4/4 WWE Raw results: Powell’s live review of the Raw After WrestleMania with Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, the return of Cody Rhodes, new Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair appears, the “debut” of Veer Mahaan

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,506)
Live from Dallas, Texas at American Airlines Center
Aired April 4, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] Raw opened with a WrestleMania video package… Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary, and Mike Rome was the ring announcer…

Cody Rhodes made his entrance dressed in a suit. He slapped hands on his way to the ring and stopped to hug one fan before entering the ring. The crowd chanted “Cody” and then “welcome back.” Cody teased starting his promo and then hesitated. Another “Cody” chant broke out and he played to the fans.

“So what do you guys want to talk about?” Cody started. “It has been 47 days since the abrupt news that I was a free agent.” He said he chose to remain silent. He said there were defamatory whispers and rumors that were nonsense. He said everyone thinks the decision to return to WWE was difficult. He said it was not. “It was simple, really,” Rhodes said. “The star that left them in the dust.”

Rhodes noted that he signed a multi-year agreement with WWE. A “you deserve it” chant broke out. He said that if there was a glimmer of doubt, the moment he made his returned at WrestleMania and beat Seth Rollins, the doubt was eradicated. Rhodes said he’s an avid reader and he stumbled upon a quote – a man often finds his destiny on the path he takes to avoid it.

Cody pointed fans to the big screen where there was an image of his late father Dusty Rhodes holding up the WWWF Championship on September 27, 1977 at Madison Square Garden. Rhodes got emotional and said that his father was his hero. A “Dusty” chant broke out.

Rhodes said that the title belt that Dusty was holding in the photo eventually became the belt that Hulk Hogan got his hands on. The fans booed. Cody also mentioned Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, “and, uh, Triple H too.” Cody said that photo was on the mantle in his parents’ bedroom until his father’s last day.

Cody recalled telling his father that he didn’t know he was a champion like Hulk Hogan. Cody said his father looked at him with the same eyes that his daughter has and told him that he won the match, but because he won by count-out, he did not take home the championship belt.

Cody said that at eight years-old, he knew that he needed to win that championship belt and then bestow it upon his father and tell him that no one could take it away from him now. Cody said that unfortunately that dream died. He said that opportunity passed. “Or did it?” he asked.

Rhodes said he couldn’t physically put it in his father’s hand, but he could put it around the waist of the American Nightmare. Another “Cody” chant broke out. Cody said his intentions are clear and he’s standing before the fans finally ready. Cody said he’s going to do it. He said he will do it for the fans, himself, his family, and for his father.

Seth Rollins made his entrance and joined Cody in the ring. Rollins played to the crowd as they chanted his song, then turned and looked at Cody, who tossed the microphone over his own shoulder. Cody offered Rollins a handshake. Rollins looked at Cody, smiled, and shook his hand. “Welcome home,” Rollins said before leaving the ring…

Powell’s POV: A good mission statement promo. Cody didn’t speak about Roman Reigns specifically, so I assume his character will get sidetracked in another feud or even multiple feuds before they go to him challenging for the championship. Of course, if they split the titles again, Cody could always end up going for whichever title that Reigns doesn’t keep. The Rollins handshake was an interesting twist. Although Graves was adamant on commentary that it was a sign of respect, I suspect we’ll see a rematch between Rollins and Rhodes, so I don’t think was a case of Rollins turning babyface.

