Monday Night Raw
Date: April 22, 2019
Location: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
It’s kind of a new world around here as we have the first show with all the new talent brought over in the Superstar Shakeup. That could be a good or a bad thing, but given how many changes they’ve managed to make since the Shakeup took place, your guess is as good as mine about what they’re doing here. Let’s get to it.
Tonight it’s a pair of triple threat matches with the winners facing off later in the night for the #1 contendership to the Universal Title.
Here’s HHH to open things up but before he can say anything, Universal Champion Seth Rollins (the hometown boy) joins him. We get a quick hug before Rollins gets to soak in the cheers. Rollins talks about everything he’s been through in recent weeks, including stomping Brock Lesnar’s bucket head three times at Wrestlemania. HHH seems impressed but we pause for a BURN IT DOWN chant.
The landscape has changed recently and that brings them to Money in the Bank. Rollins knows all about that because he’s cashed in and been cashed in on, but that’s not happening again. HHH says worry about the night of Money in the Bank rather than the briefcase, which Rollins thinks means Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. Actually it means the two triple threats, which we heard about five minutes ago.
This brings out Samoa Joe, who likes the Becky Lynch plan of a belt on each shoulder. Rey Mysterio comes out to say he wants Seth at Money in the Bank. Now it’s Drew McIntyre saying that he would be the Universal Champion if he had gotten to Lesnar first. Miz is out next, saying that he’s been rebooted thanks to Shane McMahon. Nothing sounds better as a headliner for Money in the Bank than Miz vs. Rollins but now it’s Baron Corbin (with some loud booing) to interrupt.
Corbin should get the title shot because he’s the only person to retire a Gold Medalist at Wrestlemania. Just to complete the set, here’s AJ Styles to say Corbin’s face is almost as annoying as his voice. Styles says he’s ready to make Raw the house that he built by winning the Universal Title at Money in the Bank. Rollins is ready for all of them because he’s Seth Freaking Rollins and he’ll burn it down. This was WAY longer than it needed to be with six versions of “it’s my title shot”.
AJ Styles vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe
One fall to a finish. Rey gets knocked into the corner to start and AJ hits Joe with forearms. A pop up hurricanrana drops Joe as I try to figure out why Mysterio and Joe are on the same level after Joe annihilated him at Wrestlemania. With Joe on the floor, AJ snaps off a backbreaker and knees Joe through the ropes. That’s too much fun though and it’s Joe coming back in to run both of them over and hammer away on Rey in the corner. Mysterio is sent hard out to the floor and we take a break.
Back with Rey charging into the scoop powerslam with AJ making a save. Rey gets up and drops AJ but Joe is smart enough to roll to the floor to avoid the 619. That means a dive onto Joe so AJ and Rey can go up top at the same time. Joe comes back in and super backdrops both of them for the triple knockdown.
We take another break and come back again with Rey sending AJ to the floor and hitting a nasty crucifix bomb on Joe. There’s the tornado DDT to plant Joe again and everyone is down. The 619 is countered into the Koquina Clutch but AJ makes a save. That means a 619 to Joe but AJ comes in again and hits the Styles Clash to Rey onto Joe for the pin on Joe (of course) at 17:48.
Rating: B. I’m not even going to bother yelling about Joe taking the fall as it’s just not worth it anymore. AJ advancing on to the main event makes sense, though I’m scared about the idea of Corbin getting the title shot. The action was good here with three hard workers in there, though my hopes for Joe running through the roster is already looking unlikely.
We look at John Cena guest hosting the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Naomi vs. Billie Kay
Before the match, the IIconics tell Naomi thank you next, but can’t remember who sings the song. After remembering who it is, they wonder who is backing the Glow. Billie takes her down into an armbar but Naomi is right back up with the sitout jawbreaker. After knocking Peyton off the apron, it’s a sunset flip to finish Billie at 1:11.
Creepy dollhouse vignette.
The Miz vs. Baron Corbin vs. Drew McIntyre
Again, one fall to a finish. McIntyre and Corbin double team Miz to start, knocking him to the floor and then bringing him back inside to keep up the beating. Corbin switches over to punching McIntyre in the face and going outside, where McIntyre sends him into the barricade. Back in and McIntyre suplexes Miz for two but Corbin’s distraction lets Miz get back up for the Daniel Bryan offense. McIntyre takes Miz up top for a super White Noise but Corbin adds a powerbomb for the Tower of Doom as we take a break.
