Monday Night Raw – May 30, 2016: The Slow Ride To The Bank

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 30, 2016
Location: Resch Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s a big night here as we have the return of John Cena since his injury late last year. At the same time though we’re probably going to hear the first news about the new Brand Split as Raw and Smackdown will become stand alone shows again starting in July. A lot of the details are still up in the air at this point but it should be interesting either way. Let’s get to it.

We open with a moment of silence for Memorial Day.

A bunch of wrestlers quote a Ronald Reagan speech on fallen troops.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Shane McMahon to open things up but Stephanie comes out to join him before anything can be said. They mention the Brand Split and Smackdown moving to Tuesdays before New Day comes out for a chat. Big E. likes the idea of bringing the power of positivity to Raw and Smackdown (“That’s a lot of P’s.”) but then it turned into paranoia because the rosters might be split up. After making fun of Kofi for being the oldest member of the team (Woods: “You were my favorite wrestler in middle school.”), they get to the point: which show will New Day be on?

Stephanie dodges the question and New Day does a dramatic reenactment of Stephanie dodging it like an invisible ball. Woods goes insane and nearly starts crying over the team being split up and Francesca II being in a broken home. There’s also no decision yet on who will be running which show so New Day thinks there should be a dance challenge. Stephanie isn’t interested but Shane gets into it to a nice reaction. They finally get Stephanie to join in but the Vaudevillains cut her off.

Vaudevillains vs. New Day

Non-title and joined in progress with Cole welcoming us back to Smackdown. English gets stomped down in the corner as JBL tells us that a herd of unicorns is called a glory. We get the Unicorn Stampede but Gotch pulls Kofi’s foot to give the villains control. Gotch headlocks Kofi and knocks him to the floor as we take a break after less than four minutes of action. Back with Kofi taking Gotch down and making the hot tag to Big E. for the overhead belly to belly suplexes on English. As this is going on though, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows run in to attack Kofi for the DQ at 8:54.

Rating: D+. I liked the ending as Gallows and Anderson were pretty much the only option to go after the titles at this point and would be a good choice for new champions. The Vaudevillains were just there to give Anderson and Gallows a reason to come out, though at least it was a non-title match and not a rematch for no particular reason.

Anderson and Gallows lay out the champions post match.

Post break Anderson and Gallows say they’ve just put the tag team division on notice because they can do just as much damage without AJ.

We look back at Sheamus attacking Apollo Crews last week.

Crews is doing pushups when Big Show returns to say hello. Apollo says he’s ready to fight Sheamus and Show can admire that. Show knows Crews will make it work because Sheamus is scared of the New Era.

Usos vs. Breezango

Golden Truth is on commentary with JBL ripping on them for being a horrible team. Truth: “JBL they do not allow elephants in here.” Fandango hammers on Jey to start but Breeze charges into a superkick on the floor. Back inside, Jey crucifixes Fandango for the pin at 1:48.

Golden Truth beats up Breezango.

Here’s Roman Reigns for a chat. Reigns talks about how the Shield broke up a long time ago and until someone takes this title from his shoulder, he’s still The Guy. This brings out Rollins for a fight but of course he doesn’t get in the ring. Instead he grabs the mic and teases talking but throws the mic down and goes towards the ring instead. This happens five or six times before Rollins just leaves. The fans call this boring because they have the attention span of drunken goats and can’t go three seconds without being entertained. Rollins sprints down the ramp one more time but stops at the apron again to wrap this up.

Trailer for Warcraft.

Rusev vs. Zack Ryder

Non-title. Rusev knees him in the ribs to start and drops Ryder with a clothesline. Ryder gets the knees up in the corner and drops Rusev with a middle rope dropkick. The Broski Boot connects for two but the Rough Ryder is easily countered and the Accolade makes Ryder tap at 2:31. That’s the sixth time Rusev has made Ryder tap on Raw in just over two years and actually the longest Zack has ever lasted.

