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Published On: Tue, May 22nd, 2018

Bowen’s Botches and Bodyslams: WWE RAW Results and Review May 21 2018

WWE Monday Night RAW is live from the Times Union Center in Albany, New York. Tonight features the contract signing for the RAW Women’s Championship Match between Nia Jax (c) and Ronda Rousey and more qualifiers for the Money In The Bank Matches at the upcoming Pay Per View.

 

Kurt Angle Show Opener

Kurt Angle announcing tonight’s card, including the contract signing between Nix Jax and Ronda Rousey for their RAW Women’s Championship match at Money in the Bank. Stephanie McMahon makes her first appearance since Wrestlemania and says she’ll be overseeing the contract signing. She also brings up Roman Reigns, who then comes out wanting her to say whatever she has to say about him to his face. She doesn’t understand his new Samoan aggressive side getting in the way, and the truth is he lost his qualifying match and needs to take it up with Jinder Mahal. Roman says he did, and he’ll take it up with her favorite superstars in the back. Stepanie claims not to play favorites, and out comes Kevin Owens. Kevin thanks Roman for giving him the opportunity to get in the MitB match, and says Stephanie obviously favors him. Stephanie decides to make a match between Roman and Kevin, and that match starts right now.

BotchKevin Owens was the only person who came across well delivering this script. Everyone else was stiff, Stephanie made an error and corrected herself, and whole thing just made Kevin look much better than Roman. It almost doesn’t matter who wins the match they just made, because Kevin Owens is still going to MitB, and Roman gets nothing. More than anything this segment made me think about the difference between the wrestling where a lot of what they are saying is off the cuff and when it is fully scripted. With this style, they need to be better actors than athletes. Luckily Kevin owns who he is out there and can pull it off naturally.

Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens

Roman Reigns wins by disqualification when Jinder Mahal and Sunil Singh attack him at ringside. Seth Rollins comes out to save Roman.

BodyslamThe match was good, but the real payoff was the ending with Jinder and Kevin attacking Roman, and Seth Rollins coming out to save him. Upon returning from commercial we discover that Kurt Angle made a new match during the break and this is now a tag team match. That was unexpected, and promising to see Seth and Roman together.

Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal

Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins win as Rollins Curmbstomps Kevin Owens for the pin. Jinder Mahal attacks both men with a steel chair on the ramp and stage area afterward.

photo/ DoD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro

 

 

BodyslamThe match was really good. Mostly because of Owens and Rollins. But the story was well executed by all of them. Naturally, seeing Reigns and Rollins together one wonders if Dean Ambrose’s return is imminent. Regardless, Roman has a new feud and the Universal Championship isn’t part of it. But the Universal Championship isn’t a part of the show anyway.

 

 

 

Sami Zayn in-ring interview with Bobby Lashley’s sisters

Sami cuts a promo setting up the interview and brings out the sisters. All three are men. One of them has a moustache. They accuse Bobby Lashley of being abusive in their childhood years. Sami calls out Bobby as a horrible person. Lashley’s music hits and he comes out smiling. He laughs and teases his “sisters” and thanks Sami for this. Sami calls Bobby garbage and tries to run when he reacts. The “sisters” attack Lashley, and it becomes a four on one situation. Lashley overcomes and takes out all four men and stands triumphantly in the middle of the ring as Sami exits running his mouth.

BotchThe crowd was booing and otherwise showing their displeasure for this bit throughout. I don’t even know if this idea could be executed in a way that would work. This is the kind of segment that drives away casual fans and first-time viewers who will never be fans if this is what they see. The fight at the end didn’t even make it worthwhile. WWE could kill Lashley’s return before it even starts simply by making all his segments hard to watch.

Ember Moon vs. Alexa Bliss

Ember Moon Eclipses Alexa Bliss for the pin.

BodyslamGreat story told in the match and Ember Moon’s Eclipse finisher was delivered in spectacular fashion. That’s a testament to how good Alexa Bliss is. Her history lesson promo before the match came off perfectly.

Stephanie McMahon backstage

Finn Balor and Braun Strowman arrive in Stephanie’s office on loan from Kurt Angle seeking a rematch against Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. Stephanie has made it her own with a picture of her father and a fruit basket, offering the two men some. Balor declines, Strowman takes an apple. Stephanie points out that they aren’t really a tag team and will in fact be facing each other at Money in the Bank. And in the spirit of competition the two men will be facing each other in a match tonight. Strowman crushes the apple in his hand and states he loves competition. Balor looks legitimately scared.

