Following the WWE Payback pay-per-view event, WWE is on the road to Extreme Rules on May 22. We already know the main event of that show will be Roman Reigns defending the WWE Title against AJ Styles in an Extreme Rules match. For all the results and analysis from Payback, check out my review right here. I also wrote an exclusive column about Payback for TheComeback.com with more thoughts on the matches well as the future of several people in matches on Sunday night. Now let’s get to Raw.
Live from St. Louis, Missouri this is the Raw Deal for episode #1197. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
The show began with some brief clips from key moments from Payback. The voiceover guy said that Vince McMahon putting Shane & Stephanie in charge of Raw was a "landmark decision” as if this family hasn’t been on television for most of the last 20 years.
The Raw intro video aired. How long has this song been around? Four years? Too long.
McMahon Family Likes To Talk
Stephanie McMahon entered to start this “new era” Raw because somebody that does promos all the time to start Raw is new. The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show.
Stephanie said it was great to be back and she’s waited weeks to do this. “Welcome…” but here’s the music of Shane McMahon as Shane made his entrance. He went into the ring with his sister.
The crowd chanted “Shane O Mac” for Shane. They bickered about things with Stephanie saying that she knows how to be a good business partner. She had a red bag for him that she said was a peace offering. Shane opened it up to reveal a framed picture of Shane with his father. It was the picture that Vince broke prior to WrestleMania. Steph wanted to know his ideas and he said he wanted to know her ideas. The people wanted Shane’s ideas.
Before Shane could get going, Kevin Owens interrupted them. Owens said it’s great that they are running Raw as he entered the ring. Owens claimed to have an idea. He said that he should have a rematch for the Intercontinental Title especially after last night when he decimated Sami Zayn at Payback as he proved he’s better than Zayn. He said he wanted his IC Title rematch tonight. Owens sucked up to Stephanie saying she’s a smart business woman. He said he was owed a title match in his contract. Shane said it was a valid point.
Cesaro made his James Bond style entrance in the suit. He said that he had Miz beat in the middle of the ring, but Owens stuck his nose where it didn’t belong. Owens blamed Zayn. Cesaro said if it wasn’t for Owens then he (Cesaro) would be IC Champ. Shane said in this era they handle their business in the ring. Shane told them that they will have a match right now. Cesaro revealed his wrestling gear under the suit, so that match is next.
Analysis: That opening was fine thanks to the presence of Owens and Cesaro. They spent several minutes trying to set up what was planned tonight, yet they didn’t even say anything. This match is only happening because the wrestlers came out to the ring. The Owens/Cesaro match is the same one that took place four weeks ago when they determined who got the IC Title shot at Miz. I’m not complaining because I’m a huge fan of both guys, but they probably could have mentioned that there. That was a 15 minute segment that could have provided us with the same resolution in about half the time.
The Miz and his lovely wife Maryse were seated at ringside to watch this match.
Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens
Cesaro nailed several uppercuts early on to start the match with his uppercut train followed by a running dropkick for two. Owens went to the floor, so Cesaro followed him out there and hit a senton dive to take him out. Cesaro with a cross body block gets two. The Miz took credit for beating Cesaro at Payback. Owens nailed a superkick followed by a running senton for two. Owens planted Cesaro with a DDT for two. Cesaro nailed a boot to the face, but Owens knocked him down with a back elbow. When Owens went to the top, Cesaro nailed him with an uppercut while Miz put himself over for being so good. Cesaro nailed a dropkick while Owens was seated on the top rope, which is awesome. Cesaro with a gutwrench superplex, which is also an amazing move. Owens was able to knock Cesaro to the floor. With Cesaro on the floor, Owens nailed he Frog Splash off the apron onto Cesaro on the floor for the spot to set up the commercial.
