May 8, 2017
From the O2 Arena in London, England
Your hosts are Booker T, Corey Graves, and Michael Cole
Dean Ambrose is walking backstage when Kurt Angle calls him on his phone. He’s happy with the news then tells a production assistant to hit his music as he heads to the ring. Ambrose comes out and tells the crowd that Angle will not be here but made him the acting GM of RAW for the night. Ambrose talks about tonight this is his show but The Miz & Maryse come out to interrupt. Miz cannot believe the crowd approves of Ambrose as the acting GM and that RAW will be absolute chaos. He then alerts Ambrose that Stephanie McMahon called him up and said she heard about Angle making Ambrose the GM and it could result in the final episode of RAW so she made him the co-acting GM. Ambrose cuts Miz off and says to enjoy his time as co-acting because at Extreme Rules he will put a beatdown on him as Miz brags about beating both Seth Rollins and Finn Balor in last week’s #1 Contender Match for the Intercontinental Championship. Ambrose tells him he will offer a handshake and promises no funny business but Braun Strowman comes out with his arm in a sling. He gets a “thank you, Strowman” chant from the crowd then says he does not care who is in charge as he will get what he wants. After getting more cheers when talking about beating Reigns at Payback, he promises to end him then after that he wants Brock Lesnar. Kalisto now interrupts and tells Strowman he is not done with him and reminds him of how he lost their Dumpster Match. Kalisto says no one treats him like garbage and demands a match tonight. Strowman laughs and says the “little man” beat him on a technicality and can even beat him with one arm as Ambrose makes it official. Strowman tells Ambrose he is injured then backs him in the corner before dropping the mic and leave. Miz jokes that ten minutes into being GM he ended Kalisto’s career and jokes about the other kinds of dangerous things he can do so Ambrose counters by putting Miz in a match against Finn Balor, which will apparently happen next.
I thought this segment was fine. Miz and Ambrose do a great job of playing off of each other and they put over Strowman strong as they once again hinted at a match between Lesnar and himself. The Kalisto stuff was fine but it did not seem to get over with the crowd at all. You’d think the undersized, fearless underdog babyface would get over but Strowman is getting more cheers with each passing week, making it tough for his opponents.
The Miz w/ Maryse vs. Finn Balor
Miz bails as the announcers acknowledge how he was lucky to win last week after interference by Samoa Joe and Bray Wyatt. He heads back inside as Balor works the arm for a bit. Miz lands a few strikes but Balor rolls through a sunset flip and hits a basement dropkick. Balor hits another dropkick that gets two then dodges a charge in the corner and after that clotheslines Miz outside. Balor heads out and sends Miz into the barricade with a shotgun dropkick. Maryse helps Miz back outside as Balor climbed up top as we head to break. The match returns with Miz in control as we see Balor getting knocked off of the apron after being distracted by Maryse which took place during the break. Balor blocks the Skull Crushing Finale with a rollup but Miz comes back with a DDT that gets two. Miz uses a chinlock then boots Balor in the face but Balor comes back with a kick of his own as both men are down. Balor is up first and runs wild. He knocks Miz outside with an enziguiri then sends him into the barricade with a dropkick. Balor connects with a soccer kick from the apron then Miz begs for mercy in the ring. Maryse gets up on the apron as the ref checks on him then Miz shoves Balor into the ref, who knocks into Maryse and heads outside where he demands the ref call for a DQ as he blames Balor for putting his hands on an official. However, Ambrose comes out to restart the match and bans Maryse from ringside. The bell rings then Balor attacks Miz on the apron and rolls him inside and finishes him off with the Coup de Grace (11:31) **3/4.
Thoughts: The match was solid and the finish designed to further along the Miz/Ambrose feud and create more conflict between them tonight as the co-acting GM’s. No real mention of Wyatt attacking Balor last week though.
Backstage, Alexa Bliss is getting ready when she sees Nia Jax approach. Nia asked why she ran down everyone in the women’s locker room but her and asks if she meant it when saying she was great. Alexa says of course she meant it and has to prepare for her match against Mickie James. Nia says if she meant what she said then she should get a title match after she is finished with Bayley. Alexa says she does not make the matches, Kurt Angle does, and he is not here as Nia says until he shows up and gets her match, she will be Alexa’s new best friend. Nia pats Alexa on the back and tells her to come along as Alexa first looks a bit worried then smirks as we head to break. This segment was fine. It appears they are still not done with the Alexa/Bayley feud, which should be done with at this point since Alexa pinned her twice last week alone. This Alexa/Nia dynamic is a bit intriguing though as Alexa continues to excel when able to speak. She’s one of the more compelling acts on the RAW roster.
