WWE RAW REPORT

The broadcast opened with a very moving video for Memorial Day here in the United States.  Obviously, we send our thanks out to everyone, past and present, who have served in the military and especially their families.

Braun Strowman made his way to the ring.  The announcers said he was the clear favorite to walk out of Money in the Bank with the briefcase.  Strowman said that when he sees the briefcase, it gets him motivated because it means he can have a WWE Universal title match at any time in any arena in the world.  The fans were into Strowman, chanting, “Get these hands.”  Strowman promised he would destroy seven other men at the PPV and then he was going to climb the ladder and the briefcase.  Then, he will known as “Mister Monster in the Bank” and questioned who was going to stop him.

Strowman said there was no one who could stop him.  He promised to take the briefcase, cash in the contract and promised Brock Lesnar was going to “get these hands.”  Out came Finn Balor, so they are following up on their main event last week.  Balor said that Braun was getting ahead of himself and reminded him that Finn was the first Universal Champion and never lost the belt.  He said he was determined to get to the top, so he was going to climb one of the ladders and take back what was his.  Balor said he gave Braun everything that he had last week, but at MITB there will other competitors in the ring with them and it’s going to be every man for themselves.  Braun said he put up a really good fight for a little guy.

Balor slapped him. Braun grabbed Finn and tossed him across the ring, bouncing him out of the ring to the floor.  Raw General Manager Kurt Angle came out on the entrance stage.  He said that he sees one of his favorite “I”s – intensity.  He said the ladder match will feature four stars from Raw and four stars from Smackdown with the winner facing their respective champion at any time.  He said Balor gave everything he had last week, but asked Richmond if they wanted to see a rematch right now.  They did.  So, it was official.

Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor.

Kevin Owens joined the announcers on commentary.

Braun nailed some big shots early on and controlled the bout     They showed Bobby Roode watching a TV backstage, scouting.    Balor tried to fight back but Braun drilled him down to the mat with a big shot across the chest.   Strowman drilled Balor with a headbutt.  Balor pulled himself to his feet with the ropes, but was dropped down again with a big right for a two count.

Strowman whipped Balor hard across the ring, where he bounced rudely off the buckles.   Balor finally nailed a dropkick and began kicking away at the hamstrings of the “Monster.”  Braun kicked him down.  Owens took a live mic and began screaming for Braun to keep destroying Finn and showing everyone that he was the monster.  He demanded Brock “show him these hands” as they went to commercial,

When they returned, Balor avoided a charge in the corner.  Balor began nailing strikes but was caught going for an enziguiri and slammed down.  He went to the floor.  Braun followed.   Braun tackled him on the floor, sending Balor over the barricade into the waiting arms of security guards on the other side.  Strowman brought him back into the ringside area but missed a charge into the ringpost, hitting his shoulder.  Balor dropkicked Braun over the top to the floor.  Owens grabbed a live mic again and this time, was pushing Balor to give his best shot to Braun.  Balor knocked Strowman down but celebrated too long.  Braun grabbed him and tossed him back in the ring.

Balor was able to nail a Slingblade and nailed the coup de grace.  He nailed another and returned to the top for a third time, but Kevin Owens attacked Balor and knocked him off the top.

Your winner by DQ, Braun Strowman.

Owens grabbed a ladder an attacked Balor with it on the floor.  He pulled it into the ring and went to do the same to Braun, who grabbed it and stopped Owens’ momentum.  Owens ran.  Braun sent the ladder into orbit and it crashed down halfway up the entrance aisle, nearly nailing Owens.  Owens ran off as Braun stalked to the back.

The idea was that Owens stole Balor’s potential win and was trying to soften up his opponents in the ladder match.

They showed footage of Jinder Mahal’s attack on Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins last week.

They showed Elias playing guitar in the back and said he would be on Raw next.

Backstage, Kevin Owens was rushing to get out of the building and screamed at a valet to get his car.  Kurt Angle asked him where he was going and Owens said it was Memorial Day and he was going to see the big parade and fireworks.  Angle told him he was Canadian and didn’t care about any of that.  He then told Owens he was going to be in a match tonight against the guys he knocked on commentary.  He told Owens to go get dressed.  Owens screamed in frustration as he returned into the locker room area.

Sasha Banks cut a selfie promo saying she didn’t need luck in the Gauntlet Match as she was the boss.

Time for Elias.  Elias said that tonight’s song was special to him as he words and music just came to him.  He said it was going to require total concentration.   He began to play, but stopped.  He said that normally the lighting was fine, but the crowd tonight was disgusting and asked that the lights be changed a little.  He kept getting thrown off by the crowd making noise.  He threatened to sit there all night until he didn’t hear a pin drop.  They went to commercial noting that the WWE IC title bout was next as he threatened to leave.

