Date: April 15, 2019
Location: Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec
The Big Takeaway --
Some wrestlers who weren’t on Raw before are on Raw now.
AJ Styles was the biggest name to switch brands. Raw will now also feature Rey Mysterio, Andrade, Zelina Vega, The Usos, Naomi, Lacey Evans, The Miz, Cedric Alexander, Eric Young and the Viking Experience (formerly the War Raiders).
Show Recap --
Stephanie McMahon came out and was greeted with a chorus of boos. Corey Graves wanted an explanation from Renee Young, who explained that she was from Toronto, not Montreal, and thought Stephanie deserved a standing ovation. Stephanie introduced “the best in the world” Shane McMahon, who was also booed. They hugged.
Shane had ring announcer Mike Rome introduce him as “best in the world.” This drew a sustained chant for CM Punk. Shane wanted Rome to do it in French but Rome doesn’t know French, so Shane did it himself. The crowd chanted “you suck” at him. Stephanie no-sold her own reaction earlier, but defended Shane here and played heel. Shane is sweating.
They talked about the shake-up, but before continuing, Shane decided to show some pictures of him beating up Miz and Mr. Miz. Stephanie was about to introduce the first superstar coming to Raw, when Miz’s music played (which got a big pop).
Miz attacked Shane from behind, but Shane made his own comeback and drove him into the ring post and then kicked him low. Miz grabbed a chair and smashed Shane a few times until he bailed. Miz was bleeding from the head. (Michael Cole confirmed that Miz is now part of Raw.)
Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley will team tonight against Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and an incoming wrestler from SmackDown. Becky Lynch faces Ruby Riott.
If you’re a Canadian viewer, Smackdown tomorrow won’t be airing on Sportsnet 360 because of NHL playoffs. It will instead air on OLN and Sportsnet Now (online).
8-man tag match: The Viking Experience & The Revival defeated Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Ricochet & Aleister Black (13:15)
War Raiders are now The Viking Experience. They’ve also been given new individual names: Erik (Rowe) and... Ivar (Hanson). Ricochet also has a cheesy bullet ricochet sound effect in his entrance now.
As Dash Wilder had Hawkins in a chin lock, it sounded like the crowd chanted “you can do it” at Hawkins. Ryder made the hot tag and ran wild until everyone began trading moves. The Vikings launched Hawkins onto Black and Ricochet on the outside, then nailed Ryder with the Fallout for the pinfall win.
The crowd liked Black, Ricochet and the Vikings, but were fairly quiet when Hawkins and Ryder were in there.
Cedric Alexander is coming to Raw.
Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) defeated Intercontinental Champion Finn Bálor in a non-title match (10:29)
Vega introduced the audience to herself and Andrade before the match. Andrade cut a promo on Bálor in Spanish as the crowd chanted “what.”
Andrade hit the corner double knee strike almost right away for a two count. Bálor followed later with a nice dropkick and DDT. He was about to hit a soccer kick from the apron but Andrade used Vega as a shield, then tripped Bálor off the apron.
After a break, Andrade missed another double knee strike and Bálor followed with a running dropkick, which caught him right in the head. The crowd chanted “let’s go Bálor.” Bálor hit a slingblade but Andrade responded with what looked like a handspring Pelé kick. Bálor countered Andrade’s moonsault attempt and later avoided a double foot stomp.
Andrade avoided Bálor’s Coup de Grace and nailed a back elbow, but Bálor caught him in a cradle for a near fall. Bálor got ready for a dive but Vega jumped on the apron. Bálor hit the dive anyway, leaping over Vega. As the referee checked on Andrade, Vega took out Bálor with a hurricanrana. Andrade followed with the hammerlock DDT for the pinfall win. This was good.
Elias said his music is so powerful that it brought back the Doctor of Thuganomics John Cena and the Undertaker. The crowd chanted for Taker. Elias said the Bell Centre was packed and full of energy tonight, and they could feel this same energy all the time if the Canadiens were good enough to make the playoffs. Elias had to yell over the booing to continue his promo.
Rey Mysterio interrupted. Elias went after him but Mysterio got the better of him and sent him packing. Actually, Mysterio slipped off the top rope and botched the ensuing hurricanrana, but still managed to get Elias out of the ring. The crowd was forgiving.
