WWE Raw Recap: April 23, 2018
Aired on April 23, 2018

The last time the WWE Universe saw Brock Lesnar, he elbowed Roman Reigns into a gory defeat at WrestleMania to retain the Universal Championship. One day later, he signed a new contract with a surprising proviso: That The Beast would defend his title against Reigns once again in a Steel Cage at the Greatest Royal Rumble event. Now, five days before the showdown in Saudi Arabia, we found out how both Superstars feel about it.

With The Miz having been Superstar Shaken back to SmackDown LIVE, The Miztourage are men without a country. And after their attempts to join up with both Seth Rollins and Finn Bálor went nowhere, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel decided to prove their worth the old-fashioned way: By facing Rollins and Finn in a tag team match. It didn’t quite work out.

Finn provided the finishing touch — the Coup de Grâce, if you will — on The Axe Man, and that was that for a solid team-up between Seth & Finn. Given that they’ll face off in a Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title on Friday (along with Miz and Samoa Joe), it’s safe to call this partnership one of convenience.

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn's insults of Raw General Manager Kurt Angle during the debut of “The Sami & Kevin Show” landed them in a match against Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley, and despite the prodigious gifts of the former Universal and NXT Champions, the bout went more or less like you would expect it to. Strowman pulverized Zayn and blasted the meddling Owens with a pair of shoulder tackles and a T-Rex Dropkick until KO was out of the equation. Lashley tagged in momentarily to drop Zayn with a stalling suplex, and The Gift of Destruction closed the book with a Running Powerslam.

Ronda Rousey made her presence felt at the end of a 10-Woman Tag Team Match that pitted Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax, Natalya, Ember Moon, Sasha Banks & Bayley (still not quite meshing together) against Alexa Bliss, Mickie James & The Riott Squad. Chaos broke out after Jax was attacked by the entire opposing team, but James extracted herself from the fray to attack the recovering Queen of Harts with a baseball slide.

That ambush was what finally drew Rousey to her training partner’s aid, and while Ronda didn’t seem interested in throwing down initially, another baseball slide to Rousey’s back landed Mickie square in the clutches of The Baddest Woman on the Planet. Rousey responded to Mickie’s attacks by wrenching James into an armbar. A win via disqualification will go in Mickie’s record book as a result of all this, but that armbar will be what she remembers.

With the ink dry on his contract and a home-field advantage of sorts inside steel, The Beast had one more objective in mind: To “shred Roman Reigns to pieces” and send him back to the States in “multiple boxes.” Despite his loss at WrestleMania, Reigns confronted The Conqueror with a simple promise to his longtime enemy — that no matter how he returned from Saudi Arabia, he would have the title with him — and made his exit in confident fashion.

In other action … Elias def. Bobby Roode … “Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt def. The Ascension … Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre def. Titus Worldwide … Chad Gable def. Jinder Mahal … and Baron Corbin attacked No Way Jose.


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