Monday Night Raw – April 8, 2019

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 8, 2019
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young

It’s the season premiere of the show and that means we’re in for something interesting tonight. Tonight is the night of big things happening, as we’ll be seeing a variety of people being called up and big stories going down, though a lot of it isn’t going to matter as we have the Superstar Shakeup next week. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Seth Rollins to open things up and we take a quick look at him defeating Brock Lesnar in less than three minutes last night. Back in the arena, Rollins says we deserve it and all he had to do was climb Mount Everest. He feels terrible today though and it’s like he got run over by a Mack truck. Today, he feels terrible after the beating and yeah he might have used some questionable tactics, but Lesnar would have done the same thing. Fans: “FULL TIME CHAMP!”

Seth promises to be a full time fighting champion….and here’s New Day, with Big E. giving Kofi his own part of the introduction. Kofi can see that Seth is confused (Seth: “It’s not Tuesday.”) and it’s not the Superstar Shakeup just yet. They’re here for a celebration and didn’t want to wait until Smackdown. Big E. and Xavier put over the new champions and the celebration is so strong that Big E. does a full splits. After the match, Kofi saw Becky Lynch win a winner take all match….and he liked that idea. The challenge is out for tonight, one on one for both titles. Rollins: “Challenge accepted.” The screwy finish could be interesting.

Tag Team Titles: Zack Ryder/Curt Hawkins vs. Revival

Revival is challenging and gets a jobber entrance. Dawson and Ryder start things off and it’s all four in after less than thirty seconds. We settle down to Hawkins rolling Wilder up for two and getting punched in the face like he just jumped Bret Hart. A dropkick hits Dawson but Wilder gets in a knee from the back to put Hawkins down. The Hart Attack gets two and we take a break.

Back with Hawkins hitting a jumping knee to the face and diving over for the hot tag to Ryder. House is cleaned and it’s quickly back to Hawkins who gets two off a small package. Hawkins gets pulled outside and it’s a torture rack/top rope knee to Ryder for two. Ryder’s neckbreaker is blocked and a small package gives Dawson two more. A blind tag brings Hawkins in though and, after a Shatter Machine to Ryder, Hawkins rolls Dawson up to retain at 10:04.

Rating: C+. I liked this one better than last night’s as it had some extra energy and some drama, which is more than you would have expected. I’m rather surprised that they kept the titles, but at the same time I can’t imagine the Revival ever gets them back. It’s a sad place to be, but why would WWE want to go with a team who has an actually different style and can work well with anyone?

Here’s Baron Corbin for his big victory speech. He talks about how great he is and insults the dirty New York fans before saying he deserves a gold medal of his own. This brings out Kurt Angle to say Corbin does deserve it, setting up an Angle Slam and an ankle lock to make Corbin tap. Angle poses….and here’s Lars Sullivan of all people to debut. It’s a Freak Accident and the top rope headbutt to leave Angle laying. That’s a very big surprise as Sullivan hasn’t been mentioned in months due to some mental health issues.

Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley

Bliss starts fast with a forearm to knock Bayley outside early on. Back in and Bayley grabs a rollup and puts her hand on the rope for two. A sunset flip sends Bliss HARD into the buckle for two but Bliss is right back with the DDT for the pin at 2:44.

Here’s Becky Lynch for her victory speech. Becky: “WE DID IT!” After dubbing herself Becky Two Belts, she says “Ronnie and Ric’s daughter” were so cocky coming up on Wrestlemania but the one who walked in with nothing walked out with everything. She left home at fifteen to fight around the world and now she’s here. Fans: “YOU’RE THE MAN!” Becky: “You hear that Ronnie, you little weirdo?” Whenever Rousey is done sulking, Becky will be ready to slap the taste out of her mouth. Charlotte is likely getting the Tag Team Titles to make her feel better.

Other than that though, she’s the redhead in leather with two titles, ready to slap the heads off you all. She goes to leave….and here’s Lacey Evans as we seem to finally be ready to go somewhere with this thing. Lacey gives her the Woman’s Right and Becky doesn’t even go down. They fight up the ramp with Becky almost getting the Disarm-Her to send Lacey running. It’s not a good sign when her finisher didn’t even take Becky off her feet, but Becky has faced most of the big names in the division already so a fresh opponent is a good idea.

