Monday Night Raw – May 4, 2020

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 4, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Samoa Joe, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton

We’re taped this week and that means it could be the last Raw with no fans in the building. That could hopefully bring some life to these shows, but there isn’t much of a reason to believe that is going to be the case. It’s the go home show for Money in the Bank and that means we need to build some momentum. May(be) the Force with be will them on that. Let’s get to it.

We open with a look back at the end of last week’s show with Murphy saving Seth Rollins and taking the Claymore for him.

Opening sequence.

MVP is in the ring for the VIP Lounge and talks about last week’s show breaking down into a brawl. We’re going to class things up a bit with the women’s Raw competitors, though they got in a brawl of their own last week. That means Asuka (with MVP speaking some Japanese to her delight), Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax all come out and have a seat.

MVP explains the rules and Nia asks if he even watches these shows. She is relentless and that is all she needs to dominate on Sunday. Asuka shouts in Japanese to confuse Jax so we’ll go on to Shayna, who speaks Latin to say she talks with actions. That’s what makes her different, right Asuka? More ranting ensues and a staredown is on with Shayna mocking her for everything until Nia stands up…and is knocked right back down. MVP has to break this up and a lot more staring ensues. This was rather odd and I’ll take that over another triple threat.

We look back at Apollo Crews’ knee injury from last week. There is a gauntlet match to name the replacement tonight.

Becky Lynch is back next week. It’s about time.

Gauntlet Match

We don’t know how many people are involved but Bobby Lashley is in first (minus Lana) and Titus O’Neil is in second. They shove each other a bit and the spear gets rid of Titus at 50 seconds. Akira Tozawa is in third and hits a quick Trouble in Paradise, followed by a missile dropkick. That just annoys Lashley and it’s another spear for the pin at 1:40.

Shelton Benjamin is in fourth and he sends Lashley into the buckle before he gets inside. A Blockbuster drops Lashley but he comes right back with forearms to the head. Shelton sends him to the floor and hits a running knee, followed by a slingshot faceplant onto the apron. A hard whip sends Shelton into the barricade and Lashley drives him in again for a bonus. Back in and the spear cuts Shelton in half for the pin at 3:47.

Humberto Carrillo is in fifth and we take a break as I roll my eyes at WWE bringing in three people for less than four minutes of work combined under these circumstances. Back with Carrillo kicking him in the head and hitting a missile dropkick for two. Lashley slams him off the top though and it’s time for some choking in the corner. He does it for quite a bit, and that’s a DQ at 10:49.

Lashley spears Carrillo in half so here are a bunch of referees to break it up. Angel Garza is in sixth and we take a break with Carrillo in big trouble. Garza chokes away in the corner as Zelina Vega is rather pleased. Carrillo is down in the corner so Garza TAKES OFF HIS PANTS and hits a running basement dropkick for two. We hit the bow and arrow on Carrillo, followed by a reverse slingshot suplex. A reverse Boston crab keeps Carrillo down and the Lionsault gives Garza two more. The Wing Clipper is reversed into a sunset flip though and Garza is done at 22:04.

Austin Theory is in seventh and we take another break. Back with Theory hammering away and putting on a waistlock before stomping Carrillo down in the corner. Carrillo comes back with a few kicks but the springboard spinning crossbody is forearmed out of the air. Theory’s top rope superplex connects but Carrillo ties the legs up in a small package for the pin at 26:55.

AJ Styles returns in the eighth spot and we take another break. Back again with Carrillo hitting a dropkick but getting planted down as Styles isn’t exactly sweating this. Another waistlock stays on the ribs and it’s off to an abdominal stretch, with Carrillo having to dive to the rope. AJ switches to the leg with a kick to the knee and a dragon screw legwhip. Carrillo pops up with a short DDT and they’re both down. A pumphandle gutbuster plants Carrillo and the Calf Crusher sends AJ to the ladder match at 38:49.

Rating: C. Not bad here, though I have no idea why we needed the first few names in there when Lashley slaughtered all of them. There isn’t much of a point in bringing them in for a show like this but I’m sure having Titus in there for 50 seconds was worthwhile in WWE’s minds. AJ is right back into the title scene and that’s a smart move, given the rather thin main event picture at the moment. Now can we please retire the gauntlet match for a long time?

Post match AJ wraps the leg around the post for a bonus. AJ says he isn’t a zombie or a ghost and there is no Undertaker here to steal his moment. He hasn’t lost anything because there are no rules in a Boneyard match. Now he has seized an opportunity and it’s worth it. He’ll do whatever it takes, and if that means throwing Aleister Black off the roof, that’s fine with him.

We get the first part of a Top Ten Money in the Bank moments countdown, including anything related to the briefcase at all.

