Let’s skip the pleasantries and dive right into Monday’s Raw recap from Long Island, New York on “Superstar Shakeup” night:
♦ John Cena’s music hits, but it’s the Miz and Maryse playing dressup who come out. They’re interrupted by Intercontinental champion Dean Ambrose and after some bantering hits Miz with Dirty Deeds. That’s three new Superstars joining Raw on the opening segment.
♦ Backstage, general manager Kurt Angle’s on the phone but is disrupted by Sammy Zayn, who wants to know if he’s staying on Raw. Kurt tells him there’s “a lot of interest” from Smackdown in Zayn. Miz shows up and the man who won an Olympic medal with a broken freakin’ neck plays matchmaker for later.
♦ New Day is out, minus the real Kofi Kingston (we have to settled for a doll version) after having his ankle broken last week by a debuting Revival. They have a rematch and the Revival wins a second consecutive week. The push is on for the Revival and it’s a pretty strong bet New Day is heading to Tuesdays.
♦ Backstage segment as Neville is interviewed. He’s interferes by TJ Perkins and Neville tells him his career has turned into a joke and he’s not being given opportunities—in his best “become a heel” spiel. Aries joins so he and Neville can accuse each other of being a liar. Why is this not a promo for the 205 show? I love watching the Cruiserweights but hate seeing it on Raw.
♦ Smackdown incomer Curt Hawkins is in the ring and soon after The Big Show comes out and welcomes him with a knockout punch—tho in fairness to Curt, Show and his eight pack of abs hit him with a sucker shot.
♦ Neville on commentary for Aries against Perkins. A distraction from Neville enables Perkins to pick up the win with a small cradle. After, Perkins takes Neville’s advice and turned on Aries, attacking him from behind.
♦ Seth Rollins to the ring to kick off the second hour. He basically has a (too) long promo saying that with Stephanie McMahon surely out for revenge following Wrestlemania the easy route would be going to Smackdown, but per the Kinsgslayer he’s taken the easy way out once and won’t do it again. Angle’s music hits. Kurt says Stephanie wants Seth gone but as long as Kurt is GM, Rollins has a home on Raw.
♦ Samoa Joe attacks Seth from behind and the two beat the shit out of other while Angle tries semi-successfully to break it up. Joe eventually retreats. These two surely have a program coming and I’m vastly looking forward to it.
♦ Kevin Owens backstage interview. He says the cream always rises to the top and he’s not worried about the Superstar Shakeup. He talks trash about Chris Jericho before threating to beat up Ambrose because he’s the “premier champion on Raw.” The two will meet in the main event later.
♦ Nia Jax beats Charlotte clean with a Samoan Drop in a shockingly bad, sloppy match. Fear not, fans of the Queen—Charlotte will get her groove back starting tomorrow night on Smackdown.
♦ Finn Balor beat Jindar Mahah and immediately after a promo with Bray Wyatt plays on the Titantron, who announces he’s on Raw and also has a “House of Horrors” match with Randy Orton at Payback in three weeks. Seeing this is supposed to be a Raw exclusive PPV and Wyatt/Orton will surely be the main event, does this mean Wyatt will be soon bringing the WWE championship to Raw?
♦ It’s revealed Apollo Crews, Kalisto and the tag team of Heath Slater and Rhyno are coming to Raw. That’s good news for Raw dark matches everywhere.
♦ Sammy Zayn defeated the Miz so he can look strong heading to Smackdown.
♦ Roman Reigns backstage interview with Michael Cole before being attacked by Braun Strowman. Reigns is beaten to a pulp and thrown around everywhere. Eventually he’s stretchered from the back. Suddenly Strowman appears and wheels the stretcher off the ramp with Reigns in it before pushing over an ambulance that holds a stretchered Reigns. A few minutes later Reigns is loaded up in the ambulance, Strowman says he’s not done, tips it over and is perhaps facing a second degree murder charge. This is literally everything.
— WWE (@WWE) April 11, 2017
♦ Hardy Boys and Sheamus/Cesaro defeated Gallows/Anderson and the Shining Stars. Also, former NXT star Elias Sampson was “drifting” around the announcer area during introductions.
♦ Emma and Dana Brooke backstage. Emma insults Dana and tries to bully her into accompanying her to the ring (only she never ends up going to the ring). Dana refuses and wants to stand on her own now. So much for their NXT reunion I was looking forward to.
♦ Sasha Banks to the ring and introduces her best friend Bayley. She’s about to ask Bayley for a title match when Alexa Bliss’ music hits. She talks trash to both and Micki James’ music hits next. Hell, let’s just put EVERY woman on Raw. James announces she’s on Raw and calls out Bliss before Nia nails her from behind en route to the ring. Jax eventually hits Bayley with her Samoan Drop and stands tall holding the title belt.
— WWE (@WWE) April 11, 2017
♦ Dean Ambrose defeated Kevin Owens clean with Dirty Deeds in the champion-vs-champion Main Event.
♦ Chris Jericho’s music hits, he comes down to the ring and hits the Codebreaker on Owens to end the show.
The Final “Smackdown To Raw Scorecard”
Miz (with Maryse)
Heath Slater & Rhyno
3 Things I Loved
Δ Looks like A.J. Styles is staying on Smackdown and I love it. He’ll be right back in the main event picture, possibly in a program with Randy Orton once his thing with Wyatt finishes up. Selfishly I want to witness Styles vs Nakamura every week from now til the end of eternity. I also got a strong feeling Styles will be joined tomorrow night by Gallows & Anderson in some form of reboot of The Club.
Δ I’ve been wanting Kevin Owens on Smackdown for quite some time. While not being reported or announced, it must be a certainty Owens is going Blue come tomorrow. There’s no way Raw will play host to both the Intercontinental AND U.S. titles, and with Dean Ambrose just arriving on Raw that must mean Owens is hitting the road. Owens vs Cena revived at Summerslam or nah?
Δ Braun Strowman is the best. Any street cred Browman lost by losing to Roman Reigns at Fastlane and not winning the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania was completely redeemed by beating the ever living shit out of Roman backstage and trying to put a murder charge on his resume. You the real MVP, Braun.
(Some BONUS love)- It has nothing to do with any current storyline, but all three former members of The Shield are now on Raw— I’m just saying.
3 Things I Hated
Δ Really wanted to see the American Males on Raw. I mean, Smackdown’s tag division is garbage and largely due to that, interest in them has progressively waned. A fresh start would have served them well both in the ring (a renewed rivalry with the Revival, anyone?) and backstage promos with Angle that could’ve been both cheesy and great.
Δ The fact Nia defeated a destined for Smackdown Charlotte Flair isn’t surprising, but that it was one of the sloppier Women’s matches I’ve seen in ages was. Seriously, it was terrible. Nia came out later to clean house and didn’t look much better. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not enamored with her in-ring ability right now, at all.
ΔPer preliminary reports, Roman Reigns has cracked ribs, internal bleeding and a possible separated shoulder. Translation— see ya 13 nights from now, SuperRoman.
Headed To Smackdown Tomorrow Predictions
The New Day
The Big Show