Rusev calls himself a real American hero but here’s Titus O’Neil to interrupt. Titus says this is Memorial Day and drops Rusev to the floor with a single right hand.

The Shining Stars want us to come to Puerto Rico.

We get a video on Charlotte dropping Ric Flair with comments from various people. This aired on Smackdown.

Earlier today, Stephanie yelled at Charlotte for being a spoiled, selfish brat. She yells a bit more and there’s no reaction from Charlotte as Stephanie collects her first set of lady balls. To recap, so far the first Women’s Champion has been made to tap out to Natalya more than once, played second fiddle to Ric Flair and not been allowed to say a word when Stephanie, yes STEPHANIE MCMAHON, yelled about someone being a spoiled brat who didn’t respect her father enough.

Enzo Amore/Big Cass vs. Dudley Boyz

Before the match, Cass lists off various types of cheese that he’s putting on the knuckle sandwiches he’s about to hand off. Bubba and Cass lock up to start but both Dudleyz are quickly sent to the floor as we take an early break. Back with Enzo in trouble (as expected) and eating an elbow to the jaw for daring to fight out of a neck crank.

Bubba comes in and drops some elbows for two before ripping at Enzo’s face. We hit the chinlock from D-Von for a bit before the hot tag brings in Cass. The reverse 3D gets two on him though and Bubba goes up, only to have an Enzo distraction let Cass slam him down. D-Von takes the big boot and the Rocket Launcher gives Enzo the pin at 9:23.

Rating: C-. This was a really basic match though it’s cool to see the new guys getting a clean win like this. I’m really not sure where you go with these two but they’ve looked awesome so far with Cass more than acting as a solid big man and Enzo as a great mouthpiece. There’s no point in them fighting the Dudleyz anymore, so I’m sure we’ll see them at Money in the Bank.

Sami Zayn, Dean Ambrose and Cesaro discuss their match against Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio. They’re keeping an eye on their opponents but Dean doesn’t seem to think much of Canadians. Sami: “You know I’m Canadian right?” Dean: “….Oh. That explains so much.”

It’s the top of the third hour and here’s the returning John Cena. He looks at the mic and gives a speech about Memorial Day and is very glad that he’s back home. However, he wants to thank everyone who has paid the ultimate price to keep our liberty safe. As for the business at hand tonight, the question is whether or not Cena still belongs here. That starts up a YES chant in quite the little surprise.

It’s a New Era around here with a bunch of new names and new faces and all of them are thinking that Cena’s best days are behind them. The name of this new era doesn’t matter because Cena isn’t going quietly into the night and the face that runs the place is back so the future must go through him.

Cue AJ Styles for something that would have been a dream match ten years ago. The fans are split (JBL: “The WWE Universe is having fun right now!”) until AJ says he’s been waiting for this for a long time. He’s always heard about Cena being the first in and the last out and now AJ wants to be the first man to welcome him back.

Cue Anderson and Gallows to as they’re here for a fight. That sounds like a challenge but AJ blasts Cena in the face and the Club is back together. The big beatdown is on and AJ even goes back in three more times to keep beating on him. Even Anderson and Gallows pull him back.

Natalya vs. Dana Brooke

Charlotte is at ringside as this feud is somehow continuing. Natalya hits her in the corner but gets taken down, allowing Charlotte to yell a lot. Charlotte distracts her to break up the Sharpshooter and the Samoan Driver gives Dana the pin at 1:20.

Post match Becky Lynch runs in for the save.

Dolph Ziggler is ready to show off tonight against Baron Corbin in a technical wrestling match. Dean Malenko was the Man of 1000 Holds and on the WWE Network you can see Chris Jericho list off his 1004 holds. Well Ziggler knows 1005, which he starts to list. As expected, every other one is armbar. This uh, wasn’t funny.

Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler

This is billed as a technical wrestling exhibition and Dolph puts on headgear. And there’s a low blow to Baron for the DQ at 33 seconds.