Owens was in control, but then Cesaro came back with uppercuts. Owens sent him into the turnbuckle, nailed a German Suplex and then Owens hit the cannonball corner splash for two. Cesaro nailed a flying springboard uppercut and then he nailed an uppercut on Owens outside the ring. Owens went to attack with the IC Title, but Miz grabbed it. Cesaro hit Miz with an uppercut. Back in the ring, Cesaro wanted the swing and then Miz went into the ring to attack Cesaro with punches. The ref rang the bell for the disqualification after 11 minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Cesaro
Analysis: **3/4 It was good while it lasted, but sadly there wasn’t a proper finish to this match due to the attack on Cesaro by Miz. It was the obvious finish for it since Miz was out there doing commentary and you just knew they would continue the angle from Sunday where everybody got involved. Since they are in this IC Title feud, they will probably do a Cesaro/Owens match again on Raw or Smackdown this month as well. That's a good thing because their matches are always great.
Post match, Miz argued with Owens. Cesaro went after them and then they knocked Cesaro down. Sami Zayn ran down to the ring. He gave Miz an overhead suplex into the turnbuckle. Zayn with the Helluva Kick knocked down Owens. Maryse pulled Miz out of the ring. The IC Title was in the ring, so Zayn held it up and the crowd chanted “yes” for it.
Analysis: That reaction for Zayn holding the IC Title was awesome. It’s pretty obvious they are going for a fatal fourway at Extreme Rules. That would make it the second PPV out of the last three where there’s a multi-man IC Title match since WrestleMania had the ladder match with six guys. I like all four guys involved here, but they overdo the multi-man matches too much. Singles feuds are better.
Stephanie was shown walking backstage when she saw Dean Ambrose. He said she’s still the same old Stephanie McMahon. She noted that her brother gave her a talk show. She said that Ambrose can have her on his talk show and it’s an open forum. After she left, he made this awkward face that she didn’t see.
Analysis: Maybe he'll ask what Triple H is doing or just completely ignore him because that's what they seem to be doing these days in order to make his return a big deal.
The commercial aired that plugged WWE Network shows.
In the backstage area, R-Truth and Tyler Breeze were hanging out. Truth had a selfie stick on a piece of wood with leaves. Truth said they were called the Georgeous Truth as Breeze didn’t follow along with the rap. Goldust walked up to them. He has a match with Breeze. Goldust said that he’s got himself a partner too – it’s Fandango. They both started dancing. Goldust said he’ll see them in the ring.
Analysis: I like these guys, but I don’t understand why this Goldust/Truth angle needs four months of build.
AJ Styles was in the locker room with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Anderson said that Styles was phenomenal while Styles said that he got beat last night. Styles said that it made him wants it even more. Anderson said there’s no way Reigns leaves Extreme Rules as champion. Reigns walked into the locker room. Reigns told Styles he has a lot of respect for him, but he doesn’t respect those two. Reigns said that those two don’t believe that Styles can beat Reigns on his own. Reigns wondered if the three of them can beat the three of us (the Usos walked up behind Reigns). Styles said at Extreme Rules he’ll take the WWE Title and tonight they’ll beat them.
Analysis: That was a very interesting segment. All of the comments made sense because Styles wants to prove he can win on his own and Reigns is right to think that Styles' buddies don't believe in Styles. That six man tag match later will be interesting because it’s the first time we will see that match. Giving us fresh matchups is exactly what WWE needs to be doing.
Goldust made his entrance with his buddy Fandango.
Tyler Breeze made his entrance with R-Truth.
Goldust (w/Fandango) vs. Tyler Breeze (w/R-Truth)
Breeze started with a Truth skullcap and Goldust complained about how he never got one. Truth kept looking at his phone on the stick. Back elbow off the middle ropes by Goldust. Fandango and Truth had a dance off outside the ring. Goldust was watching it, so Breeze got the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Tyler Breeze
Analysis: 1/2* A quick match that meant nothing. I remember reading recently that Breeze had some huge losing streak going, so it’s rare for him to get a win. Congrats to WWE for getting the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! out of the way in hour one. Way to not make us wait for it.
The New Day were on their way to the ring as the show went to break.
