Monday Night Raw – May 16, 2022

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 16, 2022
Location: Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re in for a big grudge match with Omos vs. Bobby Lashley inside a cage. This is the third match between the two of them after they split the first two, though I’m not sure if it’s the best idea with the Cell pay per view a few weeks away. Other than that, we will probably get another push towards the Usos vs. RKBro on Friday, which will totally be the big conclusive ending. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of Omos vs. Bobby Lashley.

Here’s what’s coming on the rest of the show.

Omos vs. Bobby Lashley

Inside a cage with MVP in Omos’ corner. Before the match, MVP runs down the history and goes over the ways you can win the match (pinfall, submission, escape) before promising a lot of violence. Hold on though as Cedric Alexander jumps Lashley from behind in the aisle and the big brawl is on. We take a break and come back with the opening bell, as Lashley hammers away until MVP gets in a cheap shot from the floor.

Lashley grabs a choke anyway but Omos hits him in the chest to break that up. Another MVP cheap shot lets Omos choke away and then take it into the corner for a running splash. MVP tries to interfere again but Lashley grabs him by the arm for a ram into the cage. The spear takes Omos down for two and Lashley elbows him in the face. Lashley looks ready to finish but has to cut off Cedric Alexander, who is pulled down into the cage. Omos boots Lashley in the face and throws him through the cage, allowing Lashley to step outside and win at 7:32.

Rating: C-. This felt like the last third (or even half) of a cage match but they were so rushed through everything that almost nothing had a chance to make an impact. They had a seven minute match with multiple interferences and a screwy finish. I know they’re a bit rushed, but could you slow down at least a little bit? The ending was a good way to protect Omos, but Lashley was going even with him throughout at worst so I’m not sure how much the protection helps anyway.

Long recap of Mustafa Ali vs. Miz/Theory.

Theory vs. Mustafa Ali

Non-title….and Theory says hang on a second. He thinks we need a special referee for this match, so here is Miz to replace the referee already in the ring. Hold on again though as Theory is using Vince McMahon’s advice of “expect the unexpected”. Therefore, Ali has a different opponent.

Veer Mahaan vs. Mustafa Ali

Miz is guest referee. Ali goes after him to start but gets knocked away. Some superkicks stagger Veer so Theory trips Ali up (Miz doesn’t mind). Veer gets low bridged to the floor and some dropkicks make it worse, but Miz gets in the way of Ali’s dive. Miz shoves Ali and the distraction lets Veer hit the Million Dollar Arm. The Cervical Clutch finishes for Mahaan at 2:47, as Ali’s punishment continues.

Post match the beating continues but the Mysterios run out for the save and knock Mahaan off the apron. The throw everyone else in the pot feud continues.

Becky Lynch has seen Sasha Banks and Naomi leaving the building before the Six Pack Challenge. Lynch is going to just be the new #1 contender and takes the night off, but Adam Pearce makes Lynch vs. Asuka for the #1 contendership tonight instead. So they advertised a Six Pack Challenge and then changed it inside of 50 minutes. That’s a new mark even for them.

Riddle vs. Jimmy Uso

Jey Uso is here with his brother but there is no Randy Orton because of a family commitment. Jimmy starts with the kicks but gets caught in a triangle choke to the floor. A Jey distraction breaks up the apron kick though, meaning Riddle kicks Jey instead. Jimmy gets in a dive and Riddle is sent into the steps as we take a break. Back with Jimmy hitting another enziguri, setting up the running Umaga Attack for two.

The chinlock goes on but Riddle is back up with a few shots of his own. As the Countdown To Cody clock comes up (before his ten o’clock appearance), the pop up Samoan drop gives Jimmy two. Jimmy goes up top but has to break up the super RKO attempt, only to have the Superfly Splash hit knees. A rollup has Riddle in trouble but the referee catches the interference, earning Jey an ejection. Riddle small packages Jimmy for the pin at 10:32.

Rating: C+. I wasn’t all that interested when the match was another tag match preview between two singles wrestlers but at least it wound up being pretty good. Riddle beating the Usos on his own doesn’t exactly make the Usos look great, but maybe they have something better planned for Smackdown. I still don’t buy the titles being unified on TV, though Friday should have the big fight feeling.

Video on AJ Styles/Finn Balor/Liv Morgan’s lack of luck against the Judgment Day.

Earlier today, Morgan was upset about Rhea Ripley when Los Lotharios came in to offer her a spot in the Kiss Cam. That’s a no, but AJ Styles and Finn Balor came in to chase them off. The guys offer her a spot in their corner tonight but she’ll think about it.

The Judgment Day is rather happy with how everything is going but Edge knows that there are some people who want in. They know everyone wants power, so anyone who wants to come in and move to the next level is welcome. It could even be you, AJ Styles. They could use his athleticism, so join him on top of the mountain. Either be by their side or at their feet, because they aren’t stopping.

AJ Styles/Finn Balor vs. Los Lotharios

Liv Morgan is here with Styles and Balor, apparently having made up her mind at some point today, because saying “I’m in” was too much to ask. Humberto actually stomps Styles down into the corner to start and it’s off to Angel to pound on the back. The abdominal stretch goes on, with Humberto getting in a kick to the ribs for a bonus. Styles fights up and brings in Balor to clean house, setting up the double slingshot dives to send us to a break.

Back with Humberto working on a half crab before Angel comes in for a double half crab. Styles powers out and brings in Balor to clean house. Angel actually cuts that off with a superkick and hands it back to Humberto. The moonsault hits raised boots (with Humberto taking a huge bump off the impact) and it’s the shotgun dropkick to Humberto in the corner. AJ Phenomenal Forearms Angel and it’s the Coup de Grace to finish Humberto at 9:15.

Rating: C+. Los Lotharios are a good team most of the time but in this case, they went with the right call of having AJ and Balor take them down. There is almost no way to imagine a midcard team beating a pair of former World Champions so don’t bother going nuts with it. At least it should be good when Balor or Styles joins up with Edge and company.

Too Sweeting ensues after the match.

Kevin Owens, in a Sami Zayn Forever shirt, meets the Alpha Academy, who has the results of Ezekiel’s DNA tests. They open the envelope….but the results have been contaminated by the presence of BARBECUE SAUCE on the sample. Otis is immediately blamed but Gable tries to keep things calm. Next weeks, Gable promises to expose Ezekiel for the fraud that he is. Tonight though, Gable is going to beat it out of him in the ring. Owens: “THAT’S WHAT YOU SAY EVERY WEEK!”

We recap Sonya Deville losing her job as a WWE boss last week, followed by losing to Alexa Bliss in about thirty seconds.

Alexa Bliss vs. Sonya Deville

Deville gets slapped in the face to start as the match has already lasted longer than last week’s. Bliss takes her down with a legsweep but misses the standing moonsault. A running knee gives Deville two and the chinlock goes on. Another running knee blasts Bliss so Deville goes to unhook a turnbuckle pad. The distracted referee misses Deville hitting a clean spinebuster but runs over for a delayed two. Bliss hits a DDT for the pin at 4:01.

Rating: C-. They had a bit of something here with the delayed cover, but it’s hard to get into the idea of Deville being screwed over. She was more interesting when she was serious a few years ago, and the idea of her getting what happened to her over and over again is only going to get so much of my attention. The match itself wasn’t great, but Bliss is still probably shaking off some ring rust.

Post match Deville yells at the referee and then slaps him.

We recap Seth Rollins attacking Cody Rhodes and Stomping him on the announcers’ table.

Here is Cody Rhodes for a chat. He has been told that Seth Rollins is not here tonight but he hopes that Rollins is listening. Last week, Rollins poured gasoline on the fire but the reality is that Rollins is his own biggest threat. Rollins has built his own purgatory and wants to pull Rhodes down in with him. We flash back to 2011, when Rollins arrived with the rest of the Shield, with Rhodes as one of the bitter guys in the back. Rollins went on a rocket to the top by shattering the glass ceiling, which Rhodes never knew was there in the first place.

Rhodes’ story is a little different. He lost a lot and worked his way up, even if he was looking at the lights most nights. Now he has a second chance, and he isn’t taking it for granted. Rollins isn’t denying him a second chance so Rollins will have to kill him. So let’s run it back one more time…..inside the Cell. Rollins, who seems to be backstage, pops up to say Rhodes is nuts because anyone inside that Cell with him is changed. The match is on. I’d again like to point out that Rhodes has looked and sounded like a star since he returned. That makes all the difference in the world.

