WWE Raw: Superstar shake-up begins, Ronda Rousey helps Natalya
UPI News Service, 04/17/2018
The Superstar shake-up began Monday on Raw -- which means that wrestlers from Raw and Smackdown Live will be moved between WWE 's two brands.
The first roster change involved United States Champion Jinder Mahal moving to Raw and making his presence felt when he introduced himself to general manager Kurt Angle alongside his henchman Sunil Singh.
After The Modern Day Maharaja got on Angle's last nerve by asking for a limousine and declaring himself the most-talented Superstar in WWE, the general manager announced an impromptu United States Championship match against anyone who wanted to challenge Mahal.
Jeff Hardy answered the call and faced off against Mahal who dominated the match in the early going but was then defeated following a Twist of Fate and a Swanton Bomb. Hardy is now the new United States Champion.
On the women's side, Smackdown's Natalya joined Raw and was greeted by Ronda Rousey who said the pair knew each other from training together. Natalya, in her first match on Raw, took on Absolution member Mandy Rose and defeated her by making her tap out to the Sharpshooter.
Absolution's Sonya Deville then entered the ring following the match and began to ambush Natalya with Rose's help before Rousey quickly charged into the ring to make the save. Rousey impressively took down Deville with a series of well-placed strikes, forcing Absolution to quickly retreat.
Throughout the night more members of Smackdown joined the Raw roster including Baron Corbin; Breezango members Tyler Breeze and Fandango; The Riott Squad consisting of Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan; Dolph Ziggler who brought along NXT's Drew McIntyre; and Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens who were given their jobs back to compete on Monday nights.
Zayn and Owens announced they had been added to Raw by Stephanie McMahon during The Miz's Miz TV segment which included the A-lister learning that he had been moved to Smackdown without his Miztourage members Bo Dalls and Curtis Axel.
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The Miz, enraged that he would be left alone on the blue brand, also learned that he was moved to Smackdown at the request of his longtime rival Daniel Bryan. The Miz, Dallas, Axel, Zayn and Owens were then put into a match against Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman and a mystery partner who would be coming over from Smackdown.
During the main event of the night, The Miz's mystery partner turned out to be Bobby Roode. Despite the dirty tactics used by The Miz's team throughout the crowded bout, everything changed when Strowman finally entered the match.
The Miz, completely terrified of The Monster Among Men, was able to hold off the towering foe momentarily and turned to Dallas and Axel for help before The Miztourage left their leader behind. The Miz was then defeated using a Running Powerslam as Raw went off the air.
Other moments from Raw included The Riott Squad attacking Bayley and Sasha Banks during their match; The Authors of Pain defeating Heath Slater and Rhyno; Woken Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt defeating The Revival to win the Tag Team Eliminator and be granted a Raw Tag Team Championship Match; Ember Moon defeating Mickie James; Ziggler and McIntyre laying waste to Titus Worldwide; and another verbal confrontation between Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe.
Other roster changes included Zack Ryder, The Ascension, Mojo Rawley, Mike Kanellis and Chad Gable joining Raw.
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