3/21 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s live review of the return of AJ Styles, Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch addresses her attack on Bianca Belair, Raw Tag Champs Randy Orton and Riddle vs. Chad Gable and Otis in a non-title match, U.S. Champion Finn Balor vs. Austin Theory in a non-title match

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,504)
Live from Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena
Aired March 21, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] Steve Austin’s entrance theme opened the show. The crowd popped huge. Kevin Owens made his entrance dressed as Austin with a bald cap on. He headed to the ring and struck Austin’s pose while the broadcast team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in. Once in the ring, Owens impersonated Austin while asking the now angry crowd to give him a hell yeah if they were ready to see him open a can of whoop ass.

Owens gave the crowd the “what?” treatment. They responded by changing “you suck.” Owens continued to impersonate Austin while saying that everything Owens said about Texas was true. He said he didn’t do much thinking when he was challenged to appear on the KO Show. “That’s the problem, I don’t do a lot of thinking these days. The lights are on, but is anybody home? Nah-uh.” A “we want Austin” chant broke out. Owens called them the stupidest sons of bitches he’s ever seen.

Austin’s entrance music played again. Owens struck a fighting pose, then started laughing. The fans booed again. “What’s that saying, fool you once, shame on you,” Owens said. “Fool you twice, shame on, well, you for being absolute idiots. And that’s the bottom line because Stone Cold said so.” Owens had a crew member toss him a can of beer, which he dropped. He crew member threw him a second beer and he dropped that can too.

Owens called for Austin’s entrance theme to stop playing. Owens blamed the “bald bastard” for not throwing him the beer properly, then assumed the guy was from Chicago. Owens had the crew member bring him a beer. Owens told the man to leave, but then turned around, kicked him, and gave him a Stunner. Owens took the two cans of beer, toasted, and poured them onto the man. Owens tossed one of the cans onto the stage, then walked over the man. Owens struck the Austin pose on the ropes…

Powell’s POV: I love it. Owens was a blast and got tremendous heat from the live crowd. The fans went from thinking they were getting Austin to being pissed to then being excited again when Austin’s music played a second time to then realizing they’d been duped twice. What a great troll job. Most importantly, it made me look forward to the real thing at WrestleMania.

Highlights aired of last week’s segments involving Owens and Seth Rollins…

Seth Rollins was interviewed by Kevin Patrick, who noted that Rollins was not going to WrestleMania. A “Cody” chant broke out. Rollins was stone-faced initially, but then he started to laugh maniacally. Rollins took the mic from Patrick and said he was going to borrow it…

Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance. The broadcast team hyped their match against Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode for after the commercial break… [C] The broadcast team hyped the Mysterios vs. The Miz and Logan Paul for WrestleMania by recapping recent highlights…

Ziggler and Roode made their entrance, and The Miz’s music hit and he accompanied them to ringside. Ziggler wore the NXT Title belt to the ring, and Graves plugged the NXT 2.0 television show…

1. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. NXT Champion Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. The Miz sat in on commentary and claimed he was there to scout his WrestleMania opponents. The Mysterios cleared their opponents to ringside and then performed stereo suicide dives.

Seth Rollins’ entrance music played and he walked out with a mic in his hand. Rollins said the show wouldn’t move another second until the world heard what he had to say. Rollins said he wanted a WrestleMania spot and he would get one. Rollins said he wanted a spot on the card that would live forever. His mic cut out a couple of times and then cut out for good. [C]

When they came back from the break, Rey and Ziggler were fighting in the ring and Rollins was no longer on the stage. Dom eventually hit a 619 on Roode. Dom followed up with a frogsplash and pinned Roode…

Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio beat Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode in 9:25.

After the match, Ziggler superkicked Dom. Ziggler ran to ringside and was chased by Rey. Miz hit Rey and then put him down with a Skull Crushing Finale on the floor. The Miz ripped the mask off of Rey’s head. Rey covered up his face while Miz held up the mask. Dom gave his father a towel to cover his face while the broadcast team spoke about how disrespectful that is to a luchador…

Powell’s POV: The match was fine even though the only mystery regarding the outcome came from Miz being at ringside. Miz pulling Rey’s mask off drew good heat.

