WWE Raw results from March 4 as the Fastlane go-home episode aired from Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Roman Reigns wants to reunite The Shield for one last time
Roman Reigns was welcomed with massive cheers for the second consecutive week which is something that hasn’t happened for a long time. There was talk about Lesnar’s championship and how Rollins is the man with a shot at it.
Roman wished good luck to Rollins and then asked him a favor. He wants the Shield to reunite once again and they called Ambrose to the stage. Elias, however, attacked Ambrose before he can speak forcing Rollins and Reigns to make the save. Backstage, the team of Lashley, McIntyre, Corbin and Rush were not pleased.
Our take from it: After all the weird angles happening on RAW, this was somehow fun to watch even though this has been done before. When Ambrose announced his decision to leave the WWE, the biggest regret fans had was not being able to see the Shield in action in the foreseeable future.
Thankfully, a last hurrah is on the cards and this was a great way to set the whole thing rolling. This is possibly setting up a three man tag match between the Shield and the Corbin led faction for Fastlane though the Shield might not be in action together at WrestleMania it seems.
Corbin, McIntyre and Lashley reign supreme
(Corbin, Lashley, McIntyre vs. Angle, Balor, Strowman)
Strowman started the match in high gear and literally kept swatting away everything the heels would throw at him. Even Balor continued the domination until Lio Rush tripped him allowing for the heels to capitalize.
Balor was eventually able to tag in Angle who hit a few German Suplexes but he too ended up getting dominated. Things turned worse for the faces as Strowman ended up crashing through the barriers while trying to mow down Lashley who then speared Balor for the win.
Winners: Corbin, Lashley, and McIntyre
Our take from it: This was clearly a way to make way for the Shield at Fastlane while keeping this matchup alive for WrestleMania. The match itself was quite entertaining allowing the faces to lose with dignity while giving the heels some credibility.
The team of Corbin, Lashley and McIntyre facing the Shield would set up some unique dynamics which makes the match-up even more intriguing. Given how things have changed with Reigns’ return, this was probably the best way to handle it all.
Confusing women’s match
(Ruby Riott vs. Natalya)
Riott was the early aggressor but Natalya rallied back with a discus clothesline. Natalya managed to put Riott in a Sharpshooter but Riott reversed it into a small package which Natalya countered into a small package of her own for the win. Lace Evans then walked out and waved leaving everyone confused.
Our take from it: Invariably, Natalya finds herself with nothing to do close to yet another WrestleMania. The match was so short that it was barely there.
Lacey Evans interrupting the match might point to a possible feud but just randomly appearing and waving doesn’t generally do much for the wrestler in question. This was in the end an utter waste of time and a poorly executed way to showcase a new wrestler.
Triple H answers Batista and Stephanie McMahon makes a huge announcement
Triple H addressed how Batista’s attack was uncalled for as the celebrations last week weren’t for the character Ric Flair but for the man Ric Flair. He called out Batista and said that he was willing to face him whenever and wherever and that Batista has his attention.
Stephanie McMahon then made the announcement backstage that what Rousey did last week wasn’t befitting a champion and so she has reinstated Becky Lynch. Becky Lynch would face Charlotte at Fastlane for the vacant title provided Lynch signs an agreement not to sue WWE in case she gets injured.
Our take from it: The Triple H segment was done well and the veteran showed how a match is built-up. There was nothing wrong with it and this perfectly builds up anticipation for Batista’s reply. This has been a surprising angle and quite entertaining so far as well.
The RAW women’s title is in disarray though. This is of course all a ruse to somehow increase the stakes for the women’s match. Rousey is of course not going to take all of this sitting down and there is a strong possibility that the match at Fastlane would fail to crown a new champion leading to the match at WrestleMania being a three-way bout for the championship.
That is not the worst thing to happen but all this unnecessary dram has somewhat reduced the excitement and intrigue in this whole angle.
A fun gauntlet match
(Heavy Machinery vs The Ascension vs. the B-Team vs. Ryder and Hawkins)
Otis was visibly upset from all the fun that had been poked at him by the other tag teams and he eliminated the B-Team in no time. The Ascension got in a bit more offense but they too proved to be not much of a challenge for Heavy Machinery.
