SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE follows up on the Payback PPV with both Shane and Stephanie McMahon running Raw, plus a quick turn-around to hyping Extreme Rules in two weeks …
WWE Raw TV Report
May 9, 2016 – Episode #1,198
Live in Omaha, Nebraska
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
APP ALERT: If you are reading the Report on our new App, visit the mobile version of the report by HARD-PRESSING THIS LINK for the most frequent updates. VIP MEMBERS: Access your ad-free version by HARD-PRESSING THIS LINK.
- Week 2 of Shane & Stephanie McMahon running Raw
- Hype for Extreme Rules in two weeks
- Where is Dean Ambrose?
FIVE MATCHES ANNOUNCED
- The Club (A.J. Styles & Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) vs. The Family (WWE World Hvt. champion Roman Reigns & The Usos) in a six-man tag elimination match
- Women’s champion Charlotte (w/Ric Flair in the graphic) vs. Paige (non-title match)
- WWE tag champions New Day vs. Dudley Boys (non-title match)
- Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin (Payback re-match)
- Rusev vs. Sin Cara
Raw opened with a video recap of The Club (A.J. Styles) vs. The Family (Roman Reigns) drama at the end of last week’s Raw that ended with Styles taking a powerbomb through a table from the WWE World Hvt. champion.
Live in the arena, full pyro and Michael Cole introduced the show. Cole, Byron Saxton, and JBL hyped the big six-man elimination tag match for tonight’s main event.
Pyro then shot off to bring out Chris Jericho kicking off the show. A rarity these days for someone not with the last name McMahon starting the show. As Jericho slowly made his way to the ring, WWE reviewed Jericho assaulting Dean Ambrose last week on Raw.
Jericho walked around the ring basking in the glow of his talk show returning to Raw. He said his guest was supposed to be Dean Ambrose, but he’s not here tonight after he injured Dean. And, Dean might not be here for a very long time.
Jericho then pulled out the remains of the potted plant Mitch. He said this plant is just like Ambrose – someone who came to WWE to entertain and be wacky, but he underestimated the force that is Chris Jericho. Jericho then read some tweets showing that people were more concerned about the plant than Ambrose’s health when he hospitalized last week.
Jericho said he gets why people like Mitch anyways, because the plant is more interesting than Ambrose. He said the plant has more worth to WWE than Ambrose does. Jericho said he could put these scraps together and sell it for $12 at the local flea market, which is more than what Ambrose is worth to WWE. The crowd booed.
Jericho said this plant and Ambrose are just like the fans – hopeless slobs who he cannot relate to. Jericho said he’s one in every 76 years, and tonight he gives the gift of Chris Jericho. “Drink it in, man,” he said almost in a Bray Wyatt voice. Jericho extended his arms like Bray, then paused.
Suddenly, Enzo Amore’s music interrupted to bring out Big Cass by himself. Jericho sold being stunned by the man’s interruption … and then size. Cass asked for a mic as Jericho tried to get a ready on him. “How you doin'” chant from the crowd. Jericho asked who the heck he is interrupting his show. Cass said he’s returning this gift of Jericho to the store. Jericho had a great heel look of dumbfoundedness, then Cass cut him off again. He said the new era is a warning, not a promise. He told Jericho to get out of his way, or he will run through him.
“Really?” Jericho asked. He told Cass to run to the hospital and check on his little buddy Enzo Annoying. He said he heard he’s staying in the same hospital as Ambrose. Jericho laughed to himself. Cass said in the new era they stand and fight. He got in Jericho’s face and told him they can fight right now. Jericho, looking up at Cass’s chin, contemplating a reply.
“Have you forgotten that I am the best in the world?” Jericho started. Cass pushed his mic down. Cass said he is seven feet tall (and you can’t teach that!). Jericho said if he wants to fight so bad, then … Jericho removed his jacket revealing just a scarf and no shirt. Jericho then put his jacket over his shoulder and slowly walked out of the ring to boos.
