Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 04/11/22 Review

wwe raw deal april 11

This week’s WWE Raw featured Cody Rhodes taking on The Miz, AJ Styles was looking for revenge against Damian Priest and more.

I wrote a column/blog all about the way WWE loves changing the names of their superstars and why it doesn’t really bother me because they have been doing it for decades. People hate change, but we get used to it and adapt. It’s how life works. Change is inevitable.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1507 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Little Caesars Arena. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

Raw began with a recap of Cody Rhodes making his successful return at WrestleMania 38. It also showed highlights of Cody’s speech that began last week’s Raw.

There was a shot of the crowd in Detroit as Jimmy Smith welcomed us to the show and The Miz made his entrance to host his talk show. Jimmy was joined on commentary by Byron Saxton and Jerry “The King” Lawler, who was sitting in for Corey Graves. Corey is off due to being on his honeymoon after marrying Carmella a few days ago. Congrats to Corey and Carmella on their marriage.

Miz TV with Cody Rhodes

The Miz was in the ring hosting his talk show with the black carpet in the ring along with a couple of chairs. Miz talked about how great he was. The fans booed him, so Miz said: “Your opinion doesn’t matter since you cheer for the Lions.” Miz is a Cleveland Browns fan, so he knows bad NFL organizations. The Lions are worse than the Browns, though. Anyway, Miz introduced Cody Rhodes.

Cody Rhodes made his entrance wearing a blue suit. Big ovation for Cody, who got his full entrance with the “Kingdom” song and the “American Nightmare” logos everywhere.

Miz ripped on Cody for spending the pyro budget and spending 45 minutes to get out there. Miz wondered if that’s the kind of person that Cody is now. Cody said that it has been a long time since he got to be in front of a crowd like this. There were “Cody” chants, which annoyed Miz, who wanted to get started. Miz said that last week on Raw, Cody explained why he returned to WWE – he wanted to make his late father Dusty Rhodes proud. There was a “Dusty” chant. Miz said that he’s got to be honest, if it wasn’t for Cody’s family name, he wouldn’t be the grandson of a plumber, he would just be a plumber. Cody said that being a plumber would be good because Miz is completely full of…and Cody stopped himself. Cody told Miz he hasn’t changed at all. Cody said that Miz is arrogant, obnoxious and a full-blown carny that embraces it, so that makes him reliable. Cody asked Miz if Cody looked the same. Cody asked Miz what do you think he’s been doing for the last six years? Cody said he needs to win the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship belt. Miz: “It’s a title, a belt holds up your pants.” A Vince line!

Miz said that he heard that Seth Rollins wants a rematch with Cody. Miz said he doesn’t like Cody’s chances and he doesn’t like Cody’s chances against Miz. That led to Miz complaining about people talking about Cody at WrestleMania, but unlike him, Miz didn’t surprise his opponents. Miz was fed up with the crowd chanting for Cody. Miz said he singlehandedly destroyed The Mysterio Family and then he embarrassed Logan Paul. Miz said he knows where Cody has been and we all know where he has been. Miz said that this is his show and Cody can’t embarrass him on his show while adding he will not stand for that. Cody told Miz to settle down. Cody said he respects Miz and all of his accomplishments here. Cody said he gets the sense that this hostility is maybe because Miz feels a bit threatened by Cody. Cody said that Seth gave him a great fight and if he wants a rematch, he’ll be happy to oblige. Cody said he’s not surprised by Miz making this personal. Cody said he came back to beat the best wrestlers (Miz corrected him saying “superstars”) and Cody said he was looking forward to his first Raw match in six years here tonight. There was another “Cody” chant. Cody said: “May the best man win.” Cody put the microphone against Miz’s chest, then Miz charged and Cody sent him out of the ring. Their match is later.

Analysis: It was a good talking segment to set up their match later. The match was already announced, but it was effective in terms of having Miz get some heat by trying to rip on Cody while putting himself over and Cody stood up to Miz’s bullying techniques to show that Cody is going to stand up for himself. Funny how Cody said belt, so Miz corrected him by saying title (“a belt is what holds up your pants”) and when Cody said “wrestlers” that’s when Miz corrected him saying “superstars.” WWE lingo matters, pal. Cody is a bit rusty while Miz is used to it, of course. (As I edit this on Tuesday morning, it has been reported that Cody was scripted to phrase things that way and it was not a legit mistake by him.)

