Monday Night Raw TV Report for May 23rd, 2016
Introduction Segment: Video and Welcoming Promo
A recap of Extreme Rules’ WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match is shown, then the regular Raw video plays and the pyro goes off in the arena of Baltimore, Maryland; we are greeted by Michael Cole!
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Seth Rollins, who made his return last night at Extreme Rules, enters to a boisterous ovation. He takes in the cheers until reminding the fans how they treated him during his WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign, which he had to give up due to injury. Quickly going from face to heel, Rollins rips on the fans and tells them he does not need them. “I, and only I, will reclaim my title!”
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns walks out, and the two have a stare-down. Rollins eggs him on, but escapes the ring. Shane McMahon makes his presence known and asks Seth to get back in the ring for a talk. He sympathizes with Rollins, and books him to challenge Roman for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money In The Bank on June 19th! Seth shakes Shane’s hand in agreement.
The commentators put over the announcement, and the Money In The Bank concept. Cole, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, and Byron Saxton go over qualifying matches for that Ladder Match, which will be Cesaro VS. Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Jericho taking on Apollo Crews, Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler, A.J. Styles wrestling Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn meeting Sheamus, next!
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with Sheamus, asking him about his upcoming bout. He is not thrilled with “The New Era” and vows to stop it.
Match #1: Money In The Bank Qualifying (Single) – Sami Zayn VS. Sheamus
They go back-and-forth for the first bit until Sami hits a jumping calf-kick. He chops Sheamus in the corner, but “The Celtic Warrior” knees and kicks back. He drops a leg then knees Zayn in the back a couple of times, but is twirled around with a headscissors by a running Zayn off the ropes! Sami follows with a moonsault from the barrier on the outside! Sheamus knees Zayn again as he tried to get back in the ring.
Sheamus is in control and taunts Sami signalling to the briefcase above the ring. He slams Sami down with a tilt-a-whirl-powerslam, and then goes for a superplex from the top turnbuckle. Zayn punches away, and leaps over but is caught in the Irish Curse backbreaker! 1 – 2 – Sami gets his shoulder up!
Zayn hits back with a hard clothesline and a Michinoku Driver for a near-fall! He measures Sheamus in the corner, but Sheamus kicks back. Sami hits numerous punches, but is tripped-up on the top rope. Sheamus waits and goes for the Brogue Kick, but Zayn ducks and clotheslines Sheamus to the floor! He runs but is punched back; Sami suddenly hits the Helluva Kick and covers for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall and Qualifying: Sami Zayn
Post-match, Sheamus is frustrated that he did not move on.
Later tonight, we will hear the “State of the Women’s Championship” from Women’s Champion Charlotte!
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Apollo Crews is interviewed by Rene Young about his upcoming M.I.T.B. bout with Chris Jericho; before he can get too far, Sheamus attacks, still infuriated with his loss and “The New Era.”
Match# 2: Six-Man Tag-Team – Tag-Team Champions The New Day (Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, and Big E.) VS. The Social Outcasts (Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel)
Prior to the contest, New Day is jubilant about their Tag-Team Title retention at Extreme Rules and Raw’s birthday, celebrating 1200 episodes. They tease dumping the cake that says “Happy Birthday” onto the fans and announcers, but are abruptly hit from The Social Outcasts, who they are taking on next!
Slater is on the turnbuckle, but Xavier counters a dive with a dropkick. The New Day give Heath the “Unicorn Stamped” in the corner, then Kofi is whipped into Slater with a dropkick! The Outcasts go for a train on the outside, but Heath drops down. He is put back in the ring and finished off with the Tag-Champs’ finisher!
Winners via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champions The New Day
Post-match, Big E. and Kofi smash Heath in the face with the cake!
Up next, Cesaro and Intercontinental Champion The Miz!
Match 3: Money In The Bank Qualifying (Single) – Intercontinental Champion The Miz (with Maryse) VS. Cesaro (Non-Title)
Before this one starts, Miz and Maryse put over his retaining of the Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules in the Fatal-4-Way; they compare this to an “underdog story” and guess which Hollywood actors could play him.
Cesaro hits numerous uppercuts immediately and completely dominates to the break!
Miz is now in control, driving Cesaro down with a neckbreaker/backbreaker combo! He DDT’s Cesaro for a two-count, then mount-punches him. Miz slingshots Cesaro into the bottom rope, then focuses on Cesaro’s taped-up left shoulder. Cesaro begins to fight back with uppercuts, but is whipped into Miz’s shoulder. Miz follows with a clothesline in the corner then ascends the top turnbuckle. Cesaro counters with a dropkick, which sends Miz to the floor!
