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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Mar. 12, 2018): Lesnar no shows, Reigns suspended, oh my!

If you didn’t know this by now…the WWE has no sense of subtlety. At all. About anything. Ever.

Look guys! The man is holding Roman Reigns down! He’s just like Stone Cold Steve Austin! The Rock’s his cousin! He’s super-duper relatable and just like you because he has a job and responsibilities and stuff!

Cheer! Please?

Low-hanging fruit aside, Reigns – at least to my ears – was booed a little less heavily this week. He also got cheers for calling out Vince McMahon and insulting him for allowing this Lesnar situation to happen.

Having Lesnar no-show once again was brilliant. He was actually advertised for this show and still missed it. Booking and promotional material means nothing to him and Reigns was justified for being slightly miffed about that.

Reigns actually went to Gorilla and got in Vince’s face over it. Can I also say how much I LOVED Renee Young actually playing the role of broadcast journalist coming out of the commercial break? She stood outside of Vince’s office and gave a rundown of what had occurred during the break and was there give Vince a chance to speak.

Give Young more opportunities like this, WWE.

In the end, Vince promised that Lesnar would be at the show next week, and I really hope he’s not. That’s the point of this feud. They need to drill home that Lesnar’s a flake and will always leave us wanting while he’s champion. And isn’t that true? How many times did he wrestle last year? Certainly not enough to provide all of the matches that we were hoping to see.

We didn’t get the results we wanted, either; if there was any justice in the world, Braun Strowman would be Universal Champion by now.

Meanwhile, Reigns is here every week. He puts on great matches. Reigns at his worst already offers more than Lesnar to the diehard fan.

Hell, if I were WWE, I’d drive that point home next week. Have Reigns go put on some shocking match with a surprise NXT guy or a cross-brand match – something that drives the point home that “Lesnar will never give you this.”

That would be my final point about this feud. I hope they focus more on the things Reigns can actually provide rather than the people he’s like or the cousins he has.

But overall, WWE is doing better with this feud than I ever imagined they could.

Rollins’ Rival

Hey, let’s check in on that Intercontinental Championship feud, shall we?

…Yep. Still the best feud. The best feud.

These three are made for one another – they complement each other so well. And the Miz…the Miz, man. He is such a talent on the microphone. He’s the perfect man to frame this story as he obsesses over his own fame and immortality. He’s trying his hardest to stoke the rivalry that matters, here.

Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor.

Miz dominated the talking in the MizTV segment trying to turn the two men against each other. In reality, he doesn’t even need to bother; Balor and Rollins are escalating things on their own.

The bad blood between Balor and Rollins is real and frothing and they just can’t help themselves. Balor mocked Rollins by bragging about beating him with one arm. Rollins decked him in the scuffle afterwards.

They had a match later in the show and Balor did his top rope pose while staring directly at Rollins. You could see the bad blood in the little things as well. A clean break early in the match led to shoving. Balor made a point to work Rollins’ right shoulder – the same one that he injured nearly two years ago. Rollins was flirting with five counts and rubbing his taped wrist in Balor’s face on pin attempts.

And the finish! My god, the finish of this match – Balor countered Rollins’ usual Superplex/Falcon Arrow combination with a roll up to steal the victory. And Balor sat there, clutching his neck and grinning smugly as Rollins stormed off.

These two have a feud for life, man. They hate each other. I’m looking forward to how they involve the Demon into this feud – because they have to, right?

Either way…the best feud.




Okay. I’ve got myself contained now. This is the best idea WWE has ever had. How long have we been saying, “Give Strowman ALL the titles?”


I’m not even the biggest Strowman fan but my god I’m ALL IN on this new development. This is freaking awesome. He’s going to do what Team Hell No joked about.

I mean…he shouted “I’M GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA” as he launched Karl Anderson like a Frisbee! How cool was that?!

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Considering how sad John Cena’s been lately, he was positively chipper as he trotted on down to the ring. It was pretty comical, too. You know how I’ve been poking fun at how he’s a freaking millionaire and John freaking Cena these past few weeks?

Yeah. He finally remembered.

He took ownership of his failures before hopping into the crowd to say that he’d be enjoying WrestleMania as a fan this upcoming year, sipping at some dude’s beer and chanting dumb chants that the crowd happily chanted back for him.

…Except for “Let’s Go Roman.” They shut him down pretty hard on that one.

He got back into the ring and came to a sudden epiphany. He has nothing to lose, right? So he did what everyone seems to do this time of year: He challenged the Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania.

And the crowd exploded.

What followed was a crash course in how good Cena is. He sold the match by calling Undertaker a coward, spoiled, and bashed him for putting up workout videos on his wife’s Instagram account.


And it’s a simple, compelling story too. Cena failed and brushed himself off. Undertaker failed, however, and disappeared. I found it interesting that Cena showed no reverence for the “Deadman” persona. That, with the unfortunate addition of Kid Rock into the Hall of Fame has me wondering if we might be seeing a resurrection of “Biker” Undertaker?

It’s just speculation, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

Best of the Rest

You’ve got a Friend in…Me? - Bayley helped Sasha Banks pick up a victory when Absolution tried to cheat to win. But as soon as the match was over, Bayley grimly walked away.

That left Banks all alone with Absolution and she took a beating for it. Bayley was nowhere to be found. Banks would passive-aggressively quote Kendrick Lamar lyrics on Twitter later.

The Bar Demands a Trade – The entire tag team division answered their open challenge and that left the Bar fuming and demanding a trade to SmackDown. Instead, Angle booked a Tag Team Battle Royale for

I Physically Hurt for Nia Jax - Alexa Bliss came out to taunt Asuka after she decided to wrestle Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. It was a necessary plot point to set up what happened later.

Bliss spilled the beans at long last. She’s been manipulating and taking advantage of Jax. It was revealed after a squash match for Jax and featured some Mean Girls-esque insults but none of that matters.

I empathize so much with Nia Jax. Her tears last week got me and her anger this week got me as well. I cannot wait for the destruction she brings next week.

“Hey I’m Spook!” “I’m Not So Spooooook…” – Sorry about the weird title here – got Wyatt and Hardy singing the Game Grumps intro in my head.

Anyway! This Ultimate Deletion could be this feud’s saving grace or another disappointment. I’m cautiously optimistic, however. I really want to see King Maxel dropkick Wyatt or suplex him into a lake of fire or something. Y’know, the sort of thing that happens at the Hardy Compound.

Raw has consistently exceeded my expectations on this build to WrestleMania. I expected excellence from the Intercontinental Championship feud and Cena. I expected something good from Rousey and Reigns as well.

I never thought that I’d enjoy the Bliss/Jax feud this much or the slow burn to Banks/Bayley. Even the tag team division and the Ultimate Deletion are looking up!

This was a good show. This is a glowing review, but I was grinning all night long.

Grade: A

Your turn, Cageside.


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