WWE Monday Night RAW
May 22, 2017
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video kicks off the show highlighting the Fatal 5-Way that will take place at WWE Extreme Rules to determine the #1 Contender for the WWE Universal Championship. Roman Reigns, Finn Bálor, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, and Samoa Joe will compete for the opportunity to face Brock Lesnar for the title.
Bray Wyatt addresses the match at Extreme Rules
Bray Wyatt’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. They show footage from last week’s RAW, and the author of this recap is visible at ringside while Samoa Joe attacked Seth Rollins during his match against Bray Wyatt. Wyatt tells the crowd to stand up to rejoice for the one true savior, Bray Wyatt. The beast lives among them. He’s the reason their children can’t sleep at night. It’s the voice in the back of your head that causes you to run. Wyatt will rip open the chest of the beast and feast on his black heart. The beast will die at his hands. At Extreme Rules, four men will suffer. Wyatt will begin his brilliant crusade to slay the beast once and for all. Wyatt can protect them. Wyatt says he sacrificed Seth Rollins. As for Samoa Joe, he sacrificed him as well. In his world, there are no friends. There are only followers. If you don’t believe him, ask Finn Bálor. Wyatt says everyone tries to live vicariously through Bálor, but by the end even the beast will see the truth. Only Bray Wyatt can slay the beast. There is a fifth. This man claims the ring to be his yard, Roman Reigns. Wyatt has a question for Reigns: what does one silly little yard mean to a man that owns the world. This is his world.
Roman Reigns’ music hits, and he comes out to a mixed reaction. Reigns says if Wyatt is going to run his mouth in his yard, he might as well do it to his face. Wyatt laughs and calls him an old friend. Wyatt says Reigns’ anger gets the best of him. Wyatt says he is the truth and is the only one that can beat Brock Lesnar. Reigns says that won’t happen because at Extreme Rules, he’ll beat four guys, including Wyatt. Then he’ll move on and beat Brock Lesnar. That’s the truth. Reigns isn’t worried about Extreme Rules. The only thing on his mind is how he’ll get Wyatt’s ass out of his yard.
Kurt Angle’s music hits, and the RAW General Manager comes out to the chant of “You Suck.” Angle smiles and waves at the crowd while he comes out to the stage. Angle says the Fatal 5-Way match at Extreme Rules could be the most important matches of the New Era. They may be the two odds on favorites. Angle doesn’t want to find out who has momentum going into the match next week or later tonight. Reigns will face Wyatt right now!
Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
The bell rings, and they circle the ring. They lock up, and Reigns hooks a side headlock before Wyatt whips him off. Wyatt goes for a shoulder block, but Reigns doesn’t go down. Reigns’ left shoulder is completely taped up. They trade punches with Reigns coming out on top. Reigns sidesteps him in the corner, but Wyatt quickly arcs his back to play some mind games. Wyatt goes for Sister Abigail, but Reigns quickly escapes and big boots him out of the ring. Reigns follows him outside and punches him before putting him back in the ring. Wyatt kicks him in the chest while he gets back in the ring and hits a uranage. Wyatt bites the middle rope and smiles. Wyatt punches him before whipping him hard into the turnbuckles. Wyatt laughs and rolls around on the mat. Wyatt builds up a head of steam, but Reigns pops out of the corner with a big clothesline. Wyatt slowly gets to his feet in the corner, and Reigns starts wildly clubbing him in the corner. Reigns hits the ropes, but Wyatt viciously takes him down with a flying body block.
Samoa Joe’s music hits, and he angrily charges down to the ring. Joe gets in the ring and looks down at Reigns. Joe then signals for Wyatt to get to his feet. Wyatt smiles and holds his hand up. Joe then applies the Coquina Clutch. The referee throws the match out.
Winner by Disqualification: Roman Reigns
Reigns backs Joe into the corner to get out of it. Wyatt attacks Reigns from behind. Joe then applies the Coquina Clutch to Wyatt. Seth Rollins’ music hits, and he charges down to the ring. Rollins and Joe fight before Rollins dropkicks him out of the ring. Reigns then gives Wyatt a Superman Punch before he attacks Rollins.
