Raw is War

Detroit, Michigan
March 12, 2018

“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.

RAW General Manager Kurt Angle kicks off the show

RAW General Manager Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring. He’ll be teaming up with Ronda Rousey to take on Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a few weeks at WrestleMania. Angle thanks Detroit for the warm welcome. Angle is excited and honored to compete at this year’s WrestleMania with his tag team partner, Ronda Rousey. They’ll be facing RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Angle almost feels sorry for what Rousey does to Stephanie McMahon, but he won’t feel sorry about what he’s going to do to Triple H.

That brings him to the Universal Championship match with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, a match for the ages. Angle was just told Brock Lesnar will not make it here tonight due to transportation issues… or he wasn’t feeling well… The crowd loudly boos that.

Roman Reigns’ music hits, and he comes out to loud boos from the Detroit crowd. Reigns looks upset. Reigns says he wishes he was surprised, but he’s not. Reigns literally said this a couple of weeks ago. Brock doesn’t respect him, this company, or anyone in Detroit. Brock doesn’t even have respect for the folks watching around the world. Reigns says, “Brock Lesnar didn’t show up for work today or last week.” Reigns asks what kind of trouble or penalty there will be. Reigns says there won’t be because Brock is Vince’s boy. Angle tries to take the microphone from him, but Reigns backs away. Reigns says anyone in the crowd would be fired if they didn’t show up for work. The best case scenario is they get a huge fine. Worst case is they can’t feed their kids. It’s not fair and that’s the problem. Angle is the middle man. The real problem is Vince McMahon, the man he literally just walked past coming out here. McMahon didn’t even tell him what was about to happen. Reigns busts his ass for that man. It’s one thing to be disrespected by Brock Lesnar, but he will not be disrespected by Vince McMahon!

Reigns throws the microphone down and charges to the back. Reigns enters the Gorilla Position and confronts Vince McMahon, who is seated with Shane McMahon. Vince demands they go to commercial.

-Commercial Break-

Renee Young is backstage outside Mr. McMahon’s door. She says there was shouting, but it’s calmed down. Roman Reigns walks out and walks right by her. Mr. McMahon then comes out. McMahon says he’s rattled. McMahon says Brock Lesnar is not his “boy” or Paul Heyman’s “boy.” Brock Lesnar is his own man. McMahon didn’t mean to disrespect Reigns, but in the words of his cousin, he needs to “know his role and shut his mouth.” Does Brock like people? No. That doesn’t make him a bad guy. Does he respect the WWE Universe? Probably not. Lesnar does respect competition in the ring or in the octagon. Lesnar does have special privileges. McMahon assures us that Brock Lesnar will be on Monday Night RAW and will compete at WrestleMania. McMahon gives his word on it. As for the lack of respect, based on what just happened, Reigns has been temporarily suspended. That draws a gasp from the crowd.

Sonya Deville w/ Absolution vs. Sasha Banks w/ Bayley

Bayley walks far behind Banks and looks like she doesn’t want to be there. Last week, Bayley pushed Sasha Banks and walked off.

The bell rings, and they quickly go at it. Banks rolls through a sunset flip, and they stumble through some poor arm work. Banks sidesteps her before leapfrogging her and dropkicking her twice for a one count. Banks forearms Deville down and throws her out of the ring.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Banks trapped in a body scissor. During the break, Deville countered a slingshot into a slam. Banks gets out of the body scissor, but Deville quickly overtakes her. Deville kicks her down and goes back to the body scissor. Banks fights up with Deville on her back and slams her into the corner before slinging her off. Deville quickly kicks her in the chest and hits a sliding knee for a two count. Deville shoulders her in the corner, but Banks eventually sidesteps her. Banks kicks her back twice, and Deville feebly falls. Banks kicks her back and goes to the second rope for flying double knees for a two count. Mandy Rose gets on the apron, but Bayley pulls her off. Banks then applies the Bank Statement to Deville for the win.

