WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Mar. 23, 2020) from the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, with all the latest build to the upcoming WrestleMania 36 pay-per-view scheduled for early next month.
Advertised for tonight: Randy Orton responds to Edge’s challenge, Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre are in the building, 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. 23
In the pen with the mastiffs bred to fight rats in the bowels of the arena, I received a kiss with a promise that produced deformities of happiness. The laughter there is viscous it leaves a residue down the legs of the chairs. Since you lost the will to hear, they get your attention grabbing fistfuls of your hair. These amphibian days they will not heel to you, you can’t defy the defining flaw of your generation. Me, though? I sure can liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with Paul Heyman doing his deal alone in a room somewhere.
He cuts a promo and talks about all the men that Brock Lesnar has beaten over the years, from Ric Flair to John Cena, and how no one has ever been so dominant for so long as he.
Aha, turns out this is a video package, because Drew McIntyre offers his agreement but throws out the counterpoint that he thinks Brock has finally met his match and he’s gonna win at WrestleMania.
Cut to Lesnar and Heyman standing together in the ring at the Performance Center.
Paul cuts a promo telling Drew he can get on his hands and knees but god is only gonna give him a busy signal right now, and other fun ways to tell him that he’s got no chance against Brock.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get a replay of the WWE Championship match from Royal Rumble 2015 featuring Brock Lesnar defending the title against both John Cena and Seth Rollins.
See you when we’re back to new content, friends!
Back to the new business, we get... a recap of Rob Gronkowski’s appearance from SmackDown.
A video package recapping all our AJ Styles and Undertaker business follows.
Show’s three hours long, whatcha gonna do?
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Byron Saxton and Tom Philips talk up Styles/Undertaker and we get another video package, because Raw is three hours long. (Three hours long.)
The OC make their entrance and AJ Styles gets on the mic.
He talks about how WrestleMania is bigger than ever and how he and the Undertaker are gonna have a match and he doesn’t care what night it’s on, but maybe the Deadman cares because of when his wife’ll let him out of the house. He runs Taker’s maternity pants from last week down (and Karl Anderson theorizes about whether he was wearing diapers) and calls him Dog the Bounty Hunter.
They talk about Taker swimming with a tiger and play a video clip thereof. AJ continues to talk about how Taker’s mystique has worn off with all the social media and says he doesn’t want the Mark Calaway that’s posting selfies, he wants the Undertaker of yesteryear, and he doesn’t know where he’s to be found, but he’s gonna give us what he wants.
He’s gonna bring the Deadman back in a match that’s right in his wheelhouse, a Boneyard match! And he’s got the perfect plot picked out for him, and ironically enough, it’s the same one that Michelle McCool picked out when she buried the Undertaker’s career.
Zelina Vega, Angel Garza, and Andrade “Cien” Almas are interviewed backstage.
As far as preparations go, Garza and Almas will display tonight why they’re the best team in WWE and soon Andrade will be the most decorated champion in the company, and the Street Profits can go hang out in the crowd all they want, without the titles. Almas says they don’t want the smoke, they want the titles. Garza says they’re both men and anything can happen, and then comes back briefly to be horny.
They’ll be in action after the break.
Back from commercial, commentary warns AJ Styles to be careful what he wishes for and they hype up Edge vs. Randy Orton.
We get a video package for that match as well.
Andrade “Cien” Almas & Angel Garza vs. Cedric Alexander & Ricochet
Ricochet fending Almas & Garza off before the bell, Alexander joins to even the odds.
Ricochet and Almas to start, the One and Only running hot with forearms, whip blocked and Andrade starts laying into him. Whip across, roll up and over, tijeras into a kip-up, dropkick, only a one count. Ricky lighting Cien up with strikes in the corner, Garza tries to move the tag rope and force a tag but referee Shaun Bennett isn’t having it! Almas taking advantage of the distractions with strikes, he palms Ricochet off the top and to the floor!
Angel tries to beat Ricochet down but Cedric makes the save and the Street Profits show up!
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Almas has Ricochet in a kneeling armbar and transitions to shoulder armbreakers. Double whip, double-team alarm clock, only a two count! Street Profits have joined commentary, by the way. Anyway, Garza whips his pants off and takes control, beating Ricky down. Tags, double-teams, nearfalls, but eventually Alexander gets the hot tag and runs roughshod on Angel!
Passed to the apron, a big boot staggers him and sets up the springboard swinging reverse STO... NOPE! Underhook chancery, tag to Ricochet, double whip, boot up but Garza is caught by a Manhattan Drop, roundhouse kick, gourdbuster, running shooting star press but Andrade breaks it up! Big chops from Almas, stereo superkicks from the babyfaces, the heels laid out and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Alexander laying forearms in on Almas, whip reversed, Neuralyzer connects for two! Drop toehold gets Andrade some breathing room, fired up, corner knees set up shoulder armbreakers and a tag to Garza. Inverted facelock, get him on the ropes, slingshot inverted suplex for a nearfall of his own! Kneeling armbar to follow it up, Ricochet clears Andrade from the ring but gets tripped up on the apron!
Cedric with a schoolboy for two, kick caught, Garza kicks him in the inner thigh... NOT QUITE! Quebrada follows it up but he doesn’t get all of it and it’s only good for two! Drawing Alexander up, Ricky blocks the double team, slingshots in, off the ropes... CORKSCREW TOPE CON GIRO! Back inside, up and over, Michinoku Driver plants Andrade, folding press... STILL NO!
