Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review right here on TJRWrestling. Happy 4/20 day to those you “celebrating” this day. The WWE shows continue to take place at the Performance Center while building to Money in the Bank on May 10. As we head towards the end of April, we found out that WWE will be doing some live shows, but they’re also going to tape a lot to try to limit the travel of their superstars are being flown in. A lot of the roster lives in Orlando where the WWE PC is, some of them live in Tampa where it’s not too far away and then others are flying in. They’re trying to make the best of a tough situation with the health crisis. I hope you are all staying safe and taking care of your loved ones as best you can. I’m doing fine. I’m writing as much as usual, but certainly it’s not as fun to write about these shows without fans there and it gets boring being home all the time even though I work from home as a writer. I miss doing regular things, going to the usual place and seeing family/friends whenever I want. We just have to be vigilant and get through this until life can be “normal” again.
Last week was sad for WWE fans due to the death of Howard Finkel that was announced on Thursday. He was a great man that left a huge impact on us as the best ring announcer in wrestling history. A day earlier on Wednesday, WWE also announced that several wrestlers and Producers were fired (or furloughed meaning they may return). It pissed off a lot of fans with good reason because cutting people when there’s a global pandemic isn’t a nice thing to do, but WWE felt like they needed to do it. I don’t really agree, but I understand to some degree. Anyway, as the world returns to normalcy (hopefully) in the next few months, perhaps some wrestlers will return to WWE while others can thrive elsewhere and I’ll support them wherever they are. As for tonight’s Raw, here’s some of what WWE has advertised so far:
* Drew McIntyre vs. Angel Garza
* MITB Qualifier: Rey Mysterio vs. Murphy
* MITB Qualifier: Apollo Crews vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
* MITB Qualifier: Aleister Black vs. Austin Theory
From the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1404 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s roll.
The opening video package showed highlights of last week’s Raw when Drew McIntyre beat Andrade in the main event, then Angel Garza hit a cheap shot after the match and Seth Rollins hit The Stomp on McIntyre. Rollins stood tall to end the show. The Raw intro video aired after that.
Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre made his entrance with the WWE Championship around his waist. Drew faces Garza later on Raw.
McIntyre welcomed us to Raw saying that this is the highlight of his week and he thanked us for joining him. McIntyre said that last week he was jumped, ambushed and left laying, which did not surprise him. McIntyre said that this title represents a lot of things to a lot of people, but realistically it pains a bullseye on his back because whoever holds that title means you are the best of the best, so everybody wants to be in that position. McIntyre said that everybody wants to be here and wants to be champion.
McIntyre mentioned Rollins hit him with The Stomp twice last week. McIntyre knows Seth wants to be champion, but does he deserve an opportunity? Drew said a lot of people say Seth doesn’t deserve an opportunity, but he thought about it. Drew said Rollins is one of the most decorated superstars of all time and he knows how good he is, so he has to face the best. McIntyre challenged Rollins to a WWE Title match at Money in the Bank in three weeks. McIntyre stared into the camera saying he won’t hurl a lot of insults at Rollins…and here comes Angel Garza.
Angel Garza was joined by the lovely Zelina Vega and Austin Theory. Vega said that she can’t speak for the entire WWE Universe, but she thinks that Drew is so focused on Money in the Bank that he’s looking past Angel Garza and that led to Andrade doing a cheap attack on McIntyre. When Andrade charged, McIntyre dropped Andrade with a Claymore Kick. Vega wanted Garza and Theory to go after McIntyre, but they were reluctant to do it. When Andrade got up, McIntyre hit Andrade with another Claymore Kick to send Andrade out of the ring. McIntyre did the Andrade pose in the ring as Drew’s music played. McIntyre told Garza he’ll beat the hell out of him later in the show.
Analysis: It was fine for an opening segment with McIntyre starting the show with a confident promo since he’s the WWE Champion. I think Vega’s midcard trio is a good idea, but they seem to get beat up a lot by the top guys while they’re able to beat up the no-name wrestlers. They could use some more consistent booking. I like the idea of McIntyre vs. Rollins at Money in the Bank with Rollins putting over Drew since Rollins is a former multi-time WWE Universal Champion. It’s the right booking to establish Drew as “the guy” on Raw for now.
The Raw announce team of Tom Phillips, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Byron Saxton were shown on screen welcoming us to the show. They talked about the Money in the Bank matches on May 10 when superstars start at the bottom of Titan Tower and have to go to the roof of the building to win the match.
Aleister Black vs. Austin Theory is the first match on Raw after a break.