TJRWrestling Podcast: Check out the TJRWrestling podcast hosted by my buddy Rey and me with new episodes going up every week right here on Podbean and also on iTunes if you search for us with "John Canton" or "TJRWrestling" as the search terms. Last week on the show we had wrestler TJ Perkins on as a guest. He worked as Manik in TNA, he's working for Evolve and he's going to be a part of WWE's Global Cruiserweight Series. We talked about all of that stuff and plenty more. Great guest. This week we’ll have former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas joining us. Please listen! Thank you!
The New Day trio made their entrance. It was announced that they will defend the Tag Team Titles at Extreme Rules against The Vaudevillains.
Kofi Kingston said that the tag team tournament (sponsored by Booty O’s) ended abruptly when Enzo Amore got a concussion during the match. They showed the clip of the injury and being loaded into the ambulance. He’s lucky it wasn’t worse. Big E said that it was U-G-L-Y but he had an alibi on WWE Network. He stumbled a bit, then recovered and the crowd cheered. Big E said they had a tweet to put a smile on your face. Xavier Woods said that Beyonce got into his DMs last night. Big E questioned if it happened as Woods admitted that Beyonce didn’t slide into his DMs. They showed a pic on the video wall of Enzo outside the hospital. Woods said that when Enzo is ready to come back, the New Day will be there waiting. Woods went to say more, but The Vaudevillains interrupted.
The Vaudevillains duo of Aiden English and Simon Gotch walked down to the ring. English said what happened what just tragic, but it’s a tough business where tough things happen. English said that a real man would have gotten back up. English spoke about how they are real men that represent the values of a bygone era. He added that they are number one contenders to the…(singing voice)…WWE World Tag Team Championships. Gotch said they made Enzo the realest guy in the emergency room. He asked Enzo: “How ARE you doing?”
The Dudley Boyz interrupted them. Bubba Ray wondered what those two “carnies” are talking about. He told them they didn’t beat anybody. Bubba Ray said they twirl their rematches likes the Monopoly man. Bubba said they need to restart the tournament right now. D-Von said they are the baddest team on the planet. Enzo and Cass’ music played as Colin Cassady walked out on his own.
Big Cass told “Simon and Garfunkel” to tell Mrs. Robinson they will be late for dinner. Cass said that Enzo is his family and he’s going to have to finish what they started last night. Cass said that they already beat the Dudleys in the tournament. He did his S-A-W-F-T bit with the crowd chanting along with him. All eight guys started brawling with punches in the ring. Then it went to a break.
Analysis: I liked the promo work of everybody involved. Cass spoke with a lot of confidence. He’s got a lot of potential both as a worker and a talker. It helps being 7 feet tall too. What I didn’t like is how they spent ten minutes doing promos, then they started brawling and they went to a break right away. I realize they’re going to have the match after the break because I’ve seen this show for over 20 years, but it would have been nice if they set up the match before the break.
Here’s a tag match that was made by the wrestlers in the ring. Cole said it was made on the Facebook page by Shane and Stephanie. What a great booking team.
Analysis: I like how the “new era” is basically the same as the previous eras where they set up the matches the same way as they always do with guys arguing in the ring or backstage. Weren't they going to announce their plans for the evening? They announced nothing. I love how people in charge are booked to be incompetent.
Xavier Woods, Big E, Kofi Kingston & Colin Cassady vs. Aiden English, Simon Gotch, Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley
The faces were in control early on. They did their Unicorn Stampede spot in the corner with Woods playing the trombone. The heels took over with Bubba nailing Woods with forearm shots while telling The Vaudevillains how to do it. Plenty of quick tags by the heel team as they continued to work over Woods. When Bubba went for his punch combo, Woods nailed a jumping kick to the head. D-Von dropped an elbow to Woods’ back. D-Von missed a headbutt off the ropes, so Kingston got the tag from Woods. Kingston with a leaping clothesline followed by the Boom Drop. English distracted, so D-Von dumped Kingston to the floor. English sent Kingston face first into the steel post and they went to break there.
