Raw Review – April 29th

This week’s Raw opened with “A moment of Bliss” where Alexa Bliss announced the four male participants of the Men’s Money in the Bank ladder match.

They were revealed to be Braun Strowman, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre and none other than…Baron Corbin.

At this point, I cannot say I am shocked that Corbin was inserted into the match, as WWE seems insistent in making Corbin stick around in the main event scene where he just does not belong.

This is also the first-ever Money in the Bank match to feature two superstars who failed to cash in the briefcase after winning the case.  After two less-than-stellar years with the Men’s Money in the Bank briefcase,  this year’s winner will be made to look like a star according to WrestleVotes on Twitter.

This would make sense because WWE has botched the past two years of the Men’s briefcase. Using this match to elevate a star such as McIntyre would be a good move by WWE.

Below I list the rest of Raw’s moments from best to worst & my final ranking for the show comes at the bottom of the page.

Miz TV ends in chaos:

The Miz is back on Raw & the only way to celebrate that is with the latest edition of “Miz TV” with special guest Bobby Lashley. As usual, things broke down between Miz and his guest, which led to a match between the two.

After the two superstars went back and forth for a bit, Shane McMahon’s music hit in an attempt to distract Miz. After a few failed distractions a picture of Miz’s dad is what did him in. After Lashley picked up the win, McMahon picked the bones and beat up the “A-Lister” along with Lashley.

So after it looked like this storyline was dropped, it seems as if this Wrestlemania feud is picking up steam again. It was a good move for WWE to show a bit of consistency and further this storyline.

Miz would later challenge McMahon to a steel cage match at Money in the Bank, which he would accept via Twitter.

The Man Comes Around: 

The crowd was all in for ‘The Man’ on this night & Becky came out with some of her best work on the microphone of recent memory. She reminded everybody that she beat the odds to get where she is today & she is not going to be a champion that shies away from the competition.

Lynch’s Irish blood got to boiling and called out her opponent at Money in the Bank, Lacey Evens. These two then had an incredible pull apart brawl at ringside. The only complaint I have with this angle is that it should have been the go-home segment.

With two more Raw’s to go, it will be interesting to see how WWE tops this segment.

Firefly Funhouse is still creepy, yet fantastic:

This is quite the fun little gimmick still, and a great way to re-introduce Bray Wyatt to television. Wyatt revealed a painting that showed a fire blazing with a person inside the house. This very well could be his lost sister Abigail, who was involved in previous storylines.

The best part of this vignette was Wyatt’s interactions with a creepy doll named Abbey, who seems to be sister Abigail. This has me intrigued, and the Firefly Funhouse may be the best thing going on Raw.

Rollins & Styles sign the contract: 

These two have been called the two best in-ring performers of their generation, and I am much looking forward to this matchup in three weeks.

These two greats traded great verbal jabs back and forth, and then Styles went after Rollins before delivering a vicious Phenomenal Forearm through the table to close the show.

This was a great way to close Raw and only has me wanting to see this match more. It was two top-tier superstars setting the stage for what should be a main-event classic.

Men’s MITB participants do battle:

After the four Men’s Money in the Bank participants were revealed by Bliss, this led to a war of words between the men in the ring. This then led to a tag match as Strowman and Ricochet teamed up to take on McIntyre and Corbin.

Corbin and McIntyre spent the majority of the match working over the smaller Ricochet, until the end where things between Corbin & McIntyre broke down, allowing Strowman to hit a power slam and then Ricochet went to the top rope, hitting his finisher for the win.

This was your standard tag match, with the babyfaces coming out on top. Overall it was more about building toward the Money in the Bank ladder match later next month.

Bliss introduces the Women’s Money in the Bank participants:

Bliss brought out the first three women for the Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, made the (not so) shocking announcement that she was the fourth and final Raw participant.

Overall, it is good to see Bliss back in the thick of the Women’s division, and I am excited to see her in this match. However, after Bliss won it last year, it would be nice to see another woman (Dana Brooke, heck even Natalya) get that briefcase and have their shot at capturing the title.

This then led to an impromptu match between Naomi and Bliss, with the two having a brief match with Naomi picking up the win thanks in part to the faulty shoes of Bliss.

Sami Zayn educates the WWE Universe: 

Zayn’s over the top heel character is still one that I find entertaining, but this segment dragged on a bit overall. Sayn is equally as good a wrestler as he is on the mic and I would like for him to have one of these promos, followed by a match.

This would make his segments feel that much better in my eyes, but there is a lot of promise surrounding the future of Zayn’s character.

Wrestlemania rematch:

After Rey Mysterio lost his U.S. Title opportunity to Samoa Joe in just one minute at Wrestlemania, he got a rematch here on Raw. With both competitors at full strength, these two had quite the match, possibly the best one of the night.

Mysterio seemingly can have a cracking match with any superstar, and this one did not disappoint. However, Mysterio getting a fluke roll-up win seems like a flat finish to an overall entertaining match.

Also seeing the U.S. champion get pinned again was not ideal.

The Good Brothers still are in WWE:

The Usos were one of the most significant additions for the red brand during the superstar shakeup and took to the ring for their first match on Monday night in quite some time.

Their opponents were none other than the Good Brothers Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. This is the first appearance for the pair since early April in the build to Wrestlemania.

Shockingly enough, these two stellar tag teams had quite the TV match, and it was nice to see Gallows & Anderson featured on WWE TV. Though the Good Brothers got in their fair share of offense moves and dominated most of the match, the Usos came on strong at the end to pick up the win.

The Usos should be the featured tag team on Monday Night Raw, and this is just part of their rise to the top of the tag division.

Viking Raiders continue to dominate: 

This is an impressive tag team, with an improved name. For once it is nice to see WWE pushing an NXT act right from the start, instead of booking them into a corner.

These men threw the Lucha House Party around the ring before picking up a quick victory. Along with the Usos, I fully expect the Viking Raiders to be pushed to the top of the tag team division.

Tag Champs pick up a win: 

Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins continued their momentum from Wrestlemania a few weeks ago with another win on Raw. Their foes were The Revival, who they beat back at ‘Mania.  Though the tag champions were involved in this match, they took a backseat to what the Usos and Viking Raiders did earlier.

It seems quite apparent that Hawkins & Ryder are on borrowed time, and their tag title run will be coming to an end sooner rather than later.

Overall I thought this was arguably one of, if not the best episode of Raw post-Wrestlemania. WWE started to piece together the Men’s and Women’s Money in the Bank ladder matches and the tag team division is really taking shape with the Usos & the Viking Raiders coming to Raw.

The pull-apart brawl with Lynch & Evans was superb (although that should have been the go-home angle) and the Styles/Rollins contract signing to close the show was a solid way to end the night.

My rating: 4 out of 5

 

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