Tonight’s WWE RAW opens up with a graphic in memory of Joanie “Chyna” Laurer. We go to the normal opening video and a look back at last week’s show with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns and AJ Styles.
– We’re live from the XL Center in Hartford, CT as the announcers hype tonight’s show. The music hits and out comes Shane McMahon to a pop.
Shane says he’s back because of the fans. He says we’re going to have more new faces and new match-ups tonight. He’s interrupted by the music and out comes Stephanie McMahon making her return. Stephanie tries to sell herself as one of the people but they boo her. Shane says she really knows how to take the air out of a room. Stephanie says local officials are honoring her but that’s not why she’s out here, she’s not here to brag. She announces this is the last night Shane will be running RAW and fans boo. A “no!” chant starts. Stephanie says Vince McMahon will be at Payback on Sunday to announce who will run RAW for good – The Authority or Shane. This leads to Shane telling Stephanie she needs to leave the ring. She refuses and he has security come down. She leaves the ring after yelling at him but turns on one of the security guards and starts slapping him. They take her up the ramp and Shane leads the crowd in singing “goodbye” to her. AJ Styles’ music hits and out he comes. He greets Shane on the ramp and heads to the ring.
AJ Styles vs. Sheamus
Back from a break and AJ Styles waits before Sheamus comes out by himself.
They lock up and Sheamus takes Styles to the corner. AJ ducks some shots but Sheamus beats him down in another corner. AJ runs into an elbow and goes down. They run the ropes and Styles nails a dropkick. Styles takes Sheamus to the corner with chops. Styles keeps control as fans chant his name. Sheamus drops AJ with a right hand and goes to work. AJ fights back from the mat and takes Sheamus back into a corner. AJ with shoulder thrusts as the referee counts. Sheamus kicks AJ to the mat with double boots and covers for a 2 count. Sheamus keeps control until Styles kicks him and sends him out of the ring with a forearm. Sheamus fights his way to the apron but AJ fights him off and kicks his knee out, causing Sheamus to hit the apron face first. Styles with a running knee. Styles lands on his feet from a moonsault. Sheamus kicks him and throws him over the steel steps as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Sheamus catches AJ in an Irish Curse backbreaker. Fans boo and Sheamus hits another. Sheamus with a bearhug now. AJ fights back and ends up on the top but Sheamus crotches him. Sheamus climbs up for a super White Noise but AJ brings them to the mat. They trade shots now. AJ unloads and drops Sheamus with a clothesline. AJ with a running forearm. AJ with a splash in the corner and kicks in the corner. Sheamus slides off AJ’s shoulders and shoves his face into the turnbuckle. Sheamus with a powerslam for a 2 count.
Sheamus goes for the Cloverleaf but AJ fights it off and ends up hitting a pele kick. AJ unloads with forearms to the jaw. AJ goes for the Styles Clash but Sheamus fights him off. Sheamus catches a kick and nails a clothesline for 2. Sheamus goes for the Cloverleaf again and this time gets it locked. AJ gets out again and Sheamus misses a Brogue, getting hung up on the top rope. This leads to a Phenomenal Forearm from AJ for the win.
Winner: AJ Styles
– After the match, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson come out on the stage in their gear. They applaud as AJ looks on from the ring, somewhat confused. We get replays and come back to Gallows and Anderson continuing to give props to AJ. We also see WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns backstage watching as fans boo. The Usos walk in and they all believe Styles is working with Gallows and Anderson. The Usos remind Reigns they have his back. We hear fans chanting “we can’t hear you” in the arena. Reigns offers his assistance as well and they give each other love before The Usos leave.
– We go to the ring and out come WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods are in the ring talking about the tag team tournament, sponsored by Booty O’s. They make references to Birdman’s interview on The Breakfast Club and Prince. They’re interrupted by The Vaudevillains. Simon Gotch and Aiden English cut promos on their way to the ring but once they get in, they’re interrupted by the music of Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, and a big pop.
Fans go along with Enzo as he does their introduction. They enter the ring so Enzo can keep it 100 like a hot fever with English. Enzo goes on and fans start the “how you doin?” chant. Big Cass says only one team is leaving Payback the winners and that’s them because The Vaudevillains are… SAWFT. Woods chimes in and says regardless of who wins, The New Day will still be WWE Tag Team Champions because… Big E gets the “New Day rocks” chant going as their music hits and they start dancing. The other two teams stare each other down and have words.
