The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 04/15/19 Review (Superstar Shake-up)

Live from Montreal, Quebec, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1350 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner above.

This week’s Raw began with a shot of the live crowd in Montreal making a lot of noise with Michael Cole welcoming us to Raw. Stephanie McMahon made her entrance for the show opening promo.

Let’s Hear from Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon
Stephanie McMahon welcomed us to Raw and the Superstar Shake-up. She introduced the “best in the world” Shane McMahon, who was booed by the crowd. Shane went into the ring and he was excited to be there. He’s on good terms with Stephanie again as they hugged in the ring.
Shane asked Raw ring announcer Mike Rome to announce him and he did a big “Best in the World” introduction. Shane asked Rome to introduce him in French. Fans chanted “CM Punk” when they heard the “Best in the World” phrase. The sound went away, so maybe the sound was muted. Shane said something in French that was likely “best in the world” (I forget my French from when I took it in school) and the fans chanted “you suck” at Shane. Steph said Angle already lost and retired. Shane said that he was speaking the bad kind of French they speak here.

Stephanie and Shane talked about how the rosters will be shaken up. Stephanie said that it was one of her favorite nights of the year. Shane cued up images from Fastlane when he grabbed George Mizanin at ringside and put Miz in a submission hold.
Stephanie announced the very first superstar to Raw is…The Miz. She didn’t actually say it. We just saw Miz attack Shane.
The Miz attacked Shane from behind with punches. Shane came back by sending Miz back first into the ring post. Shane with a clothesline that sent Miz over the barricade to the floor. Miz came back with a chair to Shane’s back. Shane left up the ramp. Miz was bleeding from the side of his head as he posed in the ring.
Analysis: Thank you Miz for interrupting that weak McMahon “comedy” segment. Those promos were boring, but I guess that was the intent to make people care more about the attack. I had Miz on my list of guys moving to Raw because he’s on the Miz & Mrs. show on USA Network, so WWE can promote it a lot on Raw. Smackdown is on Fox in October, which means they wouldn’t promote a USA Network show later in the year. It makes more sense for Miz to be on Raw. Miz has been moved in three straight years during the Superstar Shake-up.

A video package aired showing Seth Rollins beating Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship eight days ago at WrestleMania.
Still to come is Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and a Smackdown guy moving to Raw vs. Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley.
Ricochet made his entrance for an eight-man tag team match. The announcers wondered if this meant that he was a part of Raw officially. Aleister Black also entered, so that likely means he is part of Raw.
Analysis: I thought they might be separated in the Shake-up, but I guess not. Ricochet and Black can both be great singles stars if they get a chance. They are also an awesome tag team that can possibly become the champions as well. Putting on them on Raw will help the match quality on Raw.
The other tag teams made their entrances with Raw Tag Team Champions Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins joining Ricochet/Black while The Revival were on the other team.

The team of Rowe and Hanson made their entrance, so they are joining Raw full time even though they are the NXT Tag Team Champions. Their team name is The Viking Experience instead of War Raiders. They actually have new names as well because Hanson is now “Ivar” and Rowe is “Erik.”
Analysis: I don’t like the name change. It’s cheesy and lame. I assume it’s because WWE doesn’t want the “War” name. I like Rowe and Hanson as a team and they have been great in NXT as well as a lot of experience elsewhere. Erik/Rowe is also married to Sarah Logan of the Riott Squad. The Viking Experience? Really? Groan.

