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WWE RAW 3/5/2018

This week on RAW, Ronda Rousey gets her WrestleMania match made official. Paul Heyman has words for Roman Reigns on behalf of Brock Lesnar. Plus, Nia Jax gets another shot to end Asuka’s undefeated streak.

World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
Date: 3/5/2018
From: Milwaukee, WI

RAW General Manager Kurt Angle makes his way out and talks about how he’s had to swallow his pride recently because it was best for business. However, Triple H sucker punching him has changed all that and wants Triple H to face him like a man. Instead, we get Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie tells Angle to relax and mentions that Angle has alimony payments to make if he doesn’t have a job. She suggests that Angle know his role and not let his ego get in the way. That brings out Ronda Rousey. Rousey didn’t like what has happened to Angle recently. Stephane reminds Rousey that they gave her a match at Mania and she can choose her opponent, as long as it’s not a champion and is an active wrestler. Rousey picks Stephanie. They’ve been doing this kind of angle many, many times. Triple H comes out and wants Angle to do his job. However, Angle notes that Stephanie has a talent contract. *shocker*. Angle ends up making a mixed tag match for WrestleMania as it will be Triple H & Stephanie vs. Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey. Eventually, there is a brawl with Angle putting HHH in an ankle lock and Ronda drops Stephanie with a Samoan Drop.

Opening Contest: Nia Jax vs. Asuka: Asuka starts the match with several strikes and kicks but Jax quickly delivers a few splashes in the corner. Jax tosses Asuka across the ring and Asuka rolls to the floor. We hear from RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and Mickie James during the match. Bliss is confident that Jax will end the undefeated streak and career. Jax drives Asuka down with a backbreaker. Asuka gets the octopus locked in but Jax doesn’t submit. Jax shoves Asuka into a corner and goes towards Asuka delivering a few stomps. Asuka tries to send Jax across the ring but is met with a right hand. Jax has Asuka on the top turnbuckle and hits a spinning slam. We go to commercial.

Asuka elbows out and stomps away on Jax to break free from a waist hold. Asuka comes off the ropes to deliver a butt strike for a two count. Jax drives Asuka into the corner back first. Jax shoves Asuka down to the mat and knocks Asuka down to the mat with another body strike for a two count. Jax plants Asuka with a Samoan Drop for a two count as Asuka just got her foot on the bottom rope. Jax lifts Asuka with a press slam and drops her gut first to the mat. Asuka avoids a leg drop and Jax hits the canvas hard. Asuka quickly gets an arm bar submission locked in. Jax gets up and powerbombs Asuka, but Asuka won’t let go of the triangle choke. Jax drives Asuka back first into the corner with one arm, but Asuka refuses to let go of the arm. Jax tries to hit a slingshot slam but Asuka rolls through and keeps control of the arm on the mat. Nia is forced to tap out. (**1/4. Well, they never fully got the crowd invested in the match. I think they need to keep Nia away from Asuka for a long time since this whole feud has essentially killed off any steam that Jax may have had previously. If Asuka goes to Smackdown to challenge Charlotte and Nia challenges Bliss at Mania I’m going to be disappointed. They are trying to keep Jax strong in defeat, but I don’t think losing to Asuka constantly helps her very much.) After the match, Alexa Bliss looks concerned backstage. Jax gets a small applause for her efforts against Asuka.

Second Contest: RAW Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) in a non-title match: Revival didn’t get an entrance, but if they win the match they will get a title shot at WrestleMania. Scott Dawson and Sheamus start the match. Sheamus comes off the ropes with a shoulder block and taunts the crowd. Dawson is double teamed in the corner for a few moments. Sheamus dumps Dawson to the apron but Dawson fights back with strikes and drops him over the top rope throat first. Sheamus has Dawson on his shoulders but Wilder helps out his partner and gets a two count. Cesaro tags in but the Revival hit a double team front slam for a near fall. Cesaro and Sheamus bail as we go to commercial.

Cesaro comes off the middle rope to elbow drop Dawson over Sheamus’ knee. Sheamus delivers a kick from the apron and gets a two count. Wilder and Dawson deliver a couple of kicks to keep Sheamus on the mat. Dawson stomps on Sheamus left arm several times. Sheamus backdrops Dawson and Cesaro gets tagged in only to be met with a DDT from Dawson for a two count. Cesaro uppercuts Dawson in the corner and Wilder is knocked off the apron by Sheamus. Sheamus has Dawson on his shoulders but gets distracted. Cesaro is crotched on the top and Sheamus hits the post shoulder first. Dawson takes Cesaro off the top with a superplex and Wilder nearly wins with a top rope splash. Sheamus knocks Wilder out with a Brogue Kick. Cesaro plants Dawson with the Neutralizer for the win. (*1/2. They really have no challengers and I’m not sure who they can possibly insert into this role to challenge them. Perhaps a team from NXT? This was fine for what it was, but nobody cared.)

