WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Becky Lynch vows revenge, Randy Orton brutalizes again

While WWE Super ShowDown is drawing near, Raw’s focus this week was geared solely on Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania business. Randy Orton again failed to explain his recent string of violent attacks, but did execute another bit of brutality to open the show. Meanwhile, Raw women’s champion Becky Lynch vowed revenge on Shayna Baszler after suffering her own attack at the hands of the former two-time NXT women’s champ last week.

Those were far from the only points of interest on WWE’s flagship TV program, however. Drew McIntyre had a brief interaction with Brock Lesnar’s advocate, Charlotte Flair explained her decision to challenge Rhea Ripley for the NXT women’s title at WrestleMania and much more went down as Raw landed in Angel of the Wings Arena in Everett, Washington.

Let’s take a look at everything that took place on this week’s Raw.

Becky Lynch vows revenge on Shayna Baszler

Lynch cut an in-ring promo, addressing the attack by Baszler on last week’s Raw. Lynch said she came to America seeking fame and fortune, but now has no use for fame. She then poured money out of a bag into the ring, saying she was paying her fine up front for what she does when she runs across Baszler next. Lynch ran down the list of women she had taken out on her way to becoming champion — naming women like Asuka and Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey.

Baszler appeared on the screen, saying Lynch would never have the chance to attack her to earn the fine she was “paying” with the bag of cash. Baszler pointed out that she’s a cage fighter and will be wrestling in the Elimination Chamber match, which is held in a cage. She also said she hadn’t planned on biting Lynch last week, it just happened. Baszler implored Lynch to think about the things she does have planned. She ended by saying she was going to “tear the living s—” out of Lynch while the Raw women’s champion said she’d be watching Elimination Chamber closely … and rooting for her.

An uncensored “S-word” on WWE’s flagship program?! More so than than the weird bite attack last week, this whole segment felt like a way to establish Baszler as a legitimate threat. She is a different animal from all the talented women Lynch has beaten in her rise to superstardom. Even Rousey, who shares the “cage fighter” background, feels very managed and “mainstream acceptable.” Sure, Rousey could rip your arm off, but only if you did something to deserve it. Baszler is promised violence in a way that feels to lack that same level of rational thinking or restraint. Grade: B+

Randy Orton brutalizes Matt Hardy … again

Orton opened the show with an in-ring promo, and “The Viper” still would not explain the motivations behind his brutal attack on Edge. While Orton was cutting an in-ring promo explaining that no one would understand the reasons he had committed the heinous attacks, he was again confronted by Matt Hardy. Hardy had received the same treatment as Edge when Orton smashed his head and neck between two chairs on last week’s Raw, and the two were supposed to meet in a no disqualification match later in the night, though Hardy — who was sporting a neck brace — was not medically cleared.

Orton reiterated that no one would understand why he’d carried out the attacks, but eventually said he had nothing but respect for Hardy and not only respect, but brotherly love for Edge. Hardy stressed that he wouldn’t allow his career to end on Orton’s terms. After Orton issued what appeared to be an apology and left the ring, he returned before executing another brutal, neck-focused attack on Hardy, culminating with chair shots to the head and neck with Hardy’s head resting on the ring steps. As he walked to the back, Orton repeatedly said, “I’m sorry.”

The best version of Randy Orton is the remorseless viper who strikes with nearly unmatched brutality. That has been true for basically his entire WWE career. With Edge not a fixture on the weekly shows, Orton has to do most of the heavy lifting for their program by himself. Hardy, though, has provided a compelling addition to the picture to act as a mouthpiece for the fans, demanding to know why Orton has returned to his old tactics. While Hardy’s final days under contract tick away, he is reminding why he has been such a a compelling figure for so long. Grade: A-

What else happened on WWE Raw?

  • Aleister Black def. Erick Rowan via pinfall after two Black Mass kicks. 
  • Charlotte Flair cut an in-ring promo one night after making her challenge to Rhea Ripley for the NXT championship at WrestleMania. Flair said she is bothered by the “entitlement” of the current women in NXT, and that Ripley didn’t have to scratch and claw like her own class when they helped build up what is now WWE’s official “third brand.” Flair said she believes Ripley is very good, but that she would humble the NXT champ at WrestleMania. “Everyone is the next big thing,” Flair said. “Until they’re not.”
  • 24/7 Championship — Riddick Moss (c) def. Mojo Rawley & R-Truth via pinfall after rolling up Rawley for the win. 
  • Drew McIntyre def. MVP via pinfall after a Claymore Kick. Paul Heyman appeared before the match to tease a potential Brock Lesnar appearance, though the WWE champion was absent. He instead introduced MVP to the ring. 
  • Angel Garza & Bobby Lashley def. Humberto Carrillo & Rusev via pinfall when Carrillo rolled up Rusev for the victory.
  • Kairi Sane def. Natalya via count out after outside interference from Asuka. 
  • Seth Rollins held a “sermon” in the ring with Murphy and AOP. Rollins said that his group had completed “Phase 1” of their plan, taking out Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe and Viking Raiders in recent weeks. He then said “Phase 2” would involve the same fate for any non-compliant superstars in the locker room. The Viking Raiders then ran in and brawled with AOP. Rollins attempted to flee up the ramp but was met from behind with a Stunner from Owens. A six-man tag match was made for the main event. 
  • Ricochet def. Karl Anderson via pinfall after hitting Anderson with Recoil. Prior to the match, AJ Styles cut a promo in the ring proclaiming himself the greatest of any era (seemingly lending credence to the rumors of an Undertaker match at WrestleMania). Ricochet was out to challenge Styles, but Anderson accepted instead. 
  • Liv Morgan cut a backstage promo addressing Ruby Riott attacking her in Riott’s return on Raw two weeks ago and subsequent promo last week. Morgan said being betrayed would have broken her in the past, but she’s no longer “that puppy on a leash” and has found a home in her own skin. 
  • Kevin Owens & The Viking Raiders def. AOP & Murphy via disqualification after Rollins ran in to attack Owens. Post-match, after momentarily disposing of The Viking Raiders, Rollins and his crew were poised to take out Owens but The Street Profits were out to make the save. For the second time in the show, Rollins high-tailed it out of there as the rest of the heels were laid to waste. 

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