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WWE Raw results, live blog (April 16, 2018): Superstar Shakeup, Day 1

WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (April 16, 2018) from the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, featuring a very special show: it’s Day 1 of the Superstar Shakeup!

Advertised for tonight: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, Woken Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt vs. The Revival, and more!

Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)


When the world was virgin, before the coming of men, just a solar witness, the beginning of the end. From a world of magma to a cold rock face; The ascent of madness and a human race. We are strange believers, all of us, there are stranger truths, immortal lust. We rise from slumber, he calls our name, and me, I’m here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with Kurt Angle making his entrance.

He gets on the mic and welcomes us to the show. He reminds us that the Superstar Shakeup runs tonight and through tomorrow. He wants to move onto something else, but--

Enter Sunil Singh, giving his man Jinder Mahal a big introduction to mark his return to Raw. Jinder congratulates Angle on drafting him and making Raw the A Show, but he wants to know why he was brought to the arena in an SUV when he only travels with a full motorcade in a limousine. Kurt formally welcomes him to Raw and says they never agreed on a limo.

Mahal says Angle knew his expectations and he knows that he’s better than any other superstar on the roster. Angle doesn’t buy it but Jinder insists that this is his kingdom and he expects the same perks that Brock Lesnar gets. In fact, he demands them! Kurt wants him to email him his demands instead of having it out here, and he gives his email out as, which doesn’t seem right.

Here on Raw, Kurt wants to settle it in the ring, and he demands that Mahal prove it in the ring. Jinder is all for it, and Angle asks who wants to prove Mahal wrong and he makes it a title match! Jinder is apoplectic... JEFF HARDY ACCEPTS THE CHALLENGE!

Jeff Hardy vs. Jinder Mahal (c) (WWE United States Championship)

Mahal right in with a kick to the midsection into right hands before putting boots to Hardy in the corner and getting warned by referee John Cone. Drawing Jeff up, he blocks a right, throws some haymakers of his own and smashes Jinder face-first in to the turnbuckle. Hard whip, Stinger splash, hammer blow to the head and a double axehandle, snapmare into the dropkick to the back of the head!

Mahal cuts him off with a knee and an overhead elbow, right hand, whip across, Hardy catches himself in the ropes and knocks the champion to the floor with a dropkick! Slingshot dropkick through the ropes, fired up on the apron, diving splash off the apron and we go to commercial.

Back from commercial, Jinder is in control with a half nelson chinlock wrenched in. Jeff clasps his hands, fighting, reaching, posting to his feet, right hands get countered with a stomp to the back of the knee and Mahal takes him back down to the mat. A jawbreaker gets him the separation he wants but Jinder Hot Shots him onto the ropes! Repeated knee drops to the face into a choke but Cone forces the break!

A huge right knocks Hardy back to the apron as he gets up but the Charismatic Enigma keeps his wits about him, shoulder thrusts, punches, hanging Mahal over the ropes, headed up top but Jinder cuts him off! Climbing to meet him, thinking back superplex, Jeff blocks with an elbow and knocks him down... WHISPER IN THE WIND! Sunil with the interference, Hardy runs him off, whip reversed, flying forearm, Manhattan Drop into the double leg drop to the midsection and the basement dropkick... NOPE!

Kick to the gut, Twist of Fate blocked, kick off the ropes, Jinder meets him with the jumping knee but Hardy gets the ropes! Mahal drags him up for Khallas but Jeff blocks with a forearm the first time, reverses to a victory roll the second... NOT ENOUGH! Big boot from Jinder... STILL CAN’T PUT JEFF HARDY AWAY! Mahal with a fireman’s carry gutbuster but Hardy reverses to a pin!

Kick to the gut, Twist of Fate, Jeff climbs up top...

Jeff Hardy wins by pinfall with the Swanton Bomb, winning the WWE United States Championship.

Commentary hypes up the rest of our proceedings, including Bayley vs. Sasha Banks, and we go to break on a hype reel for Bruce Prichard’s podcast coming to the WWE Network.

