Date: May 4, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL
The Big Takeaway --
AJ Styles returned in a gauntlet match to defeat a worn-down Humberto Carrillo to qualify for MITB. Styles is still a heel. He provided no explanation for escaping the graveyard. He also threatened to kill Aleister Black and/or Rey Mysterio at MITB.
They somewhat randomly announced that Edge would be hunting Randy Orton next week. I immediately assumed that meant a match, but maybe not. They aired the commercial twice but it was never acknowledged or talked about by the announcers.
Becky Lynch also returns to the show next week to confront the women’s MITB winner.
There was also a Murphy promo that teased a potential break-up between him and Seth Rollins down the line. Murphy lost to Drew McIntyre in the main event. Despite Rollins’ best efforts, McIntyre still stood tall as the show ended.
Show Recap --
MVP’s VIP Lounge
MVP said the lounge would have some class this week, unlike last week’s edition which ended in a brawl. He then admitted he didn’t know how things would go and showed a replay of Nia Jax, Asuka and Shayna Baszler brawling last week.
Asuka, Baszler and Jax all entered separately. MVP asked Asuka a question in Japanese and let us know that she was excited. Asuka danced during her own entrance and also danced while seated to Jax’s music. Asuka and Baszler sat on separate sofas. Jax sat on a coffee table that was positioned in between the sofas. It might’ve been one of those cheap Ikea tables.
MVP asked Jax if she had the skill-set to win the MITB match. Jax asked him if he even watched Raw. She said she was dominant and relentless and would win the match. Asuka responded in Japanese. She was still pissed about Jax injuring Kairi Sane. She also said Jax was no VIP.
Baszler responded, “Acta Non Verba” (which translates to “actions, not words”). She put the mic down for a moment, then explained what the phrase meant. She said she let her actions do her talking. Baszler and Asuka got face-to-face and Asuka let her know that she was no VIP, either.
Baszler and Asuka then turned their attention to Jax. They each kicked her and she fell back, breaking the Ikea table. MVP got in between Asuka and Baszler so they wouldn’t fight. Asuka danced instead.
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe are tonight’s announcers. Phillips said there would be a gauntlet match to determine Apollo Crews’ replacement in the MITB match. Bobby Lashley was shown warming up backstage with Lana watching. Phillips also said we don’t know how many competitors are in the gauntlet match.
Becky Lynch returns to Raw next week to confront the women’s MITB winner.
Gauntlet Match: Bobby Lashley defeated Titus O’Neil (0:51)
Lashley won quickly with a spear.
Gauntlet Match: Bobby Lashley defeated Akira Tozawa (approx 0:19)
Lashley won quickly with a spear.
Gauntlet Match: Bobby Lashley defeated Shelton Benjamin (approx 1:50)
Lashley won quickly with a spear. Benjamin hit a blockbuster and slammed Lashley onto the apron. Lashley then drove Benjamin into the barricade. Benjamin leaped over a spear attempt and hit an enziguri but Lashley came right back and hit the spear for the pinfall win.
Gauntlet Match: Humberto Carrillo defeated Bobby Lashley via DQ
This match started during a break. Lashley was in control until Carrillo came back with a diving dropkick and standing moonsault for two. Lashley suplexed Carrillo across the ring and worked him over in the corner. The referee tried backing him away but Lashley resisted until the ref managed to get him off.
The ref then yelled at Lashley for touching him (I think) and told him he was disqualified. Just like that. The ref informed the ring announcer who announced that Lashley was disqualified. Lashley was pissed and beat up Carrillo until about three more refs came out to yell at him until he stopped. This was very dumb.
Gauntlet Match: Humberto Carrillo defeated Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega)
As Garza worked over Carrillo, they cut backstage to Lana sincerely trying to reason with Lashley and suggested she might have been able to help if he was out there. Lashley blew her off and left.
Garza completely dominated the match until Carrillo countered a Wing Clipper into a rollup for the pinfall win. Carrillo advances.
Gauntlet Match: Humberto Carrillo defeated Austin Theory (w/Zelina Vega)
Theory was in complete control and hit a superplex, but upon landing, Carrillo applied a small package for the pinfall win. Carrillo advances.
AJ Styles’ music hit. He’s next. The announcers acted surprised. Saxton (I think) yelled, “it’s a ghost!”
Gauntlet Match: AJ Styles defeated Humberto Carrillo to qualify for MITB
Phillips repeatedly said that Styles is back for the first time since being buried alive by the Undertaker and said it like it was a completely normal occurrence. Samoa Joe said he’s been trying to get rid of Styles for years but he just keeps coming back.
Styles’ first match since WrestleMania started during a break. He seemed to be in control but Carrillo quickly came back with strikes. Styles fought back with knees to the midsection. Styles used a dragon screw and continued to target the leg.
