WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Shayna Baszler assaults Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins and Co. stand tall
Baszler attacked Lynch after the Raw women's champ made a successful title defense over Asuka
With WWE traversing the Road to WrestleMania, storylines continued to build steam as Raw landed at Toyota Arena in Ontario, Canada. Becky Lynch has a new rival who took a literal bite out of her celebration after a successful title defense and Seth Rollins' disciples continued to find their way to success by hook or by crook. But those were far from the only things that happened on another packed edition of Raw.
Drew McIntyre continues to make statements ahead of his 'Mania showdown with Brock Lesnar, while Lesnar's Super ShowDown opponent picked up yet another big win. Charlotte Flair continues to drag out her choice of WrestleMania opponent while NXT champion Rhea Ripley continues to make her case to be Royal Rumble winner's selection.
Let's take an in-depth look at all the action that went down in the ring -- and outside of it -- on Monday night.
Shayna Baszler takes a bite out of Becky Lynch
Raw Women's Championship -- Becky Lynch (c) def. Asuka via pinfall after a Rock Bottom to retain the title. After Owens, Joe and the Viking Raiders ran off Rollins and his crew in the opening segment, Lynch marched down the aisle with the gang still in the ring, ready to defend her title against Asuka. Kairi Sane got involved early, providing distraction that allowed Asuka to deliver a hip attack that knocked Lynch to the floor at ringside. Later in the match, as the back-and-forth action continued, Lynch was attempting to hit a diving forearm off the apron when Sane pushed Asuka out of the way and took the blow herself. After a very hard-fought match, Lynch hit a Rock Bottom on Asuka and scored the pin for the victory to retain her championship.
After Lynch's win, she was immediately attacked by former two-time NXT women's champion Baszler, who immediately locked in a Kirifuda Clutch. Baszler then took out her trademark mouthpiece before biting Lynch on the back of the neck. Baszler came up from the bite with her face covered in blood, and Lynch was sporting red on the back of her neck and hair while yelling, "Did that b---h bite me?" Baszler made her way up the ramp while Lynch was attended to by the referee. Later in the show, as officials were attempting to get Lynch to go to a "local medical facility" via ambulance, she hijacked the vehicle and drove off. By the end of the night, Lynch returned to the arena in the ambulance after being "patched up" at the local medical facility. She said she would break Baszler down week-by-week, and the NXT women's champion needed to hope she found Lynch before Lynch found her.
Baszler going after Lynch is a great thing in the big picture, but the attack involving the former NXT champ targeting the current Raw women's champ with a bite feels a bit out of character. There is probably a larger message to the bite, but Baszler is a fighter at her core, not some sort of vampire. And Lynch stealing an ambulance to drive herself to the hospital feels like the kind of thing WWE thinks is cool in a throwback to Steve Austin way, but really comes across as too outlandish of a move to feel fresh. For something that is, on the whole, a good thing for the women's division, there were some missteps in the short term. Grade: C+
Seth Rollins and his disciples win again
Rollins opened the show with an in-ring promo, backed up by his followers. He again talked about being WWE's leader into the future. Rollins threw back to last week when AOP and Murphy battled Kevin Owens and the Viking Raiders, picking up the win but losing the larger battle when Owens and the Raiders interfered in the main event to cost Rollins a shot at Brock Lesnar at Super ShowDown. Rollins then said he and his group would not leave the ring until their message was heard, only to be interrupted by Owens. Rollins issued the warning that if Owens stands alone against them, he will fall alone. Owens quickly pointed out that he is not alone before the Viking Raiders music hit and the tag team joined him on the entrance ramp The group then charged to the ring and initiated a brawl outside the ring. As Rollins watched from in the ring, Samoa Joe made his way into the squared circle from behind and locked in a Coquina Clutch before the faces ran off the heels to end the opening segment standing tall and with some hope for the coming main event.
