6/5 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Samoa Joe as No. 1 contender, Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt opens the show, Extreme Rules fallout, the road to Great Balls of Fire begins

By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania at Mohegan Sun Arena

[Q1] Raw opened with still shots of the Extreme Rules main event that saw Samoa Joe win the five-way to become No. 1 contender to the WWE Universal Championship… Pyro shot off on the stage… The broadcast team was Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T (with JoJo as the ring announcer). Graves hyped that Samoa Joe would appear…

Bray Wyatt headed to the ring. “Last night was the beginning of the end,” Wyatt said. He said he had a chance to slay the beast and save everyone from eternal damnation. He said they took it from him, but he is still here and he is still the god that he has always been. He said he was casting judgement on all who are guilty. Wyatt said Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns are all guilty. Wyatt said they must all be punished starting with Reigns.

Reigns made his entrance for their match. Reigns received more boos than cheers during his entrance. Cole called it a thunderous reaction. Once Reigns arrived in the ring, Wyatt laughed over the mic and said, “Right on cue. There was a loud “Let’s Go Roman/Roman sucks” chant. Reigns took the mic from Wyatt and said the reaction is why he’s the guy. He asked if Wyatt wanted to know what happened when he runs his mouth in his yard. “This,” Reigns said before punching Wyatt…

1. Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt. Wyatt went for an early Sister Abigail, but Reigns avoided it. Reigns connected with another punch. Wyatt rolled to the floor heading into a break.

Powell’s POV: We’ve seen Reigns vs. Wyatt many times and they didn’t really have any reason to meet again coming out of the five-way, but Wyatt saying he’s going after his five-way opponents gave the match and the Wyatt character some purpose.

[Q2] [C] The dueling Reigns chants continued coming out of the break as Wyatt stayed on the offensive. Wyatt performed a DDT for a two count. Reigns came back with a Samoan Drop. Wyatt caught a charging Reigns with a boot and then ran him through the ropes and into the ring post. Wyatt went to ringside and performed a senton, then sat down against the barricade next to Reigns. [C]

Reigns was once again thrown off by Wyatt doing the crab walk pose. Ugh. Wyatt ducked his punch and performed a uranage for a two count. Reigns came back with a powerbomb for a two count and showed frustration over not getting the three count. Reigns did his locked and loaded bit in the corner. Reigns went for a Superman Punch, but Wyatt ducked it. Reigns rebounded and caught him with the Superman Punch for a two count.

[Q3] Reigns looked to the crowd and let out his war cry, but Wyatt rolled out of the ring. Reigns followed and caught him with a drive by kick. Wyatt turned and blasted Reigns with a clothesline. Wyatt returned to the ring and Reigns barely beat the count. There were boos from fans who wanted to see Reigns lose even by count-out. Reigns connected with another Superman Punch and a spear for the win…

Roman Reigns pinned Bray Wyatt in 19:35.

Cole hyped that Samoa Joe would speak later in the show after winning the five-way. Graves hyped a look back at Alexa Bliss’s successful title defense at Extreme Rules… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good and lengthy match to open the show with WWE getting their desired vocal reaction for Reigns. However, Wyatt is once again all bark and no bite. They can always do more to change that as the show goes on, but it’s hard to fear for the rest of the five-way competitors when Bray didn’t even beat the first guy on his hit list. The broadcast team did a nice job of emphasizing that both men went through hell the night before, which puts over the pay-per-view and even leaves the door open for an unexpected match finish involving the participants (even though they rarely book them).

Backstage, Charly Caruso interviewed Enzo Amore and Big Cass. She asked about Enzo being attacked by a mystery attacker or attackers and how it would affect them in their tag match against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Enzo said he didn’t have the scoop like Corey Graves. Cass said it was insulting to him that some people think it was him. He said Enzo is like a little brother to him. He said he would watch Enzo’s back at all times. Enzo asked Charly how she was doing. She looked interested as he started yapping about something off-camera…

Cole asked Graves about what Enzo said. He declined to comment while saying he didn’t want to say the wrong thing. They recapped the women’s title match at Extreme Rules. Additional shots aired of Bayley with a welt on her back from the kendo stick. Cole said the injuries caused Bayley to go home to recuperate…

