Raw Recap: April 18, 2016
Aired on April 18, 2016

Shane McMahon running Raw for the third straight week? Dean Ambrose’s talk show getting a second installment? This truly is madness, if not quite anarchy, in the U.K. Shane-O-Mac’s third turn at the wheel featured no shortage of upheaval, however, as WWE’s Prodigal Son summarized his "new era" of signings with a simple mantra: “We have arrived.”

No sooner had he made that proclamation than his sit-down with The Lunatic Fringe was interrupted by Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn, all riled into a frenzy from a SmackDown’s worth of aggression and looking for a donnybrook to resolve their issues. Shane had a couple solutions in mind, sanctioning Ambrose vs. Jericho and Owens vs. Zayn for WWE Payback, but even after only two weeks at the helm, the McMahon scion knew good and well where the current confrontation was heading, and made himself scarce before the fists started flying.

Being “The Guy” has been a pretty good gig for Roman Reigns of late, but the WWE World Heavyweight Champion took his first hit since WrestleMania 32 … and from a very unexpected source. It’s likely that the WWE Universe had pegged AJ Styles, Reigns’ No. 1 contender, as the guy who’d most likely leave The Big Dog licking his wounds, but instead it was Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, the magic-killing tag team who ran the roost with Styles in Japan and who stormed a confrontation between champion and challenger to leave Reigns in a heap. Though, for what it’s worth, Styles didn’t seem all that pleased by this particular development, despite a chummy reunion with the duo earlier in the show. Curiouser and curiouser …

Cesaro and Booty-O’s: a match made in heaven. And a match that wins matches, too, as The Swiss Superman and The New Day united to overthrow the combination of The Miz & The League of Nations in a bout stemming from a tense “Miz TV” between Cesaro and The Awesome One, who’ll meet for Miz’s Intercontinental Title at WWE Payback.

There was barely even a learning curve for Cesaro & New Day, who rolled to a seemingly insurmountable advantage (The King of Swing even got in on the Unicorn Stampede!). The League briefly rallied by swarming Xavier Woods, but a late-game tag to Cesaro led to an Uppercut Express that left all four opponents seeing stars. Legal man Sheamus’ fellow fiends attempted to break up the contest, but The New Day drove them back one by one (Big E dispatched both Alberto Del Rio and Miz), leading to a Neutralizer that put The Celtic Warrior down for three.

Whenever Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens fight, they fight. And they picked up right where they left off this past winter in a wild, main-event match that spilled out of the ring in short order with Owens suffering a suicide dive from Ambrose, followed by a trip over the commentary table.

Owens repaid him with a sternum-flattening frog splash off the apron, but a resilient Ambrose countered a second frog splash by getting his knees up, setting up Dirty Deeds … at which point his Payback opponent Chris Jericho ambushed him with a Codebreaker. The attack left Ambrose down in a heap, but one can guess the payback for this attack will be nothing short of rabid … to say nothing of Payback itself.

In other action… Chris Jericho def. Sami Zayn… Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady def. The Dudley Boyz… Baron Corbin def. Fandango… Natalya, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch & Paige def. WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte, Naomi, Tamina & Summer Rae… The Vaudevillains def. The Usos… and Apollo Crews def. Heath Slater.

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