Did something happen today in the news? I swear something happened, I just can’t put my finger on it…
Oh, and if someone can name the villain that Vinnie Mac has patterned his mustachioed look after, please leave a comment. It’s been bugging me for the last 24 hours. My brain keeps going to Snidely Whiplash but obviously it’s not him…
We’re live from the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles where Triple H is out first and receives a true hero’s welcome, as so he should after last night’s event being arguably the best WM of the last two decades. He thanks every Superstar, performer and staff member for the tremendous show.
Hunter alludes to the Endeavor purchase before saying nothing will be changing with the purchase. I can hear some people groaning about that…
Trips then calls out the champ, Roman Reigns. Yeah, in case you missed the other big news from yesterday, the Tribal Chief is still champ to the shock of 95% of the viewing public. The two embrace on the ramp way. Alongside Reigns are Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman, which makes you wonder about Jimmy and Jey. Patrick starts his annoying broadcaster commentary.
There’s a definite boo feel tonight for Roman, along the lines of his post-‘Taker win. If he says he’s “the guy” I’m walking out… The smattering of boos continues as Reigns starts to orate.
Before he can get going though, Cody Rhodes walks out. He’s way too smiley for someone who came up short less than 24 hours before. He calls for a rematch between the two tonight. Paul Heyman says no for tonight or ever. Cody counters with the offer for a tag team match (playa), with Roman and Solo against Cody and the partner must be a wrestler who battled last night and accepts that they won’t get a title shot against Roman either.
No sooner does Heyman shut up that Brock Lesnar steps up. This will be Lesnar’s first match in… since his return to WWE? Is that right?
Omos vs. Elias
This is somewhat of a suspect way to start off the Raw after Mania, no?
Absolute domination by Omos. Tree Slam and it’s done.
Backstage, The Usos knock on Roman’s door. Paul says the jet is ready for the twins who seemingly have the night off.
Cathy Kelley talks with Bad Bunny about the upcoming Backlash PPV in Puerto Rico before Rey Mysterio comes out. Before he can say too much, Austin Theory comes out. Theory tries to cut in on Rey but it’s a weak job. We jump headlong into…
Rey Mysterio vs. Austin Theory (United States Championship Match)
We cut to commercial unexpectedly just seconds into the match but that’s forgivable given that we had nearly an hour straight of show.
Even Steven match to start. Both men are wearing yellow, with Rey accenting with brown for the San Diego Padres tribute. Springboard Reverse Crossbody gets two for Rey.
Rey does the Eddie shimmy and I’m checked out of this match.
Theory hits an impressive Burning Hammer carry into a powerbomb for two. Unfortunately he can’t do that with 90% of the population. Crowd chants “you tapped out” at Theory just to be boring like this match.
Rey goes for the 619 but is met by a pretty vicious lariat for two.
Rey gets the ADV back and tries for another 619 but Dom shows up to break up the momentum. Theory has enough time to recover and hit the A-Town Down for the duke.
Winner: Austin Theory
Dom comes into the ring after, seconded by Damian Priest, for more beatdown. They look over at Bad Bunny, who of course just a couple years ago competed alongside Priest at ‘Mania. Bunny ends up laying out Dom from his seat before Priest, his former ally, pulls him over the barricade roughly. This just doesn’t make any sense since we haven’t seen any rhyme or reason for the two to be at odds other than Dom being a pain in the ass. Bunny eats a Chokeslam through the table, Rey eats some shots from Dom, and I guess we have our tag team (playa) match for Backlash.
Backstage, Adam Pearce chews out Priest for attacking Bad Bunny. Priest claims Bunny is still his friend. Riiiight.
KO and Sami Zayn are out next. We have yet to get the entrance music mash-up, which is fine with me. We get a singalong for Zayn’s song, which by the way started long before Chris Jericho debuted “Judas” as his theme.
The duo get the “You Deserve It” chant before going into their oration. We also get the Ole, Ole, Ole singalong, which again predates “Judas”. If you’re wondering what I’m referring to, go check out Jericho’s BS comments on the topic.
Oh, and while I’m in the mood to kill some myths, this wasn’t the first tag team title match to main event a ‘Mania. At WM2, The British Bulldogs and Dream Team main evented the Chicago portion of the show. Equal footing as Night One as far as I’m concerned.
