WWE Monday Night Raw on April 10, 2017
Watch: USA Network, Hulu, WWE Network on an one-month delay
Nassau Coliseum – Uniondale, NY
You are reading this correctly, the OG Wrestling With Words Raw reviewer has returned to Monday nights, it’s just something I can’t get away from and it looks like I’m back in the saddle with change in the air. Tonight is the ‘Superstar Shake-up’ where Raw and Smackdown will be jumbling up the rosters and trading some stars. Apollo Crews was the first announced going to Raw earlier in the day with the rest being announced/revealed tonight and tomorrow night, respectively. Let’s get into the shakin’.
Raw opens with none other than John Cena making the cross-over to Monday Night-, wait, nope, it’s Miz and Maryse dressed in their Cena & Nikki gimmick. Miz and Maryse have made it to Raw! Miz and Maryse continue their crusade to besmirch the names of Cena and Nikki, except this time in front of a Raw crowd. They aren’t the only ones making the jump, as Dean Ambrose’s music hits, and yes, Raw has acquired the Intercontinental Champion, that’s a hell of a shake-up. Ambrose talks to them as if they really are Cena and Nikki until Miz and Maryse drop the act, and Ambrose’s realization includes giving a Dirty Deeds to Miz. Well, Smackdown losing two top players already is a helluva way to start, the IC belt being on Raw now is surprising, considering the Corbin/Ambrose feud seemed far from finished, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Baron rear his head tonight.
Sami Zayn is seen backstage harassing Kurt about his future on Raw or Smackdown, Miz interrupts demanding order after getting Dirty Deeds’d, one things leads to another and Kurt makes Zayn vs. Miz for tonight.
New Day vs. The Revival
Man is it nice seeing the #TopGuys on the main roster. Big E and Woods teaming and Kofi is out due to his ankle injury, though they do have a Kofi doll with them to fill the empty void. New Day work this match with some ferocity, trying to avenge Kofi’s ankle (and the ice cream cart), and Revival keep up with them every step of the way. Revival isolated Xavier and did damage until Big E got the fiery hot tag in, not many do a better hot tag sequence than Big E throwin’ dudes around. Really fun back and forth between these guys, a short burst of a match that saw Xavier jump off the top and get caught by the gnarliest Shatter Machine that left him dead on his face and got Revival the win. The return of the Hardyz and the debuting Revival have boosted the tag division to amazing potential in just two weeks, and we’re gonna get some incredible stuff when they finally go head-to-head.
In an unfortunate turn of events, it seems Smackdown has sent Curt Hawkins to Raw for them to deal with. His welcoming committee is, well, it’s the Big Show, who walks up and KOs him and that’s the end of Curt Hawkins. We knew him well.
TJ Perkins vs. Austin Aries
Got a pretty nice battle of generally insufferable people here, who have a nice enough match until Neville (who was on commentary) interrupts after Aries dares to do a high-flying move in his presence, Neville stands on the ramp and TJP surprises Aries with a small package to steal a win over the #1 Contender. Perkins surprises us by beating the hell out of Aries post-match, seemingly taking the side of Neville from now on. A heel turn for the guy who seemed to have nothing going on since winning the CWC and subsequently losing the title might freshen things up, but we’ll see. I imagine heel TJP will just be the same except he’ll dab a lot more.
They’ve promoted ‘The Fate of Seth Rollins’ since the start of the show and now we finally learn it. Rollins talks about facing H at ‘Mania and not being sure if he’d be able to stand here again after putting everything on the line in that match. He thanks everyone for their help in defeating the king. He says he’s far from done here and he’s got some things to do, like deal with Samoa Joe and finally get his hands on the Universal Championship. Seth rolls the clip of Steph being sent through a table, and says he isn’t winning any Employee of the Month awards, and he’ll be the target of her wrath when she returns. Seth says he won’t leave Raw unless he’s dragged out, but Kurt Angle comes out and I’m pretty sure that man will be getting the same massive pops for the next year at least. Kurt affirms Steph’s desire to have Seth gone, but Kurt says as long as he’s GM, Seth has a home here on Raw. Joe ambushes Rollins from behind and Kurt has to step in to try and cool things down but he doesn’t do a very good job. Seth gives Joe a superkick to send him out of the ring and Kurt is very concerned about the happenings at hand. He genuinely had no idea what to do with himself, but lucky for his sake, Joe retreats for the time being.
Charlotte vs. Nia Jax
For some reason, these two try to legitimately murder each other in this match, especially when Nia Jax does a shoulderbreaker and dumps Charlotte right on her damn head. For some reason during this match, in plain sight, Elias Sampson walks through the crowd, guitar on the shoulder. Drifts right through. In any case, Charlotte tried everything to drop Nia, even hits a Natural Selection that only gets a two count. Charlotte hit her outside moonsault, that didn’t go too well unless she had planned to kick Nia right in the head on the way down. Charlotte goes for the figure-eight but gets nailed in the face by Nia, who gets up and hits a samoan drop to get the win. Weird match, but it wasn’t that bad, the physicality was unexpected but it got real decent as a result of it.
