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Acero’s WWE RAW Review 3.1.21

March 1, 2021 | Posted by Tony Acero
Raw Bobby Lashley
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Acero’s WWE RAW Review 3.1.21  

Smell that? Smells like Mania.

It’s Monday…you know what that means.

After a lengthy recap that tries to condense all of the garbage from last week into five minutes, we see that Drew will take on Sheamus while Miz takes on Lashley with the title on the line. Apparently, Drew vs Shemaus is starting the show and I’m just…flummoxed as to why Drew is doing anything but going after his title…

Drew gets some mic time, so at least that’s cool. He says it’s been a bitch of a month. Let’s start with Sheamus. He doesn’t understand that whole stabbing in the back, still. But stay tuned because they are about to have a war.

Two weeks ago, he went into the EC and outlasted five former champions. He didn’t see The Miz coming. Lashley attacked, kicked his ass. Then that cockroach Miz cashed in and took the title. “The freakin Miz is the WWE Champion.”

Drew looks to the Mania sign. He says it’s all good – he has a clear vision: Regain his title, main event Mania. He didn’t win the title in the PC, take it to the Thunderdome, take the title to unseen heights, and get it taken away just before the finish line. He tells Miz and Lashley, they have the biggest target on their back after tonight.

As for Sheamus, they’re going to beat the hell out of each other.

BUT The Miz interferes. He would like to be officially introduced. He is introduced by My Chrome. Miz overheard it all, and he admires how Drew has handled everything with dignity and class. Miz says it was only a matter of time before he became champion.

Drew wants to congratulate him with a big hug. Miz says no thank you, knows he isn’t Drew’s favorite person – but why would Drew be upset with Miz? This is exactly what he was supposed to do. Blame Drew’s animosity to the only person at fault – Bobby Lashley.

Drew says he won’t be doing Miz’s dirty work tonight.

Miz didn’t ask or want help from Lashley. Miz is the victim of this entire situation. He is a husband and father. He suggests working together.

The Hurt Business’s music hits, and MVP comes out to question if Drew is taking any of this seriously. Drew says just like when he rejected MVP last year, he doesn’t want or need anyone’s help. MVP says that either way, nothing will change the fact that Lashley will step in the ring with Miz and become champion. Miz can’t change that.

MVP says the reason he came out here is because Miz’s match with Lashley will begin at 9:00 EST.

Sheamus comes out to get the party started. Drew leaves the ring, and they go at it with some fists. Refs come down to stop the two of them from killing each other. Drew is able to clothesline Sheamus over the barricade on the outside, then he gets back into the ring to ready for war.

Match 1: Sheamus vs Drew McIntyre

We come to the match with them goin all buckwild on one another. Sheamus is able to pick the leg and drop a knee to the face of Drew on the mat. Sheamus drives an elbow to the side of the face of Drew, right to the chin. Ouch. Cover for 1..2…NO!!!! Drew locks Sheamus up on the ropes and beats down on the chest like he’s Irish. Drew grabs at his jaw. Sheamus sends Drew to the outside. Drew to the apron. Kick from Sheamus. Right hands to Drew. Sheamus ocks Drew up on the ropes and hits some hard forearms to the back a few times then brings Drew up. Back elbow to Sheamus. Kick from Sheamus, he hits the ropes. BROGUE KICK TO DREW!!!!

WE COME BACK to Sheamus hitting an Irish Curse backbreaker. Cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Sheamus stomps the back, then pull on his face with some fishhooks. Sheamus with the beatdown on the apron, Drew enters the ring, hits some hard rights, Sheamus whips, but Drew comes out of the corner with a clothesline, belly to belly to Sheamus. Both men to the outside. Drew catches Sheamus. ANOTHER BELLY TO BELLY and Sheamus lands on the edge of the desk! Drew rolls back into the ring at 6. Drew rolls back out to stop the count. Drew sends Sheamus back into the ring then heads to the top rope. He waits for Sheamus to stand. Drew dives with a clothesline. Cover. 1..2…NO!!! Future Shock attempt, but Sheamus escapes and hits a clothesline. Sheamus rolls up the corner, Drew kips up. They have a staredown. Drew runs up with a headbutt to the head! Drew to the top rope. Overhead Belly to belly and a cover for 1..2…NO!!!

BACK FROM ANOTHER BREAK and Drew chops Sheamus away. Sheamus lifts but Drew rols up for 1..2..NO!!! Drew with a spinebuster! Covr for 1..2..NO!!!! White Noise from Sheamus! Cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Future Shock DDT! Cover for 1.2…NO!!!! Drew readies for a Claymore, but Sheamus heads to the apron, hangs up Drew, then springs him back onto the top rope. Sheamus to the top rope. Drew meets him there and hits a headbutt. Drew gets Sheamus to the shoulders. WHITE NOISE FROM DREW TO SHEAMUS OFF THE TOP ROPE!!! Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Another Future Shock attempt, Drew to the corner, lifts up, Sheamus catches him by the legs. ALABAMA SLAM!!! Cover for 1..2…NO!!!

