WWE Raw results: 6 things we learned ahead of Backlash 2018

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains full show match results for WWE Monday Night Raw from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec which aired on Monday, April 30, 2018.

Despite the packed (if woman-free) card, there weren’t a lot of title changes in the end at the first-ever Greatest Royal Rumble.

We do have newly-crowned Tag Team Champions here on Raw, and Seth Rollins has kept the IC Title on the WWE’s flagship show.

But we’ve got a pay-per-view coming up awfully soon where things could well change. Here are six things we learned on the go home show before WWE Backlash 2018.

1. Seth Rollins is the new John Cena (and the IC title could be the new US Title)

One of the greatest periods in John Cena’s later career was his ownership of the WWE US Title and his regular open challenge.

He proved that the belt doesn’t make the man – the man makes the belt.

Many people have an issue with Brock Lesnar’s lax approach to defending his WWE Universal Championship, including Seth Rollins.

We’re not among them (we think the main title can be defended on special occasions only, and by a special character), but the IC title is a workingman’s title and and Seth is a working champion.

So the former Architect of the The Shield put his belt up for grabs in the main event of last night’s Monday Night Raw ahead of its more formal battle at Backlash.

Finn Bálor was quick to take him up on the offer, but for the third time in one month, the Irishman fell short.

What we’re hoping is that last night wasn’t a one-off.

Assuming he retains against The Miz at Backlash, if Seth Rollins keeps putting his title on the line, it’ll only elevate him and the Intercontinental Title, and also make Monday Night Raw must-see.

2. Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss show that there’s more than one way to build a title match

We love wrestling. And we love women’s wrestling. And regular readers will know that we hate it when there’s a lack of women’s wrestling on Monday Night Raw or SmackDown Live.

That said, when 1×1 singles matches for a major championship get run in advance of a pay-per-view on WWETV, it can deflate the big title match.

Chucking the competitors into a multi-person tag match isn’t much better, to be quite honest, as you’re still throwing away that all-important face-off for free.

And there’s only so many times you can have matches between the title holder and a third-party, featuring a distraction by the challenger which inexplicably takes the champ’s eye off the ball.

So sometimes (but not always), we’ll take a Moment of Bliss.

Using vignettes, sketches and non-wrestling segments generally to help build a title fight isn’t always a bad way to do things, and Alexa Bliss has the character to pull it off.

And we got a little teaser of Nia vs Alexa AND some actual wrestling when both got involved on the fringes of Natalya’s victory over Mickie James, which nicely intertwined the two stories while keeping both ticking on.

3. Braun Strowman is making friends (and has a double date for Backlash)

The one-man wrecking crew is learning to play well with others.

Maybe we can thank his former Tag Team partner (and fellow champ) Nicholas for melting the Monster’s heart.

A man who for some time refused to have a tag partner seemed happy enough to join forces with Roman Reigns (we’re guessing that ambulance stuff is all forgiven and he really is finished with him, now) and Bobby Lashley.

The unlikely trio got a win against Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and (er) Jinder Mahal, with Strowman doing most of the heavy lifting.

And with Reigns busy tussling with Samoa Joa, The Unloveable Ones have been given a match at Backlash 2018 against the remaining big men.

It’s a little out of nowhere, truth be told.

But it’ll be fun to see how Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman join forces once more, and to see where both men go from here given their obvious title credentials.

4. Titus O’Neill yet again makes lemonade with his slippery lemons

He’s still sliding, they say… Poor Titus O’Neill made a memorable entrance at the Greatest Royal Rumble.

Taking a trip on his way to the ring, he sliiiiiiiid right under it, launching a million memes.

But if there are three things we know about Titus O’Neill it’s that (i) he’s resilient (ii) he has a sense of humour (iii) he can work with anything to keep and improve his spot.

He’s not the kind of guy to get pissy about being laughed at or looked over, but will always work his arse off to turn it to his advantage.

And so it is post-GRR fall. As well as joining in the fun on social media, he’s worked it into his WWETV persona.

Comedy and wrestling have always been two sides of the same coin, and god bless Titus O’Neill for embracing that.

And in using the chuckles to help his pal No Way Jose put one over on Baron Corbin, he’s made lemonade once again.

5. Could we get Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns IV before too long?

Surely not.

After their hellacious first encounter at WrestleMania 31 the long-awaited rematch at WrestleMania 34 was a total damp squib, and their third encounter at the Greatest Royal Rumble not much better-received.

The solution, of course, is to STOP. KICKING. OUT OF. FINISHERS. But we digress.

The GRR match didn’t end uncontroversially. Roman Reigns speared Brock Lesnar through the cage, and while Lesnar hit the ground first, Roman was the first to have both feet on the floor.

Referee Chad Patton admitted that he had made a mistake, and Raw GM Kurt Angle has acknowledged that mistake.

But Angle also underlined that the mistake was an honest one, and that the decision is final and stands.

Brock Lesnar is STILL your WWE Universal Champion, but the controversy will mean that Roman Reigns still feels as though he should have another title shot.

There isn’t much appetite in the WWE Universe for Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns IV right not.

That doesn’t mean it should never happen, but it’d be a brave booker who puts that match on at a major pay-per-view, especially in the main event.

But with Money in the Bank around the corner, could Reigns get his hands on Lesnar without a lengthy build that warms up the naysayers?

6. Sasha Banks vs Bayley is STILL bubbling away

Even without their storied history, this has been one of the slowest, most deliberate builds in WWE history.

It continued last night when Sasha Banks took on Ruby Riott, and while Riott had Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan in her corner, Sasha had… no-one.

The Huggable One was conspicuous by her absence, even though she was watching the match in the building.

Neither Sasha nor Bayley seem anywhere near the title at the moment, but that doesn’t really matter.

As the weeks go on and slights continue to build up, we can only see the two former best friends getting increasingly heated with one another.

We’re still hoping that things will eventually explode with a couple of A+ matches, leading up to a final encounter at Hell in a Cell come September in Tennessee.

WWE Monday Night Raw full show match results – Monday, April 30, 2018

  • Bobby Roode vs. Elias

WINNER: Elias (Self-announced after Match Stoppage)

  • The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) vs Jean-Paul & François

WINNERS: The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar)

  • Ruby Riott vs Sasha Banks

WINNER: Ruby Riott

  • Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Jinder Mahal

WINNERS: Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley

  • Baron Corbin vs No Way Jose

WINNER: No Way Jose

  • Mickie James vs Natalya

WINNER: Natalya

  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Finn Bálor

WINNER and STILL WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: Seth Rollins

What did you think of Monday Night Raw – let us know at @digitalspywwe.

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