26th Mar2019

WWE Raw – March 25th 2019: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

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Welcome to this week’s Raw review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a lot to get to, so let’s get on with it!

Match #1: Becky Lynch def. Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair in a Beat the Clock Challenge

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

For all the well-documented disdain among WrestleMania’s newly-minted main-eventers — open Twitter if you dare — Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair’s shared path to their historic moment has been defined primarily by their distance between each other. With Rousey savaging challengers and security guards on Raw and Becky and Charlotte trading barbs on SmackDown LIVE, it’s been difficult for any competitor to establish the upper hand, so Raw’s Beat the Clock Challenge (short version: fastest victory wins) provided an opportunity for one of these women to separate from the pack. In the end, Becky Lynch got the leg up by posting the fastest victory and raining on what was looking like a perfect opportunity for Rousey to display her dominance over her two challengers. After all, The Baddest Woman on the Planet’s victories have gotten nastier, more brutish and shorter since she broke bad a few weeks ago; despite not knowing what a Beat the Clock Challenge was, she quickly got the gist of it and submitted Sarah Logan in 1:25. Charlotte was knocked out of the running when she couldn’t defeat Ruby Riott any quicker than that, and despite taking a frustrated big boot from The Queen, Lynch topped Rousey’s time by just seven seconds with a jackknife pin of Liv Morgan. Rousey didn’t seem all that impressed by Lynch winning a match where nothing was at stake, but just because nothing was on the line, it doesn’t mean it was meaningless: If there was a lesson to be learned, it’s that Becky can end a match just as quickly as Ronda can — if not quicker.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was split into three separate matches, but it was all wrapped up into one miniature tournament. The matches were:

Ronda Rousey versus Sarah Logan – Winner: Ronda Rousey (1:25)

Charlotte Flair versus Ruby Riott – Winner: Draw (1:25)

Becky Lynch versus Liv Morgan – Winner: Becky Lynch (1:17)

This wasn’t much to look at, but it got Becky a lot of adulation from the crowd, so there you go.

Match #2: Finn Bálor def. Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley and Jinder Mahal to earn an Intercontinental Title Match at WrestleMania

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The abolition of automatic rematch clauses has forced deposed champions to work a little harder for a little longer to get another crack at the titles they lost. Finn Bálor, it appears, has fulfilled that new mandate with two consecutive victories over Bobby Lashley, and now he gets an Intercontinental Title bout at WrestleMania for his efforts. Anyone looking for a caveat would point out that Bálor sent himself to MetLife Stadium on the strength of a Handicap Match win, but the argument holds a little less water when you consider the last-second change — Lashley was supposed to compete alongside Lio Rush, but an injury to the hype man subbed in Jinder Mahal — and the astonishing amount of variables that it brought. Between Lashley, Mahal, Rush and The Singh Brothers, Bálor wasn’t fighting one-on-two so much as one-on-five, so it’s hard to find fault with the sequence that brought him the win: An over-the-top-rope plancha to all five Superstars on the outside, and a Coup de Grâce to The Maharaja for the win. Of course, Lashley did find fault, dropping Mahal and The Singhs with a ruthless post-match attack. And that might make The All Mighty feel a little better in the short run. But it won’t change the result or make the new challenger any less deserving.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was like watching a pebble drop in a lake, because it was fun to look at while it was here, but was there for so little a time to matter.

Match #3: Aleister Black & Ricochet def. Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The Revival’s Raw Tag Team Title reign has been a story of coming through in the clutch when it matters and getting caught unaware when it doesn’t, mostly at the hands of Aleister Black & Ricochet. The “Top Guys’” personal boogeymen struck again on Raw, handing the champions yet another non-title defeat that was so impressive that Dash & Dawson felt the need to remind the WWE Universe who runs the roost around here. The victory was doubly impressive by virtue of the way Black & Ricochet got there. Not only did Black grind his way out of one of Dash & Dawson’s patented, cut-the-ring-in-half gameplans, but he maneuvered The Revival into a rare error by charging them both into their opponents’ corner and dropping both champions at once with Black Mass. Ricochet sealed the deal with a 630 to Dash Wilder, and while The Revival’s post-match insistence that they be announced as still the Raw Tag Team Champions may seem on its face like a flex, it gets a little shakier the longer you look at it: After all, Black & Ricochet have gone past upstarts and moved into the territory of a legitimate threat. If you were The Revival, you’d want a different note to end the night on, too.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a nice little match that wasn’t ambitious enough for my taste, but it was a solid match that got the job done.

Match #4: Sasha Banks def. Natalya via Disqualification

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Beth Phoenix hasn’t officially come out of retirement yet, and that might be the best thing for Sasha Banks & Bayley. About the only conclusion to come out of Banks’ otherwise inconclusive rematch against Natalya — and the equally shifting WWE Women’s Tag Team Title picture — was that The Glamazon does, indeed, still got it: When Nia Jax & Tamina crashed the match and handed Banks a disqualification win with a boot to the face, Phoenix went to work, singlehandedly taking down the “Samoan Slaughterhouse” and administering a Glam Slam to Tamina. (Pointedly, she also placed her boot on Sasha’s title as The Boss tried to take it out of the ring.) Perhaps The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection were initially excited by the idea of a past-vs-present exhibition, or maybe even a nostalgia match from Phoenix. That feeling has obviously turned to frustration, as the champions pointedly offered to face Beth & Natalya, Nia & Tamina, and even their SmackDown LIVE rivals The IIconics at WrestleMania. But they might do well to be less hasty: If that bout comes to pass, they may well find they have severely misjudged the situation.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was good while it lasted, but it got shut down before it could become something great.

