The grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania, is five days away and tonight was the go-home Raw for the big event. Raw was live from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona; let’s head to the action!
Tonight’s show was branded as WrestleMania Raw, and the show kicked off with the host of WrestleMania, The Miz! He was hosting a special edition of MizTV and his guests were the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Lita and Becky Lynch and their partner come this weekend, Trish Stratus.
Lynch said Damage Ctrl has been a thorn in her side since Summerslam and because of them, she couldn’t take care of her child for a while. She said she called in the backup, Trish and Lita because she wants to get rid of that thorn in her side forever.
Lita tried to share her thoughts on their match this weekend, but out came Damage Ctrl and Bayley had something to say. She said this match at ‘Mania is their life and this was once a dream match for her, but her only dream now is taking out the face of the division and two Hall of Famers.
Lynch replied by saying it doesn’t even matter if Damage Ctrl wins this weekend because Bayley has easily ruined two up-and-comers in Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai and all their group does is the same thing over and over. Lynch thought their feud should have ended at War Games or after the steel cage, but instead, she said she will make sure it ends at WrestleMania!
Becky Lynch vs. Iyo Sky
Lynch started the match on a mission, hitting Sky with two exploder suplexes in the opening sequence before Bayley and Kai pulled her to the outside. The distraction of Bayley allowed Sky to hit Lynch with a kick and take control. Sky’s attack did not last long and Lynch got her with a baseball slide followed by an inverted DDT.
Lynch was looking for the Manhandle Slam, but Sky rolled through to hit the double stomp and send us to a commercial break. As we returned, Lynch was in the midst of delivering a superplex that got her a two-count. She then went to the top rope, but Sky springboard drop kicked her to the outside and she then hit a springboard moonsault on the outside.
Sky wanted the win and went for Over the Moonsault, but Lynch rolled out of the way and hit the Manhandle Slam for the victory!
Winner: Becky Lynch
WWE then aired a video package hyping up the challenger for the Raw Women’s Championship this weekend, Asuka. It feels like a weird decision to air a video about such a big title match instead of having an interaction between Bianca Belair and her, live on the show.
Seth Rollins was then backstage to address Logan Paul ahead of their match, but he was interrupted by Mustafa Ali. This makes no sense to me and Ali has become such a joke on the main roster, this was just done to lead to a match between them.
Seth Rollins vs. Mustafa Ali
Ali attempted to use his quickness to start the match, but Rollins caught him with a lariat and then hung him in a tree of woe. Rollins then stomped Ali while he was hung on the ropes and then hit the regular Curb Stomp to make quick work of Ali.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Rollins then said in just five days he finally can get his hands on Logan Paul, and if he can’t beat him at ‘Mania he will be a joke. He ran down all the things that Paul has done to him recently, but he promised that this Saturday it will all come back around to him. He also acknowledged that this Saturday is Paul’s birthday, but he said the crowd will not be singing happy birthday, they’ll be singing a different song. He then got the crowd to sing his anthem with all they had before telling Paul, “see you at WrestleMania!”
Chelsea Green was in Adam Pearce’s office complaining as usual and she was joined by Sonya Deville to add to the complaining. Pearce said Green and Deville can become a team to face Candice LeRae and Michin tonight, with the winner heading to the WrestleMania women’s showcase match.
Omos and Brock Lesnar WrestleMania weigh-in
Omos and Brock Lesnar will be squaring off at ‘Mania in quite the heavyweight bout, so why not have a weigh-in to make sure they get their weights ‘exactly right.’ MVP didn’t even give Lesnar the chance to come out before he started talking, he said Lesnar has overcome almost everyone at the showcase of the immortal. He was however pointing out that this year will be different and he will not be able to beat Omos, a man who he can’t even suplex. MVP then told Omos to get on the scale and he weighed in at 410 pounds.
Lesnar then came out and he didn’t bother weighing in, he just ran at Omos to start a brawl. He then got the idea to hit Omos with the scale, but he got caught with a big boot and a stiff one at that. The WWE is doing a great job building up Omos for this match, and I am genuinely torn on who will win this weekend.