Sheamus up in the corner. Drew stirs. He gets to his knees using the ropes to stand. Sheamus runs for a Brogue, but Drew with a Claymore! Cover for 1..2…3!!!

Winner: Drew McIntyre
To be completely fair, this match was Mania-caliber, and it wasn’t long ago when I thought that’s exacly where they were going. A shame they didn’t trust it. This was great, and I only have two complaints that have very little to do with the quality of the match itself. First, I don’t know that it’s possible, but the numerous commercials hurt the flow of this a lot. Secondly, commentary just flat out sucks. Their hyperbole and over-the-top selling of something we can very obviously see and take in without Byron telling us, nearly word for word, what we should feel, is just…annoying.
Total Rating: ***3/4
Match Time: 22:47

Naomi, in the back, is getting her groove on to her own music until Nia, the buzzkill, comes in to stare her down.

Match 2: Nia Jax vs Naomi

Naomi starts with some rights, hits the ropes, and hits the wall that is Nia.Nia grabs the hair and tosses Naomi across the ring. Nia grabs the hair again and talks some shit, bringing Naomi down to the mat. Naomi yells at Nia to get off her hair then smacks her. Nia shoves Naomi into the corner. Kick out the corner, jawbreaker from Naomi, right hand to Nia, another, left, right, Nia shoves her to the ropes, headbutt then Nia knocks Naomi down to the mat.

Nia with a bearhug. She hits a Samoan Drop, then that ugly looking chokelsam to Noami. Cover for 1..2..3!!!

Winner: Nia Jax
I have zero interest in anything Nia.
Total Rating: NR
Match Time: 2:17

Bakstage, Lashley stands all sweaty like a human version of Diglett.


Lashley is sweaty and ready.

The Miz’s music hits and….


We head to the back, and Miz is sick. His tummy hurts. Morrison tells the incoming Pearce that Miz is sick. Miz says he’s cramping up. It’s coming out of both ends, he says (and obviously, it’s not, because we can see him).

Pearce says he is the champ. He has an obligation.

LASHLEY leaves the ring and runs to the back. Miz talks about sacrifices. Miz needs more time.

Lashley runs up to Miz and grabs Miz by the neck. He says they are going to have a match, and he’s going to beat The Miz’s ass for the title. He shoves Miz to the ground. Morrison asks for a towel. Pearce tells Miz that he will defend the title at 10:00 EST.

UP NEXT, Braun comes out for his match with a mystery partner. Shane McMahon comes out to let Braun know that his partner is Adam Pearce. Braun says this sucks. This is some conflict resolution, says Shane, and if they team up tonight, they’ll get a shot at the RAW tag team titles.

Braun promises Shane one thing – if Pearce screws this up, he’ll get these hands.

Braun then goes to pull on the lapel of Pearce.

Match 3: WWE RAW Tag Team Championship Match
Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander vs Braun Strowman and Adam Pearce

Braun trucks both men down then tosses both Shelton and Cedric to the outside. He leaves the ring and circles it, pouncing both Cedric and Shelton into the air. Braun sends Cedric into the ring then whips him into the corner hard. Braun stomps Cedric then drags him into the corner just so that he can toss him out of it. Braun goes to smash Cedric in the corner, but Cedric moves and Braun hits the post shoulder first. Braun misses a right. Cedric gets a tag, dropkick to the kne,e running knee from Shelton. Cedric beats down on Braun, Shelton joins in, Braun breaks away from both, Shelton hits the ropes, Braun with a POWERSLAM! Shane hops on the apron, tells Braun to tag in Pearce.

Braun yells but tags Pearce anyway. In comes Adam. He covers Shelton, but Shelton rolls Pearce into a pin. 1..2…3!!!

Winners: Shelton Benjamin And Cedric Alexander
This entire thing was shit. First, you make it so that Braun basically destroys your tag team champs, then you get Pearce – who some may know as a competent wrestler, look like a buffoon of an exec AND a wrestler, and finally, you have the focus on Braun and Shane – two people that no one cares about, complete with Braun promising to “wreck this place.” Oh joy.
Total Rating: NR
Match Time: 3:12

Bunny, Bad and Priest, Damian are backstage. In come Elias and some guy. Elias talks about music changing the world. Elias says Bad Bunny is on his way to reaching the pinnacle of the charts. Bunny has potential for so much more. Picture this: Elias and Bad Bunny drop a single and turn the music industry upside down. Bad Bunny nods along without saying a world. Elias says this will be good. Bad Bunny says no in Spanish. Priest says no in English.

