RAW Results and Recap: Superstar Shake-Up, Night One

LaToya Ferguson
Sami Zayn, Alexa Bliss (source: WWE)
Monday Night RAW – April 15, 2019

With WrestleMania in the rearview mirror, it’s now time for the Superstar Shake-Up. Stephanie McMahon kicks off this week’s Monday Night RAW—and the first night of the Shake-Up—with her brother, Shane. After annoying the Montreal crowd for a bit and then insulting the Montreal crowd (and Montreal, in general, Shane decides to take some time to mock The Miz and The Miz’s father too. (Stephanie encourages this, because the McMahon family is the worst.) This actually goes on for a while, and then The Miz’s music hits.

But where is he? He’s right behind Shane! Miz gets the drop on the self-proclaimed “Best in the World,” obviously still heated from WrestleMania 35. According to Michael Cole on commentary, The Miz is the first official Superstar to be shaken up: Miz is now a Monday Night RAW Superstar once more. Shane eventually fights back and tosses Miz over a barricade, looking like he might get away unscathed… but then a bloody Miz hops back up—this time with a steel chair—and beats Shane with said steel chair until his former tag team partner retreats. The Miz stands tall as the newest member of the RAW roster.

The Viking Experience (Ivar & Erik) & The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) def. Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Ricochet, & Aleister Black

As of now, it looks like Ricochet and Aleister Black are officially RAW roster members, but anything could happen tomorrow. But seemingly more official for the red brand? The NXT Tag Team Champions, War Raiders. Well, The Viking Experience. And Hanson is now “Ivar,” while Rowe is “Erik.” (Surely this won’t get confusing. Just don’t bring Rowan into this.) But there’s still tomorrow. (Even the announce team has no idea who’s on what brand. Surely this won’t get confusing.)

The Viking Experience make their presence known in this match, having the advantage for the majority of it. And then they finish it all off by pinning Zack Ryder, guaranteeing themselves a RAW Tag Team Championship match. It’s the type of thing that makes you want to chant “WAR,” but I guess now you have to chant “VIKING.”

A more official Shake-Up move ends up being Cedric Alexander, from 205 Live to RAW. That’s right: “The Age of Alexander is coming to Monday nights..”

And now Finn Balor is out to face—in a non-title match—someone a newly-debuting RAW Superstar, handpicked specifically by the McMahons…

Andrade def. Finn Balor

Andrade (with Zelina Vega by his side, of course). Right before the match, Zelina Vega gets on the mic to introduce the WWE Universe—well, RAW viewers who don’t watch SmackDown—to her business associate. And then she and Andrade speak French. (It’s a whole thing. And then he just speaks Spanish again.)

Once in the ring, Andrade is instantly on Balor; his speed and his striking ability are on full display immediately for the presumably non-SmackDown-watching RAW crowd. Balor’s eventually able to fight back, but once he gets on somewhat of a roll, Andrade literally uses Zelina as a human shield to put the momentum of the match back in his favor. When RAW comes back from commercial, Andrade is still in control, with Balor favoring his left knee. And that hurt knee really slows Balor down when he tries to mount a comeback against Andrade. It’s also why Andrade is able to avoid a Coup de Grace, but he’s not able to follow up that deflection for a win immediately after.

Zelina gets involved again, getting on the apron to stop Balor from doing a dive to the outside onto Andrade, but this time, Balor just jumps over her and still connects with Andrade. Balor is about to follow-up and put Andrade away after he tosses him into the ring, but while the referee isn’t looking, Zelina hits Balor with a hurricanrana on the outside. Andrade then brings Balor in for the hammerlock DDT, and it’s over.

Elias keeps making enemies, and this week is no different. Yes, he’s interrupted. Yes, he’s beaten up—this time by Rey Mysterio.

While Mysterio stands tall after that confrontation, things take a turn when Lars Sullivan comes out to attack him (like he did Kurt Angle and the Hardys last week). Mysterio puts up a valiant effort—he is “The Giant Slayer” after all—but Lars ends up taking him out too, with a Freak Accident.

The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) def. Chad Gable & Bobby Roode

Are Chad Gable and/or Bobby Roode staying on the red brand? We honestly have no idea yet. But they have something to say before their match. According to them, they’re on their game tonight—finally, after many nights of not being on their game—and are ready to take on any tag team in WWE. It is the Shake-Up, after all, so they know there has to be at least one new team that has been shaken up. Ad that team ends up being The Usos (a surprise which WWE spoils by showing their chyron when they meant to show Gable and Roode’s names).

Even less of a surprise is the result of the match. It appears The Usos now have RAW on lock, and they quickly dominate Gable and Roode. Gable and Roode have no problem using cheap tactics now, so it’s not exactly a fair fight. But The Usos are still The Usos, and they ultimately end up welcoming Gable to the Uso Penitentiary when they win.

