Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 15 April ’19

Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal Canada. Designed in the Gothic style by James O’Donnell.

The Superstar Shake Up is upon us. Stephanie McMahon is the first one to hit the ring. She then introduces Shane McMahon as “The Best In The World.” The only thing worse than the McMahon’s fighting each other is them being chummy with each other. They said nothing of consequence. The Miz is back on Raw. He attacked Shane McMahon to make the “announcement.”

Ricochet comes out for an eight man tag match. Aleister Black and him appear to be on Raw now. They are teaming with Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins. The Revival then teams with The Viking Experience, Eric & Evor. I spent the entire match ripping the name on Twitter because at a minimum, it’s on the Mount Rushmore of Bad Name changes.

Cedric Alexander is coming Raw. Cool. I’ve liked that dude for a long time. Glad to see him on the main roster.

Finn Balor is facing Andrade with Zelina Vega. Cool. Zelina gives them a little introduction. They kind of needed it since he’s not been on TV for a minute. Andrade is going to speak “French” but only says “Merci.” He then launches into a Spanish screed. Much like Asuka, he emotes better speaking his native tongue. Vega runs interference to gain him the upper hand. The hand spring double Pele kick looked absurd but the announcers were slobbering all over it. Andrade goes for the moonsault, misses, double and Balor gets the knees up. Balor misses a Coup De Grace. Andrade goes for the Hammer Lock DDT but Balor small packages him. Andrade rolls to the outside. Vega runs interference again. Flip dive over her by Balor. He throws Andrade back into the ring. The ref turns around. Vega with head scissors take down of Balor into the barricade. Andrade throws him back in. Hammer Lock DDT for the win. Always keep in mind with the majority of my criticism, it’s not about what’s happening between the ropes. This match just one of many great matches Andrade has had on the main roster.

Elias makes getting his ass whopped by John Cena & The Undertaker as a good thing. I mean, they are great moments in your career but it’s funny in character context. I love the Elias says something, it comes true scenario. Someone wasn’t going to be able to “show their face” so naturally Rey Mysterio shows up. Lars Sullivan shows up as Rey celebrates in the ring. Rey does a good job of using his speed to his advantage but a Freak Slam does him in. Sullivan picks him up and gives him a sit down power bomb.

Bobby Roode & Chad Gable issue an open challenge. Unknown to them and the live audience, the graphics department gave it away for the TV audience. The Usos are coming to Raw. I knew at least one of the great teams was coming over from Smackdown Live. Good for the Usos to have some new home. Double Splash for the win. Did you expect something else?

Sami Zayn was brilliant in his segment with Alexa Bliss. He feeds into the home town crowd reaction then cuts them off at the knees.

The IIconics are taking on Bayley & her “new” partner Naomi. Corey Graves says that Sasha Banks “Lost her ball and quit the game.” Graves is bad at analogies 101 in session. He’s so, so bad at them. He’s so bad that I’m convinced he screws them up to amuse himself. Lending credence to the theory that the WWE is only on bad terms with Banks, Naomi gets the pin.

For some reason when EC3 finally gets a match, he gets it against Braun Strowman. It isn’t a real match. Mostly an ass kicking by Braun. EC3 ends up going through the stage by choke slam.

Becky Lynch is getting all the Corey Graves hate too. So even though he tries to pump up Ruby Riott, his words care far more about his nemesis. Lynch gets Riott in the Dis-Arm-Her but Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan pull her from the ring. Becky takes them out then locks in Dis-Arm-Her for the win. Nice burial of the Riott Squad there.

Baron Corbin is still weighing down Bobby Lashley & Drew McIntyre. They don’t care who the mystery opponent is tonight.

During that whole segment, Becky Lynch stayed in the ring so she could be offended when Natalya came out. Weird. They both then need to wait through a commercial break. All for Natalya to challenge her face to face. She understands where Nattie is coming from. Becky is ready to take on Nattie. Lacey Evans shows up and tells us she is officially on Raw. She also tells us that her and Natalya are fighting for No. 1 Contender Status for the Raw Women’s Championship.

Most of their match airs after another break. Things get interesting when Nattie locks in the Sharp Shooter. Lacey Evans fights out of it twice like a true…baby face? What a weird spot. Nattie turns Evans around but is met with a Woman’s Right. Moonsault that seemed a bit off target gets the win for Evans. After the slow mo replay, she wasn’t off too much but came up short.

Charley Caruso tries to get Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins to reveal their partner for the night. They won’t say because they’re super buddy buddy now without Dean Ambrose.

Lashley, McIntyre and Corbin come out before it is revealed that AJ Styles is the partner of Reigns & Rollins. It’s really weird to she Styles shaved. He figures prominently in the match. Even getting the big hot tag. A Claymore is the only thing that stops it. McIntyre gets taken out by Reigns & Rollins. Chaos reigns (with a lower case R). Rollins breaks up a pin of Styles. Stomp by Rollins. Spear by Reigns. Phenomenal Forearm follows for the win. Styles could use some new opponents so I like the move even if he has been a SDL guy.

Kevin DiFrango

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