Stephanie McMahon Promo
After tapping to a vicious armbar from Ronda Rousey, Stephanie McMahon came out in a brace on her left arm. McMahon attempted to coax Rousey into joining the corporate team as they “could blaze new trails” for women’s wrestling. Of course, Rousey wasn’t buying it and turned a hug into an armbar on the already injured appendage. Rousey put to rest fears that she can’t handle the WWE spotlight. She’s already had one of the best debuts of all time and locked down the “angry look.” Stephanie sold the armbar like it had literally been ripped out of its socket and drew some intense heat as she left the ring slowly. The crowd was particularly unruly after ‘Mania and dropped a “F$@! You Stephanie” chants. Rousey and McMahon were apart of the best match at WrestleMania and had successfully gotten their program the mainstream attention they wanted.
NXT CALL-UP #1
Nia Jax came out to applause after successfully winning the RAW Women’s championship against Alexa Bliss. She didn’t have a tag partner despite the ring announcer claiming it was a tag match against Bliss and Mickie James. Bliss went on to call Jax a bully and make fun of her weight again with about as much class as you can have when you have that kind of script. The new champ silenced the heel with a “Shut Up Alexa” that got huge a pop both times she said it. Jax claimed she did, in fact, have a partner and it was Ember Moon. Moon dropped the at title NXT Takeover on Saturday and was expected t be called up. NXT fans quickly made the connection that Asuka and Moon are once again on the same brand, but this time Asuka doesn’t have the streak to stop her from doing a job.
Jax looked monstrous as she tore apart both James and Bliss, but the crowd wanted Moon in. Once she got tagged in, the crowd exploded until she hit the Eclipse and pinned Bliss. The announce team mentioned Bliss would probably request a trade to get away from Nia Jax. The Superstar Shakeup will take place next week, so it’s a good possibility that happens.
Nia Jax and Ember Moon def. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James via pinfall
Braun Strowman and Nicholas Vacate the Raw Tag Team Titles
Nicholas and Braun Strowman approached Kurt Angle to let him know they’d be relinquishing their titles one night after winning them. Braun said that Nicholas had the fourth grade to get through before he could wrestle, and Nicholas added that when he gets back “everyone’s going to get these hands.” It was fun while it lasted, but a ten-year-old is no longer one-half of the RAW tag team champions.
NXT CALL UP #2
No Way Jose debuted with a conga line that took longer than his actual match. Jose dropped his opponent with a pop-up punch in a matter of seconds. The crowd seemed very high on Jose, so let’s hope can find success on the main roster. He seems like mostly an entrance from what I’ve seen, but he can still find a good slot in the mid-card of PPVs in time.
No Way Jose def. local jobber via pinfall
Gallows and Anderson vs. The Revival
After the tag titles got vacated, The Bar asked Kurt Angle when and where he would be reinstating them as champions. Angle responded by saying a Tag Team Eliminator match would between the Good Brothers and the Revival was next. Four teams will compete in two matches and the winners will face off for the opportunity to go up against the Bar at Greatest Royal Rumble later this month.
I feel like I’ve seen these two teams go against each other far too often, but this match was exceptional. The two teams went at an energetic pace and traded kick out until the Shatter Machine finished things. Revival got the win and deserve a chance to go after the title. Hopefully, their push isn’t cut short in the next round of the Eliminator.
Revival def. Anderson and Gallows via pinfall
Seth Rollins is a Grand Slam Champion
Rollins came out and thanked the fans for their support. He was cut short by Finn Balor who came out to briefly congratulate and challenge Rollins. Balor said he still wanted a chance to go after the belt seeing as he didn’t take a pin, and they shook hands as the Miz’s music played. Miz came out and continued the “I love my daughter” gimmick he began last week. It’s become apparent that he’ll use his daughter to draw heat and remain a heel. In typical heel fashion, Miz turned down a title rematch challenge and said he’d do it at Backlash. He then challenged Rollins and Balor to a handicap match against the Miztourage that was accepted but suddenly evened up when Jeff Hardy made his return. The Miztourage ran off before the match could begin prolonging Hardy’s comeback match.
