Opinion Pieces

RAW Review (May 29th)

RAW

Source: WWE


RAW Matches:

The Hardyz and Ambrose def. Sheamus & Cesaro and The Miz: **¼

Samoa Joe def. Bray Wyatt and Finn Bálor: ***½

Rich Swann def. Noam Dar: N/R

Titus O’Neil def. Kalisto: N/R

Aries & Gallagher def. Neville & TJP: **½

Roman Reigns def. Seth Rollins: ****


Before this edition of RAW began, a fabulous Memorial Day package, narrated by John Cena, opened the broadcast. USA chants erupt as the video fades to black.


Miz TV

RAW

Source: WWE

Miz recaps how we’ve gotten to the point of the stipulation of Ambrose losing his belt should he be disqualified at Extreme Rules. He then brings out his guests for the nights, Sheamus and Cesaro. The two use this platform to get heat heading into Sunday against the Hardy Boyz as they try and win back the Raw Tag Team Titles inside a steel cage. Sheamus says he and Cesaro will BREAK the new toys, and Miz then goes off on his own little tangent about how he’s going to regain the IC Title until Ambrose interrupts.

Ambrose says he’s coming down here to shut these three “butt heads” up. Miz tells him it’s three on one and that once again, Ambrose proves he’s stupid and crazy. Ambrose says yes, he’s crazy, but he isn’t stupid. Out come the Hardy Boyz as now the fight is even. Ambrose and both Matt and Jeff clear the ring as this sets up a six man tag match after the break.


Dean Ambrose & The Hardy Boyz vs. The Miz, Cesaro & Sheamus

RAW

Source: WWE

Sheamus controls Matt early, tagging in Cesaro who hits a springboard aided elbow drop on Matt for a two count. Cesaro then gets distracted by Ambrose and then turns around into a back bodydrop allowing Matt to tag in Dean. Dean takes out everyone and then looks for Dirty Deeds on Cesaro. Blind tag to Sheamus, but Sheamus misses with a Brogue Kick and gets clotheslined over the top. A pin attempt on Sheamus gets two as we go to break.

Back from break as Miz controls Ambrose. Ambrose then rolls up Miz for two only for Miz to quickly regain control. Cesaro gets tagged in only to go flying over the top rope to the outside. Ambrose sends Miz out as he looks for a hot tag to one of the Hardyz. Miz sneaks around, however, and yanks Jeff off the apron and then grabs onto Matt’s leg, disallowing Ambrose to tag either man. Sheamus and Cesaro then hit the aided White Noise for a near fall. Sheamus and Ambrose then battle on the top turnbuckle with Dean gaining the advantage.

He then hits his patented elbow drop off the top and tags in Jeff. Jeff and Matt run wild in the ring with Matt hitting a Side Effect for two. A whole lot of oddities occur next with finishers being hit left and right and spots being executed very poorly eventually leading to a Twist of Fate and Swanton for the win.

The finish was so weird…a lot of miscommunication there for sure, but so much seemed to be off there. There was a missed hot tag, a botched Twist of Fate, and all around just a weird match. These six are undoubtedly capable of more.


Dean Ambrose & The Hardy Boyz def. Sheamus & Cesaro and The Miz via Swanton Bomb: **¼


Before we head to break, Corey Graves is seen looking through his phone with a rather perplexed look on his face. He then gets up and walks off the stage. When we get back from break, Corey is backstage with Kurt Angle as something possibly damaging to Angle is on that phone. A very interesting situation indeed.


Elias Samson vs Zack Evans

RAW

Source: WWE

This was a squash match showcasing Samson’s singing ability…or lack thereof…and his strength. He hits the Swinging Neckbreaker for the win. Corey Graves returns to the announce table after the match.


Elias Samson def. Zack Evans: N/A


Samoa Joe is watching Bálor’s 24 backstage – weird – when he’s approached by a backstage interviewer. He says Finn may be the devil that we know, but the devil Finn doesn’t know is the most dangerous. Wyatt interrupts, saying he is the devil he doesn’t know and that all the others should give into their fears and run.


Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Samoa Joe

RAW

Source: WWE

Wyatt slithers out of the ring, leaving Joe and Bálor in the ring to start the match. Joe takes it right to Finn, backing him into the corner. Finn then uses his quickness advantage, hitting Joe with an enzuigiri. Finn then shoots Joe towards the ropes, but Joe rolls out and rolls in Wyatt. Wyatt and Finn go toe to toe now. Finn hits a kick and goes for the cover, but Joe breaks it up and begins taking the fight to Finn. Wyatt then gets involved, hitting a massive running crossbody on Finn.

