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WWE Monday Night Raw Live Reaction for 5/1/2017 – Can Braun Strowman Be Stopped, Unfinished Business with Miz and Balor, Bayley and Sasha vs. Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss, More

On the heels of Payback, WWE rolls into Sacramento, CA and the Golden 1 Center for tonight’s edition of Raw.  Last night’s pay per view ended with Braun Strowman absolutely leveling Roman Reigns in the main event.  Reigns sustained injuries at the hand of the stair wielding Monster Among Men and took the loss.  Who can stop Strowman?  What’s next for both of these men?  We saw Finn Balor and The Miz get physical in a pre-show segment, and it seems they have unfinished business.  Will Miz be in the way of Balor as he sets out to regain the Universal Championship?  Also, Bayley lost her Raw Women’s Championship last night to Alexa Bliss.  Tonight, she teams with her friend, Sasha Banks, to face the new champion and Nia Jax.  Will Bayley get some retribution for losing last night?

Show Open, Live from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA;

This is the night we start to make our way to Extreme Rules, which is the June pay per view event for Raw.  Imagine, FIVE WEEKS without a Raw branded pay per view event!   Pyro shoots off after the opening video package and the commentary team checked in.  It’s Cole, Graves, and Booker on the call and Cole hypes the capacity crowd.

In the ring is a podium and all of the women of the Raw Women’s division.  JoJo introduces Alexa Bliss as the new champion, and Bayley isn’t exactly happy about this whole situation.  Graves said he was excited all day about this situation.  The commentary team recapped still shots as Alexa made her way to the ring.

The podium looks like a cake.  Seriously.  Bliss thanked everyone for being out there, even though Kurt Angle made them.  Bliss seemed to throw shade at Charlotte by saying “the queen is dead” then put herself over as the goddess of WWE.  She talked about making history by holding both brand championships.  She criticized the referee for just holding her hand up like she was some other champion.

She said she wanted a proper coronation and thanked the women again.  She addressed Mickie, saying she inspired her while her contemporaries “Mae Young and Fabulous Moolah” are in a better place.  Ouch!  Mickie’s not that old! She addressed Sasha and her comments from the pre-show about not knowing who she was.  So this is pretty much an insult fest.

Bliss backed into Nia Jax, and played nice with her because she was clearly quite intimidated and would be tagging with her later.  She climbed the podium and said it felt like being on top of the world.  She spotted Bayley and talked about the title match.  She mentioned Bayley’s nephews crying after the match, and said that she saw the positives.  She said Bayley’s nephews had a real role model to look up to now.

That was all she wrote.  Bayley went at Bliss and attacked her.  Chaos broke out and all of the women brawled among each other.  Graves asked if someone was going to get things under control as the show faded to first break.

I thought Bliss played her part well.  Her promo work is generally on and she played into each woman she addressed with her false compliments which are true to her character.

So the brawl led to an impromptu eight woman tag during the break.  Teddy Long must have stopped by, playa.

Match #1 – Alexa Bliss (c), Emma, Nia Jax, and Alicia Fox vs. Bayley, Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke, and Mickie James;

Winner:  Bliss, Jax, Fox, and Emma

The Reax:  In the early going, Mickie got the better of Emma but tagged out to Dana Brooke.  Emma backed off and tagged to Alicia Fox.  Brooke hit a handspring elbow and followed with another move to get a two count.  Brooke tagged out to Banks and she continued to control Alicia.

Bayley and Banks teamed up for a double hip toss, then Bayley taunted Alexa.  Quick tags from the face ladies to isolate Alicia, with Sasha rolling her up for two.  Sasha controlled Alica with a submission.  Fox got a few strikes but Banks hit double knees on the mat for another two count.  Fox got a hope spot through dumping Banks to ringside, which led to a standoff between the eight going into a break.

During the break Nia Jax gave her team the advantage.  Fox hit a nice Northern Lights suplex on Banks for two.  The heels continued to control Sasha, tagging in Jax who hit an elbow to the back.  Booker asked who would stop Nia when she gets her turn.  Kind of like who will stop Strowman?  Maybe?  Anyhow, the fans rallied behind the face team and Sasha, but to no avail.  Sasha threw a couple kicks but it meant nothing.

