• Jayden Becker

WWE Raw Review 5/18/20



This week's Monday Night Raw sees many new feuds form. Kevin Owens and Apollo Crews return to face off against Andrade and Angel Garza. Surprises don’t end there as Seth Rollins finds a new disciple.


Edge answer’s Orton challenge face to face after last week’s meeting. The Brand to Brand Invitation kicks off with Drew McIntyre battling King Corbin. Women’s action finds The IIconics take on Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.


Another 3 hours of Raw is in the books, let’s take a look.


Edge Answers Orton’s Challenge


The show opens with Charly Caruso reminding the audience of last week’s meeting between the two superstars. Caruso once again says that a match between the two could be the greatest match ever.


Randy Orton explains that all he wants is a straight-up wrestling match with Edge to prove that he is the better wrestler. Orton also notes that he saw doubt in Edge last week after offering the challenge.


Edge makes his way to the ring. He insults the character of Orton, noting that he only wrestles for the paycheck and not for the love of the sport. Emphatically, Edge accepts the challenge for a match between the two at Backlash.


Spin:


I was ready to turn off the TV as soon as Charly Caruso uttered those words again, "the greatest match ever." I’ll say the same thing I said last week this week. If this match happened at Wrestlemania 24 through 26, it might have been up there as one of the greatest of all time. Not when they both have greys and are long out of their prime. I truly hope this match lives up to the hype for the sake of the storyline.


I couldn’t look at Caruso throughout the night without cringing. I know it’s not her fault, but she’s the face of the issue.


I grew up with Orton and Edge both in their prime’s to see them this old doing it now is unfortunate. I'm hoping for the best between these two. I wasn’t happy with the opening of the show.



Rollins Has a Revelation


After Seth Rollins’ actions against Rey Mysterio, last week on Raw, Rollins and Murphy make their way to the ring to explain their reasoning.


Rey Mysterio is still in critical condition after having his eye pressed into the corner of the steel steps. According to the commentary team, Mysterio’s eye is too swollen to be properly examined.


The Monday Night Messiah explains sometimes in life you have to lose who you are to find yourself. After losing his WWE Championship match to Drew McIntyre at Money in the Bank, Rollins says he fell into a dark place. But thanks to Rey Mysterio, he has seen the light.


Speaking to Rey Mysterio directly through the TV, Rollins believes what happened to Mysterio is a blessing in disguise and says you’re welcome in advance.


Humberto Carrillo doesn’t take lightly to this and confronts Rollins and Murphy in the ring. With Rollins dressed in a suit, he is unable to fight Carrillo. Murphy, however, is dressed to compete for his match against Aleister Black later in the night.


A surprise match between Carrillo and Murphy gets underway.


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The Messiah gimmick took awhile for me to get used to but it has finally grown on me after the past two weeks. Rollins cuts a great promo here and has his muscle do the dirty work for him. I hate to call Murphy the muscle here because he is so much more than that as an in-ring performer but this is the role he is playing today.



Humberto Carrillo vs Murphy w/ Seth Rollins


Action is back and forth as programming comes out of the commercial break. As the action falls outside of the ring Carrillo lands a big splash onto Murphy down below.


As Murphy is tossed back into the ring, Rollins stares Carrillo down, delaying his ascent to the top rope. This distraction allows time for Murphy to recover and catch Carrillo, reversing the top rope move into Murphy’s Law.


Murphy beat Humberto Carrillo by pinfall with the aid of Seth Rollins.


The action continues after the bell as Carrillo is attacked by Murphy to add insult to injury. The brutalization doesn’t last long, however, as Aleister Black stops the melee. Black just misses the Black Mass as Murphy slides away in the nick of time.


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The match between the two isn’t as important compared to the actions of Seth Rollins during the contest. Rollins distracting Carillo, although a great heel tactic, proves what has been suspected for the past few weeks. That is Murphy, storyline-wise, can’t compete alone.


We’ll see where this goes later in the night for he has another match vs Aleister Black.


Liv Morgan Promo


Liv Morgan cuts a short promo mentioning how she is similar to her Mom. Morgan describes her Mom as a person that never quits. Although she lost to Charlotte Flair, it doesn’t mean that she didn’t learn anything in the process.


Morgan predicts that one day she will be Raw’s Women’s Champion.


Spin:


Short promo but I felt the need to include it. This promo might have been meant for last week given Mother’s Day was the day before. The push to this week could’ve been to keep the spotlight on Becky Lynch’s big announcement.


Either way, I thought it was delivered nicely and kept her on-screen for another week. The next few weeks that follow this promo will determine the path Morgan takes in the WWE.


Charlotte Flair vs Ruby Riott


The NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair faces off against Liv Morgan’s former Riott Squad partner Ruby Riott.


