This week’s Raw Talk begins with host Kevin Patrick and one-half of the Raw Tag Team Champions & The New Day’s Xavier Woods who is filling in for R-Truth. They talked about the ending of Raw which had Orton trying to summon The Fiend. Woods says everything with The Fiend is a crazy mess and is glad he is not part of this. Patrick mentions Bliss pointing towards the Wrestlemania sign which has to lead to a type of match. Going back to last week’s Raw, Patrick spoke about The Miz hitting Bad Bunny with a guitar shot. However, Bad Bunny was able to get his revenge this week by hitting The Miz with a guitar shot. They touch on The Miz & Morrison’s new song which Woods adds that he cannot believe The Miz is facing Bad Bunny. When asked about Bad Bunny’s guitar shot, Woods says it was fair because of what The Miz did. As for Drew McIntyre defeating Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander in a handicap match, Woods says it was surprising because of how well of a team The Hurt Business is. Patrick asks Woods about his thoughts about McIntyre saving Sheamus after what they went through, which the UpUpDownDown host says filled the heart seeing that. On the topic of Styles and Omos challenging The New Day, Woods says he has not seen them as a tag team but accepted the challenge because he wanted to face Omos. Patrick questions why did Woods and Kingston accept the challenge minutes after winning the Raw Tag Team championships. Woods explains that waiting to accept the challenge is something first-time champions would do. However, with tag teams disappearing, they needed to accept any challenge they come their way to make the tag division is robust.
Aneil’s Take: The opening of Raw Talk felt much better with Woods on, feeling streamlined in a good way. I love Truth but Raw Talk seems better without him. Woods did a great job talking about The Fiend’s return, The Miz-Bad Bunny feud, and McIntyre saving Sheamus. I also liked Woods’ explanation for accepting Styles’ and Omos’ challenge for the Tag Team championship right after winning them and trying to rebuild the division. If you look at right now, The Viking Experience…I mean Viking Raiders are still on the shelf, The Lucha House Party is rarely used, The Hurt Business looks more focused on Lashley and Retribution appears to be disbanding. I guess it made sense to have Styles and Omos challenge them as this would give Styles a chance to become a Grand Slam champion at Wrestlemania.
The first guest is “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus who puts a Razor scooter on the desk. Patrick says Sheamus has to be exhausted after the series of matches he has had over the last five weeks. Sheamus tells Patrick he has been doing this since last year at the Performance Center. Sheamus says he gets shafted especially with the Wrestlemania match between McIntyre and Lashley being announced before Fastlane. Talking about facing Lashley a day after his brutal match at Faslane, Sheamus says he will never back down a fight, adding that McIntyre’s big ego is the reason he had to save him. Sheamus says he built the Wrestlemania main event by raising both Lashley and McIntyre’s game. Sheamus says that everyone at home wants him in the WWE Championship match but it is only people who work here that do not see it. Woods tries to bring up Riddle about Riddle, but Sheamus says the United States Champion does not matter. Woods wonders why The Celtic Warrior is not a part of the WWE Championship match which Sheamus says is the million-dollar question when he brings out the best in everyone. Woods says he feels Sheamus’ frustration which the four-time World Champion agrees. Sheamus explains he did not tap out to Lashley and was upset about The Hurt Business being ringside. When asked if he can beat Lashley at his top form, Sheamus answers that he can, adding that he is not here to joke around, especially coming back from a serious injury. Sheamus says he is the best thing in the WWE right now before leaving.
Scoot on over, @AustinCreedWins!
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) March 23, 2021
Aneil’s Take: Great, passionate promo by Sheamus. You can tell from this promo is he was trying to convince those in management to add him into the WWE Championship match which I agree with. Before Lashley won the WWE Championship, I truly thought Sheamus would challenge McIntyre at Wrestlemania. I guess with Sheamus being moved away from the WWE Championship picture, he will go on to face Riddle for the United States Championship which should be another great smash mouth type match.
The next guest is the newest member of Monday Night Raw, “The Nightmare” Rhea Ripley. Having fun with Rhea’s music, Woods plays air guitar. Patrick talks about Ripley’s debut, in which she came out and challenged Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania. When asked what is going through her mind, Rhea says she has a million things, just like the last year when she challenged Flair. Rhea adds that she does not know how to describe her feelings or what to say but is excited because she got what she wanted. The former NXT Women’s Champion says she has been watching Raw and waited for the best time to make her move which she did. Patrick asks what makes Rhea a “nightmare” for the Raw division, she questions the Raw Talk on if he has seen what she has done in the past. Rhea says she brutalize whoever is in the ring with her and does not care for her opponent’s safety. Woods questions what can Rhea do to put herself in the winner circle against someone like Asuka. Rhea says Asuka is fantastic and has been keeping an eye on her for a long time but figured why not start at the top with the champion. Patrick asks what has she learned from last year’s Wrestlemania, Rhea answers that it is her secret and for everyone else to find out. She will not spill out any of her tactics as she is not an open book and everyone will find out at Wrestlemania.
Aneil’s Take: You can tell management is very high on Rhea, especially putting her in the Raw Women’s Championship match against Asuka. Rhea does have an intimidating presence to her which was on display. I also liked her calculated mindset, saying she will not reveal her secrets or game plan. At first, I was against Rhea being put in the title picture, especially with her just walking up to the champion and asking for a title shot but she is the shot in the arm that the Raw Women’s Division needed. It does change it up from the rumored Charlotte vs Asuka match, which I think will turn into a triple threat match once Flair returns.
The final guest is “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman. Patrick asks to talk about what Braun did to Elias on Raw. However, Braun says there is nothing to talk about since they witnessed it. Patrick points out Braun being angry which the big man says he is not. Strowman says instead, he got a little taste of what he wanted and will get what he wants at Wrestlemania. Looking at his hands, Strowman says he possesses the power to rip a person’s flesh off. Woods says this is the first time he has seen someone go after Strowman in a verbal abuse manner. Braun agrees that this is the first time but says Shane is not a smart man, adding that he really hates the word “stupid”. He spoke about having a reading disability growing up, with many people saying he was going to be a failure but proved them wrong. Braun says he will beat Shane’s ass to sad that the McMahon family and the entire world will beg him to stop. The Monster Among Men goes as far as to say he will beat Shane’s ass to his mansion and put the silver spoon back up his ass before leaving the set. Raw Talk ends with Woods saying he does not think Shane is prepared for what Braun is will do to him.
— Adam Scherr (@Adamscherr99) March 23, 2021
Aneil’s Take: I like the passion and anger out of Braun in this promo. Hearing the anger in his voice, I agree with Woods that Shane might not know what he is in for. As for Braun’s reading disability, I am not sure if it was mentioned on WWE programming, but I think it would have made sense to mention it for this storyline. Basically, this match will lead to Shane McMahon facing Braun Strowman in a no-DQ match where he will get thrown off the Pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium. The question is, who will jump or be thrown off it first? Shane or Owens?
I liked Raw Talk with Woods on it. There were no shenanigans that overshadowed the guest and there was advancement in the storylines with all three guests.
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