SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
MARCH 29, 2021
TAMPA, FL. AT THUNDERDOME IN TROPICANA FIELD
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe
Match Results from Last Week
- WWE Champion Bobby Lashley defeated Sheamus in a non-title match.
- Raw Women’s Champion Asuka defeated Peyton Royce in a non-title match. After the match Rhea Ripley made her official Raw debut and challenged her to a match at WrestleMania for the title.
- The Miz defeated Jeff Hardy. After the match he was attacked by Bad Bunny who hit him with a guitar and accepted his challenge to a match at WrestleMania.
- Kofi Kingston defeated A.J. Styles.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin in a handicap match. Shelton & Cedric are banned from ring side in the upcoming WWE Championship match between Drew and Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke in a non-title match.
- Braun Strowman defeated Elias (w/Jaxson Ryker).
Items Advertised by WWE
Tonight, we continue to get ready for WrestleMania which is less than weeks away as night one takes place one week from Saturday on April 10. Thus far, four matches from the Raw side will take place on that night including the WWE Championship match between champion Bobby Lashley and former champion Drew McIntyre. Here’s the hype video WWE put out for tonight:
Bobby Lashley Wants Drew Out
WWE Bobby Lashley was upset with his Hurt Business compadres Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander when they interfered in his match with Sheamus, the issue being they made it seem like Lashley couldn’t beat Sheamus on his own. They attacked Sheamus post-match, who was rescued by recent bitter rival Drew McIntyre. To make things right, they wanted to wrestle Drew in a handicap match. Drew told Adam Pearce he would do it, and if they lost, they would be banned from ringside in the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania. I stated earlier that Drew went on to win the match, and now Cedric and Shelton are banned.
Upset with Cedric and Shelton, Bobby Lashley turned to the band of 24/7 Championship “pursuers” and said if any of them took out Drew, they would get a championship match.
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t know what’s going on with Keith Lee, but he’s been conspicuously off TV for a while. I wonder if this is the spot for him to return and attempt to take out Drew. There is history between them, and it appeared Lee could have been turning heel anyway. He’s a better choice than any of the 24/7 crew, right?
Non-Title Match: U.S. Champion Riddle vs. Sheamus
Speaking of Sheamus, he gets a non-title match against U.S. Champ Riddle after what happened last week. Riddle showed up during his interview backstage where he was talking about Drew coming to his aid after being attacked after his match with WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. He said it was all about respect, but really didn’t want his help. Riddle rode up in his scooter asked him about Loch ness monsters and leprechauns. Sheamus jammed Riddle in the stomach with the scooter.
Frank’s Analysis: Sheamus jamming Riddle in the stomach with the scooter not only makes him a babyface, but a national hero! Maybe that’s a stretch, but Riddle is not only annoying he’s embarrassing. If non-wrestling fans were over my house watching that with me, I would get questioned as to why I’m watching this stuff. WWE has nothing to worry about because they get billions of dollars poured into their pockets, which isn’t my issue. My issue is the constant attempt at terrible humor which makes wrestlers and characters look like complete idiots. That all said, I think it’s pretty obvious this is leading to a U.S. Championship match at WrestleMania.
Contract Signing: Raw Women’s Champion Asuka and Rhea Ripley Sign for their WrestleMania Match
Tonight, Asuka and Rhea Ripley will sign the contract for their Raw Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania. Rhea made her debut last week, as advertised, and challenged Asuka to the match at WrestleMania. She acknowledged that Charlotte initially issued the challenge, but because of her having COVID she’s unable to compete. Asuka yelled in Japanese, and said, “you are not ready for Asuka” and then accepted the challenge. Rhea is awful confident as evidenced on Twitter:
— RheaRipley_WWE (@RheaRipley_WWE) March 25, 2021
Frank’s Analysis: Let’s be honest. Rhea is getting this match because they don’t have anybody to wrestle Asuka. That doesn’t make it right, nor does the fact that WWE has no standards when it comes to wrestlers getting title matches. Who did Sting beat in 2015 to earn a WWE World Heavyweight Championship with Seth Rollins? Anyway, my issue was more with the demeanor and presentation of Rhea. It didn’t feel impactful or memorable the way the debut should have felt, considering they hyped it for many weeks. She came across flat and they looked like two teenage girls happy that a boy (or girl) is interested in them when Asuka accepted the challenge. It might have been better if Rhea came out in her own segment, separate from Asuka, and cut a promo explaining who she was and why she should get a title match.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!