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Acero’s WWE RAW Review 3.20.23

March 20, 2023 | Posted by Tony Acero
WWE Raw Roman Reigns Cody Rhodes Image Credit: WWE
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Acero’s WWE RAW Review 3.20.23  

We’re like, what, two weeks away? Damn, I don’t even know what shoes I’m gonna wear!

RAW starts hot and heavy with the back of Kevin Owens’ head as we follow him to the top of the stage. He stops for a second, and looks back, and Sami Zayn’s music hits!

We recap Sami telling Kevin he loved him last Friday before he left only for Owens to show up later in the night to save Sami.

Owens calls out the crowd, saying he thinks they like Sami. This starts a KO chant, and Sami says it sounds like they like him, too. KO thanks the crowd for that. Sami says it feels really good to come out on the same page again. He didn’t get a chance to tell him last week, but he gets it. He understands why Owens denied him the help over the past few weeks. Sami was approaching this like it was a transaction, and that’s not how they’ve ever done anything. They have always used each other to get to the next level as brothers.

Owens says yes, he is right, but there is one thing that he doesn’t think Sami understands. For 20 years, Owens has been Sami’s biggest fan. He would tell anyone who’d listen, that Sami was the best he’s ever been in the ring with. So for the last six months, it was frustrating seeing him being held under Reigns thumb when the truth was he was better than any of them. He outgrew The Bloodline almost immediately. Last week, Sami got through to him and he realized it was time to take down The Bloodline together.

Sami scoots in, says they both know what comes next.

They both look to the Mania sign.

The Usos are here, and they are pissed. They scowl, Jimmy staring a hole through them, while Jey barks at the crowd.

Jey wants Jimmy to look at em, does he see what Jey sees? That right there is what a backstabber looks like. What’s Owens whispering about? They’re just going to back stab each other.

Sami calls out Jey saying it’s his biggest dream to backstab Reigns.

Jimmy tells Sami he’s the only one in dream world. Wake up. Why they staring at the Mania sign? Nothing is going to happen.

Owens says we all know where this is going. These people are thinking the exact same thing. There is only one way and one place to settle this. Jimmy and his brother versus Kevin and his brother for the titles.

Jimmy says they are the greatest tag team in the world, and they don’t deserve a shot. No title shot at Mania, nothing. Jey tells Jimmy, to be honest, this might be their one shot to put this Sami and Kevin problem in the dirt. They don’t have to wait for Mania, though, they can get some now.

The Usos attack, with Jimmy sending Sami outside and fighting him off against the table. Jey runs up and we got a 2-on-1, but here comes Owens to send Jimmy into the timekeepers area. KO and Sami send Jey into the ring. KO slides in, Superkick to Jey. Jey in the corner. HELLUVA K—NO!!! Jimmy pulls Jey out of the ring.

We go to the big screen, where Solo Sikoa arrives with Roman Reigns. They are in no hurry, but head from the back into the arena.

The Usos take their titles and leave as Owens calls for Reigns to come to the ring.

Austin Theory vs Montez Ford

The crowd chants that they want the smoke, and we get a LOCKUP! Side headlock from Theory. Ford to the ropes, but Theory holds on. He tries to escape again, but Theory holds on. Ford shoots him off, and Theory hits a shoulder tackle then gloats happily. Another lockup, and Ford gets a a side headlock, Austin drops, Ford flies over him with a flip, then koncks him down with. Right. Ford does the YOU CANT SEE ME to a pop and Theory is there to hit a right, then sends Ford to the 2nd rope. Theory chokes him up with a knee. Theory sends Ford into the corner, stomps from Theory in the corner. Ford with a right, left, kicks in the corner, stomp after stomp! He misses a right, and Teory kicks him. Ford sends him to the ropes, hits a clothesline, then another, sending Theory to the outside. He then sends Theory into the crowd. Ford takes aeat with the homies as we go to a break.

We are BACK and Theory has Ford in trouble on the top rope. Ford pulls on Theory’s ear and hits a right hand, sending Theory down. High cross body from Ford, hitting Theory so hard he bounces off Austin’s body. Ford bloks a right, a clothesline is hit, another, hits the ropes, spinning uppercut. Ford with a back suplex. Ford kips up. YOU CANT SEE ME! Standing moonsault! Cover for 1…2…NO!!! Rock Bottom attempt, but Theory hits an elbow, Ford spins out of a hold, right from Ford, boot from Theory, enziguri from Ford! Theory sets up fot ATL, but DDT FROM FORD sends Theory outside! Ford hits the ropes. HE DIVES OVER THE TOP! BEAUTIFUL! Ford sends Theory into the ring.

