WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 4

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterApril 5, 2016

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 4

0 of 10

    Credit: WWE.com

    After a WrestleMania focused on celebrating the past, Monday's WWE Raw injected new energy into the product with a variety of fresh faces.

    Dallas hosted a night of unexpected arrivals. Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady all made their Raw debuts and made their marks right away. 

    An outstanding Raw also saw stories progress and new feuds emerge. The League of Nations rid itself of a member. Cesaro returned to action. And WWE named the No. 1 contender to Roman Reigns' title.

    The Raw after WrestleMania historically delivers in a big way, marking a restart of sorts for the WWE world. That's exactly what this show felt like.

    Looking at all the night's matches and promos, the following recaps what went down on Monday's Raw and digs into what WWE got right and wrong throughout.

Vince McMahon Relinquishes Control of Raw for the Night

1 of 10

    To kick off the show, Vince McMahon reflected on WrestleMania. He said it tugged at his heart to see his grandkids accompany Shane to the ring and Shane leap from the top of Hell in a Cell.

    Shane-O-Mac soon appeared, limping painfully over to his father. A bruised, weary Shane thanked the fans.

    To prove a point about how poorly Shane would run Raw, Vince gave him control of the Monday night show.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "And even during the match, when I was enjoying The Undertaker kicking the crap out of my son, Shane, I was enjoying it. Believe me."—McMahon.

    "You people say and do nutty things."—McMahon on the crowd.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    Following a brief, emotional moment that seemed like a sendoff for Shane, WWE tossed logic aside for the sake of entertainment. Why on earth would Vince relinquish power like that, even for one night? Way to make this entire feud over control of Raw feel like a waste of time. 

    Still, the move created excitement not seen often enough on Raw. It set the tone for a wild night.

The New Day vs. League of Nations (Tag Team Championship)

2 of 10

    The New Day lamented its WrestleMania loss, but found solace in its moment with Steve Austin, Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels. Xavier Woods then sang with a giant piece of Booty-Os cereal raised in the air.

    Kofi Kingston and Big E then faced Sheamus and King Barrett with the championships on the line. The heels ganged up on Kingston, taking control for a long stretch.

    The champions battled back finishing off The League of Nations with Midnight Hour.

    An angry Sheamus ranted about how powerful his team should be. He pointed out Barrett as the group's weak link and led the attack on the Brit.

    The Wyatt Family suddenly appeared and laid out The League of Nations.

    Result

    The New Day wins via pinfall, retaining the tag team titles.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Although, I did get to twerk with Shawn Michaels in the ring."—Kingston.

    Lilian Garcia dances with The New Day.

    Big E launches Kingston over the top rope onto Barrett.

    Crowd chants, "Thank you, Wyatt!"

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    A short, underwhelming match was simply a bridge to Barrett's exit and The Wyatt Family attack. The crowd decided early it wasn't interesed in the action, doing the wave, etc.

    Sheamus delivered his best promo in recent memory, demanding one's attention with fiery anger. 

    Everything that happened afterward offered both surprise and narrative developments. Too often, Raw doesn't feel like it accomplishes much. Not here.

    The League of Nations showed its lack of heart. The group shrunk to three. And The Wyatt Family seems to have made a long-awaited babyface turn.

Sasha Banks vs. Summer Rae

3 of 10

    Summer Rae claimed if she had led B.A.D. & Blonde, the team wouldn't have lost. She then mocked Sasha Banks for losing at WrestleMania.

    Banks wasted no time in storming out to cut the speech short. The Boss then avoided Summer's best shots and quickly slapped on the Bank Statement to force her opponent to tap out.

    Result

    Banks wins via submission. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Banks hits Summer with a thunderous slap.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    WWE did well to give Banks motivation to beat down Summer with just a short promo.

    The match wasn't nearly long enough to take full advantage of that, though. The Boss scored a dominant win, but had WWE let her go on a rampage longer, this would have been miles more effective. 

    Rebranding the women's division won't mean anything if Banks and company don't have sufficient space to tell their stories.

Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler

4 of 10

    After bragging about winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Baron Corbin ran over Dolph Ziggler. 

    Corbin overpowered Ziggler; The Showoff countered with his speed. An ailing knee slowed Ziggler, but he still managed to score some near-falls.

    As the match rolled on, Corbin beat up Ziggler in the crowd. Getting counted out enraged The Lone Wolf, and he laid out Ziggler.

    Result

    The match results ends in a double count-out.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "This trophy is the only thing you need to know."—Corbin. 

    "I've carved a path of devastation and broken dreams to get here."—Corbin. 

    Corbin knocks Ziggler off the right hand with a nasty forearm.

    Corbin hits End of Days out on the floor.

    "That is exactly how the hell you make a statement and a debut at WWE.""—John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    This was an effective introduction to Corbin, especially combined with the Battle Royal win. 

    Corbin delivered his best mic work to date. The bout with Ziggler was no classic, but it was a strong showing that helped establish his dominance. He looked the part of a cold-blooded predator throughout.

    Pitting him against Ziggler was the perfect move. Not only did The Showoff help him thrive in the ring, but having him take out a diehard fan favorite was an easy way for him to garner some early heat.

Apollo Crews vs. Tyler Breeze

5 of 10

    Making his Raw debut, Apollo Crews entered to a loud reaction. He went to work right away, knocking Tyler Breeze around with his trademark high-energy offense.

    Prince Pretty slowed the bout down, briefly keeping Crews on the mat. Crews then responded with a flurry that ended with a spin-out powerbomb for the win. 

    Result

    Crews wins via pinfall. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "That guy has megastar written all over him."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    Crews looked impressive in the one-sided showdown. He showed off his out-of-this-world athleticism and eye-catching power. This was a nice warm-up for what's to come.

    WWE should start introducing more of his NXT call-ups with vignettes, though. Fans who don't watch NXT didn't know anything about Crews. Showing an edited version of the great video package that aired on NXT would have done wonders for him.

    It's hard to establish a connection right away without some insight on this new wrestler.

Potential Challengers Step Up to Roman Reigns

6 of 10

    Welcomed by boos, Roman Reigns delivered a short speech, boasting about his title win at WrestleMania. 

    Chris Jericho sauntered in. He insulted both Reigns and the fans before demanding a title shot.

    AJ Styles joined the party, followed soon after by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Reigns simply watched as the rivals beat each other down before attacking Jericho and leaving the ring.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Oh, come on. I'm not a bad guy. I'm not a good guy. I'm the guy."—Reigns.

    "You're not going to hijack the show on my watch."—Jericho to the crowd.

    "I buried AJ Styles right here in this ring."—Jericho.

    Reigns spears Jericho.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    A smug Reigns giving a short speech here was a smart move. It looks like WWE is slowly moving toward the expected heel turn. Letting us see his arrogance swell will be a powerful way to get to that point.

    Throwing all these challengers in the mix was unexpected and exciting. Letting one of these guys take on Reigns is a huge improvement over going for a rematch with Triple H.

Zack Ryder vs. The Miz (Intercontinental Championship)

7 of 10

    Zack Ryder gleefully reflected on his Intercontinental Championship win. He recalled meeting Scott Hall as a kid and thanked his father.

    The Miz ruined the moment. He told Ryder he was just a flash in the pan. The Miz then challenged the new champ to an impromptu title match.

    Ryder kept The Miz off-balance with dropkicks. A crash out onto the floor halted the titleholder's momentum.

    Taking advantage of the distraction of his wife bickering with Ryder's father, The Miz hit the Skull-Crushing Finale for the win.

    Result

    The Miz wins via pinfall, winning the IC title.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Fans chant, "You deserve it! Woo woo woo!"

    "No, it does not suck to be me!"—The Miz.

    Ryder lands on his feet to counter a suplex attempt, before flooring The Miz with a neckbreaker.

    Ryder's father pushes The Miz to the floor; Maryse responds by slapping Mr. Ryder.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    The Miz and Ryder put on a surprisingly strong match. Few fans will be talking about the actual contest, though. The result is the real discussion-starter.

