HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 6/4: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens, Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Roode, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JUNE 4, 2018
HOUSTON, TX
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, David Otunga

[HOUR ONE]

-The show kicked off with Elias being introduced to the Houston crowd. He soaked in the negative reaction and then introduced himself as usual. From there, he strummed the guitar for a quick jam before pausing and asking the crowd “who wants to walk with Elias.” The crowd cheered a bit and then Elias went on to claim he would be the next intercontinental champion at Money In The Bank. He then did his crowd interaction routine with “WWE stands for?”

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ugh. Disappointed that he brought the “WWE stands for” line back. The crowd cheers that one more than any other and it confuses his role. Last week when he eliminated that line, he was more effective than ever because he was strictly worried about getting real heat. He’s good at it and it worked. 

After, he reminded the audience of what he did to Seth Rollins last week and said he was upset about the guitar he broke on the back of Rollins. He then sung a song that he wrote about that incident as a clip last week’s events played behind it. As Elias insulted the Houston Rockets, “Burn It Down” blared over the speakers and Rollins walked out to the ramp and down to the ring. Inside the ring, Elias grabbed his guitar and wound it up like a baseball bat as Seth circled the outside of the ring. At this point, a “let’s go Rollins” chant broke out in the arena.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Nice reaction for Rollins as expected. Enjoyed the fact that he sold last week’s attack with his slow approach to the ring and glad that the announcers discussed it as well. Continuity at its finest. 

Eventually, Rollins reached underneath the ring to grab a steel chair. From there, Rollins climbed to the ring apron and went face to face with Elias before they each swung at each other. When they did, Rollins knocked the guitar out of his hand. Rollins then had Elias in the corner, but was then attacked by Jinder Mahal from behind. This led to a two on one double team against Rollins before Roman Reigns’s music hit to make the save. Reigns cleared the ring with Rollins which prompted Kurt Angle to hit the ramp. He announced a tag team match between Rollins/Reigns and Elias/Mahal. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, Reigns is looking for a little Rollins dust and it actually worked a bit. He got a better than usual reaction when he made the save. That’s all on Rollins. He’s such a good babyface right now and has a connection with the audience that wants to see him win. Reigns fully capitalized on that tonight and he needs to since he can’t cultivate that connection on his own. 

(1) SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS vs. ELIAS & JINDER MAHAL

After the commercial break, the match began. Rollins worked to start the match against Elias, but each time he tagged in, Elias tagged out. This prompted both Rollins and Reigns to both attack their opponents simultaneously. When order was restored in the match, Rollins controlled things against Jinder Mahal. He nailed some quick strike offensive moves before tagging Reigns into the match. As Reigns worked, the announce team debated and then sided with Reigns on whether or not he’s the uncrowned Universal Champion.

Heydorn’s Analysis: This type of rhetoric from the announce team is exactly why Reigns isn’t connecting and isn’t over. It’s over the top and just too much. Fans see through their objective and the words are actually making life more difficult for Roman instead of helping him. 

Back in the ring, Elias had the one-up on Rollins as Corey Graves talked about the run Rollins has been on since WrestleMania. Eventually, Rollins battled back against Elias, but his momentum was squashed due to an Elias clothesline. From there, Elias locked in a chin lock and smiled at the booing audience. This prompted the audience to clap for Rollins in hopes of helping him escape. Rollins consistently worked to escape the hold which Elias transitioned to a choke hold, but each time Elias slammed him to the mat and kept the hold locked in. Each time, the crowd got louder and louder for Seth. Finally, after Elias jumped up for a knee drop, Rollins moved out of the way and tried to make the tag. Elias beat him to the punch and tagged in Mahal who Rollins was able to dispense easily. Then, he made the hot tag to Reigns. Reigns came out of the chute hot and destroyed Mahal with ten clotheslines in the corner. Mahal then tagged Elias into the match, but Reigns quickly knocked him to the mat with a punch to the face. From there, to a mixed reaction, Reigns cured up the superman punch. Before he could deliver it, Elias rolled out of the ring which prompted Reigns to follow. As he did, Reigns attempted a move on Mahal, but it was blocked by Singh. This distraction allowed Elias to knock Reigns to the mat as the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Nice build to hot tag number one. Reigns got his moment and again, the crowd cheered for him. With Reigns getting the beating ahead of the commercial, its presumable to think that Rollins will be getting hot tag number two in order to finish the match. Normally, that role is for Reigns. A changing of the guard? Will have to see. 