Ford to the top. FROG SPLAS—NO!! Theory rolls to the apron, rolls back in, dropkick! A-Town DOWN! Cover for 1.2….3!!!!

Winner: Austin Theory
Funny enough, the one who looked like a star here was 100% Montez Ford. Dude is a future World Champ for sure. Anyway, this had one goal; and that was to give Theory some momentum. For that, I think it did well enough. It wasn’t an easy win, and Ford got tons more offense, but Theory ended up getting the win. Solid.
Total Rating: ***
Match Time: 9:06

Theory grabs a mic, says Ford didn’t believe in him, but now he does. As for John, he doesn’t believe in him, but at Mania, he will.

We head backstage where The Bloodline chills. Roman Reigns wonders if they’re good. The Usos say yes, they’re good. They took a few shots but they’re good. Jimmy says nothing can hit him or hurt him harder than being torn away from his brother then sit here and have to answer to it like it’s his fault.

Reigns is stunned at the balls of it all.

Jimmy tells him he will never forgive Sami Zayn for this. At Mania, they got em. Reigns says he hopes so, he really does. He calls up the Wiseman and tells everyone to leave…except Jey.

Jey scoots in on the loveseat, closer to the side of Reigns, and waits.

We are back and Jey is still waiting for Reigns to speak.

He asks Jey if he is Bloodline. Jey says yes. Roman says he loves Jey. Jey does not say it back.

In comes Paul Heyman, who asks Reigns if he found out the answers he was looking for. Reigns says yes, and it appears as if someone walked in.

A Fatal Four Way tag team match is announced for Mania featuring The Street Profits, The Viking Raiders, The Alpha Academy and Ricochet and Braun Strowman.

We head to the backstage area with Adam Pearce talking to Byron. Pearce is about to explain why there are tag team matches coming but in comes Chelsea Green who is upset that she made matching gear for Carmella, but she is nowhere to be found. She wants a new tag team partner, and in comes Piper Niven. She wants him to talk to whoever is in charge. Pearce reminds her that it is him. She wants to be in the Women’s Showcase, and Pearce says he is still finalizing those teams. Green says she is the star, needs to be put in this match immediately, and do not make her angry. She will go onto Social Media and put him on blast, or even worse – block him.

After a lengthy, and somewhat uninspired video package for Omos v Lesnar, we get a squash match.

Mustafa Ali vs Omos

Ali tries to get Omos to smile, so Omos murders him.

Winner: OMos

Total Rating:
Match Time:

Dolph Ziggler was shown watching the match backstage.

Backstage, someone knocks on Logan Paul’s door, and out he comes with some people, including a photographer who just cant stomp smiling.

The Miz stops Logan Paul on his way to the ring, asking if he is going to be out there with him, and Logan gives him a hard pass.

They continue to walk.

Logan Paul is in the ring. He says he doesn’t have to do this. He does it cuz he loves it, and sadly we don’t love him. There are probably one two people in this arena that love him; his dad and some kid in the crowd.

No matter how many times he gets on the mic or beats up one of our superstars, we will never respect him. But he doesn’t care. It’s not his fault that we dorks refuse to see his talent. He is a 360 degree entertainer, there is nothing he cant do, no seat he cant fill, no person on the roster he cant compete with, and yes he is that good. iN fact, that’s why he has no guest. He can do it all. Besides, no celebrity friend of his would come to a place like St. Louis. Two words Get real. They’d be out of here quicker than the Rams. In fact, he’s looking forward to joining them back in LA where he challenged Seth Rollins to a match on his 28th birthday. The match will be great. Seth is one of the top 3, and he’s honored to share the ring with Seth, but his brother brought up a good point – it’s kind of hard to be afraid of a guy named Seth. Seths are nice guys. They coulda been friends, but now he just wants to knock him out.

MAJOR what chants here.

He asks for a replay and gets it. He adds some sound and a clown emoji to the punch.

Paul’s mic is cut, and the crowd cheers. It goes in and out. Paul asks for another one.

We see Seth Rollins in the truck, says the audio isn’t working, Seth doesn’t know what the problem can be…..

-insert evil laugh-

How are they going to save this shitty episode? Seth has an idea.

He presses a button, and Seth’s entrance hits.

The crowd sings, and while it does, Paul sticks some insults in between the OOOs. It’s annoying.

