5/16 WWE Raw results: Powell’s live review of Becky Lynch vs. Asuka for a future shot at the Raw Women’s Championship, Bobby Lashley vs. Omos in a steel cage match, Riddle vs. Jimmy Uso, Cody Rhodes addresses Seth Rollins, Mustafa Ali vs. Veer Mahaan with The Miz as special referee

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,512)
Live from Norfolk, Virginia at Norfolk Arena
Aired May 16, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] Raw opened with a video package that recapped the drama involving Bobby Lashley, Omos, and MVP… The cage was lowered around the ring when the broadcast team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in on commentary from ringside, and Mike Rome was the ring announcer. Smith noted twice that the show was playing to a sold out crowd…

Powell’s POV: According to @WrestleTix, the venue was set up to hold 7,283 fans.

The broadcast team read through the advertised segments and had a countdown to Cody Rhodes addressing Seth Rollins, which will occur at the top of the third hour. They also announced Becky Lynch vs. Asuka vs. Sasha Banks vs. Naomi vs. Doudrop vs. Nikki ASH in a Six Pack Challenge for a future shot at the Raw Women’s Championship…

Omos and MVP made their entrance for the cage match. MVP delivered a promo from inside the cage. He said he expected Lashley to put up a hell of a fight, but the outcome of the match was a foregone conclusion. MVP said the All Mighty Era would end tonight. He said the fans are lucky to live in the Age of the Nigerian Giant.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance. Cedric Alexander ran out and attacked Lashley from behind. The broadcast team recalled Alexander tried to talk MVP into restarting The Hurt Business. Omos joined in on the attack and fought with Lashley. A group of WWE officials and producers ran out and separated Lashley from the heels. Lashley entered the ring and motioned for Omos to join him heading into the first commercial break… [C]

1. Bobby Lashley vs. Omos (w/MVP, Cedric Alexander) in a steel cage match. The match started coming out of the break. Omos put Lashley down by a side of the cage. MVP poked his cane through the cage to jab Lashley with it during the opening minute. A short time later, MVP stood on the ring steps and taunted Lashley, who grabbed his arm through the side of the cage.

Lashley avoided a charging Omos and then ran the ropes and speared him for a near fall. Lashley hit Omos with several elbows to the side of the head. Lashley knocked Omos down and set up for The Hurt Lock, but Omos backed into the corner of the ring to break it. Lashley climbed the cage, but Omos cut him off. Lashley kicked him away while standing on the top rope.

Alexander climbed up the side of the cage and threw punches at Lashley, who ended up grabbing him by the arm and tossing him innto the ring. Lashley leapt at Omos, who caught him and then placed him over his shoulders and then tossed him into the side of the cage. Lashley ran the ropes and was put down by a big boot from Omos.

Omos hoisted up Lashley again and ran him into the side of the cage, which broke. Lashley was left lying on the cage panel that was leaning against the side of the ring. Once Lashley recovered, he stepped off the panel and was named the winner of the match.

Bobby Lashley defeated Omos in 7:30 in a steel cage match.

Afterward, the referee explained to the ring announcer that both of Lashley’s feet hit the ground, so he was indeed the winner. “It doesn’t matter how it happened, just that it happened,” Graves said on commentary…

Powell’s POV: I suspected that we’d get a finish like this so they can say that a regular cage match couldn’t contain Lashley and Omos, so their next match needs to be inside the Hell in a Cell structure. We’ll see about that second part. But the match was entertaining for what it was and Omos was obviously protected by the way Lashley won.

The broadcast team recapped footage of Ciampa beating Mustafa Ali last week thanks to a fast count from special referee The Miz…

U.S. Champion Theory made his entrance for a match against Ali… [C] The tail end of Ali’s entrance was televised. Theory stood at ringside and ended up introducing The Miz as a referee who would call the match down the middle. Theory told Ali that he was going back to the first lesson that Mr. McMahon ever taught him – expect the unexpected. Theory said Ali’s actual opponent would be Veer Mahaan, who made his entrance…

2. Veer Mahaan (w/Theory) vs. Mustafa Ali with The Miz as special referee. Ali dropkicked Mahaan to start the match. Mahaan came right back with a flying body press. Ali fought back until Mahaan put him down with a big boot. Mahaan popped up Ali and let him fall to the mat. Mahaan pressed Ali over his head, but Ali slipped away and connected with a couple of superkicks.

