Posted April 12th, 2016 by jshannon

Raw began with an In Tribute to Blackjack Mulligan aka Robert Windham. Rest in Peace, champ.

Shane McMahon then limped out to the stage. Suddenly, he began to do his little Shane-O Mac Shuffle. Shane is running the show, once again, this week. Shane let the fans know that it felt good to be out there with them. Shane knew Vince was letting him run things for Vince’s amusement. Shane thanked the fans for the support needed to have Vince want him to come back. Shane said it was time for new match-ups and new rivalries. Natalya will get a shot at Charlotte. Shane said a tag team tournament would begin to find the new number one contenders to the New Day. Shane confirmed that A.J. Styles will be the next in line to go after Roman Reigns’ World Title. Shane wanted to give Sami Zayn another chance to shine. Shane set up Sami vs Styles. If Sami wins, tonight, he gets added to the World Title Match at the next PPV. The fans were thrilled about that idea.

Kevin Owens came out to confront Shane. Kevin couldn’t’ believe that Shane felt Sami deserved a title shot. Kevin considered that he was getting screwed over. Shane reminded Kevin that Owens screwed over Sami, last week. Kevin said he was robbed at “K-O-Mania”. Kevin grumbled about not getting his IC title rematch. Kevin demanded his rematch, tonight. Shane explained to KO that Owens could win his rematch by defeating one man…Shane put Kevin against…CESARO!

Kevin Owens vs Cesaro
Number One Contender to the Intercontinental Title Match

Payback is the name of the next PPV. The bell rang and Kevin scooted to the ropes. Go Behind by Cesaro. Amateur Ride by the Swiss Superman. Kevin rolled out to the floor. Miz and Maryse watched the match in the back. Side Headlock Takeover by Cesaro. Kevin took the Side Headlock and screamed at the fans. Cesaro reversed things and messed with Kevin’s neck. Owens bailed out, ticked off. Kevin replaced JBL’s hat, which he had knocked off the announce table.

Back in the ring, Kevin blasted Cesaro with Knife Edge Chops and punches. Cesaro came back with hard European Uppercuts. Kevin went after Cesaro’s surgically repaired shoulder. The two went to the floor and Cesaro was sent into the ring post. Kevin cinched in a Keylock on his foe. Kevin bashed Cesaro and sent him to the corner. Cesaro dodged a charge and unleashed the Uppercut Train. Dropkick by Cesaro brought him a two. Kevin kicked out of the Cesaro Swing. Cesaro rolled up Kevin for a two. Kevin threw Cesaro’s shoulder into the post. Break time.

Kevin punched away, Cesaro Swing blocked. Bombs Away Double Stomp by Cesaro. 2 count. Kevin reversed a Whip and flipped Cesaro over the ropes. Cesaro got he boot up. Flying Corssbody and Kevin rolled through and applied the Crippler Crossface. Cesaro slid towards the ropes to force the break. . Kevin rolled backwards to get Cesaro away from the ropes. Nice to see Kevin switch things up. Cesaro rolled back and then ended up putting Kevin in the Sharpshooter! Kevin inched over and grabbed the ropes. The ref forced the break. Miz and Maryse were still watching this wild battle. Superkick by KO. Kevin headed up top and hit the Frog Splash. 1-2-not yet!

Kevin swore it was over. He sent Cesaro to the ropes but Cesaro avoided the Pop Up Powerbomb and hit a Springboard European Uppercut. Cesaro Swing! The shoulder gave out as he brought Keivn around. Owens pulled Cesaro into the ropes. Cesaro rolled through the Pop Up Powerbomb nad connected with the Neutralizer!

Your Winner: Cesaro
Raw Ranking: 4.0 out of a possible 5

I want to thank all of you that came up to see me at Wrestlecon, in Dallas. I also thank you all for being understanding about my missing Raw, last week. During Raw, I was flying between Dallas and Las Vegas. Most importantly, I want to thank my absolute best friend on this planet, Sunny Raye, for sharing a wonderful evening with me and my mother. I will be back home, very soon. Love ya, Lil Sister.

Raw looked at the revelation of the new Women’s Championship belt. I am beyond happy that they have finally retired the Butterfly Belt and gave it back the prestige it deserves. Natalya took exception to Charlotte’s comments and the fight was set for later tonight.

