WWE gives it a twist in Raw’s Superstar Shake-up – DigitalSpy.com
16 April 2019 MUSIC
Note: This article contains full show match results from WWE Monday Night Raw from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, which aired on April 15, 2019.
WrestleMania 35 is gone, gone, gone and we’re already looking way ahead to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida in a year’s time for WrestleMania 36.
There’s an awful lot of wrestling to happen before then, and after week’s fallout shows, the path started last night with part one of the Superstar Shake-up.
Read on for six things we learned on Monday Night Raw with a series of brand switches and call-ups.
1. NXT Tag Team Champions The War Raiders The Viking Experience are here on Raw as Hanson and Rowe Ivar and Erik join Raw from NXT (and so, officially, do Aleister Black & Ricochet)
With a number of NXT stars joining Raw and SmackDown in a cross-brand capacity between Christmas and WrestleMania 35, it wasn’t a given that we’d get any more during the shake-up.
But last night we got a shock addition to the Raw roster from NXT, as the current, reigning tag team champs burst on to the scene.
And they’ve got brand spanking new names, too.
Known as the War Raiders Hanson and Rowe, the duo have held the belts over in Full Sail since NXT TakeOver: Phoenix.
And they’re still in ownership of that gold despite a total identity change. Raw (and presumably NXT, come Wednesday), meet Ivar (formerly Hanson) and Erik (formerly Rowe): The Viking Experience.
The rebranded (in every way) team made an instant impact last night, joining forces with The Revival for a smart victory against current Raw champs Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins and recent call-ups Aleister Black & Ricochet, who are now officially a Raw tag team.
2. Bayley joins forces with Naomi after splitting from Sasha Banks
There have been all sorts of rumours spinning around the dirt screens about Sasha Banks and her apparent unhappiness in the WWE.
We’ve not been able to get confirmation or denial on any of that, so we’ll shove it to one side, for now.
What’s clear though is that the first holders of the relaunched WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship are no longer a tag team.
Just over a week after losing the belts to The IIconics, Sasha has split from Bayley, and without even that juicy feud they were teasing us with for the last two years.
Instead we just got the Hugster coming out with her brand new partner, the always-impressive Naomi.
And it was the Glow who got the pin as they took on Billie Kay and Peyton Royce in a non-title match.
With Nia Jax out of contention with a serious injury, Bayley and her new partner have surely trundled their way to the front of the line for a shot at The IIconics recently-won gold.
3. AJ Styles is here on Monday Night Raw
Ever since the WWE draft in 2016 kickstarted a new brand-split era for the WWE, AJ Styles has been inextricably linked with SmackDown Live.
He’s been the standard bearer for the Blue Brand for the nearly-three years since then, but all that changed last night as he joined forces with two-thirds of The Shield on Monday Night Raw.
With Dean Ambrose (seemingly) gone, gone, gone, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins wasted no time in enlisting some seriously heavy firepower as a short-term replacement.
Together they defeated Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley, with Rollins, Reigns and Styles each hitting Lashley with a finisher to get the job done.
There are still plenty of spinning plates, but Styles on Raw is sure to give both the man and the show a needed shot in the arm.
4. Becky Lynch’s first Raw challenger is Lacey Evans
After months of being a SmackDown Superstar and a Raw title challenger featuring on both shows, Becky Lynch is now a champ champ with fair reason to appear on Monday AND Tuesday nights.
And here on Monday Night Raw she’s already got a few wrestlers who want at least one of her straps.
Ruby Riott was first in line, but she may have found herself nudged to the back of the queue after her defeat by Lynch
Step forward Natalya, an ex-champ who’s always looking for the next opportunity, BUT OH WAIT HANG ON WHO’S THIS?
Lacy Evans appeared once more, and once more she did more than walk and wave this week.
The Lady of WWE revealed that she’d spoken to the McMahons and parlayed a number #1 contender’s match against Nattie for the right to face Bex.
Right hand. Standing switch moonault. And Lacey Evans is Becky Lynch’s official challenger.
5. The Usos are here on Monday Night Raw
If the main roster debut of the War Raiders Viking Experience (sorry, we’re still getting used to that one), has left us confused, then this made a lot more sense.
The SmackDown Live Tag Team Division has been on fire for a long, long time now, with quality in every corner.
And its anchor has always been The Usos, who have been the the guys that really tied that division together, even when they weren’t holding the gold.
By contrast, over on Raw things have gone in fits and starts, and more fits than starts if truth be told.
The titles have changed hands too quickly with little buzz or fanfare, and without any team really managing to establish itself as a highlight of the three hour show.
Well, all that is hopefully about to change as Jimmy and Jey Uso have switched over to Monday nights.
And they showed that they were ready for the move with a hard-fought victory over Chad Gable and Bobby Roode, finishing things off with a flurry of trademark Superkicks and the Double Uce.
We’ll need to see how everything settles by next week, but it looks like we finally have a tag team division on our hands here.
6. Andrade, Rey Mysterio, The Miz and Lars Sullivan are on Raw… (and so is a solo Eric Young and Cedric Alexander it seems), but we don’t know about Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn or Alexa Bliss
With the Superstar Shake-up being a two-day affair, it’s still not entirely clear where some wrestlers are going to end up.
Andrade has made the leap to Team Red though, and made an instant statement with a Zelina Vega-assisted win against the current WWE Intercontinental Champion Finn Bálor (and sign us up for a PPV match between those two, please).
Rey Mysterio has switched brands, too, though he didn’t have such a happy Raw return after Lars Sullivan cut short his hello.
And after Shane McMahon opened the show, The Miz showed that their rivalry was far from over after their brutal WrestleMania 35 encounter, by following him over and having a measure of revenge with a steel chair.
But the future of many other stars is still up in the air – even if they appeared on last night’s show.
Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn and Alexa Bliss all made an appearance, with Strowman chokeslamming confirmed Raw man EC3 and Alexa having a Moment of Bliss with Sami.
None of the trio were confirmed for Raw, though, heavily suggesting a move to SmackDown tomorrow night.
But after their limp SmackDown debut last year, it appears that SAnitY are no more, as a solo Eric Young seems to have jumped over to Raw (but didn’t have any screen time to impress in the three-hour show).
And Cedric Alexander has made the leap from 205 Live to Monday Night Raw, and will hope to emulate the success of recent cruiserweight sensation Mustafa Ali.
Oh, and there was this…
WWE Monday Night Raw full show match results – Monday, April 15, 2019
The Viking Experience (Ivar & Erik) and The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) vs Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins and Aleister Black & Ricochet
WINNERS: The Viking Experience (Ivar & Erik) and The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
Andrade vs Finn Bálor
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso)
WINNERS: The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso)
Bayley & Naomi vs The IIconics (Peyton Royce and Billie Kay)
WINNERS: Bayley & Naomi
Becky Lynch vs Ruby Riott
WINNER: Becky Lynch
Lacey Evans vs Natalya [#1 Contender Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship]
WINNER: Lacey Evans
Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley vs Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & AJ Styles
WINNERS: Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & AJ Styles
What did you think of Monday Night Raw? Let us know at @digitalspywwe.
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