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WWE Raw Recap, March 18
YouTube: WWE

The Road to WrestleMania remains clouded just three weeks out from the Showcase of the Immortals in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The WWE Universe knows what to expect in the main events: Universal Champion Brock Lesnar will defend his title against Seth Rollins, and Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey will face Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a Triple Threat match. Aside from that, the rest is pretty much a toss up.

WWE Raw on March 18 shed some light on the remaining openings, including who Kurt Angle will face in his last match before retiring. The stars are aligning for the Show of Shows as WWE works to hype the matches they have in place at WrestleMania 35 with the card being brought together slowly but surely.

Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman Call Out Rollins

While “burn it down” chants rang out in Chicago, Brock Lesnar returned to WWE ring with his Universal Championship belt over shoulder. Heyman made sure to hype his guy and taunt Rollins for picking a fight with The Scottish Psychopath — Drew McIntyre — who put a beating on Dean Ambrose last week on Monday night.

McIntyre came out to thank Heyman and The Beast Incarnate for their “praise” until he was attacked by Rollins with a steel chair. The Architect then raced into the ring and sent Lesnar fleeing, furthering this pair’s hype prior to WrestleMania.

Finn Balor Confronts Bobby Lashley

After losing the Intercontinental Championship last Monday, Balor came out to reassure Lashley he was coming for another title shot. In a tag team match against Lashley and Lio Rush, the Irishman announced his tag team partner would be The Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman.

Lashley would leave Rush hang out to dry as Strowman tossed the smaller man around like a rag doll. A running powerslam emphatically gave Balor and Strowman the win, pushing a Balor-Lashley rematch for the Intercontinental title closer to fruition.

Moment of Bliss Featuring Elias

Alexa Bliss’ segment is nothing more than a chance to hit the bathroom or check out what else is on television. This week, she invited Elias to announce he’d be the featured musical act (shocker) at WrestleMania 35. The segment was quickly interrupted by No Way Jose’s congo line.

Elias dominated No Way Jose to fill some dead space at the end of the first hour.

Kurt Angle’s Final WrestleMania Opponent

To the disappointment of many in the WWE Universe, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist announced that he’d face Baron Corbin in his final match at WrestleMania. While the storyline makes sense — the two have been at odds since Cobrin took over Angle’s role as Acting Raw General Manager — WWE fans aren’t exactly thrilled with this pick. WWE has to know this, and something else could be up their sleeve.

In a mostly forgettable farewell match in Chicago, Angle would submit Chad Gable with an ankle lock before Corbin came out and taunted him.

Beth Phoenix Throws Down a Challenge

The Glamazon announced she would come out of retirement alongside Natalya if Sasha Banks and Bayley would defend their Women’s Tag Team championships at WrestleMania. Before Natalya and Banks could go one-on-one, though, Nia Jax and Tamina interrupted the match and ended it on the spot.

Could WWE be setting up for another triple threat match for the Tag Team titles at WrestleMania?

Ricochet vs. Jinder Mahal

The rise of Ricochet, one of NXT’s most promising stars, continued against the all-but-obsolete Jinder Mahal. Riding his showing at the Fastlane pay-per-view alongside teammate Aleister Black, the rising babyface hit Mahal with his incredible finisher — called the 630 — off the top rope and continued his climb towards the WWE main roster.

Ronda Rousey Goes Nuts

Ronda Rousey faced challenger Dana Brooke for her Raw Women’s Championship, but the match ended in about 10 seconds as Rousey caught her in an arm bar. After Brooke tapped, Rousey continued her hold and left Brooke doubled over in pain, holding her left arm. Rousey would then attack another referee and security members, something she had been fined for from the prior week. Then, her husband, Travis Brown, hit a member of WWE security with a forearm and pulled Rousey over the barrier.

Rousey officially completed her transition into a heel, and these attacks seem to be building toward something bigger before WrestleMania 35. WWE wouldn’t announce a fine on Rousey, then see her do this without planning one more surprise.

Baron Corbin vs. Apollo Crews

Corbin needed some face time after Angle’s announcement, but I don’t think getting beaten by Apollo Crews was the best way to go about it. Corbin connected with the Deep Six, but Crews managed to pin him nonetheless.

Angle and Crews laughed their way backstage as the intrigue for Angle-Corbin grows.

Batista Dishes on Triple H

Batista used his acting career to deliver an intense promo to hype the pair’s match at WrestleMania, calling Triple H the “most insecure, selfish, jealous control freak” he’s ever met. The former Evolution running mates may not be heading to the Grandest Stage of Them All for a title match, but this could be one of the most exciting bouts on April 7, 2019.

Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre

McIntyre challenged Roman Reigns to a match at WrestleMania, then continued his rise by winning yet another match on the way there. Rollins held off the Scot for a while, but McIntyre took advantage of Lesnar distracting Rollins by connecting with a Claymore to win via pinfall. Even if this feud with The Shield simply continues to add value and drama for WrestleMania 35’s main event, it doesn’t seem to be long before Drew McIntyre gets his shot at another championship after WrestleMania.

Read more WWE news and rumors here.

John joins the FanBuzz team with five years of experience freelancing as a sports writer for TheDupes.net and Football.com. A graduate of Penn State University, John currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
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