The heels were still working on Kingston as English had him in a headlock. Kick by English gets two. Gotch had Kingston in a chinlock while Bubba yelled at him. More quick tags by the heel side. The Vaudevillains knocked Big E and Woods off the apron. Kingston nailed a dropkick to knock the heels down. Big Cass gets the hot tag. Big Cass was on fire with his offense including a big boot and elbow on English. The heels saved English from the pin. Running boot by Cass to Gotch leading to a belly to belly suplex on Gotch on the floor. Bubba tagged in with a back suplex on Cass. D-Von got the hot tag and they were looking to finish Cass, but Kingston took out Bubba with a cross body block. Big Cass hit the East River Crossing slam on D-Von for the win after 16 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Xavier Woods, Big E, Kofi Kingston & Colin Cassady
Analysis: **1/2 That was a good tag match that got a lot of time. It felt a little long too. Cass was made to look like a huge star, which is fine with me because it made sense after his partner got hurt one night earlier. The crowd was the most sympathetic to him, so of course he should be the one that ends up looking strong. Plus, you know WWE is going to like Cass a lot because of his height. The New Day guys are already going to get big reactions. It made sense to have Cass benefit there. I liked the way the finish was done with Kofi taking out Bubba and then Cass hit his finish. Crowd was into it. Successful tag match right there.
A battle royal to determine the #1 contender to the US Title is up later. Also, Stephanie McMahon as a guest on the Ambrose Asylum.
Edge and Christian show after Raw. I enjoy that show a lot.
It was mentioned that it is The Rock’s birthday today. He is 44 years old.
Recaps aired of things involving the Reigns/Styles story from Payback and Raw earlier.
The match is official for later: Reigns and The Usos vs. Styles, Gallows & Anderson.
More Payback recap as they showed images of Natalya losing the match without tapping out to the Sharpshooter by Charlotte. It was the Montreal Screwjob in Chicago due to referee Charles Robinson. They showed clips of Slamboree 1999 when Robinson actually wrestled as Little Naitch. Charlotte is up later.
Analysis: It took them a while to get through that storytelling, but they did it.
Becky Lynch entered for a match.
Becky Lynch vs. Emma
I missed a couple of minutes of this because sometimes it’s hard to time bathroom breaks. The heel Emma was in control. The crowd didn’t seem that interested in this as Emma hit a double underhook suplex for two followed by an armbar. Emma nailed a boot to the face for a two count. Emma slammed the back of Lynch’s head against the turnbuckle followed by a running cross body in the corner. Lynch made the comeback with kicks, then some more kicks and an exploder suplex for two. Becky caught a kick and then slammed Emma face first into the mat. The ref tried to hold Lynch back, so Emma poked her in the eye. Emma nailed a Michinoku Driver like sitout slam for the pinfall win. It went about six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Emma
Analysis: **1/2 They were given a decent amount of time and had a competitive match. I’m not sure how many times Emma has won a match on Raw especially in singles, so good for her. Cheating to win is fine with me because they don’t do it enough anymore. We need more pure heels in WWE whether it’s men or women. The crowd didn’t care about the match much until Lynch fired up with the babyface comeback. I assume this feud will continue so that Lynch can get the win back. That’s typical WWE booking.
Ambrose Asylum with Dean Ambrose and Stephanie McMahon as the guest is up next.
There was a video for Primo and Epico plugging the greatness of Puerto Rico – the shining star of the Caribbean. These vignettes are pretty generic.
Ambrose Asylum with Stephanie McMahon
Ambrose was in the ring with his “set” that including his plant named Mitch. He said he had “investigative journaling” to do.
Stephanie walked down to the ring. She wondered why there were no chairs. Ambrose questioned the whole thing where Stephanie was acting nice. Stephanie said Payback was the first PPV of a new era.
