PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast with a preview of WrestleMania 36 with former WWE creative team member and professional comedian Matt McCarthy.
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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
APRIL 6, 2020
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT PERFORMANCE CENTER
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Advertisers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton
-A video pack released with highlights of Drew McIntyre’s victory over Brock Lesnar last night.
-Phillips and Saxton presented the show and said it was the most unpredictable night of the year for Raw. They hyped Street Profits against Austin Theory and Angel Garza in a rematch for the WWE Raw Tag Team titles.
(1) ASUKA against LIV MORGAN
Advertisers explained what mood Asuka would be in after “failing” at WrestleMania. A few minutes later, Morgan’s leg cut Asuka from the apron to the ground, but when she charged, Asuka kicked her in the head. Phillips asked, “Can Morgan come back gross Monday night?” They took a break. [c]
Asuka dodged a leaping Morgan, then went to get an Asuka lock. Morgan backed down for a leverage account of two. Asuka returned immediately to the Asuka lock, the arm driving Morgan and tightening the grip for the tapout. Saxton said that Morgan had fought well. Asuka celebrated with her exaggerated dance to her music afterwards.
WINNER: Asuka at 11:00 a.m.
(Keller analysis: solid match. You can tell who was present and available for Raw pre-bands last month, as we get a lot of Asuka and Street Profits, among other things, in the matches. Asuka is good at providing bio energy and noise without crowds, and its entry is among the most dynamic when it comes to distracting from the lack of crowds.)
-Phillips launched a video package on Becky Lynch against Shayna Baszler at WrestelMania.
-Charly Caruso interviewed Becky behind the scenes. Becky said it feels good to be a champion for almost a year. She said she was in a day. Caruso asked if Becky making Baszler back off was his last breath. Becky said that everything she did is calculated and she is still looking for a counter. Caruso asked how good Baszler is. Becky said she was great, and she thinks Baszler underestimated her. She said she was the longest combined NXT champion and had an excellent MMA CV. She said her resume may have been second to none in WWE today, but it was a test of skill and heart, and the heart won. Becky said Baszler can knock on her door if she thinks her victory was lucky.
(Keller analysis: the camera has stayed on Caruso too long as she awkwardly stared at Becky with a smile for several seconds as Becky walked away. Becky is here herself and reacts like an athlete would to win.)
-Baszler spoke of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat behind the scenes with a white towel over his head. She tore off the towel and said she promised Becky “the agony of my defeat.” She looked at the camera with threat.
(Keller analysis: It looks like more steam has been taken from Baszler’s legend at WrestleMania than what was fed back into this promo, but at least Baszler didn’t just curl up in a self-pity ball. and promised to get rid of some pain.)
-Phillips said the Street Profits vs. rematch Theory & Garza was coming. Saxton said they would take a look at the “unorthodox and highly personal WrestleMania Boneyard match between Undertaker and A.J. Styles later. [c]
-An advertisement broadcast for the special Edge “24” on WWE Network.
(2) THE STREET PROFITS (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) against ANGEL GARZA & AUSTIN THEORY (with Zelina Vega)
Saxton explained how important it was for the Profits to successfully defend their team titles in their first WrestleMania. At the start of the match, Ford, standing on the ring apron, yelled at Theory as he walked past him, which surprised him. Saxton said, “I don’t know what it was, but I liked it. Dawkins checked Theory to the mat after a leapfrog. Dawkins tagged Ford who landed a premium dropkick. The Profits slammed an interfering Garza on Theory, then threw them to the ground. One they played on camera, they stopped early. [c]
Returning live, the duo of heels beat Dawkins. Saxton said it was a new team from Theory and Garza, so it would be unheard of to win the team titles so quickly. He said they were showing that they had already learned of their loss at WrestleMania given their performance here. Saxton said Charlotte would become the NXT champion in 2020 in “one of the OMG moments” of the year. In the end, Dawkins scorched Ford, as did Garza. Ford struck a series of shots against Garza, including a dropkick and a DDT. The theory has distracted the reference. Vega held Ford’s leg as he stood on the upper rope. The referee saw it and called the bell.
WINNER: Street Profits in 12:00 via DQ to keep the WWE Tag Team titles.
