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WWE leads into the Extreme Rules PPV Monday night on Raw with another round of The Family vs. The Club hyping Roman Reigns vs. A.J. Styles at the PPV. …
WWE Raw TV Report
May 16, 2016 – Episode #1,199
Live in Greensboro, N.C.
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 3 of Shane & Stephanie McMahon running Raw
- Hype for Extreme Rules on Sunday
- A.J. Styles promo on Roman Reigns
- The Usos vs. The Club (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows)
- Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro singles match
- Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match
- Becky Lynch vs. Dana Brooke (Brooke’s Raw in-ring debut)
- Women’s Title contract signing between Charlotte and Natalya
- Dean Ambrose calls out Chris Jericho
- Repackaged Colons (The Shooting Stars) debut on Raw
- Announcers: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, and JBL. Lilian Garcia returns as ring announcer.
Raw opened with the standard intro video and full pyro before Michael Cole introduced the show from the Greensboro Coliseum. Cole and Co. hyped the Usos vs. Gallows & Anderson match later tonight.
After a pause, A.J. Styles’s music played to a big pop to bring out the #1 contender to the WWE Title. Styles came out on-stage and posed for the crowd before marching down to the ring fired up in favorable territory. Bruce Mitchell live in the building: “They like A.J.”
Once in the ring, Styles waited out an “A-J-Styles” chant. Styles said he wants to set the record straight about Roman Reigns calling him a liar. He said he’s heard it at the restaurant, at the airport, and on social media. He said people think he, Karl, and Doc came up with a masterplan for him to become WWE World champion. Styles threw to tweets on the video screen. No one cared about WWE’s social media stuff. A few fans filled in the air-time with a “Bullet Club” chant.
Styles said he’s headlined the Tokyo Dome and been champion all over the world, so for some people who don’t know him, he’s not phenomenal for nothing. Styles said he will become WWE champion on his own. Suddenly, Roman Reigns’s music interrupted to loud boos. Reigns marched down to the ring with the WWE Title belt over his shoulder as Styles stood his ground in the ring.
Reigns’s music stopped to loud boos. Reigns looked him up and down, then talked about Styles headlining all over the world and winning titles everywhere. But, he doesn’t think that matters until you win The Title. Reigns paused to listen to a light chant. It was for Seth Rollins. Reigns said you’re not getting Seth Rollins, but him and A.J. at Extreme Rules.
Reigns said he’s going to be in the Usos’s corner tonight, so where are you going to be A.J.? Styles said he’ll be there and he’ll follow Reigns all over the place until he wins the title. Reigns started to reply, but Styles cut him off that he gets it that Reigns is not a good guy, not a bad guy, but The Guy. Styles added: “The Guy who I will beat on Sunday,” which popped the crowd.
Reigns said Styles won’t out-wrestle him on Sunday because that won’t matter at Extreme Rules. He said it’s going to be a big fight with chairs and announce tables. Reigns said Styles can’t beat him one-on-one, so he’ll have The Usos ready for Extreme Rules. Styles referenced Reigns using chairs against him to yell that he’s going to wrap the chair around Reigns’s head on Sunday. Oops.
Suddenly, Karl & Doc’s music interrupted. Reigns mouthed “I knew it!” as Styles turned around to see his buddies walking down the ramp. Suddenly, The Usos were in the ring having Reigns’s back. Styles turned around and Reigns punched him out of the ring. Loud boos for Reigns & The Usos standing tall in the ring. Styles recovered on the floor with Karl & Doc, then yelled at Cocky Reigns that he’s going to tear him up on Sunday. Cole said tag action is later tonight with all of these combustible elements.
Up Next: Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro to preview the IC Title match at Extreme Rules.
In-ring: Before cutting to break, WWE played The Miz’s music to bring out the IC champion and Maryse. They’ll be ringside to watch the Zayn-Cesaro warm-up match. Lilian Garcia’s voice was heard introducing Miz & Maryse before Raw went to break.