– We go backstage to Gallows and Anderson. They walk out of AJ Styles’ dressing room and head to the ring. We go to commercial.
The Usos vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Back from the break and out come The Usos first. Out next come Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for their WWE in-ring debuts.
Anderson starts off with Jimmy Uso and they go at it. Uso takes it to the corner but Anderson comes out. They run the ropes and Uso takes Anderson down. Uso with chops into the corner. Jey Uso tags in and nails Anderson while Jimmy holds him. Uso with chops. Anderson nails a dropkick and takes Jey to the corner. Anderson unloads as the referee counts. Gallows tags and works Uso over. Uso ducks a clothesline but Gallows catches a crossbody. More back and forth. Uso with a kick to the face. Jimmy comes in and they both nails Gallows in the corner. Gallows ends up nailing a huge clothesline on Jey out of the corner. Gallows with a 2 count. Fans chant “Bullet Club” now.
Gallows stomps on Jey in the corner and tags in Anderson. Anderson keeps control and drops knees on Uso’s injured shoulder. Another 2 count on Jey. Anderson keeps Uso grounded and works on his arm. Jey fights out but Anderson stops a tag with another 2 count. Gallows tags back in and unloads on Jey with lefts and rights in the corner. Gallows drops a bunch of elbows and covers for another 2 count. Gallows sends Jimmy flying off the apron. Gallows manhandles Jey and Anderson comes back in. Anderson keeps control and goes for another pin attempt. Anderson with more offense on the arm and another pin attempt. Gallows tags back in and Uso tries to fight back but gets dropped and hung up on the ropes. Gallows keeps Uso grounded with more offense on the arm.
Gallows takes Uso to the top and works him over but Uso kicks him back. Uso also kicks Anderson away. Gallows sends Uso flying from the top to the floor, landing on his shoulder. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Gallows is still in control of Jey. Uso finally hits a dropkick from the second rope and both men go down. Jimmy and Anderson tag in at the same time. Jimmy unloads and knocks Gallows off the apron. More offense and a Samoan Drop to Anderson. Uso gets riled up and some fans boo. He hits the Rikishi Splash in the corner and sends Gallows over the top when he runs in. Uso runs the ropes but Anderson cuts him off with a big clothesline. Gallows drops Jey on the floor and sends him over the barrier. Jimmy dives out and takes Gallows out. Jimmy checks on Jey but Anderson grabs him and sends him into the ring post. Anderson brings it back in the ring and tags in Gallows. He runs over Jimmy with a big boot. Anderson tags back in and they hit Magic Killer for the win.
Winners: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
– After the match, Anderson brings Jey back over the barrier and into the ring. Anderson pounds on Jey as Anderson beats on Jimmy. The music hits and out comes Roman Reigns to boos. Anderson meets him on the floor but Reigns runs down with a big Superman punch. Reigns enters the ring and clears Gallows out. Fans are booing. Anderson gets on the apron and Reigns goes for a Superman punch but Anderson jumps off the apron in time. Reigns checks on The Usos as his music plays. Anderson and Gallows look on from the ramp as we go to replays of Reigns making the save.
– Still to come, Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio.
– Back from the break and AJ Styles is talking to Renee Young. Gallows and Anderson interrupt and bring up Reigns. Styles says they can’t stay out of trouble and they blame it on Reigns. Anderson says they know Styles can win the title on his own but they’re here to make sure it’s a fair fight. Anderson says they have Styles back. Gallows says their friendship is forever. They all embrace and we go back to the announcers.
– We get a video for Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens at WWE Payback.
Sami Zayn vs. Rusev
We go to the ring and out comes Sami Zayn to a pop. Back to commercial.
We come back and Lana is out with Rusev. Back and forth to start as Rusev takes control. Fans chant Lana as she looks on from ringside. Sami fights back but Rusev takes him down and drops a knee. Rusev with a big shoulder tackle. Zayn ends up sending Rusev to the floor. Sami launches himself over the top but Rusev catches him and slams him into the apron. Rusev sends Sami into the barrier but he jumps onto it and hits a moonsault. Sami brings it back in the ring but Rusev tosses him to the apron. Sami fights back in but Rusev nails a heel kick.
