by Amanda Why
It’s time for the RAW after WrestleMania, and what a WrestleMania it was. If you didn’t catch the seven hours of sports entertainment action, be sure to check out the SteelChair WrestleMania Review to get caught up. The preview for tonight’s show is barely worthy of the name, but it’s WrestleMania Monday, so anything goes.
I’m Amanda, and I’ll be taking you through the highs and lows of the RAW after WrestleMania.
The Opening Segment
Stephanie McMahon hobbled out to the ring to chants of ‘you tapped out’. She started by insulting the crowd and telling them she expected some compassion. She told them she was amazing last night, she deserves the crowd’s accolades, and she made Rousey look good. Then she brought out Ronda Rousey.
McMahon told Rousey that the better woman won last night, she got beaten by the best in the world. She threw a load of other flattery at her, then started talking about what a team they could make if she got behind Rousey. When she thought the deal was done and Rousey was with her, she asked the crowd to give it up for her ‘friend’ Ronda Rousey.
They hugged, then Rousey slapped an armbar on until McMahon tapped. Rousey left, and McMahon was helped to the back by medics. As she was leaving, to singing from the crowd, the announcer asked for some respect to be shown to Stephanie McMahon and the crowd booed her out of the building.
The Other Stuff
– The much-anticipated Superstar shake-up is next week. It will run over Monday and Tuesday night.
— WWE (@WWE) April 10, 2018
– Nia Jax came out with the title, to ‘you deserve it’ chants ahead of her match against Alexa Bliss and Mickie James. Bliss tried to call Nia Jax a bully who likes to throw her weight around (with accompanying fat jokes). The crowd showed what they thought of Bliss as she told everyone she lost the title because she was distraught about Jax beating up James. She said Jax must have loved every minute because she’s cold as ice. Everyone knows it, that’s why she doesn’t have a partner. Nia Jax told her to shut up. She the new RAW Women’s Champion, and she does have a partner – Ember Moon. First debut of the night.
– Nia Jax and Ember Moon vs Alexa Bliss and Mickie James – Nia Jax started things off, against James, so Ember Moon could get the big pop for tagging in, which she did. Fun, but very short, match. Mickie James took most of the punishment from Jax and Moon, although Bliss was in the ring long enough to take a headbutt from Nia Jax. Bliss came back in, took all of Moon’s biggest moves then took the Eclipse.
– Braun Strowman and Nicholas appeared in Kurt Angle’s office. Strowman relinquished the tag titles because Nicholas has a scheduling conflict because he’s still in 4th grade.
– No Way Jose made his RAW debut, complete with a conga line, in a squash match. His opponent was John Skyler. Jose won with the wind-up knock-out punch then led the conga line back out.
– The Bar asked Kurt Angle when he was going to give them their titles back. He said he wasn’t handing them back, they lost to a ten-year-old. They’ll get their rematch in Saudi Arabia, at the Greatest Royal Rumble event, against one of four teams from the Tag Team Eliminator – two matches tonight, winners meet next week.
– Backlash is confirmed as a dual-branded PPV.
– Gallows and Anderson vs The Revival – Tag Team Eliminator match – winner goes through to next week. Good match. Another short one, but there’s a lot to get through tonight. These two teams could have a great rivalry. The Revival won with the Shatter Machine and go through to next week.
– Make a Wish donation appeal with John Cena
– Seth Rollins came out to talk about how happy he is to be a champion again and showed some appreciation for the fans – who seem to love him. The Intercontinental Championship win secured the Grand Slam for him and he got the crowd chanting, ‘Grand Slam Rollins’. He mentioned he’s the last Shield member to complete the accolade. He was saying how special it was to win at WrestleMania when Finn Balor interrupted him. Balor said he had to get something off his chest, congratulated him and set the crowd off with the, ‘you deserve it’, chants again. He said Rollins was the better man last night, but it was a triple-threat and he didn’t pin him. He wants to be the first person to challenge Rollins for the title. Rollins agreed, and that brought out The Miz and his lackeys.
Miz said a load of stuff about how he made the title important, and how he’s a changed man. Lots of stuff about his kid and how him losing made her cry (she’s two weeks old, that’s what they do), which made Maryse cry (hormones), which made him cry (no excuse). Rollins said everyone else cries when they have to watch Miz wrestle. Miz is invoking his rematch clause at Backlash. But if they want a match they can have Rollins and Balor vs Miz and The Miztourage. Rollins and Balor prepared but before the match could start – Jeff Hardy returned. With the numbers evened up, Miz and The Miztourage left the ring. The match will happen later.
– Mandy Rose vs Sasha Banks – Before the match could start, Bayley came out. She did her entrance, then stood by Banks’ corner. Banks was clearly unsure of Bayley’s motives, but the crowd were happy to see her. Sasha Banks distracted herself showing off to Bayley, and Mandy Rose made her pay. Bayley was involved again when Mandy Rose shoved her then ducked her retaliation so Bayley accidentally forearmed Banks, they argued, then Banks got back in the ring where Mandy Rose kneed her in the head and pinned her.
