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RAW Recap & Review – Episode 1304

WWE RAW
Episode 1304
#RAW

Original Air Date: May 21, 2018
Event Date: May 21, 2018 (aired live)

City: Albany, NY
Venue: Times Union Center

Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman
Ring Announcer: Jojo

 

Ring Area
Kurt Angle heads to the ring. Angle talks about tonight’s show including a contract signing between Rousey and Jax, and a qualifying match for the women’s Money in the Bank match. Stephanie McMahon interrupts and heads to the ring before Angle can announce any participants in that qualifying match.

Steph forgives Angle for everything that happened between them at Wrestlemania. She forgives him because she always does what’s best for business. What’s best for business tonight is apparently Stephanie MacMahon presiding over the contract signing rather than Angle. She also says that Angle hasn’t been handling Roman Reigns as well as he could. Reigns immediately comes out and heads to the ring.

Reigns wants Steph to say whatever she has to say to his face. Steph doesn’t understand Reigns’ hostility. If he can’t beat Lesnar, maybe he just needs to look for another line of work. Reigns tells Steph to watch her tone and he threatens to attack people backstage. He says Steph doesn’t want him anywhere near the Universal Title. Steph says Reigns lost his MitB qualifier, so if he has a problem with that, then he should take it up with Jinder Mahal. Reigns says he already did.

Kevin Owens comes out and says Reigns taking out Mahal allowed Owens to qualify for MitB. Owens says he really likes Roman Reigns. He tries to start a “thank you Roman” chant. It doesn’t work. Owens goes on to say that Roman is wrong about Stephanie playing favorites, and Owens is living proof of that. Owens puts his arm on Steph’s shoulder, and she does not like that. Steph makes a match between Owens and Reigns, and that match starts now.

 

Match 1
Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens
(referee: John Cone)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Roman Reigns wins via DQ when Jinder Mahal attacks
Time: 9:42 (joined in progress; 1 break)

Match Thoughts
This was okay. I think it went as well as could be expected. Reigns seemed to take Owens lightly, but it didn’t seem to affect him much. He still dominated a large portion of the match. Owens got in a few smart counter attacks, but he was mostly just trying to avoid Reigns as much as possible.

 

Ring Area
Jinder Mahal continues to attack Roman Reigns after the match. Kevin Owens starts to join in the attack on Reigns when Seth Rollins runs down to the ring. Rollins helps get Mahal and Owens away from Reigns.

 

Match 2
Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (IC Champ) vs Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh
(referee: John Cone)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Seth Rollins pins Kevin Owens after a curb stomp
Time: 10:27 (joined in progress; 1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. The addition of Rollins and Mahal to Reigns and Owens definitely made things more interesting and fun to watch. Unsurprisingly, the best stuff came from the interactions between Owens and Rollins.

 

Ring Area
As Reigns and Rollins head up to the stage after the match, Jinder Mahal attacks them both from behind with a chair. Mahal lays out both men, paying particular attention to Roman Reigns.

Ring Area
Sami Zayn heads to the ring. He has invited Bobby Lashley’s sisters to RAW tonight, so he calls them to the ring. Of course the sisters he brings out are all guys wearing dresses.

The first sister says Lashley was always picking on her, so she used a broom (which she has with her tonight) to swat Bobby away. The second sister has a helmet, the same helmet she used to protect herself from Bobby hitting her. The third sister has a towel, a towel she used to cry into after Bobby picked on her. They all talk about how Lashley was a bad kid, a brat, and a bully.

Bobby Lashley heads to the ring. Lashley smiles as he talks to his “sisters.” He thinks Zayn is hilarious and thanks him for being a good friend. Zayn tells Lashley that his family thinks Lashley is garbage. Lashley stops smiling. He grabs Zayn, but the sisters grab Lashley. Zayn leads a four-on-one attack on Lashley, but Lashley fights out of it. Lashley systematically clears the ring of all of his attackers.

Backstage
Renee Young welcomes Alexa Bliss. Bliss talks about ancient Rome to make a point about Ember Moon’s debut. Ember Moon made a surprise debut on RAW, and that’s why she defeated Bliss a few weeks ago. Tonight, Bliss is prepared.

 

Match 3
Ember Moon vs Alexa Bliss w/ Mickie James
(referee: Darrick Moore)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Ember Moon wins via pinfall after an Eclipse
Time: 5:37 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. I think this went well. It wasn’t super competitive, but I liked it. It’s interesting seeing Alexa Bliss without a title. It feels like she’s going to have to work her way back into a position where she’s winning more, and I think the journey could be fun.

 

Backstage
Finn Balor and Braun Strowman approach Stephanie McMahon. They were looking for Kurt Angle, and they want a rematch with Ziggler and McIntyre tonight. Steph points out that Balor and Strowman aren’t really partners and they’ll be competing against each other at Money in the Bank. So instead of a rematch, Steph makes a match in the spirit of “friendly competition”: Balor versus Strowman.

