrance. Ford said they came all the way to Duval to congratulate the new Raw Tag Team Champions. Riddle invited them to join the party.
The Profits entered the ring. Ford said they weren’t there to party. He pointed out that the Profits beat RK-Bro on Raw two weeks ago. Ford challenged RK-Bro to a tag title match at WrestleMania.
Orton asked if they had any idea what they had to do to get the titles back. He spoke about jumping through hoops and even having to win a spelling bee. Orton told them to have some popcorn, but he said the answer to the challenge was no.
Ford said they were way past asking for opportunities. Ford said he and Dawkins were telling Orton and Riddle that they were facing them at WrestleMania. Orton told them to turn around and leave or he would listen to the voices in his head and make them leave.
Riddle stepped between Orton and the Profits. Riddle said the Profits made a good point because they did beat them in a match. Riddle said they had to face someone at WrestleMania and said it was the right thing to do. Orton and Riddle spoke off-mic.
Orton told the Profits they were lucky that Riddle was so cool. Orton said they accept the tag title match challenge. Ford said maybe next time they come to Duval, they can show them how to throw a party that’s not so much ass.
The Profits tried to leave, but Riddle stopped them and said not to disrespect Orton. Riddle said he thought they were cool. He said he didn’t want to wait until WrestleMania. Dawkins said that if Riddle wanted a match with Ford, he could have it. The Profits tried to close with their catchphrase, but Orton cut them off and delivered the RK-Bro closing instead… [C]
Powell’s POV: It seemed flawed that Orton was excited about defending the titles at WrestleMania, yet didn’t want to accept the challenge issued by the Profits. It led to Riddle actually coming off as the voice of reason. On the plus side, they did create some tension between the teams despite the silly circumstances.
A tweet graphic from AJ Styles was shown. He said he would be back on Raw next week and took jabs at Edge’s “stupid haircut” and dramatic lighting…
6. Riddle (w/Randy Orton) vs. Montez Ford (w/Angelo Dawkins). Smith said the match was made official during the commercial break. A few minutes into the match, Riddle went for a German suplex on the floor, but Ford landed on his feet. Ford went to the apron and hit Riddle with a leaping clothesline on the floor. [C]
Late in the match, Riddle dropped Ford with an RKO, but he was too spent to go for the pin. Meanwhile, Otis attacked Orton, and Chad Gable attacked Dawkins at ringside. Riddle went for a springboard move, but Otis grabbed him, pulled him to ringside, and ran him awkwardly into the barricade for the DQ.
Riddle fought Montez Ford to an apparent no-contest in 9:40.
Gable and Otis entered the ring. They performed a wicked clothesline and German suplex combo move on Dawkins. Otis splashed Ford, then Gable followed up with a moonsault onto Ford. The Alpha Academy duo stood tall and pointed at the WrestleMania sign while the other two teams were laid out…
Powell’s POV: I’m really happy to see Alpha Academy weren’t just bumped out of the tag title picture now that WrestleMania is here. They deserve a good spot on the show. Of course, it does make the story of Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins not having a spot on the WrestleMania card seem flawed when Alpha Academy lost the same Triple Threat tag title match that they did. Hopefully creative will fill that potential logic gap by having Orton and Riddle demand that Alpha Academy are added to the match.
The broadcast team spoke about the death of Scott “Razor Ramon” Hall. A Hall video package aired. A “Razor” chant broke out in the crowd…
Kevin Owens made his entrance for the main event… [C] A video package recapped the Owens and Rollins drama… Rollins was interviewed by Kevin Patrick, and said he was about to punch his ticket to WrestleMania… Rollins made his entrance… [C]
The broadcast team recapped highlights of Becky Lynch attacking Bianca Belair. They said Belair suffered “throat trauma” but said they didn’t know the extent of it…
7. Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins for the right to host the WrestleMania talkshow segment. Rollins rolled up Owens for a quick one count to start the match. Rollins controlled the bulk of the offense until Owens stuffed his suicide dive attempt. Owens performed a fallaway slam into the barricade and then performed a senton on the floor. [C]
Owens dominated the action coming out of the break and picked up multiple near falls. Owens targeted one of Rollins’ knees. Rollins performed a springboard flying knee. Rollins used the ropes to pull himself up and then tossed Owens to the floor before hitting him with a suicide dive.
Rollins hit another suicide dive that sent Owens over the broadcast table. Graves said Rollins’ lower back hit the table in the process. Owens beat the referee’s count only to eat a superkick. Rollins splashed Owens from the top rope for a good near fall.
“I need this, Kevin,” Rollins barked. He placed Owens on the top rope in a seated position, but Owens countered into a suplex from the ropes. Owens covered Rollins for a near fall. Owens went for a Swanton, but Rollins put his knees up. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.
Owens clotheslined Rollins. Owens went for a Stunner, but Rollins stuffed it and ended up picking up a near fall after the referee was late getting into position. Rollins bickered with the referee. Rollins went for a Stomp that Owens avoided. Owens kicked Rollins and Stunned him before pinning him.
Kevin Owens defeated Seth Rollins in 16:20.
After the match, Rollins looked up at the WrestleMania sign while sitting in the ring. Smith said Rollins would be watching the most stupendous WrestleMania of all-time from home…
Powell’s POV: And the Cody Watch 2022 really continues. Wow. The main event was entertaining even if the stipulation was ridiculous. Yes, it made sense for Rollins to try to get a spot at WrestleMania, but there was no reason to think that he would actually take over the interview with Steve Austin when it’s been Owens who has been heeling on Texas all along. If nothing else, it kept Rollins in the main event and potentially kept some viewers watching to see if Cody Rhodes would show up.
Overall, this was another solid show on the road to WrestleMania. I will have a lot more to say in my weekly same night audio review of Raw for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
So much for just an angle.I think it’s pretty obvious they have zero plans for Commander Azeez and alot more planned for Omos.
I’m waiting for the inevitable heel turn by Riddle where he drops some of the bro stuff and feuds with Orton.
So Riddle would be the heel?
I love it!I hope it happens!
I’ve been hoping for Riddle to turn heel ever since he teamed up with Orton, because an Orton heel turn is way too obvious and too much of a cliché.
A new Edge (if you can call him that) with new music suggests to me that Styles won’t be getting another push after all. Rather, Edge will be getting a credible opponent (even though Styles has been made to look like an idiot and a loser ever since his move to Raw) to show off this new side.
No way in hell Seth wins this match right?We’re still three weeks out,but Owens has to win here and then out comes “Dashing Stardust!”
If Cody does actually show up in WWE, I’d like to see him play his “real” self as the narcissistic EVP who thinks the world should revolve around him. Lean fully into that perception, maybe all the way down to chastising fans for booing him when they cheer HHH for doing the same thing.
Seth should have challenged Becky Lynch to a ‘Who Wears The Pants’ match at wrestlemania. Oh wait… Becky’s already in a match. It would have been a better match than giving away spots to a commentator, a celebrity and a jackass.
TGO – I’d normally tell you to shut up in a creative way.. But in addition to my sister being diagnosed with Cancer and Scott Hall dying.. I am so not in the mood.
But Riddle as a heel, who said that? I booked that on EWR.. he gets lost in the shuffle quick.. So many heels want a piece of Orton.
Scott, I’m so sorry your sister got diagnosed with cancer. Sending positive thoughts your way.
I echo those sentiments. Stay strong, Scott.
Commentators dropping the Cody Rhodes Easter eggs to close the show. “Seth Rollins Wrestlemania dreams dashed. It’s his worst nightmare.”