Backstage, Rollins spoke with Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville and assumed they cut his mic. Pearce told Rollins that what he was doing wouldn’t get him what he wanted. Rollins called them buffoons. Deville pointed out that she gave him a chance to take Kevin Owens’ spot and he failed. Pearce asked Rollins to calm down and said may be there was something they could do. Rollins laughed at that and walked away…

Highlights of Brock Lesnar’s segment from Smackdown were teased for after the break… [C]

The Miz was talking on the phone with his wife backstage while holding up Rey’s mask when Kevin Patrick interrupted him for an interview. Miz said Logan Paul wanted a Rey mask when he was a kid. He said you should never meet your heroes because now Logan knows that Rey and his son are jerks. Miz bragged that he humiliated the Mysterios. Miz said he was going to clean the mask and dared Logan Paul to wear it next week on Raw…

The Smackdown Breakdown recap video aired and spotlighted the Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns angle…

Saxton announced that Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns will both appear on next week’s Raw… Omos made his entrance for a handicap match against Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez… [C]

2. Omos vs. Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez in a handicap match. The Crews and Azeez entrance was televised. Before the match, Azeez distracted Omos and then Crews dropkicked Azeez from behind. Omos ended up grabbing them both by the throat at ringside. Azeez broke free and shoved Omos into the ring post.

The match officially started once everyone was inside the ring. Omos slammed Azeez using one arm. Crews leapt from the ropes and as caught by Omos, who hoisted him up and dropped him. Omos put Azeez down with a big boot to the head. Omos grabbed Crews, pointed at Azeez, and told him that it was his fault. Crews ended up stack covering and pinning both men at the same time.

Omos beat Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez in a handicap match in 2:45.

After the match, Omos got a mic and said it didn’t matter how big or how many there are, he’s undefeated and unstoppable. Omos said anyone who has the balls to step up to him on Raw or at WrestleMania will be dominated…

Powell’s POV: Dominated. Get it? While they are doing a good job of spotlighting Omos, I am a little disappointed that Azeez is being sacrificed to him. Azeez has good size and showed good potential while working as Babatunde. It’s obviously not his time, so hopefully they can repackage him.

A video package recapped Edge’s promo from last week… AJ Styles made his entrance to a good reaction… [C]

[Hour Two] Styles delivered an in-ring promo. He said he had time on his hands the last two weeks and that can be a dangerous thing. He said he watched the footage of Edge attacking him repeatedly and didn’t want to spend time with his wife and children. Styles said he wasn’t looking for answers. He said he didn’t care why. He said Edge wanted the pitbull and he’ll give it to him, but he didn’t have to wait until WrestleMania.

Seth Rollins made his entrance instead and joined Styles in the ring. Another round of “Cody” chants broke out. Rollins told the crowd to settle down. He said rumors are fun, but they don’t making moments, and he’s living for his WrestleMania moment.

Rollins told Styles that he’s concerned about him. He questioned if Styles is capable of fighting Edge at WrestleMania. He told him to go home with his wife and children, get 100 percent, and then come back after WrestleMania. Rollins said he wanted to end the career of Edge at WrestleMania, just like he should have done in Hell in a Cell.

Styles said he would be facing Edge at WrestleMania as long as he was able to walk. Rollins questioned if he would be able to take Styles’ spot if he couldn’t walk. Styles said he saw that Rollins was trying to do the same thing that he did to Kevin Owens last week. Styles told him that he was delusional if he thought he was going to give up his WrestleMania spot. Styles said he’s going to do what Rollins couldn’t do by destroying Edge and then they could get back to their thing.

Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville walked onto the stage. Pearce said he was giving Rollins one last chance. Pearce that if Rollins can beat Styles during the show, then he’ll replace Styles at WrestleMania. Rollins got excited. Styles dropped him with a punch. Rollins quickly rolled to ringside, then started laughing maniacally again…

Backstage, Carmella was texting on her phone while Queen Zelina called her out for having a lack of focus. Carmella said Zelina didn’t seem to have her back. Zelina brought up the four-way match, which Carmella blew off. Zelina took the phone out of Carmella’s hand and tossed it. Carmella slapped Zelina, and then they fought on the ground until they were pulled apart by two producers and a referee…

Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley made their entrance for a tag team match against Shayna Baszler and Natalya… [C]

Powell’s POV: It was interesting to hear Rollins respond to the crowd’s “Cody” chants for the first time. There wasn’t much mystery regarding the outcome of last week’s match involving Rollins and Owens, and there’s even less with Rollins vs. Styles. But despite the bad storyline, Rollins and Owens had an entertaining match and I assume Rollins and Styles can do the same. Meanwhile, the more they drive a wedge between Carmella and Zelina, the more I start to question whether it’s a swerve and they will somehow end up retaining the tag titles at WrestleMania. Either way, I just wish I cared more about that match than I do.

Smith touted that WWE has over 86 million YouTube subscribers…

Backstage, Styles told Pearce that he sucks in his management position and said he hasn’t heard good things about Deville either. He said he would take care of Rollins…

3. Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler and Natalya. The entrances of Baszler and Natalya were not televised. Carmella stormed to ringside a couple minutes into the match and vented to Graves about being attacked by Zelina.

In the ring, the heel duo isolated Morgan. When she tried to tag out, Baszler pulled Ripley off the apron. Natalya and Baszler teamed up for a Hart Attack Clothesline on Morgan and then pinned her.

Shayna Baszler and Natalya beat Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley in 3:55.

After the match, Zelina entered the ring and hit Ripley with her scepter. Carmella took out Natalya and Baszler at ringside. Carmella entered the ring and had a staredown with Zelina. Suddenly, they smiled and then hugged…

Powell’s POV: Well, that didn’t take long. I’m back to assuming Zelina and Carmella drop the titles at WrestleMania. The makeshift challenger teams have no momentum heading into the match, which oddly makes it tough to predict which of those teams will win the titles.

Highlights aired from last week’s Raw of Becky Lynch attacking Bianca Belair. The broadcast team gave the worked injury update on Belair, then Lynch made her entrance… [C]

The WrestleMania 38 video aired. We are 12 days away from the two-night event…

Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch sat on a chair in the ring coming out of the break and asked what it profits a man to gain the world and lose his soul. Lynch recalled being forced to give up her championship (due to pregnancy) and said it became agonizing without it to the point that she knew she would do whatever it took to regain “my precious.” Lynch said she is power, glory, and the prize at the top of the mountain.

Lynch said that when she came back and the fans chose Belair over her, she knew that she would sell her soul to keep her championship. She said Belair didn’t mean to injure her, but she intended to injure Belair. “An eye for an eye, a throat for a throat,” Lynch said.

Lynch said he wanted to take Belair’s hair this week, but Belair wasn’t in the building. Lynch said Belair doesn’t want to lose her soul. Lynch said she already sold her own soul and would do it again. She went back to her opening question and said she would show Belair and everyone else if Belair makes it to WrestleMania…

Powell’s POV: Lynch and Belair need a strong go-home segment. This was a good promo and I’m sure the match will be strong, but it just doesn’t feel like they’ve found their groove with this storyline, perhaps in part to both women missing shows during the build.

Austin Theory was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber in the backstage area. He said he would beat Pat McAfee at WrestleMania. He said that if he went to his mentor Mr. McMahon, then McAfee might not have a job as a commentator anymore. Schreiber turned the focus to Theory’s match against Finn Balor. He said he had so many selfies of Balor knocked out on his phone that he’s running out of space on his phone. Theory said he had just enough room for one more photo. He made his entrance for his match against Balor… [C]

A Veer Mahaan teaser aired. Yes, he’s still, er, wait a minute. Veer is coming to Raw on April 4!!!…

Finn Balor made his entrance. Just as the Balor vs. Theory match was about to start, Mike Rome announced that Pat McAfee was the special guest commentator…

4. U.S. Champion Finn Balor vs. Austin Theory in a non-title match. McAfee came out and sat in on commentary. Theory was dumped to ringside where McAfee distracted him. Balor took advantage of it and dropkicked Theory into the barricade. [C]

Theory was in offensive control when McAfee stood up and pounded on the mat in support of Balor. Theory was distracted, which led to Balor taking offensive control briefly. Theory threw Balor to ringside and slammed his head on the broadcast table. “This will be you at WrestleMania,” Theory told McAfee. However, Balor slammed Theory’ head onto the table.

