The last time I reviewed RAW was in September 2019. Baron Corbin was about to become King of The Ring, Seth Rollins was the WWE Universal Champion, and the Firefly Fun House was one of my favourite segments of the show. A pandemic and a Superstar Shake-Up or two later, it’s a completely different story I have to tell you about today. We’re on The Road to WrestleMania 37, with Fastlane PPV as the next step. WWE Champion The Miz will face off Lashley for the title and Drew McIntyre will return to RAW, after losing the title at Elimination Chamber. With so much to talk about (irony), let’s not waste any more time and see what went down as we check out Monday Night RAW. Tonight is Monday Night Nygma (which night is not Nygma…).
Nothing personal, @mikethemiz.
— Bobby Lashley (@fightbobby) March 1, 2021
Big RAW things happening this week:
- Before Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring, we learnt that he will face Sheamus tonight. He talked about being backstabbed by his old friend Sheamus without knowing exactly why, so he is going to make sure tonight they’ll beat the hell of each other. He then talked about losing the WWE Champion after winning the Chamber match but being attacked by Lashley. He found it necessary to remind everyone Miz is the new Champion. He said his mission is simple, regain the belt and main-event WrestleMania. McIntyre added he didn’t win the title in the WWE Performance Center, lead the charge into the ThunderDome, make it the #1 title in wrestling to get screwed at the finish line. So the winner of Miz vs Lashley has the biggest target on their back. Here came Miz and Morrison, The Miz asked for the introductions and was flooded with pyros to hide the boos. The Miz said Drew should have seen it coming. Drew offered The Miz to come to the ring, he kindly refused. Miz advised Drew to turn his angriness on Lashley. Miz chose to be the victim of a Lashley conspiracy. Miz tried to make Drew be by his side and help him against Lashley. The Three Amigos, he called them. MVP arrived, he said Lashley will beat The Miz tonight in a match that will start at 9 PM EST (at this moment, it’s around 8.15 PM EST). MVP left and The Miz tried again to convince McIntyre to help him against Lashley. Here came Sheamus now for a Fella conversation. Sheamus said Miz is wasting his breath because Drew only cares about himself. He added that after he’s done with Drew tonight, Drew will be in no shape to do anything. McIntyre and Sheamus brawled at ringside. Referees tried to separate them but Drew sent Sheamus over the barricade.
- A countdown was shown above the ring, 40 minutes before Miz vs Lashley.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Sheamus. A true PPV-calibre, must-see match.
- Backstage, Naomi met Nia. In the ring, Nia w/ Shayna killed Naomi w/ Lana. Her hole was fine, thank you.
- Backstage, we saw Lashley more than ready to tear Miz into pieces.
- New Rhea Ripley vignette.
- Bobby Lashley and MVP were waiting in the ring but The Miz was agonizing backstage (Actors Studio moment). WWE official Adam Pearce was about to cancel the match but Lashley was already there and attacked The Miz. Pearce then said no matter what, even if he has to carry Miz to the ring himself, Miz will defend at 10 PM.
- Braun Strowman was saying how pissed off he was and how being suspended sucked when Adam Pearce and Shane O’Mac came to talk about conflict management. Strowman was asked to work with WWE Management so Shane made of Adam Pearce Strowman’s partner of the night. Not sure it is the best way to solve a conflict… But Shane shook a carrot (yes, we French, shake carrots when you use sugar-coated pills), the match tonight is for the RAW Tag Team Championship.
- RAW Tag Team Champions Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin defeated Braun Strowman & Adam Pearce w/ Shane McMahon. Strowman did all the work but Shane asked for the hot tag, Pearce took too much time and Alexander got the win via roll-up.
- Backstage, Damian Priest and Bad Bunny met Elias and Jaxson Ryker. Elias felt mutual respect and had a once in a lifetime business proposal for Bunny. Elias didn’t expect anyone to touch the dominance of his own album, but Bad Bunny was on his way to big success. Elias went on and proposed that he and Bad Bunny release a single together. Bunny seemed to agree. Elias said he will have his people call Bunny’s people. Bunny said something in Spanish to Priest. Priest translated and told Elias that this was a no.
- Damian Priest w/ Bad Bunny defeated Elias w/ Jaxson Ryker.
