Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 4/11/16: Coexisting For A Common Enemy

WWE RawBy Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 4/11/16)

Coexisting For A Common Enemy 

– So, despite the flawed logic behind Shane McMahon running the show again because of “social media support,” this was a fine follow-up to last week, especially with the interaction between him and an angry Kevin Owens, who feels screwed over from everything even though his character clearly starts trouble. That’s the thing about logic. Make things simpler to invest in. Also liked that he laid things out for the night – WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte defending against Natalya, announced the idea for the WWE World Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament and booked AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn as Zayn’s second chance at being in the Payback main event with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns and Styles, taken away by Owens the week prior. Our only thumbs down with this was how Owens had to fight Cesaro to get his entitled rematch clause for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, but it could also be explained as Shane taking it away due to Owens’ actions the week before on Zayn. Either way, it gave us a reason for a Cesaro-Owens match, which is never a bad thing. Cesaro’s new “OO7” entrance will take some getting used to, but we dig it.

– The Cesaro-Owens match where the winner would fight WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz felt fresh despite said flawed logic mentioned above and they set the tone for the rest of the show. The first shots of Miz and Maryse watching from their “high class” locker room looked awkward because they were standing up watching the TV instead of… relaxing on the couch like you’d think someone would do in their locker room. Funny that they did the second shot like that. Great match, especially towards the end where Owens worked Cesaro’s surgically repaired shoulder and Cesaro overcame that (and Owens’ gnarly frog splash) to win with the Neutralizer and broke out his best “Fame” slide. A good way to get Cesaro into an immediate Title program and opens up Owens for the presumed feud encounter with Zayn.

– Celebrities on Raw was a thing at one point, then it wasn’t. We’re not sure what purpose Dr. Phil served on the show, but at least he was inserted into an ongoing storyline, having a problem with Charlotte being influenced by her unruly father, Ric Flair, as we saw in their backstage segment that ended in a… woo-off? We also got from this that Shane wasn’t appreciated amongst the Flair clan.

– Logical segment where angry Owens confronted Shane and threatened to sabotage Zayn again, resulting in Shane ejecting him from the arena.

– The WWE World Tag Team Champions, The New Day continue to be on a roll with their promos. We won’t jinx anything to this point at least. Their promo here set some importance towards the tournament to crown their new contenders, as we learned the matches to go down – The Lucha Dragons-Dudley Boyz, Golden Truth-Vaudevillains, Enzo Amore/Big Cass-The Ascension and The Usos-Social Outcasts. First one to happen here was the Lucha Dragons-Dudleyz. Standard match that was overshadowed by the confusion mixed between WWE United States Champion Kalisto’s apparent bump/injury and botches towards the end with the 3D attempt and then the non-legal man trying to pin thereafter. It all felt unnatural. However, that was followed by another priceless Enzo/Cass-Dudleyz promo exchange. It makes sense for the ghastly heels to feel they’ve paved the way for teams like Enzo/Cass to come up while the popular faces retorted with tongue-in-cheek comedy only they can pull off. Enzo’s “I don’t exist because of you guys… I exist because my mom and dad got it on… y’know what I’m sayin’?” line was hilarious, as he “set it up” for Cass to knock it down with the final line. They could get a lot of mileage from this feud, which looked to be set for its first match in the tournament itself, as we could already see Enzo/Cass beating The Ascension to face Dudleyz in the next bracket. Overall, a clever way to showcase the growing Tag Team Division.

– Tweener Reigns was working for us until he had to get interrupted by the damn League Of Nations. This was giving us bad memories from late 2015. The only logical part of all this was LON wanting to take out aggression because they weren’t involved in the previous week’s #1 contender’s match at Payback as their reason for being there. The cool part of it was The Wyatt Family showing up suddenly to even the odds, as Bray Wyatt and Reigns cleared LON from the ring, prompting Shane to come out and book a main event tag pitting Reigns/Wyatt against two LON members.

– We’re not sure when the repackaged Primo/Epico team will wrestle, but we do know one thing about ’em: they sure love their hibiscus flowers. Sniff away, young men. Sniff away. They love Puerto Rico so much they showed ’em twice during the show.

– The WWE Women’s Championship match between Champion Charlotte and Natalya with Dr. Phil at ringside was pretty good, though not near their classic NXT or Roadblock effort, but it was a good follow-up to the backstage segment earlier on the show. No new spots, but the finish was consistent with Dr. Phil’s argument that Ric Flair was spoiling his daughter, allowing Charlotte to retain when he pulled the official out of the ring while she was tapping out to the Sharpshooter. Normally, we’d say Natalya winning warrants a rematch, but rematches seem out of season this time of year we guess.

– The backstage segment with Zayn and Styles was perfect hype for their later match, as Zayn pretty much said the same things he did before Owens attacked him the week before, while Styles walked in and proclaimed his mission statement was to keep himself the only contender. You can call it an internet fan’s dream match for free.

