Monday Night Raw – April 15, 2019

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 15, 2019
Location: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, Renee Young, Corey Graves

We’re on to a big show this week with the first night of the Superstar Shakeup. In this case, that means we have a night of people moving over to Monday Night Raw, though the question is where they will go. WWE has implied that we might be seeing some names moving to shows other than just the two main ones, meaning several more doors are available. Let’s get to it.

Here’s a loudly booed Stephanie McMahon to introduce Shane McMahon. Hold on though as Mike Rome has to do Shane’s big introduction. Shane even does it in French, though he does wait for the fans to get done chanting CM PUNK. Before we get to the first pick, let’s look at some stills of Shane McMahon beating up Miz’s dad. Stephanie goes to introduce the first star but Miz cuts him off, which might be a move over to Raw. The announcers say that Miz is on Raw as Shane beats him up, only to come back with a chair shot. Shane bails as a bleeding Miz stands tall. Makes sense for Miz as he’s been on Smackdown forever now.

We look at Seth Rollins beating Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at Wrestlemania.

Ricochet/Aleister Black/Zack Ryder/Curt Hawkins vs. Revival/Viking Experience

Black and Ricochet are officially on Raw. The Viking Experience are the War Raiders, now called Ebar and Erik because reasons. Hawkins and Ryder work on Dawson to start but it’s quickly off to Black for some kicks to the arm. The Vikings get to take turns on Black until Dash drives him into the corner. Ricochet comes in but it’s already back to Black as everything breaks down. The champs and company clean house and we take a break.

Back with Erick (Rowe) getting slammed onto Hawkins and getting caught in an armbar. Revival gets to take their turns until Hawkins dives over for the tag off to Ryder. Everything breaks down and the middle rope Rough Ryder gets two on Erik and Ricochet misses a moonsault to the floor on Dawson with the camera not being able to hide it. That leaves Hawkins to be launched over the top onto Black and Ricochet, followed by Fallout to Ryder for the pin at 13:25.

Rating: C. I can’t get over the name change. What in the world is the point? If you don’t want the War Raiders name on Raw then fine, but come up with something better than what sounds like a Medieval Times spinoff. The team looked great (as they always do) so they’ll be fine on the show, but I can’t get my head around that name.

Cedric Alexander is coming to Raw. It’s long overdue and he’ll be cannon fodder in six weeks if he’s lucky.

Finn Balor vs. Andrade

Andrade is making his Raw debut and has Zelina Vega here for his introduction. After some yelling in Spanish and French, Andrade starts fast with the running knees in the corner. Balor is right back with a faceplant but they head outside with Andrade sending him face first into the apron as we take a break.

Back with Andrade going after his knee but getting caught with a reverse DDT. Andrade hits his cartwheel backflip DDT (with Balor just standing there watching) but the moonsault into a moonsault hits knees. Balor goes up for the Coup de Grace but has to roll through, allowing Vega to offer a distraction. The running flip dive hits Almas anyway but Vega offers a quick distraction and snaps off a hurricanrana. Back in and the hammerlock DDT finishes Balor at 10:19.

Rating: C+. Another entertaining match and another instance of the new champion losing in the middle of the ring for the second match in a row. There are how many people you could put out there instead of Balor and get the same point across? The interference helps a little bit but I’m sick of using this as a way to set up the title match. Just have Andrade win three or so matches in a row and then say he wants a title shot. It’s worked for years so why can’t it work now?

We look at John Cena and Undertaker attacking Elias. The look on Elias’ face when the gong struck is still hilarious.

Here’s Elias to play Undertaker’s theme and say that he will be ready for Undertaker next time. If anyone interrupts him tonight, it’s the last time they’ll be able to show their face on Raw. Cue Rey Mysterio to chase Elias off without much trouble but here’s Lars Sullivan to beat him up, including the Freak Accident. Rey takes a running sitout powerbomb for a bonus.

Chad Gable/Bobby Roode vs. Usos

The Usos are a surprise, or at least they would be if Roode and Gable didn’t have a graphic underneath them saying THE USOS. Gable takes Jimmy down with an armbar as the fans are behind the twins. The Usos fight back up but Jey gets kneed to the floor where Roode hits a knee of his own. The villains start alternating on Jey with Roode grabbing a chinlock. A jumping chinlock is enough to bring in Jimmy and a Blockbuster/German suplex combination puts him down for two. Back up and everything breaks down with the Usos firing off superkicks, setting up the Double Us to pin Gable at 5:22.

Rating: C-. The Usos moving over is way, way overdue so this is about as good as you could have gotten. They’ve been dying for some fresh opponents and while Roode and Gable aren’t great, it’s better than seeing them fight the Bar or New Day again and again. The match was nothing to see of course, but I’ll take what I can get with the right move.

Here’s Alexa Bliss for a Moment of Bliss with Sami Zayn. He gets such a strong reaction that his music plays again so he can soak things in a second time. They do it a third time and Sami calls them fish in a barrel. He turns it up a notch by shouting in French and starting the OLE chants. Bliss says it’s great to have him back on Raw and the fans start a OUI chant.

Sami talks about all the things he’s done in this city over the week and while he loves the place, he can’t stand the people. He hates everyone here and didn’t want to do this show. Alexa: “So rude.” The cheers make him a bit sick so the fans let him have it with a chant in French. This used to be his town but now he’s moved to sunny Orlando, Florida. He chose to leave here before and now he’s choosing to leave here again right now.

IIconics vs. Bayley/Naomi

Non-title. Fallout from Bayley not being able to get Sasha Banks on the phone and needing a replacement. Bayley kicks Billie into the corner to start and hands it off to Naomi for the forearms. Peyton’s chinlock doesn’t last long and it’s Naomi kicking Billie in the face. A Bayley to Belly takes out Peyton and the split legged moonsault finishes Billie at 2:01. Hey did you know that Sasha is gone and WWE doesn’t seem to think much of her not being around?

