– Tonight’s WWE RAW opens with a graphic in memory of WWE Hall of Famer Blackjack Mulligan.
– We’re live from Los Angeles as Shane McMahon’s music hits and out he comes. Michael Cole welcomes us and he’s joined by JBL and Byron Saxton.
Shane gets a pop and fans chant his name. He thanks the fans for making Vince McMahon bring him back. He wants to get back to new faces and new matches. He announces Natalya vs. WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte with the title on the line and a new tag team tournament to start, with the winners facing WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day. He congratulates AJ Styles on being #1 contender and announces Styles vs. Sami Zayn for tonight. If Sami wins, it will be Sami vs. Styles vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat at WWE Payback. Fans pop and out comes Kevin Owens as his music hits.
Owens says Shane knocked a few screws loose when he jumped off Hell In a Cell if he really thinks Sami deserves another shot. Owens says he’s getting screwed over. Shane says it was Owens who screwed over Sami last week. Shane says Owens had opportunities and lost last week, just as he lost at WrestleMania 32. Owens says he didn’t lose at KO-Mania, he was robbed by Sami. Owens demands his rematch for tonight. Shane says that’s not how things are ran tonight and tonight may be his last night but Owens has to earn it by defeating one guy… Cesaro. The winner will earn a shot against WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz. That match is next. Shane’s music hits and they have words as Shane leaves the ring.
#1 Contenders Match: Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens
Cesaro’s music hits and he’s greeted by Shane on the stage. He comes out in a suit, then rips it off to reveal his gear. Cesaro heads to the ring as fans cheer. He stops at the Cesaro Section and we go to commercial.
Back from the break and they go at it but Owens hits the ropes and fans boo. They trade holds and go to the mat with Cesaro in control for a 1 count. Owens rolls out of the ring and fans cheer Cesaro. We see Maryse and The Miz watching backstage. Owens comes back in and they lock up. Cesaro takes him down with a headlock. Owens turns it around and yells that he has the best headlock, he’s the headlock master. Cesaro turns it around again and Owens goes back to the floor upset. Owens knocks JBL’s cowboy hat off the table but picks it back up and apologizes. Owens comes back in and unloads on Cesaro. Cesaro takes chops and drops Owens with an uppercut. Owens rolls to the apron and drops Cesaro’s shoulder on the rope. Owens comes in and goes to work on the injured shoulder. Cesaro rolls to the floor for a breather but Owens follows and sends him into the ring post.
They bring it back in and Owens keeps control. Owens plays to the crowd and covers Cesaro for a 1 count before going back to work on the arm. Cesaro finally turns it around and hits a running uppercut in the corner. Cesaro runs into a boot. Owens tries for a running uppercut but misses. Cesaro cranks up the Uppercut Train on Owens now. Cesaro with a 2 count. More back and forth as Cesaro gets sent back into the ring post. We go to commercial with Cesaro on the floor.
Back from the break and they get up to trade shots. We see Cesaro hit a big gutwrench off the ropes during the break. Cesaro drops Owens now and nails a stomp for a 2 count. Owens runs into a boot. Cesaro goes to the top for a crossbody but Owens rolls through and applies a Crossface. Owens drags Cesaro back away from the ropes. Cesaro turns it into a 2 count and then the Sharpshooter.
The hold is broken as we see Maryse and Miz watching backstage. Fans chant “this is awesome” now. Owens drops Cesaro with a superkick and goes to the top for a big Frogsplash but Cesaro kicks out just in time. Owens goes for the pop-up powerbomb but Cesaro avoids it and hits a spinning uppercut off the second rope. Cesaro goes for the Cesaro Swing now but the bad shoulder goes out. Owens takes advantage and pulls him into the turnbuckle. Owens goes for the pop-up powerbomb but Cesaro counters. They both roll through. Cesaro hits the Neutralizer for the win and #1 contendership.
– After the match, Cesaro celebrates as we see Maryse and The Miz looking on again and the don’t look happy. Cesaro celebrates with fans at ringside before we go to the announcers.
