raw · Rehash

Rehash: Raw 2nd May ’16

Hi guys, Jess here again, because our fearless leader has decided sleep is better than wrestling? Clearly Enzo Amore wasn’t the only one with a bump to the head last night.

We open on a video package recapping Payback, particularly the results of the Shane/Stephanie debacle and how the main event ended. I appreciate that there is at least for the time being an answer, but this whole thing has gone on much longer than I would have liked. AJ Styles and Roman Reigns’ match for Extreme Rules is also discussed, and there’s more talk about this being a new “era” of WWE, which… well, I’m skeptical about, given the complete lack of any title changes at the pay-per-view, but of course eras are about more than just titles. I’m going to keep an open mind.

The show opens proper with Stephanie McMahon, swinging a little red shopping bag by her side as she makes her way to the ring. She starts to welcome the crowd when Shane’s music hits, and he starts shuffling and skipping around. I’m not convinced this man knows how to walk forwards in a straight line. He’d never pass a field sobriety test, that’s all I’m saying.

He welcomes the crowd like she was just trying to do. There’s a little quiet sibling rivalry, of the form, “I’m fine with this,” “well, I’m also fine”, and she presents the shopping bag to him as a peace offering. It turns out to be full of tissue paper and another framed copy of the picture that Vince McMahon destroyed previously on RAW in the lead-up to WrestleMania, with the stated reason, “I know how much it hurt you … and that’s the Shane I remember”.

I’m not sure I can make a joke about that; it’s actually a really sweet moment.

She offers him the opportunity to put forward his ideas, but he says that he’s so moved that she can offer hers. She asks the crowd to vote, and predictably, they cheer Shane. He’s about to start talking when more music hits – this time it’s Kevin Owens ambling down to the ring.

He’s cheering for them getting along and being siblings, but then insists that he’s got his own ideas — he wants a rematch for the Intercontinental title, because that’s “rightfully” his. He starts more or less begging Stephanie to do it tonight, knowing that Shane wouldn’t let him do any such thing, but he’s cut off by Cesaro making his entrance. Cesaro rightfully points out that he made Miz tap out before Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn made a mess of everything, so Shane tells them they can duke it out in the ring to determine who can be number one contender for the Intercontinental title.

MATCH – Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro

When we come back from a surprisingly well-timed commercial Miz is sitting in commentary with Maryse and starts to make conversation, but we leap into the action almost immediately.

  • Cesaro goes for a cover but Kevin kicks out and rolls out of the ring. There’s some business with the barricade, before Cesaro throws Kevin back in.

  • Cesaro goes for a crossbody off the turnbuckle and another cover, but Kevin kicks out again.

  • Miz in commentary just repeating “I beat him, enough said, I beat him” without addressing the shenanigans. I am in no way surprised.

  • Cesaro takes a boot from Kevin, but kicks out of the cover.

  • DDT from Kevin, then another kickout.

  • Miz sounds extremely whiny complaining about rematches, and for a minute that’s all I can focus on. I actually really enjoy Miz, so that’s not a criticism; his whining is very welcome.

  • Kevin tries to climb up on the turnbuckle but Cesaro shoulders him, throwing him off his game. He manages to fight Cesaro off, but when he goes for the turnbuckle move again takes a dropkick into a suplex, but still kicks out of the cover.

  • Owens recovers and is very in control as we cut to another ad break that doesn’t need to be there and totally disrupts the action and I don’t have unusually strong feelings about ad breaks, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • When we return, both men are rolling around on the ground, but they get to their feet and resort to some punches back and forth, trying to get the upper hand. Eventually Kevin backs Cesaro into a corner and goes german suplex into cannonball. Cesaro kicks out at 2, but still doesn’t look happy.

  • Cesaro regains control with a beautiful flying move and they end up in the commentary area. Kevin tries to grab the Intercontinental belt to hit Cesaro with, which of course angers Miz.

  • As they re-enter the ring, Cesaro picks up Kevin to spin him around, but Miz enters to express his fury and the bell rings.

As the three men are fighting amongst themselves in the ring, some very jolly music hits and Sami runs into the ring to join in. He fights out of a Skull-Crushing Finale and hits Kevin with a Helluva Kick. Maryse drags Miz away before he can get the same treatment, leaving the title behind. Sami picks it up as Miz and Maryse watch from the ramp, and my brain is already chanting “Four way! Four way!” (Editor: Well, we all know what YOU like, then!)

