By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,402)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired April 6, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] Raw opened with still shots of Drew McIntyre defeating Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36… The Raw opening aired…
Asuka made her entrance while Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton checked in on commentary. Saxton said it was time to hit the reset button in WWE. Phillips said they would show the “shocking footage” of what happened after McIntyre beat Lesnar. Saxton hyped a rematch of the Raw Tag Title match from WrestleMania. Liv Morgan made her entrance…
1. Asuka vs. Liv Morgan. The broadcast team played up Morgan’s win over Natalya on the WrestleMania Kickoff Show. Asuka laughed at Morgan and jawed at her in Japanese before they locked up. A couple minutes into the match, Morgan performed a head-scissors takedown from the apron to the floor. When she got up, Asuka caught her with a kick heading into a commercial break. [C]
The WrestleMania Hollywood video aired for the show scheduled to be held on March 28, 2021 in Inglewood, California at SoFi Stadium. In the ring, Asuka toyed with Morgan, who rolled her up for a two count. Morgan leapt onto the ropes and came off with a Codebreaker on Asuka.
Morgan ducked a clothesline, then fired back with a couple of her own. Morgan continued her offensive flurry and picked up a near fall following a double stomp to the back of Asuka. Morgan reached down to grab Asuka, who put her in an armbar. Morgan rolled onto Asuka, who had to release to the hold to avoid being pinned.
Asuka caught Morgan with a German suplex and a shining wizard and went for the cover, but Morgan put a foot on the rope to break the referee’s count. Asuka caught Morgan in the ropes and went for an Asuka Lock, but Morgan rolled on top of her and got a two count. Asuka continued to work for her finishing hold and eventually applied it and got the submission win…
Asuka beat Liv Morgan in 11:10.
Powell’s POV: A good match to open the show. Morgan gained something in defeat by being as competitive as she was with Asuka, so this didn’t feel like big a step backward from her WrestleMania Kickoff Show upset win over Natalya.
A video package recapped Becky Lynch beating Shayna Baszler to retain the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania…
Footage aired from after the WrestleMania match of Lynch being interviewed by Charly Caruso. Lynch said everything she does it calculated and downplayed the idea that she was on her last breath. She also put over Baszler as incredible, but also said Baszler knows where to find her…
Post WrestleMania footage aired of Baszler backstage. Baszler stated the old ABC Wide World of Sports opening line “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” She looked into the camera and promised Lynch the agony of her defeat…
Powell’s POV: I really liked the brief clip of Baszler selling her frustration and vowing to take it out on Lynch. It fits her character while also having her sell the loss.
Phillips hyped the Street Profits vs. Angel Garza and Austin Theory rematch for the Raw Tag Titles. Saxton hyped the Boneyard match between Undertaker and AJ Styles for later in the show… [C]
An ad for NXT hyped the Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano and the ladder match to determine the No. 1 contender to the NXT Women’s Championship for Wednesday’s show…
Phillips narrated still shots of The Street Profits beating Garza and Theory at WrestleMania, and of Bianca Belair’s involvement after the match…
2. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Austin Theory and Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega) for the Raw Tag Titles. Vega came out dressed in wrestling gear. The champions jumped out to a quick start and hit simultaneous dropkicks on the challengers heading into an early break. [C] Late in the match, Ford went up top, but Vega climbed onto the apron and held his foot to stop him. The referee spotted her and called for the disqualification.
The Street Profits defeated Austin Theory and Angel Garza by DQ in 10:45 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.
After the match, Garza held Ford, allowing Vega to kick him. Bianca Belair’s music played and she made her usual entrance. Once Belair entered the ring, Vega charged her, but Vega simply picked her up and slammed her down. Belair took the mic and questioned if Vega really thought she was going to do something. “I go here now,” Belair said. Belair did her EST bit and then called for Vega to get in the ring. The broadcast team questioned if we’d see Belair vs. Vega after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: This was a repeat from WrestleMania in terms of Belair coming out afterward to counter Vega. Belair really came into her own over the last year in NXT and has all the tools to be a star on the main roster. Here’s hoping the company doesn’t blow it. By the way, what an amazing coincidence that the one time Vega wears her ring gear to stand in the corner just happens to be the night that Belair challenges her to a match.
