WWE Raw 5/15/17 Recap – Seth vs. Bray and Roman vs. Balor

We get a recap of Braun destroying Roman at Payback, then getting beaten up by him. Well, I already miss Braun. The prestigious IC Title is on the line – I can’t wait to be reminded of how many WWE Hall of Famers have held it! Speaking of which, Kurt Angle comes out and talks about Braun’s injuries including a shattered elbow. Kurt is reciting all of this with the excitement of reading off a list of ingredients from a loaf of bread. Kurt announces a Fatal 5 Way Extreme Rules match at the PPV to determine who faces Brock. Seth, Joe, Balor, Bray, and Roman will be in the match. It’ll be historical AND extreme and it’s damn true. Wow was this bad, and now Roman’s out to chat.

Roman says that they don’t need the match – he’s the top guy and it’s his yard. Then Finn comes out to talk. I’m just going to imagine “Captain Fuckin’ New Japan!?” throughout Finn’s promo. He says the line starts behind him. Now logically, he’s not entirely wrong – but Kurt just nixed that. Why announce the match and then do this? Sure, a parade of promos would be a bad way to set this match up, but Kurt announcing it and THEN doing a parade of promos isn’t much better. Now Joe is out to talk instead of kicking ass. Can they just get to a wacky six man tag or something? He chats about kicking ass before Bray says scary words. Everyone will fall and run. Seth says that there’s five weeks until the PPV, so there’s A LOT OF TIME FOR TALKING, but Jersey wants fighting. Everyone brawls and Seth attacks Joe’s knee.

Finn hits a shotgun dropkick…kinda to both Seth and Bray before diving on guys. A guy in a pink Dolph shirt lightly claps before looking back at his phone. That about sums up WWE perfectly now. Finn and Seth bicker with Roman and then Kurt awkwardly tells them to shut up. Seth vs. Bray is made, and Kurt makes Roman vs. Balor for later tonight as well. So you’re WWE and you have no stars in reserve. SO OF COURSE let’s do two first-time ever matches on free TV!

Jeff Hardy comes down to face Sheamus. Bomber jackets make this intro even cooler. It is impossible to boo them. Not much happens before it’s ad break time. After it, Sheamus drops a knee for 2. Sheamus hits a pump knee strike for 2. Sheamus falls off the top into a stunner and then an actual Twist of Fate hits and the swanton ends it. Well, this was really sloppy and Jeff simply can’t go in a singles match anymore. Every possible combination of these guys going at it in singles matches has happened – please do SOMETHING else.

Sasha comes out to face Alicia Fox. They exchange kicks before Alicia gets a chinlock. Sasha hits a satellite headscissor, but a backstabber leads to her being backdropped over the top and then Alicia wins with an axe kick. Dean is shown walking backstage in a new horrible shirt to prepare for his IC Title match next. Backlash is hyped up and if you subscribe now, you’ll get Backlash and Extreme Rules for free. Maryse and Miz now have matching jackets – how cute.

Miz cowers, but gets 2 off a schoolboy. Dean goes up top, so Miz goes outside for an ad break. Miz gets low bridged and sent outside for a suicide dive. Dean gets 2.5 off a lariat bulldog combo. Miz takes a comedy bump off a corner lariat missing. This match really needs boing sound effects and ’60s Batman BONK and ZOINK balloons. Finale hits, but only gets 2. Miz’s basement kick misses, but a cradle gets 2 for Dean. Dean goes for the elbow, but Miz puts Maryse in front – so Dean jumps anyway and she darts out of his path. Miz goes for a low blow, so Dean blocks it and kicks him in the balls – so after all that, the one hyped match on the show ends in a DQ. Corey calls Miz’s attack a “strong style inner thigh grab”, which is a fantastic line.

Finn chats with a generic brunette human about the WWE 24 documentary on WWE Superstar Finn Balor airing live on the WWE Network. And at WWE Extreme Rules, he will be in the first-ever WWE Fatal 5 Way Extreme Rules match, but first, he must face Roman Reigns tonight. Well, that was awful. The Goddess Alexa Bliss is out, but first, an ad break, then a slow motion recap of her Payback title win. She insults Newark, New Jersey and says “if you’re a failure, say what” to shut up the What chants.

Bayley rambles for a while before getting to her point – her rematch clause will be cashed in at the PPV. Alexa buries Bayley for not getting extreme. So now we’re getting the first-ever HISTORIC Extreme Rules match with two FEMALE SUPERSTARS! Bayley attacks Alexa like a coward. Alexa finds a kendo stick and attacks Bayley with it. An ECW and ONE MORE TIME chant break out. Well, this sure got Alexa over as a babyface.

