Welcome to Monday Night Raw for the final time in April and a mere week away from WWE Backlash.
The Greatest Royal Rumble is behind us and I for one couldn’t be happier. The entire event had a strange, almost gross feeling around it; the ban on female competitors, Sami Zayn’s absence, Finn Balor’s Pride attire muted, and the fact that the whole show felt like a promotional video for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Maybe you classify yourself as a “progressive liberal” and think I’m being too harsh on another’s countries traditions and culture, but that culture is everything western society has grown to dislike: bigotry, sexism and censorship. Bear in mind, not only were women disallowed from competing, they were banned from even being shown, which is why an apology was issued for WWE showing females in a commercial for Backlash during the event. I don’t know how anyone could look at that and see it as anything other than a step backwards for WWE and the so-called “Women’s Revolution”.
Anyways, we’re already en route to WWE Backlash, which happens this Sunday! The WWE Universal Championship is still in the possession of Brock Lesnar, and that title will not be contested on Sunday night. Roman Reigns was unable to dethrone Lesnar for the third time, fourth if you count a Fatal 4-Way, meaning The Big Dog really has to move on. At Backlash, Reigns will face a new threat in the form of Samoa Joe. This seems like a way to rebuild Reigns after two big PPV losses in a row but I hope that isn’t the case because Samoa Joe is amazing. Expect the two to finally come to blows tonight.
Elsewhere on tonight’s Raw, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt begin their run as Tag Team Champions, and Seth Rollins searched for a new opponent for the Intercontinental Championship – though I suspect it will be Finn Balor one-on-one. Also, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, Braun Strowman, and lots more. Remember to download the Ringside News app and enjoy the show!
Monday Night Raw opens with a look back at The Greatest Royal Rumble. We go live to the arena in Montreal, and out comes Roman Reigns!
Reigns makes his way to the rings to a cacophony of boos from the Canucks. Coach has rejoined the commentary team, who discuss that Reigns actually won the cage match because his feet touched the floor first, while Brock’s back hit the floor. The commentators say it was the referee’s fault but that Kurt Angle stands by the decision. Reigns is booed incessantly and the commentators play it off like the Canadians are crazy and this is a weird crowd.
Reigns says there is no need for excuses, we’ve seen the footage and know what happened, we’re looking at the real Universal Champion. “Roman Sucks” kicks-up from the fans. He says he should be the Champion but he’s not…yet. He says a lot of people doubted him and lost faith in him but he beat Brock Lesnar in that cage and that’s why he will never lose faith in himself. He’d like to tell Lesnar this himself but he’s not here tonight. So he turns his attention to another man.
Samoa Joe appears on the screen and gets a massive reaction. Joe says nobody had faith in Reigns to begin with. He says at Backlash he will put Reigns downward spiralling career to sleep. With that Joe disappears and out comes Jinder Mahal – who btw is really over in Canada for some bizarre reason. Mahal says he cannot stand it when people make excuses for their shortcomings. He reminds Reigns that he lost fair and square to Lesnar and he will lose fair and square to Samoa Joe on Sunday, but tonight he will lose to the Modern Day Maharajah. Mahal says Joe is right, Reigns’ career is in the tubes and tonight marks his rise to the Universal Championship on Raw.
Next out is the hometown boy, Sami Zayn and the roof almost blows-off the joint! Zayn drinks-in the adoration as the fans sing his music. Zayn speaks in French and gets a pop. He says the two of the guys in the ring are complaining about the Rumble, however he received vertigo from Bobby Lashley and he wasn’t even able to go to Saudi Arabia. He says he feels like making everything better here in his hometown, and he wants to take-on Roman Reigns.
Next out is hometown boy number two: Kevin Owens! KO stands on the ramp and soaks in the applause from the fans. He too speaks French-Canadian and gets a big reaction – the fans chant “Oui!” Owens makes his way to the ring and says he knows Zayn can beat Roman Reigns but he thinks the people want to see him face Reigns. Owens says we have a situation here because he, Zayn and Mahal want to face Roman Reigns, so he suggests a popularity contest. He asks the fans if they want to see Zayn face Reigns, then Mahal, then himself, and he definitely got the best reaction. Reigns then strikes Owens, which earns him a beating from Zayn, Mahal, Singh, and Owens. Bobby Lashley comes running down to the ring and beats on the heels, followed by Braun Strowman. The three babyfaces clear the ring and throw Sunil Singh onto Mahal, Owens and Zayn at ringside.
