4/8 Powell’s WWE Raw TV Review: The night after WrestleMania 35 edition featuring new Raw and Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, new WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins, new Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor, and new Raw Tag Champions Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on April 8, 2019 from Brooklyn, New York at Barclays Center

[Hour One] Raw opened with new WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins coming to the ring. The broadcast team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young checked in and set up a video package of Rollins beating Brock Lesnar to win the championship at WrestleMania. Rollins soaked up the cheers and a “you deserve it” chant.

“No, no, no, we deserve it,” Rollins opened. Rollins said he’s waited a long time to stand in the ring and hold the title over his head. He said all it took was climbing Mount Everest and beating the most dominant champion in the history of WWE. Fans chanted “thank you, Rollins.” Rollins thanked the fans. He said he’d be real with them for a minute. “I feel terrible today,” he said. Rollins said he feels like he was run over by a Mack Truck. He said he took German suplexes and was rag-dolled around the ring. He said he took every thing Lesnar had to dish out and he got back up.

Rollins said he took some questionable tactics (low blow), but he didn’t do anything to Lesnar that he wouldn’t have done to him. Fan chanted “full-time champ.” Rollins said he heard Lesnar and Paul Heyman were flying to Las Vegas for meetings. Rollins said as far as he’s concerned they can stay there. “Brock Lesnar is no longer the reigning, defending, undisputed” champion. “I am,” Rollins said. He added that he’s a fighting champion who people can be proud of.

Big E’s New Day introduction interrupted Rollins and included a line about the new WWE Champion. Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods came out and a loud “Kofi” chant broke out. Once in the ring, Kingston said Rollins looked really confused. “It’s Monday, not Tuesday,” Rollins replied. Kingston said it’s not the Superstar Shakeup because that doesn’t happen until next week. Big E said they couldn’t wait for Smackdown for the celebration. Woods said Rollins became the WWE Universal Champion. Big E said Kingston won his first WWE Championship match in 11 years. Woods and Big E swiveled to the WWE Champion line and Big E did the full splits.

Kingston said he was backstage watching the main event that was winner take all with his sons. He said it was a great idea for Becky Lynch. Kingston suggested that he and Rollins have a winner take all match on Raw. Kingston said no Shield, no New Day, just the two of them meeting one on one in a title for title match. Rollins stepped up and they went face to face. A “yes” chant broke out followed by a “this is awesome” chant. “Challenge accepted,” Rollins replied…

The broadcast team reacted to the winner take all match and hyped appearances by Becky Lynch and Baron Corbin, and Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins vs. The Revival for the Raw Tag Titles in a WrestleMania rematch. Hawkins and Ryder made their entrance for the tag title match… The WrestleMania 36 video aired for next year in Tampa… [C]

Powell’s POV: A strong opening segment with the surprise challenge of a champion vs. champion match. Will it end in some type of non-finish or is WWE serious about unifying their major championships? I lean toward a non-finish, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out. Meanwhile, it may seem like a little thing, but I like the idea of airing the WrestleMania 36 video the night after WrestleMania 35, as it gets fans thinking about planning a trip at a time when they are still buzzing over this year’s event.

Still shots aired from WrestleMania 35…

1. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins vs. The Revival for the Raw Tag Titles. The Revival entrance was not televised. Cole noted that there were 15,781 fans at this sold out night after WrestleMania edition of Raw. The Revival performed a Hart Attack clothesline on Hawkins going into a break. [C]

The Revival worked over Ryder and showed frustration over not getting a pinfall. The Revival hit Shatter Machine on Ryder, but Hawkins had tagged himself into the match unbeknownst to the Revival. Hawkins rolled up Dawson and held his trunks while pinning him to get the win…

The broadcast team hyped previously announced segments… [C]

Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins beat The Revival in 10:00 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: A good tag match with The Revival dominating the match only to lose in the end. I wonder if The Revival will be moving to Smackdown in the Shakeup and that’s part of the reason they dropped the tag titles and lost this rematch.