Seth Rollins, Murphy & AOP def. Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens & Viking Raiders via pinfall after Murphy pinned Joe following a Rollins stomp. Joe had Murphy locked in the Coquina Clutch down the stretch after the Raiders, Owens and AOP had all ended up outside the ring. The referee's attention was focused on the melee at ringside and missed Murphy repeatedly tapping to Joe's submission. This led to Rollins running in to hit his stomp and Murphy to pick up the pinfall victory for the team as Rollins outsmarted the good guys for yet another week.
This has become an increasingly difficult situation to provide analysis of as Rollins getting victories week after week is a good thing in a way. Top heels should be frustrating in their way of finding shortcuts to victory, but Joe returning and Owens' continued position as a guy who never stops fighting feel less interesting when they appear largely outmatched week in and week out. Also, the Viking Raiders feel out of place in the rivalry. They're "big body tag partners" to offset AOP, but the two teams don't seem to have heat with each other beyond that they've been drafted into the conflict. The Raiders feel a bit out of touch with Joe and Owens, and that leaves some sizzle out of the equation. Grade: B-
What else happened on Raw?
- The Street Profits def. Mojo Rawley and Riddick Moss via pinfall after hitting the Cash Out on Moss. A very quick match followed the Profits accusing Rawley of hiding behind Moss in recent weeks. A spinebuster from Angelo Dawkins followed by the Montez Ford splash got the pin.
- 24/7 Championship -- Riddick Moss def. Mojo Rawley via pinfall to win the title. Following their loss, Moss pinned Rawley -- whose title had not been on the line in the tag match -- with a small package before running away with the belt as the new 24/7 champion.
- Drew McIntyre appeared on MVP's VIP Lounge. The VIP Lounge was back in WWE after a decade with MVP offering his assistance to the men's Royal Rumble winner. McIntyre said he does not need a Paul Heyman as he prepares to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, first hitting MVP with a headbutt before counting down to a Claymore Kick before pointing at the WrestleMania sign.
- Angel Garza def. Cedric Alexander via pinfall after a Wing Clipper. Humberto Carrillo attacked Garza before the match, delivering a few spinebusters after a Garza promo calling back to his attack on Carrillo last week. After a brief, competitive match, Garza hit the Wing Clipper on Alexander for the pin.
- Rhea Ripley def. Sarah Logan via pinfall after Riptide. Ripley gave a backstage promo saying she "gets up, gets out and gets what she wants' after throwing down a challenge to Charlotte Flair last week. The interview was interrupted by Logan, who demanded to know who Ripley thinks she is. Logan would later make her way out to the ring and call out Ripley for a match. Charlotte Flair emerged after Ripley's win, and the NXT champ again invited the Royal Rumble winner to challenge her for the NXT title at WrestleMania. Flair pointed out that Ripley still has to beat Bianca Belair at NXT TakeOver: Portland and left without accepting the proposed 'Mania match.
- Ricochet def. Bobby Lashley via pinfall after a 630 Splash. Lashley was looking to avenge Ricochet's "theft" of a WWE championship shot at Super ShowDown by beating Lashley and Rollins on last week's Raw. Ricochet outlasted the Lashley power onslaught before eventually seizing on the opportunity to hit the 630 for the pinfall win and carry momentum forward toward his upcoming shot at Lesnar in Saudi Arabia.
- Randy Orton cut an in-ring promo where he was to explain why he attacked Edge two weeks ago on Raw. As he was reaching the point of justifying his actions, he was interrupted by Matt Hardy, who demanded to know the reasons for Orton's actions. After describing his transition from hatred for Edge to respect for his former rival, Hardy was hit with a RKO and a Conchairto before Orton walked to the back, again not fully explaining the motivations to attack his former tag partner.
- Ruby Riott cut a backstage promo where she said Liv Morgan used to be her "best friend," and she knows everything about her. Riott said Morgan will "always be a follower" and returned last week to attack her former teammate to put her in her place and let her know that she strikes when Riott says so.
- Aleister Black def. Akira Tozawa via pinfall with Black Mass. Another week, another quick win for Black as he wasted little time in laying out Tozawa with his signature kick for the win.
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