When they returned from commercial, Elias was still in the ring asking the fans to shut their mouths.    He said he would leave.  The crowd chanted, “Leave.”  Before anything could happen musically, out came WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins.    They noted it was Rollins’ birthday.  Elias remained in the ring and wasn’t happy about not being able to perform.  They faced off.  Elias finally walked off.  It felt like a tease of something larger to come between the two.

WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal

Rollins went right after Mahal, attacked him at the bell and drilling him with right hands.  They battled at ringside as they went to commerical.  Wjen they returned, Mahal was in control and suplexed Rollins over for a two count.  The announcers noted that Mahal was focusing his attack on Rollins’ core.   Mahal locked on an abdominal stretch.  Rollins fought his way out and sent Mahal to the floor.  Holding his ribs, Rollins nailed a dive to the outside.

Back in the ring, Rollins came off the ropes with a Blockbuster for a two count.   Mahal sent him up and over the ropes during a charge in the corner.  Mahal caught him with a gutbuster and scored a two count.  Jinder went for the Colossus, but Rollins blocked.  He went for the stomp but it was blocked.  Rollins nailed a kick to the face and scored with the Falcon’s Arrow, scoring a two count.  Sunil Singh interfered and was thrown out by the referee.

That distraction allowed Mahal to nail Rollins in the ribs with a steel chair but Rollins still kicked out.  The crowd chanted for Rollins as he nailed an enziguiri.  Sunil returned but Rollins pulled him into the ring and hit a BuckleBomb on him, sending him into Jinder in the corner.  Everyone was down, exhausted.  No DQ on Jinder, despite Suni returning.

Rollins saw the chair that Jinder hit him with and decided to wallop Jinder with it several times.  Rollins was disqualified.

Your winner, by DQ, Jinder Mahal!

Rollins chased Jinder up the aisle, drilling him with the chair again and again.   Sunil tried to intervene but was laid out with the chair.  Rollins stood on the announcers’ table, posing for the crowd.  Elias returned from the back and drilled Rollins from behind with his guitar, sending Rollins crashing off the stage to the floor below as they went to commercial.

When they returned from commercial, Seth Rollins was on a stretcher but was asking the EMTs and the WWE officials to give him a minute so he could leave on his own.  You could hear fans so concerned they were singing Happy Birthday to him.  Rollins finally pulled himself up and was walked out with the assistance of Jamie Noble Goulet and Adam Pearce Garea.

A smiling WWE Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax made her way to the ring.  As she got halfway there, out came Ronda Rousey, her challenger at the Money in the Bank.  Rousey joined the announcers at their position.  Jax entered the ring and took the mic.  She said that she was happy Rousey came out for this exhibition so she can see firsthand what’s going to happen to her at the PPV.

Jax said that her opponent, Michelle Webb, was going to demonstrate the move Rousey loves to use, the armbar.  The woman locked it on but Jax powered up and powerbombed her.  Jax wiped her out again and told Rousey that she could easily get the pin on Rousey at the PPV with that, but she’s got more.   She nailed a big legdrop and said after that, you could count to 30.  She said Ronda has never faced anything like that in the UFC.  She said her leg could crush a woman’s chest…and so can this.  She nalled a rolling senton.  Nia said the woman needs some assistance, the type of assistance Rousey will need at MITB.  She suggested Rousey to come to the ring and help Webb out.  The referee went to help Webb but Jax told him no and said she wanted Rowdy Ronda Rousey to come down.  Rousey made her way to the ring as Jax said she has to give the people what they want.

Ronda got into the ring and gave Jax the “look.”  Jax said this was the intimidating thing she’s heard so much about, but Jax isn’t intimidated. She said it’s cute.  She turned her back on Ronda and walked off.  The idea was Jax was playing mind games and it was easily the best and most confident she ever came off on the mic.

Dana Brooke did a selfie promo in front of a bunch of of mathematical equations talking up how she was going to win tonight.  Based on the build, the Gauntlet is closing the show.

WWE Raw Tag Team Champions Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt vs. The Ascension

They noted on commentary that Lord Wolfgang has challenged Michael Cole to a match.  Cole referred to him at first as Maxwell, meaning Maxel.  Matt and Bray traded tags while working over Viktor.  Viktor nailed a nice looking leaping back elbow in a corner on Hardy.  Konor tagged in and scored a two count on Matt before locking on a side chinlock.

Hardy fought back with shots to the mid-section but Konor maintained a side headlock and took Matt back to the mat.  Bray finally made the tag and cleaned house on Viktor, but Konor broke up a pinfall.  Matt nailed Viktor with a Twist of Fate and clotheslined Konor over the top.  Bray and Hardy set up Viktor and nailed the Kiss of Deletion for the pin.

Your winners, WWE Raw Tag Team Champions Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt!

They announced it would be Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Roode later tonight.

