Date: May 5, 2016
Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
We’ve hit the ground running on the way to Extreme Rules with a fairly action packed Raw earlier this week. The big story continues to be AJ Styles vs. Roman Reigns but now we also have the Usos and Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows much more closely involved. It should be interesting to see what they can throw in here before the pay per view in two and a half weeks. Let’s get to it.
We open with the Highlight Reel but first we get a recap of the Ambrose Asylum being canceled and the ensuing brawl. Ranallo: “Payback is a Mitch!” Jericho brags about injuring Dean Ambrose and keeping him off the show tonight. That’s about it for Dean though as here’s Jericho’s guest: Sami Zayn.
Before anything is said, we look at a clip of Cesaro vs. Owens on Monday with Sami and Miz getting involved and likely setting up a fourway for the title. Jericho says Sami isn’t a decent human being for holding up the Intercontinental Title but Sami thinks the scarf makes Jericho look stupid. Sami certainly wasn’t trying to steal the title but here are Miz and Maryse to interrupt.
This is Miz’s Intercontinental Title so Sami better not lay a finger on her again, which is exactly what Sami does again. Jericho says he would freak out if anyone touched his $15,000 jacket like that. Sami: “You paid $15,000 to look like a walking Christmas tree?” That’s enough for Jericho who walks out so Miz threatens Zayn for trying to go after the biggest fish in WWE. Sami touches the title again and says he wants to go for a swim. Zayn wants to go right now but Miz bails to the floor.
Sami Zayn vs. The Miz
Non-title with the bell ringing after a break. Feeling out process to start as they fight over wristlocks and armbars. Sami grinds him down with a headlock. Back up and Sami gets in one of those kind of awkward looking clotheslines of his to send Miz to the floor. A moonsault off the barricade drops Miz again but here’s Kevin Owens for a distraction.
We take a break and come back with Owens on commentary and Miz dropping a top rope axhandle for no cover. Owens: “You should be very proud of yourself Miz. You jumped up to the top rope, jumped off the top and hit him with your fists. You’re an athlete!” Sami low bridges him to the floor for the big flip dive and a staredown with Owens. Kevin runs in for the DQ at 8:39.
Rating: C. Not much to this one but it was there for the angle instead of the wrestling. They’ve got something here with this four way feud with the title on the line and the match at Extreme Rules should be a lot of fun. There really isn’t a bad option for the title at this point and that’s a very rare situation to have.
Post match Sami gets double teamed until Cesaro runs down for the save, ripping his suit off on the way down the ramp. Cesaro cleans house but accidentally takes out Sami in the process. This time it’s Cesaro holding up the title.
We look back at the end of Raw with the big brawl between Styles/Gallows/Anderson and Reigns/Usos, capped off by Reigns powerbombing AJ through the table.
Anderson and Gallows are a bit disappointed in AJ for not blasting Reigns with the chair on Monday. AJ wanted to keep it clean though because he wants to win the title his own way. Anderson and Gallows respect that but Roman doesn’t respect AJ. Styles likes their suggestions of going extreme and thinks it’s time for a chat with Roman.
Greetings From Puerto Rico.
We look at Enzo Amore’s injury on Sunday.
Vaudevillains vs. Social Outcasts
Dallas/Axel here. Bo starts fast with a powerslam on English for two. Axel comes in to go after Gotch but gets backdropped out to the floor for the save. The Whirling Dervish ends Dallas at 1:51.
Post match Colin Cassady comes out to go after the Vaudevillains and cleans house before Axel gets in to call Gotch and English SAWFT. That earns him a much deserved East River Crossing and Cass shouts a lot.
We look back at Shane and Stephanie gaining power on Sunday and their first night of sharing power on Raw.
Natalya/Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte/Emma
Natalya headlocks Charlotte to the mat to start and it’s off to Becky with Lawler yelling about the cheating going on. This show has been so much easier to sit through with him as a heel like he always should be. It’s already back to Natalya who charges into a boot in the corner and Emma comes in for some stomping. Emma slams her face first into the mat and it’s Charlotte putting on a chinlock.
Natalya finally sends Charlotte into the corner and makes the hot tag to Becky for some armdrags and dropkicks. The comeback is shortlived though as Becky is sent to the floor for a crash, allowing Charlotte to do her headscissor faceplants. Back from a break with Becky getting two off a rollup until a big boot puts her down again.
