Just a couple of days out from what’s now a offered out Greatest Royal Rumble occasion in Saudi Arabia on Friday, you’d in all probability assume the majority of Monday night time’s broadcast of Raw could be targeted on what’s primarily turn into WrestleMania half two. There have been match promos all through the night time, in fact, temporary mentions in promos from varied superstars all through the night time and a Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar particular in the course of the ring.
AJ Styles held on to his No. 1 spot within the newest ESPN WWE Power Rankings, and with their performances over the previous couple of weeks each Daniel Bryan and Ronda Rousey broke by means of to make their first appearances on the checklist — and so they cracked the highest 4.
Boom! Studios appears to be like to inform a deeper story in regards to the almost 30-year profession of one of the iconic characters in WWE historical past: The Undertaker.
But outdoors of these moments, and commercials that ran by means of the night time, Monday Night Raw elected as a substitute to concentrate on the fallout from the Superstar Shakeup. After the Raw tag workforce division was primarily gutted, with The Bar and Gallows & Anderson transferring to SmackDown, 5 out of the seven matches on the night time ended up being tag workforce matches. In each of the singles matches, the underdog got here out on prime with an surprising victory by way of roll-up.
With so many contemporary faces on the Raw roster, the Greatest Royal Rumble card all however locked in and Backlash having to attend till after Friday to set the remainder of the present up, Raw took the prospect to experiment. On an evening the place the stakes have been low and any missteps would simply be forgotten amidst the hype round heading to Saudi Arabia, a couple of standouts took full benefit of the chance to step into the highlight.
With Raw hopping far and wide, we’ll do the identical.
• The 10-bell salute, video tribute and post-show documentary about Bruno Sammartino have been all intensely transferring. Seeing Vince McMahon standing on the market with the Raw roster was an emotional second.
• The problem of integrating Ronda Rousey into the Raw girls’s division was not a simple process by any means, however within the three weeks since her breakout WrestleMania efficiency, it has been paced and executed effectively. After taking Stephanie McMahon out of the image, Rousey has come to Natalya’s support in consecutive weeks to fend off one-sided challenges from different girls. This week, within the closing moments of a 10-woman tag workforce important occasion, Mickie James bore the brunt of Rousey’s aggressions after taking a number of low cost photographs at Natalya’s expense. A hip toss and an armbar later, the ultimate match of the night time ended with a disqualification, however Rousey’s on her strategy to working into the continued storylines.
• Before we get into the problematic portion of the Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns rivalry that when once more appears to be nearing its pure conclusion, let’s take a second to understand one other Paul Heyman promo.
“Brock Lesnar does not gloat,” mentioned Heyman, “Brock Lesnar conquers. Paul Heyman gloats. Paul Heyman gloats over that fact that Brock Lesnar used very non-PG era elbow smashes to scar up Roman Reigns’ face. Paul Heyman gloats over the fact that Brock Lesnar took Roman Reigns to Suplex City. Paul Heyman gloats over the fact that Brock Lesnar hit multiple F-5s, left Roman Reigns in a heap like some piece of Samoan trash to be thrown out the next morning and pinning him in the biggest WrestleMania of all time. And none of this means anything to Brock Lesnar. Brock Lesnar does not dwell in the past.”
Heyman additionally promised that Lesnar’s want to step right into a cage was UFC-related, and that Lesnar would ship Reigns dwelling in “multiple boxes.” Reigns walked out to a largely blended response, promised to come back dwelling from Saudi Arabia with the Universal Championship in hand and that was that. No physicality, no nose-to-nose and no closing remarks from Heyman. No matter how Friday’s important occasion ends, I believe it is clear that each Reigns and Lesnar ought to transfer elsewhere from right here — there’s nothing left to discover on this rivalry.
• As disappointing as it’s to see Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn slide proper again right into a battle of wills with an authority determine, Owens and Zayn thrived with a couple of moments of their very own discuss present. They praised the departed Miz, took pot photographs at Jason Jordan and Rusev and antagonized Kurt Angle and the group to a level that their reputation was overshadowed by a major refrain of boos.
The finish end result was a tag workforce match in opposition to Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman that ended up being the match of the night time. Owens and Zayn used their tag workforce experience to isolate Lashley for the majority of the match, and that arrange Strowman and Lashley the prospect to do what they do greatest within the ring. Strowman confirmed off his velocity and aggression by operating backwards and forwards between the ring and the surface to completely decimate each Owens and Zayn. Strowman may need lastly discovered himself a tag workforce companion that fills the void left behind by the departed Nicholas.
— WWE (@WWE) April 24, 2018
• Drew McIntyre, who made probably the most shocking Raw debut of all final week in Hartford alongside Dolph Ziggler, shocked us once more with important time on the microphone following him and Ziggler’s win over Titus Worldwide. McIntyre ripped right into a locker room that he claims has gone smooth, with, “no fire, no ambition” that is gathering checks and making him sick. He’s “dangerous” and a wake-up name that Raw desperately wanted. Between vibes of the trendy model Shawn Michaels and Diesel and a nasty combo finisher they displayed on Monday, Ziggler and McIntyre are setting themselves up for large issues.
• Elias picked up a win over Bobby Roode, after Roode interrupted Elias earlier than he may belt out a single observe. After enjoying the punching bag for a very long time, Elias choosing up a victory over a man that is clearly being positioned as one of many prime gamers on Raw might be an enormous deal. Conversely, maybe it is the beginning of Roode transferring away from being a perpetually smiley babyface. The purpose he attracted the eye of the WWE within the first place and shot as much as stardom in NXT is that regardless of how enjoyable his presentation is, Roode thrives when he is enjoying the jerk.
• Chad Gable stepped up on his first night time on Raw with a win over Jinder Mahal. Briefly addressing Jason Jordan and transferring on to singles competitors is the correct transfer for Gable. The American Alpha music making a return is a pleasant contact, and identical to he did final year with enjoyable matches in opposition to Rusev and others, Gable confirmed that he can actually go within the ring.
— WWE (@WWE) April 24, 2018
• Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas did not have a transparent backup plan earlier than abandoning The Miz final week, however their makes an attempt to flatter and latch on to each Finn Balor and Seth Rollins have been extremely entertaining. For now, they nonetheless carry the Miz’s identify and music, however that does not appear more likely to final within the long-term. Their tag match in opposition to Balor and Rollins wasn’t a lot to put in writing dwelling about.
• Alexa Bliss’ PSA about bullying was equal elements sensible and troubling. Turning round her personal bullying in opposition to Nia Jax and enjoying the sufferer was good, however there was additionally some severe fat-shaming happening.
• Despite slipping into his position as Matt Hardy’s compatriot, Bray Wyatt is bringing some darkness to their partnership. The rapport and in-ring strategy collectively are enhancing by the week.
• The 10-woman tag workforce important occasion had its moments, with Ember Moon’s low-rope suicide dive on Liv Morgan and Nia Jax’s dive onto the remainder of the match’s contributors standing as highlights on the night.