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Live from Greensboro, NC this is the Raw Deal for episode #1199. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
The Raw intro started us off. AJ Styles made his entrance. They showed a clip from last week’s Raw with Styles face to face with Reigns with neither guy getting the advantage.
AJ Styles was in his street clothes for a promo. Styles said he was tired of Roman Reigns calling him a liar. He says people have said it to him in restaurants, airports and in social media. Styles said people think that there’s some deal where Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are going to help him win the WWE Title. They showed some tweets from fans talking about it. Styles talked about headlining the Tokyo Dome and being a champion all over the world. Roman Reigns’ music started up.
The crowd was booing the WWE Champion Roman Reigns. JBL on commentary said “what an ovation” in a sarcastic way. At least I hope it was sarcasm. Reigns stood in front of him saying that none of what AJ did elsewhere matters unless you’re winning THE championship, which is the one he has. The crowd was chanting Rollins, so Reigns said that you’re not going to get him, you’re going to get Reigns vs. Styles at Extreme Rules. Reigns said that he’ll be in The Usos corner later and Styles said he’ll be in The Club’s corner. Styles mocked Roman’s “good guy, bad guy, the guy” catchphrase and said he’s gonna beat Reigns at Extreme Rules.
Reigns told Styles this is the big fight – this is Extreme Rules. Reigns said if he wants to put him through the announce table he will, through a barricade then he will and if he wants to beat him with a chair then he will. Reigns told Styles that Styles can’t beat him. Styles spoke about how he plans to go after Reigns with a chair all night long.
Anderson and Gallows made their entrance, but The Usos ended up showing up in the ring. Reigns gave Styles a punch to the face and that led to Styles leaving the ring with his buddies.
Analysis: That was a good promo exchange with both guys making their points well. I think Reigns has improved as a talker in the last few months mainly because they’re not having him say nursery rhymes. If he’s out there focusing on his opponent and promoting a match down the road he’s a lot more comfortable on the microphone. Styles was cheered heavily while Reigns was booed, but some fans were definitely cheering him too. I’m excited about Sunday’s match. Should be awesome.
Later on Raw, Dean Ambrose calls out Chris Jericho and there’s a Women’s Title contract signing. It’s Zayn vs. Cesaro up next.
The Miz and Maryse made their entrance so they can join the announce team.
Kevin Owens joined the announce team as well as The Miz. He congratulated Maryse for helping Miz win the IC Title and he did so in French because they’re both from Quebec – so is Zayn.
Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro
Cesaro with a powerslam on Zayn early on while Miz and Owens were arguing on commentary. Zayn with a headscissors takedown sent Cesaro to the floor. Owens said he didn’t care about this match, so he went to leave. He grabbed Miz at ringside. Owens took the IC Title. Miz attacked Owens from behind. Owens sent Miz into the ring. All four guys started brawling. You know what’s coming.
Cue Shane McMahon’s music. Fans chanted “Shane O Mac” for him. He sucked up to the crowd. He did the predictable thing by putting Kevin Owens in a tag match with The Miz against Cesaro and Sami Zayn.
Stephanie McMahon’s music started up. JBL sucked up to her saying she looked good. Stephanie changed up the tag match so that it’s Zayn & Owens against Cesaro & Miz. Stephanie told Owens he can’t walk out on the match or he’s out of the match on Sunday.
Analysis: I have no rating for the Zayn/Cesaro match because it was less than a minute long, so no point in really rating it. The tag match was predictable because the guys at the announce table were in their wrestling gear. That’s how WWE typically does these things. I like all four guys, so I’m okay with it even though they did a tag on Smackdown. At least it’s different this time.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro & The Miz (w/Maryse)
Cesaro was in control against Owens and he tried to do the swing, but Owens held onto the ropes. Owens did a hard tag to bring Zayn in. Cesaro did about five kip ups in a row just to show off how athletic he is. Miz was brought in. Zayn slammed in, Owens tagged in and hit a senton splash on Miz for a two count. Owens yelled at Zayn for not getting out of the ring sooner. Zayn with a forearm shot on Miz, Maryse distracted Zayn and Miz knocked Zayn to the floor as the show went to break.