There was a commercial for Triple H’s 25th WWE Anniversary celebration on Smackdown this Friday. Triple H spent way more time on Raw in his career instead of Smackdown, but they are doing the celebration on Smackdown.
Austin Theory was already in the ring while Zelina Vega was on commentary. Aleister Black, who is married to Vega, made his entrance for the match.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Aleister Black vs. Austin Theory (w/Zelina Vega)
Black and Theory battled over some headlocks while Vega was trashing Saxton for his comments. Black with an armdrag, Theory with a shoulder tackle and forearms. Black bounced off the ropes, he went for the spin kick and Theory avoided it. Theory was on the apron, so Black dropkicked Theory to knock him down. Vega went off commentary and said that Black was not playing fair. Black was distracted by his pretty wife, so Theory threw Black into the barricade. They went to break three minutes into it.
The match returned with Theory hitting a dropkick. Theory had Black on his back and then he sent Black into the turnbuckle two times. Black got some momentum with a boot to the face and a body slam followed by Black getting a rollup for two. Black avoided a slam and he slapped on an armbar on the left arm of Theory, but Theory managed to get out of it with a Powerbomb as an impressive counter. Theory sent Black sternum first into the turnbuckle, Black got an inside cradle and Black with a forearm followed by an elbow. Black with a sweep kick followed by a knee strike to the face. Black with a moonsault off the middle rope for a two count. Theory with a trip, Black with a kick, Theory avoided a knee and a superkick. Theory with the Ushigoroshi suplex into a knee. Vega was asking Saxton repeatedly if he was worried in an annoying way and Saxton said he was enjoying the match. Theory picked up Black, who got to the apron on his feet. Black jumped off the top, Theory moved, Black with a rising knee and a German Suplex for two. Vega got mad at Saxton for enjoying it when it was disgusting. Black went for Blass Mass, Theory avoided it at first and then Black hit the Black Mass kick to the head. Vega had a shocked look on her face and Black covered Theory after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Aleister Black
Analysis: *** It was a competitve match with Black winning with the devastating Black Mass kick again. The match went a few minutes longer than I expected, but I’m glad that Theory got some offense. The problem is nobody watching this thought Black was losing, so there wasn’t much drama when Theory went for pin attempts.
Black was interviewed post match in the ring by Byron Saxton. Black said he didn’t know much about corporate life and he has to cover his tattoos, but at Money in the Bank he’ll make sure that every floor of that building will be turned into their own personal hell. Black left.
Analysis: It was a confident promo from Black, who should be considered a favorite in the Money in the Bank match. I think he can be a main event wrestler, so winning the Money in the Bank contract could help him get there.
Shayna Baszler is up next.
This Wednesday on NXT, the (Interim) Cruiserweight Championship Tournament continues and who attacked Tommaso Ciampa. It was Killer Kross, who is using the name Karrion Kross in WWE. It will be revealed on NXT most likely.
There was a quick interview by Charly Caruso talking to Shayna Baszler, who didn’t show remorse for beating up Sarah Logan last week.
Shayna Baszler vs. Indi Hartwell
Baszler with a gutwrench suplex. Baszler wanted to step on the elbow, but Hartwell got out of the way and got a rollup for two. Hartwell with a boot to the face, then Baszler came back with a takedown and a knee. Baszler stomped on the right arm of Hartwell again, so the referee called for the bell to end the match. The announcement was that Hartwell can’t continue, so Baszler wins. It went a little over one minute.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
Analysis: 1/2* Another dominant win by Baszler. That’s what was expected there.
Post match, Baszler pulled Hartwell out of the ring and sent her into the barricade. Baszler had a ladder at ringside. There were two “WWE Medical” people that were indy wrestlers. Baszler put Hartwell’s arm between the ladder and kicked the arm in between the ladder. Hartwell screamed to sell it. They replayed it to show how devastating it was. Baszler left while announcers used SERIOUS VOICES~! and Hartwell sold the injury.
Analysis: It puts over Baszler in a dominant way while showing that she is a mean heel. The referee and WWE “Medical” indy guys didn’t even try to help Hartwell when Baszler attacked her, so at least they were practicing social distancing. I am joking here. It would be nice if people tried to break up an attack better than that. I am bored by Baszler. She’s not that interesting to me.
The team of Ricochet and Cedric Alexander entered for a tag team action since they have become a regular team on Raw. Ricochet had some tape on his right hamstring. Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink were the opponents – they’re both Australian.