Ambrose mentioned her WrestleMania moment as he showed the picture of Reigns hitting Stephanie with a Spear as Ambrose said she was speared out of her Tina Turner boots. Stephanie said she didn’t belong in the ring and she was taught a very valuable lesson. Ambrose talked about Shane McMahon as the crowd chanted “Shane O Mac” again. Ambrose said that Shane was running Raw better than The Authority did. Stephanie reminded us that Shane left WWE for seven long years and that the people still love him because of their loyalty. She said loyalty is a big thing in WWE. Ambrose continued to drive his points home because of all the things Stephanie has missed from her kids like missing birthday parties and recitals. Then he wondered if Shane has made the same sacrifices, but then he said no way Shane did the same thing. Ambrose wondered if that upset her on the inside. Stephanie said the lesson she learned is that sometimes things need to change. She said she’s going to apply that lesson to Ambrose and thinks that it’s time for a change. Stephanie said that she’s going to officially cancel the Ambrose Asylum. The crowd booed.
Ambrose said that hurts. He thought he would be the next Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel or that British guy (James Corden). Ambrose said that you can keep all this stuff, but we’re going to leave. Ambrose left with his plant Mitch. Stephanie brought back the returning host of the Highlight Reel Chris Jericho.
Jericho, with a scarf, went down to the ring. He shoved Ambrose. Then they brawled around the ringside area with Ambrose nailing a clothesline. Ambrose tackled him in the ring. Jericho was able to come back with a Codebreaker. Jericho tossed the Ambrose Asylum sign down. Jericho stared at Mitch the plant with the crowd chanting “no” at him. Jericho attacked Ambrose in the back with Mitch the plant. Jericho trash talked him some more as they went to break.
Analysis: It looks like this Ambrose/Jericho feud is continuing. Jericho teased on Monday that he might be on another break from WWE, but that’s not the case at all. I’m glad he’s sticking around because his heel work has been great. I liked Ambrose’s promo with Stephanie where he was trying to push her buttons to piss her off and get her to snap. A problem with something like this is if she cancels the talk show, can’t Shane just bring it back? I mean he could. It’s not like they are going to do that, but it would certainly be allowed if they have equal power. Anyway, there will probably be some sort of Ambrose/Jericho gimmick match at Extreme Rules. I think Ambrose should win that one too.
A replay aired of the Ambrose/Jericho segment before the break.
The United States Champion Kalisto is on commentary for the battle royal.
The ring was full of midcarders. Titus O’Neil’s entrance was shown, so he’s back from his suspension. Sheamus made his entrance as the end of the League of Nations on Smackdown was shown. Baron Corbin’s entrance was shown.
Battle Royal To Determine The Number One Contender to the US Title
Titus O’Neil eliminated Viktor after about three seconds. O’Neil tossed out Damien Sandow as well. Apollo Crews eliminated Stardust with a dropkick. Social Outcasts worked together to eliminate Darren Young. With Crews on the apron, Sheamus nailed a Brogue Kick to eliminate him. Sheamus was outside the ring soon after, but wasn’t eliminated. Ziggler eliminated Corbin with a dropkick. Corbin yanked Ziggler under the bottom rope and tossed him into the ring post. Corbin rolled Ziggler back in and then Rusev tossed him out. The match continues after the break.
Kalisto put over the prestige of being the US Champion by saying he met Harley Race backstage earlier. Sheamus with an elimination. Del Rio eliminated Axel pretty easily. Sin Cara with a hurricanrana eliminated Bo Dallas. There were just five men left: Rusev, Del Rio, Sheamus, Zack Ryder and Sin Cara. Nice springboard cross body block by Sin Cara took down Rusev. Sin Cara with a moonsault took down Sheamus and Del Rio. Sheamus with a backbreaker to Ryder. Sin Cara was on the turnbuckle, so Del Rio shoved him off the top and eliminated him.
Final four are Sheamus, Rusev & Del Rio of the former League of Nations along with Ryder. They failed to eliminate Ryder. Sheamus went after Del Rio, but Del Rio came back with a Backstabber. Ryder with a Rough Ryder on Del Rio and then Rusev nailed a spinning kick to take down Ryder. Rusev with a superkick on Sheamus, then Del Rio with a clothesline and a kick eliminated Sheamus. Rusev sent Del Rio on the apron and Ryder eliminated Del Rio with a dropkick. Ryder was alone with Rusev with Ryder hitting a missile dropkick. Ryder connected with the Broski Boot. Rusev was able to recover by countering a whip into the ropes and eliminate Ryder. It went about 15 minutes.