Out of the break, Elias was still in control of the match and had Reigns in a rear chin lock. He then broke the hold on his own merit and struck Reigns in the face before tagging Mahal into the match. Immediatley on his arrival, Mahal went for a cover, but Reigns kicked out at two. After the pin, Mahal locked in his own choke hold on Reigns. From there, Elias and Mahal worked over Reigns in their corner while also knocking Rollins off of his corner so Roman couldn’t make the tag. Finally, after a Samoan Drop, Reigns tagged Rollins into the match to a huge pop. Seth his his premiere moves on Elias including his spring board clothesline and his top rope neck breaker. All the while, Rollins still sold his neck injury which he sustained last week. Out of the neck breaker, Rollins connected with a Falcon Arrow as Roman Reigns nailed Mahal with a superman punch. He then connected with a drive by on Elias which set him up for kick to the face on Elias. Rollins then cued up The Stomp with the “Burn It Down” foot stomp before being distracted by Singh again. At that moment, Mahal and Reigns battled into the crowd as Rollins hit Elias with an enziguri in the ring. Rollins then hit Mahal with a suicide dive and stole a steel chair from Mahal. From there, Rollins dove into the ring with chair but Elias was waiting and connected with a DDT onto the chair. After, Elias hit The Drifter and covered Rollins for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Elias & Mahal via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Check! That finish works for me on a lot of levels. The win elevates Elias but protects Rollins too. Seth sold the neck throughout the entire match and ahead of the match which gives him an out in his loss. In addition, that very injury was exploited due to Elias using a chair against him on his neck to win. Finally, that outcome helps Reigns. He got a lot out of being associated with Rollins and the crowd was audibly against Mahal and Singh for interfering against Seth. This created some heat for their match at MITB. Who knows if the reaction will translate to Reigns when he’s on his own, but it’s worth a shot. 

-After the match, Nia Jax vs. Natalya and Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Roode was teased before the show went to commercial. (c)

-Out of the commercial, Bruce Prichard was shown in the audience as the announce team plugged Something Else To Wrestle on the WWE Network.

-From there, Curt Hawkins was in the ring surrounded by tacos. He said that he’s lost 199 matches in a row, but that he wouldn’t lose 200. Hawkins then said that when he wins his match, the entire crowd would get tacos. Hawkins then introduced his opponent who said his name was James Harden.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Eye roll.

At that point, Hawkins said that Harden would be a part of history and their match began.

(2) CURT HAWKINS vs. JAMES HARDEN

The match began and Hawkins decimated Harden immediatley. Through this, the audience chanted “tacos.” As he was about to go for the win, Baron Corbin’s music played and he walked to the ring. He hit the End Of Days on Harden which caused Curt Hawkins to be disqualified.

WINNER: Harden via disqualification

-After the match, Hawkins tried to attack Corbin, but Corbin stopped him and then poured the taco table on top of him. This prompted large boos from the audience who had been cheering “tacos” in anticipation of actually getting one.

Heydorn’s Analysis: So, this was done to display just how much Baron Corbin loves to destroy “fun.” As silly as that sounds, it kinda worked. Strangely, the audience was chanting for tacos and they were pretty upset at Corbin for ruining that fun. I’m surprised too, but when it works it works and this worked. 

-When Corbin left the ring, Natalya was shown warming up backstage. Then, Ronda Rousey appeared alongside her to show her some tips on her striking. The audience cheered loudly as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-After break, Kurt Angle was shown backstage and Baron Corbin stopped in his offense. He said he was not getting enough opportunities. He then said, he went directly to Stephanie McMahon who planted Baron Corbin as the Constable for Monday Night Raw to help Angle run the show.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Huh? Talk about a story out of left field. Corbin as the Constable for Raw? Not a single seed had been planted for his. It’s out of the blue to be certain, but I suppose we need to wait and see how it plays out? I’m buying a vowel here. 

-Ronda Rousey’s music hit and the crowd loudly cheered as she came out and went to the announce table. On commentary, Rousey said “that never gets old” about the cheers and then sat down.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really nice pop for Ronda. You can tell by the crowd reactions that she’s truly over as big star. I hate crowd shots, but as she did her entrance, the crowd shot they showed displayed the audience actively looking to see and take videos of Ronda on their phones. That reaction doesn’t happen for everyone. WWE’s hit a home run with her. 

