WWE Raw Highlights (4/4/16)
WrestleMania is in the books, and what a WrestleMania it was. We saw the women put on a hell of a show, Shane McMahon take another death defying leap, and Roman Reigns defeat the Game to once again capture the WWE World Heavyweight Title. The Raw the night after Mania is always a hype occasion, and this one was no different, so let’s take a look at the WWE RAW highlights, and lowlights, from the fallout show after WrestleMania.

WWE RAW Highlights
I’m THE Guy

Roman Reigns is the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion to the disdain of many fans in the WWE universe. Unfortunately for him, it seems like he can do no right. Despite being positioned as the next “guy,” fans still aren’t buying into him, especially the Raw crowd immediately following WrestleMania. But Reigns, as difficult as the crowd was on him, took it all in stride by saying, “I’m not a bad guy, I’m not a good guy, I’m THE guy.” Didn’t make the fans any happier, and they only boo’d him louder, but this is probably the best way to go until he, ya know, turns completely heel, something in which could be happening very soon based off of results that you’ll see later on in this article.

Shane gets control….for now
So we all know that Shane McMahon lost to the Undertaker Sunday at WrestleMania (although he still had the moment of the night when he leaped from the top of the cell in an attempt to give Taker a diving elbow on the announce table). With the loss, he didn’t achieve his ultimate goal of gaining control of Raw. So Shane, misty eyed and emotional, said his goodbyes and was prepared to leave, for good we can only assume, but old man Vince wouldn’t let his prodigal son upstage him. Before Shane could leave, Vince gave him what he wanted, temporarily at least. That’s right, despite losing on the Grandest Stage of them All, Shane was given control of Raw for the night. The question now is…well, that’s another thing that we’ll get to later on.

Finally the Wyatt Family is used correctly
I’ve talked about this several times over the past few weeks. The Wyatt family has been poorly booked for months, maybe even a year plus. Great promos that ultimately have no bark is what they’ve been subjected to for a while now, and it has to be frustrating for all parties involved, especially the Wyatt’s. Even at WrestleMania they were poorly booked, because after interrupting the Rock, Erick Rowan proceeded to lose an unscheduled match to the People’s Champion in a record six seconds, and then the entire Wyatt family was beaten up by the Brahma Bull, along with a surprise returning John Cena who is still not fully recovered from shoulder surgery.

So after all of the F ups on the part of WWE Creative, you’d think they’d eventually get it right, right? Well, the Monday Night Raw following Mania, they got it right. After the League of Nations failed once again to capture the tag titles from the New Day, Sheamus made the call to oust the “weakest link” of the group, that being King Barrett. But before the remaining three members of the League could do too much damage to Barrett, the Wyatt’s signature blackout occurred, and when the lights came back on, they were whipping the League’s collective ass. Now we don’t know if this beating means that the Wyatt’s are turning babyface (which was kind of, sort of hinted at during the interaction with the Rock at Mania), but it really doesn’t matter. They just need to be booked in a dominant fashion, and a rivalry against the League of Nations is the perfect rivalry to make them look strong.

Lowlights
Brock Lesnar anyone?

The main event number one contender’s match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title was pretty solid. There’s no denying that. But if anyone deserves a title shot, isn’t it Brock Lesnar? I know Lesnar is basically on a pitch count when it comes to his appearances, which means he’s probably being saved for bigger pay per views down the line like Summerslam, but c’mon? A Lesnar/Reigns Part II for the WWE World Heavyweight Title would be great wouldn’t it? I guess we’ll have to wait though.

The Miz?
Zach Ryder was probably the last guy you expected to win the Ladder match for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania, but he defied the odds and had his Mania moment. On Raw though, the Mania moment came to a screeching halt at the hands of…..the Miz. In a weird sequence towards the end of the one on one title match between Ryder and the Miz, the Miz got in Ryder’s father’s face, leading Ryder’s father to push the Miz down. But then the Miz’s wife, former (and I guess now, returning) superstar Maryse, slapped Ryder’s father in the face. The distraction led to the Miz taking advantage and hitting the Skull-Crushing Finale on Ryder for the win. Now I understand if you don’t want to give Ryder a super long run as champion, but one day? And he loses the title to the Miz? Yeah, if WWE’s aim was to piss fans off, they definitely got what they wanted.

Other Things
Impressive Raw Debuts

The first Raw after WrestleMania is usually where we see superstars make their official WWE debuts or the returns of past superstars. Tonight, two NXT stalwarts made their respective debuts. Apollo Crews won an impressive match against Tyler Breeze, and Baron Corbin beat the living crap out of Dolph Ziggler even though the two were counted out in their match. Later on in the night, the tag team Enzo and Cass made their debut by going at the necks of the Dudley Boyz. Looks like we got some talented new blood added to every Monday Night Raw going forward.

Post-WrestleMania Raw crowd lives up to its billing
The crowds at the Raw the night after WrestleMania are always special, and this Dallas crowd was no different. From the very beginning, they set a very boisterous and passionate tone, one that the superstars reacted to all night. Among the many memorable chants on the night were “thank you Wyatt’s!” (During Wyatt family beat down of League of Nations), “you deserve it” (directed at Zach Ryder for his Mania win) and “women’s wrestling” (during Charlotte’s acceptance speech of the new WWE Women’s championship). Got to love the post-Mania crowds.

Match of the Night
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro

After Roman Reigns issued an open challenge earlier in the night, he was confronted by Chris Jericho, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. The four men were placed into a fatal four way number one contender’s match to determine who would face Reigns for his newly won title. But before the match, Owens took out his hated rival Zayn. Instead of the match becoming a triple threat match though, Cesaro took Zayn’s place, much to the delight of the crowd. The guys put on a great match, with some excellent spots featuring all four superstars. In the end though, AJ Styles came through with the victory via pinfall over Chris Jericho, meaning that he will face Roman Reigns for the title, probably at Payback on May 1st. This should set up a very interesting dynamic between Reigns and Styles, seeing as they’re both (on paper at least) babyfaces. But as Reigns said earlier in the night, he’s not a good or bad guy, he’s just the guy. Let’s see if he maintains that against pro-Styles crowds leading up to their match.

What to look for next week
Will Shane continue to be in power next week? Or will the Authority make their return? Only one way to find out. Tune in next Monday to see who’s running Raw.

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