April 24, 2017
From the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO
Your hosts are Booker T, Corey Graves, and Michael Cole
We get a video package on Braun Strowman and the damage he has caused over the past two weeks. Tonight, Strowman will face Kalisto in a Dumpster Match.
The live show starts off with Chris Jericho as he hosts the “Highlight Reel.” He tells us this is the last “Highlight Reel” we will ever see on Monday Night RAW because after he defeats Kevin Owens at Payback for the United States Championship, he will be a part of Smackdown Live! Jericho then thanks the “Friends of Jericho” then informs us he will be guestless tonight. Jericho makes fun of Owens and says he should be called the “Hemmorhoid of America” but the Miz & Maryse come out to interrupt. Miz tells us RAW is no longer Jericho as that stopped once Maryse and himself arrive. A “you suck” chant breaks out as Miz tells us he could not possibly suck because he isn’t from Kansas City then says RAW is all about the “it” couple. Jericho does his “it” bit then Miz tells the production staff to get rid of the monitor as they set up the ring for Miz TV but Jericho refuses to move for the carpet. Miz then welcomes us to his show but Dean Ambrose comes out to interrupt. Ambrose agrees that Miz is a “stupid idiot” as that chant catches on a bit then Miz says Jericho never said that but Jericho himself said he was about to then Ambrose has the production crew set up the Ambrose Asylum. Ambrose welcomes us all to his show and gets the crowd to boo Miz & Maryse before talking with Jericho as they went over the past and forgave each other. Ambrose then gave him a gift, which was a jacket with Chrsitmas lights to replace his light-up jacket he broke last year. Miz pleads with Jericho to not put it on but he does as Miz goes on and on about Ambrose being ungrateful. Miz thinks the fans and superstars on RAW should be thankful for him coming to RAW and saving the Intercontinental Title and demands a gift. Ambrose then says he has a gift for him as he proceeds to kick him then hit the Dirty Deeds. Ambrose leaves then after that Jericho puts Miz & Maryse on the list.
The crowd was into this and they are going all in with an Ambrose/Miz feud but it did last about fifteen minutes and would have benefited from being a bit shorter. Some of Jericho’s lines at the beginning where incredibly lame but the jacket bit was good and Miz heeled on the crowd well here and they responded well. Overall, it was fine.
Sheamus w/ Cesaro vs. Matt Hardy w/ Jeff Hardy
Sheamus overpowers Matt to start. Matt comes back with a reverse neckbreaker then gets a two count after three straight leg drops. Matt slips out of a slam attempt but gets kicked in the face after ducking his head. Matt blocks Sheamus from hitting forearm smashes on the apron then slips out from Sheamus’s shoulders again and hits a side effect on the apron as we head to break. We return with Sheamus working a chinlock as we saw him yanking Matt off of the middle rope during the break. Sheamus beats on Matt and gets some boos as he climbs up top, where he hits a double sledgehammer for a two count. Matt escapes from Sheamus’ shoulders again then Sheamus misses a charge in the corner and hits the post. Matt follows with a tornado DDT as both men are down. Matt is up first and rams Sheamus’ head in the corner then follows with a running bulldog. He drops an elbow from the middle rope for a nearfall and after that gets some “delete” chants from the crowd but runs into a bicycle knee. Sheamus heads outside and hits Matt with a rolling fireman’s carry. Jeff goes over to Matt but Sheamus immediately tosses him inside. Jeff gets up on the apron and yells at Sheamus until Cesaro yanks him off and that distracts Sheamus enough for Matt to hit a Twist of Fate for the win (10:00) **1/2. After the match, Cesaro is fuming and blaming Jeff for the loss but Sheamus gets up and calms him down then extends his hand to Matt, who acts weary then after a minute shakes his hand as Cesaro does the same with Jeff. The challengers then raise the Hardy Boyz hands in the air.
Thoughts: The match was fine. Matt does look physically beat up though and moved around slow. They are hinting at a potential heel turn for Cesaro & Sheamus with how they’ve been acting after losing but who knows if they will pull the trigger. I also think it will be tough for the fans to boo Cesaro going forward. Maybe it works against the Hardy’s but probably will not against anyone else. They have done a good job building this up at the PPV though.
Kurt Angle is in his office as he is on the phone talking about tonight’s Dumpster Match when Miz hangs up the phone on him. Miz is pissed about waiting outside of his office for two minutes as he’s still fuming about Ambrose. Angle doesn’t care that Miz TV got ruined tonight because he never scheduled the segment and tells them to get lost after saying he has to find a partner to go up against Ambrose & Jericho.