Seth finally makes it to the ring, grabs a mic from the chair, and the crowd keeps it going. Seth grabs the mic and conducts the crowd a bit, then launches himself at Logan Paul! He shoots the legs and goes in for the attack! They wrestle to the outside, and here comes the refs. They break free and tussle over the announce table. Seth pulls the leg out from under Paul He falls backfirst onto the table. Seth rols into the ring and destroys some stuff. Paul is laid out on the table. Seth to the top rope! He dives onto some stagehands. Paul is right by him. HARD RIGHT AND ROLLINS IS OUT AGAIN!

Logan Paul laughs his way back up the ramp.

Backstage, Damien Priest and Dominik Mysterio walk.

WE come back to RAW and get a recap of Friday where Rey went in on Dom but told him he still wont fight him.

Back to the live show, and Dominik is all smiles. He faces Gargano next.

Johnny Gargano vs Dominik Mysterio

Gargano works the arm, gives Dom an arm drag, then grabs the wrist again. Dom gets a side headlock, they rujn the ropes, Gargano drops Dom with an elbow. He mounts Dom in the corner and goes for a bunch of lefts. Dome tries for a shoulde in the corner, but Johnny rolls out, kicks, favors the ribs. He hits the ropes as Dom rolls to the outside. Suicide dive! Dom grabs Johnny and drops him on the barricade ribs first.

We are back and Johnny nearly gets the win only for Dom to escape at 2. They trade blows in the middle of the ring. Drop toe hold form Dom. Johnny escapes the 619, hits a clothesline. He darts Dom into the buckle, then hits a superkick! Cover! 1.2…..NO!!!! Johnny forces Dom to the top buckle. He climbs. Chop to the chest over and over.

Dom attacks the ribs! He sends Johnny to the mat face first! Frog Splash to the back! Cover! 1..2..3!!!

Winner: Dominik Mysterio

Total Rating: **
Match Time: 10:30

Dominik gets on the mic, says he wont stop till he gets what he wants. At the end of the day, he knows that this Friday, in Vegas, the entire family will be there. The same family that blocked his number and kicked him out of the group chat. It’s ok, he has Judgment Day. He has figured out a way to get Rey to accept. He’s going to ask Mom for her permission, that’s if Rey has the balls to get them out of her purse…what?


Backstage, The Usos and Solo are waiting for Reigns. Out omes Heyman to tell them that Reigns wants them to hop on the jet and enjoy some great food. But not Solo. He asks Solo to come into the locker room with Heyman.

We come back to the show to a Floating Edge Head promo! He says he is a hostile man and the cell gives him freedom to let it out. He has no idea what Edge is like in the cell. He has been baptized inside the cell by The Deadman himself. Finn cannot become what he needs to become by remaining who he is. He tells Finn to bring his demon to meet the devil.

Rhea Ripley comes out to talk about her match. She said Charlotte told her to be a star last Friday. She agrees, but she cant live in the past. Flair doesn’t want to upset her future so she keeps talking about Mania from three years ago. This was back when she was trying to make a name for herself and earn respect. Charlotte thinks she is the leader of the divison, but leaders respect others. After that match, she knw Charlotte didn’t respect her and never will. Rhea makes Charlotte question the respect she has for herself. When the name is heard, she questions everything. The crowd tries to what her and Rhea calls them pathetic.

She brings out all of Charlotte’s deepest insecurities that she tries to mask as confidence. Charlotte knows each time they go to war, Rhea gets up and gkeeps going while Charlotte tries to keep people down. Not her, though. Admit it, it’s time, she’s done, washed. Its over. Rhea doesn’t care about respect or insecurities, because at Mania, she will bcome champion and be the biggest star. She doesn’t need Charlotte to repsect her, but she will fear her.

Bayley of all people is here to have some words.

Talking about leaders, she was waiting for Rhea to mention Bayley’s name. They respect Rhea. Anyone that puts Charlotte in her place has major resepect, but if she needed tips on how to beat Charlotte, she should have just asked Bayley. She pinned her in her first Mania, and just look what thet did last week.

Rhea says she needs no help from them three. Bayley tells her RAW is their sghow and she needs to show Rhea just what they mean.

Rhea sahys she isn’t ring ready but if one of them wanna try and get her out of HER ring, go ahead.

Bayley says it’ll be her. Backstage, Pearce is watching and sends a ref out to make it official.