Back from commercial we get a recap of what we just saw, because Raw is three hours long.

We go backstage where Jinder Mahal rolls up on an interview, still fuming. He says Mr. USA is running a conspiracy against him and he wasn’t ready to compete. But in Saudi Arabia in two weeks, he’s invoking his rematch clause and will restore glory to the title and if Angle tries anything like that ever again, he’ll find out exactly--

Enter No Way Jose and his conga line. He laughs at Jinder and tells him to smile, and when life gets him down, he says no way. Jose and Renee Young fiesta off together while Mahal fumes.

Bayley vs. Sasha Banks

Bayley tries to offer up an apology but Sasha’s not having it, going for an early tube man elbow but she slips and Banks clobbers her for it! Drawing her up, overhand chop, knucklelock, step-up for the arm drag but Bayley counters with an arm wringer and dumps her to the floor! The Hugger dives through the ropes into a Frankensteiner and we go to break!

Back from commercial, the Boss has the Japanese stranglehold locked in to keep Bayley grounded. The Hugger fights to her feet, breaks with rams into the turnbuckle and a flip, she ducks an armbar but takes an elbow to the face before hitting a back body drop and getting some room to breathe. Dumping Banks to the apron, the Stunner over the middle rope follows, shoulder thrust, back roll, tube man elbow, to the second, inverted tornado DDT... NOPE!

Going to capitalize, Sasha with an upkick, she dumps Bayley to the floor and they meet again on the apron. Knee from the Boss, slingshot Meteora, one off the top... NOT ENOUGH! Jawing at the Hugger, they soon traded heated slaps and right into Frye/Takayama punches! Struggling into the corner, Sasha sets her up, running knees, reversed to a crucifix... NO GOOD!


The match presumably goes to a no contest, although they don’t announce that finish because they never do no matter how much I complain about it here.

Sarah Logan catches Sasha with her pop-up headbutt, Liv Morgan hits the single knee Codebreaker, and they pick Bayley up... RIOTT KICK!

Commentary hypes up that Roman Reigns will be here tonight and we go to break.

Back from commercial in time for a picture in picture promo from Beauty and the Man-Beast telling the Authors of Pain they made a great first impression, but they got a second chance and they’re not gonna take it lightly.

Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) vs. Beauty and the Man-Beast (Heath Slater & Rhyno)

Slater out the gates from behind and they isolate Akam and beat him down in the corner! Akam’s good to go, we get a bell, Heath throwing kicks and punches, tag to Rhyno. Forearms, whip to the corner, shoulder thrust, tag to Slater and he heads up top for a diving brain chop! Akam with the Stun Gun and he tags Rezar in! Kneeling hammer fists cave Heath’s face in, quick tag back to Akam into a double gutbuster!

Cover comes up empty and Akam slams Slater into the mat before tagging Rezar back in. Stomp to the midsection, drawing him up, jawing, up on his shoulder but Heath slips out and makes the tag! Rhyno in with punches, whip reversed, uppercut out of the corner, off the ropes with a leaping lariat and he clears Akam from the apron! Shoulder thrust in the corner, belly-to-belly suplex and Akam makes the save!

Dumping Heath to the floor, big lariat, tag to Akam...

Authors of Pain win by pinfall with Last Chapter on Rhyno.

We get some hype for MizTV and go to break.

Back from commercial with Miz and the Miztourage all set up for MizTV.

Miz welcomes us to the show and talks about how Jinder and the Riott Squad have already shook things up before introducing the newest members of the roster... SAMI ZAYN AND KEVIN OWENS!

Owens and Zayn make their way down, all smiles. Miz says this is the finest collection of talent ever assembled in one place, bigger and better than the nWo, more talented than the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, and WWE’s version of the Avengers right here, right now. (Van Halen’s kicking ass in America?) They don’t have to answer to Shane McMahon or Paige, and together they’re changing the landscape of WWE and reshaping Raw in their image.