Backstage, The B-Team were mocking the Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt win.  They wanted a Tag Team title shot and asked for one.  Kurt said they have looked impressive the last few weeks but that doesn’t mean they earned a title shot.  He questioned what would the other tag teams wonder.  Bo thought he meant that they had to get all the other teams’ blessings.  He said they had give them something.  They decided they would invte everyone to to the B-Team Memorial Day BBQ tonight.  Angle kept trying to tell them that he didn’t mean any of that but they excitedly walked off.   Okaaaaaaaaay.

The Riott Squad did a selfie promo, saying one way or another, the final spot in MITB belongs to them.  Good promo from all three.

Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Roode.

Dueling chants.  They had some nice back and forth exchanges early.   Roode nailed a big clothesline on Owens, who was on the apron.  He went to follow but was tripped on the apron.  Owens tossed him into the barricade.    Owens nailed a cannonball on the floor as they went to commercial.  When they returned, Owens was in charge.  Roode fired back but was nailed.  Owens charged him in the corner but was nailed with an elbow and hit with a Blockbuster for a two count.   Roode nailed a clothesline in the corner.  He went for a neckbreaker but Owens countered.  Roode finally nailed it for a two count.

Amazingly, Owens isnt concerned that Braun might be looking for him.

Roode went to the top but Owens nailed the ropes, crotching him.  Owens climbed the ropes and set up for a superplex.  Roode nailed him with several shots to the mid-section, sending Owens crashing down to the mat.  Roode nailed him off the ropes.  He set up for the Glorious DDT but Owens began walking up the aisle, trying to retreat.  Roode caught him and nailed him.  He tossed Owens back into the ring but was caught with a superkick.  Roode avoided a pop-up powerbomb and went for a sunset flip but Owens dropped down and scored the pin.

Your winner, Kevin Owens!

As Owens left, Braun Strowman’s music hit and Owens tried to back down the aisle.  Owens was chased around the ring but his exit was blocked by Roode.  Braun grabbed him and tossed Owens back into the ring, where he nailed the running powerslam.  Roode was cheerleading Braun and called for another.  I don’t think this will end well for Roode.  Braun nailed another powerslam, then grabbed Roode and powerslammed him as well.

Sami Zayn came out after the commercial break.  The announcers said he was here to make a public apology for the awful Bobby Lashley segment last week.  They should send Vince McMahon out for that.

Zayn took the mic and said that he wanted to get serious for a second.  He said that last week didn’t go as he had hoped and in retrospect it went too far.  WWE management has been gracious enough to give him time to issue an official public apology.  He read a statement and said he presented a segment that was inappropriate and in poor taste.  He said that the reaction on social media was brutal and he was asked in endless texts and emails what he was doing.  He was even asked by the man in Syracuse who was evicted by his own parents in a DM to ask him what he was thinking.  Zayn said that this was simply his way of trying to entertain, not provoke and that these men were hired by him and were not his sisters.  He said that he wanted to tell the WWE Universe and the Lashley family that he was…was…sorry.

That certainly read like WWE management wanted that said publicly after the backlash.

However….it should be noted that everything he said was true.  It was actors playing his sisters, but his expose was rooted in reality, like all great art.  He said that history will look back on last week’s segment very favorably.  Yeah, sure.  Zayn said he was the one doing the right thing and trying to expose Lashley for being a bully and liar and asked why he was the one who was catching flack.  He said that everyone should feel sorry for him and should be apologizing to him.  Zayn said he deserves and deserves better.  He should be in the MITB ladder match and should have been wrestling Seth Rollins for the IC title tonight, not issuing an apology in front of a group of disgusting fans in Richmond, VA.

Bobby Lashley came out to the ring.  He took a mic and said that Memorial Day is a special day for families like him and said that to anyone who has loved ones who served in the military, he and his family salute you and thank you.  He saluted a flag.  The crowd chanted “USA.”  Lashley said it was good to see Sami.  He said that his sisters, who Zayn never contacted, thought what happened last week was entertaining.  Lashley said they obviously have an issue and challenged him to settle it in the ring at Money in the Bank.  He told Zayn to back up the trash talk and offered him his hand to shake and seal the deal.  Zayn took it and said that Lashley got what he wanted.  He said he was going to Helluva kick the smile off Lashley’s face.  Lashley squeezed his hand and wouldn’t let go,

Lashley said he had an apology of his own – he apologizes for everything he’s going to do to Sami Zayn at Money in the Bank.  He released his grip and walked off as Zayn sat there in the ring holding his hand.

Mickie James did a selfie promo.  She said she wasn’t a six-time Champion by accident.  She knows how to seize the opportunity and she’ll be the one walking into MITB.

Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre made their way to the ring.

Drew McIntyre vs. Chad Gable.