Byron Saxton was interviewing Rhea Ripley, ahead of her title shot against Charlotte Flair at ‘Mania. Ripley said she’s sick of hearing of Flair’s accomplishments and she won’t let Charlotte’s legacy change her destiny. She said she must beat Flair and she must prove she is the best woman in the industry, and most importantly she needs Charlotte’s title to do that. She said Charlotte cannot stop her from fulfilling her destiny.
Finn Balor had a video aired, he said his Hell in a Cell match with Edge is the perfect place for this to end. He said there is nothing more dangerous for Edge than a caged demon, and he said he doesn’t need to summon his demons because they’re always there. Demon Balor is back and he will be at WrestleMania!
The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford), Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. America Alpha (Chad Gable & Otis) & The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)
These four teams will compete in a fatal-four-way WrestleMania tag team showcase this weekend, but tonight it would be an eight-man tag. Gable was taking on all of his opponents to start the bout and he squared off with all four before the match turned into a four-on-four brawl.
Out of the brawl, the three men left standing were Braun, Ivar and Otis. Braun handled Ivar and Otis handled Braun, he then caught Montez Ford flying into the ring and spiked him into the mat sending us to a commercial. Upon return, The Vikings were beating down Ford and Erik caught him with a brutal knee.
Maxxine Dupri, who has been scouting Otis was watching the match backstage and I must say Otis as a model is a money move. Dawkins got the hot tag, but The Vikings ended up beating him down too and soon Braun was tagged in. Braun didn’t even bother getting in the ring right away and went for a Strowman Express before entering the ring and power-slamming Erik.
He then tagged in Ricochet to go for a splash from on top of his shoulders, they then tagged in Ford who jumped over Braun from the top rope hitting Erik with a frog splash to get the pin.
Winners: The Street Profits, Braun Strowman & Ricochet
Cathy Kelly was now interviewing Cody Rhodes, and she was asking why he took a match with Solo Sikoa ahead of the main event of ‘Mania against Roman Reigns this weekend. Rhodes said he loves being in this position, he and Solo are both undefeated and he is fine with taking on the enforcer. He said it is a final test six days before he says he will beat Roman for his titles in the main event of WrestleMania!
We now had another video package, just like the one of Asuka, this time of her opponent Bianca Belair. As I said earlier, these video packages do nothing to hype up the fans for such a big ‘Mania match.
#USChampion @_Theory1 is ready for @JohnCena THIS SATURDAY at #WrestleMania! pic.twitter.com/bh6LQyOHIA
— WWE (@WWE) March 28, 2023
Austin Theory taped a promo earlier today in an empty arena, he said the one thing Cena can’t see is the future in front of him. He said Cena thinks nobody believes in him, but he said he taped this in an empty arena because he doesn’t wrestle for the fans, he does it for himself. He said he’s been doing this since before anyone had an opinion of him, and at ‘Mania he said he is going to make Cena believe in him and make the WWE universe stop believing in Cena.
It was announced earlier today that Stacy Keibler will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this Friday.
Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green vs. Candice LeRae & Michin — WrestleMania Women’s Showcase qualifier
Deville and Green looked good to start considering they never teamed before tonight, and they used some cheating to book their way to ‘Mania. Green distracted the referee while Deville struck Michin, Green then hit Michin with the Unprettier to get the win.
At WrestleMania, it will be Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green vs. Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez vs. Natalya & Shotzi vs. Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler.
Paul Heyman joined Cathy Kelly backstage to say that Cody Rhodes is not ready, and he showed that he’s not ready by accepting the match with Solo tonight. He said Solo will weaken Rhodes and make sure he is not at 100% for this Sunday. Roman will do anything necessary to keep Rhodes on his island of irrelevancy. He said Cody has never been ready and he was never ready to fill the shoes of his father, after The Bloodline finishes with him all he will be ready for on Sunday is to lose. Heyman left it at Cody better be ready to acknowledge the Tribal Chief this Sunday.