Finn Balor vs. Jinder Mahal
The most vascular man on Earth against Finn Balor. Finn should have brought out the demon paint for this one, you can’t prepare for Jinder. In any case, this match was about as exciting as you’d expect. Balor runs through Jinder like he’s been doing this all day, not much effort. Slingblade, corner dropkick, Coup de Grace. The highlight of this match was Jinder hitting an elbow that literally almost KO’d Finn.
Post-match, Bray pops up on the titantron, announcing that Raw will be his new home now, but still hypes up his House of Horrors match with Orton that he says is happening at Payback now.. I guess? I don’t know, it’s all very confusing but he teased a feud with Finn which sounds like some wacky, wacky stuff. Three more picks are announced as Raw will also be getting Kalisto, plus Slater & Rhyno.
Sami Zayn vs. The Miz
Very good stuff to jumpstart Miz’s newfound Raw career. Zayn doesn’t play the underdog here, rather the guy who knows he can beat Miz but Miz keeps pulling out crafty stuff to keep himself out of certain doom, with the help of Maryse. Zayn nails a Blue Thunder Bomb for a close 2 and a half and misses the Helluva Kick when Maryse pulls Miz from danger, but catches Miz into a roll-up to get the three.
Michael Cole is doing an interview with Reigns backstage, which is a bit short-lived. After some words of respect to the Undertaker, Braun blindsides Roman and TOSSES him through a table and batters him all around the backstage area. Braun powerslams Roman onto a big ol’ suitcase and literally crushes Roman by rolling a giant steel container into him as he was against a wall. Roman is stretchered out but Braun comes back and THROWS THE STRETCHERED ROMAN REIGNS OFF A LEDGE AND ROMAN FALLS FACE FIRST ONTO THE CONCRETE. Surely Braun is done but no, he certainly is not. He punches the hell out of Reigns as he’s put into the ambulance, closes the ambulance doors, and LIFTS THE AMBULANCE OVER WITH HIS SHEER STRENGTH. I believe we’ve witnessed actual murder and the legitimization of Braun into an unstoppable killing machine. I don’t even have the words to describe how incredible this segment was, if this isn’t WWE segment of the year I have no idea what will be. I’m blown away.
The Club and Shining Stars vs. Sheamus & Cesaro and The Hardy Boyz
Hell of a match here, and interestingly enough, Elias Samson just wanders out onto the stage after The Hardyz make their entrance. Genuinely hope his gimmick is just that he drifts into various places with no explanation. This is your standard fare until Matt Hardy gets the tag in and cleans house alongside Jeff who hits a Poetry in Motion that takes out everyone on the outside, and then the two hit the Twist of Fate/Swanton combination on a Shining Star to pick up the win. Love the Hardyz being back so much.
We have a reunion of Emma and Dana backstage as Emma expects them to be BFFs again, but Dana isn’t having it, she’s adamant on being on her own and not needing anyone else. No reunion of the iconic duo. 🙁
Sasha and Bayley are here to celebrate Bayley’s WM victory. Sasha wants to congratulate Bayley on the biggest moment of her career, but says she wants that title… and out comes Alexa Bliss to a huge pop! Alexa and Sasha on the same brand sounds like a fight is about to happen, lads. Alexa says she’s the only person who deserves any recognition here. She wants an end to the Sasha/Bayley sideshow, and she’s here to take over the Raw women’s division. Alexa isn’t the only woman jumping the brand as Mickie James comes out to confront Alexa, but gets bulldozed by a surprise Nia Jax. Nia jumps in the ring and Sasha gets pushed right into Nia by Alexa, and Nia destroys Bayley and holds the title high over her head. The women’s division on Raw certainly got interesting very quickly! We’ll see how the SD women end up tomorrow.
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
It’s your main event, and it’s champion vs. champion. Two guys I generally don’t care for in-ring these days facing off and this match is kind of a reminder as to why that is. Owens dominates with headlocks abound, Ambrose fires back with minimal offense. It’s your standard fare from these two, really. It’s not bad but it’s just not entirely gripping, y’know? Ambrose gets a big ol’ comeback and takes control with his arsenal of ‘wacky’ moves including the rebound lariat and the standing elbow drop to the outside. The ending sequence gets pretty good with them trading big moves, Ambrose fighting through to, in the words of Michael Cole, “bury him with Dirty Deeds” for the win. For injury to more injury, Jericho comes out and takes out Owens to end Raw.
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW ON APRIL 10, 2017
Good - 7.5/10
The Superstar Shake-up edition of Raw was quite enjoyable! The shake-up itself was marred by a bit of confusion as to how it worked at first, it was really just 'whoever shows up is now on Raw', that being said, Raw is stacked to the gills now, and it'll be interested to see where all the new acquisitions fall into place in the coming weeks. Mostly solid matches with nothing offensive at all, though nothing that broke through the ceiling of being great or anything. The Braun/Roman segment was the true highlight of the show, just some masterful work from those two and I can't wait to see where it goes from there because holy shit. All-in-all, a very enjoyable three hours that flew by, which is very rare for a Raw show to do.