HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 4/16: Alt Perspective coverage of Monday Night Raw featuring part one of the Superstar Shakeup, Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
APRIL 16, 2018
HARTFORD, CT
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman

[HOUR ONE]

-Kurt Angle’s music hit to start the show and the crowd loudly chanted “you suck” as he made his way down to the ring. As Angle climbed into the ring, Michael Cole detailed the negotiating that went on between Angle and SD Live General Manager, Paige concerning the Superstar Shakeup. In the ring, Angle welcomed everyone to the show and seemed to be in the process of unveiling a big surprise before he was interuppted by Raw’s newest acquisition, Jinder Mahal. Cole put over this pick over huge with his commentary.

Heydorn’s Analysis: This move was one that I had penciled in since last week. Mahal has feuded with everyone on the SD Live roster and moving him to Raw swiftly freshens his character and gimmick up due to all the new babyfaces he can work with. Angle’s mic work put over his newest acquisition to the show while also enhancing his arrogant, above everyone demeanor, that’s made him such a good heel. 

On the mic, Mahal told Angle he made a great choice in trading for him. Mahal said that Angle secured Raw’s position at the “A” show. He then asked Angle why his travel accommodations weren’t full adhered to. Angle then welcomed Mahal to the show and said that he didn’t agree to a specific limo accommodation. Mahal said that Raw was his kingdom and that he demanded perks like Brock Lesnar. Angle then said that if Mahal thinks he’s better than everyone else on Raw, he can prove it with a US title defense immediatley. Jeff Hardy answered the call to a thunderous ovation from the audience.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Huge ovation for Hardy. I like the acquisition and this is a perfect match for Mahal to have out of the gate. Hardy is a fully over babyface that contrasts perfectly with Mahal’s extreme heel character. 

(1) JINDER MAHAL vs. JEFF HARDY – United States Championship 

The match began with Hardy taking a beating from Mahal. Jinder crushed him with punches to the face and stomps to the midsection in the corner. When Mahal moved Hardy from the corner, he was able to connect with his own punches and kicks that got him some quick momentum in the match. Mahal battled back a bit before Hardy drop kicked him out of the ring. From there, Hardy hit a flying splash off the apron. (c)

Out of the commercial, Mahal had Hardy in a chin lock as the audience chanted loudly for Jeff to escape. Hardy finally made the escape with a chin breaker to Mahal. From there, he hit the ropes for more offense, but Mahal lifted him up and dropped his neck on the top rope. With Hardy on the turnbuckle, Mahal struck Hardy hard in the face that sent him falling limp to the mat.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Jeff Hardy is just a tremendous babyface. He bumps and sells perfectly, but has enough of a fire up and offensive move set where he has to be taken seriously too. He merges that fine line really well. 

As Mahal walked over to continue his onslaught, Hardy connected with a few shoulder attacks and then climbed the top rope. He attempted a big move, but Mahal climbed up to stop it. With both men on the top rope, Hardy pushed Jinder off and then connected with Whisper In The Wind. After the move, Hardy maintained momentum with an atomic drop and his classic dropkick combination. He then made the cover, but only received a two count. Out of the pin, Hardy attempted the Twist Of Fate, but Mahal countered with a knee to the face. Mahal immediatley covered, but received a two count. With Hardy dazed on the mat and the crowd chanting “let’s go Hardy,” Mahal lifted Hardy up for the Collas. Hardy countered with a pin attempt, but only received a two count. Out of the pin, Mahal connected with a big boot to the face and covered, but still just received a count of two. Out of the pin attempt, Jeff quickly connected with the Twist Of Fate and followed it with a Swanton Bomb for the 1,2,3 victory.

WINNER: Hardy via pinfall and new WWE United States Champion

Heydorn’s Analysis: This was a really good match and the crowd was in love with Jeff Hardy throughout the entire thing. The match put enough sympathy on Hardy but was careful enough to not make him look weak. Moving the title to Hardy is interesting. By immediatley putting the title on a Raw star, there is a built-in intrigue on whether or not he’ll stay with the show after SmackDown this week. This move gives the WWE options as the Superstar Shakeup moves on. 

