The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 4/1/19: Police Story



Previously on the Best and Worst of WWE Raw: John Cena, now in the body of a small child, appeared in the crowd to bury Paul Heyman on the microphone. Also, in less important news, Finn Bálor earned an Intercontinental Championship match at WrestleMania, and Kurt Angle wrestled Samoa Joe. Very slowly.

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And now, here’s the Best and Worst of WWE Raw for April 1, 2019.

Best: The Most Unintentionally Funny Raw Of The Year

There’s a lot from this Raw I laughed at that I probably shouldn’t have, so let’s talk about that first.

Last week, Finn Bálor earned a shot at Bobby Lashley’s Intercontinental Championship by pinning Jinder Mahal during a handicap match, which is right below “R-Truth trying to pin Carmella to get a title shot” on the list of logical gameplans. There have been rumors that Finn would show up as The Demon at WrestleMania, because why wouldn’t he — especially after keeping the ol’ belt hat in storage for that very important Universal Championship match against unstoppable monster Brock Lesnar back at the Royal Rumble — and Lashley responds appropriately. His point is that The Demon is just Finn Bálor, and he kicks Bálor’s ass all the time, so what difference does it make if he paints some teeth on his clavicle?

But then Finn shows up on the video screen like, “hey Bobby, I have an alter ego known as THE DEMON,” and Lashley has to act scared of a thing he just said he wasn’t scared of while Finn makes funny faces with Lars Sullivan’s entrance painted on his face.

WWE Network

“I know about the Demon, but I’ve never seen EDITED VIDEO of it before! Ruh-ruh-ruh-run, Lio!”

I like Finn a lot and am excited to finally see The Demon’s WrestleMania entrance, but I think it’s time to either (1) change the look up a bit, because you should take advantage of a top-shelf art and production team and not stick with what Finn was able to find before NXT at the Goodwill lost and found in Winter Park, or at least (2) shoot The Demon with some mystery. You can make ANYTHING scary or threatening if you shoot it right. Getting right up in his face and asking him to waggle his tongue and make monster noises is not that. At least attempt spooky, guys.

Then there’s Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and the Keystone Cops starring in, In the Clutches of the Gang.

One of Raw’s marquee matches asks us to wonder whether or not the women involved in the WrestleMania main event who easily defeated the Riott Squad for sport in 90 seconds or less last week can co-exist without punching each other for the 90 seconds or so it’ll take to beat them again. They can — Ronda taps out Liv Morgan to the bend-the-arm-the-way-arms-bend armbar, which has sadly made its return after one week of looking good — and then Ronda immediately starts punching Charlotte. Everyone brawls, some cops get shoved, Juan Francisco de Seguridad gets knocked down, and everyone gets taken away in handcuffs. There have been so many suspensions and arrests and last-second changes in this WrestleMania match that Stone Cold Steve Austin’s somewhere googling “U.S. law” to see if he can make sense of it.

That leads to one of those multiple-camera backstage fights that I love so much, and an extended kick-fight that is either deeply embarrassing or wonderfully hilarious with almost nothing in-between. I think it manages to be both at the same time. I mean, who can forget that classic build to WrestleMania 3, when Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant got handcuffed together in the back of a cop car and had a little brother kick-fight?


I’d like to bring up once more that the Lynch vs. Rousey match had basically written itself back in November, and now we’re to the point where everyone’s trying to murder cops and Rousey’s somehow able to put a Crown Victoria Police Interceptor in gear and drive it into the back of another cop car from the backseat, with her hands tied behind her back. If all three women showed up on Smackdown in astronaut suits punching each other while they floated around in outer space it wouldn’t be surprising. I’m honestly surprised that Stephanie McMahon’s big announcement wasn’t that she was entering the match herself, and that all four women would be allowed to bring swords and ride horses to the ring.

I think everyone’s favorite part is Ronda hanging out the passenger’s side of her best friend’s ride and getting kneed into the door frame by Charlotte. My favorite part is Charlotte stepping into frame, which is so funny to me for some reason.


Honestly, it feels like they just did this to give John Oliver something new to show on Sunday. I won’t say the segment was good, but we’re certainly never going to stop talking about it, and there’s something to be said for when WWE stops pretending to resemble wrestling in any way and goes full tilt bonkers. All it needed was a pan to the left to reveal Matt Hardy clapping his hands and yelling, “WONDERFUL!”

Rousey vs. Flair vs. Lynch in the House of Horrors at Backlash or we riot.

Speaking Of John Oliver


The Internet’s been making jokes about wrestlers having permanently wet hair for as long as I can remember and it’s never changed. John Oliver makes one bad joke about it on HBO and suddenly look how dry Roman’s hair is.


It just goes to show you that the only way to affect change in WWE is to be famous for something other than being in WWE. If Kim Kardashian went on Twitter this afternoon and said, “I think wrestlers should unionize,” Stephanie would be at a press conference on Wednesday morning announcing that WWE’s making history by being the first company to ever unionize.

