PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
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WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
WASHINGTON, D.C. AT THE CAPITAL ONE ARENA
MARCH 9, 2020
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH SPECIALIST
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Byron Saxton
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Top 10 Moments from Last Week’s Show:
Elimination Chamber Results Pertinent to Raw
Andrade def. Humberto Carrillo to retain the U.S. Championship.
Aleister Black defeated A.J. Styles in a no-DQ match with help from the Undertaker
The Street Profits defeated Seth Rollins & Murphy to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship
Shayna Baszler defeated Liv Morgan, Asuka, Sarah Logan, Natalya, and Ruby Riott in an Elimination Chamber match to earn the right to challenge Becky Lynch at WrestleMania for the Raw Women’s Championship.
Arena, and Items Advertised by WWE
WWE Raw returns to the Capital One Arena in our nation’s capital of Washington, D.C. Elimination Chamber is behind us and we head now towards WrestleMania with four weeks to get ready for the “big one.” The arena opened as the MCI Center in 1997 and started hosting wrestling events right away including that year’s version of WCW Starrcade. That night saw Sting return to the ring in his “crow” character after a year-long confrontation with the NWO. He defeated “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Championship with Bret “Hit Man” Hart replacing Nick Patrick, who had been favoring the NWO, as the referee. Sting, Hogan, Hart are all WWE Hall of Famers and the NWO will be inducted this year.
That was all then and this now. Here is what’s on tap for tonight as we start to head towards WrestleMania:
Edge makes Raw return following Orton’s attacks
You think you him…
On this day…
It’s been some time since Edge made his initial return to WWE this year, as he was a surprise entrant into the Royal Rumble and lasted until the final three. He returned to Raw the night after and told us how happy he was to have the opportunity to end things on his turns. Later on, his long-time friend Randy Orton came out eventually attacked him with an RKO and a chair shot to the head.
Randy has tried to explain himself for weeks but had been interrupted by Matt Hardy, whom he attacked and is no longer under contract to WWE. Kevin Owens stopped him a few weeks ago, and they had a match which saw Randy win with the help of a referee who revealed himself to be a disciple of the “Monday Night Messiah” Seth Rollins.
Last week, Edge’s wife Beth Phoenix tried to give an update on his condition but was interrupted by Randy. He finally admitted why he did what he did, saying he attacked Edge to save him from himself. He wanted him to be home with his family and be a husband and father, and not risk further injury knowing how much he loves “this.” Beth was treated to an RKO.
Tonight, after much ado, Edge makes his return to Raw. Here’s Randy on Twitter:
Frank’s Analysis: Assuming WWE doesn’t have any tricks up their sleeves and Edge is actually coming back tonight, we have to figure they’ll set up their WrestleMania match. I have to admit I like this heel version of Randy Orton. He honestly believes what he’s doing is in the best of interests of Edge and his family. There’s a side of remorse, which you typically don’t see from past heel versions, but let us not keep our radar up for the true viper to appear. All that said, I’m just ecstatic Edge is back in the fold overall. I struggled to stay a WWE fan throughout his prominent years, but he was one of the people that kept me watching.
Expectations for Storyline Follow-Up Heading Towards WrestleMania
Shayna Baszler to Challenge Becky Lynch
Shayna Baszler won the elimination chamber match last night to earn the right to challenge Becky Lynch at WrestleMania for the Raw Women’s Championship. Their story goes back to before Survivor Series, where they had a face-to-face interview in the run-up to a triple threat match between them and Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley. At the time, Shayna was the NXT Women’s Champion, who ended up winning the match.
Several weeks ago, Shayna appeared on Raw and infamously bit Becky, claiming it was something not planned but rather what he thought of at the moment. They brawled the night the contract was signed for the elimination chamber match. Last night, Shayna eliminated everyone in the match with her signature Kirafuda clutch as Becky was watching the match on TV in the back.
We now head towards WrestleMania where these two will square off for the Raw title. We can expect these two will confront each other over the next several weeks. Here’s Shayna on Twitter:
Careful what you wish for https://t.co/MmTX1WEhle
— Shayna Baszler (@QoSBaszler) March 9, 2020
Frank’s Analysis: What was needed to get done last night got done, and that’s establishing Shayna as a badass. It’s too bad there were dead spots in the match as a result of the elimination chamber rules (if you call them rules), and acts that aren’t necessarily over. Shayna really didn’t beat anybody, but still running through everyone the way she did was cool. We’re where we need to be now, and that’s getting ready for Shayna vs. Becky
Drew McIntyre to Challenge Brock Lesnar
We’ve known this now since the night after the Royal Rumble, as the 2020 winner Drew McIntyre will challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. The latest chapter in their story unfolded last week as Drew delivered not one, not two, but three Claymore kicks to the reigning champion to open the show.