Finn Bálor will face Karl Anderson later tonight. Matt Hardy will face Sheamus. The winner will choose the stipulation of the match at Extreme Rules. That also takes place later tonight.
Roman Reigns is backstage telling Seth Rollins he doesn’t need his help. Rollins says he was there to get Samoa Joe. Kurt Angle walks up to them and makes a match: Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins versus Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe in tonight’s main event. They nod and walk off. “The Drifter” Elias Sampson walks up strumming his chords. Angle says he has his attention. Angle says he hasn’t had a match on RAW, so he can have his first match ever tonight. His opponent will be Dean Ambrose. The Drifter kicks up his strumming again while Angle walks off.
Brian Kendrick is watching this match backstage. He says he is the teacher, and Tozawa is the student.
Ariya Daivari vs. Akira Tozawa
Daivari starts off with some offense, but Tozawa immediately comes back with some chops. Tozawa rolls through a sunset flip and kicks him before hitting a senton splash for a two count. Daivari sidesteps him in the corner and turns him inside out with a clothesline for a two count. Daivari stomps away at him. Kendrick isn’t impressed. Daivari chops the chest and hits the ropes, but Tozawa big boots him. Tozawa takes him down with a hurricanrana before hitting a swinging back suplex. Tozawa goes to the top rope and hits a super senton splash for the win.
Brian Kendrick says he’s impressed, but not as impressed as everyone will be tomorrow night when he destroys Tozawa in a street fight.
Coming up next, Elias Sampson will take on Dean Ambrose.
Charly Caruso asks how Sasha Banks is preparing for her rubber match against Alicia Fox. She says she’ll take care of her tonight. Alicia Fox comes up to her with Noam Dar. Dar says she’s all alone and has no one. Dar says she’s not “The Boss.” Banks slightly intimidates Dar and walks off.
Elias Sampson is sitting on a stool in the middle of the ring. Sampson sings a song to the crowd in Grand Rapids. It’ll be Ambrose’s last night.
The Miz and Maryse are on commentary for this match. They lock up, and Sampson applies a side headlock. Ambrose tries to whip him off, but Sampson holds on. Ambrose elbows out and whips him off. Ambrose takes him down with two poor looking arm drags followed by an arm bar. Sampson fights up and pulls Ambrose off the ropes. Ambrose fights back and hits the ropes, but Sampson takes him down with a back elbow. Sampson punches him down in the corner before going outside the ring. Sampson bounces his head off the apron and hits a running knee to the head.
We come back from the break to see Ambrose trapped in a modified chin lock. Ambrose tries to fight up, but Sampson keeps him grounded. Ambrose finally fights up, but Sampson quickly clotheslines him down for a two count. Sampson applies an arm bar, but Ambrose soon fights up and punches away at him. Ambrose elbows him back and boots him in the face. Ambrose counters a right hand into a swinging neckbreaker. Ambrose punches and kicks away at him before ducking a clothesline and hitting a pair of running forearms. Ambrose then takes him down with a wild clothesline. Ambrose goes to the top rope and leaps, but Sampson knocks him out of mid-air with a high knee. Sampson covers, but Ambrose counters into a crucifix pin for a near fall. Sampson punches him, but Ambrose rebounds with a Lunatic Lariat.
The Miz gets off commentary and gets in the ring. Miz then hits Sampson with a double sledge to cost Ambrose the match.
Winner by Disqualification: Elias Sampson
Dean Ambrose is furious and chases The Miz around ringside. Ambrose soon catches him, but Sampson attacks him from behind. Sampson then lays him out with a swinging neckbreaker. At Extreme Rules, if Ambrose gets disqualified, he loses the Intercontinental Championship.
Coming up next, we’ll see Finn Bálor take on Karl Anderson.
We see Big Cass walking furiously backstage with a referee asking about something that happened. The camera pans over to see Enzo Amore down on the ground, unconscious.