Ryder and Hawkins weirdly put up the stiffest challenge but Heavy Machinery pinned them with relative ease as well.
Winners: Heavy Machinery
Our take from it: This was the first time in a long time that the tag division on RAW put up something fun and enjoyable. This was a great way to build up Heavy Machinery who seem to be the right talent to get the tag division back on track. How they will fit into the bigger picture is to be seen but so far things have been handled quite well.
The Shield finally reunite
(Elias vs Dean Ambrose)
This match was all Ambrose for the most part. Ambrose attacked right after the bell rang and dumped Elias to the outside, managed to hit an Old School and counter a Drift Away into a small package for a near fall.
Things changed however when Elias connected with a stiff high knee on a diving Ambrose leading to a Drift Away for the win. Reigns and Rollins then made their way to the ring but Ambrose didn’t want anything to do with them.
He walked through the crowd when Reigns and Rollins was attacked by Corbin and his team. Ambrose returned and made the save and The Shield is back.
Our take from it: All of this was done in haste but somehow it didn’t feel rushed and felt just right. Ambrose can now have a proper send-off from WWE while Reigns will have something worthwhile to do at Fastlane.
How WrestleMania will play out is in the air and that adds intrigue and suspense which is good for the grand show. This does leave Elias in no-man’s land for now.
Sasha Banks gets beaten by Tamina, Raw tag championship on the line
(Sasha Banks w/Bayley vs. Tamina w/Nia Jax)
Tamina gets in the early offense until Banks rallied back with a couple of running knees followed by a Banks Statement. Nia Jax rescued her partner and eventually caused a distraction allowing Tamina to pin Banks after a superkick.
(The Revival (c) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet)
This was a pretty even match with Black starting off proceeding before Dawson and Wilder put on a great show of tag action. The action went back and forth with Black managing to hit a Lionsault. He eventually tagged in Ricochet who got a few near falls right away. He put the Revival on the backfoot but Gable and Roode attacked the Revival to cause the DQ.
Winners: Tamina / The Revival (by DQ)
Our take from it: The Sasha Banks and Tamina affair was probably meant to keep the heels showcased as legit challengers for the women’s tag title. The problem with that is that they aren’t the best option to do so. Tamina is only getting worse in the ring and WWE need to think about pushing other teams in the women’s tag division soon.
The match for the Tag titles were surprisingly fun and finally injects some legitimacy to the tag titles. A three way bout between all the three teams involved would be something fun and WWE seem to be finally getting on the right track as far as the men’s tag division is concerned.
Is the Raw women’s championship a joke?
Stephanie McMahon asked Lynch to sign the aforementioned agreement which she did after some trash talking with Flair. Rousey walked out and demanded her title back and Stephanie handed it over promptly.
The stipulation is now changed and instead of the bout at Fastlane being a title bout, it will be a qualification match for Lynch where she would have to win to be added to the match at WrestleMania between Flair and Rousey.
Rousey then lost it and attacked both Charlotte and Lynch apparently turning heel.
Our take from it: It was apparent from a mile away that this was how things were going to be when Flair came into the equation and yet WWE decided to meander about it pointlessly.
There are two issues with all of this. The title being vacated and then being handed back reduces its value. The other issue which seems to be plaguing WWE as a whole is how quickly people are turning heel and face. Rousey as a heel is a bad idea and whatever Charlotte and Lynch are at this moment doesn’t help either. A pathetic way to end an otherwise great show.
Overall Raw review: RAW finally managed to put on a decent show, for the most part. The men’s tag division finally received some much needed impetus while the Shield angle and the return of Batista are great for the entire narrative.
The biggest flaw though is the way the women’s division has been handled. WrestleMania this year is supposed to be huge for the women but both the women’s tag division and the main-eventers are being treated like a joke. It is like WWE is playing Russian roulette with them which is never a great idea. Overall, the show was like a wonderful seven-course meal spoilt by the worst dessert in the world.
Moment of the night: The Shield Reuniting
Overall Rating: 3.7/5