Back inside the ring, Theory avoided the Coup De Grace. Theory threw punches at Balor. McAfee climbed onto the apron and distracted Theory again. Theory hoisted up Balor for his finisher, but Theory stuffed it and then threw kicks at Theory. Balor set up for a move, but Theory came back and got another near fall. McAfee provided another distraction, and then Balor caught Theory in an inside cradle for the win…

U.S. Champion Finn Balor beat Austin Theory in 7:55 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: The match actually made it look like Theory was better than Balor, who needed the outside interference that McAfee provided. I wonder if we’ll get something with Damian Priest to officially set up the U.S. Title match tonight or if they’ll save that for next week.

The broadcast team hyped RK-Bro vs. Alpha Academy vs. The Street Profits in a Triple Threat for the Raw Tag Titles for WrestleMania Sunday… Randy Orton and Riddle made their entrance for a match against Alpha Academy… [C]

A sponsored recap showed Rob Gronkowski hopping the guardrail at WrestleMania in 2017 and then hitting Jinder Mahal with a shoulder block…

[Hour Three] Chad Gable and Otis made their entrance. Gable delivered a promo on his way to the ring. He said that RK-Bro screwed up their odds by turning the tag title match at WrestleMania into a Triple Threat match, and said he and Otis would retain the titles…

4. Raw Tag Team Champions “RK-Bro” Randy Orton and Riddle vs. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis in a non-title match. Gable and Otis were in offensive control heading into a an early break. [C]

An ad aired for the WWE Evil series dropping on March 24. Late in the match, Gable went for a suplex, but Riddle landed on his feet. Riddle drilled Gable with a knee to the head and then hit Bro Derek and pinned him clean.

Raw Tag Team Champions “RK-Bro” Randy Orton and Riddle beat “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis in 7:45 in a non-title match.

Afterward, Otis attacked Riddle while Orton was down at ringside. Otis went to the ropes and set up for a splash, but “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins ran out and stopped him. The teamed up for an assisted DDT move on Gable.

The Profits checked on Riddle, then Dawkins put him down with a spinebuster. Ford went up top and performed a frogsplash on Riddle. Dawkins pointed to the WrestleMania sign. Ford stood on the ropes and played to a quiet crowd…

Powell’s POV: The crowd was hot for the match and the Profits making the save afterward, but they didn’t seem to know what to think of the Profits attacking Riddle.

Highlights aired of an online skit that saw Reggie help Dana Brooke avoid being pinned by Tamina, Akira Tozawa, and R-Truth. Tamina ended up on top of Tozawa. It looked like she was going to kiss him, but instead she yelled that he let them get away…

WWE 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke and Reggie made their entrance to a flat reaction. Graves said they would face Tamina and Tozawa in a tornado tag match…

A Women’s History Month video spotlighted Nikki Bella and Brie Bella… [C] The broadcast team touted Gable Steveson winning back to back NCAA Heavyweight Wrestling Championships… Tozawa and Tamina made their entrances…

5. WWE 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke and Reggie vs. Akira Tozawa and Tamina in a tornado tag match. Before the match, a skit aired with Tamina telling Tozawa that she wants what he wants, then telling him she wants the title. She told him to make it happen. In the ring, Tozawa was whipped into Tamina in the corner. Brooke did her usual handspring move on both opponents, then Tamina fell head-first onto Tozawa’s balls. Reggie hit Tozawa with his finisher and pinned him…

WWE 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke and Reggie beat Akira Tozawa and Tamina in 1:05 in a tornado tag match.

Powell’s POV: The live crowd was really quiet during this match. It’s as if they’d seen the joke before.