Backstage, Stephanie approaches Dean Ambrose, who looks a little bit like he’s checking her out. As we all are, Dean, but be more subtle, please. He tells her that he doesn’t buy her new happy friendly face, sharing RAW with Shane, and she offers to be a guest on the Ambrose Asylum, inviting him to ask her anything. He’s already looking pretty won over by this opportunity, but when she comments about getting to meet his new best friend Mitch, he looks like a kid at Christmastime. (Editor: The plant has more charisma than Roman Reigns, and is a better listener, but isn’t nearly as good at buying beer.)

R-Truth and Tyler Breeze are playing with their selfie sticks and Breeze barely looks like he’s paying the slightest bit of attention to what Truth is saying. When Goldust approaches and disses the Gorgeous Truth by calling it the “Average-Looking Truth”, that gets Breeze’s attention, but not as much as when Goldust threatens to do something to Breeze’s phone in a way that will severely inhibit even his ability to take gorgeous selfies. Fandango enters and gyrates in their direction, and this only seems to make things worse. But apparently Goldust and Fandango are facing off against the Gorgeous Truth, coming up.

Next, AJ is going over his match from Payback with Gallows and Anderson, and they remind him that he pushed Roman Reigns to the limit and only just barely fell short, and he’ll be able to do better when “anything goes” at Extreme Rules. Reigns comes in and tells AJ that he respects him, but not Gallows and Anderson, because they keep getting involved when they don’t need to, and their actions prove that they don’t think AJ can beat him on his own. He then challenges AJ to a 3-on-3 – AJ and his boys  against Reigns and his cousins. AJ accepts.

MATCH – The Gorgeous Truth (Tyler Breeze & R-Truth) vs Goldust & Fandango

Fandango and Goldust make their way to the ring before an ad break, and we come back on them gyrating and dancing. Both Breeze and R-Truth enter to Tyler Breeze’s music, and when Breeze hops up on the apron to take a selfie, Truth tries to do the same thing behind him, which earns him a very annoyed look.

  • Goldust gets in a little offense on Breeze and tries to yell at R-Truth to make sure he’s watching, but Truth is still trying to take gorgeous selfies, giving time for Breeze to get up and put the boot in on Goldust.

  • Goldust shoulders Breeze and gets distracted by Truth and Fandango having a dancing contest outside the ring. I’m not even joking. Can’t make this up.

  • Breeze rolls up Goldust while he’s distracted and gets an easy pin.

My normal comment on Tyler Breeze matches is that he looks like he’s trying to use his ridiculous pants to mop up all the sweat stains and whatnot that end up in there, but he wasn’t out there long enough to do that. There’s not much kind I can say about that match, because I’ve been completely uninterested in the R-Truth/Goldust story, so let’s move on quickly.


Kofi begins the promo on a rather serious note, reporting on Enzo Amore’s concussion sustained at Payback. They show another replay of the moment, and I’m still really uncomfortable seeing it. Xavier Woods tells some blatant lies about Beyonce sliding up in his DMs as some breaking news, but Big E shows a picture from Twitter showing that Enzo has in fact been discharged from hospital, which is excellent to see.

The Vaudevillains interrupt the promo, and get some major heat from me (and from the crowd in general) by observing that what happened was tragic, but that Enzo would have got back up if he was a real man, that he is the realest guy in the emergency room, and ask “How are you doing?” They also comment that they are the new number one contenders for the tag-team title in light of this result, but the Dudley Boyz come out to complain. After all, the Vaudevillains didn’t actually beat Enzo and Big Cass – the referee called the match short. They insist that the tournament be restarted, when more music hits and Big Cass comes out by himself.

He threatens to finish what they started at Payback because Enzo is his family, and as he enters the ring, things descend into a mess of blows between the New Day, the Vaudevillains, the Dudley Boyz, and Big Cass.

MATCH: The New Day & Colin Cassady vs The Vaudevillains & the Dudley Boyz

When we come back from commercial, this is actually a match now, which was apparently decided during the commercial break by Shane and Stephanie on Facebook.

  • Aiden English and Xavier Woods start in the ring together, but English tags in Gotch and Woods tags in Kingston shortly after. Big E is tagged in quickly after and hits Gotch with a big splash before tagging in Big Cass.

  • Cass puts Gotch in the corner and tags in Kofi to start the Unicorn Stampede.

  • Xavier Woods tags back in and goes for a pin, but as he throws Gotch around the ring, Bubba Ray Dudley tags in.

