Talking Points From WWE Raw – 23rd April 2018

We’re just 4 days away from what WWE want us to believe is the most important and “Greatest” Royal Rumble of all time. It’s certainly the biggest one, since there’s 50 men in it, but I’ll reserve judgement on using the word “greatest” until I actually watch it, so we’re calling it the “Oil Rumble”.

Are we all assuming “The Big Dog Roman Reigns” is entering at Number 50 and winning it? Or will they surprise us and give it to Daniel Bryan? We’ll have to tune in on the WWE Network this Friday to find out. Apparently it’s free to new subscribers if you sign up now, and you will also get WWE Backlash for free as part of some free month they’re offering… I wonder how long that runs for. Anyway, let’s jump into the action from the go-home (or go-abroad) episode of Monday Night Raw…

UNIVERSAL TITLE BUILDUP

Heyman has a good chuckle about the effects steroids have had on Brock’s manhood

We kick off the show with the Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, coming to the ring with his advocate, Paul Heyman. Paul spouts his usual spiel about how Brock conquers, how he delivers spoilers, etc. and starts to hype the Universal Title match for the Oil Rumble this Friday. He talks about how Lesnar’s Wrestlemania win meant WWE had to offer him a big money deal, and how Brock will send Roman home from Saudi Arabia in multiple boxes. This brings out The Big Dog (Der beg derg!)

Roman comes out and says he doesn’t know how he’s gonna come home from Saudi Arabia, but he’s coming back with the title. If the leaked details of Brock’s contract are to be believed, her earned over $120000 for that appearance… Sweet Jesus!

Later in the night Samoa Joe cut a phone promo about how he’s worried he won’t have an opponent at Backlash. He’s worried Brock will conquer Roman and leave him buried somewhere in the Arabian Desert. He’s got a point, to be fair.

 

MONDAY NIGHT MAHARAJA

Chad Gable had a backstage segment thanking Kurt Angle for bringing him to Raw. Kurt says he’s brought him over as a singles competitor, not to tag with JJ. They’re interrupted by the Bollywood Bad Boy, Jinder Mahal. He says he will regain his US Title on Friday at the Oil Rumble, and he wants to go back to Smackdown, which Kurt says won’t happen. Jinder implies that Gable is just Nicholas wearing a headband, then makes a comment about Mini-Me passing away last week…. I know that might piss people off, but it’s such a heel thing to do, so I won’t complain.

Good Guy Gable (3G) helps Jinder, who is suffering from cramp

This all leads to a match between Gable & Mahal. Gable came out to the old American Alpha, which made me pop. They mentioned he weighs 202lbs though, which is worrying. Jinder jumps him before the match started, the mean, dirty, nasty heel. The match is all about the size and power of Mahal vs the technique and quickness of Gable. Mahal goes for a Khallas but Gable flips off the turnbuckle to roll him up into a pin for the shock victory. Big win for Gable, and he sold like a champ throughout in a strong Raw debut.

 

WOMEN’S EVOLUTION

These is a “public service announcement” from Alexa Bliss discussing bullying. Apparently one time she gave a homeless woman half of her burrito bowl, but Nia Jax ripped it off her and ate it herself. She wants the women of Raw to make the world a better place, and that with their help, she can finish the job at Backlash and prove that bullies never win.

They gave all the women on Raw (except Dana Brooke) a spot in a 10-woman tag match, since they won’t have any matches in Saudi Arabia this Friday. It’s Bliss, Mickie & Riott Squad vs Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Sasha Banks (IT’S BOSS TIME!!), Bayley & Natalya. The match itself was pretty solid. Big pop when Ember got first tagged in. She hit a ridiculous suicide dive onto Liv Morgan, where she looked like she had been shot out of a cannon! Nattie gets Mickie in a Sharpshooter, but Sarah Logan breaks it with a nasty looking Chop Block.

An exact quote from Corey Graves: “Nia Jax is bad for your health” – I’m sure Fitz will agree. She hits a running dive from the apron to the outside. It looked about as graceful as I do on the dancefloor at 2am after 9 pints of cider and 7 shots of Sambuca.

Mickie James with another cheap shot to Natalya on the outside. This brings Ronda Rousey out for the save. She goes to help Ronda up, but Mickie hits her. Cue the Rousey Death Stare! She rolls into the ring and Mickie tries to grab her, but Ronda flips her and locks in the armbar. I guess Team Mickie wins by DQ, but Ronda doesn’t care. She helps Nattie to the back as Raw goes off the air.