[Q2] [Commercial Break at 8:15]
Back from break, Kevin Owens’s music was playing. Owens came down to ringside to sit next to JBL on commentary. Meanwhile, Miz was on the other side of the table with Maryse. Owens and Miz argued across the announce table, then Owens sent a message to Maryse in French. Everyone went quiet for Lilian to introduce Sami Zayn for the opening match. Cole cut to footage from Smackdown of Zayn accidentally kicking Cesaro during a tag match against Owens and Miz. Cesaro then did his James Bond entrance to face Zayn.
1 — SAMI ZAYN vs. CESARO
Zayn quickly whipped Cesaro to the outside, then teased a flip-dive, but Cesaro walked away from ringside. Cesaro sat on the guardrail teasing Zayn, who posed in the ring. Suddenly, Owens decided that he wanted nothing to do with this. He started to leave ringside, but attacked Miz. Owens grabbed the IC Title belt and tried to leave, but Miz attacked him. The fight spilled into the ring, where everyone started fighting. The bell sounded to throw out the match.
WINNER: No Contest at 1:39.
Post-match, Shane McMahon’s music played to bring out one-half of the authority figures. Shane waited out a big pop, cheap-popped the crowd, and got down to business. He said all four of them are getting their aggression out tonight by teaming together. He booked the same match from Smackdown they just replayed – Zayn & Cesaro vs. Owens & Miz. All four guys complained down at ringside.
Suddenly, Stephanie McMahon’s music interrupted to boos. Friendly Steph said given what happened on Smackdown last week, she thinks the better pairing would be Miz & Cesaro against Owens & Zayn. Owens freaked the heck out. Steph warned Owens that if he walks out on Zayn tonight, then don’t bother showing up on Sunday. So, he better rekindle his friendship with Zayn. Shane said the match begins right now. Owens freaked out again heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:25]
2 — SAMI ZAYN & KEVIN OWENS vs. CESARO & IC champion THE MIZ (w/Maryse)
The match was joined in progress with Owens battling Cesaro. Owens took punishment, then crawled across the ring to where Zayn mock-applauded him doing a great job. Owens slap-tagged him into the match, yelling at him to do better. Zayn and Cesaro locked up to continue the original match in this scenario.
[Q3] After Zayn and Cesaro traded wrestling holds, Miz tagged in and battled Zayn. Owens then tagged himself in and landed offense on Miz before yelling at Zayn. Owens nearly got rolled up from behind by Miz, but escaped in time. Owens yelled at Zayn, who tagged in to knife-edge chop Miz in Flair Country. Suddenly, Maryse yelled at Zayn, who took his eye of the ball, allowing Miz to smash Zayn off the ring apron to the floor. Miz in control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:32]
Back from break, the crowd was booing. Why? Miz was celebrating himself in the ring. Miz nailed a top-rope double axe handle on Zayn, then gloated in front of Owens, who mocked him for being oh so talented. Tag to Cesaro, who delivered his own double axe handle. “That’s how you do it,” Cesaro told Miz. Miz then blind-tagged himself into the match and nearly got rolled up by Zayn.
Zayn fell back into his corner, which Owens of course took advantage of by tagging himself into the match. Huge flurry of offense from Owens, including a cannonball splash to Miz for a two count. The crowd definitely liked Owens’s offense, which the announcers noted. Owens couldn’t put Miz away, though, then Cesaro tagged in and took Owens for a ride on the Uppercut Train. Cesaro finished with a dropkick.
Zayn tagged in for Owens, then Miz tagged himself in after Cesaro wiped out Zayn. Miz tossed Cesaro out of the ring, then approached Zayn to do the Big Swing, but Cesaro grabbed Miz from behind and gave him his own Skullcrushing Finale. “They’re partners!” Saxton noted. Chaos everywhere. Zayn smashed Miz with the Helluva Kick, then pinned the IC champion for the win.
Post-match: Zayn celebrated his victory over the champ, but Owens blind-sided his “tag partner.” Owens stood over Zayn and yelled at him before leaving the ring, vowing to win back *his* IC Title.
WINNERS: Zayn & Owens at 10:48 of what was shown. Interesting tag match getting across all of the dynamics heading into the PPV. Good action throughout.
