April 10, 2017
From the Nassau County Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole
Show starts with The Miz & Maryse coming out dressed as John Cena & Nikki Bella. They make fun of the Cena & Nikki relationship and how the engagement was a publicity stunt until Dean Ambrose comes out. Dean acts as if they were really Cena & Nikki then puts down Miz & Maryse until they reveal themselves. Dean then boots Miz and hits the Dirty Deeds. Really brief segment as we learn that some of Smackdown’s top talents are now on RAW.
The Revival vs. New Day will happen tonight.
Kurt Angle is on the phone and talks about something great. Sami Zayn comes in and rambles on about wanting to stay on RAW. Angle says there is a lot of interest in Zayn on Smackdown. Miz & Maryse interrupt and talk about the tyranny they dealt with on Smackdown as Miz tells Zayn to leave because he is not a Superstar. Zayn tells Miz to do something about that as Angle makes Zayn vs. Miz tonight. The annoying, goofy Zayn stuff is so bad it makes me want to change the channel but having him stick up for himself against the Miz was good and these two had a good match at Survivor Series so I am looking forward to it again.
Xavier Woods & Big E vs. The Revival
Big E brings out a blowup doll with dreads and a New Day shirt to take the place of Kofi Kingston, who is recuperating from ankle surgery. The New Day beat on Dash to start. Dawson provides a distraction so Dash can yank Xavier down by the hair as The Revival are in control heading into the break. The action returns with Dawson working a waistlock on the mat. Xavier tries to escape but Dawson hits a back suplex for a two count. Xavier comes back to knock Dawson down with a forearm then makes the tag as Big E runs wild on Dash. Dawson snaps Big E’s neck off of the ropes as Dash rolls him up for two. Big E hits a belly-to-belly then Xavier hits an elbow drop across of the ring for a nearfall. We get some more distraction stuff and the match turns into a mess then shove Big E out of the way and hit Xavier in midair with the Shatter Machine for the win (8:53) **.
Thoughts: They are putting over The Revival strong but man that got really ugly at the end and as a result the crowd stopped caring. I assume The New Day are going over to Smackdown now since they’ve put over The Revival twice.
Charly Caruso approaches Neville backstage and asks him about facing Austin Aries again. Neville says he has already proven Aries is not on the “Neville Level” when TJ Perkins interrupts. Neville tells Perkins to look at what he has become and realize his career has become a joke. He also tells Perkins he has been overlooked on “205 Live” and accuses Aries of stealing his opportunities. Aries comes over, holding a banana, and tells Perkins that Neville is lying but Neville tells Perkins there is only one man who can provide championship opportunities then leaves. Aries asks Perkins if he believes Neville but Perkins walks away. Neville is trying to pit Perkins against Aries now. Perkins is much better as a heel if they go that route anyway so I’m all for that if its the route they choose. The segment was fine overall.
Curt Hawkins is in the ring to tell us he is back on RAW, calling it the greatest gift since the Louisiana Purchase and wants a party but the Big Show interrupts. Show stares Hawkins down then Hawkins goes over for a hug but gets punched in the face. Show then heads up the ramp as Cole wonders if he will be going to Smackdown. Thrilling segment…
Austin Aries vs. TJ Perkins
Neville is on commentary as Cole mentions he will defend the Cruiserweight Title against Aries at Payback. These two shake each other’s fingers to start the match as Cole calls out Neville for lying to Perkins to benefit himself. These two go back-and-forth to start then Perkins gets cocky after a few takedowns as we hear several boos from the crowd. Aries comes back then poses by laying on the ropes and mocks Perkins. Aries hits a slingshot senton and gets two with an elbow drop to the back. Perkins comes back with a spin kick then starts mocking Aries some more but misses a slingshot dropkick and gets hit with a bell clap before Aries takes him off the apron with a neckbreaker. Aries flies out and hits Perkins then celebrates with the fans by standing on the barricade. Neville then heads up the ramp and distracts Aries, who almost gets counted out. Aries yells at the ref for some reason then Perkins rolls him up for the win (4:37) *1/2. After the match, Neville distracts Aries and Perkins attacks Aries from behind and lays him out. Neville then laughs and leaves as Perkins is on the ramp as the crowd chants “you still suck” at him.
Thoughts: The finish made everyone involved look like a moron but a Perkins heel turn is for the best. The crowd pretty much shit all over this match for the most part too, sadly, as the Cruiserweights are not over in Long Island.
