• Jayden Becker

WWE Raw Review 5/11/20



This episode of Monday Night Raw might have been one of the best Raw’s this year. Becky Lynch has a major announcement to shock the WWE Universe while a new WWE Raw’s Women’s champion is crowned in the aftermath.


Edge and Randy Orton meet face to face for the first time since Wrestlemania and Bobby Lashley picks his side. Surprisingly, Aleister Black and Rey Mysterio are alive and ready to compete after their fall at Money in the Bank.


Monday Night Raw takes a big step up this week, let's take a look.


Becky Lynch’s Announcement


The show opens with WWE Raw’s Women's Champion Becky Lynch walking her way down to the ring holding the Money in the Bank briefcase won by Asuka the night prior. Lynch announces to the WWE Universe that she has to go away for a while.


Before Lynch can continue Asuka makes her entrance. Asuka isn’t happy because Lynch has her briefcase. The briefcase is returned to her but inside is the Raw’s Women’s Championship. An excited Asuka marches around the ring and up the ramp. As she returns to the ring Lynch tells Asuka that she wants her to fight like a warrior because Lynch is going to be a mother.


Lynch leaves as her music plays and tells the camera that she will miss the WWE Universe.


Spin:


Congratulations to Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins on their pregnancy. All of us here at 1306 wish nothing but the best in your time off.


A bittersweet moment. I might need to change my grade of this on the Pay-Per-View because at the end of the day there is a title change. Now that Asuka has captured the Raw title, she has officially won everything possible to win in the WWE as a woman. She had been an NXT champion, both Raw and Smackdown Women’s champion, a tag team champion as a part of the Kabuki Warriors and finally a Money in the Bank winner.


If anyone deserves the belt, it is Asuka for her efforts through the “no crowd” era and should be a solid champion from here on out.



Bobby Lashley vs Humberto Carrillo - No DQ Match


This no-disqualification match comes to be after Lashley was disqualified last week during the Last Chance Gauntlet Qualifier match for the Money in the Bank ladder match.


Halfway through the match, Lashley is the first to take advantage of the lack of rules as he breaks out a chair. His efforts are thwarted; however, Carillo dropkicks him with the chair connecting with his face.


Lashley continues to fight by smashing Carillo into the LED post. Carrillo comes back with three vicious chair shots of his own.


As action rolls back into the ring Lashley wraps up Carrillo in a Full Nelson, tapping out Carrillo to end the match.


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I like the new finisher by Lashley. Half the roster uses a spear, so for him to separate himself with a finishing move meant to be used by giant muscular men helps him immensely.


Humberto Carillo got to show a dark side of himself with massive angry chair shots to the back of Lashley. This is probably not the best thing you want to do when you’re trying to sell brand new T-Shirts on WWEShop.com.



Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega, Andrade and Austin Theory vs Akira Tozawa


Programming returns with this match half-way through. Theory and Garza are chirping at each other throughout the match because of a pre-match altercation backstage. As Garza sets up for the Wing Clipper, he gestures at Theory suggesting that this could be him.


Garza plants Tozawa to pin and win. The in-fighting between Garza and Theory continues causing Vega to step in between. The fighting doesn’t last long, however, as Drew McIntrye makes an entrance.


McIntyre eggs the trio into a fight. McIntyre Claymores Theory down to the mat as he is the first buyer. As Garza laughs at Theory, he is Claymored as well. The two champions in the ring have an impromptu match next.


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I don’t see why in-fighting is necessary from such a new group that hasn’t accomplished anything yet. That statement might have just answered my question, but I digress.


After weeks of Tozawa getting squashed, at this point, I can’t comment anymore on the topic. Just know it’s a travesty and Tozawa should ask for his release. NXT has treated him very well. If this is his main roster fate, he might as well leave while he has the chance. If this continues to happen just refer to this spin.



Drew McIntyre vs Andrade w/ Zelina Vega


After successfully defending his WWE Champion last night on Money in the Bank, McIntyre is dressed for work and ready for another match.


McIntyre is in control for most of the match until Andrade crawls under the ring to bait McIntyre in. Andrade pulls the left arm of McIntyre into the apron. This has some history to it as Andrade injured McIntyre’s bicep in a championship match-up back in NXT, sidelining him for months.


Andrade continues to work the arm until a big boot by McIntyre drops the US Champion. Andrade won’t be down for long, however, as he attacks the left arm again dropping McIntyre to the bottom turnbuckle into a double knee. 1… kick out by McIntyre.


Chops by both competitors balance the match. A reverse elbow by Andrade stuns McIntyre but the offense of Andrade is cut short by a reverse Alabama Slam. A Claymore by McIntyre seals his victory.


After the match, McIntyre cuts a promo commenting on his match at Money in the Bank against Seth Rollins. McIntyre has to censor himself as he says Rollins, “Freaking brought it.”


McIntyre introduces the Brand to Brand Invitational and his match next week on Raw against Smackdown superstar King Cobin.


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A solid match between the two. We should expect to see Andrade defend the title at the next PPV given he didn’t have a match at Money in the Bank. The fighting champion continues to fight week in and week out and even has a match scheduled for next week.


The Brand to Brand Invitation sounds like a great idea given the times but is more suited in the build-up to Survivor Series. Either way with all the talent competing in the same building every week, it doesn’t make a difference what time of year it is.


The brand split has arguably been a success so I see no need to end it here. The only argument I could see is the lack of star power but as the COVID-19 pandemic (hopefully) starts to curve downward star power should reemerge.



IIconics vs Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross


The talk show segment, A Moment of Bliss features the return of former Women’s Tag Team Champions, The IIconics, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, after seven months away from WWE Television.


The IIconics come back with one thing in mind, a shot at the titles. Although Bliss and Cross don’t give them the title opportunity, they do get a match.


Throughout the match, Bliss and Cross mock the IIconics and their gimmick. As the match winds down a cheap shot to the throat of Bliss drops her down to the mat. A double team move by the IIconics seals the deal earning them the victory.


The returning tag team will also receive a title opportunity next week on Raw.


Spin:


Welcome back IIconics. You made me have to fix my spell-check. In any event, it’s nice to see another true tag team in the picture with the Kabuki Warriors most-likely falling to the wayside after Asuka’s now title reign.


For the sake of the Women’s Tag Team division, let us hope more tag teams lace up their boots again. Lay-Cool return confirmed???



R-Truth, Cedric Alexander and Ricochet vs MVP, Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink


After his showing at Money in the Bank, R-Truth gets his opportunity to get his hands on MVP after trading places with Bobby Lashley. Cedric Alexander and Ricochet also get their shot at Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink after being defeated by the tag team last week.


MVP was seen earlier in the show conversing with Bobby Lashley about breaking out of his rut and possibly fighting for a WWE title shot.


With R-Truth in control in the ring showing great veteran prowess running the ropes, Ricochet and Alexander land a big splash onto Thorne and Vink onto the outside. R-Truth connects with the Lie-Detector onto MVP for the pinfall victory.


R-Truth’s celebration is short-lived, however, as Lashley sprints into the ring and assaults R-Truth. This action shows MVP that Lashley accepts his offer.


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Odd but consistent storytelling. Not only does this get over R-Truth for some reason but it boosts Lashley as well.


Do you know who this didn’t help? Alexander and Ricochet. I was wrong last week by saying their loss wasn’t a burial because it’s clear this week it was. I mean if you’re teamed up with R-Truth you have to be buried right. I wonder whose new shoes Ricochet stepped on backstage to deserve this fall from grace.



Jinder Mahal Interview


The last we saw Jinder Mahal he squashed Akira Tozowa (go figure) in his return match. Many of us assumed that he is still a bad guy in the company but Mahal is here to tell us otherwise.


Jinder Mahal wants to once again sit atop the WWE like Drew McIntyre. Mahal also mentions his journey to the top will be a hero's journey.


Spin:


Although this segment was very short I felt the need to include it in the review. I can’t tell if he’s heel here and wants us to boo him or he’s a face now and is begging us to cheer for him. Although I feel like I’m not supposed to like this segment I can’t stop thinking about it.


This could explain his previous weeks off after his return as he rebrands his character.



Rey Mysterio and Alister Black vs Seth Rollins and Murphy


After being thrown off the roof at WWE Headquarters during the Money in the Bank ladder match, both Rey Mysterio and Alister Black are alive and well. According to Mysterio, the drop was only 6 feet from the roof onto a secondary roof that saved Black and his lives.


Seth Rollins and Murphy make their entrance with the new Seth Rollins theme, confirming that the Money in the Bank entrance wasn’t a one-time thing. Rollins, however, looks extremely disheveled and upset. The announce table says that this is because of his loss the night prior to McIntyre but we are left to wonder if this has anything to do with him becoming a father.


As the bell rings Rollins stands lifeless in his corner as Murphy reaches out for a tag. Rollins rarely gives a glance to opponents that come close in this match-up leaving Murphy to fend for himself.


Mysterio is thrown into Rollins' corner and is knocked off the mat. As Mysterio attempts the 619 on Murphy, Rollins saves his disciple and begins to punish Mysterio. The official calls for the bell and ruled a disqualification.


Rollins takes to the eye of Mysterio starting by gouging with the thumb. Rollins takes it to another level as he starts to lift the mask of Mysterio and press the injured eye into the corner of the steel steps. The gruesome image ends with Mysterio lying outside the ring bloodied and partially maskless.


