Monday Night Raw – March 16, 2020

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 16, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler

The new era begins for Monday Night Raw as the show will be at the Performance Center for the time being. That is going to be the case for almost anything, including Wrestlemania as officially announced this evening. I’m not sure what to expect, but Steve Austin, Edge and Undertaker are going to be in the building (without many more people). Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

The announcers are in the ring to welcome us to the show and hype up everything happening tonight. After a clip of AJ Styles talking about Undertaker and Michelle McCool last week, here’s Edge to interrupt. He shows us a package of everything that has happened with Randy Orton over the last few months, which is quite the emotional ordeal. Back in the arena, Edge talks about the long road between the two of them over the last twenty one years.

Edge knew that their careers would intertwine and that’s what they did, as they fought over the Intercontinental Title and then forming Rated RKO. They both owe Mick Foley for pushing them to this new level but Edge took a lesson from Foley that Orton never did: grit. After all the surgeries and time off, Edge fought back and got here again. He didn’t have his dad pushing him this far because he was raised by a single mother who broke her back to help get him here.

Then Beth Phoenix came out to give a medical update on him, but Orton took her out with an RKO. What Orton didn’t know was that Beth was here to announce Edge’s retirement. The beatings and injuries were too much, but Orton dragged Beth out of the hole. At Wrestlemania, if Orton has the guts, the match is on in a Last Man Standing match.

Earlier today, Becky Lynch arrived in an 18 wheeler.

From Royal Rumble 2020 (this is the recap of the full version of the match with no breaks or clipping):

Men’s Royal Rumble

90 second intervals, Brock Lesnar is in at #1 and Elias is in at #2 (more bad luck as he was #1 last year). Elias talks about the gorilla in the ring and asks the fans to clap along for his new song, Sacrificial Lamb. Lesnar gets annoyed at the song and chases Elias (tripping a bit on the way out of the ring), meaning the match can start with Brock taking him down.

The first German suplex connects and Lesnar breaks the guitar over Elias’ back. That’s the first elimination so Brock gets a breather until Erick Rowan, with crate, is in at #3. Rowan blocks the German suplex and gets clotheslined out in about eight seconds. Robert Roode is in at #4, slugs away, gets clotheslined, F5, Brock stands alone. Brock poses with the title until John Morrison is in at #5 and it’s a belly to belly over the top in nine seconds.

Kofi Kingston is in at #6 and starts slugging away until Lesnar drives him into the corner. The first German suplex drops Kofi on his head and Brock starts smiling. The clock speeds WAY up so Rey Mysterio can come in at #7. Rey tries to run the ropes but gets sent into Kofi in the corner.

A German suplex each has Kofi and Rey in more trouble and it’s Big E. in at #8. The distraction lets Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise and Big E. adds the Big Ending, setting up the 619. Rey charges at Brock and gets tossed, followed by Big E. going out as well. An F5 gets rid of Kofi as well and it’s Brock alone to face Cesaro, who is in at #9. Suplex, clothesline, Cesaro is out. Shelton Benjamin is in at #10 to give us…well Lesnar and Benjamin.

Heyman tries to get Shelton to reunite with Lesnar and Shelton seems to…until Lesnar suplexes and clotheslines him out. Shinsuke Nakamura is in at #11 in a match that would be more interesting in Japan. Some strikes connect and Lesnar gets rid of him in about fifteen seconds. MVP of all people is in at #12 and gets the same treatment, though I did miss his music. Keith Lee is in at #13 and Brock looks interested.

They stare each other down and Lee shrugs off some knees, setting up a clothesline to put Brock down. Lee gets in a few shots in the corner and a collision puts them both down. Braun Strowman is in at #14 and knocks Lee out through the ropes. Brock is back up with a pair of German suplexes each and they’re all down. It’s Lee vs. Strowman for the monster slugout…and Brock throws them both out.

Ricochet is in at #15 and gets caught with a quick backbreaker. There’s a German suplex as Cole says he doesn’t want to hear about Lesnar not defending his title. In a non-title match. Drew McIntyre is in at #16 and gets in a staredown with Lesnar. Ricochet gets in a low blow from behind and McIntyre eliminates Lesnar to a nice reaction. McIntyre gets rid of Ricochet as well and Miz is in at #17.

