RAW Live Coverage and Discussion: The Superstar Shakeup Begins!

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Superstar Shakeup edition of Monday Night RAW!

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Last week, we saw the return of several people, including Finn Balor and Vince McMahon! McMahon made a huge announcement regarding the future of both RAW and SmackDown Live and that is the Superstar Shakeup or The Supe-Shake as Alex Pawlowski called it.

We'll also see what will be the future of the Universal Championship as Brock Lesnar, the champion, does not have an opponent yet for the upcoming Payback pay-per-view, or even if he will defend the belt at all.

Before the show can even begin, we already got some movement with Apollo Crews making the switch over from SmackDown Live to Raw and that a tag team, either SmackDown or NXT, will also be joining WWE's red Brand as well.

HERE WE GO!

RAW starts with that familiar doo-doo-dooooo! We see the familiar t-shirt, baseball cap and jorts, but it's not John Cena! 

It's The Miz dressed as John Cena and Maryse dressed as Nikki Bella!

The Miz talks about how Cena engaged to Nikki Bella at WrestleMania 33 for the free publicity, and that Hollywood didn't want them because they are "robotic." Miz continues to act as Robo-Cena and "loves" Nikki Bella while patting her on the head.

The act continues until we hear Dean Ambrose's theme song being played and out comes the Intercontinental Champion. Ambrose gets into the ring and congratulates Miz and Maryse on their upcoming nuptials and WrestleMania win, fully believing they are Cena and Nikki. He also trash talks Miz until Miz reveals the clever disguise. Ambrose is shocked and then hits Dirty Deeds on Miz to end the segment.

The New Day vs. The Revival are up next!  

Back from the break, Sami Zayn is backstage talking with Kurt Angle hoping to stay on RAW until Miz and Maryse interrupt and bicker with Sami. RAW GM Kurt Angle tells Miz that respect must be earned and then books a match between Zayn and Miz for later tonight.

Out comes The New Day and Big E is holding a blow-up doll to represent Kofi Kingston, who is out of action for a few weeks.

The New Day vs. The Revival

Xavier Woods and Dash Wilder start things off and The New Day are on fire. They get Wilder into the corner and Big E and Woods alternate to get some offense in. Dawson distracts the referee and Wilder is back in control thanks to the distraction. Dawson is in the match now and then starts attacking Woods and then tags in Wilder and continues the onslaught. 

Woods then goes for a sunset flip and eventually manages to get out of trouble, tagging in Big E. Big E receives the hot tag and takes out both Dash and Dawson. Big E gets a pinfall attempt and almost wins. Woods also gets some offense in and then almost does a coast-to-coast-like elbow drop on Wilder and the pin attempt only gets to two. 

The Revival regroup and eventually counter a possible finisher from New Day and does an almost airborne Shatter Machine on Xavier Woods who jumped from the top rope onto The Revival. 1-2-3 and The Revival wins!

Neville is interviewed backstage and is asked about his thoughts on Austin Aries winning another chance to have a shot against Neville for the Cruiserweight title. Neville says Aries is not on "The Neville Level" and out comes TJ Perkins to engage is some verbal fisticuffs with Neville, but the champion said Perkins' career has been a joke since the inception of 205 Live and since he lost the Cruiserweight title. Aries comes in and tries to tell Perkins that Neville is lying through his teeth.

Out comes Curt Hawkins to tell us to the fact the facts. Big Show comes into the ring and knocks Hawkins into next week! That was a hell of a punch.

Austin Aries vs. TJ Perkins

Neville is on commentary for this match as we get a graphic reminding us that Neville is defending his title against Aries at Payback later this month. Aries begins with some mat wrestling and gets a nearfall. Both men do not give an inch as they do some chain wrestling. Aries eventually gets some momentum and throws Perkins out of the ring and hits him from the top rope. 

Neville gets off the commentary table and distracts Aries and almost has him lose via countout. Once Aries gets back in the ring, Perkins does a small package pin to get the win! A minute or so after the match, Perkins attacks Aries and hits a detonation kick as an exclamation point (probably signifying a heel turn for Perkins). We see Rollins walking backstage to address his future. 