(3) NIA JAX vs. NATALYA

Jax walked out first and stared at Rousey before walking down the ramp. As she did, Cole called Jax vs. Rousey at MITB the biggest women’s match in history. From there, Natalya came out and got a nice pop from the crowd as well.

The match began with both women tying up in the middle of the ring. Jax powered out and tossed Natalya into the corner. From there, Nattie attempted a head lock on Jax, but couldn’t get it full locked in. Nattie then tried a few other offensive moves like dropkicks and strikes, but each failed in getting Jax down to the mat. On commentary, Rousey discussed her opportunity at the championship and what she looks for when scouting opponents. Back in the ring, Jax tossed Nattie to the outside mats as the show went to commercial. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Rousey is and has been tremendous on commentary. She seems more natural and conversational than she does when delivering an in-ring promo. Smart to feature her where she shines best.  

Out of the commercial break, Jax was still in control of the match and Nattie was still attempting to fight back for momentum. Natalya then attempted a second a drop kick. This time, Jax hit the mat which gave Nattie her first upper hand. After the move, Nattie crushed Jax with strikes before attempting a whip into the corner. Jax countered which sent Nattie into the corner. Jax ran at her for a splash, but Nattie moved out of the way. This caused Jax to hit the ring post which prompted Nattie to cover Jax. Jax kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Nattie hit the ropes for a third drop kick, but came up limp. This allowed Jax to lift Nattie into the air for a Samoan Drop. After Jax hit it, she covered Nattie for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Jax via pinfall

-After the match, Nattie sold the injury as Jax looked on in disbelief. This prompted Rousey to walk down and check on her friend. Jax tried to as well, but Rousey got in her face which prompted a big reaction from the crowd.

[HOUR TWO]

Rousey then helped Natalya out of the ring as Jax continued to look on with a confused look on her face.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, I get what they were going for, but that finish didn’t get them there. The point was to drive a wedge between Rousey and Jax via Nattie’s injury. Hence Rousey being frustrated with Jax when Jax went to check on her in the ring. The disconnect is that Jax didn’t cause that injury. Ronda essentially blaming her for that doesn’t really make sense. They can take this a step further next week to make it make sense, but as for tonight, it didn’t work as planned. 

-Bobby Roode was interviewed backstage and said that he’s ecstatic about Money In The Bank. He said he thrives in the spotlight and is excited to climb the ladder and make history. He finished by saying that when he cashes in his contract and wins the Universal Title, it’ll be glorious. From there, Roode was asked about Strowman. He said that he’s never faced anyone like Braun and that in their match he’d strictly try to survive.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Something about the end of that promo screamed heel to me. Roode seemed a bit cowardly and not confident he’d win his match. Both signs of a true heel. That’s good news as Roode needs freshening up and a heel turn is the perfect formula for that. 

(4) BRAUN STROWMAN vs. BOBBY ROODE

Strowman entered first to a really big pop from the Houston crowd. As he made his entrance, Cole plugged Money In The Bank before Roode’s music played. Roode’s music was a big hit with the crowd and therefore Roode’s reaction was good. The show then went to break.

Out of the break, Strowman dominated the match out of the gate. Roode got some offense in and gained some momentum back attacking Braun’s legs, but it was short-lived. Strowman tossed him in the air and took the momentum right back. As he did this, the audience chanted “get these hands.” From there, Strowman suplexed Roode and Strowman posed to the crowd. After the suplex, Strowman ran at Roode who was posted up in the corner, but Roode moved out of the way. This sent Strowman crashing into the corner. This gave Roode time and he chose to use that time to setup a ladder from the ring to the barricade. As Roode climbed back into the ring, Strowman climbed to his feet to meet him. Roode than lured Strowman out of the ring and dove under the ladder. This caused Strowman to stop running and Roode to smile. Strowman then did his roar and slammed his fists into the ladder to split it in half. The finish saw Strowman chase Roode around the ring and then power slam in the middle of the ring before pinning him.

WINNER: Strowman via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Wow. That ladder spot was insanely cool and perfect for Strowman. WWE did just take a potential Strowman spot out of the actual match though. Not saying its right or wrong, but that spot’s big pop only happens once and they went with it tonight to help sell the show. Can’t fault them for that. Surely they have other fun ladder spots ready for Strowman as well. 

-After the match, Kevin Owens was interviewed backstage. He said he didn’t care about anyone who stands in his way from winning the MITB ladder match. Owens then said he’s sick of Finn Balor and that he will win the MITB contract. He then said he would show the world in his match that Finn Balor is just a made up Irish myth. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Decent Owens promo, but the highlight was in the commentary after. Otunga drove home the fact that Finn Balor would have beaten Braun Strowman last week had Owens not interfered. This is important as not many stars get that treatment or are afforded that verbiage.

