WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 10

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterApril 11, 2017

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 10

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE Raw underwent reconstructive surgery on Monday night by way of adding several new talents during the Superstar Shake-up.

    Dean Ambrose is now a part of the red brand. Bray Wyatt arrived. Alexa Bliss switched shows.

    Change was the order of the day, even if it came with no explanation of how the Superstar Shake-up worked. Were these acquisitions trades? What were the rules of the brand dealings?

    None of that was clear.

    Monday's show succeeded when it featured two of the brand's monsters ripping through flesh. Nia Jax looked more like a champion-in-waiting than she has to date. Braun Strowman delivered a superhuman moment in his pursuit to end Roman Reigns.

    A cruiserweight's change in character, more teasing of a heel turn in the women's division and Seth Rollins' defiance made for an interesting edition of Raw, even if it clumsily introduced its shifting landscape. The following is a breakdown of all that and the rest of the latest episode of WWE's marquee show.

SmackDown Stars Arrive on Raw

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    Dressed as John Cena and Nikki Bella, The Miz and Maryse mocked their foes in the ring. Dean Ambrose soon joined them.

    The Lunatic Fringe pretended not to realize it wasn't actually Cena and Bella. He kicked The Miz in the gut to clear him from the ring.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Turns out we stink. We are not good actors. I believe the word was 'robotic.'"—Miz as Cena.
    • "Just don't go do anything stupid like making Marine 5."—Ambrose.

      

    Grade

    C+

      

    Analysis

    Ambrose's goofy, erratic persona isn't for everyone, but he sure makes it work. He was funny here, improving a mundane segment.

    The Miz is a major addition for Raw. He has been red-hot for the past year in a half. Seeing him join the red brand is exciting, but it's odd that his first interaction in his new home was with someone who also arrived from SmackDown.

    This was a great chance to give us a fresh pairing, as opposed to revisiting a rivalry from a few months ago.

The New Day vs. The Revival

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    Big E and Xavier Woods called out The Revival. The duo was angry about Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder breaking Kofi Kingston's ankle on the previous edition of Raw.

    The heels controlled the action by keeping Woods in their corner. When Big E finally tagged in, he flung his foes around the ring.

    The Revival, though, caught Woods in midair and hit him with the Shatter Machine.

       

    Result

    The Revival wins by pinfall.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Big E brought a blow-up version of Kingston to ringside. 
    • "They've become top contenders to have our boots betwixt their buns."—Big E. 
    • Wilder sported a "We broke Kofi's ankle" T-shirt.
    • Woods (mostly) hit a diving elbow from fully across the ring. 
    • "Corey, they're for real!"—Michael Cole.

      

    Grade

    B

       

    Analysis

    WWE has done well to introduce The Revival as viable contenders. The duo has knocked off The New Day two weeks in a row, outsmarting the former champs this time and putting Kingston on the shelf last time out.

    It's surprising to see this rivalry progress this way, but it makes perfect sense if The New Day is headed for SmackDown. This was a fun, short match that teased how good a lengthy rivalry between these teams could be.

Curt Hawkins Arrives

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    Curt Hawkins announced he was now a part of Raw. He wanted a welcoming party. Big Show showed up instead.

    Big Show knocked out Hawkins and left.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "This is huge. The greatest get since the Louisiana Purchase."—Hawkins on his arrival on Raw.

      

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    Big Show's contribution was efficient. A knockout artist who wipes out pests is a good role for him.

    The Hawkins move to Raw is far from exciting. This was something WWE would have been better off announcing online.

TJ Perkins vs. Austin Aries

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    TJ Perkins and Neville crossed paths in a tense moment backstage. The King of the Cruiserweights told Perkins he's been passed over by WWE.

    Austin Aries tried to talk to Perkins, but the former cruiserweight champ ignored him.

    A surly Neville sat in on commentary as Perkins and Aries clashed. A Double struggled against Perkins early, the younger man outwrestling the veteran.

    Aries recovered, taking control and playing up to the crowd. Neville approached Aries. That distracted Aries enough to allow Perkins to roll him up for the win. Perkins then attacked Aries after the bell.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I may have my sunglasses on inside at night, but even I can see this guy is lying through his teeth."—Aries.
    • Aries mocked Perkins by dabbing.

      

    Grade

    B-

      

    Analysis

    A heel turn for Perkins may not salvage his sputtering momentum, but it's worth trying. It's a logical shift for his character after so many disappointing results of late.

