Date: March 15, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL
The Big Takeaway --
Shane McMahon beat up Braun Strowman and covered him with green slime. The two will have a singles match at Fastlane. Also, Randy Orton accepted Alexa Bliss’ challenge for some sort of fight at Fastlane.
The New Day won the tag team titles and will defend them at WrestleMania against AJ Styles and Omos. Riddle retained the US title over Mustafa Ali.
Asuka returned and squeaked out a quick win over Shayna Baszler before attacking Baszler after their match. Asuka was about to curb-stomp her into the exposed turnbuckle but the referee stopped her.
Show Recap --
They kicked off with breaking news: Bobby Lashley will defend the WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania.
Lashley and MVP entered. They were extremely well-dressed. MVP reminded us that we are in the All Mighty era. MVP called Lashley the CHO of the Hurt Business and said he won the WWE title after 16 years of dedication. Lashley said he wasn’t given anything — he had to fight to win the title and he did so after destroying McIntyre, which he will do again at Mania.
The Miz and John Morrison entered. They were not as well-dressed. They claimed they were all-in on the All Mighty era. Miz was honoured to share the ring with Lashley and was sad that their rivalry was over. He talked about the great feuds that had showdowns at Mania, including Bret Hart-Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan-André the Giant, and The Rock-Steve Austin.
Miz did an awful Steve Austin impression (for 3:16 week) and he went on for a while. Basically, he wanted Lashley to agree to a title match against him at Mania.
McIntyre interrupted. He walked right by Miz and Morrison without acknowledging them. McIntyre said he knew what it was like to take such a long journey to finally win the title. They both went years being the hardest-working men in the room while opportunities passed them by. They both left WWE and had to start at the bottom to get to the top.
The difference with their stories was that McIntyre won the Royal Rumble and beat Brock Lesnar in five minutes, whereas Lashley made a deal to screw him out of the title.
MVP told McIntyre that he’d have to deal with Sheamus first. McIntyre wasn’t worried about Sheamus and wondered why MVP was even there. Lashley said to focus on him.
Miz reminded them that he was there. McIntyre said Miz can attack him if he wants or just go to the back. McIntyre said he would beat Miz in their match and beat Sheamus at Fastlane before regaining his belt at Mania, ending the All Mighty era. McIntyre called Lashley a “big, bald, bitch.”
Lashley acted like he was going to leave but attacked McIntyre after Miz distracted him. After Lashley left, Miz attacked McIntyre.
Sheamus then attacked Lashley as he was leaving until officials stepped in. Lashley was about to go after him but MVP told him to wait until later tonight.
In the back, Sheamus told Sarah Schreiber that he wanted McIntyre at 100% so he wouldn’t have any excuses at Fastlane. He was going to beat Lashley tonight and show McIntyre what he wouldn’t be able to do at Mania.
A referee checked on McIntyre to make sure he could start his match against the Miz. As this happened, they ran down tonight’s card. Conveniently, McIntyre was ready to go once this was finished.
Drew McIntyre defeated The Miz (w/John Morrison) (11:18)
Miz attacked McIntyre but McIntyre quickly fought back and took control. Morrison tried distracting McIntyre but it didn’t work, so Morrison chucked his shades in the ring and McIntyre stomped on them. This distraction allowed Miz to attack but again McIntyre quickly fought him off.
McIntyre hit a reverse Alabama Slam but Morrison pulled Miz out of the ring as McIntyre set up for a Claymore. The ref tossed Morrison from ringside and they went to break.
Miz hit a DDT for just a one count. McIntyre came back with clotheslines, overhead suplexes and a neckbreaker before taking him to the outside to drive him into the barricade and side of the ring. McIntyre slapped him in the face and bounced his face on the steel steps. McIntyre followed with a Future Shock DDT and a Claymore kick.
Instead of going for the cover, McIntyre pointed at the camera, pointed at the Mania sign, and put Miz in the Hurt Lock for the decisive submission win.
The announcers congratulated Bad Bunny on winning a Grammy for best Latin pop album. He was shown walking with Damian Priest in the back.
Braun Strowman / Shane McMahon segment
Strowman was mid-sentence in the ring after a commercial. He called out Shane McMahon who came out on the stage. He wasn’t sure what Strowman wanted. Strowman said he was bullied his whole life by guys like Shane and said he didn’t grow up in a mansion like him. Shane thought his accusations were disgusting. He claimed he would never insult another man.
Strowman said Shane was afraid which is why he stumbled over his words. Strowman knew Shane wanted a match with him but didn’t have the guts to issue the challenge. Strowman challenged him to a match tonight. Shane said Strowman couldn’t handle him. Shane made a bunch of jokes about how stupid Strowman was (as he stumbled over his dialogue).
Strowman told him to shut up. He wanted an answer. Shane accepted.
R-Truth, dressed as Steve Austin, approached Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose, Lana and Naomi in the back. They told him it was 3/15 today, not 3/16. He kept saying “What” in response. He offered them a beer but they told him that they have a match next. Truth downed a Broken Skull IPA before saying, “And that’s the bottom line because R-Truth said so!”