And now, for “A Moment of Bliss,” featuring Star “Montreal’s Own” Sami Zayn. And what a hometown welcome it is, as the Montreal crowd even call for an encore of Sami Zayn’s entrance theme. And then another encore.

And then he then calls this entire experience “fish in a barrel,” as he gets out an “Ole” chant and then even some French call and response. No, Sami hasn’t changed his mind about the WWE Univese—this is all a round about way to insult both them and Alexa Bliss. And it works on both fronts, as the former even causes the Montreal crowd to chant “KEVIN OWENS” at him. But as Sami says: “The city is great, it’s just the people I can’t stand.”

The IIconics are here on RAW tonight, and after a confrontation with Bayley earlier in the day, it looks like the next Superstar to be shaken up will be Bayley’s mystery tag team partner…

Naomi & Bayley def. The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce)

…and that just so happens to be Naomi!

And speaking of Naomi, this match is all her, taking down The IIconics with authority. And then it’s over, when she hits a split-legged moonsault on Billie Kay for the win.

EC3 vs. Braun Strowman went to a No Contest

Well, it looks like EC3 is staying on RAW for now. Too bad it doesn’t matter because Braun Strowman pretty much murders him on live TV during their “match.”

Becky Lynch def. Ruby Riott

Fulfilling her double champion duties, “The Man” Becky Lynch has come around to Monday Night Raw. Tonight, she’s taking on Ruby Riott (and, realistically, the rest of The Riott Squad on the outside).

Becky has the early advantage, and she brings the fight to Ruby, clearly not worried about the numbers on the outside. But then Liv Morgan tries something and Becky deflects… but that gives Ruby an opening to capitalize and take over the match. According to Corey Graves, Ruby Riott wants to remind the RAW women’s division that she’s a threat, and you can’t have a bigger spotlight than when you’re iin the ring with “The Man.”

But, naturally, the WWE Universe is behind Becky, and she uses that to fuel a (straight fire) comeback. Ruby is able to somewhat fight back, until she ends up in the Dis-Arm-Her. She’s not getting out of that, which is why the Squad instead gets involved and pulls her out of the ring. After that, Becky takes out both Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, then goes for the Dis-Arm-Her one more time in the center of the ring. This time, it succeeds. The Squad immediately try to attack Becky post-match, but she takes them on and takes out. “Becky Two Belts” ain’t the one to mess with.

Backstage, Charly Caruso interviews Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley (with Lio Rush) about the RAW main event match: a six-man tag where they’ll be facing off against Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and a mystery third partner (one coming to RAW via the Shake-Up).

All McIntyre cares about is getting his hands on Reigns. Corbin, on the other hand, says that they plan to run Rollins and Reigns off of RAW just like he did Kurt Angle. And Lio Rush wants to know “who is even stupid enough” to team with Rollins and Reigns after Lashley’s beatdown on Dean Ambrose last week.

So, Becky Lynch is still in the ring… and out comes Natalya.

Natalya congratulates Becky on her victory tonight, as well as her victory at the main event of WrestleMania 35 and all the accomplishments she’s had recently. But Natalya is also out here for business purposes, specifically to challenge Becky face-to-face—for the RAW Women’s Championship. Because Natalya calls herself “The best there is…” Well, you know the rest.

To that challenge, Becky brings up how they both know a thing or two about being overlooked, how they fought to get to WWE when they were teens just starting in the business. So a title match against Natalya? “It would be a pleasure.” But then out comes Lacey Evans (or as Becky calls her, “this dope”). Lacey isn’t as moved by Becky and Natalya’s story, calling Natalya “a classless has-been” who doesn’t deserve a title shot.

As Lacey’s now officially part of the Monday Night RAW roster, she makes perfectly clear that she wants the RAW Women’s Championship. She also makes perfectly clear that the McMahons have given her a match against Nataly—right now—to determine who will be first in line for Becky’s RAW title.

Lacey Evans def. Natalya

Unfortunately for Natalya, Lacey Evans ends up backing up her words (and weeks of directionless walking) in this match. Lacey is in control for the majority of this match, but she eventually puts Natalya away with A Woman’s Right (a punch right to the face) and then a moonsault.

Backstage, Charly Caruso tries to get Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to reveal their third teammate, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until the match. Sorry, Charly. (Luckily, the match is next.)

AJ Styles, Roman Reigns, & Seth Rollins def. Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin, & Drew McIntyre

So, that third man? It’s “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles. Like he said before: SmackDown makes ‘em, RAW takes ‘em.

Obviously, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins have established tag team chemistry, but tonight, Styles fits right in there with them. It’s not exactly a perfect brotherly fit, but it definitely gets the job done against the three and a half blowhards they have to face. In fact, this trio has such good chemistry that even when it looks like all is lost, it couldn’t be further from the truth: The match ends with a distraction from Lio Rush giving Bobby Lashley an opening to take out Styles, only for Rollins to hit Lashley with a stomp mid-pin, Reigns to spear Lashley, and then Styles to win it all for the team with a Phenomenal Forearm. What a debut.

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