WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 5

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterMarch 6, 2018

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 5

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The WrestleMania 34 card began to take shape on Monday's WWE Raw as the red brand marched closer to the big event.

    Ronda Rousey named her opponent for The Show of Shows. She aimed her sights at Stephanie McMahon and got a tag team partner in Kurt Angle along the way.

    Matt Hardy welcomed Bray Wyatt to battle him at The Hardy Compound in what could be a wild and innovative addition to the top show of the year. The Miz found out who will fight him for the Intercontinental Championship. Braun Strowman, Nia Jax and The Bar all moved closer to their WrestleMania destinies as well.

    After an up-and-down stretch for Raw, the flagship show is finding a high gear in the midst of WrestleMania season. Read on for a breakdown of Monday's show, complete with highlights and letter grades.

Ronda Rousey Gets Her WrestleMania Match

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    Angle kicked off the show by recalling Triple H's attack on him last week. He called out the COO and looked ready for a fight.

    McMahon entered instead to explain there was too much at stake for Angle to lose his job over this.

    Rousey emerged to say her piece. McMahon tried to downplay the issues between them before Rousey announced she wanted to face the Raw commissioner at WrestleMania. Triple H wouldn't have it. Angle, though, booked himself and Rousey against McMahon and Triple H.

    A brawl broke out, one that saw McMahon blindside Rousey and Angle hook the Ankle Lock on The Game.

                

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Are those accolades paying the bills right now?"—McMahon.
    • "Don't let your ego get in the way?"—McMahon.
    • Fans chant "Ronda Rousey!"
    • McMahon darts into the crowd to escape Rousey.
    • Rousey drags McMahon into the ring by her hair.

           

    Grade

    C-

              

    Analysis

    To say Rousey didn't nail her big moment is being kind. Poor timing undercut the announcement. Her acting has been underwhelming to this point. 

    The mixed tag bout is a smart way to ease Rousey into in-ring action. She'll get a shot to be a badass here and there, but Triple H and Angle can provide the meat of the match.

    Rousey's attack on McMahon looked awkward. There's clearly a lot of fine-tuning to do before WrestleMania.

Asuka vs. Nia Jax

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    Nia Jax used her power advantage to overwhelm Asuka early. She beat on The Empress of Tomorrow with a measured pace.

    Asuka mostly played defense as she absorbed a ton of punishment. 

    She clamped a triangle choke on Jax, a move the powerhouse struggled to escape from. When Jax couldn't pull her arm free, she had to tap out.

    Backstage, Bliss consoled a tearful Jax.

               

    Result

    Asuka wins via submission.

               

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Jax lifts Asuka off the mat by her hair.
    • Jax hits a spinning Razor's Edge-type move.
    • Asuka avoids getting pinned by putting her toes on the bottom rope.

                

    Grade

    B+

                     

    Analysis

    The two rivals put on a solid albeit mostly one-sided match.

    Jax looked tremendous here. She's in the midst of the best stretch of her career.

    Despite how much abuse she took, Asuka came out of this looking even more dangerous. She was able to leave an intimidating foe clutching her arm at her side.

    With all the airtime Jax has received recently, it seems certain she's getting a spot on the WrestleMania card despite her losses. A babyface turn is clearly in the works. The emotion she showed in the backstage segment showed her to be a vulnerable warrior rather than the monster she has so often played. 

The Bar vs. The Revival

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    A victory here would give Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder a championship match against The Bar at WrestleMania.

    Quick tags led to each team being in control for brief stretches. Sheamus and Cesaro held down Dawson and kept him in their corner as they worked him over. The Revival responded by taking it to Cesaro.

    The Swiss Cyborg, though, was able to drive Dawson into the mat for a three-count.

              

    Result

    The Bar win via pinfall.

                

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Dawson and Sheamus trade haymakers.
    • The Revival hits a superplex/diving splash combo.
    • "The Bar has vanquished yet another contender."—Michael Cole.

            

    Grade

    C+

                 

    Analysis

    The Revival played the de facto babyfaces here, which was quite the surprise.

    High stakes powering the action was a welcome sight even if it felt random with as little as Raw has featured The Revival. It's disappointing that The Revival isn't headed to the big show and WWE hasn't showcased the duo more since Dawson returned from injury.