Sasha Banks vs. Mandy Rose
With no payoff at WrestleMania between Banks and Bayley, Bayley sat in Banks’ corner for her match against Mandy Rose. Rose hasn’t done a whole lot except for a match with Bayley a few weeks ago that was decent. Graves said she might be in the superstar shakeup which could be good for her career. The match moved outside the ring, and Bayley tried to help Banks but ended up hitting her in the face and costing her the match. These two continue to have issues, but still, nothing has happened between them. I’m sure they’re waiting for the next pay-per-view to give them a singles match, but at this point, they may have missed the mark.
After the match, Paige announced her retirement due to her neck injury. Ironically, and maybe intentionally, Banks took the pin to a member of Absolution and is the one responsible for injuring Paige. It wasn’t intentional, but fans will never let her live down that spot. Paige mentioned that Daniel Bryan’s recent comeback had given her hope, so maybe she will come back. The crowd gave her the love she deserved, and while sad it was good to see her sent off like that.
Mandy Rose def. Sasha Banks via pinfall
Elias gets A Surprise
Elias came out to thunderous cheers. He came off as the most over guy in the company. As he played his song, Bobby Lashley interrupted him with a neck breaker and a piledriver that he held high in the air for a long time. Lashley’s return establishes him as a monstrous face that no doubt will be doing a program with the recently resigned Brock Lesnar. His work on Impact was decent enough to get him a “welcome back” chant from the crowd, and he looked in great shape.
NXT CALL UP #3
Heath Slater and Rhyno came out with an open challenge to which the crowd correctly predicted the Authors of Pain would accept. Paul Ellering escorted the two massive men to the ring, and they made quick work of Slater and Rhyno with the Last Chapter. AOP was dominant in NXT, and I expect them to be as good on the main roster. A Survivor Series meeting with the Bludgeon Brothers would be a great match to get them the spotlight. As AOP left the ring, they seemingly abandoned Ellering. This will no doubt play into their first storyline on RAW.
AOP def. Heath Slater and Rhyno
Roman Reigns Addresses His Loss
Reigns came out to a mixed reaction that was 65-35 in favor of boos. Reigns losing was genuinely shocking in the arena, but he still isn’t over with the fans. They need to turn him heel and get him out for the title picture if they have any hope of rehabbing his character. That doesn’t look like it will happen as Reigns called out the WWE for resigning Lesnar and not even telling him about a cage match between them at Greatest Royal Rumble that was announced on social media before he knew. He’s still trying to draw sympathy and it won’t work.
Reigns was interrupted by Samoa Joe who made his return. This was the sixth comeback/debut of the night and it was perhaps the loudest. Joe said that Reigns was exposed by Lesnar and presumably set up a program with him. If that cage match turns into a triple threat, it could be really good. Lesnar does better in multi-man matches and Reigns-Joe is a feud we already know holds up in the ring.
Tag Team Eliminator Match 2
Titus Worldwide faced a mystery team in the second match of the tournament that was revealed to be Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. The two have now teamed up following Bray’s appearance and aide in the Battle Royale. I’m cautious to call this good booking, but it could lead to something worthwhile. The new duo won easily and had some fun “DELETE!” chants along the way.
Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt def. Titus Worldwide via pinfall
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn Fight for A Spot On RAW
Earlier in the night, Owens and Zayn approached Kurt Angle who reluctantly gave them the opportunity to face each other for a spot on RAW. The match started and quickly went to commercial, but when they came back, the crowd sounded like they had been treated to a good match so far. The rest of the match backed that theory up as the traded several big spots that resulted in great near falls. Neither man made it back to their feet in time for the refs ten count and neither man will join RAW.
Both men counted out
Miztourage vs. Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, and Jeff Hardy
Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy welcomed back Jeff as Brother Nero and their stable look strong in potential. The match went to commercial at the beginning just like the last match and while I understand that this was a jam-packed show, wouldn’t you want your last two acts to be featured better than this? The announce team hinted at Miz switching brands which would allow the Daniel Bryan-Miz rivalry to continue.
Hardy looked good in his comeback. He was energetic and still athletic enough to and the Whisper in the Wind. Rollins had a strong match as well, hitting the suicide dive and curb stomp on Miz for the pin. After the match, Balor and Hardy went back and forth with the Swanton Bomb and Coup de Gras on Bo Dallas before Rollins finished him off with a curb stomp. This came off as heelish, but they were just giving the crowd everything they wanted.