Monday, April 1, 2019

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - April 1st, 2019: The Final Raw Before WrestleMania 35

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - April 1st, 2019

First time I've watched an entire Raw and reviewed it in ages. All in the honor of WrestleMania week. Pray I make it through this.

Seth Rollins and WWE Champion Brock Lesnar opened the show. This entire feud has been your basic Brock-WrestleMania build that we've gotten the past several years so everyone is more or less used to this formula so it's been nothing special. The crowd is super into Rollins, though, so this segment went over well with Rollins & Lesnar breaking down into a brawl and the "Beast Slayer" coming out on top using a low blow to get the advantage and following it up with a curb stomp.

1) Sasha Banks, Bayley, Natalya, & Beth Phoenix vs. Nia Jax, Tamina, Billie Kay, & Peyton Royce

This was actually solid aside from a few hiccups early. It didn't overstay it's welcome and accomplished what it set out to in good fashion. Beth got re-established and had a nice spot where she speared Nia through the barricade which got a "you killed Nia" chant. This made her & Natalya look like a legit threat to Sasha & Bayley and even though that move & moment led to Beth getting the win for her team which included Sasha & Bayley - you could see the frustration they had over it. Fun stuff. Hopefully the four-way tag at Mania is like this and doesn't turn into a complete cluster fuck.

Match rating - **1/2

BATISTA is in the house. He comes out to a mixed reaction in his hometown. He points to the screen and a video package hyping the fact that H has never beat him airs. Dave then says "Hunter - kiss my ass" and leaves. Let's rock. I'm honestly excited for the Mania match with the stipulations and everything.

2) Apollo Crews vs. Jinder Mahal

Quick squash. Apollo dominates the former WWE Champion in a pretty random affair. Everyone else who is in the Memorial battle royal is ringside and it turns into a brawl post match. Apollo comes out on top of that as well. Guess we're about to see a two week push for Crews?

Match rating - *1/4

Kurt Angle is here for his final night on Monday Night Raw. He faces Baron Corbin in his farewell match at WrestleMania on Sunday. They air an emotional video package in honor of Kurt which brings tears to his eyes. Corbin interrupts the moment and talks shit. Angle challenges Corbin to an exhibition right now. Corbin refuses so Rey Mysterio comes out and tries to face him. Obviously, Baron declines that as well, but tries to cheap shot Mysterio. Angle & Mysterio clean house on Corbin for the happy ending. Given Angle & Mysterio's history of awesome matches on Smackdown in the mid 2000's - this was really heart warming for me. I wish Angle was facing someone different in his farewell match, but it makes sense storyline wise and I doubt Kurt could have another classic with a higher tier opponent in this day & age so it is what it is.

4) The Revival (c) vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet - WWE Tag Team Title Match

Another basic TV match from these two. Feel like we've seen these 10 times now. It never ends how you want it to and it's no different here. Some cool moves and exchanges then the inevitable non finish happens. Ricochet is held from getting back into the ring to break a ten count by Dash who was hidden under the ring.  Revival retains, but Black & Ricochet get the last laugh and the pop with a post match attack.

Match rating - **

Roman Reigns gets attacked by Drew McIntyre backstage. Whatev.

5) Charlotte, Becky Lynch, & Ronda Rousey vs. The Riot Squad

The main event of WrestleMania is teamed together in this six person tag. This is super well booked. Few minutes of action then Charlotte & Becky start arguing, Ronda tags in and taps out one of the Riot Squad girls. THEN we get to the good stuff. Ronda goes right after Charlotte as soon as the closing bell rings. Massive brawl between the three ladies. Security runs down and the ladies whoop their ass so "law enforcement" comes down. Charlotte, Becky & Ronda won't calm down and eventually all get arrested for assaulting officers. They keep resisting. Becky & Ronda fight in the back of the cop car and bust the window out in the process. Charlotte knees Ronda in the head as she's trying to climb out the window. Awesome stuff to be honest. I think they are going to knock Mania out of the park, especially after this.

6) Braun Strowman vs. 2 jobbers

Braun kills dudes for 6 minutes.

Match rating - SQUASH

Bobby Lashley is in the ring for an interview. Lashley says he beats Finn Balor every time and Mania will be no different. Balor appears on the tron and is bringing the demon to Mania. He says "I have demons, and at WrestleMania, my demon will be your nightmare." LETS GO.

7) Rey Mysterio vs. Baron Corbin

This stemmed from the segment earlier in the night. Such a random choice to go last, but it's a lot of fun because Rey is in the middle of an amazing run and Corbin gets heat. Rey throws a lot at Corbin, but gets put away in the end. Post match, Corbin is walking up the ramp and Angle attacks him and locks him in the ankle lock and refs pull him off.

Match rating - **3/4

The show closes with that segment and replays of the women's brawl from earlier. Overall, this was a pretty good go home show that solidified hype for pretty much every match on the card, especially the triple threat main event. And everything else, they at least gave you a reason to tune in for. Not a bad show at all, but literally nothing worth going out of your way to see either.

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