WWE Raw & Smackdown Thoughts – April 10th & 11th, 2017
I don’ t know if it’s post-Wrestlemania burn out, the fact that another PPV is in less than three weeks, or the “superstar shake-up” wasn’t done like the big extravaganza as year’s past, but I didn’t find Raw or Smackdown as exciting as I thought they were going to be.
The show started off with The Miz and Maryse imitating John Cena and Nikki Bella once again. You’d figure with the loss against Cena and Bella at Wrestlemania this shtick would be done with and that The Miz would be presented as a force to be reckoned with considering his break-out year on the Smackdown roster . Nope. Hopefully tonight was the nail in the coffin with the John Cena impressions, though.
Dean Ambrose came out to announce he was on Raw, too, and after some dumb back and forth dialogue, Ambrose hit The Miz with Dirty Deeds to lay him out. You’d think this would set up a match between the two later on in the show, right? No. That would be logical and didn’t happen.
There wasn’t any clear explanation as to how or why the superstars appeared on Raw. Why were they traded? What was the rationale? Who were they traded for? That’s something that would have intrigued me but we got nothing like that. Even Kurt Angle said to Sami Zayn, “as of now, you’re still on Raw,” so the draft and trading isn’t complete? We know wrestlers have been traded to Smackdown in turn for those that appeared tonight, but it just made it seem like the GMs are still sorting things out. Maybe we’ll see more draft/switch news on WWE.com by the end of the week.
Let me get this straight: The Miz, Curt Hawkins, and Mickie James all appear as “new and fresh” faces on Raw and all three lose or are taken out in some manner? Way to build them up, WWE.
I think it was smart for WWE to keep Reigns backstage for his interview to avoid what happened last week on the show. I would have bet the crowd would have started the vulgarity laced chants again. With Strowman taking Reigns out in a spectacular manner, I think the live crowd may not see him until the Payback PPV or the Monday Raw before the show. I’m sure some of the spots legitimately hurt Reigns, such as getting thrown in the air onto the tables. Reign’s head hit the edge of one of the tables pretty damn hard.
I think WWE was really trying to build Strowman as the ultimate heel here with the assault – one of the best assaults by one wrestler to another I’ve seen on TV in a long time. The flipping of the ambulance has probably put Strowman in major fan-favourite territory, which is something WWE probably didn’t want. I’m curious to see if Stowman is traded to Smackdown but still squares off against Reigns at Payback.
With Bray Wyatt announcing he’s now on Raw and he has his eyes on Finn Balor, we know Wyatt’s losing streak will end. What’s the point of having Orton and Wyatt square off at Payback if Orton is staying put – you know he’ll be keeping the belt now. As well, you don’t think they’re going to have Balor lose one of his first major feuds, do you? Poor Wyatt.
I didn’t like the 8-man tag. It was filler and the ending with The Hardy Boyz and Sheamus & Cesaro being all buddy-buddy doesn’t do much to make me anticipate their match in three-weeks.
Is it me or did Alexa Bliss get one of the biggest pops of the night for her debut on Raw? Good for her and her lines about breaking up the whole awkward conversation/relationship between Bayley and Sasha Banks was spot on.
I know WWE wants to make Ambrose look like a strong but at the expense of Kevin Ownens, who now looks like he’s headed to Smackdown, was a bad choice. There was nothing on the line in this match and Owens lost clean. What was the point of Jericho coming out later then? Jericho could have come out earlier to distract Owens and that could cause Owen’s loss and he’d be protected. I just don’t get it.
It looks like Rollins and Joe are both staying on Raw, which is fine by me. This is a match that I think will be one of the better ones of the year so far. I’m anxious to see this one develop more.
To wrap up my thoughts on Raw, I’m glad The Revival got another win over The New Day and they’re not booking them yet like they did with Gallows and Anderson.
On the Smackdown side of things, I’m surprised that WWE moved both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to Smackdown. Hopefully they keep these two apart for a while. Yes, they both have excellent chemistry together but WWE took a heated feud between them and watered down their matches against each other to mean nothing.
Rusev is going to Smackdown but was left off the show – too bad considering he could have come in and made a bad-ass heel impact in some way. As well, it looks like they’re splitting Lana away from him, too. Should be interesting…
The Usos retained their belts and I cringe because I’m sure the next program they will be in is against The New Day. I’ll be changing the channel if that happens. As well, I feel bad for American Alpha because now they’re being thrown down the pecking order to feud with the Shining Stars. How in the hell do Primo and Epico still have jobs? They’re even more boring than Randy Orton.
Speaking of Orton, he looks like he could care less when he’s on TV. More stupid Wyatt/Orton talk bored me to tears, too. With both men on separate rosters, you know Wyatt isn’t winning his “Haunted House” match ….or whatever it’s being called.
COULD there be a chance we see both main championships on Raw for a bit or could Brock Lesnar be drafted/traded to Smackdown if the WWE Championship is brought to Raw? I guess there’s always a chance. I know if I had a lazy champ who never shows up to TV or PPVs, I wouldn’t want him on my show.
Shane being in the ring with all the women in that division really showed how small the roster is. The announcement of Tamina being back brought silence to the crowd and when it was finally announced that Charlotte would be a part of the roster she walked mid-way down the ramp, they cut to the back to show Sami Zayn listing to music. Nice.
Erick Rowan needs a new gimmick now that Bray Wyatt is moving to Raw. Luke Harper should also benefit by having the former cult leader on the other show. Speaking of Harper, where was he? You would have thought WWE Creative would have had him assert himself in some way on a very special show.
Man, the crowd loves Shinsuke Nakamura, don’t they? There’s something just so special about the guy. I’m not sure why he had his mouth guard in during this segment with Dolph Ziggler. When I saw it, I just assumed he was gonna get super-kicked. I don’t think there’s anyone better than Ziggler to start a feud with and I’m really looking forward to these two having matches down the road.
The three way match between Styles, Corbin, and Zayn was actually the best match out of all the shows. Styles and Zayn made Corbin look really good and I think I’d watch one on one matches between any of these guys.
Styles winning the match made him in the number one contender for the US Championship. Yeah, it’s a step down from the Heavyweight Championship, but patience is a virtue and I’m sure once AJ finishes his upcoming feud with Kevin Owens, we’ll see him go for the big one within the year. I’m actually looking forward to an Owens/Styles feud! It looks like Smackdown may have some of the new rivalries I’m anxious to see the most.