There was a clip from Smackdown with Roman Reigns telling The Usos to go to Raw to unify the Tag Team Championships.

Dominik Mysterio made his entrance for a match against Veer Mahaan. There was no sign of Rey Mysterio, who was advertised against Veer in a match all week.

(Commercial)

Veer Mahaan made his entrance for his “debut” match if you ignore the fact that he wrestled for about two months last summer. Then he got drafted to Raw in October and was kept off Raw for seven months. Veer attacked Rey and Dominik last week.

Veer Mahaan vs. Dominik Mysterio

Dominik got in a chop, but then Veer ran him over with a shoulder tackle and a forearm to the back. Veer sent Dominik into the ropes leading to a jumping body attack. Dominik with a kick to the chest, a kick to the head and Dominik sent Veer out of the ring. Dominik jumped onto Veer on the floor, but Veer caught him and sent Dominik into the barricade. Veer with a clothesline on the floor. Back in the ring, Veer hit another lefty clothesline. Veer applied the Cervical Clutch submission pulling back on the head/right arm and Dominik tapped out. It went just under two minutes.

Winner by submission: Veer Mahaan

Analysis: 1/2* A squash match to put over Veer in a big way. Dominik sold it well. It was just a beating for Veer. Those lefty clotheslines from Veer do look good. I think the finisher needs a better name, so hopefully that changes in the weeks ahead.

Post match, Veer Mahaan applied the Cervical Clutch submission on Dominik again Referees and officials/producers like Shawn Daivari and Petey Williams checked on Dominik. Veer let go briefly, then he applied the Cervical Clutch on Dominik again. Veer was pulled off and he left. There were EMTs that ran out with a board to put Dominik on it while Veer left making angry faces. They put a neckbrace on Dominik in the ring. That led to a break.

Analysis: It puts over Veer as a ruthless, dominant heel. They might book him strong for a few months, but I don’t know how long it will last.

(Commercial)

They replayed Veer’s destruction from before the break. Dominik Mysterio was shown being loaded into an ambulance.

Veer Mahaan was interviewed by Kevin Patrick, who asked why Veer attacked Dominik after the match. Veer: “I strike fear into the heart of any man.” Dominik was shown driven away in an ambulance.

There was a video shown of AJ Styles getting beat up by Edge and his new buddy Damian Priest last week on Raw.

AJ Styles was shown earlier in the day being interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. Styles said he was afraid of what he might do to Edge and Damian Priest. Styles said that he knows it wasn’t smart going after two of them last week, but Edge talked about his family and that made it personal. Styles saw Priest, so Styles went after him in the backstage area. It was broken up by officials. Styles faces Priest up next.

Analysis: The WWE Officials are busy this week breaking up fights. This was “earlier in the day” but still, that’s back-to-back segments for fights being broken up.

(Commercial)

AJ Styles made his entrance first for singles action as we got another replay of the Styles/Priest fight from earlier in the day. Damian Priest made his entrance in all black gear which is a bit different than what he wore when he was a face.

Damian Priest vs. AJ Styles

Styles and Priest exchanged strikes, Priest stunned Styles with a punch and a kick to the body. Styles came back with a punch followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Styles with a kick that sent Priest into the ring post. Styles with a forearm on Priest on the floor that sent Priest over the barricade. Styles back in the ring to break the count and then Styles jumped over the top with a forearm to the face leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Priest was in control after he sent Styles face first into the middle turnbuckle. Styles did a great move off the ropes with a leap right into a reverse DDT. AJ does that move often and it usually looks better, but the end result was fine. Styles did a combination of strikes followed by a running forearm. Styles with a jumping clothesline in the corner. Styles hit the Ushigoroshi off the shoulders that sent Priest’s head into the knee leading to a two count for Styles. Priest shoved Styles into the turnbuckle, Priest with the bell clap around the head, and Priest hit a lifting flatliner for a two count. Priest with kicks to the chest along with kicks to the back and Priest went for The Reckoning, but Styles got out of it and hit a Pele Kick to the head. Styles with a forearm, Styles went for a jumping kick by the apron and Priest knocked him off the apron to the floor. Priest posed in the ring on one knee, the lights went out in the building and then there was a purple spotlight on Priest, who looked towards the hard camera. They went to break there. That’s the end of the match? I guess so.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: ** I thought the match was going to continue after the spotlight went on Priest, but I guess I was wrong about that. A weird way to end the match without a finish. Why not have Priest get DQ’d or something and then do the pose with the purple light? Strange ending. Styles will continue having to deal with Edge and Priest after this. Bad finish because it’s telling your audience that you had no intention of booking a match ending. It just stopped. I thought it was dumb.

