Monday Night Raw
Date: May 3, 2021
Location: Yuengling Center, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Adnan Virk, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
We are less than two weeks away from Wrestlemania Backlash and after last week, the Raw main event will be a triple threat match for Bobby Lashley’s WWE Title. The change came as Braun Strowman defeated Drew McIntyre, who was already challenging, to earn a title shot of his own. The show could use some more building this week so let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Strowman being added to the Backlash title match.
MVP, Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville are in the back when Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman come in to yell at each other. Pearce flips a coin to decide who faces Bobby Lashley tonight, with Strowman winning. MVP tells Strowman to not be too confident.
Here are AJ Styles and Omos for the first time since Wrestlemania. AJ is happy to be back and it is time for Omos to throw New Day around again like they did a few weeks ago. They have spent the last few weeks in the Caribbean (or in Nigeria, as they said on the Bump) having a good time, which didn’t include throwing tomatoes like New Day.
Cue the New Day to interrupt, with Kofi Kingston saying he wasn’t sure if AJ and Omos still worked here. But hey, well done on having some time off, which is what New Day did for years. There is a reason that they are eleven time Tag Team Champions: they keep getting back up and win the titles back like clockwork every single time. Kofi talks about how he won the WWE Title at Wrestlemania in front of thousands of people with his kinds there with him. He worked so hard to get there, but now AJ and Omos have won one match and they took a month off. Omos cuts them off and promises to do various violent things to New Day.
Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. AJ Styles/Omos
Styles/Omos are defending and Omos throws Woods down to start. Kofi comes in instead and a kick to the ribs is shrugged off with no effort, meaning Omos shoves him down as well. Woods tags himself back in and it’s a double dropkick to stagger Omos, who blasts both of them with a double clothesline. It’s off to AJ for the first time with Woods knocking him outside in a hurry, though Omos cuts off Woods’ attempt at a dive. Instead, Kofi hits the Trust Fall off the top (and lands pretty hard on his shoulder) to send us to a break.
Back with Woods taking Styles into the corner for some stomping and Kingston grabbing a top wristlock. Kofi hits a jumping knee to the face but it’s back to Omos so wrecking can ensue. A not so great looking backbreaker plants Woods and there’s a release Sky High to Kofi. Woods is back up and kicks Omos in the ribs, earning himself a big boot. AJ comes back in and the Phenomenal Forearm off of Omos’ shoulders retains the titles at 11:34.
Rating: C-. This was a similar version of the Wrestlemania title match and that is not the worst thing. Styles and Omos doing the Colossal Connection formula is something that could work for a good while as Styles is a bit better than Haku and Omos is a bit more mobile than 1990 Andre. They needed to get Omos and AJ back after their hiatus and New Day can make them look as good as anyone else.
Charlotte leaves Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce’s office, with Pearce not being thrilled to see her. With Charlotte gone, Pearce tells Deville that she is overstepping her boundaries.
Eva Marie, now with slightly pink hair, is back. She is laying on a car and asking if she has out attention now. Eva says she wants to make things better and be in a place that challenges her, so the Eva-Lution has begun.
MVP says Braun Strowman’s luck ran out with that coin toss. Strowman could eat a bowl of four leaf clovers and find a lucky rabbit’s foot but his luck would still be out. Lashley says no one is taking his title and MVP certainly agrees.
We look back at Damian Priest and New Day interrupting Miz/John Morrison/Elias/Jaxson Ryker’s live performance last week. Rotten tomatoes are thrown.
Elias and Ryker are waiting to throw tomatoes at New Day but hit…..Randy Orton instead. Riddle comes scootering by and I think we have a tag match for later.
Charlotte vs. Dana Brooke
Mandy Rose is here too. Dana snaps off a headscissors to start but Dana gets sent throat first into the ropes. Charlotte boots her down for two and then tosses Dana outside. Back up and a neck snap across the top rope staggers Charlotte and an enziguri rocks her again. Dana manages to send her into the corner for back to back handspring elbows and the Swanton connects for two (with Graves sounding VERY nervous). Another handspring is cut off with a chop block though and the Figure Eight makes Dana tap at 4:13.