The Miz nailed a double axehandle off the top on Zayn with Owens yelling at Miz sarcastically: “Oh my god you’re so talented!” That was funny. Cesaro with a corner clothesline and a double axe off the top for two. Miz hit a boot to the face on Zayn. Owens was talking more, so Miz punched Owens. Zayn got a rollup on Miz for two. Zayn made his comeback out of the corner and Owens tagged himself in against Miz. Cesaro with a missile dropkick off the middle ropes. Owens with a clothesline and a cannonball. Cesaro got in there with Owens leading to several uppercuts in a row followed by a dropkick by Cesaro. Zayn tagged himself in with a cross body block, Cesaro rolled through, Miz tagged in and Cesaro did a backbreaker. Miz tossed Cesaro out of the ring. Miz went for the Cesaro swing, but Cesaro nailed the Skull Crushing Finale on Miz. Nice move steal! Owens sent Cesaro into the barricade. Zayn with the Helluva Kick on Miz for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens
Analysis: *** That was a really good tag match. It’s funny because I just reviewed Smackdown a few days ago with this tag match with different partners and I rated that around three stars as well. These guys do a good job of putting matches together. Owens was awesome after the hot tag. He's the best heel and should be heel for a while, but if he were to go face he'd do really well in that role. I'm glad that Zayn got the pin. I think I'm picking Cesaro on Sunday, but I may change my mind.
The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton plugged WWE Network.
Chris Jericho was interviewed outside his locker room by Renee Young. Jericho wants an apology from Ambrose and claimed the jacket should be in the Smithsonian, but Ambrose ruined it. Jericho said Ambrose should be arrested. Jericho said that he’ll give Ambrose once chance to apologize.
Analysis: I like their feud and don’t mind that they have kept it going. They’ve had good promo segments.
The Shining Stars (Primo & Epico) are up next.
Writing Plugs: I write a lot of things other than the Raw Deal. Here’s my review of Smackdown from last week. I enjoyed the main event. Over at TheComeback, I wrote an article power ranking the women’s wrestlers in WWE right now. Who’s number one? Read it to find out!...I did a Q&A session where I answered nearly 50 questions about the wrestling business…I write retro PPV reviews once in a while and this week I decided to go back nearly 20 years to review a huge show – WCW Starrcade 1997. It was a bad show where I criticized a lot of booking decisions – especially the main event. Please check it out. Thanks for reading!
The start of Primo & Epico’s song says: “Come to Puerto Rico – the shining star of the Caribbean.” They each had a flower in their hand. They spoke about how every time they step in the ring it’s like they are at home in Puerto Rico and when they are in the ring they welcome tourists. They smelled their flowers.
Primo & Epico (The Shining Stars) vs. Scott Jackson & Brian Kennedy
There were no names for the opponents, but Cole said their names during the match. Epico hit a vertical suplex, German suplex and a brainbuster. Primo tagged in with a running butt attack against the ropes. They checked on the guy to see if he was okay, so Primo hit a leg whip and Epico with a high leg kick. Cole said the finish is the Shining Star, which isn’t a creative finish name. Epico covered for the win.
Winners by pinfall: The Shining Stars
Post match, Primo and Epico invited everybody to come to Puerto Rico – the shining star of the Caribbean.
Analysis: * It was a basic squash match against opponents we didn’t really know about. It’s nice to see Epico & Primo get a win like that. They are obviously being pushed as cocky heels. I’m not sure if the company will get behind them with a push, but at least it’s better than being Los Matadores.
Shane McMahon was shown talking to Dean Ambrose backstage. We couldn’t hear them. Ambrose is up next.
A graphic was shown reminding us that John Cena returns to Raw in two weeks with JBL yelling about “Big Match John” coming back.
Dean Ambrose made his entrance with his leather jacket and jeans. Clips aired of his altercations with Chris Jericho in the last couple of weeks. Ambrose said he didn’t like being in that straitjacket last week on Smackdown, so he has to do something about it. Ambrose told Jericho to come out there.
Chris Jericho made his entrance wearing his precious scarf and jeans. He stood on the ramp. Jericho said he was going to tell Ambrose what to say and give him an apology. Jericho talked about how he’s a multi-millionaire, but $15,000 is a lot of money and he wants it back. He said that his jacket is a huge part of history, so Ambrose owes him $15,000 as well as an apology right now.
