Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of Monday Night Raw on March 12 2018!
Tonight’s show features a highly-anticipated showdown between Roman Reigns and the WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar. Since Reigns won the Elimination Chamber, and thus the right to face Lesnar at WrestleMania in New Orleans, he has verbally berated the Champion for being a part-timer, a money-grabber, and having no respect for the business. Paul Heyman returned last week with a rebuttal that pretty much confirmed everything Reigns said but sneered at it. Reigns then came out and told Heyman that he isn’t scared of Lesnar and wants to fight him next week. Well, guess what, tonight is “next week” and we’re in for a heck of a brawl between The Beast and The Big Dog!
Also on tonight’s Raw, Alexa Bliss will no doubt be gloating and happy with the fact that Royal Rumble winner Asuka has moved to SmackDown Live to face the Women’s Champion, Charlotte. Bliss is now without an opponent for WrestleMania and I’m sure she will be very sad, however she won’t have time to feign misery because her best friend Nia Jax is very much in line to get a title shot and finally put an end to their lopsided friendship. Expect Jax to finally take a stand tonight.
Elsewhere, Ronda Rousey may be in even hotter water with management now that she has beaten on Stephanie McMahon and is set to face-off with her and Triple H in a match at WrestleMania. The Bar still have no opponents for WrestleMania but will a new team step-up? And just when will Matt Hardy’s Ultimate Deletion take place? All that and more on tonight’s Raw, remember to download the Ringside Talk app and join the conversation, and enjoy the show!
Monday Night Raw kicks-off with the General Manager, Kurt Angle, making his way to the ring in Detroit, Michigan.
Angle says it’s so exciting and such an honour to be competing at WrestleMania this year, with his tag partner Ronda Rousey. Angle says that, considering his partner’s skill level, he almost feels sorry for Stephanie McMahon. However, he doesn’t feel bad for what he will do to Triple H at the big show. Moving on however, Angle wants to talk about the Universal Championship match. Unfortunately, Brock Lesnar will not be here at Raw tonight because he may have had travel issues, he may be feeling ill, or he may just not want to be here. Angle says the show will be great nonetheless but he’s interrupted….
As Roman walks to the ring, Michael Cole and the announcers talk about how Brock is flaky and Roman is the workhorse that everyone loves. They’re hitting this story a little too hard on the nose. Roman says he wishes he was surprised but he isn’t, it’s like he said, Brock doesn’t have respect for Kurt Angle, for WWE, for the fans here in Detroit. Roman asks Kurt what kind of trouble will Brock be in for missing two weeks of Raw. He answers the question for himself, and says “nothing, because Brock is Vince’s boy.” Angle tries to take the mic from Roman but he holds onto it. Roman asks the fans what would happen if they missed work? He asks Angle what would happen if he missed work? He says they’d be fired, as would he or any of the boys in the back. Roman then says it isn’t Angle’s fault, it’s Vince’s fault that this is the way it is. He says he walked right past Vince before he came out here and he didn’t even have the courtesy to stop and let him know what was happening. The man he travels all over the world for, the man he busts his ass for, the man he isn’t at home with his daughter for. Roman says he will not be disrespected by Vince McMahon and shoves the mic back in Angle’s hand.
Reigns then storms up the ramp and through the curtain into gorilla and the camera goes with him! He walks up to Vince and Shane McMahon, who’re sitting at the monitors with headsets on, and he gets in Vince’s face and Shane tries to stop it. Roman demands to talk and Vince ushers him away to his office, telling someone to cut to commercial. That was a cool end to the segment and is the first time I can ever recall seeing gorilla position during an episode of Raw. They very literally pulled back the curtain.
