Welcome once again to the Raw review! Last week’s show was one of the best we’ve seen in years, featuring two great matches and the long awaited debut of Karl & Gallows, marking the true arrival of the Bullet Club. Raw is on a dreaded tape delay this week, emanating from London, a raucous crowd sure to be on hand. Can WWE capitalize on last week’s stellar showing of what the future may hold? We can only hope so.
Ambrose opens up the show with his ‘Ambrose Asylum’ bit, cracking some topical jokes before he introduces Shane McMahon, who is (once again) in control of Raw tonight. Ambrose invites Shane to take a seat but realizes he has no chairs. Ambrose puts over Shane jumping off the cell and shows the terrifying clip once again to tremendous cheers. Shane gets Shane-O chants in the tune of Ole~! Shane says he does it all for the fans. It’s time for some cheap pops as Shane puts over names that would have never gotten a chance like AJ Styles, Sami Zayn and Sasha Banks. Owens interrupts and it’s time for some KO banter. KO says Shane can talk about his revolution all he wants, but he says it’s the same ol’ crap he sees every day, a McMahon with too much power with a vendetta against him. (The shots!) Owens confronts Shane about having him removed from the building last week. Shane says it was to protect Sami Zayn, and Owens says Zayn doesn’t deserve to be here and doesn’t belong in the WWE. Zayn interrupts to a massive pop and Zayn runs down Owens for being jealous of him, saying Owens would have never gotten there if it weren’t for him. Father of the year Chris Jericho interrupts cause he’s got somethin’ to say. Jericho reminds Shane who he is, and says no one cares about Sami’s ‘stupid idiot feelings’. Ambrose interrupts all the commotion to tell people to be careful around his plant. Shane says at Payback it’ll be Jericho vs. Ambrose, and Zayn vs. Owens(!). Shane casually leaves and the fight breaks out with Zayn and Ambrose standing tall to end the segment. Well, things got heated real quick there. All the hype in the world for Zayn/Owens rematch.
What a time to be alive when this match can take place. Sami Zayn pulls a somewhat decent match out of 2016 Jericho, who at this point is just completely hit or miss with his matches with not many hits under his belt. I mean, this London crowd is nearly asleep for a Sami Zayn match, and it certainly isn’t his fault. Jericho nearly gets him in the Walls of Jericho but Zayn twists out and manages to nail the Blue Thunder Bomb. Jericho avoids a dive from Zayn but Zayn catches him with the torpedo DDT through the turnbuckles, getting him back in the ring for the Helluva Kick but Jericho ducks, pokes Zayn in the eye, and hits the Codebreaker for the win. It’s 2016 and Jericho must go over no matter what, I guess. Yeesh.
Styles is backstage being interviewed by Mauro Ranallo! It’s not very long until Styles is interrupted with a ‘Hello, brother!’ by none other than Karl & Gallows, the reunion of the good brothers. They have a beautiful family reunion, Karl and Gallows wishing him luck in his match at Payback. Gallows says they have to catch-up cause his memory’s a little fuzzy of their last get together. My god. MY GOD. This is 2016, what a hoot.
Enzo and Cass are the most over guys in the building. Enzo says there is a Hell in hello, end in friend, and a DUD in Dudley Boyz (how you doin’). Enzo says they’re NO FUGAZI, and they’re like A-cups.. real whether you like ’em or not, which is already top contender for the best promo line of the year. Enzo gets worked over by the Dudleyz who pretty much suck the air outta the building, but once Cass gets the hot tag, the place comes unglued. Cass gets hit with a double team neckbreaker, but ducks a line from D-Von who knocks Bubba off the apron accidentally. D-Von eats a big boot, and Cass and Enzo hit the Rocket Launcher to pick up the win and advance to the finals.
Reigns is out next to a deafening chorus of boos. Reigns busts out his good/bad/the guy line which should not, ever, EVER be a catchphrase. That should have been a one-off and that’s it. He has repeated it to death by now. Reigns says Styles will try to out-wrestle him but that won’t work because he’s bringing the BIG fight. Reigns says the era of the Roman Empire is here to say and he gets a boring chant for his efforts. Styles interrupts to a huge pop. Styles says Reigns is a heck of a champion, and Styles will have to have the match of his life to beat him, but having the match of his life is what he does, and made him a champion everywhere. Reigns says he’s felt all of that, he had the match of his life at ‘Mania and became champion. The man cannot even speak without getting booed, it’s ridiculous. Reigns says they like him now, but they won’t like when he beats Styles at Payback. Styles says he’d rather be liked and respected, and that’s what’s gonna get him the title at Payback. Styles leaves and Reigns stares him down, but is blindsided by Karl & Gallows! Gallows gets him up on his shoulders and Karl kills him with a kick to the head. They leave Reigns down and walk out as Styles looks on, conflicted. It’s hard to comprehend that all of this is happening. The fuckin’ Bullet Club in a WWE ring attacking Reigns. We are truly in some unbelievable times.
