Monday 29 March 2021

WWE Raw Highlights 29 March 2021


WWE Raw 3/29/21 March 29th 2021

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WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 29

Sana Ejaz Khan


    With just under two weeks until WrestleMania 37 on April 10 and 11, it's all hands on deck as WWE gets all of the feuds and storylines set up to carry us through the pay-per-view and into the rest of 2021.

    Last week, Bobby Lashley threw down a challenge with a reward for anyone brave enough to take him up on it. If somebody can take out Drew McIntyre before 'Mania, Lashley will grant them a title shot.

    Last week's show also featured a backstage altercation between Sheamus and Riddle. The Celtic Warrior was in no mood to deal with the United States champion's antics and hit him with his own scooter. This led to WWE setting up a match between them on this week's show.

    We also saw Rhea Ripley sign the contract for her Raw Women's Championship match with Asuka at WrestleMania. The newcomer had a great run in NXT, and she is looking to bring that momentum with her to the red brand.

    What will The Fiend do now that he is back on Raw? Is there anything Randy Orton can do to get rid of him? What will Mustafa Ali do with Retribution by his side? Who will earn a shot at the women's tag titles? Will Braun Strowman magically manifest more train sounds?

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on this week's episode of WWE Raw.

Opening Segment

1 OF 8

    Raw opened with The Hurt Business coming to the ring for a promo. MVP started before Lashley promised to give a WWE title match at WrestleMania to whoever takes out McIntyre. MVP claimed they wanted to give somebody an opportunity as the reason they were doing this.

    The All Mighty turned his attention to Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. The WWE champion ripped into them for losing to McIntyre in a handicap match last week. MVP gave them a chance to speak, and they got upset. Benjamin ended up shoving MVP, and it led to Lashley destroying the former tag team champions.

    The segment ended with Benjamin and Alexander leaving as they recovered while Lashley and MVP watched from the ring.


    Grade: C+



    Rest in peace, Hurt Business. You were gone before your time.

    WWE breaking up the premier stable on Raw the week after it had Retribution ditch Ali seems strange, especially since The Hurt Business has been so good for Raw over the past several months.

    This segment was fine, but the result is likely going to upset a lot of fans. Even as heels, every member of the group was constantly receiving praise online. It made Alexander and Benjamin relevant again in addition to finally getting Lashley to the WWE title.

    Lashley looked as dangerous as ever, but it felt like this breakup came out of left field, especially since another major group just broke up.

Sheamus vs. Riddle

2 OF 8

    Sheamus attacked Riddle backstage before the match, but once they got to the ring, the U.S. champ looked like he had recovered to full strength.

    They started with a nice exchange of attempted takedowns. It wasn't a crisp exchange of counters. They were trying to overpower each other, which made it look more competitive than a string of moves that flow together like a dance routine.

    The Celtic Warrior found himself on the floor after Riddle kicked him through the ropes. The champ followed up with a Floating Bro to the outside as we went to a commercial. We returned to see Sheamus back in control and beating Riddle down with right hands.

    The Bro countered White Noise and hit a backflip belly-to-belly suplex from the top turnbuckle. Sheamus barely got to the bottom rope to break a triangle choke. He hit White Noise and an Alabama slam for a pair of two-counts.

    A brief exchange of strikes led to Sheamus hitting a huge knee to the face for the pin and the win.


    Grade: B+



    This was a physical encounter between two guys who know how to throw their weight around. You could hear every strike because they were hitting each other instead of slapping their leg or chest to mimic the sound.

    The chemistry these two have is already great, which is good for WWE since it's clear the company is building toward a U.S. title match between them at WrestleMania.

    Riddle is one of those guys you either love or hate, but it's hard for anyone to deny his physical ability. Combine that with Sheamus' veteran experience and you have a recipe for a potential show-stealer.

Jaxson Ryker vs. Braun Strowman

3 OF 8

    Shane McMahon, Elias and Jaxson Ryker were out after the break to reveal some information about Strowman that was clearly faked. Shane showed a doctored report card from Strowman in fifth grade.

    As soon as the ref called for the bell, Strowman kicked Ryker to the mat. He tried to chase McMahon around but was forced to deal with Ryker again. He beat the former Forgotten Son down before Elias and McMahon distracted him long enough for Ryker to take him out with a chop block.

    Strowman conjured some more train sound effects before he ran down Ryker and hit the powerslam for the win. Elias and McMahon teamed up on him after the match, but Strowman eventually overpowered everyone. After Shane-O-Mac bailed, Strowman said their WrestleMania bout would be a Steel Cage match.


    Grade: D



    This whole thing was a trainwreck from start to finish, no pun intended. The fake report card wasn't funny, and McMahon did nothing to make it work during the promo. He looked like he was on autopilot the entire time.

    The match was also weak and made Ryker, Elias and McMahon look more cowardly than needed. If this is how they were going to do this, it should have at least ended with McMahon getting the upper hand.

    The train noises are laughably bad. There's not much else you can say about pre-timed sound effects during a match.

Hey Hey, Hop Hop

4 OF 8

    The Miz and John Morrison were in the ring to introduce their next music video. Morrison was wearing an amazing orange outfit that needs to become his signature look going forward.

    After complaining about Bad Bunny and their upcoming WrestleMania match, The Miz played the video for "Hey Hey, Hop Hop." As soon as the future Grammy-winning song was over, Damian Priest and Bad Bunny came out to tell them they enjoyed the video.