Back from commercial, Renee Young is posted outside of Mr. McMahon’s office. She says things between him and Roman got really loud but not completely out of hand and have settled down now. Roman leaves but she can’t get a word out of him. Vince is out next and says he’s a little rattled, but Brock Lesnar isn’t anybody’s boy, he’s his own man. As far as disrespecting Roman, he has no intention, he thinks Reigns is a great competitor. Vince says he reminded Roman of something The Rock used to say, “know your role and shut your mouth”, and does Brock have certain privileges? Yes, but he doesn’t like people, and that doesn’t make him a bad guy. Does he respect the WWE Universe? Probably not, but he does respect competition, whether in the ring or the octagon. Does Brock have special privileges? Yes, but Vince thinks he’s earned them even if he’s taking advantage of them, and he assures us that Lesnar will be on the show next week and that he’ll compete for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania. And if you doubt Brock will be there, he gives his word. Vince turns to leave but stops and says “one more thing, about respect? Based on what just happened, Roman Reigns has been temporarily suspended!”
We return ringside and see Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose and Paige in the ring, waiting for Sonya’s opponent, The Boss!
Sasha Banks vs. Sonya Deville
The match begins and Banks ducks a lariat and starts throwing forearms! An Irish whip reversed by Sonya but Sasha follows-up with a sunset flip for a one-count. Deville goes low but Sasha reverses to a backslide attempt. Sonya breaks free and looks for an armbar but she can’t lock it in! Sonya bounces off of the ropes, Sasha leapfrogs her and connects with a dropkick, then another dropkick. Banks and Deville trade stiff forearms but Sasha gets the better of her and the Boss dumps Deville to the floor and we go to break.
We return to see Sonya holding Banks down with a body scissors submission. She drops Banks with a backbreaker for a quick two count before putting her in the corner for a series of strikes. The Boss tries to fight back, but a roundhouse to the body takes her down.
Deville ties Banks in another submission hold, but Banks shows some power by standing up with Sonya on her back and ramming her into the corner. Deville nails her with a kick and a running knee to the face for a two count. Banks takes control and hits a flying double knee for a two count. Bayley prevents Mandy from interfering, allowing Sasha to lock in the Bank Statement for the win.
As soon as the bell rings, rather than celebrating with her friend, Bayley walks right up the ramp to the back. Still not happy. Sasha is staring after her when Absolution storm in and beat The Boss down. They stand tall over the fallen Banks.
We get a video package for our next Hall of Fame 2018 inductee, Kid Rock! The Kid will join The Dudley Boyz, Jeff Jarrett, Goldberg and more as this year’s class. Kid Rock has also provided the theme song for this year’s WrestleMania as well as many other themes including Undertaker’s American Badass.
Later tonight, we will take a look at Asuka’s big arrival at Fastlane last night.
We return to see The Miz in the ring, by himself for a change. Miz introduces himself before noting that the Miztourage is not with him tonight because they have a very special tag team match, and it just goes to show that hanging with him elevates your career. Speaking of elevating your career, his guests are the men he’ll defeat at WrestleMania in what will be his final hurdle to become the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time.
He introduces Seth Rollins first and allows him to take a seat before he introduces Finn Balor. Miz points out that Seth seems awful calm and collected given that he’s in the ring with a guy that took away the singles match that they, the workhorses of WWE could have had. They could have burned it down at WrestleMania, and Finn is a great up-and-comer but he’s just not as accomplished as they are. Miz continues to try to stir the pot and Rollins asks if he thinks they’re stupid. They know what he’s trying to do, and it’s a triple threat match and he’ll have to deal with it. Miz says he’s just trying to get to the truth, and if you want the truth, Finn is the man… in bingo halls. Balor’s WWE resume is lacking, but he does have one thing– two years ago he beat Seth to become the first-ever Universal Champion.