(It’s hard to believe that the 3/16 show where Steve Austin appeared in front of an empty building was one year ago. That was the first Raw at the Performance Centre.)
Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke defeated Lana & Naomi (4:30)
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler were on commentary.
Rose and Brooke worked over Naomi until she hit a jawbreaker and tagged in Lana. As Lana ran wild on Rose, Byron Saxton said she looked impressive. Baszler responded, “impressive for a dancer.”
The four wrestlers traded moves when Asuka’s music suddenly hit and she marched out. Baszler left commentary and went after her. Asuka dodged her attack and nailed a roundhouse kick. Asuka hammered away on Baszler until officials stopped her. Jax calmly said, “I should help” but she remained on commentary.
Lana gave Rose an X-Factor but Rose wasn’t the legal wrestler. Brooke flew in with a swinging neckbreaker for the pinfall win. Jax was appropriately confused. I’m not sure where Naomi went.
Riddle approached Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods in the back. New Day were startled upon seeing him, which was funny. They were all excited to leave tonight as champions. Riddle thought they should get matching tattoos but New Day didn’t like that idea. Riddle suggested matching scooters and New Day liked that idea better.
Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods defeated Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander to win the Raw Tag Team Championships
New Day wore their Mortal Kombat gear and did a spot inspired by Scorpion, which led to Woods yelling, “toasty!” Hurt Business put an end to the fun with a cool spot where Alexander monkey flipped Kingston into a Benjamin spinebuster.
Kingston came back with a double foot stomp and tagged in Woods who fought off both men. New Day tried dives but Hurt Business blocked them and knocked them down outside the ring which led to break.
Woods and Alexander exchanged blows until Alexander hit a Michinoku Driver for two. Kingston tagged in but Benjamin cut him off with an enziguri. Kingston came back with a rana and foot stomp for two, followed by an SOS for two. Benjamin launched Kingston off the top with an arm drag but Woods broke up the cover.
Woods took out Alexander with a tornado DDT on the outside. Kingston hit Benjamin with Trouble in Paradise before wiping out Alexander with a dive.
Woods gave Benjamin a flying elbow drop and they followed that with Day Break for the pinfall win. New Day are the new tag team champions. Good match.
AJ Styles and Omos entered as New Day celebrated. New Day were ready for a fight but Styles said he just wanted to congratulate them on winning the titles right before Mania. Styles said he has been the WWE champion, IC champion and US champion. He even fought the Undertaker at Mania. Woods (off mic) yelled, “What do you want, AJ? We don’t care!”
Styles said Omos had an idea. Omos thought they should be tag champs. Styles officially challenged them to a title match at Mania. Kingston grabbed a mic and asked if they were officially registered as a tag team. Styles said yes. New Day accepted their challenge.
Priest and Bad Bunny approached Miz and Morrison. They mocked Miz and his awful stretch. Bad Bunny thought it was amusing that Miz ever held a belt. Miz ran down his accomplishments and asked Priest which championships he’s won. Priest said he was right and maybe he should start winning some right now. He got in Miz’s face but Miz and Morrison backed off and left.
Truth was about to attack Bad Bunny with an “Austin 3:16” lunchbox but Priest saw him coming, so he stopped. Truth said he was only there to give them some gifts. He had a Steve Austin plush doll and smoking skull belt for Bad Bunny. He also had a beer for Priest.
Bad Bunny wanted to know what Truth wanted in return. Truth wanted the 24/7 title belt. Bad Bunny said he respected Truth and the business. He gave Truth the 24/7 belt. Truth was elated. Right on cue, Drew Gulak, Akira Tozawa and Humberto Carrillo (I think) chase him away.
(I was reminded recently that Gulak wrestled Daniel Bryan at last year's Elimination Chamber.)
Tom Phillips said there will be a new on-sale date for Mania soon.
Damian Priest (w/Bad Bunny) defeated Jaxson Ryker (w/Elias) (0:35)
Priest won immediately by pinfall after a Broken Arrow and Hit the Lights.
Elias attacked Priest after the match. He was about to attack with a guitar but Bad Bunny snatched it away. Elias grabbed Bad Bunny for a slam but he slipped out and punched Elias in the face. Priest gave Elias his finisher.
Morrison sauntered out to distract them so Miz could hit Bad Bunny from behind with the guitar. (The director actually missed the spot, so they showed a replay.) Miz bailed before Priest could go after him. Priest checked on Bad Bunny.
There was an ad for NXT but no matches were announced.
Schreiber interviewed Lashley and MVP. MVP was pissed about Sheamus attacking Lashley. He warned Sheamus that he won’t be walking into Fastlane at 100% and the same thing that happens to him tonight will happen to McIntyre at Mania.
Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strowman
The match didn’t happen.
Shane stalled before the match could start. He claimed he needed to warm up so he did push-ups and jumping jacks outside the ring. He also had a hopscotch game set up at ringside because of Strowman’s schoolyard comment earlier. (How did he get that so fast?) That pissed off Strowman so he went after Miz.
