Well…after Wrestlemania and the subsequent RAW, I think I pretty much hate pro wrestling now. I apologize in advance if this recap is extra negative, but I have very low expectations, and am extremely angry with this company on a whole.
We start with a video package to remind us once again how terrible Mania was. Oh, and just in case it wasn’t obvious, there were not 101,000 fans in AT&T Stadium. Reports indicate it was around 94,000, which apparently wasn’t a massive enough number for Vince & Co. Wrestlemania III all over again, folks.
We are in Houston, TX, and the show opens with new WWE World Champion Roman Reigns, who is nearly booed out of the building. He says he fought the Authority at Mania, and he won, taking back his title in the process. When you have the belt, everyone wants it, so it’s one vs. all. You can love or hate him, but it doesn’t matter. He’s not a bad guy or a good guy; he’s THE guy. What he plans to do next is beat AJ Styles.
Styles interrupts and says Reigns had a heck of a Mania. He actually came out here to congratulate Reigns on being the new champion and offers a handshake. Reigns obliges before Styles says he had a heck of a RAW. He beat three stars to become the #1 contender, and he’s coming after the title next. He’s been all over the world, beaten the best and had a title. In order to be the WWE World Champion, if he has to beat THE guy, so be it. Reigns says to be THE champion, you have to have THE championship, and if Styles wants it, he has to beat THE guy. Reigns says Styles has beaten a lot of guys, but he’s never beaten Reigns…and he never will. Reigns pats him on the shoulder and leaves.
The Vaudevillains make their debut tonight. Great team, but I feel like they are going to be sent the way of the Ascension in short order. Vince seems to really hate NXT.
MATCH 1: THE LUCHA DRAGONS (WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION KALISTO AND SIN CARA) VS. THE VAUDEVILLAINS (AIDEN ENGLISH AND SIMON GOTCH)
The entrance of the Vaudevillans is pretty great. Cara and English start with a lock-up. Cara hits a shoulder off the ropes, goes into a crisscross, then hits a back-body drop. Cara slams English and tags in Kalisto for the monkey flip splash for 2. Cara tags back in and drops an elbow off the top to the shoulder. He lights English up with some chops before Gotch makes a blind tag. English gets clotheslined to the floor and Cara goes for a suicide dive, only to get met with a Gotch knee on the apron. Gotch comes in and pounds on Cara, then nails him with a European uppercut. English tags back in for a Dukes Up. English locks in a rear chinlock. Cara tries to get back up, but gets yanked back down. Cara gets corner-whipped, but blocks with a pair of boots. Cara nails Gotch on the apron, then hits a tilt-a-whirl armdrag on English. Gotch tags in before Kalisto does the same. Kalisto dives over Gotch before hitting a springboard corkscrew plancha. Kalisto kicks both members of the Vaudevillains repeatedly, then nails the Kalisto Kick for 2 before English breaks it up. Cara sends English to the floor and wipes him out with a suicide dive. Gotch then dropkicks Cara through the ropes before English slams him into the barricade. Back in the ring, Kalisto nails another kick, then goes for Salida Del Sol. English makes a blind tag before Gotch blocks the SDS and dumps Kalisto face-first onto the mat. English grabs in a front chancery before tagging in Gotch, and the two hit the Whirling Dervish for 3.
WINNERS: THE VAUDEVILLAINS.
Later tonight, Zack Ryder gets a rematch for the Intercontinental title against the Miz. Ugh…just typing that sh*thole’s name makes me choke on my own bile.
Charlotte is on commentary for the next match. Sitting next to her is Ric Flair, who continues to do absolutely nothing. He’s not even given a headset.
MATCH 2: SUMMER RAE VS. NATALYA
Nattie has goofy hair tonight. A quick rollup gets 1 for Nattie. She then hits a fireman’s carry before Rae reverses a corner whip. Nattie avoids a splash and hits a slingshot buttbreaker before hitting a basement dropkick. Rae blocks a roll-up, then slaps Nattie before sending her neck-first into the ropes. Nattie gets kicked to the floor, where Rae hits a snap suplex. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, Summer Rae is beyond repulsive. Anyway, back in the ring, Rae gets a 2-count, then kicks Nattie in the spine. She screeches, then kicks Nattie in the spine again for 2 before going to a sloppy cobra clutch. Nattie snaps out of it, then walks into a horrible roundhouse for 2. Rae screeches some more, then throws Nattie to the corner twice. Nattie shoves her off, blocks a roundhouse, trips Rae and locks in the Sharpshooter for the submission win.
Charlotte takes a page out of Nikki Bella’s playbook (or perhaps the only page) by doing nothing but standing at ringside with the belt raised over her head.