Miz goes on to say that that’s a huge accomplishment, and maybe Miz should be talking to Finn instead, maybe he’s the guy that deserves the one-on-one spotlight against the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. Balor’s already proven he’s better than Rollins, why do it again? Finn points out that Miz literally just tried the same tactic with Seth and he’ll have to try a lot harder to keep the title. The A-Lister complains that they’re acting like he’s the bad guy and asks the crowd and they respond that he is, in fact, the bad guy. Admit it, Seth, he resents Balor beating him for the title. Miz carries on about Rollins stabbing people in the back, just ask the Shield, and that gets the Architect to tell him to shut up. He doesn’t need to fire them up, it’s WrestleMania, they’re already fired up.
Seth says if you want the truth, he’s gonna beat Miz and take the Intercontinental Championship and he’s sorry but Finn doesn’t stand a chance. Balor responds with all due respect, what happened the last time they had a title match? That’s right, he beat him with one arm. Rollins accuses him of living in the past and says he’s gonna stomp his head into the mat in four weeks and become champion. Finn doesn’t want to wait four weeks, he wants to do it right here! Miz is like a kid in a candy store, egging the crowd’s cheers as his two opponents square off and jaw at each other. They turn towards Miz, whomakes a break for it but Seth catches him and they throw Miz out of the ring! Rollins blindsides Balor and leaves him lying as he walks up the ramp smirking. Every man for himself.
Later tonight, John Cena will be here to address his path to WrestleMania, again.
Back from commercial, we’re informed that Kurt Angle has made Rollins vs. Balor official for later tonight.
The Miztourage blindside the Bar before their match even begins! The Bar escape to the floor and rush back in but get beaten down and run off by the Miztourage again! Cesaro & Sheamus get their wits about them and manage to surround Dallas and Axel and turn things around on them! The Revival run down and attack the champions! Bo and Curtis come back in as the brawl continues and here comes The Club!
Sheamus and Cesaro turn tail and run up the ramp, leaving The Revival and Miztourage manage to stand tall. However, The Bar then and run into Titus Worldwide, who start pounding on them. The entire tag division is at ringside beating the champions down! Cesaro makes his way out through the crowd as Sheamus gets away up the ramp, where he slumps down! The Champions have been put on notice.
John Cena will be up after the break to discuss WrestleMania.
We return and out comes John Cena. Cena says he has found his road to WrestleMania after all these weeks. He says he tried to earn a spot at WrestleMania on both brands and couldn’t get the job done. He only blames himself and offers no excuses. The crowd starts chanting Undertaker’s name and Cena says he hopes those backstage are listening. He says he will not contribute to WrestleMania this year and that gets a minor “Yes” chant from the fans in Detroit.
Cena says that doesn’t mean he is quitting, it doesn’t even mean he will miss WrestleMania, he will be there. He says he has been able to stand in the ring at WrestleMania and feel the energy but this year he gets to be the energy because he will be a fan. He says that might seem weird but the fans are the most important part, and don’t get it twisted, he will be there full of energy and happy to be there. Cena runs out into the crowd and high-fives some fans, saying he may be there sitting with them. He takes a sip of some guy’s beer and gets a “This is Awesome” chant going, but the crowd boos when he tries to make them chant Let’s Go Roman. Funny.
Back in the ring, Cena says he could just do the thing he wasn’t supposed to do in the ring right now. He says it wouldn’t change anything because he’s not competing at ‘Mania anyway. He says “Screw it. I challenge The Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania.” The crowd explodes into Yes chants. Cena says the only thing standing between him and a match with The Undertaker is The Undertaker himself. He tells Taker to get over his own ego and stop hiding behind his lame excuses. He says Taker is not old, washed up or broken down or he wouldn’t be posting workout videos on his wife’s Instagram. OOOOOOHHHHH. He calls Taker a self-centered, conceited egomaniac before asking if the crowd wants to see Taker kick his butt at Mania and everyone cheers. He says he wants to know if the Deadman is still alive. He says if he was in The Undertaker’s shoes, he would want one more match and drops the mic.