-After the match, Michael Cole promoted Miz TV for later in the show featuring a “game changing” star from SmackDown Live. (c)

-Out of the commercial, Jinder Mahal was interviewed backstage and said he was brought to Raw to be embarrassed. He then said that he’d evoking his rematch clause at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia. From there, Mahal talked but was interuppted and unheard due to No Way Jose. Jose took Renee Young into the conga line as Mahal huffed and puffed.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I actually liked this Mahal promo. It didn’t take a long time to accomplish, but in this Mahal set up a future rematch and further laid a foundation for a story with Angle. Jose interrupting was fine, but he needs to be more original and less dorky with his comments or the gimmick will wear on the audience quickly. 

(2) BAYLEY vs. SASHA BANKS

Bayley hit the ring first to a nice response from the crowd. Banks came out next to a comparable pop and Cole cued up a recap of last week’s events between the two that led to this match. The bell rang and the match began with each woman talking back and forth to each other in the center of the ring. Banks got the upper hand first with take downs and chops to Bayley’s chest. From there, Sasha attempted a jumping arm drag, but Bayley countered. The counter sent Banks to the outside of the ring and Bayley capitalized by connecting with a hurricanrana on Banks that sent her into the guard rails. (c)

Out of the commercial break, Sasha had regained momentum in the match and was back inside the ring with a choke hold on Bayley. Finally, Bayley escaped and took over momentum in the match with a back body drop and elbows to Sasha’s jaw. Bayley then connected with an inverted neck breaker. After, she covered for a two count. Out of the pin, Bayley stomped Banks in the midsection with repeated kicks. Banks was able to counter one by pushing Bayley out of the ring. From there, Bayley worked to climb back into the ring, but Sasha connected with knees to her face. She then hit a top rope knee attack which she followed with a cover. Out of the cover, Banks and Bayley stared each other down in the ring and exchanged furious strikes to each other’s head. After, Banks locked in the Banks Statement. With Bayley attempting to grab the ropes, the match was interuppted by the Riott Squad. Riott, Morgan, and Logan assaulted Bayley and Sasha and left them motionless in the ring.

-After the match, the Riott Squad posed in the ring as the show went to the commercial. (c)

WINNER: No contest due to outside interference

Heydorn’s Analysis: This match had some good energy, but the crowd seemed conflicted with who they wanted to win. You can’t blame them because both Bayley and Sasha are babyface friends fighting each other. On top of that, WWE has not made a clear definition as to who is the babyface and who is the heel in the program. They are both treading water because of that and the reactions they can get have a glass ceiling. WWE needs to either go forward with a real feud or pull the plug and have them reconcile. The fact that the Riott Squad beat them down mid match could be a signal that a reconciliation is on the horizon. Either way, they need a concrete direction. Being in limbo is bringing both characters down. 

-Out of the commercial break, Heath Slater and Rhyno were in the ring waiting for a match. A backstage recorded promo aired in which they said that the Authors Of Pain made a nice impression, but that tonight they had a second chance to redeem themselves. Rhyno said they don’ take second chances lightly.

(3) AUTHORS OF PAIN vs. HEATH SLATER & RHYNO

After the video, Authors Of Pain hit the ring and got a really nice pop for the audience. Cole put over AOP dismissing Paul Ellering and the match got underway after Slater and Rhyno attacked from behind. The attack got them the early advantage, but AOP quickly took over momentum. They connected with with vicious strikes and unique double teams.

Heydorn’s Analysis: WWE has to be happy with the pop that AOP received here. That said, WWE is playing with fire by not definitively telling the audience whether or not AOP are heels or babyfaces. Slater and Rhyno just don’t have enough babyface equity built up and it felt as if the audience was excited to see AOP destroy them. That’s fine if they are babyfaces, but if the are going to be a heel act, that isn’t the reaction they are looking for.

