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RAW Recap & Review – Episode 1201

May 30, 2016
Episode 1201
(aired live)

City: Green Bay, WI
Venue: Resch Center

Commentary: Michael Cole, JBL, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Lilian Garcia


Ring Area
The superstars (and McMahons) are gathered on the stage for a moment of silence (and bell tolls) for Memorial Day.


Intro Video
“The Night Remix” by CFO$/KromestatiK

Ring Area
Shane McMahon heads to the ring followed closely by Stephanie. After a little back and forth, they announce that Smackdown will be live on Tuesdays starting July 19th. They also announce that John Cena returns tonight when New Day interrupts and heads to the ring.

New Day is excited but paranoid about the Smackdown news. They want to know where New Day will wind up. Stephanie dodges the question and New Day gets increasingly worried about being broken up. New Day then asks about who will run Smackdown and sense some sibling rivalry. To settle it, they propose a dance challenge.

Shane goes first and looks like he’s having spasms. Stephanie wants no part of it, but she finally agrees… just as The Vaudevillains come out to interrupt.


Match 1
New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E w/ Xavier Woods) (Tag Champs) vs The Vaudevillains
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: New Day wins via DQ when Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson attack Kofi Kingston
Time: 5:24 (started in progress and 1 break)

Match Thoughts
And okay match, but the in-ring action really felt like it was just killing time until Anderson and Gallows attacked.


Ring Area
After the match, The Vaudevillains attack Big E and leave him for Anderson and Gallows. They deliver a Magic Killer to Big E.

** I like that Anderson and Gallows are going for the titles, I just wonder if their attempt will end up like Styles’. **

Renee Young asks Gallows and Anderson about their actions. They say they are just as powerful without AJ Styles. The entire roster is on notice.

Big Show approaches Apollo Crews and explains why Sheamus attacked him last week. He’s a bully. He asks Crews if he’s going to back down.


Match 2
The Usos vs Breezango
(referee: John Cone; guest commentary: Golden Truth)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jey Uso pins Fandango with a crucifix
Time: 1:44

Match Thoughts
This was a very fast match and pretty much just an excuse to further Golden Truth’s story. For what it was, it was well done.


Ring Area
After the match, Breezango get mad at Golden Truth. Golden Truth then easily takes down Breezango.

Ring Area
Roman reigns heads to the ring and thinks Seth Rollins calling himself “The Man” is funny. Because he’s “The Guy.” He calls out Rollins. Rollins comes out, but not to the ring. He stands on the stage and gets a mic. He almost talks but doesn’t. He then almost goes to the ring but doesn’t. Then he leaves.

** I know the Vaudevillains have the market cornered on “bygone era” stuff, but this was as close to a silent film as I can remember a segment on RAW being. Other than Reigns’ few sentences, there was no talking. Which, you know, is probably good for Reigns. I guess they finally figured out a way for him to deliver a good promo: by not saying anything. **

Movie Trailer


Match 3
Rusev (US Champ) w/ Lana vs Zack Ryder
(referee: Jason Ayers)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Rusev wins via submission with the Accolade
Time: 2:34

Match Thoughts
Another quick match. Rusev dominated immediately. Ryder got a little offense (including his more violent looking Broski Boot), but he took a rough looking reversal to the Rough Ryder and quickly wound up in the (more violent looking) Accolade.


Ring Area
Rusev gets on the mic and tells everyone that he is a true American hero. He also says something about cheese, then Titus O’Neil comes out. Titus is offended that Rusev would call himself a great American on Memorial Day. He talks all the way into the ring, then gives Rusev a cheap shot (which Byron likes). Rusev leaves while the crowd chants USA.

The Shining Stars talk about Puerto Rico. Again.

Superstars react to Charlotte telling off Ric Flair from last week.

Earlier Today
Stephanie is embarrassed to have Charlotte represent the women of the WWE. She gets up in Charlotte’s face and yells at her.

