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WWE RAW Discussion Thread - April 16, 2018 from Hartford, CT (#1299)

TPIB

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When
United States: LIVE, Monday Night, April 16, at 8/7c on the USA Network
United Kingdom: Tuesday Morning, April 17, at 1AM on Sky Sports Action & Sky Sports Arena

Venue
XL Center in Hartford, CT

Confirmed Matches/Events

Night One of the 2018 Superstar Shake-Up

Sasha Banks vs. Bayley

Tag Team Eliminator Match:
"Woken" Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt vs. The Revival

Build to Backlash
 
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And continued build for The Roman Rumble in Saudi Arabia, I think Charlotte and Asuka are switching brands, gotten continue to build Charlotte as the greatest Female Wrestler of all time by moving Charlotte to raw, and starting the slow build to Charlotte vs Rousey at Wrestlemania 35 ( Early Spoiler Charlotte wins).
 
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I’m hoping Asuka is going to smackdown because if not that’s concerning that’s she’s been off raw since losing at mania, I also assumed Jeff will now get traded to smackdown with the US title but just seen miz v Seth in Saudi Arabia so miz will probably steal it back, he will break the days held record and Jericho’s times held record at some point
 
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I have started watching Raw and Smackdown weekly again as of last week. I hadn't watched regularly since Summerslam last year, aside from the Raw 25th anniversary episode. I think the break was good, I was thoroughly sports entertained the last 2 weeks. But I also know we've got big things happening both weeks, so we'll see where we go from here. But it should be cool.

I am wondering what's going to happen with Absolution now that Paige is retired and GM. It seems like they'll stay on Raw to build to a tag match at Backlash between them and Nattie/Rousey, and I can see that leading to Nattie/Rousey 1 on 1 afterwards.

I wasn't expecting Roode to be the mystery partner. When Angle said "debut", I thought it was gonna be an NXT guy debuting and my mind went to Almas. I was hoping it wouldn't be him, because he needs to be exactly who he is in NXT right now. If they had tried to make him debut as a face, that'd just suck. Thankfully it wasn't him. No Sanity either, makes me wonder if they're holding off on them for awhile or if we'll see them at Greatest Rumble or something.

Roode has sucked on the main roster and the main reason for that is because they insist on taking one of the hottest heels NXT had and using him as a generic face. Like, as a face he is literally nothing but his entrance. He had some real good matches in NXT with Tye and Roderick and Shinsuke, he's proved he can go - But right now he's got 0 character beyond a good entrance and his catchphrase.

I was stoked to see Drew McIntyre debut/return, and the crowd really dug it too. Pairing him with Dolph seems a bit random but that Claymore/Zig Zag is a fantastic double team finisher, that works really well. I dunno if they're gonna be 2 allied dudes like KO/Sami or if they're fully a tag team, but man I'd love to see Drew/Dolph vs The Bar.

Where the hell is Asuka?

I think Ember Moon might end up on Smackdown. Obviously some ladies will go there, they just lost the Riott Squad and Natalya. They did gain Peyton/Billie so that might cancel out some of it, might only see 1 or 2 ladies go that way. But I wouldn't be surprised if Ember was one of them.

No Cruiserweights on Raw at all, again. I really think that show would do better if they just made it a local show somewhere in a wrestling stronghold town like Orlando or Chicago or NY or something, had it in the same venue most weeks and kept it confined there. Kept it separate. I dunno if they're gonna be able to make it catch on nationwide at this point - anything's possible, but I feel like they had the real opportunity to do that right after the CWC and when they brought all the Cruiserweights to Raw and debuted 205 live in the first place. They were rolling for awhile, they had people invested and actually had some storylines going for guys. The first few months of the Cruiserweights were actually pretty good - But they messed it up by trying to do stupid gimmicks like Drew Gulak's politician/powerpoint nonsense, arguably Enzo as champion, and I still think doing 205 Live AFTER Smackdown is a bad idea. I think doing it before Raw or before Smackdown would be much more beneficial for those guys. I like how they've tried to turn it around, but it may be too late.

Jeff Hardy winning the US title was a nice surprise. That's 3 new Grand Slam champs in the last couple of months - Randy, Seth, and now Jeff. I wonder if they're just looking at who needs what title and saying "Ok well let's finish off the set then". People who are really close include John Cena (Needs IC title), Kevin Owens (Needs Tag), Kane (Needs US)...

Though I wonder what this does for the US title match we had scheduled for Backlash. It was Jinder/Randy - Now I would imagine it'd become a triple threat with Jeff in there too.

