Raw Recap: May 27, 2019
A.K.A. The One With No Wrestling for 51 Minutes
It’s the first Raw since AEW’s Double or Nothing. With the success of a second, large America-based company, will WWE make some changes? Brock Lesnar teased cash-ins on both Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins last week. Will he announce who he’ll cash in on? Will we get more FireFly Funhouse? All of this, and probably only one women’s segment again, on Raw this week.
- Shane McMahon def. Lance Anoa’i
- Becky Lynch & Nikki Cross def. The IIconics
- Ricochet def. Cesaro
- Baron Corbin def. Miz, Bobby Lashley, & Braun Strowman to earn a Universal Championship match at Super ShowDown
- Seth Rollins def. Sami Zayn
Match of the Night: Ricochet def. Cesaro via pinfall after hurricanrana pin
This was the bright spot of the evening. These two had another banger of a match, this time with Ricochet picking up the pin. The athleticism and creativity of these two were on another level. Hopefully they get more time to battle in the future, and maybe even a title to raise the stakes of their matchup. Please enjoy this gif of the best uppercut you’ll ever see.
This show could not get going at all. The first 75 minutes included a 30 minute Lesnar-Rollins-Kingston segment that ended with an impassioned Dolph Ziggler promo and a brawl between Ziggler and Xavier Woods. It also had video packages for Super ShowDown and a match between Shane McMahon and Roman Reigns’ family member Lance Anoa’i. Lesnar actually got a second promo and learned he has a year to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. Overall it was a terrible start to the show. There was no flow, minimal wrestling, and even had a segment that made Lesnar look dumb. If it wasn’t my job to watch Raw and recap it, I likely would have changed channels.
It feels like WWE has no time to put effort into their title buildups on Raw. The US Championship is suffering because Rey Mysterio is injured and will likely vacate it next week. The Raw Tag Team Champions got no time on the show this week. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins are the champs, in case you forgot. Women’s Tag Team Champions the IIconics lost to Nikki Cross and Becky Lynch. They also got a jobber’s entrance during the commercial and haven’t defended the titles since Wrestlemania week.
WWE has put all of their creativity into their top singles titles. While it’s okay to feature them since they’re the main titles, the company needs to put some more effort into the other titles they have. If they’re going to introduce more championships like the 24/7 Championship and have so many belts, they need to make them worth something.
New Segments, Who Dis?
WWE is at least trying out some new things to make their shows different. Raw has new-look darker graphics for the third hour, and the 24/7 Championship was unveiled last week. This week it was the creation of the “Electric Chair” where a superstar is asked questions from the WWE Universe. The segment this week had Sami Zayn, and overall it was poor. The questions from the fans weren’t engaging and it felt very awkward. The only real pop came from Zayn mentioning AEW on air.
What a strange idea for WWE to recognize AEW on their product, as it will likely lead to people googling the company. At least WWE is trying something new, right?
— WWE (@WWE) May 28, 2019
Two things kept this from an F: The FireFly Funhouse segment and the Ricochet-Cesaro match. Aside from those two bright spots, Raw felt disjointed or repetitive. There are very few storylines that are worth investing energy in because they feel stale. The time after Money in the Bank usually results in fresh direction for the product. Instead, WWE is taking steps backwards. If this was their response to AEW, then that’s a crying shame.
One More Thing:
This week, Bray Wyatt named his alter ego, “The Fiend”. He talked about how it gives him confidence. Wyatt’s character finally feels nuanced and well-rounded. I can’t wait for his in-ring return.