Dominik Mysterio is set to go one-on-one with his father Rey this weekend at WrestleMania, and on Raw, he was calling Rey the lowest of the low for hitting his own child. He said what kind of man hits his son and what kind of mother watches it, and then Dom said he wishes Eddie Guerrero was his real father! He thinks of his whole family as a disgrace and will take the Mysterio name this weekend.
Damian Priest vs. Rey Mysterio
Mysterio got the match started quickly with a West Coast Pop and a springboard moonsault, but he was then caught by a flat liner from Priest. Rey was then turned inside out by a big lariat and Priest was looking for an avalanche chokeslam, but Rey turned it into a Spanish Fly.
Mysterio then hit the 619 and went for the splash, but Dom pulled his dad’s leg and started a beatdown. Priest and Dom were destroying Rey, but out came Legado del Fantasma to make the save. Dom walked out of the arena prouder than ever.
Winner: Rey Mysterio via DQ
How HYPED are you for #WrestleZaynia?! pic.twitter.com/IPQsD3Dlxr
— WWE (@WWE) March 28, 2023
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were on Raw to talk about their match against The Usos being the biggest tag match ever. They said the fact that the match is in LA is so important because that is where they made a name for themselves. This weekend they said they bring their careers to the next level on the biggest stage, and this weekend they will show the world what they can do together when they become Undisputed Tag Team Champions!
Gunther vs. Dolph Ziggler
The fans of Raw were gifted with the presence of Smackdown’s Intercontinental Champion, Gunther. He was on Raw to go against Ziggler and he wasted no time spiking Gunther with a DDT right at the bell. However, that offence did not last and Gunther got him with a big chop before hanging him from the rope and choking him with his boot.
Ziggler saw an opportunity for a Zig-Zag, but he was chopped out of mid-air and then got hit with two brutal suplexes. Gunther then power slammed Ziggler to finish off the match and get the win heading into his ‘Mania title defence.
Gunther then grabbed a microphone to say it is a disgrace that he is being forced to defend his title in a triple threat against Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. He wanted them to take a look at Ziggler because that is their future this weekend.
Cody Rhodes vs. Solo Sikoa
It was now time for our main event with Cody Rhodes taking on The Bloodline’s enforcer, Solo Sikoa ahead of his main event match with Roman Reigns this Sunday. This is a big challenge for Rhodes, Sikoa is undefeated since joining the main roster and he dropped Rhodes with a Samoan drop very early.
Rhodes decided to use his surroundings like the steel steps and he went for a disaster kick, but Sikoa caught him in the air to deliver a belly-to-belly. Rhodes thought he got an advantage and went for a suicide dive, but Sikoa caught him again and dropped him with two uranages on top of the announce table.
Sikoa maintained the attack, but Cody caught him with a few forearms, a snap slam and then a disaster kick to get himself some momentum back. Rhodes then connected with a Cody Cutter and then hit a Cross Rhodes, but Sikoa got his foot on the rope to stop the pin at two.
Cody decided to take a bigger risk and went to the top rope for a moonsault, but Sikoa rolled out of the way and Cody went hard into the mat. Solo then went for the Samoan Spike, but Cody ducked and hit a second Cody Cutter.
Just as Cody was getting close to the finish, out came The Usos and this allowed Solo to hit his finish, but Cody kicked out at two. Then out came Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to even the odds and take out The Usos. Cody then hit another Cross Rhodes and he was able to defeat the undefeated Solo ahead of WrestleMania!
Raw went off the air with Paul Heyman on the phone with someone while Cody gloated in his face.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Raw, March 27th, 2023
Honestly, for the go-home episode of Raw ahead of WrestleMania, this show was a joke. There was close to nothing important, it was just a bunch of pointless matches and short boring promos. The Women’s Championship match was only featured on the show with videos and all we got for the US title was a pre-recorded promo from Theory. The show before ‘Mania should leave you hyped and excited, but I am just sleepy and bored.