The fans aren’t sure how to react to this so Dolph says the loser of this match is still Baron Corbin.

Miz is on the set of his new movie and needs to get some rest before shooting starts.

Owens, Jericho and Del Rio bicker about the six man tag. They agree to work together but Jericho calls them both idiots after they leave.

Alberto Del Rio/Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose/Cesaro/Sami Zayn

Del Rio suplexes Cesaro to start but Cesaro runs to the floor for the running uppercut on Jericho. The Swing is blocked by a rope grab and Cesaro is taken outside for a triple team. Jericho stomps away as the fans chant STUPID IDIOT. Cesaro suplexes his way out and the hot tag brings in Sami to clean house with his clotheslines. The villains get in a fight on the floor and Sami scores with a big dive as we take a break.

Back with Owens dropping Sami ribs first over the top rope and getting two off the backsplash. Del Rio grabs the leg to stop a tag and it’s back to Jericho who misses a Lionsault and bangs up his own knee. The Blue Thunder Bomb finally allows the hot tag off to Ambrose as house is cleaned again.

Jericho dives into a kick to the ribs but still blocks Dirty Deeds. Instead Dean hits the suicide dive to take Chris out, only to have Jericho grab a Codebreaker back inside. Owens wants the pin but only gets two. The Canadians start arguing so Cesaro knocks them together and Swings Jericho. Everyone comes in and Owens tries the Pop Up Powerbomb on Zayn, only to get caught in Dirty Deeds for the pin at 17:56.

Rating: B. This was good, albeit a bit pointless. You have to expect things like this over the coming weeks as there isn’t much you can do to set up the ladder match other than having mostly meaningless matches like this one. At least the finish was clean though and we have some dissension among people.

Overall Rating: C+. It wasn’t exactly a great show but there was more good than bad going on. The problem is you have something like Stephanie yelling at Charlotte without her being able to say a thing because ALL HAIL STEPHANIE but then you have something amazing like AJ vs. Cena being set up which basically makes people hand their wallets over in advance. The rest of the show was hit or miss but I’m really not too excited about so many feuds continuing in the lame duck period between now and the Brand Split.

Results

New Day b. Vaudevillains via DQ when Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows interfered

Usos b. Breezango – Crucifix to Fandango

Rusev b. Zack Ryder – Accolade

Enzo Amore/Big Cass b. Dudley Boyz – Rocket Launcher to D-Von

Dana Brooke b. Natalya – Samoan Driver

Baron Corbin b. Dolph Ziggler via DQ when Ziggler kicked him low

Dean Ambrose/Cesaro/Sami Zayn b. Chris Jericho/Alberto Del Rio/Kevin Owens – Dirty Deeds to Owens

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book on NXT: The Full Sail Years Volume II at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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25 comments

  1. El Killjoy says:

    D’ah…. The Colon’s talked about La Parguera. Stop making me miss home, you A-holes.

  2. Dragon says:

    The Rollins segment WAS boring and done better before by Jericho……Reigns should have done something instead of just standing there.

    Also, Enzo has WAY too many catchphrases.

    Styles and Cena is refreshing as is New Day/Club

    I can feel an Old Era/New Era feud coming on..

    Good Raw though…

  3. M.R. says:

    Where’s Wyatt been? Did I miss an injury?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah he hurt himself at a house show in Europe. I saw the video and Wyatt kept trying to go but his leg was just gone.

  4. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Did not expect AJ to turn but I am digging it. Though im sure if John Cena wins one of their Matches it will be called a burial because Wrestling Fans today. MITB is shaping up to be a very good Show with a packed Card.

    M.R. Reply:

    I mean…AJ has yet to win a big match..

    klunderbunker Reply:

    The four way the night after Wrestlemania was pretty big.

