Week of 4/30/2018 - 5/6/2018 (Monday - Wednesday)
Monday Night Raw
Date: April 30, 2018
Location: Bell Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman
It’s the fallout show from the Greatest Royal Rumble but also the go home show for Backlash. The pay per view’s card is starting to come together but you can imagine how fast they’ll be adding things tonight and tomorrow. It’s hard to say where we’re going from here but Money in the Bank is already on the horizon. Let’s get to it.
We open with a long recap of the Greatest Royal Rumble. That’s impressive given how little happened there.
Here’s Roman Reigns to some of the loudest non-Wrestlemania booing I’ve ever heard for him. The announcers give the “we’re in Canada” disclaimer, even saying this crowd is like the one after Wrestlemania. Reigns says he’s not making any excuses and talks about a tweet from the referee who said he made a mistake at the end of the cage match last week. He should be the Universal Champion but he’s not, yet.
Reigns promises he’ll be champion one day but here’s Samoa Joe on the screen to disagree. Joe promises to put Reigns’ dead career to sleep and here’s Jinder Mahal of all people to say he was cheated out of the United States Title. On Sunday, Reigns will be put to sleep but tonight, he’s losing to the modern day Maharajah. Cue Sami Zayn to the loudest pop of his WWE career with the fans singing his song.
Zayn cites a case of vertigo for not being at the Greatest Royal Rumble but he’s feeling much better tonight. That’s why he’ll be the one to take on Roman Reigns, drawing a heck of a YES chant. Now it’s Kevin Owens coming out to another major face pop (the Fleur-de-Lis version of his KO shirt helps a lot). Owens speaks French and draw a OUI chant, which is made even louder when he says he should face Owens tonight.
The three of the all want to face Reigns so let’s flip a coin. Actually hang on because he doesn’t have a coin and a coin only has two sides. Instead we’ll make it a popularity contest, which seems to be won by Owens. The beatdown is on but here’s Bobby Lashley for the attempted save. Cue Braun Strowman for the real save and we’ve probably got a six man for later.
Here’s Elias for a song, but the fans won’t stop booing him this time around. He asks how many people here watched the Greatest Royal Rumble and the announcement is anemic. Elias calls for silence and goes into a song about how pathetic Bobby Roode and Montreal are but Roode’s music cuts him off.
Bobby Roode vs. Elias
Joined in progress with Roode fighting out of a chinlock and scoring with a Blockbuster. Elias rolls to the floor and snaps Roode’s throat across the top as it’s time to go after the neck and throat. We hit a chinlock and it’s time for another of those inset promos for Backlash. So those are now full time? I’m so happy.
Back to full screen with Elias kicking him in the chest for two as we take another break. We come back again with Roode getting two off a spinebuster but the Glorious DDT is countered. Elias gets in another shot to the throat and sends him chest/throat first into the rod connecting the buckle to the ring. Roode is writhing around on the floor with medics out to check on him. Elias declares himself the winner and we’ll say the match ends at 12:20.
Roode walked off on his own during the break.
Authors of Pain vs. Jean-Paul/Francois
The jobbers talk about being proud French-Canadians and never back down from a fight. Rezar runs Paul over to start and it’s off to Francois, who gets crushed with a clothesline. The Super Collider and the Last Chapter is good for the pin at 1:05. Exactly what it needed to be.
Post match the Authors promise destruction.
Here’s Seth Rollins for a chat. He talks about defending the Intercontinental Title around the world and the fans cut him off with a loud and long OLE chant, followed by a bunch of cheering. Rollins thanks them in French and the fans go even harder. That was a long trip to Saudi Arabia but he doesn’t want to be the kind of champion that Brock Lesnar is because he wants to be out here every week. Cue Finn Balor to interrupt and introduce himself in French as well.
Balor says they’re 2-2 against each other so let’s have a title match tonight. Rollins talks about facing Miz on Sunday and lets the fans make the decision for him. That’s pretty one sided and the match is on. Cue the Miztourage to say they messed up last week, so this week they have a new idea: a group conversation, which means homemade shirts featuring Rollins and Balor’s faces. A brawl breaks out and Miztourage is cleared out. Balor hits an Eye of the Hurricane on Rollins to a mixed reception.
Ruby Riott vs. Sasha Banks
Before the match, Banks says Bayley isn’t in her corner tonight and that’s unfortunate, but this division still runs out Boss Power. Feeling out process to start with Banks glaring at Ruby, followed by the walk up the corner armdrag. It’s off to the armbar as a sad Bayley is watching in the back.