Nothing is on tap yet for tonight, but we can expect WWE to continue to tell the story between these two. For you Philadelphia Flyer fans (boo LOL), Drew was at a Flyers game this past week in the run-up to Elimination Chamber. He also put up a pretty funny tweet using a Sesame Street reference. It took me a second to get why he did it:
.@WWE Superstar @DMcIntyreWWE headed out to the @NHLFlyers game in Philadelphia tonight ahead of #EliminationChamber @GrittyNHL even had a parade for the man who will face @BrockLesnar at @WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/V9eDCJkBvU
— WWE Public Relations (@WWEPR) March 6, 2020
— Drew McIntyre (@DMcIntyreWWE) March 5, 2020
Frank’s Analysis: I loved what was done last week, although I hope they didn’t spend too much equity with a month to go until WrestleMania. I’m sure Lesnar will do something to re-establish himself as a badass.
Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens has been a thorn in the side of Seth Rollins and Murphy over the past week. He cost them the Raw Tag Team Championship last week, as he gave Rollins a Stunner allowing Montez Ford to pin him off a top rope splash. Last night, he came through the crowd with a large popcorn and threw some in the face of Rollins. Eventually, the Street Profits hit a splash off the top rope on Murphy to retain the titles. After the match, while Rollins was yelling at Murphy, Owens hit another Stunner on Rollins and went to the back.
Everything points to Owens facing Rollins at WrestleMania. While they certainly won’t point to this, there is history between these two. They feuded over the Universal Championship in late 2016, after Triple H helped Owens win the title in a fatal four-way involving Rollins. This started the ill-fated babyface turn for Rollins following the rejection of The Authority. The tables are turned as Owens is the crowd favorite and Rollins is now the “Monday Night Messiah” following his loss of the Universal Championship to “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt back in October. Expect groundwork to be laid for what they do with these two as we head towards WrestleMania.
Frank’s Analysis: While I like a match between Rollins and Owens, they can have it on Raw. What’s going to be different about it being on WrestleMania? I’d like to see some stakes at hand giving it more meaning. This isn’t the 1980s-90s where you can build to straight one-on-one matches at bigger events.
Undertaker and A.J. Styles
Last night, the Undertaker made his return to WWE assisting Aleister Black in his defeat of A.J. Styles in a no-DQ match. A.J.’s O.C. partners Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson got involved in the match when the Undertaker’s music hit. He was going to chokeslam both of them when A.J. stopped him. A.J. then got treated to the chokeslam. Black hit his Black Mass to win the match.
A.J. has been making Undertaker reference lately including last night, when he did the thumb across the throat. With WrestleMania around the corner, we can expect the Undertaker to show up if not tonight, within the next few weeks to set something up involving A.J. and the O.C.
Frank’s Analysis: To be honest, why would Undertaker need to do anything now? He won the Tuwaiq trophy by beating A.J., and he cost him the match last night. His work is done the way I see it! Anyway, I’m think they do a handicap tag with Black and Undertaker taking on the all of the O.C. at ‘Mania. That makes the most sense since Undertake wouldn’t have to do as much and Black can get a rub working with ‘Taker. I don’t see much in a one-on-one match with ‘Taker and A.J. but that’s me.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week Not Addressed at Elimination Chamber
Riddick Moss defeated Ricochet to retain the 24/7 Championship in a scheduled match.
Erick Rowan revealed he had a spider in the carry case.
Despite some issues with last week’s show and shows in general recently, I’m overall intrigued by the Raw storylines. I’m most anxious to see what they do with Shayna Baszler now that we know she’s headed towards a one-on-one with Becky Lynch. I’m amped up for Drew McIntyre vs. Brock Lesnar as I’ve always been a fan of Drew. Edge’s return has me interested too, but I just have a buyer beware on that just in case they pull some shenanigans. It’s always a little more fun once WrestleMania is the event on which they’re focusing, and we begin that tonight.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.