Posted April 26th, 2016 by jshannon

Shane McMahon was still running the show, this week. There were several top-notch matches and one very touching good-bye to one wrestling’s greatest women.

The show began with the “In Memory Of…Joanie Laurer “Chyna” graphic. Glad to see them honor her, right off the bat.

Roman reigns then did the Good Guy/Bad Guy/THE Guy thing. Raw looked at the arrival of Karl Anderson and Luke “Doc” Gallows. The Machine Gun and Doc jumped Roman, much to A.J. Styles’ shock. He swore that he knew nothing about that attack. Roman didn’t believe him.

Roll the opening montage!

A.J. Styles will battle Sheamus, later on. Roman Reigns will face another member of the League of Nations, Alberto Del Rio.

Shane-o Mac danced his way form the back. He is just such a breath of fresh air into what was becoming pretty stale. JBL wanted The Authority back. I don’t. Shane explained he was still there, because of the fans. Shane wanted new faces and new match-ups.

Suddenly, Stephanie McMahon came from the back. She mocked her brother’s little dance thing. Stephanie made fun of her brother pandering to the Hartford, CT crowd. Stephanie explained she was born in Hartford, so she is one of the masses. Shane accused his sister of “taking the air out of the room”. Stephanie said Hartford wanted to honor her but she wasn’t out there for that. Stephanie let Shane know that this would be his final night running Raw. Stephanie declared that Vince would be at Payback, on Sunday, to finally choose who would be in control of Monday Night Raw. The fans chanted for Shane to be chosen. Shane polled the crowd and Stephanie almost got booed out of the building, while he was wildly cheered. Stephanie was confident that things would not go Shane’s way, on Sunday. Shane politely asked Stephanie to leave the ring. Stephanie refused to leave. Shane reminded Stephanie he was still in charge, so he brought out Security to escort her to the back. Stephanie dropped the microphone and exited the ring. The classic “Nay Nay Hey Hey Goodbye” chant rang out. Stephanie slapped one of the security guards for touching her. The other guards took control of her and forced her to the back. Stephanie promised that Shane would pay for this. Shane got the “Hey Hey Goodbye” chant started, again. Shane was then ready for some wrestling action. He called out A.J. Styles.

A.J. Styles vs Sheamus

I find it interesting that Sheamus returned to his old music, instead of using the League of Nations theme and graphics. Lilian Garcia still listed Sheamus as a League member.

Collar and Elbow and the two went to the corner. Sheamus worked Styles’ back and then stomped away. Whip and Running Back Elbow by the Celtic Warrior. European Uppercut by Sheamus. Universal ended when Styles hit a wicked Dropkick. Knife Edge Chops and Snap Mare by Styles. Styles took hold of Sheamus’ wrist but the Celtic Warrior blasted Styles’ ribs. Styles bashed and battered Sheamus to the corner. Corner Shoulders by Styles. Sheamus kicked out with both feet and got a two. Keylock by Sheamus.

Styles kicked Sheamus off a Whip. A hard Forearm sent Sheamus tumbling to the floor. Sheamus popped Styles in the mid-section. Styles fought off the 10 Beats. Low Dropkick to the knees caused Sheamus to fall and crack his chin on the edge of the apron. Styles missed a Standing Moonsault. Sheamus threw Styles into the ring steps and Raw threw it to commercials.

Sheamus was back in control with the Keylock. Styles got free but fell to a pair of Irish Curse Backbreakers. Massive Bear hug by Sheamus. Sheamus threw Styles into the corner but when the Irish Man charged, Styles moved. Sheamus hit the post, hard. European Uppercut as Styles sat on the top turnbuckle. Styles hit a weird modified Superplex-like move. Styles clocked Sheamus with Forearms. Styles totally exploded on the Celtic One. Sheamus got up and then Styles Kipped Up. Corner Splash and kicks by Styles. Sheamus threw Styles into the corner and then hit a Powerslam. 2 count.

Sheamus tried to lock in the Cloverleaf but Styles nailed the Pele Kick. Both men were down and stunned. Styles unloaded with wild Forearms. He called for the Styles Clash but didn’t get it. Clothesline by Sheamus. Sheamus cinched in the Cloverleaf. Styles would not give up. Styles inched over and got the ropes.

Sheamus missed the Brogue Kick. Styles worked over the arm. Phenomenal Forearm!

