02nd Apr2019

WWE Raw – April 1st 2019: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel


Welcome to this week’s Raw review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and this is the final Raw before Wrestlemania, so let’s see if Vince got it right or not.

Match #1: WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection, Beth Phoenix & Natalya def. Nia Jax, Tamina & The IIconics

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Is Beth Phoenix’s return from retirement just a nostalgia trip? WWE Universe, it is not. The Glamazon was a house on fire in an Eight-Woman Tag Team Match six days before WrestleMania’s cross-generational Fatal 4-Way for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, and she was a problem for champions and challengers alike in what ended up being her first Raw victory in nearly seven years. Not only did Phoenix go head-on with reigning champions Sasha Banks & Bayley (her partners, mind you) on multiple occasions, she pie-faced Banks off the apron and snagged the fateful tag from Bayley that allowed her to singlehandedly dispatch her team’s four opponents. The WWE Hall of Famer plowed a meddling Tamina through the ring barricade and pulverized Peyton Royce of The IIconics with a Glam Slam to win the match, looking none the worse for wear. She’s still got it, and for all Banks & Bayley’s defiant posing with their titles in the wake of the bout, it had the look of a somewhat empty gesture: At least on this night, there was no denying who the dominant force was.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was a decent match that was made enjoyable by Beth Phoenix’s performance, which was her return from retirement.

Match #2: Apollo Crews def. Jinder Mahal

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Apollo Crews feels like he’s one signature victory away from truly breaking out, and it’s looking like the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal might well be the match that sees him do just that. Not only did Crews dispatch Jinder Mahal in a pace-setter just six days out from WrestleMania’s signature melee, he stood tall in a scramble among Raw’s various Battle Royal entrants, last tossing Mahal and The Singh Brothers over the top rope to complete the demonstration. Good omens abound for Sunday, and while victory is far from assured — presumptive favorite Braun Strowman looms large in the distance — he may have finally hit the point where he’s turned fighting from underneath into an advantage.

My Take: 1 out of 5 – Crews should go back to EVOLVE if this is the kind of match he’s ging to have to wrestle more often than not. I hate delivering more bad news about Jinder, but he didn’t add much here. Overall, both guys deserved better.

Match #3: Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival def. Aleister Black & Ricochet via Count-out

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

For a couple of months now, The Revival and Aleister Black & Ricochet have been two tag teams on seemingly opposite trajectories. The former completed their march to the top and hit rough sledding almost instantly, while the latter got thrown together as a tag team and seemingly haven’t lost a match since. (They’ll challenge for the NXT Tag Team Titles on Friday following their victory in the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic). Suffice it to say, it’s not every day the champs walk into a title defense as seeming underdogs the way Dash & Dawson did on Raw, but the “Top Guys’” retention was far from a certainty, and it took every bit of cunning and rule-bending in their very deep playbook to attain. That said, give credit where credit is due to The Revival for finagling a count-out victory following a brawl outside the ring when Scott Dawson hid under the ring and grabbed hold of Ricochet’s ankle, allowing Dash Wilder to beat the count. Black & Ricochet got payback in the form of a Black Mass and 630 to the champions, but for all their upward trajectory, they’ve ironically found themselves bouncing up against the same glass ceiling the “Top Guys” used to slam against. They’ll likely break through eventually. Just not tonight.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a fine tag match that had lots of great stunts and the like…the like? Well, kiss my ass, but I sound like a schmuck. As far as the action goes, this was easy viewing all the way through. It was a good little thing, but it should have gotten a proper finish.

Match #4: Charlotte, Becky Lynch, & Ronda Rousey def. Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, & Sarah Logan

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The short version? They did coexist, until the exact second they didn’t have to. Tasked with keeping things civil in a Six-Woman Tag Team Match just six days from WrestleMania, Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch dutifully kept their hands off each other, successfully evading the pitfall of a stipulation that any woman who betrayed their team would be removed from Sunday’s main event. Ronda Rousey submitted Liv Morgan to earn her team a win over The Riott Squad.

My Take: 1 out of 5 – This match sucked. Vince actually pissed away a great match…again.

