Monday Night Raw
Date: March 9, 2020
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington DC
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler
We are FINALLY on the Road to Wrestlemania with nothing in the way. Elimination Chamber has come and gone and in the shock of shocks, Shayna Baszler became the new #1 contender to the Raw Women’s Title. Other than that, we have a grand total of very little on the way to Tampa. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Becky Lynch for a chat. She’s glad to know her Wrestlemania challenger and we see a package on Shayna Baszler running through the Chamber last night. Shayna says she’s coming for the title and there’s nothing Becky can do about it. Back in the arena, Becky praises Shayna’s accomplishments but calls her a black hole of charisma. Becky saw her as the constipated robot of NXT but she remembers Shayna as the one who wouldn’t shake her hand last year at Wrestlemania. People like Becky don’t beat trained killers like Shayna, but that’s what she does. Shayna is underestimating her so Becky is going to smash her face in.
Rey Mysterio vs. Angel Garza
Zelina is Garza’s corner and it’s non-title because it’s Garza, not Andrade. Garza gets sent into the corner to start but he’s fine enough to block a hurricanrana and score with a superkick in the corner. That means Garza can TAKE OFF HIS PANTS and we take a break. Back with Rey having to break up Garza’s 619 attempt and send him outside for the sliding splash.
Garza catches the springboard crossbody and hits a slingshot reverse suplex for two. Rey misses another 619 and gets caught with a heck of a superkick for…no cover actually. Instead Rey fights back up and hits another 619, setting up the springboard splash for the pin at 8:43.
Rating: C. I’m not sure who is supposed to benefit from these revolving door matches between luchadors but they’re not exactly blowing the doors off the place. They’re just trading wins and losses and while it could lead to a four way for the United States Title at Wrestlemania, that doesn’t make it very interesting. This came and went, just like all of the other matches involving these two, Humberto Carrillo and Andrade.
Earlier today, Kevin Owens arrived and got beaten up pretty badly by Murphy, the AOP and Seth Rollins (who did at least offer Owens some popcorn).
We see a video of Rhea Ripley in Raymond James Stadium, talking about how she can’t believe she’s going to be wrestling here. Ever since she got to NXT, it has been about being herself while being a star. She looked like Charlotte when she got here and now it’s time to face Charlotte herself.
Here’s Charlotte for a chat. She liked the Ripley video too but is confused by Ripley wanting to be the best, as in like Charlotte, but not wanting to be like Charlotte. It’s one thing to stand in an empty stadium, but it’s another to stand in a full stadium and be humbled by the queen. Cue Ripley but Charlotte says this is her kingdom and Rhea is excused. That earns Charlotte a right hand, allowing Rhea to smile as she leaves.
Bobby Lashley vs. Zack Ryder
Shoulder, running shoulder in the corner, spinning Dominator for the pin at 1:24.
We look back at Drew McIntyre taking out Brock Lesnar last week.
Aleister Black is in his room when someone knocks. It’s Seth Rollins and Murphy, who understand that Black has been having some issues with the numbers game, so maybe he should join up. That won’t be happening, but Black does accept the challenge for a fight tonight.
Erick Rowan vs. Drew McIntyre
McIntyre steps over the cage, with commentary again not sure what’s in there. So we’re already forgetting last week? McIntyre gets a boot up in the corner to start and clotheslines him to the floor. That means a posting and an overhead belly to belly for the power display. McIntyre uses the steps to crush the cage (fake animal hater) and it’s the Futureshock into the Claymore pin on Rowan at 2:20. Now PLEASE tell me we’re not doing the cage thing anymore.
We look back at Randy Orton’s explanation last week, setting up the RKO to Beth Phoenix. You know, the Hall of Famer who was a dominant force in the Royal Rumble less than two months ago but who gets hit with a single move and we need to act like she’s dead.
Kabuki Warriors vs. Liv Morgan/Natalya
Non-title because title matches don’t exist for these belts. Before the match, the Warriors yell in Japanese about Asuka’s wrist injury and the Elimination Chamber. They do call out Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross but here’s Natalya to cut them off. Sane and Morgan start things off with Liv taking them down. It’s quickly off to Natalya as Ruby Riott comes out and we take a break.