Winner by Submission: Sasha Banks

Bayley quickly turns her back on Banks and walks off looking sad. Absolution gets on the apron and surrounds Banks. Banks tries to fight them off, but she’s quickly double-teamed by Rose and Deville. Deville hits a high kick, and they pose with Paige.

Video Package: Kid Rock is the latest inductee into the Celebrity Wing of the WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2018.

We’ll take a look at the shocker Asuka laid on the wrestling world by declaring she’ll face Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. She’ll explain why later tonight. Coming up next will be an episode of Miz TV with Finn Balor and Seth Rollins.

-Commercial Break-

Miz TV with Special Guests Seth Rollins and Finn Balor

The Miz is in the ring without The Miztourage. Miz will face Seth Rollins and Finn Balor in a triple threat match with the WWE Intercontinental Championship on the line. Miz welcomes them to the show. The Miztourage is not standing with him tonight, but they have a very special tag team match. They’ve earned the opportunity to punch their tickets to WrestleMania. His little boys are all grown up. If you hang with him, he’ll elevate your career. The men he’s having on his show tonight are two individuals Kurt Angle is hell bent on giving opportunity after opportunity. He’ll beat these two men and continue on to be the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time.

First out is Seth Rollins. Miz tells him to have a seat and introduces Finn Balor. Miz sits between them. Miz says they seem comfortable, especially Rollins. Miz says Rollins is in the ring with the guy who kept them from having a singles match at WrestleMania. Miz and Rollins are the two workhorses of WWE. They could have burned it down. Balor is an up and comer, but he doesn’t have it. Rollins asks how stupid Miz thinks they are. They all know what he’s trying to do. It’s a triple threat match at WrestleMania — deal with it. Miz says the truth is Balor is the man in bingo halls. Balor’s WWE resume is lacking, but he does have one thing. Two years ago, he defeated Seth Rollins to become the first ever Universal Champion. That’s a huge accomplishment. Maybe Miz should just be talking to Balor. Maybe he’s the one who deserves a one-on-one spotlight at WrestleMania against the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. Balor says he literally just tried this with Rollins. What makes him think this will work on him? Miz will have to work harder to keep his title. Miz says he made the Intercontinental Championship prestigious.

They’re acting like Miz is the bad guy. Miz asks the crowd if he’s a bad guy, and they start a “YES” chant. Miz says Rollins resents Balor for beating him at SummerSlam two years ago. Rollins will stab you in the back in a heartbeat. If you don’t believe it, just ask The Shield. Rollins tells Miz to shut up. Miz doesn’t need to fire them up. It’s the Intercontinental Championship and it’s WrestleMania. They’re already fired up. In four weeks at WrestleMania, he’s going to beat Miz and take the Intercontinental Championship. Balor doesn’t stand a chance. Balor looks surprised and says with all due respect, what happened the last time they had a championship match? Balor beat him with one arm. Rollins says he’s about living in the future. In four weeks, he’ll stomp his head into the mat on the way to becoming the Intercontinental Champion. Balor says they don’t have to wait four weeks and takes off his jacket. A “YES” chant fires up, and Miz is encouraging it. Rollins and Balor go face-to-face. They then turn and look at The Miz, who is smiling widely. The smile turns to a look of fear, and he tries to run off. They attack him and clothesline him out of the ring. Rollins then lays out Balor with a right hand.

John Cena will address his WrestleMania disappointment later tonight.

-Commercial Break-

Seth Rollins will face Finn Balor later tonight.

The Bar vs. The Miztourage

The Bar was trolling the RAW tag team division on Twitter and were answered by The Miztourage.