 

Match 4
No Way Jose vs Baron Corbin
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Baron Corbin wins via pinfall after End of Days
Time: 4:12

Match Thoughts
Good match. I really liked Jose’s aggressiveness. He went after Caorbin right away and seemed to throw Corbin off a little. Corbin would mount a comeback late in the match which wasn’t super entertaining, but up to that point I liked this fight.

 

Backstage
Chad Gable approaches Kurt Angle. Angle tells Gable that he wanted to put Gable in the MitB qualifying last week, but Stephanie overruled him. Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre walk up and make fun of Angle being kicked out of his office. Gable speaks up, so McIntyre and Ziggler talk down to him. Tensions rise, so Angle tells everyone that this will be settled in the ring.

 

Match 5
The B-Team vs Breezango
(referee: John Cone)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Curtis Axel pins Fandango after a tandem belly-to-back suplex and neckbreaker
Time: 1:43

Match Thoughts
This wasn’t much of a match, but it was pretty fun. I wish Breezango had a better start to their time on RAW, but I do like what’s happening with Axel and Dallas.

 

Ring Area
In the ring, Stephanie McMahon is set to preside over the RAW Women’s Title match contract signing between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey. She introduces both competitors who head to the ring.

With everyone in the ring, Steph asks Rousey how it feels to leapfrog the other women in the RAW women’s division who deserve a title match before her. Rousey says she understands that other women deserve a shot, but Jax didn’t challenge them. Jax chose Rousey. Steph tells Rousey that Jax is clearly trying to make a name at Rousey’s expense. Jax is bigger and stronger than Rousey, and Rousey hasn’t even had a singles match in WWE yet.

Steph then asks Jax why it took her so long to beat Alexa Bliss who is like a third of her size. Steph wonders if Jax is just lazy. If she’s lazy, how long will it take for Rousey to put Jax in an armbar? Steph continues to play both sides until she gets a rise out of Jax.

Jax says Rousey can’t get her in an armbar. Jax says she will beat Rousey and make a name for herself at Money in the Bank. Jax signs the contract, and Rousey does the same. Rousey then moves the table out of the way and grabs the mic. Rousey says she’s happy the truth came out, but regardless, she’s going to take Jax’s title and her arm.

 

Match 6
Chad Gable vs Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre
(referee: Chad Patton)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Dolph Ziggler wins via pinfall after a superkick
Time: 4:39 (joined in progress)

Match Thoughts
It was kind of short, but it was quite good. Gable had some great moves, as usual, and both men worked very well together. I’d like to see this match again, and for longer. I particularly liked the finish.

 

Match 7
Fatal Four Way Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Dana Brooke vs Liv Morgan vs Sarah Logan w/ Ruby Riott vs Natalya
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Natalya forces Sarah Logan to submit to a sharpshooter
Time: 4:26

Match Thoughts
I liked the match, though I was hoping for a different outcome. The action was good though. I liked how Logan and Morgan worked as a team pretty much the entire time and didn’t go for the usual shtick where teammates attack each other in these types of matches.

I will say that the commentary was exceptionally terrible here, with Cole and Graves talking over and dismissing Coach’s statements that were actually adding something to the match itself. Cole has a habit of dismissing perfectly good points and just plowing through his commentary whenever someone else is talking. Being the third commentator at the table with Cole and Graves has to be the worst job in WWE.

 

Ring Area
Charly Caruso congratulates Natalya and asks her if her experience is her greatest asset. Natalya says her experience is a huge asset, but so is her friendship with Ronda Rousey.

Ring Area
In the ring, Elias talks about the stock of WWE rising since Elias has been a part of the roster. He then sings a song about loving Elias. Afterwards, he ensures everyone that he does not love them in return. Bobby Roode’s music interrupts, and Roode heads to the ring.

 

Match 8
Elias vs Bobby Roode
(referee: Darrick Moore)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Elias wins via pinfall after Drift Away
Time: 5:13 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. This was another solid bout between these two guys.

 

Ring Area
As Elias heads up the ramp and reaches the stage, Braun Strowman runs out and runs over Elias. Strowman just keeps walking and heads to the ring for his match.

 

Match 9
Braun Strowman vs Finn Balor
(referee: Chad Patton)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Braun Strowman wins via pinfall after a running powerslam
Time: 10:32

Match Thoughts
Good match. It started like most Strowman matches do, with Strowman dominating as his opponent avoids him. But Balor managed to mount a good amount of offense as the match went along. I liked how Balor managed to turn some of Strowman’s signature moves against him.

 

Show Impressions
I think this show was okay. The Reigns stuff was kept to a minimum, and the matches were solid enough for RAW. I really hope Gable gets more screen time and isn’t just used to make others look good. The same goes for Breezango.

Match of the Night
Dolph Ziggler vs Chad Gable
The match would have been better had it been longer, but I think this was the most evenly fought and most entertaining match of the night.

 

Official Results:https://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2018-05-21

 

 

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