WWE Raw results, June 4, 2018: Finn Bálor reaches new heights with “Money” ladder maneuver
The Extraordinary Man Who Can Do Extraordinary Things lived up to his moniker on Raw, when he put a punctuation mark on his brawl with Kevin Owens by executing a stunning Coup de Grâce from atop a ladder onto his bitter foe. Was this a spectacular preview of what awaits in less than two weeks in the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match?
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Raw Results : Quick Hits
- Elias & Jinder Mahal def. Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
- James Harden def. Curt Hawkins via Disqualification
- Raw Women's Champion Nia Jax def. Natalya
- Braun Strowman def. Bobby Roode
- The B-Team won a Tag Team Battle Royal to earn the right to challenge “Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt for the Raw Tag Team Championship
- Sami Zayn confronted Bobby Lashley
- The Riott Squad def. Sasha Banks, Ember Moon & Bayley via Disqualification
- Big Show introduced the Special Olympics athletes of Team Texas
- Finn Bálor def. Kevin Owens via Disqualification
Raw Results : Full Details
Elias & Jinder Mahal def. Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
HOUSTON — Elias may have finagled his way into the Intercontinental Title picture by way of some behind-the-back brutality, but make no mistake: His status as a contender for Seth Rollins’ prize is as in-your-face serious as it gets. Not only did Elias administer some chart-topping trash-talk to The Kingslayer in Raw’s opening moments, he actually pinned the fighting champion in a tag team match that roped in another set of Money in the Bank rivals: Jinder Mahal (who teamed with Elias) and Roman Reigns (who naturally threw in with Rollins).
Rollins getting pinned is a rare occurrence of late, so due credit must be given to his opponents; Elias & Mahal focused almost the entirety of their early offense on him (clearly, Mahal was still smarting from Rollins’ steel-chair barrage last week) and pivoted seamlessly to isolating Reigns when he tagged in. The old Shield chemistry began to kick in down the stretch, but luckily for Elias, Sunil Singh caused a distraction that allowed Mahal to toss Reigns into the audience, and Rollins paused his press to pursue Mahal’s herald with steel chair in hand.
Unfortunately, The Architect sprinted headfirst into a DDT from Elias that spiked Rollins into the steel. Drift Away followed in short order, and with it came a resounding win for a young Superstar whose greatest hit may be just around the corner.
James Harden def. Curt Hawkins via Disqualification
The Houston Rockets may be eliminated from the NBA playoffs, but James Harden — or at least a Houston local named James Harden — still scored a win. And over Curt Hawkins, no less, though The Prince of Queens was a little more steamed than usual about the 200th notch in his now-legendary losing streak.
That’s because Harden got an assist from a grinning Baron Corbin, who crashed the match and administered the End of Days to Harden, robbing Hawkins of a surefire layup — he’d even planned a taco party to celebrate the impending win by giving a taco to everyone in attendance — and handing the W to his opponent instead. Then, adding insult to injury, The Lone Wolf smashed one of the tacos in Hawkins’ face, slammed the former WWE Tag Team Champion’s head into the table and flipped the whole display over on him
Even more shocking than all this was Corbin's revelation to Raw General Manager Kurt Angle backstage: That he had gone straight to Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon to complain about being "overlooked" and she had appointed The Lone Wolf as her personal representative as a result. He even has a new job title to go with it: Constable.
Raw Women's Champion Nia Jax def. Natalya
Natalya’s battle with Nia Jax was a twofold opportunity for The Queen of Harts: Not only could she potentially shock the Raw Women’s Champion, she provided a chance for her training partner, Ronda Rousey, to scout The Irresistible Force before their title match at WWE Money in the Bank. Unfortunately, Natalya illustrated the perils of facing a Superstar such as Jax when she tweaked her knee just as she began to roll, and Nia, who didn't see the injury occur, capitalized with a merciless Samoan Drop to earn the win.
Jax seemed genuinely concerned about a potential injury to the veteran Superstar once she realized what had happened, but she didn’t get to help Natalya out all that much: Rousey left the announce desk, entered the ring and successfully warned Jax away from Natalya’s side with little more than a glare and some pointed words. (Natalya herself later cooled a similar confrontation in the locker room before she left the arena for further evaluation.) Ronda may not be able to turn Nia back so easily come bell time on June 17, but for tonight, it was enough.
Braun Strowman def. Bobby Roode
One does not defeat Braun Strowman so much as survive him. As realistic as Bobby Roode was about this fact, he couldn’t escape the nasty, brutish fate that awaited him against The Monster Among Men. The Glorious One certainly employed a creative stick-and-move strategy against Strowman, even going so far as to block Strowman’s around-the-ring pursuit with a ladder propped between the ring and the barricade. Strowman replied by breaking the ladder clean in half with his bare fists, and from there it was just a few short seconds until Roode was finally ensnared by These Hands and subjected to an emphatic Running Powerslam for the 1-2-3.
The B-Team won a Tag Team Battle Royal to earn the right to challenge “Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt for the Raw Tag Team Championship
Three weeks ago, The B-Team had no name and no victories to speak of. Since then, they’re 3-0, and thanks to the third of those wins, they're officially the next challengers to Raw Tag Team Champions "Woken" Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt. They didn't jump the line to get there, either: Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel literally defeated every other tag team in their division in a Tag Team Battle Royal to attain their long-desired championship match.