The Miztourage attacks them from behind and kicks them out of the ring. The Bar tries to get back in the ring, but they’re beat back. The Bar removes their entrance gear and talk strategy. This match hasn’t started yet. They take their time getting in the ring and punch away at The Miztourage. The Bar beats them down until The Revival runs out and attacks The Bar. Gallows and Anderson then run out and try to even the score. The Bar tries to run off, but Titus Worldwide cuts them off with Heath Slater and Rhyno. They attack and get them in the ring. There is a huge brawl in the ring now. Cesaro eventually escapes and leaves through the crowd. Sheamus sneaks out on the other side of the ring and runs up the ramp.

John Cena will address his lack of a road to WrestleMania, next.

-Commercial Break-

Still photos are shown of Titus O’Neil’s recent trip to Africa.

John Cena addresses his road to WrestleMania

John Cena makes his way to the ring while the crowd sings that he sucks to the theme of his song. Last night, he lost in a WWE Championship match to AJ Styles, cutting off another road to WrestleMania for him. Cena smiles at the boos. Cena says he’s finally found his road to WrestleMania. It isn’t the ideal path. It’s different, but if he’s brave enough to stand out here after all that’s happened to him, he’s brave enough to face the truth. The truth is he’s had opportunity after opportunity on both brands, gave 100%, and did not get the job done. No excuses and no one to blame except himself. Now it is every superstar’s dream to step in the ring and contribute to WrestleMania. An “Undertaker” chant breaks out. Cena says he’s hopes the people in the back are listening. Cena is here tonight to say he will not contribute to WrestleMania this year. Loud boos for that. That doesn’t mean he quits or is walking away or even not going to WrestleMania. He’ll be there, but his road to WrestleMania is like the crowd’s. This year at WrestleMania he gets to be the energy. Cena is going as a fan. The WWE Universe is the most important part of WrestleMania. Without them, there’s no atmosphere or noise. Cena is going to have a blast. Cena goes out into the crowd and has a sip of bear with some neck bearded fan. Cena gets some chants started up before leaving and getting back in the ring.

There is one chant they won’t be able to do at WrestleMania. Cena starts a “Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks” chant. The only way they can hear that is if he does something he’s not supposed to do. What’s the worst that can happen if he did it? Does that even change his road to WrestleMania? He’ll just buy a ticket. Cena says, “Screw it! I challenge The Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania!” The crowd loudly cheers that. A huge “YES” chant fires up. Cena says he was told this was impossible, even though the fan in him wants to see it. Why is it impossible? Because of the WWE executives? If they wanted to rain on his parade, they’d shut his microphone off and suspend him like they did to Roman Reigns. Cena again says he challenges The Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania.

The microphone is still on and he’s still here. There’s one individual keeping the match from happening at WrestleMania: The Undertaker. Cena wants to address The Undertaker himself. Cena tells Undertaker to get over his own ego. When he fails, he gets back up, puts a smile on his face, and goes back to work. When Undertaker fails, he hides his head in the sand and doesn’t come back. Amazing that such a strong symbol is so fragile. Undertaker is not too old, washed up, or broken down. If he was, he wouldn’t be posting workout videos on his wife’s Instagram. The only person stopping this match from happening is The Undertaker. Cena calls him a self-centered, conceited maniac. If it takes feeding his ego to make it happen, he’ll do it. Cena asks the crowd if they want to see Undertaker kick his ass and Tombstone him at WrestleMania? The crowd loudly answers in the affirmative. Cena dares him to try it. At WrestleMania, he’s either going as a fan or as Undertaker’s opponent, which would be history. Cena says, “The ball is in your court, Dead Man. Let’s see if you’re still alive.” Cena says if he were The Undertaker, he’d want one more match. Cena then walks off while the crowd buzzes.

Asuka will address the crowd later tonight. We’ll also look at Ronda Rousey’s road to WrestleMania. Coming up next, we’ll take a look back at the Symphony of Destruction.

