Monday Night Raw – May 7, 2018

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 7, 2018
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman

We’re coming off….whatever Backlash was supposed to be last night and that means it’s time to start setting up Money in the Bank. Aside from the weeks of singles matches between the qualifiers and that same song that they’ve used for at least five years now, I’m not sure what else we have coming up. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Kurt Angle to get things going, walking past the ladders on the stage on the way. Angle talks about how WWE never stops, fifty two weeks a year (tell me about it). That brings us to Money in the Bank qualifying matches, which start tonight with two triple threat matches. First up we’ll have Ember Moon vs. Ruby Riott vs. Sasha Banks, followed by Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor vs. Sami Zayn.

Cue Braun Strowman to interrupt and ask about when he was a kid and all of his friends built a tree house. No one asked him to help and he had to listen to them talk about their secret handshake to get into the tree house. Then one day, he waited until they were all in the tree house and knocked the whole tree down. With the story of attempted/successful murder out of the way, Angle thinks Strowman should deserve a shot (what kind of shot isn’t specified) at Money in the Bank.

Cue Kevin Owens (Happy Birthday) to point out that Sami wasn’t legal last night so Strowman isn’t on a roll. The only thing Strowman deserves is to go to a giant corner so he can reflect on how he’s been a very bad monster! Strowman offers Owens his hands but Kevin isn’t interested. Instead he talks about how Stephanie McMahon is watching and thinks he should be entered straight into the ladder match. Angle makes a qualifying match between Owens and Strowman, which starts RIGHT NOW. Well after the break but close enough.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Kevin Owens vs. Braun Strowman

Strowman shoves Owens away to start, knocking the referee down in the process. Some whips into the corner knock Owens down twice in a row before sending him outside. Owens tries to bail into the crowd but manages to catch Strowman in a tornado DDT. Strowman beats the count at eight and Owens is losing his mind. Back in and Strowman hits him in the chest but Owens sends him outside again as we take a break. We come back with Strowman hitting the same kind of knockdown as he did earlier, only to get kicked in the head.

Owens gets two off a backsplash but Strowman pops up with a big boot. Strowman misses a charge into the corner and it’s a superkick into the bullfrog splash for two more. There’s another superkick but the Pop Up Powerbomb just isn’t happening. Instead it’s a splash in the corner and Owens bails outside. The running gag continues with Strowman shouldering him down three times in a row. Back in and the running powerslam sends Strowman to the ladder match at 8:42.

Rating: C. This wasn’t too bad with Owens getting in some offense before falling short. Strowman should be on his way to the Universal Title so hopefully this is a step in the right direction. However, there’s a good chance that Strowman is the guy who gets close to winning and comes up short while Lesnar holds the title for the better part of ever. You know, longer than he already has.

Roman Reigns says he’s the uncrowned Universal Champion. Tonight he’s going to qualify for Money in the Bank and then get his title.

Bayley wants to hug the Money in the Bank briefcase.

Breezango wants the golden ticket in the briefcase. Fandango: “I thought it was a contract.”

Goldust wants to go to Money in the Bank but here’s Jinder Mahal to interrupt. He wants to be in the triple threat match instead of Reigns so Angle gives him a match with Chad Gable. If Mahal wins, Angle will consider it.

No Way Jose/Titus Worldwide vs. Revival/Baron Corbin

But remember: Vince loves Corbin. Titus throws Wilder around to start before it’s off to Apollo for a suplex on Dawson. Corbin comes in to beat the heck out of Crews, including sending him face first into the apron. Dawson comes back in under more favorable circumstances with an abdominal stretch. That’s broken up and everything breaks down with Crews being low bridged to the floor. Corbin makes a blind tag as Jose hits the pop up punch on Dawson. End of Days knocks Jose silly for the pin at 4:59.

Rating: D. Pretty messy match here with Corbin hopefully wrapping things up with Jose (I like Jose but he’s WAY out of his league with Corbin). This feels more like just throwing people out there for the sake of filling in some time, which isn’t quite what you would be hoping for from Corbin. Not very good either, which isn’t helping things.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Ruby Riott vs. Ember Mon vs. Sasha Banks

Sasha and Ember get together to start and take Riott down, only to have Banks roll Moon up for two. Some rather athletic armdrags have Banks in trouble but Riott comes back in to send Sasha face first into the middle buckle. Sasha gets sent outside again as we hear about how successful Money in the Bank cash-ins have been. A double DDT plants Sasha and Moon for two each and it’s off to a chinlock on Moon. That’s broken up with a jawbreaker but here’s Sasha back in to run people over.

