Jay's Ways - Raw & SD Live After Mania Reviews Submitted by Justin Watry on 04/12/2018 at 07:23 PM
“I have been reading your stuff on 411mania and nodq.com for the longest time now and I have never felt inclined to email in. The general consensus of you not being most popular is harsh at times but also can be well-founded too. But I still read your stuff because I do enjoy your articles and find your perspective interesting most of the time.
That said, your article about your friend Megan and trip to Wrestlemania was the greatest thing you have ever wrote. Forget about the predictions you brag about getting right. This is your crowning piece. Maybe it is because I can relate as going to Wrestlemania is my ultimate dream and it will be happening next year. But I genuinely loved your article.
Thank you for the great stuff.”
- Jay's Ways reader
WrestleMania 34 Review
Full review of WWE WrestleMania 34 is on 411mania.com right now! Find all my thoughts on the event there.
- Simple yet effective opening. Stephanie McMahon came out in an arm sling and begged for forgiveness from the previous night. Ronda Rousey didn't fall for it and made her scream in pain again. Perfect. My guess is WWE will throw a bunch of heels at The Rowdy One for the next few months leading to a big showdown at Summerslam. Who is first?
- Ember Moon on Raw! Yep. This has been coming since at least January and her Royal Rumble appearance. Her time in NXT is over. Love the fact that she is on Monday nights. Big time television debut. I have high hopes for her and actually thought she should have ended the undefeated streak of Asuka in NXT...
- Braun Strowman and Nicholas gave up the RAW Tag Team Titles. I was all for this move. Strowman has been my main prediction going to Smackdown LIVE since late last year, and let's be honest, he is not going to waste his time in the tag division anyways. We got the cool "moment" at Mania. Best to just move on from it.
- No Way Jose debuted. Fine by me. He is simply an under card act that can be fun and wacky. For those paying attention, the main players rumored to be leaving NXT since last year were Ember Moon, No Way Jose, The Authors Of Pain, The Iconic Duo, Sanity, and Andrade Almas. We'll see if the rest are true.
- Tag team tournament leading to new champs at The Greatest Royal Rumble Event in two weeks? Okay. The Bar is my pick, assuming the pair stick together past the Superstar Shakeup.
- Happy to see Jeff Hardy back and VERY happy to see him far away from Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. He is above that and should be kept separate. If WWE really wants, Jeff may make cameos and such in their 'universe' but on the whole, I want him on his own.
- Like Finn Balor, The Miz, and Seth Rollins, I think Jeff Hardy is a prime candidate to move to the blue brand next week. Those four are who I am looking at for BIG things in 2018.
- Sad to watch Paige announce her retirement. It had been known for awhile but is still heartbreaking when you think about it all. Fitting it was on the Raw after Mania in New Orleans. Full four year circle career in WWE.
- Lashley is back! Poor Elias...poor, poor Elias. Somebody had to take a beating, and he was the poor soul who got that on Monday. Some are speculating it was his way to be written off Raw. I hope not. He feels like a RAW guy, not a SD Live guy. Based on all reports, Lashley has improved a ton since leaving WWE and is more than amped to be in some high profile bouts. Time will tell if this run goes better than his first where the company pushed him to the moon and treated him as a top star. Like Drew McIntyre, it's a new era...
- Kurt Angle talking with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Yep! Interesting story that will surely continue for a little bit. The TNA dig got fans buzzing. I admit; I laughed and was totally caught off guard. Beyond a momentary punchline, we will forget about it by next month.
- The Authors Of Pain pretty much finished their NXT run six months ago. I am shocked it took them this long to show up on Raw. With The Bludgeon Brothers on Smackdown, it makes sense to keep the monsters away from each other for now. No manager is a bit of a shock but shouldn't be a problem in my book. Get it? Book? Okay, moving on.
- Roman Reigns promo...about a conspiracy or something? I wish I knew what he was talking about. Regardless, he is set for a rematch against Brock Lesnar in two weeks inside a steel cage. Most expect him to capture the Universal Championship. However, most also expected him to win the title at WrestleMania 34. We were wrong then. Will we be wrong again? I'm honestly not sure.