(Commercial)

The announcers made it clear that what happened before the break was the end of the match.

AJ Styles was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber with Styles saying he didn’t know what that was. Styles said he wasn’t done with him. Styles said that Edge and Priest aren’t going to stop him from getting to them.

The Miz entered for his match. Cody Rhodes got a big pop for his entrance. There was no platform rising by the entrance. Cody took off his white belt and gave it to a kid at ringside. There was an impressive pyro display for Cody as well. Seth Rollins made his entrance wearing a ridiculous suit/jacket combo while the crowd hummed along with the song.

Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz

Miz with a kick to Cody’s chest leading to Cody hitting a powerslam. Cody with a springboard kick to knock Miz out of the ring. Back in the ring, each guy countered a move and Cody hit a delayed vertical suplex with Cody dropping Miz face first with a front suplex. Cody applied a chinlock while Rollins was shown watching at ringside. Miz took control with a kick to the chest along with a boot to the face. Miz with a running kick. Miz grabbed a chinlock, Cody punched his way out of it and when Cody went to the apron, Miz kicked him leading to Cody bumping into the barricade. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Cody got control of the action with a powerslam for a two count. Miz was out of the ring, so Cody hit him with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Cody jumped off the top, Miz moved, Cody favored the left knee and Miz dropkicked the knee with Cody doing a great flip bump. Miz locked in the Figure Four Leglock with Cody selling it, but then Miz turned it over and applied the pressure to Miz. That led to Miz getting the bottom rope to break the hold. Cody with a kick to the gut plus an uppercut punch and Cody hit the Cutter off the middle rope. Cody hit the Cross Rhodes neckbreaker for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good match between two veterans. The Figure Four Leglock spot was dramatic and it worked in terms of teasing a possible finish. Cody winning was the right call here since he’s back in action as a top face in WWE and needs to get wins to build momentum moving forward. Miz losing isn’t going to hurt him that much. I’m a bit surprised that Cody is still doing a Cody Cutter in a regular match since it’s so similar to the RKO. However, it doesn’t bother me that he uses it. The Cross Rhodes is a good finisher too.

Cody did a “six” with his fingers to remind us it was his first match on Raw in six years. Cody celebrated the win while doing the “belt motion” sign with his hands.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins was in the ring with Cody. Seth said he heard the kind things that Cody said about Seth earlier and he even heard Cody throw out the word “rematch.” Seth said that at WrestleMania, Cody was a surprise opponent, so going into WrestleMania he had every single advantage. Rollins said now that he sees what he’s working with (cue evil laugh), so Rollins is thinking “Rollins vs. Rhodes part two.” Cody: “Yes. Absolutely yes.” That ended it.

Analysis: That’s perfectly fine with me. I think they had the best match at WrestleMania and the rematch might be even better although the moment of Cody returning at WrestleMania made their WM match special. The match is official for WrestleMania Backlash now.

Kevin Owens was shown last week dealing with Ezekiel, who is Elias without a beard.

Tommaso Ciampa was introduced by Kevin Patrick as the newest member of Monday Night Raw. Ezekiel was there to welcome Ciampa and Ciampa said it was nice to meet him. Kevin Owens showed up saying it was not Ezekiel, it was Elias without a beard. Owens told Ciampa not to listen to him. Ciampa said that is Ezekiel, who is Elias’ younger brother. Owens was shouting about how that’s Elias and told Ciampa to grow up.

Analysis: Welcome Ciampa to Raw. I’m glad he kept the name even though I’m not a name complainer that much. I just think it’s smart for him to keep the name.

Liv Morgan entered for singles action against Naomi.

Analysis: Last week they advertised Morgan & Rhea Ripley against Naomi & Sasha Banks for the Women’s Tag Team Titles held by Naomi/Banks, but now it’s a singles match. Plans change again.