AOP continued their dominance before Rhyno tagged into the match. He connected with elbows and a clothesline before covering. His pin attempt got stopped when Razar ended the count. From there, AOP connected with the Last Chapter for the 1,2,3 win. (c)

WINNER: AOP via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: I didn’t like how much offense Rhyno got in on off the hot tag. AOP needs to be a dominant team and while Rhyno’s offense didn’t lead to a win, AOP felt human taking it and selling it. They money is in them being superhuman. 

-After the commercial, The Miz was in the ring for Miz TV. He introduced his segment and said that his guest will represent a major shift on Monday Night Raw. From there, he introduced Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. As Owens and Zayn made their way to the ring, Cole, Graves, and Coach argued over the merits of them joining the roster after losing their match last week.

In the ring, Owens and Zayn had a big group hug with the Miztourage and then grabbed a microphone. Miz said that having Owens and Zayn with Miztourage is bigger than the NWO. He said they were the WWE’s version of the Avengers. He said that together they will all change the landscape of WWE forever.

[HOUR TWO]

This cued up Angle’s music and Kurt hit the stage. He said that Miz does not have control but that he does. He said that Owens and Zayn lost their opportunity to be on Raw last week. From there, Owens said that plans changed. Zayn then read an email that basically overruled Angle’s decision from last week and awarded them contracts instead. The email was from Stephanie McMahon.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I was hoping for a reasonable explanation for Owens and Zayn ending up on Raw and this was it. It wasn’t great, but it made sense given that it was Stephanie thwarting an Angle plan to make life difficult for him.

From there, Miz asked Angle if his career was flashing before his eyes. Angle laughed it off and made a nice comment on Stephanie rehabbing her arm.  He then told Zayn and Owens to say goodbye to The Miz. Angle then said that he traded The Miz to SmackDown per Daniel Bryan’s request. The Miz was furious over this and said that he and the Miztourage would make SmackDown Live “THE” show. Angle then said that it was only him going to SmackDown Live and that the Miztourage would be staying on Raw. He then announced a ten man tag team main event for later in the show pitting The Miztourage, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn vs. Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman, and a new Raw superstar in his Raw debut.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked this segment. Zayn and Owens being hired back was explained well enough for my liking and Angle throwing his weight around against Miz was refreshing. Angle also planted a seed for a big reveal near the end of the show which should hold some viewers over. 

-After the segment, Bray Wyatt and Woken Matt Hardy were shown backstage ahead of their match.

-Out of the commercial break, The Revival were in the ring and the team of Hardy and Wyatt made their entrance.

(4) THE REVIVAL vs. MATT HARDY & BRAY WYATT

With The Bar on commentary, the match began with Hardy getting the offensive upperhand on Wilder. Hardy then tagged in Wyatt and through a distraction, Wilder got the momentum back for his team. That was quickly squashed as Hardy and Wyatt doubled teamed their opponents with a vertical suplex combination that sent Wilder and Dawson to the outside mats.

Finally, The Revival gained the momentum with an illegal double team clothesline on Hardy in their corner. A Revival-eque beatdown ensued from there with Matt unable to reach his corner. He flirted with tagging Wyatt into the match, but each time, The Revival prevailed and pulled him back toward their corner. Finally, Hardy made the tag to Wyatt who dominated the match with clotheslines and a pickup spike to Wilder. Wyatt then hit Sister Abigail and Hardy connected with a Twist Of Fate for the 1,2,3 victory.

WINNER: Hardy and Wyatt via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Hardy and Wyatt have something with this gimmick. The crowd is reacting to them and the WWE is booking them with that response in mind. Their booking and their crowd reaction is in lockstep which is helping them greatly. Competing for the tag titles is exactly where they should be at this point and a win over The Bar will garner even more of a reaction from fans. Ordinarily, I’d like an explanation as to why Hardy and Wyatt are together after months of fighting. That said, their characters are so strange and out of the box, that explanation is not necessary in this instance. 

