– Last Monday on Raw, Roman Reigns repeated his catchphrase yet again and was confronted by his Payback opponent, A.J. Styles. Hey, they showed clips of Styles wrestling on WCW Thunder! Also, A.J.’s running buddies, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, also made an impact on Raw. This was all shown in a recap video.

– The Miz and Maryse were in the ring for Miz TV. I’m sure with Maryse in the fold, we’ll be getting even more of these segments. Maryse called Miz “the biggest American movie star in the whole world.” Miz briefly previewed what he’d be grilling his guest about, then introduced A.J. Styles. As he came out, Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton, and Jerry “The King” Lawler were shown at ringside. Miz brought up Styles, Anderson, and Gallows running roughshod in Japan in 2014. Styles reminded Miz he knocked out three of Miz’s teeth the last time they were in the ring. “Did you do it, A.J?” asked Miz. He wanted to know if Styles sent out his goons to do his dirty work. Styles told Miz the same thing he told Reigns on Monday: He had nothing to do with it. Miz asked Styles if he ever told them NOT to attack Reigns? Styles said “no.”

Miz said A.J.’s inaction speaks louder than words. Styles said Anderson and Gallows are grown men who can think for themselves. He said he doesn’t need anyone’s help to beat Reigns and he’ll prove it at Payback. Miz wasn’t buying A.J.’s denials, saying Styles needs Anderson and Gallows to beat Reigns (even if Styles says he’s a better “’rassler” than Reigns). Styles got out of his seat, tired of Miz beating this dead horse. Miz started veering into “A Few Good Men” territory, asking Styles if he ordered the attack. He wanted Styles to tell the truth. “Will Smith,” said Maryse, so Miz imitated Smith in “Concussion,” by saying those words again. Somehow, things turned into Miz and Maryse kissing each other and them being the focus of the segment. Miz turned his attention back to Styles, who hit Miz with a series of punches and elbows, leaving Miz to be tended to by Maryse.

– Tonight, Sami Zayn and Dean Ambrose face Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho.

– Next, Kalisto vs. Ryback in a Wrestlemania rematch.

[Commercial Break]

– After an exterior shot of London (specifically, the River Thames), it was announced that A.J. Styles would face Miz tonight.


After Kalisto came to the ring, stills of his Wrestlemania pre-show match with Ryback were shown. This is apparently a non-title match. Ryback attacked Kalisto at the sound of the bell. Beal out of the corner by Ryback, who followed it up by simply running over Kalisto. After toying with Kalisto for a time, Ryback pressed Kalisto over his head and dropped him down. They went to break at 1:54 of the match.

[Commercial Break]

The show returned 5:41 into the match. Ryback had Kalisto perched on the top turnbuckle. Ryback, standing on the second rope, picked up Kalisto for an extended vertical suplex. That led to a two-count for Ryback. Hung in the Tree of Woe, Kalisto was on the receiving end of kicks and stomps from The Big Guy. Ryback, though, missed a charge, going shoulder-first into the ring post and then to ringside. Dropkick by Kalisto, then a springboard corkscrew. Short enzugiri. Spike ‘rana was next for a near fall. Salida del Sol was shrugged off, and Ryback connected on a clothesline. Kalisto countered Shell Shock into a DDT for two. Second-rope dive by Kalisto was unsuccessful. Once again, though, Kalisto countered. Ryback countered, too, into Shell Shock for the pinfall.

WINNER: Ryback, at 9:58. Given this was non-title, the result was not a surprise. I’m a little surprised they went back to this after their Wrestlemania match, as there hasn’t been many (any?) hints to continuing in this direction after the big show.

After replays, Ryback lifted the United States title over his head, then dropped it onto the fallen Kalisto. Ranallo speculated on whether or not the shoulder injury suffered by Kalisto on Raw two weeks ago ha any effect here. Good to know they didn’t forget about that angle.

– The main event tag match is still to come.

– Up next, Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin.

[Commercial Break]

– Press clippings of the announcement of the Total Divas spinoff, Total Bellas, were shown.