-Out of the commercial, Ronda Rousey was attending to Nattie backstage. Jax interuppted and was still concerned for Nattie. After Rousey and Jax argued with each other, Nattie yelled to stop them and then limped off camera.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, this helped clear things up a little I suppose. Jax certainly has a point though in that it’s “not ballet.” The angle paints Jax back into the babyface light that she left last week. That said, coming off such a hot segment last week with heel tendencies, I’m not sure it’s the right move her ahead of Money In The Bank.

-Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy were introduced by Renee Young. They walked out and told the world that power drives and consumes men. Wyatt said that any team that has the audacity to face the Deleters Of Worlds would not be facing men, but Woken Warriors. Hardy then grabbed the mic and spewed his usual words and asked Young if she was woken. Young responded with “yes” to which Hardy yelled “wonderful.” From there, Wyatt said their opponents at Money In The Bank would suffer and then be deleted.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I’m not a fan of these Woken Matt Hardy promos. Not that their bad, just not my cup of tea. That said, it’s important for them to have time on the mic to showcase their characters.

-After, Cole and the announce team ran down the Money In The Bank card and then plugged the upcoming number one contender tag team battle royal. (c)

(5) TAG TEAM BATTLE ROYAL – Number One Contender Match for a championship match at Money In The Bank

Out of the break, tag teams were entering the ring. The B Team’s entrance was shown, as was the team of Ziggler and McIntyre.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Big pop for McIntyre in particular. He seems to contrast with Ziggler, but is getting more over on this team week in and week out. 

The match began with the teams doing battle all over the ring. McIntyre was featured prominently as he bashed various opponents with different stomps and strikes. As the battle ensued, Ziggler being eliminated was teased many time. Eventually, Dolph Ziggler did get eliminated which got some boos from the audience. The responded by destroying teams all of the ring. As they did this, Cole put over their gimmick of being unhappy with the locker room and they left the ring ahead of the commercial. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, shouldn’t McIntyre was to destroy Ziggler for being eliminated so early? That would jive with the character he’s developed since being called up.

When the show returned, a handful of teams had been eliminated with the remaining teams being The B Team, The Revival, and Slater and Rhyno. As The Revival went for the Shatter Machine, Rhyno eliminated them. From there, Rhyno battled Dallas before Axel planted him with a DDT. They then tried to toss Rhyno over the top rope, but he caught himself. In the end, The B Team eliminated Rhyno to a big pop from the crowd. Cole said that they stumbeld their way to victory.

WINNER: The B Team

-After the match, The B Team celebrated in grand fashion as the crowd cheered them on. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: This outcome works for me, but what they did with Ziggler and McIntyre left a bad taste in my mouth. That type of loss is exactly what the two of them have been calling other superstars on since they debuted together. McIntyre should hate Ziggler for losing that way. Because it was presented the way it was, their loss just makes them look really weak. As for The B Team, they are a comedic relief on the show, but get as good of a reaction as any of the other babyface teams on the roster. Why not run with it while it lasts?

-After the break, Bobby Lashley’s music rang through the arena and he walked to the ring to respond to Sami Zayn. His response was lukewarm at best. Per the norm, he smiled an high fived the crowd during his entrance. In the ring, Lashley grabbed the mic and said that Sami Zayn talked too much trash. He said that where he comes from, they do things face to face. From there, he invited Zayn to join him and Zayn’s music hit right away. Graves then chimed in and said that “Zayn is a good guy, he’ll do things the right way.” On cue, Zayn didn’t walk out to his music, but appeared in the audience. On the mic, he asked the crowd if they wanted him to get into the ring to face Lashley. They cheered, but he said not a chance. Zayn then called himself a genius scout and proceeded to tell the world how Lashley loves to post quotes on his Instagram account. He then showed some of those quotes on the big screen and made fun of Lashley. Zayn then told a story on how he sent Lashley a message and it was responded to by Lashley attempting to get Zayn to sign up for his fan club.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Is this real? Aside from the fact that this was drawn out too long, it made no sense and is a flimsy reason for these guys to fight? Instagram accounts? C’mon.

