5/21 WWE RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Rousey-Jax contract signing, Sami with Bobby’s sisters, Stephanie McMahon

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
MAY 21, 2018
ALBANY, N.Y. AT THE TIMES-UNION CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman


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[HOUR ONE]

-They opened with a camera panning the crowd as the announcers introduced the show. They showed a graphic of Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax, hyping their contract signing for their Raw Women’s Title match at Money in the Bank. Also, Sami Zayn will interview Bobby Lashley’s sisters.

-G.M. Kurt Angle walked out as the crowd chanted “You suck!” at him. He said he will be presiding over the contract signing. As he began talking about a match with Natalya later, Stephanie McMahon interrupted. Cole said this is Stephanie’s first Raw appearance since the day after WrestleMania when she was placed in am arm bar by Rousey. Coach said his “word of the first hour” is “interrupt.” He said Raw is on a roll and tonight will be no different.

Stephanie asked fans to hear it for Angle. Angle accepted cheers, but looked leery of Stephanie. She said they have talked many times and everything that’s happened between them is water under the bridge. She said there are no hard feelings and she’s a leader who always does what is best for business. Fans taunted Stephanie with a “You tapped out!” chant. She said she did it and owns it and has forgiven everything. (Boy, that stopped the chant quickly.) She said with her guidance, he could be “here” – holding her hand at his head level. She said she wants to see his growth continue. She said he sometimes lets his emotions get in the way. She said she will be the one to preside over the contract signing later.

Angle said he agrees. “I can always use more room for guidance,” he said. She said he’s been giving Roman Reigns too much latitude “and that ends tonight, Kurt.” Then out came Roman Reigns. The crowd did erupt with cheers and boos. Graves said, “What a reaction!” Cole said there have been all kinds of rumors of management having an issue with Reigns. Coach said “interrupt” is his word of the hour, and this is another example of that.

The announcers talked about the case Reigns has that management is working against him with the “referee mistake” in Saudi Arabia as evidence. Reigns entered the ring and stared down Stephanie, then said, “If you’re going to say something about me, Steph, say it TO me.” Stephanie said she doesn’t understand his new attitude and aggression and tone in his voice. She said he was the big dog and a leader, but if he continues to let the Samoan temper get the best of him, he might have to look for another line of work. “Maybe you should watch your tone when you talk to me,” Roman replied. He said he might take his Samoan temper and “go backstage and destroy all your favorite Superstars.” Stephanie said she doesn’t have favorites. She said she is a leader and manages multiple revenue streams and things “these people cannot even fathom.” She said playing favorites is beneath her. Reigns asked about her “favorite revenue stream, Brock Lesnar.”

Stephanie said she’s taken her concerns to the top and under advisement and heard every word. Reigns told her to “cut the corporate crap.” He told her to look him in the eyes and speak the truth, which is she doesn’t want him anywhere near the Universal Championship. Stephanie said he lost his qualifying match, so he should take that up with Jinder Mahal. Reigns chuckled and said, “I already did.” Suddenly Kevin Owens’ music played.

Coach gloated that it was another “interrupt.” KO said he almost feels in debt to Reigns because he speared Jinder through the wall so he couldn’t compete, he stepped up and qualified to be the last participant in the MITB ladder match. KO said his winning the MITB contract is what’s best for business. He said he knows how people feel about him and he feels the same way, but he’s man enough to admit he actually really likes Reigns. He tried to start a “Thank you, Roman!” chant. It didn’t really get rolling at all. He turned to Reigns and said, “I tried, okay.” He said Stephanie doesn’t play favorites. He said he has well-documented issues with her brother and father, but she still pursued him to be the cornerstone of the roster. He put his arm on her shoulder and said, “She knows talent when she sees it.” She glared at him and told him to never touch her again. KO backed off.

Stephanie said Reigns can work off his temper in a match against Owens right now.

(Keller’s Analysis: Stephanie was convincing as an evil alpha villain there. I don’t think fans are buying management being against Reigns. Or, perhaps a better way to put it, fans aren’t buying into the storyline that Stephanie is against Reigns as a compelling reason to cheer Reigns. If WWE is telling that story for the percentage of fans who already like Reigns, it can help Reigns get more support from them. There were a few awkward pauses late in the segment. KO was tremendous, but I’m not sure what the psychology was behind him trying to start a pro-Reigns chant. If Reigns were an actual popular babyface, fans would be conflicted on whether to take orders from Owens even if it’s a chant they are behind, but if they don’t like Reigns and KO is trying to get them to chant “Let’s Go Roman!” there’s not really a result of the “request” that leads anywhere for anyone. Unless they’re heading toward a “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” landing place with this Roman-Steph angle, this storyline doesn’t really give any added hope to fans that we’re not headed toward another Reigns-Lesnar match.) [c]

(1) ROMAN REIGNS vs. KEVIN OWENS

Owens bumped all over the place for Reigns early as the announcers stressed Stephanie is against Reigns. Reigns methodically pursued Owens at ringside, but when he went for the Drive-by, Owens moved and then took control as they cut to a break. [c]

Reigns had regained control after the break, punching away at KO in the corner. He set up a superplex, but Owens blocked it. Coach said he has a feeling they haven’t seen the last of Stephanie tonight (which is a good “guess” since she said she’d be presiding over the contract signing with Jax and Rousey later). The crowd booed as Reigns made comeback. Owens surprised Reigns with a DDT and scored a two count. It got a pop and Reigns’s kickout got booed, but it didn’t come across as overwhelming in volume. Reigns caught a charging Owens with a boot then landed a one-armed Samoan Drop for a two count. Cole wondered why Stephanie even mentioned that Rousey and Angle beat her and her husband at WrestleMania if it isn’t still bothering her. Graves said she said it’s all water under the bridge and he’s just trying to stir trouble. Coach said those feelings don’t go away in less than two months.

Reigns stood and set up a Superman Punch on Owens, but Owens ducked and rolled up Reigns for a two count. Owens hit a superkick and then went for the cannonball, but Reigns cut him off with a Superman Punch for a convincing near fall. Owens rolled out of the ring to avoid another spear. Reigns speared KO at ringside instead. Jinder Mahal then attacked Reigns from behind. His ribs were bandaged.

WINNER: Reigns via DQ in 13:00.

-KO and Jinder double-teamed Reigns inside the ring. Seth Rollins ran out to a big pop and cleared the ring of the heels. They cut quickly to a break as Seth was fired up.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good match, but boy was it clear that Seth is hugely over compared to any reaction Reigns got.) [c]

(2) SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/Sunil Singh) & KEVIN OWENS

The match was joined in progress after the break. Cole said Angle put this match together during the break. Owens stomped away at Reigns, then taunted Seth. Owens tagged in Jinder, who stomped away at Reigns. Cole and Graves talked about Jinder being a new Jinder because he committed himself completely to his craft. “He became a completely different Superstar,” Cole said. The announcers shifted to talking about Seth being red-hot and really connecting with fans lately. Cole said he feels that the Intercontinental Title is the title. Owens locked on his obligatory mid-match chinlock. Jinder tried to cut off Reigns making a hot-tag, but Reigns threw him out of the ring. When Reigns leaped to tag Seth, Jinder yanked Seth off the ring apron. Owens then hit Reigns with a cannonball for a near fall. They cut to a break. [c]

Back live, KO and Jinder had Reigns isolated in their corner. Reigns eventually hot-tagged Seth. Big pop as he went after Jinder and then kicked Owens out of the ring. Seth clotheslined Jinder over the top rope and then went for his dive. Owens grabbed his leg. Seth then gave Owens his obligatory dive through the ropes to ringside. He then delivered the same to Jinder on the other side of the ring. Coach said Seth is “performing at another level, even for him.” Seth stomped the mat to signal for his pending superkick. Singh distracted Seth, giving Jinder an opening to lift and drop him onto his knees. Jinder went for the Kallas, but Seth countered with a step-up enzuigiri. Owens tagged in and Seth drove him face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Then he landed a gut buster and a splash out of the corner for a two count.

Reigns gave Jinder a Samoan Drop when he tried to interfere, but then KO gave Reigns a superkick. Seth avoided a Pop-Up Powerbomb and gave KO a superkick to the face. KO avoided his stomp, but Seth connected on a second attempt for the win. Cole: “Red hot Rollins!” Coach said, “Like any great athlete, the game has slowed down for Rollins.” He said he made something out of nothing.

