WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (April 25, 2016) from the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Payback pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sunday night in Rosemont, Illinois.
Advertised for tonight: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows make their tag team debut in a match against The Usos. Plus, all the final angles heading into the next big event this weekend!
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.)
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR APRIL 25
Alright, folks. Kyle here. (Deep breath) Three hours of Raw. Let's do this.
They show the "In Memory" graphic for Chyna.
Then. Now. Forever.
Video package is played of the AJ Styles/Roman Reigns/Bullet Club intrigue.
Shane McMahon/Stephanie McMahon segment
"Here comes the money!"
Looks like Shane is in charge again tonight. Who would have guessed it?
Crowds are still hot for Shane-O-Mac and tonight is no different. He is about to prep the show but is interrupted by Stephanie McMahon! She tries to put her over as one of the Hartford crowd, having been born in Hartford. She gets some boos for this.
Steph drops the bomb that this is Shane's last night running Monday Night Raw. Because at Payback, Vincent Kennedy McMahon will officially decide who is running Raw. Shane decides to ask the crowd who they want in charge. Of course, they're clearly behind him as they heavily cheer him when he points to himself and boos Steph when he points to her. Steph says their father is not stupid enough to make a decision based on these people.
Shane politely asks Stephan to leave his ring. She refuses. He reminds her that he is charge tonight and calls security to have her removed. One of the security guards touches her so she of course slaps the crap out of him. It's what she does. Tom Phillips knows what I'm talking about.
The rest of the security finally physically remove her as Shane leads a "Na Na Na chant."
He then introduces AJ Styles.
AJ Styles vs. Sheamus
Sheamus comes out alone, but they still refer to him as a "League of Nations" member.
Early on, AJ has control on the Irishman. A kick to the chest when he's in the corner gives Sheamus an advantage. He works over Styles in a head lock submission. AJ is able to gain control and goes for a moonsault from the apron onto the floor. Sheamus moves out of the way and while AJ lands on his feet, Sheamus kicks him and tosses him into the stairs as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns with Sheamus in full control, working his power moves. The announcers push the fact that this is the type of competitor that Styles is going to have to face in Roman on Sunday. Sheamus goes for a White Nose from the second rope, but he escapes and knocks Sheamus down. Styles is up first and goes hard with the strikes on Sheamus. He tries to pick up Sheamus in a fireman's carry but Sheamus is too heavy. He slides down and pushes Styles into the corner and hits a big powerslam.
AJ dodges a clothesline and hits his Pele kick, which leaves both men down in the middle of the ring. Again, AJ is up first and he lays in a bunch of forearms to Sheamus. He goes for the Styles Clash but again Sheamus is too big. He hits a big clothesline and locks AJ into the Texas Cloverleaf.
Styles eventually gets the rope break, but Sheamus is still on the offensive, laying the boots into him. The Irishamn goes for a Brough when Styles is on the apron. He misses, which sets up for AJ to hit the Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
AJ Styles defeats Sheamus via pinfall.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson coming out to the entryway wearing these sick robes with the image of a gas mask on the back clapping for AJ. Styles doesn't seem too pleased.
Roman is watching backstage when the Usos roll in. They all agree that AJ, Gallows, and Andereson are together. The Usos say they have his back, but Roman says it's One vs. All.
The New Day/Vaudevillains/Enzo & Cass segment
The New Day cut a promo talking up their Booty O's tag team tournament. Xavier says the winning team will "party like it's 1999." They then all point to the sky and say "Miss you."
The Vaudevillains come out. When talking about the WWE tag team championships, Aiden English sings those words, which upsets Xavier. He says they're going to party like it's 1899. As Simon Gotch talks about what will happen when they beat the mange ridden mongrels of Enzo and Cass, the Realest Guys then interrupt.
Enzo does his shtick. The crowd gets a big "How you doin'?" chant. Cass thens calls the Villains SAWFT. Meanwhile, the New Day is loving it all. The segment ends with them dancing like fools in the middle and Enzo and Cass and the VVs staring each other down.
I think the Vaudevillains do much better when they have mic time.
The Usos vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
Jimmy Uso starts out hot against Anderson. Jey tags in and the Usos continue control. Anderson gets control and unloads on Uce before he tags in Gallows. Gallows has some offense but the Usos work some double team. It doesn't last long due to a nasty clothesline from Gallows to Jey Uso.
