The April 1, 2019 Edition of RAW is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's RAW brand, which took place on April 1, 2019 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.. This was the go-home show for WrestleMania 35.
Seven days ago, the WrestleMania main event was as straightforward a match as it was a historic one: Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair; winner is Raw Women's Champion. And then Charlotte went and won the SmackDown Women's Title from Asuka, and things got complicated ... at least for a few days. As it turns out, Stephanie McMahon's heavily-hyped solution to the myriad questions Charlotte's title win presented was as straightforward as the match itself had initially been: Given that both Women's Champions are competing in the main event, both Women's Titles will now be on the line. In short? The main event of WrestleMania 35 will now be Winner Takes All.
If there's an argument to be made for Seth Rollins at WrestleMania beyond whatever intangible winds of destiny he appears to be riding, it's that if he hits Brock Lesnar with his best shot, he might just pull it off and take the Universal Title. Even Paul Heyman admitted he was expecting as much from the “Beastslayer,” but The Advocate was hasty to add that even Rollins' biggest move wouldn't be enough to stop The Beast from “violating” Rollins and “desecrating the good name of WrestleMania.”
For all Brock's well-earned confidence, however, he may be considering Rollins as too much of an afterthought. The challenger interrupted Heyman, went face-to-face with the champion, and insisted that while victory was certainly improbable, it wasn't impossible. As if to illustrate his point, he nailed Lesnar with a pair of low blows and pancaked his head into the mat with a Stomp, leaving The Conqueror a writhing heap in the ring while Rollins made a triumphant exit.
Beating Brock this Sunday might not be so cut-and-dry, of course. As Charly Caruso pointed out, if Rollins low-blows Brock on Sunday, he'll get disqualified. (Rollins' reply: "Eh. He had it coming.") But for one night, Lesnar took his opponent's best shot and had no answer. Unlikely as it seems, the unconquerable champion might be looking at the one thing more ominous than a slayer: A spoiler.
Is Beth Phoenix's return from retirement just a nostalgia trip? WWE Universe, it is not. The Glamazon was a house on fire in an Eight-Woman Tag Team Match six days before WrestleMania's cross-generational Fatal 4-Way for the WWE Women's Tag Team Titles, and she was a problem for champions and challengers alike in what ended up being her first Raw victory in nearly seven years.
Not only did Phoenix go head-on with reigning champions Sasha Banks & Bayley (her partners, mind you) on multiple occasions, she pie-faced Banks off the apron and snagged the fateful tag from Bayley that allowed her to singlehandedly dispatch her team's four opponents. The WWE Hall of Famer plowed a meddling Tamina through the ring barricade and pulverized Peyton Royce of The IIconics with a Glam Slam to win the match, looking none the worse for wear. She's still got it, and for all Banks & Bayley's defiant posing with their titles in the wake of the bout, it had the look of a somewhat empty gesture: At least on this night, there was no denying who the dominant force was.
Give Batista this: He got what he wanted. Triple H at WrestleMania in a potential career-capping match? Done. An extra caveat that The Game has to hang up his boots if he loses? He even secured that thanks to a savvy bit of legalese. Take issue with his methods all you want — and there's plenty of issue to take — but Big Dave's comeback has been one successfully-executed power play after another, right down to his final Raw before WrestleMania, wherein he marched down the ramp, seemingly ready to give one final impassioned speech ... and then threw to a video package of his various victories over Triple H, told The Game to “kiss his a**” and walked out of the ring. As a troll of his opponent, The Animal's move was unparalleled. His hometown crowd seemed to appreciate it, too. But he might do well to refrain from counting his chickens. For all his confidence, he might be forgetting one thing: Triple H is getting what he wants as well.
Apollo Crews feels like he's one signature victory away from truly breaking out, and it's looking like the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal might well be the match that sees him do just that. Not only did Crews dispatch Jinder Mahal in a pace-setter just six days out from WrestleMania's signature melee, he stood tall in a scramble among Raw's various Battle Royal entrants, last tossing Mahal and The Singh Brothers over the top rope to complete the demonstration. Good omens abound for Sunday, and while victory is far from assured — presumptive favorite Braun Strowman looms large in the distance — he may have finally hit the point where he's turned fighting from underneath into an advantage.
For a couple of months now, The Revival and Aleister Black & Ricochet have been two tag teams on seemingly opposite trajectories. The former completed their march to the top and hit rough sledding almost instantly, while the latter got thrown together as a tag team and seemingly haven't lost a match since. (They'll challenge for the NXT Tag Team Titles on Friday following their victory in the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic). Suffice it to say, it's not every day the champs walk into a title defense as seeming underdogs the way Dash & Dawson did on Raw, but the “Top Guys’” retention was far from a certainty, and it took every bit of cunning and rule-bending in their very deep playbook to attain.
That said, give credit where credit is due to The Revival for finagling a count-out victory following a brawl outside the ring when Scott Dawson hid under the ring and grabbed hold of Ricochet’s ankle, allowing Dash Wilder to beat the count. Black & Ricochet got payback in the form of a Black Mass and 630 to the champions, but for all their upward trajectory, they’ve ironically found themselves bouncing up against the same glass ceiling the “Top Guys” used to slam against. They'll likely break through eventually. Just not tonight.
Roman Reigns is going to fight Drew McIntyre on Sunday, and the lingering question thus far has been whether or not he should have taken the bait from The Scottish Psychopath. Nobody has bothered to question whether Reigns can handle the bout ... at least until tonight.
