Raw Review, 5/21

OPENING SEGMENT: KURT ANGLE, STEPHANIE MCMAHON, ROMAN REIGNS, & KEVIN OWENS

This is really interesting, having a heel Kevin Owens telling the crowd to chant for Roman… it’s like double secret reverse psychology. I dig it. I guess they figure they can get a complete split reaction in their match, with the Roman haters cheering for KO and the rest cheering for Reigns. Whatever, roll with it.

Segment Rating: Five Gold Medals, plus one more for Kurt being in it

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KEVIN OWENS VS. ROMAN REIGNS

Owens’ selling of those high-impact moves, mostly from Braun and tonight from Roman, has been awesome. Whether they were booing or cheering, the crowd was hot and into the match, which is exactly what they wanted. Who the hell is the fan ringside wearing the neon green jersey and acting like he’s Owens’ corner man? A really good back-and-forth match until Jinder interferes, interesting that he got booed and not get cheered for attacking Roman. Even KO got booed for attacking Roman after the match. As expected a huge pop for Rollins, I’m sure that will lead to a tag match later tonight. Solid match, hot crowd, I really liked it.

Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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KEVIN OWENS & JINDER MAHAL VS. ROMAN REIGNS & SETH ROLLINS

They made that match quickly. Though they screwed around with the heel-face dynamic in the earlier singles match, this one was clear cut, and both teams played their roles to perfection. It’s such a simple formula to have a successful tag match, and it’s worked as long as tag matches have existed. I could watch KO and Seth go all day. An exciting sequence leading up to a curb stomp and a win. Another attack by Jinder lays Seth and Roman out after the match. I’m thinking there’s going to be some kind of hardcore/no holds barred match between Jinder and Roman based on their interactions the past two weeks. I’m all for that.

Math Rating: Six Gold Medals

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IN RING SEGMENT: SAMI ZAYN INTERVIEWS BOBBY LASHLEY’S “SISTERS”

Yep, this is just as painful and awkward as I thought it would be. It was all a means to an end so the crowd could see Lashley beat down his sisters and show he’s not phased. Sami gets horribly frustrated that Lashley laughs along with the segment, so I guess it serves a that purpose, kind of. Not the worst family segment they’ve ever done. Still, they never have to do these, ever.

Segment Rating: Two Gold Medals

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EMBER MOON VS. ALEXA BLISS

I always love the way people absolutely flip their shit when they’re tossed out by the ref. The histrionics are hilarious. Ember gets a huge rub with a clean win over the a woman who has been a champion for most of the last year and change. With good reason, she is MONEY. Solid match.

Match Rating: Five Gold Medals

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NO WAY JOSE VS. BARON CORBIN

Thank god Baron won. It was a well-done match and made people think for a moment there that Jose might win, but there’s no way he should ever beat Baron clean. For these two guys, this match was exactly what it should be.

Match Rating: Six Gold Medals

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THE B TEAM VS. BREEZANGO

Another win for the B Team. The celebration was much more entertaining than the match.

Match Rating: Two Gold Medals

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Celebration Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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CONTRACT SIGNING: STEPHANIE MCMAHON, RONDA ROUSEY, & NIA JAX

Steph does a really good job at digging real deep at Rousey leaving UFC after her losses. Nia did well but I thought Ronda fell a little flat. I know she’s new at this but I hope she gets this portion of the business down sooner rather than later.

Segment Rating: Four Gold Medals

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DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. CHAD GABLE

Two tremendous technical wrestlers at the top of their games put on an awesome athletic showcase. A great back-and-forth match with Ziggler ultimately getting the win, which was the right move. McIntyre hits a devastating Claymore after the match. It looked brutal. Ziggler and McIntyre are two of the best heels in the business right now.

Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals

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MITB QUALIFIER: NATALYA VS. LIV MORGAN VS. SARAH LOGAN VS. DANA BROOKE

Yet again the women prove that you CAN have a fatal four-way match with all four competitor in the ring, which we barely ever see in men’s fatal four-way matches. This one does a great job of keeping all four women involved. When Dana and Natalya went to the outside in this one it actually made sense because it put the two members of the Riott Squad in the ring with each other. Then, when it was just two in the ring again, Ruby Riott got involved. It wasn’t truly one on one until the very end of the match when Natalya submitted Logan with a sharpshooter. Excellent execution. Constant action, great wrestling, the heels using their advantages, they did everything right. Also check out my Gorilla Fighters feature on Liv Morgan from this past week here.

Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals

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ELIAS VS. BOBBY ROODE

Elias is so good at being a heel. So is Roode, but too bad he sucks at being a face. I’m trying so hard to care about this match but Roode bores me so much. Very happy to see Elias get the win. Quality match, I just don’t CARE. Give Elias a real feud.

Match Rating: Three Gold Medals, because Roode can’t make me give a shit.

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Braun steamrolling Elias rating: Ten Gold Medals

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See? THAT’S how you get my attention.

 

BRAUN STROWMAN VS. FINN BALOR

I love how hard Finn has to work to get one shot in that might hurt Strowman even a little bit, and everything Braun does is like a knockout blow. Braun sure likes to hurt people, and dammit, we like to see him hurt people. The crowd wasn’t really into this, which should tell WWE that we don’t want to see him beat on a fan favorite. Then again, everything Stephanie did tonight seemed to be to piss off the fans, so making this match could be another example of that, but why make it your main event? The best reactions of the match came for Finn’s offense on the outside. Then Strowman killed him. RIP Finn.

Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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Overall Show Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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