Announcers: Cole and Co. hyped WWE Network.
Backstage: Renee Young knocked on Chris Jericho’s locker room door. Renee asked a weirdly-written question, setting up Jericho to angrily reply about forcing Dean Ambrose to apologize for his destroying his jacket. He said his jacket should be in the Smithsonian. (“It’s a museum.”) Jericho said wants to have Dean arrested, but he will give Dean one chance to apologize to him. Otherwise, he will make him very, very sorry.
Up Next: The Shining Stars are coming to Raw.
[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:44]
Golden Corral sponsored a video package on Apollo Crews.
In-ring: A generic voice-over produced The Shining Stars, formerly the Colons, formerly Los Matadores. Primo and Epico emerged on-stage to generic Latin dance music. They had mics. Primo and Epico walked and talked about this ring being their island. Epico said whenever they get in the ring, it transforms into their own personal island. Primo said they welcome tourists, like these two jobbers in the ring, to join them in Puerto Rico. The Colons took a sniff of their flowers before the bell sounded.
3 — SHINING STARS (PRIMO & EPICO) vs. SCOTT JACKSON & BRYAN (BRIAN?) KENNEDY
Cole gave each of the jobbers a name as Primo and Epico picked them apart. Local independent wrestling star John Skylar was given a name of Scott Jackson (which didn’t work since “Skylar” was written on the back of his trunks). Primo and Epico combined for the “Shining Star” double-team combo on the man identified as Bryan Kennedy for the win. Meanwhile, fans milled about in the arena facing the hard camera.
Post-match, Primo and Epico took the mic. They said together that everyone should come to Puerto Rico and take part in the shining star of the Caribbean. Big smiles to wrap up their oblivious celebration.
WINNERS: Primo & Epico at 1:35. Well, that was something. Epico looked more comfortable emoting facially than Primo after they wrestled under masks for the past few years.
Backstage: Dean Ambrose was shown talking to Shane McMahon. Dean is up next.
[Commercial Break at 8:52]
Hype Video: John Cena returns in two weeks.
Dean Ambrose Segment
Dean Ambrose’s music played five minutes before the top of the hour to bring out Ambrose sporting a messed-up left eye. Or, maybe it was his hair creating a dark shadow over his eye. Cole recapped the Jericho-Ambrose fights over the past few weeks, then Dean stood in the ring waiting out his name being chanted.
Ambrose said he’s never agreed with the assessment that he’s crazy. Then, Jericho put him in a straight-jacket last week on Smackdown. He said he felt like he was in jail or an asylum, and he didn’t like it at all. Dean said he felt something in his head snap. And, he decided there is something he has to do. Ambrose called out Jericho for a little chat right now.
No sign of Jericho. After a pause, Jericho’s music played. Jericho walked out on-stage and told Dean to shut up. He said he’s going to tell Dean what to say. And then Dean is going to apologize him for destroying his $15,000 piece of property. Jericho said he has a lot of cash and he’s a multi-millionaire, but $15,000 is a lot of money… and he destroyed a piece of his legacy. He wants that apology right now!
[Q5 — second hour] Dean looked around the arena wondering if he should apology, drawing “No!” chants from the crowd. Jericho told Dean to apologize. Dean said that’s not happening. See, he called out Jericho to challenge him to a match at Extreme Rules. Jericho said he figured this was the game. All right, you stupid idiot, you want a match? Jericho vowed to take $15,000 out of Dean’s ass. You want a match? You got a match!
Dean wanted to make sure Jericho is up for it. It is Extreme Rules after all. Are you still up for that sort of thing? Jericho laughed to himself. He said he can see right through you, maaaan. Jericho said he really is a lunatic. He said no one in this company is crazier than he is. Jericho said he has faced every single strange character in this company and he has beaten them all. Do you understand what I am saying to you right now?!
Dean kept pacing the ring listening to Jericho in one ear while looking down at the mat. Jericho tried to get his attention by vowing to show Dean what a real lunatic looks like. Dean looked up and nodded along, having another card to play. Jericho said he’s going to give Dean what he craves. The Gift of Jericho. “Drink it in, Dean.”
