It’s the go-home show for Fastlane tonight, but you’d never know that from the preview because it’s not mentioned once. What is mentioned is The Hurt Business. RAW Tag Team Champions Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin face The New Day. And we’ll hear from WWE Champion Bobby Lashley as to what’s next for him. The only other advertised matches are Riddle putting the United States Championship on the line against Mustafa Ali. Riddle might want to seek out some backup for that one. And, a late addition, Asuka to go one on one with Shayna Baszler in her first match back since Baszler cost her some very expensive dental work.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Drew McIntyre def. The Miz
Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke def. Lana & Naomi
The New Day def. The Hurt Business
Damian Priest def. Jaxson Ryker
Asuka def. Shayna Baszler
Riddle def. Mustafa Ali
Bobby Lashley def. Sheamus
♦ WWE Champion Bobby Lashley opened the show with MVP. MVP told us we have entered ‘The Almighty Era’. Bobby Lashley said he proved all the haters and naysayers wrong and did what he said he’s going to do. Next, he’s going to destroy Drew McIntyre at the main event of WrestleMania, then he’s going to destroy everyone else on RAW and reign supreme.
The Miz and John Morrison joined the party. Miz said he should be preparing for his match against Drew McIntyre, but he had to come and say Lashley’s speech was truly remarkable. They congratulated him on the title and did a lot of sucking up in a short space of time. The point he was trying to get to was that he and Lashley should be an epic rivalry in the vein of Stone Cold and The Rock or Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. He even tried to push it with a Stone Cold impression that was… not great. He was still trying when Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring.
McIntyre said he’d not had the chance to formally congratulate him and talked about them having similar journeys and similar struggles. The difference was in the way they reached the finish. He beat 30 other men in the Royal Rumble then went to the main event of WrestleMania and beat Brock Lesnar in five minutes. Lashley made a deal with The Miz and screwed McIntyre over.
MVP interrupted and McIntyre questioned the nature of their relationship. Lashley told him to worry about him, not MVP, and Miz chimed in to say ‘And me.’ McIntyre laughed and said he’d forgotten he was there. He still owes Miz one, but he gave him the option of attacking him when he turns his back on him again, or he can run for his life. If Miz chooses to fight him tonight, he’s going to hurt him as well as beat him. Then, he’ll beat Sheamus at Fastlane and go to WrestleMania for a heavyweight clash for the ages with Lashley. It was all going pretty well until he called Lashley a ‘Big bald bitch’.
MVP started getting Lashley out of the ring, Miz spoke and got McIntyre’s attention, and Lashley attacked McIntyre from behind. He got him down and punched him in the face a few times, then left. Miz looked thrilled and waited for Lashley to walk off before attacking McIntyre himself. MVP stopped to watch that and didn’t see Sheamus jump on Bobby Lashley. Chaos.
Backstage, Sheamus said he attacked Bobby Lashley because he wants Drew McIntyre at 100% on Sunday so he has no excuses. Lashley was sticking his nose into his business, so Sheamus wants Lashley tonight. Sounds like it’s Sheamus who might not go into Fastlane at 100%.
The Miz vs Drew McIntyre started with McIntyre clearly not completely right and Miz trying to take advantage. That didn’t work well for him. Within a couple of minutes, it was Miz shaking off the cobwebs after taking a Glasgow Kiss. John Morrison (and his out-of-control hair) grabbed McIntyre’s leg and threw his sunglasses into the ring. McIntyre stamped on them and Miz took the momentary distraction to attack him. It still didn’t get him far. A reverse Alabama slam put Miz down, but Morrison pulled him out of the path of the Claymore. The ref kicked Morrison out and we went for a break.
When we came back from the ads, McIntyre made good on his promise to hurt Miz, bouncing him off the ringside furniture. A Futureshock DDT would probably have been enough to keep him down for the pin. The Claymore definitely would have. Instead, Drew McIntyre submitted The Miz with Lashley’s Hurt Lock.
♦ 24/7 Champion Bad Bunny won a Grammy award. Congratulations to him. Commentary offered their congratulations before showing him chatting as he strolled through the corridors with Damian Priest.
♦ Braun Strowman called out Shane McMahon, and McMahon answered the call. They discussed McMahon bullying Strowman, which McMahon denied while still doing it. Strowman demanded a match against him, and, after some more insults, McMahon agreed.
