Date: May 3, 2021
Location: Yuengling Center in Tampa, FL
The Big Takeaway --
Bobby Lashley beat Braun Strowman in a non-title match, AJ Styles and Omos retained their tag titles over New Day, Charlotte was added to the Rhea Ripley-Asuka Women’s title match at Backlash, Mansoor signed a Raw contract, Orton and Riddle picked up another win, Cedric Alexander is done with Shelton Benjamin, and Eva Marie is returning.
Raw felt like an excruciatingly long show.
Show Recap --
There was footage from earlier today of MVP speaking with Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. Pearce was going to flip a coin to decide Bobby Lashley’s opponent tonight. Both Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman suddenly appeared in the frame from opposite sides. They argued until Pearce and Deville calmed them down. Strowman won the toss and will face Lashley tonight.
AJ Styles and Omos segment
Styles and Omos entered (as booing played over the speakers). They bragged about beating the New Day for the titles at WrestleMania in Omos’ first match.
Styles said the fans must’ve missed them. He said they’ve been partying on the coasts of Florida and the Caribbean. They had better things to do than toss tomatoes like the New Day. Styles noted that he was now a grand slam champion and it only took him five years.
New Day interrupted. Styles said he liked their vests because they kind of look like him. Kofi Kingston said he wasn’t even sure they worked here anymore because of how much time they took off. Xavier Woods and Kingston mocked them for having a lack of work ethic.
Kingston said they were 11-time champions for a reason — no matter how many times they get knocked down, they get back in the ring and win the titles back. Every single time.
Kingston recalled winning the WWE title at WrestleMania. He called it the biggest night of his career and a very physically exhausting night, and even though he wasn’t on the Raw roster at the time, he showed up the next night because that’s the kind of guy he was. Styles and Omos took time off to travel but that’s not what the New Day was about.
Omos was tired of hearing them and figured he didn’t knock enough sense into them at Mania. Omos said they wouldn’t be able to talk or walk after tonight. Woods said they were about to become 12-time champions.
AJ Styles & Omos defeated Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships (11:40)
Styles tagged in Omos right away so that he could start. Omos handled both men easily. They tried double-teaming him but he knocked them down with a double clothesline. Styles high-fived Omos but the referee said that was a tag so Styles had to enter. Woods used a schoolboy for two before knocking him out of the ring. Kingston hit a trust dive which led to break.
New Day worked over Styles and used the unicorn stampede (with a distracting number of camera cuts during the spot). Styles gave Kinsgton a Pelé kick and Omos tagged himself in after Styles stumbled into the corner. Omos shoved down both guys with ease and handed out backbreakers (which he executed very carefully).
Omos gave Kingston a tree slam. Woods kicked Omos but Omos just booted him down. Styles tagged in and leaped off Omos’ shoulders with a Phenomenal forearm on Woods for the pinfall win.
(During Omos’ offense, near the finish, Adnan Virk asked where Omos ranked amongst the greatest champions in history. Corey Graves rightly noted that he was just getting started.)
Charlotte Flair and Deville had a brief meeting backstage. After Charlotte left, Pearce asked Deville what the meeting was about. She told him not to worry. He told her that while he appreciated her help, she was overstepping her bounds.
There was an Eva Marie return video. She stood in front of and on top of a Ferrari. She wanted to give back and told us to get ready for the “Eva-lution.”
Kayla Braxton interviewed Lashley and MVP. Basically, Lashley doesn’t want to risk losing his title without getting beaten in the triple threat, so he planned on taking out Strowman tonight.
Elias and Jaxson Ryker hid behind some equipment boxes with tomatoes in hand to chuck at the New Day (who were sitting nearby). They began throwing the tomatoes as the camera focused only on them, but when the camera panned back toward the New Day, it was revealed that they actually hit Randy Orton with the tomatoes. This looked extremely fake and dumb. Riddle zoomed through on his scooter and said, “Hey, Randy!”
Charlotte Flair defeated Dana Brooke (w/Mandy Rose) (4:13)
Brooke got some offense and hit a senton for two, but Charlotte still won fairly easily by submission with a Figure Eight.
Charlotte wouldn’t let go of the hold after the match so Rose attacked her. Deville entered which seemed to please Charlotte. We’ll find out why after a break.