Bayley vs Rhea Ripley

Match is already goin down when we return. Rhea hits a snapmare then a HUGE knee to the face of Bayley. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Bayley tries to fight back with some chops. She jumps up, Rhea catches her and slams her down on her face. Rhea hits the ropes. Stomp to bayley, again. Rhea tries for Rip Tid, but Sky hops on the apron to distract. Kai rakes the eyes, Bayley stacks her up and uses the ropes for a 1..2..NO!!! Saito Suplex!Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Kick out by Rhea.

Becky Lynch’s music hits, and out comes Becky, Trish, and Lita! Becky has a huge bag of popcorn.

We are BACK and Bayley hits a Bayley to Belly!!! Cover! 1….NO!!! She kicked out at 1!!!! Bayley lifts Rhea, hits another Bayley to Belly, lifts her and goes for a clothesine but Rhea lifts her and sends her face first. She hits the ropes, tries for a dropkick, Bayley moves, hits the ropes, running knee to Rhea!

Both girls up. Rights from boh. Whip to the corner by Bayley. Bayley tries for a Sunset Flip, but Rhea grbs her head, flips Bayley away, and kicks Bayley out of the corner hard. Real hard. CLOVERLEAF! Bayley reaches for the ropes. SHE GETS THEM! Rhea breaks the hold at 3. Iyo and Dakota pull Bayley out of the ring, Rhea grabs the head of Dakota, Bayley sends her face into the post, here comes RTish and Lita to send Dakota and Iyo away.

Becky goes after Bayley. Bayley enters the ring, Rhea spins her. Headbutt. Rip Tide! Cover! 1..2…3!!!!

Winner: Rhea Ripley
That got real good near the end, but the end was also never in question – a problem we faced last week, and its appearing here this week.
Total Rating:
Match Time:

Backstage, Chad Gable searches for Otis. He comes across Otis who is getting himself a manicure. There are cucumbers on his eyes, and he is wrapped in a towel. Gable informs him about the tag match at Mania. Gable needs his #1 guy, because you just know Braun will be out there.

In comes Maxxine who says she has a meeting for Otis with a hand model agent. She calls Gable horrifically middle-class. She tells Otis he’s late for the “photog” and Gable tells him they have to go. They tug of war for a bit, but Gable wins this one out and Otis walks with hm, telling him “Let’s ride.”

Chad Gable vs Ricochet

We are back and the match starts! They get quick with it, going bak and forth till Ric hits a sick dropkick. Gable with a throat thrust. He climbs the corner but Ric hits a palm strike, another, hops to the 2nd buckle. Ric climbs up for a rana but Gable gets him to the shoulders. Ric attacks the shoulders. Gable stands and just drops Ric on his back. Gable to the top rope, He dives with a clothesline from the top rope! Cover for 1..2.NO!!!

We are back and Gable goes for a moonsault. Gable lands on his feet. Ric kicks Gable into the corner. Both men pull themselves up. They work to the corner, uppercut form Ricochet, he hits a headbutt to the gut, sends Gable to the buckle face firt, gives it a kick ,flying clotheline. Shooting star! Cover for 1..2.NO!!! Fireman’s, Gable lands on his feet, gets an elbow, right is missed, backslide from Gable, rolls out, cradle for 1.2..NO!!! Ric shoots the legs, bridges for 1..2..NO!!!! Gable is up, tries for a backslide, slams Ric instead with a cliffhanger DDT! Cover for 1..2.NO!!! Ric flies in the air, Gable picks the ankle. Gets the lock in, Ric flips him, hits a superkick! Ric with a high knee, loks the head, brainb—Gable lands on his feet! Underhook, dragon suplex! Pin for 1..2.NO!!!!

WE see Maxxine come out to talk to Otis. She grabs him by the hand and walk him to the back.

Gable turns, tries for Chaos Theory, Ricochet reverses and drops Gable down. Ric to the top rope! Shooting Star! Cover! 1..2…3!!!

Winner: Ricochet
You knew it was going to be good, and damn it was good.
Total Rating: ***1/2
Match Time: Stopwatch Issues

Bianca Belair and Asuka vs Piper Niven and Chelsea Green


Bianca and Chelsea to start, but after a springboard moonsault and asuka tagging herself in, they clear the ring and we get a commercial break.

