Match Ratings For WWE Raw 3/18/19, Podcast Notes From Sean Ross Sapp Of Fightful.com

Opening Segment

  • There's a great ovation when Paul Heyman heels the crowd in Chicago. This was a great wrestling crowd.
  • This promo stands above in Paul Heyman's repertoire. He says all of the matches Rollins says Lesnar had trouble with, Lesnar still won.
  • Heyman calls Drew McIntyre a career killer- albeit not be as destructive as Lesnar.
  • McIntyre gloats and says he's going to beat up Rollins tonight, but Seth welcomes him with about 15 chair shots.
  • When Rollins hits the ring, Lesnar leaves to a chorus of boos. Paul Heyman prevents him from getting back in the ring.
Tony Khan: It's Us Against Them And I Am The Captain Now

Braun Strowman & Finn Balor defeated Lio Rush & Bobby Lashley
6/10

  • We are shown Lashley winning the IC title last week, and Lio putting the title on a pleased Lashley last week.
  • Balor cuts a promo about the LUCK OF THE IRISH -- really capitalizing on St. Patrick's day. He's interrupted by Lio Rush making leprechaun jokes.
  • If you wonder why Balor isn't getting pushed to the moon, take a look at this promo.
  • Braun is Balor's partner. We're getting the picture-in-picture treatment on Raw, too.
  • Balor gets worked over by both heels. Lio is pretty hilarious in that he gets hit once and tags out.
  • Lio is out of luck when he doesn't have Lashley to tag anymore. His worth is really highlighted here.
  • Lio makes Braun Strowman look like a million bucks here. He moonsault bumps on a chokeslam and gets thrown everywhere.
  • Lashley saves Lio with a big spear. Lashley and Balor take each other out.
  • Lio hits a frog splash, but Braun throws him way up into the air on the kickout. Lio runs away, but runs into Balor.
  • Lashley saves Lio briefly, but gets mowed down outside the ring. Lashley leaves Lio to get chokeslammed, powerslammed and pinned.
  • This match was all over the place, but it was a blast. A whole lot of fun watching this one.

Moment of Elias

  • Alexa Bliss is here for Moment of Bliss.
  • She brings out Elias and says it's a safe space.
  • Elias says he's going to be the musical headliner at WrestleMania. He dares anyone to interrupt him there.
  • Heavy Machinery and No Way Jose interrupt. Well, Jose's Conga line did.
  • Jose, disguised as a member of the conga line, attacks Elias. For some reason, Elias' music plays.

Elias defeated No Way Jose (w/ Conga line)
4.5/10

  • We're getting a match here. Why not?
  • The conga line disguises the lack of any heat for this match.
  • Some pretty elementary work. Body slams, punches, splashes, a knee drop. This is a WWE Superstars match from 1989 without the reckless finishing moves.
  • Elbow drop, Drift Away.
  • No heat, okay in-ring. At least there was a point to the match. Not enough to make it not feel like a waste of time.

Kurt Angle defeated Chad Gable
3.75/10

  • Kurt Angle comes out and thanks WWE and the McMahons for making his final opponent his choice.
  • He says Baron Corbin will be his opponent at WrestleMania. Fart noises in this house and in that arena. Nobody wants to see this. I don't think Baron Corbin lands on my top 20 opponents for an Angle retirement match. Maybe if it's a squash either way
  • Chad Gable, practically dressed as Kurt Angle comes out and thanks Kurt for the opportunity.
  • Pretty early on, you see why Kurt needs to hang it up. He completely missed Gable's drop toe hold.
  • The crowd is being very generous to this match. They're chanting "you still got it," but not in this match.
  • This match is running at a crippling, sad pace. We get a commercial to boot. Not great.
  • The highlight is a good back body drop by Kurt.
  • He applies an ankle lock on a sunset flip, but it gets rolled through. Gable applies one of his own.
  • There is a HORRIBLE roll through into the buckle, followed by a confusing DDT reversal of the Olympic Slam that looked more like Gable ate a spinebuster.
  • Ankle lock gets the win. The crowd is great. This was a bummer.
  • Corbin comes out and trolls Angle and the crowd.

Meet me at the hug, it's goin down.

