By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The New Day Interrupted Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon
This should have been the segment that answered all of our questions regarding SmackDown going live, the Brand Split and the rumored WWE Draft, but this was nothing but comic relief with New Day. I enjoyed their interaction with the McMahons and I guess it's good they addressed it instead of ignoring it (then again, I don't know how they could have), but this was a disappointment, and thank god the dance-off was cut short. I assume not even WWE knows what the hell is going on right now with the impending Brand Split, though we should get answers before long.
WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day def. The Vaudevillians by Disqualification (Non-title)
I feared The Vaudevillians would earn a non-title victory over New Day here and build to another title match at Money in the Bank, but I'm happy that isn't the case. This was a pretty formulaic tag team match and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson attacking New Day was a pleasant surprise. I hoped they would be the next challengers to the WWE Tag Team Championship coming out of Extreme Rules, but I wasn't certain following their angle with AJ Styles last Monday night. It will be a different dynamic for sure for New Day, but I have confidence both teams can make it work.
The Usos def. Breezango
I figured the Breezango vs. Golden Truth feud wouldn't last more than a few weeks, but of course, WWE is going to drag it out as long as they possibly can. And that's suggesting they haven't dragged out this Golden Truth nonsense enough already. Thankfully, this match was kept short and sweet. The in-ring action wasn't the problem, it was having to hear Golden Truth on commentary. On the bright side (if there even is a bright side), we have a feud in the tag team division that isn't over the titles, so that's something, right?
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns Called Out Seth Rollins
The boos Reigns received before he said a single word spoke volumes. Despite that, WWE is determined to make him the top babyface in the promotion. He definitely can be in time, but not at this very moment and a heel turn is necessary. A double turn with Rollins at Money in the Bank is the obvious answer, but are officials (specifically Vince McMahon) that stubborn they won't do it? I honestly don't think they will given they're trying to get Rollins as hated as possible. He pulled a Chris Jericho 2012 here by not saying a word. It was dragged out beyond belief and annoyed me more than it did make me want to see Reigns destroy Rollins.
United States Rusev def. Zack Ryder (Non-title)
As one would expect, this was a standard squash match with Rusev decimating Ryder within minutes. Personally, I would have rather seen Ryder and Titus O'Neil's roles reversed. O'Neil receiving a singles push is refreshing, but I don't know how many people will take him as a threat to Rusev. Ryder isn't that much more credible, but at least he has a bigger fan following. We'll see how that feud pans out, but I'm not too excited for the encounter if it goes down on the Money in the Bank undercard. On a random side note, is it just me or has Lana's Russian accent been slipping a lot recently? I'd go so far as to say she used her American accent for a majority of her pre-match promo here.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass def. The Dudley Boyz
Enzo and Cass were the most over act up to this point in the show. It would say it amazes me they've become so popular in such a short period of time, but then again, I had a feeling that would happen considering how strong of a connection they had with the crowd in NXT. This was a good tag team match where Enzo and Cass were made to look like equals to The Dudley Boyz throughout. I'd love to see these two teams meet again at Money in the Bank, but I'm interested in how they get to that point considering the babyfaces beat them clean.
The Club Attacked John Cena
There were still a fair share of Cena detractors in the crowd even though he's been gone for a great while. Some people will always boo him, regardless. Once he said the future had to go through him, you had to know someone was coming out, but I didn't even think of Styles as an option. Seeing those two share the same ring was surreal to say the least. I'm not too high on Styles going heel simply because he's so popular at the moment, but I'll take it if it means we'll be seeing Styles vs. Cena before long. I'd hold off on it until SummerSlam, but I wouldn't be shocked if they wanted to do the match at Money in the Bank. Here's hoping they can resist another few more months.
Dana Brooke def. Natalya
After their match time was cut short on SmackDown last week, I was hoping their Raw rematch would go a bit longer, but apparently not. If anything, it might have been shorter. What a disappointment. Natalya came off like a fool for falling for the same thing twice. A small "We Want Sasha" chant broke out before Becky Lynch made the save, but they're probably waiting until closer to SummerSlam to bring her back to TV. Besides, Lynch was more logical given her history with both Brooke and Charlotte.
Baron Corbin def. Dolph Ziggler by Disqualification in an Amateur Wrestling Match
Um, okay then. I can't really criticize the contest because it was essentially over before it began. And I was completely content with that. This feud hasn't had much steam behind it, so the quicker it ended, the better. The "amateur" rules were explained very well, so the fans likely would have been lost, anyway. On the other hand, I wasn't fond of Ziggler standing tall over Corbin. I know Ziggler needs momentum eventually, but it shouldn't come at Corbin's expense. Can this rivalry please just end already?
Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn and Cesaro def. Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio
I really liked the Money in the Bank combatants being featured in the Raw main event. They could have easily ended the evening with John Cena's return, but I guess they wanted to oppose the sports competition with his segment. Plus, Reigns hadn't been positioned in that slot in that weeks, so I appreciate them switching up their tired formula for the flagship show. All six Superstars worked very well together and produced a fun main event match and a sneak peek of what should be a stellar Ladder match. I was half-expecting a big return of some sort to close out the show, but perhaps we get the reveal of the seventh participant on SmackDown if not next week on Raw.
I didn't have high expectations for this holiday edition of Raw, but it was definitely disappointing coming off the past phenomenal week in WWE. It wasn't entirely awful, however, as the Cena segment with The Club and the main event match saved the show from being a total train wreck. The Money in the Bank card is coming together nicely and the top matches have me excited for the event. They have another three weeks before the pay-per-view, so I was fine with them phoning in this episode. Happy Memorial Day, folks!
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