Recap: The RAW after WrestleMania

Before I get to the RAW recap, I have to admit, WrestleMania 33 surprised me. I expected a mediocre event, but was beyond pleased with the show. Overall, I would say the show was a solid B+, and it was the marquee novelty matches such as Brock/Goldberg and Reigns/Undertaker which downgraded the show. Big praise to Shane McMahon and AJ Styles for their insane match, and the eruption when The Hardy Boyz returned.

The Crowd spends around five minutes chanting for The Undertaker, then slowly morphs into Roman Sucks chants, cueing the production crew to hit his music and the Most Hated Wrestler of the Modern Era makes his way to the ring. Every time Reigns tried to speak, the BOOOOOS overpowered him. Numerous near submissions. Between each booing session, were various chants, some with… well, explicit verbiage. You know, F*** You Roman, and A**hole, just to name a couple. Finally, he speaks, cutting the best promo ever, saying “This is my yard now.” With that, drops the mic, and leaves.

There were many DELETE! chants.

The Hardy Boyz retain the RAW Tag Team Championships against Anderson and Gallows

Good match, well paced. This was there just to get the Hardyz back in front of the audience, Gallows and Anderson hit their signatures, but ultimately Matt and Jeff had a DELIGHTFUL conclusion to the match.

Neville defeated Mustafa Ali

The crowd should have calmed down here, instead of paying attention to this awesome match, they were busy with beach balls being thrown around. Even Michael Cole acknowledged the insanity. Regardless, this was a great match, Ali showed off a lot of heart and really put his best efforts in to win over the crowd. We saw some great overhead suplexes, Ali destroyes Neville with a Reverse Frankensteiner, but then misses the inverted 450, allowing Neville to lock in the Rings of Saturn for the submission win.

A limo is shown arriving… and it’s VINCE MCMAHON!

He makes his way out to the ring, and the crowd sings along his theme. However, the first live crowd chant of this segment is “Roman Sucks.” Guess the live crowd really wants to be sure Vince understands this. He begins by thanking the crowd and then announces next week will be the draft. He then brings up the footage of Triple H whacking into Steph and crashes through a table. Vince is sad. Crowd is happy. Crowd cheers, Vince gets irate. Crowd wants Deletes! Vince announces there will be a new GM, when suddenly Teddy Long comes dancing out. Vince cuts his music and informs its not him… it’s KURT ANGLE!

Kurt Angle. YES. He is happy to be back, does his “It’s True” catchphrase and heads to the back. Yay!

The New Day come out… And has evolved to a new level of ridiculousness. They are wearing Road Warrior-style shoulder pads, but instead of spikes, it’s got ice cream cones. They admit being disappointed about not wrestling, so they offer an open challenge and out comes… THE REVIVAL!!!

The Revival defeat The New Day

Corey Graves has the line of the night… “That’s not going to separate your shoulder, it’s gonna divorce it!” Nice match, Revival gets the win with the Shatter Machine. Post match, they attack Kofi and “injure” his leg.

Backstage: Kurt Angle has an amusing segment with Enzo and Cass.

Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Dana Brooke defeat Charlotte, Nia Jax, and Emma.

Finally, Emma actually returns. Dana Brooke is now face? Ugh. Decent match, Sasha Banks forces Charlotte to tap out. Post-match, Charlotte loses her mind and winds up getting squashed by Nia Jax.

Backstage: Sami Zayn chums up to Kurt Angle, until Jinder Mahal comes in and whines. Angle can’t take it anymore and book them in a match with each other.

Rabbi Paul Heyman is in the ring with Brock Lesnar, and runs down Goldberg, then offers possible challengers such as The Hardyz or Seth Rollins… but then Heyman turns his attention to Roman Reigns. Crowd boos, until Heyman tells the crowd if Reigns is the Big Dog, then Brock Lesnar is Animal Cruelty. Fans get behind it for a moment, until a “We Want Balor” chant erupts. Heyman calls out Reigns for a match with Lesnar tonight, but instead Braun Strowman comes out and gets in Brock’s face. Brock is ready for a fight, but Strowman backs off first. Bummer.

Backstage: Jericho praises Beach-Ball Mania. Cheer Me On Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!! Jericho cuts a promo on the tip of Kevin Owens’ finger. I am not making this up. He puts “the tip of Kevin Owens’ finger on the list” but is then attacked by Owens and Samoa Joe.

Back from commercial, Angle looks unhappy and informs Seth Rollins, his partner for tonight’s main event is unable to compete, and thus is written off television so he can focus on his next tour with Fozzy. But have no fear Sir Kingslayer, for Angle promises to find him another partner for tonight.

Cesaro and Sheamus defeat Enzo and Cass to become the next contenders to the RAW Tag Team Championships.

Good match, bit surprised Enzo and Cass lost, my guess is they will be drafted to SmackDown next week to help beef up their tag division.

Sami Zayn defeats Jinder Mahal

Pretty decent match. Short, but decent. Zayn wins via turnbuckle exploder followed by the Helluva Kick.

Main Event: Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins… and…?????

FINN BALOR!!!! 

Crowd goes nuts. Despite a twitter post by a fan spotting him outside the arena earlier today. So, this is nuts to see what might have been a match in Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling, New Japan, and about eight other indy promotions. This match was too good. A match where everyone involved are former NXT Champions? Yes, please. Rollins does some high risk moves, and continues to sell the knee injury. So, even though this is a great match, the crowd starts a wave, which Michael Cole acknowledges. After being beaten up by Joe, Rollins finally makes the hot tag to Finn Balor. The leader of Balor Club cleans house and wins it via Coup de Gras.

It’s funny, most of the match the announce team talk about Rollins’ road to recovery and the conern of whether injury would shorten his career… Yet here is Rollins, now teaming in the main event with a guy who got injured, gave up the Universal Championship, and has been out for almost a year wondering if his injury would shorten his career. Irony?

Rollins and Balor celebrate in the ring as the show goes off the air.

Very interesting.