May 1, 2017
City: Sacramento, CA
Venue: Golden 1 Center
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T
Ring Announcer: Jojo
“Enemies” by Shinedown
Already in the ring, standing on a red mat around some sort of pedestal, are Mickie James, Emma, Dana Brooke, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, Alicia Fox, and Bayley. Jojo then introduces the new RAW Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss. In the ring, Alexa says “the queen is dead.” She then proclaims herself the goddess of WWE. As a goddess, and as the new champ, she says she deserves a proper coronation. First, she’d like to thank her friends in the women’s division.
She thanks Mickie James for still being around after all these years to inspire her, just like Mickie inspired Alexa when she was growing up. Alexa then tells Sasha how she should address the new champ. She tells Nia that she’s great. Then, from atop her pedestal, Alexa thanks Bayley for being there to lose for Alexa. While Alexa was basking in her win at Payback, she remembers seeing Bayley’s nephews bawling their eyes out. But, she says, it’s okay. Now they have a real role model to look up to.
With that, Bayley dumps Alexa from the pedestal and attacks her. All the women brawl as we head to a commercial break.
Bayley & Sasha Banks & Dana Brooke & Mickie James vs Alexa Bliss (RAW Women’s Champ) & Alicia Fox & Nia Jax & Emma
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Alexa Bliss pins Bayley after a DDT
Time: 10:22 (1 break)
Very good match! This was a lot of fun. It started off as kind of a typical multi-person match, with people trading tags for a bunch of different matchups early. Things started to settle down once Alicia Fox came in and got isolated away from her corner. Eventually she made a tag to shift the momentum (during the commercial).
After the break, the pace picked up considerably and let to a wildly frantic and well-done finish. Out of all of this, I kind of want to see a match/feud between Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox. They spent a lot of time in the ring together, and at the end the just starting flailing at each other. It looked violent and fantastic!
Enzo and Cass make their way to the ring. Enzo talks about being tired since they didn’t sleep last night after living out their dream of beating Gallows and Anderson in the ring. As Cass is about to speak, Anderson and Gallows attack from behind.
Enzo Amore w/ Big Cass vs Luke Gallows w/ Karl Anderson
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Luke Gallows wins via pinfall after a fireman’s carry flapjack
Pretty good match. Gallows beat up on Enzo a lot, but Enzo got a few shots in here and there. The ending felt somewhat inevitable, but it wasn’t a bad match.
TJ Perkins asks Neville what happened at Payback. “Other people” think Neville was about to tap out before he took the easy way out. Neville tells Perkins to “tread carefully.” The ref was out of position. Neville then reminds Perkins that Austin Aries is a problem for both of them, because if he’s champ, then how will Perkins ever get a title shot?
Seth Rollins heads to the ring. Rollins is feeling “really good” tonight. He’s had highs and lows, but you have to embrace the good and the bad. When you’re down, you have to do something about it. That’s what he did. He beat both Triple H and Samoa Joe, so there’s only one thing left to do: beat The Beast and take the Universal Title. That’s when Finn Balor comes out and heads to the ring.
Balor reminds Rollins that he was the first Universal Champion, a title he beat Rollins for with one arm. Balor never lost his title, so the line for a title shot starts with him. Dean Ambrose then decides to join the party.
Ambrose points out that Lesnar doesn’t fight often, and RAW deserves a fighting champ. Ambrose fights all the time, so the IC Title is now the top title on RAW. The Miz and Maryse come out next.
Miz says neither Balor nor Rollins has earned anything, and Ambrose is an embarrassment as champ. Miz says he deserves the IC Title because he made it mean something. Balor chimes in to say he beat up The Miz last night. Miz calls Balor a coward for hitting him with a cheap shot, points out that Ambrose didn’t even defend his title at Payback, and calls Rollins a gimp. Miz is then told to shut up by everyone in the ring (except Maryse).
Ambrose has a solution. He calls Kurt Angle on his phone. After a brief discussion, Ambrose says Angle set up a triple threat match to determine the number one contender for the IC Title: Rollins vs Balor vs Miz.
** What this segment really told me is that Lesnar isn’t going to be on RAW any time soon. The IC Title really is RAW’s top title. By default. **
At Payback, Strowman injured Reigns. Again.
Tony Nese & The Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar vs Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa & Gentleman Jack Gallagher
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Jack Gallagher pins Brian Kendrick after running dropkick
Time: 7:34 (1 break)
Good match. It was a bit back and forth early, but Tony Nese started to dominate. After a while, Rich Swann got the tag and the energy in the match exploded. It started to break down from there, leading to a very good final segment and finish.
