WWE Raw Live TV Review: Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal for the Intercontinental Championship, Gauntlet match for the final spot in the Women’s Money in the Bank match

By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on May 28, 2018 from Richmond, Virginia at the Richmond Coliseum

[Hour One] Raw opened with a Memorial Day tribute video… The fans responded to the video with a USA chant… The broadcast team was Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Jonathan Coachman…

Braun Strowman made his entrance and was introduced by ring announcer JoJo. The broadcast team hyped the previously advertised matches and also worked in a plug for the Daniel Bryan vs. Samoa Joe match for Smackdown. Strowman said he gets motivated when he sees the Money in the Bank briefcase. He said he would destroy seven other men at MITB and then be known as “Mr. Monster in the Bank.” Strowman questioned who would stop him from winning MITB and said he would win and then Brock Lesnar would “get these hands.”

Finn Balor came out and spoke about being the first WWE Universal Champion as he walked to the ring. He said he never lost the title and that eats at him every day. He entered the ring and said he would take back what is his. Balor said he gave Strowman everything he had last week, but there will be six other wrestlers in the ring with them at MITB and it will be every man for himself. Strowman told Balor that he put up “a really good fight for a little guy.” Balor struck Strowman, who responded by tossing him across the ring and to ringside.

Raw general manager Kurt Angle made his entrance. He said he liked the intensity. He asked the crowd if they wanted to see Strowman vs. Balor on the spot. The fans cheered. Angle called for a referee. The broadcast team recapped the Strowman and Balor physicality and hyped their rematch from last week for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s rare that you see a Raw open with a rematch of the show closing match from the week before. The opening was decent with Balor standing up for himself when Balor mocked him by saying that he put up a good fight for a little guy.

1. Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor. Kevin Owens sat in on commentary. Bobby Roode was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. At 4:30, Owens spoke over the house mic and told Strowman, who was in offensive control, that he could do better. [C] Strowman shoulder blocked Balor over the ringside barricade coming out of the break.

Balor took offensive control. Owens got on the house mic and shouted encouragement to him this time. Balor ended up landing the Coup de Grace on Strowman. Balor went up top to perform the move again, but Owens ended up attacking him for what Cole said was a DQ. Afterward, Owens hit Balor with a ladder. He brought it inside the ring and tried to run it into Strowman, who blocked it and knocked Owens down. Owens left the ring and Braun threw the ladder toward him. Owens ran backstage…

Finn Balor beat Braun Strowman by DQ in 11:30.

Powell’s POV: A good match with a good DQ finish in that it put heat on Owens and let Balor look good without damaging Strowman.

The broadcast team stood behind their desks and recapped the angle from last week with Jinder Mahal attacking Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns with a chair. They hyped the Intercontinental Championship match and the women’s gauntlet match… Elias was shown strumming his guitar backstage heading into a break… [C]

Kevin Owens was shown rushing through the backstage area with his luggage. He barked at a parking attendant to bring his car. Kurt Angle showed up and asked Owens where he was going. Owens said there was a big parade with fireworks downtown. Angle booked him in a match against Bobby Roode…

Sasha Banks delivered a promo about the gauntlet match and winning MITB. She said you don’t need luck when you’re the boss…

Elias started to play his guitar and stopped. He said the lighting is normally fine, but the Virginia crowd is disgusting. He had them shrink the size of his spotlight so he could avoid looking at fans. He also asked for his vocals to be turned up louder. Elias continued to mess with the crowd and demanded silence. He said he would sit there all night until he could hear a pin drop. The broadcast team hyped the Intercontinental Championship as coming up after the break… [C]

Elias was still in the ring coming out of the break. He said he was giving the crowd another chance and all they had to do was shut their mouths. Seth Rollins made his entrance with Elias still in the ring. Rollins and Elias glared at one another. Rollins picked up the stool Elias uses and tossed it to ringside. Rollins motioned for Elias to leave the ring. The fans chanted “delete” and Rollins held up his ear while looking at Elias, who left the ring. Sunil Singh came out and introduced Jinder Mahal…

2. Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh) for the Intercontinental Championship. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Mahal knocked Rollins off the apron and Rollins took a chest first bump into the barricade heading into a break. [C] Mahal hit a nice gutbuster for a near fall at 8:10.