Rating: C-. This was about all you could have asked them to do. Brooke has gotten far better in the ring, but Charlotte is about three levels higher than she is. There was no need for this to be anything more than Brooke getting in a few shots but then coming up short in the end, which is all they did. Sometimes that’s the right move and it’s what they did here.
Post match Charlotte won’t let go but Mandy Rose comes in for the save. Cue Sonya Deville, who, after a break, is in the ring as Charlotte talks about how glad she is to be back. However, she needs to be added to the Wrestlemania Backlash title match because she is a big star. Putting her in the title match is going to make it a bigger deal because she is a big deal. She is an influencer and whether you love her or hate her, the division needs her. Charlotte tells Sonya to be fair to Flair, which is enough to get Sonya to add her to the title match.
Cue Rhea Ripley to say this is nonsense and Charlotte shouldn’t be in the title match again for the obvious reason: nobody likes her. Ripley and Asuka have a purpose in the match, but adding Charlotte is unfair. Cue Asuka to say she’s ready for both of the. Charlotte promises to win the title but Ripley gets in Sonya’s face. Charlotte jumps Ripley from behind and the fight is on with Asuka clearing the ring. I don’t think there was any doubt that Charlotte was going to be added, though it almost feels like trolling the fans.
Humberto Carrillo talks about standing up to Sheamus because he is tired of Sheamus bullying everyone. He is going to answer every one of Sheamus’ challenges…and here is Sheamus to jump him from behind. Sheamus says Carrillo won’t be answering the open challenge for tonight.
Adam Pearce yells at Sonya Deville over adding Charlotte to the match. Sonya says she sent him a text message but Pearce didn’t get it. He also doesn’t get why it was a text when they share an office. Sonya agrees and says they’ll make decisions together from now on. WHY ARE WE DOING THIS STORY AGAIN??? Was anyone asking for Sonya Deville (or anyone for that matter) to be back as another kind of maybe evil GM? Pearce was fine enough if you just had to do it, but enough with this nonsense already.
Here are Miz and Morrison, with Miz talking about how ridiculous it was to have rotten tomatoes thrown at them last week. He lists off his resume and says horrible it was last week to be shown so little respect again. Morrison gets cut off as Miz keeps ranting but eventually gets in some Respect from Aretha Franklin. Tonight, it’s Morrison’s turn for some respect.
John Morrison vs. Damian Priest
Miz is here with Morrison. Priest takes him down by the arm to start and then throws Morrison outside as we take a break. Back with Morrison getting two but Priest is back up with a release flapjack for a breather. Morrison ducks a kick to the head and hits one of his own but Priest kicks him into the corner. There’s the running elbow into the hard clothesline for two. A Miz distraction lets Morrison grab a Spanish Fly for his own near fall but another Miz distraction makes the referee miss a small package. Instead Priest Hits The Lights for the pin at 8:53.
Rating: C-. I wasn’t as into this one as I expected and it wasn’t exactly good either. Priest is someone who can wrestle a high impact and entertaining match but putting him in there with Miz and Morrison for this many months isn’t doing him any favors. The win helps of course, but Priest needs to move on to almost anything else.
Mansoor officially signs when Monday Night Raw when Sheamus comes in. Since there is no Humberto Carrillo tonight, he is going to need someone to accept the challenge…..but first he needs to congratulate Pearce for hiring a new assistant. Mansoor corrects him and says he’s a Raw star just like Sheamus. That sounds like fun to Sheamus, so maybe Mansoor can accept his open challenge tonight. Taking a Brogue Kick could be a great way to let the people get to know him. Sheamus leaves and Mansoor seems interested.
MVP doesn’t like that Braun Strowman is part of the Wrestlemania Backlash main event. He sees similarities between Strowman and Drew McIntyre and thinks they might even team up against Bobby Lashley. That’s cool though, and tonight will be a preview of the triple threat match.
