Live from Moda Center, Portland, Oregon!
Following a look back at the events of last week’s episode of Raw, the commentators spoke over footage of Ronda Rousey in the back.
The Number One Contender to the Raw Women’s Championship was seen preparing for her match later, which would be her first match ever on the show!
Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young put over the fact that she would be facing the “Legit Boss”, Sasha Banks, a woman who she has some history with, dating back to this year’s Royal Rumble. Last week, the NXT alumni, and former Women’s Champion, was hand picked by Stephanie McMahon to face Ronda Rousey in the Main Event!
As the commentators continued to talk about the events of last week, Batista’s music hit. Walking towards the ring, Dave was in high spirits, and didn’t seem to be letting recent incidents between himself and Stephanie McMahon affect his mood.
He did address those events, particularly the match that Stephanie made last week. Dave said that he’d been talking to the boys in the back, and he was ready to face the Authors of Pain tonight. Before Batista could reveal the identity of his chosen partner, Stephanie McMahon cut him off.
When Stephanie came to the ring, she reminded Batista that she was his boss, and even though Kurt brought him back, he answers to her. McMahon said that she’d heard who Batista wanted to team with, but unfortunately, plans change. Stephanie explained that due to Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton being in action tonight, against each other for the Intercontinental Championship, Batista wouldn’t be able to team with either of them. She made it clear that she had made the match between the two, claiming that she was doing it for the WWE Universe. Of course, Batista knew her true motivation.
This worked in forcing Dave to change his plans, but he said that he was sure he could find an alternative. Stephanie McMahon also had an answer for that, as she had one other piece of information to share. Batista asked what it was, and was told that his match with AOP… was next!
From the opening of the match, there was an uneasy atmosphere, perhaps due to Batista being in street gear rather than his wrestling attire. Batista managed to fight off Akam & Rezar individually, but it was when the former Champions displayed their teamwork that he began to struggle. Eventually, it appeared that The Authors of Pain had their opponent exactly where they wanted him, but they couldn’t put him away. Even when Batista began to fight back, his efforts were undermined, as Triple H appeared on the ramp.
The husband of the Raw Commissioner called the match off, demanding that the time keeper rang the bell. Given the authority that Triple H holds, the referee ensured the order was carried out.
Batista didn’t understand, and was particularly annoyed, as he had just hit a huge Spinebuster to Akam. Nonetheless, Triple H had something to say, and he wasn’t willing to wait.
When Triple H entered the ring, and sent AOP to the back, he made it clear he wanted no trouble with Batista. He suggested that what happened between them last month was a misunderstanding, and even condemned his wife’s action. The commentators were surprised by this, knowing how rarely Stephanie and Triple H publicly disagree. Triple H added that Batista didn’t have to like him, but if they have to work together, he at least wants to draw a line under whatever issues Batista has had.
Dave seemed to be softening his stance, willing to hear out Triple H. Triple H added that with WrestleMania so close, and knowing that is why Batista came back in the first place, he wanted to introduce Batista to the man he would be facing at WrestleMania. Triple H pointed towards the ramp, and while his glace towards it was momentary, Batista took his eye off the ball. Unsurprisingly, Triple H had set Batista up, and kicked him in the groin. Triple H then removed his jacket, and hit Dave Batista with a Pedigree in the middle of the ring. HHH’s whole demeanor had changed, as he stood over Batista.
”Dave… I’ll see you at WrestleMania!”
Returning from the break, Kurt Angle was shown in the office. Shaking his head at a replay of Triple H’s actions, Kurt Angle was approached by Stephanie McMahon.
Unusually confrontational towards his superior, Kurt Angle asked Stephanie what the hell was going on. The General Manager said that between her stacking the odds against him, and Triple H stopping the match, Batista can’t catch a break at the minute. Stephanie was in no mood to take that from Kurt Angle, informing him of a complaint she had received last week, from Jason Jordan. She added that Kurt Angle shouldn’t be questioning her decisions, as if what Jason (and three witnesses) told her is true, then he’s very lucky to still be in a job!
After a discussion about the previous events, the commentators looked forward to the rest of the evening, and particularly the match between Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman, scheduled for later in the night. Talk then turned to another challenge made last week, when Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan - fresh off attacking their former Riott Squad leader, Ruby Riott - challenged the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, The Bella Twins. Those two teams would face off in non-title action later, but up next was a scheduled Intercontinental Championship.