Rollins set up for a Stomp, but Singh grabbed his foot as he was running the ropes. The referee ejected Singh from ringside at 10:15.

[Hour Two] Mahal hit Rollins with a chair to the gut while the referee was distracted and then got a two count. Singh returned to ringside after being ejected. Rollins picked him up and performed a powerbomb into Mahal in the corner. Rollins looked to ringside and spotted the chair that Mahal used on him. Rollins grabbed the chair and struck Mahal with it for the DQ.

Jinder Mahal beat Seth Rollins by DQ in 12:10 in an Intercontinental Championship match.

After the match, Rollins worked over Mahal and Singh with the chair and chased Mahal to the back. Rollins played to the fans and climbed onto the broadcast team’s table. Elias came out and smashed a guitar over his back, causing Rollins to tumble off the stage heading into a break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good match that had the live crowd fired up. Mahal targeted the abdomen of Rollins throughout the match and the broadcast team did a good job of telling the story and Cole seemed into the action. The post match angle was well done with Elias setting up a likely match with Rollins for the MITB event.

Nia Jax was making her entrance when Ronda Rousey’s entrance music stopped her in her tracks. Rousey joined the broadcast team. Jax had another woman in the ring with her. She took the mic and said she was happy that Rousey came out to see the exhibition so she could see what she would do to her at MITB. She had the woman in the ring apply an armbar. Jax powered her way out of it, pointed at the woman, and then slammed her to the mat.

Coachman pointed out that Rousey has never been in the ring with someone the size of Jax. Rousey said that’s true, but she thinks she’s capable of anything. Jax told her over the mic that her armbar won’t work on her if she can even apply it. Jax encouraged her opponent to come at her. Jax put the woman down with a Samoan drop. Jax said she could easily get a 1-23 with that at MITB, but she wasn’t done yet. Jax performed a leg drop on the woman named Michelle Webb (according to Cole).

Jax said she could literally crush a woman’s chest with her leg. Jax said her next move could do the same. Jax performed a rolling senton. Rousey smiled in response to the move just as she did to each of her demonstrations. Jax said the woman in the ring could use help and encouraged Rousey to provide it. The referee tried to help the woman, but Jax insisted that Rousey come to the ring to help.

Rousey took off the headsets and headed to the ring. There was a tame chant for Rousey. Jax said she was in the ring and they could shut up now. Rousey flashed her mean face at Jax, who said that’s the look she’s heard so much about. Jax said she’s not intimidated by it and instead finds it humorous. Jax laughed, called Rousey’s look cute, then turned her back and left the ring…

The broadcast team hyped Jax vs. Rousey for MITB, then shifted the hype to the women’s gauntlet match for later in the show… Backstage, Dana Brooke stood in front of a board with math formulas on it and delivered a selfie promo in which she spoke about crunching numbers and determining an optimal strategy for the women’s gauntlet match…

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt made their entrance. Coachman said he felt like he was watching a Stranger Things episode. Graves asked what it would take for Coach to be lost in the Upside Down. Coachman was silent. Graves said it was a “Stranger Things” reference. “I didn’t say I watched the show,” Coachman said with a laugh. “I just said I feel like I’m watching the show”… [C]

Powell’s POV: Jax is back in heel mode at least going into her match with Rousey. It’s a quick turn back. Still, I still find her to be a better heel than a babyface and this approach makes sense given that they want Rousey to continue to be a babyface. Meanwhile, an embarrassing moment for Coachman, but he was honest about it and the laughter softened the blow. Oh, and it’s a damn fine show, Coach. You are missing out.

3. Raw Tag Champions Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt vs. The Ascension in a non-title match. The Ascension entrance was not televised. Hardy and Wyatt hit the Kiss of Deletion on Viktor, then Hardy covered him for the win…

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt defeated The Ascension in a non-title match in 4:50.

