Welcome to the Raw report for this evening! @TheMagnumDA here with you. It’s Memorial Day here in the USA: A day to celebrate and thank those who gave their lives to protect our country. A very touching video narrated by John Cena starts us off.
We open with The Miz, who is out for MizTV! Miz runs down Dean Ambrose as a rule-breaker, which is exactly why Miz asked to have the DQ rule waived at Extreme Rules (Miz vs. Dean for the IC Title, championship can change hands on a DQ). Sorry, but the timing sucks Miz. It’s EXTREME RULES, and you want to waive the DQ title rule next week? A real man makes it “No DQ”. Miz actually has two guests this evening: Cesaro & Sheamus! Miz puts both of them over, and says that both of them have scratched and clawed their way to the top. Miz says it’s a shame that the Hardy Boyz came in and stole their spotlight.
Sheamus agrees, and says that the fans turned their backs on Cesaro after the Hardy Boyz showed up. Sheamus says that these fans are fickle. They only care when “a new, shiny toy” shows up. Well, the Hardyz are over 40…so they’re not exactly new and shiny. Sheamus promises to break their new toy next Sunday at Extreme Rules (Hardy Boyz vs. Cesaro/Sheamus in a Cage Match for the Tag Titles). Somehow, this turns into Miz “putting himself over”, as Booker calls it. I am going to miss Booker so much. Dean Ambrose shows up and calls all three guys in the ring “buttheads”. Really? Miz calls out Dean for showing up outnumbered, and this brings out the Hardy brothers! There’s a huge brawl in the ring, but Ambrose and the Hardyz clean house! I smell a six-man tag match for later tonight.
Match #1 – Dean Ambrose & The Hardy Boyz vs. The Miz, Sheamus, and Cesaro
Who needs later when you have right now? Matt tags in Jeff and they double team Cesaro. Jeff gets a nearfall on Cesaro, and then a dropkick to the back of the head. Matt is tagged back in and hits Cesaro with an elbow to the prone arm. Cesaro returns serve with a European Uppercut, followed by a tag to Miz. Miz stomps on Matt and tags in Sheamus. Sheamus throws Matt in his corner and pounds him down with a clothesline that gets two. Matt gets up after a sleeperhold, but Sheamus knees him in the gut. Sheamus goes for the Ten Beats on Matt, but he stops and tags in Cesaro. Cesaro awkwardly and slowly clotheslines Matt over the ropes back into the ring. Cesaro flies back in with an attack that only gets two. Matt fights out of the sleeper with a back body drop, and tags in Ambrose. Dean catches some clotheslines on his opponents, and hits a suicide dive on Miz. Dean leaps over Cesaro back in the ring, and tries to hit his finish, but it’s countered. Sheamus tags in and Dean clotheslines him over the ropes. Dean hits a neckbreaker, and climbs the top rope. Sheamus climbs the ropes and knees Dean right in the mouth as we go to break. Every time Sheamus hits something like that, I cringe because I think he’s going to hurt someone legit…again.
After the break, Miz hits the Daniel Bryan kicks on Ambrose. Ambrose rolls-up Miz for two! Miz tries a cover of his own, but it only gets two. Cesaro tags in and misses a charge to the corner. Ambrose throws Miz to the outside, but Miz ends up catching both Hardyz off-guard, allowing Cesaro and Sheamus to hit their double team White Noise on Ambrose for two. Sheamus throws Dean in the corner, and props him on the top rope. Ambrose tries White Noise from the top, but Ambrose fights out and headbutts Sheamus to the ground. Dean hits the flying elbow from the top onto Sheamus! Dean hits another clothesline on Cesaro and FINALLY makes the tag to Jeff Hardy! Jeff is a HOUSE OF FIRE! He hits the clotheslines and the legdrop on Miz! Tag to Matt, as Jeff hits the Poetry in Motion on Miz. This is followed by the Side Effect by Matt! One, two, no! Crazy sequence leads to the Twist of Fate by Matt on Miz! Jeff tags in and hits the Swanton Bomb! One, two, three!
Winners: Dean Ambrose & The Hardy Boyz (**1/2)
After the match, Corey Graves abruptly leaves the commentary booth for no disclosed reason. Why do I feel like this is an angle? The announcers collect themselves and talk about the rest of tonight’s Raw, including a “This is Your Life” for Bayley later tonight! I can’t imagine this ending well.
After the break, Corey shows up to talk with Kurt. Corey shows Kurt something on his phone that makes Kurt say, “I can’t let anyone else find out about this. It’ll ruin me!” I wonder where this is going…
Match #2 – “The Drifter” Elias Samson vs. Zac Myers
Myers looks like the 10-year-old son Rick Martel never had. This is your classic jobber match, with Samson destroying this poor kid for about 3 minutes before mercy killing him.