-After the match, Hardy and Wyatt posed and did delete chants in the ring as they stared down The Bar. (c)

-After the commercial, Sheamus and Cesaro were walking backstage and they ran into the Fashion Police. Breeze and Fandango then commented on the The Bar’s attire and wrote them Fashion tickets.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I don’t see Breezango’s position on the card changing on Raw, but this segment captured why they are a solid comedic act that can fill time on a weekly basis.

-Cole and the announce team ran through Raw’s newest additions from last week and their moves within the Superstar Shakeup from this week.

-A recap video aired highlighting last week’s Raw interaction between Ronda Rousey and Stephanie McMahon. Cole sold the story that Ronda re-injured Stephanie’s arm.

After the video, Ronda was shown backstage talking with Angle. Ronda said she was thrilled with what WrestleMania was for her and that she couldn’t believe Stephanie thought they’d just hug after. From there, Natalya walked in and hugged Rousey. Rousey then welcomed Natalya to Raw and smiled at Kurt.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The video recap worked well, but Ronda continued to struggle talking. She thrives in the ring because she reacts and feels the moment. In promo segments, its obvious she is trying to remember lines. Because she has so much credibility in the ring, this won’t hurt her much. That said, if she can find that skill, it will make her that much better as an all around performer. 

-Nia Jax’s music hit for her entrance for commentary on the upcoming women’s match. (c)

(5) EMBER MOON vs. MICKIE JAMES

Moon entered the ring first to a nice response. James was next and came down to the ring without Alexa Bliss. Jax put Moon over big on commentary and then called Bliss a coward for not being at ringside. Cole and Jax then talked about how her winning the title at WrestleMania broke the mold and changed the standard.

Heydorn’s Analysis: To me, Ember Moon comes off as a bigger star on Raw than she did in NXT. Her entrance alone is big time and its meant to be done in big arenas. Like last week, she oozed confidence as she made her entrance and is showing a natural “it” factor. 

In the ring the match began with Moon taking James down to the mat. James responded with kicks before Moon took over with a flipping counter and a dropkick combination. As the match waged on, Cole said that Bliss was supposed to be on commentary with Jax, but that she wouldn’t join them because Nia was a bully. She said she refused to give the bully the satisfaction of her coming to the ring.

Back in the match, James had the momentum due to a sleeper hold. Eventually, Moon escaped, but was hit with a kick to the face for her troubles. After the kick, James covered for a two count. James kept up her offense from there and attempted covers along the way to no avail. Finally, Moon countered James’s offense with a right hand of her own and then hit her with a northern lights suplex. She then kipped up and went to the top rope. From there, she nailed the Eclipse for the victory.

WINNER: Moon via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Not much to say about the match from a match analysis perspective, but like last week it was what it needed to be for Moon to shine. She looked great and showcased to new fans why she’s someone to pay attention to. Yes, she’ll have to do more, but all in good time. This is perfect for now. As for Jax and Bliss, I like them twisting the bully narrative onto the babyface in Nia. That is exactly what a whiny bully Bliss would do and its a logical continuation of their story. 

-After the match, Zayn and Owens were shown talking backstage. Zayn said they needed to focus on Braun Strowman while Owens said they needed to be looking out for their mystery opponent. From there, Owens, Zayn, and Miz discussed Shane McMahon and how Shane would treat the Miz on the show. Owens said that they need to stop talking about Shane and worry about their match. Miz then said that tonight would be his Raw finale and that he needed to make it memorable. (c)

