Original Air Date: April 23, 2018
Event Date: April 23, 2018 (aired live)
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T
Ring Announcer: Jojo
Tonight’s show is in memory of Bruno Sammartino (1935-2018).
The RAW roster including Vince McMahon and a lot of the backstage crew is standing on the stage. The bell is rung ten times in honor of Bruno Sammartino.
Bruno Sammartino’s life and career is honored.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar head to the ring. Heyman is very happy to announce Lesnar as “still” the Universal Champ. Heyman knows people expect them to gloat tonight, but Lesnar does not gloat. He conquers. Heyman, on the other hand, does like to gloat. So he does.
Lesnar does not dwell in the past though. He always looks toward the future, and in the very near future Lesnar will be defending his title in a cage in Saudi Arabia. Lesnar will shred Roman Reigns and come home still the Universal Champ. As Heyman is wrapping up, Reigns comes out and heads toward the ring.
In the ring. Reigns and Lesnar stare at each other. Lesnar smiles. Reigns doesn’t. Reigns says he’s coming back from Saudi Arabia with the Universal Title. Then he leaves.
Elias is in the ring, but as soon as he begins to speak, Bobby Roode’s music starts to play. Roode heads to the ring.
Elias vs Bobby Roode
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Elias wins via pinfall with a schoolboy
Time: 7:57 (1 break)
Good match. Roode seemed to catch Elias off-guard in this match. Roode always seemed to be a step or two ahead of Elias, but Elias took advantage of certain situations to stay competitive. I think this was a good start to something for the two of them.
Woken Matt Hardy says the future is clear. He will procure the tag titles this week. Bray Wyatt appears and says there can be no light. The two of them will cast a shadow over all living things.
The Ascension vs Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Bray Wyatt pins Viktor after an assisted Twist of Fate
Pretty good match. It was fairly one-sided, as expected. This was pretty good for Hardy and Wyatt heading into their title match this Friday, but I worry that it’s also the start of a mediocre RAW existence for The Ascension.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens head to the ring for The Sami & Kevin Show. Owens says he and Zayn have stepped up to fill the void left when The Miz moved to SmackDown. Zayn then says that, this Friday, the Greatest Royal Rumble will be the greatest because they are going to win the Rumble match. They then introduce their guest, Kurt Angle.
Owens and Zayn tell Angle about their toxic work environment over on SmackDown. Owens also talks about head-butting Vince McMahon. With that in mind, Owens and Zayn say that Stephanie McMahon must really hate Angle if she signed the people that have beaten up her father and brother. They also make a joke about forgetting about Jason Jordan.
Angle reminds Owens and Zayn that he is going to be in the Greatest Royal Rumble match. So is Daniel Bryan. And Chris Jericho, and everyone else they’ve pissed off. Angle also makes a tag match for tonight: Owens and Zayn versus Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman. Owens and Zayn aren’t happy.
Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel show Seth Rolllins their new “Monday Night Rollins” shirts. They say that along with Rollins they could be the new Shield. Rollins isn’t impressed.
Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews w/ Dana Brooke vs Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Drew McIntyre pins Apollo Crews after a tandem Claymore and Zig Zag
Squash. Titus never made it into the match, and Crews got destroyed.
Charly Caruso asks Ziggler why he brought Drew McIntyre with him to RAW. Ziggler thinks it’s retty clear why he brought McIntyre. Drew is dangerous. McIntyre says the RAW locker room is soft. He sees people just sitting in the back collecting a paycheck. McIntyre says he is the wake up call RAW needs.
Chad Gable thanks Angle for bringing him to RAW. He talks about working his way up the roster when Jinder Mahal and Sunil Singh interrupts. Mahal says he insists that Angle send him back to SmackDown after he wins his US Title back at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Gable starts to speak, but Mahal makes fun of him. Gable shoves Mahal, so Angle tells them to settle it in the ring.
Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh vs Chad Gable
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Chad Gable wins via pinfall with a reversal to The Khallas
Time: 5:18 (1 break)
I liked this. Mahal attacked Gable before the match which set Gable up to make a comeback. Gable was dominated by Mahal, but Gable showed his resourcefulness and his technical ability. I think this was a good match for Gable to establish himself on RAW.
Renee Young welcomes The Riott Squad. They say they came to RAW “to disrupt.” That’s why they attacked Bayley and Sasha Banks last week.
Samoa Joe is worried he might not have an opponent at Backlash after Lesnar destroys Reigns at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel tell Finn Balor that the Baxel Club would be “too sweet.”
Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Braun Strowman pins Sami Zayn after a running powerslam
Time: 9:01 (1 break)
This was fun. It went about as expected. Lashley started strong but started to get overwhelmed by the superior teamwork of Owens and Zayn. Then Strowman got the tag and everything exploded.
Baron Corbin is coming to RAW, next.
No Way Jose heads to the ring with his conga line. Baron Corbin comes out and says he knows that the conga line is just an excuse for Jose to have some guys jump him during their match. Corbin refuses to fight as long as the conga line is at ringside. Corbin leaves, and Jose continues to party. Unsurprisingly, Corbin returns and attacks Jose from behind as the conga line reaches the stage.
Alexa Bliss delivers a PSA about bullies.
Finn Balor & Seth Rollins (IC Champ) vs Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Finn Balor pins Curtis Axel after Coup De Grace
Fun match. It was pretty short and I was hoping to see someone join Dallas and Axel to help them get the win, but this still made sense heading into the IC Title match later this week.
Natalya leads a pep talk for Ember Moon, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, and Bayley. Bayley and Sasha do not seem to be on friendly terms.
Mickie James & Alexa Bliss & The Riott Squad vs Bayley & Ember Moon & Natalya & Sasha Banks & Nia Jax (RAW Women’s Champ)
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Mickie James wins via DQ when Ronda Rousey attacks
Time: 11:39 (1 break)
Good match. There were some big moments, and I liked the story established when Sarah Logan delivered a chop block to Natalya. Nice main event.
This was an alright show. It felt long, but most RAWs do. There were no surprises or really any new developments, but this was a decent show following all the changes over the past two weeks.
Match of the Night
Women’s Tag Match
I think I liked this one the most. A lot of the other matches were either too short or too one-sided. This had some story to it to go along with the fun action.
Official Results: http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2018-04-23