Ali ran the ropes and was tripped up by Theory. Ali sent Mahaan to ringside, but he remained on his feet. Ali ran the ropes for a move, but Miz stood in his way and slow counted while Mahaan was at ringside. Ali protested and was pie-faced by Miz. Mahaan put Ali down with a clothesline and then applied the Cervical Clutch for the win…

Veer Mahaan defeated Mustafa Ali in 2:50.

After the match, Theory had Mahaan reapply the submission hold on Ali so that he could take selfies. Theory and Miz pointed Mahaan to the broadcast table. He started to take it apart, but he was interrupted by the entrance music of Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio. Theory and Miz fled. The Mysterios were able to double team Mahaan and knocked him off his feet. Mahaan got up and stared at the Mysterios from the floor…

Backstage, Becky Lynch complained to Adam Pearce about the Six Pack Challenge… [C]

Powell’s POV: This was good use of Mahaan. They also made this easier to follow for fans who don’t follow along with Twitter drama. In other words, even if you don’t know the story about Ali asking for a contractual release a while back, they still made him look sympathetic by stacking the deck against him.

The broadcast team set up a video package that recapped Becky Lynch interfering in last week’s Bianca Belair vs. Asuka match by attacking both women…

Backstage, Becky Lynch told Adam Pearce that she saw Sasha Banks and Naomi leave the building with their bags. She said she never got a rematch with Belair and she should be named the No. 1 contender and take the rest of the night off. Pearce said he knew what happened and they needed a main event, so he booked Lynch vs. Asuka with the winner getting the Raw Women’s Championship match…

Powell’s POV: I feel like I missed a segment. Even if Sasha and Naomi left, I’m not sure why Nikki ASH and Doudrop would be out of the match. Then again, given their recent won/loss records, I’m not sure why they were actually in the match to begin with.

Footage aired of the Smackdown closing segment involving RK-Bro and The Bloodline… Riddle made his entrance. Animated giraffes stampeded once he kicked off his flip flops… [C] The Usos made their entrance. Smith hyped the WWE Tag Title unification match between RK-Bro and The Uso for “this Saturday.” He was quickly corrected about the match being held on Friday’s Smackdown…

3. Riddle vs. Jimmy Uso (w/Jey Uso). Randy Orton did not accompany Riddle to ringside. Riddle sent Jimmy to ringside and tried to kick him from the apron, but Jey took the kick instead. Jimmy ran Riddle into the steps at ringside. Jey stood on the steps and held up the Smackdown Tag Titles heading into a break. [C]

Riddle performed a senton splash. Both men were down and the referee spoke to both men while a countdown to Cody Rhodes graphic appeared to note that his segment would occur an hour later.

[Hour Two] Jimmy hit a popup Samoan Drop for a near fall. Jimmy went up top and was met by Riddle, who went for an RKO, but Jimmy fought him off with a headbutt that sent Riddle back inside the ring. Jimmy went for a top rope splash, but Riddle put his knees up.

Riddle went to the ropes and had to elbow Jimmy away. While the referee was checking on Jimmy, Jey took a cheap shot at Riddle. Jimmy rolled up Riddle for a pin and then Jey added leverage from the ring apron. The referee stopped his count when he spotted Jey and then ejected him from ringside. Jimmy argued with the referee and was then caught in an inside cradle and pinned by Riddle…

Riddle beat Jimmy Uso in 10:50.

Powell’s POV: The match was fine, the crowd enjoyed it, and it filled some time, but they may have been better off going with a verbal segment to set up Friday’s unification match rather than having either man take a loss.

Footage aired of Judgment Day from last week with Rhea Ripley beating Liv Morgan, and Edge spearing Finn Balor to end Balor’s match against Damian Priest. It also included footage of the trio getting the better of AJ Styles when he tried to attack Edge…

Backstage, Liv Morgan was interviewed by Kevin Patrick. Morgan said Ripley would never get away with what she did. Angel and Humberto interrupted the interview and wanted her to do the kiss cam. AJ Styles and Finn Balor showed up and saved Morgan from the horndog duo. Styles and Balor pitched the idea of working with Morgan against Judgment Day. Balor asked if she wanted to join them at ringside. She said she would think about it…

Edge was shown sitting on his throne backstage with Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest standing by him… The broadcast team hyped Lynch vs. Asuka for a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship as the show’s main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: For those who care, a local ad just listed the latest dark main event of the June 17 Smackdown in Minneapolis as Bobby Lashley vs. Omos.