Ricochet, Aleister Black, Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder vs. Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Ivar (Hanson) & Erik (Rowe)
There were quick tags from both sides leading to Black going for a moonsault on the Viking Experience, but Ricochet saved his partner with a dropkick. The four faces hit back body drops to the Viking Experience and the faces stood in the ring as the match went to break. I missed some of the details because of all the news going on, but they went to break three minutes into this match.
The match continued with Ivar slamming Erik onto Hawkins. When Hawkins tried to get going, Erik decked him with a clothesline. Ivar hit a shoulder tackle on Hawkins. Dawson slammed Wilder onto Hawkins with a leg drop for two. Wilder grabbed Hawkins in a headlock and Hawkins broke it by sending Wilder into the turnbuckle. Wilder got the hot tag on Dawson with a whip into the turnbuckle, knees up against Dawson, dropkick to Wilder on the apron and Wilder pulled Dawson out of the corner. All eight guys were in the ring, so the faces kicked the heels out. Ryder hit a Rough Ryder leg lariat on Erik for a two count. Wilder made the save. Black with a knee to Wilder, Dawson sent Black out of the ring, Ricochet sent Dawson to the floor with a headscissors. Black with knees to Wilder and Ricochet moonsault on Dawson. The Viking Experience tossed Hawkins over the top onto the heels on the floor. Erik with a knee to the face of Ryder. Erik held Ryder and Ivar hit a leg drop off the top for the Fallout double team finisher after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Ivar & Erik 
Analysis: *** Good match to put over Ivar and Erik. I don’t like the new names, but I guess they are more “viking” sounding names. It also didn’t make Ryder and Hawkins look good as champions because they were beaten easily just eight days after they won the titles. That’s how WWE tends to book champions, though. I can see Ivar and Erik winning the Raw Tag Team Titles pretty soon.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Renee Young and Corey Graves were shown on screen to talk about this show.
A video package let us know that Cedric Alexander is moving from 205 Live to Raw. He’s very talented. Good worker.
Finn Balor made his entrance to a good pop with the Intercontinental Championship around his waist.
Andrade made his entrance with Zelina Vega. That led to a promo from Zelina introducing Andrade to us here on Raw. Vega said that Andrade is a multi-linguist while noting that English is a second language in Montreal. Andrade said “Merci” to the crowd. That means thank you. Andrade yelled at Balor in Spanish as well, which led to boos. Andrade continued his promo in Spanish with fans chanting “What” at him.
Analysis: Andrade and Zelina to Raw is fine with me because he wasn’t used well enough on Smackdown. Zelina Vega is married to Aleister Black, so that couple is together. I thought Andrade moving to Raw would mean his girlfriend Charlotte Flair would be on Raw too, but she was not moved. That sucks for them.

Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Finn Balor
This is not for Balor’s IC Title.
Andrade with a running knee attack that sent Balor into the corner. Balor came back with a dropkick. When Andrade ran the ropes, Balor hit a dropkick to the face. Andrade was sent out of the ring, Balor tried a kick off the apron, Andrade held Vega in front of him, so Balor stopped and Andrade tripped up Balor on the apron. That led to a break two minutes into it.
Andrade stomped away on Balor against the turnbuckle. Andrade went for a double knee attack on Balor against the corner, but Balor moved and Andrade hit the ropes. Balor continued his dropkick-fest offense with a dropkick against the turnbuckle. Balor was favoring his left knee a little bit, so Andrade kicked him in the head. Andrade went for a reverse DDT, but Balor countered with an elbow to the chest into the mat for two. Balor with a Slingblade that took down Andrade as Balor sold the left knee injury. Andrade came back with a cartwheel into a knee to the head of Balor with Balor just standing there and taking it. Andrade up top with a moonsault, he landed on his feet, Balor got the knees up to the ribs. Balor with a dropkick to the turnbuckle. Balor up top, Andrade tripped him up and Andrade missed a double foot attack. Balor with a jumping kick to the face of Andrade. Balor up top and he went for the Coup de Grace, but Andrade moved. Spinning back elbow by Andrade. Balor with an inside cradle for two. Balor sent Andrade out of the ring with a clothesline, Vega went on the apron, so Balor jumped over her and onto Andrade on the floor. Vega with a headscissors on Balor on the floor with the referee not seeing it. Back in the ring, Andrade hit the Hammerlock DDT on Balor for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Andrade
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good match at a fast pace. I’m not surprised considering the performers working similar styles. They used Vega well throughout the match as she tried to distract Balor, it didn’t work and then she cheated to help Andrade win, so it makes her feel like a valuable manager at ringside. It is lame that they have champs lose non-title on shows like far too often, but I get wanting to have Balor put over Andrade to show that Andrade is a contender for the title (or another title) right away. Give us more Andrade vs. Balor matches please.