Ambrose told Jericho he’s not apologizing. Ambrose said that he was there to challenge him for a match at Extreme Rules. Jericho called him a stupid idiot and said he’d take $15,000 out of Dean’s ass. I don’t think he meant that literally. Ambrose wondered if Jericho is up for Extreme Rules “these days.” Jericho called the crowd “slobbering sycophants” while Jericho went on to call himself a lunatic because there’s nobody in the company crazier than him. Jericho talked about how he’s faced everybody that WWE has ever thrown at him and he’s beaten them all because he’s a six time World Champion that is the best in the world at what he does. Jericho told him he’ll punish him with a smile on his face and not a tear in his eye. Jericho said that he’s going to give Ambrose the gift of Jericho. Jericho: “Drink it in, Dean.”
Ambrose told Jericho that he has a gift for him. Ambrose looked up at a black steel cage that was lowering. There were weapons on top of the cage. Ambrose said that Shane McMahon told him he could have any match he wants. Ambrose welcomed Jericho to the first ever Asylum Match with weapons on top of the cage. Ambrose said that Jericho’s never been in a match like this and neither has he. He said that this isn’t Extreme Rules, this is no rules. Ambrose talked about how there is no escape in this match. Ambrose told Jericho that he’ll scream, cry and beg for mercy. Ambrose was very serious as he told Jericho that he will never, ever be the same again.
Analysis: It’s a unique stipulation that’s fitting for a guy like Ambrose. Since he’s always talking about the Ambrose Asylum it works for him to be in a match like this. I like the idea of a first time ever match although there have been other version of this kind of match in TNA when they do those Lethal Lockdown matches. Jericho was a bit long winded with the promo although as usual he was great. It’s just that it’s the same stuff all the time. I know it’s done to annoy us. It just dragged on a bit. Ambrose was awesome in his promo. I’ve said for years that he can be one of the best talkers if they let him talk more, so it’s nice to see him given the platform like this. Ambrose should win on Sunday. No reason for Jericho to go over.
A replay of highlights of the opening segment aired. Usos vs. Gallows/Anderson later.
Dana Brooke and Becky Lynch were shown backstage in different areas walking to the ring. Brooke walked up to some nerds backstage and she insulted a guy about the way he looks.
There’s no Emma with Dana Brooke because the news came out earlier on Monday that Emma has a back injury that requires surgery. No word on how long Emma might be out. That sucks for her. She was doing well in her career. The announcers mentioned it before the match.
Becky Lynch vs. Dana Brooke
Brooke beat Lynch on Smackdown, so this is the rematch. Huge forearm by Lynch on Brooke, then a couple of armdrags and a dropkick. Brooke went to the floor. Lynch went after her, Brooke avoided her and Brooke sent Lynch into the barricade. Brooke applied a submission to weaken Lynch as the crowd chanted “We Want Sasha” since she hasn’t been on TV much. Lynch made a comeback with a clothesline, but Brooke came back with a body slam. More head slamming into the mat by Brooke gets two. Lynch with two huge clotheslines and then a leaping kick that didn’t look great because Brooke was in the wrong spot. Lynch with a forearm shot and the Bexploder suplex for two. Lynch went up top, Brooke tripped her up, Lynch tried to roll her up and Brooke sat on top for the cover by hooking the legs of Lynch. Clean win for Brooke after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dana Brooke
Analysis: *1/2 That was a decent match for about five minutes. There were a few spots where they messed up a bit and I would chalk that up to Brooke’s inexperience. It really wasn’t that bad, though. Seeing a clean win for the heel was a bit of a surprise because I figured Lynch would get her win back from Smackdown. Maybe they are doing a story where Lynch isn’t able to beat her and it takes a few weeks for that to happen. The win also gives Brooke a lot of credibility right from the beginning of her main roster run, so I do like that part of it. I like Brooke’s potential a lot. Lynch is consistently good.
There was a reminder of the Women’s Title contract signing later.
There was a Darren Young/Bob Backlund split screen segment. Backlund asked him for the time, so Young took out his phone and Backlund yelled at him about it. Young said he was always on time. Backlund told him to do 100 squats right now. Then he told him to make it 200. Backlund: “We are going to make Darren Young great again.”
Analysis: This was okay. It was the same thing that was on Smackdown, so it wasn’t new to me. I’m in favor of midcard angles because it’s good for a guy like Young who has a lot of potential and just needs some angle to get over. Backlund makes me laugh as the crazy old guy.
Shane McMahon was backstage in the office when sister Stephanie showed up. Stephanie wondered why Shane didn’t run the Asylum match by her and Shane mentioned her making that tag match earlier without consulting him. The Dudley Boyz walked up to them. Bubba said they were from the Attitude Era while D-Von wanted them to find two local guys for them to beat up. Stephanie said she didn’t want to give them two little guys. Shane said they had somebody else from the new era that wasn’t little – he’s seven feet tall and then Shane mentioned it was Big Cass. One of the Dudleys will face him.
Analysis: There was already that story in place with the Dudleys dealing with Enzo and Cass. Enzo’s on the sideline for now, but if he comes back soon they could definitely get the tag team feud going back again.
The Golden Truth team debuts on Raw. A video aired showing their vignettes over the last five months ending with Fandango and Tyler Breeze attacking them, so we get two teams out of this.
R-Truth sang his “What’s Up” rap on the way to the ring with Goldust dancing along with him.
Goldust & R-Truth (The Golden Truth) vs. Fandango & Tyler Breeze (Breezango)
There was a double clothesline spot by Truth and Fandango early on. Goldust got the hot tag about two minutes in with atomic drops, uppercut, powerslam and a spinebuster on Breeze gets two. Truth with a jumping side kick, Breeze ducked it and Truth hit Goldust with the kick by accident. Breeze shoved Truth out of the ring. Breeze covered Goldust for the win after three minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Breezango
Post match, the heels celebrated the win. Goldust looked upset after the loss.
Analysis: * It was a rushed tag match where they did the hot tag spot two minutes into it. I hate when they don’t give matches more time and they have no time to tell a good story. That video package before the match felt longer than the match. The story was that Goldust and Truth had problems in their first match, so they have to keep working at it. By the way I didn’t come up with the Breezango name – that was what the announcers called them.
They advertised the Women’s Title contract signing later.
TJRWrestling Podcast: Check out the TJRWrestling podcast hosted by my buddy Rey and me with new episodes going up every week (usually on Thursdays) right here on Podbean and also on iTunes if you search for us with "John Canton" or "TJRWrestling" as the search terms. Thanks for the support!
Goldust was shown backstage. Truth said it’s not a big deal that the pretty boys beat them and that it’s not their last time together. Truth struggled to say that they had to get their chakra in line. Truth said that the WWE Universe wants the Golden Truth and he wants the Golden Truth. He said that he knows Goldust wants it too. Breeze and Fandango went up to them to talk trash. Goldust said that Truth is right, so they need to get their chakra aligned. They hugged.
Analysis: They’ll probably do the tag match again very soon with Golden Truth getting their first win. It’s all about the 50/50 booking in today’s WWE.
There was something in the ring with black cover on top of it. Here comes The New Day. It’s New Day defending the Tag Team Titles vs. The Vaudevillains at Extreme Rules on Sunday.
Big E told us to pour ourselves a big old bowl of Booty O’s. They make sure you ain’t booty. Kofi Kingston said they don’t understand what The Vaudevillains are talking about with this Bygone Era stuff. Woods said ask and you shall receive. They revealed what Xavier Woods said was his time machine. Big E said that it was just an old refrigerator, then pointed out a keyboard on the front of it with Big E asking Woods why it was sticky. That drew some laughs.
The New Day trio went into this “machine” and Kingston came out talking like he was a Jamaican. He told Woods to let him stay because 2009 was his best year. They went back in to the box again. They came out mocking the things from that era.
Aiden English and Simon Gotch attacked New Day from behind. They sent Big E outside the ring. Then they hit a double team slam on Kingston. They hit another double team slam on Woods. The Vaudevillains posed in the ring standing tall to end this segment.
