(Almost) Live Reactions to WWE RAW
It’s the night after WrestleMania, yes it is. Who would debut? Who would return? What other surprises would await? Read on to find out.
The show opened on the crowd chanting for The Undertaker, which was a nice moment. Alas, Roman Reigns was the first man out tonight. The crowd gave him their usual warm, reaction, and he stalled. For a long, long time. A long time. When he had finally worked up the courage, Roman said that “This is my yard now”. Mic drop walked out.
The Hardy Boyz vs The Club for the RAW Tag Team Title
Jeff Hardy and Karl Anderson started the action tonight. It wasn’t long before Matt Hardy tagged in. Karl ran into a Side Effect, but kicked out. The Hardy Boyz continued dominating things through a commercial break. Back in the show, The Club finally got some offence in, with both Gallows and Anderson working over Matt. The hot tag to Jeff was made, and he went nuts on Gallows, hitting a Poetry In Motion on the outside. Back inside, The Club rallied briefly, but got the Swanton Bomb and the Twist of Fate from The Hardy Boyz, titles successfully defended.
This was a decent match, if a bit rushed and short. I do hope they get the situation with the Broken gimmick worked out, because both Matt and Jeff are showing their age a bit in this more vanilla form.
Neville vs Mustafa Ali
Ali quickly took control with a big dive to the outside. Neville recovered quickly with a missile dropkick, before tossing Ali into the corner. Ali countered a back suplex, but failed to capitalize. Neville’s second attempt succeeded, and he followed up with a clothesline that turned Ali over. They headed to the top rope, where Ali reeled off an avalanche Spanish fly. Ali hit a reverse hurricanrana and a tornado DDT, but Neville got his foot on the rope. Neville was up right away, locking in the Rings of Saturn for the win.
For one of these ridiculously short cruiserweight matches, they made the most of their time and put on an entertaining show. They packed lots of action into their few minutes and made it an exciting contest. Let’s hope more cruiserweight segments turn out like this.
Mr. McMahon Picks a New GM
Mr. McMahon made his way to the ring and announced that with Mick Foley having been fired, RAW would need a new General Manager, and after some chicanery involving Teddy Long, McMahon brought out Kurt Angle, to a huge pop. He confirmed his new job quickly, and that was that.
There wasn’t much substance to this segment itself, but it’s great to hear Kurt’s music again, and he’s the GOAT, so I think he’ll probably do alright as a GM. An optimistic thumbs up from me.
The New Day Welcome a New Tag Team
The New Day were disappointed they didn’t get a match at the event they hosted last night. They issued an open challenge. Their answer came in the form of The Revival, making their main roster debuts. Some of the best heels in the business today marched to the ring, amped. Scott Dawson began the action against Xavier Woods. Dash Wilder was in quickly, and Woods managed to be just a bit too quick for Wilder. Dawson tagged himself in, and he managed to gain the upper hand against his foe. Both members of The Revival worked the arm of Woods. The hot tag came to Big E, who went through his typical sequence of suplexes, but missed on his suicide dive. Woods tried to fight the match by himself, but was overcome by the numbers game. Woods rolled into a Shatter Machine, and The Revival picked up the victory. Right after the match, they beat down and injured Kofi Kingston.
Result: The Revival win by pinfall
That’s a Post-Mania-RAW moment, right there. The tag divisions on both shows could use some work, and as far as tag teams go, they don’t get much better than Dash and Dawson right now. Awesome stuff.
Six Woman Tag Match
Bayley, Dana Brooke, and Sasha Banks took on Charlotte, Nia Jax and the returning Emma. Emma tagged herself in to take on Dana Brooke, her former NXT ally. Emma ordered Bayley to tag in, and the champ obliged. Emma got the upper hand over the champ by wrenching Bayley’s arm repeatedly. Nia Jax eventually made her way into the match, continuing the beat down on Bayley. All three heels took turns stomping on the champ. Bayley and Charlotte exchanged chops before Bayley sent Charlotte crashing outside. Bayley made the tag to Banks, who exploded into the match. Things broke down, all six brawling. Charlotte went for Natural Selection, but Sasha countered into a Banks Statement for the win. After the match, Charlotte picked on both her partners, berating them for failing to et the job done. Nia snapped, slamming and then dropping an elbow onto the former champion.
Result: Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke, and Bayley win by pinfall
I think there was a fair amount going on here. Emma returns, which feels really necessary. We’ve been seeing the same four women for so long now, anybody new is going to feel like a big deal. Sasha wins, which, if Sasha vs Bayley is an upcoming feud, makes Sasha look dangerous. And with Charlotte receiving a beatdown at the hands of another heel, you’re maybe planting the seeds for a tweener turn for her a little down the line. We’ll see how many of these story threads actually play out, but for how much they hinted at, I have to commend how much they managed to pack into this bit.
