The attention of the wrestling world may have fallen on the indies over the weekend, but it’s Monday Night, and that means RAW. The big news on the preview is Brock Lesnar announcing who he plans to cash in on. There’s a big fatal Four-Way match to decide Seth Rollins’ next challenger, featuring Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, and The Miz. We should find out who Becky Lynch’s next challenger will be. The future of the United States Championship will be decided, after the controversy at Money in the Bank and Samoa Joe’s subsequent threats. And there will be more 24/7 title chaos.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Shane McMahon def. Lance Anoa’i
Becky Lynch & Nikki Cross def. The IIconics
Ricochet def. Cesaro
Baron Corbin def. The Miz, Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman
Seth Rollins def. Sami Zayn
The Key Bits
» Tonight’s, Memorial Day show started with a video honouring American Servicemen and Servicewomen.
» Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar were shown in Lesnar’s dressing room preparing to announce which title Lesnar will be going for, but it was Kofi Kingston who made his way to the ring first.
He said that last week on SmackDown Live, Dolph Ziggler attacked him after his match. But Ziggler didn’t finish the job. He’s still there and still standing. Eventually, he’ll deal with Ziggler, but he’s there tonight because Paul Heyman said Lesnar is going to choose his opponent. Kingston is a fighting champion and wants to be known as one of the best of all time and he can’t think of a better way to do it than by beating Brock Lesnar. He asked them to come out and for Lesnar to cash in on him tonight.
Seth Rollins came out instead. He said he knows he’s not Brock Lesnar, he’s better, but he doesn’t want to wait either. He called Lesnar out too, and Lesnar and Heyman appeared, with Lesnar using the briefcase as a boombox. He’s actually had the briefcase made into a boombox, the Beast Box. He played Kingston and Rollins’ theme music on it before anyone said anything.
Rollins got bored with the messing around and left.
Heyman said it’s just like Rollins to pee on everybody’s parade. Lesnar was going to announce his opponent, but Seth Rollins ruined their ‘Brock Party’. So now they’re not going to and everyone should blame Rollins.
Lesnar and Heyman left and Dolph Ziggler attacked Kingston from behind. Kingston took a zigzag on the steel bit of the ramp. Ziggler got a chair and Xavier Woods ran out to stop him from using it.
Ziggler came back after the break, as Kingston was being helped from the arena, and attacked Woods. Xavier Woods beat him down to and into the ring and they brawled at ringside, through the crowd, and back to the ring. Back in the ring, Ziggler pushed a chair into Xavier Woods’ throat. He was about to slam his head in it when Kofi Kingston reappeared with a chair. Ziggler ran away.
After the break, Kingston and Woods were still in the ring. Ziggler came back out to the stage and said he thought he knew Kofi, but Kofi has wasted all his time worrying about Brock Lesnar cashing in when he should have been worrying about him. Because at Super Showdown, Kingston defends the title against him. Ziggler wants him to celebrate like he’s never celebrated before for the next eleven days, because he’s the best WWE Champion Ziggler can remember. But every time he’s sees it, it reminds him it should have been him. Ziggler admires Kofi and knows how good he is, but what happens when he takes that title from him? At Super Showdown it will be him.
» Heyman and Lesnar were back out at the start of the second hour. They had a referee with them. Paul Heyman confirmed they would announce Lesnar’s opponent. Rollins came out to hear it.
Rollins said this is his life, it’s what he works for every single day and Lesnar makes a mockery of it. Not because of the beatbox, but because Lesnar is a joke. Rollins isn’t afraid, he stomped Lesnar’s head into the mat at WrestleMania and he could do it again tonight. Lesnar used to be the most feared man in combat sports history, but he’s a coward. If he wants a chance to prove him wrong, the briefcase is that chance, he just has to cash it in.
Paul Heyman started reading out the contract. Lesnar stopped him part way through and questioned that he has a year to cash it in. He backhanded Heyman with the contract and it was clear he didn’t realise how long he had. Lesnar picked up the mic and said, ‘I’ve got a whole year and I’ve got to make a decision now? Seth Rollins, screw you’, then left.