-Out of the commercial, Dolph Ziggler’s music hit and he walked to the ring as Raw’s newest acquisition. He said that he still steals the show and still is the best performer that Raw has to offer. Ziggler was interuppted by Titus Worldwide who welcomed him back to Raw. They said a lot has changed since he last was on Raw including the creation of Titus Worldwide. Titus then tried to recruit Ziggler to his team. O’Neil called Ziggler a multi platform superstar. He then said they could conquer the world together. From there, Ziggler said he didn’t come to Raw alone. Then out of nowhere, Drew McIntyre appeared and beat down Titus Worldwide with Ziggler at his side. The crowd chanted for Drew and “holy sh*t” as the attack ensued. As Ziggler and McIntyre left the ring, Cole yelled that this team changes the foundation of Raw. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Whoa. I figured Drew McIntyre would show up within the Superstar Shakeup, but showing up alongside Dolph Ziggler wasn’t the spot I saw it happening in. The segment as a stand alone was good and showcased McIntyre’s strength and dominance. That said, him paired with Ziggler has me concerned. Ziggler is a black hole of nothing and to me, McIntyre deserves bigger and better. I’m keeping my mind open, but out of the gate, WWE has defined Drew down by putting him in this slot.

-After the commercial break, Roman Reigns hit the ring to his usual “mixed” response.

[HOUR THREE]

As Reigns made his entrance, Cole heavily promoted the Reigns vs. Lesnar  rematch at the Greatest Royal Rumble event in a couple weeks. In the ring, Roman grabbed the mic to a very audible Roman sucks chant. Reigns said that once again he was there and Lesnar wasn’t. This made the crowd boo even more. He then said that once again, he would have his shot at Lesnar inside of a steel cage.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, the boos got audibly louder when Roman started his “he’s at work” rhetoric. It was a noticeable rise in volume that proves fans aren’t buying that narrative. The reaction Roman got was intensely negative. It almost seemed to throw Reigns as it was more intense than normal.

He then said that he would leave Lesnar trapped in the cage and that he would head back to Raw as the full time Universal Champion. From there, Samoa Joe’s music hit to a chorus of cheers. On the mic, Joe said that Roman is quick to brag about being at work, but alludes the fact that doesn’t get the job done. He then said that Lesnar is a beast and that Reigns is too stupid to realize what he needs to do to beat him. Joe then said he would put the big dog down once and for all at Backlash. Joe then cued up a highlight video of Reigns getting beat up by Lesnar.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Great promo by Joe. He comes off as having a chip on his shoulder when talking about Reigns. Like last week, he delivered the promo with passion and intensity that really puts Reigns and his promo to shame. Sidebar – please don’t have Samoa Joe cue up a highlight video anymore.

Reigns said that that video was everything Brock did. He then called Joe a fata** and told him to come to the ring and show him what he could do. Joe appeared to walk toward the ring but then thought better of it. Then, after a moment to think, Joe walked back down to a big reaction but stopped short. He then told Roman he’d fight him on his time and see him at Backlash. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: The segment was what it was and Reigns vs. Joe should be interesting to watch, but it won’t be because the story is good. Right now, there isn’t a story with Reigns that can work because of how miscast he is. The boos were extra loud today and they weren’t in a smarky town like Chicago. That reaction won’t get better with the Universal Championship around the waste of Reigns either. 

(6) MANDY ROSE vs. NATALYA

Rose hit the ring first alongside Sonya Deville after and Natalya followed. Both got decent reactions, but nothing significant. The match began with both women connecting with back and forth offenses until Rose got the upperhand with Deville’s help. From there, she connected with strikes in the corner on Nattie before hitting a vertical suplex. Out of the suplex, Rose covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Rose locked in an abdominal stretch, but Natalya escaped. After the escape, Natalya got Rose in the Sharpshooter and she tapped out immediatley.

WINNER: Natalya via submission

-After the match, Deville and Rose beat down Natalya and Ronda Rousey made the save. From there, Deville attempted to square off Rousey, but Rousey decimated her in three second with a combination of five or six punches.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Now that’s more like it. Ronda is on a different level when being physical in the ring. Her facial expression as Deville climbed in the ring to confront her was priceless. 

-From there, Michael Cole introduced a video package highlighting Baron Corbin as Raw’s newest superstar.

