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This is our last Monday Night Raw before Payback! If there are going to be any last minute shake-ups then it is sure to happen tonight. Expect to see a lot of AJ Styles, Roman Reigns, and Gallows & Anderson as they are main storyline for the first PPV after WrestleMania. Also, I expect we see The Vaudevillians along with Enzo & Cass in the same ring as they build toward their number one contenders match this coming Sunday, and we will see builds to the rest of the matches on the Payback card as well. Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose, Sami vs. Kevin Owens, The Miz vs. Cesaro for the Intercontinental Title, and of course Natty vs. Charlotte for the Women's Championship. Don't expect anything too crazy, but a normal build-up before PPV Monday Night Raw!
PROMO: The first promo belongs to Shane-O-Mac who is back in charge tonight. Shane thanks the fans because he is in charge again because of them, and then says that Payback is the first Pay-Per-View of a new era. Before he can continue, our comes Stephanie McMahon who has been MIA since WrestleMania. Stephanie then plays to the crowd saying she was born in Hartford, and they are her people. Stephanie says that Shane should recognize her importance, and that officials of Hartford have called and asked for a way to honor "Hartford's favorite daughter". Then she says that this will be Shane's last Monday Night Raw in charge. At Payback, Mr. McMahon will decide who is officially running Monday Night Raw. Shane then asks who would like to see The Authority running Raw, and its met with boos. But, of course, he is met with cheers when asked if they'd like to see him run the show. Stephanie says she is thankful that their father doesn't listen to the fans. She has it on good authority that things won't go his way at Payback. Shane then asks Stephanie to leave the ring, to which she refuses. Shane says he is still in charge tonight, and since Stephanie won't leave he asks security to come down. She then leaves the ring willingly after being threatened by security. As she is leaving, she strikes one of the security guards and is thrown out of the arena. Shane then says we can get into action with our first match of the night.
MATCH: AJ Styles vs. Sheamus
RESULTS: AJ Styles wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: Great match! AJ proves he can deliver with any superstar, and Sheamus proves he still has main event potential.
PROMO: Roman and the Usos are backstage. Roman says that Gallows, Anderson, and Styles are all together. The Usos promise Roman that they have his back, and he promises the same.
PROMO: Its the New Day! They talk about how they will find out who they will face for their tag team titles. Then The Vaudevillians come out and stake their claim for the number one contendership. They say they bring back morals and values that WWE has lacked for so long unlike Enzo & Cass. Speak their name, and out they come! How you doin?! Enzo says that The Vaudevillians want to be numver one contenders, but it isn't possible. Cass says that they will walk out contenders, and everyone else is "S-A-W-F-T SAWFT". Xavier Woods exclaims that it doesn't matter who wins, because New Day rocks and will walk out champions whoever they face.
MATCH: Anderson & Gallows vs. The Usos
Anderson and Gallows continue their assault after they utterly destroyed The Usos and out comes Roman Reigns to aid his cousins. After a few punches thrown Anderson and Gallows leave the ring.
RESULTS: Gallows & Anderson win via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: Man I love this story going into Payback. Either Anderson and Gallows turn on Styles and introduce Finn for The Balor Club, or AJ turns heel and WWE has The Bullet Club. It wouldn't be called that since New Japan owns that name, but still its exciting.
PROMO: Renee asks AJ Styles how he feels going in to Payback, but as he is answering Anderson and Gallows come in asking about Roman Reigns. They say they aren't going to blow his opportunity, but they just want to make sure its a fair fight and promise they have nothing planned. They then say that they have a friendship that will last forever.
They play a video package of Sami Zayn's and Kevin Owen's 14 year long friendship and career together as the two are set to faceoff at Payback.
MATCH: Sami Zayn vs. Rusev
As Sami is heading up the ramp he gets ambushed from behind by none other than KO.
RESULTS: Sami Zayn wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: I love seeing these different match-ups and matches every week. This one didn't disappoint. The KO attack was bound to happen, but still lovely.