Karl works Jey's taped up left shoulder for awhile. Gallows eventually gets the tag and the Bullet Club continues to work over Jey. This goes on for a long while as both Anderson and Gallows work an old school tag style, working a body part and cutting off the ring.
As Jey is starting to fight back from the corner, he gets on the top rope... and Gallows just shoves him to the outside, his shoulder crashing into the barricade!
Raw returns from commercial with the Bullet Club still dominating Jey Uso. A drop kick to Gallows gives Jey a chance to finally tag in Jimmy. Jimmy comes out like a house of fire on Anderson. This match picks up the pace but eventually Jey Uso is taken out outside the ring and then the Bullet Club double team Jimmy inside the ring for the 1-2-3
Gallows and Anderson defeats the Usos via pinfall.
After the match, the Bullet Club beat down the Usos. Roman's music hits and he comes out hot against both members of the Bullet Club. Roman stands tall in the ring as Anderson and Gallows retreat.
Renee Young interviews AJ Styles backstage. Before he can talk about this match on Sunday, Anderson and Gallows interrupt. They promise not to jeopardize AJ's opportunity. They are just here to make sure it's a fair fight and that's all. They then say that this friendship of theirs if forever and they shake hands.
A Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens video is played talking up their history. It's great stuff.
Sami Zayn vs. Rusev
Wow, Rusev is being accompanied by Lana. It's been awhile.
The matches starts with Rusev employing some strong offense against Zayn. A drop kick gives the Sami a brief period of offense but Rusev uses his power to regain it quickly. Sami gets some space and Rusev ends up outside. But when Sami tries to leap the ropes with a body block, Rusev catches him and tosses him into the apron.
However, that's not enough to keep Zayn down, who jumps on the barricade and hits the Bulgarian with a moonsault. Back in the ring, this becomes more of a back and forth affair, but a Rusev kick to Sami's head knocks him out of the ring as Raw goes to commercial.
Raw returns with Rusev in full commercial. Sami uses a big clothesline, a series of forearms, and a second clotheslines to gain control on the big man. Sami goes for the Blue Thunder Bomb, but Rusev is too big and just picks up Zayn and tosses him with a big Fallaway Slam. Zayn recovers to go for his spring board DDT, but Rusev is able to avoid it and hits a big kick for a very near fall.
Rusev.... Crush! He goes for the Accolade but Sami slips out and rolls up Rusev for the 1-2-3.
Sami Zayn defeats Rusev via pinfall.
Lana is pissed and tosses her shoes at Sami.
As Sami is celebrating on the ramp, Kevin Owens ambushes from behind.
Renee Young asks Apollo Crews how he can stand out in this new era. Stardust interrupts but Apollo takes this moment to thank "Cody" for this match and talks about how much he respected his father Dusty who he got to work with. Stardust seems unfazed and rambles his normal Stardust stuff.
Stardust vs. Apollo Crews
Apollo already has some of Stardust's silver face paint next to his mouth.
Stardust works over Crews early, but Crews ends up getting his high paced offense in and hits his powerbomb for the win.
Crews defeats Stardust via pinfall
Dean Ambrose/Chris Jericho segment
Dean Ambrose comes down saying after last week's attack from behind, he's no longer in the mood for fun and games. He says that Jericho talks about how he's the best in the world and demands respect. Dean says he doesn't demand respect. He earns it. He also doesn't complain like Jericho. If there's something to do, he does it. Dean wants to fight now so he tells Jericho to lace up his scarf, light up his jacket, and get his stupid ass out there. I love more serious Ambrose.
Jericho responds wearing a vest, scarf, but of course no shirt. He comes down to the ring and he's indignant that Ambrose would even call him out. He says he's not going to waste his time fighting Ambrose in a dump like Hartford. Jericho says what he does is win matches, make history, and elevate everyone who gets to step foot in the ring with him. Y2J says Ambrose should get down on his knees to thank him for the opportunity and while he's down there, he should kiss his $1500 boots. Actually, instead of that, Jericho wants an apology from Dean for disrespecting him and stealing the highlight reel.
