Raw Highlights: May 16, 2016
The go-home episodes of Monday Night Raw are always something to look forward whether they deliver or not. During Raw, I received a lot of texts about how boring it was considering Extreme Rules is this Sunday. However, I thought it was a solid episode. Extreme Rules is one of my favorite pay-per-views of the year and it has plenty of matches that are certainly sure to deliver.
AJ Styles Opens Raw
Styles opens in the ring cutting a promo about how he is tired of being called a liar and says he does not need help (from Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) in order to win the title. He goes on to rant about how he has won championships across the globe in Japan. Roman Reigns interrupts the phenomenal one and as per usual is greeted with a sea of boos. Reigns talks about Styles’ previous runs being irrelevant because he has never won “THE” championship. Reigns calls him a phenomenal liar not buying the notion that he is not aligned with the Bullet Club (not calling them the club, that name is stupid).
AJ fires back mocking Reigns about him being “THE” guy. The two then go back and forth talking about beating the hell out of each other with chairs.
Gallows and Anderson show up on the ramp and begin walking down to the ring. AJ turns his back to Reigns looking at his buddies. Usos then show up from the crowd to back up Reigns. Anderson and Gallows begin pointing toward the ring signaling for AJ to turn around and he gets smacked with fist from Reigns.
Thoughts: I will get to them later in this post as it is not the last time you’ll see these six during the show.
Sami Zayn v Cesaro
This match did not take long to disappear with Kevin Owens and The Miz on commentary. I said it last week and I will say it again, Kevin Owens needs to talk as much as humanly possible on every Raw. Sorry for fanboying out, but can you really blame me?
Kevin Owens attacks Miz during the commentary and begins walking out with the Intercontinental Title until Miz retaliates. The two eventually wind up in the ring and keep the brawl going. The match is then declared a no contest. After the dust settles…
HERE COMES THE MONEYYYYY!
Shane O’ Mac makes his first appearance of the night ordering a tag team match, Miz and KO v Zayn and Cesaro.
Then Stephanie makes her first appearance and says the match would be better if it was Miz and Cesaro v KO and Zayn. Shane agrees. The crowd loves it and the rulers of Raw agree that if KO walks out, he will not be in the Fatal 4 Way match on Sunday.
Zayn picks up the pinfall on a Helluva kick to the Miz after Cesaro decided to Skull Crush finale him to set it up. KO then blasts Zayn from behind and repeatedly screams “I WON THE MATCH TOO!”
Thoughts: This may be the match I am most looking forward to on Sunday. KO is the best heel in wrestling right now, while Zayn and Cesaro are two of the biggest babyfaces. The Miz is always best suited as a sneaky heel. Zayn has been picking up a ton of wins as of late and looks like the strongest choice heading into Sunday.
Shining Stars Debut
Primo and Epico formerly known as Los Matadores have a new gimmick in the form of Shining Stars. They refer to the ring as their paradise and their Puetro Rico. They destroyed two jobbers for a quick win in their debut.
Dean Ambrose v Chris Jericho Promo
On Smackdown last week, Jericho put Ambrose in a straight jacket. The segment opens with Ambrose talking about his mental stability and how something snapped when he was put in a straight jacket.
Jericho shows up to demand an apology from the lunatic for destroying his $15,000 jacket (like dude, you stole Mitch from all of us you douche). Ambrose refuses to apologize and Jericho calls him a stupid idiot. I know that sounds lame, but Jericho can say whatever he wants and it sounds good.
Jericho then talks about giving him the gift of an ass kicking at Extreme Rules. Ambrose had something else in mind. Some creepy weird music starts playing as something that looks like a cage starts to lower. It is in fact a cage, but with an added twist. Ambrose then says they will have the first ever Asylum match. On top of the cage, you see a barbed wire 2×4, straps, a potted plant (Poor Mitch) and some other foreign objects hanging off.
Ambrose says there is no escaping and that Jericho is trapped. With a very sinister look, he says Jericho will never be the same again.
Thoughts: It is Dean Ambrose so of course the build has been good. Jericho is of course playing the heel perfectly. I am not a big fan of cage matches, but considering it can only end in pinball or submission it will basically be hell in a cell on a smaller scale. Both Dean and Jericho are great in the ring, so I am looking forward to this one.
