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Cook’s WWE Raw Review 5.16.22

May 16, 2022 | Posted by Steve Cook
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Cook’s WWE Raw Review 5.16.22  

Hey kids! I’m told that Tony Acero will be off the next two Mondays to attend Nymphomaniacs Anonymous meetings. You’re stuck with me, Steve Cook, for tonight. Not sure who will be here next week, other than it won’t be me since I’ll be working! Let’s try and get through the next three hours without anybody getting hurt.

Cook’s WWE Raw Review 5.16.22

We open with a video package chronicling the issues between Bobby Lashley & Omos w/MVP. Lashley & Omos will meet in a steel cage tonight! MVP will allegedly be kept from interfering by said steel cage…well, I’ll believe that when I see it.

Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton & Corey Graves are our hosts. I like them standing in front of the caged ring like it’s 1994 & they’re Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler. They run down the card, and we also see a Countdown to Cody clock that ends around 10 PM.

Steel Cage Match: Omos (w/MVP) vs. Bobby Lashley: They need a taller cage for this Omos fella, don’t they? MVP welcomes us to Raw and promises us we’ll see a spectacle of destruction. One of these men got a little too big for their boots and wanted to claim the spotlight of WrestleMania without MVP. The other is the future of WWE. A man bigger & stronger than Lashley could ever be. MVP expects Lashley to put up one hell of a fight, but it’s a foregone conclusion. Omos can pin Lashley, make him submit, climb out or walk out the cage door. There are no disqualifications, so MVP expects Omos to beat Lashley even worse than he got beat at Backlash. The All Mighty Era ends tonight, and we now live in the Age of the Nigerian Giant.

Lashley gets attacked from behind by Cedric Alexander during his entrance! Omos joins in the fun while referees try to restore order. Lashley enters the cage while Omos stares at him from the entranceway & we go to commercial.

The bell rings as we return, and it’s Omos dominating early. Fans chant for Bobby while MVP pokes through the cage holes with his cane. Lashley goes for the sleeper, but Omos powers out of it. Lashley sends Omos into the corner, Omos catches him with a choke and clubs him in the chest. Elbows in the corner by Omos. MVP pokes Lashley in the eye with the cane. Omos picks Lashley up, gives him Snake Eyes in the corner and a big boot. Feels like I’ve seen that somewhere before. Omos with a running charge in the corner. MVP reaches through the cage to slap Lashley, and Lashley grabs MVP’s arm. Knocks MVP down to the floor, then hits a spear on Omos for a two count. Lashley with some elbows, then a Northern Lariat. Lashley motions for the Hurt Lock, and briefly applies it before Omos stumbles into the corner. Lashley with a boot, then he starts climbing. Omos with the choke, Lashley fights him off with stomps. Cedric climbs up the cage to meet Lashley at the top. Cedric gets tossed down to the canvas. Lashley with a crossbody, Omos catches him and tosses him into the cage. Lashley fighting back, but runs into Omos’s big boot. Omos applies a clae before hoisting Lashley up, then tosses him into the cage, which bursts open! Lashley rolls down to the ground and wins!

Winner: Bobby Lashley (8 minutes via escaping the cage)
Match Rating: **1/2

Well, that was creative at least. About as good a cage match as I could have expected from these guys.

Last week, Mustafa Ali wrestled Ciampa with The Miz as the special guest referee. Ciampa won due to a fast count.

Theory vs. Mustafa Ali: The announcer makes sure to remind us that Theory is the youngest United States Champion in WWE history before we go to commercial. Theory grabs the microphone after the commercial and says he can’t go through with this match unless there’s a referee that he can trust 100%, so The Miz is here to officiate. I can hardly contain my excrement. Theory still has a gripe though, and tells Ali to expect the unexpected. So Theory gets to wrestle somebody else.

Mustafa Ali vs. Veer Mahaan: I’m not liking Mustafa’s chances here, just saying. Ali goes right after Veer with some kicks, but Veer takes him out with a bodyblock. Veer tosses Ali into the corner, but misses. Ali with some shots, but Miz breaks it up. Ali runs into a big boot. Veer with a flapjack, then a boot. Big elbowdrop by Veer. Gorilla press, Ali slips out, hits a superkick, another one, then gets tripped by Theory. Veer sent outside, kicked off the apron, but Miz blocks Ali’s attempt at a dive. The censor didn’t like whatever Ali said to Miz, then Veer clotheslines Ali out of his boots. Time for the camel clutch and for Ali to be made humble!