Back with Miz diving onto the two of them on the outside. Miz throws McIntyre back inside for the Figure Four until a thumb to the eye breaks it up. Deep Six gives Corbin two on Miz but Corbin misses a charge into the steps to knock himself out. That leaves Miz and Corbin to trade pinfall attempts until a short DDT gets two on McIntyre. Another gets the same on Corbin so Drew sends Corbin outside. The Claymore drops Miz and Corbin comes back in to shove McIntyre to the floor and steal the pin at 15:01.
Rating: C+. You knew Corbin was winning, I knew Corbin was winning, the fans should have known Corbin was winning, and the world should have known Corbin was winning. Why? He’s the guy who wrestles in gear that makes him look like an assistant manager at Applebees, was the focal point of Raw when the show’s ratings tanked like never before, and has fewer great matches than I have terms as Governor of New Hampshire. And now we get to see him wrestle again tonight!
AJ Styles says he’s ready for Corbin and lists off the accolades, with AJ winning every one of them.
Here’s Sami Zayn to say he’s here to tell you the truth about yourself. No one likes to hear about how negative they are, which triggered the denial and deflection. The fans have created this false narrative of everything wrong with Sami, even though he understands what it’s like to be outside these walls. We see some photos of him in various nature locations and some historic locations.
Sami points out the huge smile on his face which goes away when he comes back here. There must be a problem and it’s all the fans here. It’s the toxic culture that the fans put on both him and themselves. It’s easier to blame him than accept the blame for all of this because the fans get in this mob mentality. That won’t keep them safe from him though because he’d rather be in any of those places than here. If the fans don’t like that, they can all take a trip to h***.
Video on Cedric Alexander.
Cesaro vs. Cedric Alexander
Cesaro is freshly on Raw as well. Alexander gets powered into the corner to start but an anklescissors sends Cesaro outside. Back in and Cesaro slams him down, setting up a neck crank to keep things slow. Cesaro forearms him in the back a few times before going back to the chinlock.
A boot to the face drops Cedric again but he fights back up with forearms and a spinning back elbow to the jaw. Cedric grabs a rather nice Michinoku Driver for two and the Neuralizer keeps Cesaro in trouble. The big running flip dive to the floor connects but Cesaro uppercuts him out of the air for the knockout pin at 6:25.
Rating: B-. Cedric looked great here and the more he can get in the awesome work he’s capable of the better. Just keep him away from longer promos as he really can’t talk well enough to survive on this level. Cesaro being back on his own and getting a win is a good sign, but I’m not believing anything about his push until I see some results.
The Usos are ready to fight everyone around here (including the Viking Raiders, as the name was so bad that even WWE buckled under the negative response). The Revival comes in and laughs off the idea of the Usos being great. That’s not cool with the Usos, who are ready to fight whenever.
Viking Raiders vs. Lucha House Party
The Raiders jump them from behind and the beatdown is on with the masked guys taking a beating. The pop up powerslam is now dubbed the Viking Experience because those WWE names MUST BE HEARD NO MATTER HOW MUCH EVERYONE HATED THEM!!! No match.
Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder aren’t worried about the new competition around here.
Here’s Becky Lynch for a chat. She talks about Lacey Evans being her first challenger around here and doesn’t mind being sucker punched. Becky has thrown a few punches of her own but it’s the person throwing her that bothers her. Lacey is another bleach blonde who uses certain skills to curry favors with management.
While Lacey is back there “furthering her career”, Lynch wants a fight right now. This brings out Lacey to say that it’s typical of a man to disrespect a lady, though maybe it’s just the Irish in her. At Money in the Bank, Becky will understand respect and those two titles (Two?) will belong to Lacey. Becky says she’s been on a journey and Lacey is on her last nerves. Do not confuse happiness with contentment because Becky is coming for her at Money in the Bank.
Becky Lynch vs. Alicia Fox
Non-title. Fox’s headlock doesn’t work and Becky sends her outside without much effort. Becky goes to the floor as well and gets driven hard into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Becky getting a sloppy headscissors but being sent outside before the Disarm-Her can go on. Becky drives her into the barricade this time and it’s the Disarm-Her to make Fox tap at 8:02.
Rating: D-. Yes they really brought back Fox for this horrid match which managed to bring Becky down. I tried to defend Fox for as long as I could because I liked her charisma but egads this was hard to sit through. It didn’t help that the match felt like eight hours instead of eight minutes. Terrible stuff and get rid of Fox already.