Enzo Amore is conscious now and telling the EMTs he got jumped. Kurt Angle is there as well. Enzo tries to stand, but he needs assistance. Angle promises to get to the bottom of it. Big Cass turns to Angle and says he better hope he gets to the bottom of this before he does.
Finn Bálor talks about his opponents at Extreme Rules
Finn Bálor makes his entrance and says it sound like the Bálor Club is in the building. Bálor says they have their hands full. At Extreme Rules, they have a Fatal 5-Way match where the winner gets to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship (Bálor botched his line and smiled while saying, “Oops.”)
Paul Heyman cuts him off and comes out to a big reception. Heyman does his usual introduction and says he’s out here to scout potential victims for his client. Earlier tonight, Bray Wyatt talked about his masterpiece for going after his client. Heyman says if Wyatt gets into the ring with Lesnar, he will be painted as a victim. Then there’s Seth Freakin’ Rollins, and he wants to compete in a Fatal Freakin’ 5-Way at Extreme Freakin’ Rules. If he faces Lesnar, he’ll be a Freakin’ victim. As for Samoa Joe, a legit badass. Against Lesnar, he’s a victim. Then we have the one who laid the Deadman down, Roman Reigns. The crowd loudly boos this. Reigns is the favorite. If Reigns wins the Fatal 5-Way and challenges for the title, he will no longer be the end all, be all in WWE. He’ll just be Brock Lesnar’s victim.
Heyman gets into the ring and says that leads him to Bálor. Heyman reminds him that he’s just an advocate. Heyman says Bálor is nobody’s victim. The other contenders in the Fatal 5-Way have painted him as the underdog, but he’s no underdog either. They may not see him coming, but Heyman does. The Bálor Club sees him coming. Heyman says Bálor is the most talented in-ring performer in WWE today. Even more importantly, he believes that Bálor believes he’ll take the other contenders to the extreme, and he knows a little bit about the word “extreme.” Heyman also believes that Bálor believes that he doesn’t look at his client like he’s Brock Lesnar, UFC, WWE, and Universal Champion. Bálor thinks his client is the same as the other competitors. Bálor thinks Lesnar will be his victim. Heyman says he’s here to say to Bálor that of all the possibilities at Extreme Rules, he’s most intrigued to the possibility of Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Bálor for the Universal Championship. The crowd cheers that. On behalf of his client, Heyman wishes him luck. Bálor shakes his hand.
Bálor says he’s glad Heyman is here. He wishes Lesnar was here, but he’s not. Since Heyman is Lesnar’s advocate, he can give him a message. Bálor says he will win at Extreme Rules and go on to face Brock Lesnar for the championship he never lost. Heyman can tell Lesnar that he said that Finn Bálor will beat Brock Lesnar.
Karl Anderson makes his way to the ring alongside Luke Gallows. This match is next.
Finn Bálor vs. Karl Anderson w/ Luke Gallows
Bálor quickly gains the advantage over Anderson and knees away at him. Bálor knees away at him and kicks him in the midsection. Luke Gallows gets on the apron to distract him. Anderson elbows and clotheslines Bálor down. Anderson rips at his face, and Gallows gets a cheap shot in. Anderson punches away at Bálor for a two count. Anderson applies a chin lock. Bálor tries to fight up, but Anderson quickly grounds him again. Bálor tries to fight up again, but Anderson hits him with a backbreaker for a two count. Anderson goes back to the chin lock, but Bálor gets out. Anderson elbows him, but Bálor comes back with an overhead kick.
Anderson charges into a boot, and Bálor forearms him down twice before hitting a low dropkick to the head. Bálor chops him in the corner, sends him to the opposite corner, and chops again. Anderson reverses a whip, but Bálor slingshots over him. Anderson boots him and goes to the second rope, but Bálor kicks him off to the floor. Bálor baseball slides Gallows and viciously kicks him in the face. Bálor then kicks Anderson back before he can blindside him. Bálor goes to the top rope, but Anderson gets to his feet and hits a spinebuster for a near fall. Anderson cannot believe he couldn’t keep him down. Anderson goes for a powerbomb, but Bálor counters, takes him down, and hits a double stomp. Anderson gets out of the ring, and Bálor connects with a summersault senton. Bálor gets him in the ring and hits a Sling Blade followed by a vicious dropkick into the corner. Bálor then hits the Coup de Grâce for the win.
