Hey fans, it’s @TheMagnumDA! RAW is live from Long Island, New York! Tonight is the ROSTER SHAKEUP! This should get interesting.
We start by having John Ce…oh, Miz. You’re good. Miz & Maryse come out as John Cena & Nikki Bella. The bit is pretty damn good, not gonna lie. I didn’t expect it to start Raw, though! They talk about going to Hollywood and DEAN AMBROSE comes out! Apparently, the fact that these guys are showing up gives away the fact that they’re switching rosters. Ambrose plays the total fool here, acting like he’s talking with Cena & Bella. Finally, Miz stops and informs him their true identities. Ambrose says, “Oh…well in that case…” BOOM! Dirty Deeds! So I guess Raw gets The Miz, Maryse, and Dean Ambrose! I suppose, as the shows go on, we’ll find out who is going where. It does beg the question, though…will they do something similar tomorrow on Smackdown Live?
Kurt Angle is backstage when Sami Zayn interrupts. Sami is told by Kurt that Smackdown is very interested in him. Miz and Maryse come into the frame and demand respect. Sami starts to speak, but Miz cuts him off and says, “Grown-ups are talking.” Ouch! Angle books Miz vs. Sami for later tonight. Hey, it’s a fresh match! I’ll give them that.
Match #1 – The New Day vs. The Revival
This is the Xavier/Big E version, as Kofi was injured last week by Dash and Dawson. To compensate, they bring out an inflatable man in dreadlocks. Big E points out that this is not Kofi Kingston. This guy’s hilarious. Dash’s shirt “WE BROKE KOFI’S ANKLE” is a classic tribute to Wahoo McDaniel and Greg Valentine. Xavier kicks Dash in the guts to start. Woods attacks Wilder in the corner and tags in Big E. They hit a double team wheelbarrow, but it only gets two. Woods is back in but Dawson sets up the distraction. The Revival hits a double team on Woods as we go to break.
After the break, Woods fights out of a gutwrench, but he can’t make the tag. Dawson hits a back suplex on Woods for two. He continues to pounds Xavier in his corner, and then tags in Dash. They team up on Xavier, and then they prevent the tag once more. Hot tag to Big E, who hits a series of belly-to-belly suplexes and the WARRIOR splash! Dawson tries to distract Big E, and this allows Dash to roll up Big E for ONE, TWO, NO! This leads to an outstanding finish: Xavier heads up as Big E sets up the Midnight Hour. Dash grabs Dawson’s leg and pulls him off Big E, leading into a SHATTER MACHINE to Woods as he dives off the top rope. That was INCREDIBLE. ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winners: The Revival (**3/4)
Backstage, Charly is with the Cruiserweight Champion Neville. Adrian points out that Aries is not on the “Neville Level”. TJ Perkins comes in and says, “Some day, someone’s going to make you eat those words.” Neville tells him that he was the first champion…and now, he’s a joke. Neville claims that he still has respect for TJ, even if others may not. Aries comes in and asks TJ if he actually believes Neville’s lies. TJ walks away. Later tonight, we get Austin Aries vs. TJ Perkins.
Curt Hawkins gets on the mic and says that it’s a big deal that he’s on Raw. He believes that his appearance on Raw should lead to a massive celebration. With tiki torches! Big Show appears and knocks him the hell out. I guess both guys are on Raw now! I kinda liked it better when they would actually announce when someone is making a move.
Match #2 – Austin Aries vs. TJ Perkins
Aries pulls TJ’s finger during the handshake. TJ gets a gutwrench, but Aries reverses and catches a quick two-count. Great series leads to a headscissors by Perkins. This is followed by a Dab. 2016 called…they want their taunt back. TJ with an armbar, which Austin counters with a cartwheel. Aries hits a sweet dropkick from a headscissors position. Aries taunts TJ, and then hits a flying elbow to the back of the neck. This gets two. They get up and TJ gets a couple of kicks to Austin’s gut. TJ tries a springboard pendulum dropkick, but he misses. Austin hits a neckbreaker on the ropes, and climbs to the top to hit an elbow to the floor. Aries starts to taunt on the barricade, which infuriates Neville for some reason. Aries goes back into the ring, but he’s caught off-guard by a Perkins roll-up! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: TJ Perkins (**)
After the match, Perkins goes full-blown heel on Aries, elbowing Austin right in the neck with his back turned. TJ ends up DRILLING him with the DETONATION KICK. Trust me, the fans have been wanting to boo this video game dork for some time.
