Roman Reigns def. Bray Wyatt by Disqualification
I appreciate how Wyatt's promos aren't as abstract as they once were, but they still aren't all that compelling considering he loses whenever it matters most. Reigns' retort, albeit brief, was fine and effectively set up the subsequent match between the two. It's hard to say anything about it because it didn't last long, but the bout was best to keep it short and sweet since they would clash in a tag team match later on in the night.
Akira Tozawa def. Ariya Daivari
It's been a long while since we last saw Tozawa in singles action on Raw if my memory serves me correctly, which is weird with how much he was getting over with the audience earlier this year when he first arrived on the scene. This was a pretty standard squash match and Tozawa received a favorable reaction from the crowd, especially after the awesome finisher he used. I'm looking forward to him and The Brian Kendrick facing off in a Street Fight on 205 Live Tuesday night.
Elias Sampson def. Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose by Disqualification (Non-title)
I honestly expected Ambrose to make quick work of Sampson here, the same way Dolph Ziggler when Curt Hawkins re-debuted late last year, but I'm glad that wasn't the case. I know I wasn't the biggest fan of Sampson in NXT and he wasn't anything more than an undercard act there, but he can be a real solid midcard player on the main roster. He had a good outing against the Intercontinental Champion and the intentional disqualification finish from Miz was clever in awarding Sampson a victory and hyping up the title rematch at Extreme Rules.
Paul Heyman Interrupted Finn Balor; Balor def. Karl Anderson
Heyman's verbal exchange with Balor was intriguing if only because Heyman has expressed interest in the past of working with Balor. I'm sure we'll see them interact more in the future, especially if Balor wins the Fatal 5-Way at Extreme Rules and goes on to contend for the Universal Championship at Great Balls of Fire. The match that followed was competitive and I liked that Anderson looked like an equal to Balor for a majority of it Hopefully this isn't the last we see of Balor, Anderson and Luke Gallows together.
Sasha Banks def. Alicia Fox
It's cool that Banks has something of a storyline to keep her busy while she's out of the Raw Women's Championship picture, but this feud with Fox does nothing for me because it's basically been 50/50 booking. The bout was far too brief to be anything of note and Banks getting her win back so soon after losing last week didn't do Fox any favors. Worse yet, Fox attacked Banks after the match, so it appears to be continuing.
Kalisto def. Apollo Crews
Unfortunately, this was a match that felt like it belonged on Main Event. I like both guys, but they have been treading water for months, and thus no one cared. I guess the story is that Kalisto assumed Crews was the one attacked Enzo Amore backstage, which is possible, but it could also very well be a returning Revival. Either way, this was a forgettable affair, but we'll see where the angle is headed.
Raw Tag Team Champion Matt Hardy def. Sheamus to Earn the Right to Choose the Stipulation For the Extreme Rules Match
The best part about this program has been how each of the singles matches have been extremely enjoyable and haven't been as formulaic as you'd expect. The fact the winner would be able to choose the stipulation for the Extreme Rules rematch made this matchup more meaningful and the crowd was engaged in the action. Their upcoming Steel Cage match could be a potential show-stealer.
Austin Aries def. Tony Nese
With it recently being announced that Aries and Neville will do battle in a Submission match at Extreme Rules, it made sense for Aries to focus on winning by submission in this matchup. This was essentially a showcase for him in that respect, despite how it didn't have much crowd heat. I don't know if Neville ambushing Nese from behind afterward will lead to a face turn for the latter, but it was designed to send a message to Aries that Neville is a submission specialist as well.
Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss def. Mickie James (Non-title)
Similar to their match from a few weeks ago, Bliss and James work well against each other, but the complete lack of fanfare for James at the moment really hurts her matches. It's a shame because as I've said in the past, James is a tremendous competitor (obviously), but her latest run with the company has been very underwhelming. The match itself was total throwaway due to a handful of sloppy spots, but the post-match angle was well done with Bliss battering James with a kendo stick before Bayley made the save.
Samoa Joe and Bray Wyatt def. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
Not only was the match well-wrestled, but the underlying stories told were excellent. Joe and Wyatt teased tension last week as well as earlier on in the evening, while Rollins and Reigns failed to coexist and it ended up costing them this contest. The heels scored the victory as a result and built momentum, and now we have a Balor vs. Joe vs. Wyatt Triple Threat match as well as Rollins vs. Reigns to look forward to for next week. The build for the Fatal 5-Way matchup has been strong so far.
With less than two weeks to go until Extreme Rules, the card for the event has come together nicely, and it's encouraging that several matches received stipulations on this show. Speaking of which, while it wasn't the most exciting episode ever, there was plenty of wrestling and multiple feuds were properly progressed. I wouldn't exactly give it a thumbs up, but next week's Memorial Day edition needs to be better if WWE intends to get fans excited for the pending pay-per-view.
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