They recapped what happened at WrestleMania when John Cena interrupted the Elias concert. The next night on Raw, The Undertaker interrupted Elias and beat him up.
The Elias guitar string played and he’s up next.
Elias was in the ring for one of his concerts. He talked about people interrupting him as fans chanted “Undertaker” at him. Elias said that it could be jealousy, but it is a truth that WWE stands for “Walk with Elias” as the fans chanted it two times. Elias said that the Bell Centre is packed tonight, the energy is off the charts and you could feel this energy regularly if the Canadiens were good enough to make the playoffs. That led to loud boos from the crowd. Elias tried to talk, but the fans booed loudly and they got louder as Elias mentioned he had a special song tonight. Elias said that if anybody interrupts him during this song, they will never be able to show their face again. Elias said this could be the last time he performs on Raw.

Rey Mysterio’s music interrupted the song performance as Mysterio made his entrance to “619” chants from the crowd. Mysterio went for a springboard attack on Elias, it looked like he slipped on the ropes and he still managed to take down Elias with a headscissors takedown. Mysterio wanted to do more, but Elias left.
Analysis: Mysterio going to Raw means he can keep wrestling Andrade, so that’s fine with me. Rey has looked good since he returned to the company as a regular last year. The “show your face” line was clever since Rey wears a mask. It’s the little things, my friends.

Mysterio was posing in the ring and Lars Sullivan made his entrance followed by some maniacal laughing. Sullivan missed a corner attack because Mysterio moved, Mysterio with kicks and Sullivan managed to get Mysterio on his shoulder. Mysterio hit the back of the leg of Sullivan and Sullivan hit the Freak Accident slam on Mysterio. Sullivan picked up Mysterio and gave him a Running Powerbomb. Lars did some grunting and angry faces to end it. No diving headbutt from Sullivan after last week.
Analysis: The attack by Lars continues his targeting of babyface wrestlers after going after Kurt Angle and the Hardy Boyz last week.

There was a plug for the six-man tag later.
The team of Bobby Roode and Chad Gable were in the ring ready for a match. They said they are ready for whoever is going to come after them. A graphic said “The Usos” for them so that was a mistake.
The Usos made their entrance to a big pop from the crowd since they are WWE’s best tag team.
Analysis: When The Usos lost the Smackdown Tag Team Titles last week, it meant that it was very likely they would be moved to Raw and here they are. They will help Raw’s tag team division big time. They were on Smackdown for the last three years.

The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode
Jimmy hit an enziguri kick on Gable. Jey tagged in, he knocked Roode down and hit a forearm to Gable. Roode tripped Jey, Gable went back in and hit a knee to knock Jey out of the ring. Roode tagged in to become the legal man and he whipped Jey into the barricade. Roode punched Jey repeatedly as Graves mentioned Jimmy is married to Naomi, so what if they are broken up? Gable whipped Jey into the corner. Roode went back in with a chinlock on Jey. Jimmy tagged in, he unloaded on Gable with punches and a Samoan Drop. Jimmy did the “Uso” yell with the fans chanting along and Jimmy hit a running hip attack against the tag team. Gable wrenched on the arm of Jimmy against the ropes. Roode tagged in leading to a forearm into a German Suplex from Gable for two. Gable went up top, Jimmy slammed Roode, Gable got a rollup on Jimmy, Jey tagged in with a superkick on Gable and superkick on Roode too. Double superkick by the Usos on Gable. The Usos went to the top rope and they hit the double Uso Splash on Gable for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Usos
Analysis: ** A solid win for The Usos over a former championship team in Roode and Gable. I expect The Usos to get a big push on Raw right away and likely get into the title picture as soon as the next PPV Money in the Bank. They are respected as a team, their act is good and they always deliver in the ring. The Usos are awesome.

There were clips shown from Roman Reigns beating Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania.
Alexa Bliss made her entrance looking lovely for her “A Moment of Bliss” talk show with Sami Zayn as the guest. The crowd popped at the image of Zayn since he’s from Montreal.

