The April 17th episode of WWE RAW was the first episode after the Superstar Shake-up, and aired live on the USA Network from the Schottenstein Center Columbus, Ohio.
– RAW opens up with a video highlighting Braun Strowman’s attack on Roman Reigns last week, and then Braun Strowman comes out to the ring with a mic. Strowman cuts a promo about how proud he is that he injured Reigns last week and put him out of action, which gets a big pop from the crowd. Strowman says now that Roman is out of his way, he’s going to tear through the entire locker room and prove himself to the world. Kurt Angle’s music hits and the Olympic gold medalist comes out to the ring. Kurt asks Strowman what else he has to prove after flipping over a “freakin’ ambulance” with Roman Reigns inside. Kurt tells Braun that he’ll have a match against Roman at the Payback pay-per-view. Kurt says Strowman has done enough damage, and he can take tonight off. Strowman says he wants more competition tonight, or else. Angle asks “or else what?” and Strowman gets in Angle’s face briefly before walking off.
– Samoa Joe def. Chris Jericho: Seth Rollins is on commentary for this one as he faces Joe at Payback. Jericho makes his entrance in his light-up scarf. Joe starts off with a flurry of right hands and knees to the face of Y2J. Jericho comes back with a springboard dropkick that drops Joe. Joe hits a series of kicks on Jericho, and Jericho lays into Joe with chops to the chest. Jericho hits an axe handle off the top, but Joe comes right back with a spinning powerslam. Jericho dodges a senton splash and follows up with a Lionsault for a two count. Jericho charges at Joe in the corner, but Joe catches him and plants him with a Rock Bottom. Joe misses a senton splash off the middle rope, and Jericho puts Joe in the Walls of Jericho. Joe reverses and gets Jericho in a sleeper. Jericho kicks off of the turnbuckle to reverse the sleeper into a pin, but Joe rolls through and locks Jericho in the Coquina Clutch for the win.
– After the match, Samoa Joe grabs the mic and cuts a promo on Seth Rollins. Joe remembers Rollins’ screams of pain when he made his debut, and that was just business with his boss Triple H. Joe says now it’s personal because of what Rollins did to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Rollins agrees that their issue is personal, and tells Joe that Payback is a bitch.
– Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are seen walking backstage, right past The Drifter from NXT. We also see Goldust and R Truth walking, but Braun Strowman suddenly attacks them out of nowhere. Strowman throws Goldust through a fenced area, then kicks R-Truth into a laundry bin. Fit Finlay, Jamie Knoble and others run in to chase off Strowman and check on Goldust and Truth.
– Back from commercial, a referee approaches Strowman in the locker room and asks him to leave. Strowman says he’ll leave when he wants to, and backs the referee down.
– Gallows and Anderson are in the ring with mics. Anderson says that since Strowman gave Golden Truth the United Airlines treatment backstage, they need new opponents tonight. They demand that Kurt Angle sends them some more nerds to beat up right now.
– Gallows & Anderson def. Enzo & Cass: The action goes out to ringside early on, where Cass uses Enzo like a human bowling ball and throws him into Gallows and Anderson. Back in the ring, Gallows grabs Enzo by the foot and then Anderson hits a running kick to the head of Enzo. Anderson and Gallows continue to work on Enzo, keeping him grounded and away from Big Cass. Gallows works on Enzo’s arm and hits a DDT for a two count before tagging Anderson back in. Anderson hits a knee drop on Enzo before going back to working on Enzo’s left arm. Anderson hits a spinebuster on Enzo for another near-fall. Gallows tags back in, but Enzo comes back with a flying DDT off the middle rope. Enzo almost gets the tag to Cass, but Anderson intercepts it just in time. Anderson misses a kick in the corner and this time Enzo is able to get the tag. Big Cass comes in and hits a running clothesline and side slam on Anderson. Cass follows up with an elbow drop and a big boot. Cass tags in Enzo and throws him off the top rpe onto Gallows. Cass boots Gallows to the outside and falls out with him. Enzo comes off the middle rope but Anderson catches him and slams him into the turnbuckle awkwardly. Anderson rolls up Enzo with a fist full of tights for the win.
