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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Mar. 21, 2016): Raging dumpster fire

WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Mar. 21, 2016) from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and it was all about attempting to advance the top feuds despite the big stars not being there as well as further establishing the mid-card matches set to take place at WrestleMania 32.

Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events.



They hyped a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT for the Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker match all night, then delivered it just before the main event because neither Shane nor Undertaker actually bothered to come to the arena for the show. Vince McMahon proceeded to walk out and deliver that major announcement himself.

If Undertaker loses, it will be his last WrestleMania.

Two things:

1. How does that do anything other than give Undertaker every reason NOT to fight on Vince's behalf?
2. If Shane wins and assumes control, Vince won't have the authority to carry out the threat anyway.

Now that Shane's big return and the euphoria surrounding it has fully subsided, can we all agree nothing about this makes any sense whatsoever and they are literally grasping at straws to add stipulations to make this match mean something when, in reality, it's just a car crash waiting to happen?

If you're in for that, fine, but the build to this match has been bad, it's entirely possible the match itself will be bad, and if WWE has taught us anything it's that even its biggest stipulations don't mean a damn thing within as little of a week after they're enforced (if they're enforced at all).


Bury me

Here's a weird thing: the top babyface in WWE is literally running all around arenas across the country trying to murder his boss and no one seems to mind!

Roman Reigns is on the warpath is the story WWE was pushing and it's certainly what they delivered but there are issues with said story, namely the fact that he's quite literally stalking his own boss in the hopes of, I don't know, actually killing him? It only ended because Triple H fought him off long enough to jump into a vehicle and speed the hell out of there.

The question, then, is why does The Authority, who run the show, remember, put up with it? Why not just strip Reigns of his title shot -- something you would think they want in all this, after the great lengths they went to just to take the WWE world heavyweight championship away from him -- for his vicious assault on his superiors?

This version of the Reigns character is the best version, no doubt, but there were better ways to do this. This is all without mentioning how unbelievably cheesy it was to see the door opening to slowly reveal Reigns standing with his hands balled up, his face contorted in anger.

After getting a piece, he smiled as his hair literally blew back in the wind.

It's worth noting that all of this sounds good in theory, which is why it makes air, but none of it seems to work in practice. We've seemingly reached a point where even if Reigns goes full John Wick, it won't change how he's received by live audiences. We can all sense this and that discomfort you feel is the very obvious want for a heel turn you know you aren't going to get.

That's where WWE is with Roman Reigns right now. It's unfortunate, too, because he's a talented wrestler who has plenty to offer, he's just in a historically bad spot.

Tonight offered little hope it will get any better as Brooklyn -- and, ultimately, Arlington, Texas -- awaits.


All the best to all the rest

Dean Ambrose has a night: One week after Mick Foley gave him a barbed wire baseball bat, Terry Funk hooked Ambrose up with a chainsaw. At this point, I'm fully expected Tommy Dreamer to show up next week with a pistol. Even with all three weapons, Brock Lesnar will be heavily favored in the match. Later, Ambrose got himself disqualified in a match with Braunman Logjam for using a chair because he wanted to get his point across to Paul Heyman that he will use whatever means necessary to defeat his client, as if that wasn't clear already, what with the chainsaw gift from earlier.

Kevin Owens also had a night: After defeating AJ Styles in a super fun 20 minute match -- bad finish aside -- he perfectly played to Stephanie McMahon in a role he's better suited for than most: backstage interactions. Owens' greatest strength might actually be his acting chops. He's no Rock, sure, but in this space, he's miles ahead of the rest of the roster. His antics setting up his match at WrestleMania 32 were dumb but kinda fun if only because they involved him. And, again, his match with Styles was incredible, a PPV main event worth affair.

Distraction finishes suck: There were multiple distraction finishes on this show and none of them were done well. The entirety of the AJ Styles-Chris Jericho feud during this show was built on the two distracting each other with lame reverse psychology in the hopes fans would buy into chanting positively for Styles (which didn't work, by the way). Good thing they'll probably have a fun match at WrestleMania, because it's hardly been worth the time getting there.

What's the problem: The very best thing that happened on this entire show was an interaction between Big Show and Kane, which says a lot about this episode. After Kane gets the Social Outcasts out of the ring and away from a fallen Show, he gets up, gives Kane a hug, says "he's the man," climbs up on the ropes to celebrate, takes two years to turn around while very clearly setting up to be choke slammed back to the mat, and once he gets around he super casually asks Kane "what's the problem?" When Kane grabs his throat he shouts "KAAANE!" like he's mildly inconvenienced by it all before crashing to the mat. It was hilarious

Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch: While Becky was the better of the two, their commentary during Charlotte vs. Natalya was actively bad for the match they're trying to sell. It was literally two women just yelling over each other with very little substance to anything they were saying. At one point, Sasha, apparently wanting to make this a middle school feud, said "at least I don't dig in the trash for my outfits." This was really bad and it's disheartening to see how much focus they've taken away from the Divas division the closer they've gotten to WrestleMania. Big surprise there, huh?

Bubba Ray def. R-Truth: I guess because Truth is devastated Goldust won't team with him, he just got walloped here before a run in from Goldust himself, who also got put down in a hurry. It's the weirdest thing, these two who want to team together but are both wildly unsuccessful. Then we get The Usos on the scene to attempt to use a table and while this would be a nice little program on SmackDown, or NXT, or any show that isn't 48 hours long, it's hard to muster up enough energy to care at all when it happens 2:35 minutes into a three hour program.

New Day: I'm no expert on comedy, certainly, but there are always going to be days when good comedians simply aren't funny. Sometimes, the material just isn't there. That's what happened last night. There was nothing entertaining about New Day telling League of Nations they were trash in 38 different ways while Sheamus, King Barrett, Alberto Del Rio, and Rusev exaggerated their lame responses to it. Also, Rusev has stinky feet, apparently, and Sheamus' parents must have known he would be a trash human because they put "shame" in his name. This was bad, but New Day has recovered from bad segments like this before. Let's just chalk this up to an off night.

This was, as one of our lovely Twitter followers described it, a raging dumpster fire. Sure, there were bright spots but the show is so long by the time you get to the end, you car hardly remember them.

Grade: G

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