- Samoa Joe is also back and wants the first shot at the Universal Championship at Backlash, whether it is Reigns or Lesnar. That makes me think Reigns will get the belt. Again though, I am not sure of anything after Mania. WWE seems to be in "SURPRISE THE FANS" mode currently.
- Zayn vs. Owens for a RAW contract ended in a double count out. Nobody wins. Yet another match between these two. That makes it #496 for the year alone by my estimation. I know where I want them to end up when all is said and done.
- All roads are leading to the Superstar Shakeup next Monday and Tuesday. I have long been predicting Braun to switch brands, along with Rollins, Miz, or Balor. It seems like that is the direction. For Rollins, if he moves, that would imply Jinder Mahal moves - to flip the US and IC Tiles (again). For Miz, it would put him on the same brand as Daniel Bryan. For Balor, it'd be to FINALLY break out of his shell and get to the main event level. As noted, another guy to keep an eye out for is Jeff Hardy. Like 2008 and 2009, his potential on the blue brand is endless. Any predictions of your own?
WWE SD Live Thoughts
- Paige is the new Smackdown LIVE General Manager. Works for me. She can not compete in the squared circle anymore, so I guess it keeps her on television. Kinda sucks to see her break away from her squad on Raw but whatever. Not like the group was doing much of note with her as their manager.
- The Usos beat The New Day to become #1 Contenders to the Smackdown LIVE Tag Team Titles. They were owed the match anyways, but this made it official. The New Day do not necessarily need to break up. However, this Superstar Shakeup could be a MUCH NEEDED change of pace for the trio.
- Word on the street is Natalya is going to Raw, so her losing to Naomi may be her blue brand farewell. I think a whole bunch of women should switch brands, truthfully.
- Funny Shinsuke Nakamura interview explaining his heel turn. He was great but may need to change his approach going forward. If he is THAT good in his sarcasm again, he will end up being cheered. I remember a lot of folks being hesitant on the AJ Styles heel turn from 2016, and it ended up being a huge success. Nakamura as a heel is certainly intriguing. Let's watch it develop before judging.
- Charlotte Flair was giving a nice heartfelt speech, until The IIconics (new name) made their main roster debut and took out the champion. From there, it was easy to predict Carmella cashing in her Money in the Bank briefcase. Lots to unravel here. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have been "ready" for close to a year now, and this had bee heavily talked about. Tye Dillinger is on Smackdown Live, hence why they ended up there and not Raw. Ditto to Carmella cashing it. It had to occur at some point. I was SUPER glad it did not come at the expense of Asuka. That would have been ludicrous. With the Superstar Shakeup on the horizon, I do wonder if Charlotte goes to Raw for her inevitable feud with Ronda Rousey, while Asuka goes to Smackdown LIVE and wipes the floor with their division now. Who knows? The division (and Raws) is all over the board in 2018.
- One more thing about Carmella - congrats! She has been called every name in the book and has defied all the odds to win a championship in WWE. Forget Enzo. Forget Big Cass. Her 'haters' can now eat crow. I am not saying I am her biggest fan by any means. However, I do always enjoy a feel good story about somebody proving their doubters wrong. Caramella did that and then some for the past year. Good for her.
- Randy Orton is the #1 Contender to the United States Championship after getting by Rusev and Bobby Roode. Like The Usos, this was the assumed rematch anyways. On the Smackdown LIVE, I am keeping an eye on these guys for a move to Raw on Monday. Orton, Roode, Rusev, and Jinder all make sense. Remember that Backlash is co-promoted and really has no bearing on the Superstar Shakeup. We can go back to just last April to know that matches announced will happen no matter what.
- AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan was the main event. What world are we living in? Paige is the new SD Live GM, and Bryan is a full-time competitor again. I figure he is more part-time than full-time...which made this battle all the more important. I don't know if they will be on the same brand again come next Tuesday. Reminds me of when Eddie Guerrero vs. Triple H was quickly thrown together in 2004; it was due to the WWE Draft and them not being on the same show, so why not? Do it now while you still can. If The Miz does not come to Smackdown Live, send Daniel Bryan to Raw. That may be my big BOLD prediction - Bryan to Raw! Nakamura interrupted the bout and attacked both men. He got booed, so the heel turn worked week one.
- Same with Raw - all roads are leading to the Superstar Shakeup. I am sure I will have a predictions column up this weekend. Until then, let the rumors begin!