Hey y’all, this is Jax filling in for our usual Raw wizard Steph, and welcome to Monday Night Raw! Where Shane has once again taken over for mysterious ‘social’ reasons. Personally I think Vince just got lost in a bathroom somewhere about three cities back. We’re in the UK tonight — London, specifically — and there are, of course, a bunch of union jack flags everywhere, in case we didn’t know where we were and get confused easily. Y’know, like Vince.<img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/56d7fc1422482e044058e710/56d7ff0559827e4e235871ec/5715a6a78259b54e02179f35/1461036733733//img.jpg" alt="Ambrose + PLANTBROSE = Ambrose + PLANTBROSE = ❤
Oh look, Dean Ambrose has arrived! Let’s see what wacky hijinks he can get into tonight, and by wacky hijinks I mean entirely normal things that commentary paints as wacky because they clearly hate Dean for some reason. I think they’re all just jealous that he’s so roguishly handsome, in a drunken hobo sort of way. Anyway, the Ambrose Asylum sign is set up in the middle of the ring. Whuh-oh! Dean gets an actual Dean-O chant for a minute before he welcomes us to his asylum. He proceeds to compare Braun Strowman to a river monster, says hello to James Corden’s parents in the audience, and then introduces his first guest… Shane McMahon! Welp, this is already better than half the shows on the network. Except maybe the Edge & Christian show.
Shane shuffles his way around in jeans and a jacket, looking like the most adorable dad, and I am suddenly distracted because is that a… rug, in the ring, along with Deano’s stool and potted plant? Man, Dean thinks of everything. Look at him, classing up the joint like this. Whatta star.
Dean offers Shane a seat, except he kinda forgot the seats, the poor thing. He stalls for time (guessing an apparent video glitch) by, well, being Dean, but they finally do a replay of that massive jump off the cage at WrestleMania, because we can’t get enough of watching Shane almost dying like ten million times. Dean is boggling at that jump, Shane takes it as the highest compliment, and then Shane says that his agenda is about the fans. Because we deserve better! But also, the superstars deserve better, too. Which is nice to finally hear on the air instead of only in fifteen Reddit threads, lemme tell ya.
Before the two can keep complimenting each other, a distraught and exhausted Kevin Owens shows up to the party. KO swears Shane’s just like the rest of the Authority, as Shane has a ‘personal vendetta’ against him. Y’know, because of that time when Shane kicked him out last week for saying he was gonna fuck up Sami to keep him from the WHC title? KO grouses because he got kicked out for being honest about his intentions, not to mention Sami’s not good enough for the–
Whoops, here comes Sami! With the crowd singing along to his song even when it stops. D’aww. Sami says he got signed to WWE before KO did, so KO doesn’t exactly have any ground to stand on. Sami goes on to say KO’s made a career of stabbing people in the back, and–
Uh. Hi, Jericho? Whatchu doing here? Also, why do you never have a goddamn shirt. “Shut your mouth, I got somethin’ to say!” He interrupts Sami to say that KO is right: Shane is drunk with power. As Jericho rants at Shane, Shane stands there and listens with amusement before saying that it’s totally okay, the Highlight Reel is still on the network! And it’s… phenomenal. Things get a little heated up, but before anything happens…
Shane calms everyone down and decides he’s gonna use this opportunity to set up a coupla matches at Payback: Dean versus Jericho, and KO versus Sami. As Shane exits the ring, Deano hands him his potted plant. Because he knows the score here, okay? A slightly confused Shane retreats with Plantbrose, and Dean takes off his jacket — don’t wanna get KO cooties on it, see — and then immediately starts wailing on KO! Sami attempts to tackle Jericho! Eventually Dadbod McGee and Captain Prizefighter end up on the ramp, yelling possible obscenities at their mortal enemies. Yeah yeah, save it for Payback, y’all.
MATCH: Sami Zayn vs Chris Jericho
Apparently during a commercial, Shane sanctioned this match, so as soon as we’re back, the bell rings. Here we go!
- Headlock from Jericho but gets deep arm drags afterward for his trouble, womp womp.
- Jericho calls Sami ‘red’ and that’s adorable to me for some reason
- Dueling chants: “LET’S GO SAMI” “Y2J!”
- Jericho’s on the outside, but Sami pulls off a springboard flippy thing, whoop!
- Olé chants! entirely unrelated: I wonder how El Generico is doing…
- Tightrope walk attempt while Sami’s got Jericho’s arm, but Jericho pulls hard and — Sami falls and hits his groin on the ropes, OUCH.
- Jericho with a boot to Sami’s neck in the corner; crowd boos appropriately
- Sami chops the HECK outta Jericho but then gets boots to the face after a rope run. boink!
- One commercial later: I only just noticed Jericho has a sparkly “GOAT” on his butt. Jericho you have the weirdest style I swear.
- Everyone keeps kicking out at one or two, la la la
- Jericho attempts a walls of Jericho but Sami flips him away
- Running bulldog by Jericho for vengeance!
- Sami counters Lionsault with knees to the gut, womp womp.
- Blue Thunderbomb! TWO count! Dang.
- Sami with a flying nothing and boot to the face, ow
- WALLS OF JERICHO! Sami in the center of the ring! REACH, Sami! REACH! And bam, rope break!
- Angry Jericho yelling at the ref, who yells back. “Whaddaya want me to do, he made it to the ropes!” Pfft.
- Jericho attempts to exit ring, Sami chases him and does that corner flippy thing! You know the one. C’mon, you know the thing.
- Jericho in the corner, Sami with an attempted helluva kick but NOPE
- Jericho pokes him in the eye! omg SHENANIGANS!
- Jericho with the Codebreaker! Pin for the win!
The replay shows all the good parts, but it also shows the dreaded eye poke, which JBL swears is totally fine and good for reasons. Jericho celebrates with a fist in the air at the top of the ramp, and Sami looks exhausted, the poor thing. He’s always got this look that makes me wanna feed him cookies and pat his head.
Our favorite commentator (okay, just my fave) Byron lets us know that we’re getting a Deano vs KO match later, and we’re ALSO getting two matches for that tag team tournament. So we’re gonna get to see the Vaudevillains face off against the Usos, as well as watch Enzo and Cass get all sorts of physical with the Dudley Boyz. I’m actually pretty excited for this shiz. Yeah, I’m excited about tag matches. With the Dudz and Usos involved. I’m surprised, too!
OMG RANALLO IS INTERVIEWING SOMEONE. OMG RANALLO IS ON RAW. OMG. He’s interviewing AJ Styles! He’s about to ask about AJ’s phenomenal (ha) rise in the WWE… but then Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson show up! Our actual favorite commentator makes his exit, and AJ’s old BFFs get hugs! How adorable. They make a quick exit, possibly to talk about drinking, but also for more hugs.
MATCH: Enzo & Big Cass vs The Dudley Boyz
It’s time for Enzo and Cass! I want Enzo’s red jacket. The ‘how you doin’ chants start up after the intro. This entire promo is golden and I am actually too busy actually participating, chanting along with every crowd chant and song and yelling at every call-and-answer the boys offer. Which makes it SO difficult to recap this, lemme tell y’all. The Dudz show up, silent and angry, like the most passive aggressive of farts, and Enzo pulls down his overalls to show a union jack design on the inside. The bell rings…
- Enzo’s getting his butt kicked and Cass is screaming at Bubba from the outside
- After a commercial: Enzo dances around to taunt Bubba who shoulder tackles him so hard he backflips
- Bubba to D’Von, at a tag: “PLEASE destroy him.” Bubba does not like Enzo. Bubba has no taste.
- After a coupla thwacks, Bubba’s tagged back in and straight up attacks Enzo while screaming at him. God, he REALLY doesn’t like Enzo. 😦
- D’Von’s turn to beat the crap outta Enzo oh god nooooo.
- Bubba makes for a splash but Enzo moves outta the way! Crawling to Cass, and… TAG! Bubba tags D’Von!
- Cass beating the crap outta D’Von until a corner misstep and a Bubba tag!
- doesn’t matter, Cass fucks him uuuuup~
- Cass with the Enzo tag! MISSILE LAUNCHER! PIN FOR THE WIN, ENZO & CASS WIN!