Later tonight, Mickie James will face Natalya, with Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey in their corners. Elias is shown backstage, he will be in concert next!
Back from commercial, the announcers confirm the six-man tag main event.
Elias is in the ring to play a show. He talks about eliminating Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, and more, at The Greatest Royal Rumble and how he’s getting incomprehensibly famous. He goes to launch into his song, demands the crowd be quiet, and starts singing about how Bobby Roode isn’t very glorious and he’s pathetic like the people of Montreal. Mahal starts to perform but Bobby Roode cuts him off, we head to the break as he takes to the ring.
The match is in progress and Roode is fighting out of a headlock, but Elias backs him to the corner for some stiff shots to the head and body. Roode takes him down with a dropkick to regain control. Elias kicks out of a blockbuster at two and gets the upper hand by making Roode chase him in and out of the ring. The Drifter uses his power to keep Roode off balance. Off to commercial.
We see Roode still on defense after the commercial. Elias continues to wear him down with a chinlock before he breaks the hold. Bobby fires off a few clotheslines and a spinebuster for a near fall. He fights off Elias on the top rope and hits a diving clothesline to take him down.
Elias escapes the Glorious DDT and they trade two counts during an inside cradle. Roode gets sent into the ring post and he starts struggling for air. The ref calls for a medic as Bobby grabs his throat and coughs. They check on Bobby and it seems he can’t continue. Elias grabs a mic and declares himself the winner of the match.
Elias walks off, looking very proud of himself. Still to come, Natalya Vs. Mickie James.
We return from commercial and see officials helping Bobby to the back.
Out come the Author’s Of Pain for a match. We see their opponents backstage with Charly Caruso, two hometown jobbers, who speak in French-Canadian and claim they will beat the AOP!
The bell rings and Rezar takes Francois down with a massive boot as Jean-Paul tags himself in. Rezar takes Jean-Paul down and tags Akam in. They hit the Super Collider before hitting Jean-Paul with the Last Chapter to pick up the win.
Still to come, Natalya Vs. Mickie James with Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss.
We return from the break and see articles about The Greatest Royal Rumble and how it was a success.
Out comes The Architect,The Kingslayer, The Intercontinental Champion, Seth Rollins! We see still images of Seth retaining the IC Title at the Rumble. This Sunday, Rollins will face The Miz for the title.
Rollins says this has been a crazy month; he won the Intercontiental Championship at WrestleMania, defended it in South Africa, then it St. Louis, Saudi Arabia, and now he’s here in Montreal. The fans sing “Ole!” and Rollins looks bewildered but like he’s having a blast.
Rollins doesn’t speak for a few minutes as the fans go off-script. Rollins thanks them in French and they go nuts. He says the trip back from Arabia was long and he had a lot of time to reflect. He says he figured out what kind of Champion he wants to be, and who he doesn’t want to be. And he really doesn’t want to be like Brock Lesnar. He says he doesn’t want to show-up when it’s convenient or the price is right. He wants to be a fighting Champion, every Monday night. Just then, Rollins is interrupted by Finn Balor, and now that we’re back from the Middle East, it once again incorporates “everyone”.
Finn introduces himself in French for a cheap pop. Balor says it was indeed a long flight back from Arabia and he too had time to reflect. He says he watched how close he came to becoming the Intercontinental Champion but Seth did win. He says they’ve had four singles match and won twice each. Balor reminds Seth that he’s a fighting Champion, and asks him to put the title on the line tonight. Rollins says he has to face Miz this Sunday for the title, the fans boo, however he is a fighting Champion and he asks the fans if they want to see it. Needless to say, they do. Seth agrees to the match and they shake hands.