– The WWE World Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s match between The Usos and Heath Slater/Curtis Axel was par for the course for the usual Usos bout, as we never for a moment saw Slater/Axel going over here. The highlight (more or less) was the Usos stopping the Social Outcasts celebratory lap. After the Usos won, that’s when the real shock hit in the form of Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows with an ambush attack at ringside until they were pushed back over the barricade by officials. It was very Outsiders-esue and Anderson/Gallows looked like badasses. Just picture two biker gang members. That’s how they came off. Even better, Byron Saxton asked the right questions on commentary, building up the moment even more. After all, why would they attack The Usos first? Was it to make a statement in general or that they wanted in on the Tag Titles? We’ll stick with the modern day Outsiders angle.

– The Maryse/Miz “Hollywood” duo is proving to be hilarious, as we saw with the backstage segment that also included a backstage hand and Cesaro. Maryse getting mad over blue M & M’s and wrong “domestic” water brands while Miz sat there cucumber-eyed was great, setting things up for Cesaro to crash the scene and make his claim that he’d roll out a “Red Carpet-worthy performance at Payback.” The best part was the final line, where Miz spit out the water when Maryse told him it was “domestic.”

– The Styles-Zayn match turned out to be fantastic, but we watched cautiously the entire time, waiting for interference from either Chris Jericho or Owens. Luckily, it never happened, but you might want to watch it back a second time so you could enjoy it better. Either way, an excellent match that added another highlight to Zayn’s ever-growing profile and Styles matched him move-for-move. We liked that the Phenomenal Forearm ended the match to create some diversity. See? You can have great matches while also setting up other storylines, as we assumed they did this to write Zayn out of the Title picture so he could feud with Owens and it also kept Styles-Reigns the same match.

– The backstage segment with Zayn, Styles and Shane played off the sportsmanship that happened after the bell, with Shane coming off genuinely impressed. A happy boss makes a happy show.

– The “Highlight Reel”-turned-“Ambrose Asylum” in-ring segment with Jericho and Ambrose was a unique advancement of their apparent feud. Jericho hyping himself as his special guest fit his narcissistic image and his own interview was a riot until Ambrose came out and took over as per Shane’s orders. Was Ambrose one the cutesy side with his lines? Sure, but it actually kind of worked here with the scarf insults and led to a segment-ending Dirty Deeds. We’ll be curious to see how Jericho retaliates and if they bring up that shoulder bump from way back when at Night Of Champions.

– Even Dr. Phil can’t find a medical reason for the Golden Truth backstage segments. That should tell you everything.

– The Apollo Crews-Adam Rose match was another fine Crews showcase where Rose bumped around for him until the finishing Spin-Out Powerbomb. Of course, this’ll be Rose’s last WWE match for a little while, but we think Social Outcasts will do just fine.

– Baron Corbin got some screen time without needing to be there in person, as a great hype video aired, highlighting his 2016 Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale victory and subsequent Deep Six on the floor to Dolph Ziggler.

– The Wyatt fog promo laid into the new face dynamic while also playing into their past feud. It was basically Wyatt saying that even though he hated Reigns, they had an unbreakable bond and Reigns could put his trust in him. Sometimes you wondered if Wyatt was being a con, but we think this was more for leaning his character in a babyface direction.

– Of course, the tag team main event between Sheamus/Alberto Del Rio and Wyatt/Reigns was more intriguing for the Reigns/Wyatt “former rivals working together” chemistry than their opponents who worked over Reigns most of the match, but it turned out to be entertaining by the end. The crowd still booed anything Reigns did, but a face Wyatt got a big reaction most of the time. He’s almost Mick Foley-esque in a way with a babyface style. Of course, we couldn’t forget, the rest of the Wyatts were faces too, as Braun Strowman/Erick Rowan emerged to take out Rusev on the outside, letting Bray get the pinfall with Sister Abigail while Reigns speared Sheamus. Not a bad finish, with the Wyatt Family staring down Reigns.






Quick Results

  • Winner Fights The Miz For The WWE Intercontinental Championship – Cesaro def. Kevin Owens via pinfall
  • WWE World Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament – First Round – The Dudley Boyz def. The Lucha Dragons via pinfall to advance to next round
  • WWE Women’s Championship – Natalya def. Charlotte (Champion) (w/Ric Flair) via DQ; Charlotte retains
  • WWE World Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament – First Round – The Usos def. Curtis Axel/Heath Slater (w/Bo Dallas, Adam Rose) via pinfall to advance to next round
  • If Sami Zayn Wins, He Gets Added To WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match At Payback – AJ Styles def. Sami Zayn via pinfall
  • Apollo Crews def. Adam Rose (w/Bo Dallas) via pinfall
  • Bray Wyatt/Roman Reigns def. Sheamus/Rusev (w/Alberto Del Rio) via pinfall

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on April 24, 2016, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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