WINNERS: Rollins & Reigns in 14:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: The match was built, smartly, around Seth getting the hot-tag. It’s interesting to see where they end up going with the push that Seth is red-hot and connecting with fans, If you were laying groundwork for a Reigns heel turn against a very popular Seth with jealousy on his mind, this is how you’d do it. But if you were trying to give Reigns some help by linking him with “Red Hot Seth,” this is what you’d do, too.)

-As Seth and Roman celebrated on the stage, Jinder attacked them with a chair. The focus was on Jinder beating down Reigns after he knocked Seth off the stage. Graves called it “Next-level brutality.” Coach said they learned you can’t turn your backs on Jinder even when celebrating a big win. When they played Reigns music as he began to regain his bearings, there was a burst of boos.

(Keller’s Analysis: This clearly puts heat behind a MITB singles grudge match between Reigns and Jinder.)

-They went to the announcers on camera who shifted to talking about Bobby Lashley. They threw to a clip of Lashley talking about his relationship with what Cole called “his four sisters.” [c]

-Coach said the match is now officially part of MITB in Chicago – Reigns vs. Mahal.

-Sami Zayn made his ring entrance. Graves gave Cole a hard time about giving Lashley an extra sister. Cole said it is only three. Coach said he’s surprised Graves was even listening to him. Cole said, “Only when I make a mistake, Coach, unlike the real Internet.”

(Keller’s Analysis: It’s funny how authentic that little improve came off and how refreshing it was to hear banter that wasn’t scripted or corporate sounding.)

[HOUR TWO]

Sami said Lashley said some inaccurate things, so tonight he will expose Lashley and his lies. He has personally invited his three lovely and honest sisters, Frances, Cathy, and Jessica. He jumped up and down and asked the fans to make some noise for the Lashley sisters. Out came three men in drag. Graves said they have an uncanny resemblance to Bobby. Coach said, “I feel a little awkward right now.” The three “sisters” waved to the crowd and smiled. One of them had a mustache. Another played with his/her fake boobs. The crowd wasn’t reacting at all. Sami interviewed Cathy first. He asked her why she had to carry this broom around everywhere she went. Cathy said Bobby liked to pick on her, and as a young women she couldn’t defend herself, so she used the broom to “swat that snarling little menace away from me.” Sami thanked her for sharing.

Next Frances said she bought an Army helmet to protect her from Bobby thumping her on the head. Sami said, “Good for you to know when enough was enough.” Sami then went to Jessica and asked why she had to carry a towel around with her everywhere she went. Jessica said Bobby hurt her feelings and made her feel so bad, so a Kleenex wasn’t enough. She held up a giant towel with brown and yellow stains.

Sami said fans are starting to see what he’s been saying all along. He asked Cathy if it was a lie when Bobby claimed he loved his sisters. She said he only loves himself. He asked Frances how their parents felt about Bobby. Frances said they hated Bobby and were ashamed of him and he was so disrespectful, they shipped him off to reform school. Sami asked how the general community reacted to Little Bobby. Jessica said Bobby was a brat and a thief who stole candy. She said they would call the cops on him because it got so bad.

Bobby had enough and walked out with a big smile. He first told Cathy he can’t believe she’s still single. Then he told Jessica her outfit is outstanding. He told Francis that she has something so many other woman want to have – a big hairy mustache. The three “sisters” acted scared that Lashley would hurt them. Bobby thanked Sami for being a great friend. Sami said maybe he’d like it more if he Helluva kicked him out of the ring like a piece of garbage, because that’s what his family thinks of him. Lashley stared down Sami. Sami tried to leave. Lashley grabbed Sami. The three “sisters” and Sami beat down Lashley. Lashley made a comeback, and knocked them down. Sami fled and taunted Bobby some more. Bobby smiled and winked at Sami.

(Keller’s Analysis: Fox just called the bank and asked if they could place a stop-payment on the check. That was as bad as you had every right to expect. The crowd didn’t even seem to get campy guilty pleasure enjoyment out of it. Lashley is awkward enough, but this was embarrassing and painful to watch.)

-The announcers threw to a clip of Nia Jax challenging Ronda Rousey last week.

-Ember Moon made her ring entrance. [c]

-An interview aired with Alexa Bliss. She said tonight will be a fair fight because she knows Ember Moon is coming this time, unlike last time. She cited the Visigoths and Romans as a reference point.

