The Miz Hosted Miz TV with Sheamus and Cesaro
Sheamus and Cesaro cut the same promo earlier this month about The Hardy Boyz being the WWE Universe's "new toy" and that's why they turned heel, but it was nice to hear from them at all heading into Extreme Rules. This segment was more entertaining for Miz's mic work and him hyping up his own Extreme Rules match with Dean Ambrose. Speaking of whom, Ambrose and The Hardy Boyz interrupting the heels was logical and it effectively set up the subsequent six-man tag team match.
Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose and Raw Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz def. The Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro
There were a few sloppy spots and especially at the end where there appeared to be some miscommunication between Miz and Matt Hardy when it came to the Twist of Fate, but on the whole, this was a fun six-man tag team match where the crowd was invested in the action throughout. Sheamus and Cesaro haven't been able to win at all against The Hardy Boyz, but part of that actually makes me happy because it keeps The Hardy Boyz special and establishes them as an unstoppable unit.
Elias Samson def. Zac Evans
First of all, I apologize for misspelling Elias Samson's last name for the past two years (for some reason I thought it was still Sampson). I can't believe that didn't dawn on me sooner. At any rate, I really wish he would ditch the signing shtick prior to his matches because it didn't elicit any heat this week. The crowd was flat for the squash match that followed, but at least it helped lend credibility to Samson as an in-ring competitor.
Samoa Joe def. Bray Wyatt and Finn Balor in a Triple Threat Match
Balor didn't receive mic time before the bout the same way Wyatt and Joe did, which basically told me that he's winning the Fatal 5-Way on Sunday. That said, it wasn't imperative that he emerged victorious here, and thus I was glad Joe did instead. The match itself was very well-wrestled and all three guys had great chemistry together. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Balor vs. Wyatt this summer.
Rich Swann def. Noam Dar
The mixed tag team match actually makes sense for a match at Extreme Rules, but I can't say I'm incredibly excited for it. We've seen Swann vs. Dar so many times in the past on 205 Live that it was hard to care about this contest, but it was fine for what it was. The Cruiserweights continue to not click with audiences, but they did pop for Swann hitting his finisher (that the camera missed the first time, by the way).
Titus O'Neil def. Kalisto
Kalisto has a ton of talent, but crowds don't care about him at the moment because... well, why should there? He just wrestles random matches and sometimes he wins and sometimes he doesn't. It's cool this O'Neil and Apollo Crews alliance (?) is getting Crews television time, but what was accomplished here? Crews lost to Kalisto last week, yet O'Neil beat Kalisto this week when it looked like he was entering a managerial role. That felt counterproductive to me.
Bayley Crashed Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss' This Is Your Life
Remember when a returning Mick Foley hosted something similar for John Cena six years ago and was almost booed out of the building because of it? Does this company not learn from their own mistakes? At least in that case, it was "supposed" to be bad. This, on the other hand, was just a horrible train wreck. Those in attendance rejected this by booing and chanting "Delete!" and I commend them for not sitting there and taking it. Bayley could not have ended this travesty soon enough.
Austin Aries and Gentleman Jack Gallagher def. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville and TJP
From the previous segment killing the crowd's energy level to this being a repeat of past encounters these four guys have had, this bout bored me to tears. It actually wasn't half-bad and the intent was to tell the story of Aries' Last Chancery vs. Neville's Rings of Saturn, and they did so successfully, but the reaction to the match was mediocre. On the bright side, Aries forcing Neville to tap out for the first time since he joined the Cruiserweight division was pretty noteworthy. Does this mean Neville retains on Sunday?
Roman Reigns def. Seth Rollins
I didn't have any issue with WWE giving away this marquee match on free TV if only because they've had countless matches against each other in the past and it isn't as if they'll be feuding again in the near future. It was a tough task for them to wake the crowd back up after the atrocious last hour of the show, but they managed to do so down the stretch. No Rollins vs. Reigns match has ever been less than awesome and unsurprisingly this was no different. What did surprise me, however, was the clean finish, so I was thankful they went that route and didn't have everyone in the Fatal 5-Way run out as expected.
People can blame the Memorial Day holiday for this show being below-average (although I thought the first half was solid), but the truth of the matter is that Raw has been in a holding pattern in recent weeks. There is no sense of must-see TV about Raw at the moment, making me thinking they're holding off on putting forth a strong effort until the summer. Of course, they should be doing that every week and not during a certain season. Regardless, as a go-home show, I can't say this show did a hell of a lot to get me more excited for Extreme Rules than I was before (the Kurt Angle storyline that started intrigued me before I realized it was probably leading to Stephanie McMahon's return), but the pay-per-view has potential and I hope it delivers for Raw's sake.
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