Backstage, Angle was looking at his phone and said it was driving him nuts. Alexa entered the picture and he put his phone away. She said she was finished with Bayley. She said she wanted to celebrate her entire life on Raw with a “This is my life” segment. Angle said it was a terrible idea. He said it was one of the worst segments in the history of Raw. Angle recalled Bliss promising Nia Jax a title match. She acted like she didn’t recall. Angle booked her in a match against Jax for later in the show. Bliss was not happy. Angle went back to looking at his phone after she left…

A shot aired of Dean Ambrose walking backstage. Graves said Ambrose lost the Intercontinental Title and was in a bad mood…

Powell’s POV: Cass came off as overly defensive and he seemed to emphasize that Enzo is like a “little” brother to him. Meanwhile, they did nothing to recap last week’s confusing phone angle with Kurt, so this it’s now doubling confusing for those who missed a week. Are they really giving away Bliss vs. Jax? The crowds have really popped when they’ve teased it, so they would be wise to make this more of an angle than a match.

[Q4] [C] Elias Samson sat in the ring on a stool and introduced himself. “What wants to walk with Elias?” he asked. He said he saw a leaf fall on the highway and it caused him to write his song. Samson played the guitar and sang about how he saw the landscape change and how Wilkes-Barre had no hope. He also sang about the lunatic walking away empty handed.

Dean Ambrose’s music interrupted Samson. Once in the ring, Ambrose said he had something to say. He struck Samson with the mic and then worked him over with punches in and then out of the ring. Ambrose returned to the ring with his mic and said he wanted a rematch on the spot for the Intercontinental Title.

The Miz and Maryse appeared on the big screen. Miz said Ambrose would not get his title shot because he would be celebrating his Intercontinental Title Comeback Tour. Samson attacked Ambrose from behind and put him down with a swinging neckbreaker and then jawed at him before leaving the ring…

Graves hyped Joe’s appearance for after the break… [C] An ad for Smackdown hyped Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura…

Backstage, Ambrose asked Angle where Miz’s locker room was and suggested they have the rematch. Angle said he would get his rematch, but not on this show. Angle said Maryse planned Miz’s celebration and he didn’t want to deal with her. Angle told Ambrose to cool off. Ambrose said he would cool off in Miz’s dressing room. Angle stopped him and told him to leave the building…

Samoa Joe made his entrance as shots aired from the Extreme Rules main event. Cole said it looked like Finn Balor was going to win, but Joe was in the right place at the right time. They hyped Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe for the Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view. Joe stood in the ring and received some boos and some “Joe” chants.

[Q5] Joe said he would make it simple. He said he does not fear Lesnar. Joe said while he hates to admit it, he is incapable of fearing him because he is far too envious of him. Joe said he wants everything Lesnar has and he wants to take it from him. Joe said he wants Lesnar’s schedule where he doesn’t have to show up in front of the people week after week and instead can beat people up as he pleases.

“You know what, I want Paul Heyman,” Joe said. “I want him to be my advocate. I want him to negotiate my contract. And I want him to run my errands.” Joe said that most importantly, he wants Lesnar’s Universal Championship. Joe said he will stare Lesnar in the eye and take the Universal Title from Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire.

Paul Heyman did his “ladies and gentlemen” introduction and walked onto the stage. Heyman said Joe was the number one contender and rightfully so. Heyman said Joe is a destroyer and a badass who ate through four other opponents to earn a title shot against Lesnar. “There he is, the man who has left wreckage every single solitary place he has been his entire career, the number one contender, Samoa Joe,” Heyman continued.

Heyman said he’s just an advocate and sought and received Joe’s permission to enter the ring. Heyman said he understands that Joe doesn’t fear Lesnar, but Lensar doesn’t fear Joe. Heyman said he thinks Joe likes that Lesnar doesn’t fear him. Heyman said he worries for a living. He said he looks at Lesnar’s opponents and he gets concerned. “It’s what I do as a Jew,” Heyman said to some laughs.

