Monday Night Raw – May 14, 2018

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 14, 2018
Location: 02 Arena, London, England
Commentators: Corey Graves, Booker T., Michael Cole

We’re over in England for a taped show as WWE’s never ending spring tour continues. It’s still the Money in the Bank qualifying season to go with one or two other stories. This time around that includes Seth Rollins defending the Intercontinental Title against Kevin Owens in an already answered open challenge. In addition to that though we have the fallout from Jinder Mahal attacking Roman Reigns and costing him a qualifying match last week. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the NBC Up Fronts today with Nia Jax challenging Ronda Rousey. More on this later.

Here’s Roman Reigns to get things going with some Wrestlemania sized booing. I know the UK crowd only gets to see him a few times a year so they have to get it all in (what a failing concept) while they can. Reigns says he got ripped off last week and this time it wasn’t because of WWE management. He wants Mahal out here right now to make up for last week but here’s Kurt Angle to interrupt.

Angle says Jinder won’t be coming out here right now and the fans are NOT happy. Reigns isn’t pleased and it’s made even worse when Angle says Jinder will be in a Money in the Bank qualifying triple threat tonight. That’s fine with Reigns as Angle can just make it a four way. That’s a no as well because Reigns isn’t getting another qualifying opportunity. Reigns gets that and goes to find Jinder himself, earning a Goodbye Song from the fans.

We cut to Reigns in the back (more booing) and he finds Mahal, who throws the Singh Brother at him like a projectile. The brawl is on with both guys being thrown into stuff and then fighting back into the arena. Reigns hits a Superman Punch on the stage but Angle and security break it up.

Intercontinental Title: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens

Rollins is defending. Owens goes with right hands to the ribs to start and pounds away in the corner. Some kicks to the ribs get Rollins out of trouble and put Owens on the floor for a suicide dive. Owens pulls it out of the air and tosses him into the post, setting up a backsplash for two inside.

Back from a break with Rollins escaping an apron powerbomb and hitting a Falcon Arrow on the apron (that’s a new one) to knock them both down on the floor. It’s Rollins up first with some suicide dives but his own ribs look a little banged up. Back in and the springboard clothesline drops Owens again but a hard DDT gives Owens two. A clothesline gets the same as Rollins is more surviving than hanging in there at this point.

The Swanton hits raised knees and there’s the low superkick. The Revolution knee gets two but Seth’s frog splash hits knees as well, allowing Owens to get two off a small package. Owens goes up with Rollins trying the running superplex into the Falcon Arrow, only to have Owens hit his swinging superplex instead. That’s quite the counter and the surprise worked well. As they come back in, Rollins scores with a Stomp out of nowhere to retain at 14:55.

Rating: B. They’re getting somewhere with the idea of Rollins defending against everyone and wearing himself out as it could go either way. You could have Rollins challenge for the Universal Title or have someone catch the exhausted Rollins and win the title to set up a nice feud. Either way, they have a wide open field to go with there and that’s a very nice situation to be in.

We go to the NBC Up Fronts with various WWE names, including an interview with Ronda Rousey. Nia Jax came up and challenged her at Money in the Bank, with Rousey accepting. The match is official. I mean, it’s also stupid to go this way, but it’s official.

Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel come into Angle’s office, dub themselves the B Team (Dallas: “The B stands for BEST!”), and ask for a title shot. Angle points out that they’ve never actually won a match. Dallas says the Miztourage hasn’t done very well but the B Team is undefeated. Angle gives them a match to prove themselves if they’ll leave him alone. Works for me, as they’re still funny together.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Baron Corbin vs. No Way Jose vs. Bobby Roode

Corbin wastes no time in sending Jose outside but Roode punches away to take over. There’s a Blockbuster for two and we take an early break. Back with Corbin knocking Jose off the apron but going after him this time to continue the beating. Roode decks Corbin and Jose is finally able to get in some offense, including a middle rope crossbody for two. The spinebuster gets two on Jose and Roode goes up for a clothesline to take him down again.

The GLORIOUS pose looks to set up the DDT but Corbin offers a distraction, allowing Jose to clothesline Roode to the floor. Corbin keeps up the clothesline train with a running version off the apron. The chokebreaker drops Jose for two and Deep Six gets the same on Roode. Jose makes a save and Corbin is sent into the post but the Glorious DDT puts Jose away at 10:43.

Rating: C+. This was a nice surprise and you could almost imagine any of the three of them getting into the ladder match. Roode isn’t the most thrilling guy in the world but he’s someone that could be in there and fit in well enough. I still like Jose and the potential is there if he can get away from the dancing stuff. Then again, I can’t imagine that happening and that’s on WWE, as usual.