Neville & TJ Perkins vs. Jack Gallagher & Austin Aries
Gallagher & Aries meet on the ramp then run in and attack their opponents and eventually toss them outside as they stand on the top rope before we head to break as the bell still has not rung. We return with Perkins beating on Gallagher as Cole tells us the match officially started during the break. Neville tags and works a chinlock as the crowd gets behind Gallagher. Perkins tries to whip Neville into Gallagher but he misses as Gallagher fights off both men then makes the tag as Aries runs wild on both guys. He takes them both out with the Heat Seeking Missile and rolls Perkins back in for a two count then applies the Last Chancery until Neville breaks it up. The match breaks down now then Gallagher takes out Neville and himself with a headbutt and Aries hits the discus forearm on Perkins for the win (6:20) **1/2.
Thoughts: Really good action while it lasted. I hope we get a longer match from these two on “205 Live” as it has the potential to be great. With Aries getting the pin, I assume that means Neville will retain on Sunday though but either way we should get an excellent match.
Braun Strowman is in the ring and calls the crowd nothing more than trash and when he stuffs Kalisto into the dumpster its like he is stuffing every one of them in there too as he calls out Roman Reigns for being garbage as well.
Backstage, Angle asks Kalisto if he still wants to go through with this match. Kalisto talks about how he felt being tossed into a dumpster and that lucha means to fight as he will not be pushed around by anyone. Kalisto showed some good fire here and gave you a reason why he wanted this match and made you want to get behind him.
Dumpster Match: Braun Strowman vs. Kalisto
Kalisto has new theme music here. He uses his speed to his advantage to start but gets caught coming off the top as Strowman holds him up in a delayed vertical suplex then just tosses him across the ring. Strowman hits an avalanche in the corner. He attempts to toss Kalisto into the dumpster but Kalisto hangs on and nearly takes Strowman outside into the dumpster but ends up getting tossed back into the ring. Strowman then beats the crap out of Kalisto and tries to press slam him into the dumpster from the apron but Kalisto slips out and falls back into the ring. Strowman reaches in and lifts Kalisto up by the neck but Kalisto manages to dropkick Strowman and take out his legs as Strowman lands feet-first into the dumpster (5:10) **. After the match, an irate Strowman heads inside and chokeslams Kalisto a few times and beats the crap out of him. He then puts Kalisto in the dumpster and shuts the lid and wheels it up the ramp as a few road officials, including Fit Finlay, Jamie Noble, and Adam Pearce, try to stop him. Strowman locks the dumpster then acts he is about to listen to the officials as he heads to the back but comes back out and wheels the dumpster off of the side of the stage. Strowman gets a scattering of boos as the officials run over to the dumpster.
Thoughts: Some of the action here was good and the loss does not effect Strowman as he was not pinned and it came off like a fluke. However, the post-match looked good until the dumpster part as the drop off the stage was not all that high and paled in comparison to the ambulance being tipped over and the ring collapsing spot from last week. I also did not think the announcers did a good job at selling the dangers of the spot, either. The dumpster spot wasnt terrible or anything though and the idea of teasing Braun doing something incredible each week is a good way to get more eyes on the product but following up last week’s superplex with this was a bit of a letdown.
After the break, we see Kalisto being wheeled into a stretcher as Cole tells us they will give us an update later tonight on his health. The announcers acted quite worried here.
We get a video package on Roman Reigns.
Bray Wyatt talks about Randy Orton as we get clips of Orton burning down the Wyatt Compound mixed in a Wyatt talks about what awaits Orton inside of his House of Horrors. He promises every room will be an endless nightmare and the best part is that he will never be able to leave as Wyatt promises to be reborn. Hopefully, the “reborn” stuff leads to a character overhaul because this gimmick is well past its expiration date as is and its tough to take him seriously as a threat with how many feuds he has lost over the past few years.
Alicia Fox vs. Dana Brooke
Fox beats on Brooke then gets a nerfall with a Northern Lights Suplex. Emma makes her way to ringside as Fox works the arm. Brooke fights back but Fox gets her knees up on a handspring splash attempt but she fights that off and hits a fireman’s carry slam for the win (1:22) DUD. After the match, Emma comes in and ends up hugging Brooke, who looks shocked, then leaves.
Thoughts: This was match really awful but luckily it was kept under 90 seconds. Hopefully Dana switches to a finishing move she can perform better as what she did tonight looked ugly. They are going with an Emma & Dana feud with Dana proving she can do fine on her own. If they actually stuck with the Charlotte & Dana pairing instead of stopping it several times, she might be over but they didn’t and now no one seems to care. The crowd was dead for this segment. And to me, Emma comes across awkward when doing character work.