– We get a look back at last week and WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte being presented the new title by Lita, then the confrontation with Natalya. We go to Charlotte and Ric Flair backstage now. Charlotte says it’s only been 8 days since she won the title and she should be on “Legends with JBL” instead of defending against Natalya tonight. Flair agrees and isn’t sure if he’s more disgusted with Natalya for thinking she’s that good or Shane for trying to be a big shot. Dr. Phil appears and introduces himself. He says he’s been watching Charlotte’s rise. He says she’s intelligent, hard working and committed. He says she sees the bond Charlotte has with her dad but now he’s holding her back. Phil says Flair is actually corrupting her and getting in her way, not letting her be herself by giving her dirty tricks. Phil asks Charlotte why she’s letting her dad bring her down. He tells her to stand on her own two feet instead of leaning on this guy. Charlotte gets upset and asks how dare he. She’s going to chop his hillbilly butt all the way back to Texas. Phil goes on and says Charlotte is better than Flair, she doesn’t need him. Flair has been speechless. Charlotte walks off and Phil eggs her on. Flair finally throws a big “whooo!” in Phil’s face but he gives some right back and Flair leaves.
– We see Owens yelling at Shane McMahon about getting screwed. He says whatever happens to Sami Zayn tonight is Shane’s fault. Shane says Owens doesn’t threaten him, so Shane is having him escorted from the building. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day are out. Xavier Woods starts talking about how the WWE tag team division is on fire. He says so many teams want a piece of them. Kofi Kingston asks who actually deserves a shot. Big E says we will see as a tournament to crown new #1 contenders begins tonight, sponsored by Booty O’s cereal. They hit the ring and we see a graphic for the tournament with 8 teams – The Lucha Dragons, The Dudley Boyz, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, The Ascension, The Usos, Curtis Axel and Heath Slater, The Vaudevillains, R-Truth and Goldust. They introduce the first match.
Tag Team Tournament Match: The Lucha Dragons vs. The Dudley Boyz
Sin Cara and WWE United States Champion Kalisto are out first. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and officials are checking on Kalisto at ringside as Bubba Ray Dudley screams. Cara got sent to the floor during the commercial and landed hard. D-Von Dudley wastes no time and goes to work. D-Von ends up taking control of Cara in the ring. Cara fights back with chops but gets dropped. Bubba tags in and works over Cara as Kalisto is still being checked on. Bubba pounds on Cara and plays to the crowd for mostly boos. D-Von tags in and takes chops from Cara. Cara with a springboard crossbody as fans chant for tables. Cara with a back elbow and a shot to Bubba on the apron.
Cara keeps control of D-Von and hits a springboard moonsault. Bubba tags in and Cara but he doesn’t see it. They hit the 3D for the win to advance in the tournament.
Winners: The Dudley Boyz
– After the match, the music hits and out comes Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady to interrupt. Enzo speaks from the stage and does his usual introduction as fans go along with it. Bubba tells Enzo and the fans to shut their mouths. He calls Enzo and Cass young punks. Bubba says they paved the way for guys like Enzo and Cass. D-Von tells them they’re not the best tag team in the business and the only reason they exist is because of The Dudley Boyz. Enzo and Cass fire back with promos, ending it with the crowd helping them spell “sawft” at The Dudleyz.
– Still to come, Roman Reigns will speak. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see Kevin Owens being escorted from the building by security.
– We go to the ring and out comes WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns to a mixed reaction. The music stops and fans boo more as Reigns takes the mic.
Reigns says it’s all good because he’s not a good guy, he’s not a bad guy, he’s THE guy. Reigns talks about how he respects both AJ Styles and Sami Zayn for winning titles all over the world but they’ve never won THE championship. Reigns says he plans on being champion for a long time… he’s interrupted by the music and out comes The League of Nations.
Sheamus says Reigns is confident but might not be so confident if he was facing one of The Lads at Payback. Reigns isn’t intimidated by The League. Sheamus says they got rid of their weakest link last week and they’re not happy about being left out of the Fatal 4 Way. Rusev says he’s stronger and better looking than Reigns, so he should be the face of WWE. Reigns says he just proved he’s the ass of WWE. Alberto Del Rio says maybe one of them would have won the Fatal 4 Way last week and any of them can kicks Reigns’ ass for the title. Reigns invites them to the ring for a triple beatdown. They rush the ring and go at it until the lights go out. It’s The Wyatt Family. They come back on and the two teams start brawling. Reigns and The Wyatt Family clear the ring.
Wyatt and Reigns stare each other down. Shane comes out to the stage and announces two members of The League vs. Reigns and Bray Wyatt for tonight’s main event. Shane’s music hits as The League talks trash at ringside. Braun Strowman stares them down and they leave as Reigns looks on.
– Still to come, Styles vs. Zayn and Natalya vs. Charlotte. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get another vignette for Primo and Epico from Puerto Rico.
