Stephanie and Shane McMahon both graced the crowd with their presence this week, which drew the ire of the fans. The first superstar to change brands in the Superstar Shake-Up, the Miz, jumped Shane from behind but was quickly…I guess “overwhelmed” is the right word…by Shane’s weak-ass punches. Miz managed to claw back some credibility by smashing Shane with a chair, though; I guess their issues will continue despite being on separate brands.
Ricochet, Aleister Black, Curt Hawkins, and Zack Ryder teamed up against the Revival and Raw’s newest NXT acquisitions, the War Raiders Viking Experience…hooo-boy…in a bit of eight-man tag team action. The good news, despite also getting new individual names (Ivar and Erik), was that the “Viking Experience” got a massive debut win when they pinned Ruder after the Fallout. The bad news…well, just look at that fucking name! Why not the Viking Raiders? Or just the Raiders? The “Viking Experience” doesn’t really sound like something Vikings would call themselves…oh, and they’re also a knock-off Bludgeon Brothers and you know what happened to them!
Andrade and Zelina Vega are also on Raw now and, to celebrate, he got a non-title match against Finn Balor despite all his weird, up and down booking and stop/start pushing, Andrade got to be back on form for this match as he and Balor put on quite the show. Andrade also got the win, clean as a whistle after the Hammerlock DDT, which is a great running start for him but I’m not sure how much it will mean considering how the rest of the Superstar Shake-Up has gone.
Elias tried to perform again and talking shit about John Cena and the Undertaker, so Rey Mysterio made his official Raw debut to attack him but ended up getting murdered by Lars Sullivan. Afterwards, the Usos also made the switch from blue to red and took on Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, who I guess are officially heels now (or, at least, tweeners of some sort). Roode and gable worked over Jey after slamming him into the barricade and then keeping him grounded with the quick tags; Jey managed to get enough breathing room off an Enziguri to tag in Jimmy and, though Roode and Gable landed a double team Blockbuster, the Usos got the Double Superkicks and Double Splash to get the win.
The Iiconics took on Bayley and Naomi afterwards (Sasha Banks wasn’t present as she is apparently so upset about losing the Women’s Tag Team Championships and her position that she said she wants to leave; I can only hope!). Anyway, as if the Iiconics weren’t a pretty lame team already (despite being the only “real” women’s tag team…), they then lost in just over two minutes, putting a bit of a question mark over their legitimacy. Having said that, though, there is an interesting story tot ell with the Iiconics being more “divas” and paper champions so a deserving team can bring some credibility to the belts but this is the WWE we’re talking about! They’ll probably just slap the titles on Lana and Renee Young for all I know!
EC3 managed to get some television time…which saw him get brutalised by Braun Strowman and Chokeslammed off the top stage…Afterwards, Eric Young was drafted to Raw and I fully expect him to take a similar plunge next week (or very soon). Becky Lynch went up against Ruby Riott afterwards; as the rest of the Riott Squad were at ringside, they were able to save Ruby from tapping out but ended up getting taken out by Becky anyway and Ruby tapped soon after.
Lacey Evans then officially announced that she’ll be on Raw going forward and celebrated by having a number one contender’s match against Natalya. Natalya took control at the start and they ended up brawling on the outside a bit but Lacey managed to grab the ropes when she was locked in the Sharpshooter, knocked Natalya to the mat with the Woman’s Right, and sealed the deal with a nifty little Moonsault.
AJ Styles also came to Raw, which is great as he has seemingly done everything twice over on SmackDown! Live, and got to team with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns against Baron Corbin, Lashley, and Drew McIntyre. Not being funny, and I know this’ll piss some people off, but this could have been prefaced by Corbin using his WrestleMania win over Kurt Angle to make a claim to a title shot; what’s the point of him retiring Angle if they don’t capitalise on it in some way? I’m sure that could still happen in the next few weeks but they could have started that here to set-up Seth’s first title defence. Instead, we get the standard six-man match. Anyway, things descended into madness at the finish as Lashley was subjected to the Stomp, the Spear, and the Phenomenal Forearm to take the loss for the goon squad.
The Kevin Owens Show opened things this week and, once again, everyone was celebrating Kofi Kingston’s big win. Kevin Owens announced that he would be replacing the injured Big E in their tag team match against Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura later in the night and then pranced around like an idiot in New Day apparel; it’s so weird seeing Owens do all this goofy babyface shite.
Finn Balor made his SmackDown! Live debut, meaning that, as of now, both the Intercontinental and United States Champions are on the Blue Brand. Like AJ Styles, I am happy about this as, hopefully, Finn will get a shot at the main event and World Championship now that he is out of the Land of the Giants. He faced off with Ali in a fun sprint that saw Balor having to try to keep Ali grounded as he was jumping all over the place; in the end, Ali crashed and burned on the 054 Splash and Balor got the win with the Coup de Grâce.
Charlotte Flair and Carmella were up next; Carmella got in a surprising amount of offense on the WWE’s golden girl but, despite landing a Superkick, tapped out the moment the Figure Eight was locked in. once again, winning those WrestleMania battle royals means absolutely nothing. After the match, despite officially being a Raw guy, Lars Sullivan destroyed R-Truth for shits and giggles.
Becky Lynch came out to celebrate her WrestleMania win some more (seriously? Two weeks removed and we’re still celebrating rather than building new angles?). She vowed to end Lacey Evans but got interrupted by Ember Moon and Bayley, who both made the jump (Bayley is also, apparently (and thankfully) a solo act now); Paige then announced a brand new tag team for the women’s division….Asuka and Kairi Sane. Wow, hardly “brand new”; it’s just yet another slapped-together pairing, and a potentially racist one at that! Anyway, all this clusterfuck led to an eight-woman tag team match as Asuka, Kairi, Bayley, and Ember fought the Iiconics, Sonya Deville, and Mandy Rose; Asuka and Kairi started off on the right foot as a team though as, similar to the Viking Experience, they got the deciding pin fall off a DDT and the Insane Elbow.
Kevin Owens, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston had that match I was talking about next; they took on Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev, and Cesaro in six-man tag team action. A decent enough match that saw the faces get the win but what is the end game here? Who is being set-up as Kofi’s first challenger? Owens? Cesaro (God, if only!)? Shinsuke? Rusev? Why were both of our World Champions in random six-man tags when they should really be doing something a bit more meaningful since they hold the company’s top gold?
Vince McMahon ended the night by announcing that Elias will be on SmackDown! Live going forward; hopefully he gets to do a bit more in the upper mid-card. I may not like him much but I am willing to see him work towards the United Stats Championship or even get a shot at Kofi if it means mixing things up. However, it looks like he’ll have to get through DA BIG DAWG~!!! as Roman Reigns interrupted by beating Elias up, smashing Vince’s face in with a Superman Punch, and claiming that SmackDown! Live is “his yard” now. I guess this is okay; it’s a big star for the Blue Brand, for sure, though I would have liked to see Seth Rollins come over. Hopefully, Reigns is distracted with Elias, Nakamura (that could be a good feud…), maybe Rusev, maybe even Cesaro, before he starts sniffing around the main event.