Dean said he has a gift for Jericho, too. The camera pulled back to reveal the steel cage hanging above the ring. Dean looked up as generic scary music played from a 1980s thriller. Or, early 1990s WCW theme music. Dean warned Jericho that he talked to Shane McMahon about having any type of match he wants at Extreme Rules. Weapons were shown dangling from the cage as it lowered to the ground.
Dean announced the first-ever Asylum Cage Match on Sunday. As Jericho watched with a curious and scared look on his face, Dean broke down the dangerous nature of the cage. Ambrose said there is no escape from this cage. They’re fixing the WWE cage match format! Dean vowed to make Jericho beg and scream for mercy. He vowed to make Jericho scream and beg for mercy. “And you, Chris Jericho, will never, eeeeeeever be the same again,” he closed.
Dean’s music played as JBL listed all of the weapons dangling from the cage. Jericho freaked out on the stage, yelling that Dean really is crazy. Dean continued to pace his cage as JBL tried to cover every weapon inside the cage. Even a mop! Plus, the Son of Mitch potted plant.
Earlier Tonight: Roman Reigns warned A.J. Styles about Extreme Rules.
Still to come: The Usos vs. Gallows & Anderson with Reigns and Styles in their respective corners.
Up Next: Becky Lynch and Dana Brooke were shown walking down the hallway in a split-screen. Suddenly, the split-screen went to a solo shot of Dana mocking three male production assistants. Dana told The Tall One to get in shape. He hung his head in shame as Dana walked off.
[Commercial Break at 9:10]
In-ring: Becky Lynch was introduced for singles action. WWE cut to footage from last week when Emma introduced Dana Brooke to Becky, who took a beating. With Emma gone with a back injury, Dana was introduced to the ring by herself. Cole noted Emma has been sidelined indefinitely, leaving Dana by herself.
4 — DANA BROOKE vs. BECKY LYNCH
Saxton, the designated NXT roster correspondent, noted that Dana likes the spotlight and will gladly pick up where Emma left off picking on Becky. JBL wondered why no one likes Becky. In the ring, Becky played the experience card out-quicking Dana before kicking her out of the ring. Becky then blasted her on the floor, but Dana turned it around by smashing Becky into the guardrail.
Back in the ring, Becky and Dana exchanged control until Becky fired off a round of dropkicks. Suddenly, Dana trapped Becky’s shoulders to the mat and sat on her to secure a three count for the win. Becky sold frustration losing as Dana gloated on the outside.
WINNER: Dana at 3:45. A month after WrestleMania, Becky is definitely in that Teflon babyface role of losing to up-and-coming heels. Not sure Dana is ready.
Still to come: Women’s Title contract signing between Charlotte and Natalya. Shane and Stephanie will preside. No sign of Ric Flair in the graphic.
[Commercial Break at 9:22]
Life Coach vignette: In a split-screen, Bob Backlund wanted Darren Young to tell him what time it is. D-Young pulled out his phone to check the time, which Backlund yelled at him for doing. He told him to check his watch. Young said no one wears a watch anymore. They argued about desktops on your computer/smartphone vs. actual desk. Backlund told him to do 200 squats for insubordination. D-Young agreed, saying whatever it takes. “Make Darren Young great again!” Backlund declared. This was so cheesy.
Backstage: Shane McMahon watched the vignette. He liked it. Stephanie walked in wanting to know who he was talking to. She actually wanted to talk about Dean Ambrose’s Asylum match. They called a truce on not running things by each other. In walked the Dudleys. Bubba Ray wanted to remind everyone about the Attitude Era. Devon said maybe they could give them two little North Carolina guys to eat up. Steph said that’s not how things work around here. Shane said it’s actually one of them against a big, seven-foot-guy, and you can’t teach that. Shane told them to pick who faces Big Cass. The Dudleys left, then Shane and Steph talked amongst themselves.
[Q7] Announcers: Cole said this has been five months in the making. The Golden Truth debuts up next. Cole fed to a lengthy video recap of their … interesting journey. Suddenly, Mauro Ranallo’s voice from Smackdown woke up the video.
