Original Air Date: April 9, 2018
Event Date: April 9, 2018 (aired live)
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman
Ring Announcer: Jojo
Stephanie McMahon heads to the ring, and her arm is in a sling. She enters the ring as the crowd chants “you tapped out.” Steph is disappointed in the crowd. A decent crowd would have at least some sympathy for her. Stephanie knew she could bring out the best in Ronda Rousey, so she deserves a pat on the back. Steph is proud of Rousey, so she invites her to the ring.
Stephanie tells Rousey that the better woman won last night. Rousey was spectacular, and she is a role model. With Rousey’s talent and Stephanie’s spotlight, the two of them can be the biggest thing in the world. Steph and Rousey hug, but Rousey quickly turns the embrace into an armbar. Rousey smiles and laughs as she walks away from the ring, leaving Stephanie writhing in pain while being helped by medical staff.
Nia Jax heads to the ring for a tag match. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James come out next, and Bliss says that Jax is a bully. Jax beat up Mickie James for no reason last night, and that caused Bliss to become emotionally distressed. That’s why Bliss lost.
Jax tells Bliss to shut up. Jax loved every second of what she did to James and Bliss last night. She also has a surprise partner for her match tonight: Ember Moon.
Mickie James & Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax (RAW Women’s Champ) & Ember Moon
(referee: Shawn Bennett)
Result: Ember Moon pins Alexa Bliss after an Eclipse
Pretty good match. It was essentially an exhibition for Ember Moon. She looked good and hit a few big moves in this short match.
Braun Strowman relinquishes his and Nicholas’ RAW Tag Titles to Kurt Angle. Nicholas can’t defend his title because he’s still in the 4th Grade.
No Way Jose is coming to RAW, next.
No Way Jose vs John Skyler
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: No Way Jose wins via pinfall after a knockout punch
Squash. There was more dancing than wrestling. That’s Jose’s thing, so I guess the match worked for him?
Cesaro and Sheamus ask Kurt Angle if he’d like to hand the RAW Tag Titles to them now or in a ceremony. Angle says they have to earn their titles back by taking on the winner of a mini-tournament Angle is calling the Tag Team Eliminator.
Tag Team Eliminator First Round Match
The Revival vs Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
(referee: Rod Zapata; watching in the back: Cesaro, Sheamus)
Result: Dash Wilder pins Karl Anderson after Shatter Machine
Time: 3:43 (joined in progress)
A pretty good match, but very short. Anderson and Gallows looked good at first, but The Revival managed to find opportunities to stay in the match long enough to separate their opponents. I liked the match, it just could have been longer (or not cut into by a commercial).
Seth Rollins heads to the ring. He’s enjoying himself, and he likes the sound of “Grand Slam Rollins.” As he talks about winning the final title of his grand slam at WrestleMania, Finn Balor interrupts and heads to the ring.
Balor congratulates Rollins on his win, but he says Rollins didn’t beat him last night. Therefore, Balor wants to be the first person to challenge Rollins for the IC Title. Rollins thinks about it briefly before shaking Balor’s hand.
Miz comes out with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. As he heads to the ring, Miz says Rollins does not deserve the IC Title. Miz made the title, and he left Axel and Dallas in the back because he didn’t want any excuses after he defended his title. He’s a father, and he’s a changed man. Miz tells Rollins that he made his daughter cry because of what Rollins did in the triple threat match. His daughter crying made his wife cry, and that made The Miz cry. Rollins says everyone cries when they watch Miz try to wrestle.
Miz points out that Balor is owed nothing, but Miz is contractually owed a rematch. Rollins suggests that Miz invoke his rematch clause right now. Miz will have his rematch on his own time, and he would like his rematch at Backlash. If Rollins and Balor want a match though, Miz and The Miztourage will be happy to have a handicap match right now. Everyone gets ready for a fight when Jeff Hardy runs down to the ring. Miz and The Miztourage decide to leave the ring.
Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville, Paige vs Sasha Banks
(referee: John Cone; at ringside: Bayley)
Result: Mandy Rose wins via pinfall with a high knee strike
Time: 3:57 (1 break)
Good match. It wasn’t very long and there were some Sasha/Bayley shenanigans, but the action here was good. Rose and Banks made this more hard-hitting than I expected it to be.