BodyslamBalor and Strowman were perfect in this segment. Balor with his million dollar smile and Strowman with his imposing visage. Balor’s geniune look of concern for his own safety made it even more impressive.

No Way Jose vs. Baron Corbin

Baron Corbin brings the End of Days to No Way Jose’s night for the pinfall victory.

BotchThis was practically a throwaway match with what are amounting to throwaway performers. No Way Jose continues to get beat up by Baron Corbin, and Baron Corbin continues to get all momentum toward relevancy reversed. Every time it seems like Corbin is rising through the ranks, he ends up being put in forgettable matches in the middle of the show with no path to an appearance at the next PPV.

Kurt Angle backstage

Kurt is talking to Gable about how he would have preferred to replace Jinder Mahal last week with him. Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre interrupt and mock Angle and Gable. Gable gets hot and Kurt says they’ll settle it in the ring.

BodyslamKurt is still being made to look like he is losing control of the show and he’s playing his side of it well. Ziggler and McIntyre are doing a good job seizing attention with their screen time.

The B Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) vs. Breezango (Tyler Breeaze and Fandango)

The B Team wins with a double team maneuver on Fandango for Axel to score the pin.

BodyslamA short but decent match. It was Dallas and Axel’s celebration afterward that once again made this awesome. I couldn’t help but smile as they rolled down the ramp in the chair they stole from commentary. The B Team remains undefeated.

Contract Signing for RAW Women’s Championship Match at Money in the Bank

Stephanie McMahon is hosting the contract signing. Nia Jax comes out first, then Ronda Rousey comes out and teases Stephanie about her arm. Stephanie starts goading both women back and forth, hitting all of the buttons for both of them. Nia Jax finally pipes up and says she will make a name for herself by beating Rousey. Ronda signs the contract and moves the table out of the way. She says she’ll take Nia’s title and her arm.

BotchStephanie had to carry this segment, and because she had to do all the talking, her attempts to play both women against each other were so obvious that it didn’t make sense for it to work. They should have been mad at Stephanie, not each other. Especially the way both women have been portrayed up to and since Wrestlemania.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Chad Gable

Dolph Ziggler Superkicks and pins Chad Gable for the win. Drew McIntyre hits Gable with a Claymore after the match was over.

BotchI’m torn on how to see this one. The match was good. McIntyre is still impressive. Gable looked good in what he could do. But Ziggler makes me question it overall. An example, this is another match where my ten year old son is yelling “That was three! Dolph lost again!” because Ziggler doesn’t actually follow through on the kick-out and get his shoulders up. When a ten year old sees it consistently with the same guy, I don’t know why there’s a question as to why Dolph doesn’t garner the excitement he seems to think he should. Another point in the match was the chinlock he had on Gable. It was so loose it looked silly, because there’s no reason it would hold anybody. Even the kids don’t get it. If you can’t make the kids buy it, no one else will.

Women’s Division Money in the Bank Qualifying Match – Liv Morgan vs. Sarah Logan vs. Dana Brooke vs. Natalya

Natalya makes Sarah Logan tap out with a Sharpshooter.

BotchIt was a decent match. The winner wasn’t surprising, but it was good to see the Riott Squad sticking together and not being divided over the shot at MitB. But it also keeps them from actually getting there. Natalya jumping on Ronda’s coattails doesn’t do her any favors. She’s been trying to build her persona for so long, and seemed like she was finally getting there. It has all been thrown out the window since moving to RAW, and now she’s just a hangaround on the new crossover star. Unfortunately, it may be enough to get her the win at MitB.

Elis vs. Bobby Roode

Elis lands the Drift Away and pins Bobby Roode. Braun Strowman plows through Elias on the stage after the match.

Bodyslam –  A hard hitting match with a couple of awkward moments, but a good story in the ring and a fantastic finish. Both of these stars are still rising. 

Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor

Braun Strowman finishes Finn Balor with a Running Powerslam and a pin.

BodyslamIt was a brutal match, and yet Balor was still believable in the end as having a chance to win. This is possibly the best “David and Goliath” combination in modern wrestling. Finn Balor is a man whose presence makes him seem bigger than he is, and he never feels out of place in the ring with giants. Braun Strowman has benefited from being under the tutelage of some of the greatest big men in the history of wrestling, and is on his way to being the the top big man of this era. And he’s still so early in his career. It’s pretty amazing to watch. Both men showed why they deserve to be in the main event and why the fans love them.

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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About the Author

- Greg Bowen is a writer, musician, DJ, political activist, and wrestling mark who still has Macho Madness to this day.

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