In-ring: Goldust’s music played, then R-Truth’s music hit to formally introduce Golden Truth.
[Commercial Break at 9:33]
Back from break, Tyler Breeze’s music was playing out to set up the grudge tag match.
5 — GOLDEN TRUTH (GOLDUST & R-TRUTH) vs. TYLER BREEZE & FANDANGO
Truth and Goldust teed off on Breeze as soon as the bell sounded. “Golden Truth” chant from the crowd. Goldust wiped out Breeze and Fandango with spinebusters, then Truth slammed Fandango to the floor. Truth went for an axe kick on Breeze, but Breeze ducked and Goldust took the kick to the head. Breeze then pushed Truth out of the ring and covered Goldust for the win.
Post-match, Breeze came up bleeding from the side of his head as he celebrated with Fandango. Goldust and Truth argued in the ring as Truth tried to explain what happened.
WINNERS: Breeze & Fandango at 1:55. Some goofy crap that went shorter than the video package. Of course, WWE will defend it that it “got a reaction” with the Golden Truth chant.
[Commercial Break at 9:42]
[Q8] Backstage: Goldust hung his head as he walked down the hallway. Truth called after him not to be like that. Truth told him this was their first match together, not their last. So, they just have to get on the same page. They didn’t understand each other, then Truth summed it up that he wants Golden Truth and the audience does, too. Breeze and Fandango walked in to mock them for being the Golden Girls with time passing them by. Goldust didn’t appreciate that, then said Golden Truth is on. They bro-hugged.
In-ring: A table covered by a giant curtain was in the ring. Michael Cole said he has no idea what this is about. Big E.’s voice came over the loudspeaker to present WWE tag champs New Day. All three members walked out on-stage and danced down to the ring as the crowd cheered along. Xavier Woods worked the trombone, Big E. danced in the middle, and Kofi Kingston played to the crowd.
In the ring, Big E. told the crowd to pour a big ol’ bowl of Booty-O’s. Because this Sunday at Extreme Rules, they defend the Tag Titles against The Vaudevillains. Kofi said he doesn’t get why The Vaudes like the bygone era. Xavier had something to present. It was a time machine. Well, a piece of cardboard with a keyboard and some other stuff.
All three went inside the makeshift Time Machine, then Kofi Kingston’s old music suddenly played. Kofi emerged doing his Jamaican accent and shouting SOS. Xavier Woods, not as Consequences Creed, yanked Kofi back inside the Time Machine. Kofi resisted, shouting that 2009 was his best year. They came back out in the 1800s holding a box of Derrier Squares with no video games.
Suddenly, The Vaudes attacked New Day from behind. Aiden English and Simon Gotch took out all three members, then posed in the ring as New Day sold in the ring and on the floor. The Tag Title match is this Sunday. More goofiness more fitting for the Edge & Christian Show than Raw.
Up Next: The Usos vs. The Club at the top of the hour.
[Commercial Break at 9:53]
Smackdown plug: It’s Miz TV with Zayn, Owens, and Cesaro. Plus, Maryse joins Miz to host this chaos.
In-ring: Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows were introduced to the ring for the main event. A.J. Styles’s music played next to bring out Styles to complete The Club, which Cole noted goes back to their history in Japan. The Usos’s music played next to bring out the opposition. No pre-match war dance. Roman Reigns’s music played to loud boos to bring out the World champ joining his cousins. Before the match, Cole plugged Reigns on ESPNews SportsCenter tomorrow night.
[Q9 — third hour]
6 — KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS (w/A.J. Styles) vs. THE USOS (JIMMY & JEY USO) (w/WWE World Hvt. champion Roman Reigns)
Before the bell sounded, everyone stood in the ring jaw-jacking before referee Mike Chioda got some order. Anderson and Jimmy Uso started things off battling for control. Anderson scored early offense, then the Usos targeted a big bruise on Anderson’s chest by nailing chops. The Usos cleared Anderson from the ring, then The Club regrouped on the floor. Styles tried to talk some strategy before returning to the ring.
