The New Face of Fear and the Roman Empire unite, kind of...
The Staples Centre in Los Angeles was treated to one of the best WWE Raw episodes in recent times, as once again Shane McMahon took control of the show. Don’t mind the fact the he lost to Undertaker at WrestleMania 32, he’s still got the gig and he’s making good use of it.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns got his usual reception (a shower of boos) and rattled off some nonsense on the mic about how he was ‘the man’. This went down about as well as David Cameron’s recent exploits and the crowd let Reigns know it. The League of Nations – Sheamus, Rusev and Alberto Del Rio – ended the misery on the mic and gave Reigns a bit of a kicking before the Wyatt Family appeared and made the save.
Shane O’Mac used this unlikely alliance to tee up a tag match as the main event. Despite not exactly working together, Reigns and Wyatt found a way to co-exist and eventually Bray hit Alberto Del Rio with Sister Abigail to pick up the win. The show closed with the entire Wyatt Family staring down the champ in the squared circle.
Turning Bray into a ‘good guy’ looks to be an interesting switch from the powers that be, while Roman Reigns is counting down the days until he puts his title on the line against AJ Styles.
Talking of Styles, he put on a thrilling match with Sami Zayn earlier in the night. A win for Sami Zayn would mean he’d be put into the title match to make it a Triple Threat, courtesy of another shrewd booking move by Shane O’Mac. In a fast-paced, high-energy affair it wasn’t to be however, as The Phenomenal One came out on top thanks to a Phenomenal Forearm.
The two men hugged it out backstage a few minutes later, and the Payback main event stays the same – AJ Styles vs Roman Reigns.
The New Day were also in the Staples Centre on Monday night. Our favourite tag team of all time came out to say that there would be an eight-team tag tournament to decide the number one contenders for their title, and not only that, but the tournament would be sponsored by Booty-Os. Because, New Day rock, New Day rock. New Day rock.
The opening match of the tournament saw The Dudley Boyz take on The Lucha Dragons. Or at least they took on Sin Cara. Kalisto was down and out being checked over by the ref for most of the match while D-Von and Bubba Ray took apart Sin Cara and picked up the win. While the match was about as exciting as dinner with Mark Lawrenson, Enzo and Cas saved the day by coming out and smack-talking the Dudleyz.
How you doin?
The second tag match of the night was between The Usos and The Social Outcasts. Another fairly painful match to sit through, as The Social Outcasts managed to contribute significantly to their own downfall by celebrating far too early. The Usos are a decent tag team, but you could blend all four of The Social Outcasts into one wrestler and still struggle to push them. Again, the match was saved by an interference after the bell – this time from Anderson and Gallows.
This was their first appearance on Raw after dominating the division in New Japan Pro Wrestling and their debut has been highly anticipated for a good few weeks. They jumped the ring and beat seven shades out of both Uso brothers.
Elsewhere in the show Kevin Owens lost to Cesaro, which means the Swiss Superman will now face The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. This is great news for fans of Cesaro as he makes his way back from injury, and hopefully he’ll take the strap away from Miz.
Dr Phil also appeared on the show (?!) to give advice to Charlotte and her old man Ric Flair. The Women’s Champ ignored Dr Phil’s wise words regarding winning clean, and despite tapping out to Natalya’s Sharp Shooter, Charlotte retained the title due to getting disqualified courtesy of Ric Flair’s interference. Dr Phil was not impressed.
Also Apollo Crews defeated some fella no-one really cares about, and Dean Ambrose teed up a rivalry with Chris Jericho by interrupting his segment and calling him out for wearing a ridiculous scarf.