Here’s Seth Rollins for a sitdown interview. Seth knows that Drew McIntyre is a dominant man but Drew is not a leader. It will not be Drew leading WWE into the future and while he will put up a fight at Money in the Bank, Rollins is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Drew isn’t ready for what comes with being a champion so Seth is trying to unburden him from this responsibility. That’s what he will do on Sunday by becoming the new WWE Champion.

MVP gives Brendan Vink and Shane Thorne a pep talk. They’re ready to win and MVP looks pleased.

Murphy talks about Seth Rollins taking him under his wing and how much he has learned as a result. Now Murphy is going to get McIntyre ready for Rollins.

Brendan Vink/Shane Thorne vs. Cedric Alexander/Ricochet

Vink charges into Cedric’s boot in the corner but takes him into the corner for the tag to Thorne anyway. Ricochet comes in and kicks Thorne down for two but Cedric is pulled to the floor and sent into the barricade. Back in and we hit the reverse chinlock on Cedric, who powers out in a hurry and brings in Ricochet. Everything breaks down and Alexander knees Vink in the face. Ricochet kicks Vink in the ribs but Thorne hits Cedric with a running Cannonball in the corner. Vink kicks Ricochet in the face for the pin at 4:43.

Rating: C-. I’m sorry what now? If you want to push Vink and Thorne then fine, but having Vink, this newcomer with about five matches so far, pin Ricochet clean? Good on them for pushing new talent, but bad on them for having Ricochet take the fall, or even being in this tag team in the first place.

Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders

Non-title. Hold on though as the Profits talk about how they started here and then ran into the Viking Raiders. Tonight, they want the smoke. After a break, Erik backdrops Ford, who can’t quite stick the landing and thankfully doesn’t bang up his ankle. Ford flips around a bit and says you can’t touch him. That earns a forearm to the face as Ivar drops Dawkins on the floor.

A powerbomb into a top rope splash gives Ivar two but Ford dives over and makes the hot tag to Dawkins. That means a dropkick to Ivar and it’s already back to Ford. Ivar clotheslines Dawkins but it’s off to Erik, who drives Ivar into Ford in the corner for two. Things settle down to Ivar armbarring Ford but it’s broken up in a hurry. Another tag brings Dawkins back in to clean house and we take a break.

Back with Dawkins holding a chinlock on Erik and Dawkins coming in with a dropkick. Erik is up for the tag off to Ivar anyway and it’s a big clothesline to drop Dawkins. There’s a Bronco Buster for two but Dawkins gutwrench suplexes Erik for the double knockdown. It’s back to Ford who can’t manage to belly to back suplex Ivar. He can however enziguri him and double belly to back suplex Ivar with Dawkins’ help.

A moonsault gives Ford two but it’s back to Erik for more throwing Ford around. The Viking Experience is broken up and Dawkins spears Erik down. The spinebuster into the frog splash gives Ford two with Erik making the save. Erik throws Ford outside and the Viking Experience finishes Dawkins at 16:24.

Rating: C+. I’m not sure what was going on here but it didn’t feel like they were connecting. The action was fine, but it felt like they were in search of a way out. They kept doing a bunch of good sequences, though they just kind of kept coming and going until one of them finished Dawkins. On top of that, I’m not thrilled with the idea of seeing the rematch for the titles on Sunday. Why I’d want to see a sixteen minute match to set up a title match is beyond me. Have the Raiders beat Ricochet and Alexander and let Vink and Thorne beat a bunch of jobbers to get over (as you can still do you know).

Drew McIntyre is ready to take care of that confused young man Murphy.

More MITB Top Ten.

The Viking Raiders say this is dominance because they’re just better than the Street Profits. They extinguished the smoke.

We look back at AJ winning the gauntlet match and promo mentioning Aleister Black.

Black says being buried didn’t make AJ more humble. If AJ does throw him off, pray that he doesn’t get back up.

Rey Mysterio is ready for the first ever Money in the Bank ladder match at WWE Headquarters. It’s time for him to pull down the briefcase for the first time ever and become the WWE Champion again. The risk is worth the reward.

Here’s Charlotte for a chat. Charlotte talks about how she is the hardest working woman in wrestling because she works twice a week. This Wednesday she is defending her title against Io Shirai, who won a very hard hitting ladder match to get hero, but she will bow down to the Queen. Cue Liv Morgan to ask if Charlotte remembers her. Charlotte doesn’t quite take her seriously so Liv calls her out for being born with a silver spoon stuck…uh, somewhere. Sooner or later, Charlotte is going to be a champion and if she has to dethrone a self entitled queen to do it, that’s just fine. Charlotte laughs it off so let’s have a match.

Well we will in a minute as we need a video on Jinder Mahal first.