Charlotte and Ric Flair discussed the disrespect that Natalya and the other women have shown her. Ric was upset with Shane McMahon and Natalya for this whole situation. Dr. Phil showed up to talk with the Flairs. GOD, I HATE that guy. Phil said he was so proud of Charlotte and appreciated the relationship between father and daughter. Phil said Ric was holding Charlotte back and corrupting her. YAWN! Oh, slap the crap out of him, Charlotte. Ric just Woo’d at the jerk.

Kevin Owens yelled at Shane about being screwed over by everyone. Kevin warned Shane that what would happen to Sami would be on Shane. McMahon banished Kevin from the building.

New Day danced out from the back. I really gained an all new respect for this team when I heard their words at the Hall of Fame. Xavier Woods discussed how hot the tag team division was, right now. New Day tried to figure out who deserved to face them. New Day wore the new Booty-O’s tee-shirts. I want one of them. The graphics showed that 8 teams will compete to find who gets Woods, Big E and Kofi Kingston, next. New Day felt the winner of the tournament will STILL fail to take the straps from them.

Lucha Dragons vs Dudley Boys
Tag Team Tournament, Opening Round Match #1

Kalisto was hurt, during the break. The docs checked on the masked man. Kalisto was holding his neck. D’Von tookt he tag and worked over Sin Cara. D’von bashed the Luchadore and lifted him up. Sin Cara fought back with shots but Dudley put him down and brought in his “brother”, Bubba Ray. Bubba yelled at the crowd and tagged D’von back in. Sin Cara unloaded with Knife Edge Chops and a Springboard Crossbody. Springboard Elbow Smash and chops to D’von. Sin Cara almost pinned D’von after a Springboard Moonsault. Tag to Bubba. Sin Cara avoided the first 3D but fell to the 2nd one.

Your Winner (Advancing): The Dudley Boys
Raw Ranking: 2.0

Enzo and Cass came out to mess with the Dudleys. I really get a kick out of Enzo. He reminds me of Crash Holly crossed with The Rock. And “You Can’t Teach Dat!” Bubba was not amused by this upstart team, especially when Enzo asked “How YOU Doing?” Bubba demanded respect from those they follow their pathways. Enzo made fun of Devon (his word). Cass told the Dudleys to step aside, put on the reflective vests and get back to worth. He accused them of being “S-A-W-F-T”. Enzo and Cass could very well be a major force in the tag team scene for many years to come.

Kevin Owens was escorted out of the building by security.

Roman Reigns came out with his World Title belt. The fans just aren’t accepting of the leader of the Roman Empire. Roman said he wasn’t a good guy or a bad guy, he was just THE guy. Roman was cool with fighting A.J. Styles and maybe Sami Zayn. Roman had tons of respect for both guys. Roman did understand that neither Sami nor Styles had won the WWE title.

The League of Nations suddenly showed up. King Barrett is no longer a member of their little faction. Sheamus knew Roman was confident, because he wasn’t having to face one of the League. Roman blew him off. Sheamus said Roman should be worried about Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus and Rusev. All 3 were upset that they were left out of the WWE Title contendership match, last week. Rusev said he was stronger and more handsome than Roman. Roman called Rusev the “*ss of the WWE”. Del Rio stepped up and said any one of the three of them could kick Roman’s Butt (using Spanish for the word). Roman invited all three men to come down and get their butts handed to them.

Suddenly, the lights went out and the Wyatt Family showed up. Braun, Bray and Erick beat the daylights out of the League and sent them packing. Roman wasn’t sure what to do. Shane came out before anything crazy happened. Shane dug what he was seeing in the ring. Shane made the match:

Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns vs Any 2 members of the League of Nations!

Another promo ran for the Puerto Rico tag team (the Colons).

Dr. Phil came out…which gave me time to finish a few e-mails and such. He was there to watch the next match.

Natalya vs Charlotte (w/Ric Flair)
Women’s Title Match

I am just SO damn happy to no longer have to type “Divas Title Match”. I’m an Old Schooler, as anyone in Dallas will tell you. Smile. Dr. Phil joined the announce team for the match. Phil was there to see if his advice was taken to heart, by Charlotte. Who the Hell cares? Just freaking wrestle!