(Keller analysis: good base game. The finish was pretty cheap and the lack of a noticeable reaction from Phillips and Saxton was annoying. Phillips said, “The official will reject this game.” Phillips does not mean the referee is going to DQ Garza & Theory? And shouldn’t advertisers be saying that the interference backfired and cost Theory & Garza a coveted chance at team titles Raw Tag? It totally undermines the idea that wrestlers enjoy title matches when advertisers are therefore unaffected by heels cheating completely against fire.)
As Vega kicked Ford in the face while Theory and Garza were holding him, Bianca Belair got out. She asked Zelina if she was really thinking of doing something. “I’m going here now,” she said. She said Vega couldn’t get past her, so enter the ring or must she pick it up herself. Saxton and Phillips wondered if this match would take place next. [c]
(3) BIANCA BELAIR (with The Street Profits) against ZELINA VEGA (with Austin Theory, Angel Garza)
Phillips said Belair was one of the best pure athletes in WWE. (This label is again applied to a black wrestler, which is a rich tradition of professional wrestling as a default compliment which also implies something if they don’t succeed despite this great pure athleticism. It’s time to move on from this “compliment Disproportionately applied to black athletes and look for another way to frame their characters and describe their strengths.) Ford slid into the camera lens and screamed and made faces. Phillips mentioned that Ford was Belair’s husband. The theory stood on the apron of the ring to prevent Belair from running the ropes. He said it wouldn’t happen like that. Ford attacked the theory. They fought in the ring. The referee called the bell.
WINNERS: No competition at 3:00 p.m.
– Profits and Belair stood in the ring after the trio of heels fled to the edge of the ring. Ford said that they were one day removed from WrestleMania and they are all there, why not make it a family affair and make it a three-on-three match. He shouted, “We want smoke!”
(Keller analysis: This is a real test of the public interest in these six wrestlers. It’s just a shame WWE just threw them in the ring and didn’t make them talk to the come on and put a real passion into declaring what was at stake while giving viewers a good reason to cheer for one side and whistle for the other. It was so shy. The circumstances are what they are, but professional televised wrestling is at its best when promos from good speakers excite you WWE just forgets to do it for mid-level games, and they pay the price when they try to hold viewers’ interest when a lot of viewers don’t just have no reason to worry very much or think something is really at stake.) [c]
(4) THE STREET PROFITS & BIANCA BELAIR against ANGEL GARZA & AUSTIN THEORY & ZELINA VEGA
Saxton said a few minutes later, “The way this night is going, this game could go on all night. “
Ford tagged Belair who dropped Theory from the ring apron rather than stopping this time, and then did a Vega moonsaulting. Garza broke the blanket by pulling on his boot. Ford sued Garza, who begged him. Theory caught Ford with a superkick as he turned the corner to the edge of the ring. Dawkins chased Garza in the back while Belair gave Vega a snake / Glam Slam look followed by his KOD for the win. Ford stood in front of the camera.
WINNERS: Street Profits & Belair at 6:00 am.
(Keller analysis: Imagine being trapped in an elevator with Montez Ford and Mojo Rawley.)
-Phillips meditated on the Undertaker-A.J. The styles match. Saxton said they had breaking news because they would show shocking pictures of what happened after Drew won the WWE title.
(Keller analysis: it would have been helpful to mention this earlier as a hook to keep viewers staying.)
-Phillips pitched to Aleister Black against the strengths of Bobby Lashley. It included still images of Lana shouting instructions from the ring apron at Lashley, giving Black a chance to strike with a surprise Black Mass.
-Caruso asked Lashley what had happened to him. Lashley said, “Something tells me that I need a new management or a new wife.” He looked at Caruso. Walking, Lana, who was all smiles, asked what they were talking about. Lashley pouted. Lana turned to Caruso and asked, “What have you done to my husband? “
-Aleister’s released clips kicking Black Mass on various opponents. Phillips said he was next. [c]
-They showed the outside of the Performance Center.
