WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 16

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2022

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 16

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    Credit: WWE

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of WWE Raw on May 16.

    WWE is preparing for the Hell in a Cell event on June 5, but the show is also dealing with storylines that may not end up leading to anything at the pay-per-view.

    This week, Bobby Lashley stepped inside a steel cage for another fight against the giant Omos. These two have been going at it for the better part of two months, so this could be the epic conclusion to their feud.

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

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos

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    WWE wasted no time getting to the only match it advertised ahead of Monday's show. After a semi-lengthy video package, Omos and MVP came out and gave a promo from inside the cage that took up a few more minutes before Lashley came out.

    Cedric Alexander ran down during his entrance and attacked The All Mighty. Omos joined in until several officials ran down to break it up. We ended up going to a commercial before the match began.

    The bell rang right as we returned. The giant immediately took control of the powerhouse and began brutalizing him all around the cage. MVP even took a shot through the cage while the ref was distracted.

    This was a much better setting for a showdown between these two than a traditional match. Omos is still limited in the ring, so making the fight more bout punches and throws than holds and counters helped mask his limitations. Lashley made him look good by selling all of his offense well.

    Alexander came back out and tried to stop the former WWE champion from leaving the cage, but he ended up being pulled in and throw down to the mat. The Nigerian Giant picked up Lashley and threw him through the wall of the cage, allowing Lashley to touch the ground and win the match in the process.

    This was not the first time we have seen a finish like this in a cage match, but it was done well enough to feel appropriate. This was much better than their previous encounters, but hopefully, it's also the end of this feud.

    Grade: B


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • The video package WWE made for this feud was better than every previous segment it was highlighting. That's how good WWE's production team is, although it wasn't a high bar to clear. This feud has been relatively paint-by-numbers.
    • When Alexander ran down to attack Lashley, I assumed it was a production guy coming out to remove the pedestal Lashley was standing on for his entrance. As soon as he started sprinting, it was clear what was happening.
    • The Spear Lashley hit on Omos looked pretty good.
    • The bump Alexander took from the top of the cage was nuts, but nobody is going to treat it as anything special because we have grown used to seeing stuff like that.

Mustafa Ali vs. Veer

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    Austin Theory came out before the break, so everyone just assumed he was in the next match. After Mustafa Ali made his entrance, Theory revealed that The Miz would be the special guest referee. Then, Theory revealed Ali would actually be fighting Veer Mahaan.

    Ali got in a little bit of offense, but his speed was not enough to keep him out of Veer's grasp for long. The powerhouse quickly turned the match in his favor and began punishing the high-flyer.

    Ali eventually succumbed to Veer's submission finisher. Theory took a selfie with Veer as he held Ali in the hold. The Miz yelled at him, but only because he wanted to be in the picture, too. The Mysterios ran down and prevented Ali from being put through a table.

    This segment furthered two feuds, but not in ways that could be considered very meaningful. The match was quick and the post-match fight was over in a few seconds, but it all helped drive these stories forward, so it worked for what it was. Nothing looked bad, it just wasn't memorable.

    Grade: C-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Theory's entrance music has changed recently, and it's worse.
    • The pop for the Mysterios was pretty big.
    • We should have known Ali would have to take a few losses when he returned. At least he is putting over somebody who is supposed to be unstoppable and not some low-level jobber.

Riddle vs. Jimmy Uso

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    The feud between The Usos and RK-Bro continued this week with a singles match between Jimmy Uso and Riddle.

    Both of these guys are great athletes who are known for being physical performers, so this match had some good action in between the moments of interference and distraction.

    Riddle started to gain some momentum after the break, but Jimmy was able to stop him temporarily with a Samoan drop. The ref ejected Jey from ringside for trying to help his brother cheat, and that cleared the way for Riddle to score the win with an inside cradle.

    The finish might not have been very creative, but the majority of the match was fun and showed off why both of these guys are featured so prominently.

    Grade: B


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Between the LED wall, the flashing lights and occasional pyrotechnics, WWE needs to start displaying a seizure warning before its shows. It's a little much.
    • Jimmy's dive out of the ring was nice.
    • The pop-up Samoan drop Jimmy hit was awesome.
    • Somebody should compile a stat comparing the inside cradle to the schoolboy roll-up to see which one is more dangerous.

Los Lotharios vs. AJ Styles and Finn Balor

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    Finn Balor and AJ Styles approached Liv Morgan and asked her to be in their corner for this tag team match against Angel and Humberto since they all have issues with Judgment Day. She was hesitant at first, but she chose to join them at ringside.

