Just two items on the official preview for RAW tonight. Asuka, Nia Jax, and Shayna Baszler face off in a triple threat before they represent RAW in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. And Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins sign their Money in the Bank contract. Everything else is a mystery.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Rey Mysterio, Aleister Black, & Apollo Crews
Bobby Lashley def. Denzel Dejournette
Liv Morgan def. Ruby Riott
Jinder Mahal def. Akira Tozawa
Andrade def. Apollo Crews
Ricochet & Cedric Alexander def. Ever-Rise
♦ Samoa Joe joined Tom Phillip and Byron Saxton on commentary for the night.
♦ MVP’s VIP Lounge opened the show with special guests the Money in the Bank Ladder Match participants Rey Mysterio, Aleister Black, and Apollo Crews. MVP asked them what it means to them to have an opportunity to be Mr Money in the Bank, but he answered for Mysterio and Black and Crew got interrupted by Zelina Vega and associates.
She said no one wants to hear from Apollo Crews, but the WWE Universe can’t get enough of Andrade, Angel Garza and Austin Theory, who she called the ‘future of RAW’. She threw out a few insults, including suggesting that the briefcase would go to SmackDown, then told them that the best thing they could do for the WWE Universe was to hand their places to her stable.
Rey Mysterio got to the point and said it looked like they were looking to pick a fight with them. A brief brawl broke out and the inevitable six-man tag started after a break.
Rey Mysterio, Aleister Black & Apollo Crews vs Andrade, Angel Garza & Austin Theory was an exceptionally fun way to use up half an hour of the show. Six of the most talented and athletic superstars in WWE putting on a hell of a match. And having Samoa Joe back on commentary makes everything better. It was Apollo Crews who got the win for his team, pinning Andrade and giving himself a case for a US title shot down the line.
Backstage, after the match, Charly Caruso asked Andrade what went wrong. He said his partners let him down. Apollo Crews came over to Caruso after they’d stomped off and said he beat Andrade once and he can do it again. He could do it twice in one night. Andrade came back and got angry, Crews slapped him, and Vega granted Crews a title match tonight. That was easy, I thought it would be next week at the earliest.
♦ Asuka vs Nia Jax vs Shayna Baszler would have been great if it had happened. They tried to introduce a grudge element between Asuka and Jax, citing Nia Jax’ treatment of Kairi Sane, and Asuka did shout about it in her pre-match promo. She also mentioned tapping out Jax when they last fought. Considering the MO of these three superstars, it was going to be vicious with or without external motivation. Baszler pulled Asuka out of the ring before it could start. They took advantage of the fixtures and fittings at ringside for a minute or so. Then Nia Jax threw a ladder into the ring and used it to take down Asuka and Baszler. They rolled out of the ring and it was over. Disappointing.
♦ Bobby Lashley vs Denzel Dejournette was fine. Before the match, Lashley asked Lana not to come to the ring because she was a distraction. She started to get upset, he said he was distracted by her beauty and got away with it. He finished Dejournette with a spear.
♦ Liv Morgan vs Ruby Riott happened for the second week running. Ruby Riott wasn’t happy with the result last week and wanted retribution. Liv Morgan wanted to prove it wasn’t a fluke. Riott was shaken when Morgan kicked out of the Riott Kick and leant over Morgan telling her she better know her place. In response, Liv Morgan proved last week wasn’t a fluke, with the flatliner now called Oblivion.
After the match, Byron Saxton asked Liv Morgan if this was a new chapter. Morgan said there will be many new chapters. She’s still trying to figure out who she is and what that means, but she’s confident she’ll figure it out.
♦ Charly Caruso asked Nia Jax about her actions. Jax asked Caruso what she could do about her actions, what Asuka, Baszler, or could anyone else do? Then she screamed ‘nothing’ in Caruso’s face and walked away.
♦ The Viking Raiders addressed Street Profits pointing out they’ve never beaten them and have only won titles when they haven’t been around. As long as The Viking Raiders are around Street Profits will always be second best. They dare Ford and Dawkins to prove them wrong because Erik and Ivar want the smoke.
♦ Jinder Mahal is back from… catering, gardening leave, I’m not sure but he’s back. Jinder Mahal vs Akira Tozawa was very one-sided, but it was quick. Mahal brutalised Tozawa then finished him with the Khallas.