Ring announcer Mike Rome gave Baron Corbin a big introduction that included his accolades before referring to him as Brooklyn’s favorite son. Corbin boasted about beating Kurt Angle. Fans responded with a “shut the f— up” chant. “Real classy, New York, real classy,” Corbin said. “I would expect nothing less from a bunch of New Yorkers.” Corbin said he’s used to people doubting him even with his long list of accomplishments. He said he proved that he is better than an Olympic gold medalist. Corbin said he feels like he deserves a gold medal of his own.

Kurt Angle made his entrance dressed in regular clothing. Fans chanted “thank you, Kurt.” Angle thanked the fans. He said that Corbin was the better man the night before and his career is officially over, while Corbin’s is just getting started. Angle said he wished Corbin all the luck in the world and then gave him a left-handed handshake. “Bad luck,” Angle said before pulling in Corbin and giving him an Olympic Slam. Angle put Corbin in the ankle lock, which he released once Corbin was under the ropes. “Later loser,” Young said.

Lars Sullivan’s entrance music played and he walked to the ring while Angle looked shocked. Cole said they’d been hearing about Sullivan for months. Sullivan entered the ring and glared at Angle, who stepped forward and sized hi up while Sullivan jawed at him. Sullivan picked up Angle and slammed him to the mat. Sullivan slammed his chest. Fans chanted “asshole.” Sullivan went up top and performed a diving headbutt. Sullivan’s music played and he left the ring… [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s great to see Sullivan, who is believed to have suffered some serious anxiety issues when he was supposed to debut on Raw months ago. In fact, he reportedly was going to face John Cena in a WrestleMania match before he disappeared. On the flip side, it’s kinda sad that Angle just can’t seem to get a feel good farewell from this company.

An ad aired for the WWE Superstar Shakeup for next week on Raw and Smackdown… A recap of the Sullivan attack on Angle. Graves said this means someone is going to land Sullivan. He added that Sullivan was the hottest free agent at one point and he doesn’t think that’s changed…

2. Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley. A graphic showed a Bliss tweet in which she said Sasha Banks and Bayley squandered their opportunity at Wrestlemania, and adding that she could beat either one of them. Graves played up the idea that Banks can win titles, but she can’t keep them. Bliss won clean following a DDT…

Alexa Bliss defeated Bayley in 2:45.

Graves hyped Becky Lynch appearing later in the show… [C]

Powells POV: A Raw sendoff for Bayley? Either way, it’s nice to see Bliss back in the ring.

[Hour Two] Becky Lynch made her entrance wearing the Raw Women’s Championship around her waist and holding the Smackdown Women’s Championship over her shoulder. A video package aired on the WrestleMania 35 main event. The fans gave Lynch a “you deserve it” chant. She thanked the fans and said, “We did it.” She said she worked in a bar not too far from the arena nine years ago. Fans chanted her name. She referred to herself as “Becky Two Belts” and got a quick chant. She said she walked into WrestleMania with nothing and left with everything.

Lynch said she’s not the strongest, fastest, or most athletic in the company, but she does have a good theme song, which the fans sang. She said that whenever Rousey is done sulking, The Man will be waiting to knock her head off her shoulders again. She said she knows she’s a marked woman, but everyone needs to remember that she’s the redhead in leather ready to knock all their heads off. Lynch’s music played and she started to leave the ring.

Lacey Evans’s music played and she did her runway walk and approached Lynch at ringside. Evans looked at the title belts and smiled, then punched Lynch in the face. Evans started to walk up the ramp, but Lynch went after her and they brawled. They were eventually separated by referees…

Powell’s POV: A good brawl between Evans and Lynch. The runway walk gimmick went on forever, but she’s a good fresh opponent for Lynch and doesn’t carry a lot of the baggage that the other potential challengers do in terms of being booked poorly or having lost a bunch of matches. Lynch’s promo was solid and well received. It’s worth noting that when it came time to show the three count from the WrestleMania match in the video package, the screen simply went black and the next image we saw was of Lynch after she won the title. They didn’t play up the controversial finish, so it appears as though they are simply moving forward, though I assume it will come up again when/if Rousey returns.