  • Bubba Ray beats down on Woods, while yelling at the Vaudevillains explaining what he’s doing. D-Von tags in for the double-team, and goes for a cover, but Woods kicks out.

  • Aiden English tags back in, but starts arguing with the ref as Woods gets to his feet. This doesn’t last long, but Woods manages to kick out of the cover at 2. Things still don’t look good, though, as Bubba Ray tags back in and goes for a chin lock.

  • Woods manages to break the lock and finds an opening for a kick, but he looks spent and struggles to crawl to his corner. Bubba Ray pulls him back and tries to go for a splash, but Woods rolls away and manages to tag Kofi.

  • Kofi hits a Dropkick and a Boot Drop, but gets distracted as Bubba Ray’s teammates cause a distraction on the apron.

  • When we come back to commercial, Kofi is in trouble, as the Vaudevillains keep him away from his corner for some time. Kofi looks like he’s going to break out as D-Von tags in, but runs into an uppercut and can’t manage to tag out, but does manage to kick out.

  • Kofi really struggling to create separation, and while he continues to power out of the covers, he’s under pressure.

  • After some time, Kofi finally manages to land a double dropkick on Gotch and English, and makes it to Big Cass for the tag. After some brutality, he hits the Empire Elbow but Bubba Ray disrupts the pin.

  • Big Cass takes the pin for the victory for himself and the New Day, which is excellent to see.

As much as this match took me by surprise, it was a really good watch. The New Day twerks in celebration and Cass doesn’t join in, but he does gesture like he’s making it rain for them, which I actually appreciate more.

Happy birthday, The Rock!

Michael Cole recaps the Payback a little more for us when we come back from commercial, starting with the main event leading into the upcoming 6-man tag team match. He then goes on to the controversy around the women’s championship, and I don’t even really want to get started on that subject because it makes me grit my teeth and not want to keep recapping, but apparently Charlotte will be back later to address the controversy.

MATCH – Becky Lynch vs Emma

I’m so happy when Becky’s music hits because it feels like forever since I’ve seen her even though I know it hasn’t really been that long. I know I’m supposed to love Emma because she’s a fellow Australian, but I haven’t actually quite made up my mind about her yet – we’ll see where this goes!

  • Becky being from Ireland and Emma from Australia means “they both talk funny” apparently. What joys the commentary team are.

  • Becky gets Emma into the corner quickly, and gets slapped when the ref breaks them up.

  • A series of arm drags eventually send Emma out of the ring, and Becky jumps off the apron with a fierce punch right after.

  • Emma knees Becky in the head and when Becky tries to regain control, gets dragged off the turnbuckle by the leg.

  • I’m not sure why, but Emma can’t seem to let go of Becky’s hair for more than a few seconds as she takes firm control of the match, grabbing and stomping on those glorious orange locks.

  • Emma locks in a full nelson which Becky breaks by force, but Emma still seems to have the upper hand.

  • Emma throws Becky in the corner and exclaims, “It’s about me!” to the crowd, and Becky can’t take the time to capitalize on this, probably worried about whether there’s a bald spot forming where Emma keeps grabbing her.

  • Becky takes Emma down with a pair of clotheslines and a boot, and now she’s back in control, but Emma kicks out of her pin at 2.

  • Becky tries to lock in the Dis-arm-her, but Emma rolls away, and ends up pinning Becky after making a play for her injured eye behind the ref’s back.

Emma celebrates as Becky makes her exit. All in all, it was a short segment, with the match from bell to bell being a little under six minutes, with a little too much hair-pulling for my liking.

When we come back from what felt like a very long commercial, it’s time for the Ambrose Asylum. It’s still a piece of cardboard that I’m pretty sure Dean drew on in sharpie himself, but I love it. He introduces the show by saying “I’m your host Dean Ambrose, and this is Mitch”, so I guess we’re really going all-in on Dean’s newest bromance being an exotic ficus. Stephanie describes the set as “so you”, which Dean takes as much more of a compliment than I would have, under the circumstances.

Dean tries to ask Stephanie again what’s up with the whole nicey-nice, smiley-smile Stephanie and she accuses him of being paranoid. Dean goes on to ask how she felt about Roman Reigns spearing her at WrestleMania. This is the first time I think that Dean has talked about his brother, his best friend, in any way in several weeks so for a minute I think we might get a little something on that note, but nope. She describes the experience as teaching her a valuable lesson about getting overzealous, and Dean twists the knife a little more by suggesting that it must have hurt, kind of like how everyone loves Shane McMahon and that he runs RAW better than The Authority ever did.