-Commercial Break-

Sheamus and Cesaro are complaining to Kurt Angle about their treatment. They want to be traded instead of waiting for the Superstar Shakeup after WrestleMania. They can beat The Bludgeon Brothers, The New Day, and The Uso Penitentiary. They’ll even face Breezango because they know when they’re not wanted. Angle says they’re not getting traded. If they want competition, they’ll face whichever team wins the RAW Tag Team Battle Royal tonight. The Bar walks off.

Video Package: The Symphony of Destruction match

Elias is in the ring in a neck brace, but he’s still strumming the guitar. Elias looks like he’s in discomfort while trying to speak. Elias has a question, but then he just walks off saying this is the crowd’s fault.

Braun Strowman is shown backstage. Last week, he dropped a piano on Elias. Elias is lucky they can’t make music on an anvil. Strowman can’t believe he doesn’t have a WrestleMania match. Strowman will carve his own path. Someone will get these hands at WrestleMania.

Coming up next, Seth Rollins will face Finn Balor.

-Commercial Break-

Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor

The bell rings, and they lock up. They tussle around for position before Rollins backs him up into the ropes before giving a clean break. Balor shoves him. They lock up, and Balor hooks the arm. Rollins turns it on him and applies an arm bar. Balor twists out and works on the arm. The Miz is seen watching backstage. Balor punches Rollins down. Rollins quickly sends him into the ropes and hits a back elbow. Rollins chops the chest and hits a snapmare before kicking him in the back. Rollins boots him in the chest and puts him in the corner. Rollins punches him down and stomps away. Rollins chops the chest twice before having a whip reversed. Balor rolls through a sunset flip and dropkicks him. Balor throws him out of the ring and dropkicks him off the apron. Balor gets on the apron and hits a running kick to the face.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Balor trapped in a neck vice. Balor tries to fight out, but Rollins keeps him grounded. Rollins drags him toward the apron, goes outside, and hits a running knee to the head. Rollins gets in the ring and picks up a two count. Rollins goes right back to the chin lock. Balor fights up and punches out, but Rollins hits a reverse STO into the corner. Balor avoids a springboard knee and boots him back. Balor hits a pair of running forearms before having a whip reversed. Balor then takes him down with a flying forearms. Balor chops the chest before having a whip reversed. Rollins boots him and goes to the top rope. Balor quickly hits an enzuigiri, pulls him into the middle of the ring, and hits a falling elbow drop for a near fall. Balor counters a Sling Blade and goes for a 1916, but Rollins gets out. They throw some hard forearms before wiping each other out with dual overhead kicks. They slowly get up, and Rollins goes for a Curb Stomp, but Balor moves. Balor rolls him up for a near fall. Balor kicks him and hits a Sling Blade before trying for a dropkick, but Rollins superkicks him for a near fall.

They slowly get to their feet. Rollins looks at his hand and hits a running forearm in the corner. Rollins his a second stiff forearm. Rollins goes for a third, but Balor moves and kicks him in the head. Balor goes to the top rope, but Rollins elbows him. Rollins tries for a superplex, but Balor fights out and knocks him to the mat. Rollins quickly scales the ropes and hits a superplex. Rollins tries to roll through for a falcon arrow, but Balor counters with an inside cradle for the win!

Winner by Pinfall: Finn Balor

Rollins angrily storms off while Balor smirks back at him.

Video Package: The Fabulous Moolah is honored with a Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania

We’ll take a look back at how Ronda Rousey got her first WrestleMania match.

-Commercial Break-

Video Package: Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

Coming up next, Asuka will address her decision to face Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania.

-Commercial Break-

Asuka addresses her choice of Charlotte Flair

Asuka makes her way to the ring to a nice reception. Charly Caruso leads us into a photo package of Asuka challenging Charlotte Flair to a match at WrestleMania. Caruso says everyone assumed she would face Alexa Bliss, but she actually went for Flair. Why?