Rollins says Kofi better bring his A game because B+ isn’t enough.

Aleister Black/Ricochet vs. Chad Gable/Bobby Roode

Cole says that Ricochet and Black, who lost their two big title matches over the weekend, are on a roll. Gable says that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get back on top. Gable tries a Boston crab to start but has to duck a kick to the face, allowing Black to sit down and stare at him. With the submissions not working, Gable grapples him down without much effort and pulls Black to the corner for a tag to Roode.

Black is able to get over for a tag and it’s off to Ricochet to take Roode down on the floor. Back in and Ricochet is sent outside all over again as we take a break. Back with Gable suplexing Ricochet and Roode’s clothesline getting two. Ricochet rolls forward to dropkick Gable and Black comes in again for the strikes to Roode. A sunset flip gives Roode two (and twists Black’s ankle around at the same time though he seems fine) and another kick to the head drops Roode.

The fans do the Wave as Black kicks Roode in the head, setting up a spinning suplex from Ricochet. Gable pulls Black to the floor and the referee gets shoved, allowing Gable to shove Ricochet off the top. That sets up a spinebuster for two and the moonsault/neckbreaker combination gets the same as Black makes a very last second save. Roode and Black go outside this time, leaving Ricochet to flip out of Rolling Chaos Theory. A one knee Codebreaker finishes Gable at 11:24.

Rating: C-. These teams have already been in the ring against each other far too many times now and the division needs some fresh blood. Like the Usos, who should have been moved over here a long time ago. Black and Ricochet winning helped a bit but they need some fresh teams to face.

Post match Roode decks Ricochet and bails.

Elias is mad at John Cena for interrupting him with what he calls music. Tonight Elias is performing and no one better interrupt him.

A box with smoke coming out of it opens up and it’s a puppet…..which might be a bird…..a buzzard perhaps?

Dean Ambrose vs. Bobby Lashley

This is billed as Dean’s last match. Lashley gets a mic and says that when Dean is gone, Lashley will take care of Renee Young for him. Dean erupts on him and sends Lashley into the timekeeper’s area for a chair shot. They fight up the ramp with Dean hitting Dirty Deeds on the stage. The announcers’ table is cleared off but Lio Rush’s distraction lets Lashley get in a spear. A spinebuster puts Dean through the table. No match.

Mojo Rawley yells into a mirror, asking where he was last night. He has blue paint around his eye now. I would wonder/care….but it’s Mojo. I like the guy but it’s not happening.

Here’s the returning Sami Zayn, who they showed before the break to ruin the surprise. His schedule is wide open and he could go for a match right now. That’s an open challenge.

Sami Zayn vs. Finn Balor

And here’s a bonus.

Intercontinental Title: Sami Zayn vs. Finn Balor

Sami is challenging. Feeling out process to start with both guys heading to the mat and Sami having to slip out of a headscissors for a standoff. Some armdrags have Sami on the floor but they switch places and Sami does his bounce off the ropes moonsault for a funny reaction. Balor comes back in for a good dropkick to set up the armbar to start on the surgically repaired shoulder.

Sami fights up but gets caught with the Pele as we take a break. Back with Sami hitting the Blue Thunder Bomb for two but the Helluva Kick is countered by a Sling Blade. The Coup de Grace misses and Sami hits the exploder into the corner. The Helluva Kick misses again and now the Coup de Grace retains Balor’s title at 12:06.

Rating: C. Well ok then. I’m not quite sure I get the logic here but maybe Sami is going somewhere off the loss. Balor winning makes sense as you want to establish him as champion, though you couldn’t do this over some loser like Mojo Rawley? Not much of a match but it’s nice to see Sami back.

Post match Sami said he hoped that would fix him but it just reinforced what he’s learned over the last nine months. It genuinely seems like the fans missed him….but he didn’t miss and of this or any of the fans. WWE is a toxic place and it’s all because of the ugly fans. He lives a fulfilled life but the fans’ lives seem so empty and devoid of any meaning. They don’t even enjoy the shows as fans because they only want to be critics. It’s the only thing that gives them any sense of self importance because fans judge everything but themselves.