Graves hyped Dean Ambrose in his final WWE match against Bobby Lashley, and young hyped the winner take all match between Rollins and Kingston…

Backstage, Charly Caruso asked Rollins why he would accept such a high stakes challenge. He said this is what he loves and he lives for the next challenge. He said he admires that Kingston made the challenge man to man, but he’s also a little insulted because Raw is his show and now Kingston must accept the consequences. Rollins said Kingston better be prepared to bring his A game because B+ won’t get the job done…

Ricochet made his entrance, and then Aleister Black made his entrance going into a break. Black just stood up from the fog and didn’t have the rising platform (weak).. An ad aired for Wednesday’s NXT television show and spotlighted the current champions coming out of Takeover…

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable made their entrance in their matching robes. A pre-taped promo aired with both men saying they are doing to do things their own way now and it will be glorious…

3. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable. There was a commercial break a couple minutes into the match. [C] The fans amused themselves with the wave for a strech. Late in the match, Gable went for a German suplex, but Ricochet landed on his feet. Ricochet performed a Codebreaker and pinned him.

Aleister Black and Ricochet beat Bobby Roode and Chad Gable in 11:05.

After the match, Roode hit Ricochet from behind with a cheap shot. Roode pulled Gable to ringside while Black checked on Ricochet while also glaring at Roode…

Powell’s POV: It’s nice to see them do something different with Roode and Gable. But the Glorious line has completely run its course and I suspect it will be more of a groaner than actual heat now that they are heels. It’s interesting that we saw a fairly tame finisher rather than Ricochet’s 630.

The broadcast team spoke behind their desks. Cole introduced himself and mistakenly pointed at Young and referred her as Graves. He quickly corrected himself and they had a laugh. Still shots aired of the John Cena and Elias segment from WrestleMania…

Backstage, Elias played his guitar on a couch. He said he had the greatest performance planned for WrestleMania, but Cena ruined it with his rap music. Elias said the McMahons gave him plenty of time tonight for his rock opera. Elias said that if anyone interrupts him tonight there will be hell to pay…

Dean Ambrose made his entrance. Graves said we were taking one final trip to the Asylum. Young said she couldn’t believe this was going to be his final match in WWE. Graves hyped Ambrose vs. Lashley going into the break… [C]

A box was shown with smoke or fog behind it. A strange buzzard-like puppet emerged from the box and there was laughter…

Powell’s POV: I assume this is for Bray Wyatt’s return? It certainly grabbed my attention if nothing else.

Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush made their entrance. Rush had a mic in hand but didn’t say anything at ringside. They went to the ring apron. Lashley called for the mic. Lashley told Ambrose not to worry because once he’s gone he’ll make sure to take care of his wife for him. Ambrose and Lashley fought at ringside while Young asked what that means. Cole said it was Lashley playing mind games. Ambrose worked over Lashley and they went to the stage. Rush distracted Ambrose, allowing Lashley to spear him. Lashley picked up Ambrose and slammed him through the broadcast table. They cut to a shot of Young, who then tended to her husband once the heels went backstage. Young asked for help, and a couple of referees walked over to check on him while a “thank you, Ambrose” chant broke out…

Powell’s POV: If I’m ever in need of medical assistance, I can only hope and pray that somehow a WWE referee will be nearby.

A shot aired of Sami Zayn walking backstage. Graves said that Zayn was returning after double shoulder surgery and nearly 10 months away… [C] WrestleMania 35 still shots aired…

The back of Mojo Rawley’s head was shown on the big screen. “WrestleMania was great last night, huh? “Well, where were you? Where have you been?” They showed him looking into a broken mirror with blue vein-like lines on one side of his face…

Sami Zayn stumbled out of the entrance way, got up, and danced his way to the ring. He stood on the ropes and tipped his cap while the fans sang his song and applauded him. Fans sang the Ole song. “Well, hello,” Zayn started. He said that they say if you’re going to miss WrestleMania, then you might as well come back the night after WrestleMania. He said his schedule was wide open and he could really use a match. He asked if they had anyone to face him. Finn Balor made his entrance. Mike Rome announced that the Intercontinental Title would be on the line… [C]

4. Finn Balor vs. Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship. Young returned to the broadcast table and Cole asked how Ambrose was doing. She said she doesn’t think she should talk about it.