Owens wants a rematch with Rollins but Angle says no. That’s fine with Kevin, who pulls out his phone to call Stephanie McMahon. Angle goes in to see Jinder, who begs him to postpone the match. That can’t happen because tonight is the last night for qualifying matches on Raw, which doesn’t sit well with Mahal.

B Team vs. Breezango

B Team has homemade shirts, which are just white shirts with a B drawn in Sharpie. Bo rolls Breeze up for two to start and strikes a B TEAM pose. Breeze gets two off some rollups so the B Team takes a breather. Back in and Breezango hits a dropkick but Axel takes him down. Both Axel and Dallas take turns with elbows but a missed attempt allows the hot tag to Fandango. Booker complains about Fandango’s pants as he gets two off a powerslam to Axel. Bo comes back in and a belly to back suplex/neckbreaker combo is good for the pin at 3:45.

Rating: D+. It’s not like the division doesn’t need extra teams so putting these two together as a couple of goofy putzes is a perfectly fine idea. The B thing is clever enough and could make for some funny lines (Dallas needs to call their next opponents Wanna-B’s). I could easily see them winning the titles and then losing to a much better team but for what they are, this was fine.

Post match the B Team can’t believe what just happened but promise to win the titles.

Sasha Banks/Natalya/Ember Moon vs. Riott Squad

Moon headscissors Logan to start but Sasha tags herself in from behind and gets two off the running knees. Sasha drops Logan again and it’s a big staredown as we take a break. Back with Morgan getting suplexed and Sasha working on a wristlock. Morgan gets in a middle rope faceplant to drop Sasha and we hit a cross arm choke.

Riott comes in but gets sent into the post, followed by a rollup for two on Morgan. The kickout sends Banks into the corner for the tag to Natalya and even more silence from the fans. Everything breaks down and Logan gets backdropped to the floor, followed by the running knees (now called the Meteora) from Sasha. Moon dives onto Riott, leaving Natalya to Sharpshooter Morgan for the tap at 14:23.

Rating: D+. Pretty long six woman tag here and that’s not the best thing in the world for these women. The fans weren’t really interested in what they had going on and really, can you blame them? Natalya is least charismatic veteran in years, Moon is just a big finisher and we’re waiting for Banks to fight Bayley after all these months. This felt like a way to pad out the show and that’s not the best idea, especially with Morgan getting a lot of the ring time.

Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler don’t like Finn Balor and Braun Strowman. Why not? Eh, they need something to do.

Revival vs. Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt

Non-title. Wilder armdrags Matt to start, which has Matt so flabbergasted that he declares it WONDERFUL, earning a standing ovation. Cole makes fun of the Woken deal as the B Team is watching in the back. Bray uppercuts Dawson to set up the backsplash, followed by a running headbutt/belly to back suplex combination for two. Wilder makes a blind tag and Revival starts in on the knee. A missed charge allows the hot tag to Wyatt and it’s a release Rock Bottom to plant Dawson. The Twist of Fate hits Wilder and the Kiss of Deletion (the double Downward Spiral) ends Dawson at 4:47.

Rating: C-. I feel so sorry for Revival but you had to know this was coming. They’re tailor made for the NXT style but they’re lucky to get five minutes on a show like Raw. There was nothing left for them to do in NXT though and this was as good as they’re going to get. Hardy and Wyatt are starting to get better as a team but you’re only going to get so much out of teaming together for a few months.

Here’s Sami Zayn to say that Prince Harry looks like him. That brings him to Bobby Lashley of all people, who is Mr. jacked up and intense. Lashley was gone for ten years and then made his return when Sami made his return to Raw. We see a still of Lashley’s delayed vertical suplex on Sami and that’s what gave him Vertigo. Sami busts out a doctor’s note (and reading glasses of course) which explains Vertigo to the fans. All of Sami’s recent issues have been because of that suplex and Sami can’t believe that Lashley is getting cheered.

We see a clip of the sitdown interview last week and Sami thinks Lashley wants to be him. The interview makes Sami think Lashley is hiding something so he got on Facebook to talk to Lashley’s sisters. They were nothing like what Lashley described and Lashley isn’t quite the person that he portrays himself to be either. Next week, the sisters will be here to show what Lashley really is.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James vs. Bayley

Bayley gets knocked outside and we take a break less than thirty seconds in. Back with Bayley still getting double teamed and having her comeback cut off. As is customary, Mickie turns on Bliss with a rollup for two but they still get together to kick Bayley down. A double high crossbody gives Bayley an opening and a double Stunner over the ropes makes thins even worse.

