WWE Monday Night RAW (3/22/2021): The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
Peyton Royce’s Time To Shine
Two weeks ago, Peyton Royce gave a bone-chilling promo on Raw Talk, telling the world that she is scared of the amount of talent she has and the opportunities she deserves. It took a week for her to get a match after that promo went viral, and Royce’s opponent was none other than the top of the women’s division, the WWE RAW Women’s Champion Asuka. Royce, without a doubt, delivered a highly competitive match that might have deserved to be on pay-per-view itself. Peyton Royce may have tapped out, but she proved everything she said in that RAW Talk was true. Although we now know what is happening at Wrestlemania for the RAW Women’s Championship. We must not forget the talent Royce has. After tonight she has the possibility of being a future Women’s Champion on any brand.
The Nightmare Challenges The Empress.
It seemed like the entire Raw Women’s division has become second fiddle to Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler and their tag team championship. Something has been missing in the Women’s division, and this week’s episode of Raw may have found that missing piece. After the highly competitive match between Asuka and Peyton Royce, Rhea Ripley makes her first official appearance as a Raw roster member challenging the Raw’s Women’s Champion. This rivalry is precisely what the women’s division needs. Two of the most dominating wrestlers in NXT history now collide in the grandest stage of them all. Both women have had tough Wrestlemania losses against none other than Charlotte. They both have so much to prove. With Asuka having a competitive match and Ripley making her official debut, the Raw Women’s Division is slowly rebuilding after this.
Announcement of The Miz vs. Bad Bunny
When Bad Bunny arrived at WWE, there were many negative comments, but we’re not here to complain. There is no doubt Bad Bunny is bringing so many eyes to the product at the most important time of the year. Let’s stop complaining and crying on the internet and accept that The Miz vs. Bad Bunny is a money-making match for Wrestlemania. Miz gave an incredible promo where he said what those narrow-minded fans were saying on the internet. The Miz going from WWE Champion to a celebrity match is the most Miz thing to do. Miz makes everything he touches into money, especially when a microphone is in his hands. This means we will hear some great mic work in the next two weeks. And I cannot be the only one excited to listen to the diss track “Hey Hey Hop Hop” premiere next week on Raw.
The Mystery of Omos
After the New Day won their record-breaking eleventh tag team title reign, AJ Styles challenged them at Wrestlemania with Omos as his tag team partner. Many left the segment with their head-scratching, thinking that’s the best scenario for the Phenomenal One and the New Day. But this week, fans can now see why this is Wrestlemania worthy. The mystery of Omos as a wrestler is so fascinating fans have to tune in to watch the biggest show of the year. And these over-the-top promos are worth watching as well. Two names that stand out of having their first matches at Wrestlemania are current Intercontinental Champion Big E and “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, and look at how their WWE careers have been. So, who knows how Omos’ debut match will be. Let’s not forget the talent Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and AJ Styles; having these three alone make this really out of nowhere match into a big Wrestlemania-worthy tag team title match.
Sheamus Is On Fire
There is no doubt since moving to Raw, Sheamus has been having some of the most hard-hitting matches on the red brand. It seemed that at Wrestlemania, we were going to get best friends to collide with Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus for the WWE Championship. Then you know it Bobby Lashley is WWE Champion, and everything changes. But what about Sheamus? Well, it looks like he’s heading into the United States title picture against Riddle. With Wrestlemania being two nights, if this match gets a significant amount of time, this could be a hard-hitting Wrestlemania banger. It safe to say Sheamus’s road to Wrestlemania is heading in the right direction.
The Hurt Business Closing Shop?!
Since the pandemic, one of the saving graces of the red brand has been the Hurt Business. Look at where all four members were one year ago, and each member’s value has increased in less than a year. Bobby Lashley becoming WWE Champion cemented them as one of the best but last week, having Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin lose the Raw Tag Team Champions felt like a slight downfall. This week, we saw Alexander and Benjamin interfere in the WWE Champions match, losing Drew McIntyre in a handicap match. It seems like the CEO of the Hurt Business is not too happy with his employee this week. Does this mean the Hurt Business itself is on borrowed time? Hopefully, this just a bump on the road. The Hurt Business has been great to watch and having it like that while Lashley is on top just does not seem right.
No Mention of Retribution
On the Fastlane kickoff show, we saw Mustafa Ali failed to capture the United States Championship from Riddle. At the end of the match, the rest of Retribution has turned their back on their leader. On this episode of Monday Night Raw, there was no mention of this altercation happening. This break seemed to have endless possibilities. Could we feast our eyes on the return of Dominik Dijakovic or finally see Mia Yim give a reckoning to the women’s division. Unfortunately, Ali will be out of Wrestlemania season with a torn PCL, so there is no clue where the Retribution story is heading. Hopefully, no one forgets about this betrayal because there is tons of potential in this story.
It’s The Same Tag Teams Over And Over
When the Women’s Tag Team Championships were first introduced, we had some talented tag teams like the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection, The IIconincs, The Riott Squad, and Fire and Desire. In 2019 it looked like we were in an era of amazing tag team wrestling. No disrespect to the talent of Nia Jax and Shayna Bazler, but in the two times they won the tag team title. It feels like we have been watching the same episode of Raw every week. We have seen them compete against Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke, a mix of Lana and Naomi. It feels underwhelming that this is all they have to offer, and it just does not feel Wrestlemania worthy. It looks like the road to the women’s tag title match at Wrestlemania is under construction because it does not look like anything significant is happening on either night.
How do we make it through another Shane and Braun promo?
It is official Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strowman is happening, and without a doubt, that match will have this huge spot that will be replayed for years to come. But these promos have been a low point of Raw the past couple of weeks. They do not help sell the match, and there could have been so many different ways to set up this much, and Shane O’Mac’s soothing voice is not helping. Also, what was up with the train noises when Braun is doing his running shoulder tackle. Does this mean everyone gets a cool sound effect to go with their signature maneuver?
Ending With Dark Magic
The whole night fans were being over-promoted that Randy Orton is going summon The Fiend Bray Wyatt. This week’s Raw concluded with the same finish to Randy Orton vs. Alexa Bliss from the night before at Fastlane. The only good thing to come out of it was the great flames coming out of the Wrestlemania sign, which was different. The match announcement could happen at Fastlane instead, and we could have gotten a great Orton promo and an even creepier Bliss promo in the middle of the show. But, I suppose the suspense was worth it, I think not.