April 3, 2017
From the Amway Center in Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole
We get a video package containing still photos from last night’s Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker match. It ends with photos of fans acting shocked and sad at what is likely the Undertaker’s last match.
The live show starts off with the crowd chanting “Undertaker” and that last for about two straight minutes. Near the end they starting mixing in some “Roman Sucks” chants. Roman Reigns comes out to a chorus of boos as Cole calls this one of the most incredible opening moments of RAW and the crowd is booing due to the speculation that last night was the Undertaker’s final match. A loud “delete” chant breaks out as Reigns paces around the ring happens too followed by more derogatory chants. Reigns smirks and after “go away” chants, Reigns declared this has his yard now and dropped the mic before leaving as he gets booed out of the building.
That was quite the segment. It lasted for ten minutes as the crowd was chanting all sorts of nasty stuff at Reigns, who smirked and took it in stride before saying this is his yard then dropped the mic. Truthfully, I thought it was great and something that could only happen on a show like this.
RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Hardy Boyz (c)
Loud “delete” chants. The Hardys work over Anderson to start. Matt hits the Side Effect for two but Anderson blocks a Twist of Fate before getting dumped outside. Matt takes Gallows off of the apron as we head to break. The match returns with Matt trying to fight out of the opposing corner but gets hit with a double suplex. Gallows & Anderson cut off the ring as we get a “F*** that owl” chant from the crowd. More chants from the crowd as Matt tries to fight back but Gallows kicks him in the face. Matt rolls away from an elbow drop and makes the tag as Jeff runs wild on Gallows. Jeff follows Gallows outside and hits the Poetry in Motion off of the steps. Anderson distracts Jeff as he was on top and Gallows cuts him off. Jeff is just able to kick out of the Boot of Doom then Matt breaks up a Magic Killer attempt. Jeff hit Gallows with a Twist of Fate then Matt hits Gallows with a Twist of Fate and gets the pin after Jeff hits the Swanton (10:32) **1/2.
Thoughts: Solid match. The crowd was into the Hardy Boyz and chanted all sorts of stuff as they retain the titles. Seems like Gallows & Anderson will be out of the title picture now though as they need a new team for the Hardy Boyz to feud with at the moment.
Tonight, Brock Lesnar will be here and Chris Jericho & Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe & Kevin Owens
Back from break as Neville is in the ring. He tells us last night he did everything he said he would and calls Austin Aries a better talker than a fighter. He tells the crowd they might not respect him but they cannot deny his results and will have a proper celebration tomorrow on “205 Live” but tonight, he will show us how great he is then is cut off by Mustafa Ali’s entrance.
Neville vs. Mustafa Ali
Neville shoves Ali before the bell then they fight over a lockup. After trying to one-up each other, Ali snaps off a hurricarana then hits a plancha to the outside. Neville comes back and pancakes Ali inside of the ring then tosses him out as we head to break. Neville works a headlock on the mat when we return as the crowd is chanting about beach balls. Ali hits a dropkick then sidesteps a charge as the crowd is looking at something else going on besides the match. Ali gets two with a neckbreaker but Neville fights back as you can see a beachball going around in the background of the crowd. Neville turns Ali inside-out with a clothesline as another “beach ball mania” chant happens. Ali hits a springboard Spanish Fly as the crowd would rather chant about beach balls. Neville kicks Ali down but misses a running dropkick. Ali comes back with an inverted hurricarana then spikes Neville with a DDT for a nearfall. Ali heads up top but Neville rolls away from the inverted 450 splash then teases the Red Arrow before jumping off and putting Ali away with the Rings of Saturn (10:27) ***.
Thoughts: This was a good match but the crowd did not care whatsoever as the main focus was on the beachballs in the crowd. Both guys deserve credit for trying to bring this crowd back and Ali had a great showing but the fans in attendance did not take notice.
Backstage, Vince McMahon steps out of a limo as Cole wants to know why he is here as we head to commercial.
We return to the show as Vince McMahon heads down to the ring. He gets cheers then a “Roman Sucks” chant breaks out as he jokes about them telling him how they really feel. Vince then takes time out for thanking the fans for their passion and making the WWE the Ultimate Thrill Ride. He then talks about “shaking things up” next week and shows us the footage from the Seth Rollins vs. HHH match where HHH accidentally knocked Stephanie McMahon off of the apron and through a table. Vince calls the crowd “insensitive” after they cheered the news of Stephanie being out of action for a while. However, the show must go on and since there is no longer a general manager, its time to name a new one and he is someone who was just inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Teddy Long’s music hits and he comes out dancing as Vince yells for his music to be hit and tells him he is not the new GM. Teddy says “my bad” then does his “holla” bit and leaves before Vince brings out Kurt Angle as the crowd goes nuts. Angle tells the crowd it is great to be back on Monday Night RAW then soaks up the cheers.
