Raw

Raw Rollup – “Shake Up” Edition (Apr.11)

Credit: WWE.com

After a week of anticipation, we finally got to see the superstar shake up. Like many fans, I was expecting a smart explanation as to how the superstars were moving, but that wasn’t the case. Somehow the main plot device for this episode was the most sluggish part about it. 

Opening Segment

Yeah, I can’t get enough of this. I can watch an entire series based on the Miz and Maryse playing John Cena and Nikki Bella. 

As for Raw’s acquisitions, I thought the Miz and Ambrose were perfect choices to move over. However, the promo they cut together was a incredibly lame. Initially the Miz was fine, but it was Ambrose and his choice of comedy that ruined the moment. The Miz was already working a comedic angle, so this may have benefited from Dean bringing forth a more serious tone. 

New Day vs The Revival
Wow! How awesome was Xavier’s “job fair” line? That was a brilliant way of incorporating an inside term into a pre-match promo. If anybody knows how to do it, it’s Woods. 

A rematch between these two teams wasn’t necessary. There’s no need to oversaturate the feud by having them wrestle on back to back episodes of Raw. If anything, a promo or ambush may have been a more entertaining way of furthering this program. 

The planned finish didn’t do favours for anybody, especially the New Day. Just because the Revival needs to look strong, that doesn’t mean the New Day has to weak. 

Curt Hawkins vs Big Show

What was the point of this segment? Instead having the Big Show come out to attack a jobber like Hawkins, why not make it Braun? It was obvious the this was nothing but a time fill. 

TJ Perkins vs Austin Aries

For something involving Perkins, the backstage segment that set this match was quite refreshing. Seeing TJ challenge another babyface was a sign of character development and great foreshadowing for what would happen later. 

I’m pretty sure this was the first time Perkins and Aries have ever wrestled a singles match on WWE television. That factor alone made this something worth watching. I can’t say it was the best thing on the show, but it certainly gave the fans a reason to tune in for 205 Live. 

Perkins has been floundering since his debut on the main roster, and his heel turn here was much needed. Apart from Neville, the cruiserweight division is lacking in credible heels, but TJ may be able to turn that around. 

Seth Rollins Promo

Now that Seth’s feud with Hunter is over, he can finally move on to something that doesn’t revolve around that. I personally liked how he stated his future intentions, because that was a great way of showcasing his character motives. 

Even though Rollins still made Stephanie a focal point of this promo, lets hope she doesn’t become his primary focus moving forward. Having Kurt reassure Seth that he’ll be staying on Raw should be the end of that drama.  

A feud with Joe seems like the perfect direction for Seth. The two have unfinished business, so it’s completely logical for this to be the direction for both of them. 

Charlotte vs Nia Jax 

Charlotte very much came across as a babyface during the initial stare down with Jax. In fact, that dynamic played out throughout the rest of the match. 

In terms of the in ring action, much of this felt clunky and slow. I think that just has to do with these two not being a good pairing. From what I gathered, Nia works a lot better with shorter and smaller women. With that being said, the moonsault from Flair was a thing of beauty. These days, it’s impossible for that spot to look bad. 

With Charlotte losing clean, we can all assume that she’s Smackdown bound. That’ll give her a fresh start, while giving Nia a big win. 

Finn Balor vs Jinder Mahal

We can consider this match the end of Jinder’s mini push, but that’s fine. As a fan, I just cared about about seeing Finn whoop some ass. 

The biggest shocker of this match was Bray Wyatt being moved to Raw. It’s strange, because he seemed destined to lead Smackdown. Based off of his Raw return, it’s safe to assume he’ll be feuding with Balor, which should be interesting when the Demon factor is taken into consideration. 

The Miz vs Sami Zayn 

I felt this was the best match for the Miz to have on his Raw return. Him and Zayn are polar opposites, and that translated extremely well in the ring. 

I’m not sure if the two have previously wrestled, but they showcased a great amount of chemsitry. If this is played smartly, these two can have a solid build up for the next PPV. The Miz is a strong enough villain to keep Zayn’s momentum going as a babyface. 

The finish could’ve possibly been worked as a DQ or countdown. That would’ve been a great way of building the Miz as the most cowardly wrestler on Raw. 

Braun Strowman beatdown on Roman Reigns

Initially, I disliked the idea of these two continuing their feud. However, when the beat down became more brutal, it had me hooked. It didn’t do much for Reigns, but this segment did a lot in terms of reenergizing Strowman. After he was put on the back burner, this was the segment that brought him back into the main event scene. 

While that ambulance spot was obviously rigged, it looked incredibly badass. 

Hardys, Cesaro, & Sheamus vs The Club, & Shinning Stars

Quite honestly, the Shinning Stars brought down the excitement of this match. Of the four teams, they were by far the coldest act.  At the same time, someone here needed to eat the pin. 

Based on Gallows’ and Anderson’s lack of involvement, it appears they may be moved to Smackdown. Even the announcers didn’t take about them that much. 

It’s worth noting that this didn’t do anything to create a Hardys/Cesaro & Sheamus feud. 

Sasha Banks/Bayley/Alexa Bliss/Mickie James

Out of all the roster moves on this show, this one was the executed the best. I believe that has a lot to do with the division needing a massive change. Bliss will be a great addition to Raw, and she can probably make Sasha into a more believable babyface. 

Hell, even Nia’s run in was entertaining. 

Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens

Honestly, nothing about this match had me invested. For a main event, it lacked context and meaning. After a long and mediocre episode, a meaningless main event is the worst they could put forth. 

Even with Jericho coming out at the end, this felt like a lackluster way to end the show.

Conclusion 

Going into this episode, the expectations were high. Not only were their superstars moving over, this was the Raw a week removed from Mania, and it didn’t deliver. Apart from the Smackdown acquisitions, nothing moved forward. It’s fair to say most of the feuds remained at a stalemate.

The low point of the show was Hawkins vs Show and the main event, while the high point was the Strowman beatdown. Overall, this episode deserves nothing more than a 4/10. 

One thought on “Raw Rollup – “Shake Up” Edition (Apr.11)

  1. Reblogged this on Wrestling Dreams and commented:
    Although I agree that it had some questionable filler matches I somehow expected an overall better score from you. It seemed that it really worked as a show for me.

    Smackdown stars gave the show new life.

    Whatever happens today, won’t move the scale on Smackdown side. It’s obvious the purpose of the shake is to bring RAW as top show again.

    Like

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