-Shane McMahon started the show but was quickly interrupted by Stephanie McMahon. She said this Sunday at Payback, Vince McMahon will appear and determine who will be in charge of RAW. Shane said he was still in charge for the night and asked Stephanie to leave. When she refused, Shane had her escorted out by security. But because Stephanie always has to look powerful, she slapped one of the security guards a few times before leaving.
JC’s Take: Poor Smackdown. Nobody wants control of that show. This is going to end in one of two ways. The first being that Shane and Stephanie become co-general managers of the show. That would be stupid. The second would be some sort of brand split. I think this would be the most likely scenario. But if this happens and you are going to split the roster, you HAVE to cut RAW down to 2 hours. RAW wouldn’t survive with only half a roster on a 3 hour show.
-In their debut match, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated The Usos. They continued to beat down the Usos after the match until Roman Reigns made the save.
JC’s Take: The match was complete domination by Anderson and Gallows. The crowd was dead for some of it. But they were also cheering for Anderson and Gallows and did not care about an attempted Usos comeback. The Usos are also getting some of Roman Reigns heat on them now. It’s a guilty by association thing. That’s bad.
-In the main event, Roman Reigns defeated Alberto del Rio. Anderson and Gallows tried to distract Roman, but he was still able to hit the Spear on Del Rio to pick up the win. Anderson and Gallows attacked Roman after the match. Styles stopped them but ate a Superman Punch for his troubles. Reigns then took out Anderson and Gallows, but he ate a Phenomenal Punch from Styles as the show closed.
JC’s Take: For as dominant as Anderson and Gallows looked against the Usos, they did get taken out by Reigns twice tonight. The WWE has done a great job adding so much intrigue to the WWE Title match this Sunday. What once looked like a simple Roman Reigns win now has a lot of questions going into this Sunday.
This show was a lot of setting the stage for Payback this Sunday. And I am perfectly fine with that. Nothing earth shattering but solid foundations set for the matches this Sunday. We had:
-Dean Ambrose called out Chris Jericho. They brawled and it ended with Chris Jericho putting Ambrose in the Walls of Jericho on the announce table.
-Sami Zayn defeated Rusev with a roll-up. After the match, two things happened: 1. Lana threw her shoes at Sami Zayn. 2. Kevin Owens attacked Zayn on the ramp.
-The New Day, The Vaudevillians, and Enzo and Cass had a promo in the ring. It was good exposure for the Vaudevillians who didn’t look out of place and held their own with their counterparts.
-Dolph Ziggler attacked Baron Corbin as he walked to the ring. It was payback (hey look at that!) for Corbin doing the same thing to Ziggler on Smackdown.
Overall, RAW did a good job of painting the final picture for Payback and left a lot of intrigue going into the show. They added the control of RAW angle and the main event has a cloud of mystery surrounding it. Payback looks a lot better than Wrestlemania ever did. I’ll have a preview up this week for the show.
Until Next Time,
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