Backstage, Seth Rollins is palling around with Cass & Enzo. Rollins insists on “No Handshakes, only Fist Bumps” with Enzo. I don’t know why I found that hilarious, but I did.
Seth Rollins comes out and tells the fans “Thank you” for having his back during the Road to WrestleMania. Seth says that together, they all took part in the King of Kings going down. Seth says that he wants to stay at Raw, but he knows Steph will make his life a living hell. Nonetheless, Rollins remains firm that he wants to stay on Raw. This brings out KURT ANGLE, the Raw General Manager! Angle confirms that Rollins has a place here on Monday Night Raw. This seems to be a happy ending, until SAMOA JOE tries to attack Seth from behind. Seth fights back and hits a WICKED superkick on Joe. Angle separates them as Rollins stands tall.
Charly is backstage with Kevin Owens, who does not seem too impressed with the Roster Shakeup. Owens tells Charly to ask how Chris Jericho is feeling right now. Obviously, Jericho is home recuperating. Owens calls himself the top champion on Raw, which leads Charly to ask…”What about Dean Ambrose?” Owens tells Charly that Dean needs to know his place on Raw. KO calls himself “the premiere champion”.
Match #3 – Charlotte vs. Nia Jax
Nia just DROPS Charlotte during a lock-up. Charlotte tries to fight off Nia, catching her with a few knees. Nia just splashes her. Charlotte tries another offensive surge, but Nia just picks her up and hits a Shoulder Breaker. That looked really ugly. Nia puts her in the Cobra Clutch as a drunk New York fan gets thrown out. Charlotte fights up, but Nia ragdolls her across the ring. Charlotte fights out of a Samoan Drop with some Flair chops. Nia throws Charlotte to the apron, and Charlotte tries a roll-up back into the ring. Nia picks her up, but Charlotte is able to hit the NATURAL SELECTION! ONE, TWO, NO! Nia gets up and misses a charge into the corner. Charlotte then throws Jax into the corner post to the outside. Charlotte climbs to the top rope and hits a moonsault on Nia Jax! Charlotte crawls back into the ring, and Nia makes it during the eight-count. Mafia Kick connects by Charlotte. Charlotte goes for the Figure 4, but Jax kicks Charlotte into the corner. Nia hits a HUGE splash in the corner, followed by a Samoan Drop! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Nia Jax (*3/4)
I really do wonder if Charlotte is hurt. That was a sloppy affair, but it was an effective way to make Nia Jax the #1 heel in the women’s division for Raw. The announcers play a build-up video for Finn Balor. He’s up next!
Match #4 – Finn Balor vs. Jinder Mahal
Jinder puts Balor in the ropes and slaps him! They trade knees and Mahal takes the advantage. Balor eventually catches him with a fierce dropkick. Mahal gets more offense, though! He kicks the ropes to Finn’s face! They trade more chops and Mahal hits a HUGE forearm right to Finn’s temple. I can’t believe how much offense Mahal has received! Finn finally catches Mahal with the Slingblade, followed by the dropkick in the corner. COUP DE GRACE hits by Balor onto Mahal! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Finn Balor (**1/4)
After the match, BRAY WYATT appears on the Titantron! He’s here…on Monday Night Raw! I guess he’s the newest acquisition! Wyatt says that he’ll be challenging Orton in 3 weeks at Payback. Wait, does that mean Orton’s coming to Raw too? Wyatt then gives a warning to Balor: You better keep an eye on me, because I’ve got an eye on you. I’m still curious about Orton…is he coming to Raw too?!