I wonder how long they're gonna wait before putting the tag titles on AoP.

Breezango with the surprise win over The Bar makes me think the Bar may be splitting up in the near future. I feel like they may have run their course as a team and it might be time for them to hit the singles world again.

Samoa Joe keeps verbally destroying Roman and I love it, but I don't love that right now his promos mostly are about Brock Lesnar and then about what Joe will to do Reigns as the afterthought. Is Joe trying to steal Heyman's job as the Advocate?
 

Kam

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I wasn't expecting Roode to be the mystery partner. When Angle said "debut", I thought it was gonna be an NXT guy debuting and my mind went to Almas. I was hoping it wouldn't be him, because he needs to be exactly who he is in NXT right now. If they had tried to make him debut as a face, that'd just suck. Thankfully it wasn't him. No Sanity either, makes me wonder if they're holding off on them for awhile or if we'll see them at Greatest Rumble or something.

Roode has sucked on the main roster and the main reason for that is because they insist on taking one of the hottest heels NXT had and using him as a generic face. Like, as a face he is literally nothing but his entrance. He had some real good matches in NXT with Tye and Roderick and Shinsuke, he's proved he can go - But right now he's got 0 character beyond a good entrance and his catchphrase.
I was thinking it was going to be AJ with the way they were hyping him up. Roode was a let down but I'm hoping for a heel turn soon. I'm thinking Almas will debut on Smackdown tonight. Maybe Sanity too.

I was stoked to see Drew McIntyre debut/return, and the crowd really dug it too. Pairing him with Dolph seems a bit random but that Claymore/Zig Zag is a fantastic double team finisher, that works really well. I dunno if they're gonna be 2 allied dudes like KO/Sami or if they're fully a tag team, but man I'd love to see Drew/Dolph vs The Bar.
I was surprised how vocal the crowd was when Drew showed up - definetly added to the segment. The finisher was cool too.

Where the hell is Asuka?
Maybe she'll move to Smackdown to feud with Charlotte?

No Cruiserweights on Raw at all, again. I really think that show would do better if they just made it a local show somewhere in a wrestling stronghold town like Orlando or Chicago or NY or something, had it in the same venue most weeks and kept it confined there. Kept it separate. I dunno if they're gonna be able to make it catch on nationwide at this point - anything's possible, but I feel like they had the real opportunity to do that right after the CWC and when they brought all the Cruiserweights to Raw and debuted 205 live in the first place. They were rolling for awhile, they had people invested and actually had some storylines going for guys. The first few months of the Cruiserweights were actually pretty good - But they messed it up by trying to do stupid gimmicks like Drew Gulak's politician/powerpoint nonsense, arguably Enzo as champion, and I still think doing 205 Live AFTER Smackdown is a bad idea. I think doing it before Raw or before Smackdown would be much more beneficial for those guys. I like how they've tried to turn it around, but it may be too late.
I think it's because of the busy post Mania shows, I'd expect to see them back on Raw from next week.

Breezango with the surprise win over The Bar makes me think the Bar may be splitting up in the near future. I feel like they may have run their course as a team and it might be time for them to hit the singles world again.
I wasn't expecting Breezango on Raw, felt like they were suited to Smackdown. I'd quite like them to get a decent push but we'll probably seem them squashed by AOP next.
 
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113
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I agree that Breezango is likely not gonna get pushed much. That's a shame too, but there's too many other solid good tag teams. If Breezango existed back in say, 2011, they'd be tag champions by now. But the tag division these days actually has several good teams, so they're just comedic relief and talent enhancers.

I dunno if Asuka's moving to Smackdown. I think she should, but who knows what they're gonna do.

The only way they'd move AJ is if they were moving Brock to Smackdown (LOL NOPE) or if Roman was gonna be moved to Smackdown and then win the Universal title. I don't see them giving away the main event finish that way, so it wasn't gonna happen this year. Maybe next year when Brock (presumably) isn't champion, they'll switch the titles around.

I've been wondering about that though, if they'd switch the Universal/WWE titles because they're so strongly affiliated with their brands. Additionally, what about the Raw/Smackdown Tag and Women's titles? They're actually colored for the shows they're on right now, so would they ever change the champs? Hmmm...
 

Kam

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I've been wondering about that though, if they'd switch the Universal/WWE titles because they're so strongly affiliated with their brands. Additionally, what about the Raw/Smackdown Tag and Women's titles? They're actually colored for the shows they're on right now, so would they ever change the champs? Hmmm...
With all PPVs co-branded shows from Backlash, they could always do a title match at the next PPV and get the title back to the relevant brand that way.