Your Winner: A.J. Styles
Raw Ranking: 3.0 out of a possible 5

After the match, Gallows and Anderson came out and applauded their former Bullet Club compatriot. Styles just looked confused. In the back, Roman Reigns watched all this. The Usos came up to talk with their cousin, Roman. Jimmy and Jey offered their help to Roman and he let them know he would have their backs, as well.

Yeah! It’s New Day Time. Dear God, did I really type that? Yes, I really did. These guys have finally won me over. Smile. They partied it up, as Raw took another break.

The party was still going strong. New day will face either Enzo and Cass or the Vaudevillians, after Sunday. Those two teams will fight in the tourney finals. New Day pushed BootyO’s. Smile. Xavier Woods did a quick shout out to the late, great Prince. That was cool.

English and Gotch came out confront the tag champs. They were ready to party like it was….1899. They trash talked Enzo and Cass. Man, they are just SO awesome. Enzo was so fun on the microphone. A “How You Doin?” chant got rolling. Colin Cassidy said they had one word to spell “S-W-A-F-T”. Woods knew they would still overcome whichever team won, on Sunday.

Anderson and Gallows are on their way out to face The Usos. A.J. Styles had been in the locker room, talking with them. Hmm…

Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson and “Doc” Luke Gallows vs Jimmy and Jey Uso

The announcers praised Luke and Karl for their success in Japan. Karl wanted to kick it off. He tore into Jimmy but took vicious Knife Edge Chops. Jey took the tag and hit a Corner Splash. Nice Leg Lariat by Karl. Tag to Luke after the beat down. Jey flew but got caught. Spinning Enziguri to Luke. Jimmy took the tag and popped Luke. Jey tagged back in and “Doc” took him out, almost, with a brutal Clothesline. Jey was being brutalized. Snap Mare by Karl, who had made himself legal.

Knee Drop by Karl. 2 count. Arm Bar by Karl. Jey clocked Karl and tried to make it to his own corner. He didn’t get there as Karl laid him out. 2 count, again. Luke returned to the match and punched away on Uso. Nasty Knee Strike and Elbow Drops by Luke. He stayed focused on the bad shoulder of Jey. Jimmy was knocked off the apron. Tag to Karl. Elbow Drop, on the apron, by Karl. Karl went for a pin but couldn’t pull the three. Arm Bar by Karl and Jey reached for a tag. He didn’t get it, he got DDTd. Jey barely kicked out.

Luke came back in and continued the assault. Luke twisted on the bad arm of Jey. Luke set Jey on the top rope and blasted eh back. Jey tried to fight back against both foes. Luke shoved Jey off the top and down into the barricade. Wow!

Jey was still getting obliterated. Jey did hit a Missile Dropkick but couldn’t follow up on it. Jimmy begged for the tag. Finally, Jimmy got the tag. Karl got in, as well. Samoan Drop to Karl. Rikishi Run and Low Bridge to Luke. Wild Clothesline by Karl. Anderson then took out Jey. Luke finished him off by dumping him over the barricade. Jimmy dove through and took out Luke. Karl came out and got Jimmy. Luke took the tag and hit a massive Boot. Magic Killer!

Your Winners: Anderson and Gallows
Raw Ranking: 2.75

Karl threw Jey back in the ring and worked over both Usos. Roman Reigns rushed down and laid out Karl and Luke. The crowd actually booed Roman. Karl and Luke backed up the ramp, but he damage had already been done. I smell a six-man coming soon.

Renee Young interviewed A.J. Styles. She asked him how he has been training for Roman. Styles didn’t want to let this opportunity slip away. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows came in to talk. Karl said Roman started the fight. Karl wanted to make it a “fair Fight”, on Sunday. Karl promised to have Styles’ back. JBL still felt that there was something in the works between those three. He might be right.

The announcers then looked at the Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn feud. The two will go at it, at Payback. This feud got restarted at the Royal Rumble. Sami and Kevin talked about them becoming close, over the years. Kevin turned on Sami, on the night Zayn won the NXT Championship. Sami had to take some time off, due to an injury. Sami felt Kevin stabbed him in the back. Kevin took the NXT title from Sami. Kevin then came to the WWE and dropped John Cena, on Owens’ first night in the Bigs. Kevin feels victimized by Sami. Sami knew the two of them would always try to out-do the other.