Alexa Bliss w/ Nia Jax vs. Mickie James w/ Bayley
Mickie brings Bayley with her to the ring. The crowd sings to Bayley as Alexa brags after tossing Mickie down. Mickie comes back to take Alexa down then hits a running kick for two after Alexa tried to use the referee as a shield. Mickie gets two with a reverse neckbreaker. Alexa yells at the crowd then Mickie takes her down with a baseball slide as we go to commercial. We return with Alexa in control. She works an armbar on the mat as the crowd rallies behind Mickie. Alexa cuts off a potential comeback with a knee smash but ends up running into a hurricarana in the corner. Alex is able to go back to targeting the arm and talks some trash but Mickie fights back. The crowd sings for Bayley a bit as Mickie gets a nearfall then flapjacks her before heading up top. Nia yanks her leg then Bayley comes off the steps with a crossbody to take Nia down but Alexa was able to yank Mickie off top and get the win (9:06) *3/4. After the match, Bayley comes in and lands a few shots then chases Alexa to the back as Nia heads in and stalks Mickie before hitting an avalanche in the corner then drops an elbow before leaving as she gets a few cheers.
Thoughts: These two did not have a good match and the ending looked ugly. I guess they are still going with Alexa and Bayley, which makes zero sense to me at this point. Also, Mickie is just not over at all as a babyface on RAW. The crowd did not seem to care for her except for a brief chant.
Ambrose is talking to a production assistant as an angry Miz cuts him off. Ambrose talks about how he has just about set up the show and tells Miz he can go home. Miz says he scheduled a very special edition of Miz TV with a member from One Direction as his guest but Ambrose wants more action and less talk. Miz calls Ambrose out for not getting involved in any action himself then puts Ambrose against Wyatt for tonight.
We get a Tale of the Tape between Kalisto and Strowman to highlight the size differential.
Charly Caruso is backstage with Samoa Joe. She asks him about costing Seth Rollins a shot at the Intercontinental Title as Joe tells her they are moving this back to when Rollins beat Triple H at WrestleMania. Joe screams about how he will break and snap Rollins’ bones and ligaments then Rollins attacks Joe from behind and they brawl for a little bit until separated by officials.
Clips of Braun Strowman destroying Kalisto two weeks ago after losing their Dumpster Match as he wheeled Kalisto off of the stage as he was locked inside of the dumpster.
Braun Strowman and Kalisto come out for their match. However, Strowman says Ambrose can shove it as he does not accept this match and calls Reigns a coward. He is about to leave then the bell rings and he kicks Kalisto in the face.
Braun Strowman vs. Kalisto
Strowman continues to stomp Kalisto but Roman Reigns comes out as the crowd boos. Reigns stares down Strowman then stands on the apron before entering the ring. Both men stare each other down ten Reigns kicks Strowman’s arm and hits three Superman Punches as Strowman goes down and rolls outside. Reigns heads out but runs into a boot to the face. Reigns fights back and rams Strowman’s arm into the post and targets that for a while. Strowman wanders in the crowd to escape as Reigns stands tall in the ring as this was ruled a no contest.
Thoughts: This segment made sense especially after the news of Strowman needing to miss approximately 4-8 weeks due to an elbow injury. Plus, Reigns got a bit of revenge after Strowman’s vicious attack a few weeks prior. The crowd booed Reigns heavily but I did not have a problem with this at all to be honest. With Strowman out of action I wonder what Reigns does now until Strowman is able to return.
R-Truth is singing and joking around to get ready for the Tag Team Turmoil match as Goldust reminds him of Angle telling them their win-and-loss record prevented them from getting a title match as he was hurt and says he knows what they can do and show the fans the Hardy Boyz are not the only team that can turn back time. R-Truth agrees as they are both seemingly on the same page. I like the angle of Goldust wanting to prove he still has what it takes and having two veterans get one last meaningful storyline is usually a decent one.
Highlights of Reigns beating on Strowman from earlier tonight.
