WWE Raw Match Ratings And Podcast Notes For 4/16/18 From Sean Ross Sapp

WWE United States Championship
Jeff Hardy defeated Jinder Mahal (c) (w/ Sunil Singh) to become WWE United States Champion
7/10

  • Kurt Angle welcomes the audience to the Raw portion of the WWE Superstar Shakeup. The first name announced is Jinder Mahal, who is introduced by Sunil Singh.
  • Mahal is pissy that he didn't get a limo to the arena. Kurt Angle trolls Jinder about his list of demands and tells Mahal that he can defend his WWE United States Championship right now. His opponent will be Jeff Hardy.
  • Hardy has held WWE, World Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, Tag, Intercontinental, Hardcore, European, TNA Championships, but never the United States title. 
  • This is some of Jinder Mahal's best work he's ever done. It's fast paced and hard hitting. Jinder cracked Jeff with a really stiff punch, and Hardy battled back with Whisper in the Wind after a commercial.
  • Mahal lands a big knee to the face, then a huge kick. Hardy reverses a fireman's carry gutbuster.
  • Twist of Fate, Swanton, WIN! New Champion.
  • This was the best Jinder Mahal match I've ever seen. 
  • Jinder Mahal is livid backstage, and is interrupted by No Way Jose. Jinder Mahal vs. No Way Jose is about where those two should be.
  • Renee dances away with Jose.
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Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
5.75/10

  • Bayley and Sasha Banks go right at it. Bayley leads into a commercial with a suicide huracanrana to the outside.
  • Bayley scores a rare back body drop. She follows up with a tornado falling reverse DDT.
  • Sasha Banks goes to work with her knees, including a couple of Meteoras.
  • Sasha talks trash and the two start to brawl. Banks applies the Banks Statement, but Riott Squad jump Sasha to end the match.
  • They kept one of the most directionless groups in WWE history together. Liv Morgan's finisher is sold like crazy by Sasha.

 

Authors of Pain defeated Heath Slater & Rhyno
5.25/10

  • I don't know how I feel about Authors of Pain selling for Slater on night two.
  • Corey Graves brings up AOP's legit background, including Bellator MMA. I love that. Also good on Coach for chalking up some of their early struggle to abandoning Paul Ellering.
  • Heath Slater sold great for AOP, including a toss over the top rope and a whiplash. 
  • The Last Chapter isn't a good finish. Ah yes, the back and forth, selling style that got Authors of Pain over

Miz TV

  • Miz introduces the newest members of the Raw roster -- Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens! Kurt Angle seems to disagree with this, but Owens & Zayn say "plans change!" Wow.
  • They read an e-mail from Stephanie McMahon overruling Angle's decision.
  • Michael Cole doesn't understand the concept of free agency. 
  • Kurt Angle reveals that Daniel Bryan has successfully lobbied to get The Miz on Smackdown, which is happening. But the Miztourage isn't coming with him! Tonight these five will face Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, and a new superstar.
  • The utter forced disgust they made Coach say "The Big Dog was here last week........UNLIKE THE BEAST" with. Wow.

Tag Team Eliminator 
Woken Wyatts defeated The Revival
5.5/10

  • The Woken Wyatts have a combined entrance. I'd expect this to end up being pretty good. Three great tag team wrestlers, and a character who needed freshened up getting it. 
  • There's some good fundamental tag team work here, that ends on a Sister Abigail and an assisted Twist of Fate that gets the wins. 
  • The Bar was on commentary for this match. 

Backstage Crappenings

  • I'm putting this note here to remind myself to talk about the Rusev/Undertaker/Chris Jericho carousel. 
  • They are on good terms with Diddy, why did they rip off "I'm Coming Home?" for this WWE Network commercial?
  • Zack Ryder is now on Raw. So is Baron Corbin.
  • The Bar are backstage when they're encountered by the Fashion Police/Breezango. They say they've been transferred to a new precinct. Cesaro's acting is MISERABLE.
  • Ronda Rousey is backstage with Kurt Angle, and Natalya is brought in. Ronda Rousey is happy to see her, since they trained together.
  • Miz rallies his troops backstage, while Zayn and Owens warn him that Shane McMahon is terrible.
  • We see Elias backstage, who calls Renee "Rachel," and tries to perform a song, but there's no time.

Ember Moon defeated Mickie James
5.25/10

  • Nia Jax is on commentary, but Alexa Bliss is nowhere to be found. She's later seen backstage cutting a promo, where she calls Nia Jax a bully.
  • This is sollid work that nobody gets into. Some of the movements in this match are a little too exaggerated for me, and the selling isn't natural. Ember is doing a lot of impressive things, but none more impressive than Mickie James' sell of Eclipe. One of the best I've ever seen. 
  • Breezango need to write Mickie James a ticket for all those POCKETS. What's she carrying?

I'M ALL SHOOK UP

  • Dolph Ziggler -- FORMER WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION -- is now on WWE Raw. Ah the ol show stealer promo.
  • He's interrupted by Titus Worldwide. Dolph Ziggler joining Titus Worldwide would be an upgrade for all involved. Ziggler, Titus Worldwide, Raw.
  • Ziggler says he didn't come alone, and Drew McIntyre attacks Titus Worldwide. They hit Apollo with a Zig Zag Claymore that looked really good.
  • Oh my god all of 3MB is on Raw. 
  • Most interested I've been in Ziggler since 2013. Heel McIntyre is way better.

Samoan Joes

  • Roman Reigns comes out to promote his upcoming match at Greatest Royal Rumble.
  • Samoa Joe comes out and takes aim at Roman Reigns, saying he brags about showing up to work but not getting the job done. By all means, Joe should help Reigns win the title next week.
  • Why the hell do they have Samoa Joe throwing to videos? Roman Reigns calls Joe a lazy fat ass.

Natalya defeated Mandy Rose (w/ Sonya Deville)
4.5/10

  • Natalya is a babyface now, and I like her new gear. She has a pony tail, which makes her a good guy. 
  • Natalya is screaming "YOU DON'T TOUCH ME LIKE THAT" and wins with a Sharpshooter. This was some weird shit.
  • Sonya attacks Natalya, and Ronda Rousey makes the save. Sonya is like "ay gurl let's go."
  • Sonya puts her hair up and squares up and gets THROWN. Hoooooo boy god damn that was a hell of a trip.

Breezango defeated The Bar
5.25/10

  • We see a wiener shaking sunset flip from Fandango, but Breeze eats a pop-up uppercut.
  • Breeze kicks out of a Decapitator. Breeze rolls up Cesaro for the win.
  • This is the Colons beating American Alpha.

Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Bobby Roode & Bobby Lashley defeated The Miztourage, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
6.5/10

  • Oohhhhhhhhhh Graves accidentally saying "Bullet Club." Bullet Club should file a C&D immediately!
  • Bobby Roode is the new name. Smackdown got good. 
  • Rollins planchas outside before commercial.
  • Lashley gets a tag and deadlift belly to belly suplexes Zayn. Hanging vertical suplex, then throws Miz over the top rope. 
  • Rollins makes a hot tag to Bobby Roode, who gets no reaction. Braun fares much better, and hits a cool catching chokeslam.
  • Braun's ringpost spot is Andre's rope tie spot.
  • Glorious DDT from Roode, spinning back elbow from Lashley. 
  • Miz steals Daniel Bryan's moves, but gets abandoned by The Miztourage.
  • Braun powerslam. That's it.
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