Seth Rollins Confronted Cody Rhodes
Starting the show with Rhodes' first promo since returning to WWE at WrestleMania 38 was a really smart call because that was easily the most anticipated thing coming into this episode. Regardless of whether Rhodes' promo was unscripted or not, he connected with the crowd and came off like a total star. The fact he acknowledged his intentions to win the world title for his father was not a coincidence and now he's my new top pick to dethrone Roman Reigns as champion. Not right away, of course, but down the road. Rollins vs. Rhodes is thankfully continuing and this was designed to plant the seeds for Rollins turning babyface at some point down the road.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi def. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan in a Championship Contender's Match
The babyface vs. babyface dynamic in this match was weird, but it was an enjoyable affair while it lasted. Morgan getting pinned followed by Ripley showing signs of frustration was interesting as it coincides with the rumor/report that Ripley could be joining this new faction with Edge and Damian Priest. Ripley is overdue for a heel turn and it looks like we're about to get it. Also, how little sense does it make for Ripley and Morgan to be randomly awarded a title shot next week after losing a Championship Contender's match here?
Ezekiel Interrupted Kevin Owens
I was curious what was next for Owens following his stellar performance against "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at WrestleMania and we may have our answer. I don't think anyone was expecting Elias to return and be programmed with Owens, but honestly, I'm willing to give it a shot. As silly as it is for Elias to pretend he has an older brother named Ezekiel, Owens could turn this into comedy gold depending on how they play it.
The Miz def. Dominik Mysterio
I had no desire to see Miz continue to feud with The Mysterios coming out of 'Mania, so I was happy that this lasted all of 30 seconds with Miz winning decisively. However, his win was quickly overshadowed by the re-debut of Veer Mahaan, who finally came and annihilated The Mysterios with ease. He actually received a pretty nice pop, at least from where I was sitting in the arena. I'm all for him being put with The Mysterios from the get-go because that should immediately establish him as a credible heel.
Raw Women's Champion Bianca Belair Addressed the Audience
Belair was largely beloved in front of this crowd, though there was a pocket of boos for some reason. She addressed her win over Becky Lynch at WrestleMania and basically welcomed all challengers. That was when I thought we'd get the return of Asuka, but no such luck. I mean, is she still injured? What's the deal? This was a quality promo from Belair, but with it being the post-WrestleMania Raw, I was hoping we'd find out who will be next in line to face her. That said, I'm glad it wasn't Lynch because WWE doesn't need to resume that rivalry right now.
Bron Breakker def. Dolph Ziggler to Win the NXT Championship
This was a rematch from the main event of NXT's Stand & Deliver event on Saturday. A lot of people are wondering why we got a title change on this show and not on that show, and I have to assume it's because WWE knew more eyes would be on this episode than that event, which was obviously overshadowed by Night 1 of WrestleMania that same day. This was another quality contest from them and Breakker regaining the gold was a cool moment. I would've been fine with Ziggler's reign lasting a little longer, but this does confirm that Breakker won't be called up to the main roster any time soon. I'm looking forward to that day, but I agree with the majority that he probably isn't ready for that quite yet.
Omos and MVP Attacked Bobby Lashley
As soon as this segment started, I had a feeling we would see MVP turn on Lashley, and that's exactly what happened. Then again, I think we all saw that coming after Lashley didn't come out with MVP last week on Raw or at WrestleMania. The angle played out well and the duo of MVP and Omos got good heat for the betrayal. We'll see how much it benefits Omos, but he could certainly use MVP as a mouthpiece. Lashley has gotten over as a babyface and should be fine on his own.
Queen Zelina Attacked Carmella
Zelina and Carmella were teasing tension on the regular heading into WrestleMania and we finally got their breakup in this segment. They were announced as having a match against another team, but their opponents never came out and the segment ended awkwardly. Carmella and Corey Graves were written off so they can get married later this week, but I can't say I'm overly anticipating a Zelina vs. Carmella feud when Carmella gets back. This segment had to happen, but the crowd mostly sat on their hands and I don't blame them.
Austin Theory and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos def. United States Champion Finn Balor and Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro
Given all the star power involved, it was no surprise that this was as well-wrestled as it was. RK-Bro vs. Usos didn't have a proper finish last week, so this followed up on that nicely. Not only that, but Theory was the one who pinned Balor for the victory after already defeating him in another tag team match last week on SmackDown. In other words, a title shot must be in his future and they may as well give him the title because it's not like Balor has done anything of note with it.
Edge and Damian Priest Attacked AJ Styles
I am absolutely in on his new heel faction consisting of Edge, Priest and hopefully others. They set the stage nicely in this segment and put them over as a threat by having them stand tall over Styles. As previously mentioned, it's been reported that Tommaso Ciampa and Ripley could be joining them soon and I think both of them would be fantastic fits. Styles and Priest will go one-on-one next week.
The Street Profits def. Alpha Academy in a Texas Tornado Tag Team Match
As ready as I am for this feud to be over, I can't complain about getting (what should be) one last match between these two teams because they work so well together, especially with Texas Tornado tag team rules. This was a lot of fun and the crowd was into the action. That frog splash from Montez Ford to Chad Gable through the table was a thing of beauty and a really nice note to end this match on.
Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns Teased Revealing His Next Step on SmackDown
Well, this was disappointing. Seeing as how this was saved for the final segment and it was the night after WrestleMania, everyone was expecting something big to happen. An appearance from The Rock was unlikely if it didn't happen the night prior, but I was waiting for someone to show up so Reigns' next challenger would be established. Yes, they're making us wait until SmackDown to find out, and while I understand they want to build suspense and generate interest for that show, it certainly ended this episode on a lame note.
I've seen a lot of negative reactions to this show online, and although I can understand to an extent, I was thoroughly entertained on the whole and thought we got plenty of fallout from WrestleMania as well as storyline progression for stuff moving forward. Yes, I'm biased because I was there in attendance, but the crowd came off louder in person than they apparently did on television and I was never bored at any point. The closing segment should have been more eventful, but everything held my interest and it was nice to have a proper post-WrestleMania Raw for the first time in three years, even though it wasn't as rowdy or as exhilarating as some people were hoping for.