(5) ALEISTER BLACK vs APOLLO CREWS
The advertisers really talked about the blacks’ victory over Lashley. Phillips said that in the past nine months, Black has lost only twice. “Talk about momentum,” he said. Advertisers have said that Crews is an exciting pickup for Raw with an “expiring draft choice”. (In other words, he was there and available for recording and they needed someone to deal with Black.) About three minutes later, after Black got the better of the Crews after running the strings, Black sat in the middle of the ring and the Crews bailed out. at the edge of the ring to regroup. He smiled and shook his head, not to Black. [c]
Phillips said it was the exciting part of “Raw After WrestleMania” because you never know what’s going to happen. He made reference to Crews and Belair posing on Raw. Phillips said they would hear Charlotte later on the show. Phillips said WrestleMania was the most social show in WWE history with almost 14 million social interactions. (I guess it helps to boast because they can’t boast the crowd or the notes or possibly the subscriber levels of the WWE network. This lets people know that a lot of people have a lot to say about WrestleMania 36, despite the strange setting and difficult circumstances.) Saxton said that Black was beaten in the Lashley game, giving the Crews an opening they can take advantage of. They fought at the edge of the ring where the crews kicked Black in the shoulder and then jumped off the ring apron on Black. They took another break. [c]
Back from the break, Crews splashed Black around the corner, then shot him with a lariat for a near fall. Black rolled out of the path of a splash of Crews’ top rope, then took Crews down and applied a half-knee ring. The crews cried out in pain and reached the bottom rope. He finally got there to force Black to release the hold. Black reported the Black Mass, but when he turned around, the crews lowered and the pump kicked Black, then landed an enzuigiri. Black hit the ground. They took another break.
(Keller analysis: Who had their money on an Apollo Crews match on Raw After Mania that included three commercial breaks?) [c]
Black swept Crews and put down a running knee, then got up. He landed a cabrada on two counts. He kicked Crews in the face and scored two more. The crews returned with a high dropkick. Phillips said after the match that they would return to the Randy Orton-Edge match at WrestleMania. Crews and Black fought on the ropes leading to Crews superplexing Black for a near fall. The crews pressed Black into the air and then dropped an electric bomb for a near fall. Saxton said that sometimes there is no substitution for pure power. The crews pressed Black again and dropped him behind him, then placed a standing moonsault and a standing shooting star on two counts. The crews collapsed from his knee, which he had sold most of the match. The crews saw that Black was still on the ground, so he went up to the top rope. Black stood up and kicked him in the face. Then Black went for a superplex, but Crews lifted it and dropped it. The crews jumped on Black, but Black caught him in the air with one knee on his chin. He then reported the black mass again, but the crews blocked it. Black crews knocked down at sunset to counter its configuration of electric bombs. Black finally caught Crews with the Black Mass for the win. Black sat cross-legged next to Crews, who was knocked out for a while after the game.
WINNER: Black at 27:00.
(Keller analysis: this game was designed to fill a lot of TV time first and foremost with limited options for WWE when they pre-WrestleMania recordings to make them go through the order to stay home in Florida where the Performance Center is located. Opportunity, Black and Crews took advantage of it with a very good game of long duration. The disadvantage is that there was no crowd to win and react big. The positive side is that “there was no crowd to get bored and not react in case they did not. do not buy Crews as a threat against blacks. Although this helped the Crews to show the type of match it can have, Crews has been so diminished by the way it has been used by WWE for years, Black people needing almost half an hour to beat it, I fear that will take away more black than it does to help the crews. if this crew demo game is the start of a new push for him, or a one-off shot to fill up TV time in a strange week.)
-A three-minute video pack broadcast the highlights of the Edge-Orton Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania.
-Philips branched Cedric & Ricochet would be in action next. Phillips said it was an exciting new team. Saxton said they would return to the Undertaker against A.J. Styles Boneyard Match later too, “an unconventional and offbeat match.”
-An NXT ad broadcast hyping Johnny Gargano vs Tomasso Ciampa and the scale match of six women to become no. 1 competitor for Charlotte’s NXT title. [c]
(6) RICOCHET & CEDRIC against ONEY LORCAN & DANNY BURCH
Phillips noted that Lorcan & Burch are 205 Live and NXT with a chance to shine against the new team from Cedric & Ricochet. Phillips once again teased that what happened after the Lesnar-Drew match was magnificent and they would show it later. When Ricochet hit Burch, it looked like someone had pressed the 2x button on the remote control. Black and Ricochet finished Lorcan after a streak ending in hindsight.
