It’s a holiday, so I guess the WWE writers decided to take it easy, despite it also being a go-home show for the Extreme Rules PPV this Sunday. If you seen last week, and you missed this week, you’d still be in about the same place when you tune into Extreme Rules. There was a pretty sweet Triple Threat Match, and Sasha dancing like a goof with Rich Swann, but that’s about it. Alexa Bliss’ segment for Bayley’s “This is Your Life” was painful to endure.
The show kicked off with a nice video package to honor The Troops for Memorial Day.
It’s a better choice than opening with Kurt Angle (or any GM). Sheamus and Cesaro, two guys who didn’t make my “TOP HEELS in WWE” list from last week, being guests should benefit them. I got a kick out of the fact that all 4 of these heels matched perfectly. I’d be all-in on a Sheamus/Cesaro/Miz/Maryse stable.
Dean Ambrose interrupting, and The Hardy Boyz joining him, made sense. It just sort of felt like this could have been in the middle of the show, instead of the thing that’s supposed to pull us all in to kick things off. Cole called it an “explosive start to Monday Night Raw”, but it was anything except that.
6-Man Tag Match: Dean Ambrose, Jeff Hardy, & Matt Hardy vs The Miz, Cesaro, & Sheamus
Matt Hardy is pretty much the perfect wrestler to take the beating in a tag match, as he can get the crowd behind him so easily these days. Once Ambrose took the hot tag the action picked up, but Miz had to stop that momentum to go to a commercial break (damn TV matches!).
One thing that stood out to me in this match was that all the bad guys were in classic wrestling attire, while the babyfaces were in street clothes. That, and the fact that Dean Ambrose tried tagging the wrong Hardy also stood out a bit glaringly. I liked how Miz actually reached out for Ambrose, as he was going for a suicide dive on Sheamus. He didn’t stop, or probably even touch him, but it adds a little depth to the match when it seems like they’re actually trying to stop one another.
Hardyz get the win after Ambrose cleans house. Before going back to commercial Corey Graves got up, and left the commentary booth. Most intriguing part of the show yet.
They came back from break to show Corey Graves had some secret information for Kurt Angle to maintain his job, so it was a dud angle. Cut-to: THE DRIFTER!
The Drifter vs Zac Evans
Not sure how Booker T equates emo songs with a “gunslinger”, but that’s his thing. Samson looks like he’s Seth Rollins’ angrier brother, so I hope somehow those two end up crossing paths in a big way.
Drifter squashed Evans with ease, and took the “W”. Evans didn’t strike me as the type to get that ELLSWORTH contract. He’s using the swinging neckbreaker, which really just furthers his gimmick robbery of Honky Tonk Man, who used the “Shake, Rattle, and Roll”.
Bray Wyatt cutting off a Samoa Joe promo wasn’t something I ever expected to see, despite both dudes hardly saying anything, it wasn’t a bad segment. Every time he says “Eater of Worlds” I feel like calling Bray “Eater of Pins”.
Triple Threat Match: Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe vs Bray Wyatt
Win or lose, Bray Wyatt stays having one of the greatest entrances ever. Samoa Joe shows here, like in most matches, that he’s the hardest hitting dude on Monday Night Raw. Finn also goes out of his way to make Joe look like a monster, which also helps. These three pulled of a “Tower of Doom” spot, and these are getting pretty played out, but it just looked more devastating than usual due to who was involved.
They come back from a commercial , and all of a sudden the two big dudes are stomping Balor out. If this were a real fight they’d be talking trash about all the junk food they get to enjoy, while Finn clearly doesn’t. Things didn’t really pick-up in this match until Bray and Joe turned on one another.
Balor hit all his signature moves on Bray, but Samoa Joe chucked Finn into a steel post, and pinned Bray for the win. Like I said… “Eater of Pins”.
Seth’s promo explained that he had a match with Roman tonight, and solidified his voice as one of the hardest to listen to on the planet. If Rollins beats Brock, he should also acquire Paul Heyman as his new advisor.
