Week of 4/16/2018 - 4/22/2018 (Monday - Wednesday)
Monday Night Raw
Date: April 16, 2018
Location: XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman
It’s time to change things up a lot with the first half of the Superstar Shakeup. In case you didn’t get enough new names last week, this time around we should be getting a bunch of Smackdown names heading over to the red show. How will the names be picked? Who might be coming? That’s not important enough to announce in advance so let’s get to it.
Here’s General Manager Kurt Angle to start things off. He gives us a quick introduction but here’s Sunil Singh to announce that Jinder Mahal is now on Raw. Jinder isn’t happy that he was brought here in an SUV because he only travels in a limousine with a motorcade. Angle doesn’t like some of this but wants to be treated like Brock Lesnar around here. Kurt suggests that Jinder email him his issues and gives Sunil his address: Kurt.Angle (which he has to spell) @ NOFREAKINGWAY.com. We settle things in the ring here so it’s time for a title match RIGHT NOW.
US Title: Jinder Mahal vs. Jeff Hardy
Mahal is defending. The fans are behind Hardy (because they have taste) as he slugs away in the corner. A dropkick to the back of the head and a clothesline off the apron rock Mahal and we take a break. Back with Jeff in a chinlock for a good while until a big right hand drops him on the apron. Jeff is fine enough to shove him off the top though and the Whisper in the Wind gets a breather.
Sunil gets dropkicked down (and hopefully shut up) and a basement dropkick gets two on his boss. Things are starting to pick up but a jumping knee to the face looks to set up the Khallas (which Cole calls a half nelson slam). Jeff slips out so a big boot to the face gives Mahal two more. A Twisting Stunner out of nowhere drops Mahal though and the Swanton gives Hardy the title at 11:27.
Post break Jinder rants about being disrespected and wants his rematch at the Greatest Royal Rumble. No Way Jose with the Conga Line interrupts and takes Renee Young off with him.
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
This is a grudge match after weeks of simmering tensions. Bayley slips off the middle rope but shrugs off a chop and throws Sasha out to the floor. A hurricanrana through the ropes drops Sasha and we take a break. Back with Sasha holding a chinlock until Bayley drives her into the corner for a break. That’s certainly a different one and I’ll take that over the traditional elbows to the ribs.
The Stunner over the middle rope keeps Sasha in trouble so she kicks Bayley in the head and sends her outside again. This isn’t exactly seething with hatred so far. Back in and the top rope double knees get two before it’s time for the trash talk. Sasha goes one step too far and slaps Bayley in the face, triggering what looks like a hockey fight. Sasha gets the better of it again and hits the running knees in the corner. Bayley tries a rollup but gets reversed into the Bank Statement. She’s in big trouble but here’s the Riott Squad for the no contest at 8:55.
Sasha and Bayley take another beating post match.
Heath Slater and Rhyno are ready for the Authors of Pain tonight.
Heath Slater/Rhyno vs. Authors of Pain
Slater and Rhyno jump the Authors before the bell and actually take over. A top rope ax handle drops Akum but he shoves Slater away and brings in Rezar. Slater gets lifted up for a double gutbuster but slips out of a powerslam for the hot tag to Rhyno. A belly to belly gets two on Rezar but Slater gets sent HARD to the floor. The Last Chapter ends Rhyno at 2:37.
It’s time for MizTV with some special guests who will change Raw forever: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, who Cole flat out said COULD NOT be included in the Shakeup. Cole brings it up again here but Coach and Graves basically tell him to get over it. The five of them have a group hug with Miz saying this is better than the NWO and calls the team better than the Avengers. They won’t be held down by Shane McMahon or Kurt Angle, the latter of whom comes out with a rebuttal.
Apparently this can’t happen but Owens says plans have changed. There was an email sent out earlier tonight and Sami has printed it out. With his glasses on (that’s funny for some reason), Sami reads that Angle’s decision on Sami and Kevin’s status has been overturned because Stephanie McMahon thinks they proved themselves last week.
Owens is thrilled but Angle has some news: Miz is now going to Smackdown, as per Daniel Bryan’s request. Miz takes it in stride but gets even more bad news: the Miztourage is staying on Raw. For a going away present though, the five of them can face Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman and someone making their Raw debut.
Tag Team Title Eliminator Finals: Revival vs. Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt
The winners face the Bar, on commentary, for the titles in Saudi Arabia. Matt’s I WILL DELETE YOU now leads into Bray’s music for a combined entrance. Dawson and Hardy start things off with Scott not being able to do much with the odd Matt. It’s off to Bray and Wilder with Wyatt doing his spider bridge, allowing Matt to offer a distraction. A double back elbow (with Bray’s not quite connecting) puts Wilder down and Bray slams Scott on top of him. Matt: “That move was WONDERFUL!”
