After spending last week in London, UK, WWE is back at the XL Center in Hartford, CT for Monday Night Raw!
With less than a week to go before Payback 2016, the final card is coming into focus and the hard sell should be on for all the major matches.
Surprisingly, WWE is promoting Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in-ring debut in WWE.
Here is the overall preview: For the first time ever in a WWE ring, the team of Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson will face The Usos, live on Raw. What else awaits as Monday night’s hottest show emanates from WWE’s home state of Connecticut? WWE.com has some ideas.
While they appear to be on the side of AJ Style, attacking both the Usos and Roman Reigns, Styles is claiming to be innocent of any wrongdoing. So what’s the real story? We will find out more about what is going on during Raw.
Monday Night on Raw @wwe our in-ring debut vs. The Usos..
The Bullet Club in New Japan was also associated with Finn Balor, and he has been doing hints for months about bringing that faction to WWE. To make things more interesting, Balor dropped the NXT Title to Samoa Joe at a house show last week:
Samoa Joe overcomes Finn Bálor to capture the NXT Championship
Samoa Joe stuns the NXT Universe by defeating The Demon and capturing the NXT Title at a Live Event in Lowell, Massachusetts on Thursday night.
Roman’s bro Dean Ambrose has a heated issue going with Y2J Chris Jericho, including a feud over WWE in-ring talk shows. Things have escalated over the last week, with major physicality on Raw and Smackdown last week. Things should continue to heat up heading into their match at Payback.
Shane McMahon has been at the helm of Monday Night Raw for three weeks in a row, and even made a dark match appearance this week after Smackdown:
Don’t poke the Shane: SmackDown Fallout, April 21, 2016
The Miz demands an investigation and Shane does not take his demands lightly.
WWE is being coy about what will happen this week. It’s possible that Shane will back to act as “showrunner” for Raw for a fourth week in a row. It’s also possible that Triple H & Stephanie McMahon – the Authority – will be on Raw, to comment on the situation. It’s very possible that both Shane and the Authority will be on the show, to add extra intrigue to the build for Payback.
The tag team division has heated up in a big way. The finals for the #1 contendership for the Tag Team Titles is down to two new teams from NXT – the Vaudevillains and Enzo & Cass. They will face off at Payback, with the winner facing the New Day at a later date. The Dudley Boyz will have something to say about Enzo & Cass, and the new team of Anderson & Gallows has to factor in too.
Speaking of the New Day, they will be on Raw this week for sure, and they could be setting up another match against the League of Nations for Payback.
The WWE Women’s Title match at Payback will have a little something special added. In addition to Ric Flair being in his daughter Charlotte’s corner for the match, Natalya’s uncle Bret “The Hitman” Hart will be there to support Natalya. This is a repeat of a successful storyline and match in NXT and it should be even better on the big stage.
Speaking of feuds spilling over from NXT, the Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn feud is hotter than ever headed into Payback. They are set to have their first huge singles match on the main roster at the show, and have been involved with many altercations. They should have one of the top matches on the PPV and will likely have some sort of match on Raw tonight.
All this plus the #SocialOutcasts (possibly featuring Viktor of the Ascension), Emma and Becky Lynch’s feud continues, Baron Corbin’s issue with Dolph Ziggler and much more!
Here is the WWE.com
Styles’ longtime friends Gallows & Anderson to make Raw debut. Now, the duo is set to make their official in-ring debut on Raw against The Usos, less than one week before The Phenomenal One faces Jimmy & Jey’s cousin, The Big Dog, for sports-entertainment’s most coveted prize
How will Dean Ambrose retaliate against Chris Jericho? six nights before their anticipated battle at WWE Payback, expect these combustible competitors to trade punches, not words
Has Corbin stolen Ziggler’s spotlight? Will Ziggler be able to get some retribution against Corbin on Raw, or will The Lone Wolf continue to make an example of the former World Heavyweight Champion?
Will old-school fisticuffs trump new-school smacktalk? As the past and present are set to collide, will it be “How ya doin’?” or a more eloquent “How are you doing?” on Raw, six nights before WWE Payback?
Is Shane McMahon’s tenure as Raw showrunner coming to an end? We haven’t seen Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on Raw since WrestleMania, nor have we gotten their thoughts on Shane-O-Mac’s job performance. Will The Authority arrive to put an end to Shane’s new era, or will they actually deem him “best for business” at the helm of Raw?
Here is the latest card for WWE Payback 2016:
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles
WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Miz (c) (with Maryse) vs. Cesaro
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
WWE Women’s Championship
Charlotte (c) (with Ric Flair) vs. Natalya (with Bret Hart)
Tag team match to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
John Cena is not expected to be on Raw, but Nikki Bella posted a great pic as a happy birthday to him last week:
Jonathan Widro is the owner and founder of Inside Pulse. Over a decade ago he burst onto the scene with a pro-WCW reporting style that earned him the nickname WCWidro. Check him out on Twitter for mostly inane non sequiturs