Sasha gets sent into the corner but comes back with some right hands and a choke in the corner. A forearm puts Banks on the floor and she has to beat up Sarah Logan without much effort. Back from a break with Ruby grabbing a chinlock until Banks makes the comeback. A dropkick allows Sasha to do some shouting but Ruby is right back with a takedown.
Riott goes to the middle rope for a falling backsplash, only to get caught in the Bank Statement. Cue Morgan for a distraction so Logan can make the save, earning Riott a knee to the head against the post. Morgan offers another distraction though, setting up the Riott Kick to give Ruby the pin at 12:32.
In another Moment of Bliss, Alexa talks about going to Disney World with Nia Jax, who spent all day making fun of her height. She even asked if Bliss was tall enough for the tea cup ride. “It’s a cup. You sit in a cup!” Then at lunch, Nia made sure Bliss had a kids menu and laughed while holding a turkey leg in each hand. At Backlash, Nia isn’t getting away with all of her horrible tricks. This was hilarious, again.
Titus O’Neil looks at his now infamous fall at the Greatest Royal Rumble. He says it was all a plan and drops the act almost immediately. Titus: “I just fell.” Titus talks about how it’s about getting back up and is ready for what’s next. Baron Corbin comes in and laughs at him, saying that this interview should be with him. Corbin leaves and Titus says it’s cool.
Stills of Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt winning the Raw Tag Team Titles on Friday.
Matt says he and Bray have transcended time and space before screaming. We go to a series of pictures of the two of them at famous moments in history. Bray comes in to say they are the darkness. It will continue to consume anything and the Deleters of Worlds will dominate forever.
We look back at Mickie James attacking Natalya last week, drawing out Ronda Rousey for the save.
Bobby Lashley/Roman Reigns/Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens/Jinder Mahal
Reigns and Mahal open things up and the fans just LOATHE Roman. Sami comes in before any contact and the fans are far more entertained. Owens gets the same treatment and it’s back to Sami again, who gets cheered just for kicking Reigns in the ribs. Roman hits a double apron dropkick to send us to a break.
Back with Reigns driving Mahal into the corner so Lashley can come in for some clotheslines. Lashley gets taken into the corner for a stomping from Sami but a neckbreaker gets him out of trouble in short order. Owens comes in to stomp away and prevent the tag and the fans are very pleased.
We hit the chinlock and another inset promo, this time about AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. Back to full screen with the chinlock continuing until Lashley suplexes his way to freedom. Reigns comes in to such a quiet hot tag that I didn’t realize he had come in. Clotheslines in the corner abound and a shot to the face puts Sami in even more trouble. Owens kicks Reigns in the ribs and gets two off a DDT as we take another break.
Back again with Reigns still in trouble, including Owens’ Vader Bomb elbow connecting for two. It’s off to another chinlock for a bit until Reigns gets in a Superman Punch. Jinder decks Lashley off the apron but gets Samoan dropped. Strowman finally comes in and runs Owens over on the floor, just like last week. Sami gets the same treatment but Owens sidesteps a second attempt. That earns him a whip into the barricade, leaving Jinder to send Strowman shoulder first into the post. Reigns spears Mahal and Strowman is right back up to powerslam Owens for the pin at 20:56.
Video on the Greatest Royal Rumble.
Baron Corbin vs. No Way Jose
Corbin says in this business, no one can make money while being funny. Some fans boo but Corbin says it’s cool because they paid to see him. He’s sick of this No Way Jose nonsense and now it’s time to get rid of him once and for all. Jose hammers away to start and staggers Corbin, only to miss a high crossbody. Corbin sends him into the post though and here’s Titus Worldwide for the distraction. Titus starts running to the ring but has Apollo wipe down the spot where he slipped. This time he falls off the apron but the distraction lets Jose roll Corbin up for the pin at 2:40. So Titus’ fall is now costing Corbin matches?
Video on World Wish Day.
Mickie James vs. Natalya
Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey are the seconds. Mickie bails to the floor very quickly but comes back in to eat a basement dropkick for two. Natalya gets sent face first into the middle buckle for two but Mickie gets taken down into a Sharpshooter attempt. That means Alexa offering a distraction so Rousey chases her down, only to have Natalya grab a rollup for a pin at 3:05.
Post match Nia Jax comes out to stare at Bliss before staring Rousey and Natalya down….and then raising their hands.
We run down Sunday’s card.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre say they’re awesome and suggest that people run off to Smackdown.
Intercontinental Title: Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins is defending. They head outside in a hurry with Rollins nailing the suicide dive into the barricade as we take a very abrupt break. Back with Rollins holding a chinlock until Balor is up with the running forearm. Rollins scores with a Blockbuster but another suicide dive is blocked with a kick to the head. I love it when they learn during a match.