Ricochet and Cedric Alexander vs. Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink
Vink tossed Ricochet into his corner, Thorne tagged in and Ricochet hit a dropkick. Alexander in, knee to Thorne and a double kick by the faces on Vink. Ricochet got the tag, suplex by Alexander and Ricochet with a senton splash over the top. Ricochet to the apron, Vink pulled Ricochet off the apron and hit him with an elbow. Vink tagged in with a forearm. Vink teased a Razor’s Edge, but Ricochet countered with headscissors to send Vink into the turnbuckle. Alexander tagged in with a neckbreaker on Thorne, Ricochet tag and Alexander hit a Tornado DDT. Ricochet hit a standing Shooting Star Press on Thorne, but Vink broke up the pin. Ricochet with a spinning DDT on Vink. Alexander with a kick to Thorne, Ricochet with the Recoil and Alexander with the Lumbar Check on Thorne for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Ricochet and Cedric Alexander
Analysis: *3/4 A decent match to put over Ricochet and Alexander as an exciting team with a bright future. I like their fast-paced offense. The finish of the Recoil followed by the Lumbar Check looks devastating. Since Ricochet and Alexander were doing nothing in singles, it’s smart to make them a team. Vink is a guy that WWE may push down the road as he gets more experience since he’s a bigger guy.
The Kabuki Warriors duo of Asuka and Kairi Sane were interviewed by Charly Caruso. Sane faces Nia Jax this week just like last week, so Asuka and Sane spoke in Japanese. Asuka said that Sane is ready for a rematch and Asuka said that no one is ready for Asuka.
Bobby Lashley was shown in the WWE Performance Center with his “wife” Lana there with him. Lashley was in the gym at the WWE PC saying he was going to show us how flips over a tire and Lana told us to wait to see him in action.
Kairi Sane entered for her match in a rematch from last week. Nia Jax was the opponent. Jax qualified for Money in the Bank match along with Shayna Baszler and Asuka from Raw. Plus, Dana Brooke from Smackdown is in as well.
Nia Jax vs. Kairi Sane
Sane jumped on Jax’s back, Jax slammed her down and Jax tossed Sane across the ring. Asuka was watching on a TV backstage while doing some ranting in Japanese and Jax tossed Sane across the ring two more times. Jax with two clotheslines. Jax picked up Sane by the throat and sent Sane into the bottom turnbuckle with Sane’s neck hitting the turnbuckle hard. Sane moved out of the way of a corner attack. Sane with kicks to the left knee of Jax. When Jax tried a slam, Sane with another dropkick to the knee. Sane with forearms followed by a spinning back fist to the face. Sane with a sliding clothesline on Jax against the turnbuckle. Sane went up top for the elbow, but Jax moved and Jax lifted Sane to the shoulders, right into the Samoan Drop for the pin. It went about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nia Jax
Analysis: * A quick win to put over Jax again. It would be nice if Sane was booked as a more credible wrestler, but she has got her ass kicked two weeks in a row. That Jax slam that sent Sane into the turnbuckle looked a bit dangerous, so I hope Sane is okay.
Seth Rollins was shown at home or somewhere sitting on a black leather chair that is like a throne. Rollins said that not many men know what it’s like to walk in your shoes, but he does since he’s a former WWE/Universal Champion. Rollins said he knows what it’s like to beat Brock Lesnar in a main event of WrestleMania. Rollins said that they had a deep love and passion for this industry. Rollins accepted the challenge for a WWE Title match at Money in the Bank. Rollins said it’s not out of disdain, it’s not personal and he accepted the challenge out of necessity because right now more than ever the WWE Universe needs a leader like Seth. Rollins said as much as Drew and Seth have in common, the similarities stop there. Rollins said that he is a proven leader and Drew is not. Rollins said that he will sacrifice for the greater good, he’ll make difficult decisions and he’ll be the light in the darkness. Rollins said he’ll take Drew’s title at Money in the Bank not because he wants to, but because he has to. That was it.
Analysis: Nice painting, pal. Good promo from Rollins. It fits his character to deliver a promo like that where he said that WWE Universe needs him to be WWE Champion since he thinks he’s a leader. I doubt he will beat McIntyre at Money in the Bank. It also makes the WrestleMania result feel pointless since Kevin Owens beat Rollins at WrestleMania and now Rollins is getting a WWE Title. Why should we care about results if the losers are rewarded with title shots at the next PPV? They could have planned things better.
Crews vs. MVP is next.
A commercial aired for Total Bellas. I don’t know if Daniel Bryan was in the preview clip, but I have to say “poor Daniel Bryan” as usual. It just looks so bad.
