Universal Champion Seth Rollins Was Confronted by His Potential Challengers
Can someone tell me what purpose Triple H served in this segment? He didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. It was weird hearing him talk about the two Triple Threat matches as if none of us didn't just hear the commentators announce them at the start of the show. The promos everyone else cut were fine, but this was exactly what you'd expect it to be. They set the stage for the night's biggest bouts nicely, but this wore out its welcome.
AJ Styles def. United States Champion Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio in a Triple Threat Match to Advance to the Universal Championship No. 1 Contender's Match (Non-title)
I had zero problem with three of the Superstars coming over from SmackDown Live colliding in this Triple Threat, if only because it felt fresh and was very entertaining. Styles and Joe have worked well together in the past, Joe and Mysterio feuded going into WrestleMania 35, and seeing Styles and Mysterio mix it up for the first time was cool. This was an exciting opener with an innovative finish to boot. I wouldn't have had Joe get pinned in his Raw return, but I can't say I'm surprised.
Naomi def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Billie Kay
This was a complete waste of time. Yes, I realize it wasn't more than a minute in length, but that's why it was pointless. Naomi teamed up with Bayley to beat The IIconics last week, and although it was a fine way to introduce Naomi on the Raw brand, it made the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions look weak, especially if it wasn't going to lead to anything. Naomi was outnumbered here, yet was able to defeat Kay with ease. The match was total throwaway and The IIconics are already back to being losers. That didn't take long.
Baron Corbin def. The Miz and Drew MCIntyre in a Triple Threat Match to Advance to the Universal Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
This wasn't on the same level as the other Triple Threat, but it was a good match, nonetheless. Perhaps the best part about it was Miz being on offense for most of it and successfully getting the crowd into the action. He has really exceeded all expectations as a babyface over the last month. His feud with Shane McMahon wasn't furthered here, but it may have been put on hold for one week. At any rate, the closing stretch of this bout was terrific and I was glad McIntyre wasn't pinned. Here's hoping the tension teased between Corbin and McIntyre means they won't be aligned any more going forward.
Sami Zayn Addressed the WWE Universe
If it wasn't already evident, I am sold on Zayn's new gimmick. This is absolutely an extension of his real life personality. That isn't to say he's an asshole in reality, but I remember him talking about a lot of the same things on Chris Jericho's podcast many months ago. Granted, I have no idea where any of this is going or who he'll be feuding with in the future, but the promos are fantastic for now.
Cesaro def. Cedric Alexander
This looked like an amazing match on paper, and trust me, it was an absolute blast and I thoroughly enjoyed it. That said, both guys need wins at this point and should have been put up against different people. The fans in attendance had no reason to care about either one of them, but that could change if they have more matches. Alexander losing in his Raw debut was a questionable call, but at least Cesaro will benefit somewhat from the victory.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders vs. The Lucha House Party Went to a No Contest (Non-title)
They started out as War Machine on the independent scene. They were then repackaged as War Raiders upon their NXT debut in early 2018. When they were brought up to the main roster, their name was changed to The Viking Experience. That didn't last a week, because now they're known as The Viking Raiders. What a mess. It's a slight improvement, but not by much. The match never got started as a result of Viking Raiders laying Lucha House Party out before the bell. Unfortunately, the crowd was quiet for this.
Raw and SmackDown Women's Champion Becky LYnch def. Alicia Fox (Non-title)
If you forgot Fox was still with the company, you aren't alone. She hasn't wrestled a match on Raw since early February, and with it being reported that she recently wrestled while intoxicated at a live event, I'm stunned she still has a job. Putting that aside, I have no clue why she remains on the roster when there are so many women better than her. She doesn't have anything to offer and that showed here. This was an awful match that should have been booked like a one-sided squash for Lynch as opposed to a competitive outing.
Robert Roode def. Ricochet
No, that wasn't a typo; Roode is now calling himself Robert Roode. And if that sounds familiar, that's because he used that same name at one point during his IMPACT career. I'm not going to lie, this match was pretty flat and the crowd largely sat on their hands for it, but I appreciated that the commentators acknowledged how Roode attacked Ricochet two weeks ago on Raw. I'm all for them feuding if it gives them direction in the singles ranks with their former partners being sent to SmackDown in the Shake-up. I'm still not sure what to make of Roode's new look, but if it's a part of WWE's plan to push him again, I can't complain.
AJ Styles def. Baron Corbin in a Universal Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
I would be content if I never saw Corbin compete in another Raw main event ever again. Don't get me wrong, he has a ton of heat at the moment following his win over Kurt Angle at WrestleMania, but that doesn't necessarily mean he should be wrestling in featured matches all the time. When the bell rings, crowds lose interest, regardless of who he's up against. Styles is no miracle worker and wasn't able to make this anything above average. Rather, it was simply a solid match and nothing more. The right man won, though, and I'm super stoked for Styles vs. Rollins for the Universal Championship at Money in the Bank.
It's worth noting that a new vignette aired for the returning Bray Wyatt called "Firefly Fun House" and it has had a lot of people talking online. Personally, I'm willing to give it a chance, because if nothing else, it's something different for Wyatt, who has been dead in the water for years. As for the rest of this show, I liked it a lot. I haven't seen it receive the same praise from others, and I do agree that the third hour could have been better, but I enjoyed all of the unprecedented matches and the build for Money in the Bank. I don't blame fans for being bored by this episode, but the brand is in much stronger shape coming off the Superstar Shake-up and hope that they can make the most of who they have now.
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