This weeks Raw begun with a wonderful Memorial Day Tribute as WWE does so well. However unfortunately many would say the show on the whole underwhelmed, particularly as the go-home show for Extreme Rules.
Raw then kicked off in the same way it has so many times before. MizTV with Guests Cesaro & Sheamus where Ambrose interrupts, he then brings out the Hardy’s, a quick brawl and a tag team match. The exact same formula that Raw has opened with so often in the past. The match itself was fine, nothing special, nothing particularly wrong with it. With no Universal Title match on the Extreme Rules card one could argue the Intercontinental Championship match is the most important match on the show. The Tag Title match is taking place inside of a Steel Cage, which means the feud should be boiling hot to the point that only the cage can contain them. Yet neither of these two feuds feel as special as they should. Rather lazy booking here, one could expect a little bit more from a three hour go-home show for Extreme Rules.
Elias Samson squashed a jobber looking good in the process. One could argue he got called up too quickly, but he looked rather dangerous and aggressive here.
Genuinely have no idea what the Corey Graves Kurt Angle thing is about, and that has me eager to see more.
Enzo is attacked again backstage, it could be the Revival who appeared on Raw to pledge their innocence, or a heel Big Cass himself. Perhaps when eventually splitting Enzo & Cass, Enzo would make the better heel and Cass the babyface, Cass has done nothing but defend Enzo who has gotten himself into trouble with his mouth, and let’s face it; who wouldn’t like to see Cass absolutely destroy Enzo.
Samoa Joe wins the triple threat match against Finn Balor & Bray Wyatt after stealing the pin on Wyatt from Balor. A solid match establishing Joe as a more legitimate threat in the Fatal 5 Way. Balor looked excellent as the only babyface in the match. Although a good match it is interesting WWE is giving away so much of its biggest Extreme Rules match the week before.
Rich Swann beat Noam Dar in an ‘OK’ match. Not really enough time to do anything special here, I rather like Sasha Banks being involved in this feud. It gives her something to do rather than sitting on the sidelines while momentarily out of the title picture, keeping her busy until the Alexa Bliss vs Bayley feud is over.
Titus O’Neil defeated Kalisto with Apollo Crews at ringside by cheating holding the tights. This was awful. The Titus Brand doesn’t seem to be doing anything for anyone, and the time used for this segment could have definitely been better allocated elsewhere.
Goldust’s director’s chair promos are back, and they are fantastic to see. Some nostalgia acts are so refreshing to see; and this is one of them.
Alexa Bliss conducted a ‘This is your Life’ for her Extreme Rules challenger Bayley, and this was without a doubt the worst segment of 2017; possibly the worst since the ‘Old Day’. It was too long, it was childish, the teacher, friend and ex-boyfriend of Bayley all played their roles quite poorly. As fantastic as Alexa Bliss is on the microphone, even she (despite absolutely giving it her best efforts) could not save this segment. The Kendo Stick on a Pole match at Extreme Rules feels like something straight out of Vince Russo’s playbook, it didn’t even look like Alexa Bliss would be able to reach the Kendo Stick on the Pole present on Monday Night.
Austin Aries made Neville tap out in a Tag Team match pairing Aries & Gallagher against Neville & TJP. This is the same tag team match that could have been saved for a PPV, but instead has been done so many times the effects are really starting to wear off. Aries making Neville tap before their submission on Sunday, along with the finishes to their previous matches creates some doubt as to Neville’s ability to retain.
In the main event of the show Roman Reigns defeated Seth Rollins in what was perhaps the best match on RAW in 2017. By the end of the match they had the crowd on their feet and completely invested. Although many will be disappointed in Roman walking away the victor, this fantastic match served to establish Roman as the favourite going into Extreme Rules, and certainly left fans everywhere wanting to see Rollins vs Reigns again in the near future.