They plugged the next A&E biography on Booker T.
There’s an “exclusive” interview with Drew McIntyre tonight.
Charlotte Flair segment
Deville and Charlotte were in the ring. Brooke and Rose were gone. Deville called herself an official on the same level as Pearce and wanted to give Charlotte a chance to speak.
Charlotte reminded us that she beat Asuka’s streak and put Rhea Ripley on the map. Charlotte said nobody could tell her that a triple threat match at “WrestleMania Backlash” with her (against Ripley and Asuka) wouldn’t be a bigger match. She called herself the original influencer of the women’s division. She made some sort of comparison to Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.
She rambled a little longer before telling Deville to put her in the title match at “WrestleMania Backlash.” She wanted Deville to “be fair to Flair.”
Deville said the men were fighting in a triple threat match, so the women will too. She added Charlotte to the women’s title match.
Rhea Ripley interrupted. She called this crap. She said the reason Charlotte wasn’t in the match at Mania was that nobody liked her. She accused Deville of planning this since bringing Charlotte back.
Asuka interrupted. Asuka also said this was crap and called Charlotte a crybaby. Asuka didn’t care because she can beat them both. Charlotte said they were thrown one curveball and suddenly they’ve lost it. Charlotte said she would win the title.
Ripley got in Deville’s face. Charlotte took a cheap shot at Ripley, then Asuka knocked Charlotte out of the ring. Asuka danced to her music to end the segment.
Braxton interviewed Humberto Carrillo. Carrillo knew what it was like to be bullied and wouldn’t let Sheamus disrespect him. Carrillo wasn’t afraid of Sheamus and wanted to answer his open challenge. Sheamus attacked Carrillo and laid him out. Sheamus laughed and told Carrillo he was in no condition to answer his challenge tonight.
Pearce confronted Deville in the back regarding her decision and not consulting him. He threatened to go to a higher authority. She claimed that she texted him but the building must have poor reception. He reminded her that they share the same office. Deville said the decision needed to be made urgently but agreed to consult him in the future. They awkwardly stared at each other for a few moments until the segment ended.
MizTV with The Miz and John Morrison
Miz complained about being hit with tomatoes and once again reminded us of his accomplishments. They said some more stuff until Damian Priest entered for his scheduled match against Morrison.
They aired a Priest promo from earlier today where he admitted that Miz had a great career and it was cool sharing the ring with him at Mania. However, a guy with Miz’s mouth wouldn’t last ten seconds where he’s from. If Miz was this bothered by being hit with tomatoes, just wait until he broke Miz’s jaw.
Damian Priest defeated John Morrison (w/The Miz) (8:50)
Priest clotheslined Morrison out of the ring which led to break one minute into the match. Morrison gained control during the break using a Disaster kick. (A rare example of them actually showing us something from the break.) They went back and forth with strikes and Priest got the better of the exchange, hitting a clothesline for two.
Priest went to the top but a momentary distraction by Miz allowed Morrison to hit a Spanish Fly for a nearfall. Miz distracted the referee but Morrison actually put Priest in a small package. Miz jumped down from the apron but Morrison only got a one count. Priest came right back with Hit the Lights for the pinfall win.
Mansoor signed a contract in the back. Pearce welcomed him to Raw. Sheamus barged in and joked about Carrillo. Sheamus suddenly noticed that Mansoor was standing there and thought that maybe Pearce had a new intern. Mansoor informed him that he was a Raw superstar, just like him. Sheamus mocked him before suggesting he answer the (non-title) open challenge.
Braxton interviewed MVP again. He complained some more about the triple threat match. (Lashley wasn’t there but they basically did the same segment twice.)
Lucha House Party defeated Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin
This match was underway immediately after a break. No entrances or anything.
Alexander and Benjamin dominated but Lince Dorado wiped out Alexander with a springboard dive and Gran Metalik gave Benjamin a ropewalk elbow drop for the pinfall win. (The TV portion of the match went just under five minutes.)
Alexander grabbed a mic. He said it was no wonder that MVP and Lashley kicked them out of the Hurt Business. He said they really must’ve wanted to kick Benjamin out and he should have turned his back on Benjamin first. He said Benjamin has let countless opportunities slip from his fingers for years and wondered how much time he had left. Alexander said they were done. Cedric was good here.