Rusev takes Sami up but Sami sends him back to the mat. Rusev with a big kick to the head, sending Sami back to the floor stunned. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Rusev continues to dominate Sami. Rusev with a pair of gutwrench suplexes. Sami catches Rusev with a clothesline. Sami unloads with forearms. Sami with another clothesline. Sami with a reversal for a 2 count as Lana looks on. Sami with a big crossbody from the top for a close 2 count. Rusev blocks the Blue Thunderbomb and drops Sami with a fall-away slam for another 2 count. Rusev counters the arm drag out of the corner and nails a big superkick for a 2 count.
Rusev stomps on Sami’s back and goes for The Accolade but Sami rolls him up for the win.
Winner: Sami Zayn
– After the match, Lana throws a fit and throws her shoe at Sami as he backs up the ramp. Sami yells something back at her and backs up the ramp waving at fans as his music plays. Kevin Owens runs out and nails Sami from behind. Owens just stands over Sami as fans react.
– Renee is backstage with Apollo Crews, asking how he plans on standing out. Crews says he can do things no one else can do… Stardust interrupts. Crews mentions they have a match tonight and mentions working with Stardust’s dad, the late Dusty Rhodes. Crews praises Dusty for helping and says he came up with the name Apollo. Stardust says not even the great Dusty Rhodes can make Crews a star.
Stardust vs. Apollo Crews
Back from the break and Stardust is out. Apollo Crews is out next and Byron Saxton reveals that Crews dedicates every match he has to Dusty. Crews with an early dropkick and a 2 count. Crews keeps control and Stardust nails a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Stardust takes control and unloads on Crews as some fans chant “Cody” at him. Stardust with knees to the gut and a takedown. Stardust wraps Crews up with a submission on the shoulder.
More back and forth. Crews gets fired up and unloads. He hits a splash in the corner and then a leaping elbow. Crews kicks up to his feet for a pop. Crews with the standing moonsault for a 2 count. Stardust tries to fight back but Crews stuns him with the enziguri. Crews with the spin-out powerbomb for the win.
Winner: Apollo Crews
– After the match, Crews celebrates and hits the corner to pose.
– We see Dean Ambrose walking backstage. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes Dean Ambrose to a pop.
Ambrose says he was supposed to host The Ambrose Asylum tonight but he told Shane McMahon it’s not happening because he’s not in the mood after getting laid out last week. Ambrose says he’s facing one of the best this Sunday at Payback, Chris Jericho. Ambrose says Jericho has made a good case for himself about being the best in the world but Ambrose is pretty good too. Ambrose says he fights for respect and earns respect. Jericho likes to cheap shot but Ambrose will kick your front door in. Ambrose goes on and calls Jericho to the ring.
Jericho comes to the ring and calls Ambrose a disrespectful stupid idiot. Jericho can’t believe Ambrose called him out. Jericho says he’d never fight Ambrose in a dump like this. Jericho tells fans to shut up and the boos continue. Jericho says he wins matches, makes history, commands respect and elevates every single opponent he steps in the ring with. Jericho says Ambrose should be thanking him because Jericho will give him the best match of his career this Sunday. Jericho goes on bragging and tells Ambrose to get on his knees and kiss his $1500 boots. Jericho changes his mind and wants Ambrose to apologize for disrespecting him and stealing The Highlight Reel. Ambrose just smiles and Jericho continues running his mouth. Jericho tells Ambrose to apologize or he will be very sorry. Ambrose says he’s sorry… that Jericho paid so much money for his ugly ass shoes. He’s sorry… that Jericho walks around wearing a scarf. He’s sorry about Jericho’s stupid Bon Jovi haircut, that he’s a stupid insecure egomaniac, that Ambrose has to beat him on Sunday, but not sorry for this… Ambrose attacks and they brawl to the floor. Ambrose sends him into the announce table and starts taking it apart. Ambrose ends up going face first into a monitor and Jericho turns it around. Jericho pounds away and applies a Walls of Jericho on top of the announce table. Referees finally get Jericho to break the hold. Jericho talks more trash and stands over Ambrose as most fans boo. Jericho’s music hits as JBL and Michael Cole look on from the corner. Jericho hops off the table and makes his exit laughing. Jericho mushes the camera a few times and we see officials checking on Ambrose.
