07th Apr2021

WWE Raw – Apr 5th 2021: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s Monday Night Raw review, right here on Nerdly.  I’m Nathan Favel and Woody Allen creeps me out.  Blagaingo!  This is the final show before Starrcade.  I love Starrcade. The 1980s are a sterling time in wrestling.   You get the best matches from all corners of the National Wrestling Alliance.  Greg Valentine, Roddy Piper, Nikita Koloff, Dusty Rhodes, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Magnum TA and Ric Flair are some of the biggest stars in wrestling.  The Road Warriors and The Steiner Brothers battle The Midnight Express and The Rock N’ Roll Express for tag supremacy as Jim Cornette falls fat-ass first from a scaffold every week on TBS Superstation.  We have MTV and steroids and f—ked-up hair-styles and Traci Lords (who is at least 18 for sure), all of which will last forever and never lose their luster.  Cobra is the greatest movie ever made.  Superman IV: The Quest For Peace is sure to be the talk of mankind.  The Berlin Wall is still standing and never coming down. BWUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!  Russia shall reign supreme!  Dievariche mulkavo biekla kozvo protovink quzmank! BWUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!   I…uh oh.  (parachutes through glass ceiling) Real Me:  Commie bastard!  Fake Me:  Mother Russia now conquer the world!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!  Real Me:  Suck it, douche-bag!  Fake Me:  Suck what?  (punches Fake Me’s face) Real Me: Go back to your home on Whore Island!  GI Joe:  Hold it right there lads!  Both Nathans:  GI Joe!  GI Joe:  I just wanted to tell you how tolerance is important.  You are a person and you are a greasy commie f—k.  Both of you need to learn to live together in this world as both man and piece of s—t.  Both Nathans:  Thanks GI Joe!  (GI Joe shoots Fake Nathan) GI Joe:  Just kidding!  F—kin’ commie bastard!  Real Me:  Yay!  GI Joe:  It’s the final Raw before WrestleMania!  Real Me:  Yeah!  GI Joe:  Raw starts now!  Sgt. Slaughter:  Dismissed!  GI Joe:  F—k you!  (shoots Sgt. Slaughter)  Real Me:  Yay!  (humps Sgt. Slaughter’s corpse)  GI Joe:  It’s wrestling time!  (shoots Punky Brewster)  GI Joe:  WrestleMania!

[Author’s Note:  The following review features Riddle, who has been accused of rape.  Riddle has not been found guilty or innocent of the crime of rape in a court of law.  If you are alarmed or offended by the presence of Riddle in this review, then viewer discretion is advised.]

Match #1:  Xavier Woods def. AJ Styles

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Before Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day engage in a WrestleMania title showdown against AJ Styles & Omos, Xavier Woods went one-on-one with The Phenomenal One on Raw. When Styles locked in the Calf Crusher, Kofi Kingston goaded Omos into chasing him, a distraction that led Styles to release the maneuver and allowed Woods to pick up the victory with a quick pin.

The Score:  1 out of 10

  • The Good: They moved.
  • The Bad: This was a minute.
  • The Verdict: Are you f—king kidding me?!

Match #2: Braun Strowman def. Elias

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Prior to his WrestleMania match against Shane McMahon, a fired-up Braun Strowman stood inside the Steel Cage and explained who he was fighting for and what he planned to do to Shane-O-Mac once he got him inside the unforgiving steel on Night 1 of The Showcase of the Immortals this Saturday. He was interrupted by his WrestleMania opponent who decided to put fuel on the fire by poking his Show of Shows opponent with some addition insults. Then, in the subsequent 2-on-1 Handicap Match, The Monster Among Men overcame Elias & Jaxson Ryker by powerslamming both Superstars and pinning the two of them at the same time.

The Score:  1 out of 10

  • The Good: They moved.
  • The Bad: This went two minutes…and was a squash!  AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I hate those f—kin’ squash matches!  I hate ‘em!
  • The Verdict: Are you f—king kidding me?!

Match #3:  Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax def. Asuka and Rhea Ripley

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Just days before Asuka defends her Raw Women’s Championship against Rhea Ripley at The Showcase of the Immortals, the two Superstars proved unable to work together against WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax. As The Empress ascended to the top rope, The Nightmare suddenly pushed her off her perch and unleashed a fierce assault on her partner. This paved the way for Asuka to be pinned by The Queen of Spades.

The Score:  6 out of 10

  • The Good: Even Nia Jax was decent here.  The three with talent held this together and had a nice little match that went over ten minutes!  Suck it!  I’m watching Sausage Party right now and the food is starting to f—k each oth…errrrrrrrrrr?!  AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!  Rhea was really aggressive here and I liked it.  Do you think she would beat the s—t out of me for money?  I hope so.  I used to look like Nia Jax when I was a little girl.  You get the smart wrestling of the three with talent and Nia didn’t blow any of her spots, so this went well.
  • The Bad: This was less about the match and more about the story, which rarely works well, if at all.
  • The Verdict: Jawas:  Utini!  Me:  F—k off you little ass lickers!  This was not a bad match.