Carrillo countered another dragon screw attempt into a DDT and followed with an enziguri. Carrillo countered a potential reverse DDT into a small package for a nearfall. They hit each other with clotheslines, then Styles nailed a pump-handle gutbuster.
Styles then applied the Calf Crusher and Carrillo tapped. Styles wins and advances to MITB.
After the match, Styles drove Carrillo’s leg into the post. Styles grabbed a mic and announced, “I’m not a zombie, I’m not a ghost!” Styles said there was no Undertaker to stop him now. Styles said he was buried alive, “but so what?” He said there were no rules in a Boneyard Match so being buried alive doesn’t mean he lost. He said he didn’t lose a thing.
Styles said he would do anything to get the MITB contract. If he had to throw Rey Mysterio or Aleister Black off the building, he would. Styles said he would win the contract and Mr. Money in the Bank would be phenomenal.
It was good to see Styles in the ring again. (This was his first match in a ring since Elimination Chamber.)
(Styles’ post-match promo took us into the second hour.)
They’re counting down the top ten MITB moments. #10 was Styles giving Kevin Owens an AA onto a ladder in 2017. #9 was Ember Moon giving Sasha Banks a springboard crossbody onto a ladder in 2018. #8 was Randy Orton cashing in MITB on Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam 2018. That’s quite a leap from #9 to #8.
Charly Caruso in-ring interview with Seth Rollins
Rollins told Caruso that he had faith in his disciple, Murphy, tonight. Caruso asked about his upcoming match with Drew McIntyre. Rollins said McIntyre was not a leader and it was not his destiny to be the champion who takes us into the future — it was Rollins’.
Rollins said being a leader was more than what you did in the ring and McIntyre was not ready for the agony and despair that came with being a champion. Rollins wasn’t trying to take his dreams away from him, he was trying to unburden him. He wants to save McIntyre. Rollins said he would win the title at MITB.
MVP hyped up Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink backstage. Vink made sure to point out that he’s 6’5”.
Edge and Randy Orton were announced for Raw next week.
Backstage, Caruso asked Murphy why he’s so loyal to Rollins. Murphy said Rollins took him under his wing when they each needed each other. Murphy hoped to be on Rollins level one day. Maybe one day, he’ll be better. He said they both knew that day was coming.
Murphy wanted to focus on tonight. He wanted revenge for McIntyre trying to break his jaw last week. Murphy said Rollins thinks he can beat McIntyre, but Murphy knows he can beat him.
Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink defeated Ricochet & Cedric Alexander (4:31)
Thorne and Vink didn’t get an entrance. Ricochet and Alexander both wore black and red.
Ricochet and Alexander seemed to be on their way to a win but Thorne took out Alexander with a cannonball in the corner, Ricochet superkicked Thorne, then Vink gave Ricochet a big boot for the pinfall win. Vink pinned Ricochet.
MITB moment #7 was Brock Lesnar winning the contract last year and using the briefcase like a boombox. #6 was Benjamin hitting a flip dive off a ladder in 2006. #5 was Bayley cashing in her briefcase at MITB 2019 to defeat Charlotte.
Non-title match: The Viking Raiders defeated Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (16:23)
Montez Ford was overzealous while bragging which allowed Erik to deck him with a shoulder tackle. Ivar took out Angelo Dawkins on the outside. Erik gave Ford a knee strike and Ivar followed with a splash but Ford kicked out. (It seemed like we almost got a quick win.)
Ford and Dawkins attempted a comeback but Erik and Ivar went right back on the attack. Dawkins eventually made a hot tag and attacked Erik with an Exploder suplex, corner splash and bulldog. Dawkins also drove Ivar into the barricade as they went to break. (Dawkins looked good here taking down his large opponents.)
After a break, Dawkins held Erik in a chinlock. Ford tagged in and hit a dropkick for two. Ivar tagged in and ran wild on both guys. The Raiders were briefly in control until Dawkins gave Erik a gut-wrench suplex. They each tagged out and Ford used clotheslines on Ivar. Dawkins tagged in and they hit a double back suplex for two.
Ivar responded with a double handspring back elbow. The Raiders set up for a Viking Experience but Dawkins tackled Erik and Ford gave Ivar a DDT. Dawkins gave Ivar a spinebuster and Ford followed with a crazy-looking frog splash but Erik broke up the cover.
The Raiders chucked Ford from the ring and gave Dawkins a Viking Experience for the pinfall win. Viking Raiders win. This was a fun match.
(I mistakenly said this was a tag title match earlier. It wasn’t.)
