As always the RAW after WrestleMania was full of surprises, including returns, NXT call-ups and more. The opening hook was Vince giving Shane power for just one night. Here’s the big news and some of my thoughts:
Although he seemed to be getting de-pushed on NXT and was critiqued on Breaking Ground for needing to find his voice, the uber athletic Apollo Crews has been called up to the main roster. He debuted in a showcase match against Tyler Breeze and got the victory with a spinning standing powerbomb. He also seems to have developed a new gesture.
It’s certainly an interesting dynamic when somebody that hasn’t quite found themselves on NXT is called up because they fit a main roster image. Crews has some exciting moves and a great physique. WWE is not necessarily interested in 5 star matches or character depth. It’s getting clearer by the day that they are two separate brands with different audiences and different markers of success.
You could say a similar thing about Baron Corbin who is now officially a main roster superstar following his Andre The Giant battle royal victory at WrestleMania. He has the look and the silent charisma, but is not as accomplished in the ring as many others, and certainly isn’t why people tune in to NXT. Fortunately he does have a solid character and in many respects is what a heel Roman Reigns should be.
He made his RAW debut last night getting disqualified against Dolph Ziggler and then taking him out after the bell.
Enzo and Cass
Enzo and Cass of course transcend any target audience, because they have incredible charisma. They deubuted on RAW to a deafening reaction by interrupting and ripping on the Dudley Boyz with an attitude not seen in years. Carmella was curiously absent however.
So proud of my boys! #RawAfterMania
— Carmella (@CarmellaWWE) April 5, 2016
— Bubba Ray Dudley (@BubbaRayDudley) April 5, 2016
The Vaudevillains, whose gimmick seems to be petering out on NXT will be making their debut on SmackDown:
— WWE (@WWE) April 5, 2016
Although it might not be a permanent deal Maryse returned on RAW to help The Miz defeat Zack Ryder for his newly won Intercontinental title. She distracted Ryder by slapping his father in the front row.
Scott Hall who congratulated Ryder after WrestleMania ran in to Miz and Maryse backstage. He goaded Miz in to giving Ryder a rematch.
Cesaro returned to replace Sami Zayn in a Number 1 Contender’s match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Zayn was taken out backstage by Kevin Owens before the match.
Ultimately AJ Styles picked up the victory, somewhat redeeming his bizarre loss to Jericho at WrestleMania.
Primo and Epico
Los Matadores is no more, as Primo and Epico are returning:
Other RAW News
Barrett Booted From LON
RIP #TheLads. It wasn't good while it lasted..
— Stu Bennett (@WadeBarrett) April 5, 2016
In a sign of his pending departure from WWE King Barrett was booted out of the League of Nations.
None other than the Young Bucks chimed in on Twitter:
Yo @WadeBarrett the Bullet Club would never do that to you.
— The Young Bucks (@NickJacksonYB) April 5, 2016
Guest Appearance Next Week
TV personality Dr. Phil will be the special guest for next week’s RAW from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
New Title Plates
WWE shared videos of Roman Reigns and Charlotte getting their title plates: