This Week in WWE: Post-WrestleMania vibes
Robert O’Neill: On the heels of one of the best WrestleMania’s in WWE history, Raw is live from the Barclays Center for what should be a big night!
Seth Rollins is here to lead off the night!
Chris Novak: Good LORD, that Brooklyn crowd has come to play tonight. Booming reactions and chants all around. As loud a crowd in recent memory. Seth says “WE deserve it,” and says he’s waited a long time to hold the Universal Championship over his head. Rollins goes on about how he’s going to be a fighting champ, and how Brock wasn’t.
Robert O’Neill: Suddenly, The New Day come out! And all four celebrate in the ring together. This is a nice moment. But then Kofi mentions how he was watching the main event last night with his sons and challenges Seth to a winner take all match TONIGHT for both titles.
Chris Novak: This match definitely has interruption written all over it… I hope, at least. Don’t like the idea of them unifying the belts at all, to be honest.
Robert O’Neill: The Revival are trying to get their tag titles back from Ryder and Hawkins after Curt Hawkins got lucky at WrestleMania.
After a solid match, Curt Hawkins wins with a rollup and seemed to grab the tights but no one pointed it out. Edgeheads retain. Whatever.
Chris Novak: We’ve got Curt Hawkins on a winning streak now! Woo! The match was really good and fun though. I mean, when you have The Revival involved, that’s not too surprising. But nonetheless, this worked well for me.
Baron Corbin’s here after retiring Kurt Angle. The crowd called him an asshole, and Corbin said he took that as a compliment. He points out how everyone said that he shouldn’t have wrestled Angle, and says that Angle doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring as him. This eventually brings Kurt Angle out, and he tells him he wishes him all the luck in the world… bad luck, that is. He hits the Angle Slam and put Corbin in the Ankle Lock.
But all of that was a prelude… to Lars Sullivan finally arriving. He took out Kurt Angle in the ring in his debut. Welp.
Robert O’Neill: I’m very surprised to see Lars Sullivan. That was out of nowhere.
Alexa Bliss is back to wrestle for the first time in a few months. And she’s facing, well, Bayley. This could be… okay, I’m not going to say it.
Robert O’Neill: Bliss gets the win after a short fun match. Alexa looked good and didn’t seem to have ring rust. Good stuff all around.
Becky Lynch is here!
She’s got two titles and she’s ready to take on anyone who wants to mess with her, because she already beat Charlotte and Ronda! Lacey Evans interrupts Becky as she leaves the ring, looks at the titles, and hits her right in the face! Becky fights back before the refs finally break it up.
Chris Novak: Lot of intensity there in that brawl with Becky and Lacey. Guess we know who might be challenging Becky when she officially goes over to Raw next week.
Ricochet and Aleister Black are here now. They’re facing Chad Gable and Bobby Roode in what should be a fun tag team match.
Robert O’Neill: It was fun! All of their matches of late have been fun. Ricochet and Aleister got the victory after a longer match than I expected.
Bob Lashley and Dean Ambrose will face off in Dean’s last match, but the match doesn’t get a chance to start as Bob beats Dean up near the announce table. Renee Young looks on in horror. Great way to write Ambrose off.
Chris Novak: I don’t know to be honest… that didn’t FEEL like a write off. Maybe Dean’s here to stay? That Lashley comment was a great way of grabbing heat, even if it was shady as fuck. I dug this brawl, seeing that these two never really got it going of course. It ended in chaos, for sure.
Robert O’Neill: We come back from commercial and SAMI ZAYN IS BACK!
He’s excited to be back and wants to have a match with someone, and Finn Balor comes out! He’ll face Zayn AND put the Intercontinental Title on the line!
Chris Novak: This turned out to be a really fun match. But you probably could’ve foreseen THAT happening. Finn retained his IC Title by match’s end. Afterwards, Sami got on the mic and cut a hilariously awesome heel promo. He dug into the fans, saying they were the most toxic part of WWE (agree) and that they do it to feel important (agree) and that he’d see us all in Hell (I mean, hey, agree).
Robert O’Neill: Elias is here and vows not to get interrupted tonight, and in fact decides to do some rapping instead, inspired by John Cena. He mentioned the next person to interrupt him is a dead man, and, well, GONG.
Undertaker comes out.
Chris Novak: YEP! That was the thing! Elias got hit with a Tombstone Piledriver.