The NXT commercial is promoting “Title Tuesday” with matches for the North American Title, Women’s Title and Tag Team Titles.

(Commercial)

There was media coverage shown of WrestleMania 38 beating Super Bowl 56 in social media impressions. It doesn’t really matter that much. Super Bowl has a much bigger audience. Anyway, I enjoyed the Super Bowl more since my LA Rams won it all, but WrestleMania was cool.

They aired a replay of Rhea Ripley telling Liv Morgan that they were getting a title match on Raw this week. Liv Morgan also beat Sasha Banks on Smackdown last week. Jimmy Smith said that Ripley was “in protocol” meaning COVID-19 related, so hopefully Rhea is fine and back soon.

Naomi (w/Sasha Banks) vs. Liv Morgan

Naomi with a kick that sent Liv across the ring. Morgan came back with a headscissors takedown. Morgan charged, Naomi moved and Naomi got a kick to the head. Morgan with an inside cradle. They did a spot where they each went for a jumping kick and that knocked down both women. Morgan went for Oblivion off the ropes, Naomi held on and they kept on battling. Morgan went for a move off the turnbuckle, Naomi caught her and hit a Powerbomb. They fought over pin attempts, Naomi countered Morgan and covered with her body on top of Morgan for the pinfall win after about two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Naomi

Analysis: *1/4 They worked a fast-paced match that was very short. Morgan beat Banks last week, so I thought maybe she’d win again here, but instead, it was Naomi finding a way to win. It would be nice if they got more time on a three hour show.

A replay was shown of last week when MVP turned on Bobby Lashley to join Omos.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance in his wrestling gear. Good ovation for Bobby, who is back in a babyface role.

(Commercial)

VIP Lounge

Bobby Lashley was in the ring with the black carpet and two catches. Lashley said he wasn’t invited to MVP’s VIP Lounge, but because of what they did to him last week, Bobby decided to invite himself. Lashley said that last week should have been a celebration since he went to hell and back against Omos at WrestleMania. Lashley said he barely made it out of that match against Omos, then on Raw he felt that relentless power and then he was stabbed in the back by the one man in the entire world that he thought he could trust – MVP. Lashley called out MVP to explain why MVP did what he did.

Omos made his entrance with MVP with both of them wearing suits. MVP told Lashley to stop embarrassing himself while adding that if Lashley destroys MVP’s property, Lashley will be hearing from MVP’s lawyers. MVP said that Omos is learning how to be a businessman, so he’ll wait until the right time and the money is right. MVP told Lashley that we should be thanking MVP. It led to MVP giving his explanation saying that Lashley was letting a wannabe Tik Tok star lead his career astray. MVP said that he helped Lashley reach his potential. MVP shouted, “I made you.” MVP said that it was himself that made Lashley the “All Mighty.” Lashley said that MVP came back to his farewell tour, he was ending his career and then he latched onto Lashley as his meal ticket. Lashley said that he destroyed everybody on Raw, even defeating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title. MVP said that Lashley thinks he doesn’t need MVP. MVP said that Omos is bigger than you, stronger than you, meaner than you and will take Lashley’s place at the top of the mountain. MVP said that Lashley barely survived his first match with Omos. MVP promised Lashley he won’t survive his next match with Omos. Lashley said he’s going to finish Omos just like he did at WrestleMania and after that, Lashley is coming to get MVP. Lashley cleared the ring of couches and the table that were in the ring with him.

Analysis: It was a solid promo exchange. The fans weren’t into that much, but I thought the dialogue from Lashley and MVP was fine. It was what it needed to be with MVP trying to explain himself, which made sense from his heel perspective. Lashley’s career was struggling before MVP joined him, so there was some logical truth in what MVP said. Anyway, I expect Omos vs. Lashley again and Omos will probably get the win when they have that match.

There was a recap of the 24/7 Title situation with Reggie proposing marriage to 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke and Akira Tozawa proposing marriage to Tamina as well. Both women accepted.

They showed Tozawa, Reggie and R-Truth along with some random guys that were at the bachelor party. Truth asked about where Dana was with the 24/7 Title. Truth told Reggie you can’t leave Dana alone with the 24/7 Title at a bachelorette party. They left.