– We get a look back at Shane and Stephanie from earlier tonight. Vince will be at Payback on Sunday to decide who runs RAW.
– Still to come tonight, Reigns vs. Del Rio. Back to commercial.
Emma vs. Natalya
We come back and Natalya is in the ring. Emma makes her way out next. Before they can go at it, the music hits and out comes WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte with Ric Flair. Charlotte joins commentary.
Back and forth to start but Emma takes control. Emma unloads and after taking it to the floor, brings it back in for a 2 count. Emma with a full nelson submission. Emma slams Natalya’s face into the turnbuckles. Emma with a big clothesline. Natalya goes for the Sharpshooter out of nowhere and gets it locked for the win.
– After the match, Natalya stands on the apron and taunts Charlotte. Natalya walks over but Charlotte won’t even get up. The Flairs tell Natalya to go away and a referee escorts her.
– Cole leads us to a video package in memory of Chyna.
Damien Sandow vs. Baron Corbin
Back from a break and Damien Sandow waits in the ring. Cole confirms Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin for Payback. Corbin makes his entrance but Ziggler attacks from behind on the ramp. They start brawling to the side of the stage as referees try to keep them apart. They get Ziggler to the back to end the segment.
– Still to come, Reigns vs. Del Rio. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get another vignette for Primo and Epico.
– Maryse is in the ring with WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz. She introduces him as the most handsome man in the world and he brags about being champion, about defending against Cesaro on Sunday. Maryse says the people are hungry for Miz’s knowledge and he says he’s hungry for her. They kiss and Miz goes back to ranting on the fans. Cesaro interrupts and comes out to a pop. They trade promos and movie lines before Miz leaves with Maryse as fans boo. Miz stops and runs back but Cesaro drops him. Cesaro calls for a Swing but Maryse jumps on top of Miz to protect him. Cesaro lifts the title and gets a pop. He drops it and taunts Miz before leaving as his music hits.
– Quick backstage segment with Styles and Reigns. Styles says he’s taking the title at Payback. Back to commercial.
WWE world heavyweight champion Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WWE world heavyweight title
Back from the break and out comes WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns. We see video of Reigns granting a Make-A-Wish Wish before RAW. The Wish Kid Ivan is ringside with his family and Reigns greets them. Alberto Del Rio is out next by himself.
Back from the break and Del Rio has Reigns down in a headlock. During the break, Del Rio sent Reigns into the ring post and to the floor. Del Rio has had control since. Reigns finally powers up but Del Rio kicks him in the back. Reigns fights back again but Del Rio takes control in the corner. Del Rio with some trash talking and wasting time. Reigns comes out of the corner with headbutts and strikes but Del Rio drops him with a DDT.
Reigns blocks the superkick but Del Rio blocks the Samoan Drop. Reigns unloads as fans boo. Reigns with the big shots in the corner as some fans count along. Reigns drops Del Rio with a right hand. The boos continue. Reigns calls for the Superman punch but Del Rio retreats to the floor. Reigns runs out and nails a Drive By into the ring post. Reigns brings it back in the ring but Del Rio crotches him with the middle rope. Del Rio with the big kick to the face for a 2 count. Del Rio takes Reigns to the corner and turns him upside down. Del Rio with a kick to the gut. Del Rio goes up top for the stomp but Reigns dodges it and pulls himself out of the corner. Del Rio goes for the cross armbreaker but it’s blocked. Reigns with a Superman punch. Reigns gets fired up and readies for a spear but the music interrupts and out come Gallows and Anderson to the stage. Del Rio takes advantage of the distraction and rolls Reigns up for 2. More back and forth. Reigns nails a spear for the win.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– After the bell, Anderson and Gallows hit the ring while Reigns is on his knees raising his arm. They beat Reigns down until AJ Styles runs down. He pulls them off of Reigns and tries to calm them down. They leave the ring and AJ turns around to a Superman punch from Reigns. Gallows comes back in but Reigns stomps him. Anderson runs back in and Reigns hits him. Gallows takes a Superman punch. Styles with a Phenomenal Forearm on Reigns for a pop. Anderson and Gallows recover on the floor as Styles and Reigns are down in the ring. AJ’s music hits as he sells the Superman punch and they both try to recover. We go to replays. We come back Gallows and Anderson laughing as Styles and Reigns recover in the ring. RAW goes off the air.