What is there to say about WrestleMania 33 that hasn’t been said 100 times? It was a wild, wild night. But! As we all know, the show must go on, and tonight is the best Monday Night Raw episode every single year. It’s the Raw after Mania! Who will debut? Who will return? What wild nonsense will take place? Let’s find out! Here’s Mr. Monday Night Raw, Ryan Smith‘s take on the WrestleMania Fallout!
Monday Night Raw Review: WrestleMania Fallout
The show opened with a touching tribute to the Undertaker, which the fans chanted for the first five minutes of the show until eventually they were drained out by “Roman Sucks” chants. Then, in a heelish move, Roman Reigns‘ music hit and he came out to the biggest anti-pop I’ve ever heard.
Even with the boos muted, I couldn’t hear myself think. Reigns stalked around the ring with a microphone for several minutes while the crowd chanted things that were not PG. Reigns didn’t say a word until 8:13 because the crowd just booed and chanted and literally swore at him. Every time he raised the microphone, they booed.
He finally raised the microphone to his lips, said “This is my yard now”, and left. That was beautiful. That couldn’t have gone any better. Congrats on your first 11 woo segment, Mr. Reigns.
Segment/Match Quality- 11/10 Woo’s
The Club vs. The Hardy Boys
Whoa. Go back in time a year, say “Oh yeah, Matt and Jeff Hardy will defend their WWE tag team titles against Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows“. Let me know how hard they laugh at you. What a wild start to the Raw after Mania!
I’m not even gonna pretend I didn’t mark the hell out for the Hardy Boys. Raw’s tag team division went from dreadful to WONNNNNDERFULLL, yessssss. Sorry folks, get used to the BROKEN references.
Also, how great is it to see a fresh match-up? I don’t think I’ve ever seen this match-up before. And the Hardy’s have been gone so long that it’s true for every team on the roster. God bless it.
I’m still not sure if the Hardy’s are using their broken gimmick or not. My theory is that they will be, but for now they’re building into it. They can’t expect the casual audience to have been watching TNA or Ring of Honor. Kinda like how AJ Styles wasn’t with Gallows and Anderson at first.
There was a great spot where Gallows and Anderson tried to hit Magic Killer but Jeff reversed it into a Twist of Fate, then Matt hit a Twist of Fate, and then Jeff hit the Swanton Bomb for the win. Wow! So much fun.
Segment/Match Quality- 9/10 Woo’s
Neville vs. Mustafa Ali
The KANG of the Crrrruiserweights was out to brag about his WrestleMania when as we approached the top of the hour. He announced that there would be a proper celebration tomorrow night on 205 Live, and Mustafa Ali interrupted him before their match.
Ali is a ton of fun, but he’s definitely not someone that can follow Austin Aries. Neville threw the poor cruiserweight around the ring. He dominated the entire match, and for the first time, he really seemed to take in and enjoy how much the crowd loved him.
Ali hit his beautiful rolling neckbreaker, but it wasn’t enough for the win. Neville hit a clothesline that would make Okada blush, but Ali survived. Ali hit a springboard spanish fly that even managed to shut up the most obnoxious wrestling crowd in the world! Wow! This match was so much fun!
There was a great spot where Mustafa hit a DDT, and it looked like he was going to get the win, but Neville got a foot on the rope. Neville teased hitting the Red Arrow, before hopping down and getting the win with the Ring’s of Saturn. That was everything the cruiserweight division should be.
Segment/Match Quality- 9/10 Woo’s
The New Raw General Manager
Is Vince here to announce a new GM?
Vince McMahon was in the house! Not often you see big Vince on WWE TV anymore, but he was there for the Raw after Mania. He announced a superstar shakeup next week, and then he played the video of Stephanie McMahon going through the table at Mania. Vince then announced that Stephanie wouldn’t be on TV for a while. (The crowd chanted Yes, and I can’t say I disagree).
Vince then announced that he’s declaring a new general manager of Raw, and it was someone from the Hall of Fame class. Teddy Long thought it was him, so he came out and danced. It was hilarious. But honestly, I was shaking so hard, because I think we all know what’s coming next.
Kurt Angle‘s music hit and I MARKED OUT SO DAMN HARD. KURT ANGLE IS THE NEW GENERAL MANAGER OF MONDAY NIGHT RAW. OH, IT’S TRUE. IT’S DAMN TRUE. AND I’M LOSING MY MIND.
Segment/Match Quality- 10/10 Woo’s
The New Day Open Challenge
The New Day came out, and now that they aren’t WrestleMania hosts, it’ll be interesting to see what they do. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods came out wearing shoulder pads like they were the legion of boom.
They’re gonna call themselves the “Legion of Booty”. Just wait.
They then announced that they were upset that they didn’t get to have a match at WrestleMania, so they were having an open challenge. AND THE REVIVAL CAME OUT. Holy cow, Raw’s tag team division is so freaking lit!
Seriously. To go from “Oh man, Sheasaro vs. the Certified G‘s again? Yawn” to The Revival, The Hardy’s, the Club, Sheasaro, Certified G’s, and the New Day is un-frickin-real.
The match was good, but quick. They were able to actually dispose of the New Day pretty easily, pinning Xavier Woods. After the match, the Revival attacked Kofi Kingston, seemingly injuring his leg. Looks like we’re getting a Revival/New Day feud!
Segment/Match Quality- 9/10 Woo’s
Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Dana Brooke vs. Charlotte, Nia Jax, and EMMA
There was six woman tag action, which is a damn shame because that means there won’t be any other women’s matches on the show. We officially have more tag teams than women on Raw. But more importantly…
EMMA IS BACK. My bae, my sweetheart, my everything, Emma! Not Emmalina or stupid bubble Emma either. It was Evil Emma, I’m giddy! Phew. I feel bad for SmackDown Live. There’s no way they can top tonight.
Evil Emma is so great. She spent the first five minutes of the match absolutely beating the hell out of Dana Brooke before calling out Bayley. Don’t let WWE brainwash you, it was Emma and She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named that really started the “Diva’s Revolution” in WWE.
The heel team tried to isolate Bayley, but eventually she was able to get to Sasha Banks for the hot tag. There was a god awful moment when Banks and Brooke tried to do a double dropkick on Nia Jax, and Brooke missed terribly.
However, that move was forgotten moments later when Sasha reversed Natural Selection into the Bank Statement on Charlotte for the win. However, after the match, it looked like Bayley was hurt, as she could barely stand. Keep an eye on that.
Charlotte threw a temper tantrum after the match, and Nia Jax destroyed her.
Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s
What? The Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar is coming out at 10? There’s still an hour!
Brock at 10? Something wild is closing the show…
Paul Heyman and Lesnar did their thing in the ring, and it was glorious. Heyman told a bedtime story about Goldberg, and how Lesnar destroyed him. Every time I see Brock Lesnar smile, I’m immediately reminded of a great white shark. Heyman announced that Lesnar is looking for new challenges and new challengers.
He named off Seth Rollins, Matt Hardy, and Jeff Hardy as potential challengers before, predictably, Roman Reigns. The crowd rejected Reigns, and instead cheered for Finn Balor, which he ignored. Heyman said that if Reigns was the big dog, Lesnar was animal cruelty.
Heyman teased a one on one match between Reigns and Lesnar for Monday Night Raw… WHEN BRAUN STROWMAN CAME OUT. Strowman made his way to the ring, and I honestly can’t say I saw this coming.
The two monsters stood face to face, and Strowman told Lesnar that he had his attention, before shoving him. Lesnar laughed before putting the Universal Championship on the ground and spreading his arms. However, Strowman backed away…
Why? Strowman is the biggest chickenshit heel in pro wrestling history. Not figuratively, literally. He’s always complaining about how he never gets competition, and then without fail, he backs down. Ugh.
Segment/Match Quality- 6/10 Woo’s
Sheasaro vs. The Certified G’s
The winner of this match gets a shot at the Hardy’s Tag Team Championships. How absolutely whacky is that?
Anyway. I’m a big fan of how well Sheasaro have grown as well. Sheamus getting tear-away clothes and Cesaro wearing a kilt? Brilliance. I still wanna see a Swing that turns into a brogue kick.
I haven’t said this yet tonight, so I won’t harp, but I am sick of this match. It gets a pass because almost literally everything else has been freaking amazing so far. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Certified G’s get lost in the shuffle now with the Revival and Hardy’s on board.