The match reset with a “We Want Balor” chant from the vocal fans facing the hard camera. Meanwhile, Gallows entered the ring to fight Jey Uso. Gallows landed repeat elbows to Uso’s chest, then tagged in Anderson, who stomped Uso in the Club’s corner. The action broke down on the floor as Styles and Reigns watched carefully from a distance. Raw cut to break with Styles and Reigns engaging in a heated discussion.
[Commercial Break at 10:06]
Back from break, Cole reset Raw from the historic Greensboro Coliseum. Chaos broke out leading to Jimmy dragging himself across the ring to tag in Jey Uso. Jey flew over the top rope with a splash to both Club members. Uso then tossed Anderson into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Uso delivered a flying cross-body splash for a close two count that wowed the pro-Reigns fans.
Styles and Reigns encouraged their tag partners from the outside, then Anderson caught Jey with a step-up kick to the head. Anderson then wanted a top-rope superplex, but Jey blocked. Counter, counter, block, and Anderson nailed a spinebuster in Flair Country. Cover, but only a two count. JBL noted Arn Anderson is smiling right now.
Anderson followed with a big kick to Uso, but Jimmy caught him with superkick. Gallows broke up a pin and all four men were in the ring. Double superkick to Gallows. One for Anderson. Jey Uso followed with a big top-rope splash on Anderson for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Usos at 12:47. Good heat on the “main event” tag match of the show leading into Extreme Rules.
Post-match, Reigns flashed a cocky smile on the floor. Styles then entered the ring to check on his teammates. Styles, scowling, turned around to face Reigns. Suddenly, Luke attacked Reigns from behind, knocking down Styles in the process. Chaos broke out again. The tag partners brawled on the floor while Styles and Reigns sold in the ring. Styles was the first man to his feet looking at a chair resting in the ring. Styles picked up the chair and contemplated bashing Reigns. He picked up the chair to use it, but Reigns caught him with an uppercut.
[Q10] Reigns stood over the chair, then picked it up and bashed Styles with it. But, Gallows attacked Reigns from behind, creating another brawl. Reigns smashed The Club, but the chair got loose and Styles decided now he was going to use it. Chair shot to Reigns’s back, popping the vocal males. One more chair shot, then a third. Styles threw the chair down on the mat, then scooped up Reigns and dropped him with the Styles Clash on the chair, popping the vocals. Styles threw his hair back and sold intensity as Reigns sold the effects on the mat. Cole wondered aloud if Styles is going to win the title on Sunday.
[ Reax: Hot crowd reaction for the main event angle. There is still an inherent flaw of the split crowd reaction that WWE can’t solve with Reigns as champion to get everyone on-board (and bring up the TV rating), but at least they’ve created a strong opposing force for vocal males to get behind wanting to see Reigns lose. ]
And that will do it for Raw… Actually, there’s another three segments left.
[Commercial Break at 10:18]
Moments Ago: Styles couldn’t pull the trigger on hitting Reigns with a chair, so Reigns bashed him, then The Club. Given a second chance after Reigns’s attack, Styles lit up Reigns with the chair, then finished him with the Styles Clash on the chair. It’s Reigns vs. Styles in an Extreme Rules match for the WWE Title on Sunday.
In-ring: Enzo Amore’s music played to produce Big Cass. The crowd was still receptive for just Big Cass, but it’s not quite the same level. When Enzo comes running out on-stage with Cass, it’s going to be a huge reaction. Once in the ring, Big Cass played up the New Era. He said he has a problem with The Dudleys, especially Devon a/k/a the Steve Urkel of the squared circle. As for Bubba Ray D-d-d-d-d-dudley, he put his big, foot fat in his mouth, so now he’s going to send him back to the Stone Age. Cass said he doesn’t care which one of them he faces tonight because he will prove there is only one word to describe them.
The Dudleys’s music played to interrupt before Cass could spell them out as “sawft.” Bubba Ray and Devon marched down to the ring ready for a fight, then both men entered the ring. Devon stayed behind in the ring, setting up a one-on-one.
