WEEKLY OVERVIEW – WWE (thru 4/17): Top stories of week, major show lineups, live event results, schedule of live events, noteworthy social media posts, more

By Zach Graham, PWTorch Contributor


The following is the latest in a new series of weekly in-depth articles exclusive to PWTorch which will help put in perspective major wrestling promotions with a weekly overview, looking at news and roster developments, results, future line-ups, social media activity, key interviews, plus a timely commentary at the end. We will be featuring similar features on other promotions each week and each will be updated weekly.


•Top Stories of the Week

  • The WWE Performance Center welcomed two new wrestlers to the Performance Center. They welcomed Kushida (who was already announced last week), Shane Strickland, and Humberto Garza.
  • Luke Harper announced on Twitter that he asked for his release from WWE this week.
  • Alexander Wolfe also said goodbye to WWE on Twitter saying thank you to the other members of Sanity and to the fans before ending his note with “RIP SAnitY and Goodbye WWE.” People have speculated that he may be destined for NXT or NXT UK rather than a full blown departure from the company, but that remains speculation at this time.
  • Ronda Rousey appears to be taking an extended vacation from WWE. She posted a picture on Instagram of her and her husband with the hashtag “#impregnationvacation.” This may also have been a decision made by Ronda as a result of her suffering an apparent broken hand during the Main Event of WrestleMania.
  • The Superstar Shake-Up was this week. Here are the lists of who moved and what show they are now on:
    • Raw
      • A.J. Styles, The Miz, The Usos, Ricochet, Aleister Black, The Viking Experience (F.K.A. War Raiders in NXT), Andrade, Zelina Vega, Rey Mysterio, Lacey Evans, Naomi, Cedric Alexander, EC3, Eric Young
    • Smackdown
      • Roman Reigns, Elias, Finn Balor (with the Intercontinental Championship), Lars Sullivan, Ember Moon, Bayley, Kairi Sane, Buddy Murphy, Liv Morgan, Chad Gable, Apollo Crews, Mickie James, Heavy Machinery

•WWE TV Match Results

Monday Night Raw TV Results 4/15/19

(1) The Viking Experience & The Revival beat Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Aleister Black, & Ricochet
(2) Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega) defeated Finn Balor
(3) The Usos beat Chad Gable & Bobby Roode
(4) Naomi & Bayley defeated The IIconics
(5) EC3 vs. Braun Strowman was scheduled, but Braun attacked EC3 before the bell and chokeslammed him through a platform on the stage
(6) Becky Lynch beat Ruby Riott (w/ Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan)
(7) Lacey Evans defeated Natalya
(8) A.J. Styles, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns beat Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, & Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush)

Smackdown Live TV Results 4/16/19

(1) Finn Balor beat Ali
(2) Charlotte defeated Carmella (w/ R-Truth)
(3) Bayley, Ember Moon, Asuka, & Kairi Sane (w/ Paige) beat The IIconics, Sonya Deville, & Mandy Rose
(4) Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, & Kevin Owens defeated Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev, & Cesaro

205 Live Results (Aired on WWE Network) /19

(1) Ariya Daivari beat Akira Tozawa, Mike Kanellis, & Gran Metalik in a Fatal Four-Way match
(2) Oney Lorcan defeated Cedric Alexander

