Slaves of the Beast – A Raw Recap for 5/22/17

Tonight’s Raw comes to us from The Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The slaves of the beast shall be liberated.

The show starts with Mr. Wyatt himself waxing on and on about Brock Lesnar.  Bray basically claims that he’s going to rip open Brock’s chest and eat his black heart.  If you stop and think about it, it’s pretty graphic.

He runs through the list of competitors in the upcoming Extreme Rules Fatal Five Way until he lands on the fifth competitor, Roman Reigns.  That’s the magic word. Taunt the Big Dog in his yard and it’s almost guaranteed he’ll appear.  They get uncomfortable close to each other talking about who’s yard it is.  Why are we still talking about this.  It’s dumb to call the WWE his “yard.”

The enterprising young GM, Kurt Angle, smells a good matchup and sets it up to start the show.  Michele reminded me of that one time Roman and Bray were tag team partners and how awesome that would be if it happened again.  No unholy alliance tonight though.  It’s a straight match until Joe decides to show up and lock in a Coquina Clutch on both Roman and Bray, ending the match in DQ.  Seth Rollins shows up to help out his old Shield friend, whether he wants it or not.  They eject Joe and Bray from the ring and conveniently go to commercial.  It’s really just excuse to have a tag team main event.  Kurt is interested to see which pair can work together the best.

Spoiler alert: It’s actually Bray and Joe.  They manage to work together better than two guys that were actually on a team together.

Elias Sampson Vs Dean Ambrose

Finally, The Drifter is making his in-ring debut against the lunatic himself, Dean Ambrose.  I think it’s an excellent choice.

Sampson draws major heat with his singing gimmick.  It might be the only thing to draw universal boos in the WWE anymore.

In ring, Sampson is a powerhouse.  It’s easy to forget how big this guy is behind that guitar.  He makes Dean look like one of the smaller Cruiserweight guys.  He catches Dean in a few different submissions before The Miz, who was on commentary, hits Sampson to draw the DQ win.  Sampson then finishes off Dean while Miz watches.

I would have liked an actual pinfall or submission win but overall his debut seems really promising.

The Quest of the Demon

I wish I could say that the Finn Bálor Vs. Karl Anderson match was excellent.  It wasn’t.  It was just another match on Raw with Finn hitting the Coup de Grace for the win.

What was interesting is what came before it.  Finn was conspicuously absent from the opening segment beatdown.  Paul Heyman shows up basically to say that he hopes Finn will win to face Brock Lesnar next.

I’m worried that this will happen and Brock will just squash Bálor.  I hope I’m wrong.

The Rest of the Show

  • Matt Hardy wins a singles match against Sheamus to determine the stipulation of their tag team title match at Extreme Rules.  Looks like Jeff Hardy is going to be diving off the top of a cage pretty soon.
  • Akira Tozawa puts Daivari away with a top rope senton in a match that didn’t even hit the four minute mark.  It’s a shame.  Tozawa will face The Brian Kendrick in a Street Fight on 205 Live Tomorrow, so there’s that.
  • Sasha Banks defeats Alicia Fox with a Double Knee in the corner.  This match was mercifully short.  It looks like this series is anywhere close to being complete.  Noam Dar got in Sasha’s face at the end of the match while Foxy got in a cheap shot to end the segment.  This kind of seems like it’s going to be a kickoff match at Extreme Rules
  • Kalisto defeated Apollo Crews because there is no God in the lastest saga of the Titus Brand.  Kalisto accused Apollo of doing Titus’ dirty work, even possibly being behind the attack on Enzo backstage.
  • Poor Tony Nese got stretched out.  In an effort to promote the upcoming Cruiserweight Submission Match at Extreme Rules, A-Double locked in the Last Chancery for the submission win.  Neville wanted to prove that he too could put someone in a devastating submission.  The Rings of Saturn was applied.  Nease is going to be sore tomorrow…
  • Alexa Bliss defeats Mickie James after punching her in the face and hitting a DDT.  After the match, she starts beating James with a Kendo stick until Bayley saves the day and chases her off.
    • In other news, they clarified the Kendo Stick on a pole match.  First person to get the kendo stick off the pole gets to use it.
  • Enzo gets attacked backstage.  Some viewers claim to see some Top Guys walking around the back in a previous interview.  I’m not so sure I’m convinced but it would make me happy.  Big Cass vows to find out who did it and warns GM Angle that something bad will happen if he finds out who did it first.  There’s a vocal contingent in my feed that’s hoping it’s actually Cass who injured Enzo.  I just can’t handle it.  I’ll be devasted from one recent betrayal for quite a while.
  • Kurt Angle, watching the main event from back with Finn, sets up a dual main event for next week:  Finn Vs. Bray Vs. Joe in a Triple Threat and Roman Reigns Vs. Seth Rollins.  Should be a damn fine Go Home/Memorial Day show.
  • The Golden Age is back!