Bliss finally tagged in for the first time in the match to work on Banks.   Sasha threw punches at the heel women but took a clothesline from Bliss.  Bayley got the hot tag and fired up on Bliss with strikes and buckle shots.  She hit the stunner through the ropes a side suplex but Jax broke the cover.

Chaos ensues, with Mickie hitting a Thesz Press to Jax on the outside, Emma dumping Dana Brooke to the outside, and Alicia Fox and Sasha fighting to the floor.  Bliss thumbed Bayley in the eye and hit a DDT to win.  The heels celebrated.

Heel win methods yet again.   Bayley gets a bit of protection via the distraction and thumb to the eye before taking the finish move.  The crowd was into the action it seemed, and generally it was solid to establish Bliss in her place as the  new head of the division.  It didn’t establish the next contender, but I do think it goes back to Bayley in a one-on-one match first.

The commentary team sold the Reigns/Strowman match as the most brutal they’ve seen, and promised a medical update.  They also hyped Seth Rollins’ next move and a match between Enzo and Karl Anderson as a follow-up to their pre-show match.

Match #2 – Enzo Amore (w/Big Cass) vs. Luke Gallows (w/Karl Anderson);

Winner:  Luke Gallows

The Reax;  The fans were into Enzo and Cass as they made their way to the ring and they did their gimmick.  He’s a certified G and a bona-fide stud and you can’t teach that.  He said their tired because their real life is better than their dreams, and they gave “Big Gal and Andy” the beating of their life in real life.  Gallows and Anderson weren’t interested in waiting for the rest of the promo and attacked with no fanfare.

Enzo and Cass ended up holding the ring and clearing Gallows and Anderson out.  Cole said the match would happen when we return as Enzo staggered around the ring.  Enzo recovered during  the break, so the match went official.  He took a big boot from Gallows right off the bat.  Too sweet me, Bro.

Gallows continued to control the offense.  Insipid Booker T commentary referred to him as the Flava Flav of the Chuck D and Public Enemy.  About 15 years late there, Booker.  Enzo threw a drop kick that Gallows avoided then he turned Enzo inside out with a clothesline.

Enzo’s fighting uphill here, taking a hammerlock slam as Gallows focused on the left arm.  Graves brought up the fact that Gallows and Anderson have won both WWE and IWGP tag championships.  Enzo started to throw punches but Gallows cut him off again with the armbar.  Cass sold concern at ringside as Gallows stayed in control.

Enzo started a rally with a second rope bulldog.  The fans are into this as Enzo and Gallows throw strikes at each other, then Enzo hit a low drop kick at the legs.  Field goal kick from Enzo and it’s good.  Enzo taunted too long and got caught but he eventually got a small package for two.

In the end, Enzo went top rope but Anderson distracted him.  That let Gallows load Enzo on his shoulders and hit his finish to get the victory.

A decent match where Enzo continued to fight from underneath as the smaller man, which was the story they were trying to tell.  The fans seemed to be into it, from that perspective.

Backstage, TJ Perkins asked what happened to Neville last night.  He said “other people” were saying that Neville escaped with his title by nefarious means.  Neville told him to tread lightly, then said it was the unprofessionalism of a referee out of position that resulted in the finish.  He noted that Perkins was losing out on championship opportunities because of Aries.  He told Perkins that he has a match later with Aries and he needed to make the most of the opportunity and “pull his weight.”

There’s an interesting dynamic brewing between Perkins and Neville but it’s hard to see where it’s going right now.  I think Perkins is a better heel than a face, but the dynamic that’s being teased here seems to point to Perkins being a face again. Neville’s such a good heel at the moment – so anyone going against him is going to be face.  Let’s see how the match goes later.

They ran an ad for Smackdown that noted Chris Jericho would defend his US Championship against Kevin Owens.  Write-off time? Hmm…

Seth Rollins made his way to the ring to a nice ovation.  Cole hyped his performance against Samoa Joe and Graves said he survived the repeated attacks to his knee.  Rollins got a good reaction from the live crowd when played to them.