They call the shots, they have the control, and they’re putting the entire locker room on notice--

Enter Kurt Angle. Angle says as far as he knows, Miz has no control around here, he does. Kevin and Sami had their shot last week and they both lost. KO says about that, there’s an email that was just sent a few minutes ago and... to sum up, plans have changed. Sami pulls a printout of the email out of his pocket and puts on his reading glasses.

In light of recent events and Kurt’s proclivity towards emotional decisions, they had no chance but to reevaluate his handling of Owens and Zayn. They proved they belong on Raw and to let them walk away would be a mistake of epic proportions and the decision is overridden and they get Raw contracts, courtesy of Stephanie McMahon.

KO loses his mind confirming that he means Kurt Angle’s boss, Stephanie McMahon and that they’re officially back on Raw with nothing Angle can do about it. Miz asks Angle what’s wrong, is his whole career as GM flashing before his eyes? Kurt says he’s surprised Stephanie had time to write a letter given that Ronda Rousey ripped her arm off her body.

But what’s done is done and he welcomes Sami and Kevin to Monday Night Raw and tells them to say goodbye to Miz. He just got a call from Shane McMahon and Paige, and Daniel Bryan was very adamant about getting MIZ ON SMACKDOWN! Miz is furious and says that SmackDown will be THE show now that he and the Miztourage are over there, and they’ll make it must-see TV--

Angle says the Miztourage isn’t going anywhere, it’s just Miz! But he’ll give him a going-away present, in the form of a ten-man tag tonight. These five guys against Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman and a WWE Superstar who’s making his Raw debut. He tells Miz he’s gonna miss him and leaves.

Commentary hypes up Roman again.

(Wyatt noise.)

Bray Wyat and Matt Hardy are in their dark and light rooms, right next to each other. Matt knew Bray would come and Wyatt declares it wonderful. His Broken Brilliance does the “We’re here” gimmick and they blow out the lantern together to send us to break.

Back from commercial in time for entrances and to see the Bar on commentary.

Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy vs. the Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) (Tag Team Eliminator Finals)

Hardy and Dawson to start, circling, Matt with a waistlock, Scott backs him into the corner, tag made. Wilder to the corner, Hardy turns him around and deletes his face repeatedly against the turnbuckles but is caught with an uppercut on the charge. Hip toss, arm wringer, tag to Wyatt. In with a boot, Sister Abigail clutch, Dawson runs interference and Dash comes at him with chops and forearms!

Off the ropes, Bray falls back and bridges, stopping Wilder in his tracks, lariat, tag to Hardy. Double whip into double back elbows, senton / leg drop combo, Dawson in and Wyatt suplexes him into his own partner! They decree it WONDERFUL as the Revival take a breather on the floor. Dragging Dash back in, forearms, Twist of Fate blocked, double clothesline connects!

Scott tags in, elbow strikes, a cover comes up empty and he hits a crossface into a reverse chinlock before breaking for an elbow to the face and jawing at Wyatt. Bray comes in, the Revival take advantage of referee Darrick Moore’s distraction to get a few cheap shots in but they can’t finish the job just yet. Tag to Wilder, double headbutt, elbow to the back of the head.

Bray in hot, he takes Wilder’s head off with a lariat, hits the big Rock Bottom after some struggle in the corner, fired up in the corner, tag made, Dawson caught with Sister Abigail, Bray grabs a wheelbarrow...

Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy win by pinfall with an assisted Twist of Fate on Dash Wilder, earning the match at the Greatest Royal Rumble against the Bar for the vacant WWE Raw Tag Team Championship.

The Bar stare their opponents down from atop the announce table.

This is followed by the music video announcing that pay-per-views will be dual-branded going forward.

Commentary hypes up a recap of Ronda Rousey ripping Stephanie McMahon’s arm off and we go to break.

Back from commercial, the Bar are walking backstage talking themselves up when they run into Breezango. The Fashion Police have been transferred to a new precinct, you see, and they’re here to clean up the mean streets of Raw. They ask if Sheamus has a permit for the mohawk and issue citations for the kilts to boot, calling them dresses. The Bar tear the tickets up.