Winner: Veer Mahaan (3 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: *1/2

Time for Theory to take a selfie with Miz & Veer making Ali humble. Veer clears the announce table, but Rey & Dominik Mysterio come down to stop whatever was planned. Nice to see the Mysterios back, but Ali’s already dead in the water in near-record time. I kinda feel bad for the guy, but he had to see it coming.

The announcers talk over whatever Becky Lynch & Adam Pearce are talking about as we go to commercial.

Last week, Bianca Belair & Asuka wrestled while Becky Lynch talked, then interfered at the end.

Becky Lynch talks about how Naomi & Sasha Banks left the building and she should be named #1 contender. Adam Pearce says that Becky will face Asuka tonight, and the winner will be the #1 contender.

Last Friday, RK-Bro went to SmackDown to take on the Usos. That’ll happen this Friday. Riddle kneed Roman Reigns in the face. Reigns kind of felt it.

Riddle vs. Jimmy Uso: Riddle now has giraffes as part of his entrance, in case you’re keeping track of these things. Jey distracts Riddle right away & Jimmy takes advantage. Riddle with a kick, then a gutwrench suplex for a one count. Jimmy sends Riddle down with a punch, then chokes him on the second rope. Jey with the cheapshot while the referee’s back is turned. Riddle with another kick, then triangles Jimmy over the top rope. Riddle PKs Jey, Jimmy hits a kick, then a dive onto Riddle before sending him into the steps. Jimmy poses with the SmackDown tag belts as we go to commercial.

Riddle fighting back as we return before Jimmy kicks him down. Running ass smash in the corner gets two. Jimmy with the chinlock. Riddle fights out and hits an overhead kick. Riddle forearms Jimmy in the corner, goes for a suplex, blocked at first but he hits the Exploder before getting kneed on a senton attempt. Jimmy hits a modified Samoan Drop for the two count. Jimmy goes up top, Riddle follows him and teases the RKO, Jimmy knocks him off. Riddle blocks the splash attempt. Jimmy runs into an elbow, but Jey knocks Riddle off the top rope. Jimmy rolls Riddle up, Jey assists, and the referee sees it! Jey is ejected from ringside. Riddle small packages Jimmy for the three count moments later.

Winner: Riddle (10 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: **1/2

Last Monday, Rhea Ripley destroyed Liv Morgan for the sake of Judgment Day. Then Finn Balor got beat up until AJ Styles made the save. Shockingly, Styles then got beat up.

Earlier today, Liv Morgan talked about how Rhea won’t get away with this. Liv won’t give up the fight. Angel & Humberto offered their assistance and a chance to appear on the Kiss Cam, but AJ & Finn’s offer to work together against Judgment Day seemed more appealing. She’ll think about accompanying them to ringside.

Judgment Day will appear next!

Damian Priest says we’re not getting it yet, we should rise and pay respect to the Judgment Day. They do whatever they want to whoever they want, and whoever steps to them will face nothing but punishement. Rhea Ripley has embraced the movement and enjoyed every second of it. There is nothing holding her back, and it’s time for complete & utter eradication. Edge says they don’t speak lies. Some of us are tired of pretending. Edge encourages us to join them. Judgment Day = power, so accept this gift or continue living your purgatory of an existence. More will join, and Edge’s arm are open to any WWE Superstar that would like to join them. It could even be AJ Styles, who should understand by now. They could use AJ’s athleticism & leadership qualities. He tries to please everyone else. It’s not too late for AJ, or Finn or Liv for that matter. They can join, or be left laying again and again.

Finn Balor & AJ Styles (w/Liv Morgan) vs. Los Lotharios (Angel & Humberto): Ol’ girl seems overwhelmed by the excitement of the Kiss Cam. Styles & Humberto start. Styles with some chops in the corner, then an elbow before tagging Finn in. Series of kicks get two as the Countdown to Cody graphic tells us we’ll hear from Cody in about 33 minutes. Humberto stomps away on Styles in the corner before tagging Angel. Some clubberin on Styles, then the abdominal stretch! Frequent tags between Humberto & Angel, but it’s Styles & Balor sending both men outside before they hit stereo dives heading into commercial.