[Q2] From the ring, Cass said Jericho is running away, which means there’s only one word to describe him. S-A-W-F-T Sawft! Jericho took exception and charged the ring, running right into a big boot to the face from Big Cass. Cue up the music. Big Cass stared down Jericho, who recovered on the floor checking his face to see if he still had both of his eyeballs in place.
[ Reax: The first part was goofy with one of those “only in wrestling” promos directed toward a potted plant. But, Jericho owned the material to make it okay, then the segment ended on a strong note with Big Cass holding his own against a heel. It’s refreshing to see a non-castrated, strong babyface do something positive on Raw after so many years of beaten-down, punked-out babyfaces filling the show. The overall question is whether WWE is going all-in with a “New Era” vs. “Old Guard” feud that typically hurts the effectiveness of individual heel vs. face feuds WWE is trying to get the audience to invest in. ]
Announcers: Saxton and JBL argued about the New Era trying to make a new statement. Cole then plugged Charlotte vs. Paige later tonight.
Up Next: Ziggler vs. Corbin in the opener.
[Commercial Break at 8:18]
Backstage: Chris Jericho walked down the hallway looking for Stephanie McMahon. He said that super-sized, stupid idiot kicked him right in the face. Jericho said that’s the problem with this new era fostering the wrong environment around here. He said he knows Steph is the smart McMahon and they can stop Shane McMahon’s new era. Together. Steph said the weird thing is she thinks Shane is … doing the right thing. What we can do about it is put Jericho in the main event against Big Cass. Jericho, dumbfounded, watched as Steph put her hand way over Jericho’s head. She spelled out Big Cass’s gimmick, then told him to never, eveeeeer make the mistake of trying to drive a wedge between them. Jericho continued with the 1,000 yard stare as Steph smiled.
THE NEWS: Chris Jericho vs. Big Cass in the main event.
In-ring: Dolph Ziggler was introduced to the ring for the opening match. Baron Corbin was out next. In an inset promo, Baron Corbin said he’s not part of a new era; he’s just about himself. Corbin said he doesn’t care about anyone in this world, especially Ziggler.
1 — DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. BARON CORBIN
The match quickly spilled to the floor, where Ziggler dropkicked Corbin over the guardrail into the front row. Corbin made his way over the guardrail and glared back into the ring as Raw cut to an early match break.
[Commercial Break at 8:27]
[Q3] Back from break, Corbin was working on Ziggler back in the ring. Ziggler suddenly snapped off the Fameasser, drawing a close two count. Ziggler tried to follow with Zig-Zag, but Corbin caught him in mid-air and spun him down hard to the mat with Deep Six. Corbin covered, but Ziggler kicked out just before three.
At 8:00, Corbin arrogantly stood on Ziggler’s head. Instead of getting rolled up, Corbin threw Ziggler into the corner, then caught a reeling Ziggler in End of Days. It was good for a three count and the win.
WINNER: Corbin at 8:33. Still rough around the edges. How soon until WWE books Big Cass vs. Corbin in a VKM Dream Match?
Still to come: The Club vs. Roman Reigns’s Family in an elimination tag match.
[Commercial Break at 8:36]
Announcers: Cole and Co. transitioned to Women’s division action. Notably, Ric Flair’s involvement in the Charlotte vs. Natalya business. But, he’s banned from ringside for Charlotte vs. Nattie in a submission match for the title at Extreme Rules.
Office: Shane McMahon was shown talking on the phone. Charlotte and Ric Flair walked in for a conversation. Flair tried to butter up Shane, then Charlotte got to their point of Steph not being nice banning Ric from ringside at Extreme Rules. Shane said Steph’s decision will stand and Charlotte will need to learn how to stand on her own two feet. Shane said Flair will also be banned tonight. They didn’t like that, but Charlotte pushed Ric away to try to figure out a strategy.
Backstage: Jo-Jo brought in A.J. Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows for an interview. Styles wanted to talk about what happened last week on Raw before discussing tonight’s tag match. Styles said Reigns put him through a table last week on Raw after he tried to take the high road not using a chair. Tonight, he will do what he needs to do against Reigns. He said tonight the Club is back together again. Styles, Karl, and Doc too-sweeted to live cheers and walked off.