7 — BIG CASS vs. DEVON DUDLEY
Dudley dipped out of the ring after the bell, then Bubba taunted Cass by pulling out a table from under the ring. Cass took the bait and Devon smashed Cass from behind.
But, Devon almost kicked Bubba in the face when Bubba hopped on the ring apron. That allowed Cass to big-boot Bubba off the ring apron. Cass then dropped Devon with the East River Crossing for the pin and the win.
Post-match, Big Cass took the mic on the stage and finished his pre-match message that there’s only one way to describe The Dudleys – “S-A-W-F-T!” Back in the ring, Devon bled from the mouth as Bubba sold anger.
WINNER: Cass at 1:00 flat. They’re protecting Cass nicely and slowly building him up going through the Dudleys first. Cass alone or combined with Enzo could be a big act for WWE down the road.
Still to come: Charlotte and Natalya Women’s Title contract signing for Extreme Rules.
[Q11] [Commercial Break at 10:30]
Dramatic Video: John Cena returns in two weeks.
In-ring: Lucha Dragons’s music played to produce U.S. champion Kalisto slipping on the stage. Kalisto, not joined by Sin Cara, jumped into the ring before WWE recapped the Kalisto-Rusev feud leading into Extreme Rules. Alberto Del Rio was introduced next as Kalisto’s opponent, rekindling their old feud. Cole plugged tickets available for next Monday’s Raw in Baltimore before the bell sounded.
8 — U.S. champion KALISTO vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO — non-title match
Del Rio took control early on. Hey, crooked referee Charles Robinson is the official for this match. A minute in, WWE cut backstage to show Sin Cara watching his tag partner battle. Meanwhile, Cole and JBL argued about whether Del Rio or Kalisto is a bigger deal in Mexico. It’s a trick argument, as the answer is neither one since WWE didn’t bother them to advertise them for their return tours to Mexico this year.
Kalisto then smashed Del Rio to the floor and wanted a leaping head scissors, but Del Rio caught the champ in mid-air and smashed him into the guardrail. Del Rio stood tall on the floor heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:40]
Back from break, Del Rio had Kalisto’s mask half-way off with a reverse chinlock back in the ring. WWE cut back to Sin Cara watching the match on the monitor. Suddenly, Rusev attacked Sin Cara from behind. Kalisto would have had no way of knowing, but WWE informed Kalisto of what was going on by showing the attack on the big screen. Meanwhile, Del Rio hit the pause button on the match by keeping Kalisto trapped in the ropes for a while.
[Q12] Back in the arena, the crowd chanted for Lana after seeing her standing next to Rusev after he took out Sin Cara. Del Rio went back on the attack as the crowd went quiet deciding that Rusev (and Lana) were not coming out to ringside. Del Rio took forever to set up for his corner stomp on Kalisto, who eventually crotched Del Rio. Kalisto followed with a top-rope huracanrana. No follow-up, though. Awkward feeling in the building with Sin Cara taken out and a match still going on.
Both Del Rio and Kalisto sold on the mat for a few awkward moments as Rusev quietly emerged in the arena kicking Sin Cara down to ringside. The crowd’s attention was diverted as Kalisto sold not realizing that Sin Cara was compromised. Rusev then posted Sin Cara as Kalisto finally realized what was going on. Del Rio eventually flipped over Kalisto with a Backstabber from behind. Del Rio pinned Kalisto as his former League of Nations teammate Rusev sneered from ringside. They finally worked together … after breaking up.
Post-match, Del Rio exited stage left and Rusev entered the ring from the other side to avoid any League of Nations imagery since the faction is over. Rusev kicked Kalisto in the head, then put him in The Accolade. Rusev tried to break Kalisto in half as refs spilled out to try to subdue Rusev. Rusev eventually left the ring and grabbed the U.S. Title belt. He posed over a fallen Kalisto as Cole predicted a new U.S. champion on Sunday. Well, not anymore.
WINNER: Del Rio at 11:06. That was way too complicated for the middle of the third hour of Raw, but they got the final point across about Rusev being a destructive force.
