This Week on Monday Night RAW

Image via Forbes.com

As for every WWE show for the foreseeable future, Monday Night RAW aired last night again with no audience. Even without an audience, the red brand continues to shine as one of the best wrestling shows today. 

The promo work that WWE has displayed over the last couple of weeks has been phenomenal. Edge, AJ Styles, Randy Orton and countless others have delivered promos that engage the audience with the storyline. With the circumstances as it is, superstars looking into the camera and telling a story makes the audience invested in that storyline.

Last night, there was a lot to unfold, including some great promos as we inch closer to WrestleMania. Here’s my review of RAW last night.

The Beast Returns

WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman kicked off the show. In a time of such uncertainty, Heyman implied that the WWE Universe should be certain that the Beast will walk out of WrestleMania still the WWE Champion.

“Drew McIntyre cannot beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania,” Heyman said.

McIntyre eliminated Lesnar in the Royal Rumble match back in January and two weeks ago on RAW, he delivered three Claymore Kicks to Lesnar, leaving the Beast Incarnate lying down on his back. 

Because of this, Heyman said that Lesnar will “make it quick, but he won’t make it painless.”

Stipulation Added to Styles vs. Undertaker Match

AJ Styles made an appearance last night. Styles talked about how Undertaker is using social media nowadays and even made fun of his tiger commercial. Styles said he wants to bring back The Deadman. He doesn’t want to fight the “Mark Callaway that’s posting selfies, getting on Twitter, and writing this and that.”

At the end of his promo, Styles challenged Undertaker to a Boneyard Match. I don’t know what this match entails, but I guess we will find out at WrestleMania.

Two New Matches Added to ‘Mania Card

It was announced last night that the Street Profits will defend their RAW tag team titles against the United States Champion, Andrade and Angel Garza. After Andrade and Garza defeated Ricochet and Cedric Alexander, the Street Profits got up from their chairs at the commentary desk and confronted their challengers after some trash talk. Following the mini-brawl, the Street Profits got a victory of their own against Shane Thorne and Brendan Virk of NXT. 

Aleister Black will face Bobby Lashley one-on-one at the Show of Shows. Black also had a match last night and defeated his opponent in under a minute.

The Queen of Spades Looks to “Destroy” The Man

Shayna Baszler sat down with Charley Caruso for an interview. Baszler sat up straight, looking very intimidating into Caruso’s eyes. Caruso seemed scared but kept going along with the interview. 

The Queen of Spades brought up the question of why she loves to destroy. She wants the RAW Women’s Championship because she loves to destroy. “When I take that title from Becky Lynch at WrestleMania, it will destroy Becky Lynch,” Baszler said emphatically.

The Man heard enough. As Caruso was asking the next question, Lynch came from behind and hit Baszler with a steel chair twice. 

Seth Rollins Owns Kevin Owens

Kevin Owens called out Seth Rollins ahead of their match at WrestleMania. Rollins didn’t allow Owens to speak and deservedly so. This was one of Rollins’ best promos in my opinion. 

The Monday Night Messiah said the WWE Performance Center, one of the sites of WrestleMania 36, wouldn’t be there without his blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice. Rollins said that the current NXT superstars wouldn’t be where they are now without him. 

Rollins questioned why Owens would challenge him at WrestleMania. Rollins has had countless WrestleMania moments, including cashing in Money in the Bank and winning the Intercontinental and Universal Championships. He mentioned how Owens has no WrestleMania moments and that he wasn’t good enough to make the card at last year’s WrestleMania.

The former world champion described Owens’ WrestleMania track record as a failure. As for their upcoming match, Rollins said, “You can’t beat me on my worst day and WrestleMania is never my worst day, because, under pressure, I become a god.”

This was a very impressive promo and one of Rollins’ best. 

The Viper Responds to Edge’s Challenge

To end the show, Randy Orton answered to Edge’s Last Man Standing match challenge at WrestleMania. This was also one of the best promos so far this year. It was one of Orton’s best. 

Last week, Edge said Orton was handed everything on a silver platter because his father was a former wrestler in the company. He called Orton an “entitled brat.” 

Orton talked about how winning the Intercontinental Championship one week into his career and becoming the youngest world heavyweight champion were not good examples of things being handed to him. 

Orton believes he earned everything through a trait that Edge said he didn’t have: grit. Orton mocked Edge by saying grit doesn’t mean “sitting at home for nine long years on your couch, looking up to the sky and saying to yourself, what if.” To Orton, grit means longevity and Orton has that. The Viper has been very consistent and durable when it comes to performing and showing up for WWE. 

Orton claims that everything he’s said and done over the last couple of months was because he loves Edge and his family. He wanted to send Edge back home so he can be with his family. The Rated-R Superstar doesn’t see it that way.

“Edge, you may be writing this story, but at WrestleMania, I’m going to write the last chapter and end it,” Orton said while accepting the challenge.

This Week’s Grade: A


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