WWE Raw 06/05/17 is set to begin the road to Great Balls of Fire. Yeah, we got the preview for that during Extreme Rules last night – and aesthetic choices aside, at least we should get a spectacle when Samoa Joe faces Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title. Also tonight, we can expect some fall out from all of the title changes from last night, Alexa Bliss (hopefully) gets a new challenger for the Women’s title, and Enzo Amore likely gets knocked out again. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE Raw 06/05/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. We open with a dramatic Extreme Rules video package focusing on the Fatal Five Way match. Standard Raw opening credits, pyro, and we’re live from Mohegan Sun in Pennsylvania.
Later tonight? Samoa Joe is here, but before we can learn anything else, Bray’s stinger hits and he’s out. We’re opening with Reigns vs. Wyatt… again. Bray cuts a brief promo calling Balor, Joe, Rollins, and Reigns all “guilty” before he’s cut off by Roman’s entrance and the obligatory boos. Roman interrupts Bray again after he gets to the ring and tells Bray he’s “THE guy” and decks him. This is after we’ve already heard Roman called “the Big Dog” and “the Big Fight”. Roman has way too many nicknames. Bray almost hits a Sister Abigail and we head to break.
Match #1: Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
“When in doubt, have Roman Reigns beat Bray Wyatt clean” – ancient booking proverb. Seriously, that is what we get here. Just a standard Reigns / Wyatt match, with Roman going over strong with the Superman Punch and a Spear. This helps absolutely no one. Wyatt gets yet another loss, and Reigns accomplishes nothing but further giving credence to the claim that he’s being shoved down everyone’s throats. I couldn’t even enjoy this match since I knew the outcome the minute Roman Reigns walked to the ring.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – A waste of Wyatt and even a waste of Reigns. Completely and utterly pointless.
Later tonight? Samoa Joe is here.
Up next? We’re going to take a look at “Alexa going extreme at Extreme Rules”. Considering her match was only five minutes long, are we just going to see that in its entirety?
Back from break, Alexa Bliss looks a lot like… wait, that’s Charly Caruso. She’s with Enzo and Big Cass. What results is Enzo hitting on Charly, us learning that they have a match with Gallows & Anderson later, and Enzo & Cass have no idea who has been attacking Enzo.
Ah, NOW we get the “look back at Alexa” which is a series of stills from the “stick on a pole” match. We learn Bayley isn’t here tonight due to the shots she took from the kendo stick.
Meanwhile, we’re sent to Kurt Angle who is preoccupied with his cell phone again. Alexa wanders in and wants some validation from Kurt, but gets none. She suggests doing “Alexa Bliss, This Is My Life” but Kurt stops her and says the Bayley one last week was “one of the worst segments in the history of Raw”. Kurt puts Alexa in a match with Nia Jax for the Women’s title later tonight. After an exchange of them saying “seriously” at each other, Alexa leaves.
Meanwhile, Ambrose is here… and he’s… walking!
Back from break, Elias Samson would like to sing a song for you. He’s interrupted by Dean Ambrose, who attacks him and runs him into the barricade a few times. Dean gets on the mic and demands a rematch with Miz for tonight. Miz and Maryse appear on the Titantron and tell Dean they’re having a Comeback Tour celebration tonight. Meanwhile, Ambrose is laid out by Samson from behind. This looks like we’re getting a Dean / Samson program, which I’d be on board with, but the later segment with Dean leads me to believe we’re not going there quite yet.
Up next? Samoa Joe.
Back from break, Dean is backstage… walking. He finds Kurt Angle and Angle tells Dean he’ll get his IC Title rematch, but it won’t be tonight. Dean is given the night off, which tends to happen whenever WWE runs at Mohegan Sun.
Meanwhile, Samoa Joe is out. Joe cuts a promo saying he doesn’t fear Lesnar, he just wants what Lesnar has. He mentions the “gilded schedule” where Joe wouldn’t have to work every week and wanting Paul Heyman to be his errand boy. He also wants the Universal Title. Heyman heads out and cuts a promo that puts over Balor and mentions that Joe is the “worst case scenario” because Joe doesn’t give a damn. Heyman puts over Joe as a monster who, even in defeat, will take a piece of Brock with him. However, Heyman adds that Brock is Joe’s “worst case scenario” and goes to leave. Off mic, Joe grabs Heyman and starts calmly explaining to Heyman how the Coquina Clutch works. See, he’s doing this so after he chokes Heyman out in a few seconds, he’ll be able to explain to Brock in explicit detail what it is like. Joe then chokes out Heyman with the Clutch.
