WWE Monday Night Raw on May 8, 2017
Watch: USA Network, Hulu, WWE Network on a one-month delay
The O2 Arena – London, England
Raw emanates from London tonight, and you’d expect a wild crowd on hand. We’ve got a tag team turmoil match to determine the next challengers for the Hardyz, more in the wake of Braun’s destruction of Reigns, and Miz’s chase to regain the IC title. WWE is also teasing what’s next for Alexa Bliss, and if Bayley can rebound after losing her title and being pinned twice by Alexa in the past few weeks. Should be an interesting show, albeit on a tape delay, let’s see what they do.
Dean Ambrose kicks off the show, stating that he will be the interim GM for the night since Kurt Angle is out. Miz interrupts rather quickly and says Steph contacted her shortly after learning of Kurt’s plan and has made him in charge also. Looks like Dean and Miz will be co-running the show, after a few arguments of course. This doesn’t last long as BRAAAAUUNNNN interrupts and says he doesn’t care who is in charge, and he’s not finished with Reigns. Braun says after he’s finished with Reigns, he wants Brock. Kalisto interrupts very quickly, dressed like a Mortal Kombat character, challenging Braun to another match. Dean puts this match on for tonight, and Miz commends him for ending a man’s career as his first GM move. Dean responds by putting Miz in a match against Finn Balor, and it’s neeeext~!
Finn Balor vs. The Miz
A solid match between these two, both keeping up with each other’s offense throughout. Finn has looked pretty good since his return and Miz always does a stellar job making guys great. Maryse gets involved and Finn accidentally pushes into the referee, and Miz, as co-GM, forces the match to be called a DQ in favor of Miz. Ambrose interrupts and restarts the match with Maryse banned from ringside. Finn quickly attacks Miz and nails the Coup de Grace to win the match. A fun start to Raw.
Nia Jax confronts Alexa backstage and wants a title opportunity, Alexa skates around such a thing and says it’s not her decision, but says she’ll ask Kurt Angle when he gets back. Nia says until she gets an opportunity, they’re going to be ‘best friends’.
Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James
Battle of the former best friends. Bliss has her new best friend Nia as backup though, and Mickie brings out Bayley as her own backup. Mickie is a very good hand for the women’s division, and that shines through pretty well here. Alexa is truly one of the best heels the WWE has on their roster right now, from her facial expressions to her in-ring mannerisms, she puts all her effort into being as evil as possible. Nia’s attempt to get involved is stopped by Bayley attacking her, but Alexa drops Mickie from the top with a forearm and gets the pin off that, I guess. Alexa attacks Mickie but Bayley stops her and chases her off, while Nia flattens Mickie with a splash in the corner. Aside from the finish, a very solid match!
Miz and Dean argue backstage about their GM positions and what should fill the show. Miz puts Dean in a match with Bray as the main event.
A brawl breaks out between Rollins and Joe backstage, setting up a match for later tonight.
Braun Strowman vs. Kalisto
They showed a comical tale of the tape graphic before the match, they didn’t need to do that to Kalisto, man. They really need to give him a big push just based on his sick new gear and entrance. Braun says he won’t accept this match because he’s injured because Roman being a coward who won’t face him. The bell rings anyway and Braun levels Kalisto with a boot and kicks the hell out of him with one arm in a sling. Only Braun.
The match doesn’t last long as Roman Reigns appears, all wrapped up in bandages. Reigns hit a series of Superman Punches that sends Braun retreating but crushes Reigns with a boot when he runs at him, right in the bad shoulder. Good lord. The two injured big lads try to beat the hell out of each other to the best of their ability, attacking each other’s weaknesses. Braun retreats as Reigns stands tall.
(Tag Team Turmoil) Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Enzo/Cass, Anderson/Gallows, Golden Truth
Tag Team Turmoil match to determine the #1 Contender’s to the Hardy’s titles, the London crowd seemed firmly behind Cesaro/Sheamus as they took out Enzo and Cass in short order. Enzo getting brutally worked over with Cass being denied the hot tag every time Enzo nearly got to him and eventually tapping to a Sharpshooter from Cesaro.