Ambrose tells Chris that he's sorry.. that he paid so much money for those ugly ass shoes, he's sorry for his Bon Jovi haircut, and he's sorry he's got to beat him at Payback. But he's not sorry for this.... then Dean Ambrose attacks Jericho and unloads on him!
However, when Ambrose is sitting up the announce table, Jericho trips him up and puts Dean in the Walls...on the announce table! Submissions hurt more up there!
Jericho leaves with the douchiest smile on his face.
Natalya vs. Emma
Ric Flair and Charlotte watch on at ringside and join in on commentary. She talks about how it's ridiculous Nattie will be parading around with her uncle.
Emma gets control by hitting a double underhook throw on the outside. After she gets some offense in, Nattie is able to quickly lock in the sharpshooter for the win.
This match was a short as it sounds.
Natalya defeats Emma via submission.
They play a video pack in memory of Chyna. It was very good.
Dolph Ziggler/Baron Corbin segment
Damien Sandow is in the ring? What's going on here?
Oh here comes Baron Corbin to squash him. His entrance is uses red lights now.
But before Corbin gets halfway down the entrance ramp, Dolph Ziggler runs in and attacks him from behind as revenge from last week on SmackDown. Corbin decides to retreat to the back.
Is it worse that Sandow didn't even get a chance to be squashed? Is that worse than the squash itself?
There's yet another Epico and Primo Puerto Rico promo video where they say there are more attractive women there.
The Miz/Maryse/Cesaro segment
Maryse and Miz are in the ring. Miz is appalled by the fact that people on-line don't see the benefit of someone like Miz continuing to be intercontinental champion. He says the IC title is legendary. He mocks those who make the Cesaro Section signs, calling them followers. He tells them Maryse is what the Miz Section looks like and points to the crowd and says that is what the Cesaro Section looks like.
Cesaro comes out to his rad James Bond entrance. Miz ends up doing some impressions - he does Taxi Driver ("You talking to me?") and Goodfellas ("Do I amuse you?") Cesaro tells him the only move that represents Miz is Jackass. And he will make sure the credits will roll on Miz's title win this weekend.
Miz says there's only question Cesaro should ask himself at Payback.... "Do you feel lucky?" Cesaro responds with "Go ahead and make my day." Miz and Maryse look to leave but Miz tries to cheap shot. Cesaro is ready and hits the Swiss Death uppercut. He is about to do the Cesaro swing but Maryse jumps on Miz to prevent it. Cesaro picks up the IC title, lays it down next to Miz, and leaves.
Roman is walking to the ring with the title backstage when AJ interrupts him. AJ takes his hat from facing first and then puts it on backwards... because now he's serious! Styles tells Reigns he's taking his title on Sunday. Roman responds with "You must have bought tickets for Gallows and Anderson."
Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio
Roman starts in control of the match, but ADR takes control with his running enziguri as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns. During the break, Del Rio avoided a shoulder block in the corner and Reigns hit the corner and fell outside. Currently, ADR is working over Roman in the middle of the ring. He continues with some mid section kicks and a DDT. However Alberto misses his kick to the head and Roman is able to hit some jumping lariats to regain control of the match.
The champ goes for the Superman punch but ADR rolls out. However Roman slides outside and hits his drive by dropkick which knocks Alberto into the steel! As Roman is trying to get into the ring: however, ADR kicks the bottom rope that lands right between his legs. This time ADR is able to hit his kick to the head but Roman kicks out at two.
Del Rio sets up Roman in the tree of woe so he can hit his horrible corner stomp. He misses (of course) and Roman is able to avoid Del Rio's arm bar setup to hit a Superman punch. Before he can set up for the spear... Anderson and Gallows walk out!
The Bullet Club just stand on the entryway. During the distraction, ADR tries to roll up Roman but only gets two. Roman then hits spear and get the win.
Roman Reigns defeats Alberto Del Rio via pinfall
After the match, Gallows and Anderson attack Roman! But then AJ comes out and calls them off and they leave in frustration. As AJ turns around, Roman hits him with a Superman punch.
This enrages Anderson and Gallow, who run back in! Roman neutralizes them both but then AJ hits a Phenomenal Forearm from the top rope to lay Roman out!
The show ends with AJ in the corner staring at Roman, who is out in the middle.
That's the show, folks! Thanks for watching it with us!