Back in and the Revival elbows Matt down with Scott grabbing a chinlock. Dawson draws Bray in to keep Matt in trouble, including a double headbutt. Matt gets in a Side Effect and the hot tag brings in Bray for the big right hands. A running corner splash and release Rock Bottom have Wilder in trouble. Everything breaks down and Sister Abigail plants Dawson, followed by an elevated Twist of Fate to end Dawson at 5:06.
Video on the shows coming together for pay per views, in the form of both rosters coming together for a big song ala We Are The World. This is uh, overthinking things a bit.
Back from a break and the Bar runs into the Fashion Police. Fandango: “Do you have a permit for that mohawk?” The kilts are too much for them and the Bar gets tickets. They’re so mad that they yell as the Fashion Police leave.
Recap of everyone who came to Raw both last week and tonight.
We recap Ronda Rousey attacking Stephanie McMahon last week and hurting her arm even worse.
Rousey is in the back with Angle when the debuting Natalya comes in. It turns out that she and Rousey are old training partners and Natalya seems happy. Nothing else happens in a kind of odd segment, though you can probably bet on Natalya vs. Rousey at Backlash.
Ember Moon vs. Mickie James
Nia Jax is on commentary and Bliss, who isn’t here, is supposed to be. Mickie grabs a headscissors to start before forearming the heck out of Ember. We hit the chinlock and go split screen to hear from Nia…..whose reaction we see instead of the match. Basically Alexa calls Nia a bully and won’t give her the satisfaction of being out here. Moon fights up but gets dropped again with a neckbreaker for two. A suplex serves her a bit better and the flipping forearm in the corner rocks Mickie. The Eclipse (with Mickie flipping over like Rock taking a Stunner) gives Ember the pin at 4:37.
Owens and Zayn are worried about the ten man tag when Miz comes in to ask how Shane is at the moment. Sami doesn’t want to hear about it right now because they have bigger things to worry about tonight. The Miztourage is talking about something else but Miz calls them over, saying mourn tomorrow and focus today. This is Miz’s Raw finale so it needs to be must see. It seems like he has an idea.
Dolph Ziggler is back on Monday Night Raw and talks about how great he is. Cue Titus Worldwide to offer him a spot on the team. Ziggler doesn’t think so, but he’s also not on Raw alone. Cue Drew McIntyre, now a heel, and apparently aligned with Ziggler. The big beatdown is on and a Claymore/Zig Zag combo drops Apollo. The fans seem very pleased with McIntyre being back, but don’t worry: Ziggler will suck the life out of that as soon as possible.
Here’s Roman Reigns to talk about how he’s here again tonight, unlike Brock Lesnar. He’ll win the title in Saudi Arabia and bring it back here full time. Cue Samoa Joe to say Reigns is a great talker but never talks about getting the job done. I remember him doing plenty of jobs. Joe talks about how Reigns can never put him away and at Backlash, he’ll put Reigns to sleep again.
We see a video of Lesnar destroying Reigns at Wrestlemania so Reigns wants to fight now. Joe comes down the ramp twice before walking away, as expected. Again: if they want Reigns as a big deal, DON’T PUT HIM OUT THERE WITH PEOPLE WHO SLAUGHTER HIM ON THE MIC!
Mandy Rose vs. Natalya
Absolution still comes out to Paige’s music. Natalya gets a rollup for two but a Sonya Deville distraction lets Mandy get in a jumping knee to the face. Back in and we hit an abdominal stretch to keep Natalya in trouble but a quick Sharpshooter makes Mandy tap at 2:49.
Post match Sonya comes in for the beatdown but Ronda Rousey (awkwardly) walks down the ramp for the save. Deville actually wants to fight so Rousey gives her a look as if to say “seriously?” Rousey knocks Deville out in all of five seconds, hitting about ten punches and a legsweep to send Deville packing.
Baron Corbin is coming to Raw. Is anyone left on Smackdown?
Breezango vs. The Bar
Fandango steals Cesaro’s jacket to start and throws it on, followed by a hip swivel while blocking a sunset flip. Breeze comes in and eats Swiss Death to change control in a hurry. We hit the chinlock from Cesaro, followed by one from Sheamus to really mix things up. Cesaro gets two off a Demolition Decapitator but Fandango pulls Sheamus off the apron, allowing Breeze to get a sunset flip for the pin on Cesaro at 3:49.