[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:44]
Back from break, Fandango’s music was randomly playing as the announcers read some ads. Fandango, Goldust, R-Truth, and Tyler Breeze were in the ring dancing and shaking. Cole plugged the tag match scenario this Thursday on Smackdown. It’s singles action tonight.
2 — FANDANGO (w/Goldust) vs. R-TRUTH (w/Tyler Breeze)
A few fans in the crowd started a “We Want Sandow” chant in the opening seconds. Truth went for ten punches in the corner, but Fandango pushed him down to the floor, almost knocking out the cameraman in the process. Back in the ring, Fandango lit up Truth with a right hand. Meanwhile, Breeze worked the selfie stick instead of rallying his tag partner.
Fandango continued to impress by smashing Truth with a dropkick before dancing in front of Goldust. Breeze took exception, then got bumped off the ring apron. Truth nailed a distracted Fandango with the Lie Detector for the pin and the win. Goldust sold shock as Truth celebrated in the ring.
WINNER: Truth at 2:12. So random. Fandango was impressive making the most of his minutes.
Office IC Title situation: Shane and Stephanie McMahon waited out the IC Title participants yelling about the situation. Steph yelled at them to quiet down. She booked a triple threat match between The Miz, Cesaro, and Kevin Owens at Extreme Rules. But, Sami Zayn walked in. He said he wants to be part of the mix. Owens yelled that Zayn has done nothing to earn it. Zayn came up with an idea that if he beats Miz tonight, then he gets added to the title match to make it a fatal four-way. Shane liked the idea and Steph agreed. Miz of course did not, prompting Steph to tell him no one asked for his thoughts. She said it’s official for tonight. Everyone left except for Owens, who lingered in the room wanting to take exception. But, Steph sent him away. Shane said she did good there; Steph said “we” did good. She smiled at Shane, who sold being disturbed and quizzical by his sister continuing to act nice.
[Commercial Break at 8:53]
Announcers: Cole, Saxton, and JBL were joined by Natalya for commentary on the next match. Cole wanted to know for sure whether Natalya quit against Charlotte at Payback. “No,” she firmly said. Charlotte’s music then produced the Women’s champion all by herself. Cole plugged Charlotte vs. Natalya at Extreme Rules in two weeks. Natalya and JBL argued a bit, with Natalya offering a strong comeback about herself or Uncle Bret putting JBL in the Sharpshooter. Paige was introduced as Charlotte’s opponent.
[Q5 — second hour]
3 — Women’s champion CHARLOTTE vs. PAIGE — non-title match — Ric Flair banned from ringside
Natalya continued to battle JBL in a verbal exchange as the bell sounded, which sounded quite jarring since JBL has ruled the announce table for what seems like years. Meanwhile, in the ring, Charlotte mocked Paige by screaming that this is her house, which led to Paige smashing her off the ring apron to the floor. Charlotte regained control when Paige took the bait chasing the champ around ringside.
Back in the ring, the crowd engaged trying to rally behind Paige, who ducked a clothesline and scored a close nearfall. Charlotte wanted a top-rope moonsault, but Paige cut her off. Superplex from Paige, but she could not follow up.
Chaos broke out with Charlotte going for a pin using her feet on the ropes, which brought over Natalya to yell at Charlotte. Natalya’s involvement produced Ric Flair walking down to ringside to yell at Natalya and defend his daughter. Shane McMahon’s music then played to bring out Shane and several refs to get Flair away from ringside. All of this led to Paige rolling up Charlotte from behind for the win.
Post-match, Flair freaked out half-way up the ramp as Shane tried to push him to the back. Charlotte threw a fit in the ring as Paige celebrated on the floor and Natalya smiled from the other side of ringside.
WINNER: Paige at 7:43. The heel got some comeuppance on TV, but it points to Charlotte getting the win at Extreme Rules. Overall, fine trying to re-balance the heel/face dynamic to make Raw seem more enjoyable to the average viewer.
Earlier Tonight: Big Cass answered Chris Jericho, setting up tonight’s main event. Also still to come: The Family vs. The Club.
