Original Air Date: May 28, 2018
Event Date: May 28, 2018 (aired live)
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman
Ring Announcer: Jojo
WWE honors Memorial Day.
Braun Strowman heads to the ring. He says that the Money in the Bank briefcase motivates him. It motivates him to destroy seven other men so he can become “Mr. Monster in the Bank.” Who’s going to stop him?
Finn Balor heads to the ring. Balor thinks Strowman is getting ahead of himself. Balor says he never lost the Universal Title, and that makes him determined to take back what’s his. Balor gave everything he had last week against Strowman , but at Money in the Bank there will be six more guys all competing for the same thing. Strowman says Balor put up a good fight for a little guy. Balor slaps Strowman, so Strowman throws Balor across the ring and out to the floor.
Kurt Angle comes out to the stage. He likes the intensity he’s seeing. He enjoyed last week’s match, so he thinks we should see a rematch between Balor and Strowman. Right now.
Braun Strowman vs Finn Balor
(referee: Shawn Bennett; guest commentary: Kevin Owens; watching in the back: Bobby Roode)
Result: Finn Balor wins via DQ when Kevin Owens attacks
Time: 7:57 (1 break)
Good match. Strowman dominated early, but Balor mounted a very convincing comeback. Balor was headed to a possible victory when Kevin Owens derailed things, but I still liked how this match went.
Kevin Owens continues his attack after the match, using a ladder on Balor. Owens tries to hit Strowman with the ladder as well, but Strowman takes the ladder away from him. Owens quickly runs away while Strowman throws the ladder at him on the ramp.
Kevin Owens is freaking out as he tries to leave the building. Kurt Angle walks up and tells Owens he isn’t going anywhere. He has a match tonight against Bobby Roode, so he better get ready.
Sasha Banks doesn’t need luck in tonight’s gauntlet match. Bosses don’t need luck.
In the ring, Elias tries to begin playing a new song, but tonight’s lighting is wrong. He can see too many of Richmond’s disgusting people, so he has the lights turned down even more. He also wants his vocals turned up so he can hear more of himself and less of the crowd. He also needs complete silence. He continues to talk as the show goes to a commercial break.
After the break, Elias is still trying to get people to shut their mouths. He threatens to leave when Seth Rollins’ music begins playing. Rollins heads to the ring. Rollins tosses Elias’ chair from the ring, so Elias decides to leave.
Intercontinental Title Match
Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh vs Seth Rollins (IC Champ)
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Jinder Mahal wins via DQ after Seth Rollins attacks him with a chair
Time: 9:09 (1 break)
Good match. Rollins made this match highly energetic. The action was fast and practically non-stop. Mahal managed to get some offense, but it wasn’t until Sunil Singh got involved that things really started to get tense. Singh’s distractions and interference led to a less than satisfying finish, but it all worked together to make sense. It also led directly to the after-match shenanigans.
Rollins chases Mahal away with a chair. Worked up, Rollins climbs up onto the announce table while holding the chair. As Rollins looks out towards the crowd, Elias comes up from behind and breaks a guitar over Rollins’ back. Rollins falls forward, off the table and stage down to the floor.
Back from a commercial break, Rollins is being strapped to a stretcher. Jamie Noble and Adam Pearce try to get Rollins to stay down, but Rollins refuses to be stretchered away.
Nia Jax heads to the ring for a match. As she’s heading down the ramp, Ronda Rousey comes out. Rousey heads to the announce table to do some commentary for Jax’s exhibition match. Jax uses the woman who would be her opponent, Michelle Webb, to demonstrate how Rousey’s armbar won’t be effective on her. Jax continues to beat up Webb until she decides to call Rousey to the ring. Rousey stares down Nia Jax, but Jax laughs and walks away.
Dana Brooke crunches numbers to determine how to win tonight’s gauntlet match.
Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt (RAW Tag Champs) vs The Ascension
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Matt Hardy pins Viktor after the Kiss of Deletion
Good match. This was a fine exhibition for the tag champs. I hope they get a good feud started soon though.
Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel tell Kurt Angle that they want a tag title match. Angle says they’re doing well, but beating the same team two weeks in a row doesn’t qualify them for a title match. There are a lot of other tag teams on RAW in front of them. Bo Dallas reasons that if they give something to the other tag teams and get their approval, then The B-Team can have a title shot. So, Dallas decides to invite the RAW tag teams to a barbecue. Angle is confused.
The Riott Squad trashes a locker room as they talk about winning tonight’s gauntlet match by working as a team.
Bobby Roode vs Kevin Owens
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Kevin Owens wins via pinfall with a counter to a sunset flip
Time: 6:29 (1 break)
Good match. I liked the finish and how it showed that either man could have won.
After the match, Braun Strowman begins to stalk Owens. Owens runs, but Bobby Roode blocks his path. Strowman gets Owens in the ring and hits him with a pair of running powerslams. Strowman then grabs Roode and hits him with a running powerslam as well.
Sami Zayn heads to the ring. He reads a formal apology for his actions last week. Zayn did something last week he thought he would never do. He lied to everyone. Lashley’s sisters last week were not actually Lashley’s sisters. In fact, they were men. He was just trying to illustrate a point, but he is sorry for what he did.
However, everything Zayn said last week was true. He thinks history will look back on last week’s segment favorably. He is doing the right thing by exposing Lashley as a liar. SO really, he shouldn’t have to say he’s sorry. Everyone should be apologizing to Zayn.
Bobby Lashley heads to the ring. Lashley starts off by saluting and thanking those who serve in the military. Lashley then tells Zayn that his sisters think Zayn is funny, but his shtick gets old fast. Lashley wants to settle whatever problem they have in the ring. Zayn shakes Lashley’s hand and tells him he’s going to kick Lashley’s smile off his face. Lashley crushes Zayn’s hand and apologizes for everything he will do to Zayn at Money in the Bank.
Mickie James has her eye on the prize, and she knows what to do to get there.
Drew McIntyre w/ Dolph Ziggler vs Chad Gable
(referee: Shawn Bennett)
Result: Drew McIntyre wins via pinfall after a Claymore kick
Pretty good match, but it was almost completely one-sided. It was definitely a powerful performance from McIntyre, but I was hoping it would be at least a little bit competitive.
The B-Team hosts a Memorial Day BBQ in the ring. They’ve invited The Ascension, Breezango, Heath Slater, Rhyno, The Revival, Titus O’Neil, and Apollo Crews. Titus O’Neil does not approve of the food selection, and he doesn’t approve of The B-Team trying to jump to the front of the line in the tag division. Heath Slater thinks The B-Team have provided a feast, but he agrees with Titus that The B-Team doesn’t deserve a title shot.
Dallas and Axel decide to take their food back. This, of course, causes a food fight. Everyone participates except for Rhyno. He’s still eating as everyone leaves the ring. Dallas and Axel return to the ring and put Rhyno through one of the tables set up for the food.
Dallas and Axel go to Kurt Angle and demand a tag title match. Angle says things will be settled in the ring. Next week, there will be a tag team battle royal to determine number one contenders for Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt’s tag titles.
Bayley heads to the ring for the main event. Charly Caruso enters the ring and asks Bayley how she feels about being the first entrant in tonight’s gauntlet match. Bayley has a positive attitude about her chances.