Kurt is on the phone before Miz comes in and says HE WAS KICKED. Kurt says okay, you won – so you’ll get a match at Extreme Rules. Miz wants a match where a DQ gives Miz the belt, and gets it. Maryse yells at Kurt in French before the Drifter strolls in. That ate up time. Speaking of which, Neville and TJP came out to face Gallagher and Aries.

TJP is sent in to start against Aries and a dive brings about an ad break. TJP beats up Aries outside the ring while Neville distracts the ref. Jack tags in, but a butterfly suplex is countered. TJP eats the headbutt, but Neville prevents the dropkick death blow, and the detonation kick ends it. Cole hypes up an exciting week on the Network with the Balor documentary tonight and the UK Title special on Friday. Takeover, and Backlash.

Backstage, Bayley is taped up. I hope Bayley says she’ll get EXTREMEly even with Alexa. Kurt wants a one on one match, and Bayley wants to get revenge! Kurt says she will get revenge in a kendo stick on a pole match…and then he leaves. So hopefully it’s just a swerve. Truth is bummed and Goldust says he just fell once – he’s fallen a bunch and Truth helped him up. Goldust is telling a nice story here. Shame none of it was actually told on this show over the past year or so. It’s not like they don’t have time in a 3+ hour show to develop characters.

Balor comes out for his match with Roman at 9:51 – making the final full hour of Raw feel needless, especially since it’s leading to a Bray Wyatt match. The Braun-Roman video package that began the show airs once again. A crowd shot reveals a ROMAN REIGNS IS NOT THE CHOSEN ONE sign. Great stuff. Roman hits a Samoan drop and Finn goes for a walk. After a break, Roman smashes his back into the post. Roman hits the drive by in such a way that Finn’s back hits the post – I dig that.  Roman hits the corner lariats, but misses a kick before landing a Blue Thunder bomb. Finn gets a standing double foot stomp and a slingblade. Roman crotches him during the coup de grace, and the spear ends it.

Bray vs. Seth is hyped up before Bray says spooky words about Raw being haunted by a beast. It may be Kurt’s show and Roman’s yard, but this is his world and he’ll defeat the beast. Seth chats for a bit with Charly about conquering Bray tonight. Cole’s mic sounds off, and then Goldust comes out and also can’t be heard. We get What’s Up the Golden Truth mix with captions and then Goldust attacks Truth. Good, the on-screen lyrics stuff is stupid.  Goldust tosses him around ringside while the fans make no noise. Well, maybe if either of them was built up as anything over the past three years, this would matter. Goldust says this is what’s up. Okay then, and then they just move on.

Corey says that since Enzo is from Jersey, we won’t see him again due to outstanding warrants. Enzo on a Jersey show in the death slot is perfect since he’s getting a better reaction than 99% of the show already. Titus comes down in a suit with Apollo Crews and brags about being Mega Dad of the Year. Enzo’s never-ending gear changes mean that Mattel should love this guy – they can make 20 figures for him per year. Titus does a fine Enzo impression before an “asshole” chant breaks out. Titus plugs his UCLA gig and is doing a great job here. Cass says Titus will face him and then quotes the Men’s Wearhouse ad. Booker says that they’re in NY, which is just astounding.

Titus kicks ass in a suit before threatening a beating with the belt. Enzo distracts and a boot ends it. Enzo takes a selfie and Crews kicks him. Second heel turn in two segments. DAMMIT D’LO! Bray comes out to face Seth and they run down the fatal 5 way. Seth hits a running PK to Bray. Bray hits a superplex and locks on a modified camel clutch. Seth hits a corner forearm while Cole talks about how all five guys pose a problem for Brock. Seth hits a suicide dive to a mild reaction. Well, this same dive has been done a billion times tonight – why should it matter?

The shotgun lariat gets 2 while Cole calls the action from a tin can judging from the audio quality. Bray sets up Abigail, but a cradle gets 2. A falcon arrow gets 2. Joe charges at Seth like a husky choo-choo train and takes him out for a DQ. Joe and Bray beat up Seth. So someone should come to make a save, right? Seth’s former friend Roman? Nope. Bray turns on Joe and hits Sister Abigail on him. Sister Abigail to Seth too – so Roman’s a prick then.

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