April 4, 2016
From the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Your hosts are Byron Saxton, JBL, and Michael Cole
We get a music video highlight package of WrestleMania 32. After that, the announcers tell us about the RAW after WrestleMania is the craziest crowd of the year. Off the bat, they are really trying to put over the raucous crowd.
The live show starts with a gloating Vince McMahon coming out to the ramp. Fans are shown bowing to him and even singing his theme song after it ended. Vince then asks the crowd about his son losing and last night’s show and they boo. The crowd boos louder when he brings up how there is a new WWE World Champion, Roman Reigns. Vince tells us he feels better as the lockbox in is his control. Vince tells us he enjoyed the Undertaker beating the crap out of his son but when Shane climbed to the top of the cell, he talked about Shane risking his life to achieve his goals, which gave him more respect yet also proved how foolish he is for making that jump. Vince talks about the crowd being crazier than usual after WrestleMania then tells them to enjoy the show, assuring them it will be a show they will never forget. After that, Shane comes out limping. He is also sporting a bruise on his left cheek. Vince asks Shane what he is doing out here, expecting him to be laid up in a hospital bed as the crowd starts a “Thank you, Shane” Chant. Shane then points out how he is the only man in the family and came out to shake his father’s hand. Also, he thanks the fans and for what they did for him as they all chant his name. A “you still got it” chant breaks out as Vince points out how because of them, Shane got the hell beat out of him. Shane then says goodbye as the crowd is sad. However, Vince gets pissed that he was upstaged then questions how nuts it would be if Shane ran Monday Night RAW. He then said to prove his point he wants to see what he can do and lets Shane run the show, after a minute of the crowd chanting for Shane. They kick back to the announcers after that as they are all speaking about Shane.
Letting Shane control RAW tonight, even with the raucous crowd, makes little sense giving the feud leading up to WrestleMania and the result of the Hell in a Cell match last night. However, I will admit I was intrigued halfway through when Vince promised this was a night we would never forget.
The New Day then comes out for their match. The crowd are going nuts for them. Xavier is even holding up one of the Booty O’s from last night. Big E says things did not go as planned last night while Kofi was proud of twerking with Shawn Michaels. Xavier then blames himself for Stone Cold Steve Austin stunning him but then gloats over that happening. They now look at the Booty O and proceed to do some praising of that as Xavier sings. After that, they promise to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles.
Thoughts: The New Day were crazy over here. The Booty O part was quite lame but the rest of it was fun.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Big E & Kofi Kingston (c) w/ Xavier Woods vs. Sheamus & King Barrett w/ Rusev & Sheamus
Match starts with Sheamus beating on Kofi. Kofi comes back with a dropkick after a baseball slide then backdrops Sheamus to the floor. Barrett gets knocked off of the apron then Big E launches Kofi outside on top of Sheamus. Kofi plays up to the crowd, which goes nuts. Back inside, Rusev knocks Kofi outside behind the referee’s back. Back inside, Barrett works over Kofi then taunts Big E. Barrett stops a comeback short with a kick to the ribs before dumping Kofi outside as we head to break. The action returns with Sheamus working a chinlock on Kofi as the fans are going nuts for Xavier playing the trombone. Sheamus hits a gutbuster then taunts the crowd, who then responds with his own taunt. Kofi comes back with a double stomp as both men are down. Big E tags and tosses Barrett around. He then hits a splash but runs into a knee. Barrett then accidentally knocks Sheamus off of the apron then Big E tags Kofi and they put him away with the assisted Big Ending (8:49) **1/4. After the match, a pissed off Sheamus grabs the mic as he puts over the League of Nations for being the greatest group of athletes around the world. They should even be destroying everyone but something is wrong. After the crowd chants “How You Doin,” Sheamus tells them they are only as strong as your weakest link as Del Rio and Rusev hold up Barrett, who eats a Brogue Kick. After that, the Wyatt Family appears as they beat down the League of Nations. The Wyatt’s are cheered loudly, even getting a “thank you, Wyatts” chant after they finished.