The top ten WWE Instagram photos were shown…

Judgment Day was shown backstage. Damian Priest said that if any of your precious heroes step to them, they will face nothing but punishment. Rhea Ripley said there was nothing holding her back and it’s time for complete and utter eradication. Edge, who was still seated on his throne, said he can’t blame the people for being angry given the state of the world. He encouraged them to join his movement. He said his arms are wide open to other WWE wrestlers who want to join them with his genius guiding the way. Edge even made a pitch to have AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and Liv Morgan join them…

AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and Liv Morgan made their entrance for Styles and Balor’s match against Los Lotharios. Smith said there had to be a reason that Sasha Banks and Naomi left the building, and then he hyped Lynch vs. Banks as the main event… [C]

The broadcast team hyped the Wales stadium show. Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre are featured prominently in the graphic along with smaller photos of others… Los Lotharios made their entrance and did the Kiss Cam bit with a woman in the crowd. She acted smitten afterward…

4. AJ Styles and Finn Balor (w/Liv Mogan) vs. “Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto. The “Countdown To Cody” graphic appeared in the corner of the screen again during the opening minute of the match. Styles and Balor dominated the early offense and sent both opponents to the floor before performing stereo dives onto them. [C]

Angel caught Balor in an inside cradle for a two count. He blasted Balor with a knee to the head and knocked Styles off the apron. Balo avoided Angel’s finisher, but then ran into a superkick. Humberto tagged in and went for a top rope moonsault, but Balor put his feet up. Balor dropkicked Humberto. Styles took out Angel with a Phenomenal Forearm, and then Balor hit the Coup De Grace on Humberto and pinned him.

AJ Styles and Finn Balor defeated “Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto in 8:30.

Afterward, Morgan joined Styles and Balor in doing the too sweet hand gesture in the middle of the ring…

Powell’s POV: Good work from all four men. It’s a shame that Los Lotharios haven’t been booked to win more often because the outcome was never in doubt and it just didn’t feel like a meaningful win for Styles and Balor. Even so, the match was entertaining.

Backstage, Chad Gable and Otis showed up with the DNA results of the test on Ezekiel. Kevin Owens opened the envelope and revealed that the results were contaminated by BBQ sauce, which turned out to be from Otis. Owens said no more tests because they never work. Gable said he would expose Ezekiel next week, but he intended to beat it out of him shortly…

A video package recapped Sonya Deville being fired from her authority figure position, and then losing to Alexa Bliss on last week’s Raw… Bliss made her entrance carrying a Lilly Doll. The broadcast team said she would face Deville in a rematch… [C] Deville made her entrance…

5. Alexa Bliss vs. Sonya Deville. The Countdown To Cody graphic was shown again. Deville hit a seated Bliss with a running knee and then covered her for a near fall. Deville tried to remove a turnbuckle pad, but the referee caught her. Deville performed a spinebuster and had Bliss pinned, but the referee was tying the turnbuckle pad and was late to make the count. Bliss dropped Deville with a DDT and pinned her…

Alexa Bliss beat Sonya Deville in 4:00.

After the match, Deville slapped the referee across the face and left the ring. The broadcast team said she’s no longer an authority figure and can’t get away with doing that…

Powell’s POV: Graves did a good job of explaining the need for a rematch by pointing out that Deville had just lost her job when she was booked in an impromptu match against a returning Bliss last week. The match was also laid out so that Deville got more offense even though she ended up taking the loss.

Highlights aired of Cody Rhodes beat Seth Rollins at WrestleMania Backlash, followed by Rollins attacking Cody to end his U.S. Title match against Theory last week…

A fan raised an “AEW Rules” sign into camera view right before they cut to the stage for Cody Rhodes’ entrance. Oops… [C]

Cody stood in the ring and the crowd chanted his name. Cody said he had been told that Seth Rollins was not present. He said he hoped that Rollins was listening.

[Hour Three] Rhodes said he tried to move forward. He recalled Rollins performing a Stomp on him on the broadcast table. Cody also recalled Rollins saying that he would never take anything away from him again. Cody wondered what he was referring to.

Cody called for a stroll down memory lane. He remembered Seth Rollins arriving on the WWE main roster in 2012. Cody said he was one of the bitter boys in the back at the time. Cody recalled Rollins winning titles and winning his way to the top.