Heyman said Lesnar assuages his concerns. He brought up big names and said it doesn’t matter when they enter the ring with Lesnar. Heyman recalled saying that he wanted to see Lesnar vs. Finn Balor. Heyman said it was a Rocky story and a license to print money. Joe is the worst case scenario because he doesn’t give a damn. Heyman said he’s not supposed to say it, but Joe wants to go to war with Lesnar.

Heyman said that even if Lesnar retains the title, he’s not leaving the ring the same man. Heyman said it’s his job to make sure that Lesnar is Joe’s worst case scenario. “Samoa Joe, you want Brock Lesnar, you got Brock Lesnar,” Heyman said. Heyman and Joe shook hands. Heyman turned to leave. Joe stopped him and backed him into the corner.

Joe calmly told Heyman (picked up via the camera mic) that he was disappointed in Heyman’s client. Joe told Heyman that something very bad was going to happen to him. He said he was going to wrap his arm around his throat and Heyman would feel tightness. Joe said Heyman’s vision would get haxy until it went dark. Joe said he wants Heyman to take the message to Lesnar that it was meant for him. He told him to tell Lesnar as only he can what his future is. Joe put Heyman in the Conquina Clutch. Joe yelled at Heyman to tell him while several referees told him to let go. The fans chanted “We Want Brock”… [C]

Powell’s POV: Terrific segment with Joe calmly telling Heyman what he was going to do to him. Calm and cool Joe is the best promo, and he was very good here. Is Lesnar now in the babyface position in that he’s out to avenge Heyman of all people?

[Q6] Backstage, Angle was pissed and was yelling when Joe calmed him down and said he would take out anyone who gets in the way of him and Lesnar. Joe said the only question he had was whether Angle was in his way. Seth Rollins cut in front of Angle and said Angle was not, but he was. Rollins said he beat Joe before and he had no problem beating him again. Angle booked the match for later in the show…

The broadcast team questioned whether it was a wise move on Rollins’ part to step up on this night considering the mood that Joe was in…

2. Raw Tag Champions Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno in a non-title match. No televised entrance for Slater and Rhyno. The broadcast team recapped the tag title change. The champs dominated the match and Sheamus caught Slater with a Brogue Kick and pinned him for the win…

Sheamus and Cesaro defeated Heath Slater and Rhyno in 1:40.

After the match, Sheamus and Cesaro spoke about the Hardys returning and how they were probably unhappy that they did. Cesaro said they don’t just set the bar, they are the bar…

Powell’s POV: Can you believe that’s only the second match of the show thus far? I don’t mind a talk-heavy show if the talk is compelling, and so far this show has delivered for the most part.

Backstage, TJP told Neville that it was time to talk about their deal with him getting the “championship opportunity” that he deserves. TJP said he mauled and hobbled Aries. TJP said they solved the Aries problem, and now it’s time for Neville to hold up his end. Neville said he’s a man of his word. He said if TJP takes care of business against Mustafa Ali then he would speak to Angle… [C]

[Q7] 3. TJP vs. Mustafa Ali. Cole botched a plug for John Cena’s “American Grit” show, but quickly corrected himself. TJP won with a Detonation Kick…

TJP pinned Mustafa Ali in 2:40.

After the match, Neville came out and TJP joined him on the ramp. Neville said he spoke with Angle about the match. He said he’s the king of the cruiserweights, but he’s not a miracle worker. TJP said they would go backstage and talk to him together. TJP turned and started walking toward the back. Neville attacked TJP from behind and then barked about facing him on 205 Live on Tuesday. The broadcast team repeated Neville…

Graves hyped Bliss vs. Jax for the Raw Women’s Title later in the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: Wait, are we really supposed to like TJP again? He was an unlikable babyface who turned heel not all that long ago. The live crowd didn’t seem to have any sympathy for him. I even thought they would have Ali beat TJP to establish himself as the next challenger to Neville.