[Hour Three] There were dueling chants for Balor and Zayn, who now has a buzz cut hairstyle. Balor performed a nice dropkick for a two count. Balor worked over the left shoulder of Zayn, while Cole called it great strategy due to Zayn undergoing surgery to repair two torn rotator cuffs. Balor caught Zayn with an overhead kick going into a break. [C]

An ad for Smackdown hyped a New Day championship celebration. Back from the break, Graves said that celebration could end up being for Rollins. Zayn avoided a Coup de Grace and then rolled up Balor for a two count. Zayn performed an exploder suplex into the corner. Balor dodged a Helluva Kick. Balor performed the Coup de Grace and scored the clean pin.

Finn Balor defeated Sami Zayn in 11:20 to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

Zayn took the mic after Balor returned backstage. “You know, I really thought that coming out here tonight would cure what ails me,” Zayn said. “All it did was reenforce what I’ve realized over the last nine months. It genuinely seems like you missed me.” Fans applauded. “I can honestly say, from the bottom of my heart, honestly, I did not miss any of this or any one of you.”

Zayn said it turns out that WWE is a super toxic environment. He said it’s not because of the McMahons or any of the superstars, it’s because of “this audience and your ugliness.” Zayn said he lives a meaningful and fulfilled life, but the lives of the fans are so empty and devoid of meaning that they only get joy and satisfaction out of being critics. He looked at a fan and called him a moron and said it’s the only thing that gives fans any sense of importance.

Zayn said they judge everything but themselves. He said they are delusional. “You really think you guys are the voice of reason?” he asked. Zayn said they have become the evil overlords of WWE. Zayn said the right thing isn’t to come back and save WWE or take over WWE, the right thing to do is come out every week and hold each and every single one of the fans accountable because no one else will. “See you in hell,” Zayn said before dropping the mic. Zayn jawed at a fan at ringside. Elias’s guitar strum could be heard and Cole said he was up next… [C]

Powell’s POV: Zayn’s promo was a gem. It will be even more fun if he heels on the fans in his home area in Montreal next week. I wonder if his longtime rival Kevin Owens will be the defender of the fans or if they have someone else in mind for that role.

A graphic boasted about how socially active WrestleMania was… The broadcast team recapped the Lynch and Evans segment…

Sarah Schrieber was backstage talking about Lynch’s title reign when Dana Brooke interrupted. Brooke congratulated Lynch on being the Raw and Smackdown Champion. Brooke said there is a line of women forming to challenge Lynch. She said she can’t say she’s in the front of that line, but she’s not in the back of the line anymore. She said if there’s an opportunity for her in the title picture then she’s going to seize that moment. She once again congratulated Lynch…

Powell’s POV: I think Brooke passed Alicia Fox if only because Fox hasn’t been on television lately.

Elias sat on his stool in the ring and complained about John Cena interrupting his performance at WrestleMania. Elias said he would show everyone how easy it is to rap. Elias rhymed his words and said he was holding up three fingers and the middle one was for Cena. He also said the next one to interrupt him is a dead man. Gong. Elias’s eyes bugged out and the fans popped big.

Undertaker made his entrance and joined Elias in the ring. Elias slowly started to make his way through the ropes and then decided to stay. Elias removed his jacket and turned and faced Taker, who took a couple steps forward. Elias did the same. “Taker’s gonna kill you,” fans chanted. Elias turned as if he was going to leave, then charged at Taker, who gave him a big boot. Taker chokeslammed Elias, then made the throat slashing gesture. Taker performed a Tombstone piledriver on Elias and then did his pose over him while the fans counted. Graves called it a ceremonial burial…

Young hyped the Kingston vs. Rollins match for after the break…

Powell’s POV: A nice treat for the Raw after WrestleMania crowd. I’m still surprised that they didn’t find something for Taker to do at WrestleMania.

