The March 12th, 2018 edition of WWE RAW aired live from the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI.
– RAW opens up with show GM Kurt Angle coming down to the ring to kick off the night right away. He talks about his upcoming mixed tag match with Ronda Rousey against Kurt Angle and Triple H. He says he won’t be sorry for what he does to Triple H at ‘Mania. He moves on to the topic of the Universal Title, and says that Brock Lesnar didn’t show up tonight — maybe because he isn’t feeling well, or had travel issues, or just didn’t feel like it. Roman Reigns comes out to interrupt.
Reigns walks down to the ring and cuts a promo trashing Lesnar for not showing up to work again. He says if anyone else, like Kurt, him, or the fans, didn’t show up for work — they’d be fired. He says Brock is “Vince’s boy,” and this is Vince’s fault. He tells Kurt he knows he’s just the middle man here, and Vince is in charge. Reigns says he walked by Vince in the back, and Vince didn’t have the courtesy or respect to tell him what’s going on tonight. Reigns says it’s one thing to be disrespected by Vince McMahon.
Reigns heads to the back and the camera follows him behind the curtain to the gorilla position. Reigns walks right over to Vince, who is at a table with the headset on. Shane McMahon is sitting next to Vince, and he gets between Vince and Reigns. Reigns gets in Vince’s face, and Vince says to go to commercials so they can talk in private.
– We see a video package looking at Ronda Rousey’s road to WrestleMania.
– We go to Renee Young who says things have settled down between Vince and Reigns. Reigns walks out of Vince’s office, but ignores Renee n the way out. Vince walks out and tells Renee that Brock Lesnar is not “his boy,” he’s his own man. Vince says he didn’t intend to disrespect Roman, but he gave it to him straight. He reminded Roman of a phrase that his cousin The Rock used to say – “know your role and shut your mouth.” Vince says Brock has special privileges, but he’s earned them, and he’s motivated by competition in the ring and the octagon. Vince assures that next week Brock Lesnar will be in the house, and Lesnar will defend the Universal Title against Reigns at WrestleMania. He adds that due to what just happened, Roman Reigns is temporarily suspended. Vince heads back into his office.
– Sasha Banks vs. Sonya Deville: Bayley and Absolution are all at ringside. The bell sounds and the opening minutes are evenly matched until Sasha hits a series of dropkicks. She hits Sonya again, then throws her out of the ring. Back in the ring, Sonya hits a series of strikes and mounts a comeback. Deville works on keeping The Boss grounded on the mat now. The other Absolution members look to interfere, but Bayley chases them off. Sasha fires up and hits the backstabber, then the Banks Statement for the win after a short match.
Winner: Sasha Banks
– After the bell, Absolution beats down Sasha. Bayley appears to have left the ringside arena and she didn’t return to help during the post-match beat-down.
– We see a video package looking at Kid Rock’s involvement in WWE, and announcing his Hall o Fame induction this year. There’s also a video looking at Asuka challenging Charlotte at WrestleMania.
– The Miz comes down to the ring next for Miz TV. He informs us that Dallas and Axel aren’t here because they’re preparing for their match later. He then introduces his guests Seth Rollins and Finn Balor, who each make their entrances next. They all sit down, and Miz starts antagonizing Rollins and Balor. The Miz tries to turn Balor and Rollins against each other and get them fighting, but Balor and Rollins don’t bite. Balor and Rollins do finally get up and get in each other’s faces, but then they turn their attention to The Miz. Balor and Rollins take turns delivering right hands to The Miz, then Balor clotheslines Miz to the outside. Balor yells at Miz, then turns around into a cheap shot from Rollins. Rollins walks off with Balor and Miz both laid out.
– During the commercial break, Kurt Angle books a singles match between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor tonight.
– Sheamus and Cesaro are down to the ring next. They have issued an open challenge to anyone who wanted to face them at WrestleMania, and Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel appear to have accepted. The Miztourage attacks The Bar from behind before the match starts, and beats them down around ringside. The Bar regroups at ringside, then they get fired up and head back in the ring. The Bar starts brawling with The Miztourage in the ring, but then The Revival runs down and starts brawling them too. Gallows and Anderson run down next and join the fight. Sheaus and Cesaro fight out of the ringside area and head up the ramp, but then Titus Worldwide, Slater and Rhyno come down and the brawl reignites. All of the teams start fighting in the ring until Sheamus and Cesaro escape again and make their exits.
– Michael Cole informs us that a “devastated” John Cena is up next to discuss his lack of a WrestleMania match.
