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WWE Raw results, live blog (May 22, 2017): Extreme opportunities

WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (May 22, 2017) from the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for early next month in Baltimore, Maryland.

Advertised for tonight: The build to the number one contender match continues, Alexa Bliss and Bayley still have issues, and more!

Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)


Please understand me, I'm climbin' through the wreckage of all my twisted dreams but this cheap investigation just can't stifle all my screams. And I'm waitin' at the crossroads, waiting for you so I can liveblog this here pro wrestling show for your reading enjoyment, folks.

The show opens with a video package hyping up the five-way #1 contender's match that was made for Extreme Rules last week man by man.

Bray Wyatt then makes his entrance. He gets on the mic and asks the people to stand up, for soon the slaves of the Beast shall be liberated. Stand up and rejoice for your one true savior, Bray Wyatt. The Beast is all around us, he lives in each and every one of us, the leash that society wraps around our necks.

He's the reason our children can't sleep at night, he's the voice in the back of your head that tells you not to stand and fight, but to run. But Bray? He's in control, man, and soon he'll rip open the Beast's chest and feast on his black heart. The Beast will die the most brilliant of deaths at the hands of our one true savior, Bray Wyatt.

At Extreme Rules, four men will suffer, and he will begin his brilliant crusade to slay the Beast once and for all, because he alone can protect us and he asks us to rise once again. You think Seth Rollins can protect you? Seth's destiny ends in malice, because Bray sacrificed him.

And what of Samoa Joe? Well he sacrificed Samoa Joe, too. In his world, there are no friends, only followers. Don't believe him? Just ask Finn Balor. That's exactly what he's talking about, we all try to live vicariously through Balor, but Bray promises that by the end of this even the Demon will see the truth, that only Bray can slay the Beast.

But wait, there's more, a man who claims this whole place is his yard, Roman Reigns. Bray wanted to ask Roman a question-- what is one little silly yard mean to a man that owns the world? Again he tells the people to stand and says that this is his world...

Enter Roman Reigns. He tells Bray that if he's gonna run his mouth in his yard, he suggests he do it to his face, and Wyatt buckles over laughing. He says it's good to see his old friend and nothing has changed, he always lets his temper get the better of him. But Bray says he's the truth and the only one that can beat Brock.

Reigns disagrees, saying he's going to be the one to beat the other four at Extreme Rules and beat Brock Lesnar, and that's the truth. But the only thing on his mind right now is how he's gonna get Bray out of his yard right now.

Enter Roman Reigns. He tells Bray to hold on, saying that the five-way at Extreme Rules could be the most important match of the New Era. But he wants to find out who's gonna have the momentum going into the show, and he doesn't want to wait, so he books Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt right now!

Referee John Cone runs down, and the match will begin after the break.

Back from commercial in time for the bell to ring!

Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns

Circling, collar and elbow, roughly evenly matched as they push against each other and Roman grabs a side headlock. Bray shoots him off, shoulder block, both men stay on their feet. Wyatt to the corner and back, forearm for slicing uppercut and Bray falls to the mat. Charging, upside down taunt in the corner, Sister Abigail clutched but Reigns gets away and cracks Wyatt with a boot that sends him outside.

Trading rights, Bray is knocked up onto the barricade! Back in the ring the Eater of the Worlds takes the lead, stomps and the big Rock Bottom, whip across and the injured ribs are hurting the Big Dog now. Charge meets a leaping lariat and Reigns is back into it, corner lariats, but Wyatt catches him with the wild crossbody!

Samoa Joe comes down to the ring! Referee John Cone tries to back him off but the Destroyer ain't listening and he beckons Bray to his feet. Coquina Clutch on Reigns!

Roman Reigns wins by disqualification.

Roman backs him into the corner to break, Wyatt attacks the Big Dog and Samoa is on him with the Coquina Clutch as well! Seth Rollins comes running down and gets into it with Joe, throwing hands, ducking a lariat, a dropkick sends the big man outside! Bray getting up but Reigns has him scouted, Superman Punch!

Roman and Seth stand together in the ring as Joe and Wyatt back off.

