We’ve reached maximum hype for WWE Payback and it’s all getting underway tonight at WWE RAW.
The latest live event will tape at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut and things are going to get pretty darn interesting. That means we’ve got pre-Payback rivalries, some serious smack-talk, a possible appearance from the McMahon family and even a tag team debut. Read on for a complete breakdown of how things went at this week’s event:
The McMahon Family Is Still a Fighting Mess
Shane McMahon opened up RAW and it didn’t take long for the rest of the family to join in on the drama. Vince McMahon stepped into the ring with his son and announced that Sunday’s PPV event Payback will decide who will run RAW going forward; Shane or Stephanie.
Let’s just say that didn’t go over well with Stephanie. She was escorted out by security. She slapped a guard. Shane sang “good bye” while gloating in the ring.
AJ Styles vs. Sheamus
Winner: AJ Styles
Was there really any doubt? Styles is the No. 1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He wasn’t going to lose to Sheamus on RAW.
That doesn’t mean it wasn’t close.
Sheamus had his moments and even came close to forcing Styles to tap out, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Styles gets the win with a Phenomenal Forearm. After the win, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson come out on the stage in gear and give props to Styles.
The Usos vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Winners Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
That’s one way to make your in-ring debut.
Despite a back-and-forth start to the match, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson came out on top against The Usos, hitting the Magic Killer for the win. It got fairly interesting after the match, though.
After the win, Anderson brought Jey back into the ring and started to beat down while Gallows pounded on Jimmy. That led to Roman Reigns intervening. Check it out:
Reigns cleared Gallows out of the rings and sustained a bit of a rush from Anderson while fans in Hartford boo’ed.
Sami Zayn vs. Rusev
Winner: Sami Zayn
This one got a little crazy. Rusev was just milliseconds away from defeating Sami Zayn before the Superstar was able to roll out and earn the victory.
Then, Lana attacked Sami Zayn. Yup. Lana threw her heels at Sami Zayn. That was a really thing that actually occurred on RAW. Oh, and then this happened:
So, Sunday at Payback is going to be pretty interesting.
Stardust vs. Apollo Crews
Winner: Apollo Crews
This match happened. It wasn’t all that exciting. Crews won quickly.
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
This wasn’t a match per se, but there was still some serious action and enough to warrant a highlight spot. Mostly because this happened:
Emma vs. Natalya
Natalya kind of won out of nowhere. Emma controlled for much of the match and even got to a two count, but Natalya hit on the Sharpshooter and got the lock for the win.
After the match, Natalya and Charlotte engage in a stare down and The Flairs tell Natalya to go away.
Damien Sandow vs. Baron Corbin
This one never happened.
Baron Cobin gets introduced and is walking down towards the ring to take on Damien Sandow when, out of nowhere, Dolph Zigger attacks from behind and, basically, beats down.
Sandow runs away. Ziggler is restrained by refs and, well, that’s it.
Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio
…and Roman Reigns vs. Anderson and Gallows and Styles.
First, the match against Alberto Del Rio. Reigns gets booed a lot. He very obviously doesn’t care. He screams. He shakes his hair. He hits a spear for the win.
Then after the bell, Anderson and Gallows sprint into the ring and start attacking Reigns. AJ Styles joins the fray and tries to pull his friends off the WWE champ, but Reings responds by slamming a Superman punch into his Payback foe. That leads to Styles landing a Phenomenal Forearm on Reigns.
The two lay in the ring as we fade to black.
The WWE has already announced the following Superstars will make an appearance on RAW tonight: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Sheamus and WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte.
In addition to the above Superstars, the WWE has also announced that Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson will make their debuts against The Usos. The pair, who are longtime friends of AJ Styles, hyped the match on Twitter on Sunday afternoon with Gallows tweeting out:
Meanwhile, Dean Ambrose is expected to retaliate against Chris Jericho after his post-match beating on SmackDown last week and Baron Corbin is moving forward to try and steal Dolph Ziggler’s spotlight.
Of course, there’s also some out-of-match drama slated as well. Shane McMahon has been running RAW for several weeks now after his father put him in charge following WrestleMania, but there’s speculation that may becoming to an end tonight. The WWE posted this for tonight’s show:
Shane McMahon continued his hot streak across the pond in London, running his third consecutive Raw thanks to the unbelievable support of the WWE Universe. However, Monday night’s hottest show now ventures to Hartford, Conn., mere minutes from The Authority’s offices in WWE Headquarters.
We haven’t seen Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on Raw since WrestleMania, nor have we gotten their thoughts on Shane-O-Mac’s job performance. Will The Authority arrive to put an end to Shane’s new era, or will they actually deem him “best for business” at the helm of Raw?
At one point the entire McMahon family had been advertised for RAW in Hartford, but none of them are listed as official anymore. They’ve also reportedly been pulled from from the May 2nd RAW in St. Louis, the May 9th RAW in Omaha, NE and the May 23rd RAW in Baltimore.
Expect all of that family drama to be addressed, in one way or another, tonight. RAW airs at 8 p.m. ET on USA.