Enzo and Cass are hella exhausted, Enzo especially, but they’re still elated at the fact that they moved up in the ranks in the tournament! Later on tonight we’ll find out if they end up having to battle the Vaudevillains or the Usos. Either way, Enzo and Cass will be involved, so it’s gonna be a damn good show.
Guess who’s here? Not a good guy and not a bad guy, THE guy, Roman Reeeeigns! Who comes out to an honestly mixed reaction. He looks out at the audience like he’s surveying his empire’s territory, and he shoves the title up to the sky before he saunters down the ramp like he owns the place. This whole gives-no-fucks Reigns is a little bit intriguing. Little bit. Roman says, once again, that he’s not a bad guy or good guy et cetera. Roman says AJ’s a tough guy, calls him phenomenal, and looks vaguely bored about that. He’s gonna bring the ‘big fight’. He also wants to hit people in the mouth for wanting a new era, because this is the era of the Roman Empire. The crowd chants ‘boooring’ and I kind of agree? Ish?
And here comes AJ Styles, for some reason! I would like his hooded vest thing. Is that a sleeveless leather vest with a hoodie underneath? I can’t tell. Also, I’d like his hair. AJ starts complimenting Roman, and I’m still distracted by his hair — no really, it looks so well conditioned! — but then AJ says he’s gonna have the match of his life, because that’s what he does, and this time around it’s gonna make him champion. The crowd ‘yes’ chants their approval of this, and then ‘boo’ their disapproval of Roman. Roman goes on to say something interesting: he’d rather be respected with the belt than liked without it, the way AJ is. AJ counters by saying he’ll be liked AND respected, and he exits the ring, leaving a contemplative Roman–
Who promptly gets attacked by Gallows and Anderson! Ohhh shit, son. Roman’s on the mat, damn near out cold, and Gallows and Anderson look pretty pleased with themselves. AJ, watching these shenanigans from the ramp, doesn’t look pleased at all. Is AJ attempting to turn over a new leaf and try to play things fairly, while his friends are still using their old school dirty tricks? Thiiiiis just got interesting.
After a commercial, we watch Roman stalking around backstage with a sore neck. Rich Brennan attempts to interview him, but AJ interrupts to tell Roman that he had NO IDEA this was going to happen. Roman doesn’t believe a damn word he’s got to say about this because, after all, AJ’s boys fucked up the Usos last week. AJ sticks to his story and looks actually apologetic about this, but Roman’s not hearing it. One against all, he says, and AJ looks almost crestfallen.
MATCH: Fandango vs Baron Corbin
Fandangooooooo! Dolph Butt-Wiggler Ziggler is on commentary for Fandango’s match against an unamused Baron Corbin. The bell rings…
- I would like Fandango’s pants please and thank you. No really, look at the pink flames on the inner thighs!
- Oh yeah and Baron’s beating the everloving shit outta Fandango. In case y’all haven’t guessed by now.
- Baron tosses Fandango RIGHT into Ziggler because he gives zero fucks~
- Baron tosses Fandango back into the ring, leaving a disgruntled Ziggles
- END OF DAYS, pin for the win!
Ziggler attacks Baron before the music really kicks in, but it doesn’t matter, because Baron tosses him RIGHT out the ring and then hits him with an End of Days for his trouble. RIP in peace, Ziggler. Corbin struts away. Yeesh, this guy.
We get a little sneak peek backstage, where my favorite evil power couple Miz and Maryse force a bystander to take off his jacket and lay it on a spilled drink so they can step over safely. Maryse takes care of her man, and it’s adorable. (Also, in case you wanted to know: the water is never polluted in Puerto Rico, y’all! Take it from Primo and Epico! God, I can’t wait for them to come back.)
Maryse and the Miz are in the ring now, and Maryse introduces him as usual, by complimenting him so much it looks like they’re about to start smooching it up. They compare the royal baby to the Intercontinental Title before they finally start smooching it up (ha, called it), but they’re interrupted by Cesaro Bond, looking amazing in his lovely suit. He pauses in front of the Cesaro Section before entering the ring and picking up the mic. Cesaro chants! D’aww.