Thoughts: The match was okay I suppose but the really story here was the Wyatt Family beating down the League of Nations. It seemed to signal a face turn for the Wyatts, which would not be a bad idea since they are in desperate need of a gimmick tweaking. Barrett getting booted out of the League of Nations is not a surprise, since his contract reportedly expires in June, and I hope Sheamus’ tantrum means they plan on breaking up the group soon as they are all better off as singles acts, especially Rusev, who is criminally underutilized.
Renee Young catches up to Vince as he heads into his limo. She asks him about Shane running RAW as Vince laughs and says the reason he is leaving is because Shane running things means it will be a disaster and he does not want to be here to witness the ship sinks.
Summer Rae is in the ring. She talks about how her team lost last night but things would have been different if she was in charge of her team. Summer then said at least she did not fall flat on her face like Sasha Banks, who blew her WrestleMania moment. She runs down Sasha a bit until she comes out and slaps Summer.
Summer Rae vs. Sasha Banks
Summer bails right after the bell. She then snaps Sasha’s neck off the rope ten heads inside. She gets two off of a spinning heel kick beore applying a chinlock. Summer piefaces Sasha, who responds by driving Summer into the corner. Sasha hits a running double knee strike then gets two with a rollup. They work a disjointed sequence that leads to Summer blocking a lungblower but after that Sasha comes right back to put Summer away with the Banks Statement (1:39) 1/2*.
Thoughts: Too short to mean anything but I enjoy Summer’s heel work. She does a great job at that. Its seemed obvious here that they are building up Sasha for her big win against Charlotte for the Women’s Title.
Up next, Apollo Crews will make his RAW debut. We are then shown him backstage speaking with Shane.
Tyler Breeze vs. Apollo Crews
Good crowd reaction for Crews, who the announcers put over for his speed and power. Crews shows off his agility with some flips then catches Breeze with a powerslam. Breeze catches Crews with a super kick then goes to work in the corner. He works a chinlock and yells how its about him but ends up getting kicked. Crews then drops Breeze with a press slam and hits a standing moonsault before getting the win with a spinout powerbomb (1:54) 3/4*.
Thoughts: A decent squash to get Crews over. I thought he looked good and seemed elated to be here on the main roster. If it wasn’t clear before, Breeze is strictly a lower midcard guy, which is a shame as he barely even got a chance.
We are shown clips of Roman Reigns and Charlotte on the “Today Show” from earlier this morning. After that, we are alerted the official WWE Women’s Championship presentation will occur tonight. Roman Reigns will also be here as you can hear the crowd loudly boo in the background.
Roman Reigns appears. The crowd is booing loudly. Reigns laughs and says “come on………..I’m not a bad guy, I’m not a good guy, I’m the guy.” He then talks about that is why at the biggest WrestleMania of All-Time, he beat HHH’s ass and told Shane if anyone wants a piece, to come out now. After that, Chris Jericho comes out to the ring. Jericho yells at the crowd to shut up and listen to him. Jericho tells Reigns he is just “a guy” then talks about seeing guys come and go during his WWE career. He then gloats about how AJ Styles, the “internet favorite” cannot compare to him and just like he “buried” AJ, he will do the same to Reigns, even demanding to be put at the top of the list for title contenders. After that, AJ Styles comes out to a big response. He then points at the belt but after that Kevin Owens comes out, looking extremely pissed off. Then, Sami Zayn comes out to further piss of Owens but also to ignite the crowd. Zayn and Owens start brawling, as does Jericho and Styles. Zayn looks at Reigns before flying out to hit Owens with a tope con hilo. Jericho backdrops AJ to the floor but turns around and gets speared by Reigns, who is shown standing tall and proud with the belt over his shoulder on the steps.
They seemed to be setting up a story that everyone is gunning for Reigns. However, they also seemed to hint at Reigns being a heel but I think that was mostly Reigns trying his best to impersonate Cena when he faced these types of crowds. I could be wrong though. The staredown between Zayn and Reigns was just odd to me in how it came off. Overall, a decent enough segment and it least added some intrigue as to who would be the #1 contender. Plus, they added some new faces in the mix.
Tonight, the Usos vs. Dudley Boyz in a Tables Match.
After the break, Reigns is walking backstage and runs into Shane, who tells Reigns that tonight there will a four-way to determine his #1 contender between Jericho, Zayn, Owens, and Styles. Reigns seems fine with that decision.
