Who will The New Day face at Payback? And will AJ Styles get a helping hand in his WWE World Heavyweight Title match?
WWE Raw made it to London on Monday night, and the UK crowd wasn’t disappointed. There were two tag team tournament semi-final matches to get stuck into and a number of Payback matches set up.
First thing’s first, the tag team tournament to face the greatest WWE Tag Team Champions of all time – The New Day. In the opening bout Enzo and Big Cass did enough to defeat the Dudley Boyz courtesy of ‘The Rocket Launcher’. The match itself was fairly average, but it was good to see Enzo and Cass pick up the win, and as always it’s even better to here them cutting promos. Ahead of their match with Bubba and Devon, Enzo treated us to a riddle and Cass helped hamper the education system once again by spelling out ‘sawft’.
In the other semi-final The Vaudevillans made light work of The Usos, who were still struggling after being assaulted by Doc and Karl last week. Jey Uso got planted into the ring post and The Vaudevillians followed it up with ‘Whirling Dervish’ to secure the win. That sets up The Vaudevillans against Enzo and Cass next week, with the winners getting a title shot at Payback.
Fortunately for wrestling fans everywhere, The New Day were in the house on Monday night – tagging with the Swiss Superman, Cesaro. Once again Cesaro treated us to a rip-off suit and The New Day twerked their way to the ring. Talk about crowd pleasers! Unfortunately there’s still no sign of the rip-off suit on the WWE online shop, but we will patiently wait in anticipation.
Anyway, Cesaro and The New Day beat the League of Booty and The Miz to pick up the win. Hopefully this is setting us up for Miz to lose the Intercontinental Championship to Cesaro at Payback. As for Sheamus, Rusev and Alberto Del Rio, it was another defeat in their meaningless run toward mediocrity…
Shane McMahon opened Raw by teeing up two new Payback matches – Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn and Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho, both of which should be very entertaining matches. And because he’s such a little minx, Shane also fixed up Y2J vs Zayn and Owens vs Ambrose for Raw.
In the first match, Jericho beat Sami Zayn courtesy of some classic wrestling cheats. First he used the referee as a shield, then he hit Zayn with an eye-poke and finished him off with The Codebreaker. It was typical bad guy behaviour from Jericho, with the fans right behind Sami Zayn. He’s a man who wears a flat cap so it’s hard not to get on board with that.
In the other bout Kevin Owens dished out a healthy amount of punishment to Dean Ambrose, before the match started going very downhill very quickly for KO. Owens ate Ambrose’s knees off a Frogsplash and then missed the Cannonball, allowing The Lunatic Fringe to ping him with Dirty Deeds for the 1-2-3. After the bell Jericho appeared in what looked like a pair of women’s skinny jeans, and wearing a scarf but no top (?!) He laid out Ambrose with The Codebreaker and hoped nobody noticed his fashion faux pas.
Elsewhere on Raw, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns made an appearance and you can pretty much rinse and repeat everything that’s happened for the last three weeks. Roman gets booed. Roman says he’s not a good guy or a bad guy, he’s just The Guy. Roman gets booed even more.
Luckily this week AJ Styles was on hand to interrupt and promote their title match at Payback. It felt very much like a first date, with plenty of compliments passed back and worth, but with no physical contact, and a strange sexual energy. As Styles made his way back up the ramp, his former ‘Bullet Club’ buddies, Doc and Karl, appear to batter Reigns and plant him with ‘Boot of Doom’.
AJ looked on like a disappointed mother reading your final year grades in high school, teasing the fact he didn’t know some of his closest friends were about to lay out the champ. How very convenient.
Elsewhere there was a huge eight-person tag team match between Natalya, Paige, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks and Charlotte, Summer Rae, Naomi and Tamina. This was mainly here to hype the title match between Charlotte and Natalya at Payback, and for the second week in a row Natalya made the champ tap to a sharpshooter. Most excitingly Natalya announced that the legend Bret Hart will be in her corner at Paybcak to stop any meddling fro Charlotte’s old man, Ric Flair.
Baron Corbin also defeated Fandango in a match that lasted 85 seconds and was still too long, and Apollo Crews picked up another win against a Social Outcast member, this time Heath Slater. There isn’t a lot else to say here, these two matches were perfect tea breaks.
The good news is the WWE is in Dublin on Thursday, so keep an eye on Snapchat for the latest news! New Day rock. New Day rock.