Cesaro calls the Miz a royal pain in the ass, and Miz’s reply gets ‘booooring’ chants, which Cesaro conducts with some amusement. Miz swears he’s gonna ‘Miz-tify’ Liam Neeson’s famous Taken monologue, but he gets ‘what’ chants throughout the entire thing, which only adds to my amusement. Cesaro shuts Miz’s mouth and gets ‘Cesaro’ chants. Cesaro then quotes Rowdy Piper, because he’s all outta bubblegum and reaaaally wants to kick ass. Miz says nah, because hey, guess what, Cesaro has a match! Against…
Rusev! Who comes out with his buddies, pasty-ass Sheamus and extra-toasty Del Rio. Cesaro stops them riiiight there — he talked to Shane backstage, see. This isn’t gonna be a singles match between him and Rusev, oh no. This is gonna be the League of Nations and The Miz versus Cesaro and his buddies! But who are his buddies, you ask? Cesaro strips, bless his attractive heart, and underneath his dress shirt is… a New Day shirt?!
“AWWWW LONDON, don’t you DARE be sour…!”
The New Day appear like the most majestic of unicorns, doing Cesaro’s arm piston thing before running into the ring and dancing around with our sassy Swiss Superman. Am I dreaming this? I could’ve sworn I fantasy booked this a month ago. I’m almost afraid I’m going to wake up to Vince yelling about Samoans or Steph taking twenty minutes to talk about how awesome her husband is.
MATCH: The League of Nations and The Miz vs Cesaro and the New Day
After a commercial, during which the bell rings…
- Xavier’s on the ground and Miz is bootyshaking!
- JBL misses the Authority. Haw haw haw.
- Miz is so pissed about having to fight, y’all.
- Xavier with a punch! Kofi with a kick! Big E with a BIG SPLASH ow ow ow.
- Kofi is tripped into the ropes so Miz can tag Del Rio, who comes out swinging, OUCH. Kofi’s still fighting, tho!
- Del Rio in the corner! UNICORN STAMPEDE, guest starring Cesaro! This is so cute!
- Cesaro with a kick before Kofi does his Xavier-composed running kick~
- Del Rio with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, ow ow ow, nooo poor Xavier!
- Sheamus tagged in to stomp the heck outta Xavier, nooo~
- Goddamn Sheamus looks so pasty I can’t even.
- As I’m watching this match I come to the conclusion that Xavier is the Enzo of the New Day, getting his ass kicked all over this damn ring… which leads me to believe that the New Day need a move like the Missile Launcher. Francesca Launcher? Flying Unicorn (Maggle)?
- Back from a commercial and Del Rio is basically destroying Xavier’s arm. Oh god the screams whyyyyy.
- Miz tagged in and headlocks the shit outta Xavier, who tries to fight it but nope. 😦
- Oh shit, Del Rio pulls Kofi’s foot and slams his head on the apron so Xavier can’t make the tag! OH NO.
- Rusev tagged but an exhausted Xavier hits him with a DDT! Rusev and Xavier both so damn dizzy…
- CESARO TAGGED! UPPERCUTS FOR ALL. Especially Miz and Sheamus. OOooooh-EYYY! Runs around the outside and uppercuts everyone there too! Gets back in and top rope crossbody on Sheamus!
- Is it time to swing? Miz says nope and kicks him in the face. 😡
- Sheamus goes for the pin, but Xavier kicks him in the head! And this starts a chain reaction of finishers that end with Cesaro hitting Sheamus with a goddamn Neutralizer! PIN FOR THE WIN! Cesaro and the New Day win!
Our heroes celebrate by Kofi donning a big ol’ union jack’d floppy hat and Cesaro looking quite pleased at his new friends. D’awwww. I hope they stay friends forever.
ANOTHER MAURO INTERVIEW! Charlotte and her lich king dad Ric are here, hooboy. Mauro says her last match ended in a particularly controversial fashion, and we get the replay of Ric pulling the ref out while Charlotte is seen tapping like the worst crybaby. “You’re worse than Dr. Phil,” Charlotte scoffs, before she says that she doesn’t have to beat anyone because she’s the champ. And also, Nattie is a loser and– oh, speak of the devil. Nattie says she still made Charlotte tap out, and guess what? Shane says they’re gonna have a rematch at Payback. And this time? Nattie’s bringing someone to make sure Ric doesn’t interfere this time around.