– As Dolph Ziggler came to the ring for his match against Baron Corbin, Corbin attacked him from behind before Ziggler got to the ring. Corbin slammed Ziggler into the barricade and the steel steps. While outside the ring, Corbin delivered End of Days. Several referees came out to tend to Ziggler and to yell at Corbin to back away. Corbin did so. The initial attack and End of Days were replayed. At the top of the ramp, Rich Brennan met Corbin and asked him why he attacked Ziggler. “Because I can,” responded Corbin. He then walked to the back. I liked that segment for Corbin; felt different, and got him heel heat without having to expose him in the ring.

– The Miz takes on A.J. Styles, next.

[Commercial Break]

– Moments ago, Baron Corbin attacked Dolph Ziggler, from behind, before their scheduled match.


An “A.J. Styles” chant serenaded the two men at the outset of the match. Miz was in control early on. A bodyslam took Styles down. Styles responded with offense of his own, including a jumping knee-drop. Muta Lock by Styles. After a brief respite outside the ring, Miz took back over inside the ring. That is, until Styles nailed Miz with his trademark dropkick. Knee-lift by Miz to continue the back-and-forth affair. Spinning heel kick sent Miz outside the ring once again. Miz hid behind Maryse outside the ring to get the advantage. He dropped Styles throat-first across the top of the barricade. They went to break at 4:17 of the match.

[Commercial Break]

Back at 7:30 with Miz putting the boots to Styles in the corner. Corner clothesline, then a double axe-handle off the top by Miz. Still, he was barely able to register a two-count on Styles. Miz set Styles up on the top rope. Styles headbutted Miz to the canvas. Before Styles could fly, Miz tripped him up and crotched hm. Before Miz could hit a suplex, Styles dove down underneath him. They ended up colliding in mid-ring with both going for cross-body blocks. Styles went into his comeback, which included a pump-handle gut-buster. Miz took out A.J.’s legs and DDT’d him. Skull-Crushing Finale was sought, but couldn’t follow through. After the Ushigoroshi by Styles, Miz ended up locking in the figure-four. Styles caught a charging Miz with the Calf Crusher. Miz was just able to grasp the bottom rope. Victory roll by Styles for two. Miz grabbed Styles by the hair, but Styles hit the Pele kick. Miz was ready to walk out on the match, with Maryse collecting the I.C. Title. Anderson and Gallows walked down the aisle to cut off Miz’s path. Styles dove onto him with a flying forearm outside the ring. Then, back in, followed with his springboard forearm finish.

WINNER: Styles, at 16:09. The result was a no-brainer. I liked the match, but they probably could’ve shaved two or three minutes off of it, tightening it up a bit.

A few replays were shown. Styles looked on with concern from the ring over the involvement of his friends once again.

– The announcers sent it to a clip of Shane McMahon on the Ambrose Asylum from Raw. It was followed up with highlights of Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose in the main event.

– Rich Brennan was backstage with Sami Zayn and Dean Ambrose. Ambrose called Jericho and Owens “dirty, rotten scoundrels.” He said he and Zayn would make their foes feel like two pounds of leftover spotted dick. Zayn joked about the tag team names he had come up with that Ambrose had turned down. Ambrose said they’re the Rough Riders, and that’s final. Zayn said it was too sexual. Ambrose just wanted to beat up Jericho and Owens.

[Commercial Break]

– Another exterior view of London, showing the London Eye Ferris Wheel and, surprise, a phone booth NOT on the stage!

– A replay was shown of Styles getting the victory over Miz thanks in part to Anderson and Gallows.

– The newest members of the WWE roster were walking backstage when Brennan caught up to them. He asked if their actions confirmed they’re aligned with Styles. Gallows said no, Styles doesn’t need them to win – they’re just looking to make an impact. Anderson said they’ll make an impact in their in-ring debut against The Usos on Raw next week.


Big pop for Paige, naturally. Tamina worked the arm of Natalya to start. When Nattie tried to escape, Tamina pulled her down by the hair. Naomi came in and after using her athleticism to take Natalya down, she made the mistake of playing to the crowd. She was taken down in a drop toe-hold after. Paige came in, but wasn’t in long before Natalya was again the legal competitor. She was worked over by Naomi. Tamina gave Nattie an inverted atomic drop, followed up by a Naomi dropkick. A knee-drop by Tamina missed, leading to a tag to Paige at 3:56. Running knee and a good one to Naomi. Package DDT by Paige, but Tamina interfered to cost her the pin. Sharpshooter by Natalya on Tamina, and Paige got the PTO on Naomi for the tap-out win.