Lars Sullivan entered. Mysterio went after him and caught him with a few strikes, but Sullivan caught him with a Freak Accident and running sit-out powerbomb. Hopefully, this means no more diving headbutt. The crowd didn’t seem that interested in seeing Sullivan.
The Usos defeated Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (5:21)
Before we knew who Roode and Gable were facing, a graphic popped up for the Usos, spoiling what we were about to get. Roode and Gable cut a heelish promo, saying they would beat any team, regardless of where they were from. Graves talked about how difficult things could be for Jimmy Uso on Raw with Naomi on Smackdown.
The Usos each hit Gable and Roode with superkicks, then both Usos hit Gable with superkicks. The crowd chanted for the Usos as they hit Gable with diving splashes for the pinfall win.
They aired a commercial for NXT tomorrow with Velveteen Dream defending his North American title against Buddy Murphy.
A Moment of Bliss with guest Sami Zayn
Bliss received a good pop on the way out. She introduced Zayn who got a hero’s welcome. He danced as the crowd sang his song. They cut his music and he sat down, then his music played again, so he got up as the crowd continued to sing. They cut his music again, then the crowd chanted “Sami.” Bliss put over the reaction. They played his music and they sang again.
Zayn said it was like shooting fish in a barrel, then yelled “Bienvenue Montreal,” which they cheered. He wanted to show how easy it was, then led them in an “Olé” chant. Bliss said it was great to have him back on Raw, and the crowd chanted “oui, oui, oui!”
Zayn talked about how great it was being back in the city he loves. “The city is great, it’s just the people I can’t stand.” This got a mixed reaction. He said the city had wonderful art and architecture, but the low point of his week was right now, being around all these people. There was something in the air that was just very… Quebec. They booed.
He said he didn’t really want to do her show, “no offense.” Bliss responded, “how rude.” Zayn said being there made him kind of sick. The crowd loudly chanted for Kevin Owens. Zayn said that made him even sicker. Zayn said the crowd was projecting their own failures on to him and they should be ashamed of themselves.
Zayn said they can’t be called fans because they’re too busy being critics. Bliss wondered if maybe he was the problem for thinking he was perfect. Zayn let everyone know he doesn’t live there anymore, he lives in sunny Orlando, Florida. He chose to leave Montreal before and was going to leave again. Before he could even continue, the crowd sang the goodbye song.
Zayn said “see you in hell,” dropped the mic and left.
They showed a video from earlier today where Bayley was on the phone leaving a message for Sasha Banks. The IIconics showed up to mock her and Banks, but Bayley cut them off and challenged them to a match against her and a different partner.
Naomi & Bayley defeated Tag Team Champions The IIconics in a non-title match (1:59)
Bayley gave Peyton Royce a Bayley-to-belly and Naomi hit Billie Kay with a springboard split-legged moonsault for the pinfall win. Young referenced Banks’ “cryptic” tweets and chalked it up to the difficulty of handling the title loss at WrestleMania.
They aired the video of a puppet in a box.
EC3 vs. Braun Strowman
The match never happened. Cole explained that EC3 wanted some competition instead of just being a guy in the back. Strowman came out but just ran over EC3 before the match could start. The announcers laughed at EC3 and said there shouldn’t have been a match anyway. Strowman pushed him around on the stage then gave him a chokeslam through some staging near the announcers, who just sat there calmly.
They aired a graphic showing the newest Raw members so far, including Eric Young. Renee Young said they’ve all made a huge impact so far. Eric Young has not been on the show. Also, the Viking Experience were not in the graphic.
Raw/Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch defeated Ruby Riott (w/Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan) in a non-title match (4:26)
Lynch used a jawbreaker, spinning kick, and exploder suplex, but Ruby yanked her off the ropes and hit a falling backward senton for two. Lynch applied the Disarmer but Ruby was pulled out of the ring by her friends, which was not a DQ.
Lynch took out Logan and Morgan with a dive, then made Riott tap-out to the Disarmer. After the match, Lynch handed out exploder suplexes to both Logan and Morgan. The crowd liked Lynch but were quiet for the match.
