05/09 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows vs. Roman Reigns and The Usos in an elimination match, Charlotte vs. Paige, Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler

Logo_Raw_dnBy Jason Powell

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WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live from Omaha, Nebraska at Century Link Center

[Q1] A video package recapped last week’s show… Michael Cole, JBL, and Byron Saxton were on commentary…

Chris Jericho headed to the ring for a Highlight Reel segment. Jericho claimed Dean Ambrose suffered vertigo, whiplash, vertigo, and a bulging disc because of him. Jericho claimed Ambrose wouldn’t be on the show and may not be in WWE for “a long, long time because of me.” Jericho introduced the remains of Ambrose’s plant Mitch instead. There was a brief Mitch chant.

Jericho said Ambrose ended up in the hospital, but the fans sent out tweets about Mitch the plant instead. “Isn’t it fun to talk about Mitch the potted plant?” Jericho asked. He said there was nothing funny about Ambrose lying in the hospital, screaming in pain. Jericho said he could glue Mitch’s pot’s remain together and sell it for $12 and it would be worth more than Ambrose is to WWE.

Jericho said the fans relate to Ambrose because he’s a loser just like they are. Jericho said he can’t relate to that because he’s a legend and the superstar of all superstars. Jericho called him the Hayley’s Comet of WWE and said talent like his comes around once every 76 years.

Big Cass made his entrance and joined Jericho in the ring. There was a loud “How You Doin'” chant. Jericho told the fans to shut up and then asked Cassady what he was doing and if he knows who he is. Cass said that if Jericho is a gift, he better come with a receipt because he’ll return it the second he turns around.

Cass said he knows that Jericho is one of the greatest of all time, but he said he doesn’t think he understands what the new era is all about. Cass said it’s not a cry for attention, it’s a warning. Cass told Jericho intently, “I have arrived.” Cass said Jericho is standing in his way and he better move or he will run through him.

[Q2] Jericho told Cass to run to the hospital and check on his little buddy Enzo Amore. Cass said he’s not running because they stand and fight in the new era. Cass stepped up to Jericho and looked down at him. Cass said they could fight right now. Jericho started to say he’s the best in the world. Cass covered the mic and said that while Jericho may be what he says, he is seven feet tall “and you can’t teach that.”

Jericho asked if Cass wanted to fight, then slammed the mic down. Jericho removed his jacket, then put it over his shoulder and smirked as he left the ring to boos. Cass led the crowd in telling Jericho that he’s sawft. Jericho ran back to the ring, but Cass caught him with a big boot to the head to knock him back down to the floor…

The broadcast team hyped Charlotte vs. Paige, and Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin for later in the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: It wasn’t all that long ago that Big Cass looked nervous when the camera was on him and he had to say his usual lines. He wasn’t just saying his familiar catchphrases, he held up his end of a verbal exchange with Jericho and did so with confidence and poise. It’s really cool to see how far he’s come. Meanwhile, Jericho’s initial promo was similar to what we saw on Smackdown. Once Cass arrived, Jericho really shined with his great facial expressions that said he couldn’t believe that Cass had the audacity to interrupt him. A cool segment featuring a new star and a guy who rarely opens Raw unless he’s working with a McMahon.

Backstage, Jericho vented to Stephanie McMahon about what happened with Cass. He said the problem with the new era is that there ‘s no respect. Jericho said he knew that he and Stephanie could stop the new era. Stephanie said it’s all Shane’s fault for creating this, then she said she thinks he is doing the right thing. Stephanie booked Jericho to face Big Cass in the main event. Steph told Jericho never to make the make the mistake of trying to drive a wedge between her and Shane again…

Powell’s POV: The main event? I love it. We’ve seen the six-man tag match a couple times and while the elimination match is a new wrinkle, Cass vs. Jericho feels fresh. If they continue to push it consistently throughout the show it could be unique enough to keep viewers watching.

1. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler. A pre-taped Corbin interview aired. He said he’s not part of the new era, he’s part of the Baron Corbin era. They went to ringside where Ziggler dropkicked Corbin, who was seated on the barricade. [C]

[Q3] Ziggler acted like dead weight at one point, then kicked Corbin and put him down with the Fameasser for a two count. Ziggler went for his finisher, but Corbin performed a spinning slam for a two count of his own. In the end, Corbin performed his version of Snake Eyes and followed up with End of Days for the clean win…

Baron Corbin defeated Dolph Ziggler in 8:30.

The broadcast team hyped the elimination match… [C]

Powell’s POV: I like that Corbin is playing into his Lone Wolf nickname by renouncing the new era. It was obviously good to see him get his win back and this was entertaining. He’s being asked to sell more than I would have him sell at this point, but he comes back strong with explosive offense.

Cole boasted that WWE Network has a 90 percent satisfaction rate. He said HBO, Hulu, and Netflix don’t have a satisfaction rate that high… Cole set up footage that recapped the setup for the Charlotte vs. Natalya submission match for Extreme Rules with Ric Flair banned from ringside…

Backstage, Charlotte and Ric Flair approached Shane McMahon. Ric put over Shane, then Charlotte made the pitch for him to reverse Stephanie’s decision so that Flair could be in her corner at Extreme Rules. Shane said the ruling stands for Extreme Rules as well as her match against Charlotte. Flair got upset. Charlotte intervened and led him out of the picture…

JoJo interviewed AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson and robotically started to ask about their elimination match. Styles cut her off and spoke about being powerbombed through a table even though he didn’t take the opportunity to take out Reigns with a chair. Styles said he won’t hesitate to use the chair this time. Styles said he can win the title on his won, but tonight “the club is officially back together again.” They too sweeted each other…

Powell’s POV: There were more boos than usual for Styles, Anderson, and Gallows. They also had some fans cheering them, but it left me wondering if the majority in Omaha will cheer Roman Reigns later tonight.

[Q4] [C] 2. R-Truth (w/Tyler Breeze) vs. Fandango (w/Goldust). Cole hyped that the two teams will meet on Smackdown and said it will be bigger than Ironman vs. Captain America. Late in the match, Breeze climbed onto the apron and Truth accidentally knocked him off when he hit the ropes. Truth performed his finisher on Fandango for the win…

R-Truth beat Fandango in 2:10.

Backstage, Kevin Owens, Miz, Maryse, and Cesaro bickered to Shane and Stephanie. She yelled enough and then booked them in a Triple Threat match for the pay-per-view. Miz said he doesn’t even have to be pinned to lose his title, so he has a problem with it. Sami Zayn entered the picture and said he has a problem with it too.

Zayn said the new era is about giving the people what they want, and they all cheered when he picked up the IC Title last week. Owens said he destroyed Zayn at Payback. Shane said Zayn has to prove himself. Zayn asked for a match against Miz and said he would go to the back of the line if he loses, but he’s added to the match if he wins. Steph and Shane agreed to the match and the stipulation. Shane told Steph she handled it well. Steph said “we” handled it well…

Powell’s POV: I wonder if Damien Sandow openly wept when Zayn read the line about how the new era is about giving people what they want.

3. WWE Women’s Champion Natalya vs. Paige in a non-title match. Charlotte sat in on commentary. Cole reminded viewers that Flair was banned from ringside for this match and at Extreme Rules.

[Q5] At 6:00, Paige went for the PTO, but Charlotte reached the ropes. Charlotte went for a pin with her feet on the ropes, but Natalya jumped onto the apron. Charlotte jawed at Natalya, only to take a fallaway slam for two. Ric Flair walked to ringside and jawed at Natalya. Charlotte performed a backbreaker on Paige.

Shane McMahon’s music played and he came out with a group of referees, who escorted an enraged Flair up the ramp. Paige rook advantage of a distracted Charlotte with a kick to the back and rolled her up for the win…

Paige beat Charlotte in a non-title match in 7:45.

The broadcast team set up a recap of Big Cass and Chris Jericho from the opening segment to set up the show’s main event…

Powell’s POV: I was worried they were going to kill the gimmick of Flair being banned from ringside, but the babyface went over in the end to give viewers the idea that Charlotte is vulnerable without her father. Will Paige be next in line or will she end up losing a rematch to Charlotte before the pay-per-view? Meanwhile, I like the way they are consistently hyping the show’s two big matches rather than just setting them up and casually mentioning them once or twice the rest of the night.

