Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 12 March ’18

Penobscot Building in Detroit MI. Art Deco Style. No architect in Wikipedia. Saved from

Kurt Angle comes out. He’s the baby face in the feud and he’s still getting the “You suck” chant. I’m guessing he wished he invented “Yes!” at this point. Much more positive chant. Angle has to inform everyone that Brock Lesnar isn’t there tonight. Roman Reigns comes out. Reigns wonders why Lesnar isn’t being punished. He knows that Angle isn’t the one pulling the strings. He wonders why Vince McMahon is disrespecting him by not telling him the news himself. Reigns goes back stage to confront Vince. Shane tries to head him off but Vince calls for them to go to commercial.

Renee Young gives us an update on what happened. Vince told him to “Know his role and shut his mouth” like The Rock. Vince admits that Brock has privileges that he has earned. Vince gives us his word that Lesnar will be on Raw next week. He then informs us that Reigns is temporarily suspended.

Sonya Deville is awaiting Sasha Banks. Bayley is not happy to be in Banks corner. Naturally Paige & Mandy Rose are in Deville’s corner. The description about a girlfriend giving you the side eye at an event she didn’t want to attend by Corey Graves to describe the look on Bayley’s face was priceless. Bayley stops Rose from interfering. Back Cracker into the Bank Statement for the win. Bayley leaves ring side. Absolution beats down Banks. I get a good laugh out of the fact that it’s a “3 on 1” beat down and Paige is “directing traffic.” Even the least observant fans should have noticed that Paige hasn’t laid a finger on anyone in months.

The Miztourage isn’t with The Miz because they are preparing for a chance at the tag team championships. He invites out Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. The Miz tries to divide and conquer on them. Rollins doesn’t bite on it. Miz tries the same on Balor. He too does not bite. Miz asks if “He’s the bad guy.” The crowd answers “Yes!” Hilarious. The Miz tries to add more fuel to the fire. Rollins says that they’re both already fired up about their match. Balor finally decides to bite and gets fired up himself. They finally start jawing at each other. The Miz starts to laugh when Balor & Rollins notice him again. The Miz gets popped by both of them. Balor tosses him from the ring. Rollins punches Balor. Points to the sign.

Sheamus & Cesaro were supposed to have a match with Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel. All of the teams empty slowly from the back and attack. The Revival is first. Heath Slater & Rhyno. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. Titus Worldwide. Is that enough bold for you in one paragraph? Well, it’s a match at Wrestlemania.

John Cena has no one to blame but himself for all of his failures on both brands. He says he will not contribute to WM this year. He tells us he’s going as a fan. He goes out into the fans and pretends like he’ll sit. Hilarious he tries to get a “Let’s Go Roman” chant. Cena finally gets around to challenging Undertaker. He informs us that Undertaker is the only person preventing this match. He asks the crowd if the crowd wants to see Taker give him his signature moves. Everyone cheers. He says that if it doesn’t work out with Taker, he will go as a fan.

Cesaro & Sheamus want Kurt Angle to do something about their title situation at WM. Angle makes a battle royal to determine their opponents. Weird match to determine that.

Elias is out in a neck brace. He says “This is your fault” to the crowd. He walks to the back. Braun Strowman is going to make someone “Catch These Hands” at WM.

Finn Balor & Seth Rollins have their match. The announcers are selling Balor as finally being back to the form that made him Universal Champion. Balor has the early offense. Rollins works him over second. Balor gets a second wind. A Final Cut gets a two count. They fire forearms at each other. Overhead Kick by Balor. Rollins catches him with an enziguri. Double Stomp by Balor followed by Sling Blade. Rollins catches Balor charging with a super kick. Balor dodges a charge. Sling Shot Kick from the apron by Balor. They fight on the top rope. Superplex by Rollins. Balor turns it into a small package for the win. The announcers play up the smart move by Balor.

Asuka comes out to explain herself. Charly Caruso interviews her. My wife was amused by how excited I was when Asuka’s music hit last night. Before she can answer why, Alexa Bliss comes out with Mickie James. She insults her English skills. They wonder why Asuka is hiding from her. They answer their own question by saying they know Asuka would lose to Bliss. Asuka says to “Be the woman, you need to beat the Woman.” Asuka reminds Bliss that she already beat her. Asuka challenges Bliss. James & Bliss try to get Nia Jax to come out but she doesn’t. James takes a cheap shot on Asuka.

The match is underway when they come back from break. James is working over Asuka. She fires back with a Hip Attack. Asuka then kicks her out of the ring. James ducks out of the ring. Asuka shoves her against the post. Asuka kicks the post. Asuka gets in well before 9. Mickie works over her leg. Asuka kicks Mickie with her good leg but can’t capitalize. A pair of spinning back hands. Asuka knees James in the face. James goes back to the leg. James Sunset Flip Power Bombs Asuka but only gets two. Mickie takes her time going for the Mick Kick. Asuka Lock for the tap out win.

Nia Jax is in back. She was told not to come to Bliss’s aid because Angle told her she has a match next. Bliss continues to insult and pump up Jax. She squashes her opponent. Cameras catch Alexa & Mickie talking candidly about Jax. Bliss uses Nia because she’s a vulnerable human being. How long is this segment? Charly informs them that the boom mic was on the whole time. Glad it finally paid off. Nia is a sad panda. Jax then runs to the back. Bliss & James run off. JAx ransacks the locker room.

The video package for Matt Hardy introduces all of the characters in the Broken Universe. Bray Wyatt is a dirt bag so of course he threatens Hardy’s family. He tells Hardy to “Run.” Kurt Angle sends a ref down to the Hardy Compound next week.

The Tag Team Battle Royal is set to start when Braun Strowman comes out. After he tosses Apollo Crews & Heath Slater, the rest gang up on Strowman. The Revival peel off and toss Rhyno. Strowman can’t be stopped. Strowman gets tossed into the steps. The Miztourage assault him with them. The Revival & Miztourage nail him with the stairs again. Bo Dallas tosses Dawson. Axel tosses Dash Wilder. Strowman comes back in. O’Neil goes first. Gallows goes next. Dallas & Axel follow shortly there after. Anderson gets tossed onto the won group. Strowman wins the match. I’m all for The Bar vs Braun Strowman despite the announcers dismay. – Kevin DiFrango

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