By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on April 1, 2019 from Washington, D.C. at Capital One Arena
[Hour One] Raw opened with a shot of the WrestleMania sign. Stephanie McMahon made her entrance while the broadcast team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young hyped the previously announced segments. Raw opened with a shot of the WrestleMania sign. Stephanie McMahon made her entrance while the broadcast team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young hyped the previously announced segments. Ring announcer Mike Rome introduced Stephanie, who received more boos than cheers. Stephanie stood on the stage and teased that she was going to add herself to the WrestleMania main event. Fans booed. She told them it was an April Fools joke.
Stephanie announced that all titles will be on the line in the Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair match at WrestleMania. She explained that the winner will take home the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championship and dubbed it as winner take all…
Powell’s POV: This is the best approach. It would have been disappointing if they had announced that the respective champions would only lose their title belts if they were pinned or submitted.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman made their entrance and headed to the ring. Heyman delivered the big introduction for himself and Lesnar. Heyman said Lesnar will take all that Seth Rollins has to offer and then he will take everything Rollins has in life. Heyman reminded fans that Lesnar took Undertaker’s streak, which drew boos. He said Lesnar beat Reigns last year. Heyman recalled Rollins saying that WrestleMania may be his final match. Heyman called that a spoiler.
Heyman said that for those who watch hockey for the fights, NASCAR for the wrecks, and football for the riots, Lesnar will violate and desecrate Rollins. Heyman said that once Lesnar wins, he and Lesnar will go out to dinner to discuss what’s next in Lesnar’s career. “You’re just an afterthought to Brock Lesnar,” Heyman said.
Seth Rollins made his entrance and headed to the ring where Lesnar smirked at him. Rollins said WrestleMania is the biggest match of his career, and it will also be the biggest match of Lesnar’s career. Rollins told Lesnar that no one wants him in WWE. Fans cheered. Lesnar laughed at Rollins. Seth said he knows Lesnar doesn’t give a damn about what anybody wants other than him. “That’s right, buddy,” Lesnar responded. Rollins said beating Lesnar may be improbable, but it’s not impossible. Rollins said he will beat Lesnar and take his title “and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.”
Lesnar walked toward the ropes to leave when Rollins spun him around and kicked him below the belt. Lesnar came back and performed a German suplex. Lesnar set up Rollins for an F5, but Rollins slipped away and low blowed him again. Rollins delivered a superkick and a Stomp on Lesnar, then held up the WWE Universal Championship belt above him. Rollins dropped the title on Lesnar and left the ring… [C]
Powell’s POV: Finally, someone learned from Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, an every other Smackdown wrestler who punched or kicked AJ Styles in the balls. Kidding aside, Rollins was really good here. He was fired up and confident, and he had the fans with him. Likewise, Heyman was good with his initial statement. Will we get the big “spoiler” statement from Heyman tonight or will they avoid it to get people talking?
Rollins was shown walking backstage when he was approached by Charly Caruso, who pointed out that Rollins would be disqualified if he low-blowed Lesnar on Sunday. Rollins said he had it coming anyways…
1. Sasha Banks, Bayley, Beth Phoenix, and Natalya vs. Nia Jax, Tamina, Peyton Royce, and Billie Kay. The babyface entrances were televised, but the heel entrances were not. Phoenix powered up Kay by her arm. Royce broke it up. Banks and Bayley ran in and punched the heel duo, and Phoenix took offense for some reason. [C]
Phoenix speared Tamina through a barricade at ringside. Back inside the ring, Phoenix hit the Glam Slam on Royce and pinned her. After the match, Banks and Bayley held up their title belts while jawing back and forth with Phoenix and Natalya…
Sasha Banks, Bayley, Beth Phoenix, and Natalya beat Nia Jax, Tamina, Peyton Royce, and Billie Kay in 11:40.
Powell’s POV: A nice showcase for Phoenix heading into WrestleMania.
Batista arrived in an SUV backstage. Cole noted that Batista was returning home to D.C. and would be addressing his No Holds Barred match with Triple H after the break… [C]
Batista made his entrance and received a “welcome back” chant. Batista pointed at the big screen without saying a word. A video package aired on Batista’s domination of Triple H over the years while the line “There’s nothing this man hasn’t done in this business except beat me,” was repeated several times. Back live, Batista looked into the camera and said, “Hunter, kiss my ass.” Batista dropped the mic and then stood on the middle rope and played to the crowd for a moment before leaving the ring. Batista went to the stage, blew a kiss to the crowd, and took a bow before going backstage…
Young hyped Kurt Angle’s final Raw match… An ad for Smackdown hyped the Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston contract signing, and AJ Styles and Randy Orton on the Kevin Owens Show… [C]
Powell’s POV: I liked the video package in that it emphasizes that Batista’s domination of Triple H over the years, as it makes him a threat to end his career. It would be nice of Triple H would also sell that possibility at some point, as he’s been joking around and comes off overly confident to the point that the stipulation doesn’t feel important.
