Monday Night Raw
Date: May 27, 2019
Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
This is going to be an interesting show but that might be the case without the show actually being interesting. It’s the first show after the rather great Double Or Nothing event, meaning WWE might be trying to show that they still have it. At the same time though it’s also Memorial Day, meaning the effort might not be there. On the third hand, there are only two shows left before Super ShowDown and some building could be useful. Let’s get to it.
We open with the traditional long Memorial Day video.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar are here for the cash-in announcement, despite a four way #1 contenders match being announced for tonight.
Here’s Kofi Kingston to open things up, seemingly fine six days after the big beating from Dolph Ziggler, which we see in video form. Kofi is here because he’s a fighting champion but also because he wants to deal with Mr. Money In The Bank. He’ll fight anyone anytime and he wants Brock to cash in right here right now.
Instead he gets Seth Rollins (Seth: “I know I’m not Brock Lesnar. I’m better.”) to say he wants to know what Lesnar is doing with the briefcase too. The champs are here so get Lesnar out here right now. This brings out Lesnar, who has different music because he’s actually turned the briefcase into a boom box, complete with speakers and DANCING.
The box starts playing New Day music and Kofi is in but it switches over to Rollins’ music, complete with Heyman playing air guitar. Rollins leaves and the music stops with Heyman accusing Seth of ruining the Brock Party. Heyman and Lesnar leave and Ziggler comes out to jump Kofi, including a Zig Zag on the ramp. Xavier Woods runs out for the save as we’re already three fours of the way done with Wild Card entries tonight.
Post break Kofi is being helped out and Ziggler jumps him again, triggering another brawl with Woods. They fight into the crowd with Woods getting the better of it and throwing a trashcan at Ziggler. It heads back to ringside with Ziggler getting in some chair shots on the floor and in the ring. The chair is wrapped around Woods’ head but Kofi runs out with his own chair for the save.
Back from another break with Kofi and Woods still in the ring and Ziggler coming back out and saying he wants Kofi to enjoy the time he has left. Kofi is the best WWE Champion Ziggler can remember but it still should have been him. For years, Kofi has had two friends to help his popularity, but what happens when he loses the title? At Super ShowDown, Ziggler is taking the title.
There’s a Memorial Day party in the back with most of the lower card around and the Usos have brought in a DJ. First up though, Happy Birthday Natalya! Everybody is invited, aside from the Revival of course. More on this later I’m sure.
Shane McMahon comes out for a match….and then changes his mind.
Video on Randy Orton vs. HHH.
Here are Shane and Drew McIntyre (who were in the ring before the video played) to talk about the history of the McMahon Family vs. the Samoan dynasty, which has been going on since before either Roman Reigns or Shane were alive. It all comes down to respect though, which is not something that Reigns has shown.
Shane talks about the members of the Samoan wrestling family, but the Wild Samoans might have been the most insane of them all. Now Shane isn’t going to run down the Wild Samoans, but the reality is that Vince was always there to clean up their mistakes. Tonight, he’s facing a member of the Samoan dynasty, which seems to be an official name.
Lance Anoa’i vs. Shane McMahon
Lance is a real member of the Anoa’i Family. Hang on though as Drew pulls Lance to the floor and drives him into the barricade and steps. Shane says that’s enough and Lance is thrown inside so the real beating can begin, with the first match of the night starting at 8:52. The fans declare this awful as Lance makes the comeback and hits a dropkick but the superkick is countered by an elbow to the face. The triangle choke makes Lance tap at 1:36.
Post match Drew knocks Lance out again and the choke goes on again, with Shane saying Lance screams like Sika. This finally draws out Roman Reigns, who gets his hands on Shane until Drew gets him out of trouble. Shane and Drew run through the back as Reigns helps Lance up.
Here are Lesnar and Heyman again because the announcement didn’t come earlier. There’s a referee out there this time too because Heyman says it’s time to make his announcement. Before that can go anywhere, here’s Rollins to cut him off. Rollins says the title is his life as Lesnar laughs about the briefcase. Lesnar makes a mockery out of the title because he’s a joke. Seth stomped Lesnar at Wrestlemania and he can do it again right now.
This is Lesnar’s chance so Seth implores him to cash it in. Heyman reads the contract to the referee but Lesnar covers the mic after hearing that he has a year. Brock: “I GOT A YEAR???” And he slaps Heyman with the contract. Heyman: “DIDN’T YOU KNOW?” Lesnar: “NO!” Lesnar actually takes the mic and says screw Rollins before walking away. Lesnar hitting him with the contract was funny, making it the only entetaining thing on the show so far.
As Rollins leaves, Carmella and R-Truth run in with the 24/7 Title and it’s time for the rollups as the mob can’t get out of their own way. The running continues.