The bell rang and the lovely Lilian Garcia did the introductions. Charlotte showed off and then went after Nattie’s legs. She didn’t take the 3rd Generation star down. Nattie got taken to the corner and she looked angry as Charlotte showed her disrespect. Collar and Elbow and Nattie tried to work over Charlotte’s legs. Char kicked Nattie away. The y hooked up again and Nattie nailed a Spinebuster. Cross Armbreaker variation by Nattie. Charlotte got her feet on the ropes and then went to the floor.

Dr. Phil wasn’t happy with what he was seeing. Charlotte got back up on the apron. Nattie caught Char’s leg and threw her down. Back Run by Nattie into the Slider Dropkick and Char went to the floor, once again. Neckbreaker and Kip Up by the champ, once she got back in the ring. Knee Drops to Nattie’s neck. 1-2-fail. Raw needed a quick break.

Charlotte was doing Push Up Faceplants as Raw returned. Charlotte with Rollin g Flip Head Scissors. Nattie went back to the Cross Armbreaker. Charlotte applied the Figure Four but didn’t go into the Figure Eight. Nattie would not submit. Nattie reversed the move but Charlotte got to the ropes. Charlotte went to the Sharpshooter! Nattie screamed in agony but rolled under to get free. Nattie was seriously injured, at this point. Knife Edge Chop by Charlotte, which fired up Battie. German SUplex by Nattie. Charlotte blocked a 2nd one. Discus Clothesline by the Canadian beauty. Charlotte fought out of the Sharpshooter and got a two. Charlotte decked Nattie and almost pinned her.

Charlotte looked to her daddy for inspiration. Charlotte hit a nasty Suplex to send Nattie flying. Charlotte smiled as the realization of her win impeding came to mind. She stomped across the chest and went for the Moonsault. The pool was dry and Nattie applied the Sharpshooter. Ric pulled the ref out of the ring so he couldn’t see Charlotte tap. The bell rang.

Your Winner (by Disqualification): Natalya
Raw Ranking: 2.75

That was just lame. Byron asked Dr. Phil about what he just saw. He was disappointed in the champ. Dr. Phil was proud of the women’s division for standing up and being so strong.

Raw looked back at how Kevin Owens attacked Sami Zayn, last week. Renee Young then interviewed Sami. She asked Sami if he was ready for tonight’s fight. He was. Sami said he has Heart and Soul and no one would stop him, including Kevin Owens.

Suddenly, A.J. Styles walked up and talked with his old friend. Styles said he wanted to be the only Number one Contender.

The Usos vs Heath Slater and Curtis Axel
Tag Team Tournament, Opening Round Match #2

Axel got blasted by Jimmy Uso. Tag to Jey. He landed on Axel’s outstretched arm. Float Over by Jey but he took a vicious knee to the face. Tag to Heath. Stomp to Jey’s chest. Tag back to Axel. Heath stomped on Jey as the ref was distracted. Rear Chin Lock by Axel. Jey would not give up. Nice Dropkick by Axel. Heath tagged back in and nailed a Dropkick. 2 count. Heath rocked Jey with a hard punch and brought Axel back in. The Social Outcasts just kept with the quick tags. Slater hit a Leg Lariat and almost got the pin. The Social Outcasts wasted way too much time jobbing around the outside. Jeez. Dumb*sses. Jimmy got the tag and rolled up his foe.

Your Winners: The Usos.
Raw Ranking: 2.0

HOLY CRAP! Luke Gallows and Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson hit the ring and just destroyed the Usos! The Bullet Club continues to grow within WWE! Guns and Gallows are going to just dominate this division! Oh, Hell Yeah!! Please, oh Please let them bring Amber with them. Smile!

Maryse went off on people about mistreating her husband by giving him Blue M&Ms. Seriously? She also b*tched about the domestic water that he was given. Jojo came in to interview them. Maryse did not like that Jojo came in, uninvited. Miz said he was tired about hearing about Zack Ryder and Cesaro. He felt they were both so underneath him. Cesaro came in to interrupt Miz. Cesaro wanted to see the man he was about to take the Intercontinental title from. Maryse had a serious fit about the invasion.

A.J. Styles vs Sami Zayn
If Sami wins, he gets added to the World title match at Payback.