3. Bianca Belair (w/Montez Ford, Angelo Dawkins) vs. Zelina Vega (w/Angel Garza, Austin Theory). Belair was dominant until Vega dodged her charging at her in the corner. Vega got a little offense in, including a DDT for a two count. Belair caught Vega leaping off the ropes and then overhead pressed her and dropped her. Belair went to run the ropes, but Theory blocked her pat. Ford pulled Theory to ringside and roughed him up. They rolled into the ring and the official called for the bell. The Street Profits and Belair quickly cleared the ring.
Bianca Belair fought Zelina Vega to a no-contest in 4:20.
After the match, Ford took the mic and said they were one day removed from WrestleMania. He said his brother and wife were there and challenged the heels to a six-person tag match. He still wants the smoke… [C]
4. Bianca Belair, Montez Ford, and Angelo Dawkins vs. Zelina Vega, Austin Theory, and Angel Garza in a six-person tag match. The broadcast team quickly explained that the men would face the men while the women could only face one another.
[Hour Two] Belair performed a handspring into the ropes and knocked Theory off the apron, then moonsaulted onto Vega. Garza broke up the pin. Dawkins chased Garza to the back. Belair hit her finisher on Vega and scored the pin.
Bianca Belair, Montez Ford, and Angelo Dawkins defeated Zelina Vega, Austin Theory, and Angel Garza in 5:25.
Powell’s POV: Everything about this sequence of matches felt predictable and drawn out. Still, I’d rather watch this than sit through another throwback match.
The broadcast team hyped the previously advertised segments, then narrated still shots of Aleister Black beating Bobby Lashley. They emphasized that Lana’s advice to Lashley led to him losing…
Footage aired from after the WrestleMania match of Lashley being interviewed by Caruso. Lashley said something makes him feel like he needs new management or a new wife. Lana showed up and was all smiles while asking what they were talking about. “Nothing,” Lashley said before walking away. “What did you to do my husband?” Lana asked Caruso…
Phillips hyped Aleister Black being in action after the break… [C]
5. Aleister Black vs. Apollo Crews. Phillips said Black has only lost twice in the last nine months. Phillips said Crews was an exciting acquisition for the Raw brand and was brought over via draft picks that were about to expire. A couple minutes into the match, Black sat down and crossed his legs in the ring. Crews immediately headed to ringside. [C] At 9:30, Crews kicked Black from the apron, then performed a moonsault on to him going into another break. [C]
Crews performed a nice sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Saxton said this is a breakout moment for Crews. Black fired punches at Black, who hit him with a spinning kick. Crews knocked him down with a clothesline and then went for a top rope splash, but Black rolled out of the way. Black followed up with a kneebar submission hold. Crews reached the ropes to break it. Crews ducked a Black Mass kick and then sent Black to ringside with a kick going into yet another break. [C]
Black caught Crews with a running knee and then a springboard moonsault from the middle rope for a near fall. Crews kicked Black from the mat, then Black fired back with a kick and covered him for a two count. Both men got to their feet and Crews dropkicked Black, then went back to selling a left knee injury that he’d been selling for a portion of the match. Black kicked the bad knee and went to the ropes, but Crews caught him with a kick.
Crews superplexed Black for a two count. Crews pressed Black above his head and then acted like his knee gave out. Crews ate a few punches and then hit another sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Crews pressed Black above his head and dropped him, then performed a standing moonsault for another near fall. Crews went to the ropes. Black got up and kicked him. Black went to the ropes, but Crews dropped him face first to the mat. Crews leapt from the ropes and into a knee from Black. Moments later, Black caught Crews with a Black Mass kick and scored the pin…
Aleister Black defeated Apollo Crews in 27:05.
Powell’s POV: I guess the idea is that Crews was moved as the “future considerations” that were sent to Raw when Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were traded to Smackdown following the 2019 draft. I enjoyed the match, but it’s really tough for someone who has been beaten down as much as Crews to have a true breakout match without the crowd there to rally behind him. Even so, I hope this leads to something more than WWE Main Event matches for Crews.