Cody said his own story was a little different. He said he didn’t win until recently. He said he scratched, clawed, and painted his face with a smile. He said he looked up at the lights most nights and he endured. Cody said you learn a lot from loss such as how to live, love, and how to reinvent yourself.

Cody said the biggest thing he learned is that he would never be the American Dream. “So why not embrace the Nightmare?” Cody asked. He said Rollins’ embarrassment over losing two matches outweighed his opportunity at a second chance. He said that if Rollins thinks he will deny him his second chance, then he’ll have to kill him. Cody said he was going to give him a chance. Cody called for a third match with Rollins, this time inside the Hell in a Cell structure.

A cackling Seth Rollins could be heard and he entered the picture on the big screen. Rollins said that beating him twice wasn’t enough for Cody. He said one little stomp on the broadcast table made Cody ask for another round inside HIAC. Rollins said Cody must be more stupid than he looks. Rollins said anyone who has ever stepped foot in HIAC with him as changed forever.

Rollins said Cody already knows his answer. He said he would exploit all of Cody’s insecurities and expose him as the fraud that he is. Rollins accepted the match. “I guess there’s nothing left to say other than I’ll see you in hell,” Cody closed…

Asuka was shown warming up backstage when Sarah Schreiber approached her for her thoughts about the main event. Asuka acted like she was crying and then said she would give Becky Lynch a reason to cry. Asuka said she is ready for the Raw Women’s Champion…

Kevin Owens, Chad Gable, and Otis made their entrance… [C]

Powell’s POV: A solid verbal exchange to get to the HIAC match. I like the strategy of announcing things for the top of the third hour, which usually delivers the lowest ratings of Raw’s three hours. That said, it could turn out to be damaging if they only do it for Cody Rhodes, as some fans could end up resenting him if they feel he is getting special treatment. Meanwhile, Asuka’s crazed promos wore on me before she took time away, and I’m already over them even though she just returned.

The broadcast team said the Cody vs. Rollins match was official for HIAC… Ezekiel made his entrance…

6. Ezekiel vs. Chad Gable (w/Otis). Kevin Owens sat in on commentary and took issue with Ezekiel being introduced as the younger brother of Elias. He said he met Elias’s parents and they never mentioned having another kid. Ezekiel ended up at ringside and clotheslined Gable over the top rope. Otis ran into Ezekiel while the referee was distracted. [C]

Ezekiel performed a spinebuster for a two count, which Owens claimed was a one count. Ezekiel placed Gable on the top rope and then joined him. Gable knocked him down with a headbutt and then leapt at him, but Ezekiel caught him with a knee to the head on the way down and covered him for a two count. Owens said that was one of Elias’s key moves.

Gable rallied and performed a top rope moonsault for a near fall. A short time later, Otis tried to interfere, but Ezekiel knocked him off the apron. Gable rolled him up, but Ezekiel reversed it and got the three count…

Ezekiel defeated Chad Gable in 11:00.

Powell’s POV: The crowd was as quiet as they’ve been all night during this match. To be fair, it did take place during the third hour and it had been a while since they had some in-ring action. Even so, it feels like the Ezekiel character is just the same joke every week and even Kevin Owens is going to have a tough time keeping it interesting.

Backstage, R-Truth tried to serve Akira Tozawa with divorce papers while Tamina questioned him. Tozawa emerged from a trashcan on Truth’s count, and then Truth served him with papers. Dana Brooke showed up and thanked Truth for serving Reggie with divorce papers last week. Truth said he needed the WWE 24/7 Championship back. She pushed Truth and ran away. Brooke ran into Carmella, who was doing her makeup. They bickered until Truth returned and then Brooke ran away. Carmella told Truth she would help him get the title back and when the time is right, she wants to face Dana…

Ring announcer Mike Rome introduced Lacey Evans as a mother, wife, daughter, U.S. Marine, and WWE Superstar. Evans came out to a mild round of applause… [C]

Lacey Evans stood in the ring and said she wanted everyone to know how much she respects the men and women in the U.S. armed forces. She asked the crowd to stand up and thank them with her. The fans cheered. Evans said she knew there were military families in the building. She said she knows what they go through and is grateful.