[Commercial Break at 9:10]
In-ring: Sami Zayn was introduced to the ring for the next match trying to get an IC Title spot at the Extreme Rules PPV. The Miz’s music played to bring out a red carpet ring entrance. The Miz and Maryse made their way down to the ring as Cole noted the importance of this match for Miz trying to avoid adding a third challenger to his title in two weeks.
4 — IC champion THE MIZ (w/Maryse) vs. SAMI ZAYN — non-title match — Zayn added to IC Title match at Extreme Rules if he wins
Zayn and Miz traded control as Zayn sold a back injury of sorts. Zayn sent Miz tumbling to the floor with a head scissors, then went for a suicide dive, but Maryse pulled Miz away to safety. On the floor, Miz tried to shoot Zayn into the barricade, but Zayn ran off the barricade with a moonsault onto Miz. “Sami, Sami” chants from the crowd.
Still on the floor, Zayn smashed Miz into the guardrail on each side of the ringside area. Maryse started yelling at her fellow Montreal compadre, prompting Zayn to turn around and glare at her. Raw headed to break with Miz in trouble.
[Commercial Break at 9:22]
Back from break, Zayn continued to work on Miz in the ring. “Ole, ole!” chants from the crowd as Zayn worked over Miz, making the champ look like a chump. Miz finally caught Zayn in the corner and lifted him clear over the top rope into the ring steps. WWE cut to a shot of Kevin Owens watching from a very dark locker room area. Cesaro was watching somewhere else standing in front of a monitor.
Back in the ring, Miz finally built offense with a big boot to the face followed by a double axehandle smash. Miz wanted the Skullcrushing Finale, but Zayn tossed Miz to the mat. Miz got up and DDT’ed Zayn for a two count. He still couldn’t put Zayn away. “Sami, Sami” chant from an engaged crowd.
Miz wanted the figure-four leglock, but Zayn kicked him away to the corner. Zayn followed with a Michinoku Driver for a close two count. Maryse sold concern as Miz recovered on the mat. Zayn then lifted Miz into the air to slam him in the corner. Zayn wanted a top-rope move, but Miz got up at the last second and dropkicked Zayn at the knees. Figure-Four Take 2. Zayn fought the hold as the crowd rallied. Zayn reached toward the bottom rope, then finally got his fingertips on the bottom rope to get a break.
After breaking, Miz angrily attacked Zayn with boots to the chest. Miz then tried a leverage pin using the ropes, but ref John Cone saw it and stopped his count. Miz argued, then ran right into an exploder suplex in the corner. Zayn stalked Miz and smashed him with the Helluva Kick. Miz crumpled to the mat and Zayn covered him for the win.
[Q7] Post-match, WWE cut backstage to Owens selling annoyance; somewhere else, Cesaro half-smiled. “Okay, now we know who all the players are,” was Cesaro’s confident reaction. Back to Zayn fired up over his victory while Miz clutched his title belt like a scared champion.
WINNER: Zayn at 12:49 to earn IC Title shot at Extreme Rules. Nice “big match” victory for Zayn. This was a good TV match with Miz continuing to up his game since Maryse joined him after WrestleMania. And, Zayn had another great outing, engaging a crowd that is still getting to know him. (***)
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Becky Lynch to discuss her feud with Emma. She said the next time they are in the ring together, Emma is in store for an Irish lass-kicking. Emma walked into the interview spot to taunt Becky, then warn her to have eyes in the back of her head. Suddenly, Dana Brooke from NXT attacked Becky from behind. Dana, making her WWE TV debut, patted Becky on the head after saying play time is over.
[Commercial Break at 9:33]
The Quest: Darren Young needs a guiding light. This was a replay of his debut vignette from Smackdown introducing Bob Backlund as his life coach in a split-screen pre-taped promo. Backlund reminded D-Young that “wrestling is life.” Playing up Donald Trump’s presidential slogan, the vignette closed with “Make Darren Young great again.”