Commentary recaps the Superstar Shakeup and use it to segue to the video recap of Ronda Rousey yanking Stephanie McMahon’s arm out of socket last week.

Backstage, Ronda is talking to Kurt Angle about what an experience WrestleMania was for her and how much it was worth it. Kurt says she surprised a lot of people, but Stephanie’s not gonna go away quietly and who knows what she has planned. He has a surprise, meanwhile, and it’s Natalya. Rousey’s happy to see her and they hug. Apparently they train together, and Angle says Nattie campaigned hard to come to Raw.

She says she wants to prove that she’s Uncle Bret’s catchphrase... or maybe the second best. She fistbumps Ronda and takes her leave.

Nia Jax makes her entrance to join commentary for a match and we go to break.

Back from commercial in time for entrances.

Ember Moon vs. Mickie James

Moon with a wristlock after initial struggle, James reverses, reversed again and Ember takes her down to a armbar but Mickie reverses to a headscissors and clobbers her with an uppercut! Whip across, hip toss, arm drag, dropkick, James back into it with a half nelson choke as we join Alexa Bliss with picture-in-picture. She says she didn’t come out to do commentary because Nia’s a bully and losing the title hurt.

Ember flips over but Mickie sticks with her, Moon posts to her feet, levers the arm, blocked with a knee, back elbow, cover and James stays on her with knees and into a sleeper hold this time. Ember flips her off her back, James right back with a neckbreaker! Elbow from Moon, underhooks reversed, sidestep the superkick, get the butterfly suplex this time into a kip-up!

Fired up, charging in, handspring forearm, headed up top...

Ember Moon wins by pinfall with Eclipse.

In the locker room, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are talking about their rocky start but Sami wants to focus on tonight’s match, specifically on Braun. KO is concerned about the mystery partner but Zayn wants to put it out of their heads. Kev says they could be walking into a lion’s den (is it Ken Shamrock?), and if they knew they were going to be treated like that they should have stayed on SmackDown.

Miz rolls up to ask how Shane is and the Canadians lose it on him, they want him to focus on tonight and not on tomorrow, or at least on the Miztourage. Miz tells them to mourn tomorrow and focus today. They need to forget about monsters among men and mystery men and remember what’s important-- this is his Raw finale, and they need to make it must-see.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get some hype for Make-A-Wish World Wish Day on April 29.

Dolph Ziggler makes his entrance. He gets on the mic and says he’s back on Raw and a lot of things are the same, like how he steals the show everywhere he goes, he’s the best to ever walk that aisle, but one thing has changed, and--

Enter Titus Worldwide. Titus O’Neil welcomes Dolph back and says a lot of things HAVE changed, things that would include him creating Titus Worldwide. If you’re looking to maximize your return, look no further than their team, and he gives him a business card. He promises him that they’ll conquer the world together and Ziggler thanks him for loudly interrupting.

What he was gonna say is that one thing changed-- he didn’t come back to Raw alone. He throws the card at Titus-- AND DREW MCINTYRE BLINDSIDES TITUS WORLDWIDE! They put Titus into the post, Dolph superkicks him, Drew beats on Apollo, they draw him up... CLAYMORE / ZIG ZAG COMBINATION PUTS HIM DOWN!

Commentary says Roman Reigns is up next and we go to break.

Back from commercial, as promised, Roman Reigns makes his entrance.

He gets in the ring and takes his time as the “Roman sucks!” chants start up. He says he’s here and Brock Lesnar isn’t once again, and he’s gonna leave Brock trapped in that cage and come back as your full-time Universal Champion. And since tonight is the Superstar Shakeup--

Enter Samoa Joe. He says Roman comes out here and he’s so quick to brag about how he shows up to work but he’s noticed something. The one thing he doesn’t brag about is getting the job done, because the fact is he hasn’t got the job done and he never will. He talks about the cage match and says he’s gonna go in there and be a champion, but he fails to understand that he’s getting in there with a Beast that has beaten him every time he steps into the ring with him.