Charly Caruso is with Samoa Joe, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson as she asks them about their match tonight against Seth Rollins & Enzo Amore & Big Cass. They cut a pretty good promo here as Samoa Joe promises to destroy Rollins for what he did to Triple H & Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania as the other two made fun of Enzo & Cass, with Anderson referring to Enzo as a “butt nugget.”
Back from break, Enzo & Cass come out to the ring. They do their shtick until Gallows & Anderson come out from the crowd to lay out Enzo as Joe yanks Cass over the barricade. Rollins runs out but gets stomped by all three men in the ring until Cass makes the save. Cass then checks on Enzo as a few officials come out then we cut to commercial.
We come back as Kurt Angle tells us Enzo is unable to compete and gives us his replacement, Finn Balor, as Anderson & Gallows are upset.
Finn Balor & Big Cass & Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe & Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
They all brawl immediately and the bell rings with Cass beating on Gallows. He hits an overhead slam then Rollins tags in then Balor does as well. Balor beats on Anderson but gets driven into the corner as Joe tags and starts beating on Balor. Gallows & Anderson cut off the ring as they target the arm of Balor. Gallows catches Balor in a side slam then kicks Cass but misses a leg drop as both men are down. The fans rally behind Balor as he makes the tag to Rollins, who runs wild on Anderson. He fights off both men then Cass takes Gallows off of the apron with a big boot. Rollins and Joe stare down as Rollins flies out with a tope. Joe tries to yank Rollins off of the apron but Balor runs and hits a shotgun dropkick. Back inside, Rollins is about to hit Anderson with the Pedigree but changes his mind and hits a ripcord knee smash for the win (5:55) **1/2.
Thoughts: Good action while it lasted. I am a fan of Rollins’ new finisher as it looks great and having him use the Pedigree no longer made sense since he stopped being a protege of Triple H. They did not have much interaction at all between Balor and Rollins and the way they interacted here I expect more of Balor and Gallows & Anderson in the future.
Backstage, we see Miz trying to recruit either Cesaro or Sheamus as a partner tonight but he gets blown off.
Alexa Bliss comes out to the ring. She talks about every week RAW superstars come out and talk about who they like and do not like and some talk about how they are living their childhood dream and “sunshine and rainbows” and pretends that she is going to vomit. She gets the “what” treatment from the crowd. Bliss then shuts down that chant by saying “Alexa Bliss is awesome, what” then states she will defeat Bayley at Payback for the RAW Women’s Championship as she is here to win, not to talk. Bayley comes out and says she is not a fool and knows Bliss is making fun of her and that she is known to talk behind people’s back instead of to their face. Bayley then says she is not all talk and that she works her butt off for the fans and knows everyone is gunning for her and will do whatever it takes to walk out of her hometown at Payback with the title. Bliss then gets happy at the prospect of beating and humiliating Bayley in front of her own father and says she is a “pathetic, sheltered child” then asks if she has ever kissed a boy but doesnt want to hear the answer as she will win the championship come Sunday. Sasha Banks now interrupts as Bliss calls this “part 3,000 of the Sasha/Bayley sideshow” and makes fun of them. Sasha calls Bliss a “troll doll wannabe” and at Payback, Bayley will not only shut Bliss up but show her up as well. Sasha then says she will shut Bliss up right now but Bliss calls Sasha out for being unhinged and does not want to risk injury before he title match at Payback so she will go to Angle and have this cancelled but Sasha punches her out of the ring instead.
Alexa was excellent here on the mic. However, this is another feud in which the heel is justified when calling out Bayley. The pandering of Bayley’s character is not endearing and it comes off as painfully forced. The booking of Bayley as champion has been baffling to say the least. Her opponents, the heels, have been justified in calling out Bayley and that should not be happening. Bayley’s character is pathetically pandering at times and the crowd was cheering Alexa by the end of this. When you have a pandering character and are not strong on the mic to begin with and the heel is really strong on the mic, it makes the face look even worse. If Payback was not in Bayley’s hometown of San Jose, CA I think she would end up getting booed.
Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks
Bayley is on commentary. Alexa stalls to start then cheap shots Sasha as she is now in control. Sasha fights back and tries for the Banks Statement but Alexa is able to reach the ropes and roll outside. Alexa yells at Sasha then backs up the ramp and gets counted out (2:37) 1/2*. After the match, Bayley tries to drag Alexa back from the ring but she escapes. Bayley heads down the ramp but Alexa attacks her from behind then leaves when Sasha makes the save.