Analysis: A riveting segment as always.

Bianca Belair made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion.

(Commercial)

Austin Theory was in the office talking to WWE Officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. Theory told them to just call him Theory, so I guess he dropped the Austin name. Theory wanted a US Title shot against Finn Balor and they gave him the title shot next week. Kevin Owens complained about Ezekiel, so he wanted a lie detector test for Ezekiel next week. Deville agreed to let Owens do it. Sonya told Pearce she had an opponent for Belair in the future and she left with a contract.

Analysis: A name change for Theory now because he’s just Theory without the “Austin” part of his name. I don’t mind it. Less typing for me.

A clip was shown of Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella ending last week. They showed an image from Carmella’s wedding to Corey Graves from a few days ago. Queen Zelina Vega made her entrance.

Bianca Belair vs. Queen Zelina Vega

This was not for Belair’s title. Vega wanted a rollup, Belair stopped that from happening and then Vega managed to get a double knee to the back like a backstabber. Vega applied a chinlock, Belair powered out of it and Belair hit a fallaway slam across the ring. Belair pressed Vega overhead, said “EST” and slammed Vega down. Belair hit a KOD (Kiss of Death) slam for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair

Analysis: 1/2* A dominant win that you might expect in a match like this. Vega got one move with the knees to the back and a chinlock, but that was pretty much it. Belair won easily.

Sonya Deville entered for some future match announcement.

(Commercial)

Bianca Belair was in the ring with the Raw Women’s Title with Sonya Deville talking to her. Deville went over some of the women on the Raw roster that could be possible opponents. Belair said at the end of the day, she’ll walk out as the Raw Women’s Champion and did the “EST” routine to remind us how great she is. Sonya said that she had an open contract with her, so Bianca should sign the open contract no matter who the opponent is.

Sonya talked about her opponent as somebody who one year ago promised to return for her shot at the Women’s Title…it’s Sonya herself. Sonya did a cheapshot to the back of the knee and a kick to the head. Sonya hit a reverse DDT on Belair. Sonya: “You next opponent is me.” Sonya signed the contract. Adam Pearce ran out there to ask Sonya what she was doing, but Sonya left without saying a word. Saxton said that it was an abuse of power.

Analysis: It’s a fresh opponent for Belair, who should easily defeat Deville when they have their match. Deville did a nice job of being a cheap heel doing an attack when Belair wasn’t ready for it. I assume they go back to Belair-Lynch as a title feud perhaps in the summer months when they have three stadium shows in a row.

It was time for 24/7 Title “comedy” with Dana Brooke and Tamina hanging out with some random women. Dana thanked Tamina for agreeing to a truce to enjoy the night. Tamina said after their honeymoons, it’s open season. Los Lotharios from Smackdown showed up to talk to the girls and they kissed Dana & Tamina on the cheek. Nikki A.S.H. showed up with a special surprise. One of the guys that were there was dressed like a referee. Nikki rolled up Dana for two with Tamina making the save. Tamina beat up Nikki up on the bar. The guys showed up. R-Truth appeared to say that it isn’t the 24/7 Title that keeps them all together, it’s the love. Truth said that he is an ordained minister and he’s saying you can’t go for the 24/7 Title until after the wedding. Truth said there’s going to be a double wedding next week on Raw. The couples were happy about it.

Analysis: I promise you if I wasn’t writing a review of this as part of my job, I would be hitting fast forward and skipping every 24/7 Title segment. It’s so lame. Anyway, bring on the comedy weddings next week. I might have to give myself a Johnny Award in December for surviving these 24/7 Title segments. I can hear a “you deserve it” chant now.

RK-Bro made their entrance as the Raw Tag Team Champions for a match against Alpha Academy.

(Commercial)

A replay was shown of the Bianca Belair-Sonya Deville segment.

Adam Pearce walked up to Sonya Deville asking why she was doing this. Sonya said what she did was sign an open contract. Sonya said that she made it official and he can’t do anything to stop her. Sonya told Adam not to be jealous that she is still in her prime.

