NoDQ.com > Columns > J Says: MNR Thoughts 4/17/2017
Posted by J. Elam on 04/18/2017 at 12:56 PM

Starting with a recap of Braun Strowman's attack of Roman Reigns last week. WWE reported Roman suffered a (kayfabe) separated shoulder.

1. Braun Strowman opens the show. He's proud to say he broke Roman Reigns in half last week. He's proud of all the damage he did to Roman, which includes a separated shoulder and cracked ribs. And he's also proud to say Roman wouldn't be present tonight. Now that Roman's out of the way, he intends to tear through the rest of the roster and show that he's the monster among men. Cue GM Kurt Angle. He says Braun's done enough damage. Braun says there's a lot more to come. Angle then books Braun in a match with Roman at Payback, much to Braun's dismay. Braun says it'll be Roman's funeral. Angle says Braun should be suspended, and suggests he take the night off. Braun says Mick Foley tried the same schtick with him, and that didn't end well. So he wants more competition... or else.

REACTION: Braun says he wants more competition, yet he keeps beating people up when they're not expecting it. And he back down from anyone who challenges him. He's a bit of a coward if you ask me.

2. Samoa Joe vs Chris Jericho: Seth Rollins is on commentary. Joe wastes no time and goes right after Jericho, backing him into the corner. Jericho connects with a dropkick, then a flying crossbody. Jericho goes for the Walls, but Joe shoves him off. Joe charges Jericho, but gets dumped over the top. Jericho hits the dropkick on the apron as we head to break. Back from break, and Joe's working over Jericho. Jericho lands the axe handle off the top rope. Joe catches Jericho with a scoop Powerslam. Jericho dodges an elbow drop, and hits the Lionsault. Jericho runs to the corner, but Joe catches him with a Ura-nage. He goes for a Senton, but Jericho counters it with the Walls of Jericho. Joe manages to fight out of it and locks in the Coquina Clutch. Jericho tries to break out of it, but Joe cinches it in by wrapping his legs around him. Jericho taps out.

After the match, Joe asks Seth if he remembers what it sounded like when he arrived in WWE. He remembers the sound of Seth's screams as his ligaments "snapped." He says it was just business. But due to what Seth did to Triple H, and as a result Stephanie McMahon, now it's personal. Seth says Joe almost cost him his career, but now he's got him one on one at Payback.

REACTION: Jericho losing here is just another indicator that he's losing to Owens at Payback. He's scheduled to tour with Fozzy anyway.

3. The Club walking backstage, and The Drifter is playing his guitar. The Golden Truth walking backstage also, and they're ambushed by Braun Strowman. Officials break it up (hey it's Finlay and Jamie Noble!).

One of the referees (John Cone?) walks into Braun's locker room. He reminds him that Angle gave him the night off. Braun says he'll leave when he wants to.

4. The Club vs Enzo and Cass: Anderson makes a United Airlines joke about the Golden Truth beatdown segment. He says he and Gallows left Japan for WWE for 2 reasons: To be mean, and make green. Gallows wants some competition so they can do both tonight.
Cass whip Anderson into the corner, then throws Enzo into him. Cass clubs Anderson with an elbow to the upper back/neck. Cass throws a few shots to Anderson's abdomen, then hits him with a shoulder block. He clotheslines him out of the ring. Enzo races around, and Cass slings him into Gallows. He then launches Enzo into Anderson as we head to break.

Back from break, Gallows is in control of Enzo. Enzo fights out of the corner and tries to tag in Cass, but Gallows grabs his leg. Anderson tags in and kicks Enzo. He has Enzo in an armbar. Gallows tags in and continues working Enzo's arm. Anderson tags back in and continues attacking Enzo's arm. Enzo tries to get away, but Anderson hits him with a spinebuster. Gallows tags back. Enzo knocks him down and goes to tag in Cass, but Anderson (who just tagged in) intercepted by grabbing his leg. That was well done. Anderson has Enzo in the corner, but misses an attack. That gives Enzo the opening he needs to tag in Cass. Now Cass is cleaning house. He hits the side-slam to Anderson, followed by the Empire Elbow. They go for the Rocket Launcher, but Enzo gets thrown onto Gallows, rather than Anderson. Cass with a big boot to Gallows, and both men go over the top rope onto the floor. Enzo goes for the G-DT, but Anderson catches him, then throws him onto the ropes. He rolls him up for the win.

