WWE Raw results, recap, grades: New champion, major Superstar Shakeup roster moves

 cbssports.com  4/17/2018 12:10:17 AM   Adam Silverstein

Just over a week after WrestleMania 34, WWE made some massive changes to its two major rosters beginning Monday with the first half of the Superstar Shakeup. After adding five new talents last week on the Raw after WrestleMania, WWE went ahead and placed 18 more talents on the red brand Monday night with 17 of them coming over directly from SmackDown.

Included among those were Jinder Mahal, who brought along and quickly lost the United States Championship. Dolph Ziggler (along with surprise teammate Drew McIntyre), Bobby Roode and Baron Corbin were among the other big moves with it only announced that SmackDown would receive The Miz (sans The Miztourage) in return.

With such drastic changes going down Monday night, suddenly SmackDown Live on Tuesday adds even more intrigue. Is WWE going to figure out a way to put the U.S. or intercontinental title on the show? How will the blue brand replace such a drastic amount of talent. What is Raw going to do with so many new, legitimate tag teams without any seemingly moving over from SmackDown?

CBS Sports will be back with you Tuesday updating the full list of Superstar Shakeup changes throughout the entire show. For now, check out our results and grades from Raw on Monday night.

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WWE Raw results, grades

Jinder Mahal joins Raw: After Raw general manager Kurt Angle opened the show, Mahal hit the ring as the red brand's first acquisition and began complaining that he was brought to the arena in an SUV as opposed to a limousine with a motorcade. He then demanded top-tier perks, the same ones universal champion Brock Lesnar receives, because he's the best superstar on the roster. Angle responded by putting Mahal's title on the line immediately, forcing him to prove his claim. Hot opening segment and great mic work by both men. Grade: A

United States Championship -- Jeff Hardy def. Jinder Mahal (c) via pinfall to win the title: The match one would expect with Hardy working through his signature moves and thus making Mahal look better than he normally does in the ring. Hardy reversed The Khallas twice and eventually hit Twist of Fate before climbing to the top rope and connecting with the Swanton Bomb to pick up the clean 1-2-3 and become the new title holder and now a Grand Slam champion. After the match, Mahal said he was brought to Raw to be embarrassed by Mr. America in Angle and demanded his rematch at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Mahal was interrupted by a dancing, laughing No Way Jose, who invited Renee Young to dance. The match was nothing special, but the storyline enhances the rating here. Grade: B

Sasha Banks def. Bayley via disqualification as The Riott Squad interferes: Banks began trash talking Bayley in the middle of the match, leading the two to exchange slaps and then begin a hockey fight. Double knees into the bottom turnbuckle and a Banks Statement made it look like Bayley was done, but Riott Squad ran in to interrupt and take Banks out. They then preyed on Bayley with Riott hitting the Riott Kick as the trio stood tall in the middle of the ring. Not only was the match clunky with a couple missed spots (though it was good overall), the interference did not make sense, and WWE keeping the trio together is a failure. Grade: C-

Authors of Pain def. Heath Slater & Rhyno via pinfall: Slater & Rhyno attempted to get the upper hand by attacking AoP before the bell and succeeded for a short while. AoP then dispatched of Slater and hit The Last Chapter on Rhyno to pick up the win. Nothing to write home about. Grade: C

MizTV with Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: It was promoted during the show that The Miz would have a signature talent that would change Raw as his guest, and he began the segment by introducing both Owens and Zayn. The quintet hugged and celebrated in the ring as some fans began chanting "Yes!" Miz claimed they were better then the nWo, the Dream Team and The Avengers. That led Angle to the stage with the GM saying Owens and Zayn had their chance last week but did not earn a Raw contract. The duo then clarified that an email was sent that Angle likely missed, so Zayn read one from Raw commissioner Stephanie McMahon that overruled Angle and granted them contracts.

Angle said he was shocked McMahon had time to write a letter because he thought she was doing "'round-the-clock physical therapy after Ronda Rousey ripped her arm off her body." He then informed The Miz that he would not be celebrating with Owens and Zayn because he -- but not The Miztourage -- had been traded to SmackDown at the special request of Daniel Bryan. Angle's going away gift for Miz, however, was a 10-man tag team main event with the five men in the ring against Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman and a mystery superstar. Grade: A+

Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt def. The Revival via pinfall (Tag Team Eliminator final): The Hardy-Wyatt combination just works. They dominated most of the match together and wove their storyline through everything from their entrance through the match finish. After Hardy tagged himself in late, Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Scott Dawson before helping Hardy with an elevated Twist of Fate on Dash Wilder to pick up the victory and advance to the Raw tag team title match against The Bar at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Grade: B

