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Sunday, March 26, 2023

WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins battle to host Steve Austin at WrestleMania

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For weeks, much of WWE’s weekly episodes of Raw have revolved around a story of Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins failing to land a spot on WrestleMania. On Monday night, the “best friends” faced off with a spot hosting “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in a WrestleMania talk show segment on the line.

Last week, Austin officially accepted Owens’ invite to appear on “The KO Show” at WrestleMania, with Owens vowing to embarrass Austin in his home state of Texas. Rollins attempted to steal Owens’ idea, but Owens pushed back, resulting in a Raw main event with hosting duties on the line.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville.

Owens defeats Rollins to keep WrestleMania spot

Rollins was still nearly-catatonic early in the show, worried about having missed out on his opportunity to appear at WrestleMania. After receiving a pep talk from Owens, Rollins had a revelation and would eventually dance his way to the ring, laughing and smiling as he called Owens to the ring. Rollins then told Owens he should host his own talk show and also have Steve Austin as his guest. Owens shot the idea down, leading Rollins to challenge Owens to a match with the stipulation that the winner would get to host Austin at Mania. Owens refused but Sonya Deville came out to say she liked the idea and booked the match for the main event.

Kevin Owens def. Seth Rollins via pinfall after hitting a stunner. The match saw high-level action from two men who have been rivals many times in the past, both scoring several near falls before Owens was able to hit a stunner to pick up the win and secure his spot as Austin’s host at WrestleMania. Rollins was left despondent once again realizing he still had no spot on the biggest show of the year.

The match was very good, as expected. Still, it’s hard to get too excited for a match where the stakes are “winner hosts a talk show.” In fact, the idea that WWE just can’t find a spot at WrestleMania for two of its biggest and most proven stars despite their situation dominating the weekly television show has always been ridiculous. Still, a very solid match between two men who have established tons of chemistry over the years. Grade: B

What else happened on WWE Raw?

Kevin Owens opened the show addressing “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s acceptance of the challenge to appear on “The KO Show” during WrestleMania. After vowing to humiliate Austin, Owens punctuated his promo with a stunner on a cameraman who was in the ring.

Damian Priest def. Finn Balor via pinfall with Reckoning. Austin Theory was on commentary for the match, ultimately drawing enough of Balor’s attention to allow Priest to score the win. After the match, Theory hit Balor with an ATL.

Omos def. Commander Azeez via pinfall with a chokebomb. Omos then pulled Apollo Crews into the ring and hit him with a chokeslam after the match had concluded.

Liv Morgan def. Queen Zelina via pinfall after hitting Oblivion. Carmella was distracted by Corey Graves at ringside, causing her to fail to aid her tag partner in getting the win.

The Mysterios def. Hurt Business via pinfall when Dominik Mysterio hit Cedric Alexander with a frog splash. Logan Paul and The Miz were on commentary for the match and tried to attack the Mysterios after their win but were easily run off.

Edge cut a promo on WrestleMania opponent AJ Styles. Edge said that he is currently sitting on “the mountain of omnipotence” and vowed that Styles would be “judged” should Styles make it to Mania for their match.

Bianca Belair def. Doudrop via pinfall after hitting a K.O.D. After the match, Becky Lynch attacked Belair, pulling her from the ring and throwing her into the ring steps and announce table before putting Belair’s head in a steel chair and ramming it into the ring post.

Riddle vs. Montez Ford ended in a no contest after interference from Alpha Academy. The Street Profits interrupted RK-Bro’s championship celebration, demanding a title match at WrestleMania because they’d defeated the champions shortly before they won the titles. Randy Orton refused the challenge, but Riddle said they had to face someone and convinced Orton to accept. The Profits then made fun of the celebration, which was put on by Orton and featured concession popcorn and gum, leading Riddle to challenge Ford to a singles match. During the match, Alpha Academy attacked all members of RK-Bro and the Profits, leading to the end of the match.

A tribute video aired for Scott Hall. Hall’s death was confirmed as the show went on the air.

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