As Dasha Fuentes pointed out, while Reigns looked great alongside The Shield last month, The Big Dog has been overwhelmed by McIntyre at every turn, from the beatdown three weeks ago to the low blow last week. And despite Reigns' insistence that he was 100 percent cleared for singles action, an out-of-nowhere bushwhacking from McIntyre left the former Universal Champion struggling to his feet just moments later. Prognostications of a surefire defeat are, of course, a little hasty: Six days is plenty of time to right the ship, and Reigns’ dogged pride has carried him to many an unlikely victory. But McIntyre may well have baited him into a fight he can't win.
The short version? They did coexist, until the exact second they didn't have to. Tasked with keeping things civil in a Six-Woman Tag Team Match just six days from WrestleMania, Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch dutifully kept their hands off each other, successfully evading the pitfall of a stipulation that any woman who betrayed their team would be removed from Sunday's main event.
But the second Rousey had submitted Liv Morgan to earn her team a win over The Riott Squad, the fists started flying, with The Baddest Woman on the Planet throwing the first punch against Charlotte Flair. A crew of security guards proved ineffective at best, as did a squadron of police officers. The three Superstars’ continued aggression in the presence of the police, however, landed all three of them in handcuffs after Rousey inadvertently struck an officer and Lynch and Flair ambushed the defenseless Rousey.
It got even more frantic once the three main-eventers were escorted backstage: The cops made the mistake of putting Ronda and Becky in the same car, leading to a scramble in the backseat in which Ronda kicked out a window. When they attempted to transfer Becky to the same car as Charlotte, those two started kicking at each other while a still-handcuffed Rousey somehow commandeered the town car she was in and drove it into the squad car. The cops finally restrained The Man in the police vehicle, leaving Rousey and Flair to jaw-jack until The Queen kneed the Raw Women's Champion square in the side of the head to end the brawl.
With Aleister Black & Ricochet out of the way and WrestleMania just six days out, the Raw Tag Team division is wide open for a prospective title bout on The Grandest Stage of Them All. The Revival have no shortage of contenders, of course. But the only team to notch a victory in this mad dash thus far has been Heavy Machinery, who overcame a distracting appearance by Lacey Evans to take advantage of some inglorious miscommunication between Bobby Roode & Chad Gable and earn a pinfall over the former champions. Roode, in particular, looked shaken by his team's inability to capitalize, and it's hard to blame him. With less than a week to go until WrestleMania, he and Gable have found themselves a step behind in the sprint and not a lot of time to make up the distance.
Braun Strowman will have around 30 opponents in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, a surging Apollo Crews among them. But The Monster Among Men clearly only has eyes for two. Now that Colin Jost and Michael Che of “SNL” fame have been entered into the madcap over-the-top-rope scrum, The Gift of Destruction is openly fantasizing ways to make them suffer. This week, he even had two test subjects, local competitors whom he referred to and treated like “Colin Jost” and “Michael Che.” That meant throwing them over the top rope and bulldozing them with two charges around the ring before mercifully pinning the pair with a double Running Powerslam. There is some hope yet for the overmatched guest competitors: Battle Royals provide plenty of opportunity for flukes. But against this Strowman, Jost and Che may need something more along the lines of a miracle.
Bobby Lashley isn't thrilled that Finn Bálor is challenging him for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania — after all, the dynamic Irishman didn't pin him to get the bout. But Lashley and Lio Rush's insistence that he has Bálor's number under any and all circumstances might be a little misguided. While The All Mighty paid little respect to the idea of having to face Bálor's infamous Demon at WrestleMania, he seemed a lot less confident when The Extraordinary Man transformed into his ghoulish alter-ego on the TitanTron, confirming The Demon's presence at The Showcase of the Immortals. In fact, for all his well-earned bravado, the Intercontinental Champion had the look of a man who had talked himself into a world of trouble.
Kurt Angle's final Raw appearance was less an occasion for competition than celebration, with The Olympic Hero emerging only to bid the audience farewell and watch a tribute video highlighting the WWE Hall of Famer's storied career. So it says something about Baron Corbin that he didn't only manage to ruin that, but also the efforts of SmackDown LIVE's Rey Mysterio to defend the Olympian's honor in an impromptu match later in the evening.
Despite Mysterio's desire to teach Corbin a “lesson in respect,” The Lone Wolf more or less routed The Ultimate Underdog thanks to a tweaked knee that largely prevented the former World Heavyweight Champion from mounting one of his patented comeback victories. (Somewhere, Samoa Joe is licking his chops.) Corbin pinned Mysterio after a Deep Six, but found himself inadvertently wandering into the clutches of The Olympic Gold Medalist on top of the ramp: Angle snuck up on a gloating Corbin, double-legged him to the ramp and wrenched in an Ankle Lock that left The Lone Wolf crying for mercy. A crew of WWE officials managed to force Angle to release the hold, but he had made his point: Corbin may be bigger. He may be stronger. He may be faster. But Kurt Angle might just be plain better.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Boss 'n' Hug Connection (Sasha Banks & Bayley) & The Divas of Doom (Beth Phoenix & Natalya) defeated Nia Jax, Tamina & The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) in an Eight Woman Tag Team Match (11:40)
- The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) (c) defeated Aleister Black & Ricochet by Count Out to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (11:40)
- Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch & Ronda Rousey defeated The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan) (7:55)
Other on-screen talent