Sheamus and Cesaro are complaining to Kurt Angle about the beating they just received. They want to be traded instead of waiting for the Superstar Shakeup after WrestleMania. They can beat The Bludgeon Brothers, The New Day, and The Uso Penitentiary. They’ll even face Breezango because they know when they’re not wanted. Angle says they’re not getting traded. If they want competition, they’ll face whichever team wins the RAW Tag Team Battle Royal tonight. The Bar walks off.
We get a video package of The Symphony of Destruction match, not sure why though because it wasn’t all that special.
Elias is in the ring in a neck brace, but he’s still strumming the guitar. Elias looks like he’s in discomfort while trying to speak. Elias has a question, but then he just walks off saying this is the crowd’s fault. They don’t seem overly disappointed.
Braun Strowman is shown backstage. He says last week, he dropped a piano on Elias. Elias is lucky they can’t make music on an anvil. Strowman can’t believe he doesn’t have a WrestleMania match. Strowman will carve his own path. Someone will get these hands at WrestleMania.
Coming up next, Seth Rollins will face Finn Balor.
We return from commercial and out comes Seth Rollins, followed by his opponent.
The bell rings, and they lock up. They tussle around for position before Rollins backs him up into the ropes before giving a clean break. Balor shoves him. They lock up, and Balor hooks the arm. Rollins turns it on him and applies an arm bar. Balor twists out and works on the arm.
The Miz is seen watching backstage. Balor punches Rollins down. Rollins quickly sends him into the ropes and hits a back elbow. Rollins chops the chest and hits a snapmare before kicking him in the back. Rollins boots him in the chest and puts him in the corner. Rollins punches him down and stomps away. Rollins chops the chest twice before having a whip reversed. Balor rolls through a sunset flip and dropkicks him. Balor throws him out of the ring and dropkicks him off the apron. Balor gets on the apron and hits a running kick to the face.
We come back from the break to see Balor trapped in a neck vice. Balor tries to fight out, but Rollins keeps him grounded. Rollins drags him toward the apron, goes outside, and hits a running knee to the head. Rollins gets in the ring and picks up a two count. Rollins goes right back to the chin lock. Balor fights up and punches out, but Rollins hits a reverse STO into the corner.
Balor avoids a springboard knee and boots him back. Balor hits a pair of running forearms before having a whip reversed. Balor then takes him down with a flying forearms. Balor chops the chest before having a whip reversed. Rollins boots him and goes to the top rope. Balor quickly hits an enzuigiri, pulls him into the middle of the ring, and hits a falling elbow drop for a near fall. Balor counters a Sling Blade and goes for a 1916, but Rollins gets out. They throw some hard forearms before wiping each other out with dual overhead kicks. They get up but Seth is there first and goes for a Curb Stomp, but Balor moves. Balor rolls him up for a near fall. Balor kicks him and hits a Sling Blade before trying for a dropkick, but Rollins superkicks him for a near fall.
They slowly get to their feet. Rollins looks at his hand and hits a running forearm in the corner. Rollins his a second stiff forearm. Rollins goes for a third, but Balor moves and kicks him in the head. Balor goes to the top rope, but Rollins elbows him. Rollins tries for a superplex, but Balor fights out and knocks him to the mat. Rollins quickly scales the ropes and hits a superplex. Rollins tries to roll through for a falcon arrow, but Balor counters with an inside cradle for the win!
We get a video package celebrating the life of The Fabulous Moolah, today would have been her birthday. This year at WrestleMania we will get The Fabulous Moolah Battle Royale!
After the break, we will take an in-depth look at the Ronda Rousey/McMahon’s feud.
We get a lengthy video package for the feud between Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, dating all the way back to WrestleMania 31 in San Francisco.
Coming up next, Asuka will address her decision to face Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania.
We return and out comes the Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka! Charly Caruso leads us into a photo package of Asuka challenging Charlotte Flair to a match at WrestleMania. Caruso says everyone assumed she would face Alexa Bliss, but she actually went for Flair. Why?