That was easily the best part of this show and WWE seems to finally understand how to book Samoa Joe. I am all over this as it is exactly the route I’d hoped they would take to prop up Joe for the match with Brock. Brilliantly executed. The crowd even chants “we want Brock” when Joe finally releases Heyman from the clutch, and Joe grabs a mic and tells them “so do I”. Awesome.
Back from break, we see the Heyman / Joe stuff again. Meanwhile, Kurt has found Joe backstage and is in his face for what he did to Heyman. Joe says he’ll do the same to anyone who stands between him and Lesnar – and asks Kurt if he’s standing in his way. Before Kurt can answer, Rollins pops in and says he is standing in Joe’s way. Rollins buries the other guys in the Fatal Five Way and mentions that Joe beat Finn, not Seth. Kurt decides to make Joe vs. Rollins for our main event.
Back in the ring, Heath Slater and Rhyno have already entered. Sheasaro (w/ stills from the Extreme Rules cage match) are out next.
Match #2: Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno
Absolute squash match. What are you going to do with the Hardys likely out since Matt’s new son could be born at any moment? Sheamus and Cesaro run over Slater, Cesaro neutralizes Rhyno on the outside, and Slater eats a Brogue Kick.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – With no face team ready to seriously challenge for the titles until we find out what will happen with the Hardys, this is about as good as the tag title picture gets.
Post-match, Sheamus and Cesaro cut a promo putting themselves over and throwing shade on the Hardys for being at home “licking their wounds”.
Meanwhile, TJP is backstage… walking. He finds Neville and says he’s held up his end of the bargain with Aries and he wants his title shot against Neville now. Neville is opposed to this, but notes that Nia Jax got a random opportunity tonight, so if TJP can beat Mustafa Ali tonight, Neville will talk to Kurt Angle on TJP’s behalf.
Back from break, TJP is finishing his entrance. Ali is already in the ring. Ugh.
Match #3: TJP vs. Mustafa Ali
TJP essentially gets a squash victory on Ali. Ali hits a DDT, goes up for the Inverted 450, TJP blocks it by kicking the ropes, and hits Ali with the Detonation Kick.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – What a waste of Mustafa Ali on Raw.
Post-match, TJP is celebrating in the aisle, when Neville’s pyro hits, and TJP actually jumps from the shock of it. We learn that Neville has spoken to Kurt and Neville has unfortunate news. TJP loses it and demands they go to talk to Angle right now. TJP leaves and Neville attacks him from behind. During the beat down that follows, Neville says TJP gets his title shot tomorrow night on 205 Live. Okay, hold up.
Why are we turning TJP babyface just a few weeks after turning him heel? Especially when you’ve got Ali and Alexander both standing right there never having had a shot at Neville’s title. If you expand it, we could also have Gallagher or Swann get another shot. And Tozawa seemed ready-made for a title shot but WWE has inexplicably saddled him with the Titus Brand nonsense (more on that later). Instead, we get TJP as a face (?) versus Neville just moments after Neville said “no go”. Ugh.
Later tonight? Team Rude explodes over the women’s title.
Back from break, another Goldust vignette airs.
Meanwhile, Sasha, Mickie, and Dana are hanging out backstage. Alexa enters and Sasha immediately leaves. Alexa then attempts to get a Raw chapter of the “Welcoming Committee” started by selling the “Nia Jax problem” to Dana and Mickie who aren’t buying it. Mickie and Dana do say they’ll be at ring side later to watch Alexa “deal with her problem herself”.
Next, the announcers are talking when Kurt wanders out and interrupts the live broadcast. Once again, we see Kurt talking to Graves about something on his phone and Graves won’t talk about it.
Kalisto’s music hits and he’s out and we head to break.
Back from break, Kurt is walking with his phone. Mike Rome approaches him, but Angle just claims it’s a “private matter” and leaves the building. Dean Ambrose sneaks back in before the door closes and we get a “backstage Revival sighting”.
Meanwhile, Titus is out (w/ Crews) to face Kalisto. Yay, this match again.
Match #4: Kalisto vs. Titus O’Neil (w/ Apollo Crews)
The main story here isn’t Kalisto vs. O’Neil, it’s that O’Neil is trying to sign Tozawa to the “Titus Brand”. Oh good, let’s just build up someone like Tozawa with that amazing Kendrick program, and dump him into a “go nowhere” lower card program outside of 205 Live. BRILLIANT! This match is about as garbage as the one last week. Only this time, Titus’ bantering with Crews throughout the entire match leads to him getting rolled up by Kalisto.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – I like nothing about this. Kalisto and Tozawa should be on 205 Live and some modicum of thought should have been put into what this Titus / Crews alliance even means.