She’s bringing Bret. Yeah, Bret “The Hitman” Hart. THAT fucking Bret.
Charlotte and Ric both look appropriately worried.
MATCH: Natalya, Becky Lynch, Paige & Sasha Banks vs Naomi, Tamina, Summer Rae & Charlotte
Jillian lets us know that the following match is an EIGHT woman tag match, and Nattie comes out first, followed by good ol’ Lass Kicker, the Bex Express, Becky Lynch! Paige is out next, as she’s apparently a snarky face now? Sasha is out after, and I have to wonder what the hell kind of match this is gonna be if Bex and Sasha are on the same team.
Their opponents: Tamina and Naomi, long legged lady Summer Rae, and Charlotte with what has to be the worst designed robe in history. And her lich king is with her, of course. Of couuuurse. Nattie is whispering something to Sasha, and they look like they’re so amused at the fact that Charlotte apparently needs her dad to come with her everywhere she goes, like a purse dog but with less hair.
The bell rings, and…
- Nattie vs Charlotte first up… Charlotte takes her time getting in… woos in her face… stands back. “I don’t have to!” She tags a gleeful Summer Rae. LOL.
- Nattie vs Summer, then! Nattie has her in an arm thing and… tags Sasha!
- Summer screaming ‘don’t you EVER’ and ‘how DARE you’ and she’s so amusing, I love her.
- Summer tossed out, Naomi tagged in, Sasha tags in Paige, and oh hey, actual wrestling!
- Paige with the fallaway slam on Naomi, who gets pulled up by Tamina only to get jumped on by Paige, haw haw~
- Charlotte tries to get in on this out-of-ring action but gets tackled by Bex! Womp womp.
- It occurs to me that everyone on the face team hates Charlotte. Team Anti-Charlotte? I can dig it.
- Returning from commercial with Naomi vs Becky! Becky attacking everydamnbody in the opponents’ corner.
- Tamina pulls Bex outside and thrashes her on the ground before pulling her into the ring and attempting a pin. Nope, kickout~
- Tamina’s headlock looks like she wants to wrench Bex’s head right off her body, jesus.
- Summer tagged! Summer using her long-ass legs to keep Bex in the corner, ow ow ow.
- Naomi tagged and stomps all over Bex, ow ow ow…
- Pin for a two count, followed by a headlock, and man Naomi’s hair is distracting…
- Bex finally tags Nattie! Side Russian leg sweep to Summer!
- Pin attempt, but Naomi and Tamina stop it! Sasha and Paige kick them out, leaving Nattie to shove Charlotte into a Sharpshooter! TAPPED!
An angry Charlotte yells for her title, while the winners celebrate tiredly in the ring. Nattie is da best, and I kinda like the idea of Paige being the snarky BFF here.
We get some backstage looks, where AJ is seen chastising his old buddies a bit, trying to explain that he’s not LIKE that anymore and he’s really like to play fair, y’all. Another backstage look gives us Shane talking to the Usos, who seem to be perpetual motion machines with how much they bounce around all the damn time. Stop eating so much Booty-Os, you guys, they’ve got WAY too much sugar.
We also get yet another glimpse of Primo and Epico, shuffling around San Juan like they own the place. C’mon back, boys! We miss you! Well, I do, anyway.
MATCH: The Vaudevillains vs The Usos
The Vaudevillains make their snazzy black and white entrance, and it always amuses me how the TV loses color when they first appear. The Usos enter next, and the nicest thing I can say about them is that I really wish I liked them. The bell rings, and…
- Gotch vs Jimmy: grappling forever
- Jimmy in the corner, English tagged, English proceeds to throttle the heck outta poor Jimmy
- Jimmy with a kick to English’s face before he tags in Jey
- English + Jey = Samoan Drop. The worst math. 😦
- English with a surprise rollup for a two count
- Goddamn this match is FAST I can barely keep up. Let’s just say the Usos are getting so very stomped on despite their tackles and kicks, and Gotch and English are NOT above hitting that hurt shoulder.
