WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Mar. 12, 2018) from the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, featuring all the latest build to the WrestleMania 34 pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza set for early next month in New Orleans.
Advertised for tonight: Brock Lesnar is back to come face-to-face with Roman Reigns, and more!
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR MAR. 12
As their bodies lie still and the ending draws near, spirits rise through the air. All their fears disappear, it all becomes clear, a blinding light comes into view. An old soul exchanged for a new, familiar voice comes shining through-- This feeling, inside me, finally found my life I’m finally free. No longer torn in two, I’m here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with Kurt Angle making his entrance.
He says he’s excited to team with Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania against Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. He’s almost sorry for what Rousey’s going to do to McMahon, but he’s not sorry about what he’s going to do to Hunter. Speaking of WrestleMania, he wants to move on to the Universal Championship match, a match for the ages. But as far as tonight is concerned, unfortunately he was just told that Brock won’t be making it tonight.
He’s not sure if Brock had transportation issues or he wasn’t feeling well or he just didn’t feel well, but regardless, he’s not showing.
Enter Roman Reigns. He says he wishes he was surprised but he’s not, and he literally said this a few weeks ago and he wasn’t lying. Brock doesn’t respect him, he doesn’t respect this company, and he doesn’t respect the fans, so what he’s gonna say next, he thinks everybody can relate to-- Brock Lesnar didn’t show up for work today.
Or last week. What are the repercussions, Kurt? What kinda trouble is he in? Don’t answer, he’s not gonna get in trouble because he’s Vince’s boy. Roman says he’s telling the truth, think about it, what happens if you don’t show up for work? You get fired. What happens if Angle doesn’t show up? He gets fired. Him or anybody else in the locker room, best case scenario is a huge fine and worst case is they can’t feed their kids now, and that’s a problem.
It’s not fair and that’s a problem, but Kurt’s just a middleman, the real problem is Vince McMahon, the guy he walked past on his way out here and didn’t have the courtesy to tell him what was going on tonight. He busts his ass for Vince, traveling the world, not being at home for the majority of the year, and it’s one thing to be disrespected by Brock Lesnar, but he will NOT be disrespected by Vince McMahon.
Roman heads back to Gorilla and gets in Vince’s face about not respecting him! Vince begs off and orders the show to go to commercial while he and Roman talk!
Back from commercial, Renee Young is posted outside of Mr. McMahon’s office.
She says things between him and Roman got really loud but not completely out of hand and have settled down now. Roman leaves but she can’t get a word out of him. Vince is out next and admits he’s a little rattled, but Brock Lesnar isn’t anybody’s boy, he’s his own man. As far as disrespecting Roman, he has no intention, he thinks Reigns is a great competitor.
He reminded Roman of something Rock used to say, “know your role and shut your mouth”, and does Brock have certain privileges? Yes, but he doesn’t like people, and that doesn’t make him a bad guy. Does he respect the WWE Universe? Probably not, but he does respect competition, whether in the ring or the octagon. Does Brock have special privileges? Yes, but Vince thinks he’s earned them even if he’s taking advantage of them, and he assures us that Lesnar will be on the show next week and that he’ll compete for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania.
And if you doubt Brock will be there, he gives his word. One more thing, about respect? Based on what just happened, Roman Reigns has been temporarily suspended.
Sasha Banks vs. Sonya Deville
Banks ducks a lariat and starts throwing forearms! Whip reversed, sunset flip gets one, Deville goes low but Sasha reverses to a backslide attempt. Sonya breaks free, looking for an armbar, no dice! Off the ropes, leapfrog to a dropkick, another dropkick, again just a one count! Trading forearms, the Boss dumps Deville to the floor and we go to break.
Back from commercial and Deville has a bodyscissors locked on. Moving on, she puts Banks face-first into the turnbuckles, Sasha throws some hands in return but Sonya nails her with a kick and goes back to the bodyscissors. To the ropes to force the break, Deville with a chest kick and a running knee for two, following it up with repeated shoulder thrusts in the corner.
Banks sidesteps a charge, gets a front kick off for some breathing room, corner double boot, a knee from the apron, perched on the second for Meteora... NOPE! Mandy Rose tries to run interference, Bayley yanks her off the apron, the Boss hits the lungblower...
Sasha Banks wins by submission with the Bank Statement.
Absolution attack Banks three-on-one and put the boots to her! Sonya kicks the Boss down and Bayley is nowhere to be found as they stand tall.
We get Kid Rock’s Hall of Fame video package next.
Commentary promises MizTV up next and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Miz is in the ring already.