Asuka goes to speak, but Alexa Bliss’ music cuts her off. Bliss comes out with Mickie James. Bliss says last night was exciting. As for Asuka, English isn’t so strong for her, so she’ll explain the sudden turn of events. Bliss says Asuka is a fierce competitor. While she can’t speak the language, she is smart and has the longest streak ever. She wouldn’t dare step in the ring with someone like Bliss at WrestleMania. Mickie James sarcastically says no one is ready for Asuka. Bliss says she defied all the odds by retaining her title against five other superstars inside Elimination Chamber. As for Asuka, she wouldn’t face Bliss at WrestleMania because she knows she can’t face her. Some may say it’s cowardly to back up from a fight, but don’t listen to them. If you can’t win the fight, it’s smart strategy. Bliss is rooting for Asuka to beat the champion of the B show.
Asuka says she chose Charlotte because to be the woman, you’ve got to beat the woman. She wants to face the best champion in WWE. Bliss says she chose the easiest champion to face. Asuka says she beat Bliss before and will do it right now. Bliss says she had the chance, but she didn’t take it. Instead, she gets this woman… and no one comes out. Bliss and James talk amongst themselves. Bliss throws her microphone at Asuka, and James attacks. James says she’s ready for Asuka today as she stands over the fallen Asuka. This match will happen after the break.
We join this match in progress. James is kicking away at Asuka. James clubs the back and wildly kicks and punches at her. Asuka fights back and has a whip reversed, but she comes back with a running hip attack. Asuka kicks away at her and hits the ropes, but James rolls out of the ring.
James talks with Bliss before Asuka wipes her out with a kick. Bliss keeps her distance. Asuka gets in the ring, but James rolls back out. James tries to leave through the crowd, but Asuka grabs her and sends her headfirst into the LED apron. Asuka goes for a kick, but she hits the ring post when James moves. Asuka holds her leg at ringside, but she gets back in the ring before being counted out. James works on the leg. Asuka tries for an Asuka Lock, but James rolls through for a two count.
Asuka kicks Mickie, but her leg still hurts, which means she falters. Asuka then makes a comeback and kicks her in the nose for a near fall. James ducks a kick and chop blocks her before hitting a flapjack. James kips up and goes to the top rope. Asuka cuts her off, but James comes back with a sunset flip powerbomb for a near fall. Asuka applies the Asuka Lock for the quick tapout win.
Alexa Bliss storms off, not checking on Mickie. Asuka celebrates her win but uses the ropes to hold herself up.
Later tonight, we will get a preview of The Ultimate Deletion. Also, we will get a five-team battle royale match to determine who will face The Bar at WrestleMania.
Nia Jax is backstage when Alexa Bliss comes up to her. Bliss asks where she was. Jax says Kurt Angle told her not to come out next because she has a match next. Bliss says she knows Jax wants payback to get revenge for her embarrassing performance last week. Bliss says she is her best friend and picked up the pieces last week because she loves her. Jax says she loves Bliss as well, and they hug. Bliss says she needs Jax’s word that she’ll be in her corner when she faces Asuka next week. Nia nonchalantly says O.K and Bliss tells her to head out there and show everyone that the force of nature is back and better than ever.
We return from the break and Nia Jax stomps to the ring to face a local talent.
The local gal, Joan King, looks terrified. Jax shoves her to the corner and avalanches her before throwing her across the ring. Jax drops an elbow before connecting with a Samoan Drop for the win.
Alexa Bliss and Mickie James are talking backstage. James says she can’t believe what Alexa Bliss said to Nia Jax. Bliss says she could have been harder on her. James says she almost died at the airport line. Bliss says she’s like Shrek walking through TSA. Bliss says Jax is happy to carry her back. Bliss says she uses Jax because she’s a vulnerable human being. Bliss cannot believe she screwed them this week. Bliss says she has Nia in the palm of her hand. Jax has been a total loser her whole life. She’s just as dumb as she is big. Bliss says Jax knows she’d be nothing without her. Bliss makes Jax relevant. Bliss says if Jax tries to think for herself, they’ll beat her down. Charly Caruso walks up and says the boom mic has been on the entire time and that Jax heard everything they said.
