WWE’s Raw Reaction For May 16, 2022 – TJR Wrestling
Welcome to WWE Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Norfolk, VA.
As always, you can check out John’s full detailed report here.
We open things up with a video package detailing the feud between Bobby Lashley and Omos that led us to tonight’s steel cage match. We get the “big fight feeling” vibe by having Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton welcoming us to the show standing outside the cage. It was a good idea. MVP and Omos come out first so MVP can cut a long promo before Lashley comes out. Cedric Alexander attacks Lashley as he heads to the ring for reasons.
The cage match finally begins and it’s not so good. Omos is still very limited and it really showed. MVP intervenes several times despite the fact that the cage is supposed to prevent this. Lashley eventually rammed MVP into the cage to get rid of him. Alexander comes back because someone needed to hit the top of the cage and Omos certainly can’t. Omos threw Lashley through the cage and stood there watching Lashley roll to the ground to win the match. Omos looked like a model standing there staring at Lashley while MVP yelled at him. I was hoping this feud would be over, but it was later announced that we had one more week left when Lashley will have an All Mighty Challenge for MVP and Omos next week.
The theory is next to face Mustafa Ali. Theory again features The Miz as a special guest referee and Veer Mahaan as Ali’s real opponent. Wow, this show feels like it’s just stuck in neutral tonight. Theory and Miz interfere, as Mahaan actually needed help, and Ali gets run over. After the match, the Mysterios show up to literally take down Mahaan. I guess the feud starts again.
Backstage, Becky Lynch complains to Not WWE Commish Adam Pearce that she should be in the main event six-pack challenge and that two of the participants, Naomi and Sasha Banks, left the arena. Pearce matched Asuka and Lynch one-on-one, with the winner traveling to Hell in a Cell to face Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship. It was a really weird situation, because Sasha and Naomi legitimately walked out in the middle of the show when they were supposed to be in the main event. I will have other thoughts at the end of the column.
Riddle next takes on Jimmy Uso in singles action. Jay is in his brother’s corner and we have no sight of Randy Orton anywhere. The match was good but not as good as it could have been. Jey interfered a bit throughout the match before eventually getting caught by the referee and thrown from ringside. This is the third game in a row where there is a lot of outside interference. Can we please provide a different booking strategy? Once Jey was thrown, Riddle rolled Jimmy for the win. I still believe the Smackdown Tag Team Title Unification match will end in a DQ just to annoy the fans.
Promo Time with The Judgment Day is next. We get a standard promo that Edge always wants to recruit more members for his party. I will say Ciampa is next on the list.
Los Lotharios get shot down by Liv Morgan backstage before AJ Styles and Finn Balor chase them away before their next game. Liv Morgan joined Styles and Balor at ringside. The result here was never in doubt and got a good game. The two teams seemed to fit together well and the action was pretty solid. Styles and Balor sent off from Los Lotharios and Morgan joined the alliance after the game making the “too sweet” hand gesture. It was scheduled after last week and Morgan had joined the group on the weekend show circuit.
Sonya Deville then gets a rematch against Alexa Bliss. Bliss has a new theme song and it’s not so good. Her husband couldn’t make her a song? This match lasted more than two moves and went well. Bliss has picked up the win since returning from her layoff. After the match, Deville slapped referee Danilo Anfibio as she could no longer abuse her power to restart the match.
Promo Time with Cody Rhodes is next. Rhodes opened up about his history with Rollins over the years, which led to Rollins appearing on the Titantron. Rhodes challenged Rollins for one more match, this time inside Hell in a Cell. Rollins agreed and it will be yet another great match.
Chad Gable then confronted Ezekiel. Ezekiel continues his transformation into Ultimate Warrior over the weeks. The match was pretty good, since Gable is so awesome. Ezekiel picked up the win, likely setting up another match with Kevin Owens. I don’t know how far this Ezekiel/Elias story can go. It’s starting to run out of steam.
Another week and another pointless 24/7 crew divorce segment. Carmella has been sucked into it now and I feel weirdly bad for her.
Promo Time with Lacey Evans is next. She cuts a babyface promo putting the troops on, as they are in Norfolk and her past military experience.
It’s main event time with Becky Lynch taking on Asuka, with the winner earning a title match with Bianca Belair at Hell in a Cell. There’s about 10 minutes left on the show, so they made the most of it and put on a good game. Asuka picked up the win after spraying Lynch with the Green Mist and connecting with a roundhouse kick. It was the right result. Lynch’s rematch against Belair should be reserved for one of the stadium shows.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The AJ Styles/Judgment Day feud progressed well this week. Edge wanted more rookies while Styles and Balor recruited Morgan for their team. This could set up a very nice summer streak for the stadium shows. I guess Ciampa and Ali would take their respective sides in the coming weeks.
After this fantastic Smackdown last week, we are treated to this ho-hum episode of Raw. Most matches had too much outside interference. The cage game was not so good considering the limitations of Omos.
Thoughts on the Sasha Banks/Naomi situation
We should hear more as the week goes on about the story behind their mid-show exit. There are rumors that Sasha and Naomi were going to be featured in singles title matches at Hell in a Cell with a tag title program for Money in the Bank. It makes sense on paper. The larger marquee matches should be saved for future stadium shows. With Super Charlotte’s five years of wreckage littered, every champion could use a believable challenger for Hell in a Cell. Sasha and Naomi fit this bill more than Carmella and Shotzi. I don’t know where things go from here. We’ll just have to stay tuned as the week progresses.
You can find me on Facebook or Twitter (@ciscowebwiz76) with any comments or discussions.
That’s all I have, until next time.