Andrade dead weight in the ropes, Alexander fails to pull him up at first, gets under him for a back suplex lift but elbows to block. Back suplex attemtped, roll through, Almas hits the huge back elbow that sends spit flying out of Cedric’s mouth...
Andrade “Cien” Almas & Angel Garza win by pinfall with the back elbow from Almas on Cedric Alexander.
Post-match, Street Profits and Vega’s boys brawl and the Profits send them packing to send us to break.
Back from commercial, commentary talks about unforgettable moments and we get a recap of last week’s appearance from “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Brendan Vink & Shane Thorne vs. Street Profit (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford)
Profits well in control early, working Thorne over, but he’s able to tag out to Vink in short order and Brendan takes charge, beating Ford down and getting one over on him. Shane takes his turn, but when Vink tags back in Montez gets a huge dropkick and the tag! Dawkins pounces Thorne out of the way, overhead belly to belly on Brendan, turning Stinger Splashses on both of them, Sky High sets him up...
Street Profits win by pinfall with the frog splash from Montez Ford on Shane Thorne.
A recap of R-Truth winning the 24/7 Championship back from Riddick Moss follows.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial we get some hype for Rob Gronkowski hosting WrestleMania.
Shayna Baszler is featured in a sitdown interview.
Or well, questions are asked of her and she chooses to focus on how Charly Caruso looks nervous. She asks if she thinks she’s gonna bite and says Becky Lynch should expect to lose at WrestleMania. She tells Charly to ask the question she really wants to ask, why she only wants to destroy and why she wants the title so bad. Shayna says when she takes the title from Lynch, it’ll destroy her, and it’s no more complicated than that.
From the very beginning she’s shown everyone exactly who she is— BECKY LYNCH IS HERE AND WAILING ON SHAYNA’S BACK WITH A STEEL CHAIR!
Commentary informs us Aleister Black will be in action, after the break.
Aleister Black vs. Leon Ruff
Holy hell it’s Evolve superstar and AR Fox trainee Leon Ruff!
Black sits down in front of him but Ruff is game to fight and beckons for him to get up. When that fails he goes for a kick, Black dodges and rises catches a second kick...
Aleister Black wins by pinfall with Black Mass.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Kevin Owens is in the ring, microphone in hand.
He calls Seth Rollins out, and lo and behold, Seth Rollins appears.
Seth says this arena actually looks pretty nice and asks Kev if he actually believes that fighting in this building gives him the home field advantage. He can’t seem to understand it— he’s right, he didn’t train here and Owens did, but does he even understand how he earned these things? He didn’t train here because the PC didn’t exist when he was signed, and it was built on his tears and sweat and success.
He got signed in a dilapidated warehouse and told that nothing he did before WWE mattered, and that’s a sacrifice that KO can’t understand. He perservered, not for himself, but for people like Owens, so he could get an opportunity to train in a beautiful facility like this. He built the system from the ground up and he’s been trying to do the same for Raw but people like Owens keep standing in his way.
None of this exists without Seth Rollins— NXT, the Performance Center, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Undisputed ERA, TakeOver, the women’s revolution... none of them exist without Seth Rollins. And most importantly, without Seth Rollins, there is no Kevin Owens. He asks Kev to let him finish and ask his second question— why on earth did he pick WrestleMania to try and make an example of him?
Does he know his track record at Wrestlemania? Intercontinental Championship, Universal Championship, he’s got more WrestleMania moments than he can count, and Owens has zero. His WrestleMania track record reads like failure after failure, and Kev can’t beat him on his worst day, and WrestleMania is not his worst day, because under pressure, he becomes a god, and Owens doesn’t stand a chance.
A replay of Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka from WrestleMania 34 follows, and sends us to break.
Once the replay finishes, Charlotte Flair is interviewed.
She talks about how inspiring it was to end Asuka’s undefeated streak, and about how excited Rhea Ripley must be, but she’s a master class in making history.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Randy Orton makes his entrance.
He says he’s done and said things, over the last few months, that have been misunderstood. What he did and said came from a place of love, but they’ve been taken as an act of brutality and violence. He speaks directly to Edge and says he’s going to respond to his challenge, but first he has to get something off his chest. He has to apologize for lying to Beth Phoenix several weeks ago, when he said Edge was a junkie for the roar of the crowd.
No, he’s a junkie for his own ego— Adam Copeland is a junkie for Edge. But last week something he said did ring true, and that’s that Randy never had to pay his dues for his opportunities. He can admit he was handed an opportunity because of who he was and the last name that he had. But just because he was given an opportunity that doesn’t mean that he’s guaranteed a hall of fame career, does it?
He won the Intercontinental Championship in his first year and then became the youngest world champion ever, but was that handed to him? Did Mick Foley pass him the torch? No, he put him into thumbtacks and made Orton take the torch from him. He’s got the one trait that Edge said he didn’t have, grit. But maybe that means two different things to the two of them.
To him, grit doesn’t mean sitting on your couch for nine years asking “What if...?”, grit means longevity, it means being the one constant in the WWE locker room. He sits back there and he doesn’t see anyone that’s accomplished what he has, and nobody has as much grit as he does. You call him an entitled brat, well... but isn’t Edge the ultimate opportunist?
Wouldn’t he have done the same things with the same opportunities? Would he have turned Triple H down were he offered a spot in Evolution? Everything Orton does, he does out of love for Edge, but now he wants a Last Man Standing match? He may be writing this story, but at WrestleMania, Randy is going to write the last chapter and end it.
That’s the show, folks.