    WWE had a good thing going with the underdog Ryder story. He had made the most of his moment in the spotlight. The company should have ran with it. Instead, it chose another short IC title reign.

    And The Miz becoming champ is hard to get excited about.

Women's Championship Ceremony

8 of 10

    With Natalya, Becky Lynch and Eva Marie behind her, Lita introduced the new Women's Championship. 

    Charlotte then hoisted the title on her shoulder. She struggled to get her speech out with the crowd chanting over her. She thanked her father, Ric Flair, for always helping her.

    Sasha Banks walked out of the ring. Lynch and everyone else soon followed. Natalya stuck around to chastise the champ.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Fans chant, "We want Bayley!"

    "This is my moment!"—Charlotte.

    "This championship on my arm proves my family will always be better than your family."

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    The crowd did its best to commandeer this moment, but Charlotte did reasonably well to improvise her way around all the chants.

    The promo didn't get going for a while, however. When she turned on the braggart part of her character, she started to really shine. What followed showed how disliked she is and set up a potentially explosive feud with Natalya.

    With Natalya seemingly set for a title shot, WWE has to make use of Lynch, Banks and others during that time. The women's division needs multiple stories to reach its full potential.

The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz (Tables Match)

9 of 10

    Bubba Ray and D-Von controlled the action early on. The Dudley Boyz hammered The Usos in a briefly one-sided brawl.

    The Usos, though, responded with high-flying offense. They flew around, forcing their foes into retreat.

    The twins tried to dive onto The Dudley Boyz while they laid atop tables. They missed, however, and crashed through the wood themselves.

    Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady soon entered, worked the crowd into a frenzy with their usual banter and tore The Dudley Boyz apart on the mic.

    The heels teased a fight, but thought better of it.

    Result

    The Dudley Boyz win via putting The Usos through tables.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Jimmy flies over a table to hit a splash on Bubba Ray.

    "I am mic-talker skywalker, and I got a mic-saber for a hater."—Amore.

    "If I was you, I would be jealous of us, too. Cause you ugly as hell."—Amore.

    "You better think twice. It'd be two more thoughts than you had all day."—Amore.

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    The match itself was hugely underwhelming. The Dudley Boyz-Usos rivalry has yet to compel. Even a double collision through tables felt ho-hum. What followed was the real highlight.

    Amore and Cassady revved up the crowd like no one else all night. They were on fire, turning a bit of trash-talking into stirring entertainment. The Realest Guys in the Room are going to ignite the tag team division.

    Suddenly, WWE has some intriguing options at its disposal.

Fatal 4-Way to Decide the WWE World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender

10 of 10

    Backstage, Kevin Owens attacked Sami Zayn mid-interview. The bruiser powerbombed Zayn through a table. 

    That ousted Zayn from the Fatal 4-Way. A returning Cesaro took its place. 

    AJ Styles took on The King of Swing before pounding away on Chris Jericho. A frenetic energy marked much of the bout from this point. Every foe scored near-falls; each man threw their best shots.

    Jericho nearly won with the Walls of Jericho; Cesaro countered with a Sharpshooter.

    The match eventually narrowed down to Styles and Jericho. The Phenomenal One hit the Styles Clash to secure the win.

    Result

    Styles wins via pinfall, becoming the No. 1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "You stupid man!"—Jericho to Styles.

    Cesaro flings all three opponent from the top rope.

    Cesaro goes on an uppercutting spree, knocking into each man several times over.

    Grade

    A+

    Analysis

    Cesaro was the star here. The audience came alive when he emerged and whenever he went on offense. The Swiss Superman needs a high-profile feud to take advantage of his popularity, pronto. 

    A microcosm for Raw as a whole, this match offered surprises, electricity and pulled in the audience from the get-go. What a whirlwind, fun contest. Raw needs more bouts like this.

    It only makes sense to have Styles challenge Roman Reigns if the champion is indeed turning heel as most expect. Putting him in there with a guy diehard fans adore is only going to further damage his face run otherwise.