Well, well, look who’s back. Despite all indications that Shane McMahon’s stint as Raw’s de facto showrunner last week was a one-and-done deal, overwhelming fan support handed him the keys to the Corvette for a second consecutive week. Shane picked up exactly where he left off, too, using his “new stars, new opportunities” edict to place Sami Zayn — who was bushwhacked out of last week’s Fatal 4-Way by Kevin Owens — in a match against AJ Styles. A win against Styles would add The Underdog from the Underground to WWE Payback’s WWE World Heavyweight Title Match as a third competitor.
This, unsurprisingly, was met with no shortage of resistance from Owens himself, who took Shane-O-Mac to task for showing favoritism to his former best friend and for not giving him a rematch for the Intercontinental Title he never technically lost. Shane met KO in the middle with an opportunity to become the No. 1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship. Of course, Owens would have to get through Cesaro in the process, but hey, adversity is just opportunity in disguise, right?
Sound the sirens: Cesaro is The Miz’s No. 1 contender, and The Awesome One’s holiday in the sun may well be coming to a painful, painful end. The Swiss Superman took full advantage of the opportunity given to him by Shane McMahon, beating back a fighting-mad Kevin Owens to become No. 1 contender and notching an elusive victory over The Prizefighter in the process.
He had to overcome a substantial disadvantage to do so, as Owens wisely zeroed in on Cesaro’s taped-up shoulder to leave The King of Swing doubled over in pain. Count ambidexterity as one of The Swiss Superman’s powers, then, as he simply switched arms, railroaded KO with the Uppercut Express and reversed the Pop-up Powerbomb into the Neutralizer. If that wasn’t bad enough for Owens, his continued threats to Sami Zayn after the bell got him ejected from the building by Shane-O-Mac.
So Roman Reigns says he’s the guy. Fair enough. That means he’s got to deal with the pressure. On Monday, said pressure arrived in the form of The League of Nations, now one Englishman light and looking for a rumble with the self-proclaimed face of the company. As the WWE Universe well knows, Reigns has no issue with One Versus All, but The Wyatt Family chose that moment to appear out of thin air and beat The League of Nations back right as they began to overwhelm The Big Dog.
With tensions mounting, Shane McMahon cooled the situation with a compromise by decreeing two of the League’s members would battle in Raw’s main event as a tag team against Roman Reigns and a Superstar who’s both The Big Dog’s sworn enemy and the League’s current scourge: Bray Wyatt. Innnnteresting.
Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt: bitter enemies, better teammates. Who’d have thought it? Despite The Eater of Worlds’ claim that he and The Big Dog are “mortal enemies,” he proved himself worthy of the trust he asked Reigns to give him all the same. And so he did.
Not only did the two put aside their animosity to beat back Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio of The League of Nations, but The Big Dog also ceded the ring to Wyatt to soften The Pride of Mexico up for the final push. When Rusev got involved on the side, the rest of the Wyatts came to the rescue and Wyatt capitalized, executing Sister Abigail on Del Rio while Reigns Speared an interfering Sheamus. Not bad, right? Well, even that win wasn’t enough to completely wipe out the bad blood, as the victorious team went off the air staring daggers into each other. Shane or no Shane, change happens slowly.
In other action… The Dudley Boyz def. The Lucha Dragons… WWE Women's Champion Charlotte def. Natalya via Disqualification… The Usos def. Heath Slater & Curtis Axel… AJ Styles def. Sami Zayn… Dean Ambrose transformed 'The Highlight Reel' into 'The Ambrose Asylum’… and Apollo Crews def. Adam Rose.