Monday night, WWE Raw takes place live from the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans just 24 hours after what was a fantastic WrestleMania 34 offering inside the Superdome. Raw on Monday night will get us started down the road to next year’s WrestleMania in New York, and from the action on Sunday night, there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered. 

One of the big questions will certainly revolve around the status of the universal championship. Everyone was stunned on Sunday night when Brock Lesnar ended up retaining the title over Roman Reigns in the main event — and there was even more shock on Monday just hours before Raw when it was announced that Lesnar had decided to sign a new deal with the company

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WWE Raw live results, highlights

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WWE Raw results, grades

Ronda Rousey confronts Stephanie McMahon: After the Raw commissioner opened the show praising herself for her performance at WrestleMania while fighting off chants from the crowd, she introduced Rousey and claimed they will do great things together now that the WWE machine is behind Rousey. This led the former UFC champion to shake McMahon’s hand and hug her … only to quickly turn and lock her into the armbar submission. McMahon tapped out immediately. The crowd was hot for the entire segment, razzing McMahon and cheering on Rousey. It was rather formulaic and expected but nevertheless successful. Grade: B

Nia Jax & Ember Moon def. Alexa Bliss & Mickie James via pinfall: Before the match, Bliss cut a promo on Jax’s weight, calling the new champion the real bully and saying she lost only out of compassion for James being injured. Jax cut bliss off, telling her to shut it before introducing Moon. The quick match featured Moon and saw the newcomer hit her Eclipse on the former women’s champ Bliss for the clean win. Solid pop and top-notch performance by Moon in her debut. Strong move by WWE letting her pin Bliss. Grade: C+

Braun Strowman relinquishes the titles: Walking up to Raw general manager Kurt Angle alongside Nicholas, Strowman vacated the Raw tag team championship due to a scheduling conflict on the part of Nicholas. The youngster then shouted Strowman’s catch phrase as the crowd popped. Whether you like the move with Nicholas or not, the fact that Strowman gave up the titles is absurd. That’s twice in the last few months champions have just relinquished titles for no good reason. Grade: F

No Way Jose def. Unnamed Jobber via pinfall: In his debut, Jose hit the ring with an entourage conga line reminiscent of Adam Rose and squashed the jobber in under a minute. I’ll give WWE the benefit of the doubt that this is a one-off; if not, dock this another letter. Grade: C

The Bar confronts Kurt Angle: After complaining that they deserved the tag team titles back, The Bar was told they would get a chance to win them by facing the finalists of a two-week Tag Team Eliminator tournament at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia. Good enough rebound from the Strowman segment. Grade: B

The Revival def. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows via pinfall (Tag Team Eliminator Quarterfinal): A blind tag allows The Revival to get the upper hand on Anderson, surprising him with the Shatter Machine for the clean win. There were multiple beach balls during the match, which was absurd during a good bout. Grade: C+

Jeff Hardy returns, intercontinental title picture murky: New intercontinental champion Seth Rollins put over that every member of The Shield is now a Grand Slam champion, but as Rollins was about it take it further, Finn Bálor interrupted to say that Rollins deserved the title but never beat him for it. As Rollins agreed to make Bálor the No. 1 contender, The Miz’s music hit. He said Rollins did not deserve the title and that beating him made his newborn daughter and wife Maryse cry, in turn making him cry. Rollins said everyone cries when they watch him wrestle, and he may be good but he can’t lace Rollins’ boots. The Miz said Bálor is owed nothing but he deserves a rematch – at Backlash. After challenging Rollins and Bálor to a handicap match, Hardy jumped in to make the save, though the match never happened. Bálor can never successfully challenge anyone, and it didn’t necessarily make sense to have Hardy there. Grade: B-

Mandy Rose def. Sasha Banks via pinfall: Bayley came out before the match and factored into the finish as she accidentally struck Banks outside the ring, starting an argument and therefore distracting her. This allowed Rose to hit a hard knee strike and get the win. Grade: C

Paige retires: With tears in her eyes, Paige grabbed a mic after the match and told fans what she has known for a while: She can no longer perform as an in-ring competitor. Paige thanked all her supporters, all the women superstars, and her family – as well as both Daniel Bryan and Edge, who she says have given her hope. Paige thanked the crowd, the same one she made her debut in front of four years ago, and appeared to be saying she was done with WWE complete as the crowd chanted, “This is your house!”

Bobby Lashley returns, attacks Elias: In a hot segment that saw the live crowd serenade Elias twice despite him insulting them, Lashley made his return to a huge ovation and immediately hit Elias with a massive suplex. Not much happened here, but the segment was so fire that it’s tough to give it any bad marks. Grade: A

Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn ask for jobs: Angle was not having it from Owens and Zayn backstage, saying his tag team division is full and he had no desire to hire guys who just attacked two other authority figures. He then took a shot at TNA, suggesting they might be hiring, before relenting and opening a singles spot that the winner of a match tonight could have. Grade: A+

Authors of Pain def. Heath Slater & Rhyno via pinfall (Tag Team Eliminator Quarterfinal): The quick squash showcased AOP’s dominance, as expected. After the match, as manager Paul Ellering attempted to follow AOP to the back, they stopped him and walked away, presumably leaving his side. Nothing to write home about either way. Grade: B

Roman Reigns complains, Samoa Joe returns: In a work-shoot promo, Reigns — referring to the predetermined nature of WWE — claimed that chairman Vince McMahon did not give him the courtesy of a heads up and everyone looked at him side-eyed when he entered the Superdome on Sunday. He then spoke to hearing Brock Lesnar was off to UFC on Wednesday only to learn — on the internet Monday — that Lesnar re-signed with WWE and they had another match in a steel cage. Reigns then promised, if WWE kept booking him against Lesnar, he would eventually become the new universal champion. When Reigns slammed the mic down, Joe returned to a huge pop. He said Reigns believed in conspiracy theories, and is not only a failure but a liar in promising he will beat Lesnar. Joe said the same thing happens every time Reigns faces Lesnar, and after it happens once again, he will be waiting at Backlash to put him to sleep. That’s everything you could want from Reigns and Joe in a powerful segment. Grade: A+

Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt def. Titus Worldwide via pinfall (Tag Team Eliminator Quarterfinal): Nothing to write home about in this extended squash match featuring the new pairing. Hardy controlled Wyatt the entire match and for the pinfall after hitting Twist of Fate. Grade: C+

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