Winner: Elias Samson (No Stars)
After the match, Corey Graves returns to the announcing booth. Charly is backstage with Samoa Joe, who says that he is looking past Finn Balor’s comeback, and focusing on hurting him. Bray interrupts the promo and confirms what Joe also said: Bray is the devil he does not know. Bray goes off on some acid trip dialogue about seeing the future and slaying the beast. I’m sure Vince thinks this writing is heady and smart, and I’m sure Windham believes what he’s saying…but guys. Make these promos a little more accessible with a little less mumbling. I don’t think people can even understand half of what Bray’s saying, let alone what he means.
Match #3 – Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe vs. Bray Wyatt
Bray slithers into the corner (a la Jake Roberts), as Finn and Joe start fighting in the ring. Joe gets some knees on Finn, and chops him in the corner. Joe misses a charge in the corner, and Finn hits a kick sending Joe back into the ring. Bray looks on and claps. Samoa Joe sees this, and throws Bray into the ring. Bray and Finn trade offense, and then Bray kicks Balor down. Finn gets up and hits a combination of kicks, sending Wyatt into the corner. Wyatt kicks out of the corner, but then he gets kicked in the face, and down on his back. One, two, no! Finn almost got it there. Joe with some VICIOUS offense on Balor. Joe walks over to Bray and picks him up by the beard?! Finn stops this, but then Wyatt offers a hand of help to Joe! Balor breaks up their second attempt at teamwork, and then beats down both guys. Wyatt DRILLS Balor with a running body press splash. Right hand to Balor’s jaw, sending him down. Wyatt props Balor on the top rope, but Balor fights back. Joe comes back and throws Bray out of the ring. Joe tries to suplex Balor, but Wyatt comes in to make this a TOWER OF DOOM! Sister Abigail attempt is blocked by Joe into the Coquina Clutch! Balor breaks this up with a sick kick! Both Wyatt and Joe are sent outside, and Balor hits a beautiful running swanton bomb onto both men!
After the break, Joe beats down Finn in the corner. Bray and Joe double team Balor while he’s down. They take turns kicking him. Balor gets hung on the ropes by Joe, and Bray takes his turn doing the same from the top rope. Joe and Bray start getting hit with chops, as Finn fights back. Finn isolates Joe in the corner, but Wyatt just runs in and splashes both men. Balor is thrown to the opposite corner, and the big boys take turns with some more splashes. Cole calls this the “Alliance of Convenience” as Booker endorses what they’re doing. Balor continues to fight back, but Joe kicks him in the face and then hits Balor with the Senton Splash. Copycat continues, as Wyatt hits a Senton of his own. Joe goes for another Senton, but Bray catches him offguard with a HUGE lariat! Wyatt tries the Uranage, but Balor hits the Overhead Kick! Everybody is down! Balor kicks Wyatt out of the corner, and catches him with some clotheslines and a dropkick. Balor turns and gets decked by Samoa Joe. Same goes for Wyatt, sending hhim outside. Both men are sent outside, and Balor hits the running kick on Joe from the apron. Wyatt gets the dropkick into the barricade! Another dropkick, this time for Joe! Back inside, Balor chops Joe in the corner. This is followed up with a clothesline. Balor charges but Joe is waiting to put Finn in the Uranage! Coquina Clutch! Counter by Balor! Double stomp to Samoa Joe! Wyatt sneaks in to finish Balor, but Balor fights out and hits another double stomp! Joe gets up and catches Balor with an awesome throw! Spider Dance by Wyatt! Joe is distracted, and this leads to Sister Abigail by Bray! Balor hits the Sling Blade on Wyatt! Running kick to Wyatt! COUP DE GRACE on Wyatt! Joe throws Balor in the corner! SICK! Joe covers Wyatt! One, Two, Three! Great match! I give the nod to Miz vs. Seth vs. Balor (from earlier this month) because Seth was completely insane in that match.
Winner: Samoa Joe (***3/4)
Mike is with Seth Rollins, who talks about tonight’s main event with Roman Reigns. Seth says that he owns Roman every time they’re in the ring together. Rollins promises to change the course of WWE history again this Sunday.
Match #4 – Rich Swann vs. Noam Dar
Dar attacks from behind to start, and throws Swann in the opposite corner. Dar misses a charge in the corner, but counters a suplex attempt into armbar for two. He continues to work on the arm, and then hits a European Uppercut on Swann. Dar goes back on the arm, but Swann gets right up. Dar takes him back down, continuing on the left arm. Dar puts a knee between Swann’s arm and back, and pulls back. Swann fights up, and they both go in the corner. Dar gets elbowed after a charge in the corner. Swann with a drop toe hold, followed by some rights and a back leg kick and a somersault Harlem Hangover for two! Swann climbs to the top, but Alicia Fox climbs up. Sasha pulls her off the apron, face first! OUCH! As Sasha throws Fox back-first into the apron, Swann hits the incredible PHOENIX SPLASH in the ring for the One, Two, Three!