He talked about feeling good and said for the first time in a long time he’s feeling good.  He said the fans have been through the highest of highs and lowest of lows with him.  He said he embraced the sucky part of life as well as the good times and figured out who he is.  “If those two things didn’t line up, you gotta do something about it.”  He said he looked in the mirror and he’s still Seth Freakin’ Rollins.

He said he slayed the king of kings at Wrestlemania, then got payback on Samoa Joe.  “So for me, there’s really only one thing left to do.”  He said “I want the Beast (Brock Lesnar).”  Big reaction and “yes!” chants from the live crowd for that one.  He said he’s not afraid to go back to Suplex City.  Cue Finn Balor’s music.

Balor said the two have been on the same page recently.  He respects Rollins for being the one legged man who won at Wrestlemania.  He called himself the one armed man who became the first Universal Champion, then recounted their match.  He said he never lost the title, so when talking about Lesnar “the line starts here.”  Cue Dean Ambrose.

This has all the makings of some sort of a four-way or multi-man match of some sort to establish Lesnar’s next contender.  I’m fine with that I think.  “Brock, Brock Brock Brock Brock…you all sound like a couple chickens,” Ambrose started.  Ambrose said Lesnar does what he wants when he wants and that includes fighting when he wants to.  Ambrose said prefers to be a fighting champion and put his title over as the top title on the show.  “I’m itching to get some action.”  Cue The Miz and Maryse.

Miz said Rollins and Balor haven’t earned anything and Ambrose is an embarrassment as champion.  Miz said he should be holding the Intercontinental Championship and put over how he added value to the title.  Balor called him the newest member of the “Finn Balor Just Kicked My Ass Club.”  Miz said he jumped him and that proved Balor’s a coward.

Miz addressed Rollins and made fun of him for hobbling around on one leg.  Rollins said he could run circles around him, and Miz retorted that it’s not a running race.  He said it’s a WWE ring and in the ring he beats people up.  The other three told Miz to shut up.

Ambrose cut in and said that he would settle this.  Ambrose whips out a phone and calls Kurt Angle.  Ambrose played it like Kurt wasn’t happy that he had the number.  They talked off mic, then Ambrose came back and set up Miz vs. Rollins vs. Balor with the winner becoming the number one contender to the Intercontinental Championship. “It’s true, it’s damn true.”

This went on a little longer than I cared for, but it was fine to establish a contender.  I assumed they would start to set up Lesnar’s next contender, but perhaps that’s coming from a different *cough*Strowman*cough* direction.  That too will play out.  Last we knew, Lesnar wasn’t defending the title again until July’s “Great Balls of Fire” pay per view.  Seriously, what kind of name is that?

The commentary team talked about Braun Strowman’s path of terror, taking out Kalisto and Reigns in consecutive weeks.  They ran still shots of the match between Strowman and Reigns from Payback.  Cole said we’d get an update on the aftermath of that match later.

Graves hyped the triple threat match for later, now it’s time for six-man cruiserweight action.

Match #3 – Noam Dar, Tony Nese, and Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann, Akira Tozawa, and Jack Gallagher

Winner:  Gallagher, Swann and Tozawa

The Reax:  I just came to the realization that it’s only 9:15PM EST.  I really thought it was later than that – this show is dragging.  Tozawa and Kendrick started off as Graves recapped their story of Kendrick trying to teach Tozawa lessons.  The fans were into the “ah ah ah” chant of Tozawa, who took a big shot from Nese as he blind tagged in.

Nese continued the offense with a torture rack.  Tozawa tagged out to Swann then they hit a double drop kick.  Dar and Gallgher tagged in.  The heels ended up at ringside, with Nese being dumped there by the faces as we headed to a break.

The heels were in control after the break and the commentary team showed us how we got there.  Kendrick covered Tozawa for a two count, and the heels kept control of him.  Nese has a pretty strong physique and showed it off with a delay vertical suplex where he threw Tozawa into the ropes.  Ouch.  Dar tagged in and taunted Swann then worked on Tozawa.  The heels kept the ring split.

Nese used a torture rack and the fans rallied behind Tozawa.  Tozawa threw a suplex then got the hot tag to Swann, who picked up the pace.  Cole, quit saying “fun to watch,” that doesn’t sell offense.  Swann got two off a rolling thunder suplex.