PROMO: Renee and Apollo Crews talk about his debut, but then Stardust drops by before their match. Apollo says how honored he is to be in the ring with him especially after being around Dusty in NXT and even came up with the name Apollo. Stardust talks about how fitting it is that a man named Apollo will be getting beat by the stars, because not even the great Dusty Rhodes can make you a Star.
MATCH: Apollo Crews vs. Stardust
RESULTS: Apollo Crews wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: Another one of these cool random match ups we've gotten to see over the last few weeks. I love Crews' athletic ability, and I've always loved the way Cody(don't tell him I called him that) has played the Stardust character. So it was a win-win for me.
PROMO: Dean Ambrose is in the ring and says that he was supposed to host another edition of Ambrose Asylum, but he isn't the mood after being attacked last week. This Sunday there will not be any talk shows, only fists thrown as he faces one of the greats in Chris Jericho. He says that Jericho cheats, Jericho cheap shots, Jericho complains, but he doesn't do any of that. He then invites Jericho to the ring, and Jericho accepts the offer as his entrance music plays. Jericho starts off hot with name calling by saying he is a disrespectful idiot, and he isn't fighting in a dump like Hartford. Y2J says he is the best in the world at what he does, and incase they've forgotten.. He wins matches, makes history, and elevates every opponent he has ever faced. This Sunday will be the match of Ambrose's career, and Jericho says that he should be thanked by having Ambrose apologize to him. Ambrose apologizes.. But apologizes that Ambrose walks around everywhere with a scarf and his Bon Jovi haircut, and sorry he has to beat him at Payback. But he isn't sorry for the attack and beat down he is going to give him now and the attack begins. Jericho then puts Ambrose in The Walls Of Jericho in the announce table.
MATCH: Emma vs. Natalya
Charlotte and Ric Flair are ringside to watch as Natty will face Charlotte for the Women's Championship Sunday at Payback. Charlotte is on the commentary team.
RESULT: Natalya wins via submission.
THOUGHTS: Just a quick match to get Natalya and Charlotte some TV time. Not a bad match though. I LOVE heel Emma. Just needed to be said.
They play a video package in honor of the late, great, and trail blazing Joan "Chyna" Laurer. May she rest in peace. Thank you for the memories, Chyna!
MATCH: Baron Corbin vs. Damien Sandow
Before the match can begin, Dolph Ziggler attacks Baron on the ramp.
RESULT: No decision.
THOUGHTS: No match.. So..
PROMO: Maryse and The Miz are in the ring, and the Miz talks about his title defense against Cesaro on Sunday. The people clearly think Cesaro will win at Payback, and the Miz isn't happy about how people don't see the benefit of him being a long-term champion. He then verbally assaults the crowd for being Cesaro fans and having "Cesaro Section" signs. Calling them nerds and loners, and says the Miz Section is much better and points to his wife. Out comes Cesaro. Cesaro isn't amused that the Miz is trying to sway fans, and says they are way too educated for that. Cesaro and the Miz agree on one thing and that is the prestige of the IC Title, and both men say they will win at Payback. As the Miz gets ready to leave he turns and attacks Cesaro but he gets caught and catches a huge uppercut. The Cesaro goes for a swing, but Maryse lays on top of her husband to stop that.
PROMO: As Roman is preparing for the main event AJ steps in and the two have a very awkward moment. AJ says he is taking Romans title, and Roman says he must have already bought ringside seats for Gallows and Anderson. The two awkwardly stare at one another.. And Roman leaves.
MATCH: Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio
I knew this would happen! In comes Anderson and Gallows for a distraction that nearly costs Reigns, but of course he still wins..
Anderson and Gallows attack Reigns after the match, and AJ Styles comes down and stops the two and gets them to leave the ring. As he turns around he eats a Superman Punch, as Gallows and Anderson are back in the ring Styles hits a Phenomenal Forearm.
RESULT: Roman wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: I knew the invasion was coming. It was easy to see, but I'm glad it happened. I'm super excited to see how Payback ends!
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