(3) ALEXA BLISS (w/Mickie James) vs. EMBER MOON

Bliss wore Kinesio tape to protect her injured shoulder. Bliss stomped away at Moon, but as Bliss celebrated, Moon kipped up and then landed a crossbody for a two count. Bliss rolled to the floor. Mickie came over to check on her. Moon went after them at ringside, but she was outnumbered and Bliss threw her shoulder-first into the ringside barricade. Bliss worked over Moon’s shoulder as they cut to a break. [c]

Back from the break Bliss had Moon grounded. Moon made a comeback with kicks. Bliss grabbed the ring apron to slow down Moon dragging her back into the ring. Mickie then entered the ring and threatened to hit Moon with her shoe. The ref saw her, but Mickie threw the shoe away and denied doing anything. The ref kicked her out of ringside. Mickie threw a massive fit. Moon knocked her out of the ring. Bliss rolled her up for a near fall. She followed with an Eclipse next for the win.

WINNER: Moon in 9:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Moon is getting a good push in terms of how she’s being presented now in the ring and on commentary, and her size as a babyface is a good match-up for Alexa since there’s not a big height difference. Mickie’s fit over being ejected from ringside was an example of being all-in on a moment.)

-Finn Balor and Braun Strowman walked into Stephanie McMahon’s make-shift office where she had a fruit basket and a framed photo of her dad. She offered them fruit. Balor said, “I’m good for fruit, thank you.” Strowman said, “Don’t mind if I do.” He grabbed an apple. Balor asked for a match against Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler. Stephanie said they’re going to be competing against each other at Money in the Bank and they’re not even partners. Stephanie said Balor has a nice smile and is a such a good guy, it’s possible after what happened last week, Balor might blame Strowman for coming up short in their match last week. She asked if she’s perhaps right, “or a little bit right” at least. She booked Balor vs. Strowman. Balor smiled and Strowman crushed the apple in his hand. “I like competition,” he said. Balor looked intimidated.

-No Way Jose and the conga line made their ring entrance. C0le said Coach has a chance to join again. Coach said he’s a good dancer, but he’ll hold back. Graves pointed out a “girl in the front” was wearing the Bruiser Brody 2018 fashion line. The announcers shared a laugh. [c]

-They showed the exterior of the Times-Union Center.

(4) BARON CORBIN vs. NO WAY JOSE

Graves said not many people get along with Corbin, but he does. He said Corbin wants to hurt No Way Jose and he’s tired of the “fun and games.” No Way Jose went on a flurry of early offense. Corbin came back with a clothesline off the ring apron onto Jose at ringside. Graves said Corbin collects human skulls, and Jose could be next. Cole said Corbin likes to ruin others’ fun. Jose made comeback with a big boot and then a clothesline to drop Corbin. He followed up with a face-first slam of Corbin for a two count, but Corbin came back with a Deep Six and then won clean after the End of Days. Cole said Jose put up a good fight.

WINNER: Corbin in 4:00.

-Backstage Angle appeared to be trying to take a good selfie, but was frustrated when in walked Chad Gable. Gable said he was looking for him earlier, but Stephanie was in his office. Angle said he let Stephanie have his office, and now his cell reception sucks. Angle said he’s glad Gable found him because he’d have loved to replace Jinder with him in the qualifier last week, but management had other plans. Gable said that means a lot. In walked Drew and Dolph. Dolph made fun of Angle’s “office” and a sewage pipe above them. Drew said he’d like to beat Strowman & Balor again, but he hears decisions like that are above his pay grade. Ziggler laughed. Gable asked if they think they’re pretty special. Drew walked up to him and towered over him and said, “Yes, because we are.” Ziggler asked Gable what his claim to fame was –  being a great amateur wrestlers. Ziggler tried to bond with Kurt over also being one. He said he doesn’t just sit around waiting for a handout. Gable interrupted and said he’s not sitting around, “so let’s do it right now.” Angle said they can settle it in the ring tonight. “Jackasses,” said Angle after they walked away.

-The B-Team made their ring entrance with their new entrance theme. They wore white t-shirts with “B” scratched on it. [c]

-Cole hyped Balor vs. Strowman, noting it’s a first time they’ve ever met in a singles match.

-A selfie video aired with Breezango. Fandango whispered B-Team’s shirts as actually kind of sexy. They showed off their new shirts, too.