Tonight’s main event will see Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins take on Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe. Later tonight, we’ll see Matt Hardy take on Sheamus with the winner being able to choose the stipulation at Extreme Rules.
Alicia Fox w/ Noam Dar vs. Sasha Banks
They lock up, and Banks takes her down before hitting a drop-toe-hold. Fox quickly gets out of the ring. Banks takes her down with a baseball slide and gets her in the ring. Noam Dar distracts her, and Fox blindsides her for a two count. Fox applies a chin lock. Banks escapes, and they fumble through some stuff before Banks hits a double knee to the midsection for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sasha Banks
Noam Dar gets in the ring and argues with Banks. Banks slaps him down. Fox attacks her from behind and hits a Scissor Kick. Fox and Dar kiss in the ring and pose.
Kalisto is talking with Apollo Crews. Kalisto accuses him of doing Titus O’Neil’s dirty work by attacking Enzo Amore. Crews says he wouldn’t do that, but he’s keeping his options open with O’Neil. O’Neil walks up and says Kalisto should be part of the Titus Brand. Kalisto says he would never join him. O’Neil says he’s going to have Crews teach him a lesson.
Coming up next, we’ll hear from Alexa Bliss.
Footage is shown of Goldust turning on R-Truth last week on RAW. The commentators talk about how they were a “wildly popular” team and hadn’t had success lately.
A Shattered Dreams production pops up on the screen. It’s old school Goldust. The brightest lights may fade away, but gold is the purest of them all. It never withers or rusts. Infinite luster. R-Truth’s light is flickering. He’s holding on to that last glimmer of hope just waiting for another chance to shine on my silver screen. Someone hands Goldust something, but he throws it down. Goldust says he doesn’t need a script. This is his movie. He’s in the director’s chair, and he’ll determine how his next film will end. The Golden Age is back.
Charly Caruso is backstage with Alexa Bliss. She mentions she’ll be facing Bayley at Extreme Rules in a Kendo Stick on a Pole Match. Footage is shown of Bliss hitting Bayley with a kendo stick last week on RAW. Photos are shown of the welt on Bayley’s back. Bliss says she doesn’t feel bad. The sound of the stick hitting her flesh makes her salivate. If Bayley thought she was in pain last week, that was nothing. At Extreme Rules, she’ll make sure her body is tattooed in welts. Bayley must be planning her revenge, but that won’t happen. Bayley can’t get extreme. Tonight, she’ll do to Mickie James what she’s going to do to Bayley at Extreme Rules: turn her dreams into nightmares.
Footage is shown of Roman Reigns destroying Braun Strowman two weeks ago on RAW. Strowman could be out up to six months.
Tonight’s main event will see Reigns and Seth Rollins face Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe.
Kalisto vs. Apollo Crews w/ Titus O’Neil
Kalisto applies a waistlock, but Crews powers him off. Kalisto kicks away at him before having a whip reversed. Kalisto quickly takes him down with a head-scissor that takes him out of the ring. Kalisto hits the ropes, but Crews gets in the ring and dropkicks him down for a two count. Crews hits a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Crews applies a front facelock, but Kalisto fights out. Kalisto hits the ropes, but Crews takes him down with a step-up enzuigiri for a two count. O’Neil yells at the referee. Kalisto counters a spin-out powerbomb into a roll-up for a two count. O’Neil yells at him to finish Kalisto. Kalisto counters a move into Salida del Sol for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Kalisto
Titus O’Neil gets in the ring and yells at Crews.
Coming up next, Matt Hardy will face Sheamus in a match where the winner gets to pick the stipulation for the match at Extreme Rules.