A Moment of Bliss Talk Show
Alexa Bliss sat on her white chair on the stage on Raw welcoming us to A Moment of Bliss. She said it could be her last night on Raw and she welcomed us to Sami Zayn.
Sami Zayn entered to a huge pop from the crowd as he did his ridiculous dancing routine. The crowd hummed along with the theme song. When Zayn’s dancing stopped along with the song, they decided to play the song again for more dancing and the crowd was cheering some more. When Zayn finally sat down, his theme song played again as the fans were still into it. Zayn continued his dancing routine.
Zayn said the fans are fish in a barrel and said “Bienvenue Montreal” leading to more cheering. Zayn said he’ll kick it up a notch, he led “Ole Ole Ole” chants and the crowd joined in. Zayn said he’ll stop because he can do this all night.

Bliss mentioned that Zayn was out after ten months and it’s fantastic to see him back on Raw. That led to a “oui” chant instead of “yes.” Zayn talked about being in the city all week, he saw his friends, his family, he went to his neighborhood, he went to the café and got bagels. Zayn said that he absolutely loves this city, but he can’t stand the people. That led to boos from the crowd. Zayn said that Montreal is world class art, cuisine and architecture and he groaned about the people. Zayn said that there’s something in the air that is so Quebec leading to more groaning. Zayn said that he didn’t want to be here or be on this show.
Zayn claimed that nine months ago he would have looked forward to getting that kind of reaction, but now the cheers make him sick. Zayn said that the fans project your unaddressed issues onto somebody like him and he’s not going to accept it. Zayn said that it’s disgusting and you should all be ashamed of yourselves. Zayn said that you cannot even call these people fans because they are playing critic. Bliss said that these people are not the problem with WWE, it’s him. The fans cheered.
Zayn said that he was born here, but these are not his people. Zayn added that he doesn’t live here anymore because he moved to sunny Orlando, Florida. Zayn said he chose to leave Montreal before and he is choosing to leave Montreal again right now. The fans sang the “hey hey goodbye” song at him. Zayn said “see you in hell” and left.
Analysis: That was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the hot crowd loving Zayn for a few minutes, then he predictably ripped on them and they reacted to it perfectly. The key thing is that Zayn played up to it early, he looked like he was genuinely happy about being cheered and then he was such a jerk in ripping on the people of Montreal. Zayn has grown a lot as a promo guy. His heel run on Smackdown with Owens in late 2017 into 2018 really helped him get better in that area. He’s very good at being a jerk heel. Bliss was a face in that segment, so I’m not sure if that will continue or if it was just for this segment. I can see her becoming a face regularly no matter what show she is on.

The IIconics were in the ring. An “earlier today” clip was shown from earlier in the night with Bayley talking to “Sasha” on the phone. The IIconics talked trash to Bayley about it, Bayley shut them up and said she’ll find a partner.
Bayley made her entrance. She’s got a new partner and it’s Naomi from Smackdown.
Analysis: Naomi was an obvious choice for Raw since her husband Jimmy Uso was moved to Raw as well. A fresh start could be good for her since she was lost in the shuffle on Smackdown.

Peyton Royce and Billie Kay vs. Naomi and Bayley
Royce worked over Naomi with a headlock and a knee to the ribs. Royce knocked Bayley off the apron. Naomi with a jawbreaker. Naomi kicked Kay down and sent Royce into Bayley, who hit a Bayley to Belly suplex on Royce. Naomi hit a split legged moonsault on Kay for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Naomi and Bayley
Analysis: * Easy win to put over Naomi on her new show. It was not a good showing for The IIconics, but that’s what we’re getting on the Superstar Shake-up show with champs losing non-title matches to put over others. The match felt rushed with Bayley not even getting a chance tag in. At least she hit her finisher.