WWE Main Event (Aired on Hulu and WWE Network) /19

(1) Dana Brooke defeated Tamina
(2) Heavy Machinery beat The B-Team

Source: WKPWP Post-Raw On-Site Correspondent


•Upcoming Events

Fri. 4/19/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Mo.
Sat. 4/20/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
Sat. 4/20/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Bank of Springfield Center, Springfield, Ill.
Sun. 4/21/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, Minn.
Sun. 4/21/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Tax Slayer Center, Moline, Ill.
Mon. 4/22/19 WWE Raw, Wells Fargo Center, Des Moines, Iowa
Mon. 4/22/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Sioux City, Iowa
Tue. 4/23/19 WWE Smackdown, Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Neb.
Mon. 4/29/19 WWE Raw, Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
Mon. 3/29/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Big Sandy Superstore Arena, Huntington, W.Va.
Tue. 4/30/19 WWE Smackdown, Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio
Sun. 5/5/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Ford Center Evansville, Evansville, Ind.
Mon. 5/6/19 WWE Raw, U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Mon. 5/6/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, The Corbin Arena, Corbin, Ky.
Tue. 5/7/19 WWE Smackdown – KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Ky.
Wed. 5/8/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, SSE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Thur. 5/9/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, 3Arena, Dublin, Ireland
Thur. 5/9/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Forest National, Brussels, Belgium
Fri. 5/10/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Helsinki Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland
Fri. 5/10/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Arena Du Pays D’Aix, Aix-en-Province, France
Sat. 5/11/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Hovet, Stockholm, Sweden
Sat. 5/11/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Utilita Arena, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Sun. 5/12/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
Sun. 5/12/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England
Mon. 5/13/19 WWE Raw, The O2, London, England
Mon. 5/13/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth, England
Tue. 5/14/19 WWE Smackdown, The O2, London, England
Tue. 5/14/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Accorhotels Arena, Paris, France
Wed. 5/15/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Resorts World Arena, Birmingham, England
Wed. 5/15/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Getec Arena, Magdeburg, Germany
Thur. 5/16/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Flydsa Arena, Sheffield, England
Thur. 5/16/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, Germany
Fri. 5/17/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales
Fri. 5/17/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, Germany
Sun. 5/19/19 WWE Money in the Bank, XL Center, Hartford, Conn.
Mon. 5/20/19 WWE Raw, Times Union Center, Albany, N.Y.
Mon. 5/20/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Tsongas Center, Lowell, Mass.
Tue. 5/21/19 WWE Smackdown, Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, R.I.
Mon. 5/27/19 WWE Raw, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.
Mon. 5/27/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Tony’s Pizza Events Center, Salina, Kan.
Tue. 5/28/19 WWE Smackdown, Bok Center, Tulsa, Okla.
Fri. 5/31/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Santa Ana Star Center, Rio Rancho N.M.
Sat. 6/1/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Extraco Events Center, Waco, Texas
Sat. 6/1/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, Texas
Sun. 6/2/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Reed Arena, College Station, Texas
Sun. 6/2/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Foster Communications Coliseum, San Angelo, Texas
Mon. 6/3/19 WWE Raw, Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas
Mon. 6/3/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Tue. 6/4/19 WWE Smackdown, Sames Auto Arena, Laredo, Texas


•Latest TV Highlights

Monday Night Raw

  • Lots of new wrestlers appeared on Raw this week as a part of the Superstar Shake-Up. The Miz was the first to appear when he attacked Shane at the top of the show. The Viking Experience (F.K.A. The War Raiders), Ricochet, and Aleister Black were the next group of wrestlers to officially be put on the Raw brand. Andrade & Zelina Vega also appeared and beat Finn Balor on his first night on the show.
  • Lacey Evans and Natalya had a match that was framed as a number one contenders match, but never officially announced as such. Lacey Evans would win the match after hitting Natalya with the Woman’s Right. Lacey is now officially a member of the Raw roster.
  • All night a mystery partner from Smackdown was teased as teaming with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in the main event. Their surprise partner would be A.J. Styles who was the biggest wrester to switch over to Raw. Styles would eventually win the match for his team when he pinned Bobby Lashley.