Commentary talks up Finn Balor vs. Karl Anderson as well as a Matt Hardy vs. Sheamus match where the winner picks the stipulation for their tag title match at Extreme Rules, and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Roman is telling Seth he doesn't need his help. Rollins says no offense but he didn't come to help, he came to get Samoa Joe. Kurt Angle rolls up and says at Extreme Rules it'll be every man for himself, but tonight is about teamwork. He makes Rollins & Reigns vs. Wyatt & Joe and they walk off.

The Drifter drifts in. Kurt says he's been trying to get his attention for a long time and he just got it. He hasn't had a match yet, but Angle will give him his first match on Raw, against Dean Ambrose. The Drifter stares intensely a moment before going back to strumming his guitar.

Akira Tozawa has a match and Brian Kendrick is backstage to talk about it. He says he's the teacher and Tozawa is the student.

Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Daivari

Circling, Tozawa throws a kick but Daivari ducks. A few punches, Akira off the ropes, lands a kick, punches on punches, whip, Ariya gets a sunset flip but Tozawa catches him with a Penalty Kick and a senton for two. Charge in the corner ducked, Daivari with a lariat for two of his own and he puts boots to the Dragon Gate man.

Kendrick has another comment from backstage about how the only thing Tozawa does better is his stupid chant. Off the ropes, Tozawa with a pump kick, Daivari has a knee in return, Akira with a Frankensteiner, rolling solebutt, crawl under, back suplex, he climbs the ropes...

Akira Tozawa wins by pinfall with a diving senton.

Brian says he's impressed, but not as impressed as the rest of the WWE Universe, because he's going to destroy Tozawa in their Street Fight on 205 Live tomorrow night.

Commentary hypes up Ambrose/Samson, it's after the break.

Back from commercial, Sasha Banks is walking backstage when an interview rolls up. She says her match against Alicia Fox tonight is her "Get out of jail free" card match to get away from Fox and Noam Dar. Speak of the devil, they roll up to tell Banks she's just jealous. Dar says she's not the Boss, Sasha gets in his face and he backs down.

Elias Samson is on a stool in the middle of the ring, playing his guitar and singing a song about drifting into Grand Rapids tonight and how he's gonna beat up Dean Ambrose and run him out of Raw.

Dean Ambrose vs. Elias Samson

Staredown corner to corner, collar and elbow, Samson with a side headlock, wrenching it in, Ambrose tries to shoot him off but the Drifter blocks. Back elbows, off the ropes, drop down, arm drags into a kneeling armbar. To the ropes, Elias yanks Dean's arm on the break! Throwing chops, willing life into the arm, Samson follows with a beatdown in the corner.

Drifting to the outside for a face smash into the apron, running knee into the temple, and we go to break.

Back from commercial, the Drifter has Ambrose in a cutthroat choke, keeping him grounded but the champ stands tall and fights out. Off the ropes, Samson cuts him off with a lariat but it's only good for two. A right hand puts Dean in a bad place and the Drifter follows with a Fujiwara armbar, Ambrose up and out with forearms.

Back elbow on the charge, boot up, swinging neckbreaker, Dean trying to rally here, boots to the midsection, forearms, whip reversed, lariat, going for the diving elbow... SAMSON CATCHES HIM FLUSH WITH A JUMPING KNEE! NOT ENOUGH! Boot, Ambrose counters with the pendulum lariat and Miz runs from commentary to the ring. He looks back and forth before attacking the Drifter...

Elias Samson wins by disqualification.

Miz tries to make his escape, Dean gets ahold of him but Samson comes from behind and hits the rolling cutter!

Commentary hypes up Miz and Dean's Extreme Rules match.

A referee escorts Big Cass backstage where he finds Enzo Amore passed out in some rubble. He tries to revive his buddy and we go to break.

Back from commercial and Enzo is awake and responding to questions from EMTs but he didn't see who jumped him. Kurt Angle promises he'll get to the bottom of it, and Cass says Angle better hope he finds out who did this before he does.

Finn Balor makes his entrance and gets on the mic. He greets Grand Rapids and says Balor Club is in the building. They have their hands full, because at Extreme Rules, they have a fieful-- whoops, fatal five-way match where the winner faces Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship.

Tonight Karl Anderson stands in his path, but don't worry, because he's focused, he's r--

Enter Paul Heyman. He does his usual intro schtick and says one could make the argument that he's out here tonight to scout potential victims for his client. Surely you heard Bray Wyatt paint a portrait of a WWE Universe without a Beast, well, he hates to vandalize his masterpiece, but if Bray steps in the ring with his client, Lesnar will paint him as a victim.

Then there's Seth freakin' Rollins, he wants to compete in a fatal freakin' five-way at Extreme freakin' Rules, Brock freakin' Lesnar will make him a freakin' victim. Plus Rollins is the focus of Samoa Joe, hired mercenary, badass assassin, but against Brock Lesnar, he's a victim too.

Then we have the one that laid the Deadman down, Roman Reigns. The odds-on favorite. If Roman wins the five-way and challenges Brock, he will no longer be the end-all, be-all in WWE, he'll just be Brock Lesnar's victim. Which leads Paul to Mr. Balor. He asks if he can get in the ring and Finn invites him.

Heyman reminds him he's just an advocate and respectfully submits that Balor is nobody's victim. He knows that the other contenders in the five-way have painted him as the underdog, but Finn is no underdog. They may not see him coming, but Paul E sees him coming, the Balor Club sees him coming. What was that prophecy he said? If you believe it you can achieve it?

Paul believes in his heart that Finn is the most talented in-ring performer in WWE today, and perhaps more importantly, he believes that Balor believes that he's gonna take the other contenders to the extreme, and he knows a little something about the word extreme. And furthermore he believes that Finn believes that he doesn't look at Brock like a mountain of a man with all these accomplishments, he believes that his client is the same as the other men in the five-way.

That if he steps into the ring with his client, he, just like the others, will be Finn Balor's victim. So he's most looking forward to the possibility of Balor/Lesnar for the Universal Championship. On behalf of his client, he wishes Finn luck and shakes his hand.

Finn says he's glad Paul is here. He wishes Brock was, but he isn't, surprise surprise. But hey, being Brock's advocate, maybe he can pass a message, and tell him that at Extreme Rules, he will win the five-way and go on to face Brock Lesnar for the title that he never lost, and you tell him that Finn said Finn Balor will beat Brock Lesnar.

Enter Karl Anderson, flanked by Luke Gallows, the match is after the break.

Back from commercial and the match is in progress!

Finn Balor vs. Karl Anderson

Anderson is going after Balor's arm, wrenching and kicking. Sunset flip, Finn with a dropkick and body blows, mat slam, slingshot stomps against the ropes and referee John Cone backs him off. Front chancery, Machine Gun backs him in the corner but Balor comes back with a strike rush. Gallows runs some interference and Karl bowls Finn over with an elbow and a lariat.

Raking his nose against the ropes, Luke gets a cheap shot in and Anderson rains mounted punches down into a cover. Reverse chinlock, Karl takes Balor to the mat but the former Universal Champion struggles to his feet and out with elbows, prompting a boot and a fresh application of the hold. Again Finn gets up and throws elbows, and this time Machine Gun hits a backbreaker for two and goes back to the hold.

Uppercut for Pele kick, both men out on the mat, back up and Anderson charges into a boot. Finn runs him over, dropkick, getting fired up, chop in the corner, whip across for another, whip reversed, up and over, boot to the face. Karl to the second, Balor knocks him down to the outside with an enzuigiri!

Baseball slide and an apron Penalty Kick for Big Hoot, an enzuigiri for Anderson on the charge, climbing, leaping over and he gets caught by the Anderson spinning spinebuster... not enough! Powerbomb clutch, Finn slips out, double stomp to the ribs! TOPE CON GIRO ON THE CLUB! Back in the ring, Sling Blade, shotgun dropkick...

Finn Balor wins by pinfall with Coup de Grace.

Commentary hypes up our big tag match for later as well as Sheamus/Hardy, and we go to break.

Back from commercial and Alicia Fox is in the ring ahead of her match.

Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks

Circling, collar and elbow, Banks flips Fox away and jaws at her. Drop toehold, right into the Bank Statement crossface but Alicia gets the ropes and takes a break with Dar at ringside. Baseball slide, Sasha throws her back in but Noam runs interference and Fox catches the Boss with a boot for a nearfall.

Knees to the back, reverse chinlock, wrenching it, but Banks fights out with punches. Whip reversed, boot up, headscissors face smash into the turnbuckles, corner knees, Alicia gets a back elbow and an arm wringer to put the Boss' face into the turnbuckles herself. Sasha turns it around...

Sasha Banks wins by pinfall with the rope-hung double knee drop.

Dar and Banks argue as referee Darrick Moore keeps them separated... THE BOSS SLAPS THE TASTE OUT OF NOAM DAR'S MOUTH! Fox doesn't take this kindly and lays Sasha out with the scissors kick before high fiving and kissing her man.

Kalisto is hanging out backstage with Apollo Crews. He's known him for a long time, but what's wrong with him? He's fighting Titus O'Neil's battles now, and last week he kicked Enzo. The lightbulb goes off and Kalisto asks if Apollo attacked Amore today, but Crews denies it and says Titus gives him connections and he's just keeping his options open.

Speak of the devil, Titus rolls up and says Kalisto is trying to be the first international member of the Titus Brand! He doesn't care what kind of money it is, he just wants the money. Kalisto says he's not interested and O'Neil says he messed up and is gonna get Crews to teach him a lesson in respect tonight, and we go to break.

Back from commercial and commentary recaps the Golden Truth breakup from last week.

We get a video promo from Goldust, talking about how the bright lights make him who he is but gold is the purest of them all, never withering, never rusting. But R-Truth's light is flickering, he's holding onto that last glimmer of hope, just waiting for another chance to shine on his silver screen.

He gets a script and throws it down, saying this is his picture and he's back in the director's chair, and he controls how and when his next film will end. The Golden Age is back.

Alexa Bliss is interviewed backstage. She's shown a picture of the mark her kendo stick left on Bayley and says she's not sorry. The sound of the stick smacking flesh makes her salivate and she can't wait to do it again. Last week was nothing, and at Extreme Rules she'll make sure Bayley is tattooed in welts all over.

Bayley's daydreaming about some scenario where she becomes champion again, but she can't get extreme, it's not in her DNA. And tonight, against Mickie James, Bliss is going to do the same thing she's gonna do to Bayley, take her dream and turn it into nightmares.

We get a recap package for Reigns/Strowman and a reminder that the monster among men will be out for some time, because WWE like it when we're sad, I guess.

And so to break.

Back from commercial and Kalisto is in the ring waiting for his match against Apollo Crews.

Apollo Crews vs. Kalisto

Circling, Kalisto goes behind with a waistlock and Crews flips him off with a swivel of his hips. Kalisto in with kicks, off the ropes, drop down, Frankensteiner to a kip-up and Apollo heads outside. Off the ropes, Crews back in to catch the luchador with a dropkick! Delayed vertical suplex gets a two count and Apollo takes him to the mat with a front chancery.

Kalisto struggling to his feet, body blows, jawbreaker, off the ropes and right into an enzuigiri that nearly ends the match! Back suplex lift, Titus barking orders, Kalisto reverses to a victory roll pin! Titus won't shut up...

Kalisto wins by pinfall with Salida Del Sol.

Titus gets in the ring after the match to berate Crews for not following his instructions.

Matt Hardy vs. Sheamus is up next, after the break.

Back from commercial in time for entrances.

Matt Hardy vs. Sheamus (Winner Picks the Stipulation for Extreme Rules)

Circling, collar and elbow, Sheamus out with a punch and right back to it. Into the ropes, referee Chad Patton forces the break but they go right back to the lockup until Matt gets a side headlock. Trying to shoot him off, Hardy slides low and blocks but the Celtic Warrior gets to his feet, back suplex, Matt rolls through with the headlock takeover!

In the ropes for the break, Sheamus shoots him off and knocks the tag champ down with a shoulder block. Uppercut, side headlock of his own, a takeover. Matt shoots him off, tries for an arm drag, blocked, and sends Sheamus outside. Back in, Twist of Fate slipped way from and the Celtic Warrior takes a breather.

Hardy follows, the Irishman puts his kidneys into the barricade and clubs him a few times. To the apron for the Beats of the Bodhran, a few shots to weaken him up and put him in the ropes. Just a few beats and he runs the ropes to blast Matt off the apron and into the barricade!

Hardy back in, Sheamus up top, diving lariat, only a nearfall. Right hand in the corner, whip, Matt catches himself in the ropes, boot, schoolboy pin, no good. Arm wringer, forearms to the skull, Sheamus returns in kind. Whip across, charge in the corner sidestepped, Matt in with head smashes to the turnbuckle and starting a DELETE! chant to the rhythm.

Up top, the Celtic Warrior in with a forearm, Finlay Roll, only two, and we go to break.

Back from commercial and Sheamus has a cobra clutch on, keeping Hardy on the mat. Out, off the ropes but Sheamus catches him with a kick, White Noise... NOPE! Setting Hardy up top, Jeff runs interference and gives his brother a chance to slap a tornado DDT on and get a nearfall!

Slugging it out punch for punch, off the ropes, Celtic Warrior thinking powerslam but Matt slips out, corner lariat, thinking bulldog, blocked, Side Effect connects, just a nearfall! Calling for it, DELETE! hand, kick to the gut, Sheamus blocks, off the ropes, Side Effect clutch, Sheamus blocks, running knee, but Hardy is too close to the ropes and easily breaks the count.

Calling for the Brogue Kick... HARDY DUCKS IT! JEFF HAS A DIVING LARIAT FOR CESARO! Sheamus knocks Jeff away from the lariat, Matt is waiting...

Matt Hardy wins by pinfall with the Twist of Fate, winning the right to choose the stipulation for their match at Extreme Rules.

The Hardy Boyz are interviewed about their choice of stipulation. Matt says they're gonna lock 'em up and tear 'em down inside of a steel cage.

Commentary recaps the events that lead to our main event tag match being made, and we go to break.

Back from commercial we have some cruiserweight action.

Austin Aries vs. Tony Nese

Aries distracted watching Neville at ringside and Nese rushes in and catches the injured leg. Austin barely fights him off but Tony still has the edge, with a hard whip. Aries catches him with the good knee, diving corkscrew elbow for a cover, overhead elbow, drop toehold, deathlock headscissors!

Front facelock, the Premier Athlete throws him off, A Double back in with a pin, trying Last Chancery but Nese escapes to the outside. Aries with a dive, he tosses Tony back in and lets Neville know he's watching but that just gives Nese time to kick his bad leg out of his leg and throw grounded punches.

Stomps follow, hamstring kicks, Tony thinking suplex but A Double floats over and throws chops. Nese back in with one of his own, backing Austin off. Charge into the boot, thinking diving axehandle but Nese catches him with an axehandle of his own to block! Front facelock, back to the delayed vertical suplex but A Double throws knees to block and reverses to a guillotine choke!

Tony flagging but not failing, gourdbuster counter, Aries has his wits about him and reverses...

Austin Aries wins by submission with Last Chancery.

Aries celebrates up the entrance ramp while Neville looks on. The King slams Nese to the mat and locks the Rings of Saturn neck crank on, forcing Tony to tap again! Austin mock claps and tells Neville that's good for him.

Alexa Bliss is walking backstage, her match against Mickie James is after the break.

Back from commercial in time for entrances.

Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James

Circling, collar and elbow, Mickie with a waistlock, standing switch, again, one more, they keep going and eventually Alexa gets the ropes to force the break, which James adds a shove to the back of the head to. Back to the lockup, struggling, Bliss gets the edge this time and also breaks dirty with kicks to the gut.

Charging in, Mickie turns it around on her, throwing strikes, rolling solebutt, high knee, off the ropes, chop, lariat, jumping neckbreaker but it's only good for two. Sitting on Alexa's back, throwing wild crossfaces, front facelock, Bliss slips out but Mickie catches her with a snapmare and comes off the ropes with a kick to the face.

Alexa looking for separation, caught by an elbow, headscissors blocked in the corner but James throwing kicks... BLISS CRACKS HER IN THE FACE WITH AN ELBOW! Facelock...

Alexa Bliss wins by pinfall with the snap DDT.

As Mickie lies in agony in the ring, Alexa goes looking for plunder and pulls out a kendo stick. She heads in the ring and waffles James across the back with it but Bayley makes the save! Picking her leg, she's got the kendo stick and Bliss is begging off. She bails before the Hugger can get a shot in.

Commentary informs us that our main event tag team match is up next, after the break.

Back from commercial, commentary hypes up the Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick street fight that's schedule for 205 Live tomorrow night and we get entrances for the main event.

Bray Wyatt & Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins

Rollins and Reigns take a minute to argue over who should start and Seth convinces Roman to step back for his shoulder's sake. Bray in on him but the Architect dumps the Eater of Worlds outside and throws him into the barricade before attacking Joe! Putting Wyatt back in the ring, jumping over a charge from Samoa, Bray knocks Rollins hard into the barricade and we go to break.

Back from commercial and Wyatt has Rollins locked down with a rear chinlock. Off the ropes, low dropkick, the Big Dog panting for the tag and he gets it! Lariats, whip reversed, leaping lariat, kick to the chest and a Samoan drop, Reigns putting offense together before he calls for the Superman Punch.

Bray doing the spider walk, Joe runs interference and Wyatt catches Roman out, throwing him into Samoa's tender mercies to be driven into the barricade. Shove into the barricade, jabs, smashing Reigns' face into the apron and rolling him back in, Joe having become the legal man at some point, it seems.

Snapmare into a neck crank, wrenching hard, but the Big Dog is fighting and gets to his feet to throw body blows for separation. Samoa puts him in the corner, back elbow and the enzuigiri, only good for two. Wyatt back in, kick, drawing Reigns up for a punch, to the corner, wrenching his bad arm over the ropes and punching the shoulder.

Corner avalanche, Bray is... hugging the ringpost? Makes a cover, only two. Knee to the back, cutthroat choke, Reigns flagging but not failing and the Eater of Worlds dumps him out of the ring when an escape seems near. Joe goes to throw Roman in the post but the Big Dog reverses!

Bray drawing him into the ring but Roman has a counter head snap over the ropes for him, Drive-By for Samoa, Wyatt knocks Rollins off the apron but gets passed outside by Reigns. Seth hungry for it, Joe rolls Bray in, tags made! Springboard lariat from the Kingslayer, boot in the corner, diving blockbuster, slingshot plancha for Wyatt, off the ropes, Sling Blade!

Charging forearm, slingshot dropkick for Wyatt when he tries to trip him up, Samoa outside, suicide dive on both men! The Architect climbing, Bray runs interference and Joe pops him in the face before climbing up after him. Thinking double superplex but Seth fires desperate elbows and knocks them down... diving crossbody on both men!

Wristlock on Joe, Wyatt breaks it up, Sister Abigail clutched, Roman with the save! Slicing uppercut for Joe into a Rollins dropkick, Big Dog with the Superman Punch but Samoa sidesteps and he ends up clobbering Seth! Rollins bickers, Wyatt yanks Reigns out of the ring, Samoa Joe is inevitable...

Bray Wyatt & Samoa Joe win by submission with the Coquina Clutch from Joe on Seth Rollins.

Joe and Wyatt celebrate their victory when Finn Balor rolls up to Kurt Angle backstage, asking Angle to not leave him out of the fun next week. He wants a match against one of those guys. Kurt denies him a match against one of those guys, instead making a triple threat, Finn vs. Joe vs. Bray. That's music to Balor's ears.

Angle makes Rollins vs. Reigns for next week as well and puts himself over as a great GM.

That's the show, folks.

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