♦ R-Truth crashed in on Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Naomi, and Lana chatting in the corridor before their match. He wanted them to help him celebrate 3:16 day, which is tomorrow and got several clips over the course of the night.
Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax joined commentary for Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke vs Naomi & Lana. Baszler has a match tonight, Jax has a match on Friday, and they’re defending the titles on Sunday, so it’s a busy week for them. They didn’t have Reginald with them, but Jax was still talking about him and Baszler was still rolling her eyes about it.
Asuka made her entrance in the middle of the match and Baszler ran to meet her for a brawl on the ramp. More than disrespectful to the women in the ring, and the match getting ignored as actually decent. Dana Brooke got the pin on Lana when Lana was unaware Brooke was legal.
♦ Riddle went to see The New Day to wish them luck in their title match. They wished him luck in his too and they talked about Riddle’s scooter. He suggested they all get matching tattoos to celebrate when they all win, but when they didn’t go for that he suggested matching scooters.
The Hurt Business (C) vs The New Day – RAW Tag Team Championship match – was great. It was a brutal one though. No one was messing about in there. It looked as much a grudge match as a title match. Heading into the ads, everyone was on the outside. Shelton Benjamin launched Kofi Kingston into the steps so hard the steps tipped. He was still down when we came back, and Woods was fighting to keep the match alive. He kicked out of a Michinoku Driver, and Kingston was finally there for the desperately needed tag. Benjamin kicked out of an SOS. Xavier Woods had to break up a pin after Benjamin ripped Kingston off the turnbuckle by his head then gave Alexander a DDT on the outside.
Kofi Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise in Benjamin then threw himself over the top rope to make sure Alexander stayed down while Woods delivered an elbow from the top. Kingston tagged back in and pinned Shelton Benjamin with Daybreak to give The New Day their 11th Tag Team Championship (4 on RAW, 7 on SmackDown).
AJ Styles came out while Kingston and Woods were celebrating. He said he was there to congratulate them, and he did. Then he talked about him and Omos not having anything to do for WrestleMania and how he hasn’t been a tag champ in WWE. He took a roundabout route to get there, but eventually, he challenged them to a title match at WrestleMania.
Kinston asked if they were registered as a tag team, which they’re not, and if they know how to work as a tag team, which they don’t. Xavier Woods accepted the match for them.
The match was later confirmed and will be Omos’ in-ring debut.
♦ The Miz and John Morrison ran into Damian Priest and Bad Bunny in the corridor. Words were exchanged but Miz and Morrison wandered off when Priest got in Miz’ face. Priest caught R-Truth trying to sneak up on Bad Bunny holding a Stone Cold lunchbox over his head. He gave Bad Bunny a load of Stone Cold merch and asked for a shot at getting his baby back. Bad Bunny took the deal and relinquished the title to R-Truth in exchange for the merch because he respects the business and thinks Truth deserves it more. R-Truth got Bad Bunny’s name right and it was all smiles when they parted. Truth got run off by the chasing pack.
Bad Bunny accompanied Damian Priest to the ring for Damian Priest vs Jaxson Ryker, with Elias. The match was short and finished with Damian Priest’s Broken Arrow and Hit the Lights. Elias attacked Priest after the match. Bad Bunny stopped him using a guitar on him and nearly took a slam. He got free and punched Elias in the face before Priest delivered Hit the Lights to Elias as well.
Morrison came out and started talking at them, so they didn’t notice Miz sneaking up to hit Bad Bunny with the guitar. Miz ran away before Priest could grab him, but he told Morrison they’d started something he was going to finish.
♦ MVP and Bobby Lashley are not happy with Sheamus. MVP guaranteed that after tonight Sheamus won’t be 100% for Fastlane, and said that what happens to Sheamus tonight will be exactly what happens to McIntyre at WrestleMania.