Cesaro runs at Miz against the corner with an uppercut, then crossbodies off the top turnbuckle for a near-fall! Miz runs, but is given a spinebuster, then Swung for a short time. Miz rebounds quickly, but Cesaro counters a top-turnbuckle dive with an uppercut, and then plants with The Gotch Neutralizer for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall and Qualifying: Cesaro
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Rene Young asks Seth Rollins about his upcoming WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match at Money In The Bank; he puts himself over greatly, then is pleased to see Stephanie McMahon. However, Steph is not as happy, refuting a hug and instead just shaking his hand then walking away.
Chris Jericho makes his entrance and emphasis is placed on his bandaged-body from being slammed onto thumbtacks at Extreme Rules. Still-photos of his match with Dean Ambrose is shown, and Jericho will be wrestling Apollo Crews, next!
Match #4: Money In The Bank Qualifying (Single) – Chris Jericho VS. Apollo Crews
Jericho tries the heel-tactic to start, but Crews uses his power to overtake. He punches at Chris’ bandages, but Jericho pokes him in the eye and regains control. He slaps Apollo around and hits him with a dropkick as he ran off the ropes. He wears Crews down with a grounding chicken-wing, but Apollo strengthens out of it.
Jericho chops away, but is kicked and clotheslined. Apollo splashes Jericho in the corner, then dumps him to the outside. He follows with a moonsault from the apron, and then jumps off the top turnbuckle. He catches Jericho with a powerslam and hits an enziguri! He tries for the spin-out powerbomb, but Chris reverses into a victory-roll into the Walls of Jericho! Apollo struggles, but manages to grab the bottom rope for a break!
Crews hits another enziguri, but Jericho subsequently kicks out! They botch a moonsault/kip-up series, and “Y2J” takes this one shortly after with the Codebreaker!
Winner via Pinfall and Qualifying: Chris Jericho
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Rene Young asks Sheamus for his thoughts on the previous contest; he just laughs maniacally and walks away.
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
JoJo interviews Baron Corbin on his “controversial” win at the Extreme Rules kickoff show but Dolph Ziggler soon walks up; Ziggler says that Baron is no one special, but Corbin retorts that he doesn’t want to be one. Instead, he states that he is in wrestling to “beat people up” and “get paid for it.” Dolph challenges him to a “technical wrestling” match next week, which Corbin accepts. Dolph tells Baron to watch him “steal the show,” which is “something you can’t do.”
Segment #8: Arena Promo
Big Cass is on the ramp, and doesn’t say anything, but welcomes back (as do the fans) Enzo Amore! They comically and brilliantly talk about Enzo’s deal, then go onto “a couple a’ haters” The Dudley Boyz. Enzo picks on Bubba, who Cass is about to meet.
Match #5: Single – Big Cass (with Enzo Amore) VS. Bubba-Ray Dudley (with D-Von Dudley)
They lockup to begin, and then Bubba slaps Cass, but Cass shoves back. Bubba misses a right hand, and Cass hits back. D-Von ambushes Enzo on the floor, but Cass and Enzo take him out. Bubba tries a top-rope move, but Cass chucks him off and gives him a big boot! He follows with the Empire Elbow to take this!
Winner via Pinfall: Big Cass (with Enzo Amore)
Women’s Champion Charlotte, Ric Flair, and Dana Brooke will be out next!
Segment #9: Arena Promo
The new trio of Ric Flair, Women’s Champion Charlotte, and Dana Brooke strut to the ring. Ric takes the microphone first and revels in his daughter’s successes from childhood to now. Dana also puts Charlotte and Ric over, and then it is the champ’s turn to talk.
Charlotte does a complete one-eighty, and dumps her father. She harks at Ric for not being there when she was growing up, and yells at him for a while about what life was like growing up without him. She proclaims fed into the fans’ perception that she can’t do it on her own, but in reality, it was only because Ric wanted the spotlight, like many of his time.
Charlotte says that she will do her things her way now and orders her father to leave; Ric obliges and, teary-eyed, walks to the back.
Match #6: Money In The Bank Qualifying (Single) – Dean Ambrose VS. Dolph Ziggler
A lockup starts, then Dean waistlocks and snaprmares Dolph. They trade wrestling-holds until Ambrose hits a forearm-smash as Ziggler ran off the ropes. He slaps Dolph around, and both switch pin combos for two-counts. Dolph is on the outside, where Ambrose goes for a dive, but Ziggler moves closer to the ring to stop Dean’s momentum.