The two tested the waters as the fans chanted various things. Knuckle Lock into a Test of Strength. Sami broke it and got the arm. Styles rolled under to take back the advantage. Styles twisted on the arm and Sami Elbowed the wrist to get free. Side Headlock Takeover by Sami but Styles got free, quickly.

They went back to the Knuckle Lock. Roll Up and Sami almost got the pin. They backed off and then went into the Collar and Elbow. Sami took the arm and cranked away. Styles rolled under and took back over on the arm. Sami flipped Styles to the canvas. Lice Arm Drag and Styles seemed off his game. Styles took them to the corner. The ref started the count. They stood and stared at each other. Collar and Elbow and Sami took the arm, again. Styles flipped around to get the position he wanted. Sami spun Styles over and A.J. struck the mat, hard. Knife Edge by Sami. Styles was not amused. Side Headlock by Sami. Universal into a wonderful Dropkick by Styles.

Snap Suplex by Styles brought a two count. Rear Chin Lock by A.J.. Sami got to his feet but got elbowed out through the ropes. Styles drove a knee to the side of Sami’s face. Styles threw Sami back in the ring and got a two count. Sami ran Stylse into the ropes and A.J. sailed out to the floor. Flip Dive by Sami! Raw needed to run a few more commercials.

Styles had Sami down in a Side Headlock. Sami rolled over and got to his feet. Sami punched away but Styles unloaded on Sami with multiple Trikes. Stinger Splash by Styles. Pumphandle Gutbuster by Styles brought at two. Styles nailed the back of Sami’s neck with a Knee Strike. A.J. wanted the Styles Clash but Sami dropped to a knee. Sami rolled up Styles and almost got the three. Styles put Sami up top and Zayn hit a Springboard Crossbody…from the top. Could be…might be…Denied!

Sami hit a Rope Run Tornado DDT to pull another two plus. Frustration began to sneak onto Sami’s face. Styles fought out of a Full Nelson attempt and connected with the Pele. Styles moved to the apron and went for his Forearm Finisher. Blue Thunder Bomb by Sami. 1-2-No!

Calf Crusher by Styles. They were dead in the middle of the ring. Sami just would not give it up. Sami got ahold of the ropes. Sami knocked Styles off the turnbuckles. Sami landed on his feet and went for the Luna-Kick. Phenomenal Forearm!

Your Winner: A.J. Styles
Raw Ranking: 4.5

Chris Jericho was ready to do a Highlight Reel, with a very special guest…next.

Raw looked back at the end of the last match. Shane came up to thank Styles and Sami for such a fantastic match. Styles and Sami hugged each other in a show of such great respect.

The Highlight Reel

Jericho told the fans to shut their damn mouths and listen to him. Jericho had the biggest star in WWE History with him, tonight. Jericho’s guest was…Chris Jericho! Really? Chris was ready to share more about himself then every revealed, before. Chris asked himself who he owed his success to. Himself was the response. God, this was such a waste of time. Chris bragged about all his successes. Chris felt no one on the roster could equal him…

Enter Dean Ambrose. He was still limping from his brutal battle with Brock Lesnar. Dean brought a potted plant to the ring. Chris wanted to know what the “idiot” was doing. Dean said this was now HIS show. Dean said Shane gave him a memo. Oops, it was a speeding ticket. He found the real memo. Chris read it and found out that the Highlight Reel has been replaced by the Ambrose Asylum. Chris was not happy. Den had an “Ambrose Asylum” sign that went over the Jeri-Tron 6000. Dean poked fun at Jericho’s wardrobe. Chris warned that he no longer has to play by the rules, because he is a Legend. Jericho threatened the Lunatic Fringe, calling him “Boy”. Jericho ordered Dean to “Take you stupid *ss out of my ring…now”. Dean thought it over and then went back to talking about Jericho’s %750 scarf. Chris went to pop Dean and got laid out with Dirty Deeds.

The Golden Truth is finally a team. Goldust wasn’t happy about R-Truth putting them in the tag team tourney. Sigh, Dr. Phil came out and pointed at the oddball duo. Can’t he just go away?

