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WWE RAWtrospective 5/8/17: The Awesome Asylum

WWE: Monday Night RAW was LIVE from The O2 in London, England on 5/8/17!

“The Lunatic Fringe” is in charge! The IC Champ has received a call from The Raw GM, Kurt Angle, and he’s in charge of Raw tonight across the pond. Ambrose says he’s excited to run the show as Kurt is home with a sick dog, which the crowd boos, and he says tonight will be about action and not talking. He is quickly interrupted by the Miz, who is out with the lovely Maryse, and he’s out there on behalf of Stephanie McMahon, who won’t have any of the Ambrose tomfoolery, Miz will be the co-GM along with Ambrose. Ambrose wants to coexist with Miz, but at Extreme Rules, it will be anything but cordial. Miz puts over his victory against Balor and Rollins last week, saying he bested both in the same match. Ambrose wants a handshake to seal the deal for tonight, noting that the two will get along and there will no funny business. BRAAAAAUN! The massive superstar comes out with the arm done up, still selling Roman’s attack from Payback. Strowman wants Miz and Ambrose on the phone with Angle and Steph. He wants them both told that as long as Roman is still walking, he’s not done with him. After he finished up with Roman, he wants Brock Lesnar for the title! Crowd loves it. Here comes Kalisto. The Cruiserweight wants a match with Strowman for what he did after Kalisto bested him in the dumpster match. Strowman says he crushed Kalisto like a beer can and when his arm heals, he’ll beat him up again. Heck, he says, he can beat him with one arm. Dean hears that and he books the match for tonight. Miz says congrats, fifteen minutes in charge and he’s ended Kalisto’s career. Miz says what’s next, a jack and coke on a pole match? Somebody get Russo on the phone, he’ll do it. Ambrose has a better idea and it leads to Miz and Finn Balor in singles action after the break!

Finn Balor defeats The Miz via pinfall with the Coup De Grace. Balor was over like rover in this one as expected, being from England. These two had a great match and Finn controlled a great deal of it, capitalizing on the fan support. They head to a break as Miz does the spot where he puts Maryse in front of him. Once they return, Miz is in charge, but Finn comes back and ultimately, it leads to Maryse getting banned from ringside by Ambrose after Miz tries to end the match via DQ due to a competitor putting his hands on a referee as Finn tried to move the referee out of the way as Maryse tries to distract him. Ambrose books the match to continue, and Balor makes short work of Miz, besting him with the Coup De Grace. That was a fun opening contest.

Alexa Bliss is readying for a match with Mickie James backstage when Nia Jax shows up and says she’s gonna be Alexa’s new best friend until Alexa grants her a title shot after what she said last week while she was lambasting the Raw women’s division. Alexa seems hip to the idea and heads to the ring.

Alexa Bliss defeats Mickie James via pinfall after a turnbuckle bump. Alexa is accompanied by Nia and Mickie comes out accompanied by Bayley, who gets a massive pop. The Bayley chants start and she directs them towards Mickie and they channel the classic Toni Basil song with a “Hey Mickie” chant. Very cool. The two put on a fine match as they head into the first break, and after they return, the villainous champ is in control of the veteran former champion. Mickie comes roaring back with a brilliant hurricanrana and she is favoring the arm that Alexa has been working on throughout the entirety of the match. Mickie keeps on the offense and she heads up top as Nia holds the leg, distracting Mickie. Bayley takes out Nia with a cross body, but the damage is done as Alexa runs into the ropes and Mickie spills off and lands hard. It’s enough for the pinfall and Bayley chases Alexa away after the match. Nia isn’t happy about being embarrassed and she decimates Mickie after the match, leaving looking strong.

Dean Ambrose is backstage and booking the show when Miz comes in to confront him. Dean says he runs a clean show and Miz says he hasn’t showered in weeks. Dean says he has a shower in his office and Miz is frantic about not having an office. Dean cancels a proposed MizTV with One Direction members and Miz says he’s gonna book Ambrose in singles action. It leads to a scheduled main event putting Ambrose against “The Eater Of Worlds” Bray Wyatt. I’m okay with that. We get a tale of the tape on Kalisto and Strowman and it leads to the commentary team telling us that the match will take place after the break.

Samoa Joe is interviewed after the break about costing Rollins a shot at the IC Title and he talks about Seth Rollins living his life on Joe’s terms. He says it’s over when he says it’s over. Joe says he’s gonna turn up the volume. Seth will hear every bone creak and every ligament tear before it’s finished. Rollins cheap shots Joe and it leads to a donnybrook backstage before a herd of officials separate the two men. Joe is furiously yelling that it isn’t over as Seth is still hot. We head to the ring for Braun and Kalisto.