A WrestleMania video aired showing Becky Lynch’s victory in the main event that led to her becoming Raw and Smackdown Women’s Champion.
Still to come is Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott.
EC3 made his entrance for a match up next.
There was a shot of a box in a darkened room with a “buzzard” or something popping out of it. That was followed by the Bray Wyatt laugh although there’s no clear indication that it is Wyatt. It just sounds like him. Same video as last week.
Braun Strowman made his entrance to a big pop from the crowd. Strowman attacked EC3 and the match didn’t officially start.
Strowman grabbed EC3 and tossed him across the ring. Strowman tossed EC3 across the ring again. Strowman hit a splash on EC3 against the turnbuckle. Strowman sent EC3 out of the ring, so Strowman ran over EC3 from behind. Strowman whipped EC3 into the LED board on the stage. Strowman picked up EC3 and gave him a Chokeslam through a table that was between the stage and the announce table. Strowman celebrated.
Analysis: That was an absolute ass kicking that looked like a match, but it ended up just being a destruction from Strowman. I’m not sure who EC3 pissed off or what he did to get booked so shitty, but it’s a shame to see because he’s a talented guy with a good look. I think Strowman will be a Smackdown guy.

Becky Lynch made her entrance with the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championships as we headed into the third hour. She walked by Strowman. Good pop for Lynch, who is in a match up next.
There was a replay of The Miz attacking Shane McMahon with a steel chair earlier in the night. They also showed Lars Sullivan beating up Raw newcomer Rey Mysterio.
They finally showed a graphic of the moves.

The graphic included Eric Young of Sanity, so I guess that group is done. They did not put Erik and Ivar of the Viking Experience (it’s weird typing those names) on the graphic, but Graves mentioned them.

Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott (w/Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan)
This is not for one of Lynch’s two titles.
Lynch was wearing the black leather gear she wore at WrestleMania. Lynch was aggressive with a hip toss followed by a jumping kick. When Riott went to the floor, Lynch it a clothesline off the apron. Back in the ring, Morgan distracted and Riott hit a STO on Lynch to take her down. Lynch connected with an Exploder Suplex. When Lynch went to the ropes, Riott tripped her up and Riott hit a back splash off the ropes for a two count. Riott went up top, jumped off, didn’t come close to connecting with whatever and Lynch went for the armbar. Morgan and Logan pulled Riott out of the ring, so Lynch hit a cross body block on Morgan and Logan to take them out. Lynch slapped on the Dis-Arm-Her armbar submission on Riott to win after five minutes.
Winner by submission: Becky Lynch
Analysis: *1/2 The match was fine. Solid work from both women. At least we had a match with a champion getting a win, which is not a surprise with Lynch involved. It’s obvious WWE wants to keep her strong since she’s holding two titles.

Post match, Lynch hit Morgan and Logan with suplexes to get rid of them. Lynch celebrated with her two titles.
The heel group of Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush were interviewed by Charly Caruso. They didn’t care about who the partner is for Rollins and Reigns with McIntyre saying he wanted to get his hands on Reigns. Corbin said that they’ll run Reigns and Rollins off Raw. Rush wondered who is even stupid enough to team up with Reigns and Rollins tonight. The heels left.
Natalya made her entrance. Becky Lynch was still in the ring after all of that, so we will find out what’s next after a break.
A graphic aired letting us know about WrestleMania 36 next year in Tampa Bay on April 5, 2020.
Natalya was in the ring with Lynch as the women stood there with microphones in their hands. Natalya congratulated Lynch for her win on Raw as well as her win at WrestleMania. Natalya said that she has dreamed her entire life of main eventing WrestleMania while saying she was proud of Becky, Ronda and Charlotte for being able to do that. Natalya noted that Lynch was the first woman to pin Rousey and win both titles in the same night. Natalya said that last week, Lynch talked about all the women in the locker room are coming after those championships. Natalya told Lynch that she’s the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be and she’s coming after the Raw Women’s Championship and Lynch should know that.