A DDT gives Balor two more and the Eye of the Hurricane is good for the same. Rollins is right back up with a jumping knee to the face but Balor kicks him down again. The Coup de Grace is broken up with another kick to the head and Rollins hits the superkick. Rollins’ superplex connects but Finn hits his own Falcon Arrow for a crazy close two.
With both guys spent and the crowd WAY into this, they trade kicks to the head with Rollins going to the floor. Balor adds a running flip dive, followed by the shotgun dropkick back inside. The Coup de Grace misses but so does the Stomp. Balor rolls him up for two and hits (mostly) a Sling Blade. Rollins is back up with a superkick though and the Stomp retains the title at 15:28.
Elias b. Bobby Roode via referee stoppage
Authors of Pain b. Jean-Paul/Francois – Last Chapter to Francois
Ruby Riott b. Sasha Banks – Riott Kick
Bobby Lashley/Braun Strowman/Roman Reigns b. Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens/Jinder Mahal – Running powerslam to Owens
No Way Jose b. Baron Corbin – Rollup
Natalya b. Mickie James – Small package
Seth Rollins b. Finn Balor – The Stomp
Date: May 1, 2018
Location: Bell Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
We’re still in Montreal and this time around it’s the go home show for Backlash. The big story tonight is Shinsuke Nakamura demanding an apology from AJ Styles. Other than that we need to build up Backlash quite a bit, but there’s so much fallout from the Greatest Royal Rumble to get through first. Let’s get to it.
We open with a look at Shane McMahon being chokeslammed through the announcers’ table by Braun Strowman.
Paige says that Shane won’t be here tonight before recapping AJ vs. Nakamura from Friday. As for Backlash, the title match is now No DQ.
It’s time for MizTV. Miz cuts the fans chanting for Maryse off by saying he took her to Hollywood. That brings him to his Intercontinental Title match on Sunday with Seth Rollins. Jeff Hardy is the guest tonight so we’re ready to go. Miz won’t shake Jeff’s hand because he just high fived all of these dirty Montreal fans. First question: does Jeff think Miz is a better Intercontinental Champion than Seth Rollins.
Jeff agrees, if you want a champion who is self obsessed and annoying. Miz isn’t pleased with that and throws it to a clip of Randy Orton taking Jeff’s place against Shelton Benjamin last week. He’d like to know what Orton thinks of that so here’s Randy Orton as the second guest. Orton doesn’t think much of it because Jeff did the same the week before. Miz brings up the superstar rating scale from a few months ago, which had Orton ranked ninth. Orton: “I don’t think anybody cares about any Smackdown Top Ten list.” Preach it brother.
Jeff says it was Sunil Singh costing Orton the match last week but Miz disagrees. Orton doesn’t like Miz stirring the pot like this and says he’s taking the title back at Backlash. They seem cool but here’s Shelton Benjamin to say he deserves the title shot. Orton kicks him down and Jeff gives Miz the Whisper in the Wind.
Jeff Hardy/Randy Orton vs. Shelton Benjamin/The Miz
Joined in progress (because WWE knows one way to follow up on segments like that) with Hardy stomping on Benjamin. It’s off to Orton for an RKO attempt but Shelton dropkicks him down for a delayed two. Miz comes in and the fans aren’t happy to see him. The chinlock doesn’t last long as Orton suplexes his way out and it’s off to Hardy. The basement dropkick gets two and the Skull Crushing Finale is countered into a rollup for two.
Miz is sent outside so Jeff gives Benjamin a Twisting Stunner but Shelton knees him in the face to break up the Swanton. Back from a break with Miz holding Jeff in a chinlock but he fights out with a jawbreaker. Another takedown to Shelton is enough for the hot tag to Orton. House is cleaned in a hurry with the double DDT to Miz and Benjamin. The powerslam brings Jeff back in for the Swanton and the pin on Benjamin at 11:57.
Post match Orton hits Hardy with a quick RKO.
The Iconics make fun of Renee Young but she defends her Canadian accent. They brag about winning last week and tell Renee to go chase a moose because they have this. Billie brings in Carmella for the interview so she can brag about beating Charlotte. She’ll do it again on Sunday and they’ll even win in their six woman tag tonight.
We hear Daniel Bryan say he thought he could win on Friday but he didn’t lose because he was tired. He lost because he couldn’t get Braun Strowman out of the ring. His chest is nearly destroyed and the doctors have kept him out of the ring tonight due to a possible infection.