Announcers: Cole and Co. sold not sure what to do with the vignette. Cole then fed to New Day and Sasha Banks at the video game set for Up Up Down Down. Xavier brought in Dolph Ziggler to join them. A stagehand walked in with a Pizza Hut product placement. Ziggler was left with just one slice, but Big E. took the slice. The goofiness led to…
Office: Zack Ryder talked to Shane McMahon about almost winning the U.S. Title #1 contender battle royal last week. Suddenly, Kevin Owens barged in. Owens said he thinks this “new era” of Shane McMahon’s is about handing title shots to whiny, undeserving people. Oh, hey, Zack Ryder. Owens said Zayn should not be a factor in his IC Title match at Extreme Rules. Ryder presented an argument that he should be in the IC Title match at Extreme Rules. Owens said this is all ridiculous, but Shane got an idea that if Ryder beats Owens tonight, then Ryder would take his place in the title match. Owens offered his absurd laugh, then walked off. Ryder shook hands with Shane, who told him he has to do the work.
Locker Room: Roman Reigns and The Usos mumbled to themselves at their stalls. The crowd booed Reigns’s first appearance of the night, then some cheers were heard from the pro-Reigns fans. Tom Phillips walked in for an interview with The Family. Reigns said it doesn’t matter if it becomes one versus three or one versus all tonight. He said they will eliminate Anderson and Gallows, then “I will eliminate A.J. Styles.” The crowd booed.
In-ring: Lucha Dragons’s music played to bring out U.S. champion Kalisto and Sin Cara for singles action. Cole hyped Sin Cara against Rusev next.
[Commercial Break at 9:41]
[Q8] In-ring: Rusev made his ring entrance, then WWE showed a pre-show interview from Kalisto vowing to fight the giant, Rusev, at Extreme Rules.
5 — RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. SIN CARA (w/U.S. champion Kalisto)
Rusev quickly pummeled Sin Cara with knees to the gut. Rusev followed with a short-arm clothesline, then taunted Kalisto. Big gutwrench slam, then a bearhug wearing down Cara. Cara finally fought back and knocked Rusev to the floor. Sin Cara landed a splash on the floor, then tried a top rope move, but Rusev avoided and kicked Cara in the face.
“Rusev Crush!” he shouted in Kalisto’s face. Kalisto tried to get involved, drawing Lana to the opposite ring apron. The ref focused on Lana, Sin Cara rolled up a distracted Rusev from behind, Cara held the roll-up for what seemed like eight seconds as the referee took a while to get over, and Cara actually got a three count, making Rusev look silly for being pinned to the mat for so long.
Post-match, Rusev sold shock as Sin Cara celebrated with Kalisto on the outside. Rusev picked up ring steps and chucked them across the ringside area as the Lucha Dragons headed for higher ground.
WINNER: Sin Cara at 3:46. They finally start building up Rusev and then make him look foolish with the finish. The faces are having a good time tonight, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
Up Next: The Club vs. The Family elimination tag match.
[Commercial Break at 9:55]
Vignette: Puerto Rico is in trouble, but not if you ask Primo & Epico. They are surrounded by history, flowers, food, and nightlife. They “arrive next week.”
In-ring: The ominous theme music of Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows played to bring out the former IWGP World tag champions. A.J. Styles’s theme played next to bring out the former IWGP World Hvt. champion for a solo ring entrance. Styles strutted down to the ring and too-sweeted Doc & Karl before hitting the ring. JBL talked up “The Club” dominating Japan.
[Q9 — third hour] The former Shield music produced the WWE World champ Roman Reigns and The Usos for a big showdown. Cole plugged Reigns vs. Styles in two weeks at Extreme Rules. All six men came together in the middle of the ring as referee Rudy Charles tried to get some order before things broke down.
6 — THE CLUB (A.J. STYLES & KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS) vs. THE FAMILY (WWE World Hvt. champion ROMAN REIGNS & THE USOS) — six-man elimination tag match
Anderson and Jey Uso started things off. Anderson roughed up Jey, then Jey answered with a big dropkick. Tag to Reigns to boos. Reigns whipped his cousins into Anderson in the corner, then clotheslined Anderson to the mat. Jimmy covered for a two count. But, Anderson kicked Uso into The Club Corner to bring in Gallows. Tag to Styles, who walked across the ring to stare down Reigns before splashing Jimmy in the opposite corner.