Breezango and Zack Ryder to Raw: It was announced on Twitter during the show that Ryder would be making the move away from SmackDown to the red brand. He did not show up on TV. After the tag team match, The Bar ran into Breezango backstage. The Fashion Police immediately wrote tickets to Sheamus & Cesaro for their mohawk and clashing gear. Grade: D

Ronda Rousey, Kurt Angle and Natalya talk backstage: After a package aired featuring Rousey's attack on McMahon last week, Angle was shown telling Rousey that nothing is going to get easier for her in WWE. He then introduced Natalya as Raw's newest superstar, and she celebrated with training partner Rousey. Grade: C

Ember Moon vs. Mickie James: Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss were supposed to sit in on commentary during the match, but while Jax showed up, Bliss stayed backstage and delivered a promo during the match in which she referred to Jax as the bully for taking the Raw women's title from her at WrestleMania 34. Moon displayed her top-notch athleticism throughout the match and dropped The Eclipse for the 1-2-3. It was nice for there to be simultaneous storyline development on commentary and solid action in the ring. Grade: B

Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and The Miz complain backstage: Frustrated that they are starting Raw on a sour note, Owens and Zayn complained about their lot in life and the main event. The Miz stopped by to ask what SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon was like these days, but Owens and Zayn demanded he focus on the night at hand. Miz told everyone that they needed to ensure his Raw finale was must-see as the show went to commercial break. Grade: C+

Dolph Ziggler's surprise for Titus Worldwide: Ziggler hit the ring to discuss how things have changed on Raw since he left, but before he got to it, Titus Worldwide interrupted and attempted to convince Ziggler to join them. When Ziggler took the mic and continued where he left off, Drew McIntyre hit the ring and attacked Titus Worldwide from behind. The two quickly made work of Titus O'Neil and Apollo, hitting a devastating combination Zig-Zag Claymore to clear the ring. Grade: B+

Samoa Joe confronts Roman Reigns, again: Reigns hit the ring to light boos and "Roman sucks" chants with a smattering of applause. After a long pause, he reiterated that he was at Raw while universal champion Brock Lesnar was not. He promised to beat Lesnar for the title and return to Raw as the "full-time universal champion." Before he could continue, Joe took the stage in a repeat from a week ago, laughing that Reigns brags about coming to work but always fails to get the job done. "I would almost feel sorry for you, but I can't because you're too stupid to understand your place around here," Joe said. "... And you won't learn until somebody puts you down for good." Joe then promised to put Reigns to sleep for good before airing a lengthy package of Lesnar's beatdowns of Reigns over the years. This led Reigns to challenge Joe to prove he can step up to the plate; Joe feigned making his way to the ring twice before walking off. Grade: C

Natalya def. Mandy Rose via submission: The veteran got over in the short match, quickly making Rose tap via the Sharpshooter in Rose's first match without Paige by her side. Grade: C

Ronda Rousey saves Natalya: After the match, the remaining members of Absolution attacked Natalya, leading Rousey out to the ring to save her training partner. After a minute of Rousey in the ring, Sonya Deville entered and attempted to square up with the former UFC champion. Rousey immediately took her out with a number of quick blows to the body before knocking her down with a forearm to the side of the head. Grade: A

Baron Corbin, The Ascension, Mojo Rawley and Mike Kanellis join Raw: As a video package aired announcing Baron Corbin as the newest member of Raw, it was released on Twitter that the former NXT tag team champions would be on the program as well. A short while later, Rawley tweeted that he was the newest member of Raw, and WWE announced Kanellis was joining.

Breezango def. The Bar via pinfall: The Bar dominated most of the match, as one would expect, but things got crazy late as Fandango pulled Cesaro off the ring apron, allowing Tyler Breeze to roll Sheamus up for the surprising pin and upset victory. Grade: B-

Elias refuses to play: In a backstage conversation with Young, Elias explained that Hartford, Connecticut, was too small a venue to deserve a performance. Elias then cut a promo on Bobby Lashley, who attacked him last week in New Orleans, promising that Lashley should never interrupt him again -- or else. Then Elias offered to perform for Young, but she instead cut him off and threw back to Michael Cole. Fun and different from both of them. Grade: A

Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Bobby Lashley & Bobby Roode def. The Miz (via pinfall), Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & The Miztourage: The match was a mess, as one would expect from a 10-man tag made out of nowhere. Lashley impressed with his tremendous athleticism, and Roode got a couple spotlight moments in his first bout on Raw after he was announced as the fifth and final man of the face team. Miz and Strowman were in the ring late with Miz taking a beating, but as he attempted to tag in each member of The Miztourage, they dropped off the ring apron and walked to the back, letting him fend for himself. Strowman immediately rammed Miz into the turnbuckles and hit the running powerslam for the sendoff pinfall. Grade: C

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