Previously on the Best and Worst of Raw: AJ Styles accurately compared The Undertaker to the Tiger King and challenged him to a “Boneyard Match,” which had to be explained later. Plus, other WrestleMania matches are or aren’t happening!
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE Raw for March 30 2020.
Best: I Saw A Tiger, And The Tiger Saw A Deadman
Firstly, this promo is better with ‘Ether’ behind it.
Secondly, Raw was all about real names last night. Hey ALLEN JONES, I hope you don’t run into ADAM COPELAND, he could tell you about MARK WILLIAM CALAWAY! It’s a strong promo — Undertaker promos are always better when you don’t ask him to do them live, and can’t see him actively trying to remember which goth-ass idiom the script asked him to say next — although I could’ve lived without the suggestion that AJ Styles waited until all the good wrestlers retired before joining WWE. You uh … you don’t think anybody on the show’s worth a shit anymore? Cool, why am I buying the Anytime Fitness version of WrestleMania 36 again? To watch the one wrestler remaining from the time when WWE was good beat up a guy from TNA who sucks in a graveyard cemetery boneyard?
That’s just me not liking that intention and style of promo, though. Beanie Undertaker telling AJ he’s done it now, he’s gone and made a big mistake, and he can’t allow Styles to think he can just walk away has me hopeful that Styles went through all this trouble to bait spooky occult Undertaker only to get his asshole’s ass kicked by a bad-ass. So who’s the “unholy trinity” Undertaker’s bringing to counter Gallows and Anderson? Kane’s definitely one of them. Maybe Acolyte Bradshaw? Naked Mideon? I feel like a small gate with a lock on it would be enough to counter Gallows and Anderson.
Worst: Help Me, Ronda
You know, I thought it was pretty bad last week when Shayna Baszler sat in the middle of the ring in the center of an otherwise dark arena and couldn’t anticipate an attack from Becky Lynch. That shit was the Deadly Game tournament compared to this week, in which Becky Lynch spends 45 minutes standing on the stage with her back to the entrance watching last year’s WrestleMania main event. Why not tie an anchor to your ankles and go swimming in the ocean?
Contrivance of this aside, I feel bad that Becky had to stand there and watch an entire 22-minute match from a year ago plus multiple commercial breaks for the majority of an hour without a chair to sit in, while holding an awkward, six-pound title belt on her shoulder. I feel bad for the rest of us that we had to watch that entire main event again, now with multiple check-ins on Nugenix press conferences for updates on Frank Thomas’ dick integrity. I still think that (1) Ronda Rousey not tapping out in that match was a bum move, and that (2) Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan was the actual main event of WrestleMania 35, and six matches after it (Jesus Christ) were part of some weird post-show we were all roped into sitting through.
So yeah, Becky gets got, and you can’t say she didn’t deserve it. Hoping she loses by submission this weekend when Baszler threatens to Road House her.
Brock Is Here Again, Wonder What He’ll Do?
If you answered, “nothing, while Paul Heyman talks,” congratulations, you’ve watched the show before! I’m not sure what I’m most disappointed about, the fact that they didn’t show that wonderfully melodramatic video of Drew McIntyre doing strongman training in Scotland, or how Paul Heyman had to work, “too big for just one night,” into a promo like that’s a thing somebody would say in real life. WrestleMania, which is Too Big For Just One Night™, is happening during, “the most unique time in our lifetimes.” Nobody say what those times are, that might be too scary! Maybe if the “unique time” continues and WWE never figures out how to get out of these empty arena Raws, Lesnar will be in the go-home segment of next year’s go-home show for WrestleMania as a cartoon or a hand puppet.
+1 to Paul E. for saying, “that is the most extraordinary roster in the history of this industry,” though. Does the Undertaker know that? Does Paul know Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock aren’t around anymore? Anyway, Paul’s great. He can’t make these shows and “unique” circumstances any less of a bummer.
Note: This segment is prefaced by Brock vs. Rey Mysterio for Survivor Series in its entirety, and Raw was somehow able to work two whole commercial breaks into a Brock Lesnar match. They should’ve done that with Brock vs. Kofi from Smackdown.
I Can’t Tell Edge From Adam!
As previously mentioned, ADAM COPELAND has a message for [checks Randy Orton’s Wikipedia page to find out his real name] RANDY ORTON about how yes, he might have spent a year as a vampire dumping blood on people in the darkness and yes, he might have hung the Big Boss Man to death with a noose, and yes, he might’ve attacked Kofi Kingston from behind at the Elimination Chamber and taken his spot, and yes, he might’ve married Vickie Guerrero to be able to cheat more easily during his matches, and yes, he might’ve dressed up like Ric Flair to make fun of him having road rage in real life, and yes, he might’ve humped Tommy Dreamer’s wife while pinning her in front of him, and yes, he might’ve speared Mick Foley through a flaming table, and yes, he might’ve literally beaten up John Cena’s dad, but he would never mention somebody’s family in a promo. That is a BRIDGE TOO FAR. You’ve DRAGGED HIM BACK IN for ONE LAST SCORE, Randy.
You can’t just join a faction when you’re starting out, Randy, you have to forge your own path. Unless that faction is a group of vampires, who then become part of the Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness. Or Team ECK. Or Team RECK. Or La Familia. Or Rated RKO. And you also should never bring in a tag team that looks like you and name them after yourself so they can help you cheat and win all the time. Forge your own path, you coward.