Before that match could take place however, Elias had occupied the stage. Sat down, with his Guitar, Elias seemed intent on blocking the entranceway.
Elias spoke about the upcoming Intercontinental Championship match, making it clear he wasn’t happy about it taking place. He felt he should be the man to challenge Rey Mysterio, and had written a protest song to convey that message. However, just moments into the song, Randy Orton’s music hit and the challenger made his entrance. Orton had no interest in Elias’ complaints, shaking his head at “The Drifter” as he walked by.
Intercontinental Championship Match
Despite the match’s importance, the Intercontinental Championship somehow became the secondary focus of the match, as Elias remained on the ramp during the title match, heckling the Superstars in the ring. Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio did their best to ignore the annoyance on the outside, but this only caused Elias to become more loud and obnoxious. While the noise pollution took away from the match, what came next was much worse. Coming down to the ring to physically interrupt the flow of the match, Golden Alpha made their way to ringside.
Randy Orton was the first to react to their presence, due to Rey Mysterio being down, and as a result he was the one Akam & Rezar took down first. The second match of the evening to break down, the referee this time was forced to call for a disqualification.
Randy Orton bt. Rey Mysterio (c); (Via Disqualification)
Golden Alpha weren’t done there, as they soon took Rey Mysterio out of the picture too. With both Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio in trouble, Finn Balor ran down to the ring, looking to save his friends.
Outnumbered also, Finn Balor fell to the same fate as Orton and Mysterio. Golden Alpha then launched him out of the ring, sending him crashing to the ground. Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton were then scooped up off the mat, and hit with a Super Collider. They then joined Finn Balor on the outside, as Jason Jordan took a microphone.
Joined in the ring by Elias, Jason Jordan pointed to his three witnesses, as he made a “formal complaint” against Kurt Angle. He said that while nothing had been done about Kurt Angle’s clear incompetence as a General Manager, he couldn’t stand by and let what happened last week go unpunished. Jason Jordan then asked for the footage to be played, while putting over whoever had the idea to place a camera in the General Manager’s office.
The footage showed Kurt Angle slapping Jason Jordan in the face, but as Renee Young pointed out, cut off the part where Golden Alpha & Elias had antagonised him. That didn’t matter however, as the evidence was damning. Jason Jordan said that he personally saw only one solution to such unprofessional behaviour, and closed his statement by claiming he had all the faith in the world that Stephanie McMahon would ensure justice prevailed.
WWE Raw - March 18th 2019 - Live on USA Network!
Opening up the second hour of Raw, the commentators promoted the scheduled Main Event of the evening. One of the competitors in that match was Sasha Banks, who had promoted the match on social media earlier in the day. This piece was introduced by the commentators.
During the “selfie promo”, Sasha Banks put herself over as the “Legit Boss” of the Women’s Division. Presenting the character to those who may not be familiar with her, Sasha Banks referenced “the revolution that everybody has been talking about”. She then explained that she was the woman at the forefront of that buzz, and she was the reason that Ronda Rousey was in the Main Event tonight. That’s why Stephanie McMahon chose her, and that’s why the myth of Ronda Rousey will end tonight!
Back to ringside, Seth Rollins made his entrance, with the commentators putting over his WrestleMania match with Drew McIntyre. Having won the Royal Rumble, Seth Rollins became the Number One Contender to the WWE Universal Championship.
Rollins spoke about the challenge of facing a Champion last week, saying that while the finish of the match was out of their control, he was happy to have faced a competitor as good as Rey Mysterio. He added that while Rey and co. dealt with Golden Alpha, his focus had to be with the WWE Universal Championship. Over the last few weeks, Rollins had been tested in many different ways, but knew that at WrestleMania, there is no way of predicting what might happen. All the scouting in the world couldn’t prepare anybody for a Main Event match at WrestleMania. So that’s what Rollins wanted, something that he couldn’t possible prepare for. His solution was simple, as he issued an open challenge to anybody on the Raw roster…
Former 205 Live roster member Mustafa Ali accepted the challenge of Rollins, as he looks to continue to build his reputation as a member of the Raw brand. This match will have undoubtedly boosted his profile, as the commentators put over the comparisons that are often made between the two Superstars. Despite having a huge title match on the horizon, Rollins had to maintain a high level of performance, and Mustafa Ali made sure of that. While Mustafa Ali managed to come out of the match with a lot of credit, it was clear Rollins was a level above his opponent. A King Slayer Knee Strike made this official, as Rollins scored another momentum building victory.