Noam Dar w/Alicia Fox vs Rich Swann w/Sasha Banks
They have to make Sasha and Swann friends somehow, so they’re starting here. It didn’t help that the match began, and Sasha got Swann attacked from behind. It all just seems like a desperate attempt to get people to care about the 205 Division by forcing Sasha into their storyline.
Sasha knocks Foxy off the apron, as Swann gets the win, and then they had a forced dance routine. Poor Sasha having to be apart of this cringe moment, as Graves goes over-the-top with his “enjoyment”.
The Top Guys, aka: The Revival, had the first meaningful promo of the evening, as they explained why Dash has been gone. This also lead to them being busted for sneaking around after Enzo’s attack last Monday Night Raw. It was funny, and it furthered the storyline. This is what makes Revival the TOP GUYS.
Cutting to Big Cass nearly assaulting commentary for hinting at his involvement in Enzo’s attack/The Revival was just as awkward as I hope it was meant to be. Cass probably won’t end up being part of Enzo being hurt, since they’re already putting it into the story on-camera.
Kalisto vs Titus O’Neil w/Apollo Crews
Kalisto’s new song isn’t catchy, and it sounds like TJP’s theme, so it’s getting a thumbs down from THIS guy. Quick match with a funny ending. Titus catches Kalisto, rolls him up, and hooks the tights for the victory. The comedy came from Apollo Crews’ reaction to the cheating. This whole thing is going a long way in making Apollo Crews more fun, and it’s not hurting Titus either.
Bayley THIS IS YOUR LIFE with Alexa Bliss
Alexa started talking uncomfortably quick to start this segment, and it just kept getting worse from there. Nothing funny, a lot of “WHAT” chants, and that’s about it. Even Booker T said “this is hard to watch”, and he was NOT wrong.
Alexa cracking a kendo stick over Bayley’s back was the only entertaining part of this segment, but it really didn’t help make me care about their upcoming match. It just made Bayley look like a sucker.
Coming back from commercial with Cass freaking out on Kurt Angle, as Enzo Amore lays on the ground wasn’t much better than Alexa’s previous segment. What’s with all the overacting this week? It was all just so they could put purple tape on the ropes for the next match, anyway.
Austin Aries & Jack Gallagher vs TJ Perkins & Neville
Feels like I’ve seen this already on Raw. Austin Aries’ crazy eyes were the highlight of the match. Cole telling the fans “not to forget, Neville owes TJP a title opportunity” was so annoying, as he beat it into the ground like everything else. It also doesn’t help that this match followed the same formula as the 6-man Tag Match from earlier in the show.
Aries forced Neville to tap for the victory, and for the first time in their feud. I still don’t think the title will change hands on Sunday.
Goldust has gone back to his movie-themed heel promos recently, and he hit another one out of the park tonight. No one cuts a promo like Goldie, and it’s nice having some characters that stand-out character-wise. It all got even better when Truth came back with some Sam Jackson from Pulp Fiction in his own video promo.
Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns
A methodical pace to start this one straight out of the “Randy Orton Handbook”. I mean, to the point where they were trying to make a Kane-style uppercut INSTANT REPLAY WORTHY, which I assure it wasn’t. I’m sure the rating held strong during this, as the NHL Stanley Cup Finals game was in the 3rd Period, and had just been tied at 3 goals a piece.
To be fair, the hockey game ended before Roman speared the steel steps, so there was time to see both endings. That means everyone was back in-time for him to hit the Spear on Rollins for the clean victory, too. Felt like a dark match main event since it wasn’t bad, but felt like there weren’t any stakes.
Top 3 Stars of Raw
- * Finn Balor: Was the brightest spot of the best match on the show. Seeing Finn flying around with the battle marks that Samoa Joe left on his chest just made him look bad ass.
- ** Sasha Banks: Doing everything she can to make 205 Live relevant. She even broke into a dance number with Rich Swann. No one can say Sasha isn’t a team player.
- *** Austin Aries: He finally made NEVILLE tap-out, and that’s a huge step in their long feud.