After Flair calls out Riott, the match kicks off with Flair in control. The action spills to the outside with Flair laying huge chops to the chest of Riott. This goes awry, however, as Riott ducks a chop leading to Flair smashing her arm into the ring post.


Riott starts to dominate in the ring after planting Flair’s face into the second turnbuckle. A Riott Kick is caught by Flair and is reversed into a Figure 8.


Charlotte Flair wins by submission.


Spin:


Nothing too special here. Riott was able to apply some offense but so was Liv Morgan. This match was for the people who don’t watch NXT and to get in-ring Flair back in the minds of the viewer.


When Flair does drop the title it will go back to someone on the NXT Roster. I doubt someone on the main roster keeps it away from talent for too long. We will most likely see a defense of the title at NXT: In Your House.


Asuka Championship Celebration and Aftermath


Introduced by her Kabuki Warrior tag team partner Kairi Sane, the new Raw’s Women’s Champion Asuka walks to the ring to be celebrated for her accomplishment.


After some emotional Japanese screaming, Nia Jax breaks up the party while Kairi plays the recorder. Jax is unhappy with the current situation, mentioning how Asuka never beat Becky Lynch for the title.


Asuka has heard enough and rushes to attack Jax. After being launched out of the ring through the middle ropes. Asuka and Kairi stand tall.


Later that night, Jax finds Kairi playing the recorder alone backstage. Jax brutally attacks Kairi from behind, slamming her head into a storage cart. Asuka finds Kairi injured and makes her way to find Jax.


As programming continues, Asuka finds Jax backstage and confronts the assailant. After being pushed to the side, Asuka kicks Jax down to the floor below.


Spin:


These events happened throughout the show but I thought it would be best to clump this together.


I’m not sure what WWE was trying to accomplish here. If they wanted to get Jax over as a monster they failed at that for sure. With the push Jax has been getting for the past few weeks, it is a bad sign to see her on her back when it is all said and done.


Similar to King Corbin, if they want her to look strong she has to be malicious at all times. This could’ve been accomplished by her destroying the celebration and laying out both of the Kabuki Warriors. Nia Jax just looks annoying and weak here.



R-Truth vs Bobby Lashley


Here is a rematch from Money in the Bank where these two faced off when Bobby Lashley replaced MVP.


Earlier in the night MVP interrupted Lashley’s interview backstage to let the public know that Lashley and MVP will no longer be doing work together. This is because MVP believes Lashley is still working with clowns.


With this in mind, Lashley heads to the ring on a mission. R-Truth cuts a promo before the match with the motive to retrieve the 24/7 championship from the current holder, Rob Gronkowski. R-Truth confuses Gronk, however, with Gronk’s NFL teammate 6x Super Bowl winner Tom Brady.


As the match gets underway Lashley knocks Pretty Ricky into shambles as Lashley drives R-Truth into the ring post. Lashley’s small showing of mercy allows R-Truth to produce some offense until Lashley locks in the full-nelson.


A full-nelson slam downs R-Truth. Lashley locks in the full-nelson again but this time looks for the submission. R- Truth taps out and Lashley wins.


An impressed MVP makes his way to the top of the entrance ramp and claps for the veteran star.


Spin:


Pulling Lashley away from Lana and into the arms of MVP solves two problems in Lashley’s lap. Lana is annoying to some but has done an amazing job throughout her WWE career of taking the business as seriously as anyone, especially back in her Rusev Day(cries profusely). The pairing between Lana and Lashley only works if Rusev is in the company and well, he’s not.


Lashley needed to find a way to get a legitimate push and aligning himself with MVP could get him there as we will see later in the programming.



Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs The IIconics - WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match


This match came to be after the IIconic’s sneaky victory over Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross last week on Raw.


The returning IIconics try their best to keep pace with the current champions throughout the match. Peyton Royce is tossed out of the ring by Nikki Cross towards the end of the match allowing Bliss to hit her top rope finisher, Twisted Bliss on to Billie Kay.


The pin is broken up by Royce who assaults Bliss by slamming her into the ring post through the turnbuckle repeatedly. The official reaches his 5 count and disqualifies the IIconics.


Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross retain their titles.


Backstage after the match, the IIconics are found in an argument. Billie Kay, in a rage, slaps Peyton Royce across the face. Kay is instantly apologetic and the IIconics hug it out.


Spin:


Although the IIconics lose this match I don’t see the feud between these two teams ending here. The IIconics might have one of the most legitimately funny promos both on and off-screen in the WWE today. I’m glad to see them back and expect more great stuff from them in the future.



Shayna Baszler vs Natalya - Submission Match


After Baszler’s victory last week, Natalya and Baszler have matched up again with victor only to be named by submission.