Kofi-Seth, winner take all, is next!
Robert O’Neill: The match gets going as it’s pretty action packed, but The Bar come out and attack both guys, and it turns into a tag match instead!
The tag match goes as expected, with Kofi and Seth getting the win. The live crowd didn’t like it, but I did.
Chris Novak: The live crowd, frankly, can eat my shorts. We have this discussion yearly and it’s tiring. But man alive. What dorks.
Robert O’Neill: I get people being mad about the Kofi/Seth swerve but also, logically, why would they unify the belts? Wrestling fans have to use their heads sometimes. Sami Zayn’s promo will be something I remember for a long time since it took about a half hour for the fans to prove it correct. Looking forward to the shakeup. B+
Chris Novak: This was a bit of a polarizing Raw in a few ways, but I didn’t particularly mind it. The action was pretty good all around. Hardly any slow points. Had to be the first Raw without any NXT call ups in… a very long time, which I had no problem with personally. Just a nugget. I’ll give this a solid B. Next week should be eventful.
Robert O’Neill: We’re off to a hot start already on Smackdown as The New Day are opening off the show with a celebration for Kofi!
All three are emotional as Kofi thanks them and his family, but The Bar interrupt! They say had they not interrupted the match last night, Kofi would have lost. But Kofi isn’t very appreciative. So The Bar suggest a six-man tag match between the New Day, the Bar, and the Bar’s new friend… Drew McIntyre!
Chris Novak: A bit of an interesting move here to use Drew Mac on SmackDown, but I guess the continued idea here is to hype up the Superstar Shakeup for next week. They’re hitting that point hard here.
We move on to a six-man tag, a different one that is from the one that was just announced. This tag features the likes of Andrade, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura taking on the team of Aleister Black, Ricochet and Mustafa Ali. This is an enticing one to be sure.
Turns out it was pretty fun! Everyone got their licks in. Ali won with the 450 and then got dropped with an RKO by Randy Orton! Orton walked away from the scene, Rusev taunted Ali, but he was then dropped with a… STUNNER by… KEVIN OWENS!! Wild stuff but effective stuff nonetheless.
Robert O’Neill: Great stuff. I like the builds for the shakeup. Expect any and everything next week.
Truth and Carmella are here!
They had a fun time and then Samoa Joe came out and choked Truth out. Joe said he’ll face ANYONE ANYTIME and then BRAUN STROWMAN CAME OUT! The two brawled for a bit. Whew.
Chris Novak: They are, again, REALLY hitting the point home with the Shakeup build. Y’know, I’m actually pretty cool with this! I really dig it honestly. Really, really dig it. Fun brawl between Braun and Joe here.
Robert O’Neill: The IIconics are here to defend their titles against some enhancement talent. Excellent.
They won with ease, of course.
Chris Novak: Sure. That’s fine. Inoffensive and fine.
Robert O’Neill: Shane McMahon is here to talk about his match against The Miz, but Greg Hamilton isn’t introducing him to his liking, so Shane makes Greg do it over and over before finally getting it right.
Chris Novak: We then had ourselves a tag team match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. The Usos faced off with the Hardy Boyz. Bit of a ‘dream match’ here. The match turned out to be a fun one, and to the surprise of, perhaps some, The Hardyz won! So The Hardyz are Tag Team Champs once again!
And then they got attacked by Lars Sullivan. I have no idea why this happened, but, it happened.
Robert O’Neill: Becky Lynch is here to thank the crowd yet again and tell them she knows she has a target but she’s prepared to fight. As she’s leaving, Lacey Evans attacks again!
Time for the main event! Xavier Woods gets slammed onto the announce table early on by Drew McIntyre. Back in the ring, Big E and Cesaro start attacking each other as E suplexes him all over the ring. Eventually, it’s down to Kofi and Sheamus. Kofi hits Trouble In Paradise for the win to end a big weekend for him!
Robert O’Neill: What a weekend. Despite being exhausted from Takeover and Wrestlemania and being on the road, Smackdown kept me entertained and engaged throughout and i’m looking forward to what the shakeup brings next week. B+
Chris Novak: Once again, pretty solid show here. The action was, once again, good all around in four different tag team matches of different varieties. No complaints from me. I will give this a solid B once more, just like Raw. Let’s get set for the Shakeup!