Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 5/2/16: Corporate Sibling Rivalry
By 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.
Corporate Sibling Rivalry
– Opening video time… Yup, Mr. Deep Voice Narrator was back, as he broke down Payback’s important occurrences – Vince McMahon deciding Shane/Stephanie McMahon would run Raw, both playing a role in the main event’s decisive winner. Of course, the focus was on typical mcMahon family drama during what’s repeatedly preached as a “new era.” What’s new about this again?
– The opening in-ring segment with Stephanie, Shane McMahon, Cesaro and Kevin Owens was a fair way to set up the first bout, while also letting the McMahon drama take center stage. Stephanie tried to take control, until she was interrupted by Shane and unveiled a repaired picture frame with the picture that Vince stepped on earlier this year. They basically went back and forth wanting to hear each other’s “ideas” until Owens graciously interrupted. It made sense for Owens to dislike Shane and put his cards in Stephanie, mentioning that he had a contractually obligated rematch for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, when Cesaro came out and argued he’d be IC Champ if it wasn’t for Owens. Shane booking Cesaro-Owens for another IC Title shot would’ve been okay if we hadn’t seen the exact same opening for a recent Raw.
– The Cesaro-Owens match to determine the next IC Title challenger with Champion The Miz/Maryse on commentary was entertaining while it lasted. Cesaro’s offense never gets tiresome and Owens always changes things up as needed. The memorability factor played more on the finish than the action though, as Owens tried to use Miz’s belt until Miz took it back, which caused Cesaro to attack Miz, who then attacked him to put the match to a no-contest. The three brawling and then joined by Sami Zayn was a cool follow-up on Payback, but this time ending with Zayn almost hitting the Helluva Kick on Miz, but Maryse saving her husband at the last second. The crowd popped big for Zayn holding up the IC Title, which was good to see. He’s starting to get over on the main roster.
– The Dean Ambrose-Steph backstage segment was good, as we saw Ambrose, who’d been tortured by The Authority in the past, play skeptic to Steph’s “newly turned leaf,” while she convinced him to have her as a special guest on the “Ambrose Asylum,” one of her brother’s ideas. It created some interest, since we could only fathom what could happen with those two in a talking segment.
– The backstage segment with R-Truth, Tyler Breeze, Goldust and Fandago was more of the same from their crappy storyline. The only chuckle-worthy moment was Truth’s “selfie stick,” which was more or less a tree branch with a broken cell phone on top. This was to set up Goldust challenging Breeze to a match and we kind of just tuned out at this point.
– Going off Payback’s main event, you’d think Raw’s main event would’ve gotten a lot more hype than an uneventful backstage segment, but that’s how it went down. If AJ Styles was so against his friends trying to help him beat WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns, why would he personally thank them for their help? It goes against his principle in the storyline. It was also awfully convenient for Reigns and The Usos to be around to hear all the chatter to want to battle in six-man tag action later on. It kind of just happened with little substance.
– Besides the duo Truth/Breeze entrance (Truth emulated Breeze’s selfie stick poses), the Goldust-Breeze bout was a dud, only advancing the storyline because Goldust was distracted by Fandango/Truth dancing to get his attention, causing him to get rolled up in a school boy. This just won’t end, will it?
– Hey Byron Saxton, what was so “controversial” about Enzo Amore’s injury? That comment kind of came off douchey. On that note, it was also odd to see the WWE World Tag Team Champions, The New Day in joyfully high spirits considering the circumstances they were in the night before. They did address some of it in their in-ring promo though, showing everybody that Enzo was indeed released from the hospital later the previous night and wished him a speedy recovery. We expected The Vaudevillains to get the nod for the Title shot since Enzo/Cass obviously wouldn’t be able to compete and they held their own when they interrupted the Champs, going for big heat with disparaging remarks regarding Enzo’s injury by questioning his manhood, using the opportunity to put themselves over as “real men,” further burning Enzo as the “realest guy in the emergency room, how are you doing?” which got over well. The Dudley Boyz’s place in the segment felt a little strange, since they directly argued with The Vaudevillains for “twirling their mustaches” and ripping on their styles, when they’re full-blown heels. Anyways, perfect opportunity for Big Cass to come out and avenge his tag partner, vowing to extract revenge on those who badmouthed Enzo. Glad he was being kept on TV, but then again, looking at his size and build, he’s a perfect “Vince guy.” This also helped set up the following match.
– The eight-man tag between New Day/Cass and The Dudley Boyz/Vaudevillains gave us a unique dynamic with the heels, as the Dudleyz spent most of the match “teaching” VV, while New Day went through the motions, building to the hot tag to Cass, as he did his usual thing, finishing things out and getting the pin.
– Just when it faded into obscurity, Becky Lynch and Emma continued their rivalry, brewing up some good old-fashioned international female conflict. It’ll take some work to get “Evil Emma” over on the main roster the way she did on NXT, but this was a step in the right direction. A short, well-wrestled match where Emma’s heel antics called the finish with an eye poke/Michinoku Driver, this was just what this feud needed. One could only wonder what Sasha Banks is up to these days, of course…
– In case you thought they ran out of everything possible to talk about Puerto Rico, Primo and Epico outdid themselves again by bringing up their eclectic cuisine.