We return to Styles being locked in a half crab by Humberto. Angel tags in and hits a basement dropkick. Now they combine for a Boston crab. This referee been reading the AEW rulebook, it seems. Syles kicks Humberto away, then finally tags in Balor. Balor with some forearms, double stomp to Humberto. Angel gets an Irish Leg Sweep, but recovers well. Nearly cradles Balor for the win. Balor with the Sling Blade, then runs into a superkick by Angel. Humberto up top, moonsaults into Balor’s boots. Balor kicks Humberto into the corner. Styles with the Phenomenal Forearm, Balor with the Coup de Grace, and that’s it.

Winners: AJ Styles & Finn Balor (10 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: **3/4

Had some potential and probably would have gotten rated higher minus the commercial break.

Liv joins the Too Sweet hand gesture. This caused a riot on Twitter over the weekend.

The Alpha Academy has the results of a DNA test that will apparently prove Elias & Ezekiel are the same. Kevin Owens opens it, and finds out the results were contaminated by barbecue sauce. Otis seems to be the prime suspect for this. Gable will beat Ezekiel up tonight.

Last week, Sonya Deville was terminated as a WWE Official, then defeated by Alexa Bliss.

Alexa Bliss vs. Sonya Deville: Alexa has new theme music. Sounds good! Our countdown to Cody is at just over 14 minutes. Tieup into the corner, Sonya talking all kinds of junk before getting slapped. Shoulderblock by Bliss. Double stomp, Bliss misses a moonsault and gets kneed in the face for two. Sonya smashes Alexa’s face against the mat. Clothesline gets two for Sonya. Deville with the chinlock. Alexa eventually fights out. Jawbreaks her way out, but Deville hits some kicks. Running knee strike gets a two count. Sonya starts removing padding from the turnbuckle, the referee fixes it while Sonya spinebusts Alexa. Could have got three, but the distraction cost her. Alexa fights back, hits a DDT for the three count.

Winner: Alexa Bliss (5 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: **

Sonya takes exception to the official’s work, and slaps him down to the mat! That might cost her some money!

We see what Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins did last week. I could have lived without the slo-mo of Seth’s exposed ass crack, to be honest.

We see an AEW Rules sign, then Cody Rhodes makes his entrance. I can’t help but note this is happening well before Cody’s countdown ended. Maybe by the time the commercial break ends.

We’re back, and Cody is ready to soak in the adulation of the Norfolk fans. Apparently Seth Rollins isn’t here tonight. Cody is surrounded by lovers in Virginia & millions watching at home, but he hopes Seth is listening. Cody noted that Seth said he would never take anything away from him ever again. He’s not sure what he took away from Seth. The biggest threat to Seth Rollins is Seth Rollins. Back in 2012, Seth showed up to WWE all Shielded up, and he won titles right away. Cody had to take a different road. He scratched, clawed, painted his face with a smile, but endured. Loss teaches you so much. Cody learned he’ll never be the American Dream, so why not embrace the Nightmare? Does Rollins’ embarrassment for losing two matches overcome Cody’s quest for a second chance? Cody says Seth will have to kill him, and will give him the chance. They’ll run it back, but this time inside Hell in a Cell.

We hear the laughter of Seth Rollins, and he pops up on the Titantron. Trying to steal Seth’s spotlight at WrestleMania and cheating to beat Seth at Backlash wasn’t enough for Cody, so he wants one more go-around? Cody must be stupider than he looks. It’s the biggest mistake he’s ever made in his life. Anybody that’s stepped inside the cell with Rollins has changed forever. Rollins will expose Cody for the fraud that he is. Cody says he’ll see Seth in hell.

Asuka says that Becky Lynch cries like a baby, and tonight she’ll give Becky a reason to cry. She’s ready for the Women’s Champion, and Becky is not ready for Asuka.

Chad Gable (w/Otis) vs. Ezekiel: Kevin Owens joins the commentators for this match. We see a picture of Elias with Ezekiel, but KO still doesn’t believe that they’re two different people. Ezekiel with a shoulderblock. Gable goes for an armbar, but Ezekiel fights out of it. Headlock by Ezekiel. Gable goes for an arm drag, but Ezekiel goes back to the headlock. Gable with a back suplex. Gable with some punches. Ezekiel blocks the hiptoss & locks in the Gory Special. Gable with a sunset flip, then Ezekiel goes for the ankle lock before being knocked outside. Ezekiel gets cheapshotted by Otis on the outside before we go to commercial.

