WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Major star, strange change lead Superstar Shakeup additions
At first glance, Raw had some more-than-welcome additions to kickoff the Superstar Shakeup
WrestleMania has come and gone, and now is the time to look to the future of WWE. That started Monday night with the first day of the company's now-annual Superstar Shakeup. The Raw and SmackDown rosters will both be changed drastically over the next couple of days, and it began on Raw from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with the flagship show introducing some of its new members that will be highlighted on Monday nights going forward the rest of the year.
With the red-brand portion of the Superstar Shakeup complete after Monday night, you could certainly assume on the surface that Raw made out pretty well with some of the additions that were confirmed during the three hours. We saw everything from a pretty stunning NXT call-up (with some god-awful name changes) to a former WWE champion making his return to Raw to cap off the first night of WWE's yearly rearranging of its rosters.
So let's take a look now at everything that went down on Night 1 of the WWE Superstar Shakeup on Raw Monday night.
WWE Raw Superstar Shakeup results, grades
The Miz heads back to Raw: The commissioner of Raw, Stephanie McMahon, was out to begin the Superstar Shakeup on Monday, and she immediately welcomed out her SmackDown counterpart and brother Shane McMahon. Shane drew some heel heat from the Montreal Raw crowd with his "Best in the World" shtick, then took things a step further by highlighting the road to this past WrestleMania with images of his torturing of Miz and his father on the titantron. Stephanie was ready to introduce the first new member of Raw ... which of course was Miz, who snuck from behind on Shane in the ring and began attacking. The two rivals -- who no longer have to work together -- brawled on the outside with Miz getting the upper hand after grabbing a chair from ringside and utilizing it. After switching over to the blue brand in last year's Shakeup, the A-Lister is back on Raw. Grade: B-
The Viking Experience & The Revival def. Zack Ryder (via pinfall) & Curt Hawkins & Ricochet & Aleister Black: The reigning NXT tag team champions the War Raiders have made the move to the Raw brand, though they're no longer known as the War Raiders nor are they going by the names of Hanson and Rowe. Everyone, please meet Ivar (Hanson) and Erik (Rowe) -- The Viking Experience (yes, really). Ricochet and Black were not confirmed as members of the Raw roster, so they're still both free agents heading into SmackDown. Absurd and unnecessary name changes aside, The Viking Experience looked strong in its debut by getting the 1-2-3 on one-half of the tag team champs after connecting with the Fallout on Ryder. Grade: D+
Cedric Alexander joins Raw: In a brief announcement from Michael Cole on commentary followed by a video package, it was revealed that former cruiserweight champion Alexander is joining the Raw crew after was has been a lengthy stay on 205 Live. With really not much left to do on 205 Live, Alexander's talents in the ring will be a welcome addition to Monday nights and the sky could be the limit if he can work on his microphone skills a bit. Grade: B-
Andrade def. Finn Balor via pinfall: The intercontinental champion was scheduled to face someone making their Raw debut, and the duo of Andrade and Zelina Vega were revealed as members of the Raw roster. As you'd expect, these two went on to have an incredible match which concluded with Vega nailing a hurricanrana on Balor on the outside as the referee was distracted followed by Andrade connecting with the Hammerlock DDT for the win in his Raw debut. Andrade moving to Raw could end up being one of the key moves of this Superstar Shakeup. Grade: A
Rey Mysterio interrupts Elias: Elias, after drawing some serious heat from the Montreal crowd by pointing out how the Canadiens failed to make the NHL Playoffs, was ready to perform before he was interrupted by yet another legend: Raw's latest edition, Rey Mysterio. Mysterio came out and brawled for Elias a bit before standing tall. Grade: B
Lars Sullivan attacks another veteran: Mysterio was celebrating being on his new home of Raw when Sullivan's music hit. Mysterio fought valiantly, but the monster Sullivan was too much for the Master of the 619 as he planted him with the Freak Accident to close out his latest assault on a respected, veteran figure. Grade: C-
The Usos def. Chad Gable (via pinfall) & Bobby Roode: When they dropped the tag titles to the Hardyz last Tuesday on SmackDown, the writing was on the wall that Jimmy & Jey were in for a change of scenery, and that was confirmed here. It was a successful return to Raw for the Usos, earning the pinfall on Gable after the double splash. Grade: B+
Sami Zayn rags on his people: Zayn was out for a guest spot on "A Moment of Bliss" with Alexa Bliss, and boy did this segment very much deliver the goods. Zayn got his home Quebec crowd fired up as they played his theme song not once, not twice, but three times as the fans sang along and he danced -- proving that he can be the puppet master. He went on to talk about how great Montreal is before saying it's not the city he hates, rather it's the people. As he verbally berated the fans much like he did last week, the crowd began a loud chant for Kevin Owens. Zayn said that these are not "his people," and he doesn't even live here anymore because he moved to sunny Orlando, Florida. For the second week in a row, Zayn left the fans with the "see you in hell" message. Grade: A
Naomi & Bayley def. The IIconics via pinfall: Earlier in the day, after some taunting by the tag team champions over Sasha Banks, Bayley said she'd find a partner to take on the IIconics in a non-title match on Raw. That partner turned out to be Naomi (who joins husband Jimmy Uso) who's another new addition to the Monday night brand. Naomi got the 1-2-3 on Billie Kay after the split-legged moonsault. Grade: C+
Braun Strowman demolishes EC3: EC3 -- not officially tabbed as an official Raw addition -- asked for some competition on Monday night. Out walked Strowman, who proceeded to decimate EC3, finishing him off by tossing him from the top of the stage. The double-champ Lynch walked out for her match as Strowman posed. Grade: D-
Becky Lynch def. Ruby Riott via submission: Despite the best efforts of the two remaining members of the Riott Squad, the Raw and SmackDown women's champion was able to get Riott in the middle of the ring to make her tap to the Dis-Arm-Her. Post-match, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan tried to launch an attack but both were quickly disposed of by Lynch. Grade: B-
Lacey Evans def. Natalya via pinfall to become No. 1 contender to the Raw women's championship: As Lynch was still celebrating her victory, Natalya made her way out. She praised Lynch for her recent accomplishments but said that she's the best there is, best there was and the best there ever will be, and she's coming for the Raw women's title. Evans emerged, and after running down both Natalya and Lynch, informed the former that she received word from the McMahons that they'll be squaring off for the right to be first in line to challenge Lynch for her Raw title. Evans will get an opportunity at the Raw women's title after defeating Nattie with an incredible moonsault followed by the 1-2-3. Grade: B+
More creepy (Bray Wyatt) vignettes: Last week, an ominous vignette aired with a buzzard popping out of a smoking box and laughing maniacally, clearly signaling the imminent return of Wyatt, though that aspect has yet to be confirmed as obvious as it all may be. The same package aired Monday night, but later in the evening, a new one made its debut featuring some creepy-looking dolls. If anything, these are definitely creating intrigue for the return of the former WWE champion.
AJ Styles, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns def. Bobby Lashley (via pinfall), Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre: Without question, the biggest name to make the jump in the Superstar Shakeup on Monday night was Styles, who's departing SmackDown Live after nearly three years on the brand. His return to Raw was a successful one, as he earned the win for his star-studded team after a Phenomenal Forearm to Lashley. Grade: A
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