– Air Date: April 7, 2016 (Apr 6 in Canada)
– Location: Toyota Center in Houston, TX
– The Big News:
AJ Styles confronted Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose returned, The Vaudevillains debuted, and The Miz defended his Intercontinental Title against Zack Ryder.
– Show Recap:
The show opened with the same WrestleMania recap video from Raw. Roman Reigns came out to a strong mixed reaction, and Mauro Ranallo reminded us that he’s a 3-time WWE champion. Reigns said he fought the Authority and won and took back his WWE championship. He repeated the same line from Raw about being “the guy,” except he delivered it a lot better this time, and said he’s going to beat AJ Styles.
Styles interrupted and got a big reaction. He congratulated Reigns on having “a heck of a WrestleMania” and becoming champion. They shook hands. Styles said he himself had a heck of a Monday Night Raw and was coming after the title. He’s beaten the best all over the world, has held a title of his own, and if he has to beat “the guy” to be WWE champion then so be it.
Reigns said Styles hasn’t been here long, and insinuated that WWE title is the only one that counts, not whatever title Styles held before. Reigns said Styles would have to beat “the guy” to get the belt. Yes, Styles just said that. Reigns said Styles would never beat him, patted him on the shoulder, and left. Styles smirked. This was fine. Crowd was into it, and the two guys did their best with the dialogue.
The Vaudevillains beat Lucha Dragons via pinfall
The Vaudevillains got their usual NXT entrance. Jerry Lawler thought they were in a silent movie and wondered if they could speak. Byron Saxton let us know that these two teams were familiar with each other from NXT. Sin Cara went for a suicide dive but Simon Gotch cut him off with a knee and the Vaudevillains took control.
Kalisto made a hot tag and ran wild on Gotch, while Sin Cara hit Aiden English with a suicide dive. English somehow recovered before Sin Cara and made a blind tag to set up the Vaudevillians hitting the Whirling Dervish for the win. Basic match, about 4-5 minutes long. Kalisto taking the pinfall is confusing to say the least.
They recapped Miz winning the Intercontinental title from Zack Ryder on Raw and plugged the rematch for tonight.
Natalya beat Summer Rae via submission
Charlotte joined commentary and her dad (Ric Flair) was there too. Natalya won in about 3 minutes with a sharpshooter as she stared at Charlotte. Natalya went out to confront Charlotte afterwards but the referee stopped her.
Intercontinental Title: The Miz beat Zack Ryder via pinfall
Maryse came out on the stage to introduce The Miz. She said she was proof that behind every great man, there’s a great woman, “and there is no greater man than my husband.” That’s funny.
During his comeback, Ryder went for a diving dropkick but Miz countered into a sitout powerbomb for two. They traded moves leading to Ryder hitting a broski boot outside the ring, followed by a diving elbow drop for a near fall. Maryse started pulling off the turnbuckle cover and Saxton asked, “What is Maryse doing?” to which Lawler responded, “I’m paying attention to the match over here.”
This distracted the referee and Ryder, which allowed Miz to punch Ryder in the face and hit the skull crushing finale for the win. Perfectly fine match, which went about 13 minutes. Oddly, they didn’t show any replays afterwards, and they moved on from this pretty quickly considering it was a title match.
Apollo Crews beat Curtis Axel (w/Social Outcasts) via pinfall
Axel got this match over his fellow Outcasts because he “won” rock-paper-scissors by claiming the axe beats all. Crews fended off the other Outcasts and won after hitting a dropkick, jumping clothesline, standing moonsault, enzuigiri and spin-out powerbomb. Lawler admitted that Crews might have a future here.
They recapped Baron Corbin’s win at Mania and his match with Ziggler on Raw. Backstage, Rich Brennan tried to interview Corbin, but Corbin told Brennan to save his questions. Corbin said he won a trophy at WrestleMania and dented the floor with Dolph Ziggler. He said the end of days weren’t coming, they’re here.
Elsewhere, Renee Young interviewed Becky Lynch. Lynch said that nobody else seems to think she’s funny, and made a pun about her busted eye, saying “I have myself in stitches.” She then got serious, saying that Mania was the most brutal match of her life. Lynch said the new Women’s title was about heart and passion, and she walked out on Charlotte on Raw because she was making it about herself.
Lynch said she would get back to the title picture and pay back Charlotte for what she did to her eye. Emma interrupted and said she liked what Charlotte did to Lynch’s eye. She’s pissed that she got pushed to the back of the line in favour of Lynch. Lynch told her to back off or she’d mess up Emma’s eye.
Dean Ambrose beat Tyler Breeze via pinfall
Ambrose won in one minute after a rebound clothesline and Dirty Deeds. Ranallo said Breeze went down faster than Batman v. Superman at the box office.
As Ambrose’s music played, Chris Jericho’s entrance interrupted, and Ambrose looked annoyed. Ambrose stared at Jericho on his way up the ramp, but Jericho just ignored him.
Before the main event, there was another segment with Goldust and R-Truth. Basically, Truth promised Goldust an audition with a Hollywood producer next week in LA.
AJ Styles & Cesaro beat Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho via pinfall
Jericho and Owens had an intense conversation in the ring as the entrances were happening, perhaps over who is the biggest Twitter troll.
Cesaro and Styles used a double-team move early on, and Owens yelled, “You’re a cheater!” Jericho was frustrated by getting double teamed again, so he left the ring and started tossing stuff around. Owens, unsure of how to react, decided to join in by gently lifting the steel steps out of position. These two are already my favourite tag team.
After a break, the good guys were still all over Jericho as the crowd chanted for Styles. Jericho finally managed to tag out, but Cesaro got them both with the uppercut train. However, Jericho shoved Cesaro out of the ring and Owens tossed him into the announce table for the heat.
Cesaro avoided a cannonball and made the hot tag to Styles, who hit forearms to Owens and a sitout facebuster for a near fall. Owens avoided a springboard move and hit a superkick for two. Styles came back with a Pele kick. He went for the springboard forearm but Jericho pushed him off the ropes. Owens rolled him up but Styles kicked out and Cesaro uppercut Jericho over the barricade.
Owens was about to go for the pop-up powerbomb, but he stopped after seeing Sami Zayn making his way down the ramp as officials tried to stop him. The distraction allowed Styles to school boy Owens for the win. Good match.
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Immediately after the match, Owens and Zayn went after each other. The brawl ended when Owens tossed Zayn’s injured shoulder into the steel steps. The referees dragged Owens away as he yelled, “I hate you!” and the show ended. There were no replays again, but it made sense here with Zayn coming out unannounced.
– Final Thoughts:
Pretty good show top-to-bottom. Simple booking with all the featured acts winning their matches. Fresh faces definitely help.