WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (April 18, 2016) from the O2 Arena in London, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Payback pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for early next month in Rosemont, Illinois.
Advertised for tonight: Roman Reigns continues to be "the guy", Shane McMahon might be running the show still but no one knows, and more!
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
NOTE: Due to the time difference, Raw will air pre-taped tonight. Spoilers for this show are HERE, and please keep discussion of those to that post. The comments section here should be kept SPOILER FREE.
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR APRIL 18
Hey now, Cagesiders.
The Ambrose Asylum opens the show, with special guest Shane McMahon.
Dean does "wacky" comedy, and Shane puts over the new era of wrestling he's presiding over.
Kevin Owens interrupts, saying Shane's reign doesn't feel new to him since it's just a new guy screwing him over. Sami Zayn comes out to say he got to WWE before KO. Jericho came out to run down everyone in the ring but Owens, and say he's right about Shane.
Shane booked Jericho vs. Ambrose and Owens vs. Zayn for Payback, then exits the ring (with Dean's beloved potted plant). Ambrose attacks Owens, while Sami and Y2J battle. McMahon books the former for tonight's main event, and the latter for... RIGHT NOW!
Chris Jericho def. Sami Zayn
Good, fifteen minute (with commercials) bout won by Jericho after a thumb to the eye and then a Codebreaker.
AJ Styles is interviewed backstage by Mauro Ranallo when... oh snap, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows walk up. AJ takes over so he can catch up with his "brothers". They walk off to discuss some things.
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady head out to a huge ovation. A bit of a rambling promo includes the boast that they're "like A cups, they're real whether you like them or not".
Enzo & Cass def. The Dudleyz to advance to the finals of the #1 contender tournament
Zo places face in peril, Cass cleans house but gets caught. He manages to dodge an attack by Bubba, so that takes out D-Von. Then he hits a big boot and tags Enzo for the Rocket Launcher
Roman Reigns will speak to us next.
The champ gets a loud reaction of boos and cheers. He delivers his "the guy" line and then puts over AJ - who will get THE BIG FIGHT from him at Payback. Romey will give THE BIG FIGHT to anyone in the "new era".
Styles comes out to a nice pop, and runs down Reigns attributes - saying he's a great champ. He'll need to have the match of his life to beat Roman, and having the match of his life is WHAT HE DO. It'll make him champ in two weeks.
Reigns basically says fans like AJ, he digs what Styles does in the ring, but he doesn't care if fans like him, they'll respect him after they he beats him. The Phenomenal One says he wants to be liked and respected.
As AJ leaves, ANDERSON & GALLOWS ATTACK! They hit him with their finisher as London roars and AJ looks on from the ramp in shock.
Backstage, Styles chases down Reigns to say he had nothing to do with the attack. Roman doesn't believe him, and tells him to bring all his friends to Payback, he's still getting a beating.
Baron Corbin def. Fandango
Dolph Ziggler is ringside. The Lone Wolf wins quickly, smashing the Show Off at commentary in the process. Ziggler jumps him post-match, but just gets beat up some more.
Puerto Rico is the shining star of the Carribean.
Maryse introduces your Intercontinental champion, who puts over his Hollywood credentials. The attractive couple runs down the English Royal Family, and is cut off by Cesaro, who steals Miz's "when my hand goes up, your mouth goes shut" line. They jaw about who will win the title at the next pay-per-view (PPV), and the champ says he and his wife are leaving because Cesaro has a match with Rusev.
The Swiss Superman says he spoke to Shane, and the match has been changed to...
Cesaro & The New Day def. Miz & League of Nations
Looong match with much hoss, ending with a rush of finishers. Cesaro hits the Neutralizer on Sheamus to end it.
Mauro welcomes the Flairs to an interview. They show last week's finish to the Women's title match, and Charlotte calls Ranallo worse than Dr. Phil. Natalya walks in, and reveals Shane has given her a rematch at Payback. And in her corner will be BRET HART.
Natalya, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks & Paige def. Charlotte, Tamina, Naomi & Summer Rae
Becky plays in face-in-peril during another long eight-person tag. The #1 contender's team clears the ring so Charlotte is forced to tap to a Sharpshooter.
After Cole recaps the Reigns/Styles/Anderson & Gallows drama, we see the former New Japan teammates chatting, then the Usos checking in with Shane before their tournament semi-final. We also get another Puerto Rico Epico/Primo thing.
The Vaudevillains def. The Usos to advance to the finals of the #1 contender tournament
The main story here was the twins being banged up from Gun & Gallows attack from last Monday - especially Jey's surgically repaired shoulder. Also, how little noise the crowd made for Aiden English & Simon Gotch. Whirling Dervish wins it for the NXT alums.
Hype video for Apollo Crews.
Apollo Crews def. Heath Slater
Crew wins with the Sitout Powerbomb. They ran an angle on the pre-show where if Slater won, Apollo would have to join Social Outcasts.
Dean Ambrose def. Kevin Owens
Another long bout with both men going all out. Lots of nearfalls, but eventually ends when Dean gets his knees up on KO's second frog splash, allowing Ambrose to hit Dirty Deeds.
Afterwards, Jericho comes down to hit a Codebreaker on his Payback opponent.