    M.R. Reply:

    Against 2 midcarders and a has been on Raw. Not exactly the type of big match I meant.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    I am with KB here because getting 2 Title Matches winning via a 4 Way the night after Mania is a pretty big win.

  5. Aeon Mathix says:

    We are going to sit through weeks of Cena destroying Anderson and Gallows aren’t we?

    Your Eternal Reward Reply:

    Eh they did also start a feud with the New Day which means… they are going to lose even harder since the New Day has the numbers advantage.

    I wonder if this will lead to AJ/Gallows/Anderson starting their own six man tag titles (hah wishful thinking).

  6. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    Well Money in the Bank looks like a fun show with AJ vs Cena and AJ actually really needs this win and Cena can afford to give it to him.

    I’m assuming that last spot in the Money In The Bank match is being saved for a returning Orton or Wyatt( if it’s Wyatt I think he wins in a shocker).

    Rollins and Reigns are officially coasting through to the PPV now it seems which is unfortunate considering the 2 year history of the day and how that could have really been used to amplify the feud.

    Also YEA FOR RUSEV HE DIDNT GET SQUASHED FOR MERICA BY CENA. He gets to feud with Titus which is silly but different so I will roll with it until a real challenger steps up.

    I smell a four way tag title match which sounds real fun.

    No Sheamus tonight? I guess he is off doing TMNT2 pub.

    Finally, I worry about NXT with them renaming Takeover: The End. Either it’s best troll job ever or they really shutting down the show and drafted 80% of the talent.

    Your Eternal Reward Reply:

    To bad Cena will win because his time is not yet up. His time is still now.

    Pugtar Reply:

    I’m thinking the End is in reference to the Joe Balor match since its suppose to be a feud ender.

  7. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    Also that whole AJ v Cena sequence is just masterful pro wrestling at it’s best. Cena actually had some juice as a face. The crowd duel chanting. AJ’s turn was perfect and makes great sense and got awesome heat. The story they told with Anderson and Gallows dragging AJ back into nasty habits and evil ways works well with the meta narrative of indie v mainstream. It’s perfect as it makes Cena the face and AJ the heel in your mainstream all american midwest/south/small town america while having the roles reversed in your smarkier, edgier, more diversified indie markets on both coasts. Plus it is one of the few dream matches left out there.

  8. Ray says:

    So who is going to be the final guy in the mitb match? Weren’t they supposed to name Someone on raw or did they forget that part?

    Greg Reply:

    They never said when they were going to name a 7th guy.

  9. CrazySole says:

    “Cue AJ Styles for something that would have been a dream match ten years ago”. What a load of rubbish. Both Cena and Styles are still in their prime, infact they’re probably better now then they were ten years ago some would argue.

    This feud will be great, you already know the match is going to be fantastic.

    Ted Reply:

    Unm your prime is 39? With injuries and a toll on your body from 10+ years of wrestling? That’s not how that works.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah this. Also when AJ was the king of TNA and Cena was the king of WWE. The match itself will be awesome but it doesn’t have the same impact that it would have years ago.

    M.R. Reply:

    Cena actually is a better wrestler now than he was 10 years ago. Styles not so much.

    Ted Reply:

    He’s still not in his prime anymore. Great in the ring though. Aj is good then and now.

    M.R. Reply:

    AJ’s fine now, but isn’t what he was ten years ago. I’m not sure what you define as Cena’s prime when his best matches are from later in his career.

  10. Chocolate says:

    “The fans call this boring because they have the attention span of drunken goats and can’t go three seconds without being entertained.”

    Why is it you think your opinion is all that matters and anyone who disagrees is automatically stupid? Having no life outside of watching professional wrestling re-runs does not make you all knowing. Maybe they were calling it boring because it was fucking boring.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Well, for one thing, the fans were indeed stupid for chanting boring that quickly.

    Second, indeed my life does revolve around watching wrestling. That has made me money, made me rather happy and above all else, allowed me to meet my wife. Is that such a bad thing?