John Cena comes out and cuts a promo about Smackdown Live’s Fastlane event. I’m not sure why RAW would want that to happen, but Cena is a free agent and can do whatever he likes, I guess. Cena thinks all records are made to be broken and he’s going to be a 17-time champion this Sunday. This whole segment brings out Goldust. Goldust says that he could have been a contender, but he’s just a bum now. He has dreamt of sharing the silver screen with a guy like Cena at WrestleMania. Goldust has never had a perfect story, but that is going to change today. Goldust is going to be the new director and Cena’s dreams will be shattered. Goldust lays out Cena leading to our next match.

Third Contest: John Cena vs. Goldust: The match started during the break and Cena is fighting back with right hands. Goldust atomic drops Cena followed by a strike for a two count. Michael Cole notes this is the first time these two have ever fought. Goldust keeps control of Cena by jumping down onto Cena’s back. Goldust delivers another atomic drop but Cena is able to avoid a kick and they go down following a double clothesline. Cena misses a splash in the corner and Goldust gets a two count. Goldust does some taunting, but Cena comes off the ropes and is nearly pinned following a snap powerslam. Goldust does another taunt rubbing on Cena but Cena gets control with a sleeper hold. Goldust low blows Cena while the referee is out of position and Goldust nearly wins the match. Cena connects with a few shoulder blocks and a side slam. Cena hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle and finishes Goldust off with an AA. (*. There was no reason to be invested in this. I like Goldust, but this whole segment was weird to do. Goldust has had zero momentum to even warrant this kind of interaction.)

Backstage, Elias tries to get his match with Braun cancelled, but fails. Thus, he tells Kurt Angle that whatever happens to Braun is his fault.

Bayley is interviewed in the ring about not tagging in Sasha Banks last week. Bayley says what Banks did at the Rumble and Chamber were hard for her to take. That brings in Absolution and Paige jokes that Bayley is a big girl now that has grown a backbone. Paige says they have strength in numbers and that if you have nobody then you have nothing.

Fourth Contest: Bayley vs. Mandy Rose: Rose starts off with a dropkick to send Bayley into a corner and talks some trash. Rose drives Bayley back first into the corner and continues with a scoop slam for a two count. Bayley delivers several shoulder rams in the corner and a jumping elbow strike causing Rose to bail to the floor. We go to commercial.

Rose has kept control of Bayley on the mat with a sleeper hold. Rose attempts a vertical suplex but settles for a right hand for a two count. Bayley has a baseball slide on Rose and then an inside cradle for near falls. Rose nails Bayley with a running knee strike for a near fall. Rose hammers away on Bayley with right hands for another near fall. Rose tries to catapult Bayley into the middle rope but Bayley counters and drops Rose throat first over the middle rope. Bayley drops Rose with a few axe handle strikes and mounts Rose with right hands. Bayley rams Rose face first into the top turnbuckle followed by a side suplex. Bayley gets distracted by Deville but Bayley still hits an elbow. Bayley punches Deville and rolls Rose up for the win. (*1/4. I really didn’t care for this and I don’t think anyone else did.) After the match, Deville and Rose attack Bayley until Sasha Banks runs in and makes the save taking out Absolution. Banks raises Bayley’s arm and their friendship appears to be okay. Banks goes for a hug, but Bayley stops her and walks off.

Backstage, RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss meets with a disappointed Nia Jax. Bliss thinks that Jax must be embarrassed having lost to Asuka twice in such a short period of time. Bliss tells Nia that she can be at WrestleMania next year. Bliss also talks about how Jax has been outcasted for being larger and Bliss tells her that she can’t let this be her downfall or everyone will lose respect for her. This causes Jax to cry.

Elias is on the stage that has several musical instruments and Elias plays a few of them. Elias is going to play a song, but when the lights drop he runs backstage and tries to escape into a waiting car, but Braun isn’t going to let that happen. Braun is lifting the car up from the back to prevent Elias from getting away.