Lynch said that she has spent years in the trenches with overlooked and under-appreciated women. Lynch said that the second that she held those titles over her head, she knew the overlooked women would hunt her down just like she did to Ronnie and Charlotte. Lynch said that she has traveled the world together as teenagers with Natalya just to get to WWE and look at them now. The fans chanted “you deserve it” for them so Lynch paused. Lynch said that Nattie helped build the revolution from the ground up, so it will be a pleasure…and here comes Lacey Evans. Lynch called “Evans” a dope.
Lacey Evans made her entrance this time in a dress and she had her wrestling gear on. Evans said that she the Raw Women’s Championship could never be around the waist of a has been like Natalya. Evans said that a lady knows how to get a favor and influence to get what she wants. Evans said now that she is officially on Raw, she wants that Raw Women’s Championship. Evans said that she’ll face Natalya per the McMahons and the winner will get to face Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship. Evans told Natalya she’ll teach her the woman’s right and said that a lady can teach “The Man” a thing or two.
Analysis: They were solid promos from all three women. Evans has a unique gimmick as the “Sassy Southern Belle” and she delivers her promos well. We still need to see more of her in the ring, but it’s easy to see why the bosses like her when she’s an athletic woman with a look that they like. Natalya did the traditional babyface thing by going up to Lynch to tell her she wants to challenge her to her face, Lynch was ready to accept and that led to Evans setting up the obvious match.

Natalya vs. Lacey Evans
Natalya with a spinning clothesline and she dumped out Evans for the commercial break less than one minute into this match.
The match returned with Evans trash talking, Natalya with a Sharpshooter attempt, but Evans bailed to the floor. Natalya sent Evans back into the ring leading to punches. Evans sent Natalya face first into the middle turnbuckle. Becky Lynch was shown watching the match on a TV backstage. Evans slapped on a chinlock. Evans with a knee drop to the arm of Natalya. Evans rolled up slapped on another chinlock. Natalya came back with a spinning clothesline. Natalya slapped on the Sharpshooter submission in the ring with Graves saying “I wouldn’t do that in Montreal” to reference Survivor Series 1997. Evans crawled to the bottom rope to break the hold. Natalya tackled Evans into the barricade followed by a hard punch. Back in the ring, Evans hit the Woman’s Right punch to the face. Lynch to the middle ropes and she jumped off the top with a moonsault onto Natalya for the win after about seven minutes. Evans’ knees hit Natalya in the ribs, so that looked rough.
Winner by pinfall: Lacey Evans

Analysis: *3/4 It was decent for Lacey’s first match on Raw with Natalya putting her over clean to give Lacey a credible win. The punch looked impressive. The moonsault was okay, but then Evans popped up a bit after the landing because she didn’t land it right. I hope Natalya isn’t hurt from that.

Charly Caruso knocked on the men’s locker room door and Universal Champion Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns appeared. They did not reveal who their partner is. It was pretty basic with Rollins saying that this could be one or both of their last nights on Raw.
Drew McIntyre entered for the six-man tag match with about 30 minutes left in the show.
A video aired of a children’s room with toys including a rocking horse. There was also a rocking chair in it with a creepy doll that laughed.

Analysis: I assume that is about Bray Wyatt since it was a rocking chair that used to be associated with him.
A replay aired of Braun Strowman spiking EC3 through a table by the stage.
Baron Corbin got a ridiculously long entrance from Mike Rome saying he was “Montreal’s favorite son” because that’s the gimmick they do in every city. Bobby Lashley was up next for the heel team with Lio Rush by his side.

Roman Reigns was up first for his team and he got a solid pop. Seth Rollins got a huge ovation from the crowd as he walked down to the ring with the Universal Championship. This Sunday on WWE Network at 9:30pmET is The Shield’s Final Chapter in their last match.
The partner for Roman and Seth is…AJ Styles. Huge pop for The Phenomenal One as he did his signature posing on his way down to the ring. He joined Rollins and Reigns.
Analysis: That was an expected move because Styles has been a regular on Smackdown since the brand split started in July 2016, so it felt like the right time to have him join Raw. He’ll be a great addition to the show and will have some of the best matches out of anybody on the show. I’d love to see him in a PPV title match against Rollins.

