By Chad Cooper
It’s the most anticipated RAW of the year – fallout after WrestleMania. Michael Cole said it best, “It’s a night full of surprises,” as well as rematches, debuts and new storylines.
The stage is set with a sold-out Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Here. We. Go.
Seth Rollins enters the arena with his brand new “Beast Slayer” T-shirt, which is already on sale online at WWE Shop. Before Seth can say a word, the hot crowd erupts with “You Deserve It,” “Thank You Rollins” and “Full Time Champ” chants. Enter, the New Day with new WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. The WWE Universe sets it off when Kofi challenges Seth in a match to unify the two titles. Big E does the damn splits and we also learn there will be a Superstar Shakeup next week. What a way to start the damn show! Grade: A+
Match 1: RAW Tag Team Championship match: Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins (c) def. The Revival
Our first ‘Mania rematch with the newly crowned champs – Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins – with The Revival. A majority of the match wasn’t seen thanks to a plethora of commercials. We do get some action after the break with a Broski Boot by Ryder and another Scott Dawson Brain Buster on Hawkins outside the ring. Revival hit the Shatter Machine on Ryder, but he isn’t the legal man. Hawkins with a rollup on Dawson for the win. I liked this match better than the ‘Mania version. Grade: B+
Baron Corbin out to a slew of boos and gloats about his win over Kurt Angle in Angle’s career finale at ‘Mania. Angle’s music hits and out comes Kurt in street clothes. He wishes Baron the best of luck then proceed with an Angle Slam and Ankle Lock. WHAT THE HELL?!? After months of speculation, Lars Sullivan marches to the ring, delivers a Freak Accident and flying head-butt as the crowd chants “asshole.” Grade: B+
Match 2: Alexa Bliss def. Bayley
Yes siree bob. It’s “5 Feet of Fury,” the Goddess is back in action on RAW as Alexa Bliss and Bayley lock up. Crowd sings some Bayley tunes while Bliss works her over with a vicious slap to the face. Bayley with an impressive sunset flip into a power bomb into the bottom turnbuckle. Bliss finishes the match with a DDT for the win. Match was short and sweet. So good to see Little Miss Bliss in the ring. Grade: B-
THE MAN Becky Lynch is here with both the RAW (around her waist) and Smackdown’s Women titles. Crowd chants “Becky Two Belts.” Line of the segment – “This women who walked in wit nuttin’, left wit everyting.” As Becky leaves, Lacey Evans with her usual interruption, but follows with stiff right hand and we got us a donnybrook. Looks like we will finally get to see Evans in a real storyline and her first will be with The Man. Grade: A.
Backstage with Rollins as Charly asked why he wants a high-stake match with Kofi. He’s a fighting champion Charly, and “B-plus isn’t going to get the job done. Grade B.
Match 3: Ricochet & Aleister Black def. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable
Michael Cole plants the seed that these teams could be split up in next week’s Superstar Shakeup and I’m hoping Roode & Gable fall in that category. Ricochet connects with a moonsault to the outside on Roode. After the commercial break, Roode & Gable have the upper hand on Ricochet, who finally gets the hot tag with Aleister. Ricochet with a code breaker on Gable for the win, then Roode attacks Ricochet and both scurry out of the ring. I agree with Renee Young – Ricochet is “not human.” Fun match. Grade: B+
Elias backstage playing the guitar about like I do. He let’s us know if anyone interrupts him tonight, then there will be hell to pay.
A cardboard box is shown. The top flies open and it’s a buzzard puppet with a vintage Bray Wyatt laugh. Grade: C+.
Match 4: Dean Ambrose vs. Bobby Lashley
It’s the final match of Mr. Rene Young’s career in the WWE. Lio Rush with a hatchet job on the mic, so Lashley tells Dean when he leaves, he will take care of his wife. Don’t talk about Dean’s wife, so the two brawl all over the joint. Ambrose is finally put through the announcer’s table via Lashley spine buster. Segment ends with Renee and officials checking on Dean. Crowd chants, “Thank you Ambrose.” Grade: C+
Mojo barking into a broken mirror. Grade: D+.
After double shoulder surgery and 10-month hiatus, Sami Zayn returns and the Barclay Center loves it. Zayn explains “If you’re gonna miss WrestleMania, then you might as well come back the night after WrestleMania.” He issues an open challenge. Grade: A-
Match 5: Intercontinental Championship: Finn Bálor (c) def. Sami Zayn
Good solid match here. I’m not the biggest Sami fan, but glad to see him back. We get an overhead kick from Bálor, Blue Thunder Bomb from Zayn, Sling Blade by Bálor, with a Coup de Grâs for the win. Sami with a heel post-match heel promo and tells us he will hold ever WWE Superstar accountable. Before he drops the mic, he says he will see us in Hell. Grade: A-
New RAW correspondent Sarah Schreiber speaks with Dana Brooke, who was impressive in the Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania. Dana said she wants a title shot with Becky. Grade: C-
I love Elias. He is in-ring and he is not happy. He said that John Cena has ruined his last two WrestleMania moments. He said the next person who interrupts him, is a dead man. BAH GAWD. IT’S THE RETURN OF THE DEADMAN. I. AM. MARKING. OUT. The Undertaker with his classic slow walk to the ring. Elias teases leaving the ring, but sticks around and gets a choke slam, then finished off with a Tombstone. Grade: A+. I love Elias.
Match 6: Winner Take All Universal & WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) def. Seth Rollins (c) via DQ.
Hot start with both men attempting their finishers early and neither could complete their respected moves. A little back and forth action was cut short when The Bar, Cesaro and Sheamus, push Kofi off the top rope causing a disqualification. We knew we were in for a squirrelly finish, but this was MEH. Rollins tells Kofi they will save the match for another day, then challenges The Bar for an impromptu tag match. Grade: B-.
Match 7: Seth Rollins & Kofi Kingston def. The Bar
After we are back from a commercial, the fans have completely turned on this match with a loud “BULLSHIT” chant, “Delete” and even a brief “AEW.” Seems as if the crowd has turned their attention to something else. Anyway, business does pick up as Kingston delivers a Trouble in Paradise on Cesaro, followed by a Rollins Curb Stomp for the win. Grade: B-
Final RAW after WrestleMania Grade: A-
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