MATCH 4-INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP: ZACK RYDER VS. THE MIZ (CHAMPION; W/MARYSE)
Maryse gets her own entrance, then introduces Miz. Makes sense. She is a waste of space just like her husband. Why not have them waste space together?
The two lock up before Miz hits a shoulder. Crisscross until Ryder blocks the Reality Check and rolls up Miz for 2. a backslide gets 2. A jackknife gets 2. Ryder hits a flapjack, charges in the corner, gets backdropped to the apron, lands on his feet, hits a forearm and connects with a slingshot splash for 2. Miz comes back with a kneelift and goes for a back suplex. Ryder lands on his feet before getting clotheslined to the apron. Ryder low-bridges him to the floor, then hits a missile dropkick off the apron. Back in, Ryder gets 2 before we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Miz pulls Ryder off the buckles, then connects with a running boot. Another one gets 2. Miz goes for a chinlock, which Ryder counters with a jawbreaker. Miz blocks a forearm and falls into the Reality Check for 2. Miz hits a few lefts before driving his knee into Ryder’s spine. He chokes Ryder across the middle, then drives a leg across his back for 2. Miz goes back to the chinlock, because why the hell not? Ryder fights out before getting a kneelift to the gut. Ryder lands on his feet on a suplex attempt and turns it right into a neckbreaker. Miz runs into a back elbow, misses a clothesline and eats one from Ryder. Ryder nails a corner forearm and goes for a dropkick from the middle, but Miz counters with a sit-out powerbomb for 2. Ryder avoids a charge into the ropes and kicks Miz before trying the slingshot splash again. Miz gets the knees up and plants Ryder with a snap DDT for 2. He calls for the SCF, but Ryder immediately elbows out, ducks a clothesline and lands a facebusuter, followed by a Final Cut for 2. Ryder nails a corner forearm, which sets up the Broski Boot. Miz sees it coming and drops to the floor. He looks for a corner figure-4, but Ryder pulls him face-first into the post before dropkicking him into the barricade. Ryder heads out and hits a Broski Boot on the floor, then rolls Miz back in. He heads up top and nails the El-Bro Drop for 2. Miz comes back up with a boot, but Ryder shakes it off and pelts him with forearms in the corner before stomping him down. Maryse undoes a bottom turnbuckle and slides it into the ring. The ref grabs it and throws it back out, which leads to Miz thumbing Ryder in the eye before hitting the Skull-Crushing Finale for 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: THE MIZ.
F**k the Miz and everyone who looks like him.
Apollo Crews makes his Smackdown debut next.
The Social Outcasts are on the ring apron. One of them is facing Apollo Crews, and will decide with Rock, Paper, Scissors. Curtis Axel cheats by saying paper is actually an axe, which means he apparently wins and gets the match.
MATCH 5: CURTIS AXEL (W/BO DALLAS, ADAM ROSE AND HEATH SLATER) VS. APOLLO CREWS
Crews’ music sounds exactly like generic background music from a WWE 2K game. Axel is now dressing like John Cena. He immediately leaves the ring and leads the “Bo Train”. Back in, Crews sends him to the floor with a punch. Back in again, Crews backs Axel to the corner for a pair of shoulder thrusts and some mounted punches. Slater and Rose try for a distraction. Rose gets turned inside-out with an apron clothesline, which allows Axel to take control. Axel plans Crews with a dropkick as Rose is apparently out cold on the floor. Crews comes back with a dropkick of his own, then hits a jumping clothesline and a standing moonsault for 2. Dallas and Slater jump on the apron for a distraction. While the ref talks to Dallas, Crews throws Axel into Slater, then nails him with an enziguri. Crews hits a blue thunder bomb and gets 3.
WINNER: APOLLO CREWS.
We go back to Baron Corbin on RAW and holy hell, can he not cut a promo. At least he started his WWE main roster career with a star maker like Dolph Ziggler. I mean, Tyler Breeze has been ON FIRE since he debuted the same way.
Rip Thomas is standing by with a big wooden statue. And next to him is the Andre battle royal trophy. Corbin cuts Thomas off before he can even start talking, then spouts a terribly scripted promo, so bad you can see that he’s reading off a cue card off-screen.
Renee Young and her ridiculous hair are standing by with Becky Lynch, rocking a nasty shiner. She still looks great, though. Lynch says she’s trying to find the humor in all of this. No one else finds it funny, but she’s in stitches *points to the stitches in her eye*. She had the match of her life at Wrestlemania and gave it everything. The new WWE Women’s title is about heart and passion. She will be back in the title picture, especially because she owes Charlotte for the eye job. Emma interrupts her and brags about making it to WWE first. Looking at her WWE career, that’s not something to brag about. Lynch threatens to give her a similar black eye if she doesn’t stop complaining. Emma makes a dumb joke about “keeping an eye out”.
