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5 Big Takeaways from Monday Night RAW - March 27, 2023

It's the last episode of RAW as we travel down the Road to WrestleMania, and the action was red hot in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday Night

This week's edition of WWE Monday Night RAW originated from Phoenix, Arizona, and it continues the promotion's roll toward Wrestlemania.

It was a pretty loaded card, and the WWE Superstars definitely looked primed and ready for the year's biggest event. The build continued around The Bloodline angle, but we also saw a lot taking place in the women's division, as well. Overall, it was a solid show, and the three-hour broadcast didn't seem to drag on as it does in other weeks.

Having said that, here are five things that stood out about this RAW before WrestleMania:

#1 - The ladies were spotlighted on this week's RAW, especially early in the show

Things kicked off with WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Becky Lynch and Lita, flanked by Trish Stratus, who were the guests on Miz TV. In a short opening, Miz got in his usual bad jokes, only to be countered by The Man. Before long, we had Damage Control out there, and a whole lot of trash-talking ensued.

This set up a match between Becky and Io Sky, which Lynch won. Very low energy and enthusiasm has been generated for this 'Mania match-up, despite the fact that two legendary Hall of Famers and the number one woman in wrestling right now will be on the same side of the ring.

Also in the first hour, the ladies were in the spotlight again. This time, It was in a backstage vignette, with Chelsea Green once again tormenting WWE official Adam Pearce. After much consternation, Scrap Iron relented and paired the whiny brat with Sonya DeVille who suddenly entered the shot. They would be inserted into the women's tag team match later in the night for a spot on the WrestleMania Showcase on Friday, which they won.

#2 - Brock Lesnar and Omos will bring plenty of beef to their blockbuster battle

The weigh-in between these two behemoths did more to make people believe that this might be a win for Omos in Hollywood. Lesnar has mentioned on more than one occasion that he views himself now on the twilight side of his career, and he's been more open to 'doing the favor' in recent years.

Brock certainly made him look strong. After Lesnar rushed him, Omos turned the longtime champion away, with The Beast never really getting the best of The Nigerian Giant. After eating a big boot and scampering from the ring, Lesnar could walk away from this segment knowing that he's made Omos look as strong as possible going into this match.

Whether he wins this showdown or not, it will still be the biggest match in the former basketball star's in-ring career. It could end up being just another close shave for Cowboy Brock, or we may see a new powerhouse emerge. So while there may not have been an actual weigh-in here, there was still plenty of intrigue.

#3 - The Demon will emerge from the darkness in The Valley of the Dolls

While LA may be known for its bright lights and brighter stars, there's a seedy, shadowy, sadistic side, as well. It's in the ghettos and the bowels of The City of Angels, where souls are seemingly for sale.

Finn Balor will try to channel that darkness when he descends into the persona of The Demon once again.

In a brilliant backstage promo, Balor cut an ominous figure. He talked calmly and quietly to The Rated-R Superstar and promised him that he would be bringing his own brand of mayhem to 'Mania.

This match didn't have a whole lot of luster, as it seems like Edge vs Judgement Day has been going on forever. But with the edgier elements added in, it's suddenly become an appointment watch for this event.

#4 - Austin Theory is set to stake his claim to superstardom

In yet another well-done promo/vignette, Austin Theory delivered a pre-taped monologue inside the ring in the empty arena. The United States Champion said that he didn't care at all about John Cena or his legacy and that he was out to make his own name.

Not only did Theory bring the goods here, but the WWE creative team was wise to put him in this protective position. He didn't look too good a couple of weeks ago when Big Match John dressed him down in a promo lesson for the ages. So, eliminating the crowd and any other distractions allowed him to tell his story - one final time before 'Mania.

It's still looking like Cena will put the rising star over in Hollywood, but who knows? Austin Theory's push has been hard to gauge, as he seems to run hot and cold with the company's management. If he gets the victory over an icon, then it's a sign that he's got big things ahead in his future.

#5 - Cody Rhodes looks more and more like a franchise player

There are some whispers out there that The American Nightmare mat NOT be the heir apparent, after all, and that Roman Reigns will carry the WWE Universal Title out of 'Mania. That would essentially guarantee that he'd pass 1,000 straight days as champ, but let's hold on here.

Cody Rhodes is being shined up an awful lot for a guy who is being set up for a loss in the biggest match of his life. Once again, he dominates the show and the audience's attention when he's onscreen. He is everything that the company could ask for to take the baton from The Tribal Chief and run with it.

Cody got the win over Solo Sikoa to close the show, as Paul Heyman was on his phone - presumably with Roman Reigns. Things look chaotic for the faction right now, as with the three-pronged attack of Rhodes, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens has them in their sights. The Bloodline has never looked more vulnerable than they do right now.

It will be interesting to see what unfolds on WrestleMania Showcase on Friday as the biggest week of the year is now in full bloom. This is one of the most anticipated WWE events in a long time, and there should be no doubt about how things will end. Despite debate from the devil's advocates, make no mistake: Cody Rhodes is going to win the WWE Universal Championship in The City of Angels.


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