They recap the Shakeup, including acquisitions to Raw from earlier today: Apollo Crews, Heath Slater, Rhyno, and Kalisto.
Match #5 – The Miz vs. Sami Zayn
Sami gets an armbar, but Miz kicks him in the gut. Zayn hits a series of armdrags on Miz, followed by a Cannonball attempt that is stopped when Maryse is pulled in front of Miz. Ah, the old Macho Man and Elizabeth spot. I love it. After the break, Miz has Sami in a chinlock. Zayn fights up, but Miz hits a neckbreaker for ONE, TWO, NO! Miz props up Sami in the corner and mocks Sami’s chant. He tries a Superplex, but Sami hits him with some forearms to knock him off the ropes. They have an exchange that leads to Miz hitting a huge DDT on Zayn. Miz continues to mock Daniel Bryan, even on Monday Night Raw! Zayn catches Miz with a Blue Thunder Bomb! ONE, TWO, NO! Crowd is really getting into this. Sami goes for a HELLUVA KICK in the corner, but Maryse pulls Miz out! Sami follows Miz out and then back into the ring, but Maryse grabs Sami’s leg. Sami gets distracted and caught in the Skull Crushing Finale, but he turns it into a Victory Roll on Miz! ONE, TWO, THREE! Good stuff! Miz continues to be on a roll, and so does Sami.
Winner: Sami Zayn (***)
Kurt Angle books Ambrose vs. KO for later tonight!
Up next, we are with Roman Reigns. He talks about his victory over The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Roman called it bittersweet, because he respects The Undertaker. He said it’s heavy to know that he was the guy who ended The Undertaker. Roman says he’s the big dog now, and that this is his yard.
Suddenly, BRAUN STROWMAN appears and completely destroys Roman. MAMMOTH toss into the tables! There’s a huge “THANK YOU STROWMAN!” chant that erupts out the crowd. Strowman throws Roman across the entire backstage area, beating him into a complete pulp. Strowman then POWERSLAMS Reigns into the loading cases. From there, he rolls the case right into Roman’s face! Wow! Roman has some trouble with the blood capsule, but we’ll get him an A for effort. Crowd continues to chant “THANK YOU STROWMAN!”
Reigns is carted off in the stretcher as the fans continue to cheer. “YOU DESERVE IT!” chant! Unreal! Just when you think this thing is over, BRAUN REAPPEARS AND THROWS THE STRETCHER OFF THE LOADING DOCK! Holy Mother of God! A terrifying scene as Reigns finally gets placed into the Ambulance. STROWMAN APPEARS AGAIN! HE TURNS OVER THE AMBULANCE! Just WHAT in God’s name was THAT?! Well, that segment gets five stars. It certainly proved that Strowman is a persistent son of a gun, if nothing else.
When they come back from commercial, Roman is placed in a smaller Emergency vehicle. Damn…I was thinking that Braun would be driving it. We are promised a medical update later tonight. I am hopeful that Braun will appear at the hospital.
Match #6 – Shining Stars, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows vs. Sheamus, Cesaro, and the Hardy Boyz
Just as Matt & Jeff Hardy make their appearance, we see THE DRIFTER walk across the entrance stage! Matt Hardy gets an armbar on Primo, and tags in Jeff. Jeff hits the snapmare, followed by the dropkick. Primo knees Jeff, and Cesaro tags in. Primo tags Karl Anderson, and Cesaro knocks him down with an uppercut, followed by the double stomp. Sheamus and Cesaro trade tags and double team moves, leading to a cross body by Cesaro onto Anderson. WHAT’S WITH ALL OF THESE TAGS?! Cesaro tries the Giant Swing, but Gallows pulls Anderson to the outside.