He’d almost feel sorry for him, but he can’t because Reigns is too stupid to realize his place. He gets beat over and over and he’s not going to learn until somebody puts him down for good. So Joe comes bearing that sweet mercy, because when Brock is done massacring him, he’ll be waiting at Backlash to put the Big Dog to sleep once and for all.

And since he’s got a lot of bass in his voice and fire in his eyes tonight, Samoa will play him a video reminding him of what Brock and himself have done to the Big Dog. Roman points out that it was everything Brock has done but he wants to see what Joe’s lazy, fat ass can do. Samoa steps to him, making his way up the ramp... before pausing and deciding Reigns isn’t worth his time.

He goes back to the microphone, stops again, anger playing across his face, Joe throws his towel off and heads back to ringside... and again it’s a fakeout, saying that he’ll see the Big Dog on his time!

Commentary hypes up our ten-man main event and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Absolution make their entrance.

Mandy Rose vs. Natalya

Collar and elbow into a cover, Mandy kicks out, trading slaps, takedown into a headscissors, double leg into mounted punches and Natalya is in control. Forearms, the action spills outside and Rose clobbers Nattie with a knee to the face! Back inside, cover only good for two, putting boots to Neidhart in the corner, choking her, straight suplex follows for another nearfall and a club to the back after.

Arm wringer into an abdominal stretch, Natalya escapes with a hip toss, big forearm and Nattie tells her not to touch her like that. Discus lariat ducked, knee sidestepped and Neidhart has her...

Natalya wins by submission with the Sharpshooter.

Sonya Deville attacks from behind! Knee strikes in the clinch, Natalya crumbles and they beat her down... RONDA ROUSEY MAKES THE SAVE! Absolution run for it and Ronda checks on Nattie. Deville gets back into the ring and squares up to a skeptical Rousey. Peppering her with punches, Ronda takes her out with a lariat! She tends to Neidhart again as Absolution leave.

Commentary tosses to a video package announcing that Baron Corbin is coming to Raw.

Breezango make their entrance, they have a match against the Bar after the break.

Back from commercial in time for the Bar to make their entrance.

Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze) vs. the Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus)

Fandango and Cesaro to start, Dango choosing to put Cesaro’s ring jacket on before getting a side headlock wrenched in on him. Shoot off, shoulder block, drop down, sunset flip, Fandango takes the jacket off and gets his balance, hip swivel into a leg drop but the cover’s only good for one. Arm wringer, tag to Breeze, Cesaro shoves him away... SWISS DEATH!

Cesaro rips Tyler’s shirt off and fires himself up before tagging Sheamus in.Punches in the corner, Cesaro with a choke, right hands from Prince Pretty as he comes back but the Swiss Superman cuts him off with a sleeper. Wristlock, tag back to Sheamus, knee to the back and a reverse chinlock applied as the Celtic Warrior jaws at the Fashion Police.

Jawbreaker escape, lariat stops him from capitalizing, Sheamus clears the apron... Demolition Decapitation gets a tight nearfall! Hoisting Breeze up, going for the tag, Tyler reverses...

Breezango win by pinfall with a sunset flip from Tyler Breeze on Cesaro.

Backstage, Elias is interviewed about his decision not to play tonight. He says he doesn’t do small-time anymore, only the shows that matter, and Hartford definitely doesn’t matter. Much like Bobby Lashley doesn’t matter, and since he left, Elias has become the biggest star in WWE. He says Lashley should go sit in the stands and worship him like everyone else, but if he interrupts him again, he’ll learn that WWE stands for Walk With Elias.

He wants to cut to the chase and suggests that Renee Young wants a private concert. First he’s gonna need her to do his usual pre-song checklist, she protests that they don’t have time and tosses back to Michael Cole.

Commentary hypes up our main event and we go to break.

Back from commercial in time for our main event entrances.