- Kayla Braxton was backstage with Randy Orton, asking him about the events he’s been subjected to since the win over “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt at WWE TLC. Orton didn’t know what happened last week but he knew Alexa Bliss had a part to play. Orton said unless Bliss wants to end up just like The Fiend, he suggests she move on with her life and stay out of his, otherwise, there will be no compassion with what happens next. Bliss appeared on the TV screen behind Orton, laughing at him. She was also holding a box with a pentagram on the side of it, and sitting inside a pentagram on the floor like before. She turned the wheel on the toy box and it played a tune. She said, “bring it back,” lights went dark and Orton appeared where Bliss was now. The fake Orton started talking with a distorted voice while the real Orton watched from backstage on the screen. The fake Orton said this doesn’t end on your terms, soon you will come face to face with everything that you have ever done, Orton. The fake Orton started laughing while the real Orton started coughing backstage. Orton left in a hurry while continuing to cough. The fake creepy Orton laughed on the screen.
- Bobby Lashley defeated The Miz via count-out so The Miz retained the WWE Championship. Lashley and MVP were furious as they headed up the ramp. They rushed backstage to talk to Shane McMahon, they said they are upset. Shane said he will not let this slide and there will be a title match tonight. MVP said this is all bullshit. Shane said he will think about it and consider stripping Miz of the WWE Title to give it to Lashley. Lashley was ready to beat the hell out of Miz.
- Charlotte Flair defeated Shayna Baszler. Nia Jax interfered.
- Backstage, Shane McMahon sent Adam Pearce to tell Bobby Lashley that The Miz will be stripped of the WWE Title, and Lashley will receive the title if Miz doesn’t show up.
- Riddle & Lucha House Party defeated RETRIBUTION. After the match, Ali started ranting and yelling at the members of RETRIBUTION once again. Ali yelled at Riddle and told him to stay right there so he could show the other members of RETRIBUTION how to get the job done.
- Mustafa Ali defeated Riddle in a non-title match. After the match, Ali yelled at the other members of RETRIBUTION, taking all the credit for the non-title win.
- Backstage, The Miz walked in on Shane McMahon and Adam Pearce in the back. Miz couldn’t believe Shane was threatening to strip him. Miz said he already defended and retained his title by any means like any champion would. Miz said we all want a monster as champion but Shane needs him because he does everything and deserves to go to WrestleMania, and he deserves respect. Miz has been humiliated when Shane should have protected him.
- Bobby Lashley became the new WWE Champion by defeating The Miz in a Lumberjack Match. After the match, Lashley stood tall with the title in the middle of the ring. MVP joined him. Lashley went back to The Miz and applied The Hurt Lock again, rag-dolling Miz around as the Lumberjacks looked on. Lashley tossed Miz to the mat and raised the WWE Title back in the air as MVP cheered him on. Lashley put a foot on Miz’s chest and raised the title again.
MAIN EVENT THINGS
When The Miz successfully cashed in the Money in The Bank contract at Elimination Chamber, my one and only thought was: run, Miz, run. Because it was obvious not only Drew McIntyre but also Lashley, and why not Strowman, would try to take it away from him. If it was clearly expected his run would not last long, eight days is almost nothing. This episode looked like a wacky race to what was meant to happen. I agree with The Miz on the fact WWE loves to have monsters as Champions. Lashley is one hell of a beast that will be hard to dethrone.
The first hour started as a big mess, with so many enemies in the ring at the same time at least two could have been friends. Sheamus and Drew McIntyre delivered a real true PPV-calibre match, can we ask for a little bit more? The second hour was synonymous with the end of the countdown, and the beginning of a new. Could we see Strowman vs Shane O’Mac at Mania? Absolutely possible. The Bliss/Orton segment was just excellent, this storyline is given the true intensity it deserves. Damian Priest and Bad Bunny’s association is definitely not my cup of tea. If Elias wants to make it a song, I let him do.
The third hour started with some pure Miz, he chose to be counted-out to avoid the fight. He ran away from his match, which will never be the attitude of a Champion. But it was to expect. If Riddle wanted to start an Open Challenge for the United States Championship, I’m afraid Ali will prevent him from for a little while. Mustafa Ali seems not to be respected anymore by his RETRIBUTION peers and the belt is everything he needs to show where the power lies. And, at nearly 45-year-old, after a 16-year journey to the gold, Bobby Lashley finally became WWE Champion.
This episode worked for me. I absolutely regret than in 3 hours, we only had 2 women’s matches whose unique purpose was to “sell” Jax and Baszler’s title defence on NXT this Wednesday. With Asuka currently sidelined, Rhea Ripley about to debut, and why not, Becky about to come back (who knows?), things could change very quickly. Exactly 40 days before Mania, the Red Brand seems not to know exactly where to go, mostly when the Rumble winners chose to target the Blue Champions. We’ll see what the Fastlane card looks like, then we’ll have a little idea of what WWE are cooking when it comes to The Grandest Stage of Them All.
The Nygma Note: three hours are long, very long… Excepted PPVs, no wrestling shows should exceed two hours. Ok, I confess, I fell asleep after the Priest/Bunny segment and had to finish to watch today. I am a human being…
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE