• Jayden Becker

WWE Raw Review: 4/27/20

Another solid Raw with no fans in attendance. This week’s Raw saw the contract signing between Seth Rollins and WWE Champion Drew McIntyre for their match at the upcoming Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View.


Championship bouts didn’t have to wait for Money in the Bank, however, as United States Champion Andrade put the title on the line against Apollo Crews. We also saw the surprise return of Samoa Joe on the commentary table and in-ring return of former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal.


We have a lot to unwrap from an active episode of Raw, so let’s jump right in.


Opening


Monday Night Raw opens with MVP hosting his personal talk show segment “The VIP Lounge”. The last we saw MVP, Apollo Crews defeated him clean for a spot in the upcoming Money in the Bank ladder match.


MVP addresses his defeat and acknowledges his disappointment in not being able to compete in the most unique Money in the Bank Ladder match of all time. MVP then goes on to introduce the Raw representatives for the Money in the Bank ladder match which include Rey Mysterio, Alister Black and Apollo Crews.


MVP asks, “What does it mean to be Mr. Money in the Bank?” Rey Mysterio and Aleister Black aren't allowed the opportunity to speak by MVP while Crews gets his moment under the spotlight. However, Crews is interrupted by Andrade, Zelina Vega, Angel Garza and Austin Theory.


Vega makes the statement that the future is bleak if Raw is being represented by the three who stand in the ring and that three should relinquish their spots in the Money in the Bank ladder match to Andrade, Garza and Theory. A brawl ensues with Mysterio, Black and Crews standing tall as the dust settles.


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As much as I love MVP, I’m usually not a fan of a show opening with a talk show segment. With that being said I thought this was well done as not only did the segment build heat against Vega’s Crew of Men (please someone give them a name), it also grew tension between Mysterio, Black and Crews as MVP dissed both Mysterio and Black in Crews’ favor.


I would love to see some more insults from Vega being thrown at Black given their off-screen husband and wife relationship. You’d expect down the line they’d be matched together in some way, shape, or form. It would be interesting, to say the least, to see Black align forces with Vega with the gimmick he has now.


With the 3 on 3 melees at the beginning of the show, it is expected for them to have a match later in the night. A classic Teddy Long move where everyone gets a paycheck.



Aleister Black, Rey Mysterio and Apollo Crews VS Andrade, Angel Garza and Austin Theory W/ Zelina Vega


Back and forth chain wrestling starts off in-ring action between Black and Garza. Black, working the leg early, finds Garza rolling him up to the count of 1. Black retaliates with a roll-up of his own to no avail. Double hot tags bring in Crews and Theory. Crews takes the advantage early with a stalling suplex, a pin is kicked out at 1 by Theory.


Mysterio is tagged in for a quick pin and kick out. Theory works back into the match and is tagged out by Garza. Mysterio changes the pace as both Garza and Theory get caught on the 2nd rope. A 619 attempt is cut short by big boot interference by Andrade. Mysterio doesn’t back down however and pushes Andrade to the 2nd rope. Another 619 attempt is foiled by Andrade as he slips out of the ring. Black and Crews take matters into their own hands as an over the top rope splash connects onto their opponents outside the ring.


Coming back from commercial break, Andrade is in control over Black. Theory is tagged in and successfully attempts a snap suplex into a pin, Black kicks out at 1. Garza enters after a plethora of submission and pin attempts from Theory. Garza cuts the ring in half and plants Black on the mat. A tag by Andrade turns into a pin and kick out by Black.


Andrade is tagged out by Theory after the kick out and Black finds his groove in the match. Mysterio and Andrade enter the match off a hot tag with Mysterio in control. Garza enters looking for a double team move against Mysterio just to be thwarted into a reversal. Garza gains control however by tossing Rey out of the ring and ripping off his own pants.


Garza maintains control through the second commercial break. Rapid tags from Garza and Theory leave Mysterio forced into the corner to be stomped out by Andrade. Mysterio reverses into an enzuigiri, but has no one to tag in.


Continued action keeps Mysterio in the match. A double hot tag brings in Crews and Theory while Garza’s attempt at interference is reversed. Crews hits Garza with a power slam, 1… 2… Andrade breaks up the pin. Theory gains momentum with a suplex, a failed pin attempt legally brings in Andrade. Chaos ensues as Mysterio and Black interfere. A big elbow by Andrade hits Crews, 1… 2… and a kick out. Andrade attempts his patented hammerlock DDT and is reversed into a pop-up powerbomb.


1… 2… 3, Crews steals the victory for his team!


Backstage after the match, Charly Caruso met up with Andrade and Vega. Andrade believes that his teammates let him down. Crews out of frame overhears the interview and interjects, saying that he thinks that he can beat Andrade two times in one night.


The match is scheduled for later as Andrade puts the US title on the line against Apollo Crews


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This was a long match to start the show, but it accomplished some things along the way.


The first and most important thing this shows is that Apollo Crews still has the in-ring ability to keep up and is looking to make a push (as we will see later). This performance, however, makes what happens later in the night utterly disappointing. This match also made Black and Mysterio look strong as well.


The big question is this, When will Zelina Vega and her group of men win a match? It feels like it’s been weeks since a win and even longer since they won clean. Maybe I’m not used to a true heel faction since it’s been so long in WWE but aren’t they supposed to win one everyone once in a while? I love this group and can see all three superstar going places but it makes me wonder if we weren’t going through a pandemic would we be seeing them as much. Only time could tell.



Asuka VS Shayna Baszler VS Nia Jax


Asuka, Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax are the three representatives for Raw in the Women’s Money In the Bank ladder match. This triple threat match is coming off the heels of last week’s Raw where Shayna Baszler smashed the arm of Indi Hartwell while Nia Jax destroyed Kairi Sane later that night.


Asuka makes her entrance and cuts a promo on Nia Jax mentioning how over the past two years she’s been able to beat her consistently. Asuka is interrupted by Nia Jax entrance.


As Baszler makes her way towards the ring apron, she pulls the feet out from under Asuka and assaults her without the bell being rung. Asuka is thrown in the ladders out the ring. As Asuka recovers, Baszler sets up a ladder against the steel steps, similar to how she set up the ladder last week to injure Hartwell. Baszler’s attempt to whip Asuka into the setup is reversed. Before Asuka could take advantage of the downed Baszler, Jax bulldozes over Asuka on the ramp. Both Baszler and Asuka find their way into the ring, as they rise up Jax runs them both over with a ladder.


Jax stands tall in the center of the ring. The bell never rang, thus never making this a match at all.


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Nia Jax stands tall, is that what we really want to see? I sure don’t. It's difficult to develop a character as a giant and with Jax having no one on Raw to match her stature, I feel like this doesn't help her push.


What would be nice to see is Baszler successfully attacking someone that isn’t an enhancement talent. Nia Jax could be a good recipient. Jax, however, wouldn’t fall off the face of the earth after the attack but fight back in the later weeks, thus creating a storyline between the two.


As all things stand right now I still hold steady that Baszler is going to win the Money in the bank given that she was pushed so heavily against Lynch before Mania and that Sasha Banks isn’t a competitor in the match.


Bobby Lashley VS Denzel Dejournette


Before this match starts we are taken backstage with Lana and Lashley. Lashley musters up the courage to tell Lana that he doesn’t want her in his corner tonight. The reasoning? It’s because Lashley believes Lana is so beautiful that he can’t focus during his matches.


The match starts off quickly with a belly to belly from Lashley. Dejournette is able to connect with a shot to Lashley, annoying him more than hurting him. This sets Lashley off as he dishes out suplex after suplex.


A big spread by Lashley ends the match with a pinfall victory with Lana not being in Lashley’s corner.


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Oh, Bobby you sly guy. Not often you see a real belly laugh come out of me from WWE television but that beautiful line got it out of me.


A quick squash match win for Lashley. Week after week, squash match after squash match, Lashley is working his way up the Raw ladder which doesn’t seem to end for him. I understand the difficulty, however, given Rusev is longer with the company and now Lana and Lashley don’t have much to do at the moment except flip large tires.


Similar to what I said about Baszler, I would like to see the same from Lashley and for him to face stronger opponents.



Liv Morgan VS Ruby Riott


Last week, when these two faced off, Liv Morgan was able to catch Riott in a Flatliner, now called “Oblivion”. Morgan’s victory last week triggered this week’s rematch between the ex-Riott Squad members.


Riott plays dirty early and yanks the hair of Morgan down to the mat. Morgan gets a boost however as she and Riott exchange reversals. The Riott Kick connects out of nowhere from Ruby Riott. Riott smiles as she pins, 1… 2… kick out at 2 ½ by Morgan.


