WWE RAW – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 04/04/2016

Vince/Shane

The fans gave Shane the respect he deserves after the mad stunt he performed the night before. This caused Vince to give Shane the rule over RAW. Even if it’s a “temporary” situation, it makes you wonder what the point of the Taker match was. It appears that there were no real stakes for Shane because he was going to get what he wanted anyway.

Then again, this opens the question what Stephanie will think of this. She wouldn’t be impressed by the idea of having Shane as a RAW GM. But Stephanie, alongside her husband Triple H, were notably absent from the RAW after Mania. I guess, Hunter’s rematch clause will be forgotten, much like KO’s.

The audience would have liked to see more of Shane but we had to do with this brief segment and a few even shorter backstage cameos by the new RAW GM.

New Day def. League of Nations

When you think that the New Day couldn’t get more bizarre, Xavier Woods ceremonially raises a piece of giant Booty’O cereal above his head while singing the Circle of Life. Even though I disapprove of some of the changes in the New Day’s gimmick, this one completely caught me off guard.

The match itself was only a closure of this feud and a prelude to some new storylines. It has to be noted, though, that Kofi was incredible. Both his offensive and the hard bumps he took were impressive.

King Barrett got kicked out of the League of Nations. That, sadly, seems to confirm the rumors that he’s leaving the WWE after the end of his contract. Barrett could have been a much bigger star and it will be a shame to see him go.

After the royal burial the Wyatt Family got at WrestleMania, they came back strong on RAW. Against the League of Nations, The Wyatts will definitely be face, or tweener, at least. It would be interesting to see Bray Wyatt against the Authority, though. He could be dangerous; he has men of his own. It could be an interesting rivalry.

Sasha Banks def. Summer Rae

Summer cut a promo on Sahsa before the match and I have to say that Summer is underrated on the mic. She’s confidant when she talks and she’s very expressive in her acting.

The bout was short and it was hardly a retribution for the disappointing WM loss of the Boss. At least, Summer didn’t job when she went down. The fight was short but not disastrous.

Apollo Crews def. Tyler Breeze

Just seeing the participants in this match makes me happy. It’s an entirely NXT fight. Too bad that Tyler never got a chance on the main roster.

It was Apollo’s debut but the crowd was firmly behind Breeze. The guy’s popular, regardless of what the main roster officials might think. If the fans can get behind him, despite the odd gimmick, why wouldn’t the WWE, too?

Otherwise, nothing bad can be said about Crews’debut. He was inhumanly athletic, as usual and he never lost the big friendly smile. Apollo has everything to be a proper baby face.

Roman Calls For A Challenger

Roman obviously got booed. No one expected any less. What caught my attention was that Roman didn’t try to please the crowd. He didn’t ignore them either. He didn’t claim to be a good guy, in his words he’s “THE guy”. That to me looks like the beginning of a heel transition. You have to look for the signs.

Even though I realize it’s early, after “THE guy” reference, I hoped to hear Seth Rollins’ music hit. Evidently, I didn’t get that but the superstars that did answer Roman’s challenge were all the more exciting.

Interestingly, Roman didn’t get involved. He took the stance of a champion that others need to scratch and claw to get to. He arrogantly waited for them to finish each other off, only to put in the final blow. Reigns has never been so close to turning heel in his entire solo career.

Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler

I was excited about Baron Corbin’s debut. Ziggler was a good opponent because there is no man that Ziggler can’t make look good. Baron didn’t need much help though. He has improved immensely.

What I liked is that it wasn’t a squash match and it didn’t end with a pinfall. A pin would have been too easy and forgettable. Baron Corbin made his debut in an uncontrollable, violent ringside fight that resulted in a double count out.

The only problem is that the WWE is full of talent but lacks sufficient amount of titles for most of the superstars to get decent exposure. Corbin might get stuck in the same midcard position he had on NXT.

The Miz def. Zack Ryder

When Miz interrupted Zack’s heart-warming speech, the only thing I could think about was a youtube comment I saw the other day, posted under Zack’s victory video – “He’s going to lose it tomorrow, isn’t he?” And sadly, he did lose it.

On the mic, Zack totally cracked me up with “It sucks to be you, bro!” In the ring, Ryder was very collect and technical. It seemed like he truly deserved to win. Unfortunately, he’s been a jobber for so long that when he kicked out the first time, I was amazed that he didn’t get pinned straight away.

Involving Maryse and Zack’s dad was a strange choice but it gave some sort of a twist to the match. They could have simply booked Ryder to lose fair and square. This helps him save face.

A thought that’s bothering me is that next time Ryder and Miz meet with a rematch, Zack will win, causing the IC title to bounce off between unimportant, forgettable reigns.

A good question to ask here is if Maryse is coming back. I’d guess no. The most I picture her doing is being Miz’s valet for a while.

WWE Women’s Title Official Presentation

This is probably the biggest change to come out of WM32. There is no Divas Title any more. The Women’s Championship means respect.

Charlotte’s narcissism made everyone else simply leave the ring in a silent protest. It would have been more fun if all girls had jumped her instead but then we wouldn’t have had the Charlotte vs. Natalya feud.

A Hart vs. a Flair, it’s an iconic rivalry and it was simply begging to happen. Also, Natty deserves to be champion. Even though, I like Becky and Sasha, I won’t complain if Natalya is the one to dethrone Charlotte. Natty’s been underappreciated for far too long.

Puerto Rico Card

Primo and Epico seem to have a new gimmick. As bad as it looks, it’s still better than the Los Matadores idea. Nothing can be worse than being in those identical pink bullfighter suits.

The Dudley Boyz def. The Usos

The Dudleyz got their retribution. In reality, the Usos defeated themselves but that’s just a technicality. The fact is that the ladders match should have happened at Mania. Why it didn’t is beyond me.

Enzo & Cass Debut

Finally, the WWE Universe got to see the long-awaited debut of Enzo and Cass. It didn’t get to a physical altercation but just listening to Enzo working the mic was more than enough. It’s hard to imagine how he ever comes up with the stuff he says at the speed he does it.

With that addition, the main roster tag team division got so much more interesting.

Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles vs. Jericho vs. Cesaro

After Kevin Owens attacked Sami Zayn backstage, the fourth spot was left open. We all knew it was going to be someone big and the WWE didn’t disappoint. Cesaro, dressed in a stripping suit, was a crowd-pleaser.

The match was brilliant. The quality of the wrestling was impeccable and the intrigue was alive throughout because it could have been anyone’s game. Every close call got the crowd on their feet because it was impossible to predict the outcome.

Giving the #1 contendership to AJ Styles was the high-point of the night. The fans couldn’t have been happier. However, we have to think of what will come and what will come is most probably Roman Reigns defeating AJ Styles at Payback. There’s no way Roman’s entering this as a baby face against Styles and it’s the perfect chance to officially have himclose the PPV as a heel.

 

What are your impressions from the RAW after WrestleMania? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!

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