The story remains the same for Slater and Rhyno, the next team to enter the turmoil match, as Heath is singled out and beaten to hell, both eliminated before Rhyno could even get in. Gallows/Anderson are the next ones out, showing the only signs of fight Cesaro/Sheamus have gotten so far, entertaining back and forth between the big boys, Sheamus hits a vicious Brogue Kick on Gallows to eliminate them, and the final team is none other than… The Golden Truth, who take advantage of the exhaustion of Sheamus and Cesaro.
Very solid hope spots for Golden Truth who get very close to victory, but Truth falls victim to a small package from Cesaro. Post-match, Cesaro/Sheamus kick down Golden Truth and send them out, and we get a tease of a brawl between them and the Hardyz. Overall, a fun showing of the new attitude of Cesaro and Sheamus, seeing them just run through everyone is very fun.
Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
A straight up brawl here, as you’d expect. Rollins’ scrappy offense against Joe shutting it down with his power and then torturing him. It’s not much of a match, but it works for the feud that they’ve got going. The whole of the match isn’t much, but the finishing stretch was really good with each trying to get a pinfall, and not able to get the three. Seth accidentally ripped off the turnbuckle pad trying to escape Joe, and Joe threw him into the exposed turnbuckle multiple times to cause a DQ, and then puts Seth to sleep post-match with a Coquina Clutch.
TJP vs. Jack Gallagher
A quick and hard-hitting match, Gallagher getting a real good near-fall off a headbutt, but genuinely the best part of this match was the heated banter between Cole and Neville on commentary, was pretty sure Neville was gonna start beating Cole down in the midst of the match. TJP won it with a roll-up, grabbing the tights, and then beating Jack down after before Aries made the save.
Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox
Not the best stuff here, and very short as it were. The finish came with Sasha hitting double knees off the top and grabbing Alicia into a pin, in which Alicia slipped out at the last second, but the three was still counted. They show a replay of this a few times, saying Alicia’s shoulder was definitely up but the ref’s decision is final. Genuinely not sure if this was a slip-up or an intentional angle they were going for, but I can’t imagine it was the latter.
Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt
This gives me bad flashbacks of their very not good feud long ago. Remember the exploding TV? Yeesh. In any case, this match doesn’t show much different in the present than it did in the past. Miz on commentary is a good highlight from this. I don’t hate either of these guys in-ring, but when you put them together it’s just bland, especially when it’s been seen and done. Ambrose’s ‘crazy’ high-flying offense to take down Bray’s rough powerhouse style, it’s not a bad match by any means, but you’d have trouble keeping your full attention. Even the London crowd devolves into random chanting after a while. Distractions from Miz, and a shot with the IC belt lead to Bray hitting Sister Abigail for the win. Miz beats Ambrose down and taunts him with his own belt, claiming he will take back the Intercontinental Championship next week when he beats Ambrose.
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW ON MAY 8, 2017
Average - 5/10
Tonight's show was filled with lots of matches with a lull on talking segments, which is a good thing usually! More wrestling is typically what you'd want to see, and it's nice to get that here but the matches, in general, were just kinda... there. The Tag Team Turmoil match stood out as the most entertaining overall, watching Cesaro/Sheamus destroy the teams that stepped up was awesome. Everything was decent or just bordering average. Nothing genuinely offensive sans a rather boring Bray/Ambrose match. The show in general just seemed like a lot of filler, nothing newsworthy occurring, nothing new to write home about. They have a tendency to do this with their taped shows as of the past few years, just generally solid or average shows that don't really serve many purposes. It seems like Raw is in a weird direction with the superstar shakeup, and the injury bug that seems to be rearing its head once again with The Revival out, and now their main attraction Braun out with an injury. Maybe this is just a road bump, but we'll see in the coming weeks.