The teams traded control before Gallows punched Jey in the mouth from the outside. Anderson then rolled up a stunned Uso from behind with a hook of the tights for a three count. Reigns yelled from across the ring that he saw that and it’s on now.
*** Jey Uso eliminated by Anderson at 2:39 ***
Reigns stepped forward to fight for his family next. Styles wanted Reigns, but Gallows decided he wanted to big man vs. big man. Gallows took uppercuts from Reigns, then Reigns knocked down Styles on the ring apron with a Superman Punch. Uso tagged in with a splash to Gallows, then enziguiri kick. He followed with a Rikishi butt splash, but Gallows no-sold and kicked Jimmy in the face.
Gallows tagged in Anderson, who cockily approached Jimmy. However, Anderson left himself open to be rolled up for a quick pin from Uso. Anderson flipped out after being eliminated while Reigns smiled at Karl getting his comeuppance for the first elimination. Raw cut to break with the match now two-on-two.
*** Anderson eliminated by Jimmy Uso at 4:44 ***
[Commercial Break at 10:07]
There was an elimination during the break, as A.J. Styles pinned Jimmy Uso with his springboard forearm finisher.
*** Jimmy Uso eliminated by Styles ***
It was Reigns against Styles and Gallows. Suddenly, Reigns smashed Gallows and pinned him for the next-to-last elimination, making it one-on-one.
*** Gallows eliminated by Reigns at 9:20 ***
As soon as the elimination went down, Styles charged Reigns and lit him up with rapid-fire offense. Styles smashed Reigns with a Pele Kick, rocking the champ into the ropes as the pro-Reigns fans shrieked. Styles then knocked Reigns to the floor before delivering a plancha. Styles wanted to give Reigns a taste of his own medicine clearing the announce table. However, Reigns cut off Styles and launched him over the table into the barricade.
Reigns angrily tossed the announcers’s office chairs aside, then measured Styles for a powerbomb through the table, but Karl Anderson smashed Reigns from behind with a steel chair. The ref called for the bell, DQ’ing Styles’s team.
Post-match, The Usos stormed ringside to try to even the fight. But, Karl and Doc cleared The Usos from the ring. They didn’t see Reigns, though, who charged Gallows for a big spear. But, Anderson had a chair. Reigns speared Anderson anyways. Reigns picked up the chair, but Styles surprised him with a kick to the face. Styles was the last man standing. This time, Styles was going to use the chair after warning him. Big roar for a potential Styles Clash on the chair, but Reigns blocked and dumped Styles to the ring apron.
[Q10] The calm. Reigns and Styles paused for a big stare down while also looking down at the chair resting in the middle of the ring. Styles contemplated a springboard move, then Reigns picked up the chair. He dropped the chair on the mat in front of Styles. Loud dueling chant of “A-J Styles / Roman Reigns.” Styles then kicked the chair toward Reigns, telling him to pick it up. Reigns picked it up as Styles looked for a springboard move, but Reigns ducked and Styles slid out of the ring. Styles yelled from the floor that it’s coming for him. He said they’ll end it in two weeks.
Reigns’s music played, then Reigns held up the WWE Title belt in the air. There was audio of pro-Reigns fans cheering and visual of non-Reigns/pro-Styles fans with thumbs downs in the background. Raw cut to break with a big stare down between Reigns and Styles.
WINNER: Reigns via DQ at 11:40. The rapid-fire eliminations were as usual unrealistic, but indirectly built to a strong post-match selling the escalating Reigns-Styles dynamic. They’re building to a strong crescendo at Extreme Rules.
[Commercial Break at 10:18]
NXT plug: Samoa Joe is the new NXT champion and Finn Balor is no longer champion. Now, Balor returns this Wednesday on WWE Network.