Seth Rollins bt. Mustafa Ali
Following the match, Seth Rollins showed his respect to Mustafa Ali, offering a handshake to the Superstar who had impressed him. However, as the two men looked to display their mutual admiration, Drew McIntyre made his way down the ramp.
Entering the ring, the Universal Champion pushed Mustafa Ali down, sending the tired competitor to the canvas. Pointing towards the downed Superstar, Drew McIntyre clearly considered Mustafa Ali to be below himself, and Seth Rollins.
Rollins was angered by the disrespect shown to Mustafa Ali, and stepped up to Drew McIntyre. He asked Drew what he was doing, saying Ali didn’t deserve that. Drew McIntyre didn’t care, and laughed in Rollins’ face. Seth didn’t see the funny side, but McIntyre wasn’t interested in getting physical. Instead, the Universal Champion left the ring, as Rollins helped Ali back to his feet. Once at the top of the ramp, Drew McIntyre raised his WWE Universal Championship above his head, as Seth Rollins and Mustafa Ali stared him down from the ring.
Returning from the break, a recap was shown of what had happened moments earlier, before Drew McIntyre was seen in the back. As the WWE Universal Champion walked, he was confronted by Mustafa Ali’s partner Cedric Alexander.
Alexander called out Drew on what he had just done, calling him a “disrespectful punk”. McIntyre didn’t take the former Cruiserweight Champion seriously, and looked to brush him off. Cedric then grabbed Drew McIntyre by the shoulder, telling him that it was about time somebody taught him about respect. McIntyre still didn’t take Alexander seriously, shaking his head at the lower profile Superstar, and continuing on his way.
A promo recorded by Bobby Lashley, earlier in the day, was then shown. Lashley promised to bring Braun Strowman back down to earth in their match later, and said that after he hits another “Spear to shake the Universe”, Strowman won’t be thinking about WrestleMania, or Brock Lesnar… he’ll be thinking about retirement, when he is dominated by “The Destroyer”.
Following that promo, the commentators talked about the announcement made by Mr. McMahon last week. Bringing both John Cena and Roman Reigns to the ring, the WWE Chairman announced that The Rock would be the Special Guest Referee for their WrestleMania match.
Having heard from John Cena recently, Roman Reigns made his way down to the ring. As promoted throughout the night, it was time for The Big Dog’s response to his WrestleMania opponent’s words from two weeks ago.
Roman Reigns spoke about the announcement made last week, saying that he thought it was great to see The Rock involved with WrestleMania. Reigns said that the “most electrifying man in all of Sports Entertainment” always brought more eyes to whatever he was involved in, and WrestleMania is the perfect moment for that. Roman Reigns said that he wanted as many people as possible to see what happens at WrestleMania, but not because he wants them to see John Cena “pass the torch”. Passing the torch implies that John Cena is giving something up, but that’s not what is going to happen. Roman Reigns doesn’t need to take anything from John Cena, because it has been clear for a long while that he’s light years ahead of John Cena.
Roman Reigns added that he’d beaten Triple H and The Undertaker at WrestleMania already, and asked the WWE Universe what they think he had to prove to someone like John Cena. Roman Reigns said that he is “the guy” and when it comez to their match at WrestleMania… it’s John Cena who is the only with anything to prove. Because of this, “The Big Dog” decided to leave John Cena with a question for his next response:
”So John, tell me... what have I got to gain from beating you?”
Returning from the break, Stephanie McMahon was seen in the Raw office, speaking to the General Manager, Kurt Angle.
Stephanie McMahon was dealing with the complaint from Jason Jordan, asking Kurt Angle what he was going to do to take the pressure off her. Kurt Angle was well aware of the severity of the situation, and offered to issue an apology to Jason Jordan next week, and try to talk to his son about the incident. Stephanie McMahon didn’t feel this was enough, but before she could make this clear, Drake Maverick walked in.
Drake Maverick offered both Stephanie and Kurt a handshake, but neither were interested. That didn’t bother the former “Advisor to the General Manager”, who had once again landed on his feet. He introduced himself as the “representative” of Jason Jordan, and said that he would be dealing with proceedings on behalf of Golden Alpha going forward. With a smile on his face, Drake told his former colleague “Mr. Angle… I’m just here to ensure that justice prevails”.