Tag Team Turmoil Match
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Sheamus & Cesaro
A long promo by Enzo & Cass before the action began that was not very good at all. Sheamus beats on Cass but fails to whip him out of the corner as Cass fights back. Cass hits an avalanche then a slam and drops the Empire Elbow as the Hardy Boyz are shown watching backstage. Enzo is in as Cass uses him to take out both of their opponents. Sheamus then catches Enzo with the Irish Curse as we head to break. The action returns with Cesaro stomping on Enzo. Cesaro misses a charge and hits the post and tries to hold Enzo back but gets caught with an enziguiri. Sheamus yanks Cass off of the apron to prevent the tag and rams him into the post as Cesaro puts Enzo in the sharpshooter and makes him tap out (6:45).
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno
Sheamus & Cesaro run out and attack both men. They bet them both down and finally roll Slater inside as Cesaro hits a few more stomps and jokes “no more kids” as he leg drops him in the groin. Slater comes back with a kick to the face but Cesaro makes the tag as Sheamus hits a top rope clothesline for a nearfall. Rhyno gets knocked off of the apron after finally getting back on as Sheamus puts Slater in a chinlock. Sheamus & Cesaro use quick tags then put Slater away with the Brogue Kick (8:55).
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
This started during the break as Anderson & Gallows are working over Cesaro, who comes back to deadlift Gallows with a suplex in a cool spot. Cole brings up how Scott Dawson mentioned in an interview that is partner is returning sooner rather than later as Sheamus is now in the ring. Gallows catches him with a kick to the face coming off of the top then the match breaks down as everyone ends up on the mat. Sheamus then nearly puts Gallows away with the White Noise as we head to another commercial. The action returns with Anderson & Gallows almost putting Sheamus away with a double-team move. Cesaro breaks up a Magic Killer attempt then Sheamus hits Gallows with a Brogue Kick (17:32).
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Golden Truth
The Golden Truth take advantage of a tired Sheamus and Cesaro and start firing away. They stay in control as Booker is cheering on his former partner on commentary. Goldust gets a nearfall with a powerslam then gets knocked outside. Cesaro tags then heads out and slams Goldust’s knee on top of the barricade then heads back inside and works the leg. They both work over the leg of Goldust as Sheamus & Cesaro cut off the ring. Truth breaks up a sharpshooter by Cesaro then gets the crowd behind his partner as Goldust rolls away and tags out. Truth runs wild on Cesaro and knocks Sheamus off of the apron. Truth hits the Lie Detector and follows with an ax kick but that only gets two. Cesaro ducks a corner splash and rolls up Truth and grabs the tights for leverage and gets the win (22:15) **3/4. After the match, Sheamus & Cesaro attack the Golden Truth as the crowd chants “Delete” to see the Hardy Boyz come out and they do as Sheamus & Cesaro bail.
Thoughts: Not necessarily a bad match, parts of it were good, but it was a bit too long and really seemed to lose the crowd’s interest when it was Sheamus & Cesaro against Gallows & Anderson. I liked the story of Golden Truth having a chance at the end and the result sets up a rematch between teams who are involved in a feud.
Another replay of Seth Rollins attacking Samoa Joe tonight as they will both be facing off against each other when we return from commercial.
Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
These two brawl to start. They head outside where Joe tosses Rollins back in and throws several jabs in the corner. Rollins avoids an attack in the corner then runs off of the apron to take Joe down with a clothesline. However, Joe comes back and tosses Rollins into the barricade then heads back inside to land some more jabs in the corner. Joe eats boots on a charge then Rollins take him down with a sling blade but Joe comes back and takes him down. Joe runs into an elbow smash then Rollins hits a blockbuster. Rollins is out on the apron as he lands a few shots but Joe take him off with a leg sweep as Rollins falls off and clutches his injured knee as we head to commercial. The action returns with Joe in control. He brutalizes Rollins as he get a dueling chant from the crowd. Rollins escapes from the Coquina Clutch and sidesteps a charge as Joe falls outside before hitting a pair of topes. Back inside, Rollins gets a nearfall but runs into a chop then Joe almost puts him away with a snap powerslam. Senton gets two. They have a reversal sequence that leads to Rollins hitting a Falcon Arrow for a two count as both men are on the mat. They get up and slug it out until Joe takes him off of the top, where Rollins yanks off the turnbuckle pad and takes Joe over for a sunset flip. Rollins ends up getting whipped into the exposed steel in the corner as the ref tries to repair it but Joe tosses it to the floor then warns Joe not to ram him into the corner but he does anyway and that ends up being a DQ (14:58) ***. After the match, Joe puts Rollins in the Coquina Clutch then breaks and yells that its over when he says its over.
