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SPOILER WARNING: This article contains full show match results for WWE Monday Night Raw from the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York which aired on Monday, May 7 2018.
The first-ever Greatest Royal Rumble received mix reviews from fans, and despite the welcome return of the women to the card, WWE Backlash 2018 actually seemed to fare a little worse.
There were no title changes on a pay-per-view that failed to hit the mark with many, but the beauty of the WWE is that we can dust ourselves off and move on to the next PPV – and up next it’s the event that turned the Big Four into the Big Five: WWE Money in the Bank.
It’s still over a month away, but the build starts now. Here are six things we learned on the first step on the road at Monday Night Raw.
1. WWE Money in the Bank really is one of the ‘Big Five’
After a disappointing pair of PPVs, the WWE needs a bit of a boost, and it can’t really wait until SummerSlam 2018 for it.
It’s a good job that we’ve got WWE Money in the Bank 2018 coming up pretty soon.
With a Men’s and Women’s ladder match offering a briefcase cash-in-at-any-time contract for the winners, MITB has become one of the most exciting pay-per-views of the year.
And in our dual brand era with cross-brand PPVs, it’s even better. Each match will be split evenly between Raw and SmackDown contestants, and the winner gets a shot at their brand’s title.
That contract is worth even more than your regular bog standard title opportunity, as that cash-in surprise can even up any odds.
And since the MITB match got its own event, the build to it has become especially exciting.
We got a trio of qualifying matches last night (more on all of them later), and the excitement around each was palpable.
WWETV has just been given a massive shot in the arm, and if we’re lucky that excitement will carry on for the next five weeks.
2. Ember Moon rises on an otherwise disappointing night for the Raw women
Three hours of telly. One women’s match. It’s not really acceptable any more.
There is enough talent in that locker room. There is even more talent in this industry.
We appreciate the slow build to Sasha Banks vs Bayley. We appreciate the rise of Ember Moon. We appreciate the continuing badassery of the Riott Squad
But smooshing all those angles together into a single match does all a disservice.
And, while we’re happy to excuse Brock ‘Special Attraction’ Lesnar, he’s earned that position in a way that Ronda Rousey just hasn’t yet.
On the positive side, the Triple Threat MITB qualifier between Sasha Banks, Ember Moon and Ruby Riott had plenty going on.
And with Ember winning, we hope that Sasha and Ruby skip the ladder match and spend the next month and a half building their own non-ladder angles. In their own matches.
3. Seth Rollins Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge is here to stay
YES! YES! YES!
As we said last week, Seth Rollins imitating John Cena and putting his IC Title up for an Open Challenge was filled with potential.
After his defeat of The Miz at Backlash (MOTN without a doubt) that’s what we got.
The first challenger wasn’t necessarily the most exciting. Despite his André the Giant Memorial Trophy, Mojo is still lacking a bit of mojo since his split from Zack Ryder.
But it was a strong enough match to kick off the IC Open Challenge era, and now every single fan (even those of us who still can’t quite buy The Shield reunion), has a reason to support Rollins.
We’re just hoping for a few more surprises as the Open Challenges come in.
A sprinkling of NXT call-ups, new faces, returning Superstars and big name power will really help Rollins elevate the Intercontinental Title and Monday Night Raw with it.
4. Finn Bálor is OVER and he’s going to Money in the Bank
With his pursuit of Seth’s IC Title over for now, Finn Bálor has other targets.
And one of them is regaining the WWE Universal Championship.
People forget that Finn was the first ever winner of the title, having beaten Seth Rollins of all people back at SummerSlam in 2016.
But he was forced to vacate the belt just one day later due to injury, opening the door to Kevin Owens, then Goldberg, then the hegemony of Brock Lesnar.
Finn is very much back back back these days, and perhaps he’s back on the ladder to getting back what he never fairly lost.
He beat Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn to book his place in the ladder match, and has to be a serious contender to go all the way and eventually challenge Brock Lesnar.
As with the women’s qualifier, we’re hoping that this means RR and SZ are out of contention for this year’s MITB match.
Anything less makes a mockery of the qualifying system, and also stops us getting those separate angles you need to fill five hours of WWETV each week.
5. Braun Strowman needs some WWE gold to cap off this remarkable run
We made this observation a little while back, but Strowman’s ascension from also-ram of the Wyatt Family (yes, that pun is still funny, no, we won’t stop making it) to the Monster Among Men has been incredible.
But he hasn’t had all that much to show for it.
Sure, there was the Greatest Royal Rumble win but that’s the Community Shield of WWE trophies… it doesn’t really count.
And while he was briefly a Raw Tag Team Champion alongside Nicholas, the fourth grader’s return to school meant that those belts had to be relinquished.
With his defeat of Kevin Owens last night, Braun Strowman has earned a place in the WWE Money in the Bank ladder match.
Can he win? A ladder match doesn’t necessarily favour the big man, and Finn Bálor’s presence already underlines how difficult a challenge it will be.
But Braun Strowman WILL become WWE (Universal) Champion one of these days. The only question is whether it’ll be in 2018 or if we’ll have to wait a little longer.
6. The WWE Tag Team division needs a bit more structure
We’re big fans of ‘Woken’ Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt, and were delighted that they became WWE Raw Tag Team Champions so early in their partnership.
But we need a little more going on in the division.
The Weird Ones defeated Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel last night, but with the greatest respect to the former Miztourage, they need bigger and better challenges.
Also on the show, Dolph ‘n’ Drew beat Heath Slater and Rhyno, while Titus Worldwide joined forces with No Way Jose in defeat to Baron Corbin and The Revival.
There are plenty of strong tag teams here on Raw, and they should all be spending every single week either going for that title, or making the case that they should be.
And for their part, Hardy and Wyatt should get on with recruiting some members for a cult/stable to take over the whole damn show.
WWE Monday Night Raw full show match results – Monday, May 7, 2018
- Men’s MITB Qualifier: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens
WINNER: Braun Strowman
- Baron Corbin & The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. No Way Jose & Titus Worldwide (Titus O’Neill and Apollo)
WINNERS: Baron Corbin & The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)
- Women’s MITB Qualifier: Ember Moon vs. Sasha Banks vs Ruby Riott
WINNER: Ember Moon
- Chad Gable vs. Jinder Maha
WINNER: Jinder Mahal
- Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno
WINNERS: Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre
- Bobby Roode vs. Elias
WINNER: Bobby Roode
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Mojo Rawley
WINNER: Seth Rollins
- Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas vs ‘Woken’ Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt
WINNERS: ‘Woken’ Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt
Men’s MITB Qualifier: Finn Bálor vs. Roman Reigns vs. Sami Zayn
WINNER: Finn Bálor
What did you think of Monday Night Raw – let us know at @digitalspywwe.
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