Drew knocks Miz down and glares down at Lesnar, setting up the Claymore to get rid of Miz and stand alone. Lesnar and Heyman are still standing behind the barricade as AJ Styles is in at #18. Some early shots take AJ down but he pulls McIntyre down into the Calf Crusher. That’s broken up as well and Dolph Ziggler is in at #19.

Ziggler and AJ double team McIntyre until Ziggler punches AJ in the face. That means a suplex from McIntyre as Karl Anderson is in at #20, giving us McIntyre, Styles, Ziggler and Anderson. Everything settles down and it’s EDGE (THAT FREAKING LIAR!) at #21. Spears abound and we get an Edge vs. Styles showdown, capped off by another spear. King Corbin is in at #22 (YOU SHALL NOT BE ENTERTAINED!!!) and cleans house with Ziggler until Edge dumps AJ (who may have been favoring his wrist).

Matt Riddle is in at #23 and yes he gets in the shoe flip. Riddle knees Edge down…and is eliminated by Corbin. Luke Gallows is in at #24 and McIntyre throws Corbin out (I knew I liked him for a reason). Randy Orton is in at #25 for a few RKOs before the staredown with Edge. Stereo Rated RKO clotheslines get rid of the OC and it’s Roman Reigns in at #26. A spear hits Ziggler and Reigns dumps him, making me like him a little bit more.

Reigns no sells McIntyre’s chops and it’s Kevin Owens at lucky #27. Cannonballs abound and there’s a Stunner to Reigns. Another one hits Orton and it’s Aleister Black in at #28. A jumping knee hits Owens and a running one drops Edge, followed by Black Mass to McIntyre. Samoa Joe is in at #29 and Black is waiting on him with the strikes.

Joe kicks him down, smiles at Owens, and starts the slugout again. Seth Rollins is in st #30 (sweet, no Velasquez), giving us Orton, Reigns, Owens, Black, McIntyre, Edge, Rollins and Joe. Rollins comes out with Buddy Murphy (who was scheduled to be in this) and the AOP so Joe and Owens roll outside to start the fight. Rollins and Murphy pull Edge outside before throwing Orton over the announcers’ table (not eliminated).

The Stomp hits Reigns and Rollins eliminates Black and Owens. The Koquina Clutch has Rollins in trouble but Murphy makes the save so Rollins can eliminate Joe as well. Owens, Black and Joe brawl to the back with Murphy/AOP, leaving us with Reigns, Rollins, Edge, Orton and McIntyre. Everyone surrounds Rollins so he tries to reunite with Reigns. That just earns him a Superman punch into an Orton powerslam into the Claymore so McIntyre can get the elimination.

The RKO hits McIntyre and Edge adds a spear, followed by a double RKO from Orton and Edge. Orton teases the RKO to Edge but begs off…and gets eliminated by Edge. We’re down to Reigns, Edge and McIntyre with Reigns and Edge slugging it out. The Superman punch hits Edge but the spear misses, allowing Edge to hit his own.

Reigns hangs onto the bottom rope to stay alive and he pulls Edge to the apron with him. Edge gets knocked off and Reigns gets back in for the fight with McIntyre, who nails the Claymore. McIntyre tosses Reigns to win at 1:00:09 (Sally, I know you’re smiling. Don’t worry if you don’t get this reference.).

Rating: B+. The ending is what matters most here, as McIntyre has been ready to move up to the next level for the better part of ever now. They FINALLY pulled the trigger on him and while it is another step to win the World Title at Wrestlemania, this is a heck of a good sign for him and his future.

Then there’s the first half of the Rumble and your mileage is probably going to vary. I wasn’t wild on it, but it didn’t ruin the match for me. I didn’t need Lesnar to run through that many people, but at least the right person won in the end and we should be in for a big Wrestlemania showdown. It could have been a lot worse, and McIntyre winning warms the cockles of my heart (whatever cockles are).

Back at the Performance Center, the announcers talk about Wrestlemania being moved to the Performance Center. McIntyre vs. Lesnar will still be taking place.

We go back to two weeks ago, with McIntyre coming out and kicking Lesnar in the face three times in a row.

Lawler brings out Undertaker for the contract signing and Undertaker power walks to the ring, where he turns the table over in anger.

Post break, we see AJ’s promo from last week.

