It is harder to shoot fish in a barrel than it is to make fun of a “dumpster match” on Monday Night Raw. However, that’s what went down between Braun Strowman and Kalisto on tonight’s show. Six days away from Payback, did Roman Reigns make his big return? Since this is a bit of a hybrid show, did anyone from SmackDown Live make an appearance? Read this week’s Monday Night Raw Report to find out!
Monday Night Raw Report: The Dumpster Match
The Highlight Reel
The show opened up with the greatest of all time, Chris Jericho, and his show, the Highlight Reel. Jericho opened the segment by claiming this would be the last Highlight Reel we’d ever see on Raw, because he’d beat Kevin Owens for the United States Championship at Payback.
His guest on the Highlight Reel was, of course, himself. He was breaking down his feud with Owens when he was interrupted by The Miz and Maryse. The crowd chanted “you suck” at Miz, and he brilliant replied by saying that he couldn’t possibly suck, because he’s from Kansas City.
Miz announced that he was replacing the Highlight Reel with MizTV, and the crew members quickly switched out the sets, which was admittedly pretty cool. The obscenely expensive JeriTron 6000 was lifted, they brought out the directors chairs and rolled a new carpet out.
Annnnd then the Intercontinental Champion, Dean Ambrose came out. He said that nobody wanted to watch MizTV, and he summoned the crew members out to change the setting again! They took all of the MizTV stuff away and replaced it with the Ambrose Asylum set!
This segment was fine, but it just dragged on. This didn’t sell me on any matches, and as cute as it was, it didn’t need to be 20 minutes long. That’s an episode of How I Met Your Mother. Miz wasn’t enjoying the antics of Jericho or Ambrose, and eventually he ate Dirty Deeds and Jericho put Maryse on the list. To her credit, she did sell it way better than she’s ever sold a move.
Matt Hardy vs. Sheamus
The best thing about the return of Matt and Jeff Hardy is this. Freshness. I’ve seen Gallows and Anderson wrestle Sheasaro 800 times, but watching Matt Hardy wrestle Sheamus? It’s just something fresh.
It was a pretty physical match, which was surprising. Not on Sheamus’ part, but Matt’s. He’s not the young man he used to be. After Sheamus laid Matt out, Jeff tried to check up on him, but Sheamus was having no part of it. Jeff climbed onto the ring apron, distracting him long enough for Matt to hit twist of fate for the win.
After the match, Sheasaro offered the Hardyz a handshake, and after a tense pause, they accepted. It looks like this feud will remain civil until the pay per view.
Neville and T.J. Perkins vs. Austin Aries and Jack Gallagher.
Cruiserweight Champion Neville and his dabbing protege T.J. Perkins faced off against Austin Aries and Jack Gallagher. This is a feud that dates back a couple of weeks and has been continuing on 205 Live!
A brief rant about 205 Live! WWE is doing their cruiserweight division no favors by having their own show and being Raw. You’re throwing away great match-ups by sticking them in an exclusive division, and people watch enough WWE between Raw, SmackDown, and NXT without watching 205 Live! as well. How am I supposed to be invested in this segment on Raw when I don’t watch the other show?
Eventually, Aries was able to hit the Discus Fivearm on Perkins for the win, but Neville remains undefeated against the TNA alum. Will that change this weekend at Payback?
Kalisto vs. Braun Strowman (in a dumpster match)
Answer this question honestly. How exactly is Kalisto supposed to get Braun Strowman into the dumpster? Outside of kayfabe, is it physically possible? There’s one way that Kalisto could win…
Before the match started, Strowman cut a promo where he said that Kalisto was trash, just like everyone in the stadium, and that they all belong in the trash. Beautiful.
Kalisto came out and played the cat and mouse game, using his superior quickness to run around Strowman. He was able to get some offense in, but eventually Strowman caught the Lucha Dragon in midair and literally threw him across the ring like the nWo did to Rey Mysterio in WCW.
Strowman went to throw Kalisto into the dumpster, but the former NXT tag team champion wrapped Strowman up, and for a brief moment, the monster among men hung on the rope and I almost believed he was going to fall in.
Infuriated, Strowman began bullying Kalisto, and no, he didn’t use any paranormal clotheslines. Something wild happened in this match. Fans started chanting “we want Roman”, and while the older, deeper voices chanted “Roman sucks”, it’s an improvement form what Roman was hearing the night after WrestleMania.
Strowman was trying to throw Kalisto into the dumpster, but the luchadore escaped, and believe it or not, actually managed to push Strowman into the dumpster. That’s right, Kalisto won this match! However, he lost the war.
Strowman beat the living hell out of Kalisto before tossing him in the dumpster, pushing the dumpster to the top of the stage. Backstage officials tried to stop Strowman, but he’s one of the biggest people alive, so they didn’t try very hard.
He pushed the dumpster off the stage, and surprisingly Roman Reigns didn’t come out. Is this going to be Braun’s new gimmick? Just flipping vehicles and pushing large objects like a bigfoot version of Stone Cold Steve Austin? Because I’m sorta down.
“I REALLY ENJOYED THE ASCENSION AS NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS” -Braun Strowman, probably.
— Ryan (@RyanSmithLWOS) April 25, 2017
Alicia Fox vs. Dana Brooke
Sometimes we get greedy. We complain about having to watch Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte every week and how repetitive the back and forth gets. Then we get something like this. Something like Alicia Fox vs. Dana Brooke. And we realize just how far the WWE has come in recent years.
This was fortunately a very short match because it was just terrible. This was a continuation of the segment with these women and Emma last week. After Brooke got the win, Emma gave her a hug and walked to the back. Please don’t do this, WWE. Please.