Additional still shots from WrestleMania 35 were shown… Ring entrances for the main event. Big E and Woods came out with Kofi, hugged him, and headed backstage while he went to the ring. Rollins came out alone…

5. WWE Champion Kofi Kingston vs. WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins for both titles. Cole hyped the Superstar Shakeup while a graphic for tickets in Montreal was shown. Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Kingston avoided a Stomp attempt at 1:30 and they cut to break. [C]

Kingston caught Rollins with a DDT for a two count at 7:00. Kingston went up top. Rollins followed and went for a superplex, but Kingston tossed him to ringside. Kofi was setting up for a dive when Sheamus and Cesaro ran in and attacked Kingston to end the match. Graves questioned why the Smackdown wrestlers were doing this when the Superstar Shakeup isn’t until next week.

Kofi Kingston fought Seth Rollins to an apparent no-contest in 7:50.

Rollins helped Kingston clear the ring. Rollins took the mic and said he didn’t know what was wrong with them for interrupting the match. Rollins told Kingston they could finish it another time. Fans booed. Rollins said if Kingston is down then he’s down to face The Bar on the spot. More boos. The Bar returned to the ring and the bell rang to start the match…

Powell’s POV: If you’re going to tease a major match and have it end due to outside interference then whoever interferes needs to be a big deal. And while I like Sheamus and Cesaro, they don’t fit the bill. This was cheap and lazy.

6. Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus and Cesaro. The heels worked over the babyfaces for less than a minute and they cut to break. [C] Late in the match, Rollins ran Shemaus into the post. Rollins went back to his corner and tagged in Kingston. Kofi performed Trouble in Paradise on Cesaro, then Rollins landed the Stomp and pinned Cesaro. Kingston offered a fist bump after the match. Rollins thought about it and eventually bumped firsts with Kingston…

Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins beat Sheamus and Cesaro in 9:20.

Powell’s POV: Dot Net Member Don Murphy is at the show and noted that some fans walked out when Sheamus and Cesaro interfered, and many of those who stayed were unhappy. There was a beachball in the crowd that Cesaro popped, and an AEW chant broke out. It’s too bad because WWE did a good job of keeping the rowdy night after WrestleMania crowd happy throughout most of the show until the unsatisfying switch from a huge match to a throwaway tag team match. Despite the bad taste that left, it was a good show with surprise appearances by Undertaker, Lars Sullivan, Sami Zayn, New Day, and, well, The Bar. I will be by later tonight with my Raw audio review. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.

Check below for the new ProWrestling.net Live with Jason Powell and Will Pruett taking calls coming out of WrestleMania 35 weekend.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Court Bauer, who discusses MLW Saturday Night SuperFight, his mindset just days before the company's first pay-per-view, the $19.99 price point, future PPV possibilities, the free pre-show, former WWE and Lucha Underground creative force Chris DeJoseph joining the MLW staff, and more...


Readers Comments (20)

  1. Patrick Peralta April 8, 2019 @ 8:34 pm

    ” They didn’t play up the controversial finish,”….

    not supriseing WWE would ignore the finish of Rhonda having her shoulder up at 1 count. typical of WWE to ingore such things

  2. They also didnt show the pin on Lesnar from Rollins. Just the black screen again

  3. Ugh poor Bayley. Another Victim of the endless parade of average looks with below average talent pushed wrestler of the week.

    • Botchly isn’t anything special. Bliss is a better wrestler and 10x the worker.

      • Patrick Peralta April 8, 2019 @ 10:06 pm

        if Bless is so good she would have been in a match at Wrestlemania.

        I’m not impressed with Bless.

        • Um…no. Bliss has been injured several times this year by low talent hacks and is just getting healthy.