    The A-Lister got in Bunny's face, and the performer punched him right in the mush as hard as he could. The Miz sold the hit like Bunny was rocking a loaded glove.


    Grade: B



    Was the music video good? No.

    Was the music video enjoyable? Absolutely.

    The Miz and Morrison are the only people who could make this feud entertaining. The video was funny, and the song actually had a good beat to it. Is it possible Bad Bunny secretly helped produce it?

    This will not be for everyone, but if you enjoy comedy in wrestling, this segment is worth watching.

Cedric Alexander vs. Shelton Benjamin

5 OF 8

    The ref called for the bell, and an angry Benjamin rushed Lashley to deliver several punches. He took the WWE champ down in a waistlock and delivered a few knees to the body.

    The All Mighty dropped him with a flatliner. He rammed Benjamin into the ring post before hitting a big Spear in the corner. He chased Alexander away from the ring, allowing Benjamin to hit Paydirt for a close two-count.

    Once he recovered, Lashley applied the Hurt Lock for the submission victory.


    Grade: C+



    From a storyline perspective, this match went exactly as it needed to go. Lashley won and came away looking confident and dominant. From a technical perspective, this bout was decent but nothing special considering who was involved.

    If they had more time and WWE wasn't trying to keep Lashley strong, they could have had an outstanding exchange of technical wrestling and power moves.

    The match was short but still showcased some of the reasons both guys are so special. It's too bad this looks like the end of the line for The Hurt Business.

The New Day Game Night and AJ Styles vs. Xavier Woods

6 OF 8

    Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston set up several games in the ring for a segment with AJ Styles and Omos to test their teamwork skills.

    They played charades and Pictionary before Omos told them to stop. He said all they have to do is win at 'Mania to prove they are the better team.

    The match kicked off after a commercial break. Woods tried to apply a wristlock, but Styles pushed him away and hit a dropkick to score the first takedown.

    They traded chest chops as Woods started to build some momentum. Omos prevented him from diving over the top rope, but when Styles tried to sneak up on him, Woods knocked him out of the ring again and hit the dive anyway.

    We returned from a second break to see The Phenomenal One hit a fireman's carry neckbreaker for a near-fall. Woods responded with a tornado DDT for another two-count.

    Omos ended up causing a disqualification when he attacked Woods and Kingston. He tossed Kingston over the barricade and crushed Woods in the corner while Styles directed traffic.


    Grade: B-



    The game-night portion was uneventful but provided a few laughs thanks to Styles getting upset whenever he would lose. It was a nice reference to some of his hilarious moments on UpUpDownDown.

    The match that followed saved this from being a weak segment of the show. Styles and Woods worked brilliantly together and gave us a preview of what we can expect at WrestleMania.

    This was also the most physical action we have seen from Omos. Let's hope WWE allows him to build from here and become a monster competitor who destroys everyone in his path.

Shayna Baszler vs. Naomi

7 OF 8

    One-half of the women's tag team champions was in action this week when Shayna Baszler took on Naomi with Nia Jax and Lana at ringside and Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose on commentary.

    Naomi took control early, but one kick from Baszler turned the tide. She stomped on Naomi's arm and began focusing her attention on that limb to soften her up.

    Naomi regained control, but a distraction from Reginald allowed Baszler to take her down. Lana shoved Jax into Rose, so Brooke started fighting Lana. The chaos at ringside allowed Naomi to roll up Baszler for the pin.


    Grade: D



    This was an overbooked mess. The match was short and did not give either performer enough time to do much of anything.

    These three teams are obviously going to be competing for the women's tag titles at WrestleMania. WWE should just book the match so we can skip having to see more of these segments.

Ricochet vs. Drew McIntyre

8 OF 8

    After looking for a fight backstage, McIntyre found a willing opponent in Ricochet. MVP approached Ricochet before the bout, but the high-flyer did not seem interested in what he had to say.

    Ricochet tried to get an early advantage with his speed, but one backdrop put him down immediately. The Scottish Warrior threw him across the ring with a belly-to-belly suplex. Ricochet countered a second by landing on his feet.

    McIntyre was in the perfect position for the 630, but he rolled out of the way and hit a Claymore for the win. Mustafa Ali tried to attack McIntyre but was countered easily. McIntyre dared him to fight him in the ring as we went to a break.

    We returned to see the match already taking place. Ali was in control and focusing on the leg of the former WWE champion to cut him down to size. McIntyre hit a snap suplex out of nowhere to regain the upper hand. He hit the Claymore for another win.

    He called out Lashley to come finish him off himself, and The All Mighty was happy to oblige. Another commercial break aired before they had their confrontation. They talked some trash to each other before they started brawling.

    King Corbin attacked McIntyre from behind and allowed Lashley to apply the Hurt Lock. The show ended with Lashley standing tall over his WrestleMania opponent.


    Grade: B



    Considering how dominant McIntyre has looked recently, it was surprising to see Ricochet get in as much offense as he did. He didn't exactly come close to winning, but he looked better than a jobber.

    Seeing Ali without the Retribution gear is a good sign that the group is indeed done for good. This is probably going to lead to some of those wrestlers being put back in NXT, but at least they can ditch those masks now.

    All of this certainly made McIntyre look good, but he has been booked strong for months. These wins don't really do much for him. However, it was a fun way to close the show.

    The breakup of The Hurt Business sucks, but if it leads to Lashley finally being booked as a capable champion who doesn't need backup, it will be for the best.

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