Dean Ambrose and The Miz are set to have an intercontinental showdown. Will Ambrose retain? Will Miz get his belt back? Find out! Also, Braun Strowman is out for half a year apparently. How will WWE audible? Who will Roman Reigns feud with? Is Seth Rollins going to keep feuding with Samoa Joe even though the base of this feud is nine months old? Let’s find out!
Monday Night Raw Report: Intercontinental Showdown
The Extreme Rules Fatal Fiveway
The show opened with the show’s general manager, Kurt Angle. I won’t lie to you guys, I still mark out every single time his music hits, and honestly it looks like he’s just so happy to be back in WWE. He broke down Braun Strowman’s injury, before announcing that Strowman would be out for six months.
He announced that there would be a Fatal FiveWay match at Extreme Rules between Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Bray Wyatt, and Roman Reigns to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. However, as he was heading to the back, Roman’s music hit andt he big dog came out, still selling his bad arm.
He stared down the Raw GM before saying that they didn’t need a fatal fiveway match, declaring himself the number one contender. He said he was the only one that could defeat Lesnar, and that’s when Finn Balor came out, reminding everyone that yes, he was the first Universal Champion. Balor then reminded Reigns that he defeated him on his first night on Raw.
This is when Samoa Joe came out. He predicted that he’d win the fatal fiveway, and that’s when the spooky, scary, titantron flashed and Bray Wyatt was in the middle of the ring. He predicted that the other three men would cower in front of Lesnar. And that’s when, predictably, Rollins came out.
He said that they weren’t out here to talk, they were out there to fight, and chaos ensued. Rollins and Joe fought, Bray and Roman fought, and Finn Balor took a nap.
Bray blindsided Rollins, but was attacked by Roman. The Shieldmates teamed up on Bray briefly before Balor attacked Rollins. Everyone brawled and Balor stood tall as the segment ended.
Jeff Hardy (with Matt Hardy) vs. Sheamus (with Cesaro)
Jeff Hardy, with brother
BROK Matt in his corner took on Sheamus with Cesaro in his. Jeff, in honor of his lost tooth, rushed Sheamus to start the match. However, Sheamus quickly took over and began beating Jeff Hardy down.
It was so-so. There was a spot where Sheamus was going to Brogue-Kick a distracted Jeff Hardy, only to hit Matt instead, but he missed. Yeah. He flat out missed, so Matt didn’t sell anything. Sheamus just kicked Matt again, and he fell into Cesaro. Ugly stuff.
Eventually Hardy hit a Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb for the win, but what a forgettable match.
Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox (with Noam Dar)
Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox faced off, and the two had a surprisingly decent match. Sasha started the match with a sick kick to Fox, and Fox hit that beautiful Northern Lights suplex. Sasha tried to roll Fox up, but she kicked out and hit the bicycle kick for the win.
That’s right. Alicia Fox beat Sasha Banks, clean, on Monday Night Raw.
The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose
The IC title match isn’t the main event? So I guess Ambrose is retaining, and then dropping the belt to Miz at Extreme Rules?
— Ryan (@RyanSmithLWOS) May 16, 2017
This isn’t the main event? But the Intercontinental Championship is on the line… Well. That’s odd. Well, let’s see if they can steal the show.
Miz spent the first couple of minutes of the match being a heel, channelling his inner Toru Yano, hanging onto the ropes. After that, it became a back and forth affair.
It was a pretty solid bout. Ambrose had a nifty reversal, turning an attempted Skull-Crushing Finale into a roll up, but Miz kicked out. Ambrose did his cheesy off-the-ropes lariat thing, but Miz reversed it into a Skull-Crushing Finale! However… Ambrose kicked out.
Both men teased finishers in this match, and if Ambrose hadn’t kicked out of the SCF, it would’ve meant a lot more. Miz rolled out of the ring, and when Ambrose went to the top rope, Maryse stood in front of him. However, Ambrose didn’t care, and he jumped anyway. Fortunately, Maryse moved out of the way just in time.
Unfortunately, Ambrose hit a low-blow to retain his title. That’s… odd. Not exactly how babyfaces keep their titles, but what can ya do?
Alexa Bliss and Bayley
The Raw Women’s Champion was in the middle of the ring, and she was trashing Newark, New Jersey. She absolutely destroyed the crowd, even getting them with the Pavlovian “losers say what” move.
She was cutting a hell of a heel promo when Bayley came out. And honestly, she was unbearably awkward on the microphone. Let’s talk about that for a second.
Bayley’s character is awful. It’s absolutely terrible. In NXT, her character was awesome because she came off like the girl next door. On the main roster, she just comes off like a child. Like, she comes off naiive and gets nervous when people cut promos on her.