Cesaro and Sheamus head to the ring. Sheamus says it feels good to be “set free.” He’s never really liked the fans. They’ve always treated him poorly. But Cesaro once had the support of the fans… until Wrestlemania. That’s when the Hardy Boyz showed up and stole their moment. Cesaro claims the fans would rather live in the past and appreciate someone like the Hardys rather than cherish what is right in front of them. The Hardys are a novelty act, and they won’t last. Sheamus and Cesaro don’t set the bar, they are the bar.
Sheamus and Cesaro are about to leave the ring when the Hardy Boyz come out to the stage. Matt thanks Sheamus and Cesaro for their explanation. The Hardys’ response? To run and attack (and delete). Sheamus and Cesaro avoid a fight by leaving the ring and backing away up the ramp.
Charly Caruso asks The Miz (with Maryse) what his strategy for the triple threat match is. As he’s speaking, Ambrose walks up and takes the microphone from Charly. Ambrose makes a comment about Miz’s hair, and The Miz just walks away.
From YouTube earlier today, Apollo Crews, Heath Slater, and Rhyno talk about kids. Titus O’Neil walks up and excuses Slater and Rhyno. If Crews wants advice, he should go to Titus.
Heath Slater w/ Rhyno vs Apollo Crews w/ Titus O’Neil
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Apollo Crews wins via pinfall with a spin-out powerbomb
Pretty good match. Nothing really wrong with it, and both guys looked fine, but I just don’t think it was terribly engaging. Maybe it was just a little too short.
Kurt Angle heads to the ring. Angle says that that both Reigns and Strowman were injured in the match at Payback. They’ve also both said that they’re not done with each other. As he’s talking, the lights go out and Bray Wyatt heads to the ring.
Bray introduces himself to Angle and shakes his hand. Bray isn’t here for destruction, he’s here as a savior. He’s been reborn, and he can fix everyone on RAW. He holds the cure in his mind, body, and soul. He asks Angle if he is going to allow Bray to do his work, or will Angle stand in his way. Angle reminds Bray that RAW is Angle’s show. Bray reminds Angle that this is his world.
Dean Ambrose attempts to interview Seth Rollins. He asks Rollins if he has what it takes to beat Dean Ambrose. Rollins says he’s beaten Ambrose before. They continue to talk in the third person, and Rollins seems to get a little annoyed.
Austin Aries vs TJ Perkins
(referee: Rod Zapata; watching in the back: Neville)
Result: Austin Aries wins via submission with the Last Chancery
Time: 7:45 (1 break)
Good match. Perkins worked on Aries’ leg in a convincing fashion. This was nicely competitive, and I liked the sequence that led to the finish. If felt like we’ve seen this before though.
After the match, Perkins attacks Aries from behind and locks him in a knee bar. After a while he releases the hold and walks away.
** Overall, this whole segment felt a lot like the first night that Perkins turned on and attacked Aries. Nothing very new here. **
Ambrose interviews Finn Balor. Ambrose asks Balor if he’s nervous. Finn Balor eats nerves and produces results. Ambrose then offers Balor a donut. After Finn takes a bite and walks away, Ambrose sees Elias Samson walk by.
Goldust pitches an idea to Kurt Angle: The Golden Quest. R-Truth explains that they want to challenge the Hardys for the RAW Tag Titles. Angle says he can’t sanction the match because their win-loss record isn’t good. Goldust just wants to prove that they’re not a joke. Angle decides to make a tag team turmoil match next week to determine the number one contenders.
** I thought Goldust told the Hardys that they’d already been approved to have a match with the winners of the title match at Payback… But yeah, I always love turmoil matches, so this is fine. **
In a video from Facebook, Kurt Angle wished Chris Jericho well on his move to SmackDown.
Triple Threat IC Title Number One Contender Match
Finn Balor vs The Miz w/ Maryse vs Seth Rollins
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: The Miz pins Finn Balor after Bray Wyatt appears and hits Sister Abigail on Balor
Time: 18:28 (1 break)
Fantastic match. So good. This is probably the best combination of fantastic in-ring action and pro-wrestling shenanigans that I’ve seen in a long time. The match went on for a while, building from a story-driven start to a highly competitive and hard-hitting match with all three guys looking absolutely great. Then Samoa Joe and Bray Wyatt both involved themselves in the match, which did play a direct role in the finish, but even the interference was nicely done and just made the match that much more unexpected and exciting.
I really liked this show. Not every segment was great, but a few were, and no segment was bad. There was good continuity throughout the show with Ambrose repeatedly showing up and doing his (pretty good) comedy bit. People that don’t normally get a lot of screen time were given some on this show. And the matches were good, with the main event being great. I’ll probably be watching a lot of this show again.
Match of the Night
Finn Balor vs The Miz vs Seth Rollins
I think the opening eight-woman tag match was great, but the triple threat really stole the show. Great, great match.