After the break, Gallows has Cesaro in a sleeperhold. Cesaro fights up, but Gallows misses a suplex. Anderson and Gallows fight Cesaro in the corner. A small fracas ensues, and Primo interjects and hits the Back Stabber on Cesaro. Epico tags in and Cesaro tags Matt! Matt throws Epico into the corner, and follows with a clothesline, and a Side Effect! Matt’s Twist of Fate is blocked, but Jeff comes in and hits a Twist of Fate of his own! The fights sprawls outside, and the Hardy brothers hit the POETRY IN MOTION! Back inside, Epico gets hit with the TWIST OF FATE! Jeff tags in and hits the SWANTON BOMB! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winners: Sheamus, Cesaro, and the Hardy Boyz (**1/2)
Backstage, Emma visits Dana Brooke. Emma tells Dana to join her once more time, but Dana tells her to bugger off. Well, alright then.
BAYLEY is on her way to the ring! Before she gets there, SASHA BANKS makes her entrance to the ring! Talk about upstaging. Eventually, Sasha introduces Bayley, who thanks the fans for staying by her side. The fans give her some sincere applause. Sasha also congratulates her, but then tells her that WrestleMania is over. Things get tense, but then ALEXA BLISS shows up. She says that she’s here to put an end to this weird sideshow. Before she goes any further, MICKIE JAMES shows up and says that she’s back on Raw! Out of nowhere, Nia Jax appears and FLATTENS Mickie James! Nia goes into the ring and destroys Sasha (Alexa threw Sasha into Jax and ran out of the ring). Bayley then gets flattened by Nia Jax’s Samoan Drop! Nia and Alexa have a brief stare-down (well, a stare-up for Alexa).
We get a recap of “THE BRAUN THAT WOULDN’T DIE!” Cole shares that Roman Reigns has cracked ribs, internal injuries, and a separated shoulder. Bad day at the office, then.
Match #7 – WWE US Champion Kevin Owens vs. WWE IC Champion Dean Ambrose (non-title)
Owens beats down Ambrose to start, and then pounds him in the corner. Ambrose returns with some rights in the corner, and tries Dirty Deeds early. KO goes outside, and Dean follows him to brawl around the barricade area. Back inside, Dean tries to capitalize but KO goes outside AGAIN! Dean hits a dive to the outside!
After the break, KO is punching Owens all around the ring. He misses a clothesline, and Dean catches a lariat and some rights of his own. Ambrose gets a running charge but he misses and hits his shoulder on the post. KO goes out to the apron and catches a SWANK knee right into Ambrose for two. KO settles in on a rear chinlock, and this turns into a sleeperhold. Ambrose fights up and hits KO with a headbutt, but he gets thrown outside. KO picks Dean up in a fireman’s carry, but then launches him right into the post! Ambrose can barely make it back in before the ten-count. Back in, KO hits a backbreaker for two. Dean blocks a senton attempt, and grabs the top rope which sends Owens to the outside. Dean hits a suicide dive outside! They head back in once more, and Dean tries Dirty Deeds again. KO whips Dean into the ring, but Ambrose catches him with a series of clotheslines and forearms. KO throws Dean into the corner on a missed bulldog attempt. He climbs up to try something, but Dean catches KO on the ropes, and follows with a SICK clothesline from the middle rope for two. Ambrose goes back up top as KO rolls outside, and hits Owens with a top rope elbow to the outside! These guys just can’t stay in the ring, can they? Back inside, Ambrose tries a move from the top, but KO catches him with a shot to the ribs! KO with a Package Cradle Bomb for ONE, TWO, NO! Dean tries a third Dirth Deeds, but KO catches him with a kick to the ribs. They counter each other once more, but Dean FINALLY hits on the fourth attempt of Dirty Deeds. ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Dean Ambrose (***1/2)
After the match, Chris Jericho appears! He hits KO with the Codebreaker! Y2J celebrates in the ring as we go to credits.
Final Thoughts: I thought there were some good matches tonight, but I didn’t like the way wrestlers were rolled out during this big “Shakeup”. There should have been a little more fanfare. Just my two cents. Fun show, though! See you next week!