16th Apr2019

WWE Raw – April 15th 2019: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

2018-raw-logo

Welcome to this week’s Monday Night Raw review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have the WWE Draft…Superstar Shake-Up…screw it. Let’s just get this $#!@ over with. Wait, maybe this will be good. Yeah, I’ll go with that.

Match #1: NXT Tag Team Champions The Viking Experience and The Revival def. Raw Tag Team Champions Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins and Aleister Black & Ricochet

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The Superstar Shake-up is notable for moves between Raw and SmackDown LIVE, but don’t forget that some NXT Superstars make the leap every once in a while as well. Raw seems to have gotten a good haul from Full Sail, as The Viking Experience — the reigning NXT Tag Team Champions on the black-and-gold brand — teamed with The Revival to handily knock off previous NXT signees Aleister Black & Ricochet and Raw Tag Team Champions Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins in an Eight-Man Tag Team Match. The newcomers’ impact was immediate, their unorthodox offense — it wasn’t uncommon to see one bodyslamming the other on top of a downed opponent — impossible to counteract. Their instincts were right on point, too, as Erik & Ivar isolated Hawkins, perhaps in the hopes that he might be easier to defeat coming off his losing streak. Ironically, it wasn’t Hawkins who found himself standing alone but Ryder, who bailed his friend out and was the last man standing at the end of a wild brawl, whereupon The Viking Experience closed in on The Ultimate Broski and flattened him with the Fallout for the victory. It’s anybody’s guess what the Raw Tag Team Title picture will look like at the end of the next two days, but it’s a fair guess that these two will be front and center. Good luck to anyone who tries to prove otherwise.

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5 – This was pretty good, but it felt too…restrained? War Machine/Raiders/whatever the new name is a very consistent team, but in the WWE, they’re just the punching bags with cannons for arms. This felt arbitrary to the point of being nauseating, but at least it got them all on TV.

Match #2: Andrade def. Intercontinental Champion Finn Bálor

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

By his own admission, Finn Bálor’s first reign as Intercontinental Champion was much shorter than he’d have liked. It’s looking like his second is going to be much, much more interesting. One week after barely surviving a returning Sami Zayn in a championship bout, the Irishman suffered a non-title loss to Andrade in the latter’s Raw debut following a Superstar Shake-up brand jump. The match was a coming-out party for Andrade, who turned heads on Team Blue with several instant classics against Rey Mysterio, though he had trouble breaking out beyond that remarkable rivalry. Here, he broke out over the course of one match, and Bálor, who tweaked his knee in the bout, struggled to keep up. He had no answer for the interference of Andrade’s business partner and human insurance policy Zelina Vega, who keyed Andrade’s victory. La Muñeca shielded her associate on multiple occasions to give him some breathing room and even sent Bálor flying with a hurricanrana from the ring apron that left him helpless against the Hammerlock DDT, which spelled the end to a blockbuster debut that was either a showcase or a reality check, depending on whom you ask.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – Match good. Me like. It nice-nice. Me…sick! This was so excellent dude. Sorry for, like, totally spacing out there, but this match was so wicked. Andrade was so gnarly an…oui, oui! I liked the chemistry between these two, very much. This was so fantastic that yo…hyuck! Ah’s luv da pace uv dis’ match. Ah’s also luv da’ way Finn made out like he was a kinda-bit cripple-like wit’ him’s knee an’…sorry. I had a little episode with my multiple personality disorder. Any-way, this was an excellent match that had a good pace and a lot of sound wrestling. Overall, this…that’s not a knife, this is a knife!

Match #3: The Usos def. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

In case you missed it last week, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable have embraced the chaos, thrown sportsmanship to the winds and adopted a new, markedly meaner attitude. Nastiness certainly looked good on them even in defeat, but as they learned on Raw, they have a ways to go to catch up with the inventors of the form. Following an open challenge of sorts, The Usos — who hit their stride after finding their own mean streak a few years ago — came over from SmackDown LIVE and humbled the former Raw Tag Team Champions in a nasty little match that showcased Jimmy & Jey’s sharp in-ring chops and how very, very crowded the Raw Tag Team division is becoming. The Usos seemed to think this was going to be a cakewalk, and the glorious duo quickly convinced them otherwise, with Gable proving to be a pitbull on the mat. But when the tide turned, it turned quickly, as The Usos pounced with a series of superkicks — one to Gable, one to Roode and then two more to Gable — before finishing the Minnesota stretcher off with a Double Uce. Roode & Gable still looked great, but this was The Usos’ stark reminder to a Raw roster that might have forgotten: When it comes to all things bad — be they bad attitudes or bad men — the line forms behind them.

My Opinion: 3 out of 5 – This was a good, fine little match that was there to give The Usos a strong debut and it did that quite well.

