WWE Raw Highlights
Finn Bálor def. Kevin Owens via Disqualification
Owens picked his target wisely, zeroing in on Bálor’s arm and forcing him to fight out of what was looking like a very deep hole. When Finn clawed his way back, Owens subjected him to a good old-fashioned mugging, one that led the ref to hand Bálor a disqualification win to The Extraordinary Man after Owens refused to stop putting the boots to his adversary into the corner.
Hoping to further demoralize his opponent, Owens retrieved a ladder from under the ring and attempted to symbolically retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase while Finn watched prone from the floor, only to change his mind and tee Bálor up for a Frog Splash from the rungs. But KO hesitated a little too long, allowing Finn to rally, bring Owens down to earth and administer an astonishing Coup de Grâce from near the top of the ladder. As a final statement of his own, Finn scaled the ladder and snatched the briefcase with ease in a potential preview of the Men’s Money in the Bank Match.
If Owens’ goal was to expose flaws in Bálor’s game plan, he certainly succeeded. In terms of demystifying Bálor, however, it’s safe to say he fell short. Bumps and bruises aside, it’s difficult to argue that the Irishman didn’t look as extraordinary as ever when all was said and done.
The Riott Squad def. Sasha Banks, Ember Moon & Bayley via Disqualification
The Lone Wolf had some grounds to contest in his capacity as Raw’s new, Stephanie McMahon-appointed Constable. The match in question had originally paired The Riott Squad against the unlikely trio of Sasha Banks , Ember Moon and Alexa Bliss — all of whom are Money in the Bank-bound — though Bliss left the match with an apparent hamstring injury. Bayley hit the scene later in the bout, evening the odds and pinning Sarah Logan almost immediately with an emphatic Bayley-to-Belly.
Unfortunately for her, Corbin was watching, and he went straight to Raw General Manager Kurt Angle to protest the result on the grounds that he was acting as Stephanie’s “eyes and ears.” (He sought the referee out for a few choice words as well.) Rather than risk a confrontation with Stephanie, Angle was forced to overturn the decision and hand the win to The Riott Sqaud, spoiling both a big moment for Bayley and what was shaping to be a long-awaited reconciliation between her and Banks.
Sami Zayn confronted Bobby Lashley
Sami Zayn faces a tall task against Bobby Lashley at WWE Money in the Bank, so the former NXT Champion has waged his battle largely in the court of public opinion. Much of his strategy has done little more than amuse Lashley, though Zayn may have finally crossed a sacred line in his latest round of insults.
Zayn’s latest attempt to discredit his rival came after Lashley invited Zayn to the ring to air his grievances. Instead, Zayn posted up on the floor of the arena and began to relentlessly mock Lashley’s inspirational Instagram posts. He also implied that Lashley was taking advantage of fans by trying to sucker them into a Bobby Lashley fan club. Lashley’s reaction was surprisingly understanding — he got that Zayn wanted to talk trash, but he wished he didn’t have to try and smear his reputation to do it — or at least it was, until Zayn implied that Lashley had fabricated his military record. At that point, the smile faded from Lashley’s face. Zayn got what he wanted: Lashley is good and riled up. The bad news is, now, it’s personal.
The B-Team won a Tag Team Battle Royal to earn the right to challenge “Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt for the Raw Tag Team Championship
The B-Team had no name and no victories to speak of. Since then, they’re 3-0, and thanks to the third of those wins, they’re officially the next challengers to Raw Tag Team Champions “Woken” Matt Hardy &
Bray Wyatt . They didn’t jump the line to get there, either: Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel literally defeated every other tag team in their division in a Tag Team Battle Royal to attain their long-desired championship match.
The B-Team’s chances were bolstered heavily by the early ousting of presumptive favorites Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre , who were sent packing after The Showoff suffered the first elimination of the match. (McIntyre went ballistic and started flattening Superstars in the ring moments later). But they certainly took advantage of that lucky break, outlasting an elimination spree by The Revival to make it to the final two teams. And when Heath Slater accidentally eliminated Rhyno , the biggest win of The B-Team’s career was sealed.
Braun Strowman def. Bobby Roode
As realistic as Bobby Roode was about this fact, he couldn’t escape the nasty, brutish fate that awaited him against The Monster Among Men. The Glorious One certainly employed a creative stick-and-move strategy against Strowman, even going so far as to block Strowman’s around-the-ring pursuit with a ladder propped between the ring and the barricade. Strowman replied by breaking the ladder clean in half with his bare fists, and from there it was just a few short seconds until Roode was finally ensnared by These Hands and subjected to an emphatic Running Powerslam for the 1-2-3
Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax def. Natalya
Natalya’s battle with Nia Jax was a twofold opportunity for The Queen of Harts: Not only could she potentially shock the Raw Women’s Champion, she provided a chance for her training partner, Ronda Rousey , to scout The Irresistible Force before their title match at WWE Money in the Bank. Unfortunately, Natalya illustrated the perils of facing a Superstar such as Jax when she tweaked her knee just as she began to roll, and Nia, who didn’t see the injury occur, capitalized with a merciless Samoan Drop to earn the win.
Jax seemed genuinely concerned about a potential injury to the veteran Superstar once she realized what had happened, but she didn’t get to help Natalya out all that much: Rousey left the announce desk, entered the ring and successfully warned Jax away from Natalya’s side with little more than a glare and some pointed words. (Natalya herself later cooled a similar confrontation in the locker room before she left the arena for further evaluation.) Ronda may not be able to turn Nia back so easily come bell time on June 17, but for tonight, it was enough.
James Harden def. Curt Hawkins via Disqualification
Harden got an assist from a grinning Baron Corbin , who crashed the match and administered the End of Days to Harden, robbing Hawkins of a surefire layup — he’d even planned a taco party to celebrate the impending win by giving a taco to everyone in attendance — and handing the W to his opponent instead. Then, adding insult to injury, The Lone Wolf smashed one of the tacos in Hawkins’ face, slammed the former WWE Tag Team Champion’s head into the table and flipped the whole display over on him
Even more shocking than all this was Corbin’s revelation to Raw General Manager Kurt Angle backstage: That he had gone straight to Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon to complain about being “overlooked” and she had appointed The Lone Wolf as her personal representative as a result. He even has a new job title to go with it: Constable
Elias & Jinder Mahal def. Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
Elias & Mahal focused almost the entirety of their early offense on him (clearly, Mahal was still smarting from Rollins’ steel-chair barrage last week) and pivoted seamlessly to isolating Reigns when he tagged in. The old Shield chemistry began to kick in down the stretch, but luckily for Elias, Sunil Singh caused a distraction that allowed Mahal to toss Reigns into the audience, and Rollins paused his press to pursue Mahal’s herald with steel chair in hand.
Unfortunately, The Architect sprinted headfirst into a DDT from Elias that spiked Rollins into the steel. Drift Away followed in short order, and with it came a resounding win for a young Superstar whose greatest hit may be just around the corner.