Winner choses Extreme Rules match stipulation
Matt Hardy w/ Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus w/ Cesaro
They circle the ring and lock up. Sheamus powers him into the ropes, and they give a rough break. They lock up again, and Hardy applies a side headlock. Sheamus tries to whip him off, but Hardy holds on. Sheamus elbows him and lifts him, but Hardy counters with a headlock takeover. Sheamus fights up and whips him off before shoulder blocking him down. Sheamus takes him down with a headlock takeover. Hardy whips him off and clotheslines him out of the ring. Sheamus angrily gets back in the ring, so Hardy tries for a Twist of Fate. Sheamus escapes and talks strategy with Cesaro. Hardy follows him out, and Sheamus drives him into the apron. Sheamus goes for 10 Beats of the Bodhrán, but he stops and knocks him off the apron into the barricade. Sheamus gets him into the ring and goes to the top rope for a diving clothesline for a two count. Hardy fights back and rolls him up for a two count. Hardy wrenches the arm, but Sheamus stuns him with a forearm. Sheamus tries to maintain momentum, but Hardy comes back by bouncing his face numerous times off all three turnbuckles. Sheamus hits a rolling senton for a two count.
We come back from the break to see Sheamus hit an Irish Curse Backbreaker for a two count. Sheamus puts him on the top rope. Jeff Hardy gets on the apron and distracts Sheamus. Hardy kicks him back and hits a tornado DDT for a near fall. Hardy fights back and slides out of a powerslam before clotheslining him in the corner. Sheamus gets out of a bulldog, but he can’t escape a Side Effect for a near fall. Hardy gets the “DELETE” chants going, but Sheamus fights back and knees him in the face. Hardy grabs the bottom rope before the count of three. Hardy avoids a Brogue Kick and gets out of the ring. Jeff Hardy dives off the apron with a clothesline on Cesaro before he attacks. Hardy soon hits Sheamus with a Twist of Fate for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Matt Hardy
Charly Caruso joins them on the stage. She asks them what stipulation they’re choosing for the WWE RAW Tag Team Championships match at Extreme Rules. Matt Hardy says they’re going to lock them up and tear them down inside a Steel Cage Match.
Footage is shown from earlier in the night when Samoa Joe interfered during Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt. Seth Rollins then came out to even the odds. The main event is Reigns and Rollins vs. Wyatt and Joe.
Tony Nese w/ Neville vs. Austin Aries
Footage is shown from last week’s WWE 205 Live when Neville attacked Austin Aries’ knee. Aries’ knee is taped up. At Extreme Rules, Aries will fight Neville on a third straight PPV in a Submission Match.
They circle the ring, and Aries turns his attention to Neville. Nese quickly attacks the knee, but Aries soon fights back and hits a diving elbow to the back of the head for a one count. Aries applies a front facelock, but Nese gets out. Nese runs into a drop-toe-hold, and Aries ties him up in a submission. Nese fights out, but Aries rolls him up for a two count. Aries quickly goes for the Last Chancery, but Nese gets out of the ring. Aries hits a plancha before putting him in the ring. Aries talks trash to Neville, and Nese clips the knee. Nese slowly works over him until Aries chops him back. Aries boots him back and goes to the second rope. Aries leaps, but Nese takes him out of mid-air with a back elbow. Nese goes for a delayed vertical suplex, but Aries counters into a guillotine choke. Nese tries for a front suplex to get out, but Aries counters into the Last Chancery for the win.
Winner by Submission: Austin Aries
Neville attacks Tony Nese after the match and applies the Rings of Saturn. Nese taps out to it. Aries sarcastically applauds Neville. Aries tells him to try doing that to him.
Alexa Bliss is in action, next.
Mickie James vs. Alexa Bliss
They circle the ring and lock up. They trade waistlocks before James shoves her. They lock up again, and Bliss stomps her down in the corner. James comes back with some kicks and a pair of flying forearms. James hits a neckbreaker for a two count. James connects with some crossfaces and a running kick. James elbows her back and goes for a hurricanrana, but Bliss fights it. Bliss viciously punches her down and hits a DDT for the win.