The new Universal Champion, advocate in tow, came to celebrate his victory. Paul Heyman bragged about Brock’s victory over Goldberg last night. Paul wondered aloud about who the new challenger for Brock would be. He ran through some options, including Seth Rollins, or either of the Hardy brothers. Despite those options, Paul and Brock had their sights set on Roman Reigns, the only other man to have ever beaten The Undertaker at WrestleMania. The crowd was less than pleased with that, and instead chanted “We want Balor”, which made me laugh. My TV had some freezing problems at that exact moment, how odd. Paul called for Roman to come figure things out right away, but instead, Braun Strowman answered the call. Strowman said that Roman was busy with The Monster Among Men, and wouldn’t be available to work a program with Brock Lesnar just yet. Brock dared Strowman to take a shot at the champ then and there, but Strowman politely declined.
Like most of you reading this, I’m not thrilled with the idea of Roman vs Brock down the line. Like many of you, I’ve heard that that’s the planned WrestleMania main event next year. I think they have a pretty natural feud that Heyman hinted at well here. However, they can’t exactly feud for 12 months, can they? Can they? Can… Can they? I digress. Other challengers are going to be needed in the mean time, and I think Strowman would make for an interesting challenger in a few months. Hey, man’s little promo was nice, too. The crowd admittedly shat all over it, but it was a good promo.
Enzo and Cass vs Sheamus and Cesaro for the #1 Contendership
Enzo began the match against Cesaro. The Swiss Superman was just a bit too technically proficient for Enzo to handle, and both men tagged out to their respective big men. Sheamus was mostly beaten up before getting a scoop slam by Big Cass. Cass tossed Enzo into both opponents to the outside. After a commercial break, Cesaro and Sheamus both did damage to Enzo, keeping him isolated. Enzo hit a DDT onto Sheamus out of desperation, but Cesaro inserted himself into the match, locking Enzo into a sharpshooter. Big Cass broke things up, taking out both his opposition before officially tagging in. He hit three Stinger Splashes into the corner. They went for the Badda Boom Shakalaka, but Sheamus broke things up, tossing Enzo from the top rope into a Very European Uppercut, which won Cesaro and Sheamus the match.
Result: Cesaro and Sheamus win by pinfall
A fun enough match that ended with the right guys winning. I don’t really have much else to say, good or bad. Moving right along.
Sami Zayn vs Jinder Mahal
Mahal ambushed Zayn as he was making his way to the ring, throwing Zayn into the various apparatus at ringside. Apparti? What’s the plural form of that word? I don’t know. Mahal knocked Zayn down with a back elbow and a dropkick, which earned him a two count. After a brief rest hold, Mahal tossed Zayn into the floor with a mat slam. Zayn tried to fight back but got a knee to the face for his troubles. Zayn hit an exploder suplex into the corner, then hit the Helluva Kick for the victory. Jinder kicked out right after the three count, which really bothered me.
Result: Sami Zayn wins by pinfall
Utter nonsense. I don’t really know why these two were fighting, I don’t think it accomplished anything for either man, and I just don’t really know what this was. Here’s a random fact that you can do with as you please: Jinder Mahal was the runner-up to win the first ever NXT title. What the heck, right?
Seth Rollins and? vs Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe
Rollins was supposed to team with Chris Jericho here, but he was ambushed and injured by the heel team earlier in the night. Seth welcomed in his mystery tag partner: the returning Finn Balor, which got a huge pop.
Rollins began the match against Owens. Owens had little interest in grappling with Rollins, quickly turning the match into a brawl. Rollins missed on an attempt at a superkick, and Owens tagged in Joe, who teed off on Rollins with punches. Rollins tried to fire back, but didn’t last long. The heels worked over Rollins until he made the tag to Balor, who duked it out with Owens, trading awesome moves and fast-paced offense. After a dropkick on the outside, Rollins was once again the legal man, and he took out both heels by diving, then jumping, to the outside. Owens hit a DDT, which gave him enough space to make the tag to Joe. Joe once again traded hands with Rollins, before hitting the CCS Enzugiri, tagging back out afterwards. Owens hit a senton, then grounded Rollins with a chinlock. Both heels took turns doing various amounts of damage to Rollins for a long stretch. Rollins finally made the tag to Balor, who went on a tear, fending off both opponents. Balor hit the Sling Blade. Joe tried to get involved, but Rollins took care of that. Balor hit the Coup De Grace, picking up the victory in the process.
And that was RAW. Overall, I’d say that was a good show. Some new additions to the tag and women’s divisions are both welcome. Finn Balor is back after nine months away, which is cool. I think this was a good show. But, what do you think? Leave your comments below, or come tell me on Twitter @ejdupras_VVV. Subscribe to the site if you want to get; notified of all our newest articles, including this series. I hope you’ll all join me tomorrow, when I’ll be taking a look at the SDL after WrestleMania. It’ll be awesome, so I’ll see you then.
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