He launches into his usual introductory patter and notes that the Miztourage is not with him tonight because they have a very special tag team match, as they have an opportunity to punch their tickets to WrestleMania. His little boys are all grown up and it just goes to show that hanging with him elevates your career. Speaking of elevating your career, his guests are the men he’ll defeat at WrestleMania in what will be his final hurdle to become the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time.
He introduces Seth Rollins first and bid him take a seat before he introduces Finn Balor. Miz points out that Seth seems awful calm and collected given that he’s in the ring with a guy that took away the singles match that they, the workhorses of WWE could have had. They could have burned it down at WrestleMania, and Finn is a great up-and-comer but he’s just not as accomplished as they are.
Miz continues to try to stir the pot and Rollins asks if he thinks they’re stupid. They know what he’s trying to do, and it’s a triple threat match and he’ll have to deal with it. Miz says he’s just trying to get to the truth, and if you want the truth, Finn is the man... in bingo halls. Balor’s WWE resume is lacking, but he does have one thing-- two years ago he beat Seth to become the first-ever Universal Champion.
That’s a huge accomplishment, and maybe Miz should be talking to Finn instead, maybe he’s the guy that deserves the one-on-one spotlight against the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. Balor’s already proven he’s better than Rollins, why do it again? Finn points out that Miz literally just tried the same tactic with Seth and he’ll have to try a lot harder to keep the title.
The A-Lister complains that they’re acting like he’s the bad guy and asks the crowd and they respond that he is, in fact, the bad guy. Admit it, Seth, he resents Balor beating him for the title. Miz carries on about Rollins stabbing people in the back, just ask the Shield, and that gets the Architect to tell him to shut up. He doesn’t need to fire them up, it’s WrestleMania, they’re already fired up.
If you want the truth, Seth says, he’s gonna beat Miz and take the Intercontinental Championship and he’s sorry but Finn doesn’t stand a chance. Balor responds with all due respect, what happened the last time they had a title match? That’s right, he beat him with one arm. Rollins accuses him of living in the past and says he’s gonna stomp his head into the mat in four weeks and become champion.
Finn doesn’t want to wait four weeks, he wants to do it right here! Miz is like a kid in a candy store, egging the crowd’s cheers as his two opponents square off and jaw at each other. They turn to him, Miz makes a break for it but Seth catches him and they dump the champion out of the ring! Rollins blindsides Balor and leaves him lying to close the segment out.
Commentary informs us that John Cena will be here to address his path to WrestleMania or lack thereof and we go to break.
Back from commercial, we’re informed that Kurt Angle has made Rollins vs. Balor official for later tonight.
The Miztourage blindside the Bar before their match even begins! The Bar escape to the floor and rush back in but get beaten down and run off by the Miztourage again! Cesaro & Sheamus get their wits about them and manage to surround Dallas and Axel and turn things around on them! The Revival run down and attack the champions! Bo and Curtis come back in as the brawl continues and here comes the Balor Club!
Revival and Miztourage manage to stand tall and run the other two teams out when Titus Worldwide and Beauty and the Man-Beast come down to attack the champs! The entire tag division is at ringside beating the champions down! Cesaro makes his way out through the crowd as Sheamus gets away up the ramp!
Commentary informs us that John Cena will be up after the break.
Back from commercial we get a short feature on some charity work Titus O’Neil did recently.
John Cena makes his entrance. He says it’s not the ideal path but if he’s brave enough to stand here in front of the crowd, he’s brave enough to face the truth, and some of us already know the truth. He’s had opportunity after opportunity on both brands, tried his best... and didn’t get the job done. No excuses, no one to blame except for himself.
It’s every superstar’s dream to step in the ring and contribute to WrestleMania, and he’s here tonight-- he gets cut off by “Undertaker!” chants and says he hopes “they” are listening-- to tell us that he will not contribute to WrestleMania this year. That doesn’t mean he’s quitting or walking away or even that he’s going to miss WrestleMania.
No, he’s going to be there, it’s just his road to WrestleMania is the same as ours. He’s stood in the ring time and time again and felt the energy, but this year he gets to be the energy because he’s going as a fan. He knows that seems as a shock and a surprise but think about it-- the WWE Universe is the most important part of WrestleMania, and without us there’s no excitement.
Don’t get it twisted, he’s not going with a booboo face, but he’s going excited just like us. (Gonna go to Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2, boss?) He might sit next to you, he might be right over here-- and he hops into the crowd and takes a sip of a fan’s beer to show how great it’s gonna be. He leads a “This is awesome!” chant for the idea of him hanging out in the crowd before shifting to “Let’s go, Roman!” and not getting as many takers.