- WHIRLING DERVISH! Pin for the win!
“We are… MANLY!” The Vaudevillains strike their manliest of poses, and we all cheer (well, I do) because the next match in that tag team tournament is… the Vaudevillains versus Enzo & Big Cass. We are NXT, y’all!
MATCH: Heath Slater vs Apollo Crews
#SOCIALOUTCASTS ARE HERE! And I’m so sad that Heath lost his boyfriend Adam Rose to a 60-day Wellness Policy suspension. Heath is not cut out to be a single dad, y’all. Apollo Crews enters, and we get a replay of their interaction backstage, where Apollo said he’d totally join the Outcasts… if one of them actually beats him tonight. And if they can’t? They leave him alone forever. Hooboy. The bell rings…
…And honestly, this is gonna be a short match, and we all know it. Apollo’s tossing Heath around like a bale of the lightest hay known to man. The only time Apollo’s on the ground is when Bo and Axel do some shenanigans outside the ring, but that only nets Heath a ONE count pin and an absurdly long headlock submission that goes on forfreakingEVER. Apollo does a standing moonsault off the apron onto Bo and Axel, kicks Heath in the back of the head, standing sitout powerbomb, aaaaand pin for the win. Poor Outcasts.
MATCH: Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens
Before Apollo can exit, KO enters. He looks bored, and Apollo looks amused, almost as if he likes the cut of KO’s jib. They’d make great friends, I think. KO needs a new super happy BFF. Maybe that’s why he’s so disgruntled. Dude needs a hug, y’all. Dean Ambrose enters, marching down the ramp like he’s on a mission. He does not look like he’s gonna hug KO. The bell rings…
- Flurry of fists!
- Dean controlling things so far, getting KO to the corner repeatedly
- Cole calls Dean’s offensive style ‘unique’ and I feel like that’s some kind of thiny veiled insult
- “HEADLOCK MASTER, BABY!” Oh, KO. Never change.
- If I hear one more “FLYIN’ LUNATIC” from JBL I swear to gawd…
- KO tosses Dean over the announce table
- “Ambrose likes chaos, but I don’t like it this close!” – Byron Saxton, 2016
- I feel like the crowd isn’t going for this because we’ve been told about the other feuds they’re in, so this may be a good match, buuuuut we’re all just thinking about the Payback matches they’re gonna have with the two other guys. Womp womp.
- Post-commercial, Byron says KO and Dean wrecked the announce table, but he gets a reply of ‘unfortunately, your microphone still works’ SIGH
- KO with a frog splash off the apron and to Dean on the outsiiiide, ow ow ow. “DID YOU SEE THAT, COLE?!”
- Dean finally slides back in and gets a boot to da head. BOINK. Head bounces on mat. Dang.
- Headlock part two! “I CAN DO THIS ALL NIGHT!” Yes, I’m sure you’ve done this with Sami. I mean what?
- Dean on the top rope, motions for KO to get up. KO slides outta the ring to get away. NOPE, elbow drop to the outside!
- Dueling chants (“LET’S GO AMBROSE!” “FIGHT OWENS FIGHT!”) indicate the crowd’s FINALLY paying attention
- SUPERPLEX BY DEAN. Pin for a two count! These two are so exhausted.
- Popup powerbomb countered! Dean still gets a kick to the face!
- KO on the ropes, Dean attempts to do something, KO literally picks him up and drops him FROM THE TOP ROPE. CRADLE CORKSCREW SUPERPLEX Y’ALL. Pin! TWO COUNT! “THIS IS AWESOME” chant!
- Another attempted splash by KO but Dean has is knees up, womp womp.
- Cannonball misses, Dean with a Dirty Deeds! PIN FOR THE WIN!
Dean looks like he could sleep for a few days, but he’s still pretty damn thankful that he was able to pull that off, and– oh shit, A WILD JERICHO APPEARS! Codebreaker on Dean! Jericho kneels to say some probably terrible things to Dean, and then he raises his fist in the air while the crowd boos. And that’s how we end tonight’s Raw, y’all: Dean dazed on the ground, and Jericho staring hatefully at the crowd. Oof.