WE RETURN to Elias in the ring. He’s looking to sing, but Bad Bunny’s music cuts him off, then Priest.

Match 4: Damian Priest vs Elias

Lockup and Priest backs Elias into the corner. Ref breaks them up. Another lockup. Priest with a go behind, get a chin lock, turns it into a hammer lock. Elias turns into it. Right hand to Priest. Priest continues to work the arm, chop from Elias, Priest keeps up the work on the arm. Knee from Elias. Elbow from Elias, but Priest hits a spinning leg lariat, then sends Elias to the outside.

BACK FROM A BREAK and Priest is still working the arm. So that’s fun. Right from Elias. Knee. Headbutt. Both from Priest. Chop to Priest. Running knee is missed, arm drag from Priest. Back to the arm. Elias drops Priest neck first onto the top rope. Priest holds his face, and it looks like he was pulled into the ropes. Right hands and a running kick to Priest. Another knee to the side of the face. Elias with a clothesline. Cover for 1…NO! Right hand from Elias. Elias distracts and Ryker gets a cheap shot. Cover for 1..2.NO!!! Elias with a cravat from above. Uppercut from Priest. He is pissed. He blocks a right hand. Another block. Kick to the chest, another, kick to the thigh, right hand to the face, a clothesline sends Elias down. Elias up in the corner. Priest rushes the corner, back elbow. Locks the head, Broken Arrow! Pin for 1..2…NO!!! Ryker hops to the apron. Priest is distracted, Elias rolls Priets up. He sits Elias pins awkwardly as all hell, gets shoved to the apron. Priest stands on the apron, kicks Elias away, climbs the ropes and flies, but Elias hits a knee!! Cover for 1..2….NO!!!

Elias grabs the head, locks it, looks for Drift Away, but Priest esapes, looks to kick, Elias goes for it again, waist lock, and Elias snds Priest into the corner. Kidney shots over and over.

Elias gets Priest seated on his shoulders. Priest lands on his feet, bell clap, high kick, locks the head, Hit the Lights. Cover for 1..2…3!!

Winner: Damian Priest
Elias is NOT the guy you want to use for enhancement talent. The first 75% of this match was slow, plodding, pointless, and did nothing for either guy. The final stretch was disjointed and riddled with miscommunications. Yeesh.
Total Rating: *1/2
Match Time: 15:24

Orton is backstage, and is asked by Kayla what he makes of the increasingly weird shit that’s been going down.

Orton says Bliss had a part to play, he knows this for sure. Orton tells Bliss to move on with her life and stay out of his.

Bliss is shown on screen behind Orton. She has a box in jack in the box behind her. She whispers for it to bring him back, but before we can, there’s something orton should know. The screen flickers, we go to red and black, we see Orton with blacked out eyes speaking to Orton. He says it doesn’t end on Orton’s terms. Soon, he will come face to face with everything that he has ever done.

The real Orton chokes on something, as the fake Orton laughs in evil.

Miz and Lashley come out for their match, but Miz stops the announcer and asks for a mic. He says that Lashley is a pro, he is a pro – let’s talk about this. He tells MVP let’s talk business. 17 years, this man – Lashley – has waited. This isn’t the stage for it. Lashley needs to do it at The Grandest Stage of Them All.

MVP, now with a pimp cane, says no, we’re doing this right now.

Match 5: The Miz vs Bobby Lashley

Miz rolls out of the ring as soon as the bell rings. He grabs his title and runs to the back. The ref starts the count.

Winner: Bobby Lashley via Countout
Somebody wrote this…
Total Rating: -*****
Match Time: :30

We come back and Shane tells Lashley that they WILL have a title shot tonight. MVP calls this bullshit. Shane says he’ll consider stripping The Miz of the title tonight and giving it to Lashley. Lashley would prefer beating the piss out of The Miz.

Charlotte is here! She says she’s been dealing with a rollercoaste of emotions. She says she came back and didn’t want to steal Asuka’s shine and try and take her title, she just wanted to be a partner with someone she respected. Somewhere along the way, she got tied up with Lacey and her dad. Ric went home, and Flair is here thinking that we are six weeks away from Mania and she’s got nothin. Bianca has Sasha, and who is Asuka’s challenger? She wants that shot. But no, Asuka is at home – injured.

We get video evidence of Asuka being kicked in the face and losing a tooth longer than the promo Charlotte is cutting.

Shayna and Nia come out to shut Charlotte up. Shayna, then Nia, cut promos that don’t deserve a recap.

Charlotte says the locker room probably wants her to go home, but here she is. She doesn’t have to stand here to talk about how great she is (even though she has and does).

Nia and Shayna enter the ring. Charlotte with a right hand to Shayna. Nia attacks. We get a 2 on 1. Leg drop from Nia to Charlotte.