– The Miz and Maryse are out to the ring for a Miz TV segment. The Miz starts introducing his segment, but he’s very quickly interrupted by Dean Ambrose. Ambrose makes fun of The Miz’s suit and shoes, and The Miz fires back saying he dresses the part because he respects what a WWE Superstar is. Miz says Ambrose is a disgrace to WWE Superstars and he makes them look like “just wrasslers.” The Miz tells Ambrose he may as well put on a fanny pack and Zumbas and “set us back 30 years.” Miz calls Ambrose lazy and complacent. Ambrose says he doesn’t care about image and what people think about him. Ambrose says he does it because he loves to fight and bleed, and that’s why he beat The Miz for the Intercontinental Title. Maryse and The Miz have some more words for Ambrose and call him a joke. Ambrose takes his jacket off and tackles The Miz then starts pummeling on him. Maryse throws a microphone at Ambrose to distract him, and the Miz attacks from behind. Ambrose tries to get Miz in the Dirty Deeds, but The Miz escapes and retreats up the ramp.
– Backstage we see Braun Strowman dragging Kalisto along the floor by his arm. Strowman says that Roman Reigns is garbage, and now he is too, and he throws Kalisto in a dumpster. Strowman starts to walk off, but The Big Show comes out of nowhere and tackles him into the wall. Big Show tells Strowman to pick on someone his own size and walks off. Back from commercial, it’s announced that Kurt Angle has booked Strowman in a match against Big Show later tonight.
– TJ Perkins def. Jack Gallagher: Before the match, it’s announced that Neville will be making a “special appearance” and the Cruiserweight Champion comes out to the ring before the mach. Neville looks at both TJ and Jack in the ring, then takes a seat at ringside with his Cruiserweight Title. Before the match, Austin Aries’ music hits too and he comes out next. Aries says he didn’t know there was going to be a special viewing party for this match, but he’s inviting himself. Aries sits right next to Neville at ringside and eats a banana. Neville moves his chair away from Aries on the other side of the ring. Gallagher gets some offense in early on, but Perkins dodges a spear and Gallagher falls hard out to ringside. Back in the ring, Perkins takes control with some kicks and a suplex. Gallagher stops Perkins’ offense with a headbutt that sends Perkins rolling outside, then Gallagher grabs his umbrella. Gallagher goes up top and comes flying off with a splash with his unfolded umbrella on Perkins at ringside. Perkins shoves Gallagher into Aries and Aries is hurt. Aries gets fired up, but Neville drops Aries from behind. Meanwhile in the ring, Perkins soccer kicks Gallagher in the face when he’s getting in the ring, then hits the Detonation Kick for the win.
– Titus O’Neal approaches Apollo Crews in the locker room to welcome him to RAW. Titus tries to tempt Apollo to work with “The Titus Brand,” but Crews doesn’t seem interested and walsk away.
– Matt and Jeff Hardy do a brief interview backstage about how excited they are to be back with WWE, but they’re quickly interrupted by Sheamus and Cesaro. They wish Jeff good luck in his match against Cesaro later tonight.
– Alexa Bliss def. Mickie James, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks: Nia Jax starts off in control and dominates until Mickie and Sasha knock Nia outside. Mickie and Sasha go at it in the ring until Nia pulls Mickie outside, then Sasha hit a suicide dive onto both of them at ringside. Back in the ring, Nia slams Alexa Bliss, then slams Sasha and Mickie ontop of her. We get a look at Bayley backstage watching on a monitor. Nia dominates the next few moments of the match. Alexa goes up top, but when she sees that Nia saw her and is heading her way, Alexa retreats down to ringside. Nia turns her attention to Mickie and Sasha, but she misses a splash inthe corner and Mickie sends her outside. Mickie goes for a DDT on Alexa, but Sasha breaks it up with a kick. Sasha tees off on Mickie and Sasha with kicks and knees until Nia pulls Sasha outside. Mickie mounts a comeback until Nia knocks her off the top rope down to ringside. Nia hits the Samoan Drop on Sasha, but Alexa Bliss comes out of nowhere and knocks Nia outside then steals the pin on Sasha for the win.
– The Big Show is backstage to answer some questions about why he tackled Braun Strowman earlier. Big Show says Strowman needs to know what it feels like to be bullied, and that’s what’s going to happen in their match tonight.
– Finn Balor def. Curt Hawkins: This one is the result of an open challenge to the back by Hawkins. Balor hits the Sling Blade early on and follows up with a running dropkick. Balor follows up with the Coup De Grace for the win after a very short squash match.
