RAW Ramblings – May 2nd 2016
Scottrade Centre: St Louis, MO.
They were still on the “New Era” kick on the post-Payback RAW, despite nothing actually changing at all, and the show felt very sporadic with a whole mess of bad segments strewn throughout. There were two show-long storylines, one of which was at least focused and booked with some logic.
AJ Styles was in the locker room with Anderson & Gallows early in the show and he told them he didn’t know where he would be without his Good Brothers. They told AJ he was phenomenal during his match with Reigns, but AJ disagreed because he didn’t win the title. Styles said there was no way Reigns would leave Extreme Rules as the WWE Champ. Reigns showed up and told AJ he respected him, but stated he had no respect for Anderson & Gallows. Reigns asked if the three of them could beat the three of “us” and the Usos appeared to set up a trios main event. Throughout the night, Cole & JBL referred to Styles, Anderson & Gallows as, “The Club” and mentioned New Japan a couple of times, which is still weird to me. Cole even noted that the last time they teamed up was a year ago in New Japan.
Main event was a good match, although they didn’t really have enough time to really get going. Reigns once again had no problem fighting off Anderson & Gallows during and after the match. “The Club” got the heat on Jey Uso, however most of the crowd treated them like the faces. Reigns made the comeback and cleaned house. Finish saw Anderson & Gallows hit Reigns with the Boot of Doom on the outside and he landed on the barricade then AJ hit Jimmy with the Phenomenal Forearm to get the clean pin. Post-match was really quite great, as Anderson & Gallows tried to get Styles to hit Reigns with a chair. AJ refused, however the Usos came back and nailed the Good Brothers with the chair. Styles retaliated with a couple of chair shots to the Usos, however Reigns saw AJ nail his cousins and he laid out Styles with a Superman Punch. Reigns ended up Powerbombing Styles through the announce table and stood over him with the WWE title to end the show. – I would have preferred the Club to have just come in and run rough-shot on everyone, however that is not the way WWE does things with outsiders. This dissension stuff if pretty lame, however if it eventually leads to the debut of Finn Balor and the Good Brothers turning on AJ I’ll be fine with it.
The other big story was Shane & Stephanie’s first night of running RAW together; Cole referred to them as “The Siblings” all night long. Steph opened the show and Shane quickly interrupted her. The gimmick was that Stephanie was trying to be nice all night long and she started here by giving Shane a present, which turned out to be the same picture of Vince & Shane that Vince smashed before WrestleMania. Kevin Owens came out and told them that he deserved an IC title rematch; Cesaro was out next and he said Owens cost him the IC title at Payback. Shane booked them in a #1 contenders match for the IC title, which went to a DQ in 11:30 when Miz, who was on commentary, attacked Cesaro. Owens & Miz went after Cesaro then Sami Zayn hit the ring and he ended up being the last man standing. Sami held up the IC title and the fans chanted, “Yes!” – Decent build to the inevitable four-way at Extreme Rules.
Later, Stephanie met with Dean Ambrose in the back and Ambrose told her that he didn’t buy her new nice, friendly disposition. Steph said she would be a guest on the Ambrose Asylum and told Dean he could ask her anything he wanted. So, at the top of the third hour we had the Ambrose Asylum with Stephanie. The deal was that Ambrose tried to make Stephanie mad. He talked about her getting speared by Roman Reigns at Mania and said Shane had done a better job of running RAW than the Authority ever did. Steph didn’t lose her cool and eventually just cancelled the Ambrose Asylum. Ambrose didn’t really care and picked up his potted plant, Mitch, and started to leave. Steph announced the return of the Highlight Reel and introduced Chris Jericho. Ambrose & Jericho got into a brawl at ringside. As usual, Ambrose got his ass kicked in a fair fight then Jericho picked up Mitch and smashed Ambrose in the back of the head with his beloved plant. – This was no doubt too wacky for some, but believe it or not I actually liked this angle. Not the stuff with Stephanie, though. The Ambrose/Jericho potted plant saga goes back to before WrestleMania prior to them even feuding, so I am just impressed that Creative has managed to find a thread of continuity in this story and have stuck with it. It is such a shame that the Ambrose/Jericho program is essentially built around a potted plant.
The follow up to the Montreal Screwjob angle they did a Payback was predictably weak. Charlotte & Ric Flair called out Charles Robinson and asked him if Natalya submitted to the Sharpshooter. “Yes, she did,” Robinson claimed and he added that Nattie begged him to stop the match. Charlotte asked if Robinson’s long relationship with the Flairs had anything to do with his decision. Robinson said, “Yes,” then quickly changed his mind and said, “No.” She dismissed Lil’ Naitch then Nattie came out and accused Ric of paying-off Robinson. Nattie said the Harts were better than the Flairs; Charlotte tried to attack but Nattie sent her packing. Nattie ended up putting Ric in the Sharpshooter and Charlotte pulled him to safety. Backstage, Stephanie, who was all over this show, booked Charlotte vs. Nattie at Extreme Rules in a Submission match and banned Flair from ringside. It made zero sense.
Filler: Tyler Breeze beat Goldust in 1:48 with a roll-up. Truth was in Breeze’s corner and had a home made selfie stick in the form of a tree branch. Fandango was in Goldust’s corner and he danced next to Truth, which distracted Goldie and he was pinned. Sucked. New Day came out and talked about Enzo Amore being okay after his nasty concussion at Payback. This led to the Vaudevillains and the Dudleys coming out for some banter. Big Cass showed up and called everyone SAWFT. Everyone brawled and this led to an atomicos match, which saw New Day & Big Cass beat the Dudley Boyz & the Vaudevillains in 15:48 when Cass pinned D-Von with his finish. Match went way too long; Cass was over big though. Emma pinned Becky Lynch after an eye poke and a Michinoku Driver in 5:45. Primo & Epico ate at a restaurant in Puerto Rico. There was a #1 contenders battle royal for the US title. Kalisto was on commentary and was a personality vacuum. All the geeks were eliminated early. Baron Corbin was eliminated by Dolph Ziggler, so he’s officially been slotted. It came down to Sheamus, Rusev, Del Rio & Zack Ryder. Del Rio dumped Sheamus, Ryder dumped Del Rio then Rusev won when he threw Ryder over the top. Lana came out to celebrated with Rusev, so all is right with the world.