The Alpha Academy duo of Chad Gable and Otis made their entrance with Gable doing his “SHOOSH” and “Thank you” bit. Gable said he heard what The Usos said on Smackdown and you’ve got another coming if you think you can take the championships and leave. Gable said that WrestleMania was full of distractions, not the least of which was that egomaniac Gable Steveson. Gable said that Steveson has an Olympic Gold Medal, but Gable put over his brain and he might be the smartest man on the planet. Gable said that Otis has the face of confidence on a tree trunk while they get one step closer to winning back their Raw Tag Team Titles.

Analysis: Good promo by Gable busting out some of his usual lines.

RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis)

Riddle got a gutwrench suplex on Gable, then Orton tagged in and Riddle hit a twisting splash on Gable. Orton with a few stomps, Riddle back in with a kick he went for a lift, but Otis tagged in. Gable and Otis hit a clothesline/German Suplex combo on Riddle. Ouch. Rough landing for Riddle there. Otis worked over Riddle with a running body attack to knock Riddle down. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Gable worked over Riddle with an armbar. Riddle fought off Gable with a kick, Otis tagged in and Gable hit a Tiger Suplex hooking the arms while Otis hit a running splash for two. Otis lifted up Riddle on his shoulders, Gable made the tag and Riddle broke free leading to a knee on Gable, who jumped off the top rope. Orton got the hot tag to a big pop leading to Orton hitting two clotheslines and a snap powerslam. Orton hit the draping DDT on Gable. Orton wanted an RKO, Gable countered it into a backslide and Orton popped back up for an RKO for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle)

Analysis: **1/2 A simple tag team match with Riddle as the face in peril, the heels worked him over for most of it and Orton got the win within a matter of two minutes. I like Alpha Academy, but it was obvious they weren’t going to win here.

The Usos were shown arriving in a black car while carrying the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. It looked like there was light out in the background, so it was probably filmed earlier in the day even though this aired at like 10:25pm when it’s dark out. Anyway, The Usos were shown walking to the ring as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The Usos made their entrance as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions while the Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro were still in the ring. The Usos got into the ring.

Randy Orton said that apparently the Big Dog (that would be Reigns) let his bitches off the lease. Jey said that you know exactly why they are there. Jey noted they are already the longest reigning Smackdown Tag Team Champions in history, so they trying to be Raw. Jimmy said that they were to challenge RK-Bro to a championship unification match for the tag team titles. Riddle wondered if it was like the Avengers while mentioning different colors, The Usos said that they already have the blue titles and want the red titles. The Street Profits interrupted.

The Street Profits duo of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins appeared with Ford wondering what do we have here? Dawkins said that they were the ones that challenged RK-Bro to a match at WrestleMania, but then Alpha Academy made it a triple threat match. Ford mentioned they beat the Alpha Academy last week, so Dawkins said that they are the next in line for a title match. Jey said that they didn’t cut in line when it’s the bloodline. Ford said that they are happy to take on the double J’s after they take the Raw Tag Team Titles from RK-Bro. Orton said that nobody wants to hear them bicker, they want to see them fight. Orton said that he wants to see this tag team match, he asked the fans if they wanted to see it and the fans cheered. That meant Usos vs. Street Profits was going to main event the show.

Analysis: It took them over 2 hours and 30 minutes to set up the main event of the show. I don’t really like that, but that’s what happens sometimes. It also set up a fresh match with The Street Profits facing The Usos in a match where the winners get a title shot against RK-Bro. It makes sense at least.

(Commercial)

There was a replay showing Veer Mahaan beating Dominik Mysterio earlier on Raw and Dominik being taken out in an ambulance.

Next week on Raw:

* Finn Balor defends the US Championship against Theory. It’s an official name change. No more “Austin” in Theory’s name.

* Sasha Banks & Naomi defend the Women’s Tag Team Titles against Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan. That was supposed to happen this week.

Randy Orton and Riddle were watching at ringside.