– Chris Jericho does an interview backstage about his loss to Samoa Joe earlier tonight. Jericho says Joe is one of the best competitors he’s faced, but he admits he was distracted with his rematch against Kevin Owens at Payback. Jericho says the “friends of Jericho” have followed him to every show he’s been on, from Velocity to Nitro. Jericho gives the interviewer a hard time about his name, then goes to put him on the list for not knowing his own name. The Drifter interrupts by walking by with his guitar, so Jericho puts him on the list instead of the announcer.
– Bray Wyatt cuts a promo about his upcoming House of Horrors match against Randy Orton. Wyatt finishes up by saying “it always burns down here” before telling Orton to run.
– Emma approaches Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox in the locker room and stirs up some drama between them. Alicia gets in Dana’s face then walks off.
– Jeff Hardy def. Cesaro: Matt Hardy and Sheamus are at ringside for this one. Cole points out that this is Jeff’s first singles match on RAW in over 8 years. Hardy takes things out to ringside early on and hits a splash on Cesaro off the apron. Back in the ring, Jeff goes up top but Cesaro gets out of the way. Cesaro throws Jeff out to ringside and Jeff starts selling his shoulder. Back in the ring, Jeff hits a short-arm clothesline but Cesaro comes right back with a running European uppercut for a two count. Jeff hits an inverted atomic drop and goes for the Twist of Fate, but Cesaro escapes and hits two European uppercuts. Cesaro goes for the swing but Hardy kicks his way out. Hardy goes to the top rope and Cesaro stops him with another European uppercut. Cesaro climbs up and attempts a superplex, but Hardy reverses and crotches him on the top rope. Hardy hits a missile dropkick off the top onto Cesaro that sends Cesaro out to ringside. Back in the ring, Hardy hits the Whisper In The Wind on Cesaro for a two count. Cesaro dodges a dropkick and attempts a Neutralizer, but Jeff escapes and hits the Twist of Fate. Jeff goes up to the top rope and hits the Swanton Bomb for the win. The Hardy brothers shake hands with Cesaro and Sheamus before they go backstage.
– Heath Slater and Rhyno are doing an interview backstage when Braun Strowman walks by and they get spooked. We see Big Show walking elsewhere in the arena, and his match with Strowman is up next.
– Braun Strowman vs. The Big Show – No Contest: Strowman charges at Big Show during his entrance and they brawl around ringside. They finally get in the ring and the opening bell rings. Big Show knocks Strowman outside and follows up with a baseball slide, then throws Strowman into the ring steps. Back in the ring. Strowman hits a running dropkick on Big Show for a two count. Big Show gets Strowman in an arm lock, but Strowman kicks up from the ground to his feet and hits an arm drag on Big Show. Strowman hits another arm drag, then they struggle to power slam each other. Big Show ends up getting the upper hand in the power struggle and he successfully powerslams Strowman. Big Show goes for a chokeslam but Strowman blocks it and hits a vertical suplex. Strowman continues to work on Big Show with punches and headbutts. Big Show reverses a running powerslam and hits a splash on Strowman in the corner. Big Show sits Strowman on the top turnbuckle, but Strowman punches him away. Strowman comes flying off the middle rope and Big Show catches him with a chokeslam for a two count. Strowman dodges a knockout punch and hits a running powerslam on Big Show for a two count. Strowman goes up to the top turnbuckle again, but this time Big Show stops him and headbutts him. Big Show climbs all the way up to the very top rope, but Strowman knocks him off and crotches him on the top rope. Big Show falls down into the ring, and Strowman is recovering on the turnbuckle. Strowman stands up on the middle rope and comes flying off, but Strowman hits him with the Knockout Punch in mid-air for a two count. Big Show climbs to the top rope, but Strowman runs up and stops him. Strowman is on the middle rope and Big Show is on the top rope, and Strowman superplexes Big Show off. The ring breaks and collapses on the impact of the superplex. The referee took a pretty nasty bump out to the floor when the ring broke. Additional referees and trainers check on Big Show and Strowman in the ring. Strowman gets to his feet and raises his hands in the air as his music plays. There was no bell and this one appears to be ruled a no contest. Strowman heads up the ramp and officials check on Big Show in the ring as RAW goes off the air.
— WWE (@WWE) April 18, 2017
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