– We go to the ring and out comes Dr. Phil.
WWE Women’s Title Match: Natalya vs. Charlotte
Natalya makes her way out for the next match as Dr. Phil heads to ringside. WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is out next with WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte in her new robe. Saxton gets a word with Dr. Phil at ringside. He’s observing this match to see if Charlotte takes his advice, lives up to the title of champion and doesn’t cheat.
Lilian Garcia does formal ring introductions. Charlotte goes for a takedown but Natalya blocks it. They go to the mat and back up, trading holds. Charlotte backs Natalya into the corner and they lock up again. Natalya takes Charlotte down and applies a leg lock. Charlotte gets free with a boot to the mouth. They lock up and Charlotte hits a spinebuster for a 2 count. Charlotte with forearms to the face but Natalya catches her in an armbar. Charlotte breaks it by getting to the bottom rope. Natalya gets a pop as Charlotte goes to the floor and regroups with Flair. Dr. Phil looks on as Charlotte comes back in. Natalya catches a kick and slams her on her face. Natalya runs over her back and hits the dropkick. Charlotte goes back to the floor.
Charlotte comes back in and takes control. She pulls her knee pad down and drops knees for a 2 count. We go to commercial with Charlotte in control.
Back from the break and Charlotte is in control but Natalya catches her in the armbar again. Charlotte with the Figure Four. They break and Charlotte applies the Sharpshooter on Natalya. Natalya breaks it. Charlotte with a big chop. Natalya unloads and hits a German suplex. Natalya goes for another but Charlotte blocks it. Natalya with the discus clothesline. Natalya goes for the Sharpshooter but Charlotte blocks it for a 2 count. Charlotte with a big boot and a 2 count.
Charlotte keeps control and hits a suplex as Flair looks on. She wastes some time and goes up top for the moonsault but Natalya moves. Natalya goes for the Sharpshooter and locks it in. Flair gets under the bottom rope but the referee orders him out. Flair pulls the referee to the floor and they argue. We see Charlotte tapping out but the referee’s back is turned. The referee calls for the disqualification and Charlotte retains.
Winner by DQ: Natalya
– After the bell, Lilian makes the announcement and Charlotte grabs the title. Natalya chases her out of the ring as Charlotte’s music hits and The Flairs leave up the ramp. Saxton gets more comments from Dr. Phil at ringside. He doesn’t like how Charlotte used underhanded tactics but he’s proud of the WWE women’s division. Cole thanks Dr. Phil as we go to replays and come back to Charlotte taunting Natalya on the ramp.
– We get a look at Kevin Owens attacking Sami Zayn backstage last week. Renee Young is with Sami now. Sami says he spent his entire life getting ready for this opportunity. He says Owens tried to take it away from him but he’s had two things that got him this far – heart and soul, something Owens and all the tables in the world can’t take from him. Sami says hes ready and didn’t come this far to lose. AJ Styles appears for a pop. AJ agrees with what Sami says because he was there all those years. AJ says they’re both finally in WWE but he’s the only #1 contender and he plans on keeping it that way. AJ walks off and we hear fans singing “ole!” to end the segment.
Tag Team Tournament Match: The Usos vs. Curtis Axel and Heath Slater
We go to the ring and out come The Usos. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and the Social Outcasts are out. Curtis Axel starts out with Jimmy Uso and they go at it. Uso takes control early on and tags in Jey Uso for a big shot off the top. Axel hits a running knee to the head and unloads with kicks before Slater comes in. Slater with a suplex as Adam Rose plays tot he crowd. Slater wastes time and covers for a 2 count. Slater with stomps in the corner now.
Axel tags back in and keeps control of Jey. Axel keeps Uso grounded in the middle of the ring with a headlock now. Uso gets up but Axel nails a dropkick. Slater comes back in with more offense and another tag to Axel for quick moves in the corner. Slater with a close 2 count on Jey. Slater and Axel go to the floor for a victory lap around the ring with Rose and Bo Dallas. Jimmy Uso tags in and Slater gets rolled up for the win while the Out
Winners: The Usos
– After the match, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson come over the barrier and hit the ring. They take out The Usos in the ring and on the floor, leaving them laying after a vicious beatdown. They’re backed away by officials and leave back over the barrier as fans cheer. Gallows waves bye back at the ring to taunt The Usos.