The broadcast team hyped Roman Reigns appearing, Randy Orton, Riddle, and Finn Balor vs. Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Austin Theory, and Bianca Belair for later in the show…

New WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi made their entrance…

A video package aired for WrestleMania Hollywood on April 1-2 at SoFi Stadium in California… [C] WrestleMania still shots were shown coming out of the break…

1. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan in a non-title match. The final seconds of Ripley’s entrance was televised. A graphic listed Dolph Ziggler vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT Championship for later in the show. Banks took out Morgan at ringside with a meteora off the apron. Ripley dove onto Banks. Naomi dove onto Ripley. Naomi rolled Ripley back inside the ring and performed a leg drop that led to a two count. [C]

There was a cool spot with Ripley tossing Banks toward Morgan, who gave her a powerbomb on the way down. Ripley picked up Morgan and tossed her at Banks, who rolled out of the way. Naomi cleared Ripley from the ring. Naomi tagged in and then she and Banks hit the assisted Codebreaker move on Morgan that they used to win the tag titles on Sunday. Naomi covered Morgan for the win.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi defeated Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan in 9:00 in a non-title match.

After the match, Ripley entered the ring and looked frustrated. Morgan tried to speak to her, but Ripley turned and left the ring without her.

Kevin Owens made his entrance and walked past Ripley on the stage and then Morgan as she was walking to the back… [C]

Powell’s POV: It looks like the Ripley and Morgan tag team is coming to an end. Hopefully this will lead to Ripley getting a meaningful singles push.

Kevin Owens stood in the ring and admitted the must have underestimated Steve Austin because it takes someone pretty special to beat him. Owens also claimed that he entered the match with a bad back injury, which he claimed he suffered while lifting “a lot of weights” at the gym the day before. He said he should have went home, but he put himself at risk for the fans to give them a WrestleMania main event. Owens said Austin’s win should be stricken from the record book.

Elias made his entrance to generic entrance music with a completely different boots and trunks look. Owens thought he recognized him as Elias. However, Elias said he’s not actually Elias, he’s Elias’s younger brother Ezekiel. Owens told him to stop lying and said he hates liars. “Ezekiel” told Owens that he must hate himself because he’s a liar and he got Stunned on Saturday. Owens gave him ten seconds to get out of his ring “or else.” Owens counted down and Ezekiel didn’t flinch. Owens simply left the ring…

The broadcast team congratulated Bad Bunny on his Grammy award success… Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance for Dom’s match against The Miz… [C]

Powell’s POV: I honestly didn’t recognize Elias until some fans started chanting “Walk With Elias.” I expected Owens to make more of a splash to get his heat back after his loss to Austin. Of course, the night is young, and he’s such a good talker that he’ll always be able to generate heat.

A portion of Miz’s entrance was televised. A video package recapped Miz and Logan Paul beating The Mysterios, followed by Miz turning on Paul afterward…

2. The Miz vs. Dominik Mysterio (w/Rey Mysterio). Graves defended Miz for turning on Paul by saying that Paul was trying to use Miz to get some of his spotlight. Dom had Miz in 619 position. Dom ran the ropes but Miz stood up and placed Dom in the electric chair position. Miz dropped Dom by the ropes and then hit him with the Skull Crushing Finale for the win.

The Miz defeated Dominik Mysterio in 0:30.

Veer Mahaan(!) made his entrance after the match. Miz rolled out of the ring. Veer entered the ring and kicked Dom. Rey tried to fight him, but Veer put him down with a bit clothesline. Veer followed up with a side slam. Veer eventually put Dom in what Smith called a cervical clutch. Dom tapped repeatedly. A referee entered the ring and then Veer released the hold…

Powell’s POV: I think Dom was supposed to take a bump on the ropes before Miz hit him with his finisher, but he just kind of landed on his feet. Either way, it wasn’t a good night for Dom, who lost to Miz in 30 seconds before being destroyed by Veer.

Smith hyped Roman Reigns appearing later in the show…

[Hour Two] The broadcast team spoke about WrestleMania while some mainstream headlines were shown on the screen… New Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance… [C] More WrestleMania still shots aired…

Belair stood in the ring and thanked the fans for supporting her. She removed her shades and showed off the black eye she suffered from an errant kick during the match. Belair said was there with one eye. She said she realized that it all could be taken away just like that. Belair said Lynch tried to take everything from her, including her hair and her eye. Belair said that she fought to the end with one eye and was there in front of the fans with one eye.

