Monday Night Raw – May 9, 2016: It’s Hard Out There For A Champ

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 9, 2016
Location: CenturyLink Center Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

Things are still on a bit of a roll in WWE as we’re getting closer and closer to Extreme Rules in thirteen days. Last week saw Roman Reigns and the Usos trade six man tag team wins against AJ Styles/Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows but it’s not clear how closely affiliated Styles is with his New Japan buddies. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of the six man tag and post match issues with Styles refusing to hit Reigns with a chair and getting powerbombed through the announcers’ table. The rematch on Smackdown isn’t mentioned whatsoever, as is usually the case.

Tonight we’ll see the same six man, albeit with elimination rules.

Here’s Chris Jericho to kick things off with the Highlight Reel. Dean Ambrose was supposed to be his guest but he’s still in the hospital. Jericho has a replacement though as he unveils the remains of Mitch the plant. They’re not all that dissimilar because they’re both in pieces and could be entertaining at times.

Jericho finds it amusing that the fans were more concerned about Mitch than Dean after last week. Ambrose has no value on his own but Jericho is the Haley’s comet of WWE: a once in a lifetime talent so drink him in. This brings out Colin Cassady of all people to say that if this is the gift of Jericho, you better give him the receipt with it. Cass talks about the new era and says Jericho is standing in his way.

Jericho thinks Cass should go visit his buddy Enzo Annoying in the hospital but that’s not cool with Cass, who wants to fight right now. Jericho tries to call himself the best in the world but Cass covers the microphone, leaving Jericho looking stunned. The jacket comes off but Jericho leaves. Cass calls him SAWFT to draw Jericho back in, earning himself a great looking boot to the face. This was a well done exchange, even though I can’t imagine Cass pinning Jericho in a match.

Post break Jericho goes to Stephanie to say Shane is trying to ruin this new era (that’s probably the eighth time they’ve used that word in about 22 minutes) but Stephanie likes everyone getting a new chance. Therefore tonight, Jericho is facing Big Cass (complete with Stephanie doing the catchphrases because this is the wacky, fun loving Stephanie) in the main event. Oh and Jericho should never, EVER, try to drive a wedge between Stephanie and her brother Shane again. I’m so glad she pointed out which brother it was in that totally natural way of speaking of hers.

Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler

Before the match, Corbin says he’s the force in this new era. They start brawling early with Ziggler sending him outside and into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Ziggler caught in a chinlock before Corbin just lays in with heavy right hands. Corbin ducks his head though and eats a Fameasser for two. The Zig Zag is countered into a big old Deep Six for two but Corbin stops to pose too much. Ziggler tries the same rollup he beat Corbin with the first time out but Corbin kicks out and plants him with the End of Days for the pin at 8:28.

Rating: C-. The match was fine but more importantly it’s the match that should have happened at Payback. However, why have Corbin destroy Ziggler on pay per view when you can have more 50/50 booking, likely setting up a third match? My guess is because Corbin needed to be taught some kind of lesson or whatever their latest reason is, or perhaps because the writers have no idea how to book new talent aside from trading wins with an established name.

We look back at Stephanie making Charlotte vs. Natalya at Extreme Rules in a submission match with Ric Flair banned from ringside.

Charlotte and Ric Flair come in to see Shane, who they think should reverse Stephanie’s decision. Shane thinks otherwise and bans Ric from ringside tonight as well.

Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows/AJ Styles regret not going after Reigns last week. Tonight the Club is back together.

Fandango vs. R-Truth

This is a preview match for Gorgeous Truth vs. Goldango on Smackdown. Of course it’s a danceoff to start with Truth (complete with gold hair tips) doing a spinning bunny hop. Fandango dropkicks him down and dances, drawing Goldust up to the apron for some swiveling of his own. Breeze gets up as well but gets knocked right back down, setting up the Lie Detector for the pin at 2:11. You know, this is a stupid feud but I’ll give them points for actually sticking with the thing. It’s harmless enough so let them get a story told.

Miz, Cesaro and Kevin Owens are with the McMahons and Stephanie makes a triple threat match for the Intercontinental Title at Extreme Rules. Sami Zayn comes in to ask about making it a triple threat. He wants to be involved but Shane says he has to earn it, which he can by beating Miz tonight. Otherwise, Sami goes to the back of the line.

Paige vs. Charlotte

Non-title with Natalya on commentary. Paige quickly takes it to the floor and starts slugging away with forearms as Natalya talks about it being a beautiful day in Omaha. A big boot gets two for Charlotte, followed by some knees to the chest. Paige kicks her in the head for two more, followed by a good looking superplex for the same. Charlotte gets out of the PTO and grabs a rollup with her feet on the ropes, only to have Natalya break it up. Cue Ric Flair, allowing Charlotte to get in a backbreaker…..and here’s Shane to interrupt. Referees get Flair out of there and Paige grabs a rollup for the pin at 7:45.