Banks stops to dive onto the Riott Squad though, allowing Riott to run her over. Moon hits a heck of a suicide dive for two on Riott as the fans are distracted by something in the crowd, which gets a YOU DESERVE IT chant. Back in and Banks gets two off a sunset flip with the Riott Squad coming in for the legal save. Cue Bayley to help Sasha but the Squad takes her out as well. Moon heads up top for an Eclipse to both Banks and Riott at the same time for the pin on Riott at 10:23.

Rating: D. This felt like an indy match with a bunch of disjointed spots and no flow to the match whatsoever. Moon winning is the right call as Riott could be getting a title shot at the pay per view and Sasha will possibly be busy with Bayley, or in the match later on. This wasn’t a good match though and the ending wasn’t as exciting as it should have been.

Post break, Ember promises to rise up and grab the briefcase.

Video on Bobby Lashley.

Lashley gets a sitdown interview, talking about his family, including his parents and sisters. At one point his sister’s security towel (instead of security blanket) was taken away by some bullies so he took care of them. We wrap it up with Lashley saying hello to his sisters. So….Lashley is a family man when he’s not a monster. Got it. Not sure if I want it, but got it.

Sami and Kevin aren’t sure about trusting each other but Owens reluctantly agrees to have Sami’s back in the triple threat tonight. Sami is rather pleased.

Chad Gable vs. Jinder Mahal

Gable wastes no time in getting two off a rollup, only to have Jinder knock him down without much effort. We hit a bearhug of all things on Gable before Mahal sends him chest first into the corner. Gable pops up top with the moonsault press for a close two, followed by an even closer rollup for the same. Not that it matters as the superkick sets up the Khallas to give Jinder the pin at 4:12.

Rating: D+. And there’s your 50/50 booking. Gable could go somewhere while Mahal has gone as high as he’s going to go, so let’s have Mahal win here for the sake of the two of them tying everything up. I’m so glad we wasted so much time to get us right back where we started too. It was a great use of Raw time.

Post match Mahal beats on Gable some more

Alexa Bliss promises to win the briefcase to become champion and beat the bully Nia Jax once and for all.

Ascension promises to win the briefcase. Wait is there a tag team MITB match that I didn’t hear about?

Zack Ryder wants to be in a Money in the Bank qualifying match in his hometown when Mahal comes in to demand the triple threat be turned into a four way. Angle says Woo Woo Woo, the answer is no, bro. Ryder is pleased despite not being put in a match either.

Heath Slater/Rhyno vs. Drew McIntyre/Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler and Rhyno start things off but it’s quickly off to Slater for a headlock. Drew comes in and gets punched a few times but kicks Slater down to take over. Ziggler tags himself back in and it’s a superkick into a reverse Alabama Slam to drop Slater. That one superkick is enough for Ziggler so it’s the Claymore/Zig Zag combination for the pin on Slater at 2:39.

Here’s Elias to talk about Bobby Roode jumping him last night. He’s not happy with Roode but hang on because the fans like Rusev Day. Elias cuts them off and sings about how Roode isn’t glorious and this city sucks.

Bobby Roode vs. Elias

Roode wastes no time with an enziguri putting Elias on the floor as we take an early break. Back with Elias backdropping him and hammering away in the corner. We hit a Crossface of all things (closer to a Banks Statement actually) to keep Roode down but he snaps off a spinebuster for a breather.

A backbreaker stops Roode and Cole confirms that there will be eight people in the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match with four from each show. Wait wouldn’t that suggest just two ladder matches? SWEET! Elias loads up a ram into the buckle but gets kicked away. Roode can’t follow up though, allowing Elias to talk some trash. He talks a bit too much though and it’s the Glorious DDT for the pin at 10:26.

Rating: D+. Another match with potential Money in the Bank implications and not much going on otherwise because you can just throw that blanket over everything for the sake of not having to come up with anything else. Not a very good match, but that’s been the case for a long time for Roode now.

Post break Roode says he hopes that’s enough to get into the Money in the Bank picture because winning the ladder match will be GLORIOUS.

Here’s Seth Rollins to talk about how he’s a fighting champion and wants someone else to face for the title. After last night against Miz, he needs a new challenge so it’s Open Challenge time.