Another fun segment. Its great to have Angle back as a part of WWE programming and he seemed touched by the reaction he received. The “Superstar Shakeup” means guys will be switching brands but we did not learn how it will occur.
The New Day come out to the ring. They talk about having a great night and time at WrestleMania but were a little sad they did not get a chance to wrestle last night. They issue an open challenge for someone to face them and we get the debut of The Revival as they boot over the New Day’s Ice Cream bike.
New Day vs. The Revival
Woods and Dawson start things off. The Revival work over Woods, who comes back to hit Dash with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Dawson makes a blind tag and hits an armbreaker as Woods had Dash in a reverse rollup then we go to break. The action returns with Dawson hitting Woods with a clothesline for a nearfall. The Revival cut off the ring as they focus on the arm. Woods fights out Dash’s superplex attempt then hits a missile dropkickk as both men are down. Dawson tags but Woods crawls under his legs and tags out as Big E runs wild. He clotheslines Dash over the top rope but misses the apron spear. Woods fights off both men then tries a rolling clothesline but gets caught with the Shatter Machine as The Revival score a win in their debut (8:02) **1/2. After the match, The Revival beat on Kofi and hurt his ankle
Thoughts: The match itself was fine but they did a great job establishing The Revival as a threat here as they won cleanly and took out the entire New Day too. The team is a welcome addition to the main roster. I also found it odd how the New Day did not appear to over in this match.
Angle is unpacking his belongings as Enzo Amore & Big Cass introduce themselves. They do their routine as Angle takes what they said literally. Enzo & Cass talk about wanting gold around their waists then Angle puts them in a #1 contender’s match against Cesaro & Sheamus. Cass then spells out SAWFT as Angle laughs and says that’s not how you spell that and shakes his head after they walked away. One thing is for certain here and that is Angle still has his comedic timing.
Bayley & Dana Brooke & Sasha Banks vs. Emma & Nia Jax & Charlotte Flair
Emma’s entrance here was just great as she stood on the announcers table and moved around before hopping around and yelling how its about her at Saxton. Emma tags herself in as Charlotte taunted Dana. She roughs up Dana as the crowd sings at Bayley. Emma points at Bayley after kicking Dana in the face and says she wants her as Bayley does tag into the match. Emma works the arm but Bayley fights back. Charlotte provides a distraction as Emma attacks Bayley from behind and we go to commercial. The action returns with Nia beating on Bayley. Emma pulls Bayley’s hair as she was in the tree-of-woe as Bayley remains in trouble. Bayley almost escapes But Charlotte yanks Sasha off of the apron. Charlotte taunts Sasha, who ends up making a blind tag, and hits Charlotte with a meteora. Sasha gets two with a knee drop after Emma makes a save then the match breaks down with Charlotte and Sasha left inside as Sasha counters a Natural Selection with the Banks Statement and gets the win (9:08) **1/4. After the match, Charlotte shoves her partners until Nia beats her down in the corner. Emma bails as Nia drops an elbow then leaves and gets some cheers.
Thoughts: This was all action for the most part, even if it was rough at times. Emma was great here and got her character over. It looks like we are getting a Charlotte vs. Nia feud too.
Sami Zayn is with Angle and said he had a great relationship with Mick Foley and wants to have the same relationship with him then rambles on about possibly going to Smackdown due to the shakeup next week. Angle tells Zayn he has the three “I’s” then Jinder Mahal interrupts as he is pissed off over Rob Gronkowski costing him the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Sami tries to talk to Angle again and Jinder gets pissed and they bicker until Angle puts them in a match for tonight. If they are trying to get Zayn over as an underdog underface then they need to stop making him also appear like an annoying, mumbling idiot. Its ineffective and does not want to make you get behind the guy.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar are out next. Heyman tells us a bedtime story about how Lesnar countered the superhero Bill Goldberg. The crowd cheers when Heyman tells them Goldberg will not be seen around here anymore. Heyman then said Lesnar is looking for new challenges and challengers then names off Seth Rollins and the Hardy Boyz as potential foes. Heyman then mentions the two in “23-2” and history determines those two meet to find out whose yard this is as the crowd boos at the mention of Reigns. The crowd chants how they want Finn Balor as Heyman talks about having a match right now but Braun Strowman interrupts. He stares down Lesnar and says he will turn his attention on him after taking care of Reigns and after that Lesnar will have his attention then shoves him. Lesnar lays the title down on the mat and they have a staredown but Strowman leaves and says they will do this on his time as the segment ends.
It looks like we are getting a Strowman vs. Lesnar match in the future. The crowd was hot for this segment and chanting for Strowman and it was effective in teasing a match between the two. I, for one, am quite excited for that.