A couple of submission attempts from both competitors are thwarted early on. As the match continues, Baszler tries to lock the Sharpshooter on Natalya. Natalya has her move scouted, as she reverses, locking Baszler into the Sharpshooter herself.


As Baszler breaks free, Natalya gets overly aggressive and jumps onto her opponent. The former cage fighter is able to reverse the melee into her finishing submission, the Kirifuda Clutch.


Natalya taps out, losing to Shayna Baszler for the second week in a row.


After the match with Natalya left in the ring, the production crew starts to set up for the KO Show, coming up next. Natalya isn’t having it, however, as she tosses the signs and chairs out of the ring onto the entrance ramp.


Spin:


Weeks back I talked about this booking scenario where Baszler faces a legitimate opponent week after week and I believe we are seeing it here. Baszler tried to break the arm last week but Natalya came back and fought the week after. Exactly what Baszler needed in a legitimate threat and exactly what Natalya needed in, well, something to do.


Natalya emptying the ring also sets up the next segment of the night.



The KO Show


As promoted earlier in the night, Kevin Owens makes his return to WWE television after defeating Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania. Owens was sidelined with a legitimate ankle injury causing him to miss a little over a month and a half.


The guest of the KO Show, Zelina Vega and her gang of men (we still need a name dammit). Vega notes that Owens only wanted them to come out to the ring to show a Jerry Springer outbreak between the group. Vega also notes that Owens is standing on the ring apron while Vega and Crew are in the middle of the ring.


This is no accident, however, as Owens calls out to the show the returning Apollo Crews. Crews was sidelined from WWE television after suffering a kayfabe knee injury in his US Title match against Andrade two weeks before Money in the Bank.


Chaos ensues as Crews and Owens attack Vega’s Men in and out of the ring.



Andrade and Angle Garza w/ Zelina Vega and Austin Theory vs Kevin Owens and Apollo Crews


The previous brawl turns into an official match as Kevin Owens and Apollo Crews dominate early on. Crews has an eye out for Andrade but is unable to attack him, as Andrade scurries away to tag in his partner.


As the action continues Crews is in control, knocking Andrade off the apron. Zelina Vega interferes by standing on the apron herself to distract the official, allowing Austin Theory to do some dirty work of his own. The heel antics backfire as Theory hits Angel Garza instead.


Crews lifts Garza for the Spin-Out Powerbomb to pin and win the match.


Crews later in the programming is granted another US Title opportunity against Andrade.


The action in the ring isn’t finished, however, as Garza and Andrade turn on Theory for costing them the match. To add salt to the wound, Theory is lifted by his arms by the two men and is slapped by Vega. The barbarity ends with Theory being thrown in the chairs at the timekeeper's area.


Spin:


Welcome back Kevin Owens, I suspect that you are completely cleared to compete but were placed in the tag team match up just to be safe. Owens should be placed in some title picture but I’m not sure which one just yet. Both are kind of taken up at the moment.


This time around I’m hoping to see something a little deeper from Owens than the guy that beats the bad guy up just to beat them up. I want more motives from him, much like we saw from him against Rollins.


I’m also happy to see Crews back in the title picture. That kayfabe knee injury could have buried him for good in the WWE but it looks like there is more in store for him. Rumors weeks back had him with MVP, that might not be on the table anymore because of Lashley, but a faction could work there as well given the weak Raw tag team division.



Aleister Black vs Murphy w/ Seth Rollins


After the backstage brawl between the two after Rollins assaulted Rey Mysterio, this match is to settle the score. It is also good to note that the last time Murphy had a match with Aleister Black, Black won causing Murphy to join Rollins.


The match starts quickly with Black tossing his jacket into the face of Murphy. Action falls outside of the ring with Black in control with swift kicks. Murphy gains some momentum after he slips a kick and Black kicks the post.


Rollins on the outside doesn’t take much note of the match and focuses his attention on Austin Theory, still in pain at the timekeeper's area after he was tossed to the side by Angle Garza and Andrade. Rollins offers Theory his hand and Theory takes it.


With Murphy in trouble inside the ring, Theory breaks up the action calling for a disqualification. As Murphy regains his bearings both disciples team up on Black. A knee to the face by Murphy and an ATL by Theory lays Black out to dry.


Rollins hugs Theory as a lost soul is found.


Spin:


Absolute perfect booking. Theory in Vega’s group just didn’t match up well with the Hispanic aspect of the team. Him being kicked to the curb and being saved by Rollins not only saved him in the storyline but saved his future in the WWE.


This is a great demonstration of how under or improperly utilized talent comes together in a faction to create new stars. Theory now has the backing of one of the best heels in the best heels in the company and the backing of WWE creative as well.


This booking also bolsters up the tag team division as I assume Murphy and Theory will be teaming up.