♦ Shane McMahon vs Braun Strowman never started, Shane McMahon stalled so he could do some warmups. He had a hopscotch course that he said would help him warm up and help Strowman learn to count. That made Strowman chase him, and sadly for Shane O’Mac, he caught him. However, when Strowman did his run around the ring, McMahon was talking to a cameraman. As Strowman got close, McMahon took the camera and hit Strowman in the face with it. I’ve never seen anyone beaten up with a tv camera before, but I have now. McMahon put Strowman on the announce desk with repeated shots from the camera, then dived from the ring to put him through it. As a final humiliation, Shane McMahon poured two buckets of green gunk over Strowman’s head while calling him stupid, and told him never to challenge him again. When Strowman got to his feet McMahon was long gone, but he still screamed that he was going to rip him in half.
Braun Strowman vs Shane McMahon was later announced for Fastlane.
♦ Rhea Ripley is still being advertised as ‘Coming Soon’.
♦ Alexa Bliss appeared in Alexa’s Playground with a message for Randy Orton. She said if he wants her out of his life so badly he’s going to have to take her out and she’s giving him a chance to do that on Sunday. She did not elaborate.
♦ In case you haven’t heard, Molly Holly is the first inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
♦ Shayna Baszler had a little video played during her entrance for Asuka vs Shayna Baszler, with Nia Jax. She said she meant to kick Asuka’s teeth out and she enjoyed it so she’s going to do it again and enjoy it even more. Asuka didn’t wait for the match to start. She attacked Baszler immediately and had a go at Nia Jax as well. This wasn’t the incredible match they could have had and will still have, this was a fight. Asuka ended up in the Kirifuda Clutch after getting distracted by Jax, but flipped out of it and got the pin. Baszler didn’t let go until Asuka was nearly out and tried to kick her in the face but Asuka blocked and delivered a bunch of kicks to Baszler’s face before smashing her face into a turnbuckle. Asuka took off a turnbuckle pad and made Baszler bite it while she stood on her neck. The ref stopped Asuka smashing Baszler teeth out on the exposed metal.
♦ Mustafa Ali’s speech to RETRIBUTION was interrupted by Riddle zooming past on his scooter. Riddle (C) vs Mustafa Ali – United States Championship match – is a match I would have been excited about a few years ago. Now Riddle is even more of a caricature than he used to be, and who the hell knows where they’re going with RETRIBUTION (it could have been so good), it all feels a bit tarnished. It was still a good match, but I have nostalgia for what it should have been. It all went wrong for Ali when T-BAR distracted the ref from covering him. Ali countered into a cover of his own, but the ref didn’t get back in time and he was pinned with the Bro Derek.
♦ Randy Orton said kicking Alexa Bliss out of his life was exactly what he’s going to do. I guess we’ll see what happens on Sunday.
♦ WrestleMania tickets are not going to be on sale this Tuesday but will be soon, apparently.
♦ Drew McIntyre came out for a chat. He talked about MVP making a guarantee for WrestleMania. He said that was a dangerous thing to do because fans get upset if you don’t deliver. But he wanted to make some guarantees of his own. At Fastlane, he and Sheamus will bring ‘A level of physicality like you have never seen before’. They’ve been doing it for twenty years and that was when they liked each other. He’s going to beat the hell out of him and go on to WrestleMania to win back his title. But first, he wants a close-up view of what Sheamus and Lashley are going to do to each other.
On that note, Drew McIntyre sat at the bottom of the ramp for Bobby Lashley vs Sheamus. Lashley spent all his free time watching McIntyre. Not that he had that much, he and Sheamus were fairly focused on beating the living hell out of each other. McIntyre got a front-row seat of Lashley suplexing Sheamus on the outside then Lashley briefly got in his face going into the break. That came to nothing and the match continued with Sheamus in trouble. Sending Lashley shoulder-first into the post gave him some respite, and planting his face into the floor gave him the advantage. He couldn’t get the pin through. The Irish Curse backbreaker didn’t get him the win either. A powerslam failed to deliver for Lashley.
Lashley’s superplex put them both on their backs but his spear attempt was met with a knee to the face and White Noise. He kicked out. Sheamus’ Brogue Kick attempt was met with a spear from Lashley and that got him the win.
Bobby Lashley put Sheamus in the Hurt Lock after the match. Drew McIntyre got in the ring and Claymored him after MVP bumped him because Sheamus knocked him off balance. Sheamus and McIntyre were face-to-face when the show went off-air.
Fastlane feels a bit thrown together, but it should be a decent show. Then, it’s full steam ahead for WrestleMania.