The WWE Raw after WrestleMania 32 certainly didn't disappoint...
The Monday after WrestleMania 32, and despite taking a 30ft leap off a cage and then suffering a tombstone for his troubles, Shane McMahon was been given control of WWE Raw for the night courtesy of Papa Vince. Yes, even though Shane left on a stretcher in front of his wife and kids and Vince was delighted to have proven a point, he still was happy to let Shane run the show for the night. What a top Dad.
Shane’s most notable job of the night was to set up a thrilling Fatal 4-Way to decide who would be the number one contender for Roman Reigns’ WWE World Heavyweight Championship. As a side note, Roman was in Texas on Monday and unsurprisingly got booed out of the place. Until he turns heel or there’s a significant development, it looks like he’s going to be as welcome in the ring as a jar of The Big Show’s sweat and farts.
The Fatal 4-Way was teed up between Chris Jericho, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. KO had other ideas though, and before the match got underway he nipped backstage to smash Sami through a table. Luckily there was an able replacement – the returning Cesaro! Who not only made his WWE comeback after injury, but he did it in a tearaway suit which is even more awesome. Got to get myself one of those for the next Paddy Power boardroom.
After some fantastic action between all four men, AJ hit the Styles Clash on Jericho and got the 1-2-3 to make him the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Ever since making his debut at the Royal Rumble earlier this year, Styles has been getting some huge crowd reactions, and there’s no doubt who the WWE Universe will want to come out on top when he takes on the Roman Empire.
Elsewhere our favourite WWE Tag Team Champions of all time, The New Day, had a bit of fun with the crowd, and then there was a ‘Circle of Life’ moment with the last piece of Booty-Os cereal from WrestleMania 32. After some hip swivelling, The New Day retained their titles against The League of Booty (Sheamus and Wade Barrett), before the League imploded and laid a beating on Barrett. Barrett is expected to be leaving the WWE shortly, so this was a lovely gift from Vince to say goodbye.
The beating ended when The Wyatt Family appeared to dish out some punishment to the rest of the League. This didn’t make a whole lot of sense for now, but we’ll roll with it and hope Bray gets a huge push.
Shane O’Mac also had a bit of an ‘NXT’ influence on WWE Raw last night, giving a debut to Apollo Crews. The super athletic Crews had the chance to beat down Tyler Breeze, and Prince Pretty was put down by the spin-out-powerbomb. It was a great debut from Apollo Crews who looked seriously impressive in a win over Breeze – a man who incidentally looks worryingly like a man who works in the Paddy Power PR department…
Monday also saw the WWE Raw debut of Enzo and Cash. NXT’s ‘realised guys in the room’ came out to insult the Dudley Boyz in what was one of the most entertaining spots of the night.
Elsewhere throughout the night, Sasha Banks got things back on track by beating Summer Rae, while Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner Baron Corbin battled Dolph Ziggler to a completely pointless double-KO. Zack Ryder had his WrestleMania chips pissed all over when The Miz hit him with the Skull-crushing Finale to win the Intercontinental Championship and set up a rematch for Smackdown.
Overall, even without Triple H, John Cena, Brock Lesnar or Dean Ambrose, it was an entertaining evening of WrestleMania fall-out. AJ Styles will have his eyes locked on Roman Reigns’ title, The New Day continue to steal the show, while it was great to see some of the NXT stars getting huge love from the crowd.
Bring on Payback.