A “Shattered Dreams Production” video aired with Goldust. He took offense to R-Truth thinking he could sit in his director’s chair. He said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. “Consider me smitten,” he said. Goldust said it’s all one big game for the juggling clown, but not for him. He said he sees the truth and the bigger motion picture. He said the biggest names in Hollywood and the brightest stars in the sky will be glittering gold. “Oh, it’s going to be so beautiful,” he said. “The golden age is back”…

Backstage, Mickie James and Dana Brooke spoke with Sasha Banks about her dance moves. Ugh. Alexa Bliss showed up and tried to be chummy. “Yeah, no,” Banks said. James and Brooke went to leave, but she stopped them and questioned whether they are insulted that Jax is cutting in front of them and getting a title shot. Brooke said they don’t have a Jax problem, Bliss does. James said they would be ringside to watch her deal with her problem all by herself…

Powell’s POV: I’ve been told that the fans were actually chanting “We Want Brock” rather than “CM Punk” at the end of the Joe and Heyman segment. My apologies. I’ve corrected that above.

Kurt Angle came out and pulled Graves away from the broadcast desk. Angle pointed at his phone while they had a brief conversation. Cole and Booker sat and watched. Graves returned to his seat. Cole asked him what was going on. Graves said Kalisto was coming to the ring. Kalisto made his entrance. Cole said the Titus Brand was on its way…

[Q8] [C] Backstage, Angle was asked about his conversation with Graves. Angle told Mike Rome that it was a private matter. Angle left through a door. Dean Ambrose stopped the door from closing and reentered the backstage area…

4. Kalisto vs. Titus O’Neil (w/Apollo Crews). Titus boasted to Crews whenever he had offensive control. Titus made a cover and held the ropes, but Kalisto ended up on top of Titus and held his tights while getting the pin…

Kalisto pinned Titus O’Neil in 1:25.

Powell’s POV: Crews acted pleased by Kalisto getting the win and got a kick out of Kalisto holding the tights. So why is Crews with Titus if he thinks he’s a joke?

A shot aired of The Miz and Maryse walking backstage while Cole hyped the championship celebration. They spotted Big Cass laid out on the floor. A referee showed up and checked on Cass. Enzo Amore showed up and asked what happened. Cass recovered enough to hand Enzo a chain… [C]

They returned to Enzo and Cass backstage. Enzo said that whoever attacked him a few weeks ago brought the chain with them. Enzo said he hoped Cass wasn’t insinuating what he thought he was. “I know you’re not,” Enzo said. The referees informed Enzo that he would need a new partner for the night because Cass was in no condition to perform…

Maryse stood in the ring that was made up with M-I-Z and regular balloons. There was a bear holding a “congratulations” sign and champagne glasses on a small table. Maryse introduced The Miz, who made his entrance while the broadcast team recapped the IC Title match from Extreme Rules.

[Q9] There was a small “you deserve it” chant. Miz said that chant would mean more if the fans didn’t do it for every single wrestler who won a title in WWE. Miz said only he deserves the title and this is the beginning of the IC Title Comeback Tour. Miz spoke about restoring the IC Title to the glory and heights that it once knew.

Miz and Maryse picked up the champagne glasses. Miz toasted to the idea that the world would never know a time when he was not the IC Champion. Miz praised her for the setup and the dancing bear. Maryse said she didn’t get the bear. Miz said he didn’t get the bear. Miz turned and looked at the person in the bear costume and attacked him. Miz put the bear down with the Skull Crushing Finale.

Miz unmasked the bear and introduced him as Ambrose, but it was not Ambrose. A bigger box was rolled out. Miz attacked it with a chair and then jumped onto it while Maryse pleaded with him to stop. He opened the box and found that he destroyed a grandfather clock that she bought him. Maryse ran backstage.

Miz called for Ambrose to show himself. Ambrose entered the ring posing as a cameraman. Miz spotted him on the big screen and tried to attack him, but Ambrose gave him Dirty Deeds. Ambrose took a swig of the champagne and then took the bottle with him…

Enzo was shown backstage. Graves said Enzo needs a partner and may or may not have one for his match after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Please let Angle punish Ambrose by refusing to book him in a rematch against the Miz ever again. This tired feud needs to end.

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were in the ring coming out of the break. Enzo Amore came out with a mic in hand and did his entrance schtick.

[Q10] Big Show made his entrance as Enzo’s partner. Enzo boasted that he weighs 206 so Show was in the ring with a heavyweight. Show no-sold his humor. Enzo told him to loosen up. He said he needed a certified G as in a certified g-iant. Show teased being angry and instead said he would loosen up. Show said he’s like the cartoon wooly mammoth while Enzo is the squirrel. Show did the sawft routine….

