Every wrestling fan knows the Raw after WrestleMania is pretty mental and this year’s installment was no exception.
We saw plenty of debuts, a few returns and an emotional retirement all within three hours of entertainment.
WWE calls up correct NXT stars
We were all expecting NXT stars to appear in the Smoothie King Centre and WWE made the right call in who they have transitioned to the mainstream audience.
Ember Moon was first to make an appearance after losing her NXT Women’s Championship to Shayna Baszler on Saturday night.
I can just imagine her being camped out backstage for the 48 hours in between TakeOver and Raw.
Maybe a good introduction to the main roster would have been having her win the new Women’s WrestleMania Battle Royal, a suitable debut for a new WWE star.
However, she tagged with new Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax and defeated Alexa Bliss and Mickie James.
After Moon, No Way Jose got the call and defeated a jobber in quick fashion.
His gimmick is similar to that of Adam Rose, having a procession of fans accompany him to the ring and having a little dance on the outside.
It will be interesting to see if Jose’s act gets over with the audience, they ultimately helped force Rose out the company a few years ago.
Finally, NXT’s most dominant tag team, Authors of Pain, made their long overdue move to the main roster.
Facing off against Heath Slater and Rhyno, Rezar and Akam picked off Slater and Rhyno rather convincingly before then seemingly leaving manager Paul Ellering.
The Road Warriors former manager has been leading AOP since their arrival in 2016 onto NXT.
Popular faces returning
Jeff Hardy returned as a singles competitor as he evened the odds for Finn Balor and Seth Rollins against The Miztourage.
He had a brilliant segment with brother Matt and his new tag partner Bray Wyatt backstage before proving he can easily go alone in the ring.
Bobby Lashley left WWE in 2008 before pursuing a number of ventures.
10 years later, after garnering a 15-2 record inside the octagon and winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship four separate times, he returned to rid the ring of Elias.
And perhaps the most overdue return of them all was Samoa Joe.
Joe had a brilliant first year on Raw, and his return was greatly anticipated amongst fans.
He interrupted Roman Reigns and seems next in line for a title shot once Reigns inevitably wins the Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar.
Reigns will face Lesnar in Saudi Arabia later this month inside a steel cage before returning to face Joe at Backlash in four weeks.
Paige finally announced her retirement
She was a pioneer in professional wrestling, and her career has been cut far too short.
Still only 25 years of age, Paige took to the ring after Absolution’s match and broke the news that many of us had known for months.
Her career was reported as over back in January after damage to her neck was worsened by a Sasha Banks missile dropkick on a WWE house show.
Since then, WWE had been quiet about the nature of the injury, but Paige herself confirmed the news four years after winning the Divas Championship on her very first night on WWE.
In those four years, the British born superstar has had two separate runs with the old Divas Championship and has been a pivotal part of the Women’s Evolution within WWE.
In other news
Braun Strowman and everyone’s favorite fourth grader Nicholas relinquished the Raw Tag Team Titles in a move most saw coming.
Nicholas, who is actually referee John Cone’s son, cited scheduling issues as the reason behind the handover.
Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder will face Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy next week in an eliminator to face former champions Sheamus and Cesaro.
Sasha Banks’ continued tensions with former best friend Bayley continued, they will face off one on one next week.
The Baddest Women on the Planet, Ronda Rousey, applied another armbar to Stephanie McMahon to open the show.
Kevin Owens featured on Raw for the first time in a year as he battled Sami Zayn to earn a spot on the roster.
The match went to a draw, leaving both their futures up in the air.
Kurt Angle talked to both men before the match, stating that apparently, TNA was hiring for their tag division – straight savagery.
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