Thoughts: I thought the match was good and I liked how it was back-and-forth, although it was tough to get into the first few minutes. I didn’t hate the finish as it can build to another match but felt this was the finish they should have used at Payback instead of the fluke win. Either way, this feud will continue.
Cole informs us that next week, Ambrose will defend the Intercontinental Title against The Miz.
We are shown a clip from a Facebook Live chant where Neville tells TJP he needs a key victory like he got against Jack Gallagher last week and if he does, he’ll grant TJP a Championship match.
Jack Gallagher vs. TJP
Neville is on commentary. TJP starts off the match perched up on the top rope. He then taunts Gallagher, who responds by dabbing and that leads to Gallagher nearly putting him away with a headbutt. TJP rolls outside where he sends Gallagher into the steps with a drop toehold. Back inside, TJP uses a butterfly lock but Gallagher turns that into a small package for two. Gallagher fights back and runs wild, even hitting an overhead suplex. TJP almost catches Gallagher with the Detonation Kick but Gallagher escapes and gets a reverse rollup but Perkins reverses and grabs the tights for the win (3:02) *1/2. After the match, TJP chop blocks Gallagher and puts on the knee bar but Austin Aries runs up on the apron and beats on TJP as his knee is in a brace. TJP bails as Neville screams about how he is not supposed to be here after yelling at Cole for asking if this means TJP will be getting a future title shot.
Thoughts: Solid action for the time they received. TJP fits in a lot better as a heel and his partnership with Neville takes another turn since he went out and beat Gallagher, which Neville said would put him in line for a title shot.
Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks
They have a shoving match then trade slaps before slugging it out. Fox takes control and gets two with a Northern Lights suplex before working a chinlock. Sasha fights back and hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors but Fox is able to break up a backstabber attempt. Sasha then fights off a superplex and hits a meteora for the win (2:48) 1/2*. After the match, Cole tells Alexa Bliss to watch out as Sasha is coming for the title. We also get replays of the pin as it was confirmed that Fox’s shoulders were not down on the mat.
Thoughts: Not much of a match and the finish was a mess. Just a quick win to put over Sasha.
Miz & Maryse have joined on commentary for tonight’s main event as he puts over his Intercontinental Title match for next week.
Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose
Bray beats on Ambrose as The Miz puts over how he is a star and the Intercontinental Championship meant something when he was the champion. Bray suplexes Ambrose to the floor then we head to break. The action returns with Bray beating on Ambrose inside of the ring. He gets two off of a DDT then works a chinlock. Ambrose fights back after hitting a jawbreaker but Bray clotheslines him for a nearfall. Ambrose avoids a diving attack then runs wild. He flies out with a double ax handle as both men are on the floor. Back inside, Bray hits a tackle then The Miz & Maryse head down to the ring to get a closer look at the action. Ambrose escapes from a Sister Abigail attempt but gets planted with an uranage as Bray covers for a two count. We get a faint “Randy Savage” chant as Bray sets up for a superplex but Ambrose fights him off then hits a rebound clothesline. He gets distracted by Miz holding up the Intercontinental Title as Bray attacks from behind. Bray breaks out of a Dirty Deeds then whips Ambrose, who flies out to hit Miz with a tope. Bray heads out and attacks Ambrose then Miz whacks Ambrose with the belt and Bray heads inside to hit the Sister Abigail for the win (15:11) **1/2. After the match, Miz beats on Ambrose then tells him after next week, he will be wearing the title across his waist and everyone will recognize him as the Intercontinental Champion and say that he is awesome.
Thoughts: I thought the action here was really slow and plodding until the end. The finish was predictable but did a fine job in selling next week’s Intercontinental Title match.
Final Thoughts: They had a lot of in-ring action on this show but nothing really stood out all that much. Really, your standard overseas show for the most part. The goal of making the Intercontinental Championship the top title on TV was carried out here and I felt they did a fine job in building up Ambrose vs. The Miz for next week. However, the rest of the show fell flat for the most part and with the news of Strowman being out for at least a month it puts a big hole in the company’s plans and the feuds and storylines they have going on here are just not all that compelling, especially to make up for the loss of one of the more popular performers on the brand. Overall, not a bad show but far from the most inspired.