Asuka goes to speak, but Alexa Bliss’ music cuts her off. Bliss comes out with Mickie James. Bliss says last night was exciting. As for Asuka, English isn’t so strong for her, so she’ll explain the sudden turn of events. Bliss says Asuka is a fierce competitor. While she can’t speak the language, she is smart and has the longest streak ever. She wouldn’t dare step in the ring with someone like Bliss at WrestleMania. Mickie James sarcastically says no one is ready for Asuka. Bliss says she defied all the odds by retaining her title against five other superstars inside Elimination Chamber. As for Asuka, she wouldn’t face Bliss at WrestleMania because she knows she can’t face her. Some may say it’s cowardly to back up from a fight, but don’t listen to them. If you can’t win the fight, it’s smart strategy. Bliss is rooting for Asuka to beat the champion of the B show.

Asuka says she chose Charlotte because to be the woman, you’ve got to beat the woman. She wants to face the best champion in WWE. Bliss says she chose the easiest champion to face. Asuka says she beat Bliss before and will do it right now. Bliss says she had the chance, but she didn’t take it. Instead, she gets this woman… and no one comes out. Bliss and James talk amongst themselves. Bliss throws her microphone at Asuka, and James attacks. James says she’s ready for Asuka today.

-Commercial Break-

Asuka vs. Mickie James w/ Alexa Bliss

We join this match in progress. James is kicking away at Asuka. James clubs the back and wildly kicks and punches at her. Asuka fights back and has a whip reversed, but she comes back with a running hip attack. Asuka kicks away at her and hits the ropes, but James rolls out of the ring. James talks with Bliss before Asuka wipes her out with a kick. Bliss keeps her distance. Asuka gets in the ring, but James rolls back out. James tries to leave through the crowd, but Asuka grabs her and sends her headfirst into the LED apron. Asuka goes for a kick, but she hits the ring post when James moves. Asuka holds her leg at ringside, but she gets back in the ring before being counted out. James works on the leg. Asuka tries for an Asuka Lock, but James rolls through for a two count. Asuka kicks her, but she can’t capitalize. Asuka then makes a comeback and kicks her in the nose for a near fall. James ducks a kick and chop blocks her before hitting a flapjack. James kips up and goes to the top rope. Asuka cuts her off, but James comes back with a sunset flip powerbomb for a near fall. A “CM Punk” chant fires up, but the rational people in the crowd boo them down. Asuka applies the Asuka Lock for the win.

Winner by Submission: Asuka

Alexa Bliss storms off at the conclusion of the match.

We’ll preview the Ultimate Deletion match later tonight. We’ll also see a Tag Team Battle Royal to determine who will face The Bar at WrestleMania.

Nia Jax is backstage when Alexa Bliss comes up to her. Bliss asks where she was. Jax says Kurt Angle told her not to come out next because she has a match next. Bliss says she knows Jax wants payback to get revenge for her embarrassing performance last week. Bliss says she is her best friend and picked up the pieces last week because she loves her. Jax says she loves Bliss as well, and they hug. Bliss says she needs Jax’s word that she’ll be in her corner when she faces Asuka next week. Jax agrees.

-Commercial Break-

Joan King vs. Nia Jax

Joan King, a local talent, looks terrified. Jax shoves her to the corner and avalanches her before throwing her across the ring. Jax drops an elbow before connecting with a Samoan Drop for the win.

Winner by Pinfall: Nia Jax

Alexa Bliss and Mickie James are talking backstage. James says she can’t believe what Alexa Bliss said to Nia Jax. Bliss says she could have been harder on her. James says she almost died at the airport line. Bliss says she’s like Shrek walking through TSA. Bliss says Jax is happy to carry her back. Bliss says she uses Jax because she’s a vulnerable human being. Bliss cannot believe she screwed them this week. Bliss says she has Nia in the palm of her hand. Jax has been a total loser her whole life. She’s just as dumb as she is big. Bliss says Jax knows she’d be nothing without her. Bliss makes Jax relevant. Bliss says if Jax tries to think for herself, they’ll beat her down. Charly Caruso walks up and says the boom mic has been on the entire time and that Jax heard everything they said.

