WWE Raw 05/08/17 is going to be one of those taped Raw’s we get a few times a year when WWE throws the UK a bone and records TV over there. We do know that we’re getting a tag team turmoil match to determine who the Hardys face at Extreme Rules. Also, Emma has reportedly been injured – which as a huge Emma fan – is terrible, terrible news. Imagine if they didn’t waste so much time with her off of TV during the entire “Emmalina” debacle. That said, you’ve probably already have seen the spoilers, so let’s get to the recap.
WWE Raw 05/08/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever.
Cold open on Dean Ambrose backstage… walking. His phone rings and it’s apparently Kurt Angle on the other end. Dean sent Angle some stuff that Angle’s wife opened (?), he tells Angle he has a good name for an upcoming PPV (they almost blamed Great Balls of Fire on Dean!), and the call gets disconnected. Dean asks a stage hand to hit his music… and it hits.
No Raw opening credits, no pyro, and we’re taped from London.
Dean hits the ring, reveals the phone call was with Kurt Angle, and that Angle isn’t here tonight (boos). But, Angle’s not here because his dog is sick and you can’t boo a sick dog apparently – just a Big Dog. Based only off of Dean’s word and a one-sided phone conversation, we’re led to believe that Angle has made Dean honorary GM for the night.
Before Dean can replace Michael Cole with a fish tank, The Miz and Maryse are out. Miz claims that with Dean in sole control that the show will be total chaos tonight. Miz also feels that it would make more sense to put names in a hat and do a random draw to make the matches rather than have Dean book them. Dean alleges he has a plan for tonight and begins to say that Miz is in the very first match. Miz cuts him off and says he spoke with Stephanie McMahon and she appointed him co-GM for the night. Miz puts over beating Balor and Rollins last week and Dean responds by asking for a hand shake. Before this can go any further, Braun’s music hits.
Braun (w/ arm in a sling) is out to a “Thank you, Strowman” chant. Braun says he doesn’t care who is in charge tonight – he’s going to get what he wants. He took out the Big Dog at Payback (huge pop and “Yes” chant), but as long as Roman can still walk, Braun’s NOT FINISHED YET. Braun tells Miz and Dean to relay the message to Kurt and Stephanie that he’s coming after Roman once his arm heals. When Braun’s done with Roman – he wants Brock. Braun is then cut off… by Kalisto.
Kalisto is out and manages a decent (at least for him) promo saying that nobody treats him like garbage and he wants a match with Braun tonight. Braun laughs this off, says Kalisto won on a technicality and rhymes “little man” with “beer can”. Dean proceeds to make the match between Kalisto and Strowman. Braun looks annoyed and leaves. Miz claims that after only 10 minutes into being GM, Dean has already ended Kalisto’s career. What’s next? Electrified ring ropes? A junkyard brawl? A Jack and Coke on a pole match? Dean says he’ll take Miz’s suggestions under advisement, but he’d rather give the people a match they’ve never seen before. So, he books Miz vs. Finn Balor to kick off the show.
Back from break, Miz is already in the ring. Finn (w/ 5 minute entrance) is out next.
Match #1: The Miz (w/ Maryse) vs. Finn Balor (w/ 5 minute entrance)
It’s Miz and Balor so it’s not hot garbage by any stretch, but the larger Miz / Dean Ambrose story takes the fore front here. After a solid back and forth affair, Miz shoves Balor into the ref – causing an incredibly minor ref bump. Miz leaves, grabs the mic, and orders the ref to DQ Balor for “putting hands on a ref”. Miz declares himself the winner… but… wait for it… Dean Ambrose comes out, bans Maryse from ring side, and has the match restarted. Miz, with his back turned to the ring, gets jumped by Balor. Finn drags Miz back to the ring, hits a sling blade, hits a running dropkick, and puts Miz away with a Coup de Grace.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – The “Battling GMs” thing was somewhat cheesy and old hat, but if they’re forced to fast track Miz vs. Dean due to Braun’s injury, well, I guess this is how we get there faster.
Later tonight? Kalisto vs. Strowman.
Meanwhile, Alexa Bliss is backstage getting ready. Nia Jax appears and wants to know if Alexa meant it when she dodged burying her on Raw last week. Alexa says of course she meant it. Nia says that since Alexa thinks she is so great, she wants a title shot after Alexa is done with Bayley. Alexa claims that she doesn’t make the matches – Kurt Angle does – but she’ll put a bug in his ear about giving Nia a shot. This appeases Nia and Jax tells Alexa she has a new best friend. Alexa looks stressed out as Jax leaves. Team Rude is now official WWE canon!
Back from break, Alexa (w/ Nia Jax) is out. Mickie James is out next. She lingers at the ramp and Bayley enters to second her to the ring.