♦ Zelina Vega yelled at Charly Caruso and told her she’s never allowed to ask Andrade a direct question again, everything goes through her. Angel Garza cheered her up after Vega and Andrade left, by asking her out and giving her a rose.
♦ Andrade (C) vs Apollo Crews – United States Championship match – was a very good match. I’m happy to see something happening for Crews again and I hope it’s not just a product of circumstances. He deserves the chances he’s getting. He’s waited long enough. Crews had a few good chances during the lengthy match and kicked out of a lot of pin attempts from Andrade, but he blew his knee out coming off the top turnbuckle after it had been bothering him for much of the match. The ref called a stoppage as Crews was unable to continue. He was in so much pain Andrade didn’t even attack him after the match. Apollo Crews’ place in the ladder match may now be in question, but I hope not. After a break, we were told he was being assessed by medics.
Later in the show, he was seen on crutches with his knee iced and Charly Caruso offered her condolences. Crews was crying and said nothing. He has since been removed from the MITB match.
♦ The Street Profits had an answering promo segment. They did the funny bit then got serious and admitted The Viking Raiders were right. They’re ready to change that though, so they’ve offered Erik and Ivar a match next week. The match was later confirmed.
♦ There was an extended advert for Becky Lynch’s WWE 24 documentary, including footage of her winning the WrestleMania main event. Honestly, the WWE 24 series tends to be awesome and they’re well worth checking out if you’ve got time on your hands.
♦ Ricochet & Cedric Alexander vs Ever-Rise was fun. Samoa Joe said some nice things about Alexander and Ricochet. It lasted longer than I expected, but the result was never in question. Chase Parker took the double team finisher.
MVP appeared by video link with Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink. He’s representing them now and he wants Ricochet and Alexander to give them a rematch, saying their previous victory was a fluke.
♦ Throughout the show, the celebration of 25 years of Triple H continued, with the Top Ten Moments of Triple H. The moments they picked were,
10 –March 1998 – The formation of D-Generation X.
9 – March 2015 – Triple H vs Sting.
8 – August 1999 – First SmackDown main event.
7 – July 2000 – Stephanie walking in on him ‘coaching’ Trish Stratus.
6 – June 1997 – King of the Ring tournament finals.
5 – November 2019 – RAW vs SmackDown vs NXT.
4 – June 2006 – Triple H and Shawn Michaels impersonating Vince and Shane McMahon.
3 – February 2003 – Evolution.
2 – April 1998 – The WCW Invasion.
1 – January 2002 – Coming back from injury at Madison Square Garden.
♦ Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins’ contract signing got the closing segment. Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler officiated. Before McIntyre and Rollins came out, he talked through the Climb the Corporate Ladder format for the ladder match, which has nothing to do with the contract signing. Then he meandered towards relevance and brought them out.
As soon as McIntyre arrived, he told Lawler that he guarantees the signing will go the way they normally do and suggested he ‘skedaddle’. Lawler left. McIntyre signed immediately but Rollins had to give a speech about this being something he has to do not something he wants to do… and all the other rubbish about leadership, suffering, sacrifice, etc. I’ve started to tune out when Rollins starts talking now.
McIntyre thanked him for a passionate and enlightening speech and told him it was clear to him now that Rollins was full of shit. He asked where Rollins’ followers are, and pointed out nothing is ever Seth’s fault. He doesn’t know what’s going on with Rollins but he will not let him win the championship under any circumstances. He did offer him some advice though.
Number one, shut your mouth, completely and to everyone. No one wants to hear Seth Rollins talk. Number two, Rollins jumped him a couple of weeks ago and didn’t finish the job. At Money in the Bank, he should finish the job. Go for the throat, because he will.
Rollins said at Money in the Bank the big picture will become very clear and McIntyre will be better off for it, then he signed the contract. He was in the process of telling McIntyre to have faith in him when McIntyre bounced his face off the table.
Drew McIntyre cleared the ring and stripped his shirt off, pausing to headbutt Rollins, but Murphy turned up to rescue Rollins before he could eat a Claymore. It looked for a second like Rollins might turn on Murphy, but he hugged him instead, then moved out of the way just in time for Murphy to take a Claymore.
I love watching Samoa Joe in the ring, but I hope he makes the move to commentary full time when his ring career is done. He’s a massive upgrade on Jerry Lawler. It’s just a different depth of insight. Not a bad episode of RAW considering all the current upheaval. It will be interesting to see how some of the lower-ranking superstars who have come through for WWE during this time are treated when whatever passes for normal returns.