In the back, Drew Gulak asked Angel Garza who his rose was for. Gulak thought it was funny that Garza was supposed to be a ladies' man considering he never scores, and his rose smells as bad as his win-loss record. Gulak challenged him to a match tonight. Garza accepted and said he would shove the rose up his ass. Gulak was understandably confused.
They wished The Rock a happy birthday and congratulated him on his show getting picked up for a second season.
Braxton caught up with Benjamin. Benjamin said he has survived this long because he can take the hit. He has seen countless wrestlers come and go, including guys like Alexander. In fact, it was Benjamin who saw something in Alexander, not MVP or Lashley. Benjamin said Alexander will respect him and he will survive.
Angel Garza defeated Drew Gulak (2:17)
Gulak got some very brief offense but this was a one-sided win for Garza. Garza tossed his pants at Gulak as the match started, hit consecutive dropkicks and eventually won with the Wing Clipper.
After the match, Garza shoved the rose down the back of Gulak’s tights and hit a running kick to the ass. So, presumably, Garza did shove the rose up Gulak’s ass.
Riddle did some comedy with the Viking Raiders before approaching Orton. Orton wasn’t playing along. Riddle knew they had to get serious but was excited that they were undefeated. Orton said they’ve only had one match but offered to have another one tonight. Riddle was filled with glee.
Riddle & Randy Orton defeated Elias & Jaxson Ryker (5:14)
The heels worked over Riddle until he hit a knee strike and tagged Orton. Elias cut off Orton for a moment and dragged him to the announce table which was obviously a bad idea because Orton suplexed him on the table. Orton fought off Ryker before setting up Elias for the draping DDT. Orton tagged Riddle before hitting the draping DDT.
Orton gave Ryker an RKO while Riddle landed a floating bro on Elias for the pinfall win. Orton and Riddle are 2-0.
Braxton interviewed McIntyre. McIntyre didn’t care who won the Lashley-Strowman match tonight, he just wanted them to beat each other up. McIntyre addressed “Mace and T-Bag.” He didn’t understand why they took off the masks while keeping the stupid names. He planned on beating Lashley and winning the title back. Strowman showed up to say he would win the title. McIntyre told him to leave. He did.
Non-title match: US Champion Sheamus defeated Mansoor via DQ (4:28)
Sheamus was in full control and dropped Mansoor over the top of the barricade. Mansoor crawled back in the ring to avoid the countout and Virk called this great wherewithal.
Mansoor kicked Sheamus’ leg out of his leg before hitting a tornado DDT. Mansoor tried going to the top but Sheamus cut him off and hit White Noise. Sheamus set up for a Brogue Kick when he was suddenly attacked by Carrillo for the DQ.
Carrillo gave Sheamus a suicide dive but Sheamus came right back and laid him out with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus also gave Mansoor a Brogue Kick for fun.
Virk referred to Sheamus as the ginger-headed juggernaut somewhere in here.
Lilly apparently has a target for Bliss but she wouldn’t tell us who it was. Bliss sang a lullaby which ended with, “Lilly, what did you make me do?”
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (w/Reginald) defeated Naomi & Lana to retain the Women’s Tag Team Championships (2:02)
I don’t even know why they bothered. Lana seemed to have Baszler pinned but Reginald caused a distraction. Baszler put Lana in the Kirifuda Clutch for the submission win.
MVP told us there can only be one dominant bull and that was the all-mighty Bobby Lashley.
WWE Champion Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) defeated Braun Strowman in a non-title match (13:13)
McIntyre entered to his music as Strowman clubbed Lashley’s chest. Strowman confronted McIntyre which allowed Lashley to knock him down. They went to break as Lashley offered McIntyre a fist bump. McIntyre joined commentary after the break.
Lashley was in full control over Strowman for a while until Strowman slammed Lashley with an electric chair drop. Strowman charged at Lashley outside the ring but Lashley dodged and Strowman ran over McIntyre. Strowman and McIntyre shoved each other as the referee just watched.
Strowman slipped in the ring but continued to argue with McIntyre which allowed Lashley to hit a spear for the pinfall win.
McIntyre laid out both men with Claymore kicks after the match.
Next week: Lashley faces McIntyre non-title.