April 8 2019
Hey, here we go. RAW after WrestleMania. It’s usually a laugh so here we go. If I run into something I’m not interested I am going to skip it. They have a tendency to put on very skippable stuff on RAW and the show is three hours. Plus I have about 13 shows left to review.
Promo Time: Seth Rollins
The new Universal champ is out here to address his people. He’s all like “fuck Brock Lesnar, that part-time bitch is gone baby”. Or words to that effect. Kofi Kingston turns up and they agree to meet in tonight’s main event.
Title vs. title; winner takes all! Holy shit! Low key best thing about this is Big E and Xavier Woods rocking out in the background when Seth’s music plays.
RAW Tag Team Championship
Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins (c) vs. The Revival
This is a re-match from yesterday’s Mania Kick-Off show. I enjoyed that less than most people because I wasn’t invested in Hawkins’ story. When WWE do these storyline bouts I tend to miss a lot of the context because I don’t watch their TV. Especially when they don’t do video packages. They have a good finish here with Ryder eating the Shatter Machine but Hawkins tags in blind and steals the pin. As with last night I thought this was fine.
Final Rating: **1/2
Promo Time: Baron Corbin
Big Breakfast points out that Angle chose him as a final opponent so screw you all. He’s interrupted by Kurt Angle. The Olympian is very civil. He wishes Corbin luck…”bad luck”. Olympic Slam! Anklelock!
Angle is celebrating when LARS SULLIVAN finally shows up on RAW. It makes me wonder if Lars was the original choice to wrestle Angle at Mania.
Anyway, he decimates Angle and roars a bit.
Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley
Alexa hasn’t wrestled for ages. Her last TV match was three months ago and before that it was September. She looks a little rusty but the character is still great. There’s a shady spot from Bayley where she holds the ropes on a pin. I have no idea what was going on there. Alexa beats her with a DDT.
Final Rating: *3/4
Promo Time: The Man
Becky Lynch is in the house with two belts.
She mentions working in a bar around here and how she’s come from nothing. She addresses Ronda Rousey and says when she’s done sulking she can come and have another go. Becky’s promos have gotten so much better now she’s just free to do what she wants. She has personality to burn.
Lacey takes a cheap shot and they end up brawling. I can’t wait to see how badly Lacey gets buried on Twitter by the Man.
Ricochet & Aleister Black vs. Chad Gable & Bobby Roode
I’m still not convinced by Ricochet & Black as a team as they’re both much better in singles but it’s helping them to get over. They’ll be in WWE for a while and establishing history, albeit in a team that doesn’t make sense, is good for them in the long run. Ricochet pins Gable here but a surly Roode doesn’t care for it.
Final Rating: **3/4
There’s a box. I don’t know how else to describe this segment. Then a lizard puppet emerges.
Bobby Lashley vs. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose is gone after tonight. Lashley promises to look after Dean’s wife when he’s gone. Dean has clearly fallen out of love with wrestling. If he can find what he’s looking for outside of WWE that’s great. If he feels the need to leave wrestling altogether then that’s fine too. Lashley puts him through the announce table here and that’ll do it. Renee Young looks worried.
Final Rating: NR (no match to speak of)
WWE IC Championship
Sami Zayn vs Finn Balor (c)
This is Sami’s comeback match. He’s been out injured since June 2018.
This is a tidy way back in for Sami. Match is solid. Sami misses the Helluva Kick and eats the Coup de Grace for the loss. The important part is Zayn’s post match interview.
Final Rating: ***
Post Match: Sami calls WWE a “toxic environment” and turns on the crowd blaming them for everything that’s wrong in wrestling. “You only get joy and satisfaction from being critics”. Sami turning the mirror on me here a little. It’s a good promo.
Video Control takes us backstage where Dana Brooke puts Becky Lynch on notice. The landscape has changed across both women’s divisions. While Charlotte and Asuka are firm favourites on Smackdown the RAW division is pretty open. Sasha Banks is the one with the obvious pedigree and they just took the tag belts off her but it could be anyone.
Promo Time: Elias
He’s mad that rappin’ John Cena ruined his WrestleMania. He’s promised a rock opera this evening but deviates to demonstrate how easy rap is.
“The next one to interrupt me is a dead man”. And it literally is! The Undertaker is here. It’s very weird they had Taker show up the night after WrestleMania seeing as Mania has been his thing for so long. It does work as a nice surprise for people doing Mania weekend. Instead of a random call up it’s a random nostalgia thing. Tombstone for Elias. “Ceremonial burial”. Yes, yes it is! That’s two in two days for poor Elias.
Seth Rollins vs. Kofi Kingston
This is “winner takes all”. Both titles on the line. They’re having a decent match but the Bar run in for the DQ and it turns into a tag match. Where’s that gif of Vince saying he listens to the fans?
Seth Rollins & Kofi Kingston vs. The Bar
I’m putting Seth’s name first because it’s his home show. It’s a decent match but no one in the crowd wants it. When you come out and promise a big match and then deliver a meaningless tag it rubs people up the wrong way. Curb Stomp puts Cesaro away. Goodnight everyone!
Final Rating: **
This was a strange show. I don’t like RAW at the best of times because it’s this massive space to fill on a weekly basis and creatively it’s not been enjoyable for a long time. The one after Mania at least tends to deliver a few wrinkles but here it was one debut, Lars who should have debuted months ago, and one nostalgia pop for the Undertaker. The rest of the show was entirely skippable, which is pretty much the norm. I don’t want to seem aggressively anti-WWE but I don’t think it’s unusual for RAW to be one of the worst shows on any given weekend so it probably shouldn’t surprise me that it was here.