The Bar has their Smackdown contracts and brag about being the new force around here. New Day shows up with a plate of pancakes for them but the Bar throws them away, fearing some, ahem, added ingredients. That’s too far for New Day so Sheamus challenges Xavier Woods for a match tonight. Woods agrees, saying that Sheamus’ soul belongs to him.
Rusev Day is trying to come up with a new song but Lana, in a Rusev Day shirt, comes in to interrupt them. She asks to speak to Rusev alone and says Rusev is missing something to get him over the top. Rusev doesn’t get what she means and oh hi again English.
Here’s Big Cass with something to say. He’s from New York City and that means a few things, including that he’s better than all of us. Cass yells that he’s better than anyone here, just like he’s better than Daniel Bryan. He’s seven foot tall and powerful, which is everything Bryan isn’t.
On Sunday, you’re not getting a five star match because it’s going to be five seconds long. He doesn’t need wristlocks or a YES Lock or even time to prepare. Cass wants Bryan right now...and here’s a miniature Bryan. Cass makes short jokes and tells him to wave to the fans. The big boot and right hands follow until referees come out. Words can’t do justice for how stupid this idea is and always has been.
Here’s AJ Styles to talk to Renee Young in the ring. AJ says he’s trying to defend the title and Nakamura is more interested in the wrong jewels. Now Nakamura wants a public apology so AJ should have left him sucking sand in the desert. He’s fine with the No DQ stipulation on Sunday because AJ can break rules too. On Sunday, a low blow will be the least of Nakamura’s worries. If Nakamura wants an apology, he can come get one.
Cue Samoa Joe to say that AJ needs to pay better attention to the more important match. After he puts Reigns to sleep on Sunday, he’s coming for whoever leaves with the WWE Championship. Oh….I think I can go for this. Nakamura’s music hits and Joe is ready but we cut to the ring where Nakamura hits AJ low again. Kinshasa knocks AJ silly for good measure and Nakamura holds up the title. I fully support Joe becoming more involved with the World Title situation.
Becky Lynch isn’t happy with what happened last week and is sorry for costing Asuka her first match on Smackdown. Asuka is next to her and says they’ll hit back three times harder. Charlotte wants to destroy the Iconics and Asuka says Avengers Assemble.
Sheamus vs. Xavier Woods
Sheamus knocks him into the corner so Woods comes back with a dropkick and speeds things up. Another dropkick puts Sheamus outside for a running flip dive. A Cesaro distraction lets Sheamus get in a knee lift and we take a break. Back with Sheamus cranking on the arm to keep Woods down even longer.
Woods fights up and slugs away before sending a charging Sheamus shoulder first into the post. A twisting legdrop gets two and there’s a Shining Wizard to rock Sheamus again. Cesaro and Big E. get into it on the floor and the distraction lets Woods grab a quick small package for the pin at 10:27.
We look at Mandy Rose and S-onya Deville ripping on Becky Lynch last week but referees broke it up.
Mandy and Sonya come in to see Paige for an Absolution reunion. They’re happy with the new boss and want to know which of them will be getting the Women’s Title match. Paige picks Mandy but it’s really just a match with Becky next week. Sonya wants to know what’s going on so Paige breaks the news to her: Absolution is dead.
Zelina Vega says Andrade Cien Almas will come when he feels like it.
Charlotte/Becky Lynch/Asuka vs. Iconics/Carmella
Carmella tries to hide from Charlotte to start and brings in Peyton to face Becky. Peyton is taken down in short order and Becky does a little dance before it’s off to Billie. Asuka comes in and takes her into the corner….where Billie thinks slapping Asuka is a good idea. Charlotte: “SHE’S GONNA KILL YOU!”
Charlotte comes in and dives onto the Iconics, sending Carmella running as we take a break. Back with Becky cleaning house and handing it off to Charlotte for more of the same. The numbers game catches up with Charlotte though and we hit the chinlock. Therefore, GET THAT INSET PROMO GOING! Charlotte fights up as we’re back to full screen and a kick to the chest knocks Carmella away.
Asuka tags herself in and hip attacks everyone to the floor. A kick to the head drops Peyton for two and everything breaks down. Charlotte spears Carmella (who sits down instead of flying backwards) and moonsaults out to the floor onto all three. Peyton gets thrown back inside and tries an O’Connor roll, only to get reversed into the Asuka Lock for the tap at 13:24.
Jeff Hardy/Randy Orton b. Shelton Benjamin/The Miz – Swanton Bomb to Benjamin
Xavier Woods b. Sheamus – Small package
Charlotte/Becky Lynch/Asuka b. Iconics/Carmella – Asuka Lock to Royce
Date: May 2, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson
It’s back to Full Sail and that means a nice relief from the breakneck pace of the last few weeks of Raw and Smackdown. At least they’ve set some stuff up in advance and this show will likely deliver some entertaining stuff. There are three matches announced for tonight, including Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne. Let’s get to it.