– John Cena comes down to the ring and gets on the mic. Cena says he gave 100% last night at Fastlane, but couldn’t get the job done. Cena brings up WrestleMania and the crowd starts chanting for Undertaker, and Cena says he hopes the people backstage hear that. Cena says he won’t be contributing to WrestleMania this year, but he will be there. Cena says his road to WrestleMania is now the same as anyone else’s, because he’s going as a fan. Cena talks about the WWE Universe being important to WrestleMania, and says he’s going to the show to have fun, and may end up sitting next to anyone who goes. Cena jumps the fan barricade and gets in the middle of some fans, and says he could end up sitting next to any of them at WrestleMania. Cena joins in one some fan chants. He gets back in the ring and tells the fans to get their “Cena sucks” chants out of their systems, since he won’t be there. Cena says he could do something right now that he’s not supposed to do, and it could change his road to WrestleMania. Cena says he’s going to do it — and he looks in the camera and challenges The Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania. He says he doesn’t know if the WWE executives have a problem with the match, so he repeats the challenge a few times to see if they cut his mic off. Cena says it’s not WWE executives preventing the match – it’s The Undertaker. Cena tells The Undertaker to get over his own ego, and to stop hiding his head in the sand. Cena says Undertaker is hiding behind lame excuses, and calls him a conceited egomaniac. Cena says the fans want the match, and the ball is in Undertaker’s court. Cens says if he was Undertaker he’d want one more match, then he heads to the back.
– The Bar confronts Kurt Angle backstage and says what happened to them tonight was totally uncalled for. Angle thinks they brought it on themselves because they were trashing all the other tag teams on Twitter. The Bar says they hear rumors of a Superstar Shake-Up after WrestleMania, but they want to be traded now because they think they’re being treated unfairly. Angle says he’s not trading them, and there will be a tag team battle royal tonight to determine their WrestleMania opponents.
– We see a replay from last week of Braun Strowman beating down Elias.
– Elias is out to the ring next for a song. Elias has a neck brace on, and apparently due to his injuries he gets up and leaves before he starts singing. Elias says this is all the fans’ fault, and he heads up the ramp to the back.
– We see a pre-taped promo from Braun Strowman where he talks about destroying Elias last week and slamming the piano on him. Strowman complains about not having a WrestleMania match yet, but he’s not going to sit around, he’s going to make his own path of destruction to ‘Mania.
– Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins: The Miz is shown watching on a monitor backstage as Rollins and Balor lock up in the opening moments. They trade holds on the mat until Balor drops Rollins with a right hand. Rollins dodges a shot and fires back with an elbow to the face. Rollins follows up with chops and a kick. Rollins stomps Balor down and then beats on him in the corner. More chops from Rollins. Balor hits a dropkick, then he kicks Rollins out of the ring to the floor. Balor kicks Rollins from the apron, and Rollins is now selling a shoulder injury. Back in the ring, Rollins fights back and drops Balor with a headbutt. Rollins follows up with a running knee to the face on the apron for a two count. Balor comes back with some chops, and looks for a reverse DDT but Rollins escapes. Balor and Rollins trade strikes to the face in the middle of the ring. Balor hits a Pele kick, then Rollins hits a spinning heel kick, and both men are down. Rollins with another kick and he looks for the curb stomp, but Balor escapes. Balor drops Rollins and stomps on him, then hits the sling blade. Balor charges and Rollins stops him with a boot to the face for a two count. Rollins misses a shot in the corner and Balor drops him. Balor goes up top, but Rollins runs up and looks for a superplex. Balor knocks him down, but Rollins comes right back up. Rollins hits the superplex, but when he goes to roll through for a Falcon Arrow, Balor hooks his leg for an inside cradle. Balor gets the three count, and Rollins can’t believe it.
Winner: Finn Balor
– Rollins is not happy, and he storms off after the match before Balor leaves.
– We see a video package announcing the Fabolous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal for women at WrestleMania.
– There’s another video package looking back at the entire history between Ronda Rousey, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H and Kurt Angle leading to their WrestleMania tag match.
– Asuka comes out to teh ring next for an in-ring interview. Before she can get started, Alexa Bliss and Mickie James come out to interrupt. Alexa says Asuka’s english isn’t very good, so Alexa will explain why Asuka changed her WrestleMAnia opponent. Alexa says Asuka is scared to face Alexa because she knows she’ll break Asuka’s winning streak. Alexa tells Asuka she knows she can’t beat her, and it’s cowardly to back out. Asuka says she chose Charlotte because “to be the women you’ve got to beat the woman,” and she wants to face the ebst in WWE, which is Charlotte. Asuka ends up challenging Alexa to a match tonight, but Alexa says instead she gets “this woman,” then points to the stage. No one comes out, so Alexa and Mickie cheap-shot Asuka and beat her down together.