Belair said the fans deserve better than Lynch. Belair said she will be the best champion that she can be. She said she knows what it’s like to have the title snatched away, so she never wants to lose it again. She said she is different after Saturday. She said she is better. Belair said Lynch should consider taking some down time to figure out who she is without the title. Belair said she knows who she is, she’s the Raw Women’s Champion She held up the title belt and some pyro went off on the stage…

Smith hyped the NXT Championship rematch and then a Bron Breakker video package aired… Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode made their entrance… [C] An ad for Smackdown hyped the beginning of a new era with Roman Reigns as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion…

The Omni Hotel in Dallas was shown lit up with the WWE logo…

Bron Breakker made his entrance while Graves explained that WWE officials were so impressed by him that they felt he deserved another crack at the title. Graves acknowledged that Breakker is the son of Rick Steiner and the nephew of Scott Steiner…

3. Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode) vs. Bron Breakker. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Ziggler threw a weak slap at Breakker and then slapped him again before the opening bell. Breakker caught Ziggler going for a leapfrog and slammed him to the mat. He followed up by catapulting Ziggler into the ropes.

Breakker seated Ziggler on the ropes in the corner and joined him on the ropes. Ziggler slipped under him and then crotched him on the ropes. Ziggler dropkicked Breakker, who tumbled to the floor. [C] Breakker performed a dive onto Roode at ringside. When he returned to the ring, Ziggler kicked him and put him down with a Fameasser that resulted in a near fall.

They repeated the spot from NXT Stand & Deliver with Ziggler raking the eyes of Breakker and then shoving him into the corner and hitting him with a Zigzag, but this time it only resulted in a two count. Ziggler tuned up the band. Breakker speared Ziggler and then performed the press into a powerslam and scored the pin…

Bron Breakker defeated Dolph Ziggler in 10:45 to win the NXT Championship.

Bobby Lashley was hyped as appearing after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: So, the idea was for Breakker to lose on Saturday so that he could win the title in front of the bigger Raw viewing audience tonight, which is logical. Unfortunately, this crowd wasn’t nearly as hot for this match as the crowd was for the title match at Saturday’s NXT Stand & Deliver.

MVP stood in the ring and was introduced by the ring announcer. MVP said actions speak louder than words, and the actions of Bobby Lashley spoke volumes at WrestleMania. MVP introduced Lashley, who was cheered by the live crowd. Lashley spoke about his win over Omos. He said he knew that he could beat him if he made a mistake.

Omos made his entrance and entered the ring. Omos said he wanted his rematch and called Lashley’s win a fluke. MVP relayed Omos’s request for a rematch to the live crowd. As Lashley and Omos were eyeing one another up, MVP hit Lashley from behind. Omos held Lashley while MVP slapped him. “You don’t need me, huh?” MVP said. Omos worked over Lashley with elbows in the corner. MVP hit Lashley with a Yakuza Kick. Omos performed his finisher on Lashley…

Powell’s POV: Hey, I was right about MVP and Omos joining forces. But I don’t understand why they didn’t have MVP turn on Lashley at WrestleMania to give Omos a cheap win so that he could have maintained his unbeaten streak. If the feud is going to continue, then why not build to Lashley eventually ending the winning streak?

The broadcast team recapped Rhea Ripley walking out on Liv Morgan after they lost to Sasha Banks and Naomi…

Backstage, Morgan approached Ripley and asked her what happened when they were out there. Ripley said she was sorry and added that she convinced Adam Pearce to give them a tag title shot next week…

Powell’s POV: Hey, Adam, we failed to win the four-way tag title match at WrestleMania, and then we lost clean to the new champions in a non-title match the next night, so can we have a title shot next week? Um, okay.