There’s something he has to address that they won’t be able to do at WrestleMania, so he wants to get it out of his system-- “Let’s go Cena!” / “Cena sucks!”, which he says feels as good as that sip of beer. The only way you’ll hear that at WrestleMania is if he did something he wasn’t supposed to do. But wait, what’s the worst that happens? He’s gonna buy a ticket, nothing’s changing.
He challenges the Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania! He was told the match was impossible even though the fan in him wanted to see it and he just accepted it without asking why. The WWE executives? If they didn’t want it they’d shut his mic off and suspend him like they did Roman. He challenges the Undertaker again. And a third time. And a fourth time.
His mic’s still on and he’s still here, it ain’t the WWE keeping it from happening. There’s one individual keeping it from happening, and that’s the Undertaker. So John addresses the Undertaker directly and tells him to get over his own ego, because when he fails he gets up and goes back to work but the Undertaker hides his head in the sand, ashamed and embarrassed.
He calls Taker fragile and tells him to stop hiding behind his lame excuses. He’s not too old, too washed up, or too broken down, because if he was broken down he wouldn’t be posting workout videos on his wife’s Instagram. The only person stopping the match is the Undertaker, the self-centered egomaniac. So if it takes feeding his ego to make it happen, Cena’ll try his best, and he asks the crowd if they want to see the Undertaker kick his ass and Tombstone him in front of 75,000 people, and they respond very affirmatively.
He says they want to see it and he wants to see Taker try it. So either he’s going to WrestleMania as a fan, which will be fun, or he’s going as Undertaker’s opponent, and that’ll be history. The ball is in the Deadman’s court, time to see if he’s still alive. And if Cena was him, he’d want one more match.
Commentary promises Asuka news as well as a closer look at last week’s Symphony of Destruction match for later in the show and sends us to break.
Back from commercial, the Bar are talking to Kurt Angle. Cesaro says what happened tonight was uncalled for but Angle says they asked for it and tag teams stepped up. Sheamus says they didn’t ask to be physically assaulted by every team on the roster, they just wanted competition. Cesaro says they don’t feel safe on Raw if management doesn’t support them, and Sheamus mentions he’s heard rumors of a Superstar Shake-up coming, and they want to be traded right now.
Bludgeon Brothers, New Day, the Usos, even Breezango, they get excited about all the WrestleMania possibilities. Sheamus says they know they’re not wanted and Angle says he won’t trade them and they’ll find their opponents in a battle royal tonight.
The promised video package about the Symphony of Destruction match follows.
Elias is in the ring to sing us a song. He’s wearing a neckbrace but launches into his usual spiel all the same, albeit a bit slow and sad... and he stops short, blaming the crowd for his state and walking out.
Backstage, Braun cuts a promo about how he dropped a piano on Elias last week and he should count his blessings that nobody’s ever made music on an anvil. (Uh, about that...) He’s not gonna beg and plead for a WrestleMania match, he’s gonna go out there and carve a path of destruction and find somebody to get These Hands at WrestleMania.
Commentary promises us Rollins/Balor up next and send us to break.
Back from commercial in time for entrances.
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins
Collar and elbow, Seth forces Finn into the ropes and breaks clean at referee Dan Engler’s behest but pats Balor’s chest, earning a shove in return. Finn with a wristlock, torquing it around, Rollins reverses to one of his own, Balor’s able to re-reverse and take him down with an armbar to a crouch. Back to a wristlock, Seth gets a fancy escape but Finn pops him in the face with a right hand!
Off the ropes, drop down, leapfrog, elbow, big chop and a snapmare followed by a kick to the back before the Architect puts Balor into the corner for punches and boots. Big chop in the middle of the ropes, another, whip reversed, sunset flip, Finn pops out into a dropkick! Dumping Seth to the floor, dropkick through the ropes puts him into the barricade and follows it up with the Penalty Kick off the apron to send us to break!
Back from commercial and Seth is in control with a cravate on Finn, keeping him grounded. Balor posts to his feet but Rollins takes him back down with it. Again Finn gets to his feet and this time escapes with body blows but the Architect knocks him down with a headbutt. Seth goes around, clubbing the back of Balor’s neck before hitting a running knee to the side of the head!
Back inside, the cover gets two and Rollins locks a reverse chinlock on. Shifting to a neck crank after reapplying but Finn fights out with forearms! Seth puts him face-first into the turnbuckles, lies in wait, springboards, nobody home, boots up on the charge, running forearms, whip reversed, running clothesline and Balor is fired up! Chop in the corner, whip reversed, up and over, boot to the face, Seth to the second but Finn catches him with a gamengiri!