AJ Styles, who is too injured to be in the four way #1 contenders match, has been replaced by Baron Corbin. That’s not cool with AJ, who injured his back at Money in the Bank. He isn’t taking anything away from Seth Rollins who won the match fair and square but AJ wanted one more shot at the title. Corbin comes in and hits Styles in the face for a knockout.
Becky Lynch/Nikki Cross vs. IIconics
Non-title because the IIconics never defend the things. Nikki gets all fired up to fight both IIconics so Peyton headlocks her down. A rollup gives Nikki two and it’s off to Billie as a lot of shouting ensues. Nikki crossbodies both of them from the apron and we take a break. Back with Kay kicking Becky’s hand away from a tag and missing a charge at Nikki in the corner.
Peyton can’t stop the hot tag to Becky so house can be cleaned. Becky’s middle rope legdrop gets two with Kay making the save, setting up the bulldog onto Billie’s knee for two. Peyton gets out of the Disarm-Her so it’s a Rock Bottom (the Man Handle Slam) to give Becky the pin at 9:52.
Rating: C-. At this point I’ll take a match that gets cut in half over everything else we’ve been saying. The Women’s Tag Team Titles already need to be retired as they’ve become less interesting than the 24/7 Title in just a few months. At least Becky and Nikki didn’t take the fall, though I doubt this leads anywhere.
Post match Lacey Evans comes out for her old school cameo.
Back to the party with Naomi hugging Tamina when the Revival comes up to argue with the Usos. Naomi invited them to end this and there’s a tense handshake, with Naomi suggesting hot dogs.
Ricochet vs. Cesaro
Rematch from last week. Ricochet starts fast with a hurricanrana but a knee to the ribs cuts him off. An enziguri sends Cesaro tot he floor and it’s the big twisting flip dive to take us to a break. Back with Cesaro hitting a choke suplex for two, followed by a double stomp for two. Ricochet flips out of the corner and nails a superkick that seems to open Cesaro’s sinuses. A springboard clothesline into a standing shooting star press gets two but Cesaro uppercuts him on top.
Ricochet knees his way out of a superplex attempt though but the 630 misses. One heck of a running uppercut sends Ricochet bouncing out of the corner but the Neutralizer is countered. Cesaro sends him to the floor but makes the mistake of laying against the ropes, allowing Ricochet to flip forward from the floor to the apron into a hurricanrana driver (as in he basically got a running start and did a 450 from the floor into the ring) for the pin at 9:49.
Rating: C+. If I had a pen in my hand for that finish, I’d have thrown it in the air and been at a loss. That’s the kind of video game special move that some programmer comes up with because a normal human shouldn’t be able to do it. Ricochet is scary athletic and I’m glad he got to win a match for a change.
The Usos and the Revival play cornhole.
Miz talks about how he used to think he deserved to be Universal Champion but things have changed since then. Now he wants to earn it, and that’s going to be awesome.
Braun Strowman promises to give everyone these hands. Oh and congratulations to Miz for expecting another baby girl.
The Miz vs. Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Baron Corbin
Elimination rules and the winner gets Rollins at Super ShowDown. It’s a brawl to start with Lashley and Strowman quickly clearing the ring to set up their big staredown. Lashley leapfrogs him but gets caught by the throat. That’s powered away but Strowman gets the grip back on his throat, only to have Corbin make the save. Miz comes back in and kicks Lashley and Corbin down, only to miss the big one of course.
Corbin belly to back suplexes Miz for two but a superplex attempt is broken up. Naturally that sets up the Tower of Doom with Strowman powerbombing everyone down and getting a bunch of two counts. Everyone heads outside with Lashley breaking up Strowman’s running shoulder around the ring. Strowman gets suplexed onto the ramp and we take a break. Back with all four still in and Miz getting double teamed this time around. Lashley chokes on the rope but Miz fights back, only to get caught in Deep Six for two.
Strowman is back in and hits the running splashes to Corbin and Lashley and it’s time to go outside. Lashley dives onto Strowman to take him out and they fight into the crowd. Corbin comes back in but gets sunset flipped to give Miz two. Miz fires off the kicks but charges into the End of Days for the pin at 16:14….which gives Corbin the win and the title shot because Strowman and Lashley were eliminated when they went into the crowd? Sure why not.
Rating: D+. They bring this stuff on themselves. WWE went out of their way to announce that this was a four way match and then mentioned there were no countouts or disqualifications. Apparently there is however an out of bounds rule, which has just never been mentioned until now. All you have to do to avoid this is not make it elimination rules, but apparently that’s too much to ask. I don’t understand this, but I’m sure the answer is “what difference does it make”.
Scott Dawson cheats at cornhole but here’s R-Truth before anything else can happen. Rollups ensue and the mob chases him off.
