10 Thoughts On… WWE Monday Night Raw 05.23.2016 (The Miz vs. Cesaro, Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler, AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens)


1. It’s the show after Extreme Rules, and apparently episode 1,200 in case you’re into round numbers. Seth Rollins is back, and the crowd love him… Until he works his magic and turns them against him. Rollins hasn’t lost a beat on the mic, that’s for sure. I love the look of disgust as he talks about receiving flowers when he was in hospital.

2. Just as people are starting to hate Rollins, out comes someone they hate even more, Roman Reigns! To prevent a riot, Shane O Mac comes out and talks some more, because who doesn’t love a wrestling show that starts with 20 minutes talking… Shane announces a title match at Money in the Bank, which is apparently considered a bombshell these days. I call shenanigans and a rematch at Wrestlemania.

3. It’s all about Money in the Bank tonight, with a bunch of qualification matches starting with Shamus vs Sami Zayn. Sami has been on a bit of a losing streak recently, but manages to pull a semi-decent match out of Shamus before picking up the surprise win.

4. Apollo Crews is giving an interview backstage when he is jumped by Shamus who shouts something unintelligible and beats him down. And now there is a cake in the ring with New Day, and I feel some fast forwarding coming on… After a while the social outcasts attack New Day from behind, minus Adam Rose of course because even social outcasts aren’t allowed to break the law. New Day win the ensuing match because the social outcasts suck.

5. The Miz comes out and talks for a while before being interrupted by Cesaro. They’re facing off for a MITB slot, and Cesaro doesn’t waste any time taking it to the Miz. Solid match from both men with Cesaro picking up the clean win. So far MITB is looking interesting…

6. A heavily bandaged Chris Jericho is taking on a surprisingly chipper Apollo Crews, which tells me that a Shamus beatdown is not something you need to be concerned about. Jericho does well to keep up with the athletic Crews, until a bad bit of timing results in Crews taking a lionsault to the head. Jericho picks up the win, and Crews may have injured himself in that last spot.

7. Enzo Amore is back, and he calls out the Dudley Boys. As there is no way Enzo is cleared to wrestle a full match, Big Cass takes on Bubba Ray in a singles bout. Not terrible, but far from the best match I’ve seen from Big Cass – it didn’t help that Bubba was doing his standard ‘stiff the rookie’ schtick. Cass picks up the win with the Empire Elbow.

8. After a recap to the insulting finish to the Women’s Championship match last night, Charlotte comes out accompanied by Grandpa Ric and Emma’s ex-BFF. More talking, but I can’t hear it at 30x speed. Our next qualifying match is Dean Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler, and it would be a genuine surprise if Dolph won here. Because Raw doesn’t do surprises, Ambrose picks up the win.

9. AJ Styles is out next, and he blames both the Usos and The Club for his loss last night. The Club come out, make some Japan references and then leave AJ to face Kevin Owens alone. This was probably the match of the night for my money, with both AJ and Owens working their asses off to put on a good show. Owens picks up the clean win after an awesome match.

10. Overall an entertaining episode of Raw, although as usual I did fast forward most of the boring bits. The fact that Kevin Owens and AJ Style are main eventing Raw is cause for celebration. Cheers!

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