Baron Corbin comes out to ringside and stands next to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy. He then tells us he does not care if you have never heard of him because the trophy is all we need to know. He then talked about carving out his own path of destruction and that his arrival signals the end of days for anyone who stands in his way. Corbin was solid on the mic here.
Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
Match starts with Ziggler using his speed to elude Corbin. He fires away in the corner then hits a dropkick. Ziggler runs into a back elbow smash then Corbin sends him off of the apron with a forearm smash as we head to break. The match returns with Corbin working a nerve hold. Ziggler finally escapes from that then dodges a charging Corbin, who dumps outside. Back inside, both men are struggling. Ziggler fires away after hitting a corner splash. Dolph hits a floating DDT in a botched spot as that got two. Corbin blocks a super kick but Ziggler comes back with a Famesasser for two. Corbin shakes off a Zig Zag attempt then hits the Deep Six for a nearfall. Zigger rolls outside and Corbin follows and ends up booting him over the barricade. Corbin goes after him and tosses Ziggler into a barrel as the match is ruled a double countout (8:34) *3/4. After the match, Corbin yells at the ref and says “this is on you” as he drags Ziggler back ringside. Ziggler tries to fight back but Corbin hits him with the End of Days on the floor.
Thoughts: I thought they did a good job at establishing Corbin’s character. Corbin himself did not seem rattled and carried himself well. However, the match itself was on the dull side and seemed to take the crowd out of the show a bit. Aries carried Corbin on NXT: Takeover a lot better than Ziggler did here. Working on the main roster should help out Corbin as far as his in-ring ability is concerned.
Zack Ryder comes out as the crowd goes nuts, with “you deserve it” chants as he soaks it all up. Ryder then talks about a picture as a kid with Razor Ramon, who was holding the IC Title belt, then shows us a picture from last night with Razor holding his IC Title. Miz comes out and mocks Ryder for thanking his dad before calling him a flash in the pan. Miz then gets pissed for Ryder costing him his WrestleMania moment as Ryder tells him “sucks to be you, bro” as the crowd applauds. Miz yells at the crowd then goads Ryder into putting the title on the line tonight. Well, Lillian Garcia gave away this match by first stating Ryder was coming out to defend his IC Title.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Zack Ryder (c) vs. Miz
They go back and forth to start until Ryder hits a dropkick. Ryder hits a missile dropkick then a super hurricarana. Miz rolls outside as Ryder boots him into the guardrail as we head to break. The action returns with Ryder missing a crossbody and spilling out to the floor. Back inside, Miz covers for two then fires away. He works a stretch as the crowd rallies behind Ryder, who escapes as both men are down. Ryder is up first and hits a clothesline but misses a missile dropkick. Miz gets a nearfall then they reverse each other finishers. Ryder hits a reverse neckbreaker then heads up top but the Miz cuts him off. However, Ryder shoves him off then comes off with an elbow drop for a nearfall as Miz was able to get his foot on the rope. Miz comes back with a boot to the face but misses a corner charge. Ryder hits a flying forearm then attempts the Broski Boot but Miz ducks outside. Ryder gets dumped outside, right next to Ryder’s dad then gets into his face. Ryder’s dad shoves him down as Miz is fuming. Ryder then hits a flying forearm but Maryse makes a surprise return to slap Ryder’s dad. Back inside, Miz hits a distracted Ryder with the Skull Crushing Finale for the win (10:30) **1/2. Back inside, Miz and Maryse celebrate.
Thoughts: Solid match. The crowd was into Ryder’s signature spots and these two worked well together. The return of Maryse was batted around on Twitter earlier today by a few people and she is great as a heel. I even liked Ryder’s dad here as well. However, it seemed clear that Ryder’s win was just a way to get the belt off of Owens and on to the Miz, who appears to be groomed for a new push with his wife as his valet. However, if this leads to the return of Miz’s dad, then I approve.
Renee is with Kevin Owens, who cuts her off to point out how it was unfair to have six other guys with ladders face him for his title. Owens says he did not lose the IC Title last night as Zayn robbed him of the title. He then said that Shane knows he is better than everyone and will win the four-way tonight and laughs at the notion Zayn will win as we are on the road to KO Mania 2.
This Thursday on Smackdown, the Vaudevillians will make their WWE debut.