Discussed throughout the night, the match began with a fairly “big fight feel”. The two Superstars came into the match with something to prove, neither currently having a WrestleMania match confirmed. When the match continued, Bobby Lashley looked to break down “The Monster Amongst Men”, but struggled to take the bigger competitor off his feet. That wasn’t to say the match was completely one sided, but it did turn into a pretty comprehensive victory for the focussed Braun Strowman. With his sight set on challenging Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, Braun Strowman hit a Running Powerslam to the former Universal Championship challenger, pinning him for the 1… 2… 3!
Braun Strowman bt. Bobby Lashley
As Braun Strowman had his hand raised in the ring, it was clear that his mind had already shifted away from the match, and back to his desire to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Offering some hope to the former WWE Universal Champion, Paul Heyman appeared at the top of the ramp.
After introducing himself, Paul Heyman told Braun Strowman that enough was enough, and it was time to call the chase of Brock Lesnar to an end. He recapped the lengths that Strowman has gone to in order to get the match, but it was time to stop. Heyman said that he hadn’t been able to get through to Brock Lesnar all day, and he knew for a fact that Brock Lesnar wasn’t home. But Heyman said he didn’t have the heart to put the final nail in the coffin, instead, he thought somebody else could do it…
Paul Heyman then pointed behind him, as the music of Brock Lesnar hit. Following a tension building wait, Brock Lesnar appeared from behind the curtain for the first time since the night after Summerslam.
Lesnar made his way directly to the ring, as Paul Heyman watched from the top of the ramp. Braun Strowman’s eyes lit up, and “The Monster Amongst Men” was ready for his first interaction with Lesnar since SummerSlam. The commentators were shocked to see Brock Lesnar, believing that they’d seen the last of him in a WWE ring. Having been in a match, Braun Strowman react a little slower than he might have, and had his first lunge ducked by Brock Lesnar. As Strowman turned back around, he was lifted into position for an F-5. Returning with a huge impact, Brock Lesnar left Braun Strowman laying in the ring, exiting up the ramp and heading towards the back.
The commentators were still in a state of shock, and speculated as to whether the appearance meant that “The Beast Incarnate” had finally agreed terms on a new WWE contract.
WWE Raw - March 18th 2019 - Live on USA Network!
Opening the final hour of Raw, ahead of her debut on the show in the Main Event, Ronda Rousey was interviewed about her opponent, Sasha Banks.
Ronda Rousey was in the zone, saying that she couldn’t wait until she was in the ring on Monday Night Raw. Rousey added that Sasha Banks had done a lot of talking over the last few weeks, but she was ready to put an end to it. “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” said that she was raring to go, and couldn’t wait to show the entire world, just how ready she was for WrestleMania!
Before the match, The Bella Twins ran down Liv & Logan, saying that they proved how “loyal” they were last week, when they turned their back on Ruby Riott. They said that it showed that Liv couldn’t trust Logan, and Logan couldn’t trust Liv. Brie Bella also spoke about losing to Becky Lynch, and said that both of them would be watching her next step on this week’s Smackdown.
During the contest itself, Liv & Logan managed to take control early on. While this allowed them to look to cause an upset, eventually they were defeated by The Bella Twins. Picking up the victory, Nikki Bella pinned Liv Morgan, following a Rack Attack 2.0
The Bella Twins bt. Liv & Logan
As The Bella Twins celebrated in the ring, Liv & Logan backed up the ramp. While the commentators discussed the victorious WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Ruby Riott appeared at the top of the ramp.
Taking Liv Morgan down, Ruby Riott laid into the woman who orchestrated last week’s betrayal. While Ruby managed to get a few shots in, she was pulled off by Sarah Logan. Logan dragged Riott away from Morgan, before helping her best friend to her feet and leading her to the back.
Following a video package on Ronda Rousey’s return to the ring in the Main Event, recap footage showed Brock Lesnar’s return to the WWE earlier in the night. Paul Heyman was interviewed following the footage, and spoke on behalf of Lesnar.
Paul explained that Brock Lesnar was no longer in the building, because he didn’t want to stay longer than he needed to. That’s why he was hired by Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman confirmed that “The Beast Incarnate” was back in the WWE… and he was back with a simple goal. Paul Heyman accepted the challenge of Braun Strowman for WrestleMania, and said that Brock Lesnar would be there to take “The Monster” back to Suplex City!