Analysis: **3/4 That was a fun battle royal. I figured Rusev, Sheamus or Del Rio was going to win since they would likely want a heel opponent to be victorious so that one of them could go against the face Kalisto. They played it up well with Ryder nearly surviving against the three heels that used to be allies. Rusev was probably the best choice as a winner because winning that title would be good for his career at this point. I think they’ll put the US Title on Rusev. They can build him back up again. Don’t forget that on May 30 there’s also the return of John Cena, so they could do that Rusev/Cena rivalry again.
Post match, Lana entered the ring to celebrate with Rusev while Rusev stared menacingly at Kalisto.
Up next is the Women’s Title controversy.
A clip aired from Captain America Civil War. Cool.
This week on Smackdown it’s the Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho hosting Sami Zayn as the guest.
There were clips shown of Charlotte retaining the Women’s Title at Payback.
The Women’s Champion Charlotte entered in her street clothes along with Ric Flair. They were out there saying that Natalya quit while Charlotte won the match fair and square. Charlotte called referee Charles Robinson down to the ring.
Charlotte asked Robinson to tell the truth. Fans were chanting “cheater” at them as Charlotte said “excuse me the queen is talking.” Robinson said that Natalya quit. Robinson claimed that Natalya was yelling at him to stop it. Charlotte mentioned Robinson idolizing Flair. Robinson said that it had nothing to do with his decision in the match. Charlotte’s last question…but the crowd chanted “cheater” again. Charlotte asked if the decision is final because he was the ref. He said yes. She let him leave.
Natalya showed up in her ring gear. She got in the ring with Charlotte. Natalya grabbed the microphone. Natalya said it’s not about Charles Robinson or Charlotte – it’s about Ric. Natalya claimed that Ric paid a ref to screw her out of winning the Women’s Championship. She told Ric that with the Harts and the Flairs the Harts are the best there is, there best there was and the best there ever will be. Natalya nailed Charlotte with a punch that sent Charlotte out of the ring. Flair took off his coat as if he was ready to fight. Natalya slapped him in the face and then Natalya slapped the Sharpshooter on Flair. After a few seconds, Charlotte yanked Flair out of the ring. Natalya put on Flair’s Rolex as well as his Hall of Fame ring. The crowd was cheering.
Analysis: The segment worked because after getting screwed at Payback, they had to book Natalya in a way that allowed her to get some revenge. She was able to verbally put them in their place and then she also physically dominated by knocking Charlotte down. Putting Flair in the Sharpshooter was comical just because of the face he made when she slapped him. It worked as a way to pop the crowd because they liked all of it. I assume they’ll do an I Quit or Submission Match at Extreme Rules. Maybe Flair is banned from ringside or they have a special referee in there.
The six man tag team main event is up next.
The announcers plugged Camp WWE on WWE Network on demand while nothing that’s it’s TV-MA while everything else will remain PG. I haven't seen it yet. I will check it out soon.
Charlotte and Ric Flair were walking backstage when Stephanie McMahon walked up to them. Stephanie set up Charlotte vs. Natalya in a Submission Match. Then Stephanie banned Flair from ringside. Flair didn’t seem thrilled about it while Charlotte looked upset as well. Stephanie wanted him to “woo” but he just looked at her with an angry look on his face.
Analysis: My hunch before the break was right. I swear I didn’t edit anything up there. That’s how I had it written because it just felt like this was the direction they were going in.
AJ Styles entered with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. They walked out together to AJ’s music. AJ is on the ESPN Sportscenter segment on Tuesday night. Roman Reigns entered with his cousins The Usos to Roman’s theme song.
A reminder that in three weeks at Extreme Rules it’s Reigns vs. Styles for the WWE Title in an Extreme Rules match where anything goes.
Roman Reigns, Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso vs. AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
As Reigns and Styles locked up, JBL was saying that people called their Payback match the Match of the Year. No they aren’t. It wasn’t even the best match on the show (Owens vs. Zayn was) although it was pretty good. Gallows went in there, but Reigns was able to slow him down with a Samoan Drop for two. Spinning kick by Jimmy to Gallows, then both Usos nailed corner splashes. When Jey jumped off the middle rope, Gallows nailed a boot to the face for two. Gallows tossed Jey over the top to the floor as it’s time for a break.
