Wrestlemania was quite the event as usual and now we have arrived at the Raw after. Usually this Raw has the liveliest crowd so we should expect some colorful chants tonight. This should be a fun Raw so enough with the introduction and let us talk about the Raw after Mania.
Seth Rollins In-Ring
Seth Rollins was out to kick off Raw and he was showered with cheers after defeating Brock Lesnar. He came out and talked about how he slayed the Beast and how he will be a fighting champion. Like I had said, he was showered with cheers and the fans chanted “Full time champ!” at him and it is nice to have a full-time champion on Raw. I had no idea where this was going to go outside of Seth’s promo and that is when the shocker happened. The New Day and new WWE Champion Kofi Kingston came out and the pop Kofi received was deafening. The New Day spoke on Kofi’s big win and then Kofi challenged Seth to a winner take all match for later on Raw. Seth would accept the challenge and the crowd went crazy for it. Also, props to Big E for being able to do the splits.
Ryder & Hawkins vs The Revival
I guess WWE is fickle when it comes to the immediate rematches, but I was okay with seeing this one. These two teams had a good match at Wrestlemania that saw Hawkins end his losing streak and capturing tag team gold with Ryder. This was a very good tag match and really did give an opportunity to show how good Curt Hawkins is in the ring. I think he may be one of the most underrated in ring talents because he has been primarily used as a jobber. This was a back and forth match throughout and it looked like either team would pick up the win here. I was beginning to think the Revival would regain the titles here, but Hawkins was able to roll up Dawson to retain the titles. I know some may compare them to the B-Team, but I think they are more than that because they haven’t been booked as a comedy act but as underdogs.
Baron Corbin In-Ring
Corbin already had heat prior to his match with Angle and he just gained even more heat when he beat him. He was getting booed throughout his promo and he relished in it. He handled all the boos very well and that is rather impressive. I hope they capitalize on this heat that Corbin has and don’t let him flounder in the midcard without direction. Kurt Angle then came out to congratulate Corbin on his victory at Wrestlemania but Kurt would give Corbin an Angle Slam and put him in the Ankle Lock. It looked like that would be it, but Lars Sullivan came down and made his debut and attacked Angle. He gave Angle the Freak Accident and a diving headbutt. I am glad to see Lars is doing well and I hope he has success on the main roster. I also wonder how long it will be until he is just called Lars because WWE does love to get rid of first or last names.
Alexa Bliss vs Bayley
It is so nice to see Bliss back in the ring on Raw and not just in those Moment of Bliss segments. She looked good out there and didn’t look like she has missed a beat. I know she has been doing live shows but it has been quite some time since her last Raw match. This was a short match that saw Bayley being a bit more heelish and that was a surprise. Alexa Bliss would pick up the win with a DDT and I wonder if more will be made of Bayley’s heelish antics in the coming weeks.
Becky Lynch In-Ring
Huge pop for Becky when she made he way out to the ring and while she was giving this promo. This was a very good promo by Becky as she celebrated he victory from Wrestlemania. You could just see the joy on her face and she totally deserved the win on Sunday. She continued to talk about her humble beginnings and that if Ronda or Charlotte want another shot, that she will be there to beat them and any other challengers. I knew someone would come down during this and it ended up being Lacey Evans as Becky started making her way to the back. These two had a good stare down before Lacey delivered a Woman’s Right to Becky. Lacey started to walk away but Becky chased her down and a brawl ensued. I have to give props to Lacey for fighting on the entrance ramp with heels on and this did a good job to show Lacey can hang with Becky. I think this has potential to be a very good program and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.
Seth Rollins Backstage
Nice promo by Seth backstage and he did sell the confidence he has going into his match with Kofi. Seth has had that swagger of someone that is at the top and now he has just a bit more being the Universal Champion. So, this was a solid promo and Seth kept everything short and sweet.
Ricochet & Aleister Black vs Roode & Gable
What a Wrestlemania weekend Black and Ricochet have had from the amazing match at Takeover to their Wrestlemania match and now being on the Raw after Mania. Roode and Gable cut a promo prior to the match talking about how they are going to change things up a bit and I hope that means a heel turn. Roode and Gable have been nothing since losing the tag titles so that would be a much-needed change of pace. This was a solid match that was almost ruined by the crowd not being as into it. Every time it seemed the crowd would start turning on it, Black or Ricochet were there to being them back. This was a solid match and I would love to see singles matches with different members of each team. Ricochet picked up the win and was attacked from behind by Roode. Maybe this is a tease at a heel turn because I sure do hope it is.