Cole hyped that this was Raw’s 1,198th episode… Ring introductions for the next match took place…

[Q6] 4. Sami Zayn vs. The Miz (w/Maryse) in a non-title match for a spot in the Intercontinental Title match at Extreme Rules. Miz was down at ringside and Maryse was scolding Zayn at ringside heading into the break. [C] The crowd was livelier coming out of the break than they were early in the match. There was a half-assed Ole singalong, but it was shutdown by fans counting along as Zayn slammed Miz’s head into the turnbuckle repeatedly.

Zayn took a great over the top rope and face-first onto the ring steps bump. Kevin Owens was shown watching the match backstage with his feet up. Cesaro was shown elsewhere dressed like a secret service agent and holding a coffee. In the ring, Miz applied the Figure Four. Zayn struggled and reached the bottom rope to break the hold. The referee caught Miz attempting to hold the ropes while covering Zayn. Miz charged Zayn, who performed an explodersuplex. Zayn followed up with a Helluva Kick and covered Miz for the win…

Sami Zayn beat The Miz in 12:45 to earn a spot in the IC Title match at Extreme Rules.

Powell’s POV: The crowd seemed a bit bored by the match prior to the break, but they were into it when they came back from commercial and their interest and excitement grew as the pace picked up down the stretch. Zayn will get the credit from most. He definitely did his part, but Miz is ridiculously overlooked.

[Q7] Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Becky Lynch about having her eye poked by Emma, who claimed it was unintentional. Lynch disputed that it was unintentional. Emma showed up and said Lynch is inferior and she really needs eyes in the back of her head. Dana Brooke showed up and attacked Lynch from behind. She said “E&D are here and playtime is over”…

Powell’s POV: Dana Brooke has arrived from NXT. I wonder if this will lead to Lynch eventually teaming up with her reluctant partner Sasha Banks.

Piano music played as Darren Young asked Bob Backlund to be his life coach. The screen split and Backlund appeared and said he would be his wrestling coach. When Young corrected him, Backlund said that wrestling is life. A graphic read, “Make Darren Great Again.” Again?…

Footage aired of Dolph Ziggler appearing on Xavier Woods’ “Up Up Down Down” online show with the other New Day members and Sasha Banks. Wait, it’s a product placement as they pimped pizza. Let the record show that no one was actually shown eating the terrible chain pizza…

Backstage, Zack Ryder told Shane McMahon that winning the IC Title was a dream come true. He spoke about how he’s not just in WWE to be there. Shane started telling him that’s what the new era is about or something. Kevin Owens showed up and took issue with the fact that Zayn got a title shot and said the new era seemed to be about giving whiney, undeserving guys title shots. “Oh, hi, Zack,” Owens said. Ryder made a case for why he should be in the four-way. “Why do you exist?” Owens asked. “Are you taping some stupid internet show with Shane?” Shane booked Owens in a match against Ryder with the winner getting a spot in the four-way IC Title match…

Powell’s POV: Shane is clearly just a vindictive son of a bitch.

Roman Reigns was shown talking backstage with the Usos. Tom Phillips entered the room and asked about the elimination match. Reigns said the match. Reigns said “we” elimination Anderson and Gallows. “After that I will eliminate AJ Styles,” he concluded…

Sin Cara and Kalisto made their entrance for Sin Cara’s match with Rusev…

[Q8] Eden Stiles introduced Lana, who then introduced Rusev…

5. Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Sin Cara (w/Kalisto). Cole hyped Kalisto vs. Rusev for Extreme Rules. A generic Kalisto interview with Phillips aired from earlier in the day. Kalisto has a strong heart. Blah, blah, blah. At least he didn’t mention Eddie Guerrero for once. Anyway, Rusev jumped out to a quick start on Sin Cara and taunted Kalisto, which became the early theme of the match. Sin Cara had a brief offensive run, but Rusev cut him off with a kick. Rusev had Sin Cara down, but Kalisto climbed onto the apron. Lana crawled onto the apron on the other side and the referee was caught up in bickering at her to get down. Rusev charged at Kalisto, who kicked him into a rollup by Sin Cara…

Sin Cara defeated Rusev in 3:45.