The Undisputed Era brags about being awesome with Adam Cole talking about how he gave Oney Lorcan the honor of being the first unsuccessful challenger to the North American Title. They’re ready to deal with Danny Burch and Pete Dunne too.
Kairi Sane vs. Shazza McKenzie
McKenzie is from Australia and has wrestled in Shimmer. They shake hands and Sane wastes no time in getting two off a rollup. Some chops rock Shazza and the sliding seated clothesline have her in even more trouble. The top rope elbow sets up an Alabama Slam and the Insane Elbow to give Sane the very fast pin at 1:49.
Post match here’s Lacey Evans to admit that she was wrong: Sane does belong here. The hand is extended and Evans decks her in the face.
We look back at Tommaso Ciampa destroying Johnny Gargano last week. Ciampa looking down from the production truck as the ambulance drove away was a great visual.
Candice LeRae says this was supposed to be the greatest year but it’s been one disaster after another. She stars crying while talking about watching Johnny being taken away and has to leave.
Video on Lars Sullivan.
Street Profits vs. TM61
Ford spinwheel kicks Miller in the face to start so it’s off to Dawkins to shoulder Miller down in a heap. In a cool spot, Dawkins launches Ford into the air for a double dropkick to both Australians. Dawkins misses a charge in the corner though and a slingshot hilo crushes him. We’re already in the chinlock and the fans are split on this one. A double clothesline doesn’t make their decision any easier and the hot tag brings in Ford to speed things up. Ford kicks Miller in the face but his sunset flip is reversed into a rollup with Thorn holding the foot on the ropes to give Miller the pin at 3:10.
Video on War Raiders vs. Heavy Machinery before their match next week.
Video on Kona Reeves.
Kassius Ohno calls Ciampa a coward for hurting his friend like that.
Kona Reeves vs. Patrick Scott
A knee to the ribs has Scott knocked down early and Kona informs him that he’s the finest. Reeves stomps away in the corner and this time tells the fans that he’s the finest. A falling middle rope elbow sets up the Hawaiian Drop (Samoan drop but with a faceplant instead of landing on the back) is good for the pin on Scott at 2:02. Reeves was really not that impressive.
EC3 says his first match was great, so imagine how great the sequel will be. His TV debut is next week.
Dakota Kai wants to make her mark but doesn’t want to talk about Shayna Baszler. Vanessa Bourne comes in to say she would have slapped Baszler in the face because she’s not a coward. A fight is teased and Kai is willing to fight her at some point.
Candice LeRae vs. Bianca Belair
Candice is rather subdued and shaken up over what happened to Johnny last week. Feeling out process to start with Belair shouldering her down but getting rolled up for two. With Candice still on the mat, Belair deadlifts her straight up into a gorilla press, holds her there for a good while, and then launches Candice face first into the top turnbuckle. We hit a torture rack with Candice having to elbow her way to freedom. The comeback is on with a missile dropkick but Belair shrugs off a tornado DDT. The Alley Oop ends LeRae at 3:39.
Next week: EC3’s singles debut and Ohno vs. Ciampa.
Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong
Non-title and a grudge match after Strong turned on Dunne at Takeover. Cole and O’Reilly are in Strong’s corner. Dunne wastes no time in forearming Strong down but a trip to the floor goes to Strong. A powerbomb onto the apron keeps Dunne in trouble and Pete is in some serious pain. Back in and Strong cranks on the neck so Pete pulls on his nose to escape. That’s rather rude of him. We hit a seated abdominal stretch for a bit until the X Plex gets Dunne out of trouble.
Dunne comes off the middle rope with a stomp to the arm but Strong sends him outside. Back in and a double underhook backbreaker gets two, followed by some kicks to Dunne’s head. A choke takes Strong down and Dunne tries to switch it into a cross armbreaker. That’s broken up as well so Dunne takes him up top, only to get brought back down in a super Angle Slam. Dunne isn’t happy though and snaps the fingers before dropping Strong with a release German suplex. The Bitter End looks to finish but draws in the Undisputed Era for the DQ at 9:02.
Post match the beatdown continues but Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan run in for the save to end the show.
Kairi Sane b. Shazza McKenzie – Insane Elbow
TM61 b. Street Profits – Rollup to Ford with feet on the ropes
Bianca Belair b. Candice LeRae – Alley Oop
Pete Dunne b. Roderick Strong via DQ when Undisputed Era interfered
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