    This was a bit of a rush job with that change, though. More foreshadowing would have made this a far more powerful moment.

Seth Rollins' Fate

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    Seth Rollins talked about how much he put into his WrestleMania match against Triple H. He thanked the fans for their support. 

    He said Stephanie McMahon would make his life hell when she got back. He mentioned the possibility of heading to SmackDown but also that he wasn't going to take the easy way out.

    General manager Kurt Angle emerged to tell The Architect he wanted him on the red brand.

    Samoa Joe ambushed Rollins. The babyface, though, sent Joe fleeing after a brief brawl.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I did it. We did it. We slayed The King of Kings."—Rollins.
    • "I promise you, WrestleMania was not the finish line."—Rollins.
    • "If you want to ship me off to Tuesday nights, you better have an army back there."—Rollins.
    • "You were the one-legged man who won an ass-kicking contest."—Angle.

      

    Grade

    B+

      

    Analysis

    The segment teased a potential Rollins exit nicely. His explanation for wanting to stay with Raw both made use of his storyline with The Authority and showcased his character. He came off as a changed man determined to do what's right.

    This also confirmed the Joe vs. Rollins feud will continue. That's great news for The Destroyer, who will have a major opportunity ahead of him after getting left out of the picture at WrestleMania.

Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax

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    Flair tried to match power with Nia Jax, only to find herself crashing to the mat. Jax bowled over her foe before slowing the pace of the match.

    The Queen looked to chop down the powerhouse. She managed to leave Jax reeling but was unable to keep her down for a three-count.

    A Samoan Drop took the air out of Flair and led to a victory for Jax.

      

    Result

    Jax wins via pinfall.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Not today, Charlotte."—Jax after deadlifting Flair off the canvas.
    • Flair hit a moonsault from the top rope to the outside.
    • "One more chapter of dominance in the book that is written by Nia Jax."—Byron Saxton.

      

    Grade

    B

      

    Analysis

    A solid match resulted in more momentum for Jax.

    The division's focus has been Sasha Banks, Bayley and Flair for a long time. Jax is now becoming a major player. She's still rough around the edges in the ring, though, not consistently delivering like her peers.

    It's surprising and intriguing that Flair is losing at this pace. She was untouchable for so long. Her frustrations are bound to grow, and that's a ripe base for a future narrative. WWE has to work this into who The Queen becomes, be it on Raw or SmackDown if she ends up there.

Finn Balor vs. Jinder Mahal

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    After a vignette about Finn Balor aired, he locked up with Jinder Mahal in front of an excited crowd.

    Mahal beat up on the babyface early. He stomped and clubbed Balor until The Demon King battled back. Balor hit Coup de Grace to get the win.

    Bray Wyatt then appeared on the big screen. He plugged his House of Horrors match with Randy Orton before warning Balor.

      

    Result

    Balor wins via pinfall.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Mahal kicked the top rope into Balor's face.
    • A forearm shot left Balor's face bloody.
    • "This is my new home now."—Wyatt.
    • "Watch yourself because I will certainly be watching you."—Wyatt.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    There was nothing special about the match, but getting Balor a hard-fought win is a smart move. As was a vignette to give the audience a longer look at him. 

    The Wyatt-Balor confrontation was mighty intriguing. WWE has struggled to consistently book Wyatt well, though, so it's hard to get too psyched about this. The juxtaposition of two dark characters gives the writers plenty to play with.

The Miz vs. Sami Zayn

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    Backstage, Kurt Angle told Sami Zayn that SmackDown was interested in bringing him aboard. When The Miz interrupted their discussion, the GM booked a match between the two.

    Zayn and The Miz traded momentum. The heel, however, took over and dished out a methodical offense.

    Zayn shocked The Miz, though, by countering The Skull-Crushing Finale with a roll-up for the win.

      

    Result

    Zayn wins via pinfall.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • The Miz mocked Zayn's "Ole!" chant.
    • Maryse pulled Zayn out of the ring to avoid the Helluva Kick.

      

    Grade

    C+

      

    Analysis

    The annoying, whining version of Zayn we saw backstage has to go away. 

    It was good to see Zayn win, even if the announcers overplayed this as an upset. The Miz is hot enough to withstand the loss.

    This wasn't a particularly memorable clash in terms of action. We've seen both men pull off far better, including against each other. 

