A week removed from the superstar shakeup, we have another episode of Monday Night Raw. This week, the focus was on the shakeup fallout on the red brand. How did newcomers Alexa Bliss, The Miz, and Dean Ambrose fit in? Did the spooky Bray Wyatt make an appearance? And did Roman Reigns or The Ambulance get revenge on Braun Strowman? Read the Monday Night Raw Report to find out.
In the past, segments were graded on a scale of 1-10 Woo’s. The Woo system was entertaining at first, but sadly, became meaningless over time. I am at fault for this, for being too generous with my Woo’s. So as the roster gets a makeover, so do our reviews. Until we find an adequate replacement, we’ll be ripping off Dave Meltzer with a star system.
Monday Night Raw Report: Shakeup Fallout
Braun Strowman Promo w/Kurt Angle
Braun Strowman opened the show, cutting a promo about what he did to Roman Reigns. He announced that Reigns wouldn’t be on Raw tonight, and that he planned to run through the roster when the new general manager, Kurt Angle came out.
Angle announced that Strowman and Reigns would face off at Payback, and that Strowman had the night off.
Samoa Joe vs. Chris Jericho
Samoa Joe and Chris Jericho had the first match of the night, and Seth Rollins was on commentary. It was revealed that Rollins and Joe would face off at Payback, and that card is starting to come along nicely.
Early in the match, Joe dominated Jericho, but soon Y2J began playing the mouse to Joe’s cat. Using his wily athleticism, he outran Joe and was able to force him out of the ring as the show went to commercial break.
Jericho kept trying to put Joe in the Walls of Jericho, but Joe kept overpowering him. Eventually, Joe got him in the coquina clutch for the win. After the match, Joe grabbed a microphone and addressed Rollins.
He reminisced with Rollins about his debut, about how he tore Rollins’ knee. Joe told Rollins that when he did that, it was just business, but when they got in the ring at Payback, it would be personal. Rollins responded by saying that he was damn right it would be personal, as Joe almost cost him his career.
Rollins ended the segment by saying that “Payback is a bitch”. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m so, so, so ready for that match.
The Club vs. The Certified G’s
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were on the mic when we came back from break, and they were without opponents. They were supposed to wrestle the Golden Truth, but they were destroyed by a raging Strowman. Karl Anderson made a joke about United Airlines, and they demanded that Angle find them an opponent. Unfortunately for them, they got to wrestle Enzo Amore and Big Cass.
Why don’t they just turn the Certified G’s into just Big Cass, with Enzo as a manager? He can’t talk, but he’s huge, and Enzo can’t wrestle but he never shuts up, so why not? Cass is going to get a big push eventually based on his size anyway, you might as well spare us the misery of Enzo in the ring.
The Certified G’s dominated the former Raw Tag Team Champions for most of the match, and then we went to commercial. When we came back, Gallows and Anderson were dominating Enzo Amore. They were aggressively attacking Enzo’s arm, so we won’t see any rainmakers from the certified G/bonafide stud tonight.
There was a fantastic spot where Enzo tried to leap and tag Cass, only for Karl Anderson to grab him by the legs, causing him to come up just short. That was either a fantastic spot, or a brutal botch, because moments later Enzo managed to tag his Cass anyway, who hit all three of his moves on Karl Anderson before setting up the Badabooom Shakalaka.
However before they could hit it, Gallows got involved and caught Enzo instead. Eventually it was just Anderson and Enzo in the ring, and the former New Japan standout was able to get the win. I don’t know what to say about this match. We’ve seen it a hundred times, and some spots were just cringeworthy.
MizTV w/Dean Ambrose
For the first time in my tenure as Mr. Monday Night Raw, we’ve got a MizTV segment! That’s right, the Miz and Maryse were out with their set, preparing to interview Dean Ambrose! Ambrose came out and made fun of Miz and got a cheap pop out of the Ohio crowd.
The Miz then went on a tirade about all of the oppurtunities that Ambrose has been given, and how he’s wasted all of them. Miz called him lazy and complacent, and I’m happy to see that he’s still shooting on Raw like he was on SmackDown. Ambrose shrugged the comments off, but maybe he shouldn’t. After all, John Cena and Stone Cold Steve Austin said the same thing.
As Miz ranted, Dean Ambrose took his leather jacket off, folded it up nicely, and proceeded to attack Miz. Both men teased hitting their finishers before the Miz and Maryze escaped down the ring. When is this match going to be announced for Payback?
T.J. Perkins vs. Jack Gallagher
Heel J. Perkins had a match, and I’ve gotta say that this turn has been huge for him. He had gotten so stale as a goody-goody, and this has given him new life. I wouldn’t be opposed to a Neville vs. T.J. Perkins feud down the road. That’s the secret to getting cruiserweights over, I guess. Turn them heel and let them have personality.
Perkins took on Gentleman Jack Gallagher, to start the second half of the show, or at least they tried to. Before the match could start, both Neville and Austin Aries came down and sat by ringside. Aries hilariously offered a Neville a banana.
It was a decent bout, but nothing to write home to mom about. Gallagher dabbed so Perkins threw Gallagher’s umbrella out of the ring. Eventually, the ringside brawl between Neville and Aries distracted the ref, and Perkins was able to steal the win.
Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James
As we crept up on the final hour of the show, there was a fatal fourway to determine the number one contender for the Raw Women’s Championship. Alexa played the heel, rolling out of the ring, and Nia Jax destroyed everyone. Sasha Banks and Mickie James teamed up to throw Jax out of the ring, but soon began fighting.
My favorite moment about this match, without a shadow of a doubt, is Alex Bliss going to the top rope to jump on Nia Jax, stopping halfway when she realizes that Jax sees her coming, and choosing to step down instead. For someone that is so new to wrestling, she just gets it.
Nia Jax landed that devastating Samoan Drop on Sasha Banks, but before she could capitalize, Alexa Bliss threw her out of the ring and stole the win! Alexa Bliss is the number one contender!
Curt Hawkins vs. Finn Balor
Curt Hawkins was in the ring, bragging about how last week he wrestled Big Show, and this week, he’s in the main event. He issued another open challenge, and it looks like Finn Balor is healthy after all because he came out!
Hey, with Triple H, Dean Ambrose, and Finn Balor on this show, we have entirely too many leather jackets. How much you wanna bet Finn’s entrance is longer than the match? I’ve got the entrance timed at roughly two minutes. Let’s see.
30 seconds and a coup de gras later, Finn Balor had his arm raised.
Jeff Hardy vs. Cesaro
Holy cow. Is this match actually happening? Jeff Hardy vs. Cesaro? Sheesh. Talk about dream matches. I don’t even know what to say about this match. I enjoyed watching it too much to comment. It wasn’t a fantastic match, but it was just so smooth. There was a moment where Jeff went for a Swanton Bomb, only for Cesaro to roll out of the ring and, get this, get booed by the crowd.
Unfortunately, this match kinda dragged. They teased all the old spots, but it went about ten minutes too long, and even crowd was exhausted by the end. There were too many unconvincing false finishes, and it just wasn’t as good as Jeff Hardy vs. Cesaro should be.
Eventually Jeff hit the Twist of Fate and went up to the top rope for the Swanton Bomb, which he landed for the win. Both of these superstars are very talented, and given how much time they had, it just felt like this bout could’ve and should’ve been a lot better.
Big Show vs. Braun Strowman
Earlier in the show, Big Show interrupted Braun Strowman absolutely destroying everyone, and so they get another match. The last one they had was pretty solid, so let’s see how this one holds up.
Does anyone else think it’s weird that WWE creative complain about having to book a three hour show, and yet they always end up going past 11? Maybe that’s some kind of ratings trick, like Eric Bischoff used to do, but I dunno.
Before the match could even start, Strowman rushed Big Show. The two giants brawled around the ring, throwing each other into the stairs and the barricades. Eventually, Show tossed Strowman into the ring, officially starting the match.
In the Ring
Both men tried to hip toss each other repeatedly, and Show was able to toss Strowman over the top rope. Show ran against the ropes and my eyes got wide as I realized that Show was running towards the rope. Thankfully for everyone in the front row, it was just a baseball slide. Still impressive, but not what I thought it was.
#INB4 Ambulance comes in and costs Strowman the match.
— Ryan (@RyanSmithLWOS) April 18, 2017
Strowman did a kip-up and arm-dragged the Big Show, and I don’t think people understand how impressive either of those things are, in or outside of wrestling. Show went for the chokeslam, but Strowman suplexed Big Show. Could you imagine a triple threat between these two and Brock Lesnar? Oh my god, I’m starting to sound like Vince McMahon.
Show called for the knockout punch, but Strowman reversed it into the powerslam, which Show actually kicked out of. Strowman looked so shocked, and again, I can’t speak for how much progress this guy has made in such short time.
Strowman jumped off the top rope, but Show caught him with the WMD/KO punch! Somehow, someway, Strowman kicked out of a move that has beaten the likes of John Cena and Roman Reigns.
Show looked like he was going to climb to the top rope, but Strowman leapt to his feet, and superplexed Big Show, causing the ring to collapse! I’m so torn about this spot because they rarely used it, but they’ve used it enough.
I guess this was the end of the match, and Strowman won because he stood tall and his music hit. Good stuff!
MVP- Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman is proof that if you work hard enough, you can make big strides in a hurry. Last year, the internet exploded when it was rumored that Strowman would get a match with the Undertaker. Now, people would die to see that match. He’s gotten much better in the ring, and his character is just a ton of fun.
It’s unfortunate that there’s no way he beats Roman Reigns at Payback. I mean, c’mon. He just retired the Undertaker, you think he’s losing clean any time soon? C’mon son.
Regardless, congratulations Mr. Strowman, you are the very first winner of the Raw Report MVP. Whoever wins the most of these, or has collected the most stars, by the post-pay per view Raw, will win the very first LWOPW Mr. Monday Night Raw Award. I know, who needs a Universal Title when you can win the LWOPWMMNRA.
Star Count- 23.5/45 Total Possible Stars (52%)
It was a decent episode. We’ve been spoiled by great post-mania Raws, and this show just didn’t feel special. Alexa Bliss is the number one contender, Braun Strowman is terrifying, and it’s starting to look like Payback might end up being a pretty good show, despite some obvious finishes.
Only if you’re really bored. No crazy debuts, no outstanding matches or promos, just another episode of Monday Night Raw. Oh well, nobody bats 1,000. I’ll see you guys next week, thanks for reading.