(5) THE B-TEAM (Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas) vs. BREEZANGO (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)

Graves said B-Team are riding a wave. Cole laughed and said they’ve won one match. Coach got in a sports analogy, stating that B-Team are like the players hidden on a bench who show how good they are once they get playing time. The ring was making louder noises than usual; maybe the acoustics of the building. This didn’t last long and Bo and Curtis double back suplexed Fandango to score the victory. “Undefeated!” exclaimed Graves. As B-Team celebrated like they just won the Stanley Cup, Coach said he likes guys who show him that a win means something to them. B-Team came up to the announce table and hugged Graves. Bo sat on the stage in a desk chair. Axel hugged him and they rolled down the ramp and tumbled over on top of each other on the bottom.

WINNERS: The B-Team in under 2:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: B-Team are entertaining in this role. The chair ride to the ringside should be a regular event for them after victories.) [c]

-Stephanie stood mid-ring and introduced the Nia Jax-Ronda Rousey contract signing. Stephanie said the match becomes official once they sign the contract mid-ring. She introduced Jax first.


POST-SHOW: After WWE Raw ends, call us live on the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show to talk about it with host Wade Keller and this week’s cohost Andrew Soucek from the PWTorch Livecast and PWTorch.com’s Impact Hits & Misses columnist: (347) 215-8558.

STREAM LIVE AFTER RAW HERE.

Email questions for the Mailbag segment of the WKPWP: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com


[HOUR THREE]

Jax hugged Stephanie when she arrived in the ring. (I’m not so sure about babyfaces acting like Stephanie is this great person whom they adore, or are willing to kiss up to.) Stephanie said Jax boldly chose her next opponent. She introduced Rousey. Rousey marched to the ring. Didn’t seem on TV to be much of a reaction. She slapped hands on her way to the ring. Coach said he’ll be the first one to say he underestimated her star power. Stephanie asked Rousey to sit down. Rousey asked, “How’s your arm? You’re holding the mic pretty well.” She said it’s coming along well. “Thanks for asking, it’s doing really well,” she said. “I appreciate your concern.”

The women sat at the table. Stephanie remained standing and towered over them. She asked Rousey how it felt to leapfrog the entire women’s division full of women far more deserving of this opportunity. Rousey said she knows what she’s trying to do. Rousey said Nia didn’t challenge them, she challenged her. Stephanie said Nia is trying to make a name for herself at her expense. Stephanie said she has never competed in a singles match in WWE even once. She added that Rousey is used to weight divisions in MMA, but there aren’t any in WWE and Jax is bigger than her. Stephanie told Ronda, “You don’t like to lose very much, so if Nia beats you at Money in the Bank, she knows you’ll tuck tail and leave WWE forever, making Nia Jax the baddest woman on the planet.”

Stephanie said Rousey knows that it took Nia fifteen or twenty minutes to beat “diminutive little Alexa Bliss who is maybe a third of your size.” She asked why it took her so long to beat Alexa and to get to this point in her career. She said maybe Ronda knows the truth that Nia is lazy. Steph said if she is lazy, how long will it take Rousey to get her in the armbar. “That is if Ronda can even physically put that armbar on you, Nia,” she said. “You’re bigger than anyone she’s faced.” She asked Rousey if she can do it. Jax heard enough and stood up and said, “The truth is she can’t get the armbar on me. I’m so sick and tired hearing that lazy crap; I’ve been hearing that all my life.” She said she’ll make a name for herself because she’ll beat her at MITB. She signed the contact and put the belt over her shoulder.

Rousey stood and signed the contract and then moved the table to the side and walked up to Jax. She said she’s glad the truth came out, then offered a handshake. “That’s okay, because I am going to take your title… And your arm!” They moved in close for a staredown with Stephanie smiling in the background at the tension she created between them.

(Keller’s Analysis: This worked. Stephanie basically cut promos for both of them, but as an instigator trying to turn two potential allies against each other. Jax was good in her intensity, although I could have done without the “lazy” stuff. Stephanie pointing out Rousey would tuck tail and leave if she lost is interesting. It is something a heel would say if they were trying to get under the skin of Rousey, but I’m surprised WWE would want to remind people of that aspect of their highly paid top female star’s real-life history. Is it just WWE showing they have the power over Ronda to bring up things she has freaked out about when brought up in mainstream media interviews.) [c]

(6) DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. CHAD GABLE

When talking about the backgrounds of Gable and Ziggler, Coach said, “I like to use the phrase ‘fish to water.'”