Jey was still alone as the others isolated him in their corner. Nice spinebuster by Anderson for two as Cole said it was like Arn Anderson, which is a very good comparison. Styles worked over Jey as Gallows went to the other corner to punch those guys. Styles told Gallows to stay on the apron, so Jey hit a kick on Styles. Reigns got the hot tag against Anderson. Clotheslines and uppercuts delivered by Reigns like usual. Reigns with the Drive By dropkick on Gallows on the apron followed by clotheslines to Anderson in the corner. Styles made the blind tag. Reigns avoided a springboard attack and hit a tilt-a-whirl slam on Styles. Reigns hit a Superman Punch to knock Gallows off the apron. Reigns with an enziguri kick to knock down Reigns. Jimmy tagged in with a cross body block for two. Jimmy with a Samoan Drop on Styles gets two. Reigns uppercut and clothesline on Anderson. Gallows nailed Reigns in the back with a punch. Gallows held up Reigns as Anderson connected with the Boot of Doom on Reigns outside the ring by the barricade. Jimmy ran the ropes to try to go for a dive, but Styles went to the top and hit a Phenomenal Forearm smash on Jimmy. Styles covered for the win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Analysis: *** A pretty good tag match as expected. The right team got the win because it’s important that WWE continues to establish Gallows & Anderson as an impressive team, so that win certainly helps them. I liked the way they were booked as credible threats the entire match. Styles with the win makes sense since he got pinned on Sunday in the title match. That’s typical booking to make the guy strong after a loss.
Post match, Gallows and Anderson brought Reigns into the ring. Anderson had a steel chair. Anderson told Styles to hit Reigns with the chair. The crowd was interested in this. Styles thought about doing it, but then he tossed the chair down. The Usos got back up with one of them hitting Styles in the back with a chair. Clothesline and kick by Usos sent Gallows/Anderson out of the ring. Styles hit Usos with chair shots to the back. Reigns got back up to see that.
Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Styles. Reigns tossed Styles into the ropes and then he kicked him out of the ring. Reigns sent Styles into the barricade at ringside. Reigns cleared off the announce table. Reigns tossed Styles into the barricade again. Reigns picked up Styles and tossed Styles into the table Powerbomb style through the announce table.
There were replays that showed the end of Raw with Styles going through the table. Reigns stood over top of Styles. Raw went off the air at 11:10pmET with Reigns walking away with his WWE Title.
Analysis: Big angle to end the show. Styles didn’t want to attack Reigns with a chair, so he only reacted when The Usos attacked him. Reigns saw what Styles did, reacted to that and sent a huge message with the Powerbomb through the table. It wasn’t even a regular Powerbomb because he tossed him a few feet before he hit the table. That made it look more devastating.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Kevin Owens
2. AJ Styles
3. Roman Reigns
5 out of 10
Last week: 5
2016 Average: 5.74
Last 5 Weeks: 5, 6.5, 9, 6, 7
2016 High: 9 (April 11)
2016 Low: 4 (Feb. 29/Mar. 21)
I’m giving it a 5 out of 10.
That’s below average as you can see above. Also the same score that I gave last week’s show. I was pretty bored by much of the show, but I liked the main event and the post match segment a lot.
This week’s show just felt off. There were some segments that really didn’t work that well. That stuff with Goldust and R-Truth just felt awful. At least the main event felt fresh.
They need to stop talking about this “new era” stuff because there’s no new feeling when I watch the show. They book the matches in the same way with segments taking place either backstage or in the ring to set up tag matches.
For Extreme Rules, they have a solid lineup. Some rematches from Payback as expected while other matches look to be new. I think it will be an above average show.
Shoutout to the late, great Mitch the plant. Let's all pee in a bush in tribute. It's what he want would have wanted.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Raptors. Go Toronto Blue Jays.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org