Evans spoke about breaking the cycle and having what it takes to make it, to wake up, to work, and to win. She said she may not be better than the other superstars in the women’s locker room, but they damn sure aren’t better than her…

Powell’s POV: So after five weeks of Evans telling her story in pre-taped videos, now she’s saying similar things in front of a live crowd. I was surprised when reports indicated that the company intends to use her as a heel, but this segment already left me feeling like that might be the best approach. She came off like she was pandering during this segment, but I’m still not sure whether it’s by design. It just seems bizarre to have her tell her inspirational real life story to just cast her as a heel again.

Riddle delivered a backstage promo in a hazy room about facing the Usos on Smackdown. They cut to the Usos, who said The Bloodline will keep all the gold…

Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance to watch the main event… [C] Photos were shown of The Street Profits, Bobby Lashley, and Liv Morgan on the USS Iwo Jima earlier in the day. Saxton said Lashley’s cousin serves on the ship… The broadcast team recapped the cage match and then hyped Bobby Lashley’s All Mighty Challenge for Omos and MVP for next week… Entrances for the main event took place…

7. Becky Lynch vs. Asuka for a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship. The winner will challenge Bianca Belair at Hell in a Cell. Lynch knocked Asuka off the apron during the opening minute. Asuka caught Lynch going for a sliding kick and ended up hitting her with a Hip Attack from the floor. Asuka caught Lynch with a kick on the floor and then charged her, but Lynch caught her and gave her a fallaway slam into the barricade. [C]

Asuka put Lynch down with a series of quick strikes. She followed up with a knee to the face and a suplex, then delivered a knee to the face of a seated Lynch before covering her for a two count. Lynch rallied and caught Asuka over the ropes with a leg drop from the middle rope. Lynch jawed at Belair, who was seated next to the broadcast team.

Asuka caught Lynch in an Asuka Lock. Lynch rolled onto her and Asuka had to release the hold to avoid being pinned. Asuka applied an armbar a short time later. Lynch rolled to the ropes to break it. Lynch clotheslined Asuka by using the top rope.

Lynch approached Belair and taunted her. Asuka hit Lynch from behind. Lynch fought back and then ran Asuka into Belair, who tumbled out of her chair. Lynch threw Asuka back inside the ring and then kicked Belair, who tried to follow her into the ring, only the referee cut her off. Lynch grabbed an umbrella to use as a weapon, but Asuka sprayed mist in her face and kicked her before pinning her…

Asuka defeated Becky Lynch in 9:55 to earn a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship.

The same referee who called the match handed Lynch a towel to wipe the green mist off her face. The broadcast team said Belair vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship is official for the Hell in a Cell event…

Powell’s POV: The timing of Lynch and Asuka seemed off before the break, but it got better as the match went on. The finish was a groaner. We’ve seen referees restart matches or reverse decisions, but the referee just let it slide even though he clearly saw that Lynch was covered in green mist afterward? I wonder if there will be some type of adjustment made next week. It seems odd that they are going to Belair vs. Asuka when there’s no issue between them, and Lynch is seemingly left without an opponent for HIAC. My guess is that Lynch ends up being added to the match somehow.

Overall, the first two hours were entertaining, but it felt like the show and the crowd ran out of gas during the final hour. The timing for a flat third hour was rough, because there are no NBA or NHL playoff games tonight. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Raw for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. TheGreatestOne May 16, 2022 @ 7:08 pm

    Countdown to Cody. Has that kind of push happened for anyone in WWE history? Maybe a Jericho clock or two, but those were mysterious, not specific to who will be coming out at that time.

  2. TheGreatestOne May 16, 2022 @ 7:53 pm

    Uh oh, Jimmy Smith just had a TK “9 days from tonight” moment. Vince might eat his children for that.

  3. TheGreatestOne May 16, 2022 @ 8:42 pm

    I’m riddled with doubt about who wins the tag unification match.

    Liv actually worked like an old school valet and was probably better than anyone not named Heyman in a managerial role during that match. After this feud with Judgement Day, I could see the World’s Shortest Bullet Club getting a run with the tag belts.

    We’ll see what the main event ends up looking like, but it’s automatically better than it would have been with Moudrop and Thiccy A.S.S.

  4. TheGreatestOne May 16, 2022 @ 9:55 pm

    It’s been incredibly obvious that Evans is going the 70s Sgt. Slaughter heel route since about the 2nd week of the pre-tapes. It’s a much easier story to tell, especially coming off the previous gimmick. She can even use the previous gimmick by saying she had to do it since the “ungrateful fans” in NXT didn’t get behind her real story.

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