-Breezango’s music hit and the pair walked to the ring for their match against The Bar. (c)

(7) THE BAR vs. BREEZANGO

With Breezango in the ring, The Bar made their entrance as Michael Cole promoted their tag team championship match at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia. Fandango started off the match by trying on Cesaro’s clothes. Both sides went back and forth until Cesaro connected with a launching European uppercut on Tyler Breeze. From there, The Bar cornered Breeze and laid a pounding on him. The crowd chanted “you look stupid” at Sheamus as he speared Breeze into his corner. After, Sheamus tagged in Cesaro who covered Breeze for a two count.

Out of the pin, Breeze was dominated by The Bar in every way possible. Then out of the blue, Fandango knocked Sheamus off the ropes and Breeze rolled up  Cesaro for the 1,2,3 victory.

WINNER: Breezango via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: This was a head-scratcher. I get that WWE wants to give their new toys some attention, but Breezango hasn’t won a match on SD Live in months. After getting defeated by a ten year old at WrestleMania, The Bar needed to be built back up and this loss doesn’t accomplish that. Fans have been conditioned to see Breezango as nothing more than a comedy gimmick. Yes, this win could put them into title contention like Cole claimed after the match, but they still aren’t a serious team like The Bar is. 

-Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Elias. In the interview, Elias said that he wouldn’t be performing because he only did the big time now and that Hartford didn’t stack up. He then addressed Lashley and said that he should sit in the stands and worship him like everyone else does. Elias then said that he wouldn’t perform for the crowd, but that he would do a private performance for Young. He then started to play, but Young sent the broadcast back to Cole at ringside. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: WWE has a self made problem on their hands with Elias. He is so entertaining and because they encourage crowd interaction within his heel gimmick, its going to be hard for them to actually keep presenting him as a heel. 

(8) KEVIN OWENS, SAMI ZAYN, THE MIZ, & MIZTOURAGE vs. FINN BALOR, SETH ROLLINS, BRAUN STROWMAN, BOBBY LASHLEY, & BOBBY ROODE

The heel teams hit the ring first with Owens and Zayn coming out separate from Miz and his Miztourage. On the babyface side, Strowman came out first to a massive reaction. Balor came out next to an equal reaction to Strowman as Cole yelled “Balor Club” on commentary.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Cole says “Balor Club” in such an uncool way. It already doesn’t make sense, but the way Cole says it makes it so much worse. Just let the guy do his thing already. 

After Balor, Bobby Lashley came out to a nice reaction, but one that was noticeably smaller than the one Balor and Strowman got. Cole and the commentary team put over Lashley’s MMA credentials as he made his way to the ring. Rollins came out next to a huge pop and was followed by their mystery partner Bobby Roode.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Alright, with AJ and Bryan as possible contenders to be the mystery partner, Roode is a bit of a letdown. The crowd popped nicely due to this being a surprise, but he just hasn’t done anything in his main roster tenure to be a true main event performer on Raw. 

The match began with Rollins and Owens. Owens beat down Rollins with stiff shots to the back and then backed him into the corner before whipping him into the turnbuckle. From there, Rollins connected with a springboard clothesline which sent Owens to the outside of the ring. Then, the heels rallied around Owens on the outside and they stared down the babyfaces in the ring. (c)

Out of the commercial, Bobby Roode tagged into the match and proceeded to lay a quick beating on Curtis Axel as Graves talked him up on commentary. Roode then made the tag to Balor who covered Axel for a two count. Out of the pin, Balor locked in a head lock and teased a tag to Braun which the crowd loved, but was then pushed directly into the heel corner. There, Balor was beat up with strikes, punches, and chokes by all members of their team.