Back with Morgan fighting out of an armbar and handing it off to Natalya, who gets her bad arm pulled onto the top rope. Lawler: “What about the injured wrist of Aksana?” A middle rope ax handle to the arm keeps Natalya in trouble and Sane kicks at it a bit more. Sane adds a running dropkick to the ribs so Asuka can get two, followed by the armbreaker.
Asuka switches to a near guillotine and here’s Sarah Logan to stand next to Riott. Natalya slams her way out of trouble as Logan and Riott start fighting. Morgan dives onto the two of them so Natalya clotheslines Sane for two. The Sharpshooter goes on but Asuka kicks Natalya in the head for the pin at 10:57.
Rating: D+. This is the kind of match where I can hear Tony Schiavone shouting “What in the world is going on? And who is on who’s side?” That’s the case here as it had a bunch of stories going on at once and the main thing I could think of was this was four women who have been destroyed by Shayna Baszler in the last week. The titles (the most useless in WWE) weren’t even on the line, so what are the stakes here? A fight between a loser trio who are now individual losers?
Here’s the OC, with AJ Styles complaining about Undertaker interfering in his business twice. We look at Undertaker helping Aleister Black beat AJ last night so the fans chant for Undertaker. Back in the arena, AJ talks about Undertaker losing to Roman Reigns three years ago at Wrestlemania, fold his clothes nicely, and then ride off into the sunset. He probably should have done that when Brock Lesnar broke the Streak but that’s beside the point.
But then Undertaker ruined that powerful moment by coming back to the WWE. That’s going to cost him because AJ wants Undertaker at Wrestlemania. AJ doesn’t see a monster anymore, but a broken down, old man named Mark Callaway. He knows what keeps Undertaker coming back: his wife, Michelle McCool. She plays him like a fiddle, because anything she wants, she gets.
Undertaker does whatever she wants, because he gets hurt every time he gets in the ring. They have a beautiful family but she’s the most conniving person he’s ever met. AJ tells Undertaker that Michelle is going to run his life into the ground and AJ is going to help. At Wrestlemania, Undertaker dies in the ring, so accept the challenge and put the final nail in your own coffin.
Randy Orton has not thoughts on Edge returning tonight.
24/7 Title: Riddick Moss vs. Cedric Alexander
Moss is defending and runs Alexander over to start. Cedric gets sent outside and we hit the chinlock back inside. That’s broken up and Cedric hits the springboard swinging Downward Spiral for two but a springboard is cut off. Moss’ neckbreaker retains the title at 2:04.
Here’s MVP to insult Washington DC and talk about how he’s transitioning into a management role. He needs a centerpiece to his stable though, and that would be Edge. As great as Edge is, he has a problem focusing so MVP can help guide him back to prominence.
We see Edge arriving at the arena and MVP is thrilled to see him. Edge storms the ring and demands Orton get out here right now but MVP asks him about his wife. That earns him a spear but here’s Orton to go after Edge…who hits an RKO on Orton. Edge grabs some chairs but Orton bails, leaving him to choke MVP out and hit an RKO onto the chair. Edge shouts that this is Randy and gives MVP the one man Conchairto. After a long staredown, Edge charges after Orton and we take an abrupt break. As usual, Edge’s facial expressions are second to none and tell you how intense Wrestlemania is going to be.
Next week: AJ and the Undertaker sign the contract.
We see HHH receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Arnold Classic over the weekend.
Paul Heyman talks about Brock Lesnar’s career of dominance and how no one has ever been so dominant for so long. We go to Drew McIntyre, who says everything Heyman just said is true, but then Lesnar ran into him. This includes McIntyre Claymoring Lesnar half to death last week, with Drew promising to become the new reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Champion at Wrestlemania.
Edge is still looking for Orton, who has left the arena.
Seth Rollins vs. Aleister Black
Rollins has his popcorn and Murphy with him. Feeling out process to start with Black armdragging his way out of a wristlock but getting kicked in the ribs. Both finishers miss early and Black sends him to the floor, only to moonsault into the middle of the ring as we take a break.
