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This is the RAW View for the May 2, 2016 episode of Monday Night RAW...
Tonight's episode was... surprisingly forward thinking, setting up matches for the upcoming Extreme Rules event, such as it being official that the Vaudevillians will get the Tag Title shot against the New Day &, Rusev winning a Battle Royal to becoming #1 Contender for the Kalisto's United States Championship.
A strong focus early on the show was on the Intercontinental Championship when Quebeccer Pierre... I mean Kevin Owen interrupted the opening talk segment between Shane and Stephanie McMahon, wanting his 'rematch' for the title he lost, then Cesaro coming out, reminding the world of what went down with the distraction between Owens and Jacques, I mean Sami Zayn brawling, which lead to the Miz retaining the title. This is looking like it'll lead to a fatal four way match. Which makes sense, it allows Cesaro and Miz to cover for the lame duck overly rehearsed match routine of the Quebeccers that they've been doing for way too damn long.
The next big storyline progress was Charlotte and Ric Flair bringing Charles Robinson out in regards to the Screw Job finish from last night. What was cool is that WWE actually brought up the fact that Robinson was the lackey for Flair back in WCW, where he actually dressed up as Ric Flair and is one of the few times the WWE made use of HISTORY to add onto the story. Nattie coming out and confronting Ric about paying off the referee was, knocking out Charlotte and putting the sharpshooter on The Nature Boy was awesome. This lead to Stephanie booking a submission match between Charlotte and Natalya for Extreme Rules as a being a fair and impartial authority figure. This was great use of her.
Something that didn't quite work for me was the use of Stephanie McMahon being used to try to throw some gas on the fire for the storyline with Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho, by canceling the Ambrose Asylum and reinstating the Highlight Reel, which lead to a confrontation and brawl between the two Superstars that resulted in Jericho busting a potted plant on the back of Ambrose's head. I feel the same thing to continue this rather lukewarm feud without going backward with the Highlight Reel being reinstated, such as Ambrose hosting a segment and Jericho attacking him.
There was some nice matches throughout the night, in particular Becky Lynch vs Emma that sees some storyline progression with them if you've been following 'exclusive' content on the WWE's social media outlets and website. Becky and Emma are great performers and is a reminder as to why the likes of Cameron, Eva Marie and Lana need to be kept out of the ring at all costs. The Battle Royal was a lot of fun, with hope that Zack Ryder could win when it came down to him and Rusev, though it appeared Sin Cara was injured... again, and we saw the return to RAW of Titus O'Neil.
Speaking of Titus... wonder why the 'Natalya on Titus' ad was pulled... cause it's not like it was suggestive... or was it?
So now we're down to the storyline of the WWE Title, with the match set for Extreme Rules, there wasn't exactly any progress, what we got was a little backstage segment with AJ Styles with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson being confronted by Roman Reigns and the Usos which lead to a six-man tag that closed the show... it was a fine TV main event, but it was firm reminder that Roman is best in small doses. Anderson and Gallows twking him out with the boot of doom and AJ hitting a Phenomenal Forearm on Jimmy Uso (I think) lead to the finish).
The real story came after the match with Anderson and Gallows holding Roman as AJ Styles holds a chair, which AJ threw down. One of the Usos nailed AJ with the chair, there was brawl, AJ got the chair hit the Usos, which Roman saw and he laid out AJ... which didn't go over to well with the crowd, but did set up the fact that they are indeed are having an extreme rules match with Roman bouncing AJ around and power-bombing him through the broadcast table.
So again, this was a RAW that was building towards Extreme Rules, and overall, it was pretty good. If you disagree, leave your comments in the comment section below.