(Keller’s Analysis: Does Coach know how this comes across? He doesn’t say these things with any sense of self-awareness or that he’s in on the joke. It’s like Matt Hardy back in the early 2000s with the Matt Facts, but Matt was in on the joke that talking about himself like that was self-absorbed and obnoxious.) 

Graves said Drew has reinvigorated Ziggler’s career and his desire to prove he’s the best. Ziggler headbutted Gable after the ref pulled them apart after a rope break. Ziggler then quickly landed a superkick for the win. After the match, Drew gave Gable a Claymore Kick.

WINNER: Ziggler in 5:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Two good athletes giving a taste of what they could do in a longer match that was framed as more important.) [c]

-WWE Fact: Xavier Woods has a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Capella University.

(7) LIV MORGAN vs. SARAH LOGAN (w/Ruby Riott) vs. NATALYA vs. DANA BROOKE – Money in the Bank qualifier

They showed pictures Natalya and Rousey posing together on Instagram during the Europe tour last week. Coach wasn’t sure this was fair for Brooke and Natalya. Graves said it’s fair because Natalya and Brooke can work together, too. When Natalya and Brooke were knocked to the floor, Logan and Morgan squared off and pretended to be about to come to blows, but then broke into laughter and turned their attention back to Natalya. Natalya rallied against Logan and went for a Sharpshooter, but Riott distracted her, which opened up the heels to take control again. Thanks to Dana, Natalya was able to put Logan in the sharpshooter for the win.

WINNER: Natalya in 4:00 to qualify for the MITB match.

-In a post-match in-ring interview, Charlie Caruso asked Natalya about entering her third Money in the Bank ladder match. She asked if her experience is her greatest asset. Natalya said she has the Baddest Women in the Planet as her training partner. She said after MITB they’ll have new nicknames because Ronda will be the new Women’s Champion and she’ll be the new Miss MITB.

(Keller’s Analysis: This tends to forecast Rousey will win the title, but Natalya will cash in immediately and beat Ronda when Ronda’s guard is down when Natalya comes out to congratulate her.) [c]

-Elias sat mid-ring and said it’s no coincidence that WWE’s stock has risen 150 percent since he arrived on Raw. He said it is trading at an all-time high. He said it’s because everyone including NBC Universal knows that WWE stands for Walk With Elias. The crowd said it when prompted twice. He played a song with lyrics: “When I say I love Elias, you say yes I do.” He repeated that over and over and some fans played along. He said, “It feels good to be loved.” Then added, “Let me make one thing clear – I do not feel the same way about you.” He said last week he saw Europe’s greatest landmarks so it’s quite a comedown to see the rundown dump that is Albany. Roode’s music played. When Roode entered the ring, he did his hand waving bit and extending his arms with the spotlight on him. Elias attacked him from behind.

(8) ELIAS vs. BOBBY ROODE

They cut to a very early break. [c]

Back from the break, Elias grounded Roode with a cobra. The pace eventually picked up with Roode landing a swinging neckbreaker. Roode sold a tweaked knee, though, and was slow climbing to the top rope. Elias knocked him off balance and hit Drift Away for the win. Graves said this has to be a burst of confidence for Elias.

WINNER: Elias in 6:00.

-As Elias strutted to the back, Strowman’s music played and gave Elias a hard check. He marched to the ring for the TV main event. [c]

-Cole announced next week on Raw, Seth will defend the Intercontinental Title against Jinder. Graves announced a Last Chance Gauntlet match with Sasha Banks, Logan, Riott, Morgan, Mickie, Bayley, and Brooke.

-Balor made his ring entrance next. Graves said it’ll be miraculous if Balor can topple Strowman.

(9) BRAUN STROWMAN vs. FINN BALOR

The bell rang 55 minutes into the third hour. Balor went after Strowman’s legs early, but Strowman stayed on his feet and shoved Balor down hard and scored a one-hand-on-chest one count. Then he knocked Balor to the floor. Back in the ring he methodically punched away at Balor and then charged in the corner. Balor moved and made a comeback. Strowman no-sold a chop.