Braun Strowman and Kalisto is ruled a no contest. Braun is working over Kalisto early when the music of “The Big Dog” hits and Roman Reigns, heavily bandaged himself, is out to handle his business. Roman works his way into the ring and he has a stare-down with Strowman. Braunt ries to charge, but Roman strikes the injured arm and he works it over before dropping Strowman with a superman punch. Rumor has it that Strowman will be out roughly four to eight weeks with elbow surgery, and this could be a tool to sell the injury as Roman gets some retribution for the attack that Braun issued to him. Roman is in a zone as he works the injured elbow. He exposes it before striking him with a steel chair as Strowman stands tall, but takes an incredible amount of damage to the already injured arm. Roman’s music plays as Strowman retreats from the battle. It’s a good way to excuse Strowman for a short absence as he’ll look to return to challenge Lesnar sooner rather than later. We find out that we’ll also have “The Kingslayer” Seth Rollins in singles action against Samoa Joe!

Members of the Golden Truth are backstage as they hype themselves up to become the number one contender’s to the world tag team champions, The Hardyz. Goldust gives a motivational speech about their win/loss record and not being in consideration because of it. Goldust says tonight is their opportunity to get in the fight. Truth stands in agreement and Goldust says they are going to go out there and turn the clock back themselves. R-Truth says they’ll go out there ad shock the world. Tag Team Turmoil is next!

Sheamus and Cesaro defeat Enzo Amore and Big Cass, Heath Slater and Rhyno, Gallows and Anderson and The Golden Truth in Tag Team Turmoil to become the new number one contenders for the tag team titles. Enzo and Cass get the crowd fired up with a great pre-match shtick and they are over heading into the first match against the equally over Cesaro and Sheamus. They work strong and entertain the fans as Cass gets the hot tag and cleans house as the heels look to rebound. Enzo is tagged in and he covers Sheamus for a nearfall, but he is quickly thwarted by an Irish curse backbreaker before a break. Enzo and Cass make the comeback after the heels regained control, but Enzo eventually falls prey to the Sharpshooter and taps out. Here come Slater and Rhyno! Cesaro and Sheamus charge them as they make their way down to the ring and a brawl ensues before the bell even sounds, starting the second match. Rhyno is taken down and Slater is draped across the barrier and destroyed with a European Uppercut. Slater is thrown into the ring as Cesaro begins to stomp him, mocking the “He’s Got Kids” chant. Cesaro stomps him low and the crowd gets me chuckling with a “No More Kids” chant. That was great. Slater fights back with a kick, dropping Cesaro and he looks for a tag to Rhyno, who is still down on the outside. Slater eats a clothesline as he comes off the top rope and meets a volatile Sheamus. Slater looks for the tag again after he counters Sheamus, but he realizes Rhyno still isn’t there. Cesaro decimates him with a charging Uppercut and then he shoots him into a Brogue Kick for a three count. Slater and Rhyno are ousted as the good brothers come out next. It’ll be Sheamus and Cesaro against Gallows and Anderson after the break. Gallows and Anderson get a huge pop, which isn’t surprising because of their overseas work, which often took them through England at times. The heels put on a clinic. Work these two teams together again as heels and you’ll have a recipe for success. They worked snug and came at each other with everything they could offer. We head into another break after Sheamus hits a White Noise and was after Anderson hit a solid spinebuster that even Arn Anderson would nod in approval of. After the break, the action continues and Sheamus seizes the advantage, ultimately leading to a pinfall victory over the Club as the crowd cheered loudly in approval of that part of the bout. Here comes The Golden Truth, daring to dream about heading to the top of the mountain once again. The veteran Goldust works over Sheamus with his scoop powerslam and they keep it going as R-Truth comes in with the hot tag and the crowd is firmly behind him with a “What’s Up?” chant. Truth putting on the moves as he hits a leg lariat for a near fall. He nails an axe kick to the back and it gets him a two count. Truth misses a splash as Cesaro rolls him up for a three count. Wow. That was fantastic. With all due to respect to the veteran Golden Truth, Sheamus and Cesaro put on a clinic out there. This is EXACTLY how you heel, because they don’t hate you, they respect you. The Hardyz come out after the match to a massive reaction as Cesaro and Sheamus beat down The Golden Truth. The Hardyz enter the ring and the heels retreat after a hard fought victory. We set the stage for a rematch which should be fantastic.

We are shown the attack on Joe by Seth Rollins from earlier and we find out that the action continues next! Samoa Joe takes on Seth Rollins!