          • She was well enough to wrestle one night after Mania.

          • For 2 minutes without taking a bump. Also, why shoehorn her into a match at Mania when she wasn’t cleared until shortly beforehand and didn’t have an obvious match set up? Just let her bet the best talker WWE has right now and get her back in the ring to start new storylines.

    • For real? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. Alexa is one of the most well-rounded people on the roster, male or female. She’s better on the mic than just about anyone. I’d take Alexa 100x over Bayley, seven days a week.

  4. Maybe next year they will add more time to Wrestlemania in order to give Undertaker his moment on the big show. Maybe we could call Greenwich England and get them to add a few more hours to Wrestlemania Sunday so we can get a 32 hour PPV.

  5. Wwe managed to take all the positive I had and question whether I want to waste any more time on watching them in general

  6. Patrick Peralta April 8, 2019 @ 10:08 pm

    Next person who interrupts me is a Deadman.

    and he was right Cheers Undertaker!!!

  7. An argument could be made that if all they were gonna do was a bait & switch then they shouldn’t have set up winner takes all to begin with. That said, if they had taken the title off of either guy (particularly Kofi) after their feel-good moments at Mania then I would’ve been far more turned off. I think the crowd would’ve felt the same way.

  8. The Bar: Have feuded with the New Day for years and years The

    Internet: Yep no reason I can think of as to why the Bar would attack Kofi.

    Why wouldn’t the Bar come out and attack a guy they were literally battling 3 weeks ago in a gauntlet match. People who are saying “well just don’t book the match” don’t understand how wrestling works. You weren’t promised anything. They never said there has to be a winner.

    These same people who are bitching now are the same ones complaining WWE never puts heat on the heels or lets them do heel type stuff. Everyone loves to pretend the Attitude Era was this flawless time period well guess what, DQ finishes in main events happened all the time back then & you people ate that shit up.

    • Tell me if i’m wrong here, but would it not of made more sense to let Kurt have his happy farewell about the segment with Corbin and instead of the bar interrupt the main event have them go a bit longer and then Lars Sullivan come out and destroy the pair of them for the no contest finish? Establishes him as a monster heel who can take out anyone and i’m pretty sure it would of gone down a lot better with the live crowd than the Bar did.

    • The difference between the Attitude Era doing that and that moment in RAW is that people who interfered back then were in a CURRENT feud and it made more sense for it to happen… The Bar interfering didn’t make sense because for one, that gauntlet match wasn’t a rivalry; a lot of teams were battling the New Day. The Bar has not been in a current feud with New Day. Even if a similar thing happened in the Attitude Era, the interference would be the start of quite a major feud, so I’ll wait to see if that happens.

      2; as the author said, they weren’t big enough to justify an interference in such a high stakes match, but that’s primarily subjective, so to each his own. 3; they interfered on RAW when they’re clearly (at the time I write this) on Smackdown. Overall, most would agree that was an unsatisfying ending to an otherwise great RAW.

  9. The WWE is like your partner in a 30 year marriage. You know what they are, you know what you’ve got. But a couple of times a year they put on something really nice and do their makeup, and you like to imagine that it’s the beginning of something really new. Then they end the night with a bait and switch and an impromptu house show tag team match and you remember they can’t even get through one frigging night without boring your socks off. Same old stuff.

  10. WWE may have a few too many championships. It may be a wise move to unify or drop some of the titles to make the ones that they keep mean more. If every other person on the roster holds a championship than what does it really mean to be a champion?

  11. Rumor has it that Kurt Angle is in the WWE doghouse for some reason and this is why his send off hasn’t really been a happy one. There may be some animosity toward Angle for spending many of his best years away from WWE and only returning there to finish out his career. I and others were expecting Angle to win at WrestleMania and then have a big farewell type celebration the next night on Raw similar to the one that Ric Flair received when he “retired” several years ago, but obviously this did not happen. I’m surprised that the McMahon’s didn’t come out and start singing the nah nah hey hey, goodbye song after Sullivan dropped Angle.

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