Sami Zayn vs Rusev

Sami danced away from the Bulgarian Beast. Rusev caught Sami and clubbed away. Rusev then stomped his foe. Rusev hit a hard Corner Shoulder and flipped Sami to mid-ring. Sami hit a nice Hurancanrana off a Whip. Rusev wrestled Smai down to the canvas with a hard Bear Hug. Shoulder Tackle by Rusev. Michael Cole mentioned that Samoa Joe wont he NXT title in Lowell, MA. I want to thank by old buddy, Frank MacDonald, for his great report on that event. Rusev tumbled out of the ring. They fought until Sami hit a Moonsault, off the barricade.

They got back in the ring and Rusev put Sami on the apron. RVD Back Roll by Sami but Rusev nearly decapitated him with a Leg Lariat. Rusev put Sami up top and slugged away. Sami punched away but ate a huge kick to the face. Sami tumbled down to the arena floor. Break time.

Rusev was in total control. Front Face Lock by Rusev. Sami twitched and tried to slip free. Rusev just clubbed him and hit evil Gut Wrench Suplexes. Sami unloaded with rapid-fire Forearms and a slicing Clothesline. Sami twisted and almost pinned Rusev off a Suplex attempt. Rusev looked so winded. High Crossbody by Sami. 2 count. Rusev blocked the Blue Thunder Bomb and hit a Fallaway Slam. 2 count, again. Sami went for the Arm Drag but Rusev stopped him. Superkick! 2 count.

Rusev just paced back and forth. He went for the Accolade but took too much time. Sami slid under and rolled up Rusev!

Your Winner: Sami Zayn
Raw Ranking: 3.0

Outside the ring, Lana threw her high heels at Sami. Lana had a serious meltdown. Kevin Owens came out and attacked Sami. Is it me or has Kevin dropped some serious weight? Kevin stood over his fallen enemy.

Elsewhere, Renee interviewed Apollo Crews. Renee wondered how Apollo was going to stand out. He was stopped by the arrival of Star Dust. He called Star “Cody” and talked about Dusty Rhodes. Crews said Dusty gave him the “Apollo” name. Star said not even Dusty could make Apollo a star.

Star Dust vs Apollo Crews

Crews dedicates each and every match to Dusty Rhodes. Star worked the ribs but got decked. Cartwheel and Dropkick by Crews. 2 count. Stall Suplex failed as Star shifted his weight. Rolling Neckbreaker, through the ropes, by Star. 2 count, again. Star threw Crews into the corner and kicked away. Star focused on Apollo’s ankle. Knee Strikes by Star led to a Snap Mare. Modified Abdominal Stretch by Star. Crews powered up to his feet. Star hissed at the crowd and sent Crews to the ropes. Sunset Flip but Star sat down. 2 count. Crews hit an Amazing Grace Flying Back Elbow. Standing Moonsault but Star kicked out at two.

Star kicked away and then got nailed with the Crews Control (Spinning Sit Out Powerbomb).

Your Winner: Apollo Crews
Raw Ranking: 2.25

Dean Ambrose walked backstage. He was ready to chat about Chris Jericho.

Dean came out and Ra looked back at how Chris Jericho jumped Dean, last Monday. Dean was supposed to host the Ambrose Asylum but he didn’t want to go there, this week. Dean was in no mood for fun and games. Dean wanted to be serious about facing Chris Jericho. Dean cut a great promo about the bumps and bruises that his business offers. Dean then demanded that Jericho come out and join him.

Jericho looked very confused as he came from the back. Chris called Dean “a stupid, disrespectful idiot”. Chris then insulted where they were. Chris wondered if Dean understood just how good Chris is. Chris felt Dean should get down on his knees and thank him for giving him a chance to be elevated. Chris changed his mind and demanded an apology from Dean. Chris wanted the apology for the disrespect and the theft of the Highlight Reel. Dean didn’t say a word. Instead of an apology, Dean insulted Jericho’s “Ugly *ss Shoes”. He continued insulting Jericho’s look and attitude. Dean then laid into Jericho. Dean pitched Chris out to the floor and went to town. Dean dismantled the table and climbed up top. Chris tripped Dean and punched away. Chris got up and put Dean into the Walls of Jericho, on the announce table. Security rushed down to break it up.

Raw looked back at the Sibling Confrontation from the opening segment. Who will Vince choose to run the show? I have my opinion and will post it a bit later in the week. Smile.

The Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe title match will air…this Wednesday.

Natalya vs Emma

Charlotte and Ric Flair came out to watch the match. Emma rolled up Nattie but couldn’t hold her down. The fight went out to the floor. Butterfly Suplex by Emma. Emma yelled at Charlotte “What about me?” Back in the ring, Emma twisted Nattie like a pretzel. Emma rammed Nattie’s face into the corner. “We Want Sasha” rose from the crowd. Natalya caught Emma in the Sharpshooter!