Analysis: That was really over the top with the “time machine” thing, but if anybody can do something like that it’s the New Day. That doesn’t mean I would have done it. I’m just saying at least they prevented it from being terrible. It was okay to me with a few funny lines by them. I liked the attack by The Vaudevillains because they didn’t waste time in attacking New Day. They didn’t take any bumps or anything like that. It was just an ass kicking that worked. With that said, I’ll pick New Day to win on Sunday.
It’s The Usos vs. Gallows & Anderson up next.
This week on Miz TV it’s Miz hosting Sami Zayn, Cesaro & Kevin Owens.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson made their entrance along with AJ Styles. A clip aired from the Smackdown tag match that ended in a disqualification. The Usos made their entrance with cousin Roman Reigns along with them.
The Usos (w/Roman Reigns) vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (w/AJ Styles)
Jey nailed Karl with a clothesline that sent him out of the ring. Jimmy hit a dropkick on Gallows to knock him out of the ring. Styles regrouped with his guys. Gallows nailed a body slam on Jey followed by another one. Gallows hit a running knee on Jey as the heels continued to work over Jey with quick tags. Gallows missed a leg drop, so Jey tagged in Jimmy and Jimmy nailed a boot to the face followed by an uppercut. Jimmy hit a corkscrew body attack to take out Gallows. Jimmy sent Gallows out of the ring and nailed a leaping forearm attack outside the ring. Styles was there, Jimmy was distracted and Gallows nailed a punch on Jimmy. Styles was talking to Reigns, it sounded like he called him “Joe” which is Roman’s real name. More trash talk on the floor as they went to break.
I missed a bit while taking a break, but I came back to see Jey nail a dive over the top to the floor to take out both guys. Back in the ring, Jey hit a cross body block for two for a really good nearfall. Jey with a Samoan Drop on Anderson followed by the running butt attack in the corner for two. Anderson nailed a jumping kick to the face to stop Jey on the top rope. Anderson nailed a picture perfect spinebuster for a two count while Cole referenced Arn Anderson doing that move. Anderson nailed the Rocket Kick on Jey, but Jey came back with a superkick. Gallows was in the ring, Jey nailed him with a superkick and then Jimmy hit a superkick on Gallows at the same time as Jey. Double superkick for Anderson as well. Jey went up top and hit a Superfly Splash for the win after 14 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Usos
Analysis: *** That was a good tag match with some nice nearfalls towards the end. I liked how they didn’t rely on interference for the finish and that there was actually a clean ending by these teams for once. My complaint is that I wouldn’t have booked Anderson/Gallows to lose clean this early in their run because they could have built them up as a deadly team if they kept on winning. Now they are just like every other team because they lost a big match. I have nothing against the Usos, though. They always have good matches and do their jobs well.
Post match, Reigns was in the ring with Styles for a staredown. Gallows hit Reigns from behind, which sent Reigns into Styles. The tag teams brawled outside the ring. Styles got the chair in the ring. He went for an attack, but Reigns nailed Styles with an uppercut punch. Reigns hit Styles in the back with the chair. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Gallows and then a Superman Punch for Anderson. Styles with a chair attack to the gut, then a chair to the back and a couple more chair shots to the back. Styles put the chair down. Styles hit the Styles Clash onto the chair in the ring. It was Reigns’ chest that hit the chair rather than his face. Reigns was selling it as a big move while Styles left the ring.
Analysis: That was a really good segment. It felt like a show closing segment yet there’s still nearly an hour of show left. The way they took care of The Usos out of the ring first, then Reigns went after G&A and Styles capitalized that to attack Reigns with the chair. All of it made sense. There’s still no heel in the rivalry – it’s just a matter of taking advantage of the situations presented to the guys. I think Reigns retains on Sunday, so Styles standing tall to end the segment makes me more encouraged by that pick because the “look strong on TV, lose on PPV” theory is in full effect. I've enjoyed the Reigns/Styles feud a lot.
They replayed the key moments from the previous segment.
Big Cass did a promo about facing off with one of the Dudleys and their music cut him off before he could say the S-A-W-F-T line.