The Miz’s music hits and the fans get excited, however they get Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Dallas says Balor and Rollins shouldn’t be fighting each other, they should be fighting together. They suggest the four of them join forces and they reveal shirts with all of their faces taped to them. Dallas says forget about The Balor Club and The Shield. They suggest they should become the new Four Horsemen. Balor and Rollins walk away to discuss it, then return with a no. Dallas and Axel didn’t like the answer, so they attack but they quickly get knocked from the ring. Rollins loses his concentration and Finn Balor hits him with a reverse DDT. The fans boo and Balor looks very smug. He leaves and smiles all the way up the ramp.
The six-man tag team is still to come, as well as Titus O’Neil discussing his big trip to Saudi Arabia. Sasha Banks Vs. Ruby Riott, up next!
Ruby and the Riott Squad make their way to the ring. Sasha is interviewed before the match and she says Bayley isn’t in her corner and she hasn’t heard anything from Bayley.
Ruby backs Sasha to the corner and makes a clean break to kick things off. Banks takes her down with an arm drag, but Riott is quick to counter back. Morgan and Logan laugh as their leader stomps Banks into the mat. The Boss regains control and puts her in a straitjacket submission. Bank manages to dodge a cheap shot from Logan and take Riott down with a basement dropkick before the break.
We return to see Riott controlling the pace. Sasha’s head gets kicked right into the middle turnbuckle. Ruby gets a quick two count with an STO. Banks starts to get her second wind after countering a kick. Riott stops her in her tracks with a kick to the face and a cannonball senton from the middle rope for a near fall. That looked awesome:
Sasha grabs hold of Ruby and hits her with the backbreaker, then applies The Bank Statement! Sarah Logan then distracts the ref so Morgan can help Riott escape the Bank Statement. The Boss hits a double knee to Riott against the ring post and another to Morgan off the apron. Sasha climbs the ropes and Logan again causes a distraction. Ruby hits the Riott Kick while Banks is on the top rope and scores the pinfall!
Good match between those two, they have good chemistry. Ruby celebrates with The Riott Squad after the fact.
We get another Moment of Bliss PSA from Alexa Bliss, in which she says Nia Jax made fun of her height and made her feel small at Disney World. She feigns tears and says at Backlash, she will walk away with the Women’s Championship.
We return to an interview with Renee Young and Titus O’Neil. They show the clip of Titus making his entrance at The Greatest Royal Rumble and falling under the ring apron. Titus is smiling and Renee says he broke the internet. She asks how feels about being in the spotlight, Titus says he planned it that way…then says nope, “I just fell”. He says what’s really important is that you get back up when you fall down. Baron Corbin approaches and asks Titus what would be more inspirational, is if Titus hadn’t fallen in the first place. I smell a match.
Still photos are shown of the new RAW Tag Team Champions, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. Now “WOKEN” Matt Hardy is seen reading an old book, being his usual insane self. Hardy says the story has always been told. The vessels known as Bray Wyatt and Matthew Hardy have transcended time and space. They were there at the beginning, at history’s greatest triumphs, but nothing in history can compare to their greatest victory. Their vessels cannot be contained by this planet alone. Bray Wyatt comes into the shot saying they are darkness and light. Their shadow will continue to consume everything. Wyatt says, “Behold the Deleters of Worlds!”
Footage is shown of Ronda Rousey making a save for Natalya, only for Mickie James to hit her with a baseball slide. Rousey got in the ring and made James pay with an arm bar. Natalya will face Mickie James later tonight. Coming up next, Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley, and Braun Strowman will take on Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Jinder Mahal.
We return and see entrances for everyone in the six-man tag team match, from Bobby Lashley to Kevin Owens.
Sami Zayn starts things off against Roman Reigns. Reigns isn’t over at all in Montreal. Zayn immediately tags in Owens who tags Sami back in. Roman catches Sami with a right hand leading to loud boos. The faces are in charge as we take to the break.
Back from commercial, Jinder Mahal is all over Roman Reigns in the corner. Reigns soon gets back in it and tags Lashley. Lashley leapfrogs Mahal and takes him down with a clothesline.