We get the eternally painful standing on the hair before Charlotte drops a knee. An enziguri puts Emma down though and the hot tag brings in Natalya for the house cleaning. The stepover dropkick sets up the discus lariat (which Ranallo seems to dub Nattie By Nature) on Charlotte but Natalya gets sent into the corner for the Emma Sandwich. Emma takes too long though and it’s the Sharpshooter to make Emma tap at 13:48.
Rating: B. I had a really good time with this one as the division really has evolved to make the whole thing feel important. Perhaps above all else, one of the major reasons has been the ring time. Look at this mach. When is the last time you saw a women’s match get almost fifteen minutes on a random Smackdown? That being said, it also helps that things have been entertaining with a well done tag formula to make everything work. It also helps that the wrestlers are all skilled enough to make the match that much better. Everything is working at this point and that hasn’t been the case for years.
AJ comes in to see Roman Reigns and the Usos. He wants to know if Reigns will be at ringside tonight and Reigns says he’ll be wherever he wants because he’s the champ. In that case, AJ will be at ringside too.
Darren Young has asked Bob Backlund to be his life coach. That’s fine with Backlund, if Young will put everything he has into this.
Zack Ryder vs. Rusev
This has become WWE’s version of Goldberg vs. Jerry Flynn. Ryder gets in a few dropkicks before Rusev slams him down. The Accolade wraps it up at 1:15.
Rusev and Lana do the Kalisto dance until Kalisto runs in for a corkscrew cross body before running away.
Fandango teaches Goldust to dance when R-Truth and Tyler Breeze come in. Goldust is having some issues but Truth says Fandango is the one off beat. A danceoff ensues but Fandango would rather have a tag match next week.
Usos vs. Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows
AJ and Reigns are at ringside. Jey and Karl get things going with the former getting in an uppercut and crucifix for two. A dropkick puts Anderson down again but Karl knocks Jey out to the floor. Karl goes after Reigns though and it’s a DQ at 2:20.
They brawl to a break and I think you know what’s coming.
Roman Reigns/Usos vs. Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows/AJ Styles
Thankfully we don’t miss anything during a break. I’m so glad that’s becoming more of a trend. Styles and Reigns get things going with the champ getting in a quick shoulder and drawing quite a few boos. Reigns powers out of a sunset flip into a fireman’s carry, followed by a hard uppercut for two. Anderson comes in for some right hands as we get those phantom dueling chants. A big boot to the face drops Karl with Ranallo’s name drop of the mafia confusing Jerry. Jey comes in to face Gallows and a kick to Luke’s face allows the tag off to Jimmy as the twins start taking over.
Gallows kicks Jey in the face and we get that awkward staredown in front of the ring. They actually don’t take a break though as it’s AJ coming in and taking a quick enziguri. Reigns comes in off the cold tag and starts cleaning house with a running clothesline to Anderson. The corner clotheslines set up the Superman punch but it takes Gallows off the apron, followed by a suicide dive from Jimmy. The second Superman punch hits Karl in the jaw but AJ takes Reigns out before the spear. Anderson’s spinebuster gets two, only to have the spear put Karl away 7:30.
Rating: C+. Fine main event tag match here though I could have gone with some more time. It’s good to have Reigns get a win to reestablish himself and the World Champion getting the pin on Anderson isn’t going to hurt Karl in the slightest. I’m liking this feud so far and the rematch should be a lot of fun too.
AJ points at the title to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This was a much more efficient show with everything working like it should have. They’re not even hiding the fact that Smackdown is meaningless anymore as wrestlers make the matches and Shane/Stephanie never acknowledge that this show exists. All you can ask for is some good wrestling and storyline supplements which is exactly what we had tonight. Fun, easy show here with the women having a really nice match.
Sami Zayn b. The Miz via DQ when Kevin Owens interfered
Vaudevillains b. Social Outcasts – Whirling Dervish to Dallas
Natalya/Becky Lynch b. Charlotte/Emma – Sharpshooter to Emma
Rusev b. Zack Ryder – Accolade
Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows b. Usos via DQ when Roman Reigns interfered
Roman Reigns/Usos b. Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows/AJ Styles – Spear to Anderson
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