Thoughts: Not much of a match and the post-match antics made Bayley look like an idiot. Alexa managed to get herself over well tonight at least.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose talks with Jericho about being on the same page. They go through their history again and Jericho tells Ambrose he “unmade” the List of Jericho as Ambrose is happy. Ambrose then leaves as Jericho puts him back on his list then smirks. This was an amusing segment.
Charly Caruso is with Heath Slater & Curtis Axel to talk about “Marine 5” being released on blu ray. Miz & Maryse interrupts as he offers one of them the role of a lifetime as his tag partner. Slater denies as he has a partner in Rhyno, who enters with his spray cheese and crackers. Miz yells at them some more and Maryse smacks the plate out of Rhyno’s hands but then some production assistant hands Miz a note as Miz smiles and tells us he has an awesome partner.
Curt Hawkins is in the ring now. He asks if we are ready for a “heaping, helping of Hawkins” then talks about how you can become a star after facing him and offers an open invitation for anyone who has what it takes to step in the ring with him. Apollo Crews them comes out to answer the challenge.
Curt Hawkins vs. Apollo Crews
Hawkins boots Crews after faking him out with a test-of-strength but Crews fights back. Hawkins sends Crews into the corner then stomps away. He gets two with a back suplex then works a chinlock but Crews breaks out and hits a kick to the face as both men are down. Crews gets up and hits an enziguiri before the spinning powerbomb finishes off Hawkins (2:09) *. After the match, Titus O’Neill shoves the referee aside and raises Crews’ arm then celebrates with him and takes a selfie as Crews seems confused.
Thoughts: The action here was good for the time they got but if Crews is going to get a push then he should have dominated this match as Hawkins got in a lot of offense. It seems like they have a storyline for Crews and Titus planned out going forward that I assume will play out over the next few weeks.
We get a replay of Kalisto being wheeled off the stage in a dumpster as Cole notes he has hip and cervical injuries and to check for updates on WWE.com
After Cole shows us some of what Reigns said on WWE.com about dealing with Strowman and the death of his brother (former WWE Superstar Rosey), we get a video package on the Reigns/Strowman feud to hype up their match at Payback.
We now see Aries talking with Angle backstage about something he suggested as a main event on “205 Live” as Angle will get back to him. Miz & Maryse walk by as Angle asks if he found a partner as Miz smiles and says his partner found him. The Drifter then starts playing guitar and wanders in the background as Angle asks if that is his partner but Miz says he doesnt even know him and that Ambrose & Jericho are in trouble.
Tomorrow night, Jack Gallagher vs. Neville will take place on “205 Live.”
Miz tells us his partner is a big star and everyone else is in trouble. He then welcomes him out but no one appears as he says his partner as a flair for the dramatic. Miz then says his partner is a little late and they have to cancel the match as he will have to go out back and see what is going on but Angle comes out to stop him. Angle said he told Miz to find a partner and whether he shows up or not he has a match and it starts right now.
Dean Ambrose & Chris Jericho vs. The Miz w/ Maryse &
Ambrose & Jericho beat on Miz and clothesline him outside as we head to break before the bell rings. We return as Cole tells us the match officially began before the break as Miz continues to get beaten down. He begs Ambrose for mercy then offers a handshake but slaps him as he gets chased around and uses Maryse as a shield. Miz then takes control with a cheap shot and sends Ambrose into the barricade. Back inside, he works a chinlock then gets two with his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo. Miz follows with the Yes Kicks then Ambrose fights back with a rebound clothesline and makes the tag as Jericho runs wild. Miz tries to head backstage but Ambrose runs and stops him then clears off the announcers table but we are interrupted by a Bray Wyatt flash on the screen and the lights come back on to reveal Wyatt on the table with Ambrose as he shoves him off then sends him into the wall with a Sister Abigail. Jericho runs in for the save but Miz cuts him off and its 2 vs. 1 against Jericho. They head back inside where Jericho hits Miz with the Codebreaker but Wyatt hits him with the Sister Abigail. Wyatt drags Jericho in the center of the ring and poses as the Miz stands behind him and puts his hand of Wyatt’s shoulders but Wyatt gets pissed and hits the Sister Abigail for the win (9:00) *1/2.
Thoughts: They used this match as a vehicle to put Wyatt over strong on RAW but it seemed to die in front of the live crowd. They did pop when Wyatt hit Miz with the Sister Abigail but it was a flat way to end the show.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was a not much of a show. I expected it to be light on action with Payback this Sunday but it also did not do a whole lot to get you excited for PPV. The first hour was good but the rest was mostly forgettable. The Women’s Division remains a mess and I do not know how excited fans are going to get over the prospect of another Wyatt push. I do applaud them for giving some lower card feuds a chance and Strowman remains a highlight of RAW.