Footage aired from Edge defeating Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania… Phillips hyped Cedric Alexander and Ricochet as a thrilling new tag team and said they would be in action next. Saxton hyped a look back at the Boneyard Match…[C]
6. Cedric Alexander and Ricochet vs. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan. Ricochet performed a standing shooting star press onto the back of Lorcan. Alexander hit a Neuralyzer on Lorcan, then Ricochet hit him with a Recoil and scored the pin…
Cedric Alexander and Ricochet beat Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan in 3:30.
Phillips hyped a look back at Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens from WrestleMania… [C]
Powell’s POV: Aside from the interviews taped after WrestleMania, this show is ridiculously light on star power, especially for the night after WrestleMania edition.
[Hour Three] Phillips and Saxton spoke while mainstream media headlines (mostly from their pro wrestling sections) touted WrestleMania… A video package recapped Kevin Owens beating Seth Rollins at WrestleMania…
A Kevin Owens promo aired from “earlier today.” Owens stood in a parking garage and spoke about nearly being broken by Rollins and his crew’s beatdowns. He said he asked himself it it was worth it. Owens said when he leapt from the WrestleMania sign and beat Rollins, he got his answer that it was worth it. Owens questioned what’s next. He said that what he does from here on out, he is here to stay and he will keep on fighting because this is the Kevin Owens Show…
Seth Rollins’s entrance music played and he walked slowly into the WWE Performance Center. Phillips said that Rollins looked ticked off, while Saxton said he also looked despondent…
7. Seth Rollins vs. Denzel Dejournette. Dejournette’s entrance was not televised and Phillips said he was from NXT. Rollins was back to wearing his black gear with the single black glove. He worked over Dejournette and hit him with a Stomp and then scored the pin…
Seth Rollins defeated Denzel Dejournette in 1:25.
Saxton hyped Nia Jax as appearing after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Good intensity from Rollins, who made the same slow walk to the back that he did during his entrance.
8. Nia Jax vs. Deonna Purrazzo. Phillips noted that Jax was out for a year after undergoing double knee surgery. Jax dominated the match and said “bye bye” before performing a Samoan Drop. Jax followed up with a DDT and scored the pin…
Nia Jax beat Deonna Purrazzo in 1:35.
Powell’s POV: Jax jumped Purrazzo when the bell rang and stared down at her afterward, so I’m assuming that she’s back in a heel role. It’s nice to see more than a few matches on Raw again, but I wish they would break things up a bit by having some promos.
Phillips set up a recap of the Boneyard Match between Undertaker and AJ Styles from WrestleMania… [C]
9. Humberto Carrillo vs. Brendan Vink. Phillips babbled on about how much the landscape has changed on Raw. Carrillo sent Vink to ringside and went for a suicide dive, but Vink caught him with a big boot from the floor. Carrillo came back and performed his moonsault finisher for the win…
Humberto Carrillo beat Brendan Vink in 3:20.
Phillips said we’d hear from new NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair coming out of a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Can you believe that WWE continued to tout in commercials leading up to this show that the night after WrestleMania edition of Raw is the most unpredictable night of the year? Yikes.
The WrestleMania Hollywood video aired again… A graphic touted that WrestleMania 36 was the most socially active WrestleMania in history with 13.8 million social media interactions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter…
Charlotte Flair beating Rhea Ripley to win the NXT Women’s Championship at WrestleMania was recapped…
Charlotte Flair was interviewed by Charly Caruso coming out of her match at WrestleMania. Flair interrupted Caruso and told her that she didn’t need her to congratulate her. She recalled that her father had custom cars, robes, and suits. Flair said her father told her that it’s the man that makes the suit. She said it’s the woman that makes the title. Flair boasted about all the title she’s won and said now she’s a two-time NXT Champion. Flair said Ripley was alright, but she does what every other woman does by bowing down to the queen…
A video package recapped Drew McIntyre beating Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania… Phillips hyped the “shocking footage” from after McIntyre’s title win for after the break… [C]
The post WrestleMania footage was shown. Drew McIntyre walked to the ring and was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. She noted that it was 20 minutes after he won the title and questioned if the magnitude of what he’s accomplished hit him yet. McIntyre said no. He said he hasn’t had the chance to talk with his family and he’s pinching himself to make sure it’s real. McIntyre pointed out his new belt plate.