Kendrick tried for Sliced Bread #2, but Swann blind tagged to Gallagher, who hit Kendrick with a headbutt.  A bit later, Kendrick tried for Captain’s Hook but Tozawa cut it off.  Tozawa and Swann hit stereo dives to the outside, and in the ring Gallagher hit a corner drop kick to get the win.  The faces celebrated.

A good match that the crowd did react to moments of.  The commentary team tried to help sell the issues between the men along the way, which made it feel a bit more important than just a random six man tag.  The company does need to continue to develop these characters though.  They’ve done a strong job with Neville and Aries at the top of the card, but we need more characters underneath.

They recapped the tag match from Payback, complete with shadowbox closeups of Jeff Hardy losing a tooth on a kick.  Sheamus and Cesaro were shown walking backstage, and they would address their actions, next.

Cesaro and Sheamus made their way to the ring and Cole said they were a couple of men with some explaining to do.  Graves said we wouldn’t have to wait long to hear from the “Swiss Cyborg and the Alabaster Gladiator.”   Boos for the two men as the music died down.

The field jackets and kilts are a good look.  Sheamus asked how good it felt to be set free, saying he had been living in a fog of delusion.  “I never liked any of you.”  Fans told Sheamus he looked stupid, and he said he didn’t look as stupid as Matt and Jeff Hardy last night.

He said Wrestlemania was supposed to be their moment where they were going to take their championship back.  “At the last moment, the Hardy boys were added to our match.”  He said they stole their moment in the face of “Delete” chants.

Cesaro said the fans felt a rush of nostalgia and they loved it, just like when any other shiny trinket shows up.  Cesaro said it’s true because they don’t appreciate the present that is standing in front of them.  He said the feel good moment didn’t last because last night they proved the Hardys are not worthy of being in the ring with a Superman and a Warrior.

Sheamus said novelty acts don’t last long, and last night they showed them first hand that this isn’t the WWE they left behind, but instead it’s the one that belongs to Sheamus and Cesaro.  Cesaro  said they would win back the title.  “We don’t just set the bar, we are the bar.”

As Sheamus and Cesaro went to leave, the Hardys showed up.  Matt thanked them for the explanation, calling it illuminating that they believe the asanine absurdities.   He admitted they are hurting from last night, but they owed it to them to come out and respond.  Matt gave the “delete” motion and they charged, but Sheamus and Cesaro bailed.    The Hardys posed in the ring.

A fine segment to continue the story between the two teams.  I really didn’t see last night being the end of the line between the two since Sheamus and Cesaro turned like they did.  I think there’s still some mileage between the two teams that can be had, so I figure they’ll go to at least Extreme Rules.  I have to agree with the concept of a nostalgia act only lasting so long – so, we’ll see how they develop the Hardys going forward in this program.

Charly Caruso interviewed The Miz, asking that because he knows little about his opponents how he would prepare.  Miz recounted the history of Rollins and Balor and said that whether it’s Marine 5 or a Triple threat, he would….and he turned to see Dean Ambrose.  Ambrose asked if the hair gel got in his eyes when he wrestled, so Miz stormed off.  “This is Mean Dean Ambrose, back to Gene and Bobby at ringside.”

Match #4 – Heath Slater (w/Rhyno) vs. Apollo Crews (w/Titus O’Neil)

Winner:  Apollo Crews

The Reax;  Heath Slater has kids.  Seven that he knows of.  That was a part of a taped segment from backstage earlier.  Titus interrupted a conversation between Crews and Slater and told him that Slater “is the enemy” and Crews should seek advice from him.  Jury’s still out on the Titus Brand elevating Crews.  I think the “it” factor Crews is missing is the opportunity to develop his character on his own.

Some chain wrestling to start as the fans chant some random things that I can’t make out.  Sling TV, by the way, is the greatest decision I’ve ever made.  Crews has some great balance and showed it in a sequence with Slater.  “He’s got kids!” gets going.

In a rope running sequence, Slater takes Crews down with a nice arm drag, celebrates, then takes one from Crews along with a drop kick.  Rhyno works the crowd while Slater locks in a headlock.  Crews fires back with a couple kicks and a clothesline that he kips up from.  Crews throws an enzugiri.  Something’s going on in the crowd I think because they were reacting to something that didn’t seem to be happening in the ring.  Crews hit a sit-out powerbomb to win.  Titus and Crews celebrate, but Rhyno photobombs the selfie.