Reigns is backstage and Styles comes up to him and says that he had no idea about that, and had nothing to do with it. Reigns doesn’t believe a word, and Styles says they’re his friends but he doesn’t need them to beat Reigns for his title.
Corbin decimates Fandango with ease, and throws him into Ziggler who is on commentary. Corbin stomps him for good measure and finishes Fandango mercifully with an End of Days. Ziggler tries to attack him but gets destroyed for his efforts, taking another End of Days on the outside. This was wonderful all around. I love watching Ziggler get knocked around like a geek. All Hail.
Miz and Maryse are out here to bury the royal family, and put over their relationship and their pristine baby (the IC title). Miz and Maryse start makin’ out hardcore, and are interrupted by the lord god, Cesaro. Cesaro says the only royal Miz is is a royal pain in the ass. (ROASTED) Miz calls Cesaro a supporting actor and gets a boring chants. Miz recites the famous Liam Neeson line from Taken, even busting out a phone to make it real. Christ almighty. Cesaro busts out a line of his own, doing a beautiful tribute to Roddy Piper’s famous They Live line. Miz says he’d love to fight but he is not his opponent tonight, Rusev is! Rusev comes out with the League and Cesaro interrupts them saying Shane made a tag match tonight, it’ll be The League of Nations & Miz vs. Cesaro and… The New Day! Cesaro tearing off his suit to reveal a Booty O’s shirt to the loudest pop.
Cesaro & New Day may be the most beautiful alliance in all of wrestling. A match made in heaven. Your pretty standard big ol’ tag match, LON using their sneaky heel tactics to stop New Day from getting any momentum. Cesaro gets the huge hot tag at the end of the match, taking out everyone with huge uppercuts, popping the crowd. Everyone gets their shit in at the end, Cole calls Big E’s belly-to-belly the BELLY TO BOOTY. Enough, Michael, enough. Sheamus starts taking out New Day but Cesaro grabs him and nails the Neutralizer real quick for the win. Very hot finish! Cesaro is so damn great, he’s on fire right now and they damn well better capitalize on it.
Another big ol’ tag match here. Becky, Sasha, and Paige are over as hell, as you’d expect. Some pretty solid work but nothing exicting. Kinda rough on to do two giant tags in a row, cause this crowd is not offering much support. The heels dominate for the most part until Nattie gets the tag in and faces off with Charlotte, managing to get her into the Sharpshooter and forcing the champion to tap. Nothing exciting here, just to hype up the Charlotte/Nattie match at Payback. Serving a purpose.
Man, the Vaudevillains got no reaction, it was like minus a reaction. A glorified squash match here, my god. Usos got destroyed for most of it, until they did some dive spots, but Gotch and English hit the Whirling Dervish to pick up the win and go to the finals. Well, a straight up NXT takeover of the finals, so that’s cool!
This crowd is buuurned out. Another glorified squash match certainly isn’t gonna wake them up, even commentary sounds asleep. Another bad spot for Apollo to be in it. The crowd wakes up for Apollo’s moonsault off the apron to Axel and Bo at ringside. Crews hits a kick to the head and the spin-out bomb for the win. Owens interrupts Apollo’s celebration and walks right by him like he’s not even there, just wanting to get to his match.
Nothing but what you’d expect from these two. Brawlin’ all around the ring and outside, JBL almost getting murdered by Owens throwing Ambrose over the table. The usual. Owens hit a huge frog splash to Ambrose off the apron which was real good. Nothing too crazy in the main event but an alright match nonetheless. A pretty hot closing stretch, Ambrose tries for the Dirty Deeds, KO counters and tries for the powerbomb, Ambrose rolls into a rana, Owens drills him with a superkick. Owens and Ambrose fight on the top, Ambrose trying for a suplex but Owens hits the big twisty suplex off the top. Owens goes for another frog splash but Ambrose gets the knees up which was a terrible idea cause it looked like his knees nearly burst into flames. Owens went for a cannonball but Ambrose moved and hit Dirty Deeds for the win. Jericho interrupts Ambrose’s celebration wearing some terrible corduroy pants and a scarf, hitting a Codebreaker on Ambrose to end Raw. Your dad stands tall.
Hoo boy, Raw was a bit of a chore tonight, kinda felt like it would never end. One of those Raws where you find yourself looking at the clock and going “there’s still this long left?”. Just a lot of nothing happening. The parts with Karl, Gallows and Styles were awesome, and the Cesaro & New Day stuff was fun, and Ambrose/Owens was decent for what it was. Nothing really of utter importance happened, though this seems to be the case most of the time when they do taped Raws. A shame, but it is what it is. Hopefully they get back on track next week. Thanks for reading.