WrestleMania has come and gone, so welcome to the worst time to be a wrestling fan during the year. Kidding aside, there is some truth to that statement, as WWE seems to get complacent after their biggest show of the year, pressing the restart button and kicking off a new season.
April has led us to the Raw-exclusive PPV (except not really) Payback, where Randy Orton faces off against Bray Wyatt in a House of Horrors match. Roman Reigns looks to get Vengeance (I could have said Payback, but I went with another WWE PPV pun) against Braun Strowman, KO and Y2J look to finish their feud, Bayley defends her Raw Women's Championship against Alexa Bliss, and The Hardys look to break Sheasaro.
Look, we get it: Enzo has the mouth, Big Cass has the look Vince McMahon wants, they sell merchandise, so they're trying to stay relevant, and picking up the win helps, but they've been floundering for a long while now. Gallows & Anderson aren't in a better situation, but at least Enzo & Cass get some sort of reaction from the crowd, while the bald duo gets crickets.
These two teams are in desperate need of a new direction, because trading wins with each other does neither team any good. So Enzo & Cass pick up the win... Now what?
It's like Balor said: Miz TV always ends the exact same way, with its host getting his butt kicked. This was no different, but it's nice to at least see two of Raw's top stars on PPV in some shape or form.
Whether or not this turns into a feud is anyone's guess, but with plans in place for Balor to face off against Bray Wyatt, and The Miz most likely going after the Intercontinental Championship (again), this looks to be a one-off.
This is hard to explain. It's always nice to be surprised with the outcomes of a match, but this one is a little baffling. Don't get us wrong, Jericho winning and heading to SmackDown is fine and all, but given the fact he's about to go on tour with Fozzy, how much does his win help the blue brand?
In the most likely scenario, look for Jericho to lose his title on SmackDown in the coming weeks, if not as soon as this Tuesday.
First off, gotta love the little things that make KO awesome, like walking around his face during his entrance. Second, what was that? Why did the WWE feel the need to throw a curveball when it wasn't necessary? KO was gold as the Face of America, and he was looking to dominate the SmackDown brand, probably even winning the most prestigious title in wrestling history some point down the line. Now, he's technically back on Raw, where he'll most likely flounder with all the big names there.
Are they moving forward with the rumored Triple H-led stable with Samoa Joe and KO? Only time will tell...
It wasn't the opportune time to pull the trigger on the title change, because King Neville has given the cruiserweight title some much-needed prestige, and although it makes sense, a DQ during a title match on PPV sucks. The match was great, a one-sided affair that saw Austin Aries absolutely destroy the champion. Neville got himself disqualified instead of losing his title, so the feud must continue. Again, it makes sense, as it keeps the title on Neville and Austin Aries doesn't lose any of his momentum, but don't book yourselves in a corner. Have TJ Perkins interfere or something, since they turned him heel anyway.
This was a great tag match that saw the Hardys retain their titles. It's good to see them motivated and putting on great matches with new opponents. Sure, they got their butts handed to them after Sheamus and Cesaro turned heel (more of that with our next entry) but a win is a win.
They will most likely continue their feud with Sheasaro, further delaying the inevitable: a Broken Matt Hardy bringing his Deletion the the WWE. But for now, we might as well enjoy the Hardy Boy nostalgia before it runs out.
Well, they were teasing it, and they pulled the trigger with the Sheasaro heel turn. Desperation and coming up short all the time will do that to you. It's a good way to keep these guys fresh, since it feels like forever since Cesaro has been a heel. Hopefully they keep up their excellent work together and add some aggressiveness to their arsenal, making them the true badasses they are.
Why doesn't WWE like it when their performers win in their hometown? Don't they want the pop that would come with a win? Always a curious thought.
Alexa Bliss proved to us again just how awesome she is by becoming the first woman to win both the Raw and SmackDown's Women's Championships. The match was decent, putting the talent of both women on display, with Little Miss Bliss coming out on top with a vicious DDT. All hail the Wicked Witch of Monday Night Raw!
It doesn't need to be said: no one misses David Otunga on commentary. That doesn't mean Booker T is any good, but he's far more tolerable than the completely useless, why-is-he-still-employed Otunga. No need to elaborate further, we hope Otunga stays as far away from the product as possible, for as long as possible. He should just leave the entertainment business to his wife - the only reason he's probably still employed. Next!
You know why the Final Deletion was so successful? Because it didn't take itself seriously. It was over-the-top, B-movie fare with its participants fully aware of how ridiculous it all was. To put it simply: it was fun, and fresh. The House of Horrors match? Absolute crud.
Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt should never step foot in the same ring again. Their match at Mania sucked, and this was no different. It wasn't creepy or scary, they fought in a house in the middle of nowhere. Big f'n deal.
Seth Rollins couldn't afford a loss after his mega win against The Game at WrestleMania, and Samoa Joe needed to be kept looking strong. I guess they sort of succeeded, as Seth won the match by sneaking a pin while The Destroyer was attempting to choke him. Rollins keeps his momentum, Joe finally loses but it looks more like a fluke, the feud will probably continue in some way.
Maybe The Game should have been patient with The Architect? It's funny that both the guys Triple H is seemingly "grooming" and potentially forming a stable with lost tonight. Samoa Joe was actually undefeated until tonight, and KO lost a match everyone thought he would win. It's an interesting turn of events, and one can only wonder if it was done on purpose. Do we say KO take out Joe's enemy, Seth Rollins, tomorrow night on Raw? Do we see a mini-reunion of Shield members, with Dean Ambrose helping out his former buddy? All these are very bold predictions, but they're not an impossibility.
The crapfest that was the House of Horrors continued in the arena, which was honestly more interesting than anything they did in the terrible pre-taped horror segment. It lasted longer than it needed, but Bray Wyatt got the much-needed win thanks to the Bollywood Boys and Jinder Mahal, and hopefully this puts an end to all this malarkey.
This match was what it absolutely needed to be, and WWE deserves kudos for that. Sometimes, the obvious way to go is also the best way to go. Roman Reigns didn't need to channel Hogan and Cena levels of Superman, the dude got his butt kicked and was "injured", and doesn't look any weaker for losing to Braun. Plus, he got a bit of Payback (there's the pun) with his post-PPV beatdown of Braun.
Roman Reigns wasn't 100%, and you need to be in order to even have a chance against The Monster Among Men. The WWE told the simple story of a big unstoppable badass doing what he does best, setting him up as a main event player and a future #1 contender for Brock Lesnar's Universal Title, possibly at SummerSlam.
Best of all, the fans have eaten him up. Sure, it may just be the Roman Reigns effect, but we'll take it.
"Thank you Braun!"
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