Up Next: Women’s Title contract signing closes Raw.
[Commercial Break at 10:51]
Extreme Rules plug: Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin (not pictured tonight) will be on the PPV pre-show. It’s a No DQ match.
Women’s Title Contract Signing
Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon were in the ring playing nice with each other. The contract table was a tabletop instead of a board-room table. Odd. Stephanie started to introduce Women’s champion Charlotte, but Ric Flair’s music interrupted.
Big pop for Flair coming out in the middle of Flair Country. Flair stood on the stage to talk to his people. Flair said if you’re going to introduce a Flair, then do it the proper way. He asked the fans to stand up and show the proper respect for his daughter, Charlotte. Cole said it’s the second-generation of Flairs entering the Greensboro Coliseum. Cole and JBL hyped Flair’s history in this building, accentuating the point on why the contract signing is in the main event spot.
Flair and Charlotte entered the ring to woos. Charlotte dryly asked where she signs the contract. Shane said someone is missing, then he brought out Charlotte’s opponent on Sunday, Natalya.
[Q13 — over-run] Natalya made her way to the ring and thanked the McMahons. She said she will sign the contract momentarily, but she wants to get something off her chest. Natalya repeated her WWE website interview about Charlotte losing her way under the guidance of her creepy father Ric Flair. She said she wants to beat the Charlotte from NXT, not this version.
Shane moved on to getting some signatures. Natalya signed first. Charlotte told Nattie that she’s delusional. She said these people are not here to cheer for Nattie because these are her people. Charlotte said she could punch everyone’s best friend in the face and the people would still cheer her. Charlotte said she is a living, breathing goddess. Why? Because her last name is Flair. “You don’t boo a Flair!” she told the booing crowd.
Charlotte said her last name is Flair, while Natalya is just “Nattie.” Flair wanted to do some woos, but Charlotte told him to calm down because it’s her ring. Charlotte told Nattie that she’s just another whiny, complaining Hart member. She said all of this is a waste of her time anyways. She asked for the contract to get this over with. Charlotte looked it over, flipped a page, and eventually thought better of it.
“What is this?” she asked. There was a line in the contract that Flair didn’t like. Shane said there is an added stipulation because of what happened last week. He said that if Flair even walks down to ringside this Sunday, Charlotte will forfeit the Women’s Title. Questionable contract law practice here. Shane said he went so far tonight as to take a few precautions. He then called for security to come down to ringside.
Stephanie spoke that if Flair and Charlotte do not sign the contract right now, then Charlotte will forfeit the title. Steph said she needs to learn how to stand on her own. “Well then, I guess I’ll sign then,” Charlotte sarcastically said.
Flair went nuts, cutting a promo on Stephanie that she’s the worst businesswoman ever. And he’s only tolerating her because of her husband, Triple H. Shane told Flair to calm down and not talk to her sister like that. The N.C. crowd didn’t know how to react as Flair sold for the McMahons, then Flair started removing clothing. The crowd popped for old-school Flair as Charlotte freaked out about her dad losing it.
Flair got in Shane’s face wanting to fight, telling Shane they’re going to carry him out of here (WWE) next time. That was interesting. As things got tense, Steph walked in and slapped Flair across the face, sending him reeling across the ring. Charlotte freaked out and charged toward Steph, but Nattie dropped her to the mat and slapped on the Sharpshooter. Charlotte tapped out, which the announcers noted will cost her the title in a Submissions match on Sunday.
Charlotte eventually got out of the ring and tried to catch up with Ric, who was escorted up the ramp by security. Meanwhile, Nattie held up the Women’s Title in the ring to a mixed reaction as Cole hyped that potential image on Sunday. Cole closed with final hype for Extreme Rules on Sunday as Raw signed off at 11:09 with Natalya standing tall in the ring.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A typical up-and-down pre-PPV three-hour Raw. It’s obvious they have decided not to fight the Three-Hour Monster anymore by putting their top PPV-selling angle at the end of the second hour (Reigns-Styles) when the audience peaks. Then, close the show with a secondary item, like Flair back in Flair Country to promote the Women’s Title match.
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