This was fine for what it was.  I’m still not sold on the Titus Brand stuff, and would rather see Crews develop on his own by hearing him speak for himself.  Honestly, that seems like something we didn’t see a lot of from his NXT days either, so I feel like Crews comes in fairly unknown to most.

The commentary team stood at their desk and recapped what Cole called “one of the most hellacious battles he has ever witnessed” between Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns.  Booker said Reigns brought wave after wave at Strowman but the levee didn’t break.  Kurt Angle’s music hit and he made his way to the ring, complete with “you suck” chants.  Great reaction for Angle.

He said the match between Reigns and Strowman may have been the most physical he has seen, but it has consequences.  Reigns reinjured his ribs, and Strowman tore his rotator cuff.  He said both men said they are not done with each other.  Angle said he has been talking to officials all day to see how to deal with situation.

He started to say he would have answers later, but Bray Wyatt’s entrance cut him off.  Cole called his match the most bizarre in WWE history talking about the House of Horrors match.  Cole recapped the finish of the match, with Orton being attacked by Jinder Mahal as he was closing in on winning the match, which handed Wyatt the victory.

Wyatt got a mic and introduced himself to Kurt.  Wyatt offered a handshake, which Kurt took.   He says he understands apprehension, but Wyatt means him no harm.  He said he’s not there for destruction, yet.  He said he came tonight as a savior and said he closed the chapter of Randy Orton.  “Randy Orton will forever be trapped in my house of horrors.”

Wyatt said he has begun to write something brand new on Raw.  He said he is reborn and he understands what he must do.  He said he knows what ails each and every one of us and can fix us.  This is pretty typical Bray Wyatt stuff here as he talks about having the cure, and “You need me, Mr. Angle.”  Wyatt said he needs to know if Angle will allow him to do his work.  “Will you walk by my side, or are you going to stand in my way.”

Angle said he didn’t know what Wyatt had planned but it’s his show.   Wyatt laughed and said it might be Angle’s show but it’s his world.  Abrupt cut out and off to commercial.

I gave Wyatt credit for getting the better of a feud against Orton last night, but this just seems like “more of the same” for Wyatt going forward.  The guy is a smooth as fuck talker.  He has skills.  He has abilities.  He lacks the proper long-term consistent push to be a top player.  A well executed segment full of going nowhere, at least that’s how I saw it.

Rollins was warming up backstage when Dean Ambrose played interviewer and wanted to get a word.  He said he has been getting better and thinks he’s going to get his own WWE Network show.  He ran through some names, most of which were taken.  Ambrose said if Rollins wins, would he have what it takes to take the title from Dean Ambrose.  They banter momentarily, with Rollins saying that he has some surprises.  “Nah, I got surprised once, it’s not happening again.  Back to you, Gorilla.”

Match #5 – Austin Aries vs. TJ Perkins;

Winner:  Austin Aries

The Reax:  Aries played to fans and slapped hands at ringside before getting in the ring.  8-Bit Perkins made his way to the ring.  Part of the story in this one has to do with Neville and Perkins for sure.  Aries wasted no time in getting aggressive early on.  Graves put Aries over, saying he can go to the Neville Level.  Some commenhatin’ going on as they make fun of Booker’s age.

Aries threw a big strike that drew an “ooh.”   Neville watched on from backstage on a monitor as Aries hit a drop kick from the top rope for two, then tried to go for the Last Chancery.  Perkins cut that off but Aries hit a back elbow and went top rope.  Austin got tied up in the tree of woe, then went to work on the leg.  The commentary team sold that as Perkins’ strategy to get the knee bar.

Perkins had control coming out of the break, locking in a butterfly lock.  Aries broke it with an atomic drop but ate a springboard move.  Perkins kipped up and played to the crowd before stomping Aries in the corner.   Booker admitted he didn’t like the Rich Swanns of the world, even though he liked him earlier.  Booker – c’mon.  Aries still sold the knee and leg as he fought back.