– After the match, everyone left Paige in the ring. She confirmed that her neck injuries mean she can no longer compete as an in-ring competitor. She struggled against tears as the crowd chanted ‘thank you Paige’, then gave a speech thanking every one of the women’s division, her family, Daniel Bryan – for giving her hope, and Edge – for showing he for life outside the ring. Finally she thanked WWE for letting her do what she loves. She debuted and won the title in New Orleans, now she’s retiring here. She thanked the fans, the crowd chanted, ‘thank you Paige’, and ‘this is your house’. She said, this will always be my house, then put her t-shirt on the mat and left the ring for the last time.
– Elias was having fun with his guitar, berating the crowd, despite them getting into the Walk With Elias, and bigging himself up, when he was interrupted by another return – Bobby Lashley. Lashley made short work of Elias, holding him upside down for a ridiculously long time before dropping him, to seal his WWE return.
– Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens turned up in Kurt Angle’s office in suits, asking for jobs. Angle told them the tag division is full, but he heard TNA are hiring. They said they’re not a tag team, he didn’t even have to hire both of them, and squabbled about selling each other out. Angle said he has one spot open on the RAW roster, and they can wrestle each other for it tonight.
– Authors of Pain vs Heath Slater and Rhyno – Another debut from NXT for Authors of Pain. Heath Slater and Rhyno issued an open challenge, and Authors of Pain, with Paul Ellering, is what they got. Squash length match finished by the Last Chapter. On the way out, Akam and Rezar dispensed with the services of Paul Ellering, but stopping him following them up the ramp. Guess Ellering didn’t fancy the main roster schedule.
– Roman Reigns came out to seismic boos, with his hair scraped back to show off the staples at his hairline. He said, ‘as you can see, I got my ass kicked last night, but I’m here tonight and Brock Lesnar isn’t. He’s still not sure what happened last night, but everything felt off, and Vince McMahon couldn’t look him in the eye. He didn’t know Lesnar had re-signed, or about the cage match in Saudi Arabia, but he know that if they keep putting him in matches with Lesnar, the story will end with him becoming the Universal Champion.
Samoa Joe came to the stage (another return). He went on a long diatribe about Roman Reigns. Lesnar didn’t just beat him, he exposed him. He’s a failure and a liar. He can’t face the fact Lesnar keeps destroying him. But Joe is there to say that after Lesnar has finished ragdolling Reigns across the cage, Joe will be waiting for Reigns at Backlash.
– Titus Worldwide vs Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt – Tag Team Eliminator match – Hardy and Wyatt are a thing now, and I’m not sure what to make of it. They worked pretty well together here though, so we’ll see how it goes. Fairly uneventful match. Hardy and Wyatt won, and go through to next week to face The Revival.
– Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens – Winner gets a job – I guess they wanted to give the WrestleMania Monday crowd something special. Owens vs Zayn is always special. This was no exception. They didn’t hold anything back. In fact, they beat each other so badly over the course of the match that they couldn’t answer the ref’s ten-count. Because neither man made it to his feet the match was declared a no contest, neither of them gets the job.
– Backstage segment with Jeff Hardy on his way to the ring with Rollins and Balor. They ran into Matt Hardy. The brothers had an exchange in the ‘woken’ vernacular then Bray Wyatt hugged Jeff Hardy, and called him Brother Nero. As they walked away Balor and Rollins asked Jeff Hardy what that was all about, he just shrugged.
The Final Segment – The Miz and The Miztourage vs Seth Rollins, Finn Balor and Jeff Hardy
This counts as finishing on a high note. It was a really good match. All the big moves were hit. Seth Rollins delivered a couple of suicide dives, there were slingblades all round, and Jeff Hardy got the Whisper in the Wind. Hardy looked great in the match, good to see he’s apparently fully recovered.
Rollins, Balor and Hardy didn’t have it all their own way. There were a few moments where Balor was desperate for a tag. But it was mainly a fun display of the good stuff and everyone had a lovely time. Everyone except Miz and The Miztourage anyway.
Seth Rollins got the pin on Miz, for the second night running, with the Stomp.
The fun didn’t stop after the match was over. Bo Dallas took a Twist of Fate, Coup de Grace, and Swanton, and a Stomp, then Curtis Axel took a superkick, Coup de Grace, Swanton, and Stomp. Excellent finish to an excellent RAW.
What an eventful episode of RAW. Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy are back from injury. Bobby Lashley is back in WWE. Ember Moon, No Way Jose, and Authors of Pain have come up from NXT. The RAW tag titles are vacant. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are unemployed. And Paige has officially retired. WrestleMania may be over, but we have the superstar shake-up, the Greatest Royal Rumble, and Backlash to look forward to. It’s going to be a busy few weeks.