[OVERRUN]

Balor knocked Strowman to the floor and then went for a running kick on the ring apron, but Strowman knocked him off balance. Strowman methodically pounded on Balor in the ring, then asked if he’s had enough. A “Get These Hands!” chant was started by a few fans, but didn’t sustain. Balor caught a charging Strowman at ringside with a Sling Blade. Balor showed some fire and gave him a running dropkick, sending him over the barricade “into the WWE Universe,” said Cole. Balor turned his back and caught his breath, but Strowman came up behind him. Balor, though, kicked him and returned to the ring to stop the countout. Then Balor landed a running leaping double stomp to the back of Strowman. Balor then launched off the ring barricade with a double stomp. The ref began counting Strowman out. Strowman checked Balor hard to the mat to retake control. Strowman eventually thwarted another Balor comeback, slammed him off the top rope, then hit the running powerslam for the win. Cole complimented Balor for his effort. Cole said Balor now knows what Strowman is all about, and Strowman showed he is the favorite in the MITB ladder match.

WINNER: Strowman in 11:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. The announcers made Balor out to be such an underdog that the fact that he showed as much as he did against Strowman almost seemed like a victory.)

-After the match, Strowman lifted Balor and put him in the corner, then stood mid-ring and threw up his arms and pointed at the briefcase. Braun’s music played to end the show.


POST-SHOW: After WWE Raw ends, call us live on the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show to talk about it with host Wade Keller and this week’s cohost Andrew Soucek from the PWTorch Livecast and PWTorch.com’s Impact Hits & Misses columnist: (347) 215-8558.

STREAM LIVE AFTER RAW HERE.

Email questions for the Mailbag segment of the WKPWP: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com

7 Comments on 5/21 WWE RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Rousey-Jax contract signing, Sami with Bobby’s sisters, Stephanie McMahon

  1. “The match was built, smartly, around Seth getting the hot-tag”

    -> Which is huge, as Roman (like so many before him) got over as the hot tag man, back in the Shield days. Booking Seth to get the hot-tag from Roman rather than the reverse is an acknowledgment from WWE that the guy the crowd wants to see come in and clean house is Seth, not Roman. That’s a first.

    I had a bad feeling last week that the Lashley’s sisters segment was going to be either little people or a drag act; that was Katie Vick bad, the kind of thing that makes you embarassed to watch WWE (especially if someone else sees you watching it!).

    Stephanie effectively cutting the promos for Nia and Ronda so that they didn’t have to test their ranges too much was very smart.

    You may be right they are working towards a Natalya cash-in on Ronda, but is anyone crying out for a Natalya title reign or to see Natalya be the first to topple Ronda? I hope that is not the actual plan, or if it is that Natalya’s attempt fails.

  2. This was easily the worst wrestling show I have ever watched. It worse than any independent show, any show I saw at the theme park, anything on local cable, etc. This was a 0 on a scale of 1 to 10. HOw anyone could sit through this crap is beyond me. Just terrible.

    It was flat out terrible.

    • One of the problems is they constantly refer to their past in this wonderful, glowing way, and then ABSOLUTELY FREAKING NOTHING ever happens on Raw anymore. There’s no surprises, no intriguing storylines, no anything — we do, ever so often, get a good match, but almost all of them these days involve Rollins, who is red-hot right now. The only smart thing I saw last night was getting Roman the rub off Rollins’ current hot streak.

      I don’t care how good she is at drawing heat, I don’t care how she looks, or anything else — I want Stephanie McMahon off TV. I feel the same way about her entire family, except HHH. The McMahon family/ “Dallas” / “Dynasty” drama is played. It’s dated. It’s bad. Tired of the “evil authority figure.” I know Vince doesn’t want to do “rasslin’,” but the evil GM/ commissioner is just lazy writing.

      Again, I’ll state it: unless you’re a Seth Rollins fan, there is literally NO REASON to watch right now. I don’t know why we all do; habit, I suppose, a hope that it’ll get better one day.

  3. Wade, are you trying to get a job with WWE, pandering to and softening your comments about Stephanie like that? She is just so bad, it makes Raw nearly impossible to watch. Her grating voice, her ridiculous “acting”. She doesn’t get heel heat, she gets “go away” heel heat. Have someone, an unbiased third party, watch the parts of Raw with Stephanie on them and listen to what they say about her. Please just stay off TV Steph. The Sami/Bobby segment was bad enough, and we also had to put with Stephanie in 2 segments? Waste of a Raw.

  4. Oh dear my comment was deleted. 🙂 Robert i agree with much of what you said. Hopefully, this one is not deleted. 🙂 THe Show flat out stunk and the ratings reflect it.

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