Match #5: Baron Corbin def. Apollo Crews

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Baron Corbin enjoys ruining people’s nights, and WrestleMania is an all-time opportunity for the former United States Champion, Money in the Bank contract winner and “Boston’s favorite son.” He has a chance to retire Kurt Angle with a loss, thus administering the ultimate insult to the Olympian and the WWE Universe. The Lone Wolf seems like he’s in a better position to do that than he’s perhaps given credit for. Not only did Crews defeat Angle admirer Apollo Crews, he did so in fairly decisive fashion by catching the five-tool player with an End of Days right when Crews started to roll. Corbin rubbed it in, too, administering the maneuver a second time after the match just for the fun of it and perhaps to send a message: Win, lose or draw, Angle may not be afforded the respect of a dignified exit.

My Take: 1.5 out of 5 – This was just an excuse to give Corbin a victory and not an interesting one.

Match #6: Kurt Angle def. United States Champion Samoa Joe

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

If anyone was going to leave a blemish on Kurt Angle’s farewell tour, the odds-on favorite had to be Samoa Joe. True, The Olympic Hero’s first two bouts on his road to his final WrestleMania ended in victories, but his opponents thus far have been relatively newer faces and ardent admirers of Angle who were happy to share the ring with him. Joe, on the other hand, is a molten ball of aggression and disdain on his most pleasant day, not to mention he’s a world-traveled competitor who’s feeling himself mightily as the newly-crowned United States Champion on SmackDown LIVE. This one had the look of a match that was over before it began. To the surprise of all assembled, it wasn’t, though the margin for victory was even slimmer than his last-gasp win over Chad Gable last week. The Samoan Submission Machine had kicked out of an Angle Slam, and even though the Olympian evaded a Uranage, he soon found himself trapped in the Coquina Clutch. And yet, Angle prevailed, rolling Joe over with the Clutch still locked in to achieve a pinfall that left the titleholder in a state of shock.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was good while it lasted, but it didn’t get to go for very long. This match was like their first matches together in Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling, in that Angle looked physically debilitated. It’s funny how this match mirrored Angle’s dire straits of 2006, yet also yielded the same results of those initial matches, that being the good quality. Angle looked his best here when he just focused on technical wrestling (the Olympian doing real wrestling moves…huh). Joe did great with Angle for their final match together. Overall, this was a good way to end their feud, but I wish that they could have gotten more time to have one last classic.

Match #7: (Main Event) Drew McIntyre def. Dean Ambrose (Last Man Standing Match)

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

If Drew McIntyre made any mistake in his grueling defeat of Dean Ambrose two weeks ago, it’s that he left The Lunatic Fringe with enough in the tank to get back up. He didn’t make that mistake twice. Challenged by Ambrose to a Last Man Standing Match — the former WWE Champion took exception with the idea he had been “exterminated” — McIntyre couldn’t help but respect Ambrose’s tenacity, but that was where all sportsmanship began and ended. In what was half a statement to Roman Reigns and, perhaps, half an acknowledgement that yes, keeping an actual cockroach down would probably be harder, The Scottish Psychopath emptied the proverbial kitchen sink against The Lunatic Fringe. That his plan of attack didn’t include an actual kitchen sink was the only sign of restraint; Ambrose was subjected to a Kendo stick to the torso, a slingshot into the underbelly of the ring, a tackle through a table and, finally, a Claymore before he was finally unable to answer the count of ten. The idea of what, Ambrose, was fighting for remained something of a mystery to the commentary team. Was he fighting for pride? For the memory of The Shield? Just because he likes to? The WWE Universe ended Raw no closer to a consensus answer on that front. McIntyre, however, required no such speculation, as his step over Ambrose and gaze toward the WrestleMania sign made clear: It’s on to New York, and a match with Roman Reigns. The rest is just ruin in his wake.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a dull version of this stipulation, but not for a lack of trying. This had some big moves in it, but this mostly was a stop and go version of the whole thing. You could even say they had time for a nap at one point. I liked this match, but I don’t believe you’ll look at this match as one of the best of the year.

News Of The Night:

  1. The Raw Women’s Title Match will head-line Wrestlemania.
  2. Samoa Joe cut a great promo on beating Kurt Angle.
  3. Kurt Angle fight Rey Mysterio, next week.
  4. Triple H’s career is on the line in his Wrestlemania match with Batista.
  5. The Riott Squad will wrestle Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, next week.
  6. Michael Che and Colin Jost will wrestle in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal at Wrestlemania.
  7. The Hart Foundation will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Final Verdict: 3/5

This was a decent show that had a few strokes of genius along the way, but not much else going for it besides that.

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