Edge Challenged Randy Orton to a Last Man Standing Match at WrestleMania 36
In-ring promos are one of the few things WWE can do that work just as well without an audience and this was an example of that. Edge kept what he had to say short, sweet and straight to the point and I absolutely loved how he looked right into the camera for the entire thing. I also appreciated how he brought up how him eliminating Randy Orton from the Royal Rumble match two months ago was actually why Orton attacked him in the first place, not because he "loved" him. Last Man Standing seems like a fitting stipulation for their WrestleMania matchup, but needless to say, it won't mean as much without anyone in attendance.
The Undertaker Attacked The O.C.
There was a massive break in the show following Edge's promo, as WWE proceeded to air the entire men's Royal Rumble match from this year. I'm not complaining because I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was clearly designed to eat up as much television time as possible. They can't take that approach every week, but it's understandable for now. Nonetheless, this was a solid segment. Undertaker made his quickest entrance ever here and didn't look like The Deadman we've come to expect over the years, but I say that as a good thing. They're definitely taking a different approach with this than they have with every other 'Taker feud in recent years, so that's a plus. Granted, the lights going out and Undertaker ambushing Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows from behind was a bit corny, but AJ Styles' promo work was excellent once again.
Rey Mysterio def. United States Champion Andrade (Non-Title)
We've seen so many matches between these two over the last few years that this was nothing new, except for how there was no live crowd this time around. On the bright side, their chemistry is still as strong as ever, so it was fun while it lasted. Asuka was completely pointless on commentary and I can't say I cared much for her being behind the booth for this, but I didn't mind it much. Hopefully the plan remains for Andrade to defend the United States Championship against Mysterio, Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza at WrestleMania.
Raw Women's Champion Becky LYnch Addressed Shayna Baszler
Straightforward Becky is the best Becky. She's been back on her A-game in recent weeks and it's been awesome to see. Her mic work in this promo was top-notch, though I could have done without her driving to the arena in a semi truck in Stone Cold Steve Austin fashion. My only other issue with this segment was how Baszler was shown watching from the back at the same illogical angle all the Superstars watch television screens at. How WWE hasn't ditched that tired trope by now is beyond me.
Stone Cold Steve Austin Attacked Byron Saxton
Austin's appearance was promoted ad naseum throughout the night, but it didn't live up to the hype for me. Yes, I'm well aware he was put in a tough situation with there not being a single fan in attendance, and that raucous reaction he receives is usually what makes his rare Raw appearances such a blast. They tried with this, but it wasn't my cup of tea and I was largely bored for most of it. I'm sure Saxton loved eating a Stunner from Austin, but it didn't accomplish anything and felt like a failed attempt at comedy. I'm all for celebrating 3:16 Day, but there was so much more they could have done with Stone Cold instead. Lynch coming down to drink a beer with Austin came across as forced as well, and in my opinion, that should have been Kevin Owens considering how we haven't seen him interact with Austin at all since he started using the Stunner last year.
It was announced prior to Raw going live as well as during the show itself that WrestleMania 36 will still air on April 5th, except that it will emanate from the Performance Center. Personally, I'd rather they wait it out and reassess in a month or two, but I realize that may not be practical, especially from a financial standpoint. It just won't be the same without anyone there, but hey, like Jerry Lawler said on commentary, the show must go on. Be that as it may, if this was the best they could do with Raw, then I commend the company for their effort. I maintain that WWE can't solely rely on replaying pay-per-view matches to kill time for the next few weeks, but it would be best for them to focus more on promos and backstage stuff. Why not air an extended character vignette or film someone at their home preparing for WrestleMania? Not a ton happened on this show, but given the circumstances, I thought it was entertaining on the whole.
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