Asuka is giddy about getting to face Becky Lynch tonight.

Ezekiel vs. Chad Gable

Kevin Owens is on commentary and Otis is in Gable’s corner. Before the match, Owens doesn’t want to see a photo of Ezekiel and Elias together. Gable takes him down by the arm to start but Ezekiel is back up with an armdrag. That doesn’t work for Gable, who wants some SHOOSHING, only to have Ezekiel come back with a Gory Stretch. Gable slips out and gets into the ropes, with Ezekiel being sent outside.

Otis drives Ezekiel into the apron and we take a break. Back with Gable working on the arm but Ezekiel comes up with a clothesline. A spinebuster gets two and the jumping knee gets the same. Gable sends him into the corner for two but Ezekiel comes out with a kick to the chest. Otis’ distraction lets Gable grab a rollup, which is reversed into another rollup to give Ezekiel the pin at 10:59.

Rating: C. The more I see of Ezekiel, the more I like him. It isn’t like Elias was tearing the house down every week in the ring so there isn’t much of a bar to clear. Ezekiel had a perfectly watchable match here and is different enough than Elias to make it a bit more interesting. Not exactly a classic, but Ezekiel is an interesting enough change of pace for the time being.

R-Truth finally serves Akira Tozawa with his divorce papers and then runs off. Dana Brooke comes in to thank Truth for serving Reggie last week, but Truth wants to consummate with the 24/7 Title. Dana runs off and bumps into Carmella. Insults ensue, including Dana saying Carmella hasn’t mattered since the Guy With No Chin was here. Truth runs up and asks Carmella for help getting the title back. Sure, but she wants Dana Brooke when the time is right. As we continue adding people to this thing.

Here is Lacey Evans, who is introduced as a mother, daughter, Marine and more. Evans puts over the military and thanks them for everything they do. She is proud of what she has done and knows she has a long way to go, but no one in the back is any better than she is. I’m still not sure what they’re doing with Evans and I don’t think WWE does either.

Riddle is ready for the Usos.

The Usos are ready for Riddle.

Becky Lynch vs. Asuka

The winner gets a shot at Bianca Belair, at ringside, at Hell In A Cell. Becky starts fast but gets caught with the running hip attack on the apron. They go to the floor, where Becky hits a suplex into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Asuka getting two off a backslide and kicking Becky in the head. A knee to the face sets up a German suplex and a sliding knee gives Asuka two.

Becky gets in a running shot of her own for two and frustration begins to set in. A rollup is countered into the Asuka Lock but Becky flips backwards for the cover to escape. The cross armbreaker sends Becky to the ropes so she heads outside to yell at Belair. Asuka follows her out, earning herself a whip into Belair. That’s enough to bring Belair to the apron, allowing Becky to grab Asuka’s umbrella. That takes a bit too long though and it’s the green mist into a buzzsaw kick to give Asuka the pin at 9:52.

Rating: B-. They didn’t have time to get great here but it was a good win to build Asuka back up and get her ready for the title match next month. Becky’s slide continues, but she is so far and away established as a top star that it doesn’t matter. This felt like a big enough main event, though I could go for the pay per view version again.

The referee doesn’t seem interested in the fact that Lynch is green to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This wasn’t exactly a strong show but the whole ordeal with Naomi/Sasha Banks walking out kind of turned parts of the show upside down. They started moving towards the Cell, but I still don’t know what the biggest match on the show is supposed to be. That is the problem with the lack of a World Champion, though it is likely to stay that way for a long time to come. For now, this worked well enough, even if nothing was exactly a show stealing classic. They still don’t have the terrible stuff and that is an important level to reach.

Results
Bobby Lashley b. Omos – Lashley escaped the cage
Veer Mahaan b. Mustafa Ali – Cervical Clutch
Riddle b. Jimmy Uso – Small package
AJ Styles/Finn Balor b. Los Lotharios – Coup de Grace to Humberto
Alexa Bliss b. Sonya Deville – DDT
Ezekiel b. Chad Gable – Rollup
Asuka b. Becky Lynch – Kick to the head

 

 

 

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