WINNERS: Cedric & Ricochet at 3.30 p.m.
(Keller analysis: it’s good that they didn’t go too long with this, even if it was not a good time for Burch & Lorcan to surrender so easily to two wrestlers who didn’t even do the cut to be part of WrestleMania. The thrusts of Crews, Cedric and, apparently, the start of Lashley’s babyface turn are notable in this episode.) [c]
-Phillips touted social activity for WrestleMania and showed various consumer titles at the event.
-A two-minute video pack summed up the Kevin Owens-Seth Rollins match at WrestleMania.
-A post-match promo aired with KO in the parking lot talking about how his career over the past five months has been hell. He said all he wanted for five months was to put Seth in the head-to-head ring, and all he got was multiple attacks by three and four at the same time. He said it was so bad that he started to wonder if it was worth it. He told WrestleMania, when he jumped off the panel and crashed on Seth and the table, and when he heard the three counts, he realized that it was worth having a WrestleMania moment of which he could finally be proud. He said it was time to move on to bigger and better things. He said he used to be called a fighter, and maybe he should focus on that, or maybe there are more people in WWE like Seth who deserve one or two stunners. He said that whatever he does from now on, the message and the mindset will be the same, he is here to stay and it will be the Kevin Owens Show. He winked at me.
-Seth Rollins played music. Phillips wondered what mood Seth would be in. Seth walked very slowly with small steps towards the ring. Phillip said the look on Seth’s face tells of what happened at WM. Phillips: “This is the look of a very ticked Monday evening Messiah. Saxton said he may also be disheartened.
(7) SETH ROLLINS against DENZEL DEJOURNETTE
Seth walked early to Dejournette then brought him to the edge of the ring, throwing him into the barricade at the edge of the ring. Then he sent him back into the ring and landed The Stomp for the win. Phillips said it was a new Seth Rollins. Saxton wondered if it was a good thing.
Winner: Seth in less than 2 hours.
-Saxton said enthusiastically that Nia Jax is back on Raw tonight. Phillips said they would hear from him then.
(Keller analysis: There is actually a lot going on in this show, but they did a terrible job of setting the stage. They keep mentioning interesting articles in passing. It was a week to open Raw with a list of chips on how would be – Seth in action after his loss, a rematch for the team title, the return of Nia Jax, Kevin Owens talking about the impact of his victory on his state spirit and her future, Charlotte speaking for the first time to regain the NXT title, Apollo Crews joins Raw and seeks to make an early statement, the reaction of Becky and Baszler to their WM match, a shocking post-match event between Lesnar and Drew, and a look back at Edge-Orton and Styles-Undertaker. of these during the game commentary, but the first hour or so of that show just felt like it was going to be a phone call on a show without incident of long games with mid-carders and highlights of other things. I wonder how many viewers they lost first. )
-An advertisement broadcast for Smackdown asking what comes in the wake of WrestleMania with new champions emerging above the rest and changing the landscape.
(8) NIA JAX against DEONNA PURRAZZO
Jax dominated Purrazzo from the start. Saxton said it was his first game in a year. Phillips talked about everything that has changed since his last visit – Charlotte as NXT champion, Becky celebrating a year as champion, Baszler on Raw, Belair on Raw list. Jax took down a Samoan Drop then a DDT cradle for the victory.
WINNER: Jax in less than 2 hours.
(Keller analysis: I like the fact that they made a big deal of Jax’s return and gave him a decisive victory on his return. This presented him as a disruptor of the scene from which she had been absent for a year .)
-A package of almost five minutes on the airwaves of the Undertaker-Styles Boneyard match. [c]
(9) HUMBERTO CARILLO against BRENDAN VINK
As Humberto went out, Phillips said they would hear from Charlotte later tonight. Australian Vink, 6-5, 260 pounds, took Carillo out the door, surpassing him. Carillo avoided a suplex and put down a jaw jacker followed by a springboard armdrag. He landed a roundkick on the face and then a dropkick on the top rope. Vink bailed out at the edge of the ring. Carilllo charged, but Vink caught him with a big boot. Vink slammed Carilllo and scored a two, then settled into a chinlock. Phillips said he is still dealing with “whatever the hell of the Firefly Funhouse match. Saxton said he had such dreams. Carillo made a comeback and dropped Vink with a top rope moonsault for victory. Carillo celebrated on the middle tensioner in the corner as if he were cheered by a large crowd. It was strange.