KO issues an open challenge to the locker room, which is answered by the Street Profits.
Street Profits vs. Quebec Connection
There’s my contribution to the tag team nickname contest. Dispute it? Let’s hear it.
Chain wrestling between Zayn and Dawkins to start. Tags back and forth as the action continues. Ford gets an early two on Zayn. Owens goes for a Stunner once tagged in but Ford evades.
Profits continue to work well and we get a taste of what they’d be like as heels. Hmm….
Back from break, Owens gets the hot tag to Zayn, who hits a Top Rope Flying Body Press from the top for two. Soon after, both Profits are on the outside and Zayn hits the Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring, Zayn hits the Sunset Flip Bomb for two.
Flying Heel Kick from Ford brings Dawkins in for the mild tag. Assisted Blockbuster gets two before Owens breaks things up. Zayn gets the Exploder into the corner soon after and KO is a Mason du Fire. Swanton gets two. Breakdown doon after as everyone’s on the inside then hits his own Tope Con Hilo two both Quebecers.
Back in the ring, Stunner from KO leads to the Helluva Kick to give the faces the win (yeah I said it).
Winners: Quebec Connection
Post match sees nothing of consequence, which actually surprises me.
Backstage, Kelly talks with Seth Rollins. Rollins says there’s something missing tonight and he heads out to the ring as we head into a break. All that happens, though, is a singalong to his song before he heads to the back and we transition to a Kelly interview with Bobby Lashley.
Lashley is confronted by Bronson Reed who talks trash a bit and says a match between the two is inevitable. Mustafa Ali wanders in and preaches his positivity campaign. The end result is Ali being thrown around backstage and at Gorilla before ultimately coming out to the ring.
Bobby Lashley vs. Mustafa Ali
Quick match for the sake of saying there was a match.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
FWIW, the Andre trophy is shown at ringside. Let’s see how many weeks its out before it disappears like it always does.
Backstage, Reigns, Heyman and Sikoa huddle backstage in their private room. Roman asks if Paul had any knowledge of Brock being in the arena.
Back to the ring, Bianca Belair comes out for a celebration. Before she can get going fully, Rhea Ripley interrupts and alludes that a match between the two is inevitable. That’s a good thing, and it doesn’t seem like we’re getting a unification match on the way. Good teasy segment without going too far into setting expectations.
Before the segment ends, Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez come out. Rodriguez leaves a lingering look at Ripley, teasing what could be one hell of a banger between the two.
Liv Morgan / Raquel Rodriguez vs. Kai-n-Sky (Women’s Tag Team Number One Contender’s Match)
The former NXT tag champs start before frequent tags lead ultimately to Raquel giving Liv the Nestea Plunge to the outside.
Back in the ring, SKY has the ADV on Liv. Fortunes reverse and we get hot tags. We don’t get enough story told of the history of Kai and Rodriguez, of course.
Double team by Kai-n-SKY goes awry. Rodriguez looks truly dominant and hits the Tejana Bomb and sets up for Oblivion by Morgan for the duke and shot.
Winners: Liv Morgan / Raquel Rodriguez
The championship match is then announced for next week.
Miz is out next and kvetches about his WM woes before Matt Riddle makes his return. I’m honestly surprised WWE allowed him back on TV. At least his dirtbag grill is gone. Before he can do much though, Miz attacks. Riddle retaliates with multiple shots, a Ripcord Knee and the Bro Derek. No sign of the Orton tribute, which isn’t a bad thing.
Backstage, Trish, Lita and Becky chat with Byron Saxton briefly.
Cody Rhodes/Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns/Solo Sikoa
Formal intros usually reserved for title matches start the match.
Before the match starts though, Lesnar F5’s Cody Rhodes. The Bloodline leaves the ring, before we get a second F5. Lesnar then ragdolls Rhodes for a while before taking things outside and continuing the utter brutality. Looks like we’re getting this feud to distract Cody from the title picture.
Well, we got one surprise return and one somewhat surprising turn. Not as loaded as we’re used to seeing for the Raw after Mania, but it was decent.
Spring Break is over and you’ve been schooled on Raw. Until next time, stay classy.