AJ Styles, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush)
Styles started off with a dropkick on Corbin. McIntyre tagged in and pointed Reigns because he wanted him, so Reigns faced off with Drew. Reigns worked over McIntyre with punches followed by ten corner clotheslines and McIntyre hit a belly to belly suplex. McIntyre hit the Glasgow Kiss headbutt for a two count. When Reigns was sent out of the ring, Corbin sent him back first into the barricade and Corbin whipped Reigns into the barricade. Back in the ring, Reigns punched Corbin, but Corbin came back with a Chokeslam backbreaker leading to a two count.

Rollins got the hot tag with about six minutes left in the show. Rollins hit the Slingblade on Corbin, then a suicide dive to the floor and Rollins hit a superkick to Corbin’s face. Rollins with a kick to the ribs, Corbin rolled out of the ring and Corbin came back with a punch to the face. Corbin picked up Rollins with a spinning slam for two. Rollins fought off a superplex attempt that was never going to happen and Rollins hit a Blockbuster off the turnbuckle. Styles got the hot(ter) tag against Lashley with a clothesline, Lashley sent Styles to the turnbuckle and Styles hit a boot to the face. Styles with a Pele Kick on Lashley and a Pele Kick to Corbin as well. McIntyre went into the ring with a Claymore Kick on Styles. McIntyre with a belly to belly suplex on Reigns to send him out of the ring. Rollins with a superkick to McIntyre, Reigns sent McIntyre over the barricade. Reigns with a Drive By to Corbin. Lashley hit a spinning slam to Styles. Rollins went back in with The Stomp on Lashley and Reigns hit a Spear on Lashley. Styles followed up with a Phenomenal Forearm to Lashley for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: AJ Styles, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins
Analysis: *** It was a standard TV main event where everybody got a chance to do their thing and it had a predictable ending with the faces getting the win. I liked the way they worked together to get McIntyre and Corbin out of the picture before finishing off Lashley with three straight finishers. It made sense for Styles to be the one that got the win for his team with the Phenomenal Forearm since he is new on Raw.

The trio of Styles, Reigns and Rollins celebrated in the ring. The announcers mentioned that this could be the last time they stand together because Rollins or Reigns could be moved to Smackdown in the Superstar Shake-up. That was the end of Raw.
Analysis: I think Reigns will get moved to Smackdown, so we’ll see what happens during their show.

The new names announced for Raw were:
The Miz
The Viking Experience – Ivar (formerly Hanson) and Erik (formerly Rowe)
Cedric Alexander
Zelina Vega
Rey Mysterio
The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso)
Eric Young
Lacey Evans
AJ Styles
Lars Sullivan
Aleister Black

The bottom four names were not officially announced during Raw, but they were confirmed on after the show.
Analysis: This could have been done a lot better. They didn’t make things clear enough. They should have used more graphics than the one I posted earlier. The show is three hours, they had plenty of time to remind people of the moves and who is on Raw now.

Three Stars of the Show

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  1. Andrade
  2. Finn Balor
  3. Sami Zayn


The Scoreboard
6.5 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
2019 Average: 5.61 (Smackdown is 6.97)
Last 5 Weeks: 6.5, 5.5, 5, 4.5, 6
2019 High: 7.5 (January 14)
2019 Low: 4 (February 11)

Final Thoughts
This week’s Raw gets a 6.5 out of 10.

It was an entertaining show thanks to the constant news all night long due to the superstars coming over from Smackdown. The match quality was pretty good with Andrade vs. Balor as the best match, the opener was fun and the main event was a typical WWE six-man tag team match.
Based on my interactions on Twitter all night, the War Raiders becoming “The Viking Experience” has upset a lot of people. It’s probably due to WWE not wanting “War” in the name of the team, which is understandable, I guess. We’ll just have to get used to it.
I think Raw got some very good in-ring performers that should lead to better matches on a more consistent basis on Raw. It’s hard to really evaluate everything until we see the Raw moves to Smackdown. I’ll write more of an evaluation column of both shows on Wednesday after the moves are finalized.

You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Go Toronto Raptors, Toronto Blue Jays (they suck) and Toronto Maple Leafs. Thanks for reading.

John Canton
Twitter: @johnreport
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