The B-Team’s chances were bolstered heavily by the early ousting of presumptive favorites Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre, who were sent packing after The Showoff suffered the first elimination of the match. (McIntyre went ballistic and started flattening Superstars in the ring moments later). But they certainly took advantage of that lucky break, outlasting an elimination spree by The Revival to make it to the final two teams. And when Heath Slater accidentally eliminated Rhyno, the biggest win of The B-Team’s career was sealed.
So, the Cinderella story continues. Of course, with The Deleters of Worlds now lying in wait, the stroke of midnight might not be far off, but for now, it’s safe to say Dallas & Axel have earned themselves a ball.
Sami Zayn confronted Bobby Lashley
Sami Zayn faces a tall task against Bobby Lashley at WWE Money in the Bank, so the former NXT Champion has waged his battle largely in the court of public opinion. Much of his strategy has done little more than amuse Lashley, though Zayn may have finally crossed a sacred line in his latest round of insults.
Zayn’s latest attempt to discredit his rival came after Lashley invited Zayn to the ring to air his grievances. Instead, Zayn posted up on the floor of the arena and began to relentlessly mock Lashley’s inspirational Instagram posts. He also implied that Lashley was taking advantage of fans by trying to sucker them into a Bobby Lashley fan club. Lashley’s reaction was surprisingly understanding — he got that Zayn wanted to talk trash, but he wished he didn’t have to try and smear his reputation to do it — or at least it was, until Zayn implied that Lashley had fabricated his military record. At that point, the smile faded from Lashley’s face. Zayn got what he wanted: Lashley is good and riled up. The bad news is, now, it’s personal.
The Riott Squad def. Sasha Banks, Ember Moon & Bayley via Disqualification
After a disappointing early elimination from the Last Chance Gauntlet Match that would have sent her to WWE Money in the Bank, Bayley got a much-needed win in a Six-Woman Tag Team Match over The Riott Squad. Too bad Baron Corbin ended up getting it thrown out.
In fairness, The Lone Wolf had some grounds to contest in his capacity as Raw's new, Stephanie McMahon-appointed Constable. The match in question had originally paired The Riott Squad against the unlikely trio of Sasha Banks, Ember Moon and Alexa Bliss — all of whom are Money in the Bank-bound — though Bliss left the match with an apparent hamstring injury. Bayley hit the scene later in the bout, evening the odds and pinning Sarah Logan almost immediately with an emphatic Bayley-to-Belly.
Unfortunately for her, Corbin was watching, and he went straight to Raw General Manager Kurt Angle to protest the result on the grounds that he was acting as Stephanie's “eyes and ears.” (He sought the referee out for a few choice words as well.) Rather than risk a confrontation with Stephanie, Angle was forced to overturn the decision and hand the win to The Riott Sqaud, spoiling both a big moment for Bayley and what was shaping to be a long-awaited reconciliation between her and Banks.
Big Show introduced the Special Olympics athletes of Team Texas
Big Show has a longstanding relationship with the athletes of the Special Olympics, and the Grand Slam Champion made his return to Raw to give the competitors of Team Texas a hero’s welcome. Flanked by Beth Knox, the CEO of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, Show introduced The Lone Star State’s hometown athletes and invited the WWE Universe to rise up and support Team Texas as they prepare to compete at the 2018 Games in Seattle. As the final cherry on top, Finn Bálor made his entrance for Raw’s main event at the end of Show’s speech, sharing a Too Sweet with the athletes of Team Texas as he made his way to the ring.
Finn Bálor def. Kevin Owens via Disqualification
Kevin Owens isn’t as impressed with Finn Bálor as everybody else is, and it seemed for much of their main-event battle on Raw that the second-ever Universal Champion made it his personal mission to puncture the mystique around the first-ever Universal Champion. In response, The Extraordinary Man did one of the most extraordinary things of his career at the end of their match.
Owens picked his target wisely, zeroing in on Bálor’s arm and forcing him to fight out of what was looking like a very deep hole. When Finn clawed his way back, Owens subjected him to a good old-fashioned mugging, one that led the ref to hand Bálor a disqualification win to The Extraordinary Man after Owens refused to stop putting the boots to his adversary into the corner.
Hoping to further demoralize his opponent, Owens retrieved a ladder from under the ring and attempted to symbolically retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase while Finn watched prone from the floor, only to change his mind and tee Bálor up for a Frog Splash from the rungs. But KO hesitated a little too long, allowing Finn to rally, bring Owens down to earth and administer an astonishing Coup de Grâce from near the top of the ladder. As a final statement of his own, Finn scaled the ladder and snatched the briefcase with ease in a potential preview of the Men’s Money in the Bank Match.
If Owens’ goal was to expose flaws in Bálor’s game plan, he certainly succeeded. In terms of demystifying Bálor, however, it’s safe to say he fell short. Bumps and bruises aside, it’s difficult to argue that the Irishman didn’t look as extraordinary as ever when all was said and done.