Footage aired of Elias strumming his guitar in front of MetLife Stadium. Elias said he will give the greatest performance of his life when he headlines WrestleMania. Elias said there will be no interruptions. He led the crowd in singing “Oh, walk with Elias.” He turned on them by said they need to shut their mouths while he plays. Elias said no one would talk about the famous musicians who played the stadium or the WrestleMania 35 matches, they will be talking about him…
2. Apollo Crews vs. Jinder Mahal in lumberjack match. The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy was at ringside along with a number of wrestlers who will be in The Dre. EC3 stood directly across from the hard camera and looked like he’d rather be anywhere else (can you blame him?). Crews performed a frogsplash to win the match.
Apollo Crews defeated Jinder Mahal in a lumberjack match in 1:35.
After the match, Crews touched the trophy after it was set up on the ring apron. The B-Team entered the ring and stopped him so that they could touch the trophy. In a shocking twist, a big brawl broke out amongst all the lumberjacks and they threw one another over the top rope until Crews was the last man standing…
Powell’s POV: Poor EC3.
Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio were shown talking backstage. Cole said there would be a look back at Angle’s 20-year career after the break… [C]
Angle made his entrance and noted that it was his last night ever on Raw. Angle said he wants everyone to know how appreciative he is for the good times and the bad times. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you,” Angle said. The fans responded with a “thank you, Kurt” chant.
[Hour Two] Ring announcer Mike Rome set up a video package on Angle’s career that aired on the big screen. Angle was emotional after the video and the crowd thanked him again.
Baron Corbin came out and heeled on Angle from the stage. He said Angle can’t go two or three minutes without huffing and puffing. He said Angle can’t hang with today’s stars, especially him. Corbin baked at the fans for filling his social media with comments about how Angle deserves someone better as his final opponent. Fans chanted for John Cena. Corbin told them to chant all they want, it’s not changing. He said Angle would be flat on his back on Sunday.
Angle challenged Corbin to an exhibition match. Corbin walked to the ring, teased entering, and stopped. Corbin said that if he entered the ring tonight then Angle wouldn’t make it to Sunday, so he’d just wait for WrestleMania. Rey Mysterio made his entrance, and Corbin entered the ring to avoid him. Mysterio said someone needs to teach Corbin a lesson in respect, and challenged him to a match. Corbin took a cheap shot on Mysterio, who ended up taking a top rope move from Mysterio and an Angle Slam from Angle…
Backstage, Caruso interviewed Charlotte Flair about the winner take all announcement and putting her title on the line. Flair boasted about beating Asuka, and said she will break Becky Lynch’s leg and tap out Ronda Rousey. Caruso asked if she would lose her cool during the six-woman tag match. Flair asked if she looked worried, but said both of her partners better stay away from her after the match or they won’t make it to WrestleMania…
Ricochet and Aleister Black made their entrance for the tag title match… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Angle video package was well done and featured his WWE greatest hits. For those keeping score, there were no highlights from Angle’s TNA career. The angle presumably replaces the advertised Angle vs. Mysterio match. It’s probably disappointing for the live crowd, but perhaps this is a case of cooler heads prevailing more so than a deliberate bait and switch, as it’s asking a lot of Angle to work as frequently as he has lately at this stage in his career.
3. “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder vs. Ricochet and Aleister Black for the Raw Tag Titles. The Revival entrance was not televised. Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The Revival had the advantage going into an early break. [C]
Ricochet did his big flip dive over the ring post onto both Revival members and got a “holy shit” chant in response. Ricochet and Wilder fought to get back inside the ring. Wilder ran Ricochet into the barricade and then entered the ring. Ricochet tried to follow, but Dawson reached up from under the ring and held his foot to prevent him from beating the referee’s count. Afterward, Black hit both Revival members with Black Mass kicks, and Ricochet performed a 630 onto Dawson…
The Revival defeated Aleister Black and Ricochet via count-out in 11:40 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: That’s more like it for The Revival. It’s rare that a count-out finish feels satisfying, but this one did in that it put heat on the heels and stretched out the program.