Apparently this is a very brutal episode, because he continues to rub it in, that Stephanie has missed a lot of time with her children, missed important events because she was so focused on her career, and comments that she must be upset that Shane has not made those same sacrifices and people still love him more. She responds by telling him that it’s a new era and changes need to be made – changes such as cancelling the Ambrose Asylum, which is another lesson which has to hurt.

His response is just that they had a good run, and takes Mitch with him to leave the ring, but Stephanie announces a return to the Highlight Reel to replace the hole in our hearts that losing the Asylum and Mitch would leave. Taking absolutely no one by surprise, Jericho still does not appear to own a shirt, and he and Dean immediately begin to fight it out. Dean’s Dirty Deeds is blocked, and Jericho hits a Codebreaker, adding insult to injury by throwing the cardboard sign at Dean.

Jericho starts eying off Mitch sitting on the stairs, and I’m ignoring the “I am Groot” jokes from the commentators as he picks Mitch up and — no, don’t do it!

He breaks Mitch’s pot over Dean’s head as Dean makes his way out of the ring, and this is some serious tragedy. Hasn’t Dean lost enough friends? Well, I wasn’t sold on Jericho and Dean’s feud up until now, but how dare you hurt his plant?!

MATCH – Battle Royal for US Title Number One Contender

Titus O’Neil and Sheamus get their own entrances, and we are reminded that the League of Nations broke up last week on SmackDown. Looking around the ring, I can see the other former League members as well as Stardust, Apollo Crews, and the Social Outcasts, but before I can identify anyone else, Baron Corbin enters as well.

  • Viktor is eliminated before I can identify anything else that’s happening.

  • Stardust narrowly avoids elimination, only to get a final push that sends him over.

  • Barrett follows soon afterwards, and Bo Dallas looks so pleased with himself that I can’t help but smile. He’s just so positive all the time!

  • Apollo Crews gets Sheamus up on his shoulders, but Sheamus eliminates him with a Brogue Kick only seconds later. Someone sends Sheamus over right after. (Editor: But not out, although it’s hard to tell in these damn things!)

  • Dolph Ziggler tries to eliminate Corbin, but is unsuccessful – Zack Ryder finishes the job for him.

  • Corbin pulls Ziggler out under the bottom rope, before throwing him back in and being sent out by refs. Rusev picks up Ziggler and throws him out at Corbin’s feet before he can make his way out.

  • Ad breaks during matches are irritating enough at the best of times, but I’m having a hard enough time recapping what’s happening in a Battle Royal without having the action interrupted on me.

  • When we come back, Kalisto is in the commentary booth talking about the US Title, but he is interrupted by Apollo Crews and then Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas getting eliminated.

  • Of the last five in the ring, 3 of them are former members of the League of Nations. Sin Cara hits an amazing splash on Rusev, but is resoundingly beaten down by Sheamus and Del Rio afterwards. Sin Cara takes them both to the ground, which is great to watch but which I can’t imagine is really going to help him eliminate them. They have a bit of size on him, is my point.

  • Sin Cara climbs up to the turnbuckle and is pushed off by Del Rio, which is why I hate seeing turnbuckle moves in a Battle Royal.

  • The final four are Zack Ryder, Del Rio, Rusev and Sheamus, and Rusev puts the boot in on Ryder while Del Rio and Sheamus bicker, before they all get in on kicking Ryder.

  • Ryder goes over the rope but lands on the apron. Del Rio sends Sheamus over after quite a bit of back and forth, and the former League are mostly just fighting each other while Ryder watches.

  • Ryder gets up to send Del Rio to the floor after Rusev gets him over the apron, and now it’s Ryder and Rusev facing off.

  • Beautiful dropkick by Zack Ryder, but as he tries to get Rusev over, Rusev reverses it and sends Ryder over the top rope.

Lana comes out to celebrate with Rusev after the match, but Kalisto and Rusev just stare each other down for a while. Eventually Lana gets her big hug, but Rusev is back to yelling at Kalisto very quickly. I guess we know who he’s more interested in right now. Lana takes his hand to raise in the air but he keeps looking back to Kalisto. Or possible the title. It’s hard to tell what he’s glaring at.

Charlotte’s music hits, and before I can even think about anything else, it drives me absolutely up the wall that Ric is introduced before Charlotte is. Excuse me guys, but she’s the women’s champion. She’s the wrestler we are here to see. We don’t care about the creepy old man constantly hanging around over her shoulder, sorry.

