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WWE Raw preview (May 2, 2016): The Alliance returns

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Raw is in Randy Orton's home town... too bad the Viper is still banged up. That's alright, though, because the RKO is part of the old era, and as we learned last night at Payback, St. Louis will be getting the NEW ERA tonight!

The Headliner

After a lot of talk about how the company's Monday night flagship, the longest running episodic blah-blah-blah has stayed on top through constant innovation, Vince McMahon kicked things back to a familiar storyline.

Admitting that the only reason his son Shane has been in charge of Raw since WrestleMania was because he thought it would be fun to watch him crash-and-burn, the Chairman decided to put his dysfunctional family front and center, as his daughter Stephanie, and her I-guess-no-longer-disowned brother will be sharing power.

Things actually got off to a pretty good start for the new regime, as their sibling rivalry at least worked toward the same end - a decisive finish to Payback's main event - and stayed on the same page with the next steps in the WWE title picture by booking a rematch for Extreme Rules.

Can they stay in harmony and truly herald a new era? Or are we just waiting for Triple H to show up and set-up a match between Shane O'Mac and the Game for control of the company?

The Title Scene

One took out all (with a little help from one's cousins, the Usos), as Roman Reigns defeated AJ Styles (after a couple of re-starts) to keep his WWE World Heavyweight championship. But the Big Dog already knows he's got to face the Phenomenal One again in three weeks, and he still doesn't have any answers about AJ's connection to his old pals Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. He may have to keep his head on a swivel just to get to the next pay-per-view (PPV) in one piece.

Since Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens hate each other more than they care about anything else in their careers, Cesaro isn't the Intercontinental champion this morning. KO was scouting the Swiss Superman's shot at Miz's title, when the man he'd defeated earlier, Zayn, returned to deal with how Owens had disrespected him after their match. Seems clear the King of Swing deserves another opportunity... but does anyone else smell a 4Way coming?

He may be out of the hospital, but that doesn't mean Enzo Amore is cleared for action. So what's next for the tag titles until that happens? The #1 contender tournament finals ended in a no contest when the Smacktalker Skywalker got a concussion in he & Big Cass' match with the Vaudevillians. Do New Day continue to wait, or might they actually defend those belts someday in the near future?

Other than giving Bret Hart flashbacks to Montreal, what was accomplished in the Women's championship match last night? Charles Robinson is a heel again, I guess, but line Charlotte and Natalya up for one of the many rematches we're probably getting in New Jersey on May 22.

We should not get a rematch in between United States titleholder Kalisto and Ryback, now that the champ has beaten the Big Guy clean on two straight pre-shows. Will the luchador even get on the card, or will he just hand the strap back to John Cena on Memorial Day when the "champ" is once again here?

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- After a clean win over Chris Jericho, can Dean Ambrose and his potted plant now host a talk show in peace?

- Will Becky Lynch and Emma actually have a match, or just keep sniping at one another in Fallout videos? How bout any of the other ladies in this "Women's Revolution"?

- Baron Corbin has now followed in the footsteps of many NXT call-ups, tasting defeat at the hands of Dolph Ziggler. How will he respond, and when will Apollo Crews suffer the same fate?

- Goldust and R-Truth... you know what? I don't care.

It's the Fallout show for Payback!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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