All of the WWE women are in the ring, along with Lita, who puts them all over for being role models and pushing themselves to the limit. They focus on the new WWE Women’s Championship belt as Charlotte heads down to the ring. We get photo stills of the Women’s Title Match last night that saw Ric Flair help Charlotte retain. Charlotte grabs the mic as the crowd chants for Bayley. Charlotte then puts over all of the women in the ring then talks about the crowd believing in them as they would rather chant for Bayley. Charlotte thanks us all then calls the Women’s Title the future then the crowd starts up a “women’s wrestling” chant that cause all of the women in the ring smile. Charlotte then goes back into the character and thanks her dad for helping her become the new Women’s Champion. She then talks about not even being here for a year and is already the champion as she mocks crowd chants by going “wooo.” Charlotte insincerely thanks Sasha and Becky as they all leave the ring. Natalya stays and tells her she needs to learn about humility. Natalya then tells Charlotte she gave her some of her toughest matches but does not get her respect. Natalya talks about family genetics as Charlotte says the Women’s Title means that her family will always be superior to hers as Natalya takes her down and puts on a Sharpshooter until Flair pulls her daughter to safety.
I had no idea where they were going with this but when it ended, I thought it was a good segment. Charlotte had the insincere heel act down pat and only seemed slightly thrown off by the excessive Bayley chants. They are really getting her over as a heel. I don’t mind them building up Natalya for a short program as they do have good chemistry together. Also, building up more of the women help make the division stronger as a whole. Nice to see them actually take them seriously for once.
Renee is with AJ Styles, who talks about change in the air with Shane in charge. AJ then said he did not come here to fade away after losing at WrestleMania and promises us a new “phenomenal” era in the WWE. Nothing more than a basic babyface promo here.
We get a promo from Primo and Epico, who tell us to come to Puerto Rico, the shining star of the Caribbean. No more Matadores for these guys but what are the gimmicks supposed to be? Employees of the Puerto Rico Tourist Bureau? Can Epico get me a reasonable rate on a hotel? What restaurant can Primo recommend for lunch? Guess we will learn more next week.
Tables Match: The Usos vs. Dudley Boyz
They start out brawling then the action heads outside, with the Dudleys in control. Bubba then teases yelling D-Von to get the tables but instead yells at the crowd as the Dudleys reach underneath the ring but the Usos fly out with planchas to take them out just before the break. After that, we return to see D-Von get tossed off of the top rope. Jey hits a splash over a table on to Bubba. The Usos hit stereo super kicks as the Dudleys roll outside. The Usos then come off the barricade with clotheslines to take them out. Back inside, the Dudleys are placed on the table as the Usos come off top but the Dudleys roll out of the way and crash as the bell goes off. After that, Bubba tosses one of the Usos through the table as Bubba for the official win is pissed about the bell going off (8:51) *.
Thoughts: This match stunk. It was plodding and just an overall mess. Plus, it felt like it was wrestled in slow motion. The Usos are really just a house show act at this point. They can get kids to chant along with them and that is their best use. At least Bubba is entertaining and the sole reason D-Von is employed right now because he is awful struggling.
Renee is now with Sami Zayn, who tells her he was known as the “underdog from the underground” as he says tonight can set the course for the rest of his career and he has to prove he can be the World Heavyweight Champion but Owens attacks him and beats him down before putting him through a table with a powerbomb. Several officials yell at Owens to leave as he is mocking Zayn to get up. Good segment to keep their feud going. Zayn stumbled a bit at first on the mic but came back and ended up cutting a solid underdog babyface promo.
After the break, the Dudleys are shown jawing with fans as they head up the aisle. However, Enzo & Big Cass come out as the crowd goes nuts. They head into the ring as Enzo does his routine, with the crowd going right along with him. The Dudleys are shown unimpressed while standing on the ramp. Bubba’s facial expressions were fantastic. Enzo calls them “ugly as hell” and that is why they are jealous. Enzo then tells D-Von he will put his lazy eye back to work along with other insults. Bubba wants to know what the “Big One” has to say as Cass welcomes him to come to the ring and do something about what they had to say. The Dudleys run up on the aprons then back off as Cass leads the crowd into spelling “SAWFT.”