Riott talks down at Morgan saying “You made me do this'', while Morgan claws up Riott’s waist. Morgan bursts back into the match and hits the Oblivion through the ropes, 1… 2… 3, Liv Morgan pins Ruby Riott for the second week in a row.


The post-match interview with Liv Morgan tells the audience that there are many chapters left in Liv Morgan and that like many people her age she is still figuring it out.


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Not only did Liv Morgan pin Ruby Riott for the second week in a row, but she did it in almost the exact same fashion. Morgan isn’t over enough yet where a loss to Riott here would’ve hurt her too much. A win by Riott could’ve taken the blow-off match to Money in the Bank as it would have been Morgan breaking out her shell on a grand stage. Now, this hopefully ends here and Liv Morgan moves on to bigger and better things.



Nia Jax Interview and Viking Raiders Promo


Backstage we are taken to Nia Jax and Charly Caruso for an interview on what happened earlier that night.


Jax believes that there is “NOTHING” (note all caps) that Asuka and Baszler can do about her actions.


We are then taken to the Viking Raiders who mention the Street Profit and how the current Raw Tag Team champions have never beat them. The Viking Raider officially… “Want the smoke.”


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Nia, please! My speakers can only handle so much. A basic yet effective promo by Jax puts over her action from earlier in the night. I’m expecting an apology for my eardrums as soon as possible.


The Viking Raiders on the other hand ditch the Carpool Karaoke and also have an effective promo. They wanted the smoke and will get some next week as they face the Street Profits, titles not on the line.



Akira Tozowa VS Jinder Mahal


WWE reported back in June that Jinder Mahal had suffered a knee injury and would be out for six to twelve months. 10 months later, almost to the day, Mahal makes his return to WWE television.


Mahal gains control early on and assaults Tozawa as the action spills outside the ring. Mahal doesn’t spend much time playing with his food however as a Samoan drop and Khallas end Tozawa.


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Damn, the first thing I could think about after watching that match as poor Tozowa. Can’t win one match if his life depended on it. It’s not like Tozowa can’t wrestle either, he’s just been dealt a really bad hand.


You’re telling me Mahal couldn’t have gotten Dejournette for his return in squash and Lashley could have gotten the formidable Tozowa.


In any event, welcome back Mahal, let's see how hard you get pushed this time around. McIntyre vs Mahal Summerslam confirmed???



Andrade (Champion) W/ Zelina Vega VS Apollo Crews (United States Championship Match)


Following their backstage altercation, this match was put into place for another week of double-duty action from Andrade.


Both Andrade and Crews exchange control early down on the mat. As the action moves towards the ropes Crews gets hit with a cheap shot. A shoving match ensues ending with Crews leaving his feet connecting with a dropkick.


The action rolls outside and back into the ring with Andrade catching Crews as he slides in. Andrade in control falls outside the ring over the top rope as Crews slips the double knees in the corner. Crews from the apron attempts a standing moonsault and misses. He tweaks his knee and will affect him throughout the match. Andrade gains control as programming heads to break.


As we come back from break, Crews is almost counted outside the ring but enters in the nick of time. Crews works his way back into the match by reversing the double knees again, this time following up with an Olympic slam. They share blows until Andrade is thrown into a corner. A big splash by Crews is followed by a belly to belly suplex. Crews tries to finish off Andrade with a standing moonsault, 1… 2… kick out by Andrade. Andrade is able to catch Crews off guard with a drop toe hold into the corner, this time successfully attempting the double knees. 1… 2… kick out by the resilient Crews.


Crews fights back into the match with a gorilla press but fails to drop Andrade. A Hammerlock DDT from Andrade turns into a pop-up powerbomb from Crews. Multiple pin attempts from both opponents fail.


Crews attempts a top rope move and lands on his bad leg. It is deemed that Crews can no longer continue and Andrade retains.


Ryan Satin reports after Monday Night Raw that Apollo Crews will no longer be able to compete in the Money In the Bank Ladder Match because of his knee injury.


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Welp, that's a shame. Crews went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in a matter of one episode of Raw. Crews could be a big factor down the line with Andrade but let us hope this isn’t a burial.


Raw now holds a vacancy in their Money In the Bank ladder match slot. Next week on Raw we can see a couple of things that come out of Crews’ injury but my prediction is this:


Andrade vs Angel Garza vs Austin Theory vs Jinder Mahal vs Bobby Lashley vs Akira Tozowa


The faction, although pinned against each other, will work together to help one of their own be sent to the Money In the Bank ladder match. Which one? I’m not sure but seeing either Garza or Theory get pushed would be a fresh look. Lashley could also be an underdog to end up with the qualifying spot.