 

THE SAMI & KEVIN SHOW

Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens debuted their new talkshow segment. Their guest this week is Kurt Angle. Before he comes out they talk about the Oil Rumble and say that one of them is going to win the Greatest Rumble. They say this week is about new beginnings, bring out Kurt, and set up a folding beach chair for him.

Kevin makes reference to how Bollocksjaws herself has Kurt’s manhood in a jar in Connecticut. He then goes on to talk about how they were unfairly treated on Smackdown and had to take matters into their own hands. They talk about how since Stephanie hired them, it means she either really appreciates them, or really hates Kurt. They bring up his long list of children, and Sami forgot Jason Jordan, the same way Kurt did for all those years. Kurt says he will repay them at the Oil Rumble as he will be in the match, as will Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, and everyone else they’ve pissed off. Tonight they will have a tag match against Lashley (*puke*) & Braun Strowman.

During the match Cole refers to Sami as being “zany” – ah, it’s because he name is Zayn, so he’s “Zayn-y”. Jesus Christ, this commentary is absolute shite. Kevin & Sami work over Lashley for most of the match, keeping Braun frustrated on the apron. KO drags Braun off the apron, but that just pisses him off, and Lashley eventually makes the tag. Braun runs around the outside of the ring and lays out Owens, clotheslines Sami in the ring, then goes back out and lays out Owens again. He then clotheslines Sami again, followed by a T-Rex dropkick on KO. Sami tries to run away but Lashley catches him and throws him back in. Braun smash, Braun kill, Braun win!

 

RAW BYTES

  • Elias faced Bobby Roode. The match was fine, but they done an in-match splitscreen ad for the Oil Rumble. Elias wins with a rollup (yep, you read that right). The match was fine until the ending though.

Apparently Corbin is more of a “Macarena Guy”

  • No Way Jose came out with his conga line, and apparently he just loves to have fun. Baron Corbin comes out and says his idea of fun is ruining other people’s fun… NICE! He says Jose isn’t on his level, but as long as Jose is running around with his conga line there will be no match. When the conga line goes to the back Jose poses on stage for a second, and Corbin lays him out. Poor Inconclusive Ian!
  • Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt cut a backstage promo before their match with the Ascension. They have really good chemistry together, and it was good to have them in the same shot instead of the weird split-screen they done last week. Matt is talking to the lamp the whole way down the ramp, the weirdo! They beat the Ascension anyway, as was to be expected. They’re possibly my favourite thing on Raw these days.
  • The Miztourage had a backstage segment with Seth Rollins, where they try to pitch the idea of them being the new Shield. Rollins turns them down. A while later they try the same stunt with Finn Balor, where they offer to replace the Good Brothers, but Finn turns them down. I thought the Balor Club was for everyone Finn?!! Later in the night Balor & Rollins beat Miztourage in a fairly quick match.

Explain this to a non-wrestling fan…

  • Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre obliterated Titus WORLDWIIIDE in a quick match. Apollo got a few moves in, but this was all about Diesel-HBK 2.0. Their movesets mesh really well together, and this is a great way to bring Drew back to the main roster. Afterwards they cut a promo about how dangerous Drew is. He says he’s especially dangerous to a locker room that is soft and is just there for a paycheck, and that he’s the wakeup call WWE desperately needs. Damn it, I love those 2 guys!

 

RESULTS

Elias def Bobby Roode

Deleters of Worlds def Ascension

Drew McIntyre & HB-Ziggles def Titus Worldwide

Chad Gable def Jinder Mahal

Strowman & Lashley def Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens

Rollins & Balor def Miztourage

Alexa Bliss, Mickie James & Riott Squad def Sasha Banks, Bayley, Natalya, Ember Moon & Nia Jax (by DQ)

 

The Alleged Wrestling Podcast

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While you’re here, make sure to check out ‘The Alleged Wrestling Podcast’ where we have the craic looking back over the wrestling events of the past week! (It’s also on iTunes and Stitcher and all those nice things)

 

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About the author: Mark Gordon - Junior Executive Vice President of Time Travel and Thermodynamics, Raw Reviewer & Liverpool fan - Gordo loves Wrestling, many types of football (American, Gaelic and Soccer), numerous other sports and Video Games. He also enjoys running through fields of wheat, and subscribes to the theory that there is a suitable Simpsons reference for every situation.

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