5. MizTV: Miz says last week, he and Maryse shocked the world when they showed up on Raw last week. He begins to mention Dean Ambrose, but before he can continue, Ambrose's music hits and he makes his way to the ring. He gets the crowd to chant "O-H-I-O" with him, then jokes Maryse wouldn't get it since he and Miz are from Ohio, and she's Canadian. He mocks Miz's wardrobe choice. Miz says he dresses that way because he respects what it means to be a WWE superstar. He calls Ambrose a disgrace. He doesn't like that Ambrose received so many opportunities, only to waste it. And at WM, he was barely there. He calls Ambrose lazy and complacent, hence why he hasn't broken the metaphorical glass ceiling. Ambrose says it's not about the clothes one wears, it's about heart. He doesn't care about endorsement deals or any of that; he just loves to perform, whether it's in front of 20 people, or 100,000. He says no one can do it better than he can, which is why he's IC Champ. Then he reminds Miz that he beat him for it. Maryse calls him a dirty little street rat (Aladdin reference!). She says the man makes the championship, not the other way around. Ambrose gives her the mic, and Miz starts talking about what he did for the IC title. Ambrose takes off his jacket as he's doing this. Miz calls Dean a joke, Ambrose tosses his jacket to Maryse, and starts pummeling Miz. Maryse rakes his back, distracting him. Miz tried to go for the SCF, but Dean reversed it and went for the Dirty Deeds, only for Miz to weasel out of it and escape the ring.

REACTION: I really like Ambrose's promo here. Showed a lot fire talking about how much heart he has for the business. Miz told Ambrose to put on some "Zoombaz" when he meant to say "Zubaz." That was kind of funny. Little Freudian Slip.

6. Cut to Braun Strowman dragging Kalisto around, and then throws him into a dumpster. Big Show comes in and trucks Braun into a wall while exclaiming he should pick on someone his own size.

7. TJ Perkins vs Gentleman Jack Gallagher: Neville joins them. He's sitting at ringside. Austin Aries is also joing the festivities. He grabs a chair and sits right next to Neville. Perkins grabs Gallagher's umbrella and tosses it. Gallagher hits a series of uppercuts and gets duped by Perkins, who moves at the last second, causing Gallagher to fly out of the ring. Gallagher hits a T-Bone Suplex, followed by a Gutwrench Suplex for a 2 count. Gallagher hits Perkins witha headbutt. Then he leaps off the top rope with the umbrella to the outside. He throws Perkins in the ring, and then Perkins rolls out of the ring. He throws Gallagher into Aries. Aries gets on the apron, and Neville swipes him off of it. Perkins kicks the rope into Gallagher's face, then hits his finisher for the win.

REACTION: I'm kinda liking Neville seeming to take TJ Perkins under his wing. Maybe he can gather sup some more folks and have his own king's court.

8. Apollo Crews and Akira Tozawa talking backstage. Titus O'Neil walks in and congratulates Apollo on becoming a father. Titus suggests Apollo take his career advice.

REACTION: I'm all for Titus becoming Apollo's manager. Apollo can't talk, and Titus is better at it than he is. Maybe there's something there.

9. Hardy Boyz backstage interview. Matt praises WWE's talent. Jeff says the WM return has no words to describe. Cesaro and Sheamus show up and welcome them both back to WWE. Sheamus says they earned his respect. Then he says it'll be an honor to beat the Hardys for the tag titles.

10. Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James vs Nia Jax: Fatal 4 Way match to determine the #1 contender for Bayley's Raw Women's Championship. Alexa tried to leave, but Mickie and Sasha threw her into Nia. Nia tosses Sasha and Mickie to a corner and splashes Mickie. Alexa breaks up the count, drawing Nia's ire. She hightails it, then Mickie and Sasha kick Nia out of the ring. Mickie and Sasha go back and forth, countering and reversing each other's moves. Mickie hits a neckbreaker, but Nia breaks the count. Sasha hits a crossbody through the second rope onto Nia and Mickie as we head to break.

Back from break and Alexa is working over Mickie. She hits the ropes, Nia intercepts her and slams her. Sasha gets slammed onto her, followed by Mickie. Nia now has Mickie in a headlock. Mickie fights out of if, but Nia just tosses her into the corner. Alexa gets tossed next. Sasha tries her hand, but gets met with some back elbows, followed by a bear hug. Sasha counters it with a guillotine, but Nia reverses that with a modified suplex. Mickie breaks the count, until Nia grans her and chokes her in mid-air. Mickie reverses it into and armbar. Nia powers out of it and throws Mickie into Sasha in the corner. Alexa thinks twice before jumping off the top onto Nia. Sasha hits the double knees on Alexa, but Nia breaks the count. Mickie slides under legs and trips up Nia, causing her to hit the apron. Sasha has Alexa in the Bank Statement, but Mickie breaks it up just as Alexa was about to tap. Sasha was going for a superplex to Mickie, but Nia hit her from behind and held her on her shoulders. She used Sasha as a battering ram and knocks Mickie off the top rope and onto the floor. Nia hits a Samoan Drop, but Alexa clocks her before she could pin Sasha. Alexa pins Sasha for the win.

REACTION: Alexa and Sasha gave each other some mean side-eye the whole time. There's definitely some tension between them. Alexa spent about half the match ducking out of the ring. Nia still needs work. I just don't buy her as this monster. There's potential, but she hasn't put it together yet. She was brought up from NXT too early.