A year ago, these guys debuted, and the crowd loved them. Tonight? It didn’t seem like the Mania crowd really cared. At best, they were only the third most exciting tag team on the show. Enzo Amore is really only good at talking, and yet their entrance happened during the commercial break. Ouch.
Cesaro had Enzo in the Sharpshooter, and then Big Cass came in to hit the Big Boot, aka literally the only move he knows. Then again, think of who has used the big boot in the past… typically big guys that can’t work. Womp. Womp. Womp.
In maybe my favorite spot of all time, Enzo and Cass went for the Badaboom Shakalaka, but Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Cass before tossing Enzo to Cesaro, who nailed him with an uppercut for the win. That spot saved the whole match.
Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s
Jinder Mahal vs. Sami Zayn
Rob Gronkowski got involved at Mania, so Jinder Mahal asked Kurt Angle for justice. Instead, he got Sami Zayn. Mmk. Before the bout even got started, Mahal attacked him. Eventually, he threw Zayn’s carcass into the match and the bell rang. Mahal continued his beatdown, and I can’t help but wonder if 3MB is taking over. You know what I mean. Yeah ya do.
However, eventually Zayn got Mahal into the corner, hitting the Helluva Kick for the win! It was a nice, short little match to get the crowd ready for the main event. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Woo’s
Seth Rollins and Mystery Partner vs. Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe
Just wanted to say… I called this. I called this while Chris Jericho was being hilarious. I’m a genius. I should be the head of creative, get it trending, #RyanSmithLWOSForCreative. Or don’t. I don’t check my twitter notifications. It’s whatever.
Jericho gets attacked before the match and Finn fills in?
In any event, Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe made their way to the ring, expecting to take on Seth Rollins by himself. Seth Rollins came out, and he was still wearing his gold pants from last night, but he didn’t set the ramp on fire this time. He got into the ring, and it dawned on me that all three of those guys were Ring of Honor World Champion.
Then it happened. The lights went out. And Finn Balor emerged.
How weird is it that he makes his return from injury… by helping out the guy that injured him? Kinda wild, right? Nevertheless, it happened. And I was marking out before the opening bell even rang.
Halfway through the match, Michael Cole pointed out that all four men had been NXT Champion. And I think that’s just about as cool as the Ring of Honor fun fact.
It was a really fun bout. I’m thrilled to say that Seth Rollins is still selling the knee, and it’s still part of these matches. My biggest criticism of the WWE is that they get lazy and forget to sell stuff like that, but they haven’t. There was a great spot where Balor was climbing to the top rope to hit the Coups De Grace, and Joe tried to sweep the leg, but Balor escaped.
The closing sequence was a ton of fun. Plenty of reversals and high-flying, and if you haven’t seen it, go watch it now. The babyface team got the win, and after the fact, the two former foes stared each other down before Rollins raised Balor’s arm to close the show.
Segment/Match Quality- 10/10 Woo’s
Best Segment/Match of the Night- A Demon Rises
I know Reigns’ segment had a higher grade but… c’mon. After months and months of dream-booking ways for Finn Balor to come back, he finally freaking did. Was it a little obvious? Sure. I mean, I called it. But did that make it any less awesome? Nah. Not a chance. I got to see two of my favorite WWE superstars team up. You can’t beat that.
Prince Devitt and Tyler Black vs. Samoa Joe and Kevin Steen.
In the main event of Monday Night Raw.
Worst Segment/Match of the Night- Lesnar and Strowman
This was just disappointing because nothing really happened. It was a fine segment, but on a show this great, relatively it was the worst. Why did Strowman back down? Why didn’t we get the match that Heyman was hyping up? Are they gonna feud now? It just didn’t give me enough.
Show Quality- 9/10 Woo’s
Seriously, the Raw after WrestleMania is almost always amazing, but this one was especially good. It had plenty of surprises and fun moments, and I can’t remember the last time I genuinely enjoyed an episode of Raw this much. I wish it could stay this way, but I feel like we’re back to the same old, same old next week. Anyway, if you’re reading this because you didn’t watch, A. Thanks! B. Go watch it. I don’t care how ya do it, just do it. Or watch all 900 YouTube videos. It’s really worth it.