Cole hyped the six-man tag for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Rusev finally gets away from League of Nations and they have him lose to a guy who loses to everyone.

Primo and Epico love Puerto Rico and are “debuting” on Raw next week. JBL called them the Shining Stars…

[Q9] 6. AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows vs. Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, and Jimmy Uso in an elimination match. The answer is no when it comes to whether Roman would be cheered more than booed based on his entrance. Anderson eliminated Jey Uso by rolling him up and holding the tights while pinning him at 2:45.

Reigns wanted Styles, but Anderson and Gallows stopped AJ. Gallows worked against Reigns instead. Reigns knocked Styles off the apron with a shot. Jimmy checked in and ate a big boot from Gallows. However, Jimmy Uso caught Anderson with an inside cradle to eliminate him from the match at 5:00. [C]

Footage aired from during the break of Styles hitting the Phenomenal Forearm on Jimmy Uso and eliminating him. JBL said it was a handicap match at this point Styles and Gallows against Reigns. Roman caught Gallows with a Superman Punch and pinned him around 9:00.

Styles immediately attacked Reigns with punches. Styles took Reigns to ringside and started to clear the broadcast table, but Reigns recovered and threw Styles over the table. Reigns channeled Brock Lensar by throwing furniture (broadcast team chairs) and then picked up Styles. Anderson struck Reigns with a chair to the back for the DQ.

Afterward, the Usos ran out to help Reigns. Anderson and Gallows manhandled the Usos. Reigns speared Gallows, then speared Anderson. Reigns picked up the chair, but Styles caught Reigns with a kick to the head. Styles went for the Styles Clash, but Reigns backdropped him onto the apron.

[Q10] Styles caught himself and wanted to go for his finisher, but Reigns saw him, so they both just stopped and looked at one another for a moment. Reigns picked up the chair and approached Styles, then dropped it at AJ’s feet. There were dueling chants that were pretty close in volume. Styles kicked the chair toward Reigns, who picked it up. Styles teased his finisher, but leapt over Reigns and exited the other side of the ring. Styles told Reigns he needs the chair. “I don’t need it,” Styles said…

Roman Reigns and The Usos beat AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows by apparent DQ in an elimination match in 11:10.

Powell’s POV: Anderson and Gallows are quickly becoming regular guys. It’s fun to watch them manipulate the situation with Styles, but Reigns beats them up constantly and they were both eliminated quickly from this match. They still haven’t managed to sell viewers on the idea that Styles is a threat to take the title from Reigns on his own merit, which is a shame. They got the crowd reaction they are looking for in Omaha with a nice split crowd reaction. I don’t see it as a sign that Reigns is catching on. Rather, I see it as a Midwest city being a little more content to cheer the babyface champion.

An NXT ad hyped Finn Balor’s return to NXT TV on Wednesday… The broadcast team recapped the six-man tag match…

7. Kevin Owens vs. Zack Ryder for a spot in the IC Title match at Extreme Rules. Cole hyped that Owens will be the guest on ESPNews on Tuesday night. Owens mocked Ryder’s “Woo Woo Woo” and for good reason. Ryder dodged a cannonball. Ryder went for his Broski Boot, but Owens rolled to the floor. Ryder followed and caught him with a forearm. Ryder rolled Owens back inside the ring and then performed a top rope elbow drop for two. Owens came back with a Popup Powerbomb and pinned Ryder…

Kevin Owens beat Zack Ryder in 4:05 to keep his spot in the IC Title match.

[Q11] Cole said the match is official with Miz vs. Owens vs. Zayn vs. Cesaro in a four-way for the IC Title at Extreme Rules… Cole hyped the main event briefly, then they showed footage of Enzo Amore suffering an injury at Payback and being carted into an ambulance…

Backstage, Young interviewed Big Cass about facing Jericho. Cass said this is the biggest match of his career. He dedicated his match to Enzo Amore and did a catchphrase. He looked down at Renee and closed by asking her,” How you doin’?”… [C]

Powell’s POV: The crowd is either drained or never bought into Ryder winning or both. They were pretty flat for this match. Raw let the hype for main event fade for a bit too long. The Cass interview with Young wasn’t nearly as good as his in-ring performance with Jericho. He was a lot stiffer backstage and came off like a guy trying to remember his lines. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing how he does in the main event.