Winner: Rich Swann (**)
Afterwards, Rich and Sasha have a dance! They have pretty good chemistry together! Just saying. Charly interviews The Revival, who talk about their return to Raw. Charly corners both men about a promo from last week for Sasha Banks, where they showed up in the background. I THOUGHT that was them. Nice. So this is all playing into a storyline. They turn away all questions and go back to TOP GUY business. The cameras go back to the announcers, where they recap last week’s ***1/2 Street Fight between Tozawa and The Brian Kendrick. The Senton at the end was amazing. Go watch it.
Meanwhile, Corey continues to stir the pot about the Enzo beatdown. Booker’s getting pissed.
From the sounds of things, it sounds like Corey/The Revival/Big Cass/Enzo/Angle are all involved in some kind of plot. If I can piece it together, Corey has footage of Enzo’s beatdown. It’s not clear WHO is beating down Enzo. Is it The Revival? Could it somehow be Cass?
Cass comes out and threatens Corey. He says that he hopes Corey isn’t actually implying that Cass would beat down someone he considers his own brother. Uh oh…only Corey might know the truth.
Match #5 – Kalisto vs. Titus O’Neil
Titus is in appropriate gear today, which means he does not have to wrestle in his $3000 suit. Titus and Apollo are good comedy together. Titus throws Kalisto into the ropes, but Kalisto fights back and hits some kicks. Kalisto dropkicks Titus to his knees, and tries to hit the Salida Del Sol! Titus fights out, and Kalisto tries a Victory Roll! Titus intelligently falls on it and grabs the tights for the One, Two, Three!
Winner: Titus O’Neil (1/4*)
Titus promises Apollo that they’ll party tonight, and that gets a smile out of Apollo. I love these guys, I can’t help it. They are a good comedy team.
It’s time for THIS IS YOUR LIFE, BAYLEY! Alexa has a table, and some people with her in the ring. Alexa shows off a “Sportsmanship” trophy that Bayley won. There’s some toys and a yearbook sitting on the table. Bayley was voted “Most Likely to Apologize” in her yearbook. This crowd is so dead. Mrs. Flapper, the 4th Grade Teacher, is introduced. This gets some jeers from the crowd. This Flapper lady has some terrifying make-up on. The teacher says that her Dad would come to class with her. Flaps McGaps, as she’s called by Alexa. Then Tracy, the best friend was introduced. Tracy has some not-so-nice things to say about Bayley, and the crowd starts booing all over the segment. Not the good kind of booing, either. It’s unique, because Alexa keeps going and all you hear is continuous “boo” under this. Phil, the ex-boyfriend is introduced. Alexa asks about her first date, and Phil starts to talk about her overprotective Dad. “DELETE” chants! Phil says that the truth is, he always liked Tracy more than Bayley. Oddly, Tracy and Phil START MAKING OUT to MORE groans. Kids, that’s not how romance works. Booker with the line of the night: “This is too much.” Bayley charges down to the ring and gets the best of Alexa Bliss! She starts throwing the trinkets on the table down on Alexa. Just throw the frickin’ table on her, Bayley! GET EXTREME! Bayley climbs to get the Kendo Stick, but Alexa catches her on the way down, knocking the stick out of her hand. Alexa beats her down with the stick as Bayley writhes about in pain. What the hell did I just watch? That’s the WrestleCrap Gooker Award Winner of 2017, hands down.
After this atrocious segment, Enzo is beaten down AGAIN backstage but we see nothing. Two weeks in a row! Angle comes into the screen, and Cass is soon to follow. Cass wants to know what’s going on. He pleads with Angle to look into The Revival doing this, and the proof is that they’ve been at Raw for the last two weeks.
Match #6 – Austin Aries & “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher vs. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville & TJP
More Purple Tape, please! Aries and TJP start. Aries with a kick to the gut, and then taken to the opponent’s corner. Jack tages in and grabs a headlock. TJP reverses into one of his own. Jack crawls out with the handstand, and this gets NO reaction. Incredible. They have another exchange, and Neville tags in. Jack with another handstand into the dropkick in the corner. This one gets a reaction, at least. Side headlock by Gallagher, and after a brief exchange Aries is quickly tagged in. Neville retreats outside and we go to break. I’m still flummoxed by how silent the crowd was over that Gallagher spot.
