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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (April 15, 2019): See ya in hell

Who’s your daddy, Montreal? Not Sami Zayn, that’s for sure.

Didn’t you hear? He moved to Orlando because all the people in Montreal sucked. Stop projecting your own issues onto him and king-making! Sheesh!

I had plans with this Superstar Shakeup edition of our Raw recap. I was going to make one big section where I covered all of the roster moves and talk about what each superstar did. All of that scrapped, because Sami Zayn is awesome. And...y’know. That “Viking Experience” thing that we’ve got to talk about, but still!

Zayn was a guest on Alexa Bliss’ talk show and he came out to a raucous ovation from his hometown crowd. He really played too, dancing and skipping and gyrating as the crowd sang his theme music in adoration. And then he plopped down in his chair for a brief moment before the music would start and he’d do it all again.

After the third time, we had the first sign of trouble. Zayn started saying things in French for the easy cheers and even started an Olé chant before throwing a patronizing look Bliss’ way.

So what would Zayn do with that adoration? He’d throw it in Montreal’s face, of course. What use does he have in their projected issues? And it’s funny because at the time of his surgery, he would have been so happy to get those cheers. Now? It makes him sick?

The crowd chanted “Kevin Owens!” in response, causing Zayn to smirk bitterly. There wasn’t much else to this segment, by the way; Zayn just kept insulting Montreal until they were disgusted with him, and then he left.

I am enraptured by it. It’s so interesting to me for a few reasons. For starters, Zayn doesn’t sound like anyone else right now when he talks. He’s so insanely bitter and jaded; he’s spreading the toxicity that he accused the fans of spreading after his loss to Finn Balor last week. It’s so intriguing, and I feel like Zayn will treat us to a fun few months seeing where this goes.

Ah. My bad, Sami. Wouldn’t want to project my desire to be entertained onto you. That’s my bad. I’ll work on it.


That’s the line that stuck out to me as Lacey Evans sauntered onto the stage and simpered in Becky Lynch’s general direction. Evans was talking about how a proper lady knows how to curry favor and get exactly what she wants, and Renee Young quietly dropped that one line.


Now I’ve been a bit of a fan of Evans’ gaudy deep south southern belle thing and less of a fan of her runway model thing, but her words on this show were shocking. You know, because of the implication.

Proper lady. Curry favor. Get what she wants. All as Evans subtly twirls locks of her hair and runs her hands down her sides and all this frivolous stuff. WWE?! HELLO?!

The implication!

I honestly kind of like it, but only when it’s balanced by someone like Young calling that behavior so gross, do you know what I mean? We’ve been spending years and years trying to establish that female wrestlers are more than sexual appeal. The word “diva” is gone for a reason. It’s objectifying and dumb.

And here comes Lacey Evans leaning into that sex appeal as part of her character. The implication of her promo was that she used that sex appeal to “curry favor” and receive a #1 Contenders Match against Nattie. And yes, she’s not fantastic in the ring at this point, and yes, the whole thing is a bit controversial.

But it’s not like Natalya was getting a massive ovation from the Canadian crowd for the “it was my dream and you guys made history” stuff. Also? That Moonsault is dope as hell and don’t you dare say it’s not.

Found in the shuffle

BALOR VS ANDRADE!!!! It’s like this match was booked for me!

I’m a huge fan of how Andrade’s first night on Raw went. This was a reintroduction to why Andrade was so cool in NXT. Zelina Vega played her role flawlessly, they got good heat for being smarmy idiots, and then Andrade backed up the goods by being absolutely ridiculous in the ring.

The match was extremely solid. Andrade’s...what do you call it? Cartwheel Pele Kick? That was nuts. The biggest thing that I enjoyed, however, was Andrade getting a signature win to set in motion a timeline of moving up the card. I feel like WWE should have a plan in place to get that man in a main event scene before the end of the year; he would excel on that level.

Also, the fact that Balor said nothing at all and that he went down clean as a whistle makes me think he’ll be moving to SmackDown Live. I know that’s a bit risky to say because Samoa Joe was never moved over on this episode, but it just seems to make the most sense to me considering all the moves WWE made on this show. But don’t get me wrong - I’d loooove to continue this as a feud if Balor sticks around.

Let’s talk about...The Viking Experience

Man oh man. Let’s talk about it. The longship in the room.

The Viking Experience.

I always try to ignore my initial reaction to these sorts of things. I think it’s important to see things from different perspectives. So let’s look at it from WWE’s standpoint for a second: what does “The Viking Experience” give you that “War Raiders” does not?

Yeah, I’m at a loss too.

It feels like someone backstage looked at them, looked at the runes on their gear, and said, “Aha! You’re vikings!” And yes, they are essentially. But...there’s a thing called subtlety. And there’s also an entire chant they’ve got going for themselves. And there’s also the cool name that sounds like they’re a band and you could have made them shirts that look like all the ones Rowan’s been sporting.

But nah. The Viking Experience. Go watch the music video of Amon Amarth’s newest song “Raven’s Flight” and then come back to this. Viking Experience.


The Rest

AJ Styles, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins def. Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin – Styles was the biggest name from SmackDown to make the jump to Raw and he helped the two Shield dudes take out the three biggest villains on the show. Not a bad start, AJ.

The Miz is on Raw – Excellent selection, in my opinion. In fact, I would have never moved Miz to SmackDown. He’s such a fantastic speaker and entertainer, and a much-needed commodity on Raw. Also, how cool did he look bloodied from attacking Shane?

The Viking Experience and The Revival def. Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Ricochet, and Aleister Black – Completely lost in the name reveal was a pretty fun tag team match. The new guys picked up a win in a much deeper Raw tag team division.

Cedric Alexander is now on Raw – Big fan of this move as well. I’d love to see Cedric make some moves in the midcard and I think 205 Live really needed this, a clear path to the main shows for those who produce well.

Lars Sullivan obliterates Rey Mysterio - Elias is a prophet, man. Says the next person who interrupts him will never show their face again and...BAM! Rey Mysterio!

Mysterio had a bit of a slip up but it was no biggie. Then he had a bit of an extended scuffle with Lars that was really fun – but I like Lars and I realize that a lot of you don’t. Like what you like, folks. No judgement here. =)

The Usos def. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode – Another good pickup for Raw. The tag division needed a flagbearer and there’s no better team in WWE than the Usos. Also...not great spoiling the surprise, production team.

Bray Wyatt with the Five Nights at Freddy’s vibe - I’m digging those little spook packages, but I’ve always dug Bray Wyatt. The issue is making those little spooky things mean something in the context of a story.

Did I cover all the things? Man, this episode had a lot going on. It’s a temporary thing, obviously, but it makes the show much more fun to watch.

Grade: B+

Your turn.

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