Rollins walks into the ring and said he had to work really hard to get to WrestleMania and did not prepare for what comes after. He said his knee was messed up after the match, but thanks the fans for all the support as the crowd chants "Seth! Seth! Seth!" Rollins reveals his goals which is to settle the score with Samoa Joe and become the Universal Champion. 

He said that Stephanie McMahon being put through a table at WrestleMania might put him on the top of her hit list. Rollins said it is easier to go to SmackDown and deal with Shane and not Stephanie, but said he's not taking the easy way again. Kurt Angle's theme song hits and out comes the general manager. Angle says that as long as he is general manager, Rollins has a home on Monday nights.

As Angle walks out of the ring, Samoa Joe attacks Rollins out of nowhere. Rollins eventually retaliates until Joe gets out of the ring.

Kevin Owens is interviewed backstage and is not happy that Ambrose is on RAW. Charlotte makes her way down in the ring for a match.

Charlotte vs. Nia Jax

The match begins with Nia slamming Charlotte onto the mat. Charlotte then manages to counter with some chain wrestling until Nia slams her again. Nia then throws down some elbows onto Charlotte who is on the floor. Nia then tries to put on a sleeper hold but Charlotte eventually fights out of it. Charlotte throws a couple of chops. Nia then tries to slam her once more, but Charlotte hits a chop block on Nia and hits Natural Selection, but Nia kicks out at two. Nia then moves out of the ring and Charlotte does her typical top rope moonsault and connects.

Nia then eventually rebounds back and then hits her Samoan Drop and gets the clean win over Charlotte.

Finn Balor vs. Jinder Mahal

Both men start off striking each other with forearms and Mahal is able to stand toe to toe against Balor. Balor then goes to the rope and Mahal kicks the rope and Balor's face. Mahal then hits a strong forearm and Balor is on his back. Mahal has been landing strong strikes throughout the whole match. Balor eventually bounces back and dropkicks Mahal into the corner and hits the Coup de Grâce to get the win. 

As Balor walks out of the ring, we see Bray Wyatt talking on the giant screen and said while he's busy with Randy Orton, Wyatt will be watching Balor, so the former Universal Champion better watch his back.  

We get a recap of the opening segment and a reminder that Apollo Crews is joining RAW and an announcement that Kalisto, Heath Slater and Rhyno will join RAW as well.

The Miz vs. Sami Zayn

Corey Graves with the line of the night: "Sami Zayn is a dirt devil because I've never seen anything suck up as much he has."

Match begins with some chain wrestling. Zayn then hits three straight arm drags as Miz moves out of the ring. As Zayn tries to do a suicide dive, Miz pulls Maryse to protect him and Zayn punks both of them out and flips back into the ring as we head to a commercial break. 

Back from the break, Miz is in control, connecting with a neckbreaker and getting a pin attempt. Miz then throws Zayn to the corner where he then tries to go for a superplex. Zayn counters, but then Miz hits a DDT. Miz then does Daniel Bryan-like kicks and on the last kick, Zayn ducks and counters with a Blue Thunderbomb, but couldn't get the win. Zayn tries to go for a Helluva Kick, but Maryse pulls Miz out of the way. Maryse distracts Zayn and is almost hit with a skull-crashing finale, but Zayn goes for a sunset flip and gets the pin to win the match.

Before the commercial break, Michael Cole tells us he's sitting down with Roman Reigns to discuss his WrestleMania win over the Undertaker. 

An announcement is made that Ambrose vs. Owens will be made later on in the show. Cole is sitting down with Roman Reigns and Reigns said his win over The Undertaker is the biggest of his career and that he's the big dog and this is his yard now. Braun comes in and slams Reigns into the wall and into a table. He then thrashes Reigns all over the backstage. A stretcher comes out to help out Reigns.