Aries tried a charge, but Perkins jumped up and locked a half crab through the ropes in an innovative moment.  Perkins set up to wrap Aries’ leg on the post but Aries pulled him face first to the post.  Aries warmed up and hit a suicide dive.  Neville shook his head in disgust backstage.

Back inside, Aries threw chops then a gut buster, an STO, then the pendulum elbow.  He followed with a snapmare and an elbow to the back for two.  The crowd started responding to these moves from Aries.   Perkins hit some rapid kicks, but Aries hit a shinbreaker into a suplex.  Perkins tried to get the Detonation Kick, but Aries countered the move smartly into the Last Chancery to get the win.

Perkins attacked Aries from behind afterward, going after the bad leg.  Perkins locked in a knee bar, then the official eventually broke it.

A good match, and Booker did a good job on commentary with a key line here at the end – “Neville said solve the problem, not win the match.”  Perkins looked ruthless with the post-match attack and Aries got a solid victory.  The fans seemed to be into this – but Aries, Neville, and Perkins seem to be getting the storyline support to make them interested.

Backstage, Finn made his way toward the ring for the main event when Ambrose stopped him for an interview.  Balor said that he eats nerves and produces results and would win the Intercontinental Championship.  Ambrose said that left only one thing to say – “for the love of God eat a carb!” and offered a donut.  Balor looked at it and took a bite and handed it back to Ambrose, who also took a bite.

The Drifter, Elias Samson, walked by playing guitar.  Ambrose asked if he played Pearl Jam.  Samson continued on without changing his song.

Backstage, Goldust talked about a movie being bigger than Baywatch and Guardians of the Galaxy.  “A Shattered Dreams Production – the Golden Quest.”  They tried to sell a tag match between Truth and Goldust vs. the Hardys.  Kurt said their record isn’t good enough. Facts.  Goldust pleaded, saying since Angle and the Hardys returned they’re inspired, and want to prove they aren’t a joke.  Angle thought about it, then booked a Tag team Turmoil match.  He said the winner would become the No 1 Contender to the Raw Tag Team Champions.

Cole congratulated Chris Jericho on winning the US Championship and fed it to a video of Jericho celebrating with Kurt Angle.  Tom Philips and Mike Rome both showed up to cut interviews with him, and Jericho picked fun at both of them and put them on the list.  They didn’t show it here, but that’s the full video on YouTube (I watched that earlier today).

Match #6 – Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz (w/Maryse); No. 1 Contender to the Intercontinental Championship under Triple Threat Rules;


The Reax;  Big reaction to Balor as he came to the ring first.  He’s the real rock-and-roller and the first Universal Champion.  Cole said the magnitude of this moment is not lost on Balor.  After the commercial break Miz made his entrance, with Cole hyping his six reigns as Intercontinental Champion.  Cole liked Dean Ambrose’s interview skills.  Rollins made his way out last, playing to the fans as Cole recalled the history between Balor and Rollins.

Miz, of course, bailed to ringside and said that the fans wanted to see Balor and Rollins go at it, so, they did.  Balor got a quick roll-up and Miz started to slip into the ring but there was a kick out.  Miz slid back out.  Another cover, another slip in by Miz.  After the kickout, of course, Miz ducked back out.  Perfect slimy heel fashion, really.

Miz kept teasing getting in the match, which slowed the action in the ring.   Eventually, Rollins and Balor cornered Miz, who ended up in the ring facing Balor but got cornered by Rollins.  Lots of negotiation from Miz, trying to work deals with both men.  Finally, Rollins and Balor attacked Miz and dumped him to ringside.  Rollins got a quick roll-up on Balor for two then sent Miz back to the floor.

The action picked up, with Balor hitting a low drop kick on a seated Rollins.  Balor started to take over, hitting an enzugiri on Rollins but he got wiped out by Miz.  Rollins kicked Miz to the floor then set a dive but Miz pulled Maryse in front of him.  When Miz turned to defend against Balor, Rollins hit him with a dive.

The pace picked up, and a bit later Rollins went top rope.  Miz shoved him off and he hit hard out on the floor going to commercial.  Back live, Balor chopped on Miz, but he locked in a headlock to slow the pace down.  They recapped some action during the break, which included all three men hitting simultaneous clotheslines.  Miz started to take control, playing to boos.

