Superstar Shakeup Part 1 – A Raw Recap for 4/10/2017

Tonight’s bizarre episode of Raw came to us from Long Island, NY.  It was a very weird crowd, prone to chanting CM Punk at random intervals.

The Shakeups

Let’s just get this out of the way.  Unlike the draft, there was no official announcement, just superstars showing up at random times throughout the broadcast.  Here are the SmackDown Superstars and announcers coming to Raw:

  • The Miz and Maryse
    Miz and Maryse opened the show dressed as John Cena and Nicki Bella.  I don’t know why it takes me way too long to realize that this is not the actual John Cena and Bella.  He was a pivotal part of SmackDown.  I hope he can make something of himself here.
  • Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose
    Dean came out to confront “John Cena” and completely committed to the bit, getting in jabs at Miz and Maryse in the process.  I feel like this move is to capitalize on some sort of Shield reunion while everyone is officially a Babyface now.
  • Bray Wyatt
    Bálor had a decent match with Jinder Mahal (did I really just type that?).  Bray took over the big screen.  He confirmed that he’s still fighting Orton in a House of Horrors match, which is now at Payback.  After that, he’s coming for Finn.  So does that mean Finn is without a dance partner for the upcoming PPV?
  • Alexa Bliss
    Alexa interrupted a weird segment between Sasha and Bayley where The Boss was teasing a heel turn again.  I’m a little bummed, really.
  • Mickie James
    Mickie interrupted Alexa’s interruption.  Nia then crashed the party, seemingly confirming that she’s staying on Raw.
  • Kurt Hawkins
    Kurt appeared in the ring telling that Raw will have to face the facts.  Big Show punched him in the mouth.
  • Apollo Crews
    Announced before Raw started.  He seems excited but I’m not so sure he’s going to stick around.  Matt and I agree that it wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to get to Cruiserweight, or at least close enough for kayfabe.
  • Kalisto
    Announced via a card between segments.
  • Beauty and the Man Beast (Heath Slater and Rhyno)
    I don’t see them being added to the title picture any time soon.  It’s a shame.  I like them a lot.  I assume the Hardys are going over them next week on Raw.
  • Announcer David Otunga
    Byron was informed after Raw that he’s going to Smackdown and Otunga is taking his place on Raw.  Poor Byron.  He realized he has to be back on the air with JBL.

The Matches and What They Might Mean

The New Day (Woods and Big E) Vs. The Revival

The big news here is Kofi is out with minor ankle surgery.  The on-air reason is the attack from The Revival on last week’s Raw.  I bet that it was actually a lingering injury that they were waiting to take care of after Wrestlemania.  We will never know for sure though.

The Revival are not only top guys but top heels.  They made shirts to celebrate the demise of both the ice cream cart and Kofi’s ankle.  It’s great.

The Revival got a pin on Woods after catching Xavier off the top rope into a Shatter Machine.  Best spot of the night.

Although I would love this feud to continue, I feel like New Day losing tonight means that we see them on SmackDown on Tuesday.

TJ Perkins Vs. Austin Aries

For some reason, Neville is trying to butter up TJ.  I guess it makes sense.  Aries and TJ are both technically faces at this point.  Also, TJ needs something.  He’s weirdly bland.  He’s great in the ring but maybe not the best choice for your inaugural Cruiserweight champion.

Either way, TJ got the roll up win here with Aries briefly distracted with Neville on the ramp.  I’m interested to see where this goes.

Nia Jax Vs. Charlotte

After almost murdering Charlotte with a botched shoulder breaker and failing to catch her moonsualt, Nia goes over The Queen here.  I think this means we are going to see Charlotte on SmackDown with one other current female star.  Who that additional star would be, I don’t know.

Finn Bálor Vs. Jinder Mahal

I talked about this earlier with the Bray Wyatt switch.  Finn wins with a Coup de Grace but Jinder wasn’t jobbed out.  It seems the trend is to make him more of a mid-card heel than the lower card position that he currently occupies.

Sami Zayn Vs. The Miz

Kurt Angle has no interest in backstage politics.  When Sami and Miz argued who belonged on Raw, Angle just put them in a match.  Maryse did what she does best, moving Miz out of the way of damaging maneuvers.  Miz continued to do the Yes! kicks, even though he’s no longer on Bryan’s roster.  It would be fun if Daniel negotiates to drag Miz back to SmackDown.

The highlight was the finish.  Sami reverses the Skull Crushing Finale into a roll up for the win.  Why hasn’t anyone done that before?

I think there’s a 60% chance that Sami arrives on the Blue Brand.  It seems like SmackDown is a ghost town at this point and it could use someone else in the midcard.  Plus, with Kalisto and Apollo gone, who is Dolph facing every week?  But I think, because he won, that he might be staying.

The Hardy Boyz and Sheamus and Cesaro Vs. Gallows and Anderson and The Shinning Stars

I firmly believe, at this point, that Gallows and Anderson will be reunited with AJ on SmackDown?  Maybe the Shinning Stars move too?  I don’t care, but it seems possible.

I do worry that the Hardy Boyz are going to destroy the entire devision for however long they are there.  I love to see them in the WWE but I worry that the storytelling will get lazy.  Maybe they can lose the titles in a couple of months and Matt becomes Broken once again.

The Hardys finish off Epico with a Twist of Fate and a Swanton Bomb for the win with their future #1 contenders.

Dean Ambrose Vs. Kevin Owens – Champion Vs. Champion

I do miss Dean Vs. Kevin matches.  This one was a bit disappointing.  It just felt like a lazy way to end such a weird night.  Dean seals the deal with a Dirty Deeds.  Chris Jericho shows up to deliver a CodeBreaker to Kevin to end the night.

With Dean showing up with the Intercontinental Championship, I’d be surprised if the US Championship doesn’t find it’s way to SmackDown.  I almost think there’s a possibility that Kevin drops it to someone on Tuesday and still stays on Raw.  I’m not sure.  I’d love to see more KO Vs. AJ though.

Everything Else

The Drifter Drifts

He just rolls on through during the Hardy Boyz’ entrance.  I hope he shows up on SmackDown like this too.

Braun Comically Murders Roman Reigns

Check your suspension of disbelief at the door.

Seth teases which brand he’ll end up on, before being attacked by Samoa Joe

He’s staying on the Red brand you guys.  Shield reunion by Battleground confirmed.

Dana Brooke turns down Emma to resume bodyguard duties

No clip for this one.  I’m sure these two are feuding soon.