After break backstage, Mysterio is being tended to by the trainer when Rollins enters with Murphy. Rollins doesn’t seem to know why he acted that way but is interrupted by a furious Alister Black who brawls with Murphy in the doctor's area.


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A lot to dive into here.


Black and Mysterio, you’re alive. Good job, you didn’t die and get written off WWE television. The 6-foot drop is a little bit of a cop-out but I’m glad to see Black back and not off-screen. I predicted Mysterio to get thrown off to negotiate a new contract but maybe that’ll be saved for another time. Another time could be now, however, given the malicious assault from Rollins on this episode of Raw.


When the baby is born and asks to watch the episode of Raw where Becky Lynch announced her pregnancy the baby is going to have to watch their father shove the eye of Rey Mysterio into the corner of the steel steps. In some way, shape or form I would love to see the reaction of that baby watching their father commit such acts.



Viking Raiders and Street Profits play basketball


From carpool karaoke to the basketball court, The Viking Raiders are getting a taste of life outside the Viking Experience (see what I did there).


The anything you can do I can do better attitude of the Viking Raiders has brought them to the Basketball court for a classic 2 on 2 pick-up game.


After not understanding what a “check” means the Street Profits run up the score 74-0 on the Viking Raiders. The Viking Raiders, however, make a buzzer-beater ending the game with the final score of 74-2.


Although the Viking Raiders lose the game, post-game action sees the Viking Raiders hustling the Street Profits by nailing 3s and slamming down dunks.


Spin:


Well, this happened. I still can’t tell you if I liked it or not but I’m leaning more towards the yes. I understand the complaint of ruining the Viking Raiders and how they are no longer a strong tag team but what they do outside the ring doesn’t matter if they win matches. The issue starts to get out of hand if they start to slip away in the ring but I don’t see that happening so soon.


The Viking Raiders can continue to be dominant even if they have to sing carpool karaoke or play basketball once in a while.



Shayna Baszler vs Natalya


This match came to be after Natalya caught wind of the remarks Baszler made about Lynch and her pregnancy.


The action is back and forth throughout the match, as they make remarks about each other and family background. A couple of five counts from the official brings the action back to the center of the ring. Chain grappling leads to a sharpshooter attempt by Natalya. Baszler flips Natalya and tries to break her arm as she has done to her prior opponents. A roll-up by Natalya almost defeats the cage fighter until a kick out at 2. Baszler strikes with a knee to the face of Natalya for the victory.


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From anti-hero to heel, as simple as that. Baszler’s remarks and actions not only take away all face qualities of her character but also brings her back into the picture after defeating a credible opponent.


She and Asuka could be the first to have a match for the belt. Possibly in a cage match at Extreme Rules, given Baszler is the cage fighter.



Edge and Randy Orton Face to Face


The last we saw of these two was at Wrestlemania when Edge defeated Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match.


Edge believes he has gotten his closure with Orton and would like to move on in the WWE. Orton makes his entrance and tells Edge that he lost to the better man. As Orton walks away he laughs and returns to the ring.


Orton can’t take himself seriously with the statement he made. Orton says although the best man did win, the best wrestler did not.


A match is challenged to Edge, a straight-up wrestling match. Orton vs Edge.


Charly Caruso says This could be the greatest match of all time.


Spin:


It was good until Caruso said those last words. An audible "STFU" could’ve been heard from a mile radius of my house because of that statement. Charly, greatest of all time, over any match ever. Give me a break, she was told to say this, but that statement just hurt. Maybe 11 years ago when they are both in their primes, around Wrestlemania 24 or 25, but not now.


Other than that I thought the promo was great. Orton got the idea of a straight-up single match over like it was the most unique stipulation ever created. Edge is also selling T-Shirts with the word "Grit" on it, great. This feud isn’t over but let's hope this match is drastically shorter than their Last Man Standing match.



Takeaways:


Despite a few personal pitfalls, I think this is easily the best Raw of the year so far. A big announcement, a new major champion, multiple returns, and a graphic/shocking moment.


Pros:


  • Becky Lynch’s Announcement

  • Bobby Lashley vs Humberto Carillo - No DQ Match

  • Drew McIntyre vs Andrade w/ Zelina Vega

  • IIconics vs Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross

  • R-Truth, Cedric Alexander and Ricochet vs MVP, Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink (Post-Match antics saved it)

  • Rey Mysterio and Alister Black vs Seth Rollins and Murphy

  • Viking Raiders and Street Profits Play Basketball

  • Shayna Baszler vs Natalya

  • Edge and Randy Orton Face to Face


Cons:


  • Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega, Andrade and Austin Theory vs Akira Tozawa (unnecessary in-fighting)

  • A Moment of Bliss talk show segment

  • Jinder Mahal Interview


Final Grade: A-


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