Ricochet and Cedric Alexander vs Ever-Rise


Ricochet and Cedric Alexander continue their quest for glory as this week they face off against the enhancement talent of Ever-Rise consisting of Matt Martel and Chase Parker.


Ricochet and Alexander were in control early after a couple of quick tags. Ricochet, distracted by Martel, gets clotheslined from behind by Parker. Martel, now the legal man, executes a double team move on Ricochet. Although the pin attempt by Ever-rise is unsuccessful, they maintain control over the battered Ricochet.


Double hot-tags lead to Alexander coming out on fire allowing him to administer a double team move of their own. Chaos ensues ending with a double team downward spiral with Alexander stomping on the back on the back of his opponent from the top rope. Ricochet and Alexander pin and win.


As victors hands are raised MVP appears on the jumbotron with Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink, the tag team Ricochet and Alexander beat last week. MVP believes that last week’s win was and a rematch should occur.


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Heel managers and faction builders could be the new norm for WWE if AEW continues with its success of getting many factions over. There is a point however when too many factions accumulate which muddies the water, AEW walks that line.


Ricochet and Alexander continue to be great and could end up in the mix with the Street Profits and Viking Raiders when their feud is all said and done. I couldn’t be more proud of these two, making chicken salad out of…you know the rest.


I was a little confused by the Thorne and Vink thing, though. I was expecting Ricochet and Alexander to do double duty here tonight by the way it looked going to the break. Most likely a teaser for next week.



Contract Signing: Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins


The last we saw Seth Rollins he was sitting on the infamous double chair throne that took the internet by storm. This episode of Raw we were graced by the physical appearance of the Monday Night Messiah.


Jerry "The King" Lawler introduced both the challenger and the champion to the ring. McIntrye wastes no time singing the contract as pen hits paper as soon as he sits down, but Rollins hesitates and explains to Mcintyre that he doesn’t want to do this, just that he has to save the WWE Universe.


McIntyre thanks Rollins for making it clear to him that Rollins is completely full of… that thing you make chicken salad out of.


Rollins signs the contract and McIntyre attacks. As McIntyre prepares to hit Rollins with the Claymore kick, Murphy attacks McIntyre to save Rollins. As Rollins and Murphy face each other Murphy pushes Rollins out of the way of another Claymore kick, taking it for his “Messiah”.


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I’m glad to see Murphy back in the corner of Rollins. Although he never officially left his side, he wasn’t on camera with Rollins for a few weeks. I also enjoyed how it looked as if it was Murphy’s choice to come and save Rollins and wasn’t forced or told to do so.


I get the sense through the Twitter-verse that people don't know how to feel about McIntyre. I believe it is the Roman Reigns effect and anyone who doesn’t get a natural/organic push should be booed. What people need to realize is that we haven’t had a true babyface in a long time so we kind of forget how to react, much like we haven’t had a true heel faction in a while. If you like Drew, cheer for him. If you don’t like him, think about why you don’t. Do you truly not like him or are you just booing to boo the babyface?


On a side note: Seth Rollins is still wearing a glove on the right hand even in the suit. I’m not sure if this is intentional but Star Wars’ Anakin Skywalker (A.K.A. The Chosen One) also wore a glove on the same hand. If that is the reason, Rollins gets bonus points from me.



Takeaways


Another episode of Raw in the books. I didn’t mention the Triple H Top 10 moments because they didn’t amount to much in the show and truly weren’t his top 10 moments in my opinion (Maybe that’s a good idea for an article).


Pros:

  • Opening

  • Aleister Black, Rey Mysterio and Apollo Crews VS Andrade, Angel Garza and Austin Theory W/ Zelina Vega

  • Nia Jax Interview and Viking Raiders Promo

  • Andrade W/ Zelina Vega VS Apollo Crews (Good match just sad ending)

  • Ricochet and Cedric Alexander vs Ever-Rise

  • Contract Signing: Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins


Cons:

  • Akira Tozowa VS Jinder Mahal

  • Liv Morgan VS Ruby Riott

  • Bobby Lashley VS Denzel Dejournette

  • Asuka VS Shayna Baszler VS Nia Jax


Final Grade: C+



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