[HOUR THREE]

Lashley then asked 2-3 times where Zayn was going with this. He then said that he thought Zayn would have had the decency to face him in the ring. Zayn responded by saying he doesn’t appear face to face with liars. Lashley then said that he realizes Zayn was trying to hype their upcoming match, but asked that he not do it at the expense of Lashley. Zayn responded by asking Lashley if he had real sisters or if he actually served in the military. This prompted some boos from the crowd. Lashley’s music then hit again as the crowd chanted “USA.”

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well it took way too long, but people became invested the second Zayn talked about Lashley lying about his military service. As soon as they got the reaction, they ended the segment which was smart because it ended it on a high note. That said, this program is in trouble. It has no heat right now and both guys are fighting each other for incredibly silly reasons.

-After the segment, Jinder Mahal was interviewed backstage. Mahal said that Roman Reigns was jealous and bitter. He said that Reigns was given many opportunities that should have gone to him. From there, Mahal said the winds are shifting that that Reigns will soon find that a storm is coming. They then tossed the broadcast to Renee Young who was with Roman Reigns. He said that Mahal should check his resume when talking about him. The show was then thrown back to the Mahal interview and he said for Reigns to talk to him face to face. Reigns then told him to shut up and that he would find him like a man. Eventually, he did and the two battled in the backstage area. As Reigns was laying a beating on Mahal, security broke them up.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Pretty much an A to B segment, but an effective one as it furthered their rivalry. Because of the overall reaction to Reigns, WWE is limited in the story they can tell here. With what they have, it’s gone ok, but needs to stay far away from that main event slot.

-When the segment ended, Alexa Bliss hit the ring for her match. (c)

(6) ALEXA BLISS, SASHA BANKS, & EMBER MOON vs. THE RIOTT SQUAD

Banks hit the ring after the break and was followed by Moon. The Riott Squad came out next. Moon and Riott started the match with a tie up in the middle of the ring. The two then exchanged a variety of holds before Riott caught Moon with a back elbow and a shoulder tackle. Moon responded with a springboard splash which she followed with a cover that resulted in a two count. From there, Moon attempted to tag Sasha, but Bliss took the tag instead. Then upon entering the match, Bliss hurt her leg, winced in pain, and tagged out. Bliss then rolled out of the ring and limped up the ramp to boos from the crowd. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Regardless of what happened with Bliss in the match that got her out of the match in a heel-ish way, her teaming with Banks and Moon from the start is baffling. How would that ever happen. If that story is the one to be told, show a backstage vignette where Bliss convinces her team to trust her. That gives their teaming a backstory and increases the heat when she leaves the match.

Out of the commercial break, Sarah Logan had control of the match and was beating down Ember Moon in her corner. Logan then tagged Riott into the match who continued the pressure. Moon showed signs of getting the momentum which popped the crowd, but it didn’t happen. Eventually, Moon was able to roll away from the heel corner to make the tag to Banks. Upon entering, Banks cleared the ring and destroyed Morgan with a knee to the face. Then, as she went for the double knee stomp, Morgan countered and slammed Banks to the mat. This gave the Riott Squad the upper hand again. They took turns beating Banks into the mat before Morgan tagged in and applied a full nelson as the crowd chanted “let’s go Sasha.” From there, with Banks about to make the tag, Logan pulled Moon off the apron. Her and Riott then decimated Moon on the outside to increase their advantage. Eventually, Banks connected with the Meteora on both Logan and Riott before rolling to her corner for the tag. With Moon absent, Bayley’s music hit and Banks tagged her instead. Bayley then cleaned house, hit the Bayley To Belly on Logan, and then covered for the 1,2,3 win. As this happened, Graves said that Bayley’s participation was illegal.

WINNER: Bayley, Banks, & Moon

Heydorn’s Analysis: So they are just ignoring the many month long feud between Banks and Bayley here? Not even a solid look, tease, or recognition of that happening between them? Ok, got it. Eye-roll. 

-After the match, Baron Corbin and Kurt Angle argued about the finish and Corbin told Kurt to tell Bayley and Sasha that they went against the rules and didn’t win the match. Corbin then threatened Angle with a discussion about the situation with Stephanie. From there, Angle appeared frustrated, but then walked off screen. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Baron Corbin has entirely too much power that came from nowhere. This type of story needed a much larger build. 

-After the break, Moon, Bayley, and Banks were shown walking backstage while discussing their win. Thankfully, Bayley and Banks addressed their conflicts with each other and seemingly made good with each other. From there, Angle showed up and said because of Bayley’s involvement, The Riott Squad won via DQ. Moon then stormed off and Banks disappointingly looked at Bayley before walking off as well.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, this feud has certainly gone on too long. That said, I’m glad they didn’t just drop it all together tonight for no reason. I like the consistency behind Bayley ruining another Banks moment. The feud needs to payoff now. That is beyond past due at this point. 