Kurt Angle was shown watching the match backstage when “The B Team” Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas showed up and laughed at the Hardy and Wyatt celebration. Axel told Angle they are undefeated and they want a title shot. Angle said they’ve won two weeks in a row and that doesn’t qualify them for a tag title match. Dallas assumed they needed to give the other tag teams something in order to win them over. Dallas decided they could give them all invitations to a BBQ…

Coach hyped Owens vs. Roode for after the break… An ad for NXT TV hyped Shayna Baszler vs. Dakota Kai for the NXT Women’s Championship for Wednesday’s show (join John Moore for live coverage every Wednesday night)…

Riott Squad delivered a selfie style promo. They were tearing up clothing backstage in one of the locker rooms. Ruby Riott said one way or another the final place in the MITB match belongs to them…

Ring entrances for the Roode vs. Owens match took place. Owens came out second and was looking over his own shoulder (for Strowman)…

4. Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Roode. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers early on. Owens performed a cannonball against the barricade heading into an early break. [C] Late in the match, Roode set up for his Glorious DDT. Owens tried to backdrop him. Roode turned it into a sunset flip attempt, but Owens knelt down on him and got the pin…

Kevin Owens pinned Bobby Roode in 9:45.

After the match, Strowman came out and destroyed Owens. Roode cheered him on. Strowman performed a running powerslam while Roode cheered him on while standing on the middle rope. Strowman grabbed Roode by the throat and then powerslammed him…

Cole hyped a public apology from Sami Zayn following last week’s Lashley’s Sisters angle… [C]

Powell’s POV: Roode came off like such a dork while cheering for Strowman that you had to assume that Strowman was going to turn on him. Speaking of turns, here’s hoping they move on from babyface Roode soon. Meanwhile, there are some things that are simply unforgivable and the Lashley’s Sisters segment is high on that list.

[Hour Three] Sami Zayn made his entrance and said WWE management had been very gracious in giving him time to issue his public apology. Zayn put on his reading glasses and read from a piece of paper. Zayn’s statement was directed to the WWE Universe and the Lashley family. The crowd gave him the “What?” treatment as he recalled negative social media responses. He claims that bum 30 year-old guy who won’t leave his parents house even DM’d him about it.

Zayn took off his glasses and admitted that Lashley’s sisters from last week were not actually women. What?!? Zayn said he was sorry. However, he added that everything he said last week was actually true. He said his expose on Lashley was rooted in reality. He said he didn’t expect the fans to get it, but history will look back on last week’s interview segment very favorably. Zayn said the fans should be apologizing to him because he deserves better. He said he deserves to be in the MITB match and challenging Seth Rollins for the IC Championship rather than apologizing to a repulsive crowd in Richmond, Virginia.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance. Once in the ring, he saluted and thanked members of the military, which led to a USA chant. Cole noted that Lashley is from a military family and served as well. Lashley said he and Zayn clearly have an issue that they should settle in the ring like men. Lashley challenged Zayn to a match at MITB. Lashley told him to back up his trash talk and shake his hand. Zayn shook Lashley’s hand and told him he would Helluva Kick the smile off his stupid face. Lashley held on as Zayn tried to walk away. Lashley started to crush Zayn’s hand. Lashley said he had an apology of his own. He apologized for everything he will do to Zayn at MITB…

Powell’s POV: A flat segment. Lashley is lifeless as a smiling babyface.

A Mickie James selfie style promo aired and she said she will walk into MITB after winning the gauntlet match. Cole noted on commentary that she’s from Richmond…

Drew McIntyre made his entrance with Dolph Ziggler for a singles match… [C] Another Memorial Day piece aired with more footage of WWE talent shaking hands with soldiers… A video package set up the Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship that will air on 205 Live tomorrow night…

5. Drew McIntyre (w/Dolph Ziggler) vs. Chad Gable. McIntyre was dominant early. Gable came back with a moonsault onto a standing McIntyre for a two count. McIntyre came back and hurled Gable into the post. Back in the ring, McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick and scored the pin…

Drew McIntyre defeated Chad Gable in 4:45.

The broadcast team hyped the B-Team Memorial Day Tag Team BBQ… [C]

Powell’s POV: I was wondering last week if we might see Jason Jordan join his former tag partner Gable for a feud with McIntyre and Ziggler. There was nothing about this match that planted seeds for that happening. It was straight forward with McIntyre winning without help from Ziggler.