» AJ Styles was replaced in the Fatal Four-Way match by Baron Corbin, due to injury. Styles confirmed he felt a pop in his lower back in his match with Rollins. He wanted to compete tonight, but he’s not cleared. He’s waiting for more tests. Corbin slapped him off the treatment table he was sat on to end the segment.
The competitors, except Corbin, were given pre-match promos. The Miz and Maryse are expecting another little girl. It’s part of the reason he wants to earn his opportunity to compete for the Universal Championship. He used to feel entitled, so the earning stuff is new. Braun Strowman just wants to destroy Bobby Lashley and Baron Corbin. Bobby Lashley thinks he’s Championship material.
Braun Strowman vs The Miz vs Baron Corbin vs Bobby Lashley – Fatal Four-Way Universal Championship Number One Contender’s match – closed the second hour. Strowman gave us a tower of doom spot, with poor Miz at the top of the pile. He dropkicked Lashley and Corbin, so they rolled out of the ring. Lashley intercepted him on his run around the ring and shoved him into the barricade. Miz was also sent into the barricade before Lashley and Corbin suplexed Strowman on the ramp. But still no one was pinned.
Miz took a ton of punishment, got close to wearing down Bobby Lashley, took a Deep Six, and still stayed in it. Strowman and Lashley roamed around the crowd in a preview of their Super Showdown match and went off backstage. Miz took the fight to Baron Corbin when they were on their own, but Corbin caught him with End of Days and got the pin.
Baron Corbin faces Seth Rollins at Super Showdown.
» Corey Graves hosted an ‘Electric Chair’ interview segment, with Sami Zayn as his special guest. The premise is that a superstar is sat in a mock electric chair and the WWE Universe can ask anything they want. Charly Caruso and Sarah Schreiber were in the audience for the questions. The first questioner asked when Zayn’s retirement date is. Zayn asked if the guy’s parents were related. A child asked the next question, about mixed match challenge, and Zayn ripped into her too, saying her parents had done a terrible job. The third question was, ‘How does it feel when Braun Strowman destroys you?’ Zayn answered that one by saying he’d punch the guy in the face, but he doesn’t want to get sued.
Sami Zayn said he was disappointed with the questions. They could have asked personal questions about his love life or whether he’s a good kisser, which he says he is.
The final question was, why has he not won the Universal Championship yet? Zayn said he could win the Universal title any time, the questions were dumb, they could have asked him anything, they could have asked about AEW. Graves tried to cover the ‘AEW’ chant. Rollins came out, Zayn left the ring and Rollins threw the chair out.
Seth Rollins vs Sami Zayn happened after the break and was the main event. Brock Lesnar was shown still hanging out backstage at the start of the match. Zayn avoided Rollins for as long as he could, then it was all Seth Rollins until Zayn got in an opportunistic shot while Rollins was listening to the ref. Zayn tried to wear the champ down and played for the boos of the crowd, which he got, but his biggest break came when he shoved Rollins face-first into the ringpost. He couldn’t keep Rollins down thoughand caught a superkick.
That gave Rollins enough recovery time to get back into it, but Zayn halted Rollins momentum by rolling out of the ring after taking a blockbuster. Rollins delivered a couple of suicide dives, but hurt his knee on the second one. Rollins still looked hurt when he took the DDT from Zayn, but he managed to kick out. The official checked on Rollins, then Zayn went after the knee but caught another superkick. Rollins missed the Stomp and Sami Zayn wrapped him in a figure four. Rollins refused to tap and eventually managed to turn over to reverse the hold.
Zayn delivered a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Rollins kicked out. Rollins delivered a frogsplash and Zayn got his knees up, but Rollins still kicked out. Zayn went for another figure four, Rollins kicked him out of the ring and Stomped him when he got back in. Instead of covering, he screamed, ‘this is my life’, waited for Zayn to get to his knees, and delivered a second Stomp for the win.
The Other Bits
» R-Truth was chased through the ring by 24/7 title hopefuls. There was a brief chaotic scrap at ringside, the R-Truth ran off with Carmella on his back.
» Triple H will face Randy Orton at Super Showdown. There was a video package for it, and there really is a hell of a lot of history behind this match.