Seth Rollins comes out to the ring. He talks about his physical pain but how he is emotionally and mentally at peace from wrestling at WrestleMania and thanks the crowd for helping him defeat Triple H. The crowd starts a chant for Seth, who thanks the crowd for giving him a second chance and promises them they are all just getting started on RAW and has scores to settle, like with Samoa Joe for example. However, he might not get his shot at the WWE Universal Title as we see Stephanie McMahon go through a table at WrestleMania, which got a “thank you, Seth” chant. Seth says eventually Stephanie will come back to work and will be reminded of her failure so he should accept this and take the easy way by going to Smackdown Live. However, he took the easy way out once before and will not do it again and there better be an army to drag him out as he’s not leaving RAW without a fight if he is getting shipped to Smackdown. Angle comes out and says Stephanie wants him gone but was impressed by Seth for going out and being the one-legged main that won the ass kicking contest, even comparing it to winning a gold medal with a broken neck. Angle said his agenda is to put on the best show possible and that is with Seth being part of RAW. Angle leaves then Samoa Joe attacks Seth from behind. Angle runs back into the ring and sees them fight as Seth clears Joe from the ring as they continue to yell at each other.
The crowd was really into Seth here and he had a good promo. Angle also gave Rollins his seal of approval as we seem to be getting Joe vs. Rollins at Payback.
Charly welcomes Kevin Owens backstage. Owens feigns excitement over the arrival of new stars to RAW as he does not care because the cream rises to the top and she should ask Jericho how he feels but cannot as Jericho is at home after getting powerbombed through a table last week. Owens is asked about Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose as Owens says Ambrose better realize he is the premiere champion on RAW and that this is the Kevin Owens show. Owens cut a good promo here too and with Dean on RAW, I expect Owens could be Smackdown bound.
Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax
Nia yanks Charlotte down on the mat to start. She continues to overpower Charlotte and ends up running her over. Nia then drops Charlotte right on the top of her head attempting a shoulderbreaker as the ref looks at her for a bit. Nia drops an elbow and puts on a Cobra Clutch. Nia tosses Charlotte down then Charlotte tries to fight back. They mess up a rollup spot then Charlotte uses a chop block and hits the Natural Selection for two. Charlotte shoves Nia into the post and flies out with a moonsault as Charlotte’s foot hit Nia in the head. Nia just beats the ten count but gets booted in the face. Nia shoves Charlotte off during a figure four attempt then shortly after that hits a Samoan Drop for the win (5:59) DUD.
Thoughts: Good lord was this terrible. Nia was horrendous in this match and could have seriously injured Charlotte here. I assume Charlotte goes over to Smackdown now as a result of this loss but with the rules of the “Superstar Shakeup” not being explained, who knows.
We get a video package on Finn Balor to hype his first singles match since returning from injury. Cole hopes they do not lose him to Smackdown.
Jinder Mahal vs. Finn Balor
Mahal pie-faces Balor after a break. Balor rolls through a sunset flip and hits a basement dropkick. Mahal fights back and stomps away then stretches out Balor for a bit. He knocks Balor down with a forearm smash but Balor fights back. He sends Mahal into the corner with a shotgun dropkick then hits the Coup de Grace for the win (2:46) *.
Thoughts: Personally, I thought Mahal got in too much offense here but at the end it didn’t matter much. The crowd was into Balor more than most on this show.
After the match, Bray Wyatt appears on the screen and tells Balor he is watching him and now a part of RAW. Looks like we are getting a Wyatt vs. Balor feud now.
We get a flashback from earlier when Dean Ambrose hit The Miz with a DDT.
The Miz w/ Maryse vs. Sami Zayn
Zayn takes Miz down with a few arm drags as Miz retreats outside. Miz uses Maryse as a shield to prevent Zayn from hitting a dive as we head to break. We return with Miz working a chinlock. He hits a backbreaker/neckbreaker combo for a nearfall then places Zayn up top and mocks the ole chants but Zayn knocks Miz off. Zayn rolls through a dive but Miz kicks him low and hits a DDT for two. Miz then does the Daniel Bryan kicks but Zayn ducks the final kick and hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Maryse pulls Miz outside to avoid the Helluva Kick then grabs on to Zayn’s leg as he chased Miz back inside. Miz srts up for the Skull Crushing Finale but Zayn turns that into a victory roll and gets the win (7:36) **1/2.
Thoughts: Decent match. The crowd popped for the win and if Zayn stays and feuds with Miz, then I approve but it was not a great RAW return for Miz tonight.
We now learn that Dean Ambrose will face Kevin Owens in a Champion vs. Champion match tonight.
Michael Cole’s sitdown interview with Roman Reigns is next. Cole asks Reigns if he feels responsible for ending Undertaker’s career. Reigns says he felt a lot of things and while the biggest win of his career, it was bittersweet. Reigns says he did set out to accomplish what he said and that is being the Big Dog but Braun Strowman attacks and tosses Reigns around. He beats the crap out of Reigns and powerslams him on an equipment case as several security members and referees beg him to stop. Braun finally leaves as the EMT’s come and load up Reigns on a stretcher as we hear all sorts of anti-Reigns chants from the crowd. Braun then takes the stretcher and wheels Reigns off of the platform and leaves as we hear cheers from the crowd. Braun is not done though as he manages to tip over the ambulance as the crowd is cheering.
