The Undertaker is gone. Maybe. At least that’s how it appeared following The Phenom’s defeat at WrestleMania last night, when the legendary Superstar left his gloves, hat and duster in the ring and vanished into the void from whence he came.
And while social media has been flooded since his sudden departure with #ThankYouTaker sentiments, Raw opened with an appearance by the Superstar who seemingly sent The Last Outlaw off into the sunset: Roman Reigns.
While Reigns did offer his own tribute to The Deadman on Twitter earlier in the day, The Big Dog took a long time to speak on Raw, in part because the rowdy #RawAfterMania crowd wouldn't let him get a word in edgewise. When he finally spoke, it was to only offer one sentence with a matter-of-fact finality: “This is my yard now.”
Short and sweet. The Deadman would approve.
Goldberg is gone, long live Goldberg. In his place has risen BRRRRROCK LESNAR, new Universal Champion and once again the reigning, defending, undisputed king of the WWE mountaintop.
And Paul Heyman had plenty of words for any Superstar who would dare to challenge The Conqueror, be it Seth Rollins, either or both of the Hardys, and, in particular, Roman Reigns, the other half of "The Two in 23-2" and Heyman's pick for Lesnar's challenger of destiny.
In fact, Heyman seemed to be about two seconds away from issuing an outright challenge to Reigns, but Braun Strowman had other ideas.
The Monster Among Men was noticeably absent from Heyman's list, but he made sure Lesnar knew his name quickly enough, interrupting The Advocate and staring down The Beast Incarnate to deliver a message: Once he was finished with Reigns, he was coming for Brock.
United States Champion Kevin Owens thought he was out of the woods when he and Samoa Joe attacked Chris Jericho before Raw’s planned tag team main event, but all that did was clear new Raw General Manager Kurt Angle to summon a returning Finn Bálor (!!!) to take the G.O.A.T.’s place, giving Seth Rollins a fresh partner and placing Owens and Joe square in the path of a Superstar hungry for redemption.
In other words: Kevin? Bad move, maaaannnn.
Rollins handled the load in the early goings of the match, which featured four former NXT Champions and two former Universal Champions. The Architect unleashed a high-risk offense that did damage to Owens and Joe at the expense of his own well-being. That left him no recourse but to tag in Bálor after being picked apart by Joe and Owens, and Finn quickly put the match away, spiking “The Face of America” with a Coup de Grace after Rollins helped free him from the Coquina Clutch.
Welcome back, Finn. See you (next) Monday.
In other action … Raw Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz def. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson … WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville def. Mustafa Ali … Mr. McMahon named Kurt Angle the General Manager of Raw … The Revival def. The New Day … Raw Women’s Champion Bayley, Sasha Banks & Dana Brooke def. Charlotte Flair, Nia Jax & Emma … Cesaro & Sheamus def. Enzo Amore & Big Cass to become No. 1 contenders to the Raw Tag Team Championships … and Sami Zayn def. Jinder Mahal.