WINNER: Carilllo in 3 hours.
-Phillips pondered a look back at Charlotte’s win over Rhea Ripley and then said they would hear Charlotte. [c]
-Phillips touted WrestleMania’s social media activity record.
-A two-minute video on the highlights of Charlotte’s victory over Ripley.
-Caruso congratulated Charlotte on her victory. Charlotte interrupted her and told her that she didn’t need her to congratulate her. She said that when she was little, her dad had custom cars, custom rooms, custom suits, and everyone thinks it’s a man made suit. “Do you know what my father said to me? ” she said. “It’s the man who makes the costume. She said now is the woman who made the title. She said she retired the Divas title and held the Raw title, and now she is a double NXT champion. She said Ripley was fine, but she did what everyone else does – she bowed to The Queen.
(Keller analysis: I liked that. One of Charlotte’s best promotions.)
– Highlights of Lesnar’s loss to Drew. [c]
-Drew McIntyre is out in the ring. Phillips said he was the first UK-born wrestler to win the WWE title and was the first Scottish champion in WWE history. Sarah Schreiber interviewed Drew in the middle of the ring. She asked if the magnitude of what he had done had hit him after just 20 minutes. Drew hasn’t said it yet and he hasn’t had a chance to talk to anyone. He said he didn’t believe it was real. He said he had taken the time to change the nameplate on the side of the belt and that it made him feel real.
He looked at the camera and said, “Thank you, Paul Heyman. He said during the match that he felt ready, and he saw in Lesnar’s eyes that he was ready to go to war. He said the moment Heyman said, “Keep giving him the F5, Brock, Drew can’t keep getting up, he’s going to stay down,” it showed he said Heyman didn’t know him very good. He said he never surrendered and dug ten feet underground to WrestleMania. He said that after every F5, he was more and more angry. He said that about 23 minutes ago he was the new WWE champion. The music of the Big Show was played.
Show went out and brought a referee into the ring by the arm. Show entered the ring with a big smile on his face. He congratulated Drew. ” You did it! You killed the beast. You have conquered the Conqueror! He said there was now a full locker room of talented competitors in his sights. He told Drew that the world is big, but he’s not a giant. Drew said that was what he expected. Drew said he knew where he was going. Show said he didn’t know shit. He said he was not asking Money in the Bank for a match. He said they were both dressed to compete. “Ring the bell, let’s go,” he said. Drew said he just beat Lesnar for the WWE title 20 minutes ago, but said he isn’t fighting at the moment. Show that Drew is quite telling, then. Big Show said that when he saw Drew, he could tell he was afraid of him. Drew said he was not afraid of him or anyone. He said he knew he was pushing his buttons, but he couldn’t say anything to convince him to fight him tonight. Show him slapped. Drew pulled his belt. The referee stood between them. The bell rang.
(10) DREW MCINTYRE vs. THE BIG SHOW – WWE Title Match
Phillips wondered if it was a wise decision. Phillips said they had never seen anyone win the title at WrestleMania and not even defend it 30 minutes later. Phillips said Drew couldn’t be 100%. Saxton said it was a good Show piece because he knew Drew was not 100%. Phillips spoke about the history of Show, including beating Hulk Hogan on his first night and battling Lesnar in the past, holding the WWE title five times. A graphic on the screen said, “After the show last night. Saxton said Drew had worked so hard to win the title, and he’s already in danger. Show landed a swing elbow drop out of the corner for a count of two. Show told Drew to show a fight, or maybe he should stay behind. Show said, “This is my pace, this is how I do my best.” Show continued to beat Drew methodically and shouted, “What are you made of?” Show smothered Drew, but Drew fired. Show reunited for his big knockout punch, but Drew ducked and picked up a Claymore for the count of three.
WINNER: Drawn at 7:00 am to retain the WWE title.
(Keller analysis: I liked this as a hot ending to Raw After Mania.)