– The “Ambrose Asylum” in-ring segment with Ambrose, Steph and Chris Jericho gave us that reassurance that Steph hadn’t changed a bit. To be fair, Ambrose pressed her, trying to rile her up by bringing up her getting speared by Reigns at WrestleMania, putting in so much energy for the business only for her brother to step in after seven years and take her job, as she defended it as being loyal. Her classic ways then kicked in when she told Ambrose she was canceling the show and brought back “The Highlight Reel,” which drew out Jericho. You had to know the two would brawl and that’s what we got, except Jericho got revenge for his loss at Payback with a swift Codebreaker and dismantled “Mitch” (Ambrose’s beloved potted plant) over his head. This was a throwback to past segments where Jericho breaks something in a vicious heel attack (the JeriTron 5000 with Shawn Michaels in 2008, the beer bottle with CM Punk in 2012, etc.), all very effective. We’re sure they’ll partake in a stipulation match at Extreme Rules, but not sure which one. Mitch on a Pole match?
– As we saw on the SmackDown before, The League Of Nations was on tight waters, presumably off. Mix that with a #1 Contender battle royale for the WWE United States Championship featuring the three LON members, Sin Cara, Darren Young, Apollo Crews, Dolph Ziggler, Viktor, Damien Sandow, Stardust, Bo Dallas, Zack Ryder, Titus O’Neil, Baron Corbin and Curtis Axel with Champion Kalisto on commentary and there was some unique drama. Kalisto was bland on commentary, but at least we saw a potential new feud with Sheamus eliminating Crews and Ziggler-Corbin continued their saga. As the match went on, the story became apparent of it being the former LON members suddenly working together in the mist of a prize, until Ryder began to pick up momentum. What helped this was that the crowd was hot for Ryder’s late surge and bought into him and Rusev as the final two. Of course, Rusev winning and being joined by Lana in victory pose gave us hope that maybe things would go back to how they used to be, but we remain skeptical. We don’t see the belt leaving Kalisto anytime soon.
– If you have to use WCW storylines from 1999 and WWE storylines from 1997 to get something over in 2016, there’s a big problem. Such is the case with the WWE Women’s Championship feud with Champion Charlotte and Natalya, as per their in-ring segment, with the plus two of Referee Charles Robinson (“Little Naitch”) and Ric Flair. They’re definitely running out of ideas for heel tactics to allow Charlotte to retain her Title if they have Robinson “paid off” to screw Natalya over, defending his actions as hearing her verbally submit with the words “stop it.” Natalya came out to argue it and pointed out the obvious, before putting the elderly Flair in a sharpshooter that felt more guilty-looking than satisfactory. Based off this segment, we saw where it was going, as Steph originally expressed sympathy for the heel duo backstage before booking a submission match for Extreme Rules with Flair banned from ringside.
– Despite the subtle hype, the main event six-man tag between Reigns/Usos and Styles/Anderson/Gallows was good for what it was – straight-forward action. Good idea to have Styles get the pinfall though over an Uso and not Reigns. The Champ could’ve easily taken the fall here, but it’s apples and oranges. We liked that the post-match events followed the storyline of Styles retaining his “good guy” image by not following his partners’ orders to hit Reigns with a chair, yet had no problem getting dirty when The Usos put their hands on him. Of course, because Styles attacked his cousins, that meant he needed to be put down with a Superman Punch. The explanation point came with the ruthless-looking powerbomb of Styles through the announce table. If anything, Reigns came off as a strong tweener and that’s helping the storyline. We don’t know how deep he’ll dive in that territory, but it’s interesting to see them experiment.
- Winner Becomes #1 Contender For WWE Intercontinental Championship – Kevin Owens and Cesaro to a no-contest
- Tyler Breeze (w/Goldust) def. Goldust (w/Fandango) via pinfall
- Eight-Man Tag – The New Day/Cass def. The Dudley Boyz/The Vaudevillains via pinfall
- Emma def. Becky Lynch via pinfall
- WWE United States Championship #1 Contender Battle Royale – Rusev def. Zack Ryder, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Titus O’Neil, Sin Cara, Apollo Crews, Darren Young, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Viktor, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow and Stardust
- Six-Man Tag – AJ Styles/Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows def. Roman Reigns/The Usos via pinfall
Posted on May 12, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Bo Dallas, Byron Saxton, Cass, Cesaro, Charles Robinson, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, Darren Young, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Emma, Epico, Extreme Rules, Fandango, Goldust, JBL, Kalisto, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Luke Gallows, Maryse, Michael Cole, Natalya, Primo, R-Truth, Ric Flair, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Sami Zayn, Shane McMahon, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Stardust, Stephanie McMahon, The Dudley Boyz, The Miz, The New Day, The Usos, The Vaudevillains, Titus O'Neil, Tyler Breeze, Viktor, Zack Ryder. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.