Elias isn’t playing tonight and doesn’t think much of Lashley. A lot has changed since Lashley was last here so he should go sit in the stands and worship Elias like everyone else. If Lashley interrupts him again, he’ll learn that WWE stands for Walk With Elias. Elias won’t perform for the people, but he might for Renee in a private concert. All she has to do is hold her applause and silence her cell phone. She says we don’t have time so he starts playing, only to be cut off to throw it back to Cole.
Seth Rollins/Bobby Lashley/Braun Strowman/Finn Balor/??? vs. The Miz/Miztourage/Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens
The mystery partner is...Bobby Roode. Rollins and Owens start things off with Kevin missing a charge into the corner. The springboard clothesline drops Owens and Seth sends him outside for the slingshot dive. The good guys clear the ring and it’s off to a break. Back with Balor in trouble and Axel driving him into the corner to continue the beating. The Reality Check drops Balor for two but he kicks Miz away, allowing the hot tag to Lashley. House is cleaned again and we take a second break with Lashley looking great in his short burst.
Back again with Owens hammering on Rollins and putting on that unbreakable chinlock. Miz grabs the short DDT and busts out the YES Kicks one more time before going over to Smackdown. Everything breaks down with Strowman shoving around Owens and Zayn before Roode takes over on Axel. A chop block cuts Roode down but he counters the Figure Four into a small package for two. The hot tag brings in Strowman to clean house, including a chokeslam to Miz.
Strowman runs into Dallas in the corner, which is called him hitting the post for reasons of bad timing. Seth dives onto Axel and the Glorious DDT drops Sami. The parade of finishers begins until we’re down to Miz vs. Strowman with the running dropkicks actually staggering the big man. Strowman comes back with a dropkick of his own and the Miztourage walks out on Miz, leaving Strowman to powerslam him for the pin at 22:11.
Jeff Hardy b. Jinder Mahal – Swanton Bomb
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley went to a no contest when the Riott Squad interfered
Authors of Pain b. Heath Slater/Rhyno – Last Chapter to Rhyno
Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt b. Revival – Elevated Twist of Fate to Wilder
Ember Moon b. Mickie James – Eclipse
Natalya b. Mandy Rose – Sharpshooter
Braun Strowman/Seth Rollins/Finn Balor/Bobby Lashley/Bobby Roode b. The Miz/Miztourage/Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens – Running powerslam to Miz
Date: April 17, 2018
Location: Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
It’s the second half of the Superstar Shakeup and that means we’re likely to see some of the same people that we saw last night. The only confirmed move to Smackdown is the Miz, meaning we’re counting down the days until Miz vs. Daniel Bryan, which should be a major match on a big stage. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Shinsuke Nakamura’s fake apology and attack of both Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles last week.
Here’s Styles to get things going. AJ says it’s true that Nakamura is an artist, but he’s a con artist. Last week Nakamura showed his true colors and AJ isn’t letting that go. He’s not leaving the ring until he gets to face Nakamura so get the two faced coward out here right now. Instead it’s Aiden English and Rusev, with the former singing about how AJ can’t make Rusev pay because it’s Rusev Day. If that’s as good as AJ can get, let’s go.
AJ Styles vs. Rusev
Calf Crusher goes on and English comes in for the DQ at 28 seconds.
Post match Daniel Bryan comes in for the save.
Paige comes in to see Shane McMahon and makes the tag match main event (with a Teddy Long impression for a bonus). Paige leaves and Shane does a Teddy dance, which she sees.
Here’s Shelton Benjamin, now without a partner thanks to Chad Gable going to Raw, to talk about how he no longer needs Gable. Actually he never needed him because Shelton is a great athlete. Tonight he’s talked to Paige about getting some competition, so let’s do it right now.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Randy Orton
Actually hang on a second as someone else comes out during Orton’s entrance and takes his place.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy
Non-title. Shelton wastes no time in throwing Jeff to the floor and we take an early break. Back with Jeff hammering away but favoring his leg. The basement dropkick gets two but Shelton breaks up the Whisper in the Wind. Jeff sends him face first into the buckle though and a reverse Whisper in the Wind gets two. Benjamin’s Dragon Whip is good for the same but Pay Dirt is countered with a kick to the chest. The Twist of Fate into the Swanton is enough to finish Benjamin at 8:19.
Miz didn’t like Daniel Bryan tweeting about wanting to punch him in the face. That’s not happening tonight because Miz is in Los Angeles with Maryse and his newborn daughter. He’ll be here next week and he’ll kick Bryan’s a….Maryse: “Mike! Language!” Miz: “You catch my drift.” That match is going to be awesome when it takes place.
