April 17, 2017
City: Columbus, OH
Venue: Schottenstein Center
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T
Ring Announcer: Jojo
Last week in RAW, Braun Strowman destroyed Roman Reigns.
Braun Strowman heads to the ring. Strowman is proud of what he did to Reigns last week. Now, he intends to tear through the entire locker room. Kurt Angle immediately comes out to the ring after Strowman makes his threat.
Angle asks what Strowman is trying to prove. He tells Strowman that he’s given Reigns a match against him at Payback. As for tonight, Strowman should be suspended, so he should take the night off. Strowman demands competition, or else.
Samoa Joe vs Chris Jericho
(referee: Chad Patton; guest commentary: Seth Rollins)
Result: Samoa Joe wins via submission with the Coquina Clutch
Time: 5:32 (1 break)
Good match. There wasn’t a lot of time to build the match, but there was some good submission psychology here.
After the match, Joe gets on the mic and calls out Seth Rollins. He asks Rollins if he remembers what it sounded like when Joe arrived on RAW. Joe remembers. It sounded like broken ligaments and Rollins begging for mercy, all on behalf of his benefactor, Triple H. At Payback, Joe’s actions will be personal. Rollins agrees that the match will be personal and reminds Joe that Payback is a bitch.
Anderson and Gallows walk through the back an see Elias Samson.
Goldust and R-Truth also walk through the back, but they get beat up by Braun Strowman. Fit Finlay, Jamie Noble, and Adam Pearce get Strowman to walk away.
John Cone reminds Strowman that Angle told him to take the night off.
Anderson and Gallows are upset that their opponents just got taken out by Strowman. They want competition. They get it in the form of Enzo and Cass.
Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs Enzo Amore & Big Cass
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Karl Anderson pins Enzo Amore after dropping him onto the top turnbuckle
Time: 7:35 (1 break)
Good match. It was pretty much a typical Enzo & Cass match, meaning Enzo got beat up for 90% of the match and Cass came in on the hot tag to clean up. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining. It was. And the finish was interesting.
The Miz and Maryse head to the ring for Miz TV. Miz tries to introduce his show when Dean Ambrose interrupts and heads to the ring. Miz is upset about the interruption, this week and last week. He also says that Ambrose is a disgrace to what a WWE Superstar should be. He says that Ambrose has been given opportunity after opportunity, but he’s squandered his momentum because he’s lazy and complacent.
Ambrose responds by saying it’s not about how you dress or how you represent the company, it’s about heart. He does what he does because he loves wrestling. He also reminds Miz that he beat him for the IC Title. Maryse tells Ambrose that the title doesn’t make the man, the man makes the title. With that, Ambrose removes his jacket and prepares himself before attacking Miz. After a brief brawl, Miz and Maryse back away up the ramp.
Strowman drags Kalisto through the hallways before tossing him into a dumpster. Strowman says he’s leaving when Big Show slams him into a metal doorway, challenging Strowman to pick on someone his own size.
TJ Perkins vs Gentleman Jack Gallagher
(referee: Darrick Moore; at ringside: Neville, Austin Aries)
Result: TJ Perkins wins via pinfall after a Detonation Kick
Time: 6:55 (1 break)
Good match, though the one they had on 205 Live last week was better. Neville and Aries provided some distractions in the later part of the match which worked well for storyline purposes.
Akira Tozawa is excited that Apollo Crews is on RAW. Titus O’Neil asks Crews what he’s planning to do to make an impact. He says that The Titus Brand can help Crews succeed and go to the next level.
Mike Rome welcomes The Hardy Boyz. They say they are excited to be back on RAW. Cesaro and Sheamus welcome the Hardys to the show and say it will be an honor to defeat them for the titles at Payback.