Undertaker is still in the ring and waits on AJ, whose music plays a few times but he doesn’t show up. AJ and the OC show up on screen with the contract, which was never in the ring. He’s the one who challenged Undertaker last week because Undertaker is the one who won’t just go away. You don’t see Michael Jordan or Brett Favre showing up and taking up a spot, but you know Undertaker will be at Wrestlemania.

It’s old Money Michelle’s fault because she makes his dust off the hat and coat so she can have things. Undertaker needs to let it go and stop sticking his nose in OC business. AJ is willing to pay for Undertaker’s assisted living after Wrestlemania because Undertaker will be resting in peace. Styles signs the contract and sends Gallows and Anderson to take the contract to him.

That’s a big negative but AJ finally talks them into it. They come into the arena and lay the contract down, but the gong hits and the lights go off. Back up and he’s behind them, meaning the beatdown is on. With Anderson and Gallows down, Undertaker signs the contract and stuffs it in Anderson’s mouth as a disgusted AJ looks on from the screen.

Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio

Non-title, Zelina Vega is in Andrade’s corner and Asuka is on commentary. Andrade starts fast and knocks Mysterio around only to have Rey get to the apron. Vega grabs the leg though, allowing Andrade to dropkick him out of the air. Back from a break with Mysterio picking up the pace and trying to load up the 619. Andrade pops up and hits a spinning elbow for two as Asuka continues to rant in Japanese with one or two English words sprinkled in. Three Amigos are countered into the 619 and the top rope splash finishes Andrade at 6:52.

Rating: D+. They barely aired enough here and it was hardly worth watching. I’m assuming it’s going to be a four way for the title at Wrestlemania but they’ve managed to take away almost any interest that I could have in it. This story just keeps going as they trade wins and that’s not exactly thrilling stuff.

Video on the women’s Elimination Chamber match.

We look at Becky Lynch arriving again.

Here’s Becky for a chat. She dedicates this one to Shayna Baszler because she knows Shayna is watching. Shayna has been trained to destroy people but then she saw this ginger champ as the best of all time. Becky needs to explain this to an animal scumbag like Shayna: Becky is the prey that killed its prey and Shayna can cut through everyone else like she has. Then there’s Becky though and she’s different. She wants Shayna to think about what it’s going to mean when she loses. At Wrestlemania, she’s proving that Shayna’s life is a lie.

We look back at Charlotte and Rhea Ripley last week.

Kevin Owens accepts Seth Rollins’ challenge to a match and it makes sense to have it at the Performance Center. That gives Owens a home field advantage because Rollins never spent time here. This is where Owens went through the hardest experience of his career with his WWE tryout. He wasn’t supposed to be in WWE because he wasn’t their kind of guy. Rollins himself said that before and after Owens was signed but Owens became a guy around here. Then Owens is going to add one more memory to that list when he beats Rollins at Wrestlemania.

Here’s Steve Austin (announced as the greatest of all time, which is now applied to both himself and John Cena) for a chat, complete with cans of his IPA. Austin says if you want to know what 3:16 Day is all about, give him a h*** yeah. We cut to a shot of the empty seats and Austin asks for it again. Byron Saxton gives him a VERY enthusiastic H*** YEAH and Austin reads some jokes off a card, saying like 3:16 Day means flipping people off and…..a bunch of gibberish because Austin has the card upside down. As he reads these, Byron holds up big cards with a rating for each joke.

Austin gets a 5 for his last joke before saying Byron has been so helpful during this entire time. Therefore, he can come down to ringside and celebrate 3:16 Day with Austin. Byron comes down and drinks before the Stunner means beer can be consumed. Cue Becky Lynch with a cooler but Austin brings up her Stunning her the last time they were in a ring together. They drink a lot (with one more Stunner to Saxton) to end the show. This was uh….rather stupid, though Austin asking for the fan response and cutting to the empty seats made me chuckle.

Overall Rating: D. These three hour shows are going to become a lot to take, though it was kind of nice to be able to turn the show off for nearly an hour and a half thanks to the Rumble. Edge’s promo was good and they announced two more matches for Wrestlemania. I can’t get overly mad at the show given the circumstances though and it was nice to have a much easier show to watch, but they might need to change a lot after Wrestlemania, as doing this every week is going to be a rather rough sit in a hurry.

Results

Rey Mysterio b. Andrade – Top rope splash

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

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