Nia Jax leaves the ring looking devastated and wiping her eyes. Jax then looks up and growls before running to the back. Bliss and James try to pack up, but then they decide it would be best to just leave. They run off and Charly Caruso talks to the camera until Nia Jax comes in screaming for Alexa Bliss. She throws some luggage and wrecks the changing room. Caruso says they left and runs off. Jax throws an Alexa Bliss jacket and screams really loud.
Matt Hardy previews the Ultimate Deletion match with Reby Sky, his kids, Señor Benjamin, and Vanguard One coming back!
Bray Wyatt is shown backstage. Wyatt says Matt Hardy is a liar and a fool, but above all he’s just a man. Hardy has made a very bad decision. Wyatt wants to give Hardy some friendly advice: when the Devil is standing on your doorstep, don’t let him in. Wyatt accepts the invitation to the Ultimate Deletion. Hardy has a beautiful home and family. It’d be a real shame if something bad were to happen to them. Wyatt sneers at the camera and says he’s coming for Hardy.
Kurt Angle is looking perplexed backstage wondering what happened to Matt Hardy. A referee comes in. Angle says Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are both RAW superstars under his jurisdiction. Angle asks him to be the referee. The referee asks if he did something wrong and that got a good laugh. Angle says he knows it’ll be chaos. Angle wants him to make sure they make it back to RAW in one piece.
Coming up next, we’ll see a Tag Team Battle Royal. The winners face The Bar for the titles at WrestleMania.
Replays are shown of Roman Reigns confronting Vince McMahon earlier tonight on RAW.
The Ultimate Deletion Match will happen next week on RAW. We’ll also see Alexa Bliss take on Asuka.
The Bar makes their way to the commentary table. All the teams are in the ring for the chance to face The Bar at WrestleMania. Braun Strowman makes his entrance and stomps down to the ring. Strowman tells the referee to ring the bell, apparently he’s taking on five other teams and wants to face The Bar.
The bell rings, and Strowman eliminates Apollo Crews immediately. Strowman throws Slater down and chases him out of the ring. Strowman catches him and sends him into the barricade. Strowman throws Slater into the ring and eliminates him. Strowman turns and sees the remaining individuals looking at him. The eight men attack Strowman and try to eliminate him.
The Revival then takes Rhyno and eliminates him. O’Neil then attacks The Revival. Strowman then clears the ring. O’Neil gets in the ring and goes face-to-face with Strowman. O’Neil then leaves the ring through the middle rope.
We return from the break to see the tag teams knock Strowman through the middle ropes and to the floor. They hit him with the steel steps a few times, but he doesn’t go down. They finally knock him into the timekeeper’s area. O’Neil is in the ring laying everyone out. O’Neil chops Dash Wilder and throws him. O’Neil then hits an avalanche on Scott Dawson before hitting the Clash of the Titus. The Miztourage double-teams him with The Revival. The Revival then turns on The Miztourage.
The Miztourage then eliminates The Revival and the fans booed at that. O’Neil wipes everyone out again. Strowman comes in and eliminates O’Neil before eliminating Gallows. The Miztourage tries to eliminate Strowman, but he wipes them out and eliminates them. Anderson tries to take on Strowman with numerous kicks, but Strowman blocks one and throws him away. Strowman grabs him and says he’s going to WrestleMania before throwing Anderson over the top rope into the other tag teams.
Braun Strowman has won the battle royale to face The Bar at WrestleMania. Sheamus slowly removes his sunglasses and they stare at Braun, a little taken aback.
That’s it for this week’s Raw. Let us know what you thought and be sure to check back everyday for your gaming news. Until next time, safe travels.