Buzzard puppet.

EC3 vs. Braun Strowman

Strowman runs him over and beats EC3 up the ramp. That means a toss into the set, which nearly breaks into pieces. A chokeslam off the stage through a piece of wood destroys EC3. No match.

We look back at some of the bigger events of the night.

Eric Young has been moved to Raw as well.

Ruby Riott vs. Becky Lynch

Non-title. Becky pounds her down to start and pulls Ruby away from the ropes for a crash. A baseball slide puts Riott on the floor for a clothesline from the apron. Back in and Ruby chokes on the ropes a bit and kicks in the corner but Becky is right back with running clotheslines. The Bexploder but gets pulled off the middle rope for a crash. Ruby’s falling backsplash gets two, only to have Becky come right back with the Disarm-Her. After dispatching the rest of the Squad, Becky makes Riott tap at 4:29.

Rating: C-. Short version of the same match we’ve seen these two have half a dozen times. I can’t stand what has happened to the Squad as they deserve so much better than this but they’re not big enough to be on the main event stage in the women’s division. The match was fine, but it was just a way to get Becky on the show.

Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley don’t care about who is teaming with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns tonight because they’ll run them off Raw.

Post break Becky is still in the ring and here’s Natalya to interrupt. Natalya talks about being a pioneer of the women’s division with Becky, Charlotte and Ronda Rousey getting to make history. Last week Becky talked about having to sleep with one eye open, but Natalya is here to challenge a wide awake Becky for the Raw Women’s Title.

That’s fine with Becky, who has been in the trenches with a lot of talented people. The two of them fought to get here and look at them now. This brings out Lacey Evans, who knows how to be a lady and curry influence. Now that she’s on Raw, she wants the Raw Women’s Title so she’s got a #1 contenders match with Natalya. Becky better watch because a lady can teach a man a thing or two.

Lacey Evans vs. Natalya

Natalya starts fast with her belly to back drop and a botch of the step over dropkick to the back. Lacey is sent outside and we take a break. Back with Natalya fighting out of a neck crank but getting sent face first into the middle buckle. The chinlock goes on and Lacey drops a knee to keep her in trouble. Natalya fights up and grabs the Sharpshooter, sending Lacey to the rope, which she makes on the second attempt. After being rammed into the barricade, Lacey is right back with the Woman’s Right. The springboard moonsault finishes Natalya at 9:35.

Rating: D+. Well it’s good to see them pushing someone fresh for a change, but having Natalya in there sucked a lot of the energy out of the thing. Lacey vs. Becky will be fine for a quick win for Lynch and it’s not like losing to her is going to destroy Lacey right off the bat. The cameos did enough of that already.

Rollins and Reigns say you have to wait to find out their partner tonight.

We get another creepy vignette, this time with a dollhouse and a laughing doll sitting in a rocking chair.

Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins/??? vs. Drew McIntyre/Bobby Lashley/Baron Corbin

The mystery partner is….AJ Styles. Lashley runs into Seth’s boot to start and it’s Reigns coming in for an uppercut. AJ hits his dropkick and it’s off to McIntyre, which is a heck of a showdown. That sounds a little too fun so here’s Reigns instead, with Drew suplexing him down. Drew sends him outside for a ram into the barricade as Corey talks about Corbin having all the necessary tools.

Back in and Corbin’s chokebreaker gets two as we take a break. We come back with Rollins getting two off a sunset flip to Corbin but it’s too early for the Stomp. Instead the suicide dive is blocked with a right hand and a faceplant gets two. The Blockbuster gets Rollins out of trouble and it’s a hot tag off to AJ to strike away on Lashley. Everything breaks down and some Pele Kicks drop Lashley and Corbin.

The Styles Clash is broken up with a Claymore and McIntyre throws Reigns with a suplex. McIntyre misses another Claymore and falls over the barricade, leaving Lio Rush to catch Styles’ springboard with his spinning Dominator. That’s broken up with the Stomp into a spear, leaving AJ to hit the Phenomenal Forearm to finish Lashley at 12:48.

Rating: C+. Pretty run of the mill main event tag match here and that’s a good way to end the show. AJ coming over is a smart move as he doesn’t have anyone left to fight on Smackdown so some fresh challengers can help him. The lack of pinning Corbin makes me even more nervous though as you can feel the title reign coming.

The winners celebrate to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. The wrestling wasn’t the point of this show as everything was about bringing in fresh names. They covered most of the more obvious moves (Usos and Styles) and a few surprises in Naomi and Andrade. Then there’s the still stupid VIKING EXPERIENCE, which is about as Vince as you can get.

Other than that though, the show was moving at a great pace and nothing felt boring. They didn’t go with any long matches as there’s little point with so many stories to get through tonight. I know they can’t do that every single week, but for a one off special episode like this, it was the right way to go and it worked exactly as it should have. Very fun show, though I worry about tomorrow’s counterpart.

Results

Viking Experience/Revival b. Curt Hawkins/Zack Ryder/Aleister Black/Ricochet – Fallout to Ryder

Andrade b. Finn Balor – Hammerlock DDT

Usos b. Chad Gable/Bobby Roode – Double Us to Gable

Bayley/Naomi b. IIconics – Split legged moonsault to Kay

Becky Lynch b. Ruby Riott – Disarm-Her

Lacey Evans b. Natalya – Springboard moonsault

AJ Styles/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins b. Baron Corbin/Drew McIntyre/Bobby Lashley – Phenomenal Forearm to Lashley

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:

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