Jey Uso vs. Harper
Harper throws him around to start and Jey dives onto Rowan. That earns Rowan a superkick from Jimmy but the discus lariat pins Jey at 52 seconds.
Post match the Brothers beat down the brothers. Jey is sat up against the steps as they grab the hammers but Naomi runs in to beg for him. They actually listen and the Usos are spared.
Sin Cara vs. Samoa Joe
Cara hammers away but gets popped with the snap jabs to the jaw. Joe clotheslines him out of the air and pounds at the back of the mask, setting up the Koquina Clutch for the tap at 1:28. Total squash.
Post match, Joe says this is the land of opportunity but all he sees is a land of handouts. Everyone has been treated softly and been told they’re better than they really are. Now Joe is going to get all the opportunities. He’s going to put Daniel Bryan to sleep, defang the Viper Randy Orton and decimate AJ Styles. I’m perfectly happy to watch any of these things happen. As for Backlash, Joe will still be waiting there to put whatever is left of Roman Reigns out to pasture for good. Believe that.
Raw and Smackdown cobranded pay per view singing video. I still don’t know what the point of this is.
Sanity is coming.
Daniel Bryan is ready for the tag match when Big Cass shows up and says Bryan is what all the fuss is about.
Here’s Carmella for her championship celebration, meaning a lot of leopard print. She doesn’t want to hear everyone cheering for her because they were nowhere to be seen until she won the title so shut up. Carmella is now known as champion, because she beat CHARLOTTE FLAIR! The woman who beat ASUKA! Now she’s the woman around here and that means a video tribute with a song saying it’s all about her.
Back in the arena, Carmella says she’s going to miss Frankie (the briefcase) because they got close over the last 297 days. She names the belt Cleopatra but here’s Charlotte to interrupt. The highlight reel is missing some highlights, such as that chinless troll helping Carmella and the Iconics beating her down last week. Cue the Iconics to mock Charlotte again, this time calling her a crying baby who needs a bottle. Peyton says they’re the future and that future is Iconic. Charlotte drops off the apron and gets after the two of them, earning herself another beatdown. Becky Lynch comes in for the save.
Charlotte vs. Billie Kay
Joined in progress with Charlotte getting in some forearms but Billie takes her down by the hair. We hit the armbar for a bit until Charlotte fights up, only to get tripped by Peyton. Back from a break with Charlotte not being able to get the Figure Eight. Billie’s rollup gets two but a hard kick to the face sets up the Figure Eight to make Billie tap at 7:59.
Post match the beatdown is on but Asuka comes in for the save with the Iconics getting beaten down and Carmella bailing.
Anderson and Gallows are coming.
The Bar is coming to Smackdown. So we can ink in Hardy and Wyatt winning the titles.
New Day runs into R-Truth. Tye Dillinger comes in and they’re good friends, though Truth thinks he’s still on Raw. Truth: “My bad. I’ll see y’all tomorrow.” Tye: “Is he going to be ok?” Big E.: “No.”
We recap the recent arrivals (including last week). Of note: Sanity doesn’t include Nikki Cross and it’s still Big Cass, not Colin Cassady.
Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega are coming. Works for me, as long as those two are together.
AJ Styles/Daniel Bryan vs. Aiden English/Rusev
Bryan wastes no time in taking English down into a surfboard so AJ can come in off the top with a shot to the chest. Rusev tries to come in and the threat of a double submission sends the villains bailing to the floor. Back with AJ fighting out of English’s chinlock but getting backdropped for two. Rusev comes in and stomps away as the fans aren’t as in to the RUSEV DAY chants as before. It’s almost like you can kill a crowd if you try.
It’s back to English who dives to keep Styles from the tag. That earns him a Pele and the double tag brings in Bryan and Rusev. Everything breaks down and Bryan scores with the YES Kicks on Rusev. Graves: “You can’t call them that because the Miz is coming to Smackdown Live!” Phillips: “Oh shut up.” There’s the running knee to Rusev but here’s Nakamura with a low blow to Styles. Cue Big Cass to kick Bryan in the head for the DQ at 12:38.
Cass stares down at Bryan and Nakamura still can’t speak English to end the show.
AJ Styles b. Rusev via DQ when Aiden English interfered
Jeff Hardy b. Shelton Benjamin – Swanton Bomb
Harper b. Jey Uso – Discus lariat
Samoa Joe b. Sin Cara – Koquina Clutch
Charlotte b. Billie Kay – Figure Eight
AJ Styles/Daniel Bryan b. Rusev/Aiden English via DQ when Big Cass interfered
Date: April 18, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson
We’re out of New Orleans and back home now, albeit without a few names. Over the last week and a half, the Iconics, Ember Moon, Sanity and Andrade Cien Almas/Zelina Vega have moved up to the main roster, meaning it’s time to start rebuilding things. It’s also time for the fallout from Takeover so let’s get to it.