Miz tried for a corner clothesline but Balor countered and picked up the pace with a running drop kick.  Rollins flew into the ring and collided HARD with with Balor on a cross body.   Miz hit  a couple running drop kicks and played to a chorus of boos before hitting his corner clothesline.   Miz covered off a double axe handle for two.

Balor sold at ringside, then made his way to the apron but Miz used Rollins as a battering ram to take Balor back out.  Miz controlled both men, hitting his Daniel Bryan kicks on both men.  He wound up for the big one on Balor, but Balor ducked, fed Miz to Rollins, and assisted a DDT with a drop kick.

Pretty solid triple threat match going on here as Balor started to fire up with running chops on Miz and Rollins.  Balor hit a big jump-up enzugiri on Miz then clotheslined Rollins out of the ring.  Balor hit Miz with a big kick off the apron then Rollins with a drop kick into the barricade.

Balor got a near fall out of 1916, but Miz interrupted the count.  All three men sold as we cross to the 11PM hour.  Balor sent Miz to the floor then hit a slingblade on Rollins.  Miz tripped Balor and dragged him crotch-first to the ringpost.

Miz re-entered and tried for the Skull Crushing Finale but Rollins countered.  Miz went at Rollins’ bad leg then hit a kneeling DDT.  Hot sequence here. Miz tried for the Figure Four but Rollins countered out.  The second try was successful though, but Balor came in with a big kick to get a good near fall.

These guys are delivering and the crowd’s into it.   Balor threw strikes, taking out Miz and Rollins with kicks.  Rollins came back with a superkick of his own for a good near fall.  All three men sold and the fans cheered.   Rollins took Balor out with a splash then planted Miz face first to the buckle.  Double blockbuster from Rollins, followed with a frog splash for a good near fall.

This could be my FTIW this week.  Rollins hit Miz with a superplex into a Falcon Arrow for a great near fall.  Rollins is fired up with two suicide dives.  Uh oh!  Samoa Joe just showed up and hit a uranage on Rollins out on the floor.  Balor hit Miz with the slingblade and the shotgun drop kick.

Wyatt cut-in.  He took Balor out from the top rope and hit him with Sister Abigail.  Wyatt is gone, and the fans booed.  Miz slides over for the cover and wins.  Graves put Miz over for the win, but Cole said it was a shame that the match ended how it did with the two interference moments.  They recapped the finishing moments.

Miz celebrated on the stage while Rollins and Balor sold at the ring.  Cole said this is what Raw is all about as the show ended.

I know folks will get upset about that finish to the main event, but I didn’t mind it.  First, it was within the triple threat format (no dq’s and such), and it set up future storytelling.  Joe clearly screamed at Rollins “we’re not done!” during his attack and I did not picture them being a one-and-done program anyhow.  Balor and Wyatt was teased before, so him coming out and cutting Balor off from getting the win here made storytelling sense too.

The match was great and had the fans fully invested throughout.  Great near falls especially down the stretch and some great spots along the way.  All three guys put in the work and it made for an entertaining main event that had some meaning to it.

I will say I’m not excited about more Miz and Dean Ambrose, however.  It’s not that it’s a bad program, it just feels over extended and like both men need to move on.  Maybe this will be the one-and-done feud?  Hard to say, but I just can’t get excited about something that has been going on for some time now.

All in all, a solid show out of the pay per view that had some good wrestling.  We’re starting to see the direction in which some things will head for Extreme Rules (the next Raw brand PPV) if only a little bit.  They have four more weeks to develop the build, so we’ll see how they do.

Drew will have more on this show tomorrow on Around the Ring, and we’ll cover all things wrestling on Ring Rap Audio on Wednesday.  See you then.

About Bill Wentz (1540 Articles)'s Senior Columnist, writing with the site since 2009 and a lifelong wrestling fan dating all the way back to the early Wrestlemania years. As a strongly opinionated fan, you can get my thoughts regularly on Ring Rap Audio and Around the Ring on Thursdays, as well as in "Wentz's Blog" in print. Look for my live show reports as well for MMA, WWE, ROH, and more. Outside of wrestling, I have a strong obsession with trucks, winning awards statewide with a truck dubbed the "Brahma Bull Edition." Interact with me on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan or by email at

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