Some very good, intense wrestling early on from McIntyre.  Gabe avoided a move and went for a rollup off the ropes but instead ate a back elbow.  McIntyre nailed a big suplex.  Gable fought back but Drew dumped him to the outside.  Drew followed but was nailed.  Gable avoided him and came off the ropes with a bodypress to the floor. McIntyre caught him and sent Gable into the ringpost.  McIntyre brought him back into the ring and nailed the Claymore Kick, scoring the pin.

Your winner, Drew McIntyre!

When we returned from commercial, all the teams from the Raw division except the Champs were in the ring for the B-Team Memorial Day BBQ.    Rhyno was eating everything.n  Bo and Curtis broke down all the food, then invited them to all eat.  Curtis then said that since they were all friends now, they could agree that the B-Team should challenge next as they were undefeated.  Titus cut a promo knocking the quality of the food and the ridiculousness of the idea that they were the top contenders.  Heath Slater said that this would be a feast in West Virginia but he agreed they don’t deserve the shot.  The B Team said they were taking their food back then. Titus dumped baked beans over Bo’s head while Breezango dumped potato salad over Curtis.  It broke down into a food fight that we haven’t seen since the immortal foodfight featuring Lanny Poffo, Lord Alfred Hayes and The Bushwhackers back in the day.  It ended with everyone but Rhyno leaving them laying.  Rhyno kept eating so they attacked him and the B-Team put him through a table.

Can we get another public apology next week?

The B-Team stormed Kurt Angle’s office and demanded a title shot.  Angle said they were crazy if they think the other teams were going to allow that now.  He made a Battle Royal for next week with the winners challenging at Money in the Bank.

Gauntlet Match to earn slot in Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Liv Morgan vs. Sasha Banks vs. Ruby Riott vs. Dana Brooke vs. Sarah Logan vs. Mickie James vs. Bayley.

Bayley was the first out.  Charlie Caruso interviewed her and said the odds are against her because she was first.  Bayley said she was going to bring the fight and has never backed down from one in her life.  She commented on all the other competitors and promised Sasha Banks that the name on the contract will read Bayley.

Her opponent was Liv Morgan.  Bayley pinned her almost immediately with the Bayley to Belly.  Morgan eliminated.

Next out was Sarah Logan.  They went back and forth and finally Bayley scored the pin.  Logan eliminated.  Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan beat her down.  Ruby Riott came to the ring as they went to commercial.  During the commercial, Bayley told the official she wanted to continue, so he let the match go on.

When they returned from commercial, Riott was firmly in control.  Bayley went to the ropes but was pulled off, her arm smashed over the top rope.  She nailed the Riott Kick and scored the pin.  Bayley eliminated.

Dana Brooke was the next competitor.  Riott began stomping her as she slid under the ropes.   Brooke blocked being smashed into the buckles and drilled Riott into them over and over.   Brooke nailed a big running elbow in the corner.  She followed up with a clothesline for a two count.  Riott ducked a clothesline and nailed the Riott Kick for the pin.  Brooke eliminated.

Mickie James was out next.  Big pop as she was in her hometown.  Riott tried to attack her as she slid into the ring but James stopped and pulled her out to the flor.  James nailed her and came off the apron with a Thesz Press.  The crowd chanted for Mickie.  Riott was rolled into the ring for a two count.   Riott fired back with right hands.  James nailed a rana out of the corner and followed up with a dropkick for a two count.  Mickie hit a sliding dropkick under the ropes to the floor as they went to commercial.  When they returned, Mickie nailed a Thesz Press from the top for a two count.  Mickie missed a Mick Kick.  Riott missed a Riott Kick.  Riott rolled her up and hooked the tights for the pin.  James eliminated.

The last competitor is Sasha Banks, who tries to score a quick pin with a crucifix, then follows up with a backslide.  Banks comes off the ropes with a bodypress for another two count.  Banks went for the Bank Statement in what looked to be a scary exchange.  Riott stomped her in the corner with boots.  On their knees, they battled back and forth with slaps and strikes.  Riott scored a two count.  They showed other MITB competitors watching backstage.  Banks kicked off a Riott charge.  Banks nailed a knee to the face and went to the top.  She came off with the double knee strike for a two count.   Banks missed a double knee strike into the corner.  Riott fought off a Bank Statement attempt and nailed Banks hard.  Ruby used the ropes to bounce off into a DDT for a two count.  Banks keeps kicking out.  Banks is placed on the top rope but fights off when Riott attempted a superplex.  Riott was drilled with a series of elbows to the back of the neck.  Banks slipped under her and trapped her in the buckles, kicking her.   Riott was trapped in the Bank Statement.  Morgan and Logan hit the scene but were nailed.  Riott rolled up Banks and hooked the tights but Banks kicked out and locked in the Bank Statement and scored the pin.

Advancing to the Money in the Bank match, your winner, Sasha Banks!

Sources: PWInsider

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