– Still to come, The League vs. Reigns and Wyatt. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see a replay of Gallows and Anderson debuting, plus Cesaro’s win.
– Maryse is backstage yelling at a crew member as WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz just sits there. She’s upset because there’s a certain color of M&M’s in the jar he doesn’t like. Jojo appears for comments but Maryse is rude to her too. The Miz cuts a promo and says he’s Cesaro’s kryptonite. Cesaro appears and says he’s going to roll out the red carpet version of his uppercuts, just for The Miz.
AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn
We go to the ring and out comes AJ Styles to a pop. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Sami Zayn to a pop. If he wins this match, he will join Styles and Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat at WWE Payback.
They lock up and trade holds to start. We get an early stalemate and it looks like Sami gets his lip busted. They lock up again and Sami rolls AJ up for a 2 count. Another roll up and another stand off. Lots more back and forth. Styles slams Sami for a pin attempt. They go to the corner for a clean break but Sami nails a big chop. They lock up in the middle of the ring and Sami applies a headlock. They run the ropes and AJ hits a dropkick right to the face.
AJ with some stiff shots and a snap suplex for another 2 count. AJ ends up knocking Sami to the floor with an elbow. AJ jumps to the apron and catches Sami with a knee to the face. AJ brings Sami back in for a 2 count. Sami dumps Styles to the floor next. Sami runs the ropes and dives out onto AJ for a big pop. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Styles has Sami down. They get up and Styles hits strikes, then a big clothesline. Styles keeps control with a splash int he corner and a pumphandle slam into his knee for a 2 count. Styles drops Sami on his knee for another 2 count. More back and forth and a Styles Clash attempt. Sami with a crossbody from the top for a 2 count. Sami with a big DDT out of the corner for another close 2 count. Styles fights out of a hold and nails a pele kick.
Sami ducks the Phenomenal Forearm and hits a Blue Thunderbomb for a close 2 count. AJ gets the Calf Crusher applied. Sami makes it to the bottom rope and breaks the hold. Styles goes to the top but Sami climbs up with a forearm. Styles fights Sami off and goes for a sunset flip but Sami counters and nails a dropkick. Sami goes to the other corner and waits. Styles blocks the Helluva Kick and hits a Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
Winner: AJ Styles
– Still to come, Reigns and Wyatt vs. The League.
– Chris Jericho is backstage walking for a special edition of The Highlight Reel. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a replay of what just happened. AJ and Sami are backstage talking when Shane walks up and congratulates them on having such a good match. He says it was awesome and walks off. They shake hands and Sami wishes AJ good luck.
– We go to the ring and out comes Chris Jericho for a special guest edition of The Highlight Reel.
Jericho tells everyone to shut up because tonight is the biggest Highlight Reel of all time. His special guest has main evented WrestleMania several times, is a former World Champion and future Hall of Famer – it’s himself. Jericho says we’re going to learn more about him tonight. He interviews himself now. Jericho says he came out here to give everyone the gift of Jericho. He tells everyone to drink it in but they boo.
Jericho goes on bragging and interviewing himself, saying no one on the WWE roster can touch him right now. The music interrupts and out comes Dean Ambrose to a big pop. Ambrose comes out with some kind of sign and a potted plant.
Ambrose has a memo from Shane McMahon but pulls out a California speeding ticket first. The memo says The Highlight Reel is being replaced by The Ambrose Asylum. That’s what is written on the large paper he has. Ambrose clips on a tie and asks Jericho if it’s on straight. Jericho isn’t happy. Ambrose welcomes us to The Ambrose Asylum and introduces his first guest, Jericho. Fans boo and Ambrose asks them not to boo his guests. Ambrose says the whole world wants to know what’s up with Jericho’s scarf. Jericho says the scarf costs $700 and Ambrose is interrupting him because he interrupted Ambrose on SmackDown. Jericho says he’s reached legendary status in WWE and he can do what he wants, say what he wants. If Ambrose was smart, he’d keep his nose clean or Jericho will bury him. Jericho tells Ambrose to look at him when he talks to him. Jericho tells Ambrose to take his stupid ass out of Jericho’s ring. Ambrose stares at him and just wants to know about the scarf. Jericho knocks the mic down. Ambrose kicks him and nails Dirty Deeds. Ambrose’s clip-on tie falls off but he puts it back on. His music hits and he thanks us for watching his show.
– Still to come, Apollo Crews. Back to commercial.
