WWE Raw Review – 3.16.20
Just a week ago, I sat down to write the Raw review, which seems like ages ago after what transpired this past week.
Now with all WWE events taking place in the Performance Center in front of no live crowd, these shows have a totally different dynamic.
With the show being different for the time being, my Raw reviews will be a bit different. But onward we march!
First off, the trio of commentators was in the ring, running down what we would see on the show tonight. But then…
“You think you know me?”
Edge walked out and grabbed a microphone to directly speak to Randy Orton. The “Rated R” Superstar started off by saying he and Randy both owe so much to Mick Foley because he taught him grit. Edge says there is one difference between himself and Orton, and that is Randy is an entitled brat.
Later on, Edge calls Orton one of the best, but he’s had everything handed to him on a silver platter, and this kills Randy and makes him jealous of Edge, who worked for everything he’s gotten in the WWE.
Edge then speaks about his wife, and how she was out there two weeks ago to retire for him again, but Randy just couldn’t let her finish the speech. After all of those years of Edge stopping Randy from making horrible decisions, Randy pulled him out of a hole that he had dug and kept him from making a horrible decision, retiring again.
Before he walks off, Edge challenges Orton to a last-man-standing match at Wrestlemania. Even with no crowd, you could feel the emotion from Edge’s promo, and this still is the best storyline going in the company.
After the rather good promo to open the show, WWE showed the Men’s Royal Rumble because…well, Raw is still three hours, and they needed to fill time. After watching the men’s Royal Rumble once, I did not feel the need to watch it all again, though I did enjoy seeing some of the highlights.
Contract Signed for Wrestlemania:
Next up was the Undertaker making a rather quick walk to the ring, I guess there was no reason to drag out an entrance if no fans are there to witness it. Taker gets real mad and flips a table before the commercial break.
AJ Styles’ music plays, but he is nowhere to be found. After a few moments, Styles is seen backstage with his buddies Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Styles again brings up Michelle McCool, and how she helps Undertaker dust off his crusty jacket every year and go out to the ring and embarrass himself.
Styles later refers to Taker as “Mark” and signs the contract. But in typical heelish fashion, he forces Gallows and Anderson to take the contract out to the ring.
The O.C. slowly walks down to deliver the contract, but then the lights go out, and Taker is behind the duo. He goes on to beat them down before signing on the dotted line.
Still trying to wrap my head around seeing this match in a ring with no crowd, but it is a match that gets casual fans to tune in.
Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio:
We got our only live match of the night next, as Andrade and Rey Mysterio did battle yet again. First off, I will say this…Asuka on commentary was by far the best thing about this match.
Like many Andrade matches, Zelina Vega tried to interfere on her client’s behalf, but it was unsuccessful. Once again Andrade being the heel he is, went for the Three Amigos on Mysterio, but that was countered by the G.M.O.A.T and turns it into a 619, followed by dropping the dime for the win.
I would not be shocked to see a United States title match at “Wrestlemania” in a couple weeks with some sort of Andrade/Mysterio/Carrillo/Garza combination.
The Man Comes Around:
Earlier in the night, we saw Becky Lynch roll up to the Performance Center in a custom-made “The Man” MAC Truck. After the Rey/Andrade match, Lynch made her way to the ring to address her Wrestlemania challenger.
Lynch says she knows Shayna is watching because she is obsessed with her. Becky also knows her mere existence drives Baszler crazy because as long as she holds the title, nothing in Baszler’s world makes sense.
Becky then says Baszler thinks she can just bully her way to the top like she did in NXT. Lynch finishes up her promo by saying she’s going to prove Baszler’s whole life is a lie, and it is going to hit her like a truck (pun fully intended).
It is no secret I enjoy Becky Lynch as a performer, but these are the times she shines brightest. Even with no crowd, Lynch delivered a captivating message to her foe for Wrestlemania. Lynch is setting the table and acting like she has the upper hand on Baszler when, in reality, Becky has not seen anything like her.
After the break, Kevin Owens accepts Seth Rollins’ challenge to a match and picks Wrestlemania for their encounter. Give this match time, and it could steal the show.
Last but certainly not least, Stone Cold Steve Austin was live in the Performance Center to celebrate 3:16 day.
Despite no live crowd, Austin went through his whole routine before getting on the microphone to declare today a national holiday from here on out. Austin has cards in his hands, to tell us all about what 3:16 day will be from here on out.
Byron Saxton of all people starts helping Steve out, giving him scores for all his proposed activities to do on 3:16 day. I thought both men here did a rather good job bringing this segment home, especially with the empty arena.
Austin’s last proposition is that 3:16 day is a day where you can whoop anyone’s ass at any time, and that’s the bottom line. He then invites Saxton down to the ring to have a cold one with him, which, of course, leads to a stunner!
A nice twist for this segment came when Lynch, joined the Hall of Famer in the ring with a cooler of her own. The two of them pounded one beer after another, before Saxton got up, only to be given another stunner.
Well, what an interesting show overall. Given the circumstances, WWE did an okay job giving the fans at home something to watch. I am sure there will be those who bash this show, but I think it is important to factor in what is going on at the moment.
These performers are still delivering solid promos, and wrestling while missing arguably the biggest/most important element of the show, the fans. It was a bit disappointing to see only one live match in three hours, but Wrestlemania storylines were still furthered, and I am not as down on this show as many people.
My rating: 3 out 5.