Monday Night Raw was LIVE from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on the 11th of April, 2016.
It’ll be a brief Raw synopsis tonight folks. A little under the weather down here in Tampa, but one heck of an episode of Monday Night Raw from the Staples center in Los Angeles! For the second week in a row, Shane McMahon is in charge, despite losing to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32. Shane is running the show because of an outcry on social media and it works as a simple solution to the continuing saga.
Shane starts out the show by talking about how exciting last week’s show was and the fact that he’s looking to make new stars and see new opportunities given. He books a women’s title match for tonight as the champion, Charlotte, will defend against Natalya. He announces a tag team tournament that will see the winners in a title opportunity against the New Day. The brackets would be revealed later, but for those keeping score, the first round matches are:
The Dudley Boyz vs. The Lucha Dragons
The Usos vs. The Social Outcasts
Enzo and Cass vs. The Ascension
Golden Truth vs. The Vaudevillains
The latter matches would occur on Smackdown, but Shane continues by booking AJ Styles and Sami Zayn for tonight. What a match that will be! It is an opportunity for Sami to win and make AJ and Reigns a triple threat because of what occurred last week. For those who didn’t see it, Zayn was power-bombed through a table and cost an opportunity in the fatal fourway main event by Kevin Owens. Owens is out to interrupt Shane, complaining about the match and being screwed and Shane says that he’ll see singles action in the opening match with the winner getting an opportunity to compete for the Intercontinental title at Payback. It’ll be Kevin Owens against the Swiss Superman himself, Cesaro!
Cesaro comes to the ring wearing a suit which he peels away in short order, getting a massive pop. Folks are comparing it to James Bond, but quite frankly, it is reminiscent of New Japan’s current heavyweight champion’s entrance. Tetsuya Naito of LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON has been doing that for months. Nevertheless, it looks cool and there isn’t a cooler cat than Cesaro to pull that off. A back and forth bout eventually sees Cesaro winning CLEAN via the Neutralizer and he’ll receive the opportunity to compete for the IC Title held by the Miz. Kevin Owens has words with Shane after a break about costing Sami his opportunity tonight. He is escorted from the building by security because Shane wants a clean finish.
Backstage, we have Charlotte talking with her father, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, only to see the segment interrupted by this week’s guest Dr. Phil. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, but it served the purpose of adding fuel to the fire for the women’s title match later. Dr. Phil said Charlotte is above her father’s cheating ways. There was a “woo” off that Dr. Phil won and we head to a commercial.
After the break, we see the opening match of the tag team tournament where the Dudleys Boyz beat the Lucha Dragons via the 3D. Enzo and Cass cut the celebration short and had further words with the Dudleys continuing that feud as we head to a commercial.
Back from the commercial and Roman Reigns is headed to the ring. The boos were there, but he is playing the tweener role now, so there was a mixed reaction of sorts. He cuts a promo on AJ Styles and their match at Payback, but he’s interrupted by the League Of Nations. They have words and the League hits the ring only to be quickly interrupted by the Wyatt Family. The Wyatts mix it up with the League actually helping Roman Reigns. Shane McMahon is out and he likes it. Hell freezes over as he books Bray “Anyone But You, Roman” Wyatt and the world champion, Roman Reigns against two members of the League of Nations in the main event. That match on paper is going to be a blast to watch. Commercial.
Back from the commercial and we saw Charlotte defeat Natalya via disqualification. Dr. Phil was at ringside interjecting here and there. Natalya had Charlotte in the Sharpshooter and just as Charlotte starts to tap out, Ric Flair pulls the referee out of the ring causing the instant DQ. Crowd was hot for that, looks like that rematch is going to occur at Payback on the 1st of May. Commercial.
We’re back with the second match of the tag team tournament which saw The Usos defeating Heath Slater and Curtis Axel representing the Social Outcasts. Good back and forth action and the Usos were celebrating after the victory when I missed a good three to four minutes marking out in full fanboy mode. We’ve already seen AJ Styles debut, we’ve seen Shinsuke Nakamura in NXT and tonight, The Staples Center had the pleasure of seeing the debut of the Bullet/Balor Club as both Luke (Doc) Gallows and Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson destroyed the Usos. The commentators put over their New Japan credentials which was awesome and they even kept the name of their finishing move, the Magic Killer. Folks unfamiliar with New Japan will recall Luke Gallows as a member of CM Punk’s “Straight Edge Society” and he was once known as Festus in a tag team where he was saddled with a silly gimmick that some folks enjoyed. Nevertheless, the Usos saw a “Magic Killer” and were introduced to the steel ring steps. Gallows looked fantastic. Anderson is always in great shape, but Gallows really looked terrific. Very NWO-esque and it leaves folks questioning whether or not they’ll align themselves with a debuting Finn Balor or help AJ Styles in the main event at Payback. Perhaps we could see a modern Stable War where Styles/Balor/Anderson/Gallows compete against Reigns/The Usos/Samoa Joe? Who knows? I’d certainly watch that. Take my money. Stoked for BizCliz, that’s for sure!
Backstage, we’ve got a promo where Maryse is complaining against domestic water, M&M’s candy all while the Miz soaks his cuticles and keeps cucumbers over his eyes. They have an interaction with Cesaro. It was great fun. Raw is REALLY off to a great start tonight. Commercial.
Again, I’m a little under the weather tonight folks, but I implore you to watch AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn which occurred after the break. Another dream match and a match that delivered. AJ Styles won the contest via the Phenomenal Forearm and he won CLEAN. There’s a commercial break and we actually have the two men with a show of sportsmanship after the break.
Chris Jericho heads to the ring with a Highlight Reel segment where his guest will be…himself. Very fun stuff. Dean Ambrose eventually comes out to further their program and he hijacks the segment with a new potted plant. He insults Jericho’s scarf and gives him a note from Shane O’Mac that says the segment is his. They have words and eventually Ambrose hits the Dirty Deeds and leaves to a sizeable reaction.
Backstage, we have Golden Truth and Dr. Phil walks up for a segment and before he speaks, he just waves them off and walks away. That was funny. Commercial.
There’s a hype segment for Baron Corbin which is really cool and then we have singles action in the ring between Apollo Crews and The “Radical Mongoose” Adam Rose. It’s a basic squash match to put Apollo over and he see him seize the victory with the spinning sitout powerbomb. Crews has great athleticism and if can develop a solid persona, it’ll be easy to see fans get behind him, he is incredibly talented.
After a final commercial setup, the main event of the evening saw Bray Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Alberto Del Rio after Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan even the odds on the outside by taking Rusev out of the equation. It was so wild to see Wyatt and Roman Reigns teaming up, but they’ve been teasing a face turn for the Wyatts for a minute. Great main event and to be perfectly frank, it was a great episode of Monday Night Raw for the second week in a row. I like it!
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