– Mickie James vs. Asuka: This gets made a match dring the commercial break, and it’s all Mickie in the opening moments as she beats down Asuka. Asuka finally comes back with a flying hip attack, then she puts the boots to Mickie. Mickie rolls outside for a breather, and Asuka kicks her from the apron. Mickie tries to escape over the barricade, but Asuka grabs her and throws her into the ring post. Asuka goes for a kick, but Mickie ducks and Asuka kicks the ring post. Asuka is now selling a leg injury from the kick. Asuka gets back in the ring, and Mickie immediately starts working over the bad leg. Mickie looks for a reverse DDT, but Asuka escapes and hits a kick to the head. It sounds like there’s a “Rusev Day” chant in the crowd. Asuka hits a splash in the corner, then a knee to the face for a two count. Mickie continues going to Asuka’s bad leg. Mickie goes up top and Asuka follows, which leads to Mickie hitting a sunset flip powerbomb for a two count. Mickie goes for a kick, but Asuka ducks and puts on the Asuka Lock. Mickie taps out for the finish. Alexa leaves ringside and heads to the back as soon as the bell rings.
– Alexa walks into Nia Jax’s locker room and asks her why she didn’t come out to back them up against Asuka. Nia says Kurt told her not to go out because she has a match coming up. Alexa says Nia is her best friend and she loves her, and Nia says she loves her too, and they hug. Alexa says she needs Nia’s word that she’ll have her back in taking out Asuka, and Nia agrees.
– Nia Jax vs. A jobber: The opening bell sounds and Nia’s opponent wants no part of her. Nia throws her across the ring then hits an elbow drop. Nia follows up with the Samoan Drop for the three count after a short squash match .
Winner: Nia Jax
– After the match, the big screen turns on and we see Alexa Bliss and Mickie James in the locker room trashing Nia. They make fun of Nia’s weight and Alexa says she uses Nia because she’s a vulnerable person. Alexa says Nia will be right where she wants her next week, because she’s easy to manipulate. They continue to trash Nia over and over. Charly Caruso walks in the locker room and informs them that they have been on camera this whole time. Alexa and Mickie make their escape out of the arena. Nia heads to the back and is not happy. Nia walks in the locker room and starts throwing everything and asking where Alexa is. Nia trashes the room and screams, then walks off.
– Corey Graves introduces a video package looking at the “great war” between Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. We see footage from The Hardy Compound with Matt’s family including Senor Benjamin and the drone. We then go to Bray Wyatt in a dark room, who cuts a promo about Matt Hardy being a liar and a fool.
– Kurt Angle is shown backstage, saying to himself “I knew Bray was crazy, but what the hell happened to Matt.” Kurt Angle then appoints a referee to the match at the Hardy Compound. The referee asks if he did something wrong to deserve this, but Angle says he just needs someone there to make sure they leave the compound in one piece.
– We see replays of the exchange between Vince McMahon and Roman Reigns earlier tonight.
– Tag Team Battle Royal: The Bar joins the commentary table for this one. Before the opening bell sounds, Braun Strowman comes out and marches down to the ring. Strowman yells at the ref to ring the bell, and the ref rings it. Strowman immediately eliminates Crews, then everyone starts brawling in the ring. Strowman and Slater go at it, and Slader goes under the bottom rope to escape him. Strowman follows him outside and beats him down at ringside before throwing Slater back in the ring. Strowman then throws Slater over the top rope for the elimination. The rest of the participants of the match now gang up on Strowman and try to eliminate him. The Revival breaks off and eliminates Rhyno. Strowman starts cleaning house, and all the wrestlers roll out under the bottom rope for breathers. Titus comes in and challenges Strowman, but decides against it and leaves the ring to consult with the other wrestlers at ringside. All the other wrestlers get back in the ring and gang up on Strowman until he shoves them all off. Gallows, Anderson and Titus all put the boots to Strowman, and Strowman falls outside through the middle ropes. The Miztourage and The Revival beat down Strowman at ringside wih the steel ring steps. Titus starts cleaning house in the ring until the Miztourage double teams him. The Miztourage and The Revival start going at it now in the ring, and they eliminate The Revival. Strowman gets back in the ring and eliminates Titus. Gallows hits some kicks to the face of Strowman, but Strowman comes back with a clothesline to eliminate Gallows. The Miztourage tries to eliminate Strowman, but Strowman decks them both and hits powerslams on each of them. Strowman eliminates The Miztourage. Anderson hits a series of kicks to Strowman, but Strowman catches one and slams him down. Strowman picks up Anderson, yells that he’s going to WrestleMania, then he throws Anderson to the outside onto the other wrestlers at ringside. Strowman raises his hands to celebrate the win as The Bar looks on from the commentary table with concern. Strowman looks at the WrestleMania sign, and then at The Bar, as Strowman is now supposedly the #1 contender for the The Bar’s Tag Team Titles. Strowman gets on the corner and celebrates as RAW goes off the air.