Best: His Presence Is A Present, Kiss His Ass

Best promo since, “this is my yard now.”

We truly don’t deserve Batista, and from a fan perspective, I hope he Batista Bombs Triple H in to the molten core of the goddamn Earth.

Best, With A Little Worst: Beastmaster

On the positive side of things, I loved the opening promo battle between Seth Rollins (who is currently killing it as the only guy on Raw who seems to know how babyfaces are supposed to talk) and Brock Lesnar (who hops in place and never says anything). I honestly believe that’s going to end up being the match of the show, no matter how it ends … unless they end it like everyone’s expecting, with Lesnar just steamrolling him and moving on to face Reigns again at SummerSlam to reset everything back to last Fall. But still, it should be great, and I love (love love) that Rollins remembers and understands that Lesnar’s weakness is his balls. Normally I wouldn’t like seeing a babyface get one-up on the heel by hitting him in the nuts, but Lesnar’s the ultimate bully, and (I can’t believe I’m typing this, even as I type it) his testicles have a long and storied history in the company. Lesnar is nigh-invulnerable except for:

  • his groin
  • his Diverticulitis gut
  • WWE’s love of big men trying to run into you and continuing to run into whatever you were standing in front of when you’ve moved

If he can combine those three into a focused attack, I think he’ll win.

On the negative side, though … I can’t be the only person whose heart sank when the Universal Championship segment on the go-home episode of Raw before WrestleMania ended with Rollins standing triumphant over Lesnar with the Universal title over his head. In wrestling fan code, that means Rollins is getting trucked on Sunday. Granted, Lesnar went into his streak-breaking match with the Undertaker by getting stabbed in the hand with a pen and emasculated on Raw, so there are exceptions … I just hope this is one of them. I like and forgive Brock more than most because his matches almost always deliver — Strowman and Ambrose notwithstanding — but I think I’m as done with this as everyone else. Give it to Seth, and let’s go somewhere new.

Worst: How DARE You Join An IIconics Match With Them Already In The Ring?

I was so hype for the IIconics on Raw, and then we come back from a commercial with them already in the ring. No entrance, no microphone, no picture-in-picture promo, nothing. What the hell, Raw? I’m only going to slightly forgive you for letting them do all the work in the match and not letting Nia Jax and Tamina in the ring.

The match was fine for the most part, with Beth Phoenix looking really good, and Sasha Banks looking really bad. What was she going for with those botched lucha arm drags? The one where she slipped actually looked better than the one where she bounced off the bottom rope. Just do an armdrag, Sasha. Ricky Steamboat got 30 years of career out of being really good at the world’s most basic wrestling hold, which I think clearly explains how doing something basic really well is better than fucking up something complicated.

I’m not sure what direction they’re gonna go with the tag match at WrestleMania proper, but if we can assume that “winner take all” in the main event prevents a Four Horsewomen curtain call from existing, nobody in their right mind would trust Tamina Snuka and Nia Jax with tag titles at this point, and Beth Phoenix is just here for the Mania payday and isn’t going to permanently return … wait, shit, can the IIconics leave as champions?? Give me this, WWE, I’ve sin-eaten enough this year.

Also, shout-out to Michael Cole for saying Beth Phoenix is the only woman to enter both the women’s and men’s Royal Rumble matches while she’s in the middle of a match with Nia Jax.

Also On This Episode

Apollo Crews defeated Jinder Mahal to build momentum™ and earn prestige in front of the Andre the Giant memorial butter sculpture. The match lasted 100 seconds, which is roughly 97 longer than I’d like to see Jinder in the ring, especially when EC3 and Tyler Breeze are standing around at ringside looking bored out of their minds.

After the match, everyone piles into the ring and has an impromptu battle royal, which Michael Cole puts over by noting, “this means nothing.” Good to see Cole’s entering that Nitro Tony Schiavone period of his announcing career where he accidentally reveals how much of the show is total bullshit.

Breeze and The Carter briefly return in cameo roles backstage to set up Braun Strowman vs. “Michael Che” and “Colin Jost” in a handicap match. I’m sad I can’t induct these guys into the Jesus Christ, Superstars Jobber of the Week. The double powerslam was a pretty cool visual, but it should be noted that it took Braun 1:15 longer to beat these guys than it took Apollo Crews to beat Jinder Mahal.

Also of note: if Braun Strowman doesn’t make an appearance on Weekend Update this weekend, what are we even doing? It seems like the only plus to this goofy “visiting celebrities vs. monster for the honor of kayfabe” battle royal angle is to get one of WWE’s most impressive looking people a look on network TV. Can he put Drunk Uncle through a table or something to hype this up for the casuals?

Mickie James has a new country single out, which I hope is a cover of Cowboy Troy’s ‘I Play Chicken With The Train.’


Heavy Machinery, a few weeks away from having “Machinery” dropped and their tag team name being just HEAVY, defeat Chad Gable and Bobby Roode.