Former WWE creative team member Freddie Prinze Jr. checked in via Skype or something and pimped his new show and sang New Day Rocks…

New Day made their entrance. The Vaudevillains had a pre-tape that had them talking about a bygone era when championships were earned and champions were respected. New Day mocked the Vaudevillains name. Xavier Woods sang about the last BootyO. They spoke about how they would be lost without their cellphones if they lived in a bygone era. The Dudley Boyz made their entrance for a tag match. JBL said it’s “gonna be good”… [C]

8. Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. The Dudley Boyz in a non-title match. The match was joined in progress. D-Von took the unicorn stampede (a bunch of kicks in the corner). Woods played the trombone. The Vaudevillains attacked him from behind. The Dudleys took advantage of the distraction. D-Von turned Kingston inside out and pinned him. Afterward, the Vaudevillains performed the Whirling Dervish on Kingston and left him lying…

The Dudley Boyz beat New Day in a non-title match.

Saxton hyped the Jericho vs. Cass main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: This was simple and effective hype for the tag title match. It also gives The Dudleys a win they can boast about. The clothesline by D-Von on Kingston looked great live.

Cole hyped Sami Zayn and Cesaro vs. The Miz and Kevin Owens, and Roman Reigns vs. Luke Gallows for Smackdown…

Chris Jericho made his entrance for the main event with his lite brite jacket. However, he was attacked on the stage. The mystery attacker put on Jericho’s jacket and backed to the ring. The lights went on and it was Dean Ambrose wearing the jacket as Jericho knelt and yelled from the stage about how expensive the jacket is.

Ambrose tore the liner of the jacket as Jericho stood and pleaded from the stage. Ambrose yanked the wiring out of the jacket. Jericho raced to the ring, where Ambrose waited with punches. Ambrose roughed up Jericho, who escaped to ringside and called him an idiot.

Big Cass showed up and glared down at Jericho, who told him to get out of his way and slapped him. Cass grabbed him by the head and asked if he was out of his mind. Cass threw Jericho inside the ring. Ambrose performed Dirty Deeds on Jericho. Ambrose cut up the jacket with a pair of scissors and left the ring…

Backstage, Steph told Shane that the jacket cost $15,000. Shane mocked the idea of a potted plan not being a great tradeoff for the jacket. Shane said they did a pretty good job of coexisting. Stephanie said maybe they could star on the next episode of Ride Along. Shane said that was going too far. Stephanie picked up the picture of Shane with his father and looked at it, then shot a look in the direction of Shane, who was out of the picture.

In the ring, Jericho was throwing a bit about his jacket being destroyed as Ambrose continued to watch from the stage. “It’s $15,000, Ambrose,” Jericho yelled. “You idiot.” The broadcast team continued to talk as they replayed footage of Ambrose destroying the jacket…

Powell’s POV: The highlight of the segment occurred when one portion of the jacket still lit up even after Ambrose destroyed it. This made me laugh while thinking about some of the stories that Jericho has told about the jacket malfunctioning at key moments. The main event segment was a bait and switch. I was looking forward to the Big Cass vs. Jericho match more than Ambrose destroying a jacket. I’m having a hard time buying into nice Stephanie since she already showed her true colors when she pulled Ambrose’s show from him last week. Raw had its moments, but this show dragged right along with the live crowd’s enthusiasm waining. Three hours is always too long for Raw, but some weeks the time goes buy quicker than others. Thanks for watching along with me.


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Brian Pillman Jr., who discusses his training, following his father's footsteps, his own career aspirations, being part of the Hart Foundation faction, his big match at the MLW Saturday Night SuperFight pay-per-view, working with Jushin Liger, touring the WWE Performance Center, and much more...


Readers Comments (1)

  1. I think you have some of the women’s names mixed up in their match.

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