WWE RAW PRIMER 3/16: Another crowd-free episode as Stone Cold Returns for “316 Day,” Contract Signing for the Phenomenal One vs. Phenom

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.

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WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
ORLANDO, FLA. AT THE PERFORMANCE CENTER
MARCH 16, 2020
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH SPECIALIST

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Byron Saxton

Top 10 Moments from Last Week’s Show:

Arena, and Items Advertised by WWE

As Smackdown did Friday night, Raw will emanate from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL. with no public access. With Wednesday night’s NXT looking like it will head there as well, this appears to be the trend for now with WWE television. We’ll see what happens show by show as we head towards, for now, WrestleMania.

I had the pleasure of being the cohost on this past Friday’s Smackdown edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show. Wade and I discussed, at length, the format of the empty arena show with callers and reading e-mails. A lot of ideas were discussed as to what they can do going forward if in fact we remain in our current situation for an extended period. Check that show out!

FREE PODCAST 3/13 – Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-Show – WWE Smackdown w/Keller & Peteani: First show with no crowd, Triple H wisecracking on commentary, Reigns and Cena-Bray promos, Jeff Hardy returns, live callers & mailbag (151 min)

Here is what’s on tap for tonight:

Stone Cold to celebrate “#316 Day”
Undertaker-Styles contract signing set

Stone Cold Back to Celebrate #316 Day

For several weeks now, WWE has been hyping the return of Hall of Famer and arguably one of the greatest in the TV/PPV era in “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to celebrate “#316 Day.”

Under normal circumstances it would be easy to say that with WrestleMania looming, he’s coming back not just because it’s March 16, but to set something up for him to do at WrestleMania. We’ve seen him be a guest referee several times (Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg in 2004, Michael Cole vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler in 2011). Given what’s going on now, who knows what tonight will bring. WWE put up some of Austin’s funny moments through the years:

Only 6️⃣ more days…#316Day @steveaustinBSR https://t.co/sEpaOHU2Aw

— WWE (@WWE) March 10, 2020

Frank’s Analysis: I can’t imagine what is planned for Austin as he relies SO MUCH on crowd interaction, putting up his arms and catching & drinking beers from fans. At any rate, given our current situation, it’ll be great to see him and at this point I think we’ll all enjoy just about anything.

Undertaker and A.J. Styles to Sign WrestleMania Contract

Last week, following what happened at Elimination Chamber, A.J. Styles called out and challenged the Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania. He didn’t just challenge him to the match, but rather made it personal by calling him by his real name Mark Calloway. He said his wife, former WWE Divas Champion Michelle McCool, was making him come back and do all those WrestleMania matches when he should have retired ten years ago.

Moments after the promo it was announced that the Undertaker would face A.J. at WrestleMania. Tonight, as it stands, they will sign the contract for that match.

Frank’s Analysis: If I were A.J. I’d be insulted. Two years ago, John Cena spent a month calling out the Undertaker. He didn’t show up until WrestleMania and squashed Cena in about three minutes. Now, Undertaker accepts the challenge right away? Anyway, the segment last week was picked apart enough. I’m in alignment with what was said, so I won’t pile on. I just wonder if this stays a one-on-one match. I kept thinking it would be Undertaker and Aleister Black vs. A.J. and Gallows & Anderson. I still think that’s better as it helps Black and A.J. to a degree. We’ll see.

Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week

Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch opened the show, cutting a promo about her WrestleMania opponent Becky Lynch. She called her a world class scumbag and a “black hole of charisma.” (Whatever the hell that is) Rey Mysterio def. Angel Garza. Here’s Rey in a WWE exclusive:

Seth Rollins & his crew (AOP & Murphy) attacked Kevin Owens “earlier in the day” when the cameraman was filming Kevin showing up at the arena for some reason.

NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley punched out her WrestleMania opponent Charlotte Flair after Charlotte cut her down. She said she will never be her and there is only one of her.

Bobby Lashley defeated Zack Ryder.

Drew McIntyre defeated Erick Rowan and smashed his stupid pet carry case.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions the Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) defeated Natalya & Liv Morgan. Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan got involved and it was a convoluted mess.

Edge made his return and chair-shotted MVP with Randy Orton looking on. Orton attacked Edge but was given a taste of his own RKO. Here’s unaired footage:

Paul Heyman and Drew McIntyre discussed the upcoming match between McIntyre and Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Here’s Drew in a WWE exclusive:

Riddick Moss defeated Cedric Alexander to retain the 24/7 Championship. Here’s Riddick:

Aleister Black defeated Seth Rollins via DQ

Seth Rollin & AOP & Murphy defeated Raw Tag Team Champions the Street Profits & The Viking Raiders. Owens returned from the earlier attack but ended up getting two stomps.

Final Thoughts

I kept this a little shorter than normal because we just don’t know what to expect tonight. The Friday Smackdown show was interesting on a lot of levels, but we just don’t know if the formula is sustainable over god knows how long they’ll have to do this without fans in the arena. We’re in a situation the likes we’ve never seen before. Families and just about every industry are being affected in ways we never could have imagined. This is the time to pull together and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Take time to enjoy the things you love and keep your head up. We’re knocked down, but we can make the choice to dust ourselves off and get up.


Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.


CATCH UP… HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 3/9: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including the return of Edge, Elimination Chamber fallout, Mysterio vs. Garza, and more

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