Apollo Crews vs Adam Rose

Rose sent Apollo to the ropes. Backflip and Dropkick by Crews. La Bandera sent Rose sailing over and into the announce desk. Bo Dallas tried to calm Rose down. Rose and Crews went to the ropes. Cheap Shot by Rose into a serious of hard stomps. Rose ran Crews into the corner. Snap Mare and Seated Rear Chin Lock by Rose. Crews got to his feet and worked Rose’s ribs. Back Elbow by Rose into a Bomaye. 2 count. Rose slapped Crews, which ticked him off. Crews went to the knee to block a Suplex. Rose locked up Crews but Apollo fought out and went into a Vertical Suplex. Solid Punches by Crews. Back Flying Elbow and Kip Up. Bo tried to distract. Rose tried to Pearl Harbor but got laid out. Spin Out Sit Out Powerbomb by Crews.

Your Winner: Apollo Crews
Raw Ranking: 2.0

Raw profiled Baron Corbin.

Bray Wyatt cut a promo about having common enemies. Bray told roman to “Trust Me”. Never do that!

Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns vs Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio

Bray explained he wanted to start eh match. Bray and Sheamus began the match. Bray sent Sheamus to the ropes and dropped him. Bray hit the Short Arm Clothesline and stomped away. Spider Walk! Roman and Bray double teamed Sheamus. Interesting. Roman took the tag and pounded away. He wasn’t happy when Bray brought himself back in. Sheamus began to fight back but Bray slugged the Irish Man. Kitchen Sink by Sheamus. Del Rio finally took the tag and hit the Double Stomp off Sheamus’ Irish Curse Backbreaker. Del Rio clocked Roman. Corner Mount Punches by Del Rio. Sheamus was tagged back in. He stomped away on the Eater of Worlds. Snap Mare into a Rear Chin Lock by the Celtic Warrior. Bray fought free and stunned Sheamus. Bray threw Sheamus out of the ring. Roman asked for the tag.

Tag to Roman. He unloaded on Sheamus with hard Clotheslines. Flying Forearm by Roman. Sheamus Double Booted Roman but fell to a Kitchen Sink. Roman cocked the fist and got ready. Sheamus rolled out to avoid the Superman Punch. Roman went to the floor and got sent into the ring post. Roman was thrown into the post, again. .

Back in the ring, Sheamus dumped Sheamus out to the floor. Sheamus went for the 10 Beats but Roman stopped him. Back Elbows by Roman but he took a kick from Del Rio. Roman was laid out by a vicious kick. Del Rio, who was now legal, almost got the duke. Del Rio put Roman in the Sullivan Tree of Woe and punched away. Del Rio went up top but Bray distracted Alberto. Roman arched up and launched Del Rio.

Tag to Sheamus, who prevented Roman from getting a tag. Sheamus dropped the knee into Roman’s neck. He then posed. Corner Shoulder by Sheamus and the Running High Knee. Samoan Drop by Roman. The ref began the count. Bray refused to tag, at first. He finally did nad went off on Del Rio, who was now legal. Bray hit he Uranage Slam and Backsplash Senton on Del Rio. Del Rio escaped Sister Abigail but didn’t avoid the Train Wreck Flying Elbow. It all broke down into chaos. Superman Punch to Sheamus failed. Roman was thrown into the ring steps. Kick by Rusev. Back Stabber by Del Rio. 1-2-no, no, No!

The lights went down and then Braun and Erick attacked Rusev. Del Rio saw the danger he was in and backed off. He ran back in the ring and lifted Bray. Sister Abigail! Roman Speared Sheamus as he went to break up the pin!

Your Winners: Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt
Raw Ranking: 3.25

One last thing, before I go. There are a few final people that I need to say thank you to. Greg Valentine, Tito Santana, Paul Orndorff and Sam Houston were so great to work with. By the way, Paul is coming to the big event, this Saturday, at the 2300 Arena (Philadelphia). I can’t be there but the rest of the Rivalry Championship Wrestling group will be there. Seeing any of those Hall of Famers is always a true treat.

I also want to thank Evan Ginzburg. He was incredible to work with and I learned so much from him, in such a short time. Hope to see you again, soon, brother.

I want to thank Bill Apter for being there and making me smile. I’ve started on the book and it is so awesome.

Finally, I want to thank Darren Antola and David Wilkins, my two partners-in-crime, for making Wrestlecon another memorable reunion of “The Band”. Smile.


–Jay Shannon

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