Seth Rollins defeats Samoa Joe via DQ after Joe ignores the ref’s warning about using an exposed turnbuckle. This has been a show laden with bell to bell action. It reminds me of when Steve Austin said he was a WRESTLER and not a Sports Entertainer. Now I do appreciate the days where Gerald Briscoe was the Hardcore champion after pinning the late Crash Holly during a nap, but I certainly do appreciate the tenacity of Joe and Rollins a great deal more. This was a pay per view quality match that we got without having to pay the 9.99 and this is right after a tag team turmoil match that certainly didn’t disappoint as well. It was back and forth before we saw Rollins take a tumble to the floor, selling the damage to the knee before a break. When we returned, Joe was in charge and continued to do the work of a Destroyer. They captured an incredible moment where it looked like Joe was almost excitedly orgasmic as he destroyed Seth in the ring. He looked like a villain appreciating his work. The crowd saw that and they rallied behind Rollins as he made the comeback. A leaping knee from the top rope gets Seth a near fall. Joe stops him short in his tracks with a vicious knife hand chop and then a scoop powerslam that he nailed in the blink of an eye. Exceptional. Rollins counters a powerbomb attempt into a falcon arrow, which is just sensational to see. What a bout this one is, a real pleasure to watch and enjoy. Rollins unintentionally exposes the turnbuckle trying to grab for the ropes and Joe throws him into it, countering an attempt by Seth. The ref tries to reattach it, but Joe throws the padding aside. The referee warns him not to utilize the turnbuckle again and Joe is DQ’d after ignoring the warning and he rams Seth’s face into it. Joe then slaps on the Coquina Clutch, losing the match, but looking like an absolute monster in the process of doing so. I really enjoyed this one. What a night of action thus far!

We find out before another break that The Miz will actually receive his IC Title match next week on Raw instead of at Extreme Rules! Kurt Angle has booked it. That is big news and a reason to tune in for next week’s broadcast.

TJP defeats Jack Gallagher via pinfall with a handful of tights. The Cruiserweight Champion, Neville, is on commentary, being as awesome as always as the incredible in-ring action continues tonight as “Gentleman” Jack gets a massive reaction from fans in his home country as he and TJP put on a clinic. It was back and forth until Jack hit a rollup and TJP countered into a rollup of his own and he beat him with a handful of tights. TJP attacked Gallagher after the match which led to Austin Aries, still in the brace after 205 Live, coming to the aide of Gallagher. TJP and Neville leave together, TJP very proud of himself after another sneak attack on his opponent.

We see “The Boss” Sasha Banks heading to the ring for action after the break and we continue a Raw, devoid of tomfoolery and filled with highly competitive in-ring action. I’m okay with it.

Sasha Banks defeats Alicia Fox via pinfall with a double knee strike. They weren’t given an incredible amount of time, but they certainly continued the trend of what we’eve seen tonight, making the most of their outing. Foxxy wasn’t the usual over the top, nonsensical character. Instead, she focused on working a solid match against “The Boss”, the two looking to immerse themselves in the title chase and it was in fact Banks who came away with the victory. They worked stiff, and we saw some unique pinfall attempts. Alicia hit a beautiful northern lights suplex into a pinning situation and then came the finish with the double knees, which looked really fantastic as well. The main event is up next and if Ambrose and Wyatt can continue the trend of the evening, this will go down as a pretty solid episode of Monday Night Raw tonight.

Bray Wyatt defeats Dean Ambrose via pinfall with Sister Abigail in a non-title match. They just couldn’t miss tonight. If the endgame was to entertain fans with solid, in-ring action, then they succeeded in presenting one of the best shows of the year. Ambrose put together a winning formula for the London fans, hitting signature spots and keeping things interesting as it related to countering the efforts of the red-hot Wyatt, fresh off a victory over the Smackdown world champion, Randy Orton. Wyatt glued this match together with signature spots of his own, adding his unique offense to an equation that was solved by an a crowd eager to review the material. This main event capped off a solid show, giving the writers a solid blueprint to build a foundation upon in the coming weeks and months. Ambrose came off the top rope towards the end of the match with a big splash, landing atop a prone Wyatt. The IC Champ looked to end the evening on a high note as an imminent collision for the title with the Miz will take place next week. Miz and Maryse headed to the ring for a bird’s eye view of the action. Ambrose escaped an attempted Sister Abigail and he kicked out at two after a Uranage, fighting to stay alive for fans of the Ambrose Asylum. Wyatt trolled the hell out of a contingent of fans, desperate to put themselves over with “Randy Savage” and “CM Punk” chants that might be relevant if this wasn’t an action packed show. Going into business for yourselves leaves you where you started, alone. After Bray silenced the smattering of cretins present for the night’s action, Wyatt escaped an attempted Dirty Deeds and Ambrose hit the ropes, ducked a clothesline and nailed a topei suicida onto the Miz on the outside. Wyatt is dropped on the outside, but Miz nails Ambrose from behind, giving him a receipt for the earlier attack. Wyatt hits Sister Abigail in the center of the ring and Miz announced Wyatt as the winner of the match, leaving the “Eater Of Worlds” standing on top of it as the show goes off the air with Miz continuing to assault the IC Champ. A very solid Raw tonight and one that leaves me eager to enjoy next week’s broadcast as well.

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