The broadcast team hyped Mysterio vs. Corbin, an appearance by Bobby Lashley, and the six-woman tag match…
Ronda Rousey was shown shadowboxing backstage. Caruso tried to interview her, but Rousey said she felt like fighting. She spoke anyway and said Sunday will be judgment day for Lynch and Flair. She added that it could come as soon as tonight if they provoke her…
Roman Reigns was shown standing backstage. Cole said Reigns would appear next… [C]
The WrestleMania video aired. We are six days away… The broadcast team spoke while standing behind their desk. Cole set up a video package on last week’s angle involving Braun Strowman, Michael Che, and Colin Jost…
Tyler Breeze spoke with Alexa Bliss while EC3 stood by. Bliss spoke about WrestleMania while EC3 rolled his eyes. Breeze laughed about Jost and Che. EC3 joined in and said their weekend updates are great. Braun Strowman showed up and asked what they were all laughing at. Breeze pointed Strowman to where he claimed someone was watching weekend updates. Strowman found a couple of guys, called them Che and Jost, and said they could meet him in the ring or he would find them backstage and they would get these hands…
Caruso interviewed Roman Reigns backstage. Reigns said he’s 100 percent clear following the attacks of Drew McIntyre. Suddenly, McIntyre attacked Reigns and barked that he should have said no. McIntyre told Reigns that he wants him to see his face when he closes his eyes at night. After McIntyre was escorted away by a referee and producer Adam Pearce, Reigns struggled to get back to his feet… Riott Squad made their entrance… [C]
Becky Lynch was interviewed by Caruso at the Gorilla Position set. She said Rousey has a God complex. She said when Rousey feels untouchable it’s when she’s most beatable. Lynch said she’s made enemies in the McMahon family along the way, and the only way to make sure they can’t go after her after WrestleMania is if she wins both titles at WrestleMania…
4. Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair vs. “Riott Squad” Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan. Lynch, Flair, and Rousey’s entrances were televised in that order. Cole emphasized that if Rousey, Lynch, or Flair betrayed one another, the perpetrator would be pulled from the WrestleMania main event (hit them both, Charlotte!). Lynch showed no signs of a limp and was in offensive control going into an early break. [C]
Lynch was isolated for a stretch. Flair tagged herself into the match and jawed at Lynch, then Rousey reached in and tagged herself in. Rousey and Flair jawed at one another. Morgan went for a rollup, but Rousey rolled through it and applied an armbar for the immediate submission.
Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair defeated Riott Squad in 7:55.
Immediately following the match, Rousey jumped up and punched Flair. Lynch got involved and security ran out to pull the three women apart. They broke free and eventually several “law enforcement officials” came out to pull them apart.
[Hour Three] Rousey hit one of the cops and ended up being put in handcuffs. Cole said Rousey got caught up in the moment and he didn’t think it was intentional. Lynch punched and kicked a handcuffed Rousey. Lynch was placed in handcuffs. Flair hit Rousey with a forearm. The cops held Flair’s arms behind her, then Flair kicked Lynch. Flair was also handcuffed.
The wrestlers were taken backstage where Rousey broke free and kicked Lynch. The cops put Lynch and Rousey in the back of the same squad car. They looked at one another and then started kicking each other. Rousey kicked one of the windows out. They pulled Lynch out of the squad car. Flair kicked her. Somehow, Rousey got in the front seat of the cop car and drove it into another cop car. Flair ended up throwing a knee at the head of Rousey. Lynch and Rousey were taken away in separate cars while additional cops tried to calm down Flair… [C]
Powell’s POV: That was absurd and super entertaining all at the same time. This was definitely a memorable final(?) segment for Rousey, Lynch, and Flair heading into their WrestleMania main event. I do laugh at the idea that the women would have been pulled from the WrestleMania main event if they would have turned on one another during the Riott Squad match, yet there’s apparently no concern that they won’t be in the main event despite the in-ring and backstage riot. Oh well, it was good, over the top fun.
The broadcast team spoke about the previous angle. Cole said Rousey is supposed to be on NBC’s Today on Thursday, but they don’t know what her legal situation will be…
5. “Heavy Machinery” Otis and Tucker vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable. Lacey Evans did her runway walk during the match. Heavy Machinery won with their Compactor finisher on Gable. Roode looked distraught afterward…
Heavy Machinery defeated Bobby Roode and Chad Gable in 3:05.
A Kofi Kingston video package aired… Braun Strowman headed to the ring to beat up the two guys from backstage… [C] Cole said Rousey, Lynch, and Flair had been taken to a local precinct where they will be booked and processed…
6. Braun Strowman vs. two locals. Strowman referred to the locals as Colin Jost and Michael Che. In a shocking twist, Strowman won after destroying the locals with a double powerslam…
Braun Strowman destroyed two local wrestlers.