Inverted headlock elbow drop, only good for two! Sling Blade countered, off the ropes, Finn catches him, inverted 1916 blocked with a knee, ripcord knee blocked with an elbow! They trade forearms, Finn gets a strike rush, rolling elbow for a Pele kick and a kick from Rollins leaves both men down and out! Blackout denied, schoolboy for two, Balor gets a double stomp and then the Sling Blade!
Charging in, a superkick lays him out... NOT ENOUGH! Seth follows it up with a charging forearm, leaving Finn staggered in the corner, another one, Balor sidesteps the third and gets a gamengiri from the apron! Headed up top, Seth recovers, cuts him off with a chop, climbing to meet him, thinking about the superplex but Finn blocks with elbows. Charging in again, the superplex goes off but Finn reverses before the Falcon Arrow...
Finn Balor wins by pinfall with a small package.
A tribute video for Fabulous Moolah follows, announcing a Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal in Memory of Fabulous Moolah. (Shoulda been Sherri Martel.)
We go to break on a hype reel for tomorrow night’s episode of Mixed Match Challenge.
Back from commercial we get a recap video covering Ronda Rousey’s WWE career to date and the build to her WrestleMania match.
We see Asuka walking backstage to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Asuka makes her entrance.
She’s interviewed in the ring about her choice to challenge Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. She starts speaking but gets cut off by Alexa Bliss making her entrance with Mickie James at her side.
She laughs about the look on Charlotte’s face and says Asuka’s English isn’t that great so she’ll explain for her. But although she might not speak the language well, she’s very smart and has the longest streak in WWE history. Mickie asks how she keeps that streak going and Bliss says Asuka wouldn’t dare risk stepping in the ring with her at WrestleMania.
James points out Asuka’s catchphrases and Alexa talks about how she redefined what it means to be champion when she retained in the Elimination Chamber and Asuka knows she can’t beat her at WrestleMania so why even try? Some may say that’s cowardly, but you shouldn’t listen to them, because if you know you can’t win it’s just smart strategy.
And hey, she’ll be rooting for Asuka to knock the Queen off her throne, and she applauds her for choosing the champion of the B-show. Asuka says she chose Charlotte because “to be the woman, you got to beat the woman!” She wants to face the best champion in WWE! Bliss suggests that she misunderstood because of the language barrier and Asuka must have been choosing the weaker champion.
Asuka says she beat Bliss once and she’ll beat her again right now! Alexa isn’t having it and instead offers a woman she has unfinished business with.
No one comes out.
Alexa tries again, still nobody... AND MICKIE JAMES CHEAPSHOTS ASUKA!
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial and we have a match in progress!
Asuka vs. Mickie James
Mickie’s in control, making covers, clubbing blows, Asuka manages to get a kick in but James presses the attack. Getting forearms, whip reversed, duck a lariat, running hip attack! Chest kicks follow, off the ropes, and Mickie gets knocked to the floor! Big dropkick on the apron, back inside but James bails again to try and leave through the crowd. Asuka cuts her off and throws her into the ringpost!
A follow-up kick hits only post and Asuka is writhing in pain on the ground as referee Shawn Bennett counts. Back inside to break the count but Mickie is right on the leg, wrenching and tearing, yanking her leg over the ringpost! To the next corner, Asuka fights out but James kicks her leg out of her leg and goes for the DDT-- reversed and reversed again into a nearfall!
Big kick to the head but Asuka can’t capitalize! Trading forearms on their knees and to their feet, spinning backfists, a haymaker, James into the corner, running hip attack, hip toss into a knee to the face... NOPE! Mickie ducks a roundhouse kick and hits the leg, flapjack, into the corner, jockeying for position, Jmaes with a sunset flip powerbomb but she can’t end the match!
Another cover, still no good, right hands to the face! Mick Kick ducked, the Asuka Lock is on...
Asuka wins by submission with the Asuka Lock.
Commentary promises a special preview of the Ultimate Deletion for later tonight before hyping up the #1 contender’s tag team battle royal.
Nia Jax is in her locker room getting ready when Alexa rolls up asking where she was earlier. Nia says Kurt Angle told her not to come out because she had a match lined up, and Bliss gives her the guilt trip about having set up a perfect opportunity for her to redeem herself. Nia let people down but she’s better than that, and Bliss claims that she’s her best friend and picked up the pieces last week because she loves her.
Jax returns the love and they hug, but Alexa says she needs some tough love and wants a promise that Nia will be in her corner against Asuka next week.
We go to break on a Women’s History Month vignette about Indira Gandhi.