Big Cass vs. D-Von Dudley (w/Bubba Ray)
Bubba grabbed a table outside the ring to distract Cass, so D-Von attacked Cass from behind. Huge boot by Cass missed D-Von because he moved and Cass nailed Bubba. Big Cass nailed the East River Plunge slam for the win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Big Cass
Post match, Cass grabbed the microphone to say there’s only one word to describe you: SAWFT! The crowd chanted along for all of it.
Analysis: * That was a quickie with Cass getting the clean win. No surprise that he was able to win that match. It just rushed.
A video aired of last week’s Raw when Paige beat Charlotte after Ric Flair was sent to the back. Women’s contract signing is up later. It looks like it will be the main event segment.
There was a quick video about John Cena’s return on May 30. He’s the star of Total Divas. Way to put him over.
Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio
This is not for Kalisto’s US Title. Del Rio was in control early on with some hard kicks and then a snap suplex. Sin Cara was shown watching on a monitor backstage. Del Rio did his usual diatribe about Del Rio being as good as ever. Kalisto was able to send Del Rio out of the ring. Kalisto went for a headscissors attack on the floor, but Del Rio caught him and sent him into the barricade. Time for a break.
Back from break, Del Rio with a backbreaker. He nailed a punch off the middle rope for two. The camera cut backstage to Sin Cara watching on a monitor when Rusev showed up to attack Sin Cara from behind. Rusev tossed Sin Cara into some cases backstage. Rusev dragged Sin Cara away with Lana right there. Del Rio held Kalisto against the ropes so he could look at the screen. Dropkick by Kalisto as the crowd chanted “we want Lana” during the match. Kalisto missed a corner attack and hit the ring post. Del Rio with some hard kicks to the kidneys. Del Rio took way too much time for his double foot stomp, but Kalisto tripped him up. Weird camera work there didn’t really show it well. Kalisto with an enziguri kick to the head and then a hurricanrana off the top rope. Rusev showed up at the ringside area with Sin Cara as Rusev kicked Sin Cara. Kalisto with a snap hurricanrana in the ring. Rusev had Cara with him and Rusev sent him into the ring post. Kalisto turned to yell at Rusev. Del Rio capitalized with the Backstabber for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Alberto Del Rio
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match with a very predictable finish. The distraction leading to the finish is done a lot especially in non-title matches. To Del Rio’s credit, he won the match with an actual move instead of doing the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! so I give him credit for that. I’m not a huge fan of champions losing non-title matches as I say all the time. I get why they did it. I just think they could have had Kalisto win the match or end it in a disqualification. That way it doesn’t hurt the guy going into ta title match. The announcers didn't mention the Del Rio/Rusev recent history with the League of Nations. That's because the stable is dead and they won't mention it anymore.
Post match, Rusev went into the ring while Del Rio left. Rusev nailed a superkick to the back of Kalisto’s head. Rusev applied the Accolade on Kalisto in the ring as officials went into the ring to get Rusev to break the hold. Rusev tossed the US Title onto Kalisto.
Analysis: That was a vicious post match attack. I was leaning towards picking Rusev to win on Sunday, but after that I’m not sure because of the “look strong on TV, lose on PPV” theory. Sometimes what happens on Smackdown applies to it too. I think Rusev holding the US Title would be the right move in this feud.
The Women’s Title contract signing is up next in the main event spot.
This Sunday at Extreme Rules it’s Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin in a No Disqualification match on the Kickoff Show.
Analysis: I guess this means Ziggler gets to put over Corbin again. Poor guy.
Shane and sister Stephanie McMahon were in the ring for the contract signing. There were no chairs in the ring for the signing. Stephanie wanted to introduce Charlotte, but she was cut off by Ric Flair’s music.
Flair received a huge ovation because they’re in Flair country. He said if you’re going to introduce a Flair please stand up to show respect for the apple of his eye, his beautiful daughter, the WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte. They walked down to the ring together. Charlotte thanked her dad for the introduction.
Natalya was introduced by Shane McMahon. Natalya talked about how she had a long history with Charlotte going back to NXT a couple of years earlier. She said that Charlotte didn’t need her dad to beat her back then, so she wondered if she could do it again. Natalya signed the contract.