The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

Jimmy with a shoulder tackle, Ford came back with a dropkick and Dawkins tagged in for a double shoulder tackle. Dawkins flipped Ford onto Jimmy for a two count. Dawkins hit a corner splash on Jimmy for two. Jimmy drove Jey into the corner, so Jey tagged in with a forearm. Dawkins came back with a jumping back elbow on Jey for a two count. Jimmy made a blind tag leading to The Usos hitting a double spinebuster on Dawkins. Jimmy choked Dawkins against the bottom rope and Jey got in a cheap shot punch on Dawkins while the referee wasn’t looking. Jey tagged in with a forearm off the top rope. The Usos continued making quick tags to work over Dawkins as Jimmy punched Dawkins. After Dawkins tried to fight back, Jimmy got an enziguri kick for a two count. Jey was legal for his team. Dawkins sent Jey over the top to the floor and both Usos beat up Dawkins a bit. Jey tossed Dawkins onto Orton/Riddle at ringside. The Usos got in Orton/Riddle’s face and then Ford hit a somersault dive over the top onto both Usos! That was great. Ford did a bit of a dance in front of Orton leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Jimmy was in control of Dawkins, who tried to break free and Dawkins hit a double underhook neckbreaker. Ford tagged in with a cross body block off the top on Jey, who was legal. Ford with a clothesline on Jey, then an enziguri kick on Jimmy and Ford ran the ropes with a Blockbuster neckbreaker on Jey for a two count. Jey shoved Ford into the turnbuckle leading to a lifting neckbreaker for a two count. Jimmy got the tag, Dawkins pulled Jey out of the ring and Dawkins punched Jey. Ford rolled up Jimmy for two. Dawkins tagged in, he put Jimmy on the shoulders and Ford jumped off the top with a top rope Blockbuster (while was on Dawkins’ shoulders) for a two count with Jimmy getting his shoulder up. Jimmy was on the floor, Dawkins charged, Jimmy with an uppercut and a superkick. Jey tagged in and he jumped off with a splash, but Dawkins got the knees up. Ford tagged in and Ford hit the Frog Splash on Jey for a two count because Jimmy broke up the pin! That was close. The fans chanted “this is awesome” and it was well deserved. Jimmy countered a Dawkins move and sent Dawkins into the ring post. Ford chopped Jey, Jimmy tagged in and The Usos hit the 1D (3D that they have remained) on Ford for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a great tag team match, especially towards the finish. That nearfall with Ford getting the Frog Splash for two was a terrific spot for a near finish. The crowd was really into the match as they chanted “this is awesome” for some of the spots they did. These guys worked well together. It was a bit of a quick finish because it was just a simple tag leading to the 1D that The Usos have been using for a few months. The right team got the win here.

Post match, RK-Bro got in the ring with The Usos and both teams held up their titles in the air. It sounded like the match was agreed to right there. Orton’s music played to end it while The Usos left the ring. The teams had a staredown. Dawkins went after Riddle, but Riddle managed to send Dawkins out of the ring. Orton saw Ford in the ring, so Orton hit Ford with an RKO. The Usos went back into the ring and hit a double superkick on Orton. The Usos held up both sets of Tag Team Titles over a fallen Orton. That was how Raw ended.

Analysis: It makes sense to end Raw that way with The Usos standing tall to get some heat. I assume the match gets made for WrestleMania Backlash and it wouldn’t surprise me to see The Usos win both sets of tag team titles at that show.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Cody Rhodes

2. RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle)

3. (tie) The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)

3. (tie) The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

 

The Scoreboard

6.75 out of 10

Last week: 7

 

Final Thoughts

It was a solid show with some fresh storylines starting while some other feuds continued from WrestleMania. I thought the Cody-Miz match was built up well and then they had the time to have a pretty good match. The impromptu Usos/Street Profits match in the main event was also fun to watch with the crowd really getting into it. They did a nice job of booking The Usos feud with RK-Bro that should lead to a Tag Team Title unification match.

Some of the other matches were very short or just not that interesting. That finish to the Styles-Priest match was so strange. Please don’t do something that stupid again. We laugh a lot about how Veer has been promoted, but they sure made a big deal out of him destroying Dominik Mysterio. If you’re going to bring in a “new” guy that’s powerful, that’s the right way to book it.

I assume most people will complain about Austin Theory going into the name shortening machine and now he’s Theory. I really don’t mind it. That reminds me of Riddle dropping the “Matt” part of the name, which was weird at first, but then we get used to it.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is called WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday, May 8th. Here’s what we know so far:

* Cody Rhodes vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

* Smackdown Women’s Championship – I Quit Match: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey

You can watch WrestleMania Backlash streaming live on Sunday, May 8, at 8 ET/5 PT on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.

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Check out the WWE PPV Review archive right here. You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Toronto Raptors, Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. Be safe and smart out there.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport