Welcome to the Monday Night RAW recap. Tonight, we have a seven-woman gauntlet match for the final place in the Money in the Bank ladder match. Seth Rollins will spend his birthday defending his Intercontinental Championship against Jinder Mahal. And we’re expecting some unspecified action from Nia Jax, Braun Strowman, and Bobby Lashley.

I’m Amanda, and I’m here to guide you through tonight’s RAW.

The Opening Segment

It’s Memorial Day, so the show opened with some stories from US forces veterans and a moving tribute to the lives lost.

The show proper began with Braun Strowman. He said that when he sees the Money in the Bank briefcase he gets motivated because he knows that inside is a contract guaranteeing him a Universal Championship match. At Money in the Bank, he will destroy seven other men and claim the contract. Then he’ll be known as Mr Monster in the bank. None of the other competitors can stop him. He’s taking the briefcase and Brock Lesnar is going the ‘get these hands’.

Finn Balor appeared to say he was the first Universal Champion and he never lost the title. That eats away at him every day, so he’s going to climb the ladder and take back what’s his.

He told Strowman he gave him everything he had last week, and Strowman told him he put up a really good fight, for a little guy. Balor laughed, then slapped Strowman’s face.

Finn Balor slaps Braun Strowman
photo credit: wwe.com

Braun Strowman shoved him into a corner then threw him across and out of the ring.

Kurt Angle came out and said he saw a lot of intensity there, then set Finn Balor versus Braun Strowman to start immediately.

Finn Balor vs Braun Strowman

Kevin Owens joined commentary for the match.

While Owens talked himself up, and everyone else down, Balor and Strowman were having a match much like last week’s. Strowman threw Balor around a lot, with Balor throwing in the odd bit of spirited but ineffective offence.

Kevin Owens stood up yelled some ‘encouragement’ to Strowman over the mic, Strowman just looked at him and went back to stomping on Balor.

By the time we came back for the break Balor was fighting back, but Strowman caught his leg while he was trying to kick him and threw him out of the ring.

Strowman ran around the ring and shoulder hefted Balor over the barricade. Balor managed to shove him into the ringpost as Strowman was carrying him back to the ring.

Finn Balor and Braun Strowman
photo credit: wwe.com

Finn Balor was just getting some momentum up when Owens decided to give him some ‘encouragement’ too. He was momentarily distracted but the fightback continued anyway, with some success.  He launched himself over the top rope, on the second attempt, and managed to hit the Coup de Grace.

Balor was going for a second Coup de Grace when Kevin Owens attacked him and knocked him off the turnbuckle. Owens got a ladder from under the ring and hit Balor with it. He tried to do the same to Strowman but Strowman took the ladder off him then threw it up the ramp after him when he scarpered.

After the break, Kevin Owens was trying desperately to leave when Kurt Angle told him he has a match against Bobby Roode tonight and sent him to get ready.

The Other Stuff

– Elias paused his song to ask for lower lights because he didn’t want to look at the crowd. He stopped again to ask for sound adjustments, and a final time to get the crowd to shut up. He waited through an ad break, then Rollins came down for his match, threw the stool out of the ring, and asked Elias to leave. Surprisingly, he did.

– Seth Rollins vs Jinder Mahal – Intercontinental Championship match – Rollins started hard but got distracted by Sunil Singh and knocked off the apron into a barricade. That was the start of a long period of dominance for Mahal, until Rollins sent him face first into a turnbuckle and temporarily took back the upper hand. Mahal hit a gut-buster for two, Rollins got two-counts from a roll-up and a falcon arrow. Singh prevented Rollins from hitting the stomp and the ref ejected him from ringside. While the ref was distracted by Singh, Mahal hit Rollins in the gut with a chair. Happily, that also only got a two-count. Sunil Singh came back, and Rollins threw him into Mahal. Rollins snapped. He grabbed the chair Mahal had used, smacked Mahal across the back, and got disqualified. He beat both Mahal and Singh up the ramp with the chair. While Rollins was celebrating on top of the announce desk, Elias hit him with a guitar knocking him flying off the desk and stage. They tried to take Rollins out on a backboard in a neck brace. He kept the brace on but walked out with help.

Elias hits Rollins with guitar
photo credit: wwe.com

– Nia Jax entrance was interrupted by Ronda Rousey joining commentary. Jax said she was glad Rousey came out to see what she was going to do to her at Money in the Bank. She went for a demonstration rather than a match. First, she asked her opponent, Michelle Webb, to put her in an armbar. That ended up with Webb being lifted and slammed into the mat. Then Jax demonstrated the Samoan drop, leg drop, and rolling senton. Jax invited Rousey to come and help Webb and wouldn’t allow the ref to. Webb cleared the ring before Rousey got there. Rousey gave Jax ‘the look’, Jax said it was humorous and cute, then turned her back on her and walked away.

Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey
photo credit: wwe.com

– The Deleters of Worlds vs The Ascension – This was quietly decent. Matt Hardy took a lot of offence to make the Ascension look good. It finished with the Kiss of Deletion.

– The B-Team asked Kurt Angle for a title shot but were told that beating Breezango twice doesn’t qualify them – What would the other teams think? Dallas interpreted that to mean they needed to get the other teams’ approval. Despite Angle protesting that wasn’t what he meant, they decided to invite the tag division to a Memorial Day barbecue.

– Kevin Owens vs Bobby Roode – Owens wasn’t taking any nonsense. Roode is no slouch, but Owens was on top of everything he threw at him. A cannonball into the barricade left Roode writhing through an ad break, and Owens was still in control when we came back. When Roode fought back into it, Owens tried to leave. He got halfway up the ramp and stopped, so Roode dragged him back. Owens pinned Roode, but Braun Strowman appeared and chased him around the ring. Roode stopped Owens getting away and Owens took a running powerslam. Silly Bobby Roode stuck around to encourage Strowman into delivering a second one. He did, then Roode took one as well.

– Sami Zayn came out to apologise for last week’s ‘Lashley’s sisters’ segment. He did, then said everything he’d said was true. Everyone should feel sorry for him because he deserves better (honestly, we all do). Eventually, Lashley came out and challenged him to a match at Money in the Bank. Zayn said he was going to Helluva kick the smile off his face. Lashley refused to let go of Zayn’s hand and apologised for everything he’s going to do to him, while he was crushing it hard enough to bring Zayn to his knees.

Sami Zayn and Bobby Lashley
photo credit: wwe.com

– Drew McIntyre vs Chad Gable – The first half was all McIntyre. Gable got a two count from a moonsault and got a bit of momentum up on the outside. Unfortunately, McIntyre caught him as he launched himself off the second turnbuckle and threw him against the ringpost. Moments later, McIntyre finished him off with a Claymore kick.

– B-Team barbecue – They gave everyone cheesily named food (Bo-tato chips) then tried to get them to agree that they deserved a title shot. When Titus Worldwide and Heath Slater told them it wasn’t happening, they demanded the food back. They ended up wearing it and there was a food fight. Rhyno stayed in the ring eating, and occasionally flinging, sandwiches until the B-Team returned and put him through a table. After the break, Dallas and Axel demanded a title match. Instead, Angle announced a tag team battle royal for next week.

B-Team food fight
photo credit: wwe.com

The Final Segment – The women’s Money in the Bank qualifying gauntlet match

During RAW, Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke, The Riott Squad, and Mickie James cut promos for the match. The Riott Squad did theirs as a team. Bayley got a pre-match interview as she was first. She said the odds were against her, but she’s never run away from a fight. She’s bringing it to the Riott Squad, she’ll show Brooke her numbers don’t add up, and she’ll go through Mickie James. Sasha Banks had said her name was on that contract, but it doesn’t say Sasha Banks, it says Bayley.

It’s great the women main-evented, but the whole gauntlet got less than half an hour.

Bayley vs Liv Morgan

Lasted one move. Bayley hit the Bayley to belly, and Morgan was out.

Bayley vs Sarah Logan

Bayley tried the same tactic, that didn’t work but it still only lasted a minute or two before Bayley got the pin. Liv Morgan returned to the ring and Logan and Morgan beat Bayley down, ready for Ruby Riott.

The Riott Squad and Bayley
photo credit: wwe.com

Bayley vs Ruby Riott

Bayley had pinned Morgan and Logan by this point, and been beaten down afterwards. She gave it her best shot, but it was another sub-two-minute showing before Ruby Riott hit the Riott kick to eliminate Bayley.

Ruby Riott vs Dana Brooke

Less than a minute for Dana Brooke before she fell foul of another Riott kick.

Ruby Riott vs Mickie James

I’d point out that this was Riott’s third match, but she’d hardly broken a sweat. This got slightly longer, mainly because there was an ad break in it. Actually, it was good, right up until Ruby Riott pinned Mickie James with a handful of tights.

Ruby Riott vs Sasha Banks

Sasha Banks tried to finish things quickly against the fatigued Riott, but it didn’t work and they settled into it. They saved the best until last. They could have gone twenty minutes easily, they got six.

Sasha Banks was going for the Bank Statement at every opportunity but Riott was ready for it. Ruby Riott had some good chances. A DDT got a two-count, the follow-up kick got another. Banks hung Riott up in the ropes, dragged her head down and kneed her in the face, then delivered a huge powerbomb, for another two-count.

She had the Bank Statement locked in when Morgan and Logan reappeared. Banks broke the hold to knock Morgan off the apron and kick Logan out of the ring, then almost got caught with a roll-up. She kicked out, locked the Bank Statement back on, and Ruby Riott tapped.

Sasha Banks is the final entrant in the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match.

Sasha Banks and Ruby Riott
photo credit: wwe.com

Not a bad RAW tonight, but not a great one. The women were seriously short-changed on time, and it was a real shame. The Money in the Bank build up is starting to feel very drawn out. We’ll see what next week brings.