As he is being carted off, Braun returns to throw Reigns off the loading dock while he is on the loading dock (clearly edited so that it appears Reigns was actually thrown off when the stretcher was empty). A replay is shown and after the replay ends, Reigns is being helped back again where he is transported to an ambulance. As he is loaded on the ambulance, Braun scares off everyone, closes all the doors and FLIPS AN AMBULANCE TRUCK ON ITS SIDE! 

I REPEAT!

BRAUN STROWMAN FLIPPED A TWO-TON AMBULANCE TRUCK ON ITS SIDE!

After the commercial break, Reigns once again is being tended to and finally put inside an ambulance.

Cesaro, Sheamus, Matt and Jeff Hardy vs. The Shining Stars and The Club

Oh. hi Elias Samson. You're here and why?

The match begins and the Hardyz go to work on one of the Shining Stars and Jeff tags Cesaro as Karl Anderson is tagged in and Cesaro continues the offense. He tries to go for a Sharpshooter but Luke Gallows pulls Anderson away from trouble as we head to a break. As we return to action, Gallows is in control of the match against Cesaro as Gallows sends Cesaro into the ring and Anderson does neckbreaker on Cesaro.

Sheamus then gets in the ring to help, but Primo intercepts. Matt hardy is tagged and in and starts beating down on Epico and lands a side effect. Twist of Fate coming from Matt is interrupted by gallows and the ring clears out except for the Hardyz and Epico. Epico gets hit by a Twist of Fate and then a Swanton Bomb and the faces get the win.

Dana Brooke is backstage reading a self help book and Emma said she is here to pick up the pieces after Charlotte dumped Dana as her protege. Emma said if it wasn't for her, Dana wouldn't have had a chance to debut on the main roster. Dana then stands up for herself and says she is her own woman and leaves.

Sasha Banks comes in and introduces her best friend, Bayley, down to the ring. Bayley thanks he fans and Banks is about to ask for the RAW Women's Championship until Alexa Bliss makes her way down the ring. Bliss says seeing Bayley and Banks is nauseating and out comes Mickie James. As she makes her way down the ring, Nia Jax comes in and straight up tackles Mickie James and demolishes everybody in the ring. She Samoan Drops Bayley and says the title is hers. As Jax walks back up the ramp, she intimidates Bliss and then leaves. Champion vs. Champion match is next.

Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens

Ambrose starts off on offense and nearly hits Dirty Deeds until Owens gets out of the ring. Ambrose then throws Owens into the barricade and the Intercontinental Champion is dominating the match as we head to break. Back from the break, Owens is in control and Irish Whips Ambrose, but Ambrose counters. 

Owens eventually puts Ambrose into a corner and then hits Ambrose with a knee strike and then has Ambrose in a chinlock. This goes on for about two minutes until Ambrose stands up and headbutts Owens but then flies out of the ring. Owens has Ambrose in a fireman's carry and throws him into the ring post. Ambrose nearly loses via count-out and once he gets back in, Owens returns to work and nearly gets a pin on Ambrose.

Owens then goes for a running senton but Ambrose hits Owens in the back with his knees. Owens moves out of the ring, but Ambrose then does a suicide dive to Owens. Once back in the ring, Ambrose then goes for Dirty Deeds again, but still doesn't hit him. Owens is in a corner and Ambrose nearly connects on a bulldog, but counters Ambrose into the corner and goes for a cannonball. Owens is then put into the top rope and Ambrose hits a big lariat for a two-count.

After the pin attempt, Owens is then outside of the ring when Ambrose hits Owens from the top rope. Back in the ring, Ambrose goes to the top rope, but when he jumps, Owens kicks Ambrose in the ribs and hits a package powerbomb for a two-count. Owens goes for a pop-up powerbomb, but Ambrose counters with Dirty Deeds and gets the win.

After the match, Jericho walks down the ring, Ambrose leaves and then Jericho hits a Codebreaker on Owens to close the show.

Thanks everyone for the discussion and don't forget to listen to the post-Raw Fightful podcast with Sean Ross Sapp and Alex Pawlowski!  

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