Coming to the ring without Robert Roode, The Revival looked to prove themselves against the Number One Contenders to the WWE Men’s Tag Team Championships. Dash & Dawson always give a good display of themselves, but that wasn’t enough to defeat Owens & Zayn. The two Superstars, who have undergone a change of attitude recently, continued to build momentum on the way to WrestleMania. Hitting a Helluva Kick, that was followed by a Pop-Up Powerbomb, the team impressed again, scoring another victory.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn bt. The Revival
Following the match, Owens & Zayn presented a wholesome image, hugging each other in the ring. The commentators put over the rehabilitated friendship between the two, describing their bond as “stronger than ever”. The two best friends stood tall in the ring, smiling as the referee raised their hands.
Two Weeks from Sunday
WrestleMania Kick-Off Show - Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal!
Heading into a commercial break, ahead of the Main Event, Natalya was seen running over last minute preparations with Ronda Rousey. It was put over that Natalya had been Ronda’s training partner since she signed with the WWE, and was considered to be a mentor by “The Baddest Woman on the Planet”.
Returning from the break, Randy Orton was seen leading Rey Mysterio and Finn Balor into the office of the General Manager.
Orton spoke for the three men, saying that he was sick of how Golden Alpha had been acting, and demanded action from Kurt Angle. Finn Balor said that they needed Kurt Angle to put them in their place. Angle made it clear he wanted to do that, but he needed the three Superstars to understand. Kurt added that right now he had to deal with some issues, but promised he’d do everything he could to ensure the three of them got everything they deserved. Rey Mysterio seemed to be the most understanding, but told Kurt Angle that eventually, the GM had to realised that he was being used. Maybe it was time he made the decision that would really change things around here. Randy Orton had the final say, telling the General Manager that sometimes it takes somebody risking what they have, in order to make a change. Kurt Angle seemed inspired by the words, as the three men left his office. Nodding his head, the General Manager looked like a weight had been lifted, telling himself: “I know what I have to do”.
Promoted heavily throughout the night, the Main Event of the evening was put over extensively, as the two competitors made their way to the ring. Ronda Rousey’s first ever match on Raw, the commentators spoke about the difference between competing week in and week out, compared to having weeks and sometimes months to prepare for a match. This was part of the story of the match, as Sasha Banks grew into the contest as it went on. Banks did take a number of shortcuts throughout, putting herself in a better position than she might have in a straight one on one match. When this didn’t propel her to victory, and Ronda Rousey began to comeback, Sasha Banks had something else up her sleeve.
Associates of Sasha Banks since before the Royal Rumble, Alicia Fox looked to distract the referee, while Dana Brooke jumped Ronda Rousey from behind. This went as most would have expected, with the specialist Ronda Rousey managing to easily dispose of Dana. Throwing her out of the ring, Ronda invited Alicia Fox to join her, but she wisely rejected the offer. When Ronda went to pursue Alicia, Sasha Banks rolled her up. While the distraction had been unsuccessful, it had given Sasha’s chance of upset a new lease of life.
From there, Sasha Banks tried to keep Ronda Rousey down, but “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” couldn’t be contained. Eventually, after a contest which last longer than many may have expected, Ronda Rousey got “The Boss” where she wanted her, and made Sasha Banks tap out to the Arm Bar.
Ronda Rousey bt. Sasha Banks
Making an impressive debut on Monday Night Raw, Ronda Rousey had probably been taken further than she expected to be. Put over on commentary as a competitive match, there was no shame on Sasha Banks in losing to the Number One Contender. As Ronda Rousey had her arm raised, she began to smile, looking out to the WWE Universe. This expression changed when Shayna Baszler made her way to the top of the ramp.
The dominant Raw Women’s Champion looked down on her WrestleMania opponent, holding the title over her shoulder. Raw ended with the commentators promoting the biggest event of the year, which will take place two weeks from Sunday. At that event, the Royal Rumble winner Ronda Rousey would receive her first opportunity to become the Raw Women’s Champion. To do so, she would have to defeat her former best friend, the undefeated “Queen of Spades”, Shayna Baszler!
Authors of Pain vs. Dave Batista went to a No Contest
Randy Orton bt. Rey Mysterio (DQ)
Seth Rollins bt. Mustafa Ali
Braun Strowman bt. Bobby Lashley
The Bella Twins bt. Liv & Logan
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn bt. The Revival
Ronda Rousey bt. Sasha Banks