A MITB 2010 sponsored flashback aired with Kane beating Rey Mysterio to win the World Heavyweight Championship… Cole announced Lashley vs. Zayn is official for MITB…

The B-Team held their BBQ in the ring. There were tables set up with brats, hot dogs, chips, baked beans, and other food. The Ascension, The Revival, Heath Slater, Rhyno, TItus O’Neil, Apollo Crews, Fandango, and Tyler Breeze were there. Axel pointed out that they also had bologna sandwiches. Titus was pissed there was no briskets, ribs, or mac & cheese. “Ain’t none of this food seasoned,” he said.

Slater took the mic and said it’s a feast. He said it would be Thanksgiving in West Virginia. Axel decided to take the food back. Titus dumped baked beans over Dallas, then Breeze dumped potato salad over Axel. A big food fight broke out. Rhyno was the last man in the ring and started throwing food to ringside. The B-Team returned and put him through a table…

Powell’s POV: Sports entertainment holiday nonsense. The only person laughing harder than the broadcast team would be Vince McMahon. We haven’t seen any holiday food fights lately. It’s as if the television deals were finalized and Vince feels safe going back to his brand of nutty holiday humor.

The broadcast team hyped Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens, Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Roode, and Nia Jax vs. Natalya for next week’s Raw in Houston…

Backstage, the B-Team were still hoping for their tag title shot. Angle booked a tag team battle royal for next week with the winning team challenging Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy at MITB. They were covered in food and excitedly hugged Angle…

Bayley made her entrance for the gauntlet match and was interviewed in the ring by Charly Caruso, who pointed out that the odds are against her because she’s entering the match first. She said she’s bringing the fight to the Riott Squad and hopes to prove the numbers don’t always add up. She also spoke about respecting Mickie James and still wanting to go through her. She brought up Sasha Banks and said the name on the MITB contract doesn’t read Banks, it reads Bayley…

6. A gauntlet match for the final spot in the Women’s Money in the Bank match. Bayley hit a Belly to Bayley and pinned Morgan in 0:10. Sarah Logan was out next. Ember Moon was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Bayley pinned Morgan at 1:55. Logan and Morgan worked over Bayley despite being eliminated. The fourth entrant was Ruby Riott. [C]

Alexa Bliss was also shown watching on a monitor. Riott pinned Bayley to eliminate her from the match at 7:00. Dana Brooke was the fifth entrant. Riott pinned Brooke at 8:25 to eliminate her from the match. Mickie James was the sixth entrant and received a favorable reaction from her hometown fans. There was a “let’s go Mickie” chant as she worked over Riott. James had the control going into a break. [C]

[Overrun] James set up for a move only to be rolled up by Riott, who held the tights while getting the pin at 15:25. Sasha Banks was the final entrant in the match. Natalya was shown watching the match on a monitor. Banks hit a powerbomb for a two count and then tried to apply the Bank Statement, but she released the hold when she saw Liv Morgan on the apron. Riott rolled up Banks, who kicked out and immediately applied the Bank Statement for the submission win…

Sasha Banks defeated Ruby Riott, Dana Brooke, Bayley, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan in a gauntlet match in 21:45 to earn the final spot in the women’s MITB match.

Powell’s POV: The early portion of the gauntlet match was nothing special. They raced through most of the eliminations before getting to Banks vs. Riott, which was entertaining. The show peaked with the Seth Rollins segment and was hit or miss from that point on. I will be by later tonight with my members’ exclusive audio review for Dot Net Members, and I’ll be by again on Tuesday with my WWE Raw Hit List. Thanks for watching along with me.

Check out the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell below featuring a discussion with Jonny Fairplay about the new WWE television deals, WWE reality television, and John Hennigan (f/k/a John Morrison) on CBS’s Survivor.



Readers Comments (3)

  1. You had to know Sasha Banks was winning that one. I just hope she doesn’t seriously injure someone at MITB. She is entertaining, but her carelessness and/or recklessness just makes me cringe whenever I watch her.

  2. Perhaps Kurt should of specified only established teams in this tag team battle royal to avoid having the same snafu as the last time they had one.

  3. AS THE POV comments verify, this show was not good. HOWEVER, of course, there will be a lot of “hits” in the “hits and misses” column, as is required by the WWE mark handbook, written by JR.

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