The broadcast team recapped the opening segment with Kevin Owens impersonating Steve Austin… AJ Styles made his entrance for his match against Seth Rollins… [C]

The following matches and segments were advertised for next week’s Raw in Pittsburgh: Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns appear, The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy, and Liv Morgan, Rhea Ripley, Sasha Banks, and Naomi vs. Queen Zelina, Carmella, Natalya, and Shayna Baszler, and The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio…

Seth Rollins made his entrance and they cut to a guy wearing a CM Punk t-shirt dancing to the Rollins’ theme…

6. AJ Styles vs. Seth Rollins. The winner will face Edge at WrestleMania. Styles dumped Rollins to ringside early. Styles hit Rollins with a flying forearm. [C] Styles set up for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Rollins shoved the ropes to sent Styles to ringside. Rollins hit Styles with a suicide dive. [C]

Rollins was in control out of the break. He told Styles that he likes him and he wants him to go home and be with his family. Rollins slapped Styles and said he needs this. Styles fired back and they traded strikes in the middle of the ring. Styles got the better of it and clotheslined Rollins and took control. A “this is awesome” chant started.

Styles set up for his finisher, but Rollins avoided it and hit him with a falcon arrow for a near fall. Rollins went for a buckle bomb, but Styles stuffed it and suplexed Rollins into the corner. Styles came back and picked up a nice near fall of his own.

Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Rollins caught him with a superkick. Rollins performed a buckle bomb. Rollins went up top and tried to splash Styles, who put his knees up. Styles went to the apron for his finisher again. Rollins went after him, but Styles punched him. Suddenly, Edge hit Styles from behind with a chair for the disqualification.

AJ Styles defeated Seth Rollins by DQ in 22:45.

After the match, Edge smiled and then slammed the chair over Styles’ back. Edge laughed as he backed his way up the ramp. Rollins was upset over the way he lost the match and it supposedly being his last chance to earn a spot on the WrestleMania card. Rollins went over to the broadcast table and was censored twice. Another loud “Cody” chant broke out.

Rollins stood on top of the broadcast table and looked at the WrestleMania sign. “This is bullshit,” Rollins said, but he was censored again. Rollins said next week’s Raw won’t happen until he gets his WrestleMania moment. Rollins threw a fit and was censored more. He tipped the broadcast table on its side and then tore the ring steps apart. He grabbed the ring post casing and slammed it onto the side of the broadcast table. Rollins looked up at the WrestleMania sign to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A good main event and an example of a good disqualification finish. I like that Rollins didn’t take another clean loss, and I like that Edge protected his match by getting Rollins disqualified so that he can have his match with Styles at WrestleMania. It also gives Rollins a beef with Edge if they want to go back to that at some point. By the way, why are they censoring “bullshit” at roughly 10CT/11ET?

The main event was good, but the show peaked with Kevin Owens trolling the live crowd in the opening segment. That’s not a knock on the main event, it’s just an acknowledgement of the fun of Owens’ segment. I enjoyed this show more than last week’s episode. I will have more to say in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of Raw by grading it below.

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Readers Comments (11)

  1. Veer was actually on Main Event before the show tonight.

  2. April 3rd – WWE: “We wish Veer Mahaan in his future endeavors” after being released.

  3. “We wish Veer Mahaan in his future endeavors”
    I admit it. I laughed out loud

  4. I just thought it was funny cause I’m at the show.

  5. TheGreatestOne March 21, 2022 @ 9:41 pm

    They should’ve kept Swerve around long enough to have him the Veer’s opponent for his debut.

  6. Jason, I can tell you that the censor was the USA Network and not WWE. I know this because in Australia Fox8 didn’t censor Seth when he yelled “This is bullshit” and Australia heard him loud and clear.

  7. I almost did the second time actually..

  8. Raw and Smackdown have basically been the same shows every single week since the Rumble. Extremely boring TV. I can’t even forward through my recordings anymore.

  9. The opening of Raw was the best moment on wrestling TV in years, with a white hot crowd that sounded like an Attitude Era crowed, but Neckbeard von Edgelord has to tell us he doesn’t watch it from his mom’s basement while eating his 14th Hot Pocket of the day.

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