We wait for the fifth man... IT’S BOBBY ROODE!

Bobby Lashley, Bobby Roode, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, the Miz, & the Miztourage (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)

Rollins and Owens to start, KO with a boot to the midsection and stomps, right hands, backing him into the corner, knee lift, whip across but he gets caught by the reverse STO into the turnbuckles and a springboard lariat! Dumping Kev to the floor, Seth is fired up and hits a plancha! All five heels outside and all five babyfaces inside and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Axel is in control on the Architect but Rollins posts to his feet and shoots him off. Drop down, leapfrog, dropkick, arm wringer and a tag to Roode. Bobby with a straight suplex, only good for two, arm wringer, tag to Balor and he comes in with a diving double axehandle to the arm. Curtis with a knee, whip reversed, sunset flip rolled into the dropkick, only good for a nearfall!

The crowd wants Strowman, Finn is ready to give him to them but Axel takes him into the corner and tags Owens in. Working him over, quick tags to Dallas and Miz, the A-Lister stomping away but he can’t put Finn down. Reverse chinlock applied, Balor out with elbows but he falls prey to the inverted facelock backbreaker / neckbreaker combo! Tag made to Zayn, Finn sidesteps a charge and tags Lashley in!

Overhead suplex, charging lariat, shoulder thrust, into the Argentine backbreaker rack but he drops it to clear the apron and Sami tries to take advantage with a forearm. Leapfrog, lariat, delayed vertical suplex and he makes him think about it, one-armed even! HE PRESS SLAMS MIZ TO THE FLOOR AND WE GOTTA GO TO BREAK!

Back from commercial, the match has broken down into chaos on the floor as Owens rolls Rollins back inside and clubs at his head before locking a reverse chinlock in. Seth to his feet, reaching for the tag but he gets slammed down and the senton connects for a nearfall. Armbar, to the corner, Miz tags in and claws at Rollins’ face.

Basement DDT almost does the trick, and the A-Lister raises his fingers to the air for the Daniel Bryan chest kicks! Duck the buzzsaw, schoolboy, only two! Duck a lariat, back suplex and now the Architect has breathing room, stumbling and crawling as the Miztourage head around to clear the apron! Seth gets to his corner, nobody’s there, he lands on his feet off a back suplex and hits the enzuigiri!

Crawling, reaching, Braun pops down to knock Kevin and Sami down and Rollins gets the tag to Roode! Lariat in the corner for Axel, whip across, another, into the neckbreaker, headed up top and he comes down with a diving lariat! Fired up, Glorious DDT denied, shoulder thrusts, boots up, to the second for the diving blockbuster but he can’t put Curtis away!

Dallas breaks it up, Bobby dumps him and Axel gets the chop block and tags Miz in! Lariat wipes him out, Strowman is the only one standing on the apron... TAG MADE! Miz bails and runs away but Braun catches up to him and throws him into the barricade but Sami runs interference enough that Miz thinks he can throw some kicks. Off the ropes, Braun with the goozle and the chokeslam!

Stacking the Miztourage up but they sidestep and the monster takes the post hard! Finn back in, Sling Blade on Bo, Axel dumps him, Rollins dumps Curtis, off the ropes, duck a lariat, suicide dive! Sami turns around and gets hit by the Glorious DDT and Owens wipes him out with a superkick in turn! Lashley hits a spinebuster, Miz dumps him and we’re back to the legal men!

Running corner dropkicks, shades of Daniel Bryan... STROWMAN HITS A RUNNING DROPKICK OF HIS OWN! Miz goes for the tag but the Miztourage pop off the apron, they’re done with him! Braun lies in wait as the A-Lister slowly turns around, fully cognizant of his own doom..

Bobby Lashley, Bobby Roode, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, & Seth Rollins win by pinfall with a running powerslam from Strowman on the Miz.

The babyfaces stand tall in the ring as Miz sits in agony against the apron and the other heels leave up the ramp.

That’s the show, folks.

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