Raw Recap: May 16, 2016
S2016 episode 1,199 Aired on May 16, 2016

It’s been all about the family and The Club the last few weeks, but come Sunday at Extreme Rules, it’s going to be a much simpler case of one-on-one: Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The showdown before the showdown between champion and challenger, however, came in Flair Country. Surprisingly, the face-to-face didn’t turn into a head-to-head fight, mainly because once Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson arrived on the scene to back up Styles, The Usos made their own appearance at Reigns’ side to even the odds. And their presence gave Reigns enough of an advantage to uppercut Styles out of the ring.

Chris Jericho has spent the last several months calling his opponents some variation of “stupid idiot.” If that’s the case, The Ayatollah of Rock ’n’ Rolla has become the very thing he despises the most. After demanding Dean Ambrose apologize for destroying his — yep, still — $15,000 jacket, Jericho found himself goaded into accepting Ambrose’s challenge of a match at Extreme Rules without first asking for the stipulation.

As it turns out, the bout will be contested as an Asylum Match, a contest of Ambrose’s own twisted devising: a Steel Cage with weapons (among them a barbed-wire-wrapped two-by-four, a strait-jacket and a potted plant), where escape is not an option. Just for emphasis, The Lunatic Fringe had the asylum itself lowered down from the ceiling, giving his foe a good, long time to — what's the phrase again — drink it in, man.

This Sunday, The New Day will battle The Vaudevillains, who proclaim to be products of a bygone era. So to better understand their opponents, New Day appeared on Raw with a “New Day-lorean” time machine that, catapulted them back to old-timey days (after a brief detour where Kofi Kingston was Jamaican again). But right as they got to the point of their trip — no matter the era, they’re still the champions — The Vaudevillains arrived to beat them back to the future, tossing Xavier Woods through the time machine to punctuate their attack.

It’s not often Ric Flair gets wheeled and dealed — let alone in Flair Country. But that’s exactly what went down in Raw’s de facto main event, the first-ever WWE Women’s Championship Match contract signing. With Flair barred from ringside during his daughter Charlotte’s Submission Match title defense against Natalya at Extreme Rules, The Nature Boy used the signing to introduce Charlotte with all his customary panache.

Charlotte was all for preening before her hometown crowd, too — until a pair of new stipulations ruined her moment. The first? If Flair interferes Sunday, Charlotte forfeits the title. The second? If Charlotte refuses to sign, she forfeits the title. So she signed, and Flair decided to throw down against Shane McMahon. Shane-O-Mac demurred, but Stephanie did not, slapping “Naitch” across the face and leaving him to be hauled off (again) by security while Natalya forced Charlotte to tap (again).

In other action... Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro ended in a No Contest... Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn def. Intercontinental Champion The Miz & Cesaro... The Shining Stars def. Scott Jackson & Brian Kennedy... Dana Brooke def. Becky Lynch... Tyler Breeze & Fandango def. The Golden Truth... The Usos def. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson... Big Cass def. D-Von Dudley... and Alberto Del Rio def. U.S. Champion Kalisto.

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