WINNERS: Natalya and Paige, at 5:08. There was some symbolism in that finish, with WWE wanting the hometown crowd interested in the match via Paige, plus wanting to keep Natalya strong heading into her Payback match with Charlotte.

– It’s Fandango vs. R-Truth with Goldust as the special ref, and it’s next.

[Commercial Break]

– As R-Truth came to the ring, they showed how the Goldust and Fandango team was formed for the Tag Team Tournament last week.


No entrance for Fandango. Goldust’s referee shirt was gold and black striped. Shoulder tackle by Truth. Hip-toss by Fandango and :25 seconds in, I’m wondering how this hasn’t devolved into a dance-off yet. Truth stopped Fandango and delivered a hip-toss after shaking his posterior in the general direction of Fandango. At about 1:05, they exchanged hip swivels. Goldust got in between and said they have to fight. Goldust began dancing with Fandango, then said he couldn’t do that because he’s a ref. Truth surprised Fandango with the Flatliner for the win.

WINNER: Truth, at 1:53. I can’t believe this storyline is still going on.

Truth and Goldust danced after the match.

– Tonight, Zayn and Ambrose against Owens and Jericho.

[Commercial Break]

– Enzo and Big Cass came out for a match. As they did, their win over the Dudley Boyz on Raw was shown, as was The Vaudevillains winning over The Usos and advancing in the Tag Team #1 Contender Tournament. Once in the ring, Enzo cut his trademark promo. The Vaudevillains then came out. Aiden English called Enzo’s looks “a rodent with a bad case of mange.” Enzo gave nicknames to the Vaudevillains. He also admitted he had no idea what English’s insult meant. He did say they cut hit him if they were all in that telephone booth. Simon Gotch said their opponents will learn a very harsh lesson, and it will be no laughing matter. English said they cut their teeth in the same place (NXT), but this (WWE) is a man’s world. English wanted to teach Enzo and Cass the work of a bygone era, something they represent with pride (so they’re NOT time travelers from the 20s). They made fun of Enzo’s catchphrase not being proper English. Cass simply said they’ll take care of business in the ring and become the number one contenders at Payback, calling The Vaudevillains “SAWFT.”

– The cantankerous Canucks (as called by Ranallo), Owens and Jericho, were walking backstage. They came upon two stagehands, each with a cup of popcorn. Jericho knocked one out of one’s hands, and Owens stole the other’s and began eating it as he continued walking.

[Commercial Break]

– Update: The Colons still love Puerto Rico.


Owens and Zayn seemed ready to start the match, but Owens tagged out to Jericho rather than get physical with his Payback opponent. A couple of deep arm-drags by Zayn were followed by an arm-bar. Jericho regrouped with Owens outside the ring. Jericho pushed the camera away when it got too close to their game-planning. They cut to break at 2:03 of the match.

[Commercial Break]

Back at 5:07 with Jericho in control of Ambrose. Owens tagged in and went to work on Ambrose next. Ambrose got an elbow up on a corner charge and tagged Zayn. Zayn clotheslined Jericho and knocked Owens off the apron. Jericho came off the top rope but caught a fist in the gut from Zayn. Zayn had hold of Jericho but let him go and dove onto Owens outside the ring. Blind tag made by Owens, who tripped Zayn while he was running the ropes. He brought Zayn outside the ring and threw him into the barricade. The heels, like they did with Ambrose, worked over Zayn in their corner. They both also took delight in aggravating the crowd. Lionsault connected for two. Both Zayn and Jericho ended up down, and both men made tags at 10:07 of the match. Ambrose got the better of the exchange. Owens charged at Ambrose, who low-bridged Owens out of the ring. Suicide dive by Ambrose. Jericho got involved out there and Owens was able to regain control. Dirty Deeds by Ambrose but Jericho pulled him off the cover. Zayn took out Jericho. Ambrose went to the top rope, but Jericho pushed him, which hung Ambrose up on the top rope. He fell and Owens pinned him.

WINNERS: Owens and Jericho, at 12:09.

The replay of the finish was shown. I’m not sure Lawler knew that was going to be the finish because he said that was it before the count of three and seemed surprised when it actually was. Owens and Jericho did a fair amount of trash talking from the aisle as Ambrose and Zayn recovered in the ring.

5.0 / 5
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