WE come back to Bianca tagging herself in this time and making short work of Piper. In comes Chelsea to get a suplex. Bianca corners Piper with some shoulders then beats down on her with a few right hands. She gets to 6 before Piper escapes. Bianca back flips and locks her head, hooks the arm, tries for a suplex, but Piper lifts instead. Bianca escapes, hits a big boot, crossbody and a pin for 1..2.NO!! Green in to stop it. Asuka in to kick Green in the face. Asuka whips Piper into the corner ,Asuka tries for a hip attack, Bianca vatches her, they argue for a bit, then BInaca sends Asuka to the outside just as Piper rushes them.

Bianca grabs Piper out of the corner and hits a KOD. Pin for 1..2.3!!!

Winners: Asuka and Bianca Belair
This was as cliché as ever, and unfortun ately, that ONE moment that could have been amazing happened roughly 88 times over the past year because of the shitty booking pre-HHH.
Total Rating: **
Match Time: 6:31

Asuka attacks Bianca immediately after the bell.


YOUR Tribal Chief makes his way down to the ring his typical slow-paced way. Heyman hands him the mic, and Roman Reigns asks St. Louis to acknowledge him.

Before they can, Cody Rhodes music hits.

He comes out. Normally, he’d come out and ask St. Louis what they’d want to talk about, but he knows. He knows what Reigns wants to talk about. Cody should stay out of his family affairs. He’s heard Heyman say Reigns has a “Cody Rhodes Problem,”and he’d love to have that defined for him.

Heyman runs to the mic, but Cody tells him to step back. He is nort talking to Heyman. He is talking to Reigns.

Reigns wants to get something straight – Cody isn’t the problem. What he represents is the problem. Cody is what they used to be. He’s a “Professional Wrestler.” Reigns is a fighter, which allows him to be the megastar around here. Cody comes in, says all the things he says he’s going to do, but look at his track record. Cody didn’t wanna do the Stardust thing, so he ran away. He started a company that Cody couldnt get over in and ran away again. Now he’s here, and he got over then his body quit on him. His little pec went pop. He’s not cut out for this. He’s not gonna finish no story. April 2nd is just a moment, a lotto ticket. April 3rd will be his real moment, because when he wakes up, he’ll have to look in the mirror and make a choice – something his dad can be proud of, otherwise he’s just going to run like a little bitch.

Cody says ok. Run, run away. For those out here who believe in Cody, what Reigns is saying is true. He ran away. He don’t hear a lot of people complaining, though, because he made it so 100% of the locker room can make more money. As far as what his father did. Man he tried. He started here at 21, he did what he had to do. But maybe it’s true, maybe he likes t he taste of blood in his mouth, but he is a professional wreslter. And let’s just do this…no one needs to bring up his father anymore. If someone does, he will vomit. He will not be down here, Dustin will not be out here, only him.

His mean ass Cuban mother would tell him now to knock Reigns ass out. What does it mean for him? No what it WILL mean for Reigns. April 3rd, Reigns will wake up and remember what it’s like to lose, without these titles, and when this happens, Jey will leave. Then Jimmy will leave. No Usos? Solo, who has been glaring all night – lets give him some info – you think you’re ready, Solo? You’re not. Solo will leave, too. And when Solo leaves Reigns, Heyman becomes an advocate again. There Reigns will be, a man without a family, a Roman with no more Reigns, a chief without a tribe.

Reigns tries his hardest to laugh it off. He goes serious, calculating. He drops the mic and leaves.

Solo is left in the ring. Cody gets in his face. He tells Solo to say when. Reigns is surprised. He turns, tells Solo to get his ass over here. NOW.

Cody: “It’s like I said; I knew you weren’t ready.”

Solo stops from leaving the ring, looks to hit a Samoan Spike, but Cody kicks him in the face. Solo is up, screams like Umaga, but Reigns hops on the apron and stops him.

YOU’RE NOT READY chant ends the show.

End Show

The final score: review Good
The 411
Tonight had just a liiiitle bit of an edge over last week. There were still some of the same issues present, namely that most matches were forgone conclusions that only served to make a Wrestlemania card holder seem more worthy. Thankfully, they added just a little dash of something to help enhance what would have surely been another weak week before Mania. Take Rhea vs Bayley. The stakes were a little bit higher, but it also had a lot of moving parts that pushed it forward. Ford and Theory was tons of fun, Owens and Sami have the crowd firmly behind them, and we had a rare Ricochet on RAW sighting. The closing segment saw Cody actually get to Reigns with wordplay and a dose of reality that, even at its cheesiest moments, was 100% Rhodes. Much more solid affair than last week, especially that second half.

article topics :

RAW, WWE, Tony Acero