Caruso interviewed McIntyre and informed him of what Murphy said earlier. McIntyre “accidentally” called him “Buddy” before calling him Murphy. McIntyre said Murphy was a confused man. If Murphy wanted to be sacrificed for his messiah, and if the messiah wanted his disciple to be sacrificed, he wouldn’t deny the people a slaughter.
MITB moment #4 was Andrade killing Finn Bálor with a sunset flip powerbomb onto a ladder at MITB 2019. #3 was Edge cashing in against John Cena in 2006. #2 was Jeff Hardy driving Edge through a ladder at MITB 2007.
Erik and Ivar told Caruso this wasn’t just success, this was dominance. Ivar said they like and respect the Street Profits, but they were simply better. Erik said they distinguished the smoke.
Aleister Black cut a promo about Styles in a dark, smoky room. He wanted to know what it was like to be buried six-feet deep, crawling to get out while being swallowed by darkness. The experience clearly didn’t humble Styles because he threatened to throw Black off a building. Black said if Styles does manage to do that, Styles should pray that he does not get up. Black said he would get the contract and Styles would wish that he was buried deeper than six feet.
Rey Mysterio cut a promo backstage. He said he’s been wrestling long enough to know what to expect in any match — except this Sunday. He acknowledged that six men and six women would be fighting at the same time, trying to reach the briefcase on the roof of the headquarters. Mysterio called it the riskiest match of his career and knew that he was closer to the end of his career than the beginning. He called the risk worth the reward.
Charlotte Flair promo
Charlotte called herself the hardest-working woman in any industry because she works two days a week (unlike the rest of us, who work five-plus days a week). Charlotte talked about Io Shirai winning a brutal ladder match to earn a dream match against her. Charlotte wanted to give her the privilege of bowing down to the queen.
Liv Morgan interrupted. Morgan asked Charlotte, “remember me?” Charlotte seemed confused but figured Morgan wanted her to take her seriously. Morgan didn’t care if she took her seriously or not and said Charlotte grew up with a silver spoon up her ass, er, mouth.
Morgan didn’t grow up with a daddy to walk her to school, let alone to the front of the line of her career of choice. Morgan wanted to be champion and was ready to knock down backstabbers and a self-entitled queen if she had to.
Charlotte said Morgan doesn’t even know who she was. Charlotte knew who she herself was — she was the daughter of Ric Flair and she was indeed born with a silver spoon. Charlotte said people like Shairi and Morgan wanted to measure themselves up to her. Morgan told “queeny” they should get a referee and see what happens.
There was a quick Jinder Mahal video package.
NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair defeated Liv Morgan in a non-title match (11:56)
Charlotte was in control until Morgan came back with a front dropkick and leg scissors takedown but Charlotte knocked her down with a clothesline. Morgan used a diving leg drop but Charlotte tossed her into the buckle and stomped away. They went to break three minutes into the match even though it started almost immediately after the previous break.
Charlotte was in control during the break but Morgan came back with running clotheslines, facebuster, kick to the head and double foot stomp for two. Charlotte blocked a cover and stomped Morgan. Morgan smiled as Charlotte shoved her face, then Morgan gave her a Codebreaker off the ropes.
Charlotte blocked a leg scissors takedown and hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Charlotte countered another dropkick attempt into a Boston Crab but Morgan got a rope break. With Charlotte sitting on the top rope, Morgan brought her down with another Codebreaker for a nearfall.
Morgan tried for the ObLIVion (Flatliner off the ropes) but Charlotte blocked it and applied the Figure Eight for the submission win. This was pretty good.
MITB moment #1 was Seth Rollins cashing in on Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania in 2015.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre defeated Murphy (w/Seth Rollins) in a non-title match (6:09)
Rollins watched from the stage. He could barely watch as McIntyre destroyed his buddy. Murphy managed to shove McIntyre into the barricade and ring post before hitting a flying double knee strike. McIntyre kicked out quickly and followed with chops. Murphy came back with strikes until McIntyre headbutted him.
Murphy went to the top but McIntyre knocked him off, sending him into the barricade. McIntyre clubbed Murphy and did a (sober) kip-up. Murphy tied up McIntyre in the buckle, superkicked him and hit a powerbomb for just a one count.
Murphy set up in the corner and did the Claymore countdown, then was immediately killed with a Claymore from McIntyre. McIntyre wins. That was a great finish.
Rollins got on the apron and McIntyre invited him in the ring. Rollins bailed. McIntyre turned his back and began ranting at someone when Rollins suddenly reappeared and superkicked him. Rollins was yelling but became quiet upon seeing the title belt. He looked it at longingly before dropping it to attempt a curb stomp.
McIntyre saw it coming and headbutted him. McIntyre went for a Claymore kick but Rollins bailed again.