Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/04/10/rewind-a-raw-4-9-18-raw-after-mania-paige-retires-nxt-debuts/
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE RAW 4/9/18:
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It’s the biggest Raw of the year featuring all the fallout from WrestleMania 34, a heartfelt retirement speech from Paige, a number of wrestler returns, NXT call-ups and more.
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What are the chances some titles change hands on the Saudi Arabia card? Also, does the fact women aren’t allowed to compete on this card make anyone else a little uncomfortable watching it? It’s an amazing card on paper, but I can’t help but feel a little guilty looking forward to it knowing that women are prohibited from competing.
TLDR: An above average show to help build up the next year.
I miss building up debuts rather than just showing up. Ember Moon felt special but without video hype packages and character building its hard to just have people show up and make them feel special.
Ronda segment was good but I’ve gotta say she came off as a heel here where as Austin doing a similar thing would come off as a babyface. The reason being the Stunner is fun and the armbar is brutal. I can relate to the damage of an armbar…there’s no taking the stunner seriously. Austin wasn’t repeatedly breaking Vince’s jaw week to week making this feel too real. I’m sure most people won’t see Ronda this way but I wound up empathizing for Steph here.
Ember Moon debut was interesting. She’s got a cool entrance and finisher. I don’t watch NXT so consider me excited.
No Way Jose debut was awful. Reminds me of long past gimmicks that largely suck for 2018 standards…thinking of the oddities, the hoe train and the like. I’m glad the crowd got into this but unless they make this guy stand out as a character on the mic…his gimmick is doomed to fail. Might as well come out as an Electrician whose also a wrestler since that’s about as timeless as the dancing to the ring gimmick. Best of luck to this man’s success because he’s got a massive uphill battle ahead of him.
Revival continue to be dead on Raw. We know nothing about their characters and they don’t get the time to put on special matches. I genuinely care more about Rhyno and Slater than the Revival as a viewer and that’s a testament to how badly Raw has dropped the ball.
Lashley’s debut was underwhelming and a questionable choice when you consider how OVER the drifter has been. I’m excited because I know Lashley is a pretty great wrestler these days but the debut was lacking.
Authors of Pain had a fine debut. Again I don’t follow NXT but the crowd was into and they looked good.
Samoa Joe was amazing. This man deserves a main title run. Wish he beat Brock last year.
The main event was pointless and Jeff Hardy really didn’t feel as special as he probably should have been.
You know John and Wai are exhausted when they both forgot about Seth Rollins’ historic U.S. Title win (aided by Jon Stewart of all people) at Summerslam in 2015.
They also awarded Seth a Universal title reign
Lol. You beat me to it. I mentioned this in the fact checking thread.
To be fair, it wasn’t a very long reign and the boys probably had little to no sleep.
Also, I think a few people were scratching their brains trying to remember when Seth won The U.S. Championship.
This was the weakest Raw after Wrestlemania thus far. Nothing big or special really happened. I liked seeing Bobby Lashley come back but the way they used him was kind of a nothing spot. He could of made an impact with a bigger superstar such as Roman, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Kurt Angle or even called out Brock just to cause some excitement. Instead he just buried Elias who has the potential of being a big star but WWE doesn’t seem to see how over Elias is on top of the fact he has the look, the Charisma, the gimmick and his in ring work is pretty good. He gave Roman Reigns one of best matches on Raw for the I.C. a few months ago. Also Authors Of Pain just come out to beat up Heath Slater and Rhyno how is that a statement. They should of debuted them before mania challenging Shamus and Cesaro for the tag titles and beating them at Wrestlemania instead of Braun who for no reason was even in the tag title picture. Ember Moon’s debut was fine for a in my opinion it did what it was supposed to do in the spot it was in. No Way Jose should be called Going Nowhere and Will Disappear because that’s exactly what is going to happen to him. He didn’t do anything on NXT so how has he been thrown onto the main stage. Also there weren’t any good matches on this show. They could of had some kind of 6 man intercontinental title match with Rollins, Balor, Miz, Jeff Hardy, Reigns and Somoa Joe and you could of used the main event to debut Lashley as well either to be added to the match or to show up at the end and attack all the competitors or target one of them setting up a big program. Instead it was a weak 6 man tag match with an all star team against the Miztorage. You could of even given the titles back to Shamus and Cesaro and had AOP debut and challenge and win The titles after The Bar is doing a promo in the ring talking about how they rightfully got their titles back and they’ve beaten every tag team and the a Mania match was a joke. Then do their catch phrase We don’t just set the Bar We are the Bar and then AOP’s music hits. That’s what this Raw was missing excitement!