Meanwhile, The Miz and Maryse are backstage… walking… when they happen upon Big Cass passed out on the ground. Eventually Enzo and some refs show up but Cass seems really out of it and doesn’t know what happened.
Back from break, Enzo is holding a gold chain and claims his attacker last week owns the chain? Is the attacker Mr. T? What is even going on here? Enzo starts freaking out because he has a tag match and one of the refs says Cass won’t be able to work so Enzo needs a new partner.
Meanwhile, the ring has been set up for Miz’s celebration, complete with Maryse, some champagne, and a dancing bear. I bet you though the dancing bear was Ambrose? Yeah, you got SWERVED. We go there when Maryse tells Miz she didn’t order a bear, Miz hits the bear with the Skull Crushing Finale to reveal – some random dude. Next, a giant package is brought to the ring, but Miz attacks it with a chair and an elbow drop (!) while Maryse protests. Nah, it was a grandfather clock she bought for Miz. You got SWERVED! Maryse is upset and runs, well as best you can in high heels, up the ramp and leaves. Miz starts looking for Ambrose, but surprise, Ambrose is one of the cameramen and hits Miz with a Dirty Deeds. Dean takes Miz’s champagne with him as we leave. Hopefully this program ends at Great Balls, because I’d much rather see a Dean vs. Drifter feud than more of this Ambrose vs. Miz stuff. Miz needs someone new to work with.
Later tonight? Rollins vs. Joe.
Up next? Enzo is partnerless… and he’s… walking!
Back from break, Gallows and Anderson have already entered. The “seat upgrade” winner tonight includes a kid named Enzo Shirtz. No lie. Enzo is out alone and does a solo version of his spiel. He found a partner… the Big Show. Enzo dances around Show and comes dangerously close to eating a chokeslam, but just kidding – Show does a cringe-worthy Big Cass impression and we have a match.
Match #5: Enzo & Big Show vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Show runs wild, tags Enzo, and does a “press slam” version of the Enzo / Cass Rocker Launcher Finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – I hope, at the very least, Anderson and Gallows are being paid well for this run at WWE.
Up next, Alexa vs. Nia. Before the break, we get a “profile” on Alexa Bliss sponsored by the Navy.
Back from break, Enzo and Show are walking and laughing. Cass appears and claims that Show took him out to become Enzo’s partner for the night. Show claims he’s a giant and can’t sneak around and it hasn’t been him attacking them.
Next, we get R Truth’s retort to Goldust’s earlier vignette.
Meanwhile, Truth’s exploitation music is still playing when we’re sent to Mike Rome. Alexa Bliss enters and cuts a promo on the Raw Women’s division having no pride.
Nia Jax enters first for their match and we head to break.
Back from break, Alexa is out.
Match #6: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)
Alexa gets ragdolled by Jax until she rolls out of the ring. Mickie and Dana, true to their word, are out at ring side and start mocking Alexa. Alexa provokes them, gets hit back, and that triggers the DQ.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – The Raw Women’s Division is booked by the “I have no idea what I’m doing” golden retriever from those memes.
Post-match, Dana attacks Alexa, but Nia attacks both Dana and Mickie. Alexa hits a running kick on Nia and then flees the scene. Dana and Mickie get in the ring with Nia in a non-aggressive fashion and Jax takes them both out. Alignments mean nothing!!! See what I mean about the golden retriever booking this?
Meanwhile, Heyman is getting checked out in the trainer’s room. Brock calls him and Heyman says the Beast needs to show up at Raw next week to confront Joe.
Up next? Joe vs. Rollins.
Next week? We burn a Brock Lesnar live appearance date.
Joe (w/ footage of him choking out Heyman) is out first. Rollins (w/ footage of him cutting a promo on Joe earlier) is out last.
Match #7: Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins
So, I’m not totally pleased they used a Wyatt distraction to get there, but considering how poorly this show has been booked tonight, I’ll allow it. Joe chokes Seth out with the Clutch following a Wyatt stinger taking the lights out. Prior to that happening, Joe dominated for most of the match. This is how this needs to go and I’m actually somewhat surprised WWE booked it this way. Granted, the one saving grace of the Wyatt stinger hitting (but no Bray showing up) is that it gives us Rollins and Wyatt which could be interesting. Hey, at least we won’t have another tired Wyatt / Reigns program for Great Balls. Joe looks convincing against Seth here and it appears they may finally have realized the kind of competitor they have with Samoa Joe. Good stuff.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Pretty much the only content that was good tonight involved Samoa Joe.
Post-match, Joe glares at the fallen Seth Rollins. Cole reminds that Brock Lesnar graces us with his presence next week as we go off the air.
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