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WWE Monday Night Raw: 4/18/2022

credit from: Wrestling Headlines

We’re on the road to WrestleMania!…. Backlash. And already matches have gotten announced, including the unification of the tag team titles involving RK-Bro and the Usos. Cody Rhodes vs Seth Rollins 2, Charlotte Flair vs Ronda Rousey in that I Quit match for the SmackDown women’s championship; it appears to be a stacked card! Surely more matches will be announced throughout the next couple of weeks but until then let’s see where both brands go.

Match 1: Women’s Tag Team Championship Match; Sasha Banks and Naomi (c) vs Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan. (Rating:3/5)

The show started off hot with the women’s tag titles on the line. Definitely would’ve worked a LOT better as a match on the Backlash card, but getting a fun and free on tv payperview leveled match was worth it. The challengers were in control for a good majority of the match until Naomi got tagged in and managed to surprise us all by pinning Rhea Ripley to successfully retain the tag titles. The tension has been boiling between Morgan and Ripley and it was only inevitable for the team to implode; and just like that Rhea Ripley was the one to breakup the team and attacked Morgan! Multiple punches and a Riptide later, Rhea stood tall and had FINALLY turned heel after what felt like an eternity since her days in NXT.

Match 2: “Ezekiel” vs Chad Gable. (Rating:2.5/5)

After re-debuting the Raw after WrestleMania, seeing Elias back on WWE television truly makes me happy. He had an awesome gimmick as the Drifter and was great in the ring and although I’m still pretty skeptical on where this Ezekiel angle is going, I still am a fan of this man! Prior to this match, Kevin Owens conducted a lie detector segment with Chad Gable helping him out against Ezekiel in order to expose himself as Elias. As predicted, Ezekiel passed the test and then proceeded to wrestle against Gable. Uneventful match though which ended in disqualification after Otis interfered and ran through Ezekiel. It really was great seeing the man formerly known as Elias get physical again!

Match 3: United States Championship Match; Finn Bálor (c) vs Austin Theory. (Rating:3.75/5)

This match was so amazing, and the end result was even more amazing. Finn Bálor and the newly dubbed Theory have been feuding throughout the entire first half of 2022 in fun matches but arguably this was definitely the match in this feud that solidified Austin as a star. Back and forth action and it truly seemed that Bálor was going to retain his United States championship but with a beautiful Spanish Fly off the top rope after Finn was going for the Coup De Grace, Theory picked up his first championship in WWE as he became the NEW United States champion. The entirety of the heel locker came out along with WWE chairman Vince McMahon to congratulate Austin in this HUGE victory.

Main Event: Cody Rhodes vs Kevin Owens. (Rating:3.5/5)

To kick off Monday Night Raw, Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes had a face to face confrontation to add buildup to their rematch at WrestleMania Backlash with Seth adding that tonight he’d be selecting an opponent for Rhodes. Who was it going to be? The possibilities seemed endless! Well, it was none other than Seth’s best friend Kevin Owens! This was a great match! Seeing Owens and Cody wrestle against each other for the first time on television was amazing. Rhodes was definitely being dominated for most of the match but the American Nightmare wasn’t going to back down. And it seemed as if Owens had the match won but after being outside of the ring for a little too long (thanks to Seth Rollins), Cody won via count-out. A real downer way to end an otherwise solid main event match. Okay show overall!

Final Rating:3/5