  • Bayley is calm, Sasha is hot heated in the ring with Charly Caruso. Bayley says they're going to appear on Smackdown Live tomorrow.
  • Divas of Doom come out and Beth puts them over. Since Beth Phoenix says Nia and Tamina awoke the dragon, I hope they also woke up the night hawk.
  • Either way, she challenges Boss N' Hug for WrestleMania.
  • Bayley asks if Beth needs more time. Because she old.
  • I need a Sting/Luger dynamic out of Bayley & Sasha.
  • Sasha and Nattie go at it, then Beth shoves Bayley out of the ring.

Natalya (w/ Beth Phoenix) vs. Sasha Banks (w/ Bayley)
N/A

  • A lot of people are going to say "ARE THESE PEOPLE BABYFACES OR HEELS?!" but I'm cool with it being situational.
  • Sasha in particular is good with that. Her offense works really well either way.
  • Nia Jax interrupts the match to cut a promo, which for some reason is allowed. She heels and targets Beth Phoenix.
  • Tamina attacks and causes a stop to the match.

Backstage Crappenings.

  • We see Mojo Rawley talking to himself backstage. These started seven weeks ago.
  • Braun Strowman enters the Andre the Giant Memorial battle royal. Alexa Bliss wants to bring peace between Strowman, Che and Jost.

Ricochet defeated Jinder Mahal (w/ Singh Bros.)
5/10

  • Ricochet gets a really good reaction.
  • Ricochet vs. Jinder Mahal isn't a match I ever thought I'd see, and I'm very curious about.
  • Ricochet does a lot of feints and gets grounded by Mahal.
  • Mahal does a good job making me not curious anymore.
  • After getting worked over, Ricohet dropkicks his way back into the hunt.
  • Space Flying Tiger Drop gets Jinder and the Singhs. Fortunately the crowd has forgotten about the last five minutes.
  • 630. Pin.

WWE Raw Women's Championship
Ronda Rousey (c) defeated Dana Brooke
Squash

  • Ronda Rousey arrives with her husband Travis Browne backstage. John Cone says that WWE is going to have extra security tonight.
  • Dana cuts a promo about only having to be better for three seconds. Pissed off that she didn't say #WrestleDania.
  • Dana catches a kick and slaps Rousey.
  • Enziguri (a nice one), knee and armbar. hat's it.
  • Rousey did a regular armbar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Rousey kisses Browne. You can dislike Browne all you want, but he does add a new dimension of total hateability to Rousey's character. They both beat up security guards and leave.
  • Dana Brooke lasted longer than both Cat Zingano and Alexis Davis did. Put her in the top 10 now.

Apollo Crews defeated Baron Corbin
5.25/10

  • Backstage, Corbin is bragging to The Revival, who aren't interested at all. I like the integration of them.
  • Apollo Crews comes up and asks for a match with Corbin and trolls him until he gets it. Apollo says nobody likes Corbin, and Revival agree. This was a really fun skit.
  • Crews dives outside onto Corbin, but Corbin cuts him off and slows him down.
  • Crews backflips out of a chokeslam, but walks into a good Deep Six.
  • Crews wins with a small package. Kurt Angle celebrates with Apollo.

BATISTA IS DOWN....for a fight.

  • Batista cuts a promo "via satellite" about how Triple H has used him like others.
  • He says he became a movie star and demanded the match that he deserved because he's in control.
  • Michael Cole is pretty good here, but Batista isn't having it.
  • Batista hopes Triple H gets fired by Vince McMahon

Drew McIntyre defeated Seth Rollins
6.25/10

  • Drew McIntyre challenges Roman Reigns to a fight at WrestleMania, before talking a little trash.
  • Rollins says this is why he did what he did earlier.
  • Rollins comes out and they're BRAWLIN'.
  • Back from a break, Rollins goes tilt-a-whirl, but eats a suplex from Drew McIntyre.
  • Drew moves and Rollins moonsaults off the stairs and into the floor.
  • During the break, Drew does the throwplex.
  • Rollins counters a powerbomb with a nice huracanrana, but Drew does a side belly-to-belly suplex into the barricade.
  • Two great suicide dives into a barricade and a slingblade! Rollins....IS ROLLIN'. Superplex Falcon Arrow, too.
  • Brock Lesnar's music hits and Drew hits a Claymore for the win.

Rating guide

10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor

Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5.The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!

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