09th Apr2019

WWE Raw – April 8th 2019: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel


Welcome to this week’s Raw review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have the Raw after Wrestlemania. Let’s see if it is a success or a failure, like my bid to buy Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling…which was a miserable failure. I’m not kidding. I actually tried to buy TNA in 2014. Anyway, here comes this review, which might just be a lot of fun…might.

Match #1: Raw Tag Team Champions Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins def. The Revival – Raw Tag Team Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Curt Hawkins finally won a match at WrestleMania Kickoff — and the Raw Tag Team Titles, too, much to the chagrin of The Revival. But was Hawkins & Zack Ryder’s win a fluke or a harbinger of things to come? All indications point to the latter, as the new champions successfully defended their titles against Dash & Dawson in a rematch, thanks in large part to a repeat of the play-possum strategy that snapped Hawkins’ infamous streak in the first place. The Prince of Queens’ initial attempt to feign an injury — a tweaked hammy, this time — nearly landed him a roll-up victory, but a later canny bit of strategy earned him the win when he tagged in on Ryder moments before the “Top Guys” pummeled The Ultimate Broski with the Shatter Machine. Hawkins made himself scarce until Scott Dawson went to cover the downed Ryder, then he struck, tossing Dash Wilder from the ring and rolling up Dawson to earn the pinfall. Misdirection and subterfuge is a strategy that can only work so many times, as The Revival are starting to find out. But for Curt Hawkins, at least for now, it’s a winning one.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a good match that was solid all the way through. All four guys looked great and worked well together. I don’t think this will be remembered as a great classic, but it was a fine title match that set the precedent for the new champions in this fiscal year.

Match #2: Alexa Bliss def. Bayley

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

As fun as it’s been to see Alexa Bliss blaze a trail on the talk show circuit, The Goddess has been conspicuous by her absence as an in-ring competitor these last few months. As it turns out, she hasn’t lost a step between the ropes — or, on the keyboard, as The Goddess used social media to prod The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection to send out one or both members of their team to the ring for her return match. The unlucky volunteer was Bayley, and despite her recent success, The Huggable One found The Goddess to be as obstinate an opponent as ever. Bliss was so hard to put away that Bayley got uncommonly aggressive, executing a sunset flip powerbomb that bounced Bliss’ head off the turnbuckle like a basketball and may have spelled the end for Alexa had she not grabbed the rope during the pinfall attempt. The five-time Women’s Champion still had one ace in the hole: A wicked DDT for a sudden 1-2-3 that signaled her return to the WWE Universe and let The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection know that there is a long gap between blocking someone on Twitter and getting them to shut up.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was too quick to matter, but it was a nice way for Alexa to get a proper return to the ring.

Match #3: Aleister Black & Ricochet def. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Bobby Roode & Chad Gable have played it pretty straight-and-narrow in the ring over the last several months, but the well of success has recently run dry, and as far as they’re concerned, the good-guy shtick has all but run its course. Now, the former Raw Tag Team Champions have thrown out the rulebook, and along with it, any pretense of decency and sportsmanship. Not even a loss to Aleister Black & Ricochet could dim the impact of the newly-refocused tandem; Roode & Gable looked as great in defeat as they ever did in victory. The One and Only barely put the match away after connecting with a leaping, one-legged Codebreaker to Gable, but Roode & Gable immediately stomped out the high-flier following the match looking none the worse for wear. As well they shouldn’t. Tonight seemingly wasn’t about winning or losing. It was about a statement. Consider it made.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was another good match that gave all four men time to make the wrestling effective and entertaining.

Match #5: Dean Ambrose vs. Bobby Lashley w/Lio Rush

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Dean Ambrose’s tenure in WWE ended not with a match, but a fight, as Bobby Lashley decided he’d rather make lewd remarks about Renee Young than have a legitimate match against the former WWE Champion. He underestimated his man, of course, as a nothing-to-lose Ambrose immediately threw hands against The All Mighty and spiked him atop the ramp with Dirty Deeds. Thanks to a distraction by Lio Rush, however, Lashley made it to his feet and countered with a Spear to Ambrose and a one-armed spinebuster that drove him through the commentary table. His business concluded, Lashley made his exit while Renee and WWE officials tended to Ambrose. So Lashley sets out for further vindication after a less-than-ideal WrestleMania, while Ambrose goes out on his proverbial shield. The Grand Slam Champion was a lunatic who ran the asylum and went out in a heap of limbs and shattered pieces of table. It couldn’t have ended any other way.

My Take: 0 out of 5 – Vince just couldn’t resist. Dean is leaving and since Vince hates it when people make their own decisions, he punished his ass on the way out. By the way, the whole “out on your back” thing doesn’t work when the match never takes place.