Charlotte vs. Liv Morgan

Non-title. Charlotte powers her into the corner and then to the mat to start, meaning it’s a nipup to show off a bit. A forearm to the back and some trash talk have Morgan in more trouble but she forearms her way out of trouble. Morgan hits a running hurricanrana and snaps off a middle rope missile dropkick. Charlotte sends her shoulder first into the post though and we take a break.

Back with Charlotte driving her face first into the mat a few times but Morgan fights back with a faceplant of her own. A sunset flip is blocked with some stomping and Liv hits a jawbreaker, followed by a springboard Codebreaker. Charlotte counters another hurricanrana into a sitout powerbomb for two but Liv gets to the middle rope.

A dropkick is countered (with the help of an edit) into the Boston crab, which sends Liv straight to the rope. Charlotte’s backbreaker out of the corner lets her go up top but Liv hits a Codebreaker to bring her back down for a rather near fall. Charlotte dodges Oblivion though and it’s the Figure Eight for the tap at 11:46.

Rating: B-. Well you knew Charlotte wasn’t going to lose here and thankfully Liv got a lot in the loss here. She was hanging with Charlotte until the end and that’s a mile ahead of where she was just a year or so ago. You can tell that they have plans for Morgan and that’s a good thing. They need some new names in the division and Liv is as good as anyone else for bringing someone from nothing to a contender.

The #1 moment in the history of Money in the Bank: Rollins cashes in at Wrestlemania. They needed to cut this into four parts to get to the most obvious choice possible?

Randy Orton is back next week.

We look at the inside of WWE Headquarters and a path wrestlers might take to the roof.

Drew McIntyre vs. Murphy

Non-title and Seth Rollins is watching from the stage. Murphy gets knocked outside early on and McIntyre throws him over the barricade for a bonus. McIntyre stares at Rollins a bit too much though and gets sent into the barricade. Back in and the Meteora gets two on McIntyre, who comes back with one heck of a chop.

Murphy strikes away again, only to get caught with a Glasgow Kiss. McIntyre knocks him hard off the apron though and it’s a top rope clothesline for two back inside. A super White Noise is countered though and Murphy hits a powerbomb for two. Murphy loads up his own Claymore but walks into the real thing for the pin at 6:21.

Rating: C. So yeah, the unstoppable champion pinned the lackey after a fairly competitive match. This was less a contest and more counting down until one of two possible conclusions. That’s what we got here and it wasn’t all that interesting. Rollins could be an interesting threat to McIntyre but sending Murphy out there isn’t the way to go about it.

Post match McIntyre begs Rollins to fight him but Rollins walks off instead. Rollins runs back to the ring and hits McIntyre with a knee to the face. He shouts about how this is bigger than either of them and looks at the title. The title is dropped though and McIntyre avoids a Stomp, setting up the Glasgow Kiss. Seth bails from the threat of the Claymore to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. There’s enough good wrestling on here to carry things, but my goodness what a boring time of the year this is. This show was built around setting things up for Sunday and they went about that in a weird way. Why would I want to sit for three hours to see McIntyre beat up a lackey? It has no bearing on Sunday, it doesn’t do anything more than give McIntyre a tiny bit more momentum, and it’s not like it was that great of a match.

That was the case with a lot of stuff here. Aside from the gauntlet match, it didn’t feel like any of this mattered for the most part. The Raiders are likely getting a title shot (which you would have given them in other ways than having them beat the champs, who we know they can beat), Charlotte wins again because she’s Charlotte, and Drew vs. Seth continues to be fine for a first major feud for McIntyre’s title reign.

Nothing in here is overly interesting and it feels like you could skip everything from Wrestlemania to Money in the Bank. The problem is how many times of the year that could apply to and it’s a lot more than it should be. Nothing really stands out and I don’t remember the last time we had a hot midcard feud. You’ll get some interesting ones with good matches, but when was the last time you felt like someone was breaking their back to steal the show? I know the roster is capable of it, but WWE doesn’t exactly seem like they want that to happen.

Maybe it’s waiting on Money in the Bank to be decided so something else can feel important, maybe it’s the lack of fans or maybe it’s the post Wrestlemania slowdown, but these shows just aren’t clicking. It’s like they’re placeholder shows, but that is the feeling far too often. We need something to light a spark in this company and I don’t see that happening anytime soon, which has been the case for years now.

Results

AJ Styles won a gauntlet match last eliminating Humberto Carrillo

Brendan Vink/Shane Thorne b. Cedric Alexander/Ricochet – Big boot to Ricochet

Viking Raiders b. Street Profits – Viking Experience to Dawkins

Charlotte b. Liv Morgan – Figure Eight

Drew McIntyre b. Murphy – Jumping knee to the face

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2019/08/26/new-book-and-e-book-kbs-complete-2004-monday-night-raw-reviews/

And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6