Eventually, Miz tagged in and went for the pin, but Balor kicked out at two. Miz then locked in his own headlock as Balor worked to escape. Once he did, he didn’t get very far as Miz connected with his neck breaker combination. Finally, Balor was able to make the tag to Lashley who cleaned house with a plethora of speed and power moves. With Zayn in the ring, Lashley lifted him up for a delayed vertical suplex and then press slammed the Miz who tried to attack him from behind. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Fun match so far that seems to be strictly designed to show off the babyfaces. As each one tags into the match, Cole is ready with commentary on each man. Because of that element, the match feels very produced and less “Raw” (pun intended). That said, the crowd is loving every minute and will freak out when Strowman finally gets in. 

Out of the break, Kevin Owens had Seth Rollins deep into a sleeper hold as the crowd loudly clapped and cheered for his escape. Rollins almost broke free, but immediatley hit with a running senton bomb by Owens. From there, Owens tagged in Miz who stomped Rollins in the corner. After the stomps, Rollins attempted to fight his way out of the heel corner, but ended up getting DDT’ed into the mat by The Miz. Out of those, Miz worked his version of the Yes Kicks, but Rollins countered the last one and hit Miz with a back suplex.

Eventually, Rollins hit a jumping kick to Miz’s head and then made the tag to Bobby Roode. Roode cleaned house and tried the Glorious DDT on Axel, but it was countered. From there, Roode hit an elbow smash from the top rope and covered, but only got a two count. Then from behind, Axel chop blocked Roode which then setup Miz for his figure four. Roode kicked out of it and then tagged in Braun Strowman to an enormous pop from the crowd.

Heydorn’s Analysis: This match as a whole hasn’t had much psychology, but the little it has had is tremendous. The match was built around Strowman almost getting tagged in, but not quite making it which made the crowd yearn for his arrival. Once the successful tag to Strowman was made, the crowed went nuts. Props to the guys for this as that reaction was setup from the beginning of the match. 

From there, Strowman destroyed everything in sight. Then, a mistimed shoulder tackle sent Strowman into the ring post. This left Strowman down and the two teams proceeded to exchange signature moves in the ring. This left Strowman and Miz alone and after Miz connected with a dropkick, Strowman connected with one of his own to his huge pop. After, Miz went to tag in his Miztourage, but both Dallas and Axel walked away. Miz then turned around and got decimated by Strowman again. The match ended with Strowman hitting the running powerslam on Miz for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Strowman, Balor, Rollins, Roode, and Lashley via pinfall

FINAL THOUGHTS: Like last week, this was a send the audience home happy kind of match. For that, it worked and was fun. I look at a match like this and the reaction Strowman, Balor, and Rollins all got within it and I can’t help but think how much Vince and the WWE are missing the boat by not casting either of them as the leads of Monday Night Raw opposite a heel Reigns. They are already getting the reaction that Vince is craving for Roman. It begs the questions of why does he care who that big babyface reaction is coming from as long as its there? On that note, Roman Reigns had a really rough night. The ultra negative reaction appeared to get to him and he came off a bit flustered and out of control in a passive way because of it. Bobby Lashley was a bit forgotten tonight. Yes, he was in the main event and had a nice spot in the match, but he’ll certainly need a reintroduction to the WWE audience. The guy has changed and morphed into a real star and he needs to tell the audience his mission statement now that he’s back. The Superstar Shakeup may be holding that type of storyline progression up until the rosters are set, but its imperative that WWE tell his story soon. Finally, the Shakeup portion of the program was done well. WWE clearly defined what the terms would be and the reveals were logical and well placed into the show. So far, its lacked any drastic changes, but that can’t fully be determined until after SmackDown Live tomorrow night.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 4/9: Alt Perspective coverage of the live Raw after WrestleMania from New Orleans including Reigns vs. Lesnar fallout, Ronda Rousey, and more

1 Comment on HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 4/16: Alt Perspective coverage of Monday Night Raw featuring part one of the Superstar Shakeup, Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, and more

  1. (Heydorn’s Analysis: Alright, with AJ and Bryan as possible contenders to be the mystery partner, Roode is a bit of a letdown.)
    To be fair, they couldn’t be possible contenders because they both have wrestled on Raw before. Kurt said it was someone making his Raw debut.

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