Apollo Crews vs. Adam Rose
Back from the break and Adam Rose waits with Bo Dallas as Apollo Crews makes his entrance. Crews takes control early on and sends Rose to the floor to regroup. Rose comes back in and they lock up, going to the ropes. Rose with a shot to the head and kicks in the corner.
More back and forth now. Crews turns it around with a suplex. Crews unloads but turns his attention to Dallas at ringside. Rose tries to take advantage but Crews hits an enziguri. Crews gets the win with the spin-out powerbomb.
Winner: Apollo Crews
– After the match, Crews hits the corners to celebrate as we go to replays.
– Backstage segment with Goldust, R-Truth and Dr. Phil. Truth is the one who got them into the tournament but it was Dr. Phil’s idea. Phil looks like he’s about to give them some advice but has second thoughts and leaves.
– Still to come, Sheamus and Del Rio vs. Reigns and Wyatt. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get another vignette for Primo and Epico.
– Cole leads us to a video package for Baron Corbin.
Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio
Bray Wyatt appears on the big screen for a promo on his partner for tonight. The music hits and Wyatt makes his way out as the fireflies light up the Staples Center. Wyatt hits the ring by himself as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Wyatt looks on as WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns comes out. They meet in the ring and stare each other down. The League of Nations is out next. Reigns and Wyatt have tension over who’s going to start the match. Sheamus and Wyatt start.
Sheamus strikes first but Wyatt turns it around. Wyatt with a clothesline. Wyatt turns upside down and taunts Sheamus. Wyatt unloads on Sheamus and takes him to the corner. Reigns tags in and gets in Wyatt’s face. They double team Sheamus in the corner. Reigns unloads on Sheamus with big shots in the corner now. Wyatt tags himself in and there’s more tension. Sheamus nails Wyatt but gets dropped by a big right hand. Wyatt with a 2 count. Sheamus with a knee to the gut on Wyatt. Alberto Del Rio tags in and comes off the second rope with a stomp as Sheamus hits a backbreaker and holds it over his knee. Del Rio with a 2 count.
Del Rio sends Reigns off the apron and goes back to Wyatt. Del Rio mounts Wyatt in the corner with right hands. Sheamus comes back in and takes control, keeping Wyatt grounded. Reigns finally gets a tag as fans boo. Reigns gets fired up and unloads on Sheamus. Sheamus runs into a big boot. Reigns drops Del Rio from the apron with a right hand. Reigns ends up on the floor going at it with Del Rio after Sheamus rolls out for a breather. Sheamus shoves him face first into the ring post and Reigns goes down on the floor. Reigns gets sent into the ring post again. Sheamus brings it back in the ring but tosses Reigns right back to the apron. Sheamus with the forearms to the chest now. Reigns fights it off but Del Rio kicks him in the ribs while the referee isn’t looking. Sheamus hits the forearms now.
Del Rio tags in and hits the running enziguri for a close 2 count. Del Rio turns Reigns upside down in the corner and goes to the top after wasting some time with Sheamus. Wyatt taunts Del Rio from the apron. Reigns pulls himself up in the corner and fans boo. Reigns brings Del Rio to the mat and gets himself down. Sheamus tags in and stops Reigns from tagging. Sheamus goes on to keep control but Reigns catches him in a Samoan Drop out of nowhere. They both crawl for tags. Del Rio comes in as does Wyatt. Wyatt with a clothesline and a splash in the corner. He knocks Sheamus off the apron and slams Del Rio. Wyatt with a senton. Wyatt gets hype in the corner and turns upside down. He catches Del Rio in Sister Abigail but it’s blocked. He runs the ropes and Wyatt hits the elbow. Sheamus breaks it up but Reigns sends Sheamus to the floor. Fans boo Reigns more. Reigns goes to the floor and jumps off the steel steps for a Superman punch but Sheamus blocks it and sends him into the steps. Rusev kicks Wyatt from the floor and Del Rio follows up with a Backstabbber but Wyatt kicks out at 2. The lights go out and come back on. We see Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan taking Rusev out on the floor.
Del Rio runs back in for the cross armbreaker on Wyatt but he gets caught with Sister Abigail. Wyatt covers Del Rio and Sheamus runs in but gets speared out of the air by Reigns. Wyatt gets the pin for the win.
Winners: Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt
– After the bell, Wyatt’s music hits as he and Reigns stare each other down. Rowan and Strowman come in to stand behind Wyatt. He gets closer in Reigns’ face and RAW goes off the air with the staredown.
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