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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Mar. 11, 2019): Farewell

The Shield returned at Fastlane, sure, but this episode of Raw was supposed to be Roman Reigns’ first singles match in half a year. Leave it to Drew McIntyre to spoil the party.

I actually loved this. I mean, I could take or leave McIntyre’s part in the whole thing. What really resonated with me here was how Rollins ran down to help Reigns after he got brutalized by McIntyre. In the past, Reigns was always so consumed with the alpha male routine; and yet here, he paused for a minute after waving off the doctors and accepted Rollins’ help to the back. When we returned after a commercial break, Rollins was ushering Reigns in to see the trainer and Dean Ambrose had caught up with the duo, seething.

Ambrose confronted Triple H backstage and demanded a match with McIntyre. No DQ, falls count anywhere. HHH smirked approvingly and gave it to him.

And we got a fun match! Ambrose and McIntyre fought up in the press boxes before meandering to the stage and commentary table. And at that point McIntyre hit Ambrose with a low blow and dear god he rammed a pencil into Ambrose’s eye. Renee Young’s scream of horror was tinged with some real emotion, there.

McIntyre followed up with some Claymores to win and close the show.

I thought it was telling and endearing for Ambrose to put himself on the line for Reigns like he did on this show. It was almost as if he was accepting the punishment as penance for previous misdeeds while also getting some of his frustration and anger out on McIntyre. As for McIntyre...I don’t know. All of this was good but this is essentially what the guy’s been doing for months now: beating up babyfaces in a claim to be setting a new standard on Raw.

I’ll let you be the judge of how successful he’s been. Regardless, it looks like Reigns and McIntyre will be fighting at WrestleMania.


No Holds Barred

“No!”

“Give it to me!”

“No!”

Spittle flies. “G-Gimme it!”

“NO!”

“GIVE IT TO ME!”

“FINE!”

“THANK YOU!”

Y’all I was laughing my ass off during this Triple H vs. Batista promo. I ranted and raved and praised Batista for his acting chops in that Ric Flair beatdown and then we get...this.

Not that this was bad, mind you. It was just hysterical. And in a good way!

Triple H came to the ring all taped up and leather jacketed up, ready for a fight. And then Batista came out in a buttoned-down shirt that was unbuttoned so far that you couldn’t even see it underneath his sparkly blazer, blue shades, and a blue nose ring.

The sheer dichotomy, man. They might as well have been on different islands and speaking different languages. It made this thing even more ridiculous and awesome.

Essentially, Batista wanted a match to officially retire and Triple H has apparently been denying him for years. So he beat up an old man to get it. And you know what, Triple H? I don’t really think you can cry victim here; you’ve done plenty worse over the years.

And so it devolved to two middle-aged men screaming at each other and you know what? I’m game, let’s freaking do this. If the match is as much a spectacle as this segment was, we’re in for a fun night at WrestleMania.


Ronda’s crazy and Dana’s desperate

Ronda Rousey is muuuuch more fun to hate.

She came out on this show spewing nonsense about both Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair as well as saying some just plain-old weird stuff. Who the hell brought up a church, Ronda? She ranted as the crowd booed; she was so wonderfully annoying.

That brought out Dana Brooke of all people. And yes, she used to be a heel and I can’t remember her going babyface, but whatever. The point is that she had a heartfelt point to make – and one that I think we can all empathize with! Brooke pointed out how ridiculous all this was. Rousey is a household name and she’s pulling stuff like this? Meanwhile, folks like Brooke are just looking for one chance.

Brooke then asked for Rousey to defend her championship – it was the night after a PPV, after all. Didn’t Rousey promise to set a new standard in WWE and to defend her championship after every PPV? In response, Rousey kicked her in the gut and rag-dolled Brooke, going so far as to set up for an armbar before declaring “pay 60 bucks and I’ll show you an armbar.”

What a ridiculous, fantastic line.

Yeah, hating Ronda is much, much more fun.


The Rest

Bobby Lashley def. Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Championship – So uh...if jumbotron Lashley is Zordon, Lio Rush is Alpha 5, right?

I thought this match was fine. Finn basically got his ass kicked for 10 minutes before revving to life and gaining the advantage – you know, the usual Balor match. But with that said, I don’t really know how I feel about the story moving forward. Which is puzzling, honestly, when I try to logic out what this decision could mean.

This title change was clearly meant to generate some heat for Lashley - and I’m skeptical, but we’ll see - but does it spark a Demon appearance from Balor? Could it even be opening up Balor up for something else at WrestleMania? The dance is almost full, so I can really only see part-time options for him if we go that route. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t mind it; it’s not like I was invested in the Lashley/Balor stuff anyway.

Credit where credit’s due, though; Lashley’s Spear was awesome.

Rollins makes some great points, def. Shelton Benjamin – How many times have people made the point that Brock Lesnar has better matches with smaller wrestlers? Seth Rollins spun that point on this show to also show how Lesnar’s almost been beaten in the past. It’s the smaller, quicker guys that push him to his limits.

And Paul Heyman did the very best thing he could do for this feud; he got defensive. “Brock had no time to prepare for Bryan, Styles, or Balor! He had a tummy ache! The plane ride made his ears hurt!”

Yeah, sure Paul. Heyman countered with a dumb video showing how great Lesnar is and paid off Shelton freaking Benjamin to sneak attack Rollins.

After this, I think WWE made the right decision in stalling this build. We probably skipped a lot of topsy-turvyness and we’ll get straight to the goods.

Alexa Bliss will host WrestleMania – You know what? I like this so much better than some “star” I don’t care about that has no ties to wrestling. And honestly, Alexa has the chops to knock this out of the park. No complaints here.

Aleister Black and Ricochet def. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable - The NXT dudes keep killing it - but where are they going to appear on the WrestleMania card? The Revival left them with a parting shot to end their nights as well, so perhaps they get another shot at the titles. Who knows?

Strowman needs to invade SNL – Being an adult is when you wince at Braun Strowman destroying a car and thinking “geez someone could have used that.” I mean it did break awfully easy so perhaps it wasn’t real...look you see what I’m getting at, right?!

Look, I know WWE can’t exactly make the call on this stuff, but how fun would it be for Strowman should show up on Saturday Night Live and destroy the broadcast? I know we’ll have to settle for something happening at WrestleMania, but I’ll hold out hope.

Lacey Evans walks, turns, leaves – Okay I’m at the point where the only way WWE is going to win me with Lacey is if she literally does this walking gimmick for like three years straight. Never even wrestles a damn match during that time.

Kurt Angle def. Apollo Crews – Man, did y’all see how hard Apollo jumped into those German Suplexes for Angle? That’s some serious love for your craft and for those who paved the way.

No Way! Jo – ow – Don’t interrupt Elias when he’s cracking Antonio Brown jokes, Jose. Eh, whatever; Anthony Miller’s better anyway.

Natalya vs. Nia Jax nonsense – This stuff is still completely uninteresting to me.


This show had a lot going on and a good portion of it was fun. However, there’s a lot of mid card and lower card stuff that doesn’t interest me in any way whatsoever. I’m still thoroughly confused by the Balor/Lashley stuff, too, and irrationally scared that Balor gets thrown in the Andre somehow.

Still, most of the big feuds are doing respectably. Three hours is a lot after a four-hour PPV, though.

Grade: B-

Talk to me, Cageside. Who’s standing out to you as we near WrestleMania?

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