McIntyre said he didn’t know where to start so he would just start with the match. McIntyre thanked Paul Heyman. He said Brock Lesnar came to the ring with a look in his eye that said he was ready to go to war. McIntyre said there was a point when Heyman told Lesnar to keep giving him the F5 and that McIntyre would stay down. McIntyre said Heyman doesn’t know him very well. He said his life flashed before his eyes in that moment. He said that whenever he’s been knocked down professionally or personally he has stood up. McIntyre said he stopped getting hurt and started getting angrier. McIntyre said he was going to Claymore Lesnar until he didn’t get up.
Big Show’s entrance music interrupted McIntyre. Big Show headed to the ring dressed in his gear with a referee and then entered the ring with a microphone in hand. “Look at that, man, you did it,” Show said enthusiastically. Show said it’s a big man’s world and McIntyre thinks he’s a big man, but he’s no giant. McIntyre said that’s what he was waiting for. He said he knew where this was going. Show told him that he doesn’t know shit (censored).
Big Show said he wasn’t challenging McIntyre for the title now or at Money in the Bank. He challenged McIntyre to face him. McIntyre said the problem was that he just beat Lesnar to win the title and that’s why he was dressed, but he didn’t know why Big Show was dressed to fight. Show questioned if McIntyre was just a punk. He said he didn’t see an angry McIntyre, he saw fear. “You’re afraid of me,” Show said. McIntyre said it’s not his first day and he’s not afraid of him or anyone. He said Show was trying to push his buttons.
McIntyre said he would say it slowly so that Big Show would understand. “There is nothing you can say that will convince me to fight you tonight,” McIntyre said. Show slapped him across the face. McIntyre removed his title belt and the referee got between them and the match started.
10. Drew McIntyre vs. Big Show for the WWE Championship. Phillips and Saxton were on commentary and said the title was on the line. Show was dominant early and bodyslammed McIntyre. Show barked at McIntyre and continued to work him over. Show slammed McIntyre again and then kicked his back and then yelled about fighting four decades worth of the best the business has ever seen. McIntyre fought back, but Show clubbed his chest to knock him to the mat.
Show performed a Vader Bomb splash for a near fall. Show told McIntyre to stay down. Show chopped McIntyre and said it sucks the wind right out of him. Show fired away with two more chops to the chest, then slammed McIntyre again. McIntyre came back with a bodyslam of his own and went for a cover, but Show kicked out aggressively at two.
McIntyre leapt from the top rope only to have Show catch him by the throat and chokeslam him for a two count. Show went for his knockout punch, but McIntyre ducked under it and hit him with a Claymore Kick. McIntyre covered Big Show and scored the pin. The referee raised McIntyre’s arm to close the show…
Drew McIntyre defeated Big Show in 6:55 to retain the WWE Championship.
Powell’s POV: The presentation of this was lousy. WWE hyped shocking footage a few times, then subjected viewers to a bunch of squash matches and brief post WrestleMania interviews. So how many people really stuck around to see this? McIntyre looks like a fighting champion and all, but the “shocking footage” wasn’t all that shocking. Why not simply shoot an angle at the beginning of the show to set up McIntyre vs. Show as the main event with the goal of keeping viewers engaged throughout the night? I realize that it was probably the only chance they’ll have to do something like this right after a WrestleMania match, but what good is it make if they ended up losing a bunch of viewers before it even aired?
This was such a dull episode that I’m left wondering if the company taped a bunch of matches just in case they were unable to hold tapings for some time, then found out that they will be able to hold tapings somewhere and decided to burn through all of their taped matches in one night. I’m sympathetic to the circumstances and while it started out as nice to see more in-ring action, the match outcomes were highly predictable (including the outcome of the match that went 27 freaking minutes) and featured very little star power. It’s been a few weeks of this now and they still don’t seem any closer to finding the right formula for empty venue shows.
Let me know what you thought of this episode by voting in our post show poll available on the main page. I will be back shortly with my weekly audio review for Dot Net Members. Stay safe.