None of them have the guts to look inside themselves because they know the ugliness that lives inside of them. The fans think they’re the voices that should be heard but now they’re the evil overlords of WWE. Sami has been about doing what is right for his whole life but now the right thing isn’t to come back and save WWE or take over WWE (might have been a HHH impression on that second one) but rather hold the fans accountable. Sami: “See you in h***.” I’m much better with the loss now.

We look at Lacey Evans punching Becky.

Dana Brooke says the line for the title is forming and she’s not at the front but she’s not at the back either.

Here’s Elias for his performance. He rants about Cena interrupting him again but stops for OH WALK WITH ELIAS. In the spirit of Brooklyn, he’s going to show us how easy it is to rap. He rhymes about his middle finger being for Cena and says the next one to interrupt him is a dead man….and there’s the gong. After the long entrance, Elias goes to leave but comes back in. The jacket comes off, Elias stares him down (looking like a near dead ringer for Luke Harper from behind), and charges into a big boot. The chokeslam and Tombstone leave Elias laying.

WWE Championship/Universal Championship: Kofi Kingston vs. Seth Rollins

Title for title. The fans are split as Kofi starts with his double leapfrog but it’s too early for SOS. It’s too early for the ripcord knee, Trouble in Paradise and the Stomp as well and we take a break. Back with Kofi getting dropkicked out of the air and enziguried for two. Rollins stomps his foot a lot but gets knocked to the floor. Kofi goes up….and the Bar runs in to jump Kofi for the DQ at 7:48.

Rating: C. It was nice while it lasted but egads that’s a disappointing finish, especially with a likely tag match coming to finish the show. I was expecting some kind of interference or screwy finish, but the Bar? That’s the best they can come up with on the biggest Raw of the year? Come on people.

Challenge accepted again.

The Bar vs. Seth Rollins/Kofi Kingston

Rollins knocks Cesaro to the floor to start but gets sent into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Kofi being knocked off the apron and a double backbreaker getting two on Seth. The fans entertain themselves with….something likely dumb as Sheamus misses a charge into the post. The hot tag brings in Kofi and cuts off the WE WANT BEACH BALLS chant.

Sheamus takes the Boom Drop and the SOS gets two as Kofi clears the ring. Kofi’s backwards dive onto both of them is caught but Seth suicide dives onto all of them. Back in and the spike White Noise hits Kofi but Seth makes the save and posts Sheamus. The Swing is countered into a small package to give Kofi two and Seth tags himself back in. Trouble in Paradise into the Stomp finishes Cesaro at 9:25.

Rating: C. Well that happened. They really did just end the biggest show of the year with a Bar tag match. No big angle or anything. Just a tag match that feels like a match you would get if someone missed a flight to a house show. It was fine but I kept waiting on something important to happen and it never came.

The winners celebrate to end the show with nothing else happening.

Overall Rating: D+. I don’t know if it’s having the Superstar Shakeup next week or what but the last few years haven’t felt as special for the post Wrestlemania Raw. There were a few moments sprinkled here and there, but most of this show felt like any given Raw. Undertaker’s cameo was a nice surprise and Lars Sullivan actually got me but other than that….there isn’t much. I’m guessing we’ll get the callups next week but that doesn’t make this show any easier to watch. It wasn’t bad, but I’m rather disappointed.

Results

Curt Hawkins/Zack Ryder b. Revival – Rollup to Dawson

Alexa Bliss b. Bayley – DDT

Ricochet/Aleister Black b. Chad Gable/Bobby Roode – Codebreaker to Gable

Finn Balor b. Sami Zayn – Coup de Grace

Kofi Kingston b. Seth Rollins via DQ when the Bar interrupted

Kofi Kingston/Seth Rollins b. The Bar – Stomp to Cesaro

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1 (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2019/02/22/new-book-kbs-monday-nitro-thunder-reviews-volume-vii-january-june-2000/


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