Promo for the repackaged (again) Primo and Epico, who are now portraying evil “foreigners” who love Puerto Rico more than the US.
MATCH 6: DEAN AMBROSE VS. TYLER BREEZE
Ambrose goes on the attack immediately and assaults him in the corner. Ambrose nails a back elbow off the ropes, then goes for a back suplex. Breeze lands on his feet and hits a Ghetto Blaster before stomping Ambrose in the corner. Ambrose avoids a corner splash, runs into a dropkick and rebounds with the Lunatic Lariat. Dirty Deeds gets 3.
WINNER: TYLER BREEZE.
Expect Breeze to be sent back to NXT or outright fired before the year is out.
As Ambrose is leaving, Chris Jericho comes out for the main event. Ambrose stares him down as he heads up the ramp. Jericho pays him no mind.
Dr. Phil is the guest star for RAW, because WWE doesn’t want people watching that show anymore.
Goldust is on his phone in the back, talking to someone about “Shattered Dreams Productions 2”. R-Truth enters with a video camera. He has a friend who knows a Hollywood producer (who in turn is friends with a “cat sh*tter”). They’re going to be in LA on RAW, and this producer can help Goldust get what he wants. This goes on.
MATCH 7: CHRIS JERICHO AND KEVIN OWENS VS. CESARO AND AJ STYLES
I am glad to see Cesaro back (and the tear-away suit entrance is pretty good), but I have low hopes for his return. This guy should have been main eventing several years ago (and still should be), but WWE has blown it with him time and time again, similar to now-former employee Wade Barrett.
Jericho and Styles start, jockeying for position. They go into a crisscross, ending with a Styles dropkick. Cesaro in, and he comes off the middle with a double axe handle. He hits a European uppercut, tags out, hits a bodyslam and a double stomp. Styles comes in with a jumping knee that gets 2, leading to Jericho rolling to the floor for a fit, which Owens helps him throw. Commercials.
Back from the break, Styles hits Jericho with an armdrag before tagging out to Cesaro. Cesaro continues to work the arm, then nails a clothesline as Jericho tries to reverse a wringer. Jericho comes back with a chop and tags in Owens, who pounds on Cesaro with fists. He tries a European uppercut, which Cesaro no-sells before hitting one of his own. Owens comes back with a knee and tags out, only for Cesaro to fight off both heels. He belts both of them with repeated Europeans in the corners, then goes for a Cesaro Swing on each, only to have it broken when Owens crawls to the floor. Jericho clotheslines Cesaro to the floor, where Owens throws him into the announce desk. Jericho drops an elbow from the apron before rolling Cesaro in, Jericho hits a slingshot splash for 2, then pounds Cesaro into the corner. Owens tags in and continues the attack before dropping Cesaro with a short-arm for 2. Owens drives his knee into Cesaro’s back and tags in Jericho. Jericho hits a suplex, then does the posing pin for 2. Jericho applies a modified surfboard, but Cesaro fights out. Jericho makes him eat a knee before Cesaro blasts him with a Very European Uppercut. Jericho tries to prevent a tag, but gets sent to the floor. Cesaro dives for the tag, but Jericho yanks Styles to the floor. He then “dives” for his own tag to Owens. Owens misses the cannonball, which allows Styles to tag in. Styles nails a bunch of strikes and a basement forearm. He sends Owens in for a corner splash, then catches an incoming Jericho with the Ushi-Goroshi. Owens gets a back suplex into a facebuster for 2. Styles calls for the Clash, but Owens backdrops him and goes for a waistlock. Styles breaks it and misses an Asai moonsault. Owens nails a superkick for 2, then goes for a burning hammer. Styles escapes and nails the Pele. He looks for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Jericho shoves him off. Owens covers, but it’s only good for 2. Owens package powerbombs Styles for 2, but Cesaro breaks it up at the last second. Jericho misses a clothesline on Cesaro, and Cesaro sends him to the floor with a clothesline over the ropes, then Europeans him into the timekeeper’s area. Back in the ring, Owens sets up the pop-up, but gets distract when Sami Zayn marches down to the ring, accompanied by 812 referees and officials who are trying to stop him. Styles quickly rolls Owens up off the distraction and gets 3.
WINNERS: CESARO AND AJ STYLES.
Owens heads to the floor and immediately begins brawling with Zayn. Zayn dominates until Owens sends him into the ring steps. Officials Jamie Noble and Billy Kidman hold him back as the show goes off the air.
END OF SHOW.