After the break, Neville sends Gallagher into the corner. Neville taunts the crowd after sticking a boot in Jack’s throat. Snapmare by Neville, followed by a dropkick to the back of Gallagher’s head. Neville with a knee to Jack’s throat. He’s ruthless. Jack comes back with headbutts to the gut, but Neville grabs him and throws him face first into the ring, taunting Aries in the process. Neville continues to stomp down Jack, pulling him by the hair as he tags in TJP. TJ hits a senton over the ropes for two. He dabs while driving his foot in Jack’s face. Gallagher is put in the chinlock. This crowd has been completely deflated since “This is Your Life”. TJP wrenches down and goes into the sleeperhold, but Jack tries to fight up. TJP with a knee to Jack’s gut, followed by an attack on Aries. While Aries argues with the ref, TJP pulls on Jack’s face with his fingers. I like it. Dirty pool. We go BACK into the chinlock, but Jack finally fights up. TJ grabs him by the hair, but Jack turns around with the headbutt. Hot tag to Aries! Chops to Neville! Clothesline by Aries! Middle kick by Neville. Shinbreaker into the back suplex by Aries! One, Two, No! Last Chancery attempt is broken up. Austin goes for the Five-Arm, but TJ interrupts! This leads to a sequence where Aries hits the Suicide Dive! Back inside, Aries climbs to the top but misses the Missile Dropkick! Neville misses the Red Arrow off the second rope, and Aries catches him in the Last Chancery! NEVILLE TAPS!
Winner: Austin Aries and “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher (**3/4)
Backstage, Roman Reigns tells Mike that Seth Rollins will find out who the Big Dog is. Roman says that this is his yard. Oh, he’s good. He’s real good. Can we admit that this guy is extremely limited in his “John Cena” role, and that he’d be better suited as a bad guy? Please? Charly tries to interview Neville backstage, but he saunters off. We get another Goldust video! He’s much closer to his 1995 character than last week. Much more serious. This could be good. It could be…Golden. This is countered by a video where R-Truth does his own portrayal of Goldust with lines from Pulp Fiction. Crowd seemed to like it. Man, when the crowd pops more for R-Truth’s promo than the Alexa/Bayley segment…well, I don’t need to say anything else.
Main Event – Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
They lock up and it’s a stalemate. They try again, and Seth gets a go-behind into a rollup for two! Whoa, that was quick. Another go-behind by Seth, but Roman gets an armbar on Seth. Seth turns this into a standing Moonsault for One, Two, No! Two quick nearfalls. Roman retreats outside, and then comes back into the ring. Roman gets a sloppy go-behind, and this leads to a cat-and-mouse game where Seth averts Roman after three dashes into the ropes. Roman is waiting with a HUGE lariat, though. They go outside, and Roman throws Seth into the barricade ribs first. Roman follows this with a Drive-By with Rollins’ torso propped in the corner. Yowza! Back inside, Rollins hits a desparation knee, and launches to the outside with a dive!
After the break, Rollins is thrown into the corner barricade! Reigns throws him back into the ring and follows him in the corner. He stalks Seth, beating him down as he follows him. In the near corner, Reigns hits the ten lariats in the corner, followed by a HUGE boot to the jaw. Roman goes for a Superman Punch, but Rollins counters and catches him with the Sling Blade. Rollins charges into the corner with a set of running forearms. He tries a third time, but Roman is waiting for him. Rollins catches Roman with a dropkick to the outside, and a suicide dive hits Roman. Back inside, Rollins tries a Springboard Clothesline, but Roman catches him with the Superman Punch! One, Two, No! Reigns goes for the Spear, but it turns into a rollup for two! Superkick by Rollins! One, Two, No! Rollins climbs to the top, but Roman smashes him in the mouth with a right hand. Roman climbs up and tries a top rope Samoan Drop, but Seth turns it into a Turnbuckle Power Bomb that is RETURNED WITH A SUPERMAN PUNCH BY ROMAN! Both men are down! Reigns sits up on the apron, but Rollins barely gets to his feet. Roman tries a charge, but Seth throws him into the steps! Back inside, Rollins DRILLS Reigns with the Blockbuster! One, Two, No! Rollins goes back up and hits the Frogsplash! ONE, TWO, NO! That man got HIGH! What a move by Rollins! He goes up YET AGAIN but rolls out of the Phoenix Splash! They trade shots but Roman catches Seth with a SPEAR! ONE, TWO, THREE! That started slow, but that was a hell of an ending.
Winner: Roman Reigns (***1/2)
Final Thoughts: “This is Your Life” was an all-time trainwreck. Everything else wasn’t too bad, though. I’m stoked for this Sunday and Extreme Rules! See you next Monday! Also, don’t forget to check out my “Table For 3” Report RIGHT HERE at W-O featuring Eric Bischoff, Jim Cornette, and Michael “PS” Hayes!