Enzo was fantastic on the mic here. Plus, the act involves the crowd and they both pull it off well. These guys were just as over as the New Day here. This is how you make your WWE debut. Well done.
We learn that Sami Zayn is no longer able to compete in the four way match as the announcers wonder whether or not a replacement will be named as the graphic shows a shadow with a question mark over it on Zayn’s spot.
On Smackdown this Thursday, Zack Ryder gets a rematch against the Miz. And next week on RAW, Dr. Phil will be the guest host. Dr. Phil is an odd choice to say the least.
The competitors for the Fatal Four Way come out. We are informed of a replacement for Zayn and that turns out to be………………………………………….Cesaro! He comes out and unbuttons his shirt before yanking off his suit as he heads out to the ring. I approve that new look for him going forward.
Fatal Four Way #1 Contender Match: AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
The crowd is jacked as the match starts off with everyone brawling. Styles and Cesaro end up in the ring to the approval of the crowd. They work a fast-paced Irish whip sequence that saw Styles hit a dropkick then Cesaro got a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker as the crowd is really into Cesaro. Styles rolls out then we head to break. The match returns with the crowd chanting KO Mania as Jericho chokes out AJ in the ring. Owens tries to get Cesaro in a giant swing but Cesaro immediately escapes and drills Owens with an uppercut. The crowd chants “this is wrestling” then as Owens and Jericho try to hit AJ with a double superplex, Cesaro takes them all off with a powerbomb. Cesaro nearly puts AJ away with an uppercut then he beats on Jericho in the corner. Jericho pokes his eye and tosses him outside but Owens beats on Jericho and almost puts him away with a powerbomb. Jericho dodges a cannonball and follows with a bulldog. Owens gets his knees up on a Lionsault then AJ hits Jericho with a springboard 450 for a nearfall as Cesaro breaks that up. Owens almost puts AJ away but Cesaro comes off the top with a crossbody on AJ then hits them both with running uppercuts. Jericho comes in and suffers the same fate. After that, Jericho boots him but Cesaro catches him off the top and hits the giant swing. Owens hits AJ with a Pop-Up Powerbomb but Jericho breaks that up. Jericho hits him with a Codebreaker but Cesaro breaks that up then no-sells a few chops before hitting some uppercuts. Jericho is able to reverse a move and put Cesaro in the Walls of Jericho. Cesaro reverses and locks on the Sharpshooter as the crowd goes nuts. AJ breaks it up with a springboard forearm smash then Owens rolls him up for two. AJ comes back with a Pele Kick then Jericho hits AJ with a Codebreaker as AJ kicks out at 2.9999 as the crowd starts up a “This is Awesome” chant. AJ comes back with a barrage of strikes then is able to put Jericho in position for the Styles Clash and hits that for the win (16:45) ****.
Thoughts: Well, I never thought that AJ Styles would already be the #1 contender but here we are. An awesome match and Cesaro’s return was great to see. All four guys busted their ass and this delivered as a main event. Now, you can continue Owens/Zayn and move Jericho on to feud with Cesaro for the time being. Really happy for AJ.
Final Thoughts: This show seemed to lack the surprise factor or totally crazy crowds like the past few years. However, I thought as a whole, the show was good. For once, the 3rd hour was not terrible as we had a hot main event and the manic energy of Enzo Amore was a welcome addition. Plus, with the debut of Enzo & Big Cass, return of Primo & Epico, and the Vaudevillians debuting, they seem to be retooling the Tag Team division, which is doing poorly at the moment. The debut of Corbin and Crews were also fine too.
And AJ Styles being the #1 Contender, I guess, was what Vince meant by his line about us not forgetting about tonight. Really awesome to see him win.
It will be interesting to see where they go with Reigns from here. Part of me thinks Reigns was told to not even bother trying to be a babyface here but he did come across heelish at times. Also, I have to think that HHH gets his rematch soon and wonder if he is added to Reigns vs. AJ, making it a three-way.
Also, there will have to be some continuation of the McMahon family drama as that was not addressed at all tonight. I’m sure we will get that in the following weeks.
Overall, a fun night of wrestling that was a lot more palatable than the almost seven hours of WrestleMania we saw last night. What happens going forward, I have no idea, but I did enjoy what we saw tonight.