Alexa Bliss lifts up the apron, but there’s nothing there. She moves over and finally finds a kendo stick. Bliss then viciously cracks James in the back with the stick. Bayley runs down and takes her down. Bayley lifts up the stick, but Bliss escapes the ring. Bliss looks fearful. Bayley then helps James up.
Coming up next, Roman Reigns will team with Seth Rollins to take on Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe.
Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins discuss who will face off against Bray Wyatt. It’ll be Rollins. Rollins punches him down, knocks Joe off the apron, and tosses Wyatt out of the ring. Rollins sends Wyatt into the barricade and punches away at Joe at ringside. Rollins gets Wyatt in the ring. Rollins jumps over Joe before he can hit him, but Wyatt quickly capitalizes on the distraction by knocking him off the apron into the barricade.
We come back from the break to see Reigns tagged in. Reigns clotheslines Wyatt twice before having a whip reversed, but he comes back with a leaping clothesline. Reigns kicks Wyatt and gives him a Samoan Drop. Reigns sets up for a Superman Punch, but he gets scared by Wyatt doing the crabwalk. Joe distracts him, and Wyatt attacks him from behind. Wyatt tosses Reigns out of the ring, and Joe sends Reigns into the post. Joe tags in and punches Reigns at ringside before putting him back into the ring. Kurt Angle is seen watching backstage. Joe applies a neck vice. Reigns fights up, but Joe gets him in the corner and hits an overhead kick for a near fall. Wyatt tags back in and kicks Reigns a few times. Wyatt punches at the injured arm before avalanching him in the corner. Wyatt takes some time before covering for a two count. Wyatt then applies a chin lock. Reigns takes some time before fighting up, but Wyatt quickly throws him out of the ring. Joe attacks him at ringside. Reigns goes to throw him into the barricade, but Joe accidentally sends himself into the ring post. Reigns fights them off and gets in the ring. Reigns then gets Wyatt out of the ring.
Rollins and Joe are tagged in. Rollins hits a springboard clothesline before booting him and hitting a blockbuster. Rollins then takes Wyatt out with a plancha. Rollins gets in the ring and hits a Sling Blade on Joe. Rollins forearms him and knocks Wyatt away. Rollins then hits Wyatt and Joe with a suicide dive. Rollins goes to the top rope and kicks Wyatt away. Joe crotches him on the top rope. Wyatt and Joe go for a double team superplex, but Rollins fights them off. Rollins then hits them both with a cross-body block. Joe’s right arm has a bright red welt on it. Reigns stops Sister Abigail and punches Joe. Rollins then kicks Joe. Joe avoids a Superman Punch, and Reigns runs Rollins over. Rollins tells him to watch where he’s going. Wyatt pulls Reigns out of the ring. Joe then locks the Coquina Clutch on Rollins for the win.
Winners by Referee’s Decision: Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe and Bray Wyatt go face-to-face in the ring. Kurt Angle is seen watching backstage. Finn Bálor walks up and tells him not to leave him out of the fun. Bálor wants to face one of the guys in the ring. Angle says Bálor’s request is denied because he’ll be facing two guys. It’ll be Samoa Joe vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Bálor in a triple threat match. Bálor says that’s music to his ears. As for Rollins and Reigns, they’ll face each other in a singles match. Angle says he’s a great GM.
Quick Match Results
* Roman Reigns def. Bray Wyatt via DQ
* Akira Tozawa def. Ariya Daivari
* Elias Sampson def. Dean Ambrose via DQ (non-title)
* Finn Bálor def. Karl Anderson
* Sasha Banks def. Alicia Fox
* Kalisto def. Apollo Crews
* Matt Hardy def. Sheamus
* Austin Aries def. Tony Nese via Submission
* Alexa Bliss def. Mickie James (non-title)
* Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe def. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns via Referee’s Decision
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Twitter – @MikeTedescoWV