Date: March 28, 2022
Location: PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA
The Big Takeaway --
The final Raw before WrestleMania 38 was a fairly ordinary one.
Show Recap --
Michael Cole is at the announce table, so we have a four-man booth tonight.
Brock Lesnar entered to start the show. This was followed by a Smackdown recap.
Lesnar was all smiles and welcomed everyone to Raw. He admitted it kinda sucked having to say that line. What he didn’t suck at was handing out country ass-kickings. Lesnar spoiled his plan for WrestleMania. Basically, Roman Reigns would take a trip to Suplex City and take a carnival ride on the F5.
(The crowd was chanting “What” and Lesnar happily invited them to keep doing it. He named dropped Steve Austin and noted that Austin never beat him.)
Lesnar said their journey would end with a marriage between the WWE and Universal Championships and he would have sole custody. Lesnar exclaimed that he would leave WrestleMania as the unified champion.
This wasn’t exactly a great promo. The crowd did cheer when Lesnar said he would unify the titles.
The Miz entered and the announcers ran down tonight’s card.
Miz introduced “Lucha Logan” and Logan Paul entered wearing the mask that Miz stole from Rey Mysterio. Miz complained about not getting respect so he planned on taking it. He also planned on taking Mysterio’s mask tonight so that he and Paul could both wear one at Mania.
Rey and Dominik interrupted. Dominik attacked Miz. He also went after Paul but the referee held him back and tossed him from ringside for the upcoming match.
(Cole mentioned that Dominik doesn’t wear a mask to wrestle because he has to earn it like Rey did when he was 17 years old. He didn’t mention that Dominik is on the verge of turning 25.)
Rey Mysterio defeated The Miz (w/Logan Paul) (5:28)
Rey won quickly with a roll-up. Most of this happened during a break.
Dominik ran back out and shoved Paul onto the middle rope. The Mysterios tried a double 619 but he escaped. Rey managed to take his mask back. The Mysterios did give Miz a double 619 and they each landed a frog splash.
They aired a clip of John Cena winning his first world title against JBL at WrestleMania 21.
Veer Mahaan is coming next week.
There was a video package featuring Seth Rollins’ failure to earn a spot on WrestleMania. They even added clips of Paul, Johnny Knoxville, and Pat McAfee claiming their spots.
Seth Rollins/Vince McMahon video
They aired the video of Seth Rollins’ meeting with Vince McMahon at WWE headquarters. (This was posted online earlier today.)
Rollins showed up at 6:57am for some reason even though Vince asked him to meet at 9:00am. (There’s an old Attitude Era WWF logo on the wall outside of Vince’s office. It might be a clock.)
Vince was surprised that Rollins failed to earn his way on Mania and Rollins blamed everyone but himself. Vince said he should have just asked him in the first place.
Vince (eventually) informed Rollins that he would be going to WrestleMania against an opponent of his choosing and he would find out who that was when he’s in the ring that night. Rollins leaped on Vince’s table and celebrated.
(There were some chants for Cody Rhodes in the background.)
1-on-2 handicap match: Omos defeated The Viking Raiders via count-out (0:51)
I’m not sure I’ve seen a more lazily put-together match than this.
After Omos decked Erick with a clothesline, Erik rolled out of the ring and couldn’t make it back in for the ten count, despite Ivar trying to help.
After the match, Omos dropped Ivar with a kick and he played dead too.
Kevin Patrick asked Omos who he would like to face next. Before he could say much, Bobby Lashley entered (in his gear). The crowd cheered.
Lashley looked at The Sign and Omos shoved him. Lashley fought back and Omos briefly got the better of him until Lashley knocked him down with a running shoulder tackle. The crowd chanted for Lashley. The announcers claimed that was the first time Omos has been taken off his feet.
Reggie had something he wanted to say to Dana Brooke but claimed they never got the time. Reggie got down to one knee and said they don’t have to wait until Mania to have their moment. Brooke said he didn’t have to do this now. Reggie pulled out a diamond ring and Brooke said yes.
Before they could embrace, Brooke was attacked by Tamina. Tamina tried to pin Brooke but Reggie pulled her off and they escaped.
Tozawa approached Tamina and asked her to marry him. He presented a ring. It seemed like she was going to slap him but she smiled and said yes. The crowd cheered. Tozawa gave her the ring and they left together. R-Truth was shown watching nearby. He had an idea.
Roman Reigns promo
Reigns entered with Paul Heyman and the Usos. Cole said that Reigns hasn’t been pinned or submitted since December of 2019 and this weekend would be the sixth time that he’s main evented WrestleMania.
Reigns said he ran Monday Night Raw until FOX begged him to save Smackdown. The crowd gave him the “What” treatment so Reigns threatened to smash them like he would smash Steve Austin. Reigns said he’s done it all except beat Lesnar at WrestleMania and that pissed him off. The crowd chanted “Suplex City.”
Reigns recalled getting busted open by Lesnar at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans. It was so bad that his kids didn’t recognize him, his father doubted him, and his family (he looked at the Usos) were disappointed in him.
Reigns got his receipt by taking Lesnar’s blood at Madison Square Garden. His final move would be taking Lesnar’s title. “I’m going to make it personal, because it’s always been personal — to me.”
Queen Zelina and Carmella did a photoshoot with their title belts as they spoke about what they did last week. Shayna Baszler and Natalya showed up and issued a warning. Baszler and Natalya advised them to follow their lead tonight before they take their titles at Mania.
They announced that Rick and Scott Steiner would be inducted into the Hall of Fame. (They included clips of Scott Steiner as WCW Champion.)
Eight-woman tag team match: Sasha Banks, Naomi, Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan defeated Natalya, Shayna Baszler and Tag Team Champions Queen Zelina & Carmella (8:32)
The heels worked over Sasha Banks through a break but they couldn’t get along so Banks managed to tag out. Banks, Naomi and Morgan each hit Zelina with a move before Ripley finished her off with a Riptide.