Moments Ago: Cole incorporated Balor’s plug into a recap of the previous segment, saying Balor knows all about what the guys in the previous match are about. Subtle. Cole recapped the six-man tag breaking down into a Reigns-Styles showdown. The announcers were shown on-camera setting the stage for the title re-match at Extreme Rules.
In-ring: Zack Ryder was introduced to the ring trying to get Kevin Owens’s spot in the IC Title match at Extreme Rules. As Owens made his way to the ring, Cole plugged KO on ESPNews SportsCenter tomorrow night.
7 — KEVIN OWENS vs. ZACK RYDER — Ryder gets Owens’s IC Title spot at Extreme Rules if he wins
Owens angrily grabbed a headlock once the bell sounded. He then squashed Ryder with a flying senton. Owens mocked Ryder’s “woo woo woo,” then stomped his chest. Owens tried to follow with a cannonball splash, but Ryder moved. Ryder took his opening to try a Broski Boot, but Owens rolled out of the ring to avoid the boot. So, Ryder followed on the floor with a leaping forearm.
Back in the ring, Ryder delivered a top-rope flying elbow for a close two count. Ryder wanted to end Owens with a Rough Ryder, but Owens tossed him into the air. Superkick from Owens. Big powerbomb followed. Owens covered Ryder for the win.
Post-match, Owens rolled out of the ring to yell at Michael Cole that it’s the Kevin Owens Show. Cole made it official that it’s Miz vs. Owens vs. Zayn vs. Cesaro at Extreme Roles.
WINNER: Owens at 4:o5 to retain his spot at Extreme Rules. Fine match putting something on the line to enhance otherwise a basic singles match.
[Q11] Announcers: Cole reset the show and promoted Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho in the main event. They went to footage from Payback when Enzo Amore was knocked out, leaving Cass without a tag partner. Cole said Enzo is still recovering from a concussion.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Big Cass for an interview to discuss the “new era” of WWE. Cass said tonight is the biggest match of his career, which he is dedicating to his tag partner. In honor of Enzo, the match will go a little something like this – bad-a-boom, I’ll be the only one left standing in the room. How you doin’?
[Commercial Break at 10:32]
Back from break, former WWE Creative Team writer Freddy Prinze, Jr. plugged a new USA Network show via Facebook video and introduced New Day. Big E. led out the tag champs as Cole read a plug for Prinze’s new show premiering tomorrow night on USA Network.
As New Day did their intro in the ring, WWE cut to an inset promo of The Vaudevillains delivering a black & white message to New Day about ending their title reign at Extreme Rules. In the ring, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E. hyped their Tag Title defense against The Vaudevillians in two weeks. Xavier vowed to use their extreme booty … O. Kofi pulled out the over-sized Booty-O from WrestleMania and honored it. Xavier sang about it, then Big E. talked about the Vaudes not appreciating a good booty … O.
Big E. said The Vaudevillians come from an era that was not very nice to them. The crowd oohed. No no, Big E. said people were not nice to smart phone users back then. Big E. then told the crowd to call their parents, grandparents, the whole family to tell them that New Day Rocks. The Dudleys’s music interrupted to bring out their opponents.
[Commercial Break at 10:40]
8 — WWE tag champions NEW DAY (KOFI KINGSTON & BIG E. w/Xavier Woods) vs. THE DUDLEYS (BUBBA RAY & DEVON DUDLEY) — non-title match
The match was joined in progress with The Dudleys in control. Kofi finally cut off Bubba and tagged in Big E., who delivered a big running splash to Bubba. Kofi tagged in and collided with Bubba, which led to Devon tagging in. Devon lost control, then New Day did the stampede on Devon.
Suddenly, The Vaudevillians charged ringside to attack Xavier Woods. Chaos broke out ringside with Bubba taking out Big E. Chaos spilled back into the ring, where Devon eventually ended Kofi with a smashing lariat. Devon pinned Kofi for the win.
Post-match, The Vaudevillians attacked Kofi Kingston in the ring. Whirling Dervish for Kofi as the other New Day members sold on the floor. Aiden played to the crowd as Gotch looked lost. The Vaudes eventually hit the ramp to make the imaginary belt-around-the-waist motion.