The Viking Raiders and Street Profits in an Axe Throwing Contest


Last week, the Viking Raiders faced off against the Street Profits in a game of basketball. This week, the Street Profits step out of their element and step into the “Viking Experience” for an axe throwing contest. Montez Ford can’t seem to get a grip of the competition, however, as he throws the ax as far as humanly possible,


After warm-ups, the Viking Raiders put on a clinic by getting a bullseye with every throw. The Street Profits aren’t able to hit the target at all until the Vikings start to cheer them on.


The fun and games are stopped when a police car rolls up to the gathering with an ax smashed through the windshield. When asked who threw the axe, Dawkins proves it wasn't him by getting a bullseye without looking at the target.


The police officer lets them off the hook because she thinks Ivar is cute.


Spin:


I said it last week, and I’ll repeat it now. It might not be for everybody, but with the depleted tag team roster, this is the best they can do. It would make no sense for these two teams to fight each other every week in the build to the championship matchup. This is the best way to build heat between the two teams without them getting in the ring.



Drew McIntyre vs King Corbin - Brand to Brand Invitational


The Brand to Brand Invitational allows for four times a year a superstar to face an opponent of their choosing on the opposite brand. Charlotte Flair will be representing Raw on Smackdown this Friday as she faces off against Bayley. This episode of Raw, however, sees King Corbin from Smackdown take on the WWE Champion Drew McIntyre.


Before the match between the two begins, MVP and Bobby Lashley make their way to the top of the entrance ramp. MVP proclaims that both Lashley and himself have a personal interest in the main event of the evening. Lashley puts McIntyre on notice and is willing to pry the WWE Championship from his cold dead hands.


As the two watch front the top of the entrance ramp, the match gets underway with McIntyre in control. The action spills outside of the ring with McIntyre sending Corbin over the barricade. Back inside the ring, McIntyre sets up for the Claymore Kick but Corbin rolls away to regroup.


Corbin starts to gain some momentum as he catches McIntyre by rushing back into the ring after being tossed underneath the bottom rope. Corbin props McIntyre up on the top rope and connects with a massive superplex. 1… kick out by McIntyre.


McIntyre starts to heat up after being called a follower by Corbin. Momentum continues to go McIntyre’s way as he punishes Corbin with a belly to belly suplex and a spinebuster. Corbin regains some ground after reversing the Future Shock DDT into a sidewalk slam. McIntyre kicks out at 1 again.


The WWE Champion fights back into the match, hitting a signature top rope move on to Corbin, followed by a Future Shock DDT. McIntyre tries to finish the job with a Claymore Kick but is reversed into a Deep Six. 1… 2… kick out by McIntyre.


The King looks to finish off the Champion with the End of Days but McIntyre connects with the Glasgow Kiss. A Claymore Kick plants Corbin.


McIntyre wins and stares down Lashley as the show fades to black.


Spin:


Some people don’t like the Brand to Brand Invitational but what it is doing is injecting familiar faces into places where they can be best utilized. With other talent caught up in other storylines, McIntyre was left up in limbo last week having to face Andrade again.


King Corbin, much like Charlotte Flair is the stepping stone or, better yet, the launching pad for the next feud. If this were normal times, the Brand to Brand Invitation most likely wouldn’t exist because talent would be on hand to fill the void. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and this is arguably a fix.



Takeaways


Two great episodes of Raw in a row. This one might have taken the cake if it wasn’t for Caruso continuing to say that Edge and Orton both out of their prime will be the greatest match ever. For that, I had to knock it quite a bit for the bitter taste in my mouth.


Want to hear more Pro Wrestling talk? Andrew Gabriel and I have started a new podcast called 1306 Live where we talk about all things wrestling. You can find us on Spotify and on 1306sports.com.


You can also expect a 1306 Pro Wrestling Instagram page soon to come. Keep checking all our social media for news on not only Pro Wrestling content, but all your other sports needs.


Pros:


  • Rollins Has a Revelation

  • Humberto Carrillo vs Murphy w/ Seth Rollins

  • R-Truth vs Bobby Lashley

  • Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs IIconic - WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match

  • Shayna Baszler vs Natalya - Submission Match

  • The Kevin Owens’ Show

  • Andrade and Angle Garza w/ Zelina Vega and Austin Theory vs Kevin Owens and Apollo Crews

  • Aleister Black vs Murphy w/ Seth Rollins

  • The Viking Raiders and Street Profits in an Ax Throwing Contest

  • Drew McIntyre vs King Corbin - Brand to Brand Invitational


Cons:

  • Edge Answers Orton’s Challenge

  • Liv Morgan Promo

  • Charlotte Flair vs Ruby Riott

  • Asuka Championship Celebration and Aftermath


Final Grade: B-


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