The RAW after Wrestlemania started with Stephanie McMahon coming to the ring. Stephanie limped her way all the way to the ring, carefully holding her left hand. The crowd gave her moderate boos. Before she spoke, the crowd chanted “You tapped out!” at her. Stephanie criticized the crowd for having no sympathy for her. Stephanie congratulated herself for stepping into the ring last night. Right after that, Stephanie brought out Ronda Rousey, in a positive manner. Ronda received massive praise from Stephanie once she got to the ring. The crowd wasn’t buying this attitude. When Stephanie tried to interact with Ronda, she was put in an Armbar once again. Ronda ripped off the brace that Stephanie was wearing. Medics attended to a crying McMahon while the crowd chanted “you deserve it!”. As she was being escorted to the back, Jojo said on the microphone “Ladies and gentlemen, may we please have some respect for Stephanie McMahon”. This ended the segment.
I thought this was a pretty good segment to start the show. I have absolutely no clue where they go from here with Ronda, but this segment was a good closer to the Stephanie versus Ronda storyline.
Before the commercial break, we see an ad for the Superstar Shakeup, which will happen on RAW and Smackdown Live next week.
Nia Jax & Ember Moon vs. Alexa Bliss & Mickie James
Our first match includes the new women’s champion, Nia Jax. She flaunted her belt out to the ring. When Alexa Bliss came out, she says that Nia was the real bully. She continued with the subtle fat jokes, until Nia told her to shut up. Nia reveals her tag partner for tonight, that being Ember Moon. Ember moon got quite the warm reaction from the New Orleans crowd. Ember Moon got the tag early in the match and did a combo on Mickie James. Bliss got tagged in, and got hit with an Eclipse by Ember to end the match. This was a quick match, but a good way to debut Ember.
Backstage, Kurt Angle is on the phone. He is talking about Ember Moon, but has to hang up since Braun Stroman entered the “office”. Braun is with his tag partner, Nicholas. Braun says that they are relinquishing the RAW tag team titles due to Nicholas’ scheduling conflicts. Now this is cute and all, but in retrospect, this really buried The Bar.
Next we saw a video package about No Way Jose. His debut is next.
No Way Jose vs. John Skyler
No Way Jose made his debut alongside a conga line of maybe 20 people. He faced John Skyler, who was also debuting (but probably never showing up again). Jose won in just a couple moves, then guided his conga line back to backstage. While I love No Way Jose, I’m worried that they will drop him quickly once they feel like his fun party gimmick has run dry. Tyler Breeze ran the risk of this situation when he got called up.
The Bar are backstage to talk to Kurt Angle. Sheamus has even more unique hair than before. They ask for their titles back. Kurt Angle says that The Bar will face whoever wins a 4 team tournament at the Saudi Arabian event.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Revival (RAW Tag Team Title #1 Contender Tournament Semi-Finals)
We come back from the break with a match that has already started. We didn’t even see the entrances for this, but here we go. Gallows and Anderson face The Revival in the semi-finals of the RAW Tag Team Title tournament. Anderson did a Cross Body off the top rope, but Dawson got out of it. The Revival hit the Shatter Machine onto Anderson to win the match. This match was very quick, really too quick to judge. The Shatter Machine is a cool move. After the match we saw a Make-A-Wish Foundation commercial featuring John Cena. The commercial was very sweet.
Seth Rollins Celebrates Victory
Seth Rollins came to the ring to celebrate his victory last night, which made him the new Intercontinental Champion. Seth got on the mic and mentioned that he is now a Grand Slam champion. As Seth was relishing, Finn Balor interrupted him. Finn came into the ring and congratulated Seth. Finn challenges Seth for his belt, since he wasn’t the one who got pinned in the triple threat match last night. They shake hands and solidify a deal. The Miz came out, not sounding so satisfied with their plan. The Miz his loss made his child, his wife, and himself cry. Seth proposes that The Miz cashes in his rematch clause right now. The Miz says no, and instead proposes a 6-man match. The dilemma is that Finn and Seth have no third. Who came out, Jeff Hardy!
The Miztourage and The Miz back down, but Jeff celebrates with Finn and Seth. I thought this was sort of lame. If someone is returning, I feel like we should at least see them do a move or two. A bit of a lame finish to a segment. Still, not a bad segment.
Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville & Paige vs. Sasha Banks
Banks faces Mandy Rose as a follow up match from the Women’s Battle Royal at Wrestlemania. I didn’t catch all of the battle royal, so I don’t really know why these two are facing each other, but let’s watch. Before the match started, Bayley came out. Sasha seemed distraught when she saw Bayley coming out. Bayley stood in Sasha’s corner for this match. At ringside, Bayley was about to attack Mandy, but Rose dodged, and Bayley accidentally hit Sasha. When Sasha got back in the ring, she was blindsided by Rose, giving her the win. Bayley looked extremely guilty at ringside.
After the match, Paige got on the mic. Paige announced to everyone that she can no longer wrestle. You could hear that she was choking up while talking. She thanked every female wrestler backstage, and said that she was proud to be a part of the division. She thanked her family, Daniel Bryan & Edge. She debuted on the main roster four years ago in New Orleans, and announced that she will retire tonight. She set the mic down in the ring, then set her t-shirt in the ring. Very emotional segment, and very unfortunate news. Paige made quite the impact in such a short amount of time. I can’t imagine having such a short run, and honestly, I feel bad for her. I wish her the best in whatever career she plans on going to next.
Bobby Lashley Returns
Elias did his performance and usual routine, until Bobby Lashley came out. Bobby got a huge reaction from the crowd. As pointed out by the commentators, Lashley is absolutely ripped. Lashley gave Elias a Neckbreaker, then did a Suplex, holding Elias up in the air for 15 seconds before dropping him (I love that spot). Backstage again is Kurt Angle. He is on the phone again, but sadly has to hang up on his caller. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are backstage, after being fired from Smackdown Live last night. They come to RAW looking for a job, but Kurt isn’t buying it. Kurt says that he has one spot left on the roster, and they can face each other tonight for it.
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. Authors Of Pain w/ Paul Ellering
Slater and Rhyno call out any team to face them. Who answers the call? The Authors Of Pain. They hit The Last Chapter on Slater for a very quick victory. The crowd knew they were coming out before their music hit. Very cool to finally see them on the main roster. After the match, they seemingly ditch Paul Ellering, leaving the ring without him.
Roman Reigns & The Return Of Samoa Joe
Roman Reigns came out to talk to the crowd. Roman admitted that he got “his ass kicked” last night. Reigns says some stuff, whatever, but then Samoa Joe returns. Joe calls Roman a failure. Joe finishes his promo by saying that he will be waiting for Roman at Backlash. Very cool to see Joe back, can’t wait to see what happens with him
Titus Worldwide vs. Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt (RAW Tag Team Title #1 Contender Tournament Semi-Finals)
In the second semi-final match of the RAW Tag Team Championship Tournament, Titus Worldwide faced Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. Wyatt and Hardy won with a Sister Abigail into a Twist of Fate. I like this team, Similar to Sheamus and Cesaro, two enemies made a powerful team.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (Winner Gets A RAW Contract)
Well, let’s find out who gets the contract. What I thought was clever was that Owens and Zayn got brand neutral name plates on the screen, no RAW logo, no nothing. Sami tried for a Helluva kick almost immediately in this match, but Owens dodged. Owens hit an Elbow Drop off of the second rope for a two count. Owens hit a Frogsplash later, but Zayn kicked out once again.
Later on, Sami tried for a Superplex, but Owens reversed it into a Superplex of his own. With both of them down, they got double counted out from this move. Jojo announced that because of this, neither of them will join RAW. That’s… the segment? Okay, it just kind of felt a little out of place.
The Miz & The Miztourage vs. Jeff Hardy, Seth Rollins & Finn Balor
Finally, it’s time for the main event. The Miz and his goons face Hardy, Rollins and Balor. Late in this match, Hardy got the hot tag onto Curtis Axel. He hit Whisper In The Wind onto Dallas and Axel. Seth got a tag onto Miz. Miz got hit with a Blockbuster, then Rollins did a Suicide Dive onto The Miztourage. He did a second dive, hitting all three of his opponents. Rollins did a Superplex, then a Falcon Arrow. Bo Dallas broke up the pin. Balor did a dive onto The Miztourage outside the ring. The Miz did a roll-up, but Rollins reversed it into a Curbstomp for the win. After the match, everyone hit their big moves onto Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel.
This match was very good. A great way to cap off what was an amazing episode of Monday Night RAW. I had my nitpicks, but in general this show was truly amazing. I can’t wait to see how they follow it up next.