Ring Area
Enzo & Cass comes out and talk about The Dudley Boyz. Big Cass lists a bunch of cheeses. Enzo talks about pizza.


Match 4
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs Dudley Boyz
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Enzo Amore pins D-Von Dudley after a rocket launcher
Time: 6:07 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. Enzo and Cass didn’t have as easy of a time as Cass has had individually against the Dudleys, but it wasn’t too difficult for them either.


Zayn, Ambrose, and Cesaro discuss their strategy for tonight’s tag match. Ambrose also discovers that Sami Zayn is Canadian.

Ring Area
John Cena returns to a fairly mild “welcome back” chant. He starts by talking about Memorial Day and defending America. The “USA” chant is louder than “welcome back.” He talks about freedom. He then wonders if he still belongs here in the midst of the “New Era.” He will not go quietly into the night, and the future must go through him. AJ Styles comes out.

Styles and Cena bask in the crowds “Let’s Go Cena/AJ Styles” chant (the loudest and longest yet). Styles finally stops the chant by addressing Cena. He welcomes Cena back. As they shake hands, Gallows and Anderson come out. They accuse Styles of kissing ass. Gallows and Anderson are here to kick it, including Styles’. Gallows and Anderson start to get in the ring… when Styles attacks Cena. Styles repeatedly returns to the ring for more punches until the referees have to come chase him away. The Club is back together.

** This is pretty awesome. I enjoyed nice guy AJ, but now that he’s solidly a heel maybe his recent losses in big matches will start to turn around. The whole story with AJ, since he first stepped foot in a WWE ring, makes a lot of sense. Probably the best ongoing story so far this year. **


Match 5
Natalya vs Dana Brooke w/ Charlotte (Women’s Champ)
(referee: John Cone)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Dana Brooke wins via pinfall after a fireman’s carry Michinoku driver
Time: 1:21

Match Thoughts
Not a very good match. It was super short and Dana’s finishing move was executed very slowly. Natalya had to be very cooperative for it to work, which isn’t good.


Ring Area
Charlotte attacks Natalya after the match, prompting Becky Lynch to come make the save.

Jojo welcomes Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler gets to show off his technical wrestling ability tonight. He name drops Dean Malenko and Chris Jericho’s “Arm Bar” promo.

** I always like a nicely done reference to some classic stuff. **


Match 6
Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler
(referee: Darrick Moore)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Baron Corbin wins via DQ after a low blow from Dolph Ziggler
Time: 0:33

Match Thoughts
This was pretty good. Ziggler built up the “technical wrestling match” for a week and even put on head gear, but the only move in the match was Ziggler low blowing Corbin. Good stuff.


Promo Video
Maryse introduces The Miz. The Miz delivers a promo on Facebook. He’s doing a movie, but he promises he’ll keep checking in with his fans.

Owens, Jericho, and Del Rio argue about their strategy for tonight.

** I think Jericho nearly cracked up here. **


Match 7
Dean Ambrose & Cesaro & Sami Zayn vs Alberto Del Rio & Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho
(referee: Charles Robinson)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Dean Ambrose pins Kevin Owens after Dirty Deeds
Time: 13:17 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. It built to a climax before the commercial break, then again towards the end. Pretty straightforward, but good.


Show Impressions
It wasn’t a bad show, but the matches were pretty lacking in quality. I understand that most of the short ones were for story purposes, and I don’t necessarily mind that kind of match, but I prefer a mix of story matches and longer, quality matches. Also, the women’s stuff isn’t grabbing me right now. Dana Brooke isn’t that good yet. I appreciated Charlotte’s promo last week, but they really need to capitalize on that. Maybe putting Becky back in the mix will help. The division just doesn’t seem to be terribly competitive or thriving.

The best part of tonight’s show was easily the Cena/Styles segment.

Match of the Night
Ambrose & Cesaro & Zayn vs Del Rio & Owens & Jericho
This was good, but since most of the matches on this show were barely matches, this one wins by default.



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