Gauntlet Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Bayley vs Liv Morgan vs Sarah Logan vs Ruby Riott vs Dana Brooke vs Mickie James vs Sasha Banks
(referee: John Cone; watching in the back: Ember Moon, Alexa Bliss, Natalya)
Result: Sasha Banks wins and will enter the Money in the Bank match
Fall 1: Bayley pins Liv Morgan after a Bayley to Belly (0:11)
Fall 2: Bayley pins Sarah Logan with a victory roll (1:47)
Fall 3: Ruby Riott pins Bayley after a Riott Kick (3:45 – 1 break)
Fall 4: Ruby Riott pins Dana Brooke after a Riott Kick (5:08 – 1 break)
Fall 5: Ruby Riott pins Mickie James with a schoolboy (8:28 – 2 breaks)
Fall 6: Sasha Banks forces Ruby Riott to submit to the Bank Statement (14:55 – 2 breaks)
Time: 14:55 (2 breaks)
Ruby Riott was great in this, and I think the second half of the match was really good, but I was a little disappointed with the first half. The Riott Squad talked about working as a team, but two of their three members went down easily, without working together. There was a little bit of Riott Squad unity late in the match, but it wasn’t anything like I’d hoped they would do. I also didn’t care for the Riott Squad all coming out one after another. It makes it feel too set-up when they do things like that. The order is obviously not random.
Still, I liked the match quite a lot. My enjoyment was mostly based on Banks versus Riott, and watching Ruby excel throughout the match. The other women looked good as well, everyone did, but some of the falls were very short. It always feels weird to me in matches with multiple falls when people are beaten in an unrealistically short amount of time. Yeah, I get that they only have so much TV time, but if that’s a problem, then don’t have the match or just do what they did with that gauntlet that took up about half of RAW a few weeks ago.
This was an okay show. I liked the main event and some of the other stuff like Elias attacking Rollins. A lot of the show felt like they were kind of coasting a bit, so it wasn’t great, but it was fine.
The one thing I’m not really liking is the change they’re making to Nia Jax. I think the story they built around her and Alexa Bliss was good for Jax (despite the story as a whole making almost no sense). But now Jax really is becoming a bully. I feel like it undermines what they’ve built, and it makes me not care anymore. Her anti-bully speech from a few weeks ago feels hollow now.
Also, having Ronda Rousey’s first singles match be for the title is aggravating. Not so much because she’s getting a title shot, that’s fine and I expected her to enter the title picture quickly, but it’s annoying because of how they assured us that this wouldn’t happen. Rousey has been saying she doesn’t want special treatment, but all she’s been given is special treatment. Yeah, I know, the story line is that Nia Jax challenged her. I get it. But come on, when we talk about special treatment, we’re not talking about in-story stuff.
Is it an interesting match? Sure, but it would be more interesting if it had been built up to more. Will it be good? Probably, but that’s not the point. The creative side of the business does affect how we perceive the characters. I wish Ronda Rousey the best, and she’s been great so far, but I think it would have been a more interesting story if Rousey had turned down Nia Jax. Have her refuse the challenge and the title opportunity. It would help Rousey character, because right now she is taking advantage of her name and position to jump over the other women on the show. She’s getting special treatment, something Rousey has said she doesn’t want. Have Rousey say that she wants to earn a title shot, then have her compete against every woman on the RAW roster over the summer. Have her lose some matches due to inexperience in a pro wrestling ring, and make it look like she might not earn a title shot.
At the same time, have Nia basically chase Rousey, continuing to urge her to accept her challenge. You could spin that story to have Nia Jax look like she’s trying to make a name for herself by capitalizing on Rousey’s inexperience in the WWE. But as Rousey fights over the summer, she’s getting better, and Jax is getting nervous. Have Jax cost Rousey a number one contender match heading into Summer Slam. The tables have now turned. Rousey is now chasing Jax. Have Rousey start to think like a pro wrestling by working her way into a position where she beats the number one contender, thereby forcing the GM to make some decisions. Then have Rousey get her title shot however that all shakes out. That way Rousey doesn’t go back on what she said before (like she’s doing now), and the title match means a lot more.
Anyway, that’s what I would do.
Oh yeah, and I’d also push Chad Gable into a position where Kurt Angle starts liking him and taking him under his wing. That’s an easy setup for a feud with Jason Jordan whenever he returns. An angry Jason Jordan has to be better than the confusingly whiny Jordan they were giving us.
Match of the Night
The second half of the match was better than the first, but I did like this match as a whole.
Official Results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2018-05-28