LONDON - Shane McMahon running Raw for the third straight week? Dean Ambrose’s talk show getting a second installment? This truly is madness, if not quite anarchy, in the U.K. Shane-O-Mac’s third turn at the wheel featured no shortage of upheaval, however, as WWE’s Prodigal Son summarized his "new era" of signings with a simple mantra: “We have arrived.”
No sooner had he made that proclamation than his sit-down with The Lunatic Fringe was interrupted by Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn, all riled into a frenzy from a SmackDown’s worth of aggression and looking for a donnybrook to resolve their issues. Shane had a couple solutions in mind, sanctioning Ambrose vs. Jericho and Owens vs. Zayn for WWE Payback, but even after only two weeks at the helm, the McMahon scion knew good and well where the current confrontation was heading, and made himself scarce before the fists started flying.
Last week on SmackDown, the interference of Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose landed Chris Jericho on the wrong end of a disqualification loss to Sami Zayn. The Shane-O-Mac mandated rematch between the two world-traveled Canadians ended in a far more decisive and, if you’re a Sami Zayn fan, disappointing, fashion. All of which is to say Jericho won, though it wasn’t nearly as simple as Codebreaker-1-2-3-hit the showers.
In fact, Zayn had been in the driver’s seat for the entire contest, landing a Blue Thunder Bomb and tornado DDT through the ropes to leave Jericho slumped against the ropes and dead to rights for the Helluva Kick. But Jericho reduced himself to a cowering heap before the boot could land its mark, taking advantage of the referee’s blind spot to thumb Zayn in the eye. Then, it was Codebreaker-1-2-3-hit the showers.
Three weeks in and Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady are one match away from their very first WWE Tag Team Title opportunity. They even got past their first main-roster rivals to do it, knocking off The Dudley Boyz in the semifinals of the No. 1 Contenders’ Tag Team Tournament, sponsored by Booty-O’s. (They make sure you ain’t booty.)
A rowdy London crowd would have expected nothing less than a win for Enzo & Cass (they’re fans of those guys) and the Jersey-Queens combo delivered in a massive way, with Enzo softening up the Dudleys before summoning Big Cass to provide the final push. A little bit of luck helped push them to the finish line as well after a miscommunication between the Dudleys led to Bubba Ray accidentally taking out D-Von. Cass booted Bubba to the mat, Enzo went airborne for the Rocket Launcher and that was that. How you doin’?
Being “The Guy” has been a pretty good gig for Roman Reigns of late, but the WWE World Heavyweight Champion took his first hit since WrestleMania 32 … and from a very unexpected source. It’s likely that the WWE Universe had pegged AJ Styles, Reigns’ No. 1 contender, as the guy who’d most likely leave The Big Dog licking his wounds, but instead it was Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, the magic-killing tag team who ran the roost with Styles in Japan and who stormed a confrontation between champion and challenger to leave Reigns in a heap. Though, for what it’s worth, Styles didn’t seem all that pleased by this particular development, despite a chummy reunion with the duo earlier in the show. Curiouser and curiouser …
Getting back onto the dance floor hasn’t gone so smoothly for ol’ Fandango. A well-intentioned alliance with Goldust failed to pay out on SmackDown, and ’Dango’s tango with Baron Corbin on Raw ended … well, about as well as you’d expect it to end for someone who stands up to WWE’s newest powerhouse. Fandango showed some impressive athleticism in his bid to take down The Lone Wolf, but he ultimately joined Zack Ryder on Corbin’s victim list on the strength of an End of Days. Corbin didn’t let his decimation of Fandango stop him from throwing some more aggression Dolph Ziggler’s way — he chucked Fandango over the announce table into The Showoff at commentary, and finished off his night with another End of Days to Zig Man after the bell.
Cesaro and Booty-O’s: a match made in heaven. And a match that wins matches, too, as The Swiss Superman and The New Day united to overthrow the combination of The Miz & The League of Nations in a bout stemming from a tense “Miz TV” between Cesaro and The Awesome One, who’ll meet for Miz’s Intercontinental Title at WWE Payback.
There was barely even a learning curve for Cesaro & New Day, who rolled to a seemingly insurmountable advantage (The King of Swing even got in on the Unicorn Stampede!). The League briefly rallied by swarming Xavier Woods, but a late-game tag to Cesaro led to an Uppercut Express that left all four opponents seeing stars. Legal man Sheamus’ fellow fiends attempted to break up the contest, but The New Day drove them back one by one (Big E dispatched both Alberto Del Rio and Miz), leading to a Neutralizer that put The Celtic Warrior down for three.
So Natalya’s got another shot at Charlotte at WWE Payback. This might be a problem for Charlotte, since The Queen of Harts made the WWE Women’s Champion tap out with no disqualification in sight to save her at the conclusion of a wild, eight-woman battle on Raw. Not only that, but Natalya ended up saving the match for her team, which was evenly matched against a squad of scoundrels in Charlotte, Naomi, Tamina & Summer Rae. Ironically, it was Charlotte who set herself up for defeat by tagging in off Summer Rae, who had been holding steady against Natalya. The No. 1 contender found her second wind the second Charlotte entered the ring, capitalizing off a ring-clearing assist from her teammates to tap the champion out with (yep) flair.
One who is manly cannot be booty. And The Vaudevillains are #QuiteManly, so it’s only right that the devastatingly debonair rogues battled their way past The Usos to reach the final of the No. 1 Contenders’ Tournament, sponsored by Booty-O’s. (They make sure you ain’t booty.)
That is, all in all, quite a Raw debut for Aiden English & Simon Gotch. And like any villain, Vaude or otherwise, they did so in the most cunning way possible, exploiting Jey Uso’s shoulder injury to set him up for the Whirling Dervish. Prepare yourselves, gentlemen: A fisticuffs with Enzo & Cass awaits.
Ever since he showed up on Raw, Apollo Crews has been running through all of The Social Outcasts, one member at a time. That, oddly enough, earned him a formal invitation to join the social-media savvy faction, which he accepted provided one of the Outcasts could beat him on Raw. That challenge was answered by Heath Slater, but sadly for the social media darling Heathy Baby, his effort against Crews went the same way as those of his #squad, a loss via Spinning Sit-out Powerbomb — though Slater did come close with a rollup reversal of a crossbody.
Per the agreement Crews struck before the match, that means The Social Outcasts have to leave him be forever. It’s just as well: a pointed, post-match staredown between Crews and Kevin Owens on the ramp suggests Crews may have a bigger target on his mind soon enough.
Ambrose would face Owens in the main event of the show, where Dean wins, countering Owens's Pop-Up Powerbomb into a Hurricanrana, rolled him up, and hitting Dirty Deeds. Afterwards, Jericho comes back and hits the Lunatic Fringe with a Codebreaker, sending a message for WWE Payback.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Realest Guys (Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady) defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) in a No.1 Contenders' Tag Team Championship Tournament Semi Finals Match (8:33)
- The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) & Cesaro defeated The Miz & The League of Nations (Sheamus, Rusev & Alberto Del Rio) (w/ Maryse) (13:28)
- Natalya, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch & Paige defeated Charlotte (w/ Ric Flair), Naomi, Tamina & Summer Rae by submission (10:26)
- The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) defeated The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) in a No.1 Contenders' Tag Team Championship Tournament Semi Finals Match (3:26)
No.1 Contenders' Tag Team Championship Tournament Bracket
|4/18||The Dudley Boyz||8:33|
|Raw||The Dudley Boyz||Pin|
|4/11||The Lucha Dragons||3:09|
Other on-screen talent