It’s time for the Firefly Fun House with Bray holding up a paper plate mask. He finds it hard to be brave sometimes but when he hides behind the mask, everything is ok. Abby asks why Bray is a sicko but Bray insists that it’s not true. Is Bray a doctor now? A light bulb literally goes off about his head and Bray is now in a doctor’s outfit so he can diagnose Abby as a bully. Abby doesn’t want to be stuck in this limbo anymore….so Bray breaks out a limbo pole and spider walks underneath it while saying his catchphrase.
And now, here’s Sami Zayn to sit in an electric chair to answer questions from the audience. First up: when is your retirement date. Sami asks if the fan’s parents are related. A kid asks if Sami misses the Ginger Snaps from Mixed Match Challenge. Sami says the kid’s parents have failed at their jobs.
Third: how does it feel when Braun Strowman destroys you? Sami threatens to beat up the fan but since we’re in America, he won’t do it for fear of getting sued. Sami is amazed that the questions are this stupid and laughs off a question about not winning the Universal Championship. He could win the title any time he wants but he’s not interested in doing so right now. Sami: “You could have asked me about anything. You could have asked me about AEW.” As the fans gasp, here’s Seth Rollins again and let’s have an impromptu main event.
Seth Rollins vs. Sami Zayn
Non-title. They don’t waste time in getting to the floor with Rollins sending him into the barricade to take over. Back in and Rollins gets distracted for a second, allowing Sami to punch him in the face. A drop down onto Rollins’ back sets up the chinlock with forearms to Rollins’ jaw. Some rapid fire kicks to the face keep Rollins rocked and a clothesline gets two.
Rollins gets in a jumping knee to the back to send Sami outside but Sami posts him as we take a break. Back with Rollins escaping a suplex and nailing a superkick for a double knockdown. The Sling Blade connects and Sami bails to the floor, meaning it’s time for the suicide dives. Seth tweaks his knee on the second though and Sami goes after it, including a Figure Four.
Rollins turns it over for the break but the damage has been done. The knee is fine enough for an enziguri but the ripcord knee is countered into a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Sami’s superplex attempt is broken up and Seth tries the frog splash, which hits raised knees. Rollins pops back up and hits a quick Stomp but can’t follow up. A second stomp is good for the pin at 20:13.
Rating: B. That’s one of the better matches from both guys in a nice little while but after the show that came before it, it’s not like that means much. Rollins fighting through the injury was a good story and the action was the usual nice stuff, though it’s not like this is anything more than just another match for both of them.
Despite being shown to still be here, Lesnar does not appear again to end the show.
Overall Rating: T. People keep talking about how WWE is becoming more and more like WCW every single day and I can’t see that being the case. What I can see though is the company becoming more and more like TNA every day. TNA used to run these miserable shows with barely any wrestling for the first three quarters and then one good match to try and make up for it. That was the case here and the show was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.
This was far from the worst show WWE has ever run and it’s not even close to being in that discussion. There was some good action and storylines were advanced so it certainly accomplished things and had some moments, so it’s certainly out of the race for all time worst or even a complete waste of a show. The first hour was all time levels of bad but after that it got a lot better, bringing it all the way up to adequate.
What I saw tonight was WWE throwing out stuff and not caring if it made for a good show or not. We had more Shane, more Corbin, more Ziggler and two more bait and switches (Lesnar not making his decision and Corbin replacing AJ) while there was a big party in the back that only served as a backdrop for the 24/7 Title segment, followed by Sami sitting in an electric chair so he could take scripted questions from the audience.
We’re coming up on the second major event since Wrestlemania and it feels like they’re still stumbling around trying to figure out what to do next. After Super ShowDown, it’s Stomping Grounds, which isn’t likely to be anything more than a one or two match show either. It feels like they’re lost and can’t figure out what to do so they started running random stories and hoped people would keep watching.
Raw and Smackdown (to a lesser extent) just feel like a bunch of stuff that happens week to week with some unfocused bigger stories on top. Next Friday we get Reigns vs. Shane, Corbin vs. Rollins and Ziggler vs. Kingston in three of the main singles matches. So we have the boss’ son, a middle management goon and a guy who hasn’t wrestled in four months as the major villains. That’s really the best they can do for this show? Or for any show for that matter?
WWE needs to fix some of these things in a hurry. Maybe it’s time to go back to the very basics or restart things (AGAIN), but what they’re doing isn’t working. Pushing Shane and Corbin hasn’t exactly been inspiring and there isn’t much on either show worth seeing. It’s like they’re trying to go in too many directions without having a direction and it’s overwhelming them. I don’t know how to fix it, but something needs to change in a hurry.
Shane McMahon b. Lance Anoa’i – Triangle choke
Becky Lynch/Nikki Cross b. IIconics – Man Handle Slam to Royce
Ricochet b. Cesaro – Hurricanrana driver
Baron Corbin b. The Miz, Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman – End of Days to Miz
Seth Rollins b. Sami Zayn – Stomp
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