    Still, The Bar is in the midst of an effective story. The team is dominating to the point that it can't find a worthy foe. This will only work, however, if there's a strong payoff.

    This is a good way to introduce The Authors of Pain from NXT.

John Cena Addresses His Road to WrestleMania

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    Cena promoted SmackDown's Fastlane pay-per-view and talked about his Six-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship. He promised to break Ric Flair's world title record.

    He laid out the possibility of a Triple Threat match between him, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.

    Goldust interrupted. He said he would make it to WrestleMania by stopping Cena. A Goldust sucker punch left Cena lying.

                 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "It's staring us in the face. And it will happen."—Cena on becoming world champ for the 17th time.
    •  "I've always had a dream of sharing the silver screen with someone just like you, John."—Goldust.
    • "This is weird."—Corey Graves.

              

    Grade

    C+

                  

    Analysis

    Cena's struggle to find a spot on the WrestleMania card would have been a stellar chance to elevate a midcarder. He's doing a great job as the lead man, but it's so hard to buy into a scenario where WWE doesn't book him on the biggest show of the year.

    Goldust's addition to the narrative made for a fresh pairing even if felt rather random. 

Goldust vs. John Cena

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    An aggressive Goldust had Cena reeling. He kept The Leader of the Cenation grounded.

    The powerhouse fired back with a flurry that ended with an Attitude Adjustment and a three-count.

               

    Result

    Cena wins via pinfall.

                

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "It seems like Goldust ages backward."—Graves.
    • Goldust lands a low blow behind the referee's back.

              

    Grade

    D

                  

    Analysis

    This was a condensed version of the usual "Cena comeback" match, and it was one with little spark.

    Goldust never felt like a real threat. And it wasn't clear how beating Cena would have led to Goldust making his way to WrestleMania as he mentioned.

    With Cena set to appear on SmackDown, getting him a win here wasn't necessary in the least.

Bayley vs. Mandy Rose

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Bayley was set to explain why she abandoned Sasha Banks in their tag match last week, but Paige cut that short. She mocked Bayley, saying she was all alone now.

    Mandy Rose knocked Bayley around early.

    After being on the wrong end of a number of power moves, Bayley rallied back. She rolled up Rose for the win. Absolution pounced on her after the bell, but Banks rushed in to save Bayley.

    Bayley refused a hug from The Boss.

                

    Result

    Bayley wins pinfall. 

                 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I don't need Sasha Banks to change my diaper anymore. I'm a big girl now."—Paige.
    • Rose nails Bayley with a running knee to the shoulder.

               

    Grade

    B

                 

    Analysis

    Paige serving as a mouthpiece is the absolute right move. She gives Absolution a vital element and remains one of the best talkers in the women's division. 

    Rose, meanwhile, remains green in the ring, but she keeps showing flashes of why WWE is so high on her.

    Bayley and Banks' friendship crumbling over time is among the stronger stories WWE has going. The pace has been excellent. The logic has been believable. And the climax promises to be a show-stealer.

Braun Strowman vs. Elias (Symphony of Destruction Match)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Elias tried to get Angle to cancel the match to no avail.

    Later, he showed off his musical skills by playing the drums and piano as well as the guitar. He tried to run off and drive away, but Strowman held his car in place.

    In the ring, The Monster Among Men mauled his rival. 

    Elias went after Strowman's knee and wailed on him with weapons. That wasn't enough to keep the big man down. The Monster Among Men then began to fling Elias all over the stage, destroying musical instruments in the process.

    A piano to the gut ended Elias' night, as Strowman got the three-count.

               

    Result

    Strowman wins via pinfall.

                  

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Music should bring us together, not tear us apart"—Elias.
    • "I love symphonies. They're classy. The opposite of this scumbag town."—Elias.
    • Strowman lifts the back of Elias' limo.
    • Elias smashes a guitar over Strowman's back; Strowman breaks an upright bass on Elias.
    • Strowman smashes Elias with a piano.
    • "I told you I'd get you!"—Strowman.

                

    Grade

    A-

                

    Analysis

    The Symphony of Destruction was fun and ridiculous, a merging of two rising talents doing what they do best.