Nia Jax leaves the ring looking devastated and wiping her eyes. Jax then looks up and growls before running to the back. Bliss and James try to pack up, but then they decide it would be best to just leave. They run off. Charly Caruso talks to the camera until Nia Jax comes in screaming for Alexa Bliss. She throws some luggage. Caruso says they left and runs off. Jax throws an Alexa Bliss jacket and screams while crying.

-Commercial Break-

Matt Hardy previews the Ultimate Deletion match with Reby Sky, his kids, Señor Benjamin, and Vanguard One coming back!

Bray Wyatt is shown backstage. Wyatt says Matt Hardy is a liar and a fool, but above all he’s just a man. Hardy has made a very bad decision. Wyatt wants to give Hardy some friendly advice: when the Devil is standing on your doorstep, don’t let him in. Wyatt accepts the invitation to the Ultimate Deletion. Hardy has a beautiful home and family. It’d be a real shame if something bad were to happen to them. Wyatt sneers at the camera and says he’s coming for Hardy.

Kurt Angle is looking perplexed backstage wondering what happened to Matt Hardy. A referee comes in. Angle says Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are both RAW superstars under his jurisdiction. Angle asks him to be the referee. The referee asks if he did something wrong. Angle says he knows it’ll be chaos. Angle wants him to make sure they make it back to RAW in one piece. The referee agrees.

Coming up next, we’ll see a Tag Team Battle Royal. The winners face The Bar for the titles at WrestleMania.

-Commercial Break-

Replays are shown of Roman Reigns confronting Vince McMahon earlier tonight on RAW. Reigns was temporarily suspended for that.

The Ultimate Deletion Match will happen next week on RAW. We’ll also see Alexa Bliss take on Asuka.

The Bar makes their way to the commentary table. All the teams are in the ring.

Braun Strowman makes his entrance and charges down to the ring. Strowman tells the referee to ring the bell.

Battle Royal – Winner(s) face The Bar at WrestleMania
The Revival vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. Anderson and Gallows vs. The Miztourage vs. Titus Worldwide vs. Braun Strowman

Braun Strowman is taking on five tag teams.

The bell rings, and Strowman eliminates Apollo Crews immediately. Strowman throws Slater down and chases him out of the ring. Strowman catches him and sends him into the barricade. Strowman throws Slater into the ring and eliminates him. Strowman turns and sees the remaining individuals looking at him. The eight men attack Strowman and try to eliminate him. The Revival then takes Rhyno and eliminates him. O’Neil then attacks The Revival. Strowman then clears the ring. O’Neil gets in the ring and goes face-to-face with Strowman. O’Neil then leaves the ring through the middle rope.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see the tag teams knock Strowman through the middle ropes. They hit him with the steel steps a few times, but he doesn’t go down. They finally knock him into the timekeeper’s area. O’Neil is in the ring laying everyone out. O’Neil chops Dash Wilder and throws him. O’Neil then hits an avalanche on Scott Dawson before hitting the Clash of the Titus. The Miztourage double-teams him with The Revival. The Revival then turns on The Miztourage. The Miztourage then eliminates The Revival. O’Neil wipes everyone out again. Strowman comes in and eliminates O’Neil before eliminating Gallows. The Miztourage tries to eliminate Strowman, but he wipes them out and eliminates them. Anderson tries to take on Strowman with numerous kicks, but Strowman blocks one and throws him away. Strowman grabs him and says he’s going to WrestleMania before throwing Anderson over the top rope into the other tag teams.

Winner: Braun Strowman

The commentators have no idea what’s going on. Braun Strowman won a Tag Team Battle Royal to face The Bar at WrestleMania… single-handedly. The Bar looks fearful of what just happened. Kurt Angle will address this issue at some point.