Joe then dumps Wyatt out with Bálor sitting atop the top rope. Joe goes for a superplex, but Wyatt reenters and hits a powerbomb into the superplex bringing the crowd to its feet. Wyatt then looks for Sister Abigail on Finn, but Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch, taking Wyatt down to his knees. Finn then breaks it up, and with both Wyatt and Joe rolling to the outside, Finn hits a somersault plancha on both men, sending us to break. Back from break as Joe and Wyatt are now on the same page, taking it to Finn. The two break down Finn for the next few minutes before Finn starts fighting back with forearms to both men. Joe eventually grounds Finn once again and hits a massive senton.

Wyatt then finally turns on Joe and turns his attention back to Finn. Wyatt goes for a Uranage, but Finn counters it and hits a Péle Kick. Joe, however, is back up now, and he puts down Finn once again and hits the CCS Enzuigiri. Finn eventually counters as the fight spills to the outside. He hits the shotgun dropkick into the barricade and rolls Joe back into the ring. Finn goes back to Joe in the corner, but Joe counters with a Uranage. Joe then goes for the Coquina Clutch, but reminiscent to TakeOver: Dallas, Finn counters with the step up pin in the corner, except he hits a standing double stomp instead.

Wyatt comes back in looking for Sister Abigail again only to catch the same double stomp. Finn then goes for a sling blade on Joe, but Joe counters with an overhead belly to belly throw. Wyatt then hits Joe with Sister Abigail as Finn attacks him from behind right after. Wyatt then eats a sling blade and a shotgun dropkick into the corner. Finn then hits the Coup De Gras, but Joe comes back in, throws Finn ribs first into the post, and pins Wyatt.

This was a really good triple threat, showcasing what each man has in their arsenal and letting everyone get their big moves in. I loved the touch at the end not only with Joe throwing Finn into the post to get the pin on Bray, but that Bray’s failure to pin Joe after hitting Sister Abigail proved to be what cost him. Finn looks like the clear favorite for Sunday’s fatal-5-way as not only did he not take the pin, but he hit the Coup De Gras leading to the win in the end. Definitely looking forward to this Sunday.


Samoa Joe def. Bray Wyatt and Finn Bálor: ***½


Rich Swann w/ Sasha Banks vs. Noam Dar w/ Alicia Fox

RAW

Source: WWE

With Swann and Sasha vs. Dar and Fox finalized as a match this Sunday at Extreme Rules, a one on one match between the two men I guess has to happen. Sasha ends up playing a part in the finish getting Swann the win. Not invested in this feud at all as it feels like nothing more than filler for Sasha until she’s put back in the title picture.


Rich Swann def. Noam Dar: N/A


Charly is backstage with The Revival, asking them about why they were spotted off camera walking out of the area where Enzo Amore was attacked backstage. Corey possibly insinuates that Cass attacked Enzo leading to Cass coming out and confronting him. He tells him he’s investigating it himself and that he doesn’t need things like that being said. Graves clears up what he means, the two shake hands and that’s that. This is incredibly interesting. It’s also exactly what Enzo and Cass needed. A good storyline while also being out of the ring.


Kalisto vs. Titus O’Neil

RAW

Source: WWE

Titus rolls up Kalisto rather quickly with a full grasp of the tights, proving to Apollo that “that’s how you do it”. Really the lone below average segment up to this point.


Titus O’Neil def. Kalisto: N/A


Alexa Bliss presents “Bayley: This is Your Life!”

This was the worst segment of 2017 and won’t be topped. I can’t be bothered to describe it. She threw trophies, extras were making out, just awful. (The segment received so much backlash, that WWE removed the full video from their YouTube channel.)


Austin Aries & ‘The Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher vs. Neville & TJP

Did we not just see this match? Anyways, Jack and TJP start this off with TJP gaining the advantage and tagging in Neville. Neville gets caught off guard by Gallagher, but he eventually gets out of the side headlock, but Gallagher is able to tag in Aries. Neville spills to the outside as he and TJP regroup, taking us to break. Back from break as Gallagher is now the legal man fighting back against Neville. Neville cuts him back down, not allowing him to reach Aries.

Neville methodically beats down Gallagher and then tags in TJP. TJP controls Jack still, hitting a knee lift to the gut to keep him down. Gallagher finally gets to his feet and looks to hit a back suplex. TJP flips out of it only to catch a huge headbutt from Jack. The two men tag in their partners who just so happen to be the two men who will battle for the Cruiserweight Championship in a submission match at Extreme Rules. Aries takes the fight right to Neville, hitting the shin breaker into a suplex for two.