Match #5: Heavy Machinery def. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

With Aleister Black & Ricochet out of the way and WrestleMania just six days out, the Raw Tag Team division is wide open for a prospective title bout on The Grandest Stage of Them All. The Revival have no shortage of contenders, of course. But the only team to notch a victory in this mad dash thus far has been Heavy Machinery, who overcame a distracting appearance by Lacey Evans to take advantage of some inglorious miscommunication between Bobby Roode & Chad Gable and earn a pinfall over the former champions. Roode, in particular, looked shaken by his team’s inability to capitalize, and it’s hard to blame him. With less than a week to go until WrestleMania, he and Gable have found themselves a step behind in the sprint and not a lot of time to make up the distance.

My Take: 1.5 out of 5 – This sucked too. Why would you waste two excellent teams on so short a match?

Match #6: Braun Strowman def. “Colin Jost” & “Michael Che”

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Braun Strowman will have around 30 opponents in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, a surging Apollo Crews among them. But The Monster Among Men clearly only has eyes for two. Now that Colin Jost and Michael Che of “SNL” fame have been entered into the madcap over-the-top-rope scrum, The Gift of Destruction is openly fantasizing ways to make them suffer. This week, he even had two test subjects, local competitors whom he referred to and treated like “Colin Jost” and “Michael Che.” That meant throwing them over the top rope and bulldozing them with two charges around the ring before mercifully pinning the pair with a double Running Powerslam. There is some hope yet for the overmatched guest competitors: Battle Royals provide plenty of opportunity for flukes. But against this Strowman, Jost and Che may need something more along the lines of a miracle.

My Take: 0.5 out of 5 – This sucked too. I think I’ve said this more than once. At least the jobbers went over the rope.

Match #7: (Main Event) Baron Corbin def. Rey Mysterio

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Kurt Angle’s final Raw appearance was less an occasion for competition than celebration, with The Olympic Hero emerging only to bid the audience farewell and watch a tribute video highlighting the WWE Hall of Famer’s storied career. So it says something about Baron Corbin that he didn’t only manage to ruin that, but also the efforts of SmackDown LIVE’s Rey Mysterio to defend the Olympian’s honor in an impromptu match later in the evening. Despite Mysterio’s desire to teach Corbin a “lesson in respect,” The Lone Wolf more or less routed The Ultimate Underdog thanks to a tweaked knee that largely prevented the former World Heavyweight Champion from mounting one of his patented comeback victories. (Somewhere, Samoa Joe is licking his chops.) Corbin pinned Mysterio after a Deep Six, but found himself inadvertently wandering into the clutches of The Olympic Gold Medalist on top of the ramp: Angle snuck up on a gloating Corbin, double-legged him to the ramp and wrenched in an Ankle Lock that left The Lone Wolf crying for mercy. A crew of WWE officials managed to force Angle to release the hold, but he had made his point: Corbin may be bigger. He may be stronger. He may be faster. But Kurt Angle might just be plain better.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was Baron’s best match of his career, so far. That might not be saying much, but Rey worked hard to keep the bout cohesive and Baron worked hard to look intimidating. This match had a lot of the standard stuff for a WWE main event, but it was the pace and the effort that turned this away from being an obligation to being a fun little pleasure.

News Of The Night:

  1. The WWE didn’t even attempt to have the Kurt Angle/Rey Mysterio match that had been booked since last week.
  2. Seth Rollins attacked Brock Lesnar to cap off the build to their match at Wrestlemania.
  3. Stephanie McMahon made the Women’s Title Match into a “winner takes all” contest.
  4. Beth Phoenix came out of retirement.
  5. Batista told Triple H to kiss his ass.
  6. An excellent vignette on Kurt Angle’s career was shown.
  7. A wildly over-the-top brawl got Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch arrested before their big main event at Wrestlemania.
  8. Finn Balor will be the Demon at Wrestlemania.

Final Verdict: 2/5

Well, this was a disappointment. The promos were good, but the wrestling sucked. The Wrestlemania card looks excellent, but it’s far beyond crowded. Raw didn’t do much to get me excited about Wrestlemania, but most of what’s on the big card sells itself, so there you go.


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