Gable working Ezekiel over with some holds as we return. Gable with the key lock as Owens continues losing his mind at the announce table. German suplex gets two for Gable. Gable then misses a moonsault. Ezekiel with some clotheslines. Spinebuster by Ezekiel gets two. Gable gets crotched up top, Ezekiel follows him up but Gable headbutts his way out of the superplex. Gable dives into Ezekiel’s knee for a two count. Gable hits the moonsault this time, and it gets two. Ezekiel fights back. Kicks Gable down, splashes him in the corner. Otis gets knocked off the apron, Gable rolls him up for two, Ezekiel reverses the rollup for three!

Winner: Ezekiel (11 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: **1/2

Not too bad. Where’s this Ezekiel guy been hiding all these years? Might be even more talented than his brother!

R-Truth & Tamina find Tozawa hiding in a garbage can. Then Dana Brooke thanks R-Truth for serving Reggie those divorce papers. R-Truth wants that 24/7 championship back. Dana runs away and runs into Carmella. Carmella talks about how Dana’s a sorry excuse for a competitor and a wife. Dana mentions the chinless guy. R-Truth chases Dana off, but apparently Carmella isn’t interested in re-forming their pairing. She’ll help him get that title back though.

Lacey Evans gets an elaborate introduction and will join us next.

Evans first mentions how much she respects the men & women of the armed forces. She wants the fans to get up and give them a round of applause with her, and the fans comply. She’s honored to be in the presence of some servicemen & women tonight. She thanks them. Finding the courage to fight, change your circumstances & become successful is hard. She’s thankful to be on Raw and the chance to show her two baby girls that they can do it. They can wake up, work & win. She might not be better than the other Superstars in the locker room, but they’re not better than her.

Earlier tonight, Riddle defeated Jimmy Uso in advance of the Tag Team Championship Unification Match this coming Friday.

Riddle says some things to the Usos in a smoke-filled room. He just smoked the Usos’ ass, bro! Meanwhile, the Usos say they’re the best tag team and the ones.

Bianca Belair comes out to watch the main event. In case you’re reading this and wondering why I haven’t commented on the Sasha Banks/Naomi business, it’s because I have no idea what’s going on. Better to let more info come out.

Earlier today, some WWE Superstars got to meet some of the servicemen & women of Norfolk. Including Bobby Lashley’s cousin!

Earlier tonight, Lashley beat Omos in the steel cage. Next week, Lashley will have an All Mighty Challenge for MVP & Omos.

#1 Contender Match: Asuka vs. Becky Lynch: Asuka & Becky go at it right away. It’s Asuka landing some early offense & Becky trying to avoid things before ramming her into the barricade as we go to commercial.

Asuka with some near-falls, then a big kick to Becky as we return. Asuka & Becky exchange forearms. Asuka with some backfists & kicks. Hip attack, then a knee. German suplex by Asuka, then a shining wizard gets two. Rollup by Lynch, Asuka counters the manhandle slam. Asuka misses on the ropes, Lynch legdrops her on the middle rope and gets two. Asuka counters the Disarmher with a rollup. Lynch with one of her own, then the Asuka Lock is applies. Lynch tries to convert it into a pin, gets two. Lynch misses off the top, Asuka with a jumping armbar! Lynch in the middle of the ring, but she rolls to the ropes. Lynch on the apron, she jacks Asuka’s jaw on the top rope. Becky goes over to chat with Bianca and tries to goad her into hitting her. Asuka attacks from behind. Becky sends Asuka into Bianca! Asuka gets rolled back into the ring, Bianca distracts the referee. Becky goes for the foreign object, but Asuka hits the mist! One kick later and we have a new #1 contender.

Winner: Asuka (9 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: ***

Could have used a little more time to really get cooking. What we got was good though.

It’ll be Bianca vs. Asuka at Hell in a Cell. The referee gets Becky a towel to get the mist out of her eyes. I’ve always wondered what referees think happened when there’s green stuff all over a wrestler’s face.

That’s the end. See ya next time!

The final score: review Average
The 411
There wasn't anything overly spectacular on this show, but nothing that completely offended my sensibilities. Maybe the Ali squash, but we all saw that coming when he came back. Other than that, I have no real complaints and would call this a perfectly competent episode of Raw. Needless to say, this whole show will be overshadowed by whatever went down with Sasha Banks & Naomi earlier in the day.

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RAW, WWE, Steve Cook