Mickie gets dropped face first on the top rope but she’s still able to break up Bliss’ sunset flip. They all slug it out from their knees with Bayley getting the better of it, including ducking a shot so Bliss hits James. The Bayley to Belly gets two on Bliss with Mickie making the save. Mickie and Bayley fight on the floor but the distraction lets Bliss DDT Bayley for the pin at 9:09.

Rating: D. I wasn’t feeling this one but that’s often the case with these triple threat matches. This was the standard formula: two people get together to take over, get in a fight, and then someone gets a pin. Bliss winning is the right choice as you can have Bayley and Sasha do something else later on. Mickie and Bliss will still be friends because stuff like this never changes anything. The fans didn’t seem to care but, again, this isn’t the match that matters so the fans not being interested is expected.

We recap the opening segment.

Mahal is cleared to compete…so Reigns spears him through a wall.

Post break, Angle says the match must go on.

Finn Balor/Braun Strowman vs. Drew McIntyre/Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler and Balor start things off with a basement dropkick putting Dolph down. McIntyre comes in and wants to face Strowman, who comes in for what could be a heck of a showdown. But of course he tags straight back out to Ziggler and we take a break. Back with Balor knocking Ziggler to the floor but getting tripped by McIntyre. A neckbreaker sets up a chinlock before it’s back to McIntyre for a hard knee to the ribs.

Finn gets over for the tag to Strowman so house can be cleaned, including the heavy forearm to Ziggler’s chest. A very hard charge sends Strowman shoulder first into the post so Balor tags himself back in. There’s a Sling Blade to set up the Shotgun dropkick, allowing Finn to go up top. McIntyre breaks it up so Strowman runs him over, leaving Ziggler to pull Balor down for the pin at 12:27.

Rating: C. So that happened. Strowman and Balor don’t have any kind of history together but it’s supposed to be a big deal that they lost as a team. McIntyre still looks like he could be ready to face anyone at any time but instead, we’re stuck with this tag team because WWE insists on trying to find something that Ziggler doesn’t drag down.

We see the Jax/Rousey segment again. I’m hoping this is some NBC mandate.

Angle is on the phone with Stephanie and has a replacement for Jinder. Someone has called her though and now they’re getting another opportunity.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Elias vs. Bobby Lashley vs. ???

It’s Owens of course and he helps pound Lashley down it the corner. Lashley gets tossed and we take an early break. Back with Owens sending Lashley into the steps and dropping a backsplash on Elias for two. Lashley is back up as the fans chant for Bobby’s sisters. Elias sends Lashley outside and let’s stop for a song! He even has someone holding his mic while he plays the guitar but has to stop to knee Owens in the face.

Back in and Owens breaks up the vertical suplex on Elias so Lashley suplexes both of them at once. The fans still want to Walk With Elias and a sitout powerbomb to Owens has them rather pleased. Lashley makes a save and plants Elias but here’s Sami to pull him to the floor. Back inside, the frog splash ends Elias to send Owens on at 13:12.

Rating: C. Kind of a messy match here as these three aren’t exactly people who are going to have chemistry. Lashley’s booking continues to astound me a bit as he was supposed to be some big return and now he’s just a guy who uses a vertical suplex as a finisher. You can’t just give him the Dominator again? The match wasn’t anything special but at least the ending advances some stories and puts Owens in the ladder match.

Overall Rating: C-. Another passable yet completely flat show with Rollins being the lone highlight. The problem here is the same as it was last week: you have a bunch of matches designed to set up a match a month away, meaning this is another show where you don’t need to see any of this stuff because you can read the results and get everything you need t know. It’s not bad but it’s completely skippable, and that’s often a lot more annoying to get through.

Results

Seth Rollins b. Kevin Owens – Stomp

Bobby Roode b. Baron Corbin and No Way Jose – Glorious DDT to Jose

B Team b. Breezango – Belly to back suplex/neckbreaker combination to Fandango

Sasha Banks/Natalya/Ember Moon b. Riott Squad – Sharpshooter to Morgan

Bray Wyatt/Matt Hardy b. Revival – Kiss of Deletion to Dawson

Alexa Bliss b. Mickie James and Bayley – DDT to Bayley

Dolph Ziggler/Drew McIntyre b. Finn Balor/Braun Strowman – Slam off the top to Balor

Kevin Owens b. Bobby Lashley and Elias – Frog splash to Elias

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