Match #4:  Bobby Lashley def. Cedric Alexander

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Prior to WWE Champion Bobby Lashley’s Raw matchup against former Hurt Business associate Cedric Alexander, The All Mighty repealed a pre-match attack from Alexander and his disgruntled tag team partner Shelton Benjamin. He then set out on a rampage that ended with Cedric tapping out to the Hurt Lock. When Benjamin attempted to break Lashley’s devastating hold after the bell, he also ended up in the excruciating maneuver.

The Score:  6 out of 10

  • The Good: Bobby and Cedric worked well together, which is no surprise.  The action was fast and furious, like me after watching those movies…those, cool, excellent, fantastic mo…  I love The Fast And The Furious!  The way the cars go vroom and neyow and whoosh whoosh whoosh whossh whoosh…sorry.  Bobby and Cedric got right to the point with this match.  If you are looking for this to be a grudge match, then you’ve got a grudge to bear witness to.
  • The Bad: This was too brief for a match this emotionally charged.  This should have been a knock-out, drag-out fight, but it was instead a shard of this match broken and shattered by brusque booking.
  • The Verdict: It’s a shame that this wasn’t a more ambitious match (booking wise), because this bout had so much going for it, from the gruff strikes to the sudden dives.  This was far more interesting than I thought it would be and I’m glad for it.

Match #5:  Riddle def. Mustafa Ali

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

With his WrestleMania opponent Sheamus sitting with SmackDown commentary, United States Champion Riddle overcame the dangerous Mustafa Ali with the Bro Derek as he stared down The Celtic Warrior.

The Score:  8 out of 10

  • The Good: This was damn good.  Riddle and Ali matched-up splendidly from hold to hold.  Both fighters were very nimble and able here.  This was certainly a match where neither wrestler was getting lazy.  Each move was transitioned from smoothly and fluidly.  Ali put a lot of effort into this match.  I feel bad he isn’t on the Wrestlemania card, especially since he has been such a big part of Raw these past several months.
  • The Bad: There’s nothing in here that’s bad.  This could have used another five minutes though.
  • The Verdict: You can definitely put these two together again and expect great stuff.  I’d like to think Ali will be involved in the US Title race after WrestleMania, but who knows.

Match #6:  (Main Event) Drew McIntyre def. King Corbin

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Fired up to battle WWE Champion Bobby Lashley on The Grandest Stage of Them All, Drew McIntyre got payback on King Corbin. After the sadistic monarch attacked him last week, The Scottish Warrior evaded a cane that Corbin borrowed from MVP and emerged victorious with the Claymore Kick to prevent Corbin from taking his place as the WWE Title challenger on The Grandest Stage of Them All against The All Mighty.

The Score:  8 out of 10

  • The Good: Corbin finally had another great match.  It took him awhile, but he finally got back to the progress has was making two years ago in the King Of The Ring tournament.  Drew had a great night.  Drew is starting to fire off on those main eventer cylinders that you get once you realize you deserve to be in this position.  Drew really felt like an anchor here, holding the ship in the harbor until it was ready to soar back onto the waters of the churning sea.  What the f—k did I just say?  It must be on account of Corbin having a good match.  Hey!  Corbin did have a good match, didn’t he?  Hey hey!  This got a lot of time, nearly twenty minutes in fact.  This had all of the suspense of a classic main event and this bout largely lived-up to that grand scope.
  • The Bad: Nothing was bad.
  • The Verdict: What a main event.  I’d say that was the best match of the show, but Ali and Riddle had a different sort of bout of equal quality.  What would The Boogie People have to say about this?  The Boogie People:  F—k you!  Me:  Oh.  Well, at least the match was excellent.

Major News:

  1. Bad Bunny and Damien Priest will fight The Miz and John Morrison at WrestleMania.
  2. The Women’s Tag Title bout will be a two day affair, with several teams fighting to have a prize fight on night 1 so they can have their match against the champs on night 2.

Final Verdict:  5/10

Three of the higher rated matches were far shorter than they should have been. Only the main event went the distance it needed to so it could place in the race. As a show all its own, this was weak in the first half and fine in the second half.  One thing of note about this show was that it got strong in the final third of the run-time, so we end with deep breath rather than a shallow gasp. As a Wrestlemania enticement, this was a mixed bag. The Bad Bunny match got a heart-felt promo from the aforementioned singer that did its job in giving the bout some purpose (since he’s not fighting for a title or contention to one). Drew and Bobby got the last moments of the show to tease their match, if only slightly so. While the build for Wrestlemania didn’t have me frothing at the mouth to see the show, it didn’t have me turning away from the big event either. This was truly middle-of-the-road TV and that’s okay. I wish Vince would put more effort into his broadcasts, but Vince has never been known for his skills as a booker-promoter as he’s been known for his resolve in making money off of whatever idea he is championing at the time. This year, we have a pretty Wrestlemania that deserved to be sold better by its promoter, but the wrestlers have done well with their end of the deal, as evidenced by this show. If you watch this final Raw before Wrestlemania, then just remember that while it will likely be tepid entertainment to you, the reason to watch this show, namely wrestlers in wrestling matches, will possibly be of satisfaction to you before the show ends. Keep that in mind if you become put out by the lack of fire in this episode’s belly. Thanks for reading.  I’ll see you after Wrestlemania!

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