» Shane McMahon, with Drew McIntyre, talked about the McMahon family and the Samoan Dynasty and their long history. He said it was a matter of respect. Shane was taught respect. Roman Reigns, clearly, was not. How else could he strike the patriarch of WWE, Vince McMahon? He gave a potted history of the Samoan Dynasty’s family tree and spent a bit too long throwing shade at the Wild Samoans. As the history lesson got a bit long and the crowd got restless, he said he was there to face a member of the Samoan Dynasty. We had to wait until after another break to find out it was Lance Anoa’i, a young and up and coming member of the family, one of Reigns’ cousins. Before a bell could ring, Drew McIntyre dragged Anoa’i out of the ring and beat him up while Shane McMahon told him in monotone he was going too far. Then McIntyre rolled him back int to the ring and insisted Shane McMahon vs Lance Anoa’i be started.
Considering Lance Anoa’i had been thoroughly beaten up already, Shane McMahon took much too long to put him away, and even briefly looked like he might be in trouble. After McMahon submitted him McMahon put him back in the hold and trash-talked Roman Reigns’ dad until Reigns appeared. Reigns put McIntyre down with a Superman punch, he caught McMahon going over the barricade, hit him with a Superman punch and rolled him back into the ring. Drew McIntyre rescued McMahon from any further damage.
» Becky Lynch & Nikki Cross vs The IIconics was the first real match of the night (the Shane McMahon one doesn’t count), fifteen minutes into the second hour. Lynch and Cross are the team we all need. Cross and Peyton Royce did the early part of the match. Royce tagged in Billie Kay and Nikki Cross quickly took over. She took out both IIconics with a dive to the outside going into the break. After the ads, Billie Kay was in control. Billi kay shoved Lynch off the apron and just laughed when Lynch had to be forced out of the ring. Kay tagged Royce, who just wasn’t quick enough to stop Cross tagging in Becky Lynch. Lynch came in fired up and would have made short work of Peyton Royce had Kay not broken it up. The IIconics double teamed Lynch, but only got two. Nikki Cross took out Billie Kay on the outside and Becky Lynch pinned Peyton Royce. Yet another loss for the tag team champions.
Lacey Evans came out at the end of the match but she just did her catwalk bit.
» The Usos hosted a Memorial Day block party for all the Superstars, which we dropped in on throughout the show. They wished Natalya a happy birthday on our first visit.
Naomi and Tamina were reunited in the second visit after faking a tense moment. Then The Revival turned up. Naomi invited them because she wants to squash the beef. I’m not convinced that’s going to work, but they went to get hot dogs.
On the third visit, The Usos and The Revival were playing games and getting competitive.
By the fourth, they were arguing. R-Truth appeared, closely followed by everyone else. Kalisto almost pinned him. Gallows and Anderson ended up arguing amongst themselves and a brawl broke out. R-Truth escaped with Carmella’s help.
» Ricochet vs Cesaro was great. After all the talking in the first hour, this was just some straight up fantastic wrestling. Cesaro beat a weakened Ricochet last week so, in true WWE 50/50 booking style, Ricochet won this one. Well worth checking out if you get a chance.
» Rey Mysterio suffered a separated shoulder when he won the United States Championship against Samoa Joe at Money in the Bank. He will appear next week to relinquish the title as he is unable to defend it. Commentary announced this then were joined by Samoa Joe who told them he’d be waiting to take back what is rightfully his.
» In Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House this week, Wyatt explained his alter ego, The Fiend, is here to protect us and is about finding his confidence and being brave. Abby the Witch called him a sicko. He denied it, she asked if he was a doctor, he put on a white coat and called her a bully. She said she didn’t want to be stuck in limbo anymore and the segment finished with Wyatt limbo-ing under a pole with his trademark backbend.
RAW needed a stronger episode than this one this week. That said, the matches we got were all great (the Shane McMahon one still doesn’t count), there was just a lot of talking and fluff. It was a two-hour show, at most, stretched to fill three hours, and there’s no excuse for that with the roster they have available to them. One women’s match, no tag matches, and nothing that felt important. Very much a placeholder episode, but check out the matches.