Match #2: Alexa Bliss (w/ Nia Jax) vs. Mickie James (w/ Bayley)
A relatively “by the numbers” match here. I imagine we’re still going with Bayley vs. Alexa at Extreme Rules so beyond this Nia Jax thing we’re just in cruise control. Nothing particularly exciting happens until Jax intervenes when Mickie is climbing the ropes in an attempt to put Alexa away. Bayley gets involved to counter Jax, and Alexa manages to hit Mickie on the ropes with a forearm… and pins her? Yeah. That’s the finish I guess.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Average action and a weird, weak finish. I’m fine with Alexa winning, but the finish felt rushed and out of nowhere.
Post-match, Alexa starts beating on Mickie. Bayley enters and chases Alexa into the back. Jax takes it upon herself to enter the ring and give Mickie a splash and an elbow drop. Jax leaves to her music.
Meanwhile, Dean is backstage laying out the show with a production guy. Miz and Maryse enter and Miz is upset with how his match with Balor ended. We side-track into a discussion about Dean running a “clean show” and having a shower in his office (“You have an office?” – Miz). Dean claims he’s got the entire show booked but Miz alleges he has an important Miz TV planned with a member of One Direction. Dean says he’ll have to cancel that. Miz becomes irate and books Dean in a match with Bray Wyatt. Why Dean just doesn’t overrule that and we land in a stalemate is beyond me. This whole “multiple GM” thing would have been loads better if a third GM was appointed – and since we’re in the UK – it’s William Regal. I can imagine him looking exasperated while Miz and Dean argue and then putting everyone in shark cages above the ring. See? Infinitely better.
We see a “tale of the tape” for Kalisto vs. Strowman because I guess we needed some comedy relief.
Back from break, Charly is with Samoa Joe. Joe argues that Seth claims to be a “kingslayer” but he slayed nothing at Payback and merely escaped alive. Joe alleges that his feud with Seth is over when Joe says it’s over – and it’s not over… meaning that Joe ISN’T FINISHED WITH HIM YET. Before this goes much further, Seth flies into frame and starts brawling with a Joe. A ladder and road cases get involved and I can already see Joe vs. Seth in a “Ladders & Road Cases” match at Extreme Rules.
Next, the Just For Men “Hair Raising Moment of the Night” is the finish and post-match of the Dumpster Match from two weeks ago.
Braun is out next, Kalisto follows. Braun asks for a mic before the match begins and says he will not accept this match because he’s injured. This turns into him calling Reigns a pathetic coward. Braun drops the mic, the ref signals for the bell (?), and this match actually begins… sort of.
Match #3: Braun Strowman (w/ one good arm) vs. Kalisto
So, the bell rings and Braun turns and drops Kalisto with a big boot. Braun kicks Kalisto a few more times which causes Roman’s music to hit. From here, Kalisto vanishes and it turns into a “post-match brawl” segment. No bell rings. Just… yeah.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – This was clumsy and felt poorly planned out. Likely this is due to Braun’s sudden “nope, you got an injury pal” situation, but even still. Why did Kalisto just disappear? Why did the bell ring even though Braun said he wasn’t going to accept the match? Why wasn’t Roman coming out an automatic DQ?
Post-“match”, Reigns (w/ taped ribs) is out. He delivers 3 Superman punches, gets a chair, and starts hitting multiple chair shots on Braun’s bad arm. Braun ends up leaving through the crowd and Roman poses in the ring to boos.
Cole gives us some breaking news! The co-GMs finally agreed on something and that’s the concept of Rollins and Joe being far from over. Seth / Joe is booked, again, for later tonight.
Meanwhile, we get a locker room segment with the Golden Truth. Goldust says that both he and Truth have held gold before but never as a team. Goldust fears that Angle was right when he said their win / loss record was not impressive enough to get a title shot. Truth agrees with Goldust that’s time for them to go shock the world tonight. (spoiler alert: they don’t)
Up next? #1 Contender’s Tag Team Turmoil match.
Back from break, we see the Strowman / Roman brawl again. Man, it’d have been so much better if this broke down with them both out sight-seeing in London and Roman smashing Strowman into some landmark instead of that Kalisto non-match segment.
Next, JoJo explains the rules for a tag team turmoil match for those playing along at home. Start with two teams, each time a team loses, a new team replaces them until there are no more teams. Simple enough.
Enzo & Cass are out first. Enzo’s spiel revolves around diapers and poo jokes because of course it does. Sheasaro (w/ new jackets and kilts) are out next.
Match #4: Tag Team Turmoil Match (Winner Becomes the #1 Contender for the Raw Tag Team Championships)
This gets an insane amount of TV time for what it is. Basically, the only team that makes sense to face the Hardys is Sheamus and Cesaro – especially after last week’s angle. So, they play up Golden Truth as the dark horse and everyone else gets a participation trophy. Instead of doing something, anything, interesting… nah, they just burn up a huge chunk of TV time to have Sheasaro run the gauntlet. I’m totally good with that, it makes sense – but, then why the big deal about Golden Truth? It’s worth noting that we’re almost two hours into the show when this finishes and we haven’t seen a solitary Cruiserweight yet.
