What a week it was! Villanova wins the national championship, the Flyers continue their quest to clinch a playoff spot, Sixers General Manager Sam Hinkie resigns, Phillies open their 2016 season, and the Eagles continue to work out players for the upcoming draft. But of course, the biggest event of the week was Wrestlemania 32.
Now that Wrestlemania 32 is over it’s time to move onto the next big thing on the WWE calendar; the Raw after Wrestlemania. They’re still in Dallas, Texas but at the much smaller American Airlines Center with a sellout capacity crowd of 17,167. It’s an important and fun Raw because it’s a night of Wrestlemania recaps, old feuds wrapping up, new feuds beginning, debuts & returns of WWE Superstars.
The show opens with Vince McMahon walking out to the top of the ramp with a big smile on his face. The hot crowd sings along to McMahon’s “No chance in hell” entrance music. Vince gloated about retaining control of Raw while thanking the WWE Universe for a successful Raw and breaking the Wrestlemania attendance record. And then….
Shane’s music hits to the roar of the crowd thanking Shane for the match chanting “You still got it!” Shane thanks the fans and then offers Vince a handshake because he’s a “man”. Eventually Vince caves in to give Shane the keys to Raw for one night. So Shane almost literally destroyed his body for control of Raw and the next night Vince was nice enough to give him control for one night only? Had a feeling this would continue.
New Day vs. League of Nations in a Wrestlemania rematch. The New Day wins the match but the focus was the kicking out, literally, of Wade Barrett from the League of Nations because he was the weak link. Timing was of the essence because immediately after the dismissal of Barrett the lights go out. The lights go back on and we see the Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman attacking the League. Wyatt, Rowan, and Strowman destroy the League as Bray Wyatt ends it with a Sister Abigail on Sheamus. A face turn for the Wyatts? Or the League? To be continued…
Summer Rae vs. Sasha Banks – Nothing eventful with this match. A quick match with the obvious win for Sasha.
Apollo Crews Debuts on Raw. They’re making it look like a Shane move bringing in Crews so let’s go along with that for now. I slack when it comes to watching NXT but I vividly remember watching Crews. All I can say is “wow”! He’s got strength, speed, and agility. Another sign the future of the WWE looks bright.
Roman Reigns comes out to boos from the crowd. I know the announcers are talking like Reigns is a face but like I said in my Wrestlemania recap just go with Reigns as a heel! It’s okay if Reigns is a heel. Don’t tell the crowd who to cheer for. I loved it when he said he’s not a good guy or bad guy. He is THE guy. When Chris Jericho came out my assumption was the bookers wanted a real heel to compete against Reigns to assure his face status but I was wrong when Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, and Same Zayn came down to the ring. The good news about this segment is Reigns will have multiple contenders to the WWE title besides Dean Ambrose or Brock Lesnar. More importantly, there’s enough contenders until Seth Rollins returns from his injury.
Baron Corbin debuts on Raw telling us he’s not a nice guy and the end of days are near. That sounds enlightening! Hey look! Dolph Ziggler is Corbin’s opponent. Another pinfall job for Ziggler again? Well, a double count out but the feud will continue and he will likely job to Corbin soon. Is this continued proof Ziggler pissed off WWE folks or is he a victim of NXT talent overload? Will he ever get another WWE title shot? It’s a mystery to me.
Zack Ryder comes to the ring. Oh boy! In the back of my head I had a bad feeling he’d be a one day champion. Yep, I called it. It was a mortal lock when Ryder showed the two pictures on the Titan Tron pictures of him as a kid and an adult with Razor Ramon holding the Intercontinental Title. Too bad Ryder’s father was front and center to see it but to me that was another sign Zack would lose the belt. Welcome back Maryse! She looked great! New Intercontinental champ The Miz! I’m done with The Miz but maybe with Maryse by his side I might get back to liking his character.
Next segment was backstage with Renee Young interviewing Kevin Owens. If aspiring wrestlers want to learn how to be a good heel on the mike, this is a good segment to watch.
Lita presents the Women’s Championship title belt to Charlotte with the entire women’s roster in the ring. Nice gesture of Charlotte to firstly thank the fans and promoting the women around her. And then Charlotte goes back to her character amidst the Bayley chants from the crowd.
The crowd could’ve been more respectful to all the women in the ring in recognition of the belt. It reduces their legitimacy and they work just as hard as the male wrestlers. Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks both look disgusted as they eventually left the ring. The rest of the ladies follow suit in disgust. Natalya confronts Charlotte to explain to her about humility. The two go at it as Natalya tries to apply the Sharpshooter on Charlotte only to escape it with the help from good ol’ Ric Flair. Natalya may be the next title for Charlotte?
Usos vs. Dudley Boyz in a Wrestlemania rematch. Yawn! More on this later…..
Sami Zayn is interviewed backstage by Renee Young only to be attacked by Kevin Owens powerbombing Zayn through a table. This could the feud of the year if it continues at this intensity in the upcoming months.
Later….. Another Raw debut as Enzo & Cass pass by the Dudley Boyz. Enzo’s monologue trashing the Dudleys leads us to believe these two will begin a feud. The Dudleys will likely put Enzo & Cass over.
Fatal Four Way: We’re told Zayn is unable to perform in this match after being attacked by Kevin Owens. But alas! Cesaro returns to Raw taking Zayn’s spot. I had Owens winning the match thinking he’s ready to move up to WWE title status but to my surprise AJ Styles won the match. That explains why Styles lost to Jericho the night before. The WWE brass is heavily invested in AJ Styles. It should be an interesting program between him and Roman Reigns.
So the Wrestlemania/Raw doubleheader has come to an end and it’s back to the regular weekly Raw shows and lower level pay per views. HHH and Stephanie McMahon were not on the show. It’s a relief and also not necessary with what they have to work with now. Cesaro’s back and should get more attention in bigger matches. John Cena’s on his way back to Raw on the basis that we saw him the before at Mania. Randy Orton and Seth Rollins are the remaining big stars left on the injured list and we may see them as spring or summer rolls along.
Whether or not Shane “ran” Raw the show flowed pretty well. Next week Dr. Phil will appear on Raw in Los Angeles promoting his son’s band Hundred Handed. Oh boy! I’ll be channel surfing during that segment. Hopefully the storylines continue to build stronger. Thank you for your time and attention!