Lich king Ric Flair completely fails to make anything better by pointing out that Natalya obviously verbally submitted just like all the Harts do, and I am having a hard time discussing this whole thing because I’m just so angry and baffled that they would even do this storyline? But the referee comes out and confirms that Natalya verbally submitted and he has the most weird and smug face that I’ve ever seen.

Natalya storms out in the midst of all this and snatches the microphone out of Charlotte’s hand. She says this isn’t about Charlotte, or anything – it’s about Ric being a creepy cheater who paid off the referee to screw her out of a legitimate match, and that whether the results of the match stands or not, we all know what really happened. Charlotte tries to attack Natalya and is quickly disposed of, and Natalya gets in Ric’s face. He takes his time removing his jacket, ring and his watch before she slaps him across the face and drops him into the Sharpshooter.

Charlotte re-enters the ring to pull him to safety, but Natalya looks so pleased with herself. I don’t blame her. She takes Ric’s things and smiles, holding his ring up to the crowd like it’s an even better prize than the Women’s Championship title and while on one level I don’t blame her, on another, I just… I just have so many issues with this story, so even seeing Ric get Sharpshootered doesn’t really make me feel better about it.

Stephanie runs into Charlotte and Ric Flair in the corridor and declares that Charlotte and Natalya will have a rematch at Extreme Rules in a submission match. That’s kind of cool, but my breath is literally taken away for a moment when Stephanie tells Ric that he’s now banned from ringside. Yes, Stephanie, you are amazing, you are everything I want right now! I mean, I wish this happened a long time ago, but better late than never, I suppose. She asks for a “WOO!” but obviously neither of the Flairs give her one.

MATCH – AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson  vs. Roman Reigns & The Usos

Styles and his boys (Editor: Bullet Club Lite?) make their way to the ring together, and AJ is back in black, which I think suits him much better than whatever that was that he was wearing at Payback. Apparently I think I am a fashion critic now, too. Reigns and the Usos follow shortly afterwards to a chorus of boos. They stare each other down in the ring for a while, before the match begins.

  • AJ Styles and Roman Reigns start in the ring together, and AJ goes for a very hasty roll-up that obviously doesn’t work.

  • Luke Gallows tags himself in, and AJ doesn’t look happy about it, only begrudgingly stepping out of the ring for him. Gallows tries to get offense in on Reigns, but Roman hits him with a Samoan Drop before tagging in Jimmy Uso.

  • Jey tags in not long after and gets thrown out of the ring. Reigns and Jimmy try to follow him and are shooed away by the ref, just as we cut to commercial.

  • When we return, Karl Anderson and Jey Uso are in the ring, and Jey is definitely getting the worst of this. Jey takes a brutal Spinebuster, but manages to kick out at 2.

  • AJ tags back in and beats on Jey for a while longer, and as Jey is trying to each for the tag, Gallows comes in to interfere. AJ stops what he’s doing to tell him to stay on the apron, and Jey takes advantage before tagging Roman back in.

  • Anderson comes back in and takes a flying clothesline and a bunch of strikes in the corner. AJ gets too close and takes a punch as well. Anderson tries to pin Reigns, with a kickout at 2, and AJ tags back in.

  • Romen cocks his fist for a Superman Punch to Gallows, then tags Jimmy back in to deal with AJ. Anderson breaks up the pin, and Roman tags back in.

  • Gallows and Anderson grab a hold of Reigns on the outside and hit him with their two-man finisher.

  • Apparently AJ and Jimmy are the legal men right now, which I obviously missed, and AJ pins Jimmy for the victory.

Reigns is still taking a beating from Gallows and Anderson, though, bringing him back into the ring with a steel chair. AJ demands to know what they’re doing as he is offered the chair and strongly encouraged to attack the limp and barely moving Reigns with it while Gallows and Anderson hold him in place. AJ lifts the chair and seems to hesitate, before throwing it to the side. As Anderson and Gallows start to beat on Reigns again, the Usos re-enter and AJ gets hit with the steel chair from behind.

AJ grabs the chair and starts fighting back, and Reigns manages to get to his feet in time to see that and takes AJ down with a Superman Punch, looking furious. He sends AJ into the rope and then kicks him out of the ring, then throws him into the barricade and clearing the commentator’s table. AJ is thrown into the barricade again, and Roman lets out a shout before powerbombing AJ through the table.

Roman stands over AJ’s fallen body for a while, seething, before going to fetch his title and we close on him holding it with a rather sinister sort of look on his face.

We’ll see you Thursday for SmackDown!