The match then breaks down with TJ stopping the Discus Five-Arm. Aries then hits a Heat Seeking Missile on both TJP and Neville, rolls Neville back into the ring, and locks in the Last Chancery, making Neville tap.

Good match, but that finish is beyond baffling. Why on earth would you have the one man who hasn’t been pinned or submitted since winning the belt tap out on Raw of all places? That’s something that should’ve been saved for PPV. When they do eventually take the strap off of Neville, they’re going to regret that heavily.


Aries & Gallagher def. Neville & TJP via Last Chancery: **½


Goldust cuts another promo in the Director’s Chair he once sat in many years ago. He proclaims the Golden Age is back. R-Truth cuts his video off with one of his own. He throws Goldust’s gimmick back in his face and tells Goldust he’s “gonna get got”. This feud is off to a great start with these past few weeks.


Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns

RAW

Source: WWE

The two men go back and forth with Rollins busting out moves we’ve not seen since his Shield days such as the standing moonsault. Rollins hits a plancha to the outside as we head to break. Back from break as Reigns is now in control. He throws Rollins ribs first into the barricade and then back in the ring. Roman irish whips Rollins into the corner hard enough to knock Seth back down to his knees. Roman picks Seth up by the throat and places him in the corner.

Reigns then taunts him before hitting multiple standing clotheslines on Rollins which he follows up with a big boot. Roman pulls Seth up, but Seth finally regains the advantage with a sling blade and a pair of running corner forearms. He then goes for the falcon arrow, but his ribs give out. Roman misses a clothesline and Seth hits a single leg dropkick and suicide dive on the Big Dog.

Seth rolls Roman back in and goes for the springboard clothesline only to catch a gorgeous Superman Punch from Reigns for a near fall. Seth somehow manages to roll up Roman, but Roman kicks out. Rollins then hits the Avada Kedavra for a near fall. This is really good back and forth action. Roman eventually fights back and props Seth up in the corner. Roman goes for a super Samoan Drop, but Seth slides down the back into a Buckle Bomb but Roman shoots out of the corner with another Superman Punch as both men go down! As the ref counts, Seth rolls to the outside. Reigns sees this and rolls out as well.

Roman charges around the corner, but Seth side steps him, sending Roman shoulder first into the stairs. Seth gets Roman back in and hits a middle rope blockbuster for two. He goes back up top yet again and hits a Frog Splash for yet another near fall! Seth, after sitting on the canvas in disbelief, goes back up top looking for a Phoenix Splash. Roman avoids as Seth rolls through. Reigns goes for a Spear, but Seth gets a boot up. Roman catches Seth with an uppercut, but Seth counters that with an enzuigiri. Seth then goes for the Rainmaker V-Trigger, but Roman ducks through, shoots off the ropes and hits the Spear for the win!

These two never fail to put on an outstanding match. Roman just continues to get better and better while Rollins continues to prove that there is still some 2015 magic left to be had in that knee. Seth did things I haven’t seen him do since that first injury tonight, and that is an outstanding sign. Not only that, but the finishing sequence to this match was beautiful. Seth protects his finisher here while the Spear continues to be the ultimate knockout blow to everyone not named Braun. Roman appears to be the kayfabe favourite heading into Sunday having now pinned Bálor and Rollins heading into Extreme Rules. However, there is one man in this match that Reigns has not pinned in his career, and that man is Samoa Joe. It’ll be incredibly interesting to see how that plays out.


Roman Reigns def. Seth Rollins via Spear: ****


RAW Highlights:

Finn Bálor vs. Samoa Joe vs. Bray Wyatt

Who took out Enzo Amore?

Goldust and R-Truth (weird, right?)

Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins


RAW Low-lights:

This Is Your Life: Bayley – worst segment of the year.


Raw Grade: 6.4/10


This RAW had some very high highs, but it also had THE lowest low of 2017 with the “This Is Your Life” segment with Bliss and Bayley. From the last ten minutes of the nine o’clock hour into the first half of the ten o’clock hour, Raw hit a really bad rut that they just never recovered from until Reigns vs. Rollins. This seems to be a running theme for Raw as they just don’t have enough to fill three hours. It really is that simple at this point because it’s painfully obvious as to what’s filler and what’s not. It’s taking marquee PPV quality matches to consistently save the show on Monday nights and that just isn’t okay. Things have to change on Raw, and they have to change now.


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