    Elias was a joy to watch in this segment. Strowman added to his long collection of bizarre images of creative violence. 

    The decisive nature of this win makes it clear Strowman is done with the guitar-playing grappler. He can now move on to a marquee match at WrestleMania. WWE would be foolish not to find a prime spot for the colossus.

Bray Wyatt vs. Rhyno

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Bray Wyatt pounded on Rhyno and toppled him in mere seconds. Heath Slater looked ready to jump into the ring afterward but thought better of it.

    Wyatt called out Matt Hardy following the bout.

    The two enemies talked of colliding at The Hardy Compound. Hardy challenged Wyatt to "The Ultimate Deletion."

                 

    Result

    Wyatt wins via pinfall.

                 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Wyatt lies atop Rhyno and holds his foe's arm to his face.
    • "That was like something out of a nightmare."—Graves.

              

    Grade

    C+

                  

    Analysis

    The match was of the blink-of-an-eye variety. A victory that emphatic is just what Wyatt needed, though. He looked like a true monster after taking out Rhyno so easily and frightening off Slater.

    The flashes of The Hardy Compound shown on the big screen suggest The Ultimate Deletion will be a lot like the wild and weird Hardy matches from Impact Wrestling. The feud has been a letdown to this point, but its apex is fast approaching and will have a shot to be something we never forget.

The Mizzie Awards/The Miztourage vs. Finn Balor and Seth Rollins

9 of 10

    Credit: WWE.com

    The Miz mocked the Academy Awards before giving out his own trophies.

    He awarded Angle, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor joke awards. He then wanted to honor himself before Rollins and Balor sauntered in. The intercontinental champ dismissed both men's accomplishments. 

    The arguing led to a three-on-two match pitting Rollins and Balor against The Miztourage.

    The babyfaces knocked around The Miztourage for a spell, but the numbers advantage allowed The Miz, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel to take control.

    Rollins battled back, and soon Balor forced his way into the action. In what became a game of oneupmanship, The Architect got the pin.

    Angle announced Balor and Rollins would both challenge The Miz at WrestleMania.

                 

    Result

    Balor and Rollins win via pinfall.

                  

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "The real darkest hour is that The Shape of Water won Best Picture over Marine 5."—The Miz.
    • "Kurt can't accept this award because he's busy sucking up to Ronda Rousey."—The Miz.
    • "You need more than a hand sign that's not even yours."—The Miz.
    • Rollins knocks down Axel and Dallas with a suicide dive.

                 

    Grade

    B-

               

    Analysis

    The humor in The Mizzies bit worked. It didn't linger on the Oscars jokes, and the production was first-rate. The Miz could have gone on a while longer and still kept the audience's attention. 

    As for the match, it was fine. The showcase for both Balor and Rollins offered flashes of the animosity between the two babyfaces.

    The Triple Threat contest for the IC title has the makings of something electric.

Paul Heyman Responds to Roman Reigns

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Paul Heyman laid the Universal Championship on the mat. He talked of Brock Lesnar winning the UFC title and his client's upcoming WrestleMania match with Roman Reigns.

    Much of Heyman's promo centered on Lesnar's crown and its significance.

    The advocate promised to bring Lesnar to Raw next week.

    Reigns showed up and got in Heyman's face. The Big Dog scoffed at the fact Lesnar was not at Raw.

                  

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Brock Lesnar allows me to put my hands on that title."—Heyman.
    • "This one belongs to Brock Lesnar."—Heyman about the Universal Championship.
    • "That's not a belt. That's not a strap. That's a declarative statement that you are No. 1."—Heyman on Lesnar's title.
    • "You better make sure he doesn't come dressed for a promo segment. He comes dressed for a fight."—Reigns.

                 

    Grade

    B

                    

    Analysis

    As usual, Heyman delivered. He deftly played up the importance of the championshipsomething that has been hard to do with how little Lesnar has been around.

    The odd part of his speech was how he talked about how Reigns would have to live up to the demands of being champion, which is something his own client hasn't done.

    And this could have used more of Reigns and Heyman trading jabs. Lesnar's advocate is one of the keys to coaxing the best from the challenger.