7 Ups And 5 Downs From Last Night's WWE Raw (April 23)

Did you hear there's a Humongous Rumble of Royalty coming up? Matt Hardy said so.

Ronda Rousey Natalya

WWE is in a weird situation. We’re two weeks removed from WrestleMania, one week removed from the Superstar Shakeup, four days away from the Greatest Royal Rumble special event, and two weeks away from Backlash.

That’s a lot of activity in a short span of time.

As a result, a lot of things are jumbled or in strange holding patterns. Guys and gals have gotten screen time, but aren’t doing anything hugely of note. Some are battling for a title later this week, but not really involved in a feud. The 50-man Rumble looks interesting from a perverse torture point of view – unless we’re going with one-minute intervals.

On Raw, guys like Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman received prominent spots on the show despite not really being involved in any storyline of their own yet. New arrivals from SmackDown and NXT largely had good nights, though a couple ran into some problems. And Ronda Rousey showed up, overshadowing the entire women’s division in a contrived way that didn’t have to happen.

Overall, this was a pretty good episode, with the negatives being mostly minor gripes rather than fatal flaws. But once again, many of the problems could be corrected, and the positives could be improved with better writing.

With that said, let’s get to it…

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Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.