Back from commercial in time for entrances.
Joan King vs. Nia Jax
Joan begs off before throwing an experimental forearm and getting freight trained into the corner. Big biel, off the ropes, elbow drop, fireman’s carry...
Nia Jax wins by pinfall with the Samoan drop.
We get a hidden camera angle of Mickie James and Alexa Bliss talking in the dressing room and burying Nia Jax. James points out that Bliss called Jax a loser and a failure and Alexa says the truth hurts and she was being nice. She could have been a lot harder and ends up calling Nia Shrek. The best part, she says, is that Jax is happy following behind and carrying her bags, and she needs to be coddled.
Bliss admits she uses her because she’s a vulnerable human being, and all you need to do is look between them to see why. Alexa furthermore says that next week Nia will be right where she wants her and she grew up as a total loser so she’s desperate to have friends like them. Plus she’s as dumb as she is big. Bliss keeps twisting the knife, mocking the nice moment they had previously and saying Jax knows she’s nothing without her.
It’s just like high school, in fact, and she became popular by hanging out with the champ. Next week she does all the dirty work and they get the glory, and if Nia thinks for herself they’ll beat the hell out of her. They move on to burying Charly Caruso before she arrives and points out the boom mic was on the entire time and everyone heard everything they just said.
Nia leaves and hustles to the back, where Bliss and James are panicking and trying to hurry up and pack before they give up and leave through the back door. Charly points out her interview won’t be happening but Alexa vs. Asuka will happen next week when Nia comes in screaming and throwing stuff in a primal rage to send us to break.
Back from commercial we get the promised video package previewing the Ultimate Deletion.
The video package features the entire platoon and Broken Matt pledges to dump Bray Wyatt into the waters of the Lake of Reincarnation!
Bray Wyatt is in the smoky room and he says that Matt Hardy is a fool and just a man who has made a very bad decision. He knows Matt can hear him so he offers some friendly advice-- when the devil is standing on your doorstep, you never let him in. That being said, he gladly accepts Bray’s invitation to the Ultimate Deletion! He says Matt has a beautiful home and a beautiful family and it’d be a great shame if something bad were to happen to them.
Yeah, it’d be a real shame... He’s coming for you, Matt. Run.
Kurt Angle instructs referee Shawn Bennett that he needs him to referee the Ultimate Deletion, and Bennett asks if he did something wrong. Angle says he knows the match is gonna be complete chaos and he needs Shawn to make sure they both come back in one piece.
Commentary tells us our #1 contender’s tag team match is up after the break.
Back from commercial, commentary hypes up next week’s show and recaps the opening segment of the show because Raw is three hours long. This segues into more hype for next week.
The Bar join the commentary booth for the #1 contender’s tag team battle royal but--
Braun Strowman’s coming down!
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Battle Royal
Braun eliminates Apollo Crews out the gates! Heath Slater tries to choke him out but Strowman shrugs him off! Slater leaves out the bottom rope and Braun follows after him to put him into the barricade! Strowman throws him back in and right back out to eliminate him! Braun turns to face the assembled remaining men and they gang up on the monster among men but try as they might they can’t eliminate him!
The Revival dump Rhyno meanwhile, Titus O’Neil breaks off to punch them and they leave under the bottom rope. Braun fights everybody off and they all leave out under the bottom. Titus comes back in to square up with Strowman... and thinks better of it as we go to break.
Back from commercial and Braun is returning to a partially full ring and he gets mobbed! He shrugs them off with one mighty gesture but Anderson kicks his knee out from under him, Titus and Gallows follow but Strowman isn’t eliminated! They put Braun into the steps and ram the top steps into him! Strowman’s still on his feet as a bunch of dudes ram him with the bottom steps!
O’Neil running wild with laraits, he throws Wilder in the corner, big overhand chop and a biel across the ring! Clash of the Titus but no elimination! The Miztourage put boots to the leader of Titus Worldwide, Dawson eliminated, Dash soon after, Titus runs Anderson over but gets dumped by a returning Braun Strowman! Big Hoot with a kick, off the ropes... and Strowman eliminates him, too!
Miztourage try to dump Braun but he fights them off, running powerslams for both of them! He dumps Curtis and Bo in short order! Karl with a running kick to the knee, basement superkick, a pump kick... BRAUN CATCHES IT! He picks Machine Gun up and tells him he’s going to WrestleMania...
Braun Strowman last eliminates Karl Anderson over the top rope with a biel, becoming #1 contender to the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship.
The Bar stare on from the stage as Braun does the obligatory pose with the WrestleMania sign.
That’s the show, folks.