5 Best Moments From WWE Raw 5/31/16: AJ Styles Goes Heel by Mitch Nickelson

Money Night Raw came to us from Green Bay, Wisconsin this week. We’ve still got some time before Money in the Bank and there’s a looming brand split that should shake things up pretty soon. The show started out pretty weak tonight, but found some high spots as things progressed.

The intro is pretty brief this time around so let’s dive right into the best moments from Raw…

5. Enzo & Cass Woke The Crowd Up

The show was really slow for a long while. Like, pretty boring. My initial thought was that Green Bay was a weak crowd but considering the show kicked off with a Shane vs. Stephanie dance off I don’t think they were the culprits. WWE did not bring their A game for a good bit of this show. Then, Enzo & Cass’ music hit and they saved the day.

It’s a strong positive in this tag team’s favor that the one catchphrase that everyone loves to chant along with Enzo is at least 30 seconds long. This Raw crowd must’ve been so excited to have a reason to react big to something and that’s what Enzo especially was for them. He and Big Cass went on to face the Dudleyz whom they easily defeated. Not that that’s a huge deal or anything because literally everyone beats The Dudleyz these days. If The Golden Truth get really bummed about being winless right now then they should challenge Bubba Ray and D-Von to a match.

4. Owens & Jericho Should Get A Sitcom

The backstage conversation between Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, and Alberto Del Rio was hilarious because of the childish bickering between KO and Y2J. Jericho told both men about how he had problems with them to which Owens confusedly retorted that he actually thought they had a good thing going. Then, when Chris was talking to Alberto he subtly dropped the word “moi” into his conversation. Without a beat, he remarked to his French-Canadian partner this quip…

Jericho: That’s French.
Owens: I know.

The delivery was quick, it was perfect. Before they went out for their tag match Chris offered this stern warning to his cohorts for the night…

Jericho: You Better Watch It.
Owens: Watch What?
Jericho: It.

This was all comedy at its best.

3. Trading Lots Of Big Moves

Raw was a pretty weak show from an in-ring standpoint, but that main event got it together pretty well. Come to think of it, it was probably because all six of these guys were in this one match instead of being spread across two or three separate matches that prevented anything other than the main event from being above three stars.

There were plenty of signatures moves and finishers in the final two minutes or so to leave a solid final impression for those of us that try to make it through the entire three hours. Some of my favorite moves included when Chris Jericho actually saw Dean Ambrose’s rope rebound coming and gave him a Codebreaker when he shot back to him.

The finish was great as well. The final moves saw Kevin Owens going for a Popup Powerbomb on Sami Zayn, but he overshot it. Dean Ambrose then moved in quickly at that point to nail his Dirty Deeds for the win.

dirty deeds to Owens.gif

Also, Green Bay gave us the first every round of “Stupid Idiot” chants towards Chris Jericho which they should be commended for. It was beautiful.

2. John Cena Returned!

John Cena has been out for 5 months due to shoulder surgery and he’s been dearly missed. He came back on this episode of Raw wearing his Ellen shorts and gave a big pro-liberty speech that was tailor-made for this Memorial Day. While most of his speech was serious and patriotic, he did say that he will “not go quietly into the night” and then all I could think about from that moment on was the Bill Pullman speech from Independence Day. And that’s not a bad thing, no sir. Every good American loves the speech from Independence Day.

Cena is truly the superstar of the past decade and the show feels like such a bigger deal with him on it. Just showing up was more than enough to earn a spot on the best moments of this episode of Raw…but he wasn’t done yet. There was even bigger business to tend to and it happened when AJ Styles’ music hit during Cena’s welcome back party…

1. The Club United

I would’ve been just as happy if babyface AJ Styles was offering a friendly challenge to John Cena, but Anderson & Gallows interrupted their congenial promo to aid AJ in a full-on heel turn. I was scratching my head initially because didn’t The Club part ways just a week ago? As AJ kept running back in for more and more chances to wail some punches into Cena’s face I realized that their “breakup” seven days ago never came to blows. It was all a ruse and it totally worked on me. I loved this.

The best image to come from this brand new feud is when Styles, Anderson, and Gallows all stood atop Cena, holding up their “Too Sweet” signs while John was lifeless. Cena vs. Styles is definitely one of those dream matchups that’s penciled in for AJ’s WWE run and I’m glad we’re getting it over the summer. If these guys are start something that carries over to a post-brand split SmackDown then that should easily boost some ratings.


I appreciate that you’d take the time to read this. If you’d like to keep up on more wrestling writing from me, give me a follow on Twitter @MitchNickelson so you don’t miss out on anything.