    Two veterans like Styles and Balor working with two skilled up-and-coming talents like Los Lotharios was almost guaranteed to yield a fun match as long as they were given enough time. Thankfully, they were.

    This was a great showcase of solid tag team wrestling. The heels utilized classic strategies to keep Styles grounded and isolated from his partner, and the babyfaces made good use of the hot tag.

    Balor was able to pick up the win with the Coup de Grace. Since Judgment Day never showed up, Morgan's presence was somewhat unnecessary in the end.

    Grade: A-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Los Lotharios are listed as SmackDown Superstars, but WWE didn't even try to give a reason for why they were on Raw this week.
    • The double slingshot crossbodies from Balor and Styles were almost perfectly in sync.
    • The woman Angel and Humberto kissed before the match sold it really well. Her reaction was funny.

Alexa Bliss vs. Sonya Deville

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    Alexa Bliss was back in action against Sonya Deville for a rematch. The Goddess scored the win last week, so Deville was looking for a bit of payback.

    Deville tried to push Bliss around at first, but the former women's champion was able to hit a few moves to back her up.

    After a back-and-forth struggle, Bliss hit her signature DDT for the win. This match was a little on the short side, but both women made everything they did look decent save for one small misstep that created an awkward pause.

    Grade: C+


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Bliss had new music this week that included a vocal track. It was all right but not quite as instantly recognizable as her original song.
    • Deville looks more like a character from a Matrix movie every week.
    • The running knee Deville hit to get a near-fall looked great from the camera angle they used.

Cody Rhodes Promo, Ezekiel vs. Chad Gable

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    Cody Rhodes came out to deliver a promo directed at Seth Rollins after his attack two weeks ago. This was a usual American Nightmare promo, which means it was good but probably a little longer than it needed to be. He kept everyone's attention, so it still worked.

    He eventually challenged Rollins to a match inside Hell in a Cell. The Visionary appeared on the big screen laughing in his lime-green suit. He accepted the challenge, and Rhodes said he would see him in hell.

    Grade: C+

    The next match saw Chad Gable take on Ezekiel. Kevin Owens joined the commentary team and continued to spread his wild conspiracy theory about Zeke lying about being the younger brother of Elias.

    Gable and Ezekiel had a decent match, but the camera was cutting to Owens a little too much. It made the action slightly less impactful. Had they focused more on the actual wrestling, this would have been more enjoyable.

    Zeke was able to get the win when he reversed a pinning combination. The last minute of the match had a couple of hiccups, but most of what we saw here was good.

    Grade: B-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • We only got to see Rollins on the big screen, so we will never truly know how ridiculous his suit was this week.
    • Ezekiel's entrance music sounds unfinished. That's how generic it is.
    • The Gory Special Ezekiel applied on Gable was great. Not only did he apply it perfectly, but he was wrenching Gable's arms in a way that looked genuinely painful.
    • When Ezekiel hit Gable with a jumping knee, you could tell he came nowhere near making contact.

Asuka vs. Becky Lynch

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    The main event of the night saw Becky Lynch take on Asuka with the winner earning a shot at Bianca Belair's Raw Women's Championship, but the bigger story had to do with how this was originally supposed to be a six-pack challenge.

    WWE released a statement saying Naomi and Sasha Banks had left the arena after refusing to compete. PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson reported Banks met with Vince McMahon about an issue she had with the creative for the main event and that neither of them would back down. As of the time this article was published, neither woman had made a statement.

    As soon as the match started, Big Time Becks and The Empress were going to war. The fight quickly left the ring, and Lynch threw Asuka into the barricade.

    These two never fail to deliver a great performance, and this match was no exception. There wasn't a single moment of downtime. They were going hard from bell to bell.

    Asuka won the match by blowing green mist in Lynch's face before hitting a big kick to the head for the pin. Lynch tried to attack her with an umbrella, so it was justified.

    Other than the weird backstage news, this was a pretty strong episode of Raw, especially when compared to the rest of 2022's episodes.

    Grade: A-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • WWE opted not to turn this into a Fatal 4-Way instead, so Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. were left out in the cold.
    • Corey Graves acknowledging that Banks and Naomi left the building was unexpected. WWE usually keeps the backstage drama off the screen.
    • Since we don't know the whole story, please keep the discourse around Naomi and Banks respectful.
    • The "Heel throws the opponent into her rival that is sitting at ringside" spot is becoming way too commonplace.

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