5. Big Show and Enzo Amore vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Show pressed Enzo and tossed him onto Anderson for the win…

Big Show and Enzo Amore beat Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in 1:25.

Cole hyped the Raw Women’s Championship match… [C]

Backstage, Cass approached Enzo and Show. Cass said Show had been gone a few weeks, but he suddenly showed up when Enzo needed a tag partner. Show told him that if he was coming for him he would see him coming straight on. Enzo tried to ease the tension by inviting Show to go to the casino tables with them. Show told them to go ahead…

A Truth Be Told Productions video aired. He quoted “A Few Good Men” and said he was coming for Goldust. He also quoted “Pulp Fiction” again…

Backstage, Rome said it was an intense version of Truth that viewers had never seen before. Huh? Anyway, he asked Bliss if she regretted promising Jax a title shot. She said she regretted being a brand where the other women have no buzz and are jealous of her…

Nia Jax made her entrance for the women’s title match…

[Q11] [C] 6. Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship. The bell rang and then Mickie James and Dana Brooke walked to ringside. Alexa tried to flee, but Jax caught her. Bliss struck her and immediately showed regret and fear when Jax no-sold it. Jax dominated offensively. Bliss rolled to the floor and crawled over to where James and Brooke were stnaidng. Bliss stood up and punched both women. They hit her back, causing Jax to be disqualified. Afterward, Jax rolled Bliss back inside the ring and shoved James and Brooke. Bliss kicked Jax through the ropes and then left the ring. James and Brooke entered the ring and stood by Jax, who then destroyed both of them…

Alexa Bliss beat Nia Jax by DQ in 2:20.

Powell’s POV: And the award for wrestler character stupidity goes to James and Brooke for standing by Jax after costing her the match. The segment didn’t click. The fans didn’t side with Jax. Bliss suffered a bloody lip. Believe it or not, it appeared to occur when James struck her at ringside and not when she was in the ring with Jax.

Backstage, Paul Heyman was being treated by a medical staffer. Heyman’s phone rang and he answered the call. The idea was that Heyman was talking with Brock Lesnar and said he should show up next week Raw and they should unleash The Beast…

Cole hyped Rollins vs. Joe for after the break… [C] Graves hyped Neville vs. TJP for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship for 205 Live, and Cole said it was official that Lesnar would return to Raw next week…

[Q12] Entrances for the main event took place. Cole recapped highlights of Joe putting Heyman in the Coquina Clutch…

7. Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins. Rollins went for a springboard move at 3:40, but Joe shoved the ropes. Joe caught Rollins with an enzuigiri heading into a break. [C] Joe performed a great power slam on Rollins for a two count at 10:45.

[Overrun] Rollins caught Joe with an enzuigiri. Joe rolled to ringside. Rollins performed a suicide dive and rolled Joe back inside the ring. Rollins performed the sling blade clothesline and performed another suicide dive before once again rolling Joe back inside the ring. Rollins performed a Blockbuster. Joe rolled to the floor. Rollins performed a silly looking suicide dive that was basically Joe catching him to break his fall and then falling to the ground for no reason.

Rollins performed the falcon arrow for another two count. Rollins caught Joe with a superkick. Bray Wyatt’s video flashed. Rollins looked around for Wyatt, who never appeared. Joe applied the Coquina Clutch for the win…

Samoa Joe defeated Seth Rollins in 15:35.

Cole hyped that Lesnar would confront Joe on Raw next week…

Powell’s POV: Are they more concerned with setting up Wyatt vs. Rollins or the pay-per-view main event of Joe vs. Lesnar? Brock destroys most opponents in short order. I’d rather see Joe destroy mid-card wrestlers in squash matches during the buildup than watch him have a competitive match with Rollins, especially since he only ended up winning thanks to a distraction. Overall, the first half of the show was light on wrestling and heavy on talking and angles. I ended up enjoying that more than the wrestling heavy second half of the show. I will be by late night with the All Access Daily Podcast for Tuesday featuring my full review of Raw. Thanks for watching along with me.


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