There was a big Steve Austin video package set to Kid Rock’s Bawitdaba.
Kevin Owens promo
Owens called the video an incredible tribute and said nobody did these videos better than the angels in the WWE production truck. However, nothing could compare to his Austin tribute last week. People accused him of mocking Austin but he wasn’t. (The crowd yelled “What” and Owens did a great job incorporating it into his promo.)
Owens mentioned again that the KO Show would main event WrestleMania Saturday. Owens said his performance last week was the closest we’d get to the old Stone Cold. Austin has been gone for 19 years and he was never coming back. It’s not going to be Stone Cold on Saturday, it would be “Steve.” The same Steve that’s been drinking himself into oblivion for 19 years, desperately inviting people to his range to speak about the good ol’ days on his podcast.
Owens said that Austin looked and sounded like the old Stone Cold but he wasn’t going to pick a fight with him because he couldn’t. Owens was happy to give Austin the send-off he deserved on the KO Show.
Owens admitted that hated beer but was willing to have one with Austin. They could toast to Austin passing the torch to the new Stone Cold, the real master of the stunner. “Owens 3:16 says my stunner is better than yours.” Owens warned Austin that if he tried to get funny with him, he’d have a stunner with Steve’s name on it. “And that’s the bottom line, because KO said so.”
Owens was great here.
Lashley vs. Omos was made official for Mania.
Ricochet will defend the IC title on Smackdown against Angel and Humberto in a triple threat.
Non-title match: Austin Theory defeated Intercontinental Champion Ricochet (1:44)
The Pittsburgh crowd chanted “we want Pat” (McAfee is from the area).
Theory won pretty abruptly with the ATL in under two minutes.
The announcers spoke about Triple H and his retirement from wrestling.
Bianca Belair/Becky Lynch segment
Bianca Belair said her existence threatened Becky Lynch and that’s why she acted the way she did. That’s why Lynch attacked her and why she insults her week after week. Belair congratulated Lynch on taking her out for one whole week but now she was back feeling like she never left. Everything Lynch tried to stop her has failed and she has nothing left. Belair was coming for Lynch on Saturday.
Lynch’s music hit and she tried to attack from behind but Belair saw it coming. Belair put the boots to Lynch but turned her back and Lynch yanked her down by the hair. Lynch attacked her with a steel chair.
Lynch pulled out a large pair of scissors and grabbed Belair’s braid as officials ran down to ringside. Before Lynch could cut her hair, Belair laid her out with two KODs.
Belair grabbed the scissors and cut chunks out of Lynch’s hair. Officials jumped in the ring and begged Belair to stop (which is more than they did for AJ Styles when Edge attacked him).
Belair eventually stopped and left while holding bits of Lynch’s hair. Lynch got up and freaked out when she saw her hair clippings on the mat. The crowd chanted, “you deserve it.”
The announcers ran down the WrestleMania Saturday card.
Lynch was in the back clutching her hair clippings. Sarah Schreiber tried interviewing her but she threw down the mic, looked at the camera and said, “Bianca, you bitch!”
Earlier today, Corbin advised Moss to stand on the apron and watch him work. Moss made a joke at Corbin’s expense, which he didn’t appreciate.
1-on-2 handicap match: Drew McIntyre defeated Baron Corbin & Madcap Moss (1:54)
After one lock-up didn’t go his way, Corbin tagged out to Moss. McIntyre had his way with Moss and chucked him into the corner so that Corbin could tag in. Corbin left. McIntyre gave Moss a Claymore Kick for the pinfall win.
Corbin attacked McIntyre from behind after the match and laid him out with End of Days. Corbin grabbed McIntyre’s sword and left with Moss.
Edge did a promo in a dark room backstage. On the table in front of him was the scales of justice (painted black). Edge said he and AJ Styles would have a match for the ages on Sunday but Styles’ fate was already sealed. He placed a ring or something on the scale which tipped to his side. Edge chucked before staring sternly at the camera.
(I love Edge but I have to admit, this heel turn has been awful.)
After a break, Schreiber asked Styles about Edge’s promo. Styles thought Edge has changed and figured Edge was trying to get in his head. Edge wanted the pitbull but he was going to get much worse. Styles planned on giving him a beating that nobody would forget.
The announcers ran down the WrestleMania Sunday card.
Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura entered to watch the upcoming match at ringside.
Non-title match: Raw Tag Champions Randy Orton & Riddle defeated Smackdown Tag Champions The Usos via DQ (15:24)
They went to break one minute into the match after Orton and Riddle each dropped an Uso onto the announce table.
Orton fought off Jimmy Uso and tagged in Riddle. Riddle handed out suplexes before hitting Jey with a senton for two. Jey responded with a Samoan drop for two. The Usos took control and tossed Riddle over the barricade into the timekeeper's area, leading to another break.
The Usos remained in control until Riddle hit Jey with a running knee. Riddle made the hot tag to Orton who gave Jimmy a powerslam (as Jey blind-tagged in). Jey tried a schoolboy but Orton gave him a powerslam too. Riddle wiped out Jimmy with a dive as Orton gave Jey a draping DDT.
As Orton psyched up for the RKO, the Street Profits ran out and attacked him for the DQ.
Nakamura and Boogs jumped in to attack the Usos and clear them from the ring.
As Montez Ford set up for a frog splash on Orton, Riddle gave Angelo Dawkins an RKO. Riddle then hoisted up Ford into an Orton RKO. Orton and Riddle assisted each other in handing out additional RKOs to Ford and Dawkins.
Orton and Riddle posed for the crowd and the announcers ran down the big WrestleMania matches as the show ended.