The One Before The One Before Mania – A Raw Recap for 3/26/18

Tonight’s Raw comes to us from The Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland, Ohio.


Cracked Vest

This show was headlined by Brock showing up, smiling and dancing around as Heyman talked a big game, and just beating the shit out of Roman.


Of course, Roman was there against doctor’s orders.  While Roman got in a couple good chair shots, it ended with Roman in much worse shape than he came in.  After almost losing AJ to injury, the risked another marquee match having to be cancelled with an F5 onto the steel steps.  If Roman didn’t already wear a protective vest, I would think the he might have cracked a rib.

I don’t understand why they’d take this big of a risk, honestly.  And it also doesn’t make sense.  You don’t need to make Roman too much of an underdog.  Last week was enough.  Roman getting some receipt on Brock would have done much better than this beatdown.  I want to see some kind of crack in Brock’s defense.  It could have ultimately ended with Roman looking at the lights, but Roman should have gotten a little more offense in.

I think this build started so well but they’ve taken a couple steps back in the last couple of weeks.  Less is more with this storyline.  People are not tuning in for this match.  Die-hards want to watch AJ Vs. Nak and Charlotte Vs. Asuka.  Casual fans want to see the Rousey match.  I really don’t think anyone but die-hard Roman fans are getting the Network (like they didn’t already have it) purely for Mania.

It Happened

After a verbal argument in what initially looked like a high school hallway, Sasha and Bayley finally came to blows.  This is months and months in the making and hopefully a permanent heel turn for Sasha.  People keep wondering where Sasha and Bayley fit on the Wrestlemania card.  They really don’t.  But I think, it would work out really well for the Raw after Mania.  It could be the headline match on a show filled with only the most hardcore (and wealthy) WWE fans.  Sure, everyone wants a Mania match, but they can headline the most watched Raw of the year.  And they could, and should, have one more match at Summerslam.

The only acceptable spot is if it headlines Money in the Bank.  We’ll see.

Everything Else

  • Miz TV
    • I almost wrote this as a feature but decided against it.  Basically Miz came out, insulted his home town and then started to get into an argument with his boys.  It seems that they haven’t been pulling their weight.  Bo Dallas wasn’t having it and fired back.
    • At this point, Seth and Finn showed up to try to egg on the arguments.
    • Bo Dallas called Miz a B-Lister who couldn’t even fight.
    • Axel tried to intervene but drew the line when Miz claimed he was better than Mr. Perfect.  The hurt on Axel’s face did seem pretty genuine.
    • It was all a ruse.  Axel and Bo just attacked Finn and Seth.  The Good Brothers showed up to protect Finn, which setup a tag match for later in the show.
    • Overall it was a good segment, even though I knew it was all going to go south.
  • Ronda Rousey showed up on Raw.  Absolution showed up to offer Ronda a spot on their team.  She rejected the offer.  Kurt had to tell her to back off from breaking Mandy Rose’s arm.
  • Speaking of Rousey, there was a pretty good interview package with HHH and Stephanie to hype up that match at Mania.  They claimed they were going to humiliate her but that they, as good businesspeople, could just repackage her.  Selling her to the WWE public is no sweat.
  • John Cena beat Kane in a No DQ match after putting the Big Red Machine through a table.  I wasn’t interested.  I stopped being interested  He cut an exasperated promo on the Undertaker still not showing up to face him.  At this point, I kind of think it funny if the Undertaker is retired and John Cena doesn’t actually have a match at Mania.  Invite us up to the WWE box in the Superdome, John.  We’ll keep you company.
  • Nia Jax defeated Mickie James with a massive Samoan drop.
  • Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali defeat TJP & Drew Gulak.  Ali tagged himself in right before Cedric hit the Lumbar Check on TJP.  Ali finished off TJP and got the pin.  Cedric was “good-naturedly frustrated” that Ali tagged in and stole the pin.
  • Asuka defeated Jamie Frost, a local wrestler.  I would have liked a tiny bit more offense here.  Asuka finished her off with just one kick.  According to the rumors, that was Jamie Frost’s very first match.  That’s completely crazy, if true.
  • Matt Hardy declares himself for the Humongous World Wonder Number 8 Battle Royale.
  • Braun Strowman offers to tell The Bar who his tag team partner is if Sheamus beats him in singles competition.  We still don’t know who his partner is.
  • Gallows and Anderson defeat The Miztourage.
  • Elias mentions that he sold out Madison Square Garden and now he’s in this dump.  After a song, he defeats Rhyno and beats down Heath Slater.

Where Do We Go From Here

Some Raws are great, others aren’t.  Just because we’re on the Road to Wrestlemania, it doesn’t mean it’ll be good.

I’d give this show a C.  I throughly enjoyed the Miz TV segment but a lot of other things were forgettable.  Tune in next week, when we have the Go Home show for the longest Mania of all time.  It’ll be so long that they’re just going to have a second line parade from the Superdome to the Smoothie King arena for Raw the next night.