Your Winner (by Submission): Natalya
Raw Ranking: 2.0

The announcers sent it to a wonderful video tribute to Chyna. She was the first woman to participate in the Royal Rumble. She was the first female Intercontinental champion. She was a key player in the original D-X. I’m going to go ahead and say it now…She BETTER be in the Hall of Fame, next year.

Damien Sandow vs Baron Corbin

Nice to see Damien back. They went back to Smackdown and looked at how Baron attacked Dolph Ziggler. He nailed End of Days, on the floor, to Dolph.

Dolph ran out and attacked Baron. Baron hadn’t even gotten to the ring. Dolph refused to stop beating on the winner of the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Baron backed off as the refs surrounded Dolph.

Your Winner: No Match
Raw Ranking: N/A

Time for another Puerto Rico promo.

Miz and Maryse were in the ring. Maryse spoke in French before switching to English. Miz will defend the Intercontinental title, at Payback, against Cesaro. Miz couldn’t believe that people didn’t see the benefit of him continuing to be the IC champ. Miz said the IC strap was legendary. Miz insulted the Cesaro fans. Miz said the fans were better than followers of a loser.

Cesaro’s theme went off to shut Miz up. Cesaro came out to a very James Bond-looking video. Cesaro couldn’t believe Miz wanted the fans to cheer for Miz. Miz went into a bad Robert DeNiro impression. Cesaro stopped him, cold. Cesaro was mildly amused by the guy who should star in “Jackass”. (Cesaro’s words). Cesaro was confident that he could end Miz’s reign. Miz quoted “Dirty Harry” and Cesaro countered with a similar quote. There was a serious stand off until Miz appeared to back off. Miz and Maryse got to the ropes and Maryse went under. Miz challenged and Cesaro hit the Flying European Uppercut. Cesaro Swing attempt was blocked by Maryse jumping on top of her hubby. Cesaro then picked up the ivory strap and looked at it. He dropped it at Miz’s side.

Roman and A.J. ran into each other, backstage. Styles said he was coming for the title. Roman mumbled something about Anderson and Gallows and walked on towards the ring. The main event is up next.

John Cena will return on Memorial Day.

Ryback will try, again, to take the US title from Kalisto, at Payback.

Roman Reigns vs Alberto Del Rio
Non-Title Match

Roman came over to see a young man named Ivan, that he granted a special wish to. That is so cool to see. Styles is SO going to be the fan favorite on Sunday. Del Rio came out to his old theme music, as well. Interesting. So far, the other members of the League have been defeated.

The two men locked up and Roman took the Side Headlock. Shoulder Tackle by Roman. Del Rio kicked the champ but Roman popped the Mexican superstar. Corner Clothesline by Roman. Roman whipped Alberto to the corner. Headbutt by Roman. Step-Up Enziguri by Del Rio and Roman tumbled out to the floor. Warrior’s Way, off the apron, by Del Rio. Break.

Del Rio had Roman in a Side Headlock. Roman sat up and began to power up. Del Rio kicked the small of Roman’s back. Del Rio then ran Roman into the corner. Del Rio talked trash and flexed. Roman clocked him. Del Rio kicked away on the big Samoan. Roman nailed multiple Headbutts but Del Rio quickly countered with a DDT. Del Rio set for his Superkick. Roman avoided it and hit a series of Clotheslines. Roman unleashed a torrent of Corner Clotheslines. Uppercut put Del Rio on his back. The fans were so hostile to Roman. Del Rio bailed out to avoid the Superman Punch. He did get nailed by the Drive-By Dropkick. Del Rio ended up hitting the ring post. Del Rio kicked the middle rope up into Roman’s hamstring. Del Rio hit his version of the Superkick but only got a two.

Del Rio put Roman in the Sullivan Tree of Woe. He kicked the champ and headed up top. Roman avoided the Double Stomp and Del Rio seemed to have hammed his knee. Superman Punch!

Anderson nad Gallows came from the back. They stayed on the ramp. Del Rio with a Roll Up for two. Spear!

Your Winner: Roman Reigns
Raw Ranking: 2.5

Anderson and Gallows rushed in to attack. A.J.S Styles then got in the ring to STOP Luke and Karl. Huh? He made them get out of the ring. Superman Punch to Styles! Roman took out gallows with a Superman Punch. Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm.


–Jay Shannon

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