“The Lunatic Fringe” is governing until Dolph reverses an elbow-dive into a roll-up for two! He plants Dean to the canvas with the Famasser, and then both double-clothesline each other. They slug away, and Ziggler hits a superkick but Ambrose clotheslines back. He goes to the top and leaps off, but Dolph counters with a dropkick!
“The Show-Off” punches in the corner and reverses a powerbomb attempt into a sunset-flip, but Ambrose kicks out and counters the Zig-Zag into the Dirty Deeds DDT! 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall and Qualifying: Dean Ambrose
Segment #10: Backstage Promo
Ric Flair walks through the hallways and is met by Titus O’Neil, Zack Ryder, and Arn Anderson. Rene Young wants his comments on what happened with Charlotte, but Ric shakes his head “no” and walks off.
Segment #11: Video Promo
The Shining Stars put themselves over.
Match #7: Money In The Bank Qualifying (Single) – A.J. Styles VS. Kevin Owens
Ahead of this, A.J. gives props to WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns for “being every bit of the man he says he is.” Styles takes a shot at Jimmy and Jey – The Usos – and Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, as he claims their interference cost him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Anderson and Gallows walk out to answer him; Karl says that A.J. has “changed,” since he would’ve been with them back in Japan. Luke says that it was because of them that A.J. got to Extreme Rules. Styles reiterates that it’s not “personal,” but that they just need to go other ways, business-wise.
Karl and Luke don’t take to this kindly, and declare them not “brothers” with A.J. They back out, and Styles awaits Owens.
Kevin Owens makes his entrance and both point to the briefcase. They punch at each other, then Kevin clamps on a standing side-headlock. A.J. whips him off the ropes, but misses a dropkick as Owens grabbed the ropes. He runs, but is hit with the dropkick, and A.J. takes over. Kevin comes back and rolls to the outside, then hits a hard clothesline! A.J. hits back with a springboard-forearm, then throws Owens into the steps!
Owens now has Styles clutched in a grounding rear-chinlock, then hurls him to the floor. He sets up A.J. for a powerbomb on the steps, but Styles stops it and rams Kevin into the ring apron. A.J. rapidly elbows Owens in the ring, and plants him with a facebuster for a near-fall!
He goes for a move, but Kevin counters into a backdrop, then German-suplexes A.J. out of the corner! Owens follows with the Cannonball-Splash in the opposite corner. He tries another German, but “The Phenomenal One” reverses it into one of his own and drives Kevin with the fireman’s-carry kneebuster.
A.J. tries the Styles’ Clash, but Owens reverses, however can’t get the follow-up pin! Both battle on the top turnbuckle, and Owens moonsaults, but eats canvas! Styles follows with a springboard-450-splash and almost gets this! Kevin is by the commentators, but moves to the apron. A.J. hits a running-knee, but is then powerbombed onto the steps! Referee Mike Chioda counts, and Styles barely makes it back in!
Kevin slings A.J. into the ropes for the Pop-Up Powerbomb, but Styles counter with the Pele Kick! 1 – 2 – Kevin kicks out! Styles springboards, but Owens kicks, crotching A.J. on the top rope! Kevin slams Styles down with the Pop-Up Powerbomb, and covers for the (surprisingly clean) victory!
Winner via Pinfall and Qualifying: Kevin Owens
Post-match, Kevin Owens celebrates as A.J. is troubled by his loss to close the show.
End of Raw.
Much like last Friday’s Smackdown! Report (May 20th), today is another sad anniversary in professional wrestling, at is the 17th of Owen Hart’s passing, so I want to give my thoughts on him.
I started really watching pro-wrestling in the spring of 1997, which was right around the time of The Hart Foundation being formed; they were my favorite group through November 1997, however I was too young to truly understand Owen’s capabilities. I have since reminisced on Owen through matches and stories/various footage over these years, and now know what he was truly like.
Bottom line: excellent! Owen was an excellent athlete, but more importantly, an excellent man. While I’ve enjoyed many of his matches, I’m more pleased to know that he was a humble, happy, genuinely good man; those qualities were extremely hard to find in a person in this industry back then, and are still hard to find today (but thankfully, a lot less so now.)
Of course, it is tragic what happened, but I am grateful that he is remembered so fondly by everyone who has talked about him, and that he was an honest role model. For the record, my favorite match of his is wrestling the late-great British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith for the European Championship on Monday Night Raw in March 1997; it was a beautiful wrestling match. May God continue to rest his soul and provide love and support to his family.