Fatal Four Way RAW Women’s Title Number One Contender Match
Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James vs Nia Jax
(referee: John Cone; watching in the back: Bayley)
Result: Alexa Bliss wins via pinfall on Sasha Banks after Nia Jax hits Banks with a Samoan Drop
Time: 10:44 (1 break)
An okay match. Nia Jax was kind of the centerpiece of the match, which meant that it was a little slow at times. The final portion of the match was good though, and that mostly made up for the slowness of the rest of the action.
Charly Caruso asks Big Show why he attacked Strowman. Show says Strowman needs a dose of his own medicine.
Curt Hawkins points out that Big Show was in the ring with him last week and now he’s in the main event. He then invites someone else to enter Hawkins’ “star factory.” Finn Balor responds to the invitation.
Curt Hawkins vs Finn Balor
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Finn Balor wins via pinfall with a Coup de Grace
Dule Hill is in the front row.
Mike Rome welcomes Chris Jericho. Jericho might have lost to Joe earlier, but he’s a bit sidetracked by his upcoming battle with Kevin Owens. If he beats Owens for the US Title, he’ll be moved to SmackDown. That’s okay though, wherever he goes the friends of Jericho will follow.
Jericho is then about to put Mike/Tom’s name on the list when Elias Samson walks by. Samson makes it onto the list instead.
Bray Wyatt delivers a sermon or Randy Orton. Wyatt says that he controls and harnesses fear. He knows Orton is scared. But that’s okay. Orton will know true fear in the House of Horrors, and his fear will fuel Wyatt.
Alicia Fox shows Dana Brooke what happened to her on 205 Live last week when Emma walks up. Emma says that Dana was showing the video to everyone and laughing all week. Fox is furious and says she doesn’t want to be friends with Dana anymore.
** I love Fox’s tantrums. I would be okay if we saw one every single week. **
Jeff Hardy w/ Matt Hardy (RAW Tag Champs) vs Cesaro w/ Sheamus
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Jeff Hardy wins via pinfall after a Swanton Bomb
Time: 9:48 (1 break)
Good match. Nicely competitive and without any shenanigans. It felt like Cesaro was slightly more dominant, but Jeff (who perpetually looks like he’s injured for some reason) kept hanging around and throwing himself at Cesaro. I also liked the show of respect from both teams after the match was over with them looking warily at each other, but still shaking hands.
Mike Rome hangs out outside the trainer’s room when Heath Slater and Rhyno walk up. Slater is excited to be back on RAW, but seeing Strowman walk by makes Slater and Rhyno flinch in fear.
Braun Strowman vs Big Show
(referee: John Cone)
Result: The match ends in a No Contest when the ring breaks from a second-rope superplex from Braun Strowman to Big Show
This was one of those spectacle matches, and I think it worked very well. This was better than their match in February, and it actually paid of a tease they started back then. I was frustrated that they teased a superplex back in their February match, but they actually did it here. And it broke the ring. It was a very fun moment and a good way to end a decent big-man match.
This was a fine show. Nothing special and it felt a little long which isn’t good, but it was fine. I think the Superstar Shakeup is making things weird right now. It’s like WWE is in kind of a holding pattern until Payback happens and they can move on to new feuds. For example, Bray Wyatt started something with Balor last week, but this week he ignores Balor and delivers a sermon to Randy Orton instead. It’s weird.
Match of the Night
Braun Strowman vs Big Show
It wasn’t the most impressive match athletically, but the sheer spectacle of this makes it memorable. No, it wasn’t the first time we’ve seen the ring break like that (it’s happened twice before with Big Show in pretty much the exact same way), but it was still a lot of fun. This match felt important for both guys involved, one rising to the top and one headed toward the twilight of his career.
Watching the show, I noticed that the ring posts didn’t have the silly LED light covers and the apron was missing the LED board. I thought that was a little odd but welcomed the change since I’m not really a fan of all those lights being added to the ring. The ring collapse made the change make sense though. The collapse also helped make sense Big Show and Strowman’s odd insistence that the ring steps be removed from their positions. It allowed the posts to fly outward unencumbered.