HomeTelevisionReview: The Monday Night RAW Shake-Up

Review: The Monday Night RAW Shake-Up

A lot happens tonight, so I’ll try to be brief and to the point. The show opens with both Stephanie and Shane McMahon discussing the superstar shake-up. Of course, Shane gloats about his “Best in the World” trophy and victory at WrestleMania. The announcement of the first draft is interrupted by the first draft… The Miz! He bolts to the ring and brawls with Shane. At some point things going awry and The Miz winds up with a very bloody head. Miz chases Shane off with a few chair shots.

The opening match sees The Revival and… and… sigh, I can’t believe I’m going to say this… The Viking Experience with Erik and Evin defeating Aleister Black, Ricochet, Zack Ryder, and Curt Hawkins. I have no words. We just got used to calling them the War Raiders… and Hansen and Rowe were fine names. So what the hell WWE? Good match though, despite the confusing name changes. All NXT wrestlers in this match are officially on RAW now.

Cedric Alexander drafted to RAW.

Andrade defeated Finn Balor – Non-Title match

Really good match. On the one hand I think RAW will be a good fit for Andrade and Zelina Vega, but I do worry if he doesn’t immediately thrive, he’ll wind up buried. Balor does a knee injury and an assist by Vega allows Andrade to earn the pinfall win.

Elias wants to perform, but now the gimmick has become interruptions. Tonight it is Rey Mysterio. Goody. He tussles with Elias before botching a springboard. As Elias leaves, another NXT call-up comes out, Lars Sullivan who destroys Mysterio. Lots of drafts from NXT.

I worry the roster is going to become majorly overcrowded, and many of the NXT call-ups will get lost.

The Usos defeat Gable & Roode

Another good match, Usos way over with the Montreal crowd. Does seem like Gable and Roode are turning the way of jobber real fast.

A Moment of Bliss featuring Sami Zayn

This may have been the best segment of the night. Bliss looks hot as always, and Zayn comes out to a massive ovation from his hometown crowd. They play is music a few times over to keep the crowd hot. They are absolutely wild. Sami speaks in French, crowd loses it. He brings out the ol’ “Olay Olay Olay” and sends the crowd into a frenzy. His remark of “like fish in a barrel” lets us know where this is heading. He quickly praises Montreal’s landmarks, and then runs down the people. He trashes the fans and adds to his tirade last week about social media marks and everyone wanting to be an internet savior. The crowd, I believe begins to curse him out in French, even Alexa Bliss ridicules Zayn. This one ends the same way last week’s segment, “See you in Hell.”

I’m liking this. A lot.

Backstage: The IIConics poke fun at Bayley for losing the Women’s Tag Team Championships as well as the disappearance of Sasha Banks. Even Corey Graves adds on commentary “Banks took her ball and left.” Wonder if this refers to the rumors about Banks up and quitting. In any event, tonight Bayley & Naomi defeat The IIconics in a non-title match. 

EC3 who may or may not have been draft, demands competition since he has not been featured on RAW at all.

He gets Braun Strowman. He gets thrown all over the arena. He gets tossed into the stage screens. Finally, he is plowed through the stage area. Shame, I thought EC3 had the look WWE Creative goes for, but I guess they just don’t like him enough.

Becky Lynch comes out as Braun celebrates. She defeats Ruby Riott. Following the match, Natalya comes out during the promo to offer a challenge for the RAW Women’s Championship. Lacey Evans comes out and apparently uses her “classy lady charm” to get a match with Nattie tonight to become #1 contender.

Lacey Evans defeats Natalya

Mid-match it looks like Natalya hurts her arm, and then the final moment of the match sees Evans hitting a top rope springboard moonsault, comes down hard. I hope Natalya wasn’t too banged up.

I worry about Evans’ character. Like the IIconics, appear to be similar to the old antics of the Divas. This time, Evans implying she used some sex appear to get what she wanted. Not cool WWE. Thought this era was over.

Also announced, Eric Young is drafted to RAW.

We also got a few creepy promos tonight, one featuring the coughing vulture sock-puppet. The second involves a lot of dolls. Creepy dolls. Guessing Bray Wyatt is coming back.

I want Mr. Socko to show up.

Main Event: Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, & Bacon Rorbin vs. Roman Reigns, Universal Champion Seth Rollins, and tonight’s final draft, A.J. Styles

I had a hunch it was Styles. They needed someone big for the final draft of the night, and he made the most sense, despite SmackDown being “The House AJ Styles built.” A lot of back-and-forth fast paced action in this one. To be honest, even though the newest recruit got the pinfall, I think the real MVP of the match is Drew McIntrye. This guy should be main eventing more often and getting title opportunities.

Tomorrow night on SmackDown, we find out who gets drafted from RAW, NXT, and 205Live.

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