Queen Zelina and Carmella made their entrances in their WrestleMania gear. Smith said they would face Shayna Baszler and Natalya after the break… [C]

Zelina delivered a promo and blamed Carmella for losing the tag titles the night before. Zelina said Corey Graves is a fool for marrying her. “However, he is a very handsome man,” Zelina said. Carmella ripped the mic away from her and informed Zelina that she wouldn’t be one of her bridesmaids. Carmella said Zelina could be her flower girl instead. Zelina punched Carmella, who went to ringside where Graves comforted her. She calmed down and then made out with him…

Powell’s POV: I guess this means we’re not getting that oddball heel team vs. heel team match? No complaints.

Footage aired from WrestleMania of Vince McMahon beating Pat McAfee with help from Austin Theory, followed by Steve Austin kicking all of their asses…

Backstage, the Usos spoke while standing behind Austin Theory. They said they won at WrestleMania, unlike some people. They also goaded him about losing to an “ex NFL punk.” Theory said he had him beat, but McAfee got lucky. Theory said Mr. McMahon never makes a mistake and claimed to be the best investment that Vince ever made. Theory said Finn Balor might as well be McAfee, “because he’s gonna catch some rounds.” When Theory walked away, the Usos shook hands and smiled because their plan to motivate Theory was successful…

Raw Tag Team Champions Randy Orton and Riddle made their entrance for the six-man tag match… [C]

[Hour Three] More WrestleMania still shots were shown… Smith hyped the appearance of Reigns for later in the show… Finn Balor made his entrance followed by the heel trio of The Usos and Theory…

4. U.S. Champion Finn Balor and Raw Tag Team Champions Randy Orton and Riddle vs. Austin Theory and Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. The heel trio trapped Riddle in their corner and isolated him early on. A graphic listed Edge as appearing later in the show. Riddle rallied and sent Theory to the floor and kicked him from the apron. Riddle set up or a springboard move, but Theory tripped him up. [C]

Late in the match, Theory made a blind tag before Orton performed a draping DDT on Jimmy. Orton struck the Viper’s Pose. Theory did a somersault into a dropkick to take out Orton. Balor tagged in and threw a kick that knocked Theory down. Balor went for his Coup De Grace finisher, but Theory avoided it. Theory set up for his finisher, but Balor slipped out and put him down. There was a series of rapid fire spots involving all six men that concluded with Theory hitting the ATL on Balor and then pinning him…

Austin Theory and Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso beat U.S. Champion Finn Balor and Raw Tag Team Champions Randy Orton and Riddle in 8:25.

The broadcast team narrated shots of Edge beating AJ Styles after a Damian Priest distraction at WrestleMania. Edge made his entrance…

Powell’s POV: The post commercial break action was strong. Theory got his heat back and has now pinned the U.S. Champion and the Intercontinental Champion in his last two Raw matches, and he also pinned Balor in a six-man tag match on Friday’s Smackdown.

Edge stood in the ring with his special lighting while the broadcast team worked in a quick plug for next week’s Raw in Detroit. Edge started his promo by saying that he’s an honest man. Edge said he didn’t expect Damian Priest to appear at WrestleMania. He said it makes perfect sense if you stop and think about it. Edge said thinking is hard for AJ Styles and the fans. Edge said Priest fought his inner self just like he did. He said Priest tried to be an upstanding role model for the fans, just as he did.

Edge demanded that the fans rise for “the man who will be the punishment for the guilty.” Priest made his entrance dressed in a black suit and joined Edge in the ring. Edge asked Priest what it was that caused him take his career back at WrestleMania. Priest said it goes without saying how much Edge has meant to him for a very long time.

Priest said that when Edge was speaking to Styles, it felt like he was speaking directly to him. He said that’s what made it an easy decision for him to pledge himself to Edge, who said it was the best decision of his life. Edge said it was a coincidence that the night he stopped caring what the sheep think same night that Priest took the power back.

Edge said they will pass judgment on anyone who challenges “my message, our message.” Edge said he knows AJ Styles will keep coming. He said pit bulls lack intellect in that they only know fight and they don’t know flight. Edge said Styles has to think of his family and his children.