Smackdown Live

  • The second night of the Superstar Shake-Up was on Smackdown and there were more notable names coming to Tuesday (and eventually Friday) nights. Tuesday afternoon WWE teased that Vince McMahon would be on Smackdown to announce “the biggest acquisition in Smackdown history.” Vince came out and said the person he is about to introduce is “the future of Smackdown and WWE, and without question the biggest acquisition in Smackdown history. He’s talented and exudes charisma…” then Elias came out. Elias thanked Vince saying he has his finger on the pulse of what the fans want. As Elias started to strum his guitar, Roman Reigns’ music played. Reigns walked down to the ring, Vince yelled at him to get out of his ring and Roman hit him with a Superman Punch.
  • Kevin Owens hosted “The KO Show” to start off Smackdown with his guests, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston. They talked about Big E being injured, Xavier Woods complained about Raw taking his entire Up Up Down Down roster while he’s trying to be a YouTube success. Woods said he needed Tyler Breeze on Smackdown by the end of the night (he wouldn’t get his wish.) Kevin Owens then said with Big E being out, he wanted to be with them as Big K, then changed his mind and said he’s Big O. After asking Owens to gyrate his hips and consulting the crowd, they agreed that he is an honorary member of the New Day, they then gave him a New Day shirt and a unicorn horn headband. In a backstage segment, they asked Owens to eat a platter of pancakes in under 5:37 to try and beat Big E’s record. They cut back a few moments later to Owens polishing off the platter of pancakes while Kofi and Xavier excitedly said now he’s ready for a match. In the main event the three would take on Rusev, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro with Kevin Owens pinning Rusev for the win.

•Listen to the latest Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-Show – Smackdown Post-Show

PWTorch editor Wade Keller is joined by PWTorch columnist Greg Parks, who also hosts the “Wrestling Night in America” podcast in the PWTorch Dailycast line-up. They discuss Roman Reigns being moved to Smackdown in the Superstar Shake-up and the ramifications for him, possible opponents, and whether it’s good or bad for Kofi and whether it’s good or bad for him in terms of getting cheered and booed. Also, a look at the other Superstar Shake-up roster changes, how the face-heel depth chart…

-On Tune In Radio HERE
-On Apple Podcasts HERE
-Or search “Wade Keller” on your podcast app of choice


•WWE Social Media Highlights

Another interesting hashtag choice here by Ronda….

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwSiH8enwa2/

We had a couple of wrestlers announce their departures from WWE this week.

Here’s another Becky Twitter update. She’s been busy this week. First up is Sasha (sort of) and Lacey Evans:

https://twitter.com/LaceyEvansWWE/status/1117574237898850307

https://twitter.com/LaceyEvansWWE/status/1118640076806815747

https://twitter.com/LaceyEvansWWE/status/1118642321329938432

Next, Bayley:

https://twitter.com/itsBayleyWWE/status/1117171553773297664

Finally, Ember Moon and Alexa Bliss:

https://twitter.com/AlexaBliss_WWE/status/1118323616079319040

https://twitter.com/WWEEmberMoon/status/1118558465557970946

Big E’s got jokes

Kofi shared a video of his Uncle back in Ghana watching him win at WrestleMania. What a cool moment for him to see that video.

Kofi took exception to Roman claiming Smackdown as his show now. Really hope this isn’t teasing a match soon. I don’t know if they’d let Roman get beat by Kofi…

https://twitter.com/TrueKofi/status/1118376830480932866

Finally, Liv Morgan posted a goodbye to Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott after it was announced on WWE.com that she was moving to Smackdown.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwWSQMQlnJD/


•Closing Commentary

– Vince, please stop with the name changes. I know it’s been discussed at length this week with the absolutely awful renaming of the War Raiders to The Viking Experience, but this goes back further than that. This has been happening forever, but it’s happened four times this year already, and I don’t get it. We’ve had Erik Rowan become Rowan, Andrade Cien Almas become Andrade, Mustafa Ali become Ali, and now The War Raiders become The Viking Experience. The Viking Experience also had their individual names change too for some bizarre reason; they were Hanson and Rowe, but now they’re Erik and Ivar. If I think back on others from recent memory, there’s Big E Langston becoming Big E, Alexander Rusev becoming Rusev, and Antonio Cesaro becoming Cesaro.

I know this isn’t a big deal, but it seems that Vince just decides to change names for no reason. Now, I think Rusev and Cesaro are actually better off with single names and I think Erik Rowan now going by Rowan is just whatever… So, the first of the rest that had their name changed is Andrade Cien Almas. Why did his name need shortening? Did Vince grow tired of hearing someone speak a Spanish word? I don’t understand the logic to make him Andrade. Like Rowan, I guess him becoming Andrade isn’t all that bad, but it makes no sense as to why you’d shorten his name.

