T-Bar and Mace Attacked Drew McIntyre
McIntyre was out in the ring demanding answers from MVP, who denied T-Bar and Mace having any affiliation with The Hurt Business. Although I was happy to hear that, I'm sure they'll end up being aligned with Bobby Lashley and MVP, which I don't need to see. This was a solid segment to start off the show, but I will continue to not care about T-Bar and Mace as long as they're wearing their RETRIBUTION garb.
The Viking Raiders def. Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin
Yes, this was the exact same match from last week. I'm fine with it for now because they work well together and they've had good, high-energy matches, but I'm sure I'll get sick of it soon enough after WWE runs it into the ground because they don't have many other teams. Alexander and Benjamin can't buy a win to save their lives, but I enjoyed this while it lasted. Expect a Viking Raiders vs. AJ Styles and Omos feud before long.
Asuka and Raw Women's Champion Rhea Ripley Interrupted Charlotte Flair
I feel like I was in the minority of those who liked Flair's promo last week, but this was more of the same. Everything she said in this segment made sense, but it's difficult to get excited about her character in 2021. I can't stress how imperative it is that Ripley holds onto the Raw Women's Championship when these three inevitably clash. This effectively hyped up Flair vs. Asuka for later in the night.
Riddle def. Randy Orton
Riddle is a bizarre case. He'll lose as often as he wins and comes across like a complete goof in backstage segments and in promos, yet he can go in the ring and have terrific matches. Case in point, he looked like an idiot before the bout riding his scooter around backstage, but then he and Orton had an awesome match. They were given time, it was competitive, and Riddle scored the surprising win. I just wish Riddle had been better booked prior to this point so this meant more. It also matters how they choose to follow it up.
Naomi and Lana def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (Non-Title)
As I've said several times before, this women's tag team scene is such a mess. I feel like I've seen every combination of these teams against each other in recent months, so it's impossible to care. It doesn't help that Lana has been at odds with Jax and Baszler since the fall and I have no desire to see that feud continue. The match was whatever, but the worst part was Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke coming out to air replays of embarrassing Jax last week. Aren't they supposed to be the babyfaces? All of this was awful.
Damian Priest Crashed The Miz and Maryse's Celebration
John Morrison was nowhere to be seen and I don't believe his absence was explained. Priest and Bad Bunny beating Miz and Morrison at WrestleMania 37 should have been the end of the feud, but unfortunately, it wasn't. It's great Miz and Maryse are back to being an on-screen item (at least for now), but this wasn't very good and Priest isn't going to benefit all that much from continuing to work with two comedy heels. He'd be much better off in the United States Championship picture.
Elias def. Kofi Kingston
Apparently, The New Day aren't too concerned with losing the Raw Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania. There has to be a reason why Styles and Omos aren't on the show right now, but a feud with Elias and Jaxson Ryker isn't the best way to keep them busy because Elias and Ryker have been booked like losers. Thus, as a former WWE Champion, Kingston losing to Elias was sad to see.
Drew McIntyre def. T-Bar and Mace by Disqualification in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match; T-Bar and Mace def. McIntyre and Braun Strowman by Disqualification
This was all one giant waste of time. I like everyone involved, but I don't understand what was accomplished here other than filling a few segments. The back-to-back disqualification finishes are inexcusable. The only positive thing to come out of this was that T-Bar and Mace were unmasked. Fingers crossed that's the end of that crap and they're back to being Dominik Dijakovic and Dio Maddin next week. By the way, wasn't Strowman advertised as facing Randy Orton on this show up until earlier today? Why was that completely ignored?
Damian Priest def. The Miz
Although Priest and Miz work well together, I'm ready for this rivalry to be over so Priest can move on to bigger and better things. As previously noted, Morrison wasn't at ringside, and despite Maryse's best efforts to aid Miz to victory, Priest won as he should have. There wasn't anything wrong with the match, but the show was already dragging by this point and putting this in the third hour definitely didn't help matters.
United States Champion Sheamus Attacked Humberto Carrillo
Sheamus said he was issuing a non-title open challenge, yet he wasn't in his gear and the bell never rang. I guess this was supposed to serve as a small preview of what to expect from his open challenges in the future if he continues doing it. Carrillo coming out was a pleasant surprise as he's been in Main Event purgatory for months and he appears to be in fantastic shape, but Sheamus disposing of him with relative ease was disappointing.
Asuka def. Charlotte Flair
It was cool to see the women back in the main event of Raw for the first time in a while, and for as many matches as Asuka and Flair have had dating back to 2018, almost all of them have been above-average. This didn't have enough time to reach that next level, but it was entertaining for what it was. Asuka winning was the right call because she needed it way more than Flair did, and the loss allowed Flair to go berserk afterward. She'll obviously be fined in storyline for attacking a referee and the angle cements her as a heel if it wasn't already apparent.
Raw was so bad last week that it would have been almost impossible for this show to be much worse. Thankfully, it was a slight improvement, but it was still fairly dull on the whole. I'm a fan of Bobby Lashley and McIntyre, but getting the ex-RETRIBUTION guys involved in that story feels unnecessary. Meanwhile, Styles and Omos have been M.I.A. the last two weeks, the women's division is getting better but the women's tag team scene remains an issue, and everyone else feels like they're in a holding pattern. Most of these matches don't seem to matter and that's the biggest problem with Raw right now. The inconsistency when it comes to the booking is appalling and makes the three hours a chore to sit through each week.