Match 6: Charlotte Flair vs Shayna Baszler

After some back and forth, Charlotte ends up outside, and drop toe holds Nia to the steps. Shayna tries for the clutch, but Charlotte escapes, hits the ropes, and gets Natural Selection. Pin for 1..2..3!!!

Winner: Charlotte Flair
Total Rating: NR
Match Time: 2:50

Bavkstage, Shane is with Pearce. He says that if The Miz doesn’t show up for his match, they’ll strip him of the title and award it to Bobby. Shane asks Pearce to deliver this message to Bobby.

Match 7: Retribution vs Lucha House Party and Matt Riddle

T-Bar starts with a chokeslam backbreaker from T-Bar to Riddle. Tag to Slapjack, and he’s ni with some shoulders to the corner. Kick from Riddle, uppercut from Slapjack then a suplex off the top. Cover for 1..NO! Lince stops it. Tag to mace. Sidewalk Slam and a cover for 1..2..N!O!!! Tag to T-Bar. Tag to Lince who tags in Metalik. Gran walks the shoulders of Lince and get a splash and a cover for 1..2..3!!!

Winners: Nobody
Will someone take this shit behind the shed and end it already?
Total Rating: NR
Match Time: 2:16

Ali does what he’s been doing. He screams at Riddle, says he wants to show them what Retribution is supped to be about.


Match 8: Matt Riddle vs Mustafa Ali

Ali with a side headlock, as he screams for Retribution to watch him. Riddle with a quick gutwrench toss. Ali runs back into the ring, dropkicks the elbow. Elbow drop to the inside of the elbow. Neckbreaker. Pin for 1..2..NO!!! Ali drives the knee into the arm. Ali sends Riddle into the corner, hits the ropes, looks for bulldog but Riddle launches himself into a body scissors and sleeper hold! Sick. Riddle with the strikes, pele kick to Ali. Kip up from Riddle. He rushes the corner, hits a forearm, another hit of the ropes and another forearm. T-Bone suplex, goes for a kick, Ali ducks, moonsault, lands on his feet, Broton. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Knee from Riddle. Slapjack on the apron to distract. Riddle to the top rope. Mace in the face of Riddle. Ali attacks from behind. Ali goes for ….something?

Looks like a backstabber attempt, but he releases the hold and instead just kind of falls on his knees next to Riddle instead of making any type of contact. Pin for 1..2…3!!

Winner: Ali
Man, what could have been.
Total Rating: NR
Match Time: 3:12

MIZ runs into the office where Shane is, where Shane tells him that he will defend the title tonight. He will assure this happens. Miz talks about how great a champ he is. He deserves to go to mania, deserves respect. Shane is wide-eyed. Miz says he has been humiliated. Shane should be protecting him. He is a main event champion. What kind of champion would Lashley be.

Shane says he doesn’t know but maybe we’re going to find out.

BACK FROM BREAK and the ref holds the title in the air while the announcer announces. Miz grabs his title, but Shane’s music hits. He has thought of something. Here are some Lumberjacks, says Shane.


Match 9: WWE RAW World Championship Match
Bobby Lashley vs The Miz

Miz tries for a quick attack with the title, but Lashley rips it from his hands and hands it to the ref. Lashley tries to corner Miz. Miz gets on the apron, kicks away at some of the Lumberjacks, then re-enters and attacks Laslhey from behind. Lashley is pissed. He chases Miz, Miz leaves the ring, Miz tries to convice Drew Gulak and Elias of something, but Gulak sends him back into the ring. Clothesline and a shove to the corner. Stomps and shoulders in the corner.

Lashley with a huge chokeslam. He locks in The Full Nelson. Miz taps. Lashley wins.

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Total Rating: *
Match Time: 2:59

After the match, Lashley grabs The Miz and locks in the Full Nelson one more time as MVP watches.

End Show

The final score: review Bad
The 411
I don't know who gave the WWE the idea of a timer for two weeks in a row, but it was a crutch that did nothing but cause the eyes to roll back further than The Undertaker's in the 90s. The return of Shane in any type of leadership role on the show comes off as lazy and uninspired, and he himself comes off as a buffoon without an actual plan for the very show that he is being casts as running. Lashley winning was a welcoming end to a show that took forever to get there with so many unnecessary detours. I appreciate giving Miz a thank you run, and getting rid of the briefcase altogether, but man was this entire episode either pointless, boring, or both. From the way-too-long Elias and Priest match to the weak and disappointing Charlotte and Shayna match. Honestly, the opener was sweet, and I enjoyed the hell out of it, even while commentary kept trying to sell me on something I already bought, but after that tonight just sucked the energy out of me and not in a good way.

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411's WWE RAW Report, Tony Acero