WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 2

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2022

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 2

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    Credit: WWE

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of WWE Raw on May 2.

    With WrestleMania Backlash coming up Sunday, just about every segment on this week's show was devoted to building up one of the matches on the pay-per-view card.

    The Bloodline made another trip to the red brand this week ahead of the group's big six-man tag match against Riddle, Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre this weekend.

    With Asuka and Becky Lynch both returning to Raw last week and Rhea Ripley turning heel and going solo again, Bianca Belair has found herself with multiple people eyeing the Raw Women's Championship.

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on Monday's show.

Opening Segment

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    The go-home episode of Raw before WrestleMania Backlash opened with Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and The Usos heading to the ring.

    After Heyman and Reigns finally said a few words, Orton and Riddle appeared from out of nowhere to hit both Usos with RKOs. They kept Reigns at bay until McIntyre joined them in the ring.

    The two powerhouses started brawling until The Usos tried to make the save. RK-Bro went after them, and all six men fought until the ring filled with referees trying to break it up. The show went to a commercial as they were being pulled apart.

    Usually when we return after a break, WWE picks right back up with a follow-up match, but we came back to see the ring cleared and everything done. It was abrupt, but what we saw before the break did a good job of making this feud seem more personal.

    Had they cut a few minutes from Reign's entrance, they could have done even more.

    Grade: B-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Every title reign has a shelf life. It feels like Reigns needs to let somebody else carry the torch for a little while.
    • It took eight minutes before anyone in the ring said a word. The Bloodline's entrance is way too long and has been for a long time, but it feels like it keeps getting longer.
    • The Tribal Chief is excellent at telling you exactly how he feels with facial expressions.

Kevin Owens and Alpha Academy vs. Ezekiel and Street Profits

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    Kevin Owens teamed up with Otis and Chad Gable to take on Ezekiel, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in a six-man tag match. Dawkins and Gable started things off with a quick exchange before Ford took over for his partner.

    This was a relatively standard six-man tag layout. The heels controlled most of the action until the babyfaces made the occasional comeback.

    Even when you can kind of tell what is going to happen before it happens, having six talented competitors in the ring helps keep things entertaining. Everybody knew his assignment and performed well.

    KO and Alpha Academy were able to steal the win after KO tripped Ezekiel so Gable could roll him into a pin. Having the heels win was the right call.

    Grade: B


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Owens and Ezekiel came out with their respective partner teams instead of having their own entrances. Little things like that save on time so we end up getting more action in the ring.
    • One of these days, everybody is finally going to see how good Gable is. Let's just hope it's not too late to do something big with him. He could be a Bryan Danielson-level underdog babyface if WWE gave him a chance.
    • The triple dropkick from Ezekiel and the Profits to Otis looked really good. It's hard enough for two people to sync up, so three is even more impressive.
    • WWE has done a good job telling a background story of how almost nobody can take Otis off his feet. We'll see if it ever leads to a payoff.

Veer vs. Burt Hanson

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    After a brief backstage interview with AJ Styles and a short conversation between Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville, Veer came to the ring for his next squash match.

    Burt Hanson gave a short interview with Byron Saxton before the match. He got a cheap pop mentioning a local restaurant where he used to work before Veer made quick work of him to score another easy win.

    In fairness, Veer did more with this guy than he has with most of his opponents. It wasn't just two moves and his finisher. He decimated Hanson. It was kind of fun.

    Grade: C


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • There should be a limit of three squash matches when building up a new talent. After that, WWE should figure out how to use them properly. Seeing a person destroy a bunch of nameless jobbers only works for so long, especially these days.
    • Veer moves around well for his size. He can probably do some things we haven't seen yet that he is saving for a big match.

Damian Priest vs. AJ Styles

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    Damian Priest took on AJ Styles with a stipulation that said if Styles won, Priest would be banned from ringside during Sunday's match between Edge and Styles.

    The Phenomenal One went after Priest as soon as the ref signaled for the bell. He got in some good shots before The Archer of Infamy took him down with a big boot.

    This match was given enough time to require two commercial breaks, so both men had plenty of opportunities to shine. Styles and Priest have already proved they can put on good matches together, so nobody should be surprised that this one was entertaining.

    Even though he is a former world champion, Styles did a great job making himself look like the underdog. Priest, as usual, was good at using his size to dominate his opponent.

    Styles won with a roll-up, and Edge immediately ran into the ring to attack. Finn Balor ran down to make the save and cleared the ring to end the segment.

    Grade: B+


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • When Edge and Priest attacked Styles last week, they did it with a lights-out surprise in the locker room. The fact that AJ still got the first punch off makes no sense. He never should have gotten his arm up. They had the drop on him.
    • Getting rid of Edge's very slow-moving throne was a good move. That entrance last week was not as good as WWE wanted it to be.
    • Styles somehow manages to hit the Phenomenal Forearm perfectly almost every time. It doesn't matter if he is doing it in the ring or on the floor. It always looks good.
    • Balor and Styles doing the Too Sweet gesture to each other got a nice little pop.

Mustafa Ali vs. Austin Theory

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    The Miz welcomed Mustafa Ali as his guest for this week's episode of "Miz TV." The A-Lister set it up so Ali's music cut off when he was halfway to the ring and acted like it was some kind of error. Ali's mic didn't work either.

    Ali eventually grabbed Miz's mic and ripped into him for being a whiner who complains to management when things don't go his way. Ali said the only people whose opinion matters are the WWE Universe. Austin Theory joined them and told The Miz that he had his loss to Ali wiped from the record books.

    The United States champion told Ali that he would get a championship contender's handicap match against him and The Miz tonight, so if Ali won, he could earn a shot at the belt in the near future.

    Unfortunately, The Miz was able to hit the Skull-Crushing Finale to defeat Ali in only his second match back. At least it happened in a handicap match and not a standard singles bout.

    As Ali got to his feet, Ciampa attacked him from behind. It looks like WWE has decided this will be Ali's first real feud now that he has returned. This is going to lead to some incredible matches.

    Grade: C+


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • WWE keeps almost bringing up that Ali asked for his release without actually acknowledging it. It should either be part of the story or not. Trying to have their cake and eat it too just isn't working.
    • When Theory held the ropes open so Ali fell through them, Ali hit the floor hard. He seemed fine but sold it well.
    • The dropkick Ali used to send Theory flying off the apron looked really good.

Nikki A.S.H. vs. Dana Brooke

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    Dana Brooke ended up losing the 24/7 title to Nikki A.S.H. in a backstage segment. She told Reggie that he needed to get her a rematch if he wanted to stay married.

    He got her the match, so Brooke and Nikki squared off with Tamina, Akira Tozawa and R-Truth watching from ringside.

    Brooke had control at first, but Nikki was able to get in some hard shots at ringside. Brooke ended up hitting a neckbreaker to get the pin and win her title back. Reggie tried to roll her up to steal the title, so she slapped him and told him she wanted a divorce before storming off.

    The 24/7 title used to produce hilarious moments with R-Truth, but now it's just sad. There are so many ways WWE could be using some of these Superstars that would be better than this.

    Grade: D


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Threatening to divorce somebody if they can't get you a match is not a very babyface thing to do.
    • Heels using the apron to trap a babyface for a beatdown will never get old.

Cedric Alexander vs. Bobby Lashley

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    Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes had a long exchange that ended with The American Nightmare sending The Visionary out of the ring when he tried to attack.

    The next match saw Bobby Lashley take on his former Hurt Business associate, Cedric Alexander. Before they could begin, Omos' music hit and distracted Lashley so Alexander could attack him from behind.

    The All Mighty swatted him away during a suicide dive and sent him into the barricade. From that point forward, it was all Lashley on offense. He scored the win with The Hurt Lock and dared Omos to come to the ring, but MVP held him back.

    This was a short, relatively uneventful match. Everything they did looked fine. They just didn't do much.

    Grade: C-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • MVP was asking Lashley how he would handle Omos if he was having trouble with Alexander after The All Mighty had already taken control. It was poorly timed.
    • The way Lashley avoided the suicide dive almost looked more like a mistake. Alexander might not have intended to hit the floor that hard.

Asuka, Liv Morgan, Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch, Rhea Ripley, Sonya Deville

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    We got a few backstage interviews throughout the night leading up to this big six-woman tag match with Becky Lynch, Sonya Deville and Rhea Ripley taking on Liv Morgan, Asuka and Bianca Belair.

    Sonya started off against Bianca, but she quickly tagged out to Rhea to avoid The EST's wrath. Once the authority figure was forced to fight, the babyfaces cornered her and used some double-team offense.

    The action in this match was fast-paced and competitive, which allowed all six competitors to have individual moments where they got to show off. Even though the entrances took longer than necessary, it felt like they had enough time to make this a solid match that didn't leave anybody out.

    The match also gave each individual feud being featured time by pairing up those women for different sequences. Juggling three storylines in one match is not easy, but they made it work.

    Morgan ended up getting the win for her team when she hit Oblivion on Deville for the pin. This show had serious peaks and valleys, but it did a decent job hyping WrestleMania Backlash this weekend.

    Grade: B+


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Between the entrances and a couple of backstage moments, it felt like it took 20 minutes for this match to get started.
    • Morgan's suicide dive to Ripley was beautiful. She flew through those ropes perfectly.
    • It is so nice seeing Asuka back in the ring. It's been way too long.
    • It might have been a happy coincidence since they all wear black so often, but the heels looked like they coordinated their attire.