Raw Recap: April 11, 2016

Monday Night Raw took place in Los Angeles at the Staples Center tonight before 16,000 plus fans. Earlier in the day, the WWE announced that Shane McMahon would once again be in charge due to an overwhelming response from the WWE Universe.

Shane kicked off the show by announcing a few things. He first announced that a tag team tournament would take place to name a number one contender to face the New Day at Payback. He also announced that the tournament would kick off on Raw tonight. Here is a look at what the bracket looked like prior to any matches taking place. (Updated bracket later in this post)

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His next order of business was getting Sami Zayn his opportunity that he didn’t get last week, a chance to become the number one contender for the WWE championship. It would be Zayn vs AJ Styles on Raw and if Zayn won, the main event would become a triple threat match at Payback, with Zayn thrown into the match with Reigns and Styles. Next, he announced that Natalya would get her chance to win the Women’s championship tonight, as she would face Charlotte and the title would be on the line.

At this point, Kevin Owens came out and talked about how he was screwed last week in the fatal four match and at WrestleMania for his Intercontinental title. He then demanded his rematch for the IC title, to which Shane replied that if he beat Cesaro, he would get his shot at the Miz and a chance to reclaim his IC title. However, if Cesaro won, he would then become the number one contender.

The match kicked off the action on Raw and it was a good one. The action was back and forth throughout the match and ultimately KO came up short once again and Cesaro earned a shot at the Miz at Payback after defeating KO with the neutralizer.

Dr. Phil appeared on the next segment with Charlotte and Ric Flair and he talked about how Charlotte relies on her father too much and the only way she has kept her title is because they cheat. KO then appeared on the screen with Shane and he talked about how he was going to hurt Sami Zayn worse than he did last week. Shane then told him that he was kicked out of the building and to hit the locker room and get his things.

The New Day came out next to kick off the tag team tournament and announce that the tournament would be presented by Booty O’s cereal. Booty O’s…..they make sure you ain’t booty!

The Dudley’s vs the Lucha Dragons kicked off the tournament and this match was a snoozer. Kalisto was “injured” during the match and had to receive medical attention during the match. The Dudley’s defeated the Dragons via a 3D (which they botched) and they advanced in the tourney.

Enzo and Cass then came out and cut a promo, basically making fun of the Dudley’s and the Dudley’s didn’t appreciate it very much. They said that they paved the way for the tag teams and that they had a lot of nerve to come out and disrespect them. Nothing more than a time filler here, but still great tv.

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When Raw returned from the commercial break, Kevin Owens was being escorted out of the building by security.

Next up, Roman Reigns came out to cut a promo on AJ Styles and Sami Zayn. The crowd greeted him with boos of course and then he was interrupted by the League of Booty, I mean League of Nations. Blah, blah, blah. A bunch of nothing was said really that ultimately led to Roman inviting them into the ring to get beat down. They headed towards the ring and then the Wyatts sound bite played and they appeared once the lights came back on. Roman and the Wyatts cleared the ring of the League of Nations and then the Wyatts started heading towards Roman. Shane then interrupted and said he liked seeing Roman and Bray fighting side by side and made the main event 2 members of the League of Nations (Alberto Del Rio & Shaemus) vs Bray and Roman.

Yet another promo for Los Matadores, I mean Primo and Epico played about Puerto Rico. They need to just debut as their new repackaged characters already. I’m over these promos.

Dr. Phil made his way to ringside to get a close look at the women’s title match, which ended up being better than most matches. Charlotte got Natalya in the sharpshooter in the middle of the ring and tried to make her submit to her own move. Natalya was able to break up the move and ended up getting Charlotte in the sharpshooter in the middle of the ring. Ric Flair interfered and pulled the ref out of the ring. At the same time, Charlotte tapped out, but the ref missed it due to Flair pulling him out. He called for the bell and announced Natalya the winner, but by disqualification. So Charlotte got to keep her title, despite tapping out. This seems like they are setting up a rematch at Payback, with Ric Flair banned from ringside.

Sami Zayn cut a promo next about how he did not come this far to lose. AJ Styles then appeared and said that there is only one number one contender at the moment and he plans on keeping it that way.

Next was another match in the tag team tourney, the Usos vs the Social Outcasts. Talk about another boring match. The Usos ultimately ended up winning, but what happened after the match had everyone talking. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson came out from the crowd and made their long awaited debut. They destroyed the Usos and then left through the crowd, the same way they entered. They didn’t say one word, but they message was loud and clear. They’re here to wreak havoc in the WWE.

Next was a promo with the Miz and Maryse. The Miz talked about how he is Cesaro’s kryptonite. Cesaro appeared on the screen and said he just wanted to get a first hand look at the “Miz-erable” performance and see the guy who he was going to steal the leading role of IC champ from.

Next up was Sami Zayn vs AJ Styles. This match was a great one….until the ending. Both men displayed their athleticism and great wrestling skills quite well as the match was back and forth and evenly matched. Both men connected on high flying moves as the action moved outside of the ring. Once back inside, Zayn ducked a Phonomenal forearm and hit Styles with a Blue Thunder Bomb, but he earned a 2 and 7/8ths count. The ref looked like he took the long way to begin the count, so it could have easily been a three count, but it ended up being a 2 count nonetheless. AJ gets the Calf Crusher applied on Zayn, but he is able to make it to the rope to force a break. Styles goes to the top but Zayn gets up and hits him with a forearm. Styles fights Zayn off and goes for a sunset flip, but Zayn counters and lands a dropkick. Zayn goes to the other corner and waits to set up for he Helluva Kick. Styles blocks the kick and hits a Phenomenal Forearm for the win. I personally thought this match was great until the he ending. It deserved a better ending than that, but that’s just my two cents. Great match still despite the ending.