Becky Lynch v Dana Brooke
The Irish Lass-kicker loses yet another one.
Thoughts: I don’t get it.
New Day Promo
New Day comes out and reveals a time machine that is a cardboard box with a clock, tin foil and Xavier Woods’ parents keyboard that is sticky according to Big E.
They are using the time machine to go back to the Bygone Era to see what all the fuss is about from the Vaudevillains.
Kofi comes out talking like a Jamaican as the SOS theme music plays bringing us back to 2012. Xavier then grabs him to bring him back to the box saying they didn’t go back far enough.
New Day then comes out of the box with ungodly facial hair and Derriere Squares to replace the popular Booty O’s cereal. The New Day then starts bitching about not having video games and smart phones.
The Vaudevillains then attack the New Day from behind and throw X through the time machine.
Thoughts: Although the promo was filled with flashy lights and awful sound effects. New Day still made it funny. I particularly liked the Derriere Squares. The time machine itself cracked me up when it was revealed. I laughed out loud when Big E mentioned the sticky keyboard for obvious reasons. I just really hope Vaudevillains do not win Sunday. They are too vanilla.
Gallows/Anderson w/ AJ Styles v Usos w/ Reigns
Usos picked up a big win after an Uso Splash. AJ checks on Gallows and Anderson as Reigns starts to approach the center of the ring. AJ spots him and follows suit. Cue the stare down. Gallows attacks Reigns and then Usos clean house.
AJ goes for the chair before getting punched by Reigns. Reigns picks up the chair and crashes it over AJs back. Reigns then superman punches Gallows and Anderson giving AJ time to recoup and take him out with the chair. With Reigns laid out in the ring, AJ finished him off with a styles clash onto the steel.
Thoughts: I really love the long build the WWE is doing with the AJ/Reigns rivalry. Anderson, Gallows and the Usos are adding a element of uncertainty to the whole thing. I am still waiting for the day that Reigns turns heel or AJs comrades turn on him aligning themselves with Finn Balor whenever he gets called up. As much as people hate seeing Reigns as the champ, I love the direction his character is taking. Kudos to WWE for this brilliant rivalry.
Big Cass v Dvon
Earlier in the night, the Dudleyz complained to Shane and Steph about Shining Stars getting an easy opponent. They order Dvon and Bubba to choose who gets to face Big Cass later in the night.
Cass comes out cutting another solid promo. He called Dvon “Eurkel of the squared circle.” Then proceeded to pull the “Did I do that?” line. He made fun of Bubba calling him Fred Flintstone and making fun of his old stutter gimmick. Before he could get off his signature catchphrase, the Dudleyz music hits.
Cass made quick work of Dvon finishing him off with the East River Crossing.
Once Cass reached the ramp, he then hits him with “THERE’S ONLY ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE YOU! AND IM GONNA SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU! S-A-W-F-T”
Thoughts: Cass continues to impress for the third week in a row without his partner in crime Enzo.
Women’s Championship Contract Signing
They never end well and of course this one follows that trend.
Natalya starts talking about the Charlotte she knew being dead. Natalya signs the contract. Charlotte then says everyone worships the ground she walks on. She starts playing up the fact her last name is Flair.
As Charlotte goes to sign the contract, her and Ric flip out about an added stipulation from Shane and Steph. If dad shows up for the match on Sunday, Charlotte will automatically lose the title. However, if they don’t sign, Charlotte forfeits the title.
The Nature Boy takes off the jacket ready to fight Shane. Shane says he will not fight Ric because of the amount of respect he has for him.
Stephanie steps in and says she doesn’t have the same respect and slaps the shit out of the Nature Boy. Stephanie gets her first cheer…EVER.
Natty then takes down Charlotte and locks her in the sharpshooter causing her to tap.
Thoughts: Charlotte playing Daddy’s little girl as a heel is working beautifully. I love that the Women’s division is finally getting some sufficient air time. Stephanie getting a cheer was pretty awesome to see. As I said, I can’t remember the last time that ever happened. Steph and Shane continue to make an awesome team running Raw, for now.