Charlotte told Natalya she was delusional. Charlotte told the crowd that they aren’t going to cheer Natalya because they worship the ground that she walks on. Charlotte called herself a living, breather goddess. Charlotte was mad that the crowd was booing her and said you don’t boo a Flair. Charlotte put over her last name saying she was a Flair and that Nattie’s just another Hart that whines and complains. She pointed out that she beat Natalya at Payback and that she’s going to make Natalya tap out. Charlotte said let’s just sign it.
Charlotte complained about what was on the contract. Shane said that there’s an added stipulation that said that if Ric even walks down to the ring on Sunday then Charlotte will forfeit the Women’s Championship. Shane brought out security to take care of Ric if he gets out of hand. Stephanie said that if Charlotte and Ric don’t sign the contract right now then Charlotte will forfeit the Women’s Title right there. Charlotte signed the contract and so did Flair.
Flair told Stephanie he was only nice to her because of Triple H and said that she’s the worst businesswoman of all time. Shane told Flair that’s no way to treat a woman. Flair took off his jacket. He looked like he was ready to fight Shane, but Shane told him he had too much respect for him. Stephanie said that Shane may have respect for Ric, but she doesn’t. Stephanie slapped Ric and Ric went down to the mat to sell the slap.
Charlotte went to close in on Stephanie, but Natalya tripped her up and Natalya put Charlotte in the Sharpshooter. Fans chanted “you tapped out” at Charlotte as Natalya’s music played to end the segment. Charlotte went up the ramp. Natalya held up the Women’s Title while Charlotte told her to put it down. That’s how Raw ended at 11:09pmET.
Analysis: The segment ran for about 12 minutes. It was fine, but at the same time is it really necessary? The match was announced two weeks ago. I feel like they only did it because of Flair’s history in North Carolina and really for no other reason although the McMahons being there is why they did it. In terms of promos, Natalya barely got to say anything compared to the others. I like how Charlotte is a huge egomaniac that thinks she’s a goddess, but it just didn’t come off as a major segment to me. Maybe WWE did it this way because they know the third hour has the least amount of viewers every week so they don’t care about the last segment as much as they used to. I’m not sure.
My gripe about this is that it's always about the McMahons even when trying to promote a match. Stephanie slapping Flair was the moment that people are going to talk about the most from that. It was Flair that cost Natalya the title in the past, so she should have got to do it. Nope. Always about Stephanie. I know Natalya got to beat up Flair before, but if it happened again it would have helped the actual match instead of Stephanie, who always seems to be the center of attention.
It was still a good segment. I just don’t know if it added anything to the match because it was just basic stuff. We know Flair’s not going to be at ringside. The only thing they really changed was saying that if Flair comes down to the ring at all then Charlotte is stripped of the title. It’s not a big deal. As for the match, look for Charlotte to retain on Sunday.
Three Stars of the Show
1. AJ Styles
2. Roman Reigns
3. Sami Zayn
5 out of 10
Last week: 6
2016 Average: 5.71
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 5, 5, 6.5, 9
2016 High: 9 (April 11)
2016 Low: 4 (Feb. 29/Mar. 21)
I’m giving it a 5 out of 10.
The 5/10 means that it was a below average show. There just weren’t that many segments on the show that got me really excited about anything. I think the Styles/Reigns brawl was the best part of the entire episode. Other than that, I enjoyed the guys involved in the IC Title picture although that’s basically been the same thing for a few weeks now.
Several of the matches were really rushed or short to the point that it was hard to get into them at all. It bothers me when you have this ridiculously long show that goes over three hours and you still can’t find time for some of the things you need to get in.
It just felt like an uneventful show all night long.
At least there weren’t any ROLLUP OF DEATH~! finishers this week, so that’s a positive.
Here’s the lineup for Extreme Rules at this point:
Extreme Rules Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title: Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles
Fatal 4 Way for the WWE Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Asylum Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
Submission Match for the WWE Women's Title: Charlotte vs. Natalya (Ric Flair is banned from ringside)
WWE United States Title Match: Kalisto vs. Rusev
WWE Tag Team Title Match: The New Day vs. The Vaudevillains
Kickoff Show No Disqualification: Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
We should have our Extreme Rules preview up on Friday evening. My Raptors don't play Sunday night, so I'll watch and write about Extreme Rules live on TJRWrestling.net as well.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Raptors. Go Toronto Blue Jays.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org