11. Big Show asked about Braun. He says Braun needs to find out what it's like to be intimidated. He's going to give him a taste of his own medicine... giant style.

12. Curt Hawkins vs Finn Balor: Balor hits a chop, then a sling blade. He kicks Hawkins into the corner and hits the Coup de Grace for the win. Match went like 20 seconds.

REACTION: Surprised to see Balor back in action so soon. He was reported to have been concussed last week by Jinder Mahal. And as we know, concussions are no laughing matter and shouldn't be taken lightly.

13. Chris Jericho backstage interview. He can't wait to get his hands on Kevin Owens. He gets the interviewer to forget his own name and gets ready to put him on The List for it. Just as he's about to do so, "The Drifter" walks by, and he gets put on The List instead.

14. Bray Wyatt asks what we're afraid of. The dark? The unkown? The monsters under the bed? Fear brings us together. It is our common bond. He's about to break us free. Fear lives in his house of horrors. He can smell the fear. He says other people's pain will fuel him.

REACTION: Good to see Bray's still doing his rambling thing. They honestly mean nothing. All he does is lose when it matters most.

15. Dana and Alicia looking at a monitor until Emma shows up. She gets Alicia mad at Dana. Guess she's really pissed at Dana for not being by her side again.

16. Jeff Hardy (with Matt Hardy) vs Cesaro (with Sheamus): Jeff dropkicks Cesaro out of the ring, then hits a crossbody off the apron. Cesaro catches Jeff while running the ropes, and slams him for a 2 count. Jeff tries to catch a breather on the outside, but Cesaro catches him with an uppercut. Jeff hits a jawbreaker, then sets up for the Swanton, but Cesaro rolled out of the ring.

Cesaro has Jeff in a headlock, but Jeff fights out. Cesaro steps aside, and Jeff slides right out of the ring and faceplants. Cesaro goes for some pin attempts, but Jeff kicked out. Jeff breaks out of another headlock, and reverses an Irish Whip attempt into a clothesline. Cesaro connects with an uppercut for a 2 count. Jeff hits the inverted Atomic Drop, then the shot to the groin. Jeff went for a Twist of Fate, but Cesaro reversed it into an uppercut. Jeff goes for a Swanton, but Cesaro uppercuts him. Cesaro goes for a superplex off the to rope, but Jeff hangs him up on the rope, before dropkicking him off. Jeff hits a Whisper in the WInd for a 2 count. Jeff counters a Neutralyzer into a Twist of Fate, then hits the Swanton for the win. Sheamus and Cesaro offer handshakes.

REACTION: Pretty solid match. Jeff's first singles match in WWE in 8 years. Looked like he may have dinged up his knee at one point.

17. Interviewer outside the Trainer's Room. Both Golden Truth and Kalisto are expected to recover.
Slater and Rhyno show up. Rhyno has cheese and crackers. Slater's excited to be back on Raw. The fun is over once the see Braun angrily walking by.

18. Big Show vs Braun Strowman: Braun throws Big Show into the barricade. Show throws him into the steps, then into the barricade. Now they're in the ring and the match officially starts. Both guys go for a hip toss, but it leads to Show tossing Braun over the top. He hits a missile dropkick under the bottom rope. He throws Braun into the steps again. Back in the ring, and Braun connects with a dropkick of his own. Show has Braun in a wristlock. Braun does a kip up, followed by a hip toss. Both guys go for body slams, and Big Show wins the battle. Big Show went for a Chokeslam, but Braun reversed it with a vertical suplex. Braun keeping Big Show down on the ground. Braun goes for a Powerslam, but Big Show fought out of it, then hits a corner splash. Big Show setting Braun up for a superplex, but Braun fights out of it. He leaps off the ropes, into a Chokeslam for a nearfall. Show went for the KO Punch, but Braun ducked, and hit the Powerslam for a nearfall. Strowman headed to the top rope, but Big Show met him there. Now he's trying again for a superplex off the top rope. Braun prevented that one by straddling Big Show on the top rope. Braun leapt off the ropes again, and was met with the KO Punch for another nearfall. Big Show went to the top rope, but Braun met him there, and hits a superplex, imploding the ring. Refs stop the match, but Braun is already back on his feet.

REACTION: They've only done the ring breaking spot about 3 times or so. I think the last time was in 2011. I expected the ring to break during this match, so I can't say I got excited once it happened.
I feel like Braun's being booked too strongly, if that's even such a thing. He's booked as this invincible monster who's impervious to pain. And there's no one on the roster who's seen as strong enough to keep him down. They're trying to make Roman that guy, but Braun just owns him each time they meet. And the times Roman gets the upper hand, Braun brushes it off, making Roman look weaker. As if things weren't bad enough for Roman.

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