Monday Night Raw – April 30, 2018

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.

Rating: D+. Elias winning is a good idea and I’m very happy to not see 50/50 booking again. They need to do something with Elias already (an Intercontinental Title feud would be nice) and Roode needed to turn heel like forever ago. The heel character isn’t much but that’s what we’re stuck with for whatever reason. The fans like his music I guess?

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.

Rating: C-. They’re taking their time to set up Banks vs. Bayley, though I’m still not sure where the two of them are supposed to go after that. Either of them vs. Rousey could be interesting on a big stage, but I can’t imagine either of them going after Nia anytime soon. At least the big showdown should be fun.

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.

Rating: C. This was the long tag match that you would expect when they’re coming back off a long international tour and everyone (save for Sami) is worn out. At least they went with the most over guy on the team (most of the time at least) getting the pin. Owens and Zayn felt like stars here though and I could go for them as a top face team down the line. Good match here, but you can tell they’re all exhausted.

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.

Rating: D+. This was more about the chase on the floor than the match and there’s nothing wrong with that. Integrating Rousey into the division like this is a good idea as you have people out there who can make things that much better if anything does wrong during a match. It’s also nice to have Rousey only get in the big matches too, as putting her in a match on TV like this would be a huge waste of time.

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.

Rating: B+. This took its time to get going but its last six or seven minutes were outstanding. I was thinking they would go with the title change here to set up another triple threat match. They’re doing something good with Rollins here and that could pay off very hard in the long run, especially when he gets back to the main event.

Overall Rating: C. You could tell the guys were tired here and it showed pretty badly. There’s only so much you can do when they’re as exhausted as these people must have been but at least we have a pay per view on Sunday that is being built up at the last second and looks like nothing compared to what we saw on Friday. The main event was very good and worth checking out but for the most part, this was a skippable night.

Results

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

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of the WWE Grab Bag (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

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