AJ Styles made his entrance. Priest left the ring and tried to fight Styles, who quickly dumped him over the ringside barricade. Styles entered the ring and got the better of Edge. Styles grabbed a pair of chairs and brought him inside the ring. Priest returned and put Styles down and then kicked him repeatedly in the corner. Priest picked up Styles.

Edge speared Styles while Priest simultaneously swept the legs of Styles with a kick. Well, that was the idea, but Priest never even came close to Styles’ legs. Edge set up for a Conchairto, but producers Jamie Noble and Shawn Daivari and multiple referees ran out and got Edge and Priest to leave the ring…

The Street Profits made their entrance for a match against Alpha Academy… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m still not feeling this new Edge persona, but I do like the idea of adding Priest to his act. Plus, it’s Edge, and he’s more than earned the benefit of the doubt, so part of me just assumes that I’ll end up liking this once it’s fully established.

Chad Gable and Otis were at ringside coming out of the break. Once in the ring, they attacked the Profits. Adam Pearce came out and said that if all four of them wanted to fight simultaneously, all they had to do was talk to him. Pearce announced that the match would be a Texas Tornado match with no tags and no disqualifications…

6. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis in a Texas Tornado match. Ford performed an early dive over the ring post onto his opponents and his own partner at ringside. A “we want tables” chant broke out. The heel duo took offensive control heading into a break. [C]

Otis pulled out a table from underneath the ring and then slid it to Gable and help him set it up inside the ring. Gable put Dawkins on the table. Otis went to the ropes, but Dawkins recovered and shoved him to the floor. Moments later, Ford went up top and was cut off by Gable, who then wanted to superplex him. Ford shoved Gable off the ropes, but he backflipped onto his feet. Dawkins hit Gable and put him on the table. Ford performed a top rope splash that put Gable through the table and then pinned him…

“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins defeated “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis in 8:25 in a Texas Tornado match.

Powell’s POV: I guess this makes Alpha Academy the weakest team in the WrestleMania Triple Threat, as they lost that match and then turned around and lost to the Profits. I dig Gable and Otis, but it does make sense if the plan is to have the Profits challenge RK-Bro in a straight up tag team match.

The broadcast team narrated clips of Roman Reigns beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Smith hyped Reigns appearing after the break… [C]

AJ Styles vs. Damian Priest, Sasha Banks and Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles, and Rey Mysterio vs. Veer Mahaan were announced for next week’s Raw…

Roman Reigns was introduced by Mike Rome as the new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. Reigns made his entrance along with Paul Heyman, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso. The Usos wore their Smackdown Tag Titles and held up the WWE Universal Championship and WWE Championship as they walked to the ring behind Reigns.

Once in the ring, they Reigns was given his two title belts and then all three men held up their respective title belts. Reigns handed off his belts to Heyman. Reigns stood in the ring and listened while the fans booed and then others chanted his name. Heyman slipped Reigns the mic and the crowd was quiet.

“I know what you want,” Reigns said. “We all know why you’re here, but we gonna switch things up just a bit.” Reigns asked Heyman to explain The Bloodline’s success. Heyman touted the Usos as the longest reigning tag team champions in the history of Smackdown.

Heyman listed Roman’s main event box office accomplishments from over the last year and said there was a 58 percent increase for WrestleMania viewership on Peacock compared to last year. Heyman introduced Reigns as the single biggest star in sports entertainment and said it is undisputed.

Reigns said that what’s good for him is good for WWE. He said the billion dollar deals are coming easy with him as champion. Reigns said he’s the last needle mover because he’s constantly operating at God Mode. Reigns also said he’s a man of his word in that he called his shot and delivered when he said he would smash Brock Lesnar.