Backstage, Charly Caruso is with Chris Jericho and asks him about his tag team match tonight. Jericho says this is his most favorite night of the year and mentions how beachball mania is running wild as the crowd goes nuts as he calls this crowd the “Friends of Jericho.” Jericho then puts the tip of Kevin Owens’ finger on the list but Owens attacks him. They brawl then Samoa Joe makes it 2 vs. 1 and Owens ends this by putting Jericho through a table with a powerbomb. Good segment and a nice way to write Jericho off of the show.
After the break, Angle walks out of the trainer’s room. Seth Rollins wants to know how Jericho is doing as Angle says he’s in no condition to compete but the match is on and that he will find him a partner.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
Enzo is sporting retro Orlando Magic overalls. Cesaro overpowers Enzo to start. Sheamus and Cass tag in and go back-and-forth for a bit until Cass takes control. Both Cesaro & Sheamus get dumped outside as Cass launches Enzo at them right before the break. The match returns with Sheamus putting Enzo in a chinlock. Cesaro tags and gets two with a double stomp as the crowd is singing about Cesaro & Sheamus. Enzo avoids a charge in the corner then sidesteps a charge by Cesaro. Sheamus dropkicks Cass to the floor then picks up Enzo who turns it into a DDT. Enzo tries to make a tag but no one is there then Cesaro puts him in the swing. Cass breaks up a sharpshooter with a boot to the face then he boots Sheamus. Enzo makes the tag as the crowd is booing Cass, who hits Cesaro with a side slam then an Empire Elbow. They set up for the Bada Boom Shakalaka but Sheamus nails Cass with a Brogue Kick then tosses Enzo off the top as Cesaro hits an uppercut in midair and they get the win (9:35) **. After the match, Cesaro & Sheamus have some fun and dance around.
Thoughts: The match wasnt great and Cass was getting loudly booed after running wild off of the hot tag. Now, we get Hardy Boyz vs. Sheamus & Cesaro for the RAW Tag Team Titles. I wouldnt use this crowd as a way to measure things but the reactions for Enzo & Cass have been decreasing over the past month.
Jinder Mahal vs. Sami Zayn
Mahal knocks Zayn off of the apron before the bell rings then roughs him up outside of the ring. He finally rolls Zayn back inside and the ref rings the bell as Mahal stays on the attack. He gets two off of a knee drop then follows with a high knee. Zayn comes back with an Exploder in the corner then follows with the Helluva Kick for the win (2:00) 1/2*.
Thoughts: Not much of a match and just an excuse to give Zayn a win. No one takes Jinder seriously and besides singing along to Sami’s theme, this had no heat.
Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins & Finn Balor
Rollins works the arm of Owens as Cole notes how interesting it is for Balor to team with the man who put him out of action and caused him to relinquish the Universal Title. They end in a stalemate then Joe tags and beats on Rollins in the corner. Owens is back in and beats on Rollins before taunting Balor. Rollins fights back and tags Balor as the crowd cheers. Balor hits Owens with basement dropkick after rolling through a sunset flip. Owens bails then Balor runs out and hits a shotgun dropkick as the crowd cheers. Back inside, Rollins tags as Owens bails again but Rollins takes him out with a tope then takes out both opponents with a tope con hilo but comes up limping. Back inside, Owens catches a kick and kicks Rollins bad knee. He gets two off of a DDT then tags out as Joe hammers away in the corner. Joe gets two with an enziguiri then Owens tags and mocks Balor with the too sweet gesture. A “stupid idiot” chant breaks out as Owens beats on Rollins. Joe is back in and finally starts attacking the knee but Joe prevents a tag and hits a kneebreaker. Rollins fights out of a Coquina Clutch and hits an enziguiri as both men are down. They tag out as Balor runs wild on Owens. He takes Joe down with a soccer kick from the apron but Owens avoids the Coup de Grace and hits a Samoan Drop for two. The match breaks down as Rollins takes Joe down with a springboard knee smash but eats a super kick from Owens. Balor then sends Owens into the corner with a shotgun dropkick then puts him away with the Coup de Grace (12:08) ***. After the match, Rollins and Balor stare each other down then Rollins raises Balor’s hand then Balor celebrates as the show ends.
Thoughts: The match was good but nothing I would consider great. Balor coming back and getting a win was key but the story here with Rollins’ knee was all over the place as it was ignored in the middle of the match. Anyway, it will be interesting to see where these guys end up and what feuds are planned after next week’s “shakeup.”
Final Thoughts: Overall, a really fun show. Kurt Angle returns to the company as a GM, Finn Balor is back in action and The Revival made their main roster debut. Plus we got the news about a roster shakeup next week that we can hopefully get some details about soon. Nothing here was bad and I am intrigued to see what roster moves will be made and the storylines that will follow.