Trending Upward – Monday Night Rollins Recap and Reaction – 5/7/2018

While Backlash was garbage, we can take a collective breath and revel in an episode of Raw that actually moves storylines in a forward direction.  The red brand superstars make their way to Long Island, birthplace of the Internet Champion Zack Ryder, to get us rolling on the six week road to Money in the Bank.  There’s some interesting things to note before we get into the thick of the recap.

First, while it is known that the Men and Women of both brands will be involved in Money in the Bank Matches (4 from each brand in each match), there were also teaser clips from several tag teams about climbing the ladder and getting their opportunity.  This should lead to more than speculation that there will be a tag team MitB match, which would be great, especially if a team like Breezango or The Ascension were able to get that briefcase and have an opportunity to jump back to the forefront.  I really feel bad for The Ascension, they’re talented guys that just got lost in the shuffle.  It will inevitably be AoP, because jesus those guys are monsters, but it will be entertaining.

Second, if we’re going this route, give us a fourth briefcase, one of a purple hue.  There is waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much talent on the Cruiserweight roster with nowhere to go right now, and those guys with ladders could steal the show.  Could you imagine an 054 off the top of a ladder?  We’ve already seen what Solida Del Sol does to a ladder match competitor, I’m down to see it again.  Plus it would create a scenario where the smaller guys aren’t seemingly outgunned by the monster of the division in Buddy Murphy.  Make this match happen, please #DMtheGM so we can get this on the books.  I’ll promise to buy a purple briefcase if you’ll just make this happen.

Third, this show doesn’t need the Universal Championship, which can ultimately just disappear into non-existence.  With Brock still holding the strap and nobody wanting to see it go to Roman, just let it fade into the ether and utilize the Intercontinental belt as the top belt on Raw until you can build a reasonable story for the cross branded PPV events where the WWE Championship can change sides periodically.  Rollins is crushing it, but you’re not going to let him go over Braun, not in ultimate babyface form like this, because it would make him too cocky and he’d go back to feeling like shitheel Rollins.  Just a thought.

Monday Night Raw – 5/7/2018

  • Kurt Angle kicks off the show talking about how excited he is that we’re headed towards Money in the Bank.  Braun Strowman wants to give those hands, but Kevin Owens doesn’t think he deserves to.  Kurt Angle makes the match between them as a qualifier to happen immediately, where Braun Strowman is the first entrant in the MitB men’s match, defeating Kevin Owens after trucking through him three different times on the outside.
  • The Women are given a triple threat match to determine the first entrant on their side, with Sasha Banks, Ember Moon and Ruby Riott getting a shot.  Of course, Ruby’s squad played a role, and Bayley came to help Sasha, but thankfully they got this one right and Ember Moon hit a double Eclipse on Sasha and Ruby to become the first women’s entrant.
  • There was a really weird interview segment where Bobby Lashley laugh talked his way through some seemingly uncomfortable discussions.  Some part of this prompts me to believe he may be the one in line to face Lesnar.  I’m ok with it, honestly.  They’re sort of interchangeable for me, but at least Lashley is willing to show up.  And if you listen to the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, which you should, Lashley was very up front about wanting to come back to face Brock.
  • Jinder Mahal defeated Chad Gable?  I didn’t care much.  He destroyed him after the match too.  After the match, Mahal confronted Angle because he’s tired of Roman getting all the opportunities when he hasn’t earned any of them.  Remember this moment kids.
  • Seth Rollins defeats Mojo Rawley to retain the Intercontinental Championship.  This was the start of Seth’s Open Challenge to be a fighting champion.
  • Baron Corbin and The Revival defeated Titus Worldwide and No Way Jose.  I don’t know why this happened.
  • Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler defeated Slater and Rhyno.
  • The Deleters of Worlds defeated The Miztourage.
  • Finn Balor defeated Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn to qualify for the men’s MitB match.  Roman was setting Finn up for the spear when Jinder Mahal attacked him.  Good.  That’ll make for an ok feud for a bit.  Balor would land Coup de Grace on Zayn to get the win.

It was a step in the right direction.  Let’s hope the next five weeks actually make us give two shits about Money in the Bank.