Match #6: Intercontinental Champion Finn Bálor def. Sami Zayn – WWE Intercontinental Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Sami Zayn is back! But he’s a little different this time. The changes were apparent at first: This wasn’t the skanking Sami Zayn of NXT lore, or even the snarky Sami Zayn of just a year ago. This was a slightly quirkier Sami Zayn, with a shaved head, a loose, irreverent attitude and a few inexplicable dance moves. He also very nearly had the Intercontinental Championship after Finn Bálor answered his oddly deferential open challenge (“My schedule’s wide open!”) and struggled to come up with an answer for the former NXT Champion. The Extraordinary Man narrowly retained his championship.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This turned out really well and had some great wrestling in here for the shorter frame of time they were booked to work with. The action was fast and loose with a bit of a kick to it. I liked this, including the final stretch of wrestling that made this into a frantic sprint to the finale. Overall this was strong stuff.

Match #7: WWE World Champion Kofi Kingston def. WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins via DQ – Winner Take All

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The main event of Raw between Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston was scheduled to be Winner Take All. And the two winners of WrestleMania did take all, though not in the way they expected: The Bar crashed the match (technically handing Kofi a DQ win, for what it’s worth) in what was either some kind of pre-Superstar Shake-up power play or just an attempt to refocus the conversation on themselves. If it was the latter aim, they succeeded: Both the Universal and WWE Champion turned their gazes towards Cesaro & Sheamus, instantly reconfiguring the main event into a bout between the two champions and one of SmackDown LIVE’s most formidable tandems.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was far too short for a major match like this, but it was great while it lasted. These two had really found a great rhythm before the Vince finish came into play. This felt like a big deal and was wrestled like a big deal.

Match #8: (Main Event) WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins & WWE World Champion Kofi Kingston def. The Bar

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The new titleholders stepped up accordingly. The Bar — who came inches from the SmackDown Tag Team Titles for their parts at WrestleMania — held an early advantage as an established team, but Kingston & Rollins had simply too much momentum to be denied. Once Sheamus was dispatched on the outside, Cesaro was ripe pickings for a one-two combo of Trouble in Paradise and the Stomp. The final moments of Raw were markedly more civil than the start of the show had been — Rollins & Kofi bumped fists and posed with their titles — but somewhat open-ended all the same: With next week’s Superstar Shake-up looming in the distance, the fate of both champions is somewhat unclear. But with due respect to a game Cesaro & Sheamus, whatever standard is set at their ultimate destination might have to be adjusted: There’s no denying who sets the bar.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was good for what it was, but the crowd was pissed that they were watching it. The air felt like it had been let out of the balloon at this point, but at least this had enough good wrestling in it to work out well enough.

News Of The Night:

  1. Lacey Evans attacked Becky Lynch to set her up as Becky’s next rival.
  2. The Undertaker attacked Elias after Elias refused to relent and tried to give ‘Taker a cheap shot.
  3. Sami Zayn re-affirmed his heel status with a great promo that split the crowd.
  4. Dean Ambrose was written out with Bobby Lashley threatening to rape his wife, Renee Young…in so many words, of course.
  5. Seth Rollins was mildly teased as possibly turning heel, again.
  6. Kurt Angle attacked Baron Corbin and was assaulted by Lars Sullivan.
  7. A weird vignette with a vulture and a coffin aired.
  8. The Superstar Shake-Up (WWE Draft) will happen all next week on Raw and Smackdown.

Final Verdict: 4/5

The score says this was great and, while it mostly was, there was an underlying problem here that shows how much trouble the WWE really is in. The whole theme of this show was “#?&@ the people”. Everything that the people liked was $#!@ on and things they weren’t interested in were shoved down their throat…again. Sami’s great heel promo was all about how the fans are entitled and think they are in charge (which Vince has been complaining about). Kurt Angle and Dean Ambrose were used and abused in the name of putting over people that either didn’t need the aid or the people just don’t have an interest in. The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania segment was wasted on Raw when it’s clear that he could have done this at Wrestlemania itself. The people even got screwed out of another big main event in favor of a false finish finale. Why not have Seth Rollins fight Dean Ambrose for the WWE Universal Title for Dean’s last match or include Roman Reigns and make it a triumphant Triple Threat? You could have used Raw to set up a big Winner Takes All match between Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston for Smackdown Live Tuesday night and had a big match for each of the two major brands. That bit is more of my usual criticism, but it does represent why this great show was ultimately a disappointment. It feels like Vince McMahon is intentionally sabotaging himself so that he can prove, yet again, that he is still in charge and he doesn’t need us to make him rich. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that Vince has no idea about why he has so much money in his pocket. Raw is like his love letter to himself and his message to himself is that he is the master and all others are the slaves. In a world where rich people are constantly flaunting their wealth at the expense of the rest, why should we even keep rewarding this one, rich prick with our time and money, if he can’t even treat our favorite wrestlers with respect on their last night in the ring?


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