Date: April 13, 2017
Location: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
I’ve spent months asking for some kind of a shakeup around here and now that the rosters have been tossed around, WWE might actually have to offer us something fresh around here. It should be interesting to see who replaces Jinder Mahal, who was one of the Main Event regulars. Let’s get to it.
Big Cass vs. Titus O’Neil
Please don’t let Titus be the new guy. Enzo does a big entrance, talking about how he and Cass came here from New Jersey by way of some New York roads. Titus goes straight for him and gets tossed to the floor off a fall away slam. A right hand staggers Enzo and Titus follows up with some running splashes in the corner. We’re already in the chinlock before Cass pops up, hits the Empire Elbow and kicks Titus in the face for the pin at 3:22.
Rating: D+. The match was nothing to see but it was a really smart idea to have Enzo and Cass out there to start the night. The fans are going to go nuts for them every week but putting them out there in front of their hometown crowd is the best thing they could have done. Cass getting a singles win is nice too as that’s probably his future.
First Raw moment.
Here’s Seth Rollins for a chat. He didn’t know if he would ever be in this ring again because he gave everything he had to get ready for Wrestlemania. Last week he woke up after a war with HHH and his knee had never been in so much pain. All he knew was that he had never felt so good because at Wrestlemania, he slayed the King.
There are a lot of things Rollins wants to do around here (“The name Samoa Joe comes to mind.”), including wanting to get his hands on the Universal Title. However, something happened at Wrestlemania that might prevent it from happening. We see a clip of Stephanie being knocked through a table, which means she’ll be out for a while. Then she’ll be back though and Rollins becomes public enemy #1. Therefore, it’s probably easier for him to go to Smackdown. That’s not what’s going to happen though as Seth took the easy way out once and he’s not doing it again.
Cue Angle to say that yes, Stephanie made it clear she wants him gone. Angle watched Wrestlemania though and saw Seth win a fight on one leg. Stephanie’s opinion aside, as long as Angle is in charge, Seth has a home here on Raw. Angle goes to leave but Samoa Joe comes in for the fight. Rollins superkicks him to the floor though and Joe bails.
To Raw again.
In the back, Michael Cole has a sitdown interview with Roman Reigns. Roman says the win over Undertaker was the biggest win of his career but it was bittersweet. He’s had great guidance but he’s not sure how you retire someone you respect so much. Braun Strowman comes in and the fight is on with Reigns being destroyed.
Reigns gets powerslammed onto an anvil case and Braun crushes him by wheeling another case into Reigns’ head. Fans: “THANK YOU STROWMAN!” Reigns is taken out on a stretcher. Fans: “YOU DESERVE IT!” Strowman shoves the stretcher down a flight of stairs, drawing the pop of the night. Reigns is wheeled into the ambulance. Braun: “I’M NOT THROUGH WITH YOU YET BOY!” Strowman beats him up even more and TURNS THE AMBULANCE OVER with Reigns inside.
Post break Reigns is loaded into a new ambulance and finally gets to leave.
Gran Metlik/Lince Dorado vs. Drew Gulak/Tony Nese
Nese gets a very nice pop from his hometown crowd. Metalik does all of his flips on Gulak to start before getting pulled down into a dragon sleeper with a bodyscissors (Remember when that was a dangerous move in the Cruiserweight Classic?). We hit some dives before it’s off to an early break.
Back with Gulak and Metalik trading chops in the corner until a springboard elbow drops Gulak. The hot tag brings in Dorado and everything breaks down. Dorado grabs a handspring double Stunner (cool), leaving Metalik to walk the top rope for a moonsault onto Gulak. Nese crotches Dorado on top though and the running knee to the jaw is enough for the pin at 8:42.
Rating: C. Totally average cruiserweight tag here and that doesn’t mean much. I still really like Metalik and the whole King of the Ropes thing has potential, though he’s stuck here because of one botch and there’s not much changing that. Nese continues to be just one step away from being awesome but I’m not sure what that step is.
We’ll wrap it up with this.
Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens
Non-title. An early Dirty Deeds attempt sends Owens bailing to the floor but Dean whips him into the barricade. Dean scores with a dive and we take a break. Back with Dean caught in a chinlock. Owens: “I could do this all night baby!” Dean fights up and gets sent outside in a crash, followed by a ram into the post. Back in and Ambrose gets in a good shot to knock Owens outside, setting up a suicide dive.
That’s not enough for Dirty Deeds though but Owens misses a Cannonball. Dean clotheslines him down but Kevin bails outside. That’s fine with Dean, who hits the top rope elbow. Back in and Owens hits the package piledriver slam for two as the fans want Jericho. The Pop Up Powerbomb is countered but Owens escapes Dirty Deeds as well. A superkick blocks the rebound lariat but Dean rolls through into Dirty Deeds for the clean pin at 14:15.
Rating: B. Lack of caring from the crowd aside (yeah fans aren’t that interested in a match with nothing on the line after a three and a half hour taping and no story in sight), this was a good back and forth fight between two people with underrated chemistry. I liked it more than I was expecting to but it was missing something to take it to the next level.
Post match Chris Jericho comes out to hit Owens with a Codebreaker to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This show had the Braun Strowman segment and that alone makes it amazing. If WWE somehow doesn’t capitalize on what they did with that, they’re actually more of a mess than I thought they were. On top of that, if Reigns is seen on TV at any point before Payback (and even then), they’re fools. Good show this week, though it’s mainly due to the Raw stuff.
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