Charly Caruso interviewed Corbin, McIntyre, Lashley and Lio Rush. Corbin hoped that Caruso was traded to Smackdown. He said they ran Kurt Angle out of WWE and tonight they would run Rollins and Reigns out of Raw. McIntyre didn’t care who their partner was and Rush wondered who was stupid enough to team with those fools tonight. (Note: Cole mentioned earlier that the wrestlers have no say in the shake-up.)
Lynch remained in the ring during that interview. Natalya came out and they went to commercial. Back from break, they were both just standing there, so they presumably just waited the entire time.
Natalya congratulated her on her win and for main eventing Mania. She was proud of all three of them, then put her over for being the first to pin Ronda Rousey and to hold both titles.
Natalya wanted her to know that she was the best there is, was and ever will be (which received a mild reaction) and was coming after the Raw women’s championship. Lynch knew what it was like being an overlooked woman, just like Natalya. Lynch knew she would be hunted now that she was on top, the same way she hunted down that little weirdo Ronnie.
Lynch said her and Natalya travelled the world together just trying to get into WWE and look at them now. The crowd chanted “you deserve it.” Lynch said Natalya helped build the women’s evolution and it would be “le pleasure” to face her. Before she could finish, Lacey Evans interrupted.
Evans said the two nasties need to stop talking because a woman like her knew how to curry favour and use her influence to get what she wants. Evans was officially on Raw now and wanted the title. Per the McMahons, Evans would face Natalya with the winner getting a shot at Lynch. Evans said a woman like her coulda “a man” a thing or two.
Lacey Evans defeated Natalya (8:35)
Natalya hit a stop and discus clothesline. After a break, Natalya slapped Evans and hammered away at her in the corner. The referee backed her off, which of course allowed Evans to gain the advantage by yanking Natalya into the turnbuckle. Natalya fought out of a rest hold and hit another discus clothesline, then applied the Sharpshooter.
Evans crawled toward the ropes but Natalya pulled her back to the middle of the ring. Evans still managed to crawl to the ropes for a break. Natalya went after her outside the ring and slapped her.
When they re-entered the ring, Evans clocked her with the “women’s right.” Evans then hit a step-up springboard moonsault (which was impressive-looking, but also crushed Natalya) for the pinfall win. Evans will face Lynch for the Raw women’s title.
Backstage, Caruso interviewed Rollins and Reigns and wondered who their partner was. They didn’t tell her. (They were standing just outside the “men’s locker room” door, and as Rollins spoke, the door opened and you could see someone walking around, then it quickly close. Rollins laughed and continued the interview.) Rollins said this could be their last night on Raw, and Reigns said they would tear it down in Montreal tonight.
There was a new spooky video, this time with children’s toys and a creepy doll sitting on a rocking chair. I thought this was pretty amusing.
AJ Styles is on Raw.
Universal Champion Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & AJ Styles defeated Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) (12:46)
Styles wore new black, white and gold attire. Rollins and Lashley both also happened to be wearing black and gold.
After a break, Rollins made a hot tag and ran wild on Corbin. Rollins went for a dive but Corbin cut him off and hit a side slam. Graves said Corbin was a success as acting GM. Cole asked him how he could say that and Graves said “numbers don’t lie.” Cole laughed and asked “what numbers?” Graves said Corbin claimed Raw had record numbers during his time in charge.
Styles made a tag and hit Pelé kicks to Lashley and Corbin. McIntyre took him out with a Claymore kick then gave Reigns an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. McIntyre set up for a Claymore kick on the outside but Rollins hit him with a superkick, then Reigns gave him a superman punch. Rollins then took out Corbin with a suicide dive.
Styles set up for a phenomenal forearm but Rush grabbed his leg. Styles shoved him away, then Lashley gave Styles a Dominator. Lashley covered Styles but Rollins broke it up by giving Lashley a curb stomp. Reigns speared Lashley, then Styles hit a phenomenal forearm for the pinfall win. The finishing sequence was cool.
The three good guys posed as the show ended.
Final Thoughts --
Despite all the additions, this was still a fairly lackluster show. The highlights were the Bálor/Andrade match and the Sami Zayn segment.