So the two that truly baffle me are Mustafa Ali and The Viking Experience, and I have different reasons why they’re both extremely damaging to the wrestlers. First, let’s look at Ali. I think him getting his name shortened is bad for two reasons. First, is Mustafa too foreign and intimidating or something? What’s wrong with Mustafa? Ali actually commented on it on Twitter when the name change happened, saying “Mustafa means the ‘chosen one’ with an emphasis on being chosen from amongst the people. Name or not, nothing has changed. I fight for the people. I am one of them.” So not only was his name changed arbitrarily, he had that name and it meant something to him. The second issue with his name being changed is the fact it was changed to something that makes him un-google-able. I googled “Ali” to see how long it would take me to get to anything relating to WWE or Mustafa Ali, I gave up after seven pages of results. Why doesn’t his name come up? Because Muhammad Ali, one of the most famous boxers and professional athletes to have ever lived, is Muhammad ALI! What in the world were they thinking by switching his name to Ali? Now, to be fair, I didn’t immediately find any WWE related results when I searched “Rowan” either, but I did when I searched “Andrade,” interestingly enough. My point is, this isn’t a fool-proof method, but it’s baffling that they would shorten his name to Ali when one of the most famous athletes ever was also named Ali.

Okay, finally we have The Viking Experience. Yikes. There is just so much bad to unpack here for me. First, what’s wrong with War Raiders? I don’t believe the argument that the name changed due to the fact that they have “war” in the name because why would they approve a name for NXT knowing they’re going to have to change it when they get called up? It doesn’t make sense. When they debuted as War Raiders instead of War Machine, the argument was Heavy Machinery has dibs on the word “machine” and as silly as the logic is, I guess that one I do understand. The Viking Experience is just so bad. Why would any team be called the “_____ Experience?” No fan is going to take that seriously. Twitter was filled with jokes Monday night about Disney World’s latest attraction called “The Viking Experience” because that’s what a terrible name like this sounds like – an amusement park ride. Moving on from the team name, they had individual names change too. Hanson and Rowe became Erik and Ivar, and that’s just dumb. I have nothing else to say here; it’s just dumb. Hanson and Rowe sounds like pretty cool non-stereotypical Viking names to me. Maybe Vince gave them these crappy individual names because he even had the announcers completely overhaul what these guys are about too. In NXT we were told that these are two guys that just love the tradition and culture of the Vikings; that’s why they dress the way they do. They also share their warrior mentality when they wrestle. Now we’re told that they’re people who live and act like Vikings, I guess? Like their whole life is taking place at the Viking version of a renaissance fair or something? Vince, are you serious? Why did they have to be turned into cartoon versions of real people here? I could be alone, but I thought them dressing the way they do and loving the Viking culture was enough for me to buy in and excuse the non-traditional outfits they wear. They don’t have to actually be Vikings, Vince!

I know this is a silly rant, but if WWE did more things right and consistent, maybe a majority of fans would be willing to let little (bad) things like this go, but they don’t do most of the little things right. In fact, they hardly do any of the little things right, so they haven’t earned a free pass. Don’t accept bad writing and storytelling from WWE because it’s become the new norm and expectation from them. If you think we as fans deserve better, stand up for it or it’ll only continue to stay this bad or get worse.


NOW CHECK OUT OTHER WEEKLY OVERVIEWS HERE.

OR JUMP TO LAST WEEK’S WWE OVERVIEW: WEEKLY OVERVIEW – WWE (thru 4/10): Top stories of week, major show lineups, live event results, schedule of live events, noteworthy social media posts, more

1 Comment on WEEKLY OVERVIEW – WWE (thru 4/17): Top stories of week, major show lineups, live event results, schedule of live events, noteworthy social media posts, more

  1. You’re right on the money about the name changes. If Killer Karl Kox were still around, he’d just be “KOX.” There’s also be no discussion about his theme song because he neither had one nor needed one, as was true for nearly all of the men of that sorely missed era.
    Am I the only one who smells a swerve coming with this whole Shield send off? Why are they giving this huge send off to the man who we all hope will be the biggest star of AEW Pissant Championship Wrestling (their words, certainly not mine)? I’m gonna be sick if Ambrose winds up staying.

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