Asuka def. Liv Morgan
If you told me three months ago that this year's post-WrestleMania Raw would open with Asuka vs. Morgan, I would have called you crazy, yet here we are. I realize WWE is in a tough spot right now (not to mention that this was taped prior to WrestleMania), but this was a weird choice to start the show with. Morgan defeated Natalya on the WrestleMania 36 Part 2 Kickoff show, only to lose to Asuka the next night. How much sense does that make? If nothing else, she looked good in defeat, but there was no reason for them to fight each other in the first place.
Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits def. Angel Garza and Austin Theory by Disqualification; Bianca Belair def. Zelina Vega by Disqualification; Street Profits and Belair def. Garza, Theory and Vega
Garza and Theory lost decisively at WrestleMania, so there was no reason for them to get another shot at the straps here. Obviously, the rematch was booked to fill television time, but there are other ways of doing that than what they did. The first disqualification finish was lazy enough, but to repeat that exact same finish for Belair vs. Vega (who just so happened to be wearing her gear) was ridiculous. I honestly would have preferred the six-man tag team match going long instead of breaking it up into three mini matches. What we got was fine albeit nothing special. It's a shame Belair couldn't make her main roster debut in front of an actual audience, but oh well, such are the circumstances at the moment. Her main roster call-up was long overdue.
Aleister Black def. Apollo Crews
It was explained that Raw had unused draft picks and that's why Crews is on Raw now. I assume these "draft picks" are from when Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were randomly traded from Raw to SmackDown last October and Raw never got anything in return, but that could also be me looking too much into it. Either way, it was nice for that to be explained, even if the explanation was odd. Although the outcome was never in doubt, the match was well wrestled and it was refreshing to see Crews in a competitive contest for a change.
Ricochet and Cedric Alexander def. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
Ricochet and Alexander proved last year when they were fighting AJ Styles for the United States Championship that they can thrive as singles stars, but WWE clearly has no interest in featuring them in those roles right now. Putting them together as a team is better than nothing and at least gets them back on the show. They have terrific chemistry and this was a fun match while it lasted. Lorcan and Burch never cease to deliver wherever they pop up and their performance here was no exception.
Seth Rollins def. Denzel Dejournette
I loved how Rollins didn't say a single word here and sold his frustration from losing at WrestleMania through his mannerisms and facial expressions. As for Dejournette, I was fortunate enough to see him compete in person back in February at an EVOLVE show. He's super talented and has a ton of untapped potential. This could have been great but was instead booked to be a completely one-sided squash with Rollins getting back on track with a dominant victory.
Nia Jax def. Deonna Purrazzo
Jax has been out of action for exactly one year, having not wrestled since WrestleMania 35. Why not save this as a surprise as opposed to advertising it right before the commercial break? I realize there's nobody there, but sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest differences. At any rate, Purrazzo was the perfect person for Jax to face in her return because of how she loses nothing in defeat due to already being an enhancement talent in NXT. Jax vs. Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship would be logical given their history.
Humberto Carrillo def. Brendan Vink
I believe Carrillo has been off Raw since failing to win the United States Championship from Andrade at Elimination Chamber. If there was ever a time for him return to Raw, it might as well have been on this "reset" show of sorts. The issue is that he's never been positioned as a real threat to anyone. He's won a handful of matches here and there but never when it's mattered most. Here's hoping Creative will be kinder to him going forward. On a side note, Vink was on Raw recently teaming with Shane Thorne against Street Profits. He's a huge dude but obviously needs a lot more seasoning.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre def. Big Show
We were told that this was filmed after WrestleMania last night. Why McIntyre would go back down to the ring for an interview after already beating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship, I have no idea. However, that wasn't even the worst of it. Big Show returned out of nowhere, and despite saying he didn't want to challenge McIntyre to an impromptu WWE Championship match, he did anyway and McIntyre eventually accepted. I know that's what "fighting champions" do, but it made McIntyre look like a dumb babyface, even though he ultimately retained the title. I was close to having a heart attack fearing Show would win the belt (he does have a new Netflix show out after all), but thankfully, that was not the case. It doesn't take away from how random and ridiculous this whole thing was, but at least we can rest easy knowing McIntyre's reign wasn't over in 20 minutes courtesy of... wait for it... The Big Show.
I don't think it would be much of a stretch to say that this was easily the most uneventful post-WrestleMania Raw in at least a decade. Sure, we got the official call-up of Bianca Belair (even though we saw her on Sunday night) and Jax back after a year-long hiatus, but that wasn't nearly enough to make this episode worthwhile. I have no idea what the hell that ending was, but it fittingly summed up this show as being a waste of time. I thought both nights of WrestleMania were enjoyable, but the followup here was atrocious. What's worse is that it's unknown when WWE will be able to tape television again and WWE didn't give viewers many reasons to want to continue tuning in. This felt more like an extended episode of Main Event, not a post-WrestleMania Raw. There were ways to make it exciting yet they dropped the ball big time.
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