She was a badass in NXT. On the main roster, she just comes off like a petulant child. She became champion with help from Banks, and then she retained her belt with help from Banks.
Back in the ring, Alexa Bliss made Bayley a little too angry, and Bayley attacked. Alexa rolled out of the ring, and introduced a kendo stick. She nailed Bayley across the back and the hugger rolled out of the ring.
Is this match going to be extreme rules?
Neville and TJP vs. Austin Aries and Marty Scurll Knockoff
Neville, the Cruiserweight Champion and the man known as TJP faced off against Austin Aries and Jack Gallagher halfway through the show. This entire match happened during a commercial break. Seriously. I saw two commercials about Backlash before the match came back.
The crowd didn’t care about this match at all, and I can’t blame them. For one, we’ve seen this match 800 times, for two, this cruiserweight division is a disaster. And while I can’t speak for the crowd, it’s hard to be invested in a match that happened almost completely during commercials.
TJP eventually stole the win, pinning Jack Gallagher, but man, that should’ve been so much more.
Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns
A main event caliber match took us into the final hour of the show as Finn Balor took on Roman Reigns. How weird is it to see either of these guys so early in the show? Would’ve sworn this would be the main event.
Early on it was Roman’s power that was overcoming Finn’s technical proficiency. Reigns dominated, throwing Balor around the ring and stomping on him. Reigns was treating Finn like a ragdoll, tossing him all over the place.
Hey WWE, I know you’re obsessed with getting this failed football player over, but you’re not doing Finn any favors. Oh yeah? He can’t handle wrestlers that are bigger than him? Good thing the Universal Champion isn’t a giant freak athlete…
Eventually Finn made his comeback, but it just felt underwhelming. Reigns continued to sell his bad arm, but even then, he was able to manhandle Balor. This match honestly dragged on. They tried to incorporate psychology, but it didn’t do anything for either man.
Reigns can’t do anything because his arm hurts, and Balor can’t do anything because his back hurts, but they’re going to beat Rollins, Bray, and Joe?? Sure. Whatever. That makes sense if you’re a senile billionaire.
Anyway, after Balor couldn’t hit the coups de grace, Reigns hit a spear and got the win. Balor’s first pinfall loss on the main roster came because a one-armed Roman Reigns said Ooaa. Wonderful.
The Golden Truth vs…
Before this match could even start, Goldust attacked R-Truth, and I honestly laughed so hard. I hated this tag team, and I’m so happy to see it implode. Goldust absolutely destroyed Truth before grabbing a microphone to say “That’s what’s up”. This is easily the best segment tonight.
Enzo Amore vs. Apollo Crews
I was getting ready for the main event and then Enzo Amore and Big Cass came out. Sigh. Enzo was cutting his normal promo when Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews came out. Titus was mocking the Certified G’s gimmick by talking Crews up. Nobody hate me, but I actually really like this pairing.
It was at this point that we were made aware that the match wasn’t between Crews and Amore… but Big Cass and Titus O’Neil.
Titus O’Neil vs. Big Cass
It was at this point that Titus actually wrestled Big Cass… while wearing a suit. Shenanigans ensued as Titus took off his belt and was about to hit Cass. Enzo distracted him, Cass hit the big boot, and Cass got the W.
After the match, Enzo was mocking Titus, preparing to take a selfie with the duo, but he ate a dropkick from Crews. Alright! That’s what I’m talking about.
Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt
So… Samoa Joe is totally gonna interfere and ruin Rollins vs. Wyatt, isn’t he?
— Ryan (@RyanSmithLWOS) May 16, 2017
What is there to say about this bout? Rollins was faster and more athletic while Bray laid the big hits and out-muscled the architect. At one point during the match, Wyatt hit an ugly superplex off the top rope.
However, it didn’t really feel like these two had exceptional chemistry. They always seemed to be a second early or late on their moves, and the match felt kinda sloppy. Rollins seemed to keep grabbing his back throughout the match.
Rollins started to turn things up, but then guess what? I called it, Samoa Joe interfered and ruined everything. The match ended in DQ and Joe destroyed Rollins. Wyatt then came in the ring and helped Joe beat Rollins down.
Bray tricked Joe into thinking they were on the same side before hitting Sister Abigail on him, and then Rollins. The show closed with Bray standing… kneeling? Tall.
Star Count- 12/50 Total Possible Stars (24%)
Nope. If you missed this episode, I’m glad you found my review, because this show was just about as bad as Raw has been in recent memory. There was an IC title match, Reigns vs. Balor, and Rollins vs. Wyatt, and it was still a bum show. Maybe next week will be better.