Monday Night RAW Recap – April 24, 2017

The Good

Matt Hardy beats Sheamus: Matt pinned Sheamus after Sheamus was distracted by Jeff and Cesaro outside the ring.  It seemed as if the sportsmanship displayed last week was at risk, but Sheamus, surprisingly of the four, had the coolest head and shook Matt’s hand.  This story will progress more on …seemed like it was getting heated. Sheamus is the cooler head. shake hands.  Best you can do in a holding pattern and no rights to borken universe

Braun Strowman/Kalisto:  Kalisto used his speed to eventually dropkick Strowman’s knees to knock him off the apron and into the dumpster.  Braun then destroyed Kalisto, toss him in the dumpster then pushed the dumpster off the top of the ramp with Kalisto inside.  This was about as good as it could be although it was a few minutes too long and the top of the ramp isn’t very high, so the toss felt a little laughable unlike back in the ’90s when Foley and Funk were tossed off.  The best part of this was before the match, Angle tried to talk Kalisto out of the match, and Kalisto asks, “Do you know how it feels to be thrown like garbage, like you’re nothing?”  Angle deadpans with a serious intent look, “No, I don’t” as Kalisto continues his tirade.

Alexa Bliss/Bayley/Sasha promo: Alexa makes fun of Bayley, and she comes out.  Bayley tries to stand up for herself in her own shy way. Alexa finds out that their title match at Payback will be in Bayley’s hometown, which she relishes into because she can now embarrass her in front of her father.  She starts to make fun of Bayley and Sasha’s friendship when Sasha comes out.  Sasha is much more aggressive with Alexa and finally punches her.  This leads to a match between the two, and when Sasha gets the upper hand, Alexa left the ring and allowed herself to be counted out.  Bayley, who was on commentary, tries to go after her and drag her back into the ring, but Alexa runs away to the back.  When Bayley turns her back, Alexa comes back out and sucker punches her. Alexa is fire on the microphone, and she brought out the best in Bayley’s NXT personality.  She still felt weak though compared to Sasha who is acting more confident as a more tweener personality.  Bayley going after Alexa is a little questionable in terms of character, but the rest of the segment did a great job setting up for Sunday’s PPV.

The Drivel

Jericho/Ambrose/Miz segments:  This nearly fifteen-minute segment had Miz trying to take over Jericho’s Highlight Reel, then Ambrose taking over Miz’s attempt.  It ended with Miz taking a Dirty Deeds and Maryse being put on The List because she’s married to “a stupid idiot.”  There were multiple segments with Jericho and Ambrose learning to be friends again and The Miz trying to find a tag team partner.  These segments had some chuckle-worthy moments, but the opener was entirely too long and didn’t advance any story necessarily beyond setting up a tag match later in the show.

Rollins/Big Cass/Balor beat Gallows/Anderson/Samoa Joe: This was originally Enzo in Balor’s spot, but The Club beat him up before the match and injured him.  Balor didn’t do a lot during the match.  Overall, it was rather poorly booked and felt like a showcase for Rollins to debut his new finisher, a combination of the Rainmaker, but with a jumping knee instead of a clothesline. This match didn’t advance the storyline much and didn’t increase the anticipation of Joe and Rollins much.  The outcome of that match will be interesting on Sunday because it feels like they’ve booked themselves into a corner.

Five minutes of cruiserweight action:  Jack Gallagher and Austin Aries defeated Neville and TJ Perkins after Aries pinned Perkins.  The match wasn’t much because they were given the standard five minutes to perform.  The cruiserweight style needs more time than this get over.  205 Live is a worthwhile show most weeks, but the booking of the cruiserweights on RAW often leaves something to be desired.

Apollo Crews answer Curt Hawkins’s open challenge:  Crews pins Hawkins easily, and Titus comes out and celebrates with a confused Apollo as he continues to try to get Apollo as part of his Titus Brand.  This angle isn’t even going to get on a preshow off a PPV in the next two months.

The Bad

Bray Wyatt is the mystery partner of The Miz:  Bray Wyatt showed up to help The Miz take on Ambrose and Jericho.  Bray lays out both men, and then when The Miz pats him on the back, he gives Miz the Sister Abigail.  “Follow the buzzards.”  The rationale behind this is a mystery although certainly Bray will explain in a long-winded promo next week.  Bray had no heat as the mystery partner showing up, and it feels like anything with Wyatt right now is simply doomed.

Dana Brooke beats Alicia Fox:  Dana and Alicia put on a disgraceful Divas-era match with Dana getting the pin after a half-botched finisher.  Emma comes out after the match and hugs Dana.  This angle is plodding and pointless.  There’s nothing much to say otherwise.

Using Roman’s brother’s death as a way to generate sympathy: Cole discussed an interview that is on WWE.com where Roman talked about Braun and his brother’s death in the same answer.  This was a cheap way to keep Roman looking babyface.

The Final Analysis:  Overall, this was a bad show.  WWE feels a need to conflate every storyline into one another as if it’s a late run Seinfeld episode.  For instance, The Miz and Ambrose had a great segment last week, then they feel the need to add Jericho and Bray into it.  Rollins and Joe had less heat, but still it was one-on-one, then they throw the tag teams into it.  But then Balor gets thrown in.  There was a noticeable lack of direction this week.  Hopefully this naturally course corrects after Payback because now that the excitement of the shake-up is over, this was a pretty dreadful episode overall.

 

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