WWE Raw Recap: March 18, 2019
S27 episode 12 Aired on March 18, 2019

After decimating Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose one week earlier, Drew McIntyre set his sights on the final Shield member, Seth Rollins, and threw down the gauntlet for a “fight” with The Big Dog at WrestleMania. Find out how Universal Champion Brock Lesnar played an unexpected role in the outcome of this chaotic main event.

At this point on The Road to WrestleMania 34, Brock Lesnar was no-showing his advertised dates as a power play to get inside his challenger’s head. At WrestleMania 35, however, he’s facing Seth Rollins. And Seth Rollins, as we saw last week, might just have him clocked. So The Beast showed up as advertised in an appearance that was one part pose-down, one part fire-and-brimstone missive from Paul Heyman and, perhaps, one part strategy. After all, if Rollins possesses the speed advantage that gives The Conqueror fits, Lesnar would do well to keep his would-be slayer where he can see him — even if, as Heyman said, all the fleet-footed Superstars Rollins mentioned as evidence of Lesnar's blind spot (AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan and Finn Bálor) lost their respective matches.

Not that The Beast is lacking for challengers, even prospective ones: Drew McIntyre took out two-thirds of The Shield last week and seemed to think a victory against Rollins later tonight was so much of a sure thing that he confronted Team Brock and floated himself as a prospective replacement for WrestleMania. In that, he spoke too soon: The Kingslayer ambushed McIntyre from behind, unleashing several chair strikes across the back of the “Career Killer” and bending the steel before making a beeline for The Beast. Only Lesnar wasn’t having it, and he bailed on his challenger before Seth could throw hands. Points awarded to Rollins for provoking The Beast out into the open, but if he wants to draw Brock into a fight, he'll have to try a little harder.

Dana Brooke isn’t wrong that WrestleMania season is a time when underdogs become legends, but there was no storybook ending in her improbable Raw Women’s Championship Match. Despite earning the first title match of her career by standing up to Ronda Rousey last week, Brooke was savaged in short order by The Baddest Woman on the Planet, and the security team WWE hired to prevent further aggression from Rousey quickly followed. Rousey and her husband, UFC heavyweight Travis Browne, each laid out a member of the security squad before making their way out of the arena through the concourse.

It was the most unhinged display of physicality yet from the champion (clearly, last week's fine did not do anything to deter her), and when all is said and done, the WWE Universe might look back on this evening as the night they should have seen what was coming Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair’s way. In that respect, and in its own twisted fashion, this match might land Dana Brooke a line in the history books after all.

Drew McIntyre is all about speaking destructive goals and making them into reality, so he shared an ominous opening bit of business before facing Seth Rollins: Seeking to complete his dismantling of The Shield and establish his dominance over WWE, The Scottish Psychopath challenged Roman Reigns to a “fight” at WrestleMania, addressing him by his given name of “Joe” and begging The Big Dog to refuse for the sake of his wife and children. As for his seeming insistence on looking past Seth Rollins, he made good on that as well by defeating The Kingslayer, though it’s fair to say he had a little bit of help.

It’s also fair to say he needed it. Left fuming by McIntyre’s disrespect to Reigns, The Kingslayer rode an emotional wave of adrenaline out of a deep hole against the Scotsman. But Brock Lesnar’s music hit just seconds before he was set to deliver the Stomp, and McIntyre capitalized on the distraction, bulldozing Rollins with a Claymore to earn an impressive, if ill-gotten victory. Now, McIntyre has indeed dispatched two of the three Hounds of Justice in the ring, and he has a very real chance of making the trifecta should Reigns accept.

Rollins, however, might just be left with more uncertainty than he thought as he prepares to face Lesnar — perhaps even on a fundamental level. As much as he says he’s better than all the same speedy Superstars who took The Beast to the limit, the last word on Raw is that Rollins fell into the same trap they did. To a man, they had Brock Lesnar right where they wanted him. And to a man, they lost.

In other action … Finn Bálor & Braun Strowman def. Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush … Elias def. No Way Jose and announced he would be the headlining musical act for WrestleMania … Kurt Angle def. Chad Gable and revealed the identity of his final opponent … WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Sasha Banks def. Natalya via Disqualification and Beth Phoenix offered to come out of retirement for WrestleMania … Ricochet def. Jinder Mahal … Apollo Crews def. Baron Corbin … and Batista told his side of his rivalry with Triple H.

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