Going into the break we are promised a big edition of the Highlight Reel from Chris Jericho. He comes out and announces that his guest this week is…..himself. He proceeds to ask himself questions and talk about all of his accomplishments throughout his career. He talks about how no one on the roster is as good as he is and then Dean Ambrose’s music hits. He came out to a big pop. Ambrose has a note from Shane McMahon, but pulls out a California speeding ticket first. He finally presents the nite and it says that the Highlight Reel is being replaced by The Ambrose Asylum. Ambrose puts on a tie and asks Jericho if it’s on straight. Jericho isn’t amused. Ambrose welcomes us to The Ambrose Asylum and introduces his first guest, Chris Jericho. Ambrose says the world wants to know what’s up with Jericho’s scarf? Jericho says the scarf costs $700 and Ambrose is interrupting him because he interrupted Ambrose on SmackDown. Jericho says he’s reached legendary status in WWE and he can do and say what he wants and if Ambrose was smart, he’d keep his nose clean or he will bury him. Jericho tells Ambrose to look at him when he talks to him. Jericho tells Ambrose to take his “stupid a$$ out of Jericho’s ring.” Ambrose stares at him and just wants to know about the scarf. Jericho knocks the mic down. Ambrose kicks him and nails Dirty Deeds. His music hits and he thanks us for watching his show. I guess we will see Ambrose vs Y2J at Payback, I’m not mad at that.

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Next up, Apollo Crews has a match with Adam Rose of the Social Outcasts. Not too much to note here, this match was mainly Crews getting his character built up and him collecting wins. He ended up hitting the Spin Out Powerbomb on Rose to pick up the win.

Coming back from the break, we get yet another Puerto Rico promo from Primo and Epico. I’m over this already. They just need to debut already and get stuck on the lower card putting everyone else over. No matter how many times they get repackaged, it always ends up the same way. Moving along.

Finally it was time for the main event. Alberto Del Rio & Shaemus with Rusev vs Roman Reaigns & Bray Wyatt. Wyatt appears on the titantron and announces that he is here. Roman joins him and then the League of Booty comes out.

Roman and Wyatt each wanted to start the match, but it ended up being Shaemus and Wyatt. After each men get a couple of punches in, Wyatt turns upside down and taunts Sheamus. Wyatt begins to get the momentum and takes Shaemus to the corner. Reigns tags himself in and gets in Wyatt’s face. They double team Sheamus in the corner for a bit and then Reigns continues to hit Sheamus in the corner. Wyatt tags himself in and there’s yet another stare down between Roman and Wyatt. Sheamus hits Wyatt, but immediately gets dropped by a big right hand. Wyatt goes for the pin, but only gets a 2 count. Sheamus hits Wyatt with a knee to the gut and Alberto Del Rio tags in and jumps off the second rope with a stomp as Sheamus hits a backbreaker. Del Rio goes for the cover now, but only earns a 2 count. Del Rio knocks Roman off of the apron and turns his attention back to Wyatt. Del Rio has Wyatt in the corner and punches him with his right hand. Sheamus tags back in and takes over. Roman finally gets tagged in and fans begin to boo heavily. Roman hits Sheamus with a barrage of hits including a big boot. Roman returns the favor and drops Del Rio from the apron with a right hand. Roman jumps down to the floor and starts going at it with Del Rio after Sheamus had rolled out of the ring. Sheamus shoves Roman into the ring post face first and Roman falls down to the floor. He sends Roman into the ring post once more and then takes the action back in the ring, but then he tosses Roman right back to the apron. Sheamus lands some forearms to Roman’s chest. Del Rio kicks Roman in the ribs while the referee isn’t looking and then Sheamus comes back with the forearms again.

Del Rio tags in and hits the running enziguri for a close 2 count. Both teams go back and forth with each team landing punches and moves. Wyatt tags back in and he catches Del Rio in Sister Abigail but Del Rio blocks it. He runs to the ropes, but Wyatt hits him with the elbow. Sheamus breaks it up, but Roman sends Sheamus to the floor. Fans boo Roman some more. Roman goes to the floor and jumps off the steel steps to attempt a Superman punch, but Sheamus blocks it and throws him into the steps instead. Rusev kicks Wyatt from the floor and then Del Rio follows that up with a Backstabbber. He goes for the cover, but Wyatt kicks out at 2. The Wyatt sound bite plays again and the lights go out. When they come back on, Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan appear and begin taking out Rusev out on the floor. (Where is Luke Harper by the way?)
Del Rio runs back in and attempts the cross armbreaker on Wyatt, but he gets caught with Sister Abigail. Wyatt pins Del Rio and Sheamus try’s to run in to break up the count, but Roman spears him and Wyatt gets the pin for the win. After the match, Wyatt and Reigns stare each other down. Rowan and Strowman stand behind Wyatt and they get closer in Roman’s face and RAW goes off the air with the staredown.

Overall, I thought this was another good Raw. More young talent getting the spotlight and better quality matches are happening. Hopefully Raw can continue in this direction. Below is an updated bracket of the tag team tournament. Only two of the four first round match ups took place and the remaining two will take place on SmackDown.

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Raw quick hitter results:

Cesaro defeated Kevin Owens to become the number one contender for the Intercontinental Championship. Cesaro will face The Miz at Payback for the title.

The Dudley’s defeated the Lucha Dragons to advance in the tag team tourney.

Natalya defeated Charlotte via disqualification, however, Charlotte retains the Women’s championship.

The Usos defeated the Social Outcasts to advance in the tag team tourney.

AJ Styles defeated Sami Zayn to keep the main event at Payback a singles match between Styles and Roman Reigns.

Apollo Crews defeated Adam Rose.

Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt defeated Alberto Del Rio and Shaemus.

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