Just an incredible segment. Braun’s beatdown was crazy and the fans were going nuts for him. If Reigns was over as a face with this crowd it would have gotten Strowman major heel heat but they were solidly behind Strowman here. If the company was daring, they’d use this to start a heel turn for Reigns but its just going to lead to him beating Strowman at Payback, which would be awesome if Reigns was really over with the crowds. Anyway, this is the craziest backstage beatdown I’ve ever seen and everyone should watch this.
Shining Stars & Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Cesaro & Sheamus & Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy
We see The Drifter on the ramp as Cole tells us the Hardy Boyz will defend the Tag Team Titles at Payback against Cesaro & Sheamus, who work over Anderson as we head to break. The action returns with Gallows beating on Cesaro. The match breaks down a bit then Cesaro makes the tag as Matt runs wild on Epico as the crowd chants “delete.” The match breaks down again as Jeff flies out with Poetry in Motion then Matt hits Epico with the Twist of Fate and Jeff finishes him off with the Swanton (7:48) *1/2.
Thoughts: Not much to this at all as a good chunk of the action took place during the break. I would not be shocked at all to see either one of the losing teams switch brands.
Backstage, Dana Brooke is shown reading a book on how to be her own protege. Emma comes in and says “lets go” but Dana does not bite. Emma says if not for her, Dana would have been on RAW and tells her to follow. Dana tells Emma that was last year and since her identity crisis, the entire women’s division has gotten better and since then she has been trying to improve and is now on her own. Dana leaves as Emma is pissed. Not a bad segment as Dana is standing up for herself now and will have a feud with her former friend.
Sasha Banks heads out to the ring. After saying she is out for unfinished business then welcomes her friend, Bayley, who comes out and has fun with the fans. Sasha plays along with her for a bit then Bayley thanks the fans for being with her since debuting in NXT. She talks about her WrestleMania moment coming through as Sasha says the show did not go as planned for her and that its over. She is about to ask Bayley for a title shot but Alexa Bliss comes out to a huge pop. Alexa mocks them both and tells the fans to be quiet as she calls out their “sideshow” as being pathetic and says she has arrived to RAW, as the fans cheer but now Mickie James comes out. Mickie says she is back on RAW and tells Alexa her nightmare has just begun but Nia runs her over from behind then gets into the ring. Alexa pushes Sasha into Nia then bails as Nia takes out her and Bayley and says the Championship is hers before leaving. Nia stares down Alexa on the ramp then leaves as Alexa smirks while looking into the ring.
Interesting segment. At least the current RAW Women’s Division has been reset as its been awful recently. Hell, Alexa was cheered way more than the top two faces in Bayley and Sasha. With Charlotte not present here, I’m sure it means she will be on Smackdown and someone else will join her. Seems like they are trying to push Nia as a monster but she had a disastrous night tonight and did not get over here although a tease of a Nia/Alexa alliance could be interesting.
Replay of Braun destroying Reigns. Cole lets us know that Reigns has suffered cracked ribs and potentially separated his shoulder as Braun was removed from the building.
Champion vs. Champion Match: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
Owens attacks Ambrose to start but Ambrose fights back. Owens bails after avoiding a Dirty Deeds then they fight outside as Ambrose rams him into the barricade. Ambrose flies out with a pescado right before the break and we return with Owens now in control back in the ring. Ambrose misses a charge and hits the post then Owens runs across the apron and kicks him before working a chinlock on the mat. He sends Ambrose outside then tosses him into the post. Ambrose just beats the ten count as Owens inflicts more punishment but is still unable to put Ambrose away. Ambrose low bridges Owens then flies out with a tope and ends up in the front row. Back inside, Ambrose runs wild then heads up top but Owens rolls outside so Ambrose flies out with an elbow smash. Back inside, Owens takes over after hitting Ambrose in midair and almost puts him away with a package release powerbomb. They have a reversal sequence and that ends with Ambrose hitting the Dirty Deeds for the win (14:12) **1/2. After the match, Jericho comes out and stares down Owens and runs in and hits The Codebreaker to end the show.
Thoughts: The match was alright but never really got out of first gear until the final minute or so. With Owens eating the pin and getting laid out after that, I would not be shocked to see him switch brands.
Final Thoughts: Overall, not the most exciting show. It had its moments and what they do going forward is what’s important but the fact the rules of the “Superstar Shakeup” were not explained did seem to effect the show and most of the reactions to the talent changes.
They tried to make Nia Jax into an unstoppable monster and that hit a roadblock due to a poor performance. They did set up some new feuds and continued existing ones but I was not all that excited about the future of RAW when this show ended.
It will be interesting to see Angle’s role going forward as he was only in a few segments tonight. That and where they go with the Strowman/Reigns feud because after tonight I expect Strowman to get cheered loudly next week and probably going forward too as it was the most insane beatdown I’ve ever seen. The company is going to make Braun there most popular wrestler at this rate. And Reigns got a “you deserve it” chant while getting destroyed.
Tomorrow night is also key as more stars will be switching brands and who knows if the rumor of AJ Styles coming to RAW will come true or not but Smackdown lost a lot of depth tonight and will need some help.