Rating: C+. Yet again WWE manages to overbook things. This could have been the exact same match with Paige winning off a regular rollup and Ric not being involved. It even gives you a better story with Charlotte not being able to win on her own. I mean, it’s not like this is going to lead anywhere for Paige so why not go with the simpler story?

We look back at Cass and Jericho earlier.

Sami Zayn vs. The Miz

Non-title. Sami gets in some rollups for two early and headscissors Miz out to the floor. Miz bails to avoid the suicide dive and drives Sami’s back into the barricade instead. The moonsault off the barricade takes Miz down, only to have Maryse yell a lot as we take a break. Back with Sami being sent hard into the steps and barely beating the count back in. Miz kicks him in the face and gets in the short DDT for two.

The Figure Four is broken up and Sami gets a near fall of his own off the Michinoku Driver. Now the Figure Four goes on but Sami dives over and makes the rope. A sunset flip is blocked as Miz grabs the ropes, only to have the referee break it up. The exploder suplex into the corner sets up the Helluva Kick for the most obvious pin in a long time to send Sami to Extreme Rules at 12:58.

Rating: B-. I liked the match as usual but you could see the ending coming a mile away. After all, the only thing better than having one champion get pinned is to have TWO champions get pinned back to back in the span of half an hour. Sami winning is a good thing, though I can’t imagine he gets the title at the pay per view.

Becky Lynch doesn’t believe that the eye poke last week was an accident. Emma comes up to tell her that she really needs eyes in the back of her head. Cue the debuting Dana Brooke to lay Becky out and tell her that playtime is over.

We see Darren Young asking Bob Backlund to be his coach. As usual, Smackdown means nothing.

The Up Up Down Down crew shills Pizza Hut.

Zack Ryder is telling Shane that he knows he belongs when Kevin Owens comes in. Owens sums up the whole thing by asking Ryder why he exists. Shane’s decision is to make Owens vs. Ryder for the spot in the Intercontinental Title match tonight.

Roman Reigns and the Usos are ready to get rid of Gallows/Anderson before Reigns takes Styles out on his own.

Sin Cara vs. Rusev

Rusev suplexes him down a few times, followed by a bearhug and a fall away slam. Cara’s quick comeback goes a bit better than you would expect with Cara getting in a moonsault to send Rusev outside. A suicide dive looks to set up the Swanton but Rusev blasts him with a superkick. Lana starts yelling for no apparent reason, allowing Kalisto to kick Rusev in the head. Cara grabs a rollup for the pin upset at 3:45.

Rating: D. Does this show want to make my head hurt? Their big idea to make me want to see Rusev vs. Kalisto is to have Sin Cara beat him? I mean I know he just had a title match at Wrestlemania but this is still a stretch. This is the third straight match where the booking has somehow gotten worse and I have no idea who thinks this is the right idea.

Greetings From Puerto Rico. I have no idea if this is ever going anywhere but it might be nice to do something with it already.

Roman Reigns/Usos vs. AJ Styles/Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows

Elimination rules. Jey smacks Karl in the face to start and it’s already off to Reigns, meaning the booing begins early. That goes nowhere so Jey powerslams Anderson for no cover, only to have Anderson get in an uppercut from the floor, allowing Anderson to roll Jey up with tights for the pin at 2:38. Now we get Reigns vs. Styles with a big shot sending AJ right back into the corner. It’s already off to Gallows to run over Jimmy, who rolls the legal Anderson up for the pin at 4:35 total.

Back from a break with just Jimmy having been eliminated during the break. Reigns wastes no time and Superman Punches Gallows for the elimination at 9:35. It’s down to one on one so AJ hits the strike rush and knocks Reigns out to the floor. That means it’s time to load up the announcers’ table but Reigns throws AJ across instead. This brings out Anderson with a chair to blast Reigns for the DQ at 11:43.

Rating: C+. The match was fine, albeit with your usually questionable eliminations ala a Survivor Series match. I do like the ending better than Reigns taking a fall, though I dread the eventual title match with the Usos and Club running in for twenty minutes before Reigns wins anyway.

Post break everyone but Reigns and Styles fight to the back, leaving AJ to load up a Styles Clash on the chair. Reigns backdrops him to the apron though, leaving them in a staredown with the chair between them. Roman picks it up and throws it to AJ’s feet. Styles tries the Forearm but Reigns grabs the chair, leaving AJ to bail to the floor.

Zack Ryder vs. Kevin Owens

The winner is in the Intercontinental Title match at Extreme Rules. Owens grabs a headlock to start (Owens: “NO ONE BREAKS MY HEADLOCK!”) before running Ryder over and dropping the backsplash. They head outside with Owens trying the apron powerbomb but getting backdropped instead. Back in and Owens blasts him in the back of the head with a clothesline but misses the Cannonball. Ryder takes him outside for the Broski Boot up against the barricade, followed by the top rope Elbro for two back inside. The Rough Ryder doesn’t work and it’s the Pop Up Powerbomb to end Ryder at 4:05.