-Big Show was shown on the ramp alongside Team Texas for Special Olympics. Show cut a nice promo before Finn Balor’s music hit and he did his ramp entrance with Team Texas. As he did this Corey Graves commented on how Balor Club is for everyone. (c)

(7) FINN BALOR vs. KEVIN OWENS

After the commercial, Kevin Owens made his entrance. From there, the match began with Owens backing Balor into the corner before striking him in the face. Out of that, Owens and Balor tied up again and Owens took Balor down to the mat. After, he looked at Balor and asked him if that was “too sweet.” When that happened, Balor kicked Owens which caused him to roll out of the ring. From there, Owens slowed the pace of the match by applying a head lock on Balor. Balor then escaped and followed the escape with an arm drag which he flowed into an arm submission. Balor’s momentum didn’t last long as took Balor down once again. He then tossed Balor off the ropes, but Balor countered and connected with his patented low drop kick to a kneeling Owens. Again, Balor attempted an arm submission again, but Owens battled out due to a well placed elbow. This shifted the tide of the match and gave Owens momentum. From there, Owens viciously whipped Balor into the ring post before chopping him in the chest. Balor swung the momentum back with a boot to the face. He then went to the top rope for a high impact move of some kind, but Owens rolled out of the ring to avoid the hold. The show then went to commercial. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: A pretty slowed paced match thus far. Neither guy has done much and the story is pretty murky. Hopefully slow playing a bit for a big finish. 

Back in the ring, Kevin Owens had the momentum back in the match and had Balor deep in a sleeper hold. The crowd chanted “let’s go Balor” as Owens booted him in the face. Quickly, Owens climbed to the top rope, but Balor caught him with a kick which sent him down into Balor’s drop zone. Seeing this, Balor climbed to the top rope for a move, but Owens rolled out of the ring. In response, Balor flew over the top rope for a flipping suicide dive onto Owens. From there, Balor rolled Owens back into the ring and went for a cover. He got a two count. Out of the pin, Owens took control again and put Balor into a shoulder submission. The crowd clapped for Balor to escape and each time he did, Owens drove him down into the mat.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Balor is doing a wonderful job selling his pain and effort in this match. As a viewer, you can feel his anguish.

Out of the hold, Owens went for a senton, but Balor rolled out of the way. With some time, Balor tried to get feeling back in his shoulder, but was then kicked by Owens and grounded once again. During this, Cole drove the narrative that Owens was keeping Balor from flying around the ring. Balor finally got some offense in when he hit Owens with a rolling double foot stomp. Out of that, Balor unloaded with a flurry of strikes before chopping Owens in the chest. After, Balor dropped Owens with a spinning elbow which he followed with cover for a two count.

[OVERRUN]

Out of that pin, Owens rolled Balor up for his own pin, but Finn kicked out at two. From there, Owens delivered a superkick to Finn and covered again, but Balor kicked out at two again. The finish saw Owens disqualified for continuously beating Balor in the corner and ignoring the referee’s instructions. This came after Owens knocked Balor off the top rope while before he attempted the Coup De Gras.

WINNER: Balor via disqualification

-After the match, Owens hit an injured Balor with a huge frog splash off the top rope. From there, Owens grabbed a ladder from underneath the ring and climbed it. Then, Owens attempted to jump off onto Balor, but couldn’t. This allowed Balor to pull Owens down and dropkick him into the ropes. Balor then climbed the ladder himself and jumped up to deliver a Coup De Gras on Owens from the top of the ladder. Then, with Owens writhing in pain, Balor climbed the ladder again and symbolically took down the MITB briefcase case which was hanging above the ring. Balor then celebrated with it as the show went off the air.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good segment to close the show and hype MITB. Balor’s Coup De Gras was a bit rough looking, but the crowd popped big enough anyway.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Tonight, Raw had quite a few balls juggling in the air and in the end, I’m not sure they caught them all. In particular, The Rousey/Jax stuff was disconnected and the Corbin power trip was confusing. That said, the Reigns and Rollins segments worked well. So, it was a give and take kind of show that ultimately kept the Money In The Bank build simmering along.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 5/28: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal for the IC title, women’s last chance gauntlet match, and more

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