Powell’s POV: I just assume the Braun character was one of those guys who grew up watching Mad TV rather than SNL.
Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush made their entrance heading into a break… [C] Cole hyped the return of Marjo’s reality show “Miz & Mrs.” and the rest of WrestleMania week…
Caruso interviewed Lashley and Rush in the ring. She set up footage of Balor beating Lashley and Jinder Mahal in a handicap match to earn the title match. She asked Lashley if he had any concerns going into Sunday. Rush pulled the mic toward him and said it was a fluke and pointed out that Balor didn’t pin Lashley. Rush said their only concern is where the afterparty will be in New York City.
Caruso brought up the rumor that The Demon will show up at WrestleMania. Lashley said he’s been fighting for a long time and isn’t afraid of an Irish fairytale. Lashley said Balor and The Demon are the same and he’s beaten Balor every time. Balor appeared on the big screen and said he’s always been a guy who has had demons. He said his demon will be Lashley’s nightmare. Balor’s image was replaced by The Demon’s and he stuck his tongue out a few times while the Balor theme music played…
Powell’s POV: I can rationalize in my own mind that Balor is playing mind games by using a production trick to “morph” into the Demon persona, but that was still corny.
7. Baron Corbin vs. Rey Mysterio. The broadcast team played up that Mysterio had not wrestled on Raw in over five years. Rome gave Corbin a big buildup by mentioning his golden glove background and WWE accolades, then billed him as D.C.’s favorite son. Corbin caught Mysterio with an elbow as he was going for a move between the ropes. [C]
Corbin worked over Mysterio coming out of the break and made a play to remove his mask. Mysterio came back briefly only to be cut off by Corbin, who hit the Deep Six finisher and scored the clean pin.
Baron Corbin defeated Rey Mysterio in 13:45.
After the match, Corbin headed to the stage where Angle ended up putting him in the ankle lock. Corbin tapped repeatedly. Two referees came out and Angle released the hold.
Cole recapped the women’s arrest angle and some footage was shown, then he delivered a final plug for the women headlining WrestleMania for the first time ever…
Powell’s POV: Lie to us and claim that Angle broke the ankle of Corbin to create the need for a more fan friendly final opponent for Angle. Anyway, the women’s angle was the highlight of a long show. The Rollins and Lesnar angle feels like it was two day ago rather than less than three hours ago. I will have more to say about Raw in my members’ audio review coming up later tonight. Make ProWrestling.net your home for WrestleMania weekend with coverage of NXT Takeover, the G1 Supercard, Wrestlemania 35, and more.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest PCO, who discusses the ROH and NJPW G1 Supercard event that will be held on April 6 at MSG, taking crazy bumps at age 51, what he still wants to accomplish in pro wrestling, and much more.
love how WWE ignores the past no big suprise they allways do. but no mention Rollins beat Lesner and Reigns at wrestlemania couple years back and walked out with the Title. with help from the money in the bank briefcase. no matter how it was done he still beat lesner. LOL
hate to say it Vince Fans don’t forget the past.
It really isn’t the same thing as Rollins cashed in a few years ago on an exhausted Lesnar and Reigns who had beaten the holy hell out of one another so technically they beat each other and then Rollins made the cover and won via cash in. It’s really no different than one guy hitting his finisher on the other in a triple threat match and collapsing to the ground in exhaustion, while the third guy sneaks into the ring and scores the pin on the guy who was hit with the finisher.
Riot squad has been booked too look terrible and idk if there’s salvaging anything unless you leave them off tv for six months plus and repackage them. I’m not a fan of women’s wrestling but I also hate poor booking that devalues talented people. Btw Ronda gives the division legitimacy. Made me care for a minute. She’s a natural.
Becky, Charlotte and Ronda should be the new Riot Squad! That angle was brilliant! That’s a riot for you!
They actually believed that methodical Corbin match and some fumbling from Kurt Angle was the way to end the go home RAW before Mania. They had the women’s riot. No, they said. Baron Corbin – that’ll put butts in the seats.
I still think that john cena will replace corbin during wrestlemania to wrestle kurt angle some how.
I’m starting to think Vince McMahon could have early signs of dementia. He seems to do this same deal every year with Lesnar acting like his WrestleMania opponent has a chance of beating him only to have Lesnar win in basically a squash match in the end just to piss off the fans who desperately want the title off of Lesnar, so there can be a Universal Champion that shows up at least every other week on Raw rather than every six or so months. This is not the fucking UFC, so therefore Lesnar should not have a contract structured like a UFC contract where he shows up once every x number of months/times a year/every other year etc. It’s really WWE’s fault for giving him this kind of contract but it has served to garner heat.