WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, MVP and King Corbin Interrupted Drew McIntyre
The build to McIntyre vs. Lashley at WrestleMania 37 has felt rushed because it kind of came out of left field, but they've done as good of a job as possible in generating interest in the match. McIntyre has been consistently great on the mic for the last year, but this was one of his strongest promos yet, especially when he got emotional about his mother. Talking isn't Lashley's strong suit, but he fared well here and it made for a strong segment on the whole. They also hyped up the Corbin vs. McIntyre main event.
Raw Tag Team Champion Xavier Woods def. AJ Styles
Woods is obviously very talented, but the idea that he'd beat Styles in under two minutes is laughable. I have no clue what WWE is going for by making the heels (specifically Styles) look like such losers before Sunday. Styles hasn't won in weeks despite going undefeated for months on end. I understand the appeal of the 'Mania match is Omos making his in-ring debut, but the buildup has been lousy. Nothing about this made me more excited for their upcoming encounter.
Braun Strowman def. Elias and Jaxson Ryker in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Strowman showed more fire in his pre-match promo than usual, but that didn't make this any of this bearable. I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but this program is putrid and slapping a Steel Cage stipulation on the WrestleMania match isn't going to make it any better. It also doesn't make much sense when you consider people can still interfere and Shane can avoid Braun by escaping the cage. I'd suggest Hell in a Cell, but I don't want to give them any ideas. Elias and Ryker losing a 2-on-1 Handicap matchup at this point hardly matters because of how creatively damaged they've been since the fall.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler def. Raw Women's Champion Asuka and Rhea Ripley
Ah, the ridiculously dumb feuding tag team partners gimmick. We saw it recently on NXT with Finn Balor and Karrion Kross, we also saw it with Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair (twice, in fact), and we got it again here with Ripley and Asuka. I don't know what WWE's obsessions with this shit is, but it needs to stop because it isn't engaging or enjoyable. The match was whatever. Asuka getting pinned days out from WrestleMania was pretty stupid. They could have avoided that all together by not booking the bout in the first place. By the way, I can't say I'm pumped about Ripley being a heel from the get-go when there was no reason to turn her.
WWE Champion Bobby Lashley def. Cedric Alexander (Non-Title)
Insert obligatory line about why The Hurt Business breaking up was unnecessary. For anyone thinking this is all one giant, elaborate swerve, think again. Lashley has now beaten Alexander and Benjamin back-to-back weeks, which tells me he's officially done with them and there's no going back (at least not any time soon). Alexander gave it a good effort, but he came up short as we all expected he would. I continue to wonder what was accomplished from forcing The Hurt Business to go their separate ways.
The Miz and John Morrison Accepted Bad Bunny and Damian Priest's Challenge for a Tag Team Match at WrestleMania 37
Miz and Morrison tried to teach Bad Bunny a lesson earlier in the evening by roughing him up a little bit and then basically finger-painting his 3 million dollar car. The effort was there with this angle, but Miz and Morrison can't be taken seriously with anything they do, so it was honestly hard to care. Bad Bunny's promo felt like it lasted forever, but it was refreshing to hear from him for a change. Turning the WrestleMania match into a two-on-two with Priest and Morrison also involved was absolutely the right call.
United States Champion Riddle def. Mustafa Ali (Non-Title)
These two already had three matches against each other in the month of March, so this wasn't anything new. I guess you can say the same thing about Riddle and Sheamus, but at least those two tend to get the time they deserve. This was well-wrestled and fun while it lasted, but none of their matches have reached the level I think they could. Worse yet, there's been zero follow-up on the RETRIBUTION breakup. The fact they would waste over six months of TV time on that crap and then pretend like it never happened is wild to me.
Drew McIntyre def. King Corbin
McIntyre beat Ricochet and Mustafa Ali within a matter of minutes last week, yet it took him over 15 minutes to put way King Corbin. You can't make this stuff up. The idea was that Corbin would either be added to the WWE Championship match at 'Mania or get a title shot eventually (I'm not sure which), but you knew McIntyre wasn't losing so close to the event. That isn't to say it was a bad match, but it didn't need to be nearly as long as it was and the predictable outcome certainly didn't help.
Yes, this was marginally better than last week's atrocious edition of Raw, but that isn't saying much. As a go-home show, it was ineffective. Nothing featured during the three hours, not even the video packages, left me looking forward to what Raw will offer on either night of WrestleMania. SmackDown doesn't have that same problem, and yet Raw is almost intolerable to sit through most weeks. There was some solid stuff sprinkled throughout this show, but I'd be lying if I said it moved the needle move one way or the other.