WINNERS: Dudleys at 5:07. Sometimes it’s mid-way through the first hour. Other weeks it’s mid-way through the second hour. It looked like Raw was going to go a whole show without that inevitable lull segment customary for a three-hour Raw, but this was that match.
Up Next: Jericho vs. Big Cass main event.
[Commercial Break at 10:51]
Back from break, WWE announced two more matches for this week’s Smackdown episode.
- Roman Reigns vs. Luke Gallows
- Cesaro & Zayn vs. Owens & IC champ Miz
- (not plugged) Goldust & Fandango vs. Truth & Tyler Breeze
In-ring: Big Cass was introduced to the ring for the main event. Cole plugged Raw in Bruce Mitchell Country of Greensboro, N.C. next Monday, with good seats still available. Chris Jericho was then introduced as Cass’s opponent.
In the middle of Jericho’s darkened ring entrance, someone attacked him. The man took Jericho’s light-up ring jacket, then sort of stumbled down the ring entrance and posed in the middle of the ring. It was of course Dean Ambrose when the lights came back up. Ambrose posed like a crazy man in the ring as Jericho stayed on the stage selling being freaked out.
Jericho yelled from the stage about Ambrose taking off that jacket right now. Instead, Ambrose played with the jacket before slowly removing it. Ambrose then ripped open the jacket, causing Jericho to freak out. Ambrose pulled out the cord that lights up his jacket, drawing Jericho running to the ring.
[Q13 — over-run] The fight was on in the middle of the ring. Ambrose pummeled Jericho into the corner as Big Cass appeared to disappear. How does a seven-foot guy disappear like that? Suddenly, Big Cass was back at ringside to stand in Jericho’s way. Jericho yelled at him to get out of the way, so he slapped Cass across the face. Cass responded by grabbing him around the throat and tossing him into the guardrail.
Cass tossed Jericho back into the ring, where Ambrose dropped Jericho with Dirty Deeds. Ambrose then pulled out a pair of scissors and cut up the jacket. Ambrose ripped up the remaining scraps and kicked it away toward Jericho as JBL and Saxton debated whether Goodwill will take the item. JBL said it belongs in a museum.
9 — CHRIS JERICHO vs. BIG CASS
WINNER: No Match.
Office: Stephanie and Shane watched as Ambrose went eye-for-eye or jacket-for-potted plant. Shane said he doesn’t know where Steph’s new attitude is coming from, but he thinks they worked pretty well tonight. Steph joked about maybe filming an episode of “Ride Along” (WWE Network plug). Shane said let’s not push it. Shane said he needs to take this call, then left the office to take a phone call. Steph lingered and looked at the photo of Vince & Shane that she got for Shane a few weeks ago. Steph stared at the photo, then smiled, hinting that she has a soft spot for Shane right now. But, it could turn into rage if she feels the wrong emotion about Shane one week.
Raw cut back to the ringside area, where Dean continued to celebrate. Meanwhile, Jericho yelled at Dean that this jacket cost $15,000. WWE tried to find a note to sign off with as Dean and Jericho kept glaring at each other. Jericho cried through the pain of losing his jacket, then WWE replayed the jacket-ripping. Back to Jericho screaming and shouting some more, vowing to make Ambrose pay for this. They couldn’t find a high note, so Raw closed five minutes past the top of the hour with Raw book-ended by a feud over a potted plant and a jacket.
FINAL REAX: It’s inescapable. It’s physically impossible to make it through a three-hour Raw without losing momentum and having a dull period somewhere along the way where the crowd disinvests. Unfortunately for WWE, it was the final two segments of the show. Otherwise, a strong show with good pacing. There just isn’t a central story among the wrestlers (non-McMahons) from week-to-week. Some weeks it’s Styles-Reigns. Other weeks it’s Jericho-Ambrose. Some weeks it’s the (disappearing) Wyatt Family. WWE does not have a leading man with the WWE Title held by an upper-mid-carder, John Cena on the shelf for several months, and new stars being introduced post-WrestleMania. WWE has created a tough position for themselves trying to retain the audience right now, despite an improved show this week.
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