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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Mar. 4, 2019): Reunion tour

The Shield got back together just in time for Fastlane...but just like nearly every farewell tour, “getting the band back together” lacked some of the magic that made the group special.

Roman Reigns opened the show asking Seth Rollins for a favor. And no, not a shot at the Universal Championship – he wanted to reform the Shield one last time. I liked this a lot at first; Reigns mentioned having a new outlook on his place in the world after his run in with Leukemia, and this was consistent and the first real proof of his claim. He’s after moments and friendships at this point more than championships.

Rollins was wary to say the least, and understandably so. He’s as scarred from Ambrose’s recent run as we are. If you’ll allow me one gripe, I thought Rollins laid in on too thick with his answer to Reigns; he repeated a bunch of buzzwords that Reigns had used like “brothers” and “tomorrow isn’t guaranteed” – it’s not how people actually talk. But nevertheless, he agreed to give it a shot and that led to the duo trying to convince Ambrose. Ambrose took the stage, actually, before getting decked with a guitar by Elias.

Roman tried to talk to him backstage to no avail. Rollins called Ambrose his “wrestling soulmate” before getting rejected as well. They watched as Ambrose went out alone to fight Elias and lost. Again. They tried one more time to convince Ambrose, but he stormed off in a huff up the stairs that used to be the Shield’s entrance.

The trio of Lashley, McIntyre, and Corbin chose that moment to attack. And when the words were out of the way and it was all about a fight, Ambrose finally came back into the fold. The Shield ran the goons off and hit their pose.

Now...all that sounds fun – and it was! But there’s still some issues that I’m not really sure WWE can do anything about. For starters, Ambrose’s exit from the company is looming large and making this thing feel like a “One Last Time” tour. It feels bittersweet. And when you consider that fact...the goon squad of Corbin, McIntyre, and Lashley is the best you could get?

That sounds really callous, I know. But I’m also serious. Which of these three have any momentum at all, at this point. Hell, they fought the team of Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, and Kurt Angle three weeks ago – a match we saw again on this show – and they lost.

I dunno. It’ll be fun at Fastlane. I just wish we could do this right before it’s gone.

Ronda’s gone rogue

Ronda Rousey, why do you have to monologue all the time?

After dropping the title at Stephanie McMahon’s feet last week, Rousey came stomping into the arena at the end of the show looking for it back.

Stephanie had taken the gesture to mean that Rousey was relinquishing the championship and had already made plans. Becky Lynch was taken off suspension and – provided that she’d sign an agreement freeing WWE of all liability – rewarded a championship match for the vacant title at Fastlane.

Not on Rousey’s watch. After the agreement was signed, Rousey got into Stephanie’s face and started ranting and raving. All the McMahons cared about was money. She’d broke her back to respect the business. We all booed her anyway. Blah blah blah.

I struggle to make sense of where I stand on Rousey’s heel turn, actually. I was extremely annoyed with her words here and when you throw her Twitter antics into the mix, it’s so easy to dislike her. And while I don’t consider Rousey the strongest promo, she’s generating strong feelings from me at the moment with her words in spite of a story that’s been...hectic at times.

Can we chalk that up as a success? I honestly have no idea.

Stephanie gave Rousey the title back but changed the Lynch vs. Charlotte stipulation at Fastlane. If Lynch wins, she gets added to the WrestleMania match. Neither Rousey or Charlotte were too fond of the idea and Rousey claimed she could do anything she wanted and the McMahons wouldn’t stop her. So she did, and beat Lynch to a pulp.

It’s been a weird road to this triple threat match, man.

Richard Fliehr?

Batista made waves when he beat up Ric Flair last week, but the Animal wasn’t in the building for this show. In his own words, we’re playing the game on his terms.

That, of course, meant we were due a Triple H promo. And you guys, I’ve got to be honest - I don’t like this beyond the looking glass stuff. Triple H called Ric Flair by his real name and talked about going up and down roads and knowing the man behind the character and... I just don’t like that storytelling mechanism. It’s meant to be a stronger emotional appeal, but is it really? It worked for Reigns because he had freaking cancer. The “my name is Joe” part worked there because he was literally terrified, an emotion that Reigns never portrayed in his show’s character.

But with that said, Triple H’s emotional appeals and acting were on point. He got strangled talking about Ric Flair and the crowd serenaded the silence with Woo’s which was a really cool moment. He accused Batista of being a quitter all his life and that more in line with what I’d actually like to see moving forward.

The Rest

Ricochet and Aleister Black def. The Revival via DQ – Okay...I actually really like this. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode have been salty as hell about the NXT rookies getting a quick shot at the Tag Team Championships. So they did what all salty folks do: they trolled.

Just as the NXT guys were getting the upper hand in this match, Roode and Gable showed up at ringside and put the boots to The Revival. The intention here was pretty clear; they just wanted to screw over the new guys. These three teams are clearly the cream of the crop on this brand and I’d be so down for a Triple Threat title match at WrestleMania.

Lashley/McIntyre/Corbin def. Balor/Strowman/Angle - I said it in the opening, but this is a match we saw less than a month ago. And at the time I flamed the match as being unhelpful to anyone involved.

This time, at least it served two purposes. It was a quick attempt to give the villainous trio some sort of credibility, but it also was meant to further the Lio Rush/Lashley story.

Rush did everything he could to help Lashley this time and thwarted Balor at every turn. Balor had a sure victory snatched from him when Rush pulled him off a cover, and Rush took the fall for Lashley when Strowman ran him through a barricade. It allowed Lashley and co. to gang up on Balor and get the win. It looks like we’re getting Lashley vs. Balor at WrestleMania which I’m fine long as we get a Demon sighting.

Heavy Machinery runs the gauntlet – The veterans in the tag team locker room cracked a few juvenile jokes about Otis and Heavy Machinery swore to go through them all.

So they did. Not really much to add. They beat B-Team, the Ascension, and Ryder/Hawkins.

Natalya def. Ruby Riott – What the hell is up with Riott getting destroyed lately? Can we get Riott a freaking decent match?

Lacey Evans walked – This ain’t working. Get to the point where someone calls her out for being stupid, please.

Tamina def. Sasha Banks – Fastlane? More like dear god it’s rush hour traffic and I need to get over three lanes before the next exit please get me out of here, amirite? Hahaha...I nailed it.

This show felt long and about half the show wasn’t all that great. I really liked the scene centered around the tag team championships, though. Give me much more of that.

Grade: C+

Did this show feel weird to you as well, Cageside?

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