The most positive thing I can say here is that Gable and Roode appear to officially be on a losing streak and we’re getting close-ups of Roode looking confused and disappointed, so can we finally pull the trigger on that heel turn? Nobody likes ‘Glorious’ anymore, you can remix it a la Shinsuke Nakamura’s theme and use Bobby Roode for the character he was born to play, instead of a jobber in his 40s whose only identifiable trait is that he bedazzled his underwear.

In other (better) tag team news, The Revival continued Raw’s weird love of having their champions lose an endless string of non-title matches and then win whenever the title’s on the line by having them manipulate Ricochet and Aleister Black into losing by count-out. It’s the kind of clever-adjacent thing The Revival should be doing more of to show that they’re “tag team specialists,” and that they know infinity old tricks to win matches. The trifling-ass sore-loser babyfaces get their heat back after the match by beating them up, because it’s 2019 and I guess that’s just how it works now.

That’s followed up (on dot com, not the show, lol) by a segment in which Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins challenge The Revival to a Raw Tag Team Championship match at WrestleMania. Maybe I’m jumping too many steps ahead, but that seems like an awfully easy way to give Hawkins is “first win” in an important moment, and immediately have the new champs jumped by Mojo Rawley and his best friend, The Patriot. They definitely showed that clip of Gronk helping Mojo win the Andre battle royal on purpose.

Elias, who is already in “New York” at MetLife Stadium, says he won’t get interrupted at WrestleMania. I’m surprised he didn’t say this while in the middle of being Attitude Adjusted by John Cena.

Finally, the advertised Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio match quickly turns into a farewell video for Angle leading up to Mysterio vs. Baron Corbin, possibly because someone watched the past few Kurt Angle matches and realized he should probably stop almost killing himself before WrestleMania. That guy’s got one or two more functioning sad wrestling matches in him at best, so you might as well chill for a few episodes and let him go out on a high note at the biggest show of the year. I feel bad for Kurt, because I know it must be killing him to not be able to go anymore.

You know that, “can Ricochet make a Jinder Mahal match exciting” joke I made a few columns ago? That again, but with Baron Corbin and Rey Mysterio.

I’m not sure how he did it, but Corbin made a Rey Mysterio Raw main event boring. He wins, too, which I totally get in regard to making him look like a threat heading into the match with Angle … but Corbin’s been losing like MAD this year, and Mysterio hasn’t, plus Mysterio’s going into a championship match this Sunday against Samoa Joe. Unless they’re gonna “injure” Mysterio out of the match and magically insert Cena for some reason, Rey seems like the more important player here. I dunno. Corbin didn’t even need his finisher to win, and won with the Deep Six. This shit was flatter than AJ Styles’ concept of Earth.

Oh, and Angle shows back up for the sore loser heat spot afterward, even though he’s not the guy who lost the match. I’m not sure any of us can be forced to care about this, but I hope Kurt does well at Mania.


And so the stage is (mostly) set for WrestleMania. On the Raw side we’ve got:

  • Brock Lesnar +10 momentum vs. Seth Rollins, with Roman Reigns standing over in the corner whistling to himself while waiting for another championship match at SummerSlam
  • Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns
  • The Revival vs. the Edge Heads, maybe?
  • two battles royal
  • a fatal four-way for the Let’s Just Call Them Raw Women’s Tag Team Championships
  • the COP FIGHT main event where everyone should probably still be arrested
  • Bobby Lashley vs. a frightening puppy for the Intercontinental Championship
  • Batista tearing Triple H asunder from withers to brisket
  • Baron Corbin being mistaken for a waiter and ending up serving club sandwiches at the stadium

Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Week

The Real Birdman

You can’t spell Samoan Slaughterhouse without Useless

Big Baby Yeezus

White Women assaulting Police officers and causing physical damage to their property without being shot is the most realistic thing WWE has ever shown


I hope Sonya inducts her uncle Bruti into The Hall of Fame. It’d be nice to see The Barber & Deville.

Aerial Jesus

I know someone made the joke the other week, but if Kevin Owens doesn’t eat a snickers at Wrestlemania & instantly turn back into a scumbag, what are we even doing?

Clay Quartermain

Even Elias skips Raw now


Damn it, now Becky, Charlotte, and Ronda have to roll doubles before they can go to Wrestlemania.


I like how it looks like Baron Corbin’s wearing the missing parts of Batistas suit

AJ Dusman

These lumberjacks might as well be called NXT’s graveyard.


When Lacey Evans shows up



Cole: “There is no sick in WWE.”
*John Oliver intensifies*

WWE Network

Yes, we’re almost there.

Thanks as always for reading. Social media shares help us out a ton, so if you’re willing and gable to do that, please consider it. Make sure you drop down into our comments section to let us know what you thought of the show, and make sure you’re here all week and weekend for our ongoing WrestleMania 35 coverage.

And of course by “WrestleMania 35” I mean, “NXT TakeOver: New York and its 7-hour post-show.”