Roman Reigns Interview

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    Michael Cole sat down with Reigns to talk about his match with Undertaker at WrestleMania 33. Before he could say much, Braun Strowman attacked Reigns.

    The Monster Among Men hurled The Big Dog all around the backstage area. Referees tried to restore order. Reigns was in need of medical attention.

    Strowman continued the assault, even after officials loaded Reigns into an ambulance.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "How do you prepare to retire a legend?"—Reigns.
    • Strowman slammed an equipment case into Reigns.
    • Strowman pushed Reigns' stretcher off a raised area.
    • Strowman tipped over an ambulance.

      

    Grade

    A

      

    Analysis

    Reigns is still playing an ill-fitting role. He was too respectful and too much of a vanilla babyface here. 

    This attack could and should be a catalyst for him to be the bloodthirsty beast he needs to be instead.

    Strowman was the star here, though. He looked like something out of a kaiju movie. The image of him upending the ambulance was haunting and one that will be remembered for a long time.

8-Man Tag Team Match

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    The Hardys, Cesaro and Sheamus vs. The Shining Stars, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows 

    Elias Samson from NXT wandered near the entrance ramp as the action unfolded. 

    Cesaro slugged it out with Anderson and Gallows. Matt Hardy handled both Primo and Epico. The match soon turned more chaotic.

    Jeff Hardy flattened Epico for the win.

    The Hardys and Cesaro and Sheamus shook each other's hands afterward.

    Result

    The Hardys, Cesaro and Sheamus win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans chanted "Delete! Delete!" for the Hardys.
    • Jeff hit Poetry in Motion over the top rope on the heels.

    Grade

    D+

    Analysis

    The Hardys were the stars of a brief, subpar match. There was little story here, just a chance to show off the brothers' offense.

    And WWE is making it hard on itself with the build to the Payback tag team title match. Rather than build animosity between champions and challengers, it chose to have them be buds with no tension. The Cesaro and Sheamus vs. The Hardys bout doesn't feel PPV-worthy, more something to fill out an episode of Raw.

The New-Look Raw Women's Division Emerges

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    Sasha Banks welcomed Bayley to the ring.

    Bayley thanked the fans for believing in her. The Boss congratulated her friend before starting to challenge her for the women's title. Alexa Bliss stormed in to announce her arrival on the red brand.

    Mickie James then stepped out of the curtains to reveal she was also moving to Raw.

    Jax steamrolled over James, Bayley and Banks. She eyed the women's title before exiting.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "You had the biggest moment of your career. That moment is over."—Banks.
    • "Be still, my heart. Alexa Bliss is on Monday Night Raw."—Graves.
    • "This championship is mine, Bayley!"—Jax.
    • Bliss and Jax's shared a look that suggested they are in cahoots.

      

    Grade

    A-

      

    Analysis

    While it's not clear who is headed to SmackDown, the Raw women's division looks stacked. Bliss will tear it up after growing as a star on the blue brand. James will be a valuable veteran addition.

    Banks' brief sneer and challenge hinted at her expected heel turn, which WWE has teased extremely well.

    And WWE is obviously all in on Jax. She again had the final word, leaving her rivals lying. If she and Bliss have a partnership of some kind, there are a number of appetizing routes to take that story.

Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose began as a high-octane slugfest. The fight moved to the outside, where The Lunatic Fringe briefly took control.

    KO slowed the bout down, trying to squeeze the breath from Ambrose.

    The enemies left each other hurting in a physical battle. The IC titleholder took big risks to take down Owens. Dirty Deeds put away the U.S. champ.

    Chris Jericho appeared after the match and floored Owens with a Codebreaker.

      

    Result

    Ambrose wins via pinfall.

      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I am the United States champion, which makes me the face of America and the No. 1 champion on Raw."—Owens.
    • Owens hurled Ambrose into a ring post. 
    • Ambrose knocked Owens off the top rope with a diving lariat. 
    • "Insanity and chaos are what Dean Ambrose thrives on."—Saxton.

      

    Grade

    B+

      

    Analysis

    It looked at first as if this contest wouldn't have as much energy as their previous battles, but it picked up steam. Ambrose and Owens ended up producing the night's best match.

    There were no real stakes, though. WWE didn't play up these men's history, which was a missed opportunity.

    Owens taking the loss and the Codebreaker is no big deal, but it would be great if we could see more images of him leaving behind a trail of ruin. If only WWE booked Owens more like Jax.