Back with Black being sent throat first into the ropes and a Sling Blade giving Rollins two. The Downward Spiral into the middle rope sets up a running knee to the head to rock Black. Back in and Rollins misses the springboard knee, allowing Black to strike away. The middle rope standing moonsault drops Rollins and the German suplex gets two with Murphy coming in for the DQ at 7:37.
Rating: C+. You might as well line up the tag match right now as I don’t believe there is anything else scheduled for the rest of the show. The match was getting somewhere until the ending, though I can get them wanting to protect Rollins after back to back losses. That doesn’t make it much better, but at least it’s something.
Post match the beatdown is on but here are the Viking Raiders and Street Profits for the save. The eight man is on, as is my eye rolling because I’m sick of this trope.
Seth Rollins/Murphy/AOP vs. Street Profits/Viking Raiders
Ford starts fast against Murphy and it’s already off to Dawkins for two off a dropkick. Ivar and Akam come in for the slugout before it’s quickly off to Erik for his own shot to the face. Rollins comes back in and misses a splash in the corner so it’s Murphy getting slammed down and having Ivar slammed down on him for a bonus. The fast tags continue with Ford coming in to dropkick Rezar into the corner as we see the full Owens beatdown from earlier.
A crossbody is countered into a fall away slam and Murphy comes back in for the chinlock. Ford fights up and brings in Erik, whose suicide dive is cut off by Rezar. Murphy Meteoras Erik off the apron though and we take a break. Back with Erick in trouble in the corner and then being sent into the barricade. Erik whips him over the barricade but Murphy and the AOP break up the hot tag attempt.
A knee to the chest gives Rezar two and we hit the chinlock. Rollins chokes in the corner and Murphy gets in a cheap shot as the CM PUNK chants begin. Back up and Erik scores with a knee to Rollins’ face and the hot tag brings in Ford to clean house. A DDT plants Murphy and we take another abrupt break. Back with Rollins clotheslining Ford down and grabbing the neck crank.
Murphy replaces Rollins with a chinlock but Ford superkicks his way to freedom. The hot tag brings in Erik and everything breaks down with a parade of secondary finishers. Ford Frog Splashes Rollins for two with Murphy making the save, leaving the Raiders to dive onto the AOP. That’s followed by a big dive from Ford but he comes back in and leaves his head down so Rollins can hit the Stomp for the pin at 23:38.
Rating: C. This is a great example of why Raw’s structure needs a big shakeup. As soon as they went to that first break, you could tell this was closing the show. In other words, yes it was going to be a 23 minute match, but there was no reason to believe that it might end beforehand. With nothing else announced for the show, this is what you were getting for the rest of the night. If you watch WWE regularly, you can tell what they’re going to do most of the time and that was the case here, which wasn’t a good thing. The match was fine, but when there is no drama or interest, it’s a bit hard to invest in it.
Post match here’s Owens again to go after Rollins but he has to Stun Murphy. That means a trio of Stomps knocks Owens out to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. It was an up and down night and the main event matches totaling about 40 minutes of TV time didn’t help things. The story has stalled a good bit and I’m not sure if there is enough juice for it to get that much time in a given week. The main point of this show was to start the real push towards Wrestlemania. While the top of the card is looking solid, there is so much other stuff that you have to use to fill in a three hour Raw and a lot of that isn’t making Wrestlemania (or isn’t going to mean anything if it makes it). I liked a lot of the show, but that third hour continues to grind them down, as it always does.
Rey Mysterio b. Angel Garza – Springboard splash
Bobby Lashley b. Zack Ryder – Spinning Dominator
Drew McIntyre b. Erick Rowan – Claymore
Kabuki Warriors b. Liv Morgan/Natalya – Kick to Natalya’s head
Riddick Moss b. Cedric Alexander – Neckbreaker
Aleister Black b. Seth Rollins via DQ when Murphy interfered
Seth Rollins/Murphy/AOP b. Viking Raiders/Street Profits – Stomp to Ford
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