Reigns said that’s the past. He said other men would hang their hat on this weekend, but he’s never content. Reigns said he’s a progressive Tribal Chief. He said they would let everyone know what the next step is on Friday’s Smackdown. Reigns told the Dallas crowd to acknowledge him. The Bloodline posed in the ring to close the show…

Powell’s POV: Well, that wasn’t the hottest ending to a Raw After WrestleMania that we’ve seen. It was basically a nudge to watch Friday’s Smackdown along with Heyman singing the praises of Reigns. In fact, this was hardly a hot Raw After WrestleMania. There were no call-ups, and Elias/Ezekiel was the only real surprise unless you count the NXT Title change. It wasn’t a bad show, it just felt more routine than a lot of post Mania shows have.

Furthermore, the live crowd wasn’t a factor like it has been in past years when fans hijacked shows. While things are not perfect, this tells me that WWE is keeping their most passionate fans happier than they did in the past. Granted, some of their disgruntled viewers may have moved on, but the company delivered a strong WrestleMania weekend and there’s not as much for the fans to rebel against like there was when Reigns was miscast.

I will have a lot more to say about Raw in my audio review for Dot Net Members and Patreon patrons later tonight. Let me know what you thought of Raw by grading it below.

WWE Raw Poll: Grade the April 4 night after WrestleMania 38 edition

 
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Readers Comments (13)

  1. Wait!
    Did I hear that right?
    The NXT title is being defended tonight?!

  2. TheGreatestOne April 4, 2022 @ 7:50 pm

    Gotta love Elias walking out there looking like an early 80s territory upper midcarder ala Jeff Gaylord.

    They should call him the Penultimate Warrior.

  3. Thegreatestdump must work for WWE. Defends the product to his death even tho it’s sh*t

  4. Haha thegreatestdump? I love it

  5. TheGreatestOne April 4, 2022 @ 8:43 pm

    Breakker winning tonight was the bad part of the formula. WWE telegraphs that too often.

  6. TheGreatestOne April 4, 2022 @ 9:12 pm

    Just a heads up, but when the 403 errors hit, the Favicon in the browser tab reverts back to the one from your old layout. Might be something that got missed in the redesign.

  7. Im sorry to me raw sucked. I thought it was boring and nothing happed. The only good part was Cody.

  8. I was waiting for Bayley or Asuka or maybe even Bliss to come out while Bianca was out there,but who knows what the plans are for any of them.

  9. This show was so hilarious.

    Cody had a good promo. At least they are treating him like a proper star

    A good 6 man tag; Theory is looking great.

    Ezekiel? Are you kidding? Terrible idea. Lame name.

    Profits vs. Alpha was peak hilarity. Maybe I was just high…. The match was strange. The crowd was dead even tho Ford almost killed his own partner. There was such a slow stretch with guys standing, falling, not knowing what they were doing. Tables saved this terrible match in the end

    Awkward exchange with Edge Priest and the crowd. “we don’t care”. Nice! That’ll show the powers that be. Edge calls them losers. “We are losers”. Okay nevermind. Such a monotone promo with zero fire from these guys. I love the Edge character but they can speed this up a little. Then NOBODY comes out to save AJ Styles? Really? Jamie Noble is here for the save and even gets a chant. Send Ricochet out here for a pop and nice moment

    Reigns comes out and says nothing. What a fucking terrible ending

  10. For a Raw after Wrestlemania there wasn’t much creativity going on with this show.I didn’t expect the entire NXT roster to be called up or Austin to come out,but something other than a blank Elias.

  11. TheGreatestOne April 5, 2022 @ 12:31 am

    WWE finally realized the post Mania Raw audience isn’t their core audience and didn’t waste anything important on them.

  12. Holy crap. For a show that usually gives us resets, surprises, new faces, and more, we got people wrestling who have wrestled each other non-stop since the Rumble, an awful looking Tom Zenk (I mean, Elias, or whoever he’s supposed to be now), Vince’s favourite stereotypical non-American ethnic villain, and…..that’s it? Dear god. They aren’t even trying anymore.

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