Fifth Contest: Braun Strowman vs. Elias in a Symphony of Destruction falls count anywhere match: Braun chases Elias back towards the ring. Braun kicks Elias down the aisle. Braun continues to beat on Elias in the ring and tosses Elias across the ring before delivering a splash. Braun clubs Braun down to the mat and plays to the crowd. Braun has Elias over his shoulder but Elias wiggles free and works over Braun’s knee. Elias hits Braun over the back with a guitar to stagger Braun followed by a knee strike. Elias goes to the top rope hitting an elbow drop for a one count. Braun drops Elias with a right hand. They go to the floor and Braun continues to kick Elias. Braun brings Elias over to the announcers table and wipes the table clear. Elias avoids a slam but is sent into the stage. Braun sends Elias into the musical instruments as well. Braun uses the bass to smash Elias over the back. Braun sits at the piano and plays it for a moment. Braun drops the piano on top of Elias and wins the match. (*1/2. They are just wasting Braun at this point and I feel like they are sacrificing Elias in this whole angle.) After the match, Elias does a stretcher job.

Sixth Contest: Bray Wyatt vs. Rhyno: Well, Rhyno lasts all of about 45-seconds. Wyatt wins the match following the Sister Abigail.

Bray Wyatt wants Matt Hardy to come out and show his face. Wyatt says the Great War is far from being over with. Hardy appears on the big screen and agrees that the Great War is far from being over. He says it can’t be contained in the ring and says the war must continue at the Hardy Compound. The crowd pops for that. Hardy wants Wyatt to prepare himself for the ultimate deletion! Finally!

WWE Intercontinental Champion the Miz, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel come out before the main event to present the Mizzies. Miz gives negative awards to guys like Rollins, Balor and Angle. Miz considers Angle to be the best at making awful decisions for RAW. Miz is going to give himself a Lifetime Achievement Award, but Balor and Rollins cut him off. Miz tells them they both don’t deserve a shot at his title since they make losing look great. Miz tells Balor that this isn’t Japan and needs something more than a hand signal that isn’t even his to be over. This leads to a handicap match, per Miz suggestion.

Main Event: WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas vs. Seth Rollins & Finn Balor: Balor takes Axel down to the mat early on but Axel backs Balor against the ropes. Balor dropkicks a seated Axel and controls his left arm. Rollins goes to the top rope and delivers a double axe handle. Axel stops Rollins with a boot to the midsection and tags in Dallas. Rollins tosses Axel to the floor and dropkicks Dallas after a hip toss. Miz distracts Rollins allowing Dallas to get severla stomps in and Miz delivers a running boot to get a near fall. Axel keeps control with an arm lock on the mat. Rollins tries to tag in Balor but is stopped by Axel with a dropkick. Dallas works over Rollins with strikes and nearly pins Rollins. Rollins hammers away on Axel and delivers a boot. Balor gets tagged in and Balor drops Axel and Dallas with forearm strikes. Balor scares Miz off the apron and chops Dallas in the corner. Dallas boots Balor but Balor knocks Dallas off the middle rope with a kick. Miz runs away as Dallas clotheslines Balor on the floor as we go to commercial.

Axel continues to work over Balor with a forearm strike and boot. Rollins and Miz get tagged in as Rollins hits a top rope clothesline. Rollins drops Miz with a kick. Rollins forearms Miz in the corner and hits a Falcon Arrow after a vertical suplex for a two count. Rollins kicks Miz and knocks Dallas off the apron. Rollins counters the Skull Crushing Finale with a rollup for a two count. Rollins nearly pins Miz but Axel makes the save. Rollins takes both Axel and Dallas out with a suicide dive. Rollins clotheslines Miz over the top to the floor and goes for another dive but Balor tags in. They argue about it for a moment until Rollins kicks Dallas and Axel off the apron. Balor hits a somersault dive to the floor. Balor connects with a slingblade and dropkicks Miz in the corner. Balor has Miz setup for the double stomp, but Rollins instead hits the Curb Stomp for the pin on Balor. (**. The main focus is on Rollins and Balor one-upping each other instead of the IC Title. This makes me feel like Miz will manage to retain the title at WrestleMania. The action was okay, but there wasn’t anything here that stood out.) After the match, Kurt Angle announces that Rollins and Balor will both get a shot at Miz at WrestleMania in a triple threat match.

Paul Heyman ends the program coming out to cut a promo on Roman Reigns. Heyman has the WWE Universal Championship with him. Lesnar will successfully defend the title at Mania and he’ll do the same shall he decide to wrestle at SummerSlam. He notes that Roman called Brock a bitch, but Heyman says the title is Brock’s bitch. The title belongs to Brock and Roman is eye balling his bitch. To be champion you need to make sacrifices. If the family calls for an emergency, you can’t go because the title needs you. Heyman says that Brock will be on RAW next week in Detroit. Roman comes out and says that Brock is a bitch for not showing up and sending Heyman instead. Roman will be in Detroit and hopes Brock is dressed for a fight.

Final Thoughts:
Aside from the opening segment and the Heyman promo, I thought this was a lackluster show with nothing holding my interest in-ring. RAW is often times a tough show to get through.

Thanks for reading.

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