Match #4: Bayley & Naomi def. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions The IIconics

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Losing the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles to The IIconics was a blow to Bayley & Sasha Banks, but The Huggable One has taken her first step toward potentially regaining the gold. It just wasn’t with The Boss, who apparently isn’t returning her partner’s calls. Instead, The Huggable One recruited a Shaken-up Naomi to her side for a non-title tag team bout after a tense backstage confrontation with the champs, and the pairing immediately paid dividends, as Naomi delivered the victory via split-legged moonsault. Of course, the WWE Universe can only get so far ahead of itself here: The chemistry Banks & Bayley forged through years of adversity can’t be so easily replicated, and the road to tag team gold is a long and rocky one. With that said, The Hug ‘N’ Glow Connection does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

My Opinion: 2 out of 5 – This was a match that came and went.

Match #5: Raw & SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch def. Ruby Riott

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Becky Lynch winning two Women’s Championships at once is all well and good, but as long as she’s “Becky Two Belts,” she might as well be “Becky Two Challengers” as well. The Irish Lass Kicker found herself faced with not one but two potential challengers, and they immediately hit the scene after Lynch dispatched Ruby Riott — snatching her hair in the process. Natalya was the first Superstar to present herself as a contender for the Raw half of Lynch’s twofer, and The Irish Lass Kicker was more than happy to grant an opportunity to a fellow “underappreciated, overlooked” Superstar. But not so fast: Lacey Evans, who laid Lynch out with cheap shots all across last week’s shows, emerged in full gear to announce she’d curried favor with the McMahons to sanction a match with Natalya, where the winner would get the first crack at the Raw Women’s Title.

My Opinion: 2 out of 5 – This never got going as far as it would have in other leagues.

Match #6: Lacey Evans def. Natalya to earn a Raw Women’s Championship opportunity against Becky Lynch

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After weeks of simply announcing her presence and leaving, Lacey Evans has made an impact in a very short period of time. Just one week after decking Becky Lynch with the Woman’s Right on two consecutive nights, The Lady of WWE used that very same hard right to earn a Raw Women’s Title Match against The Irish Lass Kicker — on her very first night as a Raw Superstar, no less. The unlucky recipient of said knuckle sandwich? Natalya, who was battling Evans for the right to challenge Becky Two Belts per an edict from the McMahon Family and found herself somewhat overwhelmed, or at least surprised, by the new arrival. Natalya still managed to muscle her way to the Sharpshooter, but the former Marine still caught The Queen of Harts with the Woman’s Right, following up seconds later with a standing-switch moonsault for the victory. Impressive, to say the least.

My Opinion: 2 out of 5 – Natalya looked good here…so Lacey won instead.

Match #7: (Main Event) WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & AJ Styles def. Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Even by the chaotic standards of the Superstar Shake-up, AJ Styles’ arrival on Raw was something of a stunner. After all, SmackDown LIVE is The House That AJ Styles Built, and even if you don’t buy that hype, the blue brand is unquestionably where The Phenomenal One built his WWE legend. But there he was, flying at the flank of Universal Champion Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns as their mystery partner against Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley, outfoxing anyone and everyone to such a degree that it took an illicit Claymore from McIntyre to slow him down. The interference kicked off a frantic scramble in the match’s waning moments, but Rollins & Reigns were right there to bail Styles out after he was leveled by Lashley. The Universal Champion Stomped The All Mighty as he attempted the pinfall, Reigns followed up with a bone-rattling Spear, and Styles finished things off with a swooping Phenomenal Forearm to pin Lashley. Take nothing away from Lashley, who required three signature maneuvers to be defeated. But the first night of the Superstar Shake-up was unquestionably the AJ Styles Show in its waning moments. All that’s left is to see how things shake out tomorrow.

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5 – This was standard stuff all the way through, but this whole thing was here just to give AJ Styles a big debut and that part worked, so there you go.

News Of The Night:

These are the new members of Raw:

  • The Miz
  • Ricochet
  • Aleister Black
  • The Viking Experience (War Raiders)
  • Cedric Alexander
  • Andrade & Zelina Vega
  • Rey Mysterio
  • The Usos
  • Naomi
  • Eric Young
  • Lacey Evans
  • AJ Styles
  1. Another weird vignette, likely for Bray Wyatt, aired and showed what appeared to be Sister Abigail, as a doll.
  2. The Miz attacked Shane McMahon to continue their feud.
  3. Sami Zayn continued his heel turn in a promo on Alexa Bliss’s show, A Moment Of Bliss.
  4. The War Raiders were re-named The Viking Experience…the poor bastards.
  5. Braun Strowman threw EC3 through the stage at the entrance.

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

This was an average episode of Raw that got some new people off to a, mostly, good start.

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