In case you missed the show, the following is the WWE Monday Night Raw results, highlights and headlines from the show on April 18th.
WWE RAW Results 4/18
Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins Promo: Seth will choose Cody’s surprise opponent for the main event to show why Seth lost at WrestleMania
Sasha Banks & Naomi def. Liv Morgan & Rhea Ripley to retain Women’s Tag Team Championships, Rhea turns on Liv after the match
Bianca Belair confronts Sonya Deville for attacking the champ last week, Belair almost lays out the WWE official before leaving
Veer def. Local Competitor
Bianca Belair fined only one dollar for laying hands on Deville, showing WWE isn’t totally behind her
Ezekiel passes a Lie Detector Test run by Kevin Owens and Chad Gable
Ezekiel def. Chad Gable by DQ when attacked by Otis
The Street Profits def. RK-Bro after distracting them with the Usos music
Edge and Damian Priest promise that it’s WWE’s judgment day, and attack AJ Styles backstage
Theory def. Finn Balor for the United States Championship
Reggie & Dana Brooke and Tamina & Tozawa get married before 24/7 Championship shenanigans ensure
Cody Rhodes def. Kevin Owens
WWE RAW Highlights From 4/18
Friends Reunited Briefly, Cody Still Protected
If WWE keeps opening and closing the shows with Cody Rhodes, they may just be able to turn WWE Raw into must-watch TV again. The best part of the show tonight was probably Cody and Seth’s opening promo, where we saw how unable Seth was to accept that the American Nightmare could be the better wrestler. They exchanged several great lines, but the most salient point was that while Seth had already visited the mountain top, Cody had already beat Seth. So Seth announced a “surprise opponent” of his own for the main event, and it turned out to be the best buddy of Seth, Kevin Owens.
I love these two together, so seeing that perhaps they aren’t quite done as a pair was a welcome sight, since they may feud in the future given this outcome tonight. KO and Cody had an awesome closing to the show, and this all served it’s purpose well of keeping Seth and KO around in the main event scene and keeps Cody as the face of Raw.
Rhea Ripley Finally Turns Heel
The match for the Women’s Tag titles tonight was pretty great, but best of all was Ripley losing it after it appeared that Liv Morgan held them back from winning again. This duo has been a fine place holder for the two, but Liv was on the biggest run of her career before the team and Ripley is too good to not be near the top of the women’s division. Ripley is also a natural bad-ass heel, so this turn was a long time coming on the main roster.
Ripley’s turn got a massive reception from the crowd, and hopefully this feud builds on that heat to get her in a place where she can face Bianca Belair sooner rather than later.
Investing in the Tag Division
Unifying titles is always a scary proposition. While it adds stakes and brings your biggest stars together, the risk is that it will cause your talent to feel buried by suddenly being condensed from two divisions into one. However, WWE’s Men’s Tag Teams have been a thin unit for a while now. WWE has less than 10 total teams that have any level of build behind them, so this unification could make a lot of sense for this smaller pool of talent. Most importantly, the top of these divisions have been on fire for a while now and WWE appears to know that.
Tonight on WWE Raw, not only did they give the Street Profits a win over their most popular act in RK-Bro, but they did so in a way that protected everyone involved by putting the emphasis on the cleverness of the Profits. These teams have been having barn burners for months now, and WWE has a “Smackdown Six” level of talent and storyline building in this tag division. If they play the right cards following WrestleMania Backlash, then we could be on the precipice of a Tag Team Golden Age.
WWE RAW Lowlights From 4/18
Bad First Showing of Ezekiel
The main gripe I have with the usage of Ezekiel so far is I don’t think there’s a real endpoint that we’re working towards. I have laughed out loud at a couple moments of this character, but mostly because of the talent of Kevin Owens. Tonight, we got the first taste of Ezekiel in a match and in a segment without KO, and there’s just a weirdness about this character still. The crowd clearly would rather just cheer for Elias still, and if this is all just a joke, then it would be smart to pull the plug on this sooner rather than later.
I don’t mind using this as a vehicle for more KO jokes for another month, but I don’t see this act surviving past this first storyline, unfortunately.
In interviews this week, Cody Rhodes cited eliminating himself from the AEW title picture and getting involved in backstage politics as part of the reasoning for his departure and as mistakes during his tenure.
Tony Khan promises huge announcement on AEW Dynamite this week, suspected to be either a Ring of Honor TV deal or a NJPW-partnership.
NXT crown new tag champions in Pretty Deadly after the release of Nash Carter.
Theory wins the United States Championship, celebrates with Vince McMahon after the match tonight on WWE Raw.