Strowman kicked Shane into the barricade and decided to run all the way around the ring for a shoulder tackle attempt. This gave Shane enough time to grab a camera from the cameraman and hit Strowman in the face. Shane repeatedly hit Strowman with the camera before clearing the announce table.
With Strowman laid out on the table, Shane nailed a flying elbow drop off the top and they crashed through the table. Shane got up pretty quickly from this spot. He grabbed a bucket of green slime from under the ring and dumped it over Strowman while calling him stupid. He grabbed a second bucket and dumped that on him as well.
They played Shane’s music as he walked to the back. Strowman got up and said he would rip Shane’s head off.
Rhea Ripley is (still) coming soon.
Alexa Bliss segment
Alexa Bliss (wearing white contacts) was on a swing set in the back. Bliss told Randy Orton that he if wanted her out of his life, he’d have to take her out of it. Bliss said he would have the opportunity at Fastlane and wondered if he’d take it. (The announcers weren’t sure what she meant by that.)
They played the clip of Shane Helms informing Molly Holly that she would be inducted into the hall of fame this year.
Raw Women’s Champion Asuka defeated Shayna Baszler (w/Nia Jax) in a non-title match (1:29)
Asuka attacked Baszler before the match started. She also took out Jax with a Codebreaker. The ref checked on Baszler who told him to start the match.
Asuka attacked Baszler while also knocking Jax off the apron with a hip attack. Baszler hit a knee strike (which appeared to hit Asuka hard right in the jaw). The ref checked on Asuka who appeared to be fine. As Asuka went for an armbar, she once again had to knock Jax from the apron.
Baszler put Asuka into the Kirifuda Clutch but Asuka rolled into a cover for the pinfall win. Baszler still had the hold on but let it go after the bell rang.
Baszler tried to kick Asuka’s teeth out again but Asuka blocked it, hit a German suplex and kicks of her own. Asuka then curb-stomped Baszler’s face into the bottom turnbuckle.
Asuka removed the buckle padding and Baszler’s mouthguard. She was about to stomp her into the exposed buckle but the ref saved Baszler. (I liked the post-match stuff.)
Mustafa Ali told Retribution that he would right their wrongs tonight. Riddle sped through them on his scooter. Ali was unamused.
The announcers ran down the Fastlane card which now includes Shane vs. Strowman, and McIntyre vs. Sheamus.
Riddle defeated Mustafa Ali (w/Retribution) to retain the US Championship (8:51)
Early in the match, Ali chucked Riddle neck-first into the edge of the new announce table. Ali hit a swinging neckbreaker off the apron to the outside which led to break about 90 seconds into this championship match.
Ali took control after the break and hit a neckbreaker for two. He followed moments later with another neckbreaker for two again. Riddle fought back with a Pelé kick, exploder suplex, senton, and fisherman buster for two.
Riddle cradled Ali but as Ali reversed into a cradle of his own, T-Bar was distracting the referee. Riddle kicked out and hit a Bro Derek for the pinfall win. This match was fine.
Retribution chased Riddle away after the match. Ali yelled at them.
Schreiber asked Orton for his reaction to Alexa Bliss challenging him to a one-on-one match. Orton thought it was funny that she wanted him to “kick” her out of his life because that’s exactly what he planned on doing.
Drew McIntyre promo
McIntyre was still in his gear. He started with some comedy and said people must be wondering why he hasn’t showered and changed yet. He joked that he pretty much always dressed this way.
McIntyre said MVP did a dangerous thing by making a guarantee earlier. McIntyre planned on beating Sheamus at Fastlane before beating Lashley at Mania. He wanted a front-row seat for tonight’s main event.
WWE Champion Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) defeated Sheamus in a non-title match (17:38)
McIntyre watched from ringside.
They fought back and forth until Lashley caught Sheamus off the apron and gave him an overhead suplex. Lashley got in McIntyre’s face as they went to break.
Lashley was in full control after the break. He pointed at McIntyre who gave him a sarcastic thumbs-up. The extra time allowed Sheamus to dodge a running shoulder tackle and Lashley went shoulder-first into the post. Sheamus hit a flying clothesline but Lashley kicked out at one.
Sheamus clubbed away at him before hitting a backbreaker for a one count. Sheamus followed with another backbreaker, this time for two. Sheamus applied a modified sharpshooter but Lashley kicked his way out of it and hit a powerslam for two.
Sheamus hit elbows strikes but Lashley countered into a flatliner for two. Lashley followed that with a superplex but Sheamus countered a spear attempt with a knee strike. Sheamus followed with White Noise for a two count.
Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick but Lashley nailed a spear for the pinfall win. Pretty good match.
Lashley put Sheamus down with the Hurt Lock after the match. After McIntyre got into the ring, Sheamus bumped into MVP by accident (as he was selling). This caused Lashley to turn his attention to them, which allowed McIntyre to knock him out of the ring with a Claymore kick. McIntyre and Sheamus stared each other down as the show ended.