Zayn tags himself in and Lashley goes for the verical suplex again. Owens comes in and kicks Lashley in the gut forcing Lashley to break it. Owens then tags himself in to a massive pop and unloads on Lashley before quickly tagging Mahal in. Mahal works on lashley in the corner and keeps him there. Owens tags back in and he floors Lashley with a chinlock. Meanwhile, we get a split-screen commercial for Backlash.
Eventually Lashley fights out. As soon as the commercial ends, Lashley fights up, almost on cue. Owens takes him down and hits a senton splash for a two count. Owens quickly knees him and applies another chin lock. Owens holds it on for a bit. Lashley eventually fights up and hits a reverse STO.
Reigns and Zayn are tagged in. Reigns hits a pair of clotheslines before having a whip to the corner reversed. Reigns explodes out with a clothesline. Reigns then starts clubbing him in the corner. Reigns then connects with a big boot. Reigns sets up for a Superman Punch, but Sunil Singh gets on the apron. Reigns pulls him into the ring and throws him out. Owens tags in and DDTs Reigns for a near fall.
We come back from the break to see Zayn applying a loose chin lock to Reigns. Reigns fights up, but Zayn punches him back. Reigns quickly overtakes him with right hands. Zayn grabs the ankle to stop him from making the tag. Owens tags in and attacks Reigns. Owens hits a slingshot elbow drop off the second rope for a near fall. Owens punches away at Reigns and tags Zayn back in. Zayn punches away at Reigns before picking up a near fall. Zayn then applies another chin lock. Reigns fights up and hits a back suplex. Owens tags in, but Reigns boots him. Owens sends him to the ropes, but Reigns hits a Superman Punch. Mahal tags in and punches Lashley off the apron. Reigns then hits a Samoan Drop.
Strowman tags in, and he clotheslines Mahal down. Strowman goes outside and kills Owens with a shoulder at ringside. Strowman gets back in the ring for a clothesline to Mahal. Strowman then goes outside and shoulders Zayn. Owens avoids another shoulder, but Strowman sends him to the barricade. Mahal sidesteps a running shoulder in the ring, and Strowman hits the ring post shoulder-first. Lashley cuts Zayn off trying an attack. Mahal then knocks Lashley out of the ring. Owens tags in and goes to whip Mahal into Strowman, but Reigns spears him instead. Owens superkicks Strowman and goes for a cannonball, but Strowman cuts him off with a Running Powerslam for the win!
Coming up later tonight will be Seth Rollins defending the Intercontinental Championship against Finn Balor. Coming up next, we’ll see Baron Corbin take on No Way Jose.
Baron Corbin comes out and stops talking because his promo was scripted as if the crowd would be chanting over him, but they’re not making a peep. Corbin runs down the RAW roster. Corbin says this nonsense makes him want to puke. He’s here to win championships and money. Corbin isn’t going to make money making the people laugh. Corbin is putting an end to nonsense. When it’s all said and done, no one will be laughing.
Jose starts off with right hands, but Corbin slides out of the ring and gets back in to clothesline him. Corbin taunts the crowd. Corbin attacks Jose, but Jose fights back and pulls the top rope down to get him out of the ring.
Corbin gets back in and avoids a cross-body block and sends Jose into the ring post shoulder-first. Titus Worldwide comes out and distracts Corbin. Apollo Crews and Dana Brooke go to the foot of the ramp and hold O’Neil from running down the ramp. Crews wipes down the ramp. O’Neil gets to the ringside area without tripping. O’Neil gets on the apron and immediately slips off. Jose then rolls Corbin up for the win.
No Way Jose dances up the ramp with his conga line and Titus Worldwide. Corbin is furious.
A video highlighting John Cena’s participation in Make-A-Wish is shown. Natalya will take on Mickie James, next.
Footage is shown of Ronda Rousey locking Mickie James in an arm bar. Ronda Rousey accompanies Natalya to the ring and gets a huge pop.
