WWE Raw 3/16/20 – Austin Returns

News, Reviews, Top Story

The regular show intro welcomes us to the first Raw in front of no fans at the Performance Center with the commentators mid-ring. King is hyped about 3:16 day and we get a recap of the AJ-Taker stuff from Raw last week. It’s amazing how different the world was just one week ago. AJ and Taker sign the contract tonight. Edge comes out to his intro and looks to the non-people. He should’ve gone retro and gone through the non-crowd before he rolls footage of Orton’s attacks. Edge talks about going up and down the road and even owed the same guy credit for pushing them to their limit – Mick Foley pushed them to new heights. Edge knows that Randy is jealous of him because he worked for what Orton got for free. He didn’t have a silver spoon – he had a single mother who sacrificed everything to make sure he had a life he could be proud of.

Edge says that Beth was on TV to retire him once again and he wants to face Orton in a last man standing match. Becky is shown rolling in on a giant LASS KICKER semi-truck. All righty then – that’s a shark-jumping moment. Austin clips air as venue clips showcase the PC and act as a glorified ad that USA gets to pay for. Men’s Rumble is shown to put Drew over and fill time. This is brilliant as it really shows you WHY Drew is the man right now.

The Rumble itself ate up about 90 minutes of TV. King’s mid-ring for the Taker-AJ signing before Taker comes out pissed with his top down and a redone look with a beanie on throwing furniture around. Okay then, so they ate up 90 minutes of TV and deliver a memorable bit – but waiting even longer for the full payoff is bizarre. Now after that, we get an AJ-Taker video that provides context to what we just saw. Byron says that Taker is upset that there was no contract, which King points out. It’s nice of WWE to point out logical issues. AJ’s theme plays twice and he doesn’t come out.

Instead, he and the OC rant backstage about how they got to bypass the PC and now AJ gets to face the mount Rushmore of WWE. But it’s 2020 and he’s in a world that would rather be without him. Jordan and Brett Favre don’t get into their top games – but Taker will always try to be at Mania. AJ calls him Mark and says he’s a shell of his former self and the flame is long-since gone. AJ says he has no sympathy for Taker because he got involved in OC business twice. Could we maybe not have the Rest in Peace line DURING A PANDEMIC!? AJ signs and tells them to take it to the Undertaker – but they refuse so AJ can get the credit. They kindly put the contract in the ring for him before the gong goes off and he’s behind them.

Rey faces Andrade next before they talk about 3:16 day. ASUKA IS HERE TO BE FANTASTIC ON COMMENTARY. And also dancing. Tom talks about Andrade beating Rey for the US Title in December at MSG. ANDRADE YAY. Asuka is the best. Asuka gets pissed when Byron asks about she and Kairi facing Bliss and Cross at Mania. We get a couple of minutes of action before a break. JUST. DO THE FULL MATCH.

Rey gets locked in a Gori special before escaping after the break. 619 is avoided and Andrade gets a Judas Effect for 2. Three amigos from Andrade leads to a rana counter into a 619 and Rey drops the dime to win, much to Asuka’s dismay. Women’s chamber match is recapped and then Becky is shown arriving in the truck again before MORE ADS. This show has like 30 minutes of original content and yet it still has tons of filler.

Rhea Ripley/Charlotte recap from last week airs alongside the NXT figure four on the post by Charlotte. Kevin Owens talks backstage about wanting to face Seth at Mania. He says that the PC is the perfect place because Seth’s had his goons for months – but at WM, he has the homefield advantage because he spent a lot of time here. This is where his WWE career started and this was the hardest thing he’s ever done. This is ridiculous, but it’s a nice way to tie things into the narrative. Austin Era begins with a WM 14 stunner on HBK in a recap.

Austin comes out and blows himself up on the entrance – which he brings up and says that 3:16 is now a national holiday. He wants a hell yeah, and only gets one from Byron. We get some all-time bad comedy from Byron and Austin as Steve rambles about 3:16 day and Byron grades him with cards. Now of course since Byron’s the only one who can take a bump here, we know what’s going to happen, but Steve is great burying him for his salmon tie and red socks – he wants some of those socks!

They drink and Austin hits a stunner and hopefully didn’t get hurt doing that. King gets a great line in about Byron needing to open a can of haul-ass instead before Becky comes down. She brings a cooler of beer down which they say is from her truck – which just seems like a bad idea. She steps on Byron to get in the ring. He says that she stunned him the last time and they drink. Austin douses Byron in more beer and hits another stunner.