Shelton Benjamin/Cedric Alexander vs. Lucha House Party
Joined in progress with Cedric running Metalik over but getting knocked out of the corner for the same. A Michinoku Driver drops Metalik for two and Shelton comes in to work on Metalik’s back. That includes a backdrop before handing it back to Cedric to hammer away in the corner. A missed charge allows the tag off to Lince Dorado and a tornado DDT plants Benjamin. Cedric is sent outside, leaving Metalik to hit the rope walk elbow to finish Benjamin at 4:30.
Rating: D+. This came and went and it felt like it was just thrown out there. There were some moments that made it feel like they weren’t on the same page and it was a pretty cold match anyway. They did keep it short, but it’s sad to see how far Cedric and Shelton have fallen, despite being a completely acceptable team.
Post match, Cedric grabs the mic and says he’s sick of this losing. He and Shelton were Tag Team Champions and then got fired by the Hurt Business. Actually scratch that, as Shelton was the one who got fired. How long has Shelton been here and how many chances has he blown? Cedric is in the prime of his career and he is tired of carrying Shelton, so this team is done. And I’m sure there will be a heck of a story for both of them after this completely necessary split of a totally competent tag team.
Drew Gulak interrupts Angel Garza from delivering a rose and accuses him of not being much of a ladies man. A match is made, with Gulak promises to come out smelling like roses. Garza promises to put the rose somewhere.
Shelton Benjamin isn’t happy with Cedric Alexander breaking up the team. Cedric was in the Hurt Business because Shelton saw something in him, but if Cedric wants to walk away, he’s a grown man. If Cedric doesn’t want to learn from him, that’s his decision.
Drew Gulak vs. Angel Garza
Garza TAKES OFF HIS PANTS at the bell and dropkicks Gulak down in a hurry. A double underhook backbreaker keeps Gulak in trouble but he kicks Garza down as well. The chinlock is on in a hurry, with Gulak throwing him around with the hold still on. Garza slips out and hits a running clothesline, followed by the Wing Clipper for the pin at 2:18.
Post match Garza…..actually stuffs the rose down Gulak’s tights and gives it a running kick!
Riddle runs into the Viking Raiders and asks if they’re Raiders or Vikings fans. Ivar explains the concept of the team so Riddle scooters on and runs into Randy Orton, who isn’t interested. Riddle says they’re metaphorical bros and Orton begrudgingly asks him to be his partner again. That’s cool with Riddle, who is very excited, until Orton tells him to zip it.
Video on Braun Strowman.
RKBro vs. Jaxson Ryker/Elias
Orton hammers on Elias in the corner to start so it’s quickly off to Ryker, who gets poked in the eye. Riddle comes in for a kick to the chest and a Kimura but Ryker powers out in a hurry. Ryker holds Riddle up for the jumping knee from Elias, who stays in to crank on Riddle’s fingers.
A suplex onto Ryker’s knee gets two and Ryker’s suplex is good for the same. Riddle finally gets up for a ripcord knee and the hot tag brings in Orton. Everything breaks down and Elias gets dropped onto the announcers’ table. The backbreaker connects back inside and it’s the hanging DDT into the Floating Bro (with Riddle landing on Elias’ head). Orton takes out Ryker with an RKO as Riddle finishes Elias at 5:13.
Rating: C-. I know this is setting up the big turn between the two of them (I’m still holding out for Riddle to be the one to turn on Orton) but they’re having a decent enough run as a team on the way there. I’m not sure what would happen but these two against AJ and Omos could be interesting. Besides, it’s not like Elias and Ryker are hurt by the loss.
Drew McIntyre doesn’t care who wins between Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley because he wants them to beat each other up. He isn’t worried about Mace and T-Bar either, because it’s all about Claymoring Strowman or Lashley and getting his title back. Strowman comes in and we get the same trash talk as usual.
Mansoor vs. Sheamus
Non-title and Sheamus and hammers away at Mansoor to start. A rollup gives Mansoor two but Sheamus puts him on the top rope and blasts him outside with a clothesline. Back in and Sheamus fishhooks the jaws (with Mansoor’s eyes bugging out for a cool bonus) before taking him outside for a toss into the timekeeper’s area. Mansoor beats the count and nails some elbows before dropkicking Sheamus’ knee out. There’s an enziguri into a tornado DDT for two on Sheamus, who comes right back with White Noise. Mansoor is put into the corner but here’s Humberto Carrillo to jump Sheamus for the DQ at 4:38.