Intercontinental Title: Mojo Rawley vs. Seth Rollins

Rollins is defending, we get Big Match Intros and Mojo is greeted with WE WANT RYDER chants. Rawley wastes no time in knocking Rollins outside and running him over, including a shoulder to send him into the barricade. Back from a break with Mojo throwing him down and talking more trash. A Downward Spiral into the middle buckle rocks Rawley and a clothesline puts him on the floor.

Back to back suicide dives hit Rawley and the Blockbuster gets two back inside. Rawley is right back with a spinebuster for two and frustration sets in at a rather fast pace. The low superkick gives Seth two but Mojo’s fireman’s carry faceplant gets the same. One heck of a Pounce knocks Seth into the corner but he’s right back up with a ripcord knee. A superkick to the ribs sets up the Stomp for the pin to retain at 10:56.

Rating: C. I like the booking here as they could go a long way with Rollins doing the weekly match against some random person. It’s not like Rawley has anything else going on and it’s not like he has anything to lose here. Rollins is on a roll right now and can do almost no wrong so let him elevate someone, even if it’s just for a week at a time.

Finn Balor says the victory at Money in the Bank will be so much sweeter.

Curtis Axel/Bo Dallas vs. Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt

Non-title and Axel/Dallas might be known as Stay Tuned. Bray runs Axel over to start as Graves goes over the history between Bray and Matt, going back thousands of years for as complete a version as possible. Axel blocks a Twist of Fate and DDTs Matt to give Dallas two. It’s off to Bray to run people over, followed by a kick to knock Dallas off the apron. Axel dives into a release Rock Bottom and a double Downward Spiral is good for the pin at 2:40.

Natalya promises to bring the MITB contract home to her cat.

Baron Corbin says he’s winning the contract again.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor vs. Sami Zayn

Sami yells at Reigns to start and gets punched in the face to send him outside. Balor speeds things up and dropkicks Reigns down for two as the announcers debate how important Money in the Bank is compared to the rest of the year. More right hands drop Balor and Zayn as we take an early break. Back with Balor stomping on Reigns until Sami grabs a rollup for two.

There’s a Samoan drop to put Zayn on the floor with Balor on the opposite side. The fans start a TOO SWEET chant and the double beating is on to one of the strongest reactions of the night. Even Balor and Sami seem taken aback by the YES chants. The three head into the crowd and the fans are annoyed when Reigns comes back. A Helluva Kick knocks Reigns into the tech area and the other two head back inside to kill time until Reigns spears one of them.

The Blue Thunder Bomb gives Sami two but Balor fights back and they head to the floor. The fans start booing and I think you know what that means. Cue Reigns diving over the barricade to take Sami out but Balor drops Reigns again. Back in and Reigns hits the Superman Punch on Sami. The Sling Blade looks to set up the Coup de Grace but Reigns rolls away. Instead it’s another Superman Punch but here’s Mahal to trip Reigns. The distraction lets Sami hit the Helluva Kick to drop Reigns but Balor hit the shotgun dropkick and Coup de Grace on Sami for the pin at 15:25.

Rating: C. I like the surprise ending, if nothing else for the sake of needing to see Jinder vs. Reigns, potentially in Chicago, where the fans might be so confused that they break into small camps and stage full revivals of Broadway classics instead of watching the match. Balor going on makes sense and the question about where Owens was is interesting as well. One last question: is there a clause in Roman’s contract that lets him have a break during every multi-man match? It seems to happen every time.

Overall Rating: D. Oh yeah it’s Money in the Bank season. You can tell as all that matters is qualifying for the match (hopefully just two of them, though a tag team one doesn’t seem to be out of the question) and the wrestling doesn’t mean much outside of just trying to get into the match. I didn’t hate the show, but next week’s England show and the following week’s show featuring even more jet lag isn’t going to help the talent feeling burned out. This show felt long again, but nowhere near as bad as last night’s mess.

Results

Braun Strowman b. Kevin Owens – Running powerslam

Baron Corbin/Revival b. No Way Jose/Titus Worldwide – End of Days to Jose

Ember Moon b. Ruby Riott and Sasha Banks – Eclipse to Riott

Jinder Mahal b. Chad Gable – Khallas

Drew McIntyre/Dolph Ziggler b. Heath Slater/Rhyno – Claymore/Zig Zag combination to Slater

Bobby Roode b. Elias – Glorious DDT

Seth Rollins b. Mojo Rawley – Stomp

Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt b. Curtis Axel/Bo Dallas – Double Downward Spiral to Axel

Finn Balor b. Sami Zayn and Roman Reigns – Coup de Grace to Zayn

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