Anyway, after dispatching Enzo, Heath Slater, and Luke Gallows – Cesaro rolls up Truth out of the corner to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – A completely pointless waste of time. The lone redeemable thing from this was how well Sheamus and Cesaro worked together here, but that alone does not save this abomination. This felt decidedly like what happens on SmackDown Live once every four to six weeks when someone in creative remembers they have a tag division on the show.
Post-match, Sheasaro attack Golden Truth. Hardys are out to make the save, Sheasaro bail, and there is no physicality.
Up next? Rollins vs. Joe.
Back from break, Rollins is out. Joe (w/ footage from last week) is out next.
Match #5: Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
Okay, I’m officially burned out on this feud now – and there is no end in sight. Yay. Standard stuff if you’ve been following Rollins and Joe up to this point. Towards the end, a turnbuckle pad gets removed by Seth during a Muscle Buster attempt. Seth ends up getting rammed into it. Ref goes to replace it and Joe grabs the pad and throws it out of the ring. The ref starts angrily telling Joe not to put Seth into the turnbuckle – but Joe does it anyway. DQ.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Another DQ. Wow. I think I’m officially over caring about this feud and we still have at least one more match at Extreme Rules.
Post-match, Joe puts Seth in the Coquina Clutch for kicks and reminds Seth that it’s over when he says it’s over. Please, say “it’s over” soon, Joe. Please.
Next week? Dean defends the IC title against Miz. Well, I think we know what is going to happen there. The great “Braun is injured, oh crap” reshuffling of the card has begun.
Later tonight? Ambrose vs. Wyatt. I wonder if Bray will trick Dean with a hologram again?
Back from break, Neville is out. Whew! I was beginning to wonder if WWE just decided to not spend the money to send any Cruiserweights over for these shows. That would have made 205 Live interesting to say the least. We see an “earlier today” discussion between Neville and TJP. Neville claims if TJP can beat Gallagher tonight he’ll give TJP a title shot. Jack Gallagher is out next. TJP enters last.
Match #6: Jack Gallagher vs. TJP
TJP. Also, TJP. Man, I totally get why my timeline was freaking out about this when I was at the live Raw last week. Commentary says “TJP” a lot. Anyway, the match. Well, TJP wins. I mean, that is obvious because they telegraphed with the “earlier today” conversation with Neville. Of course, TJP has to grab the tights during a roll up to do it, but a win is a win – and we narrowly missed seeing Gallagher’s backside.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Super predictable but a decent enough match compared to the majority of what this show has had to offer.
Post-match, TJP chop blocks Gallagher for kicks and Aries (w/ knee brace) appears to make the save.
Meanwhile, Sasha Banks is here… and… she’s… walking!
Back from break, Sasha enters. Alicia Fox (w/ no entrance) is already in the ring.
Match #7: Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox
Back when I was kid, the WWE (then WWF) had a show on Saturday mornings called “Superstars”. So, in those shows someone squashed an enhancement talent and there was rarely any story development during or after the matches. This match between Fox and Banks felt like I took a time warp. Banks wins (maybe?) without even having to employ her finisher. After a few hope spots from Fox, Banks hits a double knee, and gets the win. Fox manages to roll her shoulder up for no reason at 2, but the ref continues to count the three count. The announcers try to play this off as “meaning something” but really it just looked like a botch and everyone is doing their best to cover it. Ugly.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – A complete waste of time. At least no one was injured.
Up next? Wyatt / Ambrose.
Back from break, next week? Ambrose vs. Miz for the IC Title.
Miz and Maryse have joined commentary. Wyatt stinger hits and he’s out. Ambrose enters last.
Match #8: Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose
We’ve seen Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt quite a few times over the past couple of years. At least this time we have the trappings of the weird “Miz is helping Wyatt because they have a mutual enemy” thing to freshen it up a bit. After a relatively even match, Miz decides to head to the ring. He distracts Ambrose, but Ambrose is still able to evade the Sister Abigail. The action spills out of the ring, Miz starts taunting Dean with the IC belt, and then when the ref isn’t looking, hits Dean from behind with it. Bray puts Dean away with the Sister Abigail to end the match after the assist from Miz.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Not terrible, and due to injuries and Lesnar, about the best we could hope for on a show where Miz and Balor already had a match. I enjoy this “Miz helps Bray / Bray helps Miz” stuff even if nothing will likely ever come from it. Curious to see if Bray still lands in a program with Balor after the “Braun is injured” dust settles.
Post-match, Miz announces the victory for Wyatt and starts attacking Dean. After he tires of this, Miz cuts a promo over Dean’s fallen body and says he’ll be winning the IC title next week.
We go off the air with Miz and Maryse on the ramp and Dean struggling to get to his feet in the ring.