The shows after WrestleMania are always the craziest because it determines what the future holds for each show. Let’s review who had the better show this week though.
For Raw, whether you love him or hate him, the promo with Roman Reigns delivered perfectly in every way possible. He gets sent out there basically for the WWE Universe to let him hear it for about 10 minutes because they are so upset of what happened at WrestleMania. The chants escalated to non-PG chants at one point and caused a reaction out of the fans that will be talked about for a while. This all went down only for Reigns to fire back a perfect comeback to all the hate by saying “This is My Yard Now.” While this may not be a heel turn for Reigns (even though they didn’t edit the boos out he received like WWE does as usual), he will get booed probably for the rest of his career for this and with comebacks like he had on Monday, he will be able to keep that reputation.
For Smackdown, the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura on the main roster finally happened and it was a moment to cherish. The entrance had the crowd going nuts and this was something that was long overdue. Even though there is going to be this “shakeup” next week, hopefully he stays with Smackdown and takes full advantage of the show being the Land of Opportunity. Nakamura is a fantastic performer and the endless possibilities of rivalries he could have on Smackdown have fans creating wish lists of matches they want to see.
For Raw, while Brock Lesnar being the Universal Champion is adding prestige for the history of the championship, not defending against anybody at the upcoming Raw PPV Payback doesn’t help the title establish any credibility either. They teased a match by Braun Strowman coming out and telling the champion that he’s got his eyes on him, which got the crowd excited to see this matchup, but then Strowman said the magic words “Once I get through Roman Reigns first”…….(sigh). This means that we have no idea when we will see Lesnar defend the Universal Championship and if and when he does, it will probably be against Roman Reigns.
For Smackdown, Mojo Rawley winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal didn’t help make winning that match mean anything. I know that WrestleMania wanted to have a special moment by having Rob Gronkowski interfere on his behalf, but now seeing the end result of Rawley winning the battle royal, really just made this trophy look like a joke now. It is a shame because the previous winners have gone to do good things, but I do not see Rawley climbing his way up to the main event scene at all. He cut a promo describing the feeling of winning the battle royal and how he celebrated, which wasn’t bad at all, but the idea of him winning this and now bringing it to the ring with him for the next few months, is a bad idea.
The Final Verdict
Like mentioned before, the shows after WrestleMania are always the craziest because you get to see what the future holds. This includes debuting new superstars and rivalries to get you prepared for the next few months as well as the entire future of the WWE. Both shows did a fantastic job of that as we got to see the debuts of The Revival, Shinsuke Nakamura, Tye Dillinger, and Emma. We also got some returns too as Finn Balor returned to the ring and Kurt Angle came back as the New Raw General Manager! Overall, I have to give this week to Raw because they hit everything right during their show this week. They had a great opening segment with Reigns, featured the Hardy Boyz in a tag team match, picked out a new GM with Kurt Angle, debuted the Revival to help boost the tag team division, intensified the rivalry between Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho, AND they brought back Finn Balor. But, Smackdown should also be proud of their show after WrestleMania too because they debuted a few new superstars and helped intensify past rivalries(Wyatt-Orton, Corbin-Ambrose). In conclusion, it will be interesting to see where WWE goes from here, especially with the “shakeup” happening next week!