The Certified Knees vs. Samoa Joe and The Club
Is calling the team of Enzo Amore, Big Cass, and Seth Rollins the Certified Knees kinda offensive? probably. But even to Seth, I doubt it’s as offensive as the idea of this team. Three good guys against three bad guys because everyone involved has a match this Sunday? I thought Kurt Angle was GM, not Teddy Long.
Fortunately, before this match started, Samoa Joe and the Club attacked the Certified G’s. Seth Rollins’ music hit, and because he was part of the Shield, he easily disposed of Gallows and Anderson before attacking Joe. Eventually the Club returned, but so did Cass and they cleared the ring.
However, it looked like taking the Magic Killer outside the ring was enough to cripple Enzo Amore, and the doctors rushed to his side. We came back from break to see Kurt Angle announcing that Finn Balor was going to be replacing Enzo!
I can’t get over watching Finn Balor wrestle his former Bullet Club buddies. it’s absolutely surreal. In fact, this match is strange. New Japan Pro Wrestling, TNA, Ring of Honor, and wherever Cass went to medical school is being represented. Just wild.
I thought before this segment started that it would be absolutely terrible, but it actually ended up being pretty fun. Best segment of the night so far, and it finally looks like babyface Seth Rollins is starting to come into his own.
There was a great moment in the match where Rollins had Karl Anderson set up for the Pedigree, paused, and decided to debut his new finisher, which I’m tentatively calling the Kingslayer, for the win. Everyone keeps complaining that they saw Kenny Omega hit that move at Wrestle Kingdom 11, but I’ve gotta tell ya, if you’re not gonna like something because Kenny Omega did it first, there’s not much to like about modern wrestling.
Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, and Bayley
The love of my life Alexa Bliss came out to cut a promo about Bayley, mocking her repetitive childhood dream promos. Alexa Bliss hasn’t been wrestling anywhere near as long as Bayley has, but she absolutely ruined her on the microphone. Bayley awkwardly stumbled through a promo about retaining the title in her hometown, and Bliss just made her look stupid. It was wonderful.
Sasha Banks came to Bayley’s aid, because this program that should’ve culminated at WrestleMania is still happening. Banks came out, and she’s not CM Punk on the microphone either. After Bliss tried to escape, Banks blindsided her. Because that’s what babyfaces do.
Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss
This is where the roles reverse. As great as Bliss is on the microphone, she’s still inching along as an in-ring performer. Meanwhile, Banks is capable of truly fantastic matches. Her TakeOver for the Women’s NXT Championship with Bayley are the stuff of legends, and when she’s gotten time on Raw, she’s proven to be just as good.
However, Alexa Bliss had no interest in honoring the match and look the countout loss instead. Then Bayley left commentary and grabbed Alexa Bliss, trying to drag her to the ring. Because that’s what babyfaces do.
Curt Hawkins vs. Apollo Crews
Curt Hawkins was back in the ring with his “make a star” challenge gimmick. You wanna hate it, but it gets Curt Hawkins on TV every week. This week, it was Apollo Crews that came out, and I hope the make a star thing works, because this is the most I’ve seen of him on TV since the brand split.
Fortunately, Crews was able to actually have a match and even win it! He ran circles, almost literally, around Hawkins, and he didn’t even smile the whole time! Well, at least he didn’t smile all that much.
Small rant. The WWE should turn Apollo heel, but let him keep smiling. That would work so well for him. Imagine if he absolutely ruined someone, say Kalisto, with a steel chair, and he was smiling the whole time. Creepy.
After the match, Titus O’Neil came out and raised Apollo’s arm, taking a selfie, and and continuing his pursuit of Crews as a client. If this is done right, this could work wonders for both men.
The Miz and…? vs. Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho
Surprise! The Miz was able to find a tag team partner, and his name is, well we don’t know his name, because he was late!… If he even existed at all. Miz tried to get out of the match, but Kurt Angle wasn’t having any of it. The gold medalist said that if Miz couldn’t find a tag team partner, he would face Ambrose and Jericho by himself.
Jericho and Ambrose took turns torturing the Miz, because that’s what babyfaces do, and weirdly, Miz held his own. And by that I mean, he wasn’t immediately killed because he was wrestling two wrestlers at the same time.
Miz walked away, trying to take the countout loss, but Ambrose wasn’t having it. The Lunatic Fringe dragged Miz to the announce table, and was about to hit dirty deeds when Bray Wyatt‘s spooky titantron thing appeared and the Eater of Jobs appeared!
He hit Sister Abigal on Ambrose, smashing his head into the entrance screen. Jericho tried to rescue Ambrose, but Miz re-emerged to attack him. Wyatt and Miz dragged Jericho to the ring, but Y2J hit the A-Lister with a codebreaker. Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Jericho, and I guess this match was over by countout?
Miz stood next to Wyatt and began to celebrate, but he wasn’t having it, hitting Sister Abigal on Miz as well. Well… Welcome back to Raw, Bray Wyatt.
MVP- Braun Strowman
Another week, another Braun Strowman MVP. He lost his match, but then after the fact he destroyed his opponent. It’s a shame that there’s no way he beats Roman Reigns this weekend. C’mon. Reigns just retired The Undertaker, how is he gonna lose his first match back? Unless…
The Undertaker isn’t retired?
Star Count- 17.5/50 Total Possible Stars (35%)
Sure. It wasn’t a life-changing episode, but it was fun enough. However, you shouldn’t watch the whole thing. Maybe pick and choose your segments! The six man tag, some of the backstage segments, and the terror of Braun are fun. Maybe this is an episode where you delete the DVR’d version and watch the Hulu version instead, if that’s available to you. Thanks for reading!