Rating: D+. Yes yes, WWE. You’ve made it very clear that Ryder winning anything is nothing more than a pipe dream. You don’t have to pound it into our heads all over again like we’re stupid enough to believe it could actually go somewhere. I really don’t know why this needed to happen but Ryder getting beaten up every single week is almost more cruel than anything else at this point.

Big Cass says he’ll win tonight.

Here’s New Day for a chat, complete with Kofi twirling some unicorn horns like nunchucks. They’re not sure how to pronounce Vaudevillains but realize they’re the opponents at Extreme Rules for the WWE World Tag Team Championships. We get some bowing down to the last piece of BootyO’s before Big E. says the Vaudevillains are from an era that weren’t kind to people like them. Woods looks nervous but Big E. says he’s talking about smartphone users. Those are the kinds of phones you can use to call your Mammy and Pappy to tell them NEW DAY ROCKS.

New Day vs. Dudley Boyz

Non-title and joined in progress after a break with Bubba hammering on Kofi’s face. Bubba even dances a bit before it’s off to Big E. for a shoulder and the Warrior Splash. Kofi comes back in and eats D-Von’s spinning elbow for two, only to have Big E. launch him onto D-Von in the corner for two. Everything breaks down for a bit until D-Von gets caught in the Unicorn Stampede. Cue the Vaudevillains to go after Woods though, leaving D-Von to hit one heck of a clothesline for the pin on Kofi at 5:10.

Rating: D+. A champ just got pinned with a clothesline. You couldn’t have them get counted out while they chase the Vaudevillains off instead? Anyway, the match was watchable enough and set up some stuff going forward but it felt like they were just filling in time until Gotch and English ran out there.

Kofi gets the Whirling Dervish post match.

Chris Jericho vs. Colin Cassady

During Jericho’s entrance, someone attacks him and steals the jacket. For reasons of general stupidity, the announcers are stunned when it’s Dean Ambrose. Dean rips up the jacket and Jericho is so scared that he can’t come to the ring and save the thing. He finally charges now that the jacket is destroyed but gets beaten down for his efforts. Jericho gets in a shot to the face and grabs the jacket but runs into Cass on the floor. Cass feeds him into Dirty Deeds and Dean continues to destroy the jacket.

We’re still not done though as Shane and Stephanie…..have nothing to say.

Jericho yells a lot to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This show just kept going and felt like it would never die. Above all else though: three champions took falls tonight. Three of them. It should be a big deal when one of them gets pinned but instead we’re seeing it happen three times in one night. This show was a very long sit with a bunch of really questionable to flat out bad booking holding it back. I’m not sure where they need to go to fix a lot of these issues, but better choices in who wins what would be a great place to start. This was a really weak show and a big step back for WWE in recent weeks, which you kind of had to know was coming.

Results

Baron Corbin b. Dolph Ziggler – End of Days

R-Truth b. Fandango – Lie Detector

Paige b. Charlotte – Rollup

Sami Zayn b. The Miz – Helluva Kick

Sin Cara b. Rusev – Rollup

Roman Reigns/Usos b. AJ Styles/Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows via DQ when Anderson hit Reigns with a chair

Kevin Owens b. Zack Ryder – Pop Up Powerbomb

Dudley Boyz b. New Day – Clothesline to Kingston

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of the History of the Intercontinental Title at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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6 comments

  1. Aeon Mathix says:

    4 champions

  2. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Champions losing aside I still enjoyed the Show with some good Matches and Dana Brooke debuting. I am loving the Reigns/AJ Feud still and the Omaha crowd was good especially during the aftermath of the 6-man.

  3. Eric says:

    Silly solution…Ryder and Zayn both believe they should be in the IC match. Have them face each other and the winner gets in. Zayn wins. Miz doesn’t take a loss, Ryder looks competitive against Zayn, all is good.

  4. Dragon says:

    The best heels going now are Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. If they plan for Reigns to be a long term champ than they would be ideal next challengers for him. And I agree, the show was long.

  5. ted says:

    Both of them are going to get cheered over reigns. I’m not sure who could get booed against reigns until his heel turn.

  6. james gracie says:

    This is unbelievable! What is this like 6 weeks in a row? RAW has been good since Wrestlemania. And these supposed throw away PPVs seem like a big deal. Who’d have thought that building up your main shows with good TV shows would greatly improve this product and make it entertaining?……..oh…..EVERYONE!

    Stephanie tried her best to spoil the streak with her presence alone. GET HER OFF TV!

    #ThankYouAJStyles #FireStephanie #OhEveryone