In memory of Bruno Sammartino. I’d expect to hear that a lot in the next week and I’d be angry if I didn’t.
Here are Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae to open things up. Johnny talks about dreaming of being here because for the longest time, he was defined by the words Tommaso Ciampa. Then after thirty seven of the most intense minutes he’s ever spent inside a wrestling ring, he stands here with his life back. Johnny thanks the fans for sticking those signs in Ciampa’s face for months and now Johnny Wrestling is back.
That brings him to Candice because he couldn’t have done this without her. Enough of the mushy stuff though, because they have something left to do. That would be Candice fighting Zelina Vega tonight, and if Almas interferes, Johnny will drop him like his name is Tommaso Ciampa. After that, there’s one place left for him to go: the NXT Title. If they do the story right, Gargano going after the title could be insane.
Killian Dain, looking off camera, says that Lars Sullivan took something from him in New Orleans. Tonight, in a No DQ match, he’s taking everything from Sullivan.
Ricochet vs. Fabian Aichner
Ricochet is very popular here, just like he was in New Orleans. An early headscissors takes Aichner down but he grabs a fireman’s carry gutbuster to slow things way down. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker stays on Ricochet’s ribs and we hit a waistlock. That’s broken up as well and Ricochet rolls forward into a dropkick. Ricochet is right back with a springboard European uppercut and a standing shooting star for two. After Aichner gets knocked off the top, the 630 puts him away at 4:35.
Post match Ricochet talks about watching people become stars in NXT and now it’s his turn to crank it up a notch.
We look at the War Raiders debuting last week.
Video on EC3. He’s at 97% charisma and 3% body fat.
Sullivan is ready to do whatever he wants to Dain.
War Raiders vs. Chris/J.C.
Chris and J.C. don’t get last names but they’re dressed like Deuce N Domino. Rowe knees one of them down before handing it off to Hanson for a cartwheel dropkick. Whatever they’re calling Fallout is good for the pin on Chris at 1:50.
Shayna Baszler addressed the locker room at the Performance Center where she ripped the name off of Ember Moon’s locker. Everyone here needs to get in line or get out. Dakota Kai gets up and leaves.
Kona Reeves, now saying he has the finest everything (hair, clothes, etc) is back in two weeks.
Pete Dunne leaves but first says he’ll be back with his thoughts about Roderick Strong.
Lars Sullivan vs. Killian Dain
No DQ and the fans greet it with a HOSS FIGHT chant. They waste no time in hammering on each other with Dain getting the better of it by putting Sullivan on the floor. A suicide dive is caught though and Dain sends him into the steps. Back in and Sullivan muscles him up for a German suplex to put Dain outside again. A top rope clothesline drops Dain again and let’s hit those NXT chants. Dain is bleeding from the nose as Sullivan drops a middle rope headbutt for two.
Sullivan brings in a chair but eats a shotgun dropkick as the blood is starting to flow a little more freely. The Belfast Blitz gets two and it’s time for a table. The table is set in the corner but Dain is smart enough to chair him in the back a few times. Sullivan is right back with the World’s Strongest Slam for one but Dain bicycle kicks him in the face. A running crossbody puts Sullivan through the table….and Dain loads up Coast to Coast? Sullivan gets up though and chairs him down again, setting up the Freak Accident onto the chairs for the pin at 10:50.
We recap Candice LeRae vs. Zelina Vega, which is an offshoot of Almas vs. Gargano.
Undisputed Era is very proud of what they’ve done.
Candice LeRae vs. Zelina Vega
Zelina talks a bunch of trash to start and gets shoved down, allowing Almas to come onto the apron for a distraction. With Vega pulling Candice down, here’s Johnny to even things out. Things settle down with Candice being sent into the corner and kicked in the head. Vega hits the running knees in the corner for two but the hammerlock DDT is reversed into a small package. Candice gets all fired up and hammers away in the corner, setting up a missile dropkick for two. The Gargano Escape goes on and Johnny grabs one on an invading Almas as Zelina taps at 3:29.
Post match Candice and Johnny celebrate with Gargano officially challenging Aleister Black for the title. Cue Aleister to say the title match is on for next week.
Ricochet b. Fabian Aichner – 630 splash
War Raiders b. Chris/J.C. – Fallout to Chris
Lars Sullivan b. Killian Dain – Freak Accident onto chairs
Candice LeRae b. Zelina Vega – Gargano Escape
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