This was a nice backstage segment with Elias and he sold his displeasure of being interrupted by John Cena at Wrestlemania. Elias then said he was granted another shot at a performance and that he would take it to whoever planned on interrupting him.
Bray Wyatt Puppet?
I had heard that WWE were planning to run promo videos for Bray Wyatt’s return under a slightly new gimmick, but I was not expecting this. This was rather strange and I kind of like it. I really want to see where they go with this and it has me intrigued.
Dean Ambrose vs Bobby Lashley
This was supposed to be Lashley vs Ambrose but that would not be the case. Lashley and Lio Rush made their way to the ring and Lio was struggling with finding the right words to say. Lashley then took the mic and told Dean that he would take care of Renee when Dean leaves. Dean was having none of that and he attacked Lashley before the bell rang. The two brawled with one another and it eventually went up to the announce area on the entrance ramp. It looked like Dean was ready to put Lashley through the announce table but Lashley was able to put Ambrose through the table with a spinebuster. Lio and Lashley walked off and then Dean was attended to by medical and Renee. Renee did a great job in selling her worry for Dean in what could likely be Dean’s final appearance.
Mojo Rawley Mirror Thing
They have been doing this Mojo mirror thing on and off for weeks now and I honestly do not care where it goes. I know that is harsh to say but nothing here has drawn me in. It has been more of the same each time and I haven’t been pulled in by this.
Sami Zayn In-Ring
Man, oh man was is great to see Sami back. The crowd was fully behind Sami and rightfully so in my opinion. He came out and he issued an open challenge to anybody in the back. It looked like nobody would answer the challenge and even Sami looked like worried about it. Finn Balor then came out to answer the challenge and he would put his newly won Intercontinental title on the line.
Sami Zayn vs Finn Balor
This was a very good match between these two and that should come at no surprise. Sami didn’t show much ring rust in the ring and he and Finn did well together. I was not surprised that Finn put his title on the line because he is a fighting champion. This was a very good back and forth match that had many close calls for both men. It looked like Finn would win but Sami was able to reverse and hit an Exploder Suplex into the corner. He then tried for the Helluva Kick, but he missed, and Finn was able to hit the Coup de Grace for the win. Sami then took to the mic and ran down the entire crowd and WWE Universe. Seems like Sami is going to stay a heel, and this was a solid promo to get that point across. I could try and list all the things he said but it is something you should watch for yourself because he nailed it.
Dana Brooke Backstage
I didn’t believe I would say this, but Dana Brooke delivered a very nice promo. She talked about how she wants her shot at Becky and knows she will have to work for it. Maybe this is the start of a push for her to see what she can do. Her ring work has improved greatly, and this showed she has put in work on her mic work as well.
Elias did yet another great job in the ring with his promo and song. I wish Elias did get more in-ring time, but he does kill it with these segments, so I will take it. He did his rap and showed how easy it was but then he said whoever interrupted him would be a dead man. Well that brought out the Undertaker and the two had a bit of a stare down. Elias debated going after Undertaker or not but when he tried, he ate a Chokeslam and a Tombstone for his troubles.
Kofi Kingston vs Seth Rollins
This was a good match for as long as it lasted. I knew this match would not have played out completely without some sort of interference from somebody. Like I said, this was a good match that featured some good back and forth action. I hope they are able to revisit this again some time because I think this has the opportunity to be a killer match. Right as the match started to find its legs, The Bar came out of nowhere and attacked the men. The crowd soured on it and I can’t blame them, but they should have expected something like this to happen. The Bar makes sense because they have had a rivalry with Kofi and the New Day for some time now. Seth would get on the mic and challenge the Bar to a tag match which would start after the commercial break.
The Bar vs Seth & Kofi
I know the crowd wasn’t pleased by the change in the main event, but this was a solid match that didn’t deserved to be taken over by the crowd. These two teams put in work and the crowd shouldn’t have been so caught up with their chants and beach balls. Now it could have been worse, but the point remains. This was a solid back and forth match that had Kofi and Seth pick up the win. Crowd chants aside, this was a good match to close out Raw.
The Raw after Mania is always something special to watch and this was another one for the books. Not many low points for this episode other than the Mojo segment. I just don’t get it and I have yet to become invested in it. The Becky/Lacey segment was a highlight as were the tag matches. This was another solid Raw and I applaud Michael Cole for gutting through this episode with hardly any voice. There is also a video with Seth, Roman and Dean in the ring after Raw and Seth gives Dean a farewell. Dean spoke some kind words and he seemed really grateful for all his years in WWE. That is it for this week and I hope to see you all for another Sovereign Statement next week.