Post match Lacey punches Becky out twice in a row.
Corbin says he deserves to win the title and is ready to make Rollins pay for making his life miserable.
Ricochet vs. Robert Roode
Yes it’s Robert and he has a Rick Rude mustache to go with the new name. During his entrance (still with Glorious), Roode talks about losing 150lbs of dead weight with Chad Gable being gone. Now he can show why he’s glorious. Graves promises a spike in pregnancies after all the women see Roode’s mustache, which sends Renee off commentary in laughter.
A headlock slows Ricochet down to start but he’s right back with an anklescissors to send Roode into the ropes. Ricochet sends him outside and hits a picture perfect moonsault from the middle rope to the floor. Back from a break with Roode holding a chinlock and Graves continuing his pregnancy theories. A suplex gives gives Roode two more and we hit the reverse chinlock.
Ricochet fights up and hits a hurricanrana, followed by kicking the buckle into Roode’s head. The springboard clothesline sets up a standing shooting star press for two but Roode hits a spinebuster for two of his own. The Glorious DDT is countered into a swinging GTS but the 630 misses. Roode sends him into the buckle and hits the Glorious DDT for the pin at 11:18.
Rating: C-. They see more in Roode than in Ricochet? The Roode who is now ripping off Rick (and Silas Young in a way) Rude and hasn’t exactly been thrilling in his WWE run? I get the idea of trying to push someone while you can, but did this need to be Ricochet taking the fall? There’s no one else around whatsoever?
We go to the Firefly Fun House, which looks like a children’s program. Bray Wyatt (looking slim) in a longsleeved shirt comes in and introduces himself, saying he knew we would be together again. Offscreen children cheer and Bray can’t wait to show what he’s learned. He ducks his head and looks to come up evil but he’s just kidding. Bray introduces us to his special friends: Mercy the Buzzard and Peppy the Witch (the stars of the creepy vignettes). See, Bray used to be a bad man, which makes the children boo.
That part of him is dead now, but he always keeps a memory with him to prevent that from ever happening again. That would be a cardboard cutout of his old look…..and Bray whips out a chainsaw and cuts it in half. The fun is just getting started and remember that he’ll always light the way, so all you have to do is let him in. I have no idea what to think of this but it was disturbing in a lot of ways.
Next week: the Money in the Bank names are revealed.
Baron Corbin vs. AJ Styles
The winner gets Rollins at Money in the Bank. AJ seems to have an ankle or leg injury so it’s right hands instead of the dropkick. AJ’s springboard is blocked with a right hand to the face and Corbin sends him hard into the corner. They head outside with AJ being whipped in the barricade and getting dropped ribs first onto said barricade as we take a break. Back with AJ fighting out of a chinlock but getting slammed down onto his face for two.
Styles gets in some kicks to the leg but it’s too early for the Calf Crusher. Instead AJ goes with the running seated forearm and a spinning backfist to rock Corbin. A rollup into a Styles Clash attempt is broken up and it’s Deep Six for two. The Calf Crusher goes on this time though until Corbin slams him head first into the mat for the break. AJ gets sent into the corner but comes back with a kick to the head. The Phenomenal Forearm sends AJ to Money in the Bank at 13:05.
Rating: C-. I can’t remember the last time I felt such a relief, but there is no way that Corbin isn’t getting his title at some point. It’s clear that WWE sees the world in him for some reason and there doesn’t seem to be a way around it. At least we can have Rollins vs. Styles while it lasts though and that match should be awesome.
Post match Rollins comes out for the staredown. A handshake ends the show.
Overall Rating: D+. The ending helped, but this was a show where the matches don’t add up to the overall total. There was way too much Corbin, too many champions losing and that nonsense with Fox looking like she belonged in OVW. At the same time, there were things like Bray’s new character (WHAT WAS THAT?) and Cesaro getting a win, though the Corbin push continues to elude me, even if he lost here. Rollins vs. Styles should be more than enough to help for a long time though, even with Money in the Bank coming up.
AJ Styles b. Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio – Styles Clash to Mysterio onto Joe
Naomi b. Billie Kay – Sunset flip
Baron Corbin b. Drew McIntyre and the Miz – Claymore to Miz
Cesaro b. Cedric Alexander – Uppercut
Becky Lynch b. Alicia Fox – Disarm-Her
Robert Roode b. Ricochet – Glorious DDT
AJ Styles b. Baron Corbin – Phenomenal Forearm
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