Rating: C-. I’ve liked Mansoor a bit more almost every time I’ve seen him and this is about as good of a way as they could have had to get out of this. Mansoor is on a huge undefeated streak but it would be a little much to have him beat Sheamus here. Losing via DQ doesn’t mean anything, though the match does suggest that Mansoor is going to be in a big match at the next Saudi show. That’s not the worst idea either.
Sheamus wipes them both out post match.
It’s time for Alexa’s Playground with Alexa Bliss talking about Lily possibly killing people from time to time. A certain someone may have caught her eye but that’s their dirty little secret. Don’t blame her for what happens next. Bliss sings to Lily, but then seems to get scared of what Lily might have done.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Lana/Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax
Jax and Baszler, with Reginald, are defending with Jax throwing Naomi into the corner to start. It’s off to Lana for a high crossbody for two on Baszler, followed by a Russian legsweep for the same (with Lana smiling a lot on the cover). Jax gets knocked to the floor and the double X Factor plants Baszler (how they beat her a few weeks back). Naomi gets pulled to the floor and Reginald offers a distraction so Lana only gets two. The Kirifuda Clutch makes Lana tap at 2:05. They really need to stop with Lana getting most of the ring time because it isn’t working.
MVP promises that Bobby Lashley will win tonight.
Bobby Lashley vs. Braun Strowman
Non-title and MVP is here too. Lashley’s running shoulder to start just annoys Strowman so he clotheslines Lashley outside instead. Back in and Lashley runs Strowman over with his own clothesline but Strowman is right back up….as Drew McIntyre comes out. The distraction lets Lashley take Strowman down again, allowing him to tease an alliance with McIntyre as we take a break. Back with McIntyre on commentary and Lashley choking on the rope.
Lashley keeps hammering away and hitting a running right hand in the corner as commentary brings up Drew McIntyre taking promo classes back in the day. Strowman is back with an electric chair to Lashley (whose eyes bug out when he goes up) but he slips out of the running powerslam. The Hurt Lock is blocked and Strowman hits a sidewalk slam. They head outside with the Strowman Express hitting McIntyre by mistake. McIntyre gets up on the apron and the distraction lets Lashley hit the spear for the pin at 13:12.
Rating: D+. Good night I’m bored with this feud. It’s just three people attacking each other over and over again on Raw, leading up to them all hitting each other at once (and I bet it doesn’t even turn into a paining to Eye of the Tiger). This three way feud has been so dull and lifeless and it needs to wrap up already. Next week is likely going to be McIntyre vs. Lashley because that’s the most obvious and easy thing that WWE could do, which is why I fully expect it.
Announced for next week: Lashley vs. McIntyre.
Overall Rating: C-. This show was rolling along fairly well (not good, but well enough) until they hit that last half hour. Starting with Alexa, this show went flying off a cliff with Alexa’s nonsense, the bad women’s tag and the next step in this painfully uninteresting triple threat. What makes it all the more annoying is the rest of the show was not half bad. They kept things moving and had a lot of stuff happening without focusing so much on all of the bad stuff (with just ONE Nia Jax segment). It’s still a watchable enough show, but you might want to cut it off with half an hour to go.
AJ Styles/Omos b. New Day – Phenomenal Forearm to Woods
Charlotte b. Dana Brooke – Figure Eight
Damian Priest b. John Morrison – Hit The Lights
Lucha House Party b. Cedric Alexander/Shelton Benjamin – Rope walk elbow to Benjamin
Angel Garza b. Drew Gulak – Wing Clipper
RKBro b. Elias/Jaxson Ryker – Floating Bro to Ryker
Sheamus b. Mansoor via DQ when Humberto Carrillo interfered
Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax b. Lana/Naomi – Kirifuda Clutch to Lana
Bobby Lashley b. Braun Strowman – Spear
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