Worst: Austin Theory Practices Social Distancing
Shout-out to WrestleMania championship challenger Austin Theory for doing even less than The Miz would do to catch Montez Ford on this dive. Damn, dude. Shit sounded like somebody was closing the cage door on an old elevator.
Worst: The Team Challenging For The Raw Tag Team Championship At WrestleMania Loses Their Only Match Ever As A Team, And Kevin Owens Has No Comeback
The only match of note besides two jobber squashes was Kevin Owens and the Street Profits versus Seth Rollins, Angel Garza, and Austin Theory. You’d think with WrestleMania being only five days away they’d either have Owens pin Rollins or vice versa, or have the team we’ve never seen before until literally right now who somehow have a Raw Tag Team Championship match pin the Raw Tag Team Champions — welcome to a strange new world where I’m asking them to have a challenger pin a champion — but Owens just ends up pinning Garza after a Stunner. Sure, I guess. Not sure what that does for anybody, as the challengers really needed to prove themselves as legitimate opponents for the Raw tag champs and Kevin Owens really doesn’t need a win over Angel Garza to prove he can hang with Seth Rollins, but it is what it is.
Rollins Stomps him immediately following the pin, and Owens sticks around in the ring afterward to cut a promo in response to last week’s complete bodying. In case you missed it, Rollins cited history, pointing out his crucial role of being the face of FCW and then NXT during its formative years and how without him, history would be completely different and NXT might’ve never become a thing anybody cared about. The WWE Performance Center probably wouldn’t exist, and there wouldn’t be as easy a route to the big leagues for former independent stars like Kevin Steen. He also pointed out that Owens almost always loses like a goober at WrestleMania (including a losses to Shane McMahon and Zack Ryder) while Rollins has pinned Triple H, Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Miz, and so on. So what’s Owens’ response this week? To say that yeah, sure, whatever, but nobody likes you. That’s it. Yes, you did all those things but also maybe you didn’t and you suck anyway so who cares. Even his claim that Rollins only ever won with help discounts major wins over Triple H (which was Rollins raging AGAINST being a cheating Corporate champion) and Lesnar. He won the Intercontinental Championship on his own in a triple threat match at WrestleMania 34, whereas Owens’ only IC title match at Mania ended with him on the ground while the lamest wrestler in the company stood tall.
It’s just … very WWE. The facts don’t matter. The facts are what BAD GUYS think. Logic and reason and remembering history and being able to form cohesive arguments is for jerks. The only thing that matters is whether or not people are clapping for you right now. Which is weird hill to die on already, but considerably weirder now that there’s no people and no clapping. I don’t necessarily think WWE’s problems will be instantly fixed when Vince McMahon dies, but at least maybe then we’ll be able to move past his aging one-percenter understanding of power and self-worth. Maybe we’ll be able to move past all the good guys being callous, selfish, opportunistic loners against the villainy of a bunch of free-thinking, complex human beings with friends and relationships.
Jobbers Of The Week
Aleister Black has that one quarantine match he keeps having against Jason Cade, whom you may remember from Full Impact Pro and WWN. He says he only lost the match because he got distracted by a fan, which is pretty funny. At least he got in one offensive move, which is better than Leon Ruff got in two identical matches!
NXT’s Kayden Carter also shows up to lose to Asuka, which is a nice if all too brief reminder of how cool and dominant Asuka was and could still be in NXT. I guess she needs a rebound win between losing clean to Alexa Bliss last week and losing to Alexa Bliss this weekend at WrestleMania.
Best: Boots 2 Asses
Finally we have my favorite moment of the week, which is Rhea Ripley confidently walking into the building with no peripheral vision whatosever and getting booted in the back by Charlotte Flair like it’s a Monty Python’s Flying Circus transition. I wish it’d made a “phhht” noise when it connected. If Rhea can’t see 6-foot tall-ass Charlotte Flair with her black clothes and Dolly Parton hair standing in the middle of an empty Florida parking lot in the middle of the day, I’m surprised she can get a fork from the table to her mouth without it going rogue and poking her in the eye.
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
The Real Birdman
The Big Show Show?
The Wight House was right there
“To that dumbass who says ‘I can do that WWE stuff'”
Leave Natalya alone
“I hate to be the one to pull back the curtain.”
“JBL is only champion because Triple H doesn’t want to work Tuesdays.”
With no crowds, you could say the Street Profits are having a Private Party.
The term “go-home show” feels so different now.
(Angel Garza performs Camel Clutch move)
GARZA: They said avoid touching your face. They never said anything about touching other peoples faces.
Undertaker: AJ, I invite you to ride my bone train to our boneyard match at Wrestlemania!
AJ: What’re you laughing at, Karl?
Karl Anderson: If I’m laughing at what I think I am, it’s very funny
Big Baby Yeezus
LMAO Goldberg vs. (Card subject to changes)
“We’re going to show you how tough Brock Lesnar is”
*Shows Lesnar beating the smallest guy on the roster*
That’s it for this week’s attempt at a Best and Worst of Raw. I guess we’re just moving forward pretending the WrestleMania card still looks like that, huh? Should we sit back and accept that WWE’s going to eventually plan an in-universe explanation for why Roman Reigns and The Miz aren’t there, or should we be mad that they’re falsely advertising championship matches that aren’t happening to get Network subscriptions out of people who don’t read wrestling blogs and don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes? Is the answer somewhere in the middle?
Comments and social media shares are deeply appreciated, and any other kind of love you’d like to show is going to mean more than ever in the current climate. Especially if we don’t have anything to write about for a couple of months. Join us this weekend for …. [checks notes] WrestleMania? You gotta be joking me.