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville give Paige the ring. Paige announces that due to an injury, she can no longer perform as an in-ring competitor. She thanks the women in the back. She also thanks Daniel Bryan and Edge for their inspiration and help in this transition for her. Paige debuted on the main roster in New Orleans, so New Orleans is where she wants to retire.
In the ring, Elias is impressed with himself. Everyone came to see him perform at Wrestlemania, and the same unnapreciative scumbags in the crowd will see him perform again tonight. So Elias sings about punching the crowd in the face when Bobby Lashley returns to the WWE. Lashley walks down to the ring, hits Elias with a neckbreaker and stalling suplex, then leaves.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens approach Kurt Angle looking for a job. Angle says his tag team division is full, but he hears that TnA is hiring. Owens says they’re not a team and he doesn’t have to hire both of them. Angle says there is one spot. If they want it, they can wrestle for it.
Heath Slater and Rhyno are in the ring. Slater is upset about not being included in the Tag Team Eliminator because he has kids. A whole slew of kids. He needs this job, so if there’s anyone in the back that thinks they can beat him and Rhyno, they should come down to the ring.
The Authors of Pain answer Slater’s open challenge.
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Rezar pins Heath Slater after a Last Chapter
As AoP leaves the ring, they stop Paul Ellering at the bottom of the ramp. Akam and Rezar head to the back while Paul Ellering watches, alone.
Roman Reigns heads to the ring. Reigns says he got beat up last night, but at least he’s here tonight. Brock Lesnar isn’t here. Reigns says Lesnar is a great businessman though. He was rumored to be heading back to the UFC, but now it’s been revealed that he’s signed a new WWE contract. And now Reigns has a cage match with Lesnar that he didn’t know about until he saw it on the internet.
Samoa Joe returns and walks out to the stage. Joe mocks Reigns and his conspiracy talk. He also says that Lesnar didn’t just beat Reigns, Lesnar exposed Reings. Reigns has repeatedly said he’s the only person who can beat Lesnar, but he failed. That makes Reigns a failure. Every time Reigns fights Lesnar, Reigns gets broken and Lesnar gets richer. And every time, Reigns makes excuses. After Reigns is destroyed in the cage, Joe will be waiting to put Reigns to sleep at Backlash.
Woken Matt Hardy is ready to commence on an expedition of gold. Bray Wyatt laughs.
Tag Team Eliminator First Round Match
Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews w/ Dana Brooke vs Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt
(referee: Shawn Bennett; watching in the back: Cesaro, Sheamus)
Result: Matt Hardy pins Apollo Crews after a Twist of Fate
The result was unsurprising, but this was kind of fun. The match was all about introducing people to the team of Hardy and Wyatt, and for that I think this was pretty good.
Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
(referee: Rod Zapata; watching in the back: Kurt Angle; stipulation: the winner will receive a RAW contract)
Result: the match ends in a No Contest when neither man can meet the in-ring 10 count, neither Zayn nor Owens receives a RAW contract
Time: 6:52 (1 break)
Good action, though ultimately the match doesn’t mean much. It wasn’t quite the renewal of a historic rivalry, but it was fun while it lasted. There were some big moves and nice moments here.
Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, and Jeff Hardy walk in the back when Jeff encounters his brother Matt. Matt thinks it’s delightful to see Jeff. Matt introduces Jeff to the new Bray Wyatt. Bray welcomes “Brother Nero,” and Jeff and Bray hug.
Rollins and Balor are perplexed.
Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel & The Miz vs Jeff Hardy & Seth Rollins (IC Champ) & Finn Balor
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Seth Rollins pins The Miz after a curb stomp
Time: 10:27 (1 break)
Good match. The super-team of Rollins, Balor, and Hardy is a lot of fun to watch. After so much wrestling over the past few days, this felt like a bit of a celebration. No surprises here, but it did have a lot of energy and a lot of fun moments.
I liked the show. It was way more about the “surprises,” returns, and new people than anything else, and I think that part of the show was fine. Some of the surprises were better and more exciting than others, but it definitely feels like the start of something new. Except for Roman Reigns. He’s still doing the same thing.
Match of the Night
Six Man Tag Match
A lot of the matches tonight were about introducing people and teams which means they were very one-sided, and this match wasn’t much of an exception. Hardy’s return was fine, and his team tonight was fun to watch.
Official Results: http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2018-04-09