The Raw Deal – 4/4/2017

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What a Wrestlemania! We’re hot off “The Ultimate Thrill Ride” and are gathering ourselves at the gift shop that is Monday Night Raw. Are you ready? Let’s BREAK IT DOWN!

WRESTLEMANIA 33

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Some monumental happenings took place at WWE’s 33rd annual Wrestlemania. Familiar faces made surprise appearances, parties that fans never dreamed they’d see step foot in a WWE arena let alone a ring did just that, and an era came to an end.

  • Neville (c) defeated Austin Aries
  • Mojo Rawley won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal by last eliminating Jinder Mahal
  • Dean Ambrose (c) defeated Baron Corbin to retain the Intercontinental Championship
  • AJ Styles defeated Shane McMahon
  • Kevin Owens defeated Chris Jericho (c) to win the United States Championship
  • Bayley (c) defeated Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and Nia Jax to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
  • The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy) defeated Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (c), Cesaro and Sheamus, and Enzo Amore and Big Cass to win the Raw Tag Team Championship
  • Nikki Bella and John Cena defeated Maryse and The Miz
  • Seth Rollins defeated Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon)
  • Randy Orton defeated Bray Wyatt (c) to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
  • Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeated Goldberg (c) to win the WWE Universal Championship
  • Naomi defeated Alexa Bliss (c), Carmella (with James Ellsworth), Mickie James, Natalya and Becky Lynch to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship
  • Roman Reigns defeated The Undertaker

 
This was one of the better Wrestlemanias of the past few years. The New Day, our hosts, came out in Final Fantasy inspired garb which entertaining, but weakened if only by the fact that everyone turned up their costuming for the event.

AJ/Shane was much more entertaining than it had any right to be. I’m glad that WWE has trusted AJ so much during his run thus far. Being full time once again, I think Shane realized that having a death-defying spot in each of his matches is unrealistic and leaves little room for him to actually pull out all the stops when the situation calls for it. The match was fun, told the story, and featured some pretty cool moments from the two.

The Raw Women’s match had some great spots. Overall, it was impressive to see Nia Jax stand toe-to-toe, albeit briefly, with these NXT legends. Bayley getting the win was a great moment for her, and I hope this means they’re going to evolve her character from a superfan/little sister.

In a shocking turn of events, the Hardy Boyz returned to the WWE and competed in the (now) Fatal Four Way for the Raw Tag Team Titles. All of the old moves were there with a little BROKEN flair thrown in for good measure. Also, credit to New Day for the misdirect. Kofi oiled up like it was time to fight and everything.

Cena & Nikki vs Miz & Maryse had a lot to live up to after the Hardy surprise. Fortunately, it was a solid, storytelling match that had a great buildup thanks to Miz & Maryse’s fantastic promos and their “Total Bella Bull****” vignettes. After winning the match, John Cena finally proposed to Nikki. Storyline-wise, I wonder if he still would have gone through with it if they lost…

Seth Rollins took on Triple H which was decent. Seth was selling his recently rehabbed knee, but looked to be in good condition throughout. After inadvertently causing Stephanie to fall through a table due to a Triple H ricochet, Seth took home the win. My question, with Triple H and Stephanie all banged up, who’s watching the kids? Grandpa Vince?

Orton/Wyatt definitely seemed like the low point of the card as Bray attempted to win the match using an overhead projector and footage from NatGeo. Seriously. With Orton taking home the win, I’m curious to see what they decide to do with Bray next.

Lesnar/Goldberg was necessary. These two mountains colliding once again was inevitable, but fortunately Paul Heyman was along for the ride as well as a better booking agent. Even with their limited movesets, this match was head and shoulders better than their first tussle. With Lesnar winning the title, the only question left for him is “who’s next?”

Naomi finally got her Wrestlemania moment. Having overcome an injury, setbacks, surviving the Divas era, and having some stiff competition by hungry up and comers, Naomi won the Smackdown Women’s Championship on her own terms. In tears after the match, the entire crowd seemed to be celebrating right along with her. There was some concern over Mickie James’s Native American garb, but it turns out she’s part of the Powhatan tribe.

In the main event, Roman Reigns took on Undertaker in his final match. After taking the Deadman down, Reigns walked off in a sea of fireworks and flashing lights leaving the vet on his back in the middle of the ring. Sitting upright, viewers were shown a short recap while the legend put on his trademark garb once again. Symbolically throwing down his gloves, folding his duster, and placing his hat on top of the pile, the Undertaker was signifying that this would be his final time competing in the ring. One can only wonder what’s next for Mark Calaway.

MONDAY NIGHT RAW

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A few important notes from the following episode of Monday Night Raw…

Vince McMahon announced a “Superstar Shake-Up” that promises to see certain competitors traded between brands. Having teased Sami Zayn switching to Smackdown in the past, this is sure to come up again.

Shortly after that, Vince revealed that with Stephanie benched for the time being, a new General Manager would be needed. That man is Kurt Angle! Thrown straight into the mix, Angle handled business backstage for the remainder of the night and interacted with several superstars that he’d never been on screen with before.

Pledging to find a replacement for the ambushed Chris Jericho for Raw’s main event, Kurt’s first night was incredibly memorable thanks to bringing back the one and only Finn Balor! Teaming up with Seth Rollins against Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe, Balor looked great.

JIM ROSS SIGNS 2-YEAR CONTRACT WITH WWE

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Saying Jim Ross is going through an incredibly difficult time right now is an understatement. That’s why the news of Ross signing a new deal with WWE is so bittersweet. A lynchpin in WWE’s commentary team for several years and the voice behind pivotal events unfolding in the ring, Ross has signed a new 2-year deal with the company after calling the Undertaker’s final match at Wrestlemania. Jim said that he’s only contracted for limited events, but is willing to help out where the company sees fit. It’s good to have you home, JR.

That’s all for this week, but be sure to check out the new Married Marks podcast for more!

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