“WrestleMania week continues tonight on Raw with this nontraditional audience, and consists of WWE fans from all over the world! As we’ve seen over the years, they’re very vocal and very willing to exercise their freedom of express…”
Huh. Felt odd not hearing that this time around.
This year, Raw after WrestleMania felt quite abnormal, wouldn’t you say? Coming off quite an abnormal WrestleMania weekend, Raw came to us once again from the mecca of Sports Entertainment, the WWE Performance Center.
And what a show it was. Let’s dive in.
WEEEEELLLLLL It’s… another WWE title match?
We have to start off with certainly the most head-scratching moment of the night.
Drew McIntyre comes out to have an interview 20 minutes after winning the WWE title. He’s had to pinch himself to see if its all been a dream. He thanks Paul Heyman for egging Brock on to keep giving out F5’s because it made his climb to the top of the mountain that much more special for him. It’s a heartfelt promo and you can tell Drew is so elated to finally have gotten what he’s dreamed of.
Cue… Big Show’s music?
He drags a ref out with him and wants a match. He says he’s not challenging him for the title, but what occurs is a title match. Yes, a title match taped after WrestleMania for the main event of Raw. A swift slap in Drew’s face and off we go. A few moments you think oh my God Show may be the new champion, but he falls to the Claymore after putting up a fight.
So, alright. That was something. Was this a WrestleMania match, or a Raw match? Talk about spontaneous. It’s not really clear if Big Show is the next program for Drew or if this was a one off. It served some purpose having Drew beat a monster in Show after slaying the Beast. Happy as hell for Drew right now. But what’s next?
All Raw matches were shown in quick video packages, including BONEYARD! and the NXT women’s title match. A few interviews followed by some of those victorious, and here’s what they had to say.
It was all worth it – Kevin Owens cut a parking garage promo talking about how he doubted himself, but it was all worth it when he dove off the WrestleMania sign because it was a moment he could be proud of. He’s moving on but promises that it’s still the Kevin Owens Show. Who’s getting Owens’ next stunner?
A test of skill over heart – Becky Lynch puts over Shayna Baszler’s capabilities as an in ring competitor and if Shayna wants more, she knows where to find her. Becky sometimes comes across as not enthusiastic and I really got that vibe here. Excited for more Lynch/Baszler?
It’s the woman that makes the title – Charlotte is your new NXT Women’s Champion. She talks about how her father has said the man makes the suit, but too many superstars think the suit makes the man. The woman makes the title. Woooo. This was fine. Charlotte now has more opportunity than anyone to have the freshest matchups, since it seems the NXT title isn’t just on NXT right now.
Asuka def. Liv Morgan – Madwoman Asuka is the best Asuka isn’t she? Liv was coming off a win at the kickoff show of night one, and Asuka off a loss. This was what was going to happen, but we got a pretty entertaining match out of it. Liv fought like she had a goal in mind and she looked great in defeat.
Seth Rollins def. NXT talent Denzel Dejournette – Rollins comes out by himself and is madder than God at Adam and Eve. Completely stone faced and on the attack against Dejournette, showing us some of that Old Testament wrath. Liking this updated Seth.
Nia Jax def. NXT talent Deonna Purrazzo – Welcome back, Nia Jax. She put Deonna away quick, and with the RamPaige! That’ll be intriguing to see going forward.
Aleister Black def. Apollo Crews – Yo. I forgot about Apollo. Tom Phillips tells us that he’s officially been drafted to Raw which, yeah I didn’t even remember he was on either brand. It was nice to not see a squash here, but a damn clinic. Apollo had nice offense and used the outside similar to Lashley the night before. That makes him looks prepared. This served both purposes of capitalizing off of Black’s win last night and giving the newly drafted Apollo a star making performance. A great time killer and a great showing by both men.
Street Profits retain Tag Titles against Garza and Theory via DQ - Three times in one week, but y’all I’m biased on this one. Frequenting the EVOLVE loop in NYC last year, I had the pleasure of meeting the Street Profits and Theory and they are great together. (I’m sure Tez gave Austin a look after that oops-a-daisy last week.) After the ref spots Zelina interfering, he throws out the match.
We get another repeat of last night as Garza and Theory beat down the Profits, and once again Bianca Belair comes out to defend them. She goes here now! And she wants Zelina!
Bianca Belair vs. Zelina Vega ends in no contest - Bianca is fierce. Rarely seeing Zelina wrestle, I can tell you I enjoy her a lot. Really like her nasty submission in the ropes here. Get you someone that hypes you up the way Tez hypes up the WWE Universe. Theory tries to get involved and brawls with Tez, causing chaos. And THIS match is over.
But wait, there’s more!
The Street Profits and Belair def. Garza, Theory, and Vega - The Street Profits and Belair want the smoke and make it a 3 on 3. Garza and Theory have clicked well this past week. The women get the hot tags. More chaos and KOD to Zelina for the decisive win. I understand some may not have liked how this was done, but it was entertaining and certainly a way to kill time.
Cedric Alexander and Ricochet def. NXT talents Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch – CedRicochet (Hook me up with that direct deposit, Vince) win in short order here. This was a classic set up to introduce what seems to be a mainstay tag team in CedRicochet. CedRicochet, anyone? CedRicochet? …. Bueller?
Humberto Carrillo def. NXT talent Brendan Vink- Standard Humberto Carrillo match. Glad to see Vink get some main roster TV time.
WWE made great use of time extending Street Profits vs. Garza and Theory and Black vs. Crews to multiple segments. It gave Crews a legit star making performance for a Raw that gets more eyes than usual being the one after Mania. The one issue with the booking of Garza and Theory – they’ve lost. A lot. WWE needs to fix that. We can’t have Theory, a future star in the making, on this kind of a losing streak.
WWE needs to make their shows look as fresh as possible to fill out seven hours of weekly television during these tumultuous times. New faces in squashes, or some faces not always shown on TV in tag matches help! Based off tonight, if this is what Raw looks like going forward, sign me up!
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?