They lock up, and Natalya wrenches the arm. James quickly gets out and leaves the ring to hold her injured arm. A “Ronda Rousey” chant fires up. James gets in the ring and circles around. Natalya clubs the back and wrenches the injured arm again. Natalya hits a snapmare, steps on her, and hits a dropkick for a two count. James quickly snaps her off the middle turnbuckle and slams her down.
James kicks Nattie in the chest for a two count. James applies a bode scissor. Natalya fights up, but James takes her down. Natalya quickly elbows her in the face. Natalya floors her with a discus clothesline and goes for a Sharpshooter, but Bliss gets on the apron. James chop blocks the knee. Rousey approaches Bliss, and Bliss quickly runs off. Rousey chases her around the ring. Meanwhile, ithe ring, Natalya rolls James up for the win.
Bliss sprinted off and avoided the wrath of Rowdy. Ronda Rousey helps Natalya to her feet. Bliss stands on the ramp looking. Nia Jax comes out, and Bliss runs away again. Jax gets in the ring and poses with Natalya and Rousey.
The commentators run down the Backlash card. Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley taking on Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn has been added. Coming up next in the main event, Seth Rollins will defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Finn Balor!
A handheld promo is shown with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. McIntyre says when he speaks, it’s real. While the other WWE Superstars are just happy to be there, there are two of them that are positive they deserve to be here. Ziggler says if he weren’t in this group, he’d be afraid. It’s about to get dangerous. They’re not here to steal the show. They’re going to take it.
We return to the arena and out comes Finn Balor, followed by The Champ. We get ring introductions for both men.
The bell rings, and they quickly tussle to the corner. Rollins shoves him coming out of the corner. They do some grappling before Rollins hooks a side headlock. Balor hits an arm drag before being sent into the ropes. Rollins elbows him down and sends him out of the ring before hitting a plancha. Rollins is in control as we head to the break!
We come back from the break to see Rollins applying a chin lock to Balor. During the commercial, Rollins whipped him hard into the corner twice. Balor fights up, and they trade chops. Rollins sends him to the corner, but he runs into boots. Balor takes him down with a few running forearms. Balor chops the chest before having a whip reversed on him. Balor slingshots over him and boots him, but Rollins soon gets away and hits a blockbuster. Rollins hits a running forearm in the corner and a reverse STO into the turnbuckles. Rollins hits a diving clothesline, and Balor rolls out of the ring to recover.
Rollins connects with a suicide dive. Rollins tries for a second one, but Balor kicks him in the head. Balor gets on the apron and gets in the ring. Balor punches away at him before connecting with a big DDT for a near fall. Rollins quickly counters a Sling Blade, but Balor dropkicks him. Balor hits a reverse DDT elbow for a two count. Balor chops him a few times in the corner before Rollins comes back with a Sling Blade. Rollins hits a Ripcord Knee for a near fall.
Rollins gets to his feet, and the crowd is getting loud. Rollins kicks him in the midsection and hits the ropes, but Balor forearms him down. Balor takes him down and hits a double stomp to the midsection. They take a few moments before getting up. Balor kicks him down and goes to the top rope, but Rollins cuts him off. Balor fights out of a superplex attempt, but Rollins quickly scales the ropes and hits a superplex. Rollins tries to follow up, but Balor counters into a falcon arrow for a near fall!
A “This is awesome” chant picks up. They trade forearms and chops. Rollins knees out of a 1916, but Balor comes back with an overhead kick. Balor then clotheslines him over the top rope. Balor then hits a summersault senton. Balor gets him in the ring and hits a stiff dropkick into the corner. Balor goes to the top rope, but Rollins avoids a Coup de Grace. Rollins kicks him and goes for the Stomp, but Balor moves. They trade roll-ups before Rollins tries another Stomp, but Balor moves. Balor then hits a Sling Blade. Balor goes for another running dropkick, but Rollins superkicks him. Rollins hits a Stomp for the win.
Seth Rollins will now go to WWE Backlash to take on The Miz on Sunday. That was a great match and the fans certainly helped. Rollins celebrates after the match and Balor tries to clear his head.
That’s it for tonight’s show! Tomorrow night’s SmackDown Live is the final stop on the road to Backlash, see you there! Safe travels!