The Viking Raiders duo of Erik and Ivar were shown in the car singing (or saying) they were the Viking Raiders repeatedly. I guess it was an attempt to show their personalities, but it didn’t do much for me.
MVP made his entrance. MVP did a promo saying that the winner of Money in the Bank gives the winner the chance to cash in the briefcase any time or any place. MVP said right now it’s his turn and standing in his way is the extremely talented Apollo Crews, who MVP called a gifted athlete. MVP said that Crews overmatched against MVP while saying that he’s no stranger to wearing suits, corporate jets and signing big money deals. MVP said no hard feelings Aleister Black or Apollo Crews and said that he told his agent to book a private jet because winning talks. Apollo Crews entered as the opponent.
Analysis: The promo was fine by MVP. What’s the logical explanation for why MVP is in a coveted Money in the Bank qualifier match? There are six men that get to be in the MITB match, so only six Raw guys are in qualifiers. There is no logical explanation why he is in, yet other Raw regular guys are not. I liked MVP a lot in his prime, but he hasn’t won on Raw in like a decade. MVP works as a Producer in WWE now, so here’s there and now he’s in a qualifying match. It’s not like WWE is going to try to explain it.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Apollo Crews vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
Crews with two dropkicks, MVP to the apron where he asked for a timeout and Crews punched MVP off the apron to the floor. Crews to the apron, MVP tripped him up and Crews bumped to the floor leading to a break one minute into the match.
The match returned with Crews sending MVP into the turnbuckle, but MVP came back with a clothesline. MVP trash-talked Crews saying he didn’t belong in the ring while mentioning he beat people like Batista, Rey Mysterio and Kane as he hit Crews with forearms to the head. MVP wanted the Playmaker, but Crews got out of it and hit a great looking spinebuster. Crews with a corner splash, punches, two kicks and a running clothesline. Crews with a powerslam for a two count. Crews went up, he jumped up with a Frog Splash and MVP got the knees up. MVP hit the Playmaker for a two count with Crews getting the shoulder up. Crews hit a jumping kick to the head, then a press slam and a standing moonsault. Crews with a standing SSP as well. Crews picked up MVP and hit a spinning sitout Powerbomb for the pinfall win after eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews
Analysis: **1/4 It was a decent match to put over Crews. MVP is there to put over the younger guys and Crews looked good by showing off what he can do. Crews has a lot of cool looking moves that can make him stand out as a great athlete, but the problem is he’s lacking in terms of personality and being a character. They need to work on his character.
The win means that Crews is the third man to qualify for the Men’s Money in the Bank Contract match along with Daniel Bryan and Aleister Black. There are six guys in that match.
Ruby Riott was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. Riott claimed that she had double shoulder surgery because she had to carry her Riott Squad. Riott mentioned Sarah Logan has a broken arm and said she’ll remind Liv Morgan how small and weak she is without Ruby helping her.
Analysis: Riott mentioning Logan was interesting. There are rumors that Logan may be brought back even though she was on the released list. That has not been confirmed yet.
Liv Morgan made her entrance with Ruby Riott up next to face off against her former friend. Morgan’s ring attire is better as a solo act than it was when she was in the Riott Squad group.
Liv Morgan vs. Ruby Riott
Riott with a forearm to the face followed by a forearm to the back. Morgan with punches, a jumping kick, two clotheslines and an enziguri kick to the face. Morgan with a dropkick off the middle ropes for a two count. Riott with a stomp on the feet, then a suplex that sent Morgan across the top and a kick to the side of the face for two. Riott with a back elbow on Morgan, then a kick to the face and when Riott ran to the ropes, Morgan hit a flatliner off the ropes for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Liv Morgan
Analysis: ** A quality win for Morgan beating her Riott Squad “leader” Ruby Riott. It was mostly Riott on offense and Morgan hit the big counter move to finish off Riott. I really like seeing how much Liv Morgan has improved in the ring, but also how she is presented as more of a star. The gear she wrestled in during the Riott Squad days was not great. She looks better now. At 25 years old, her best days are ahead of her too.
Bobby Lashley was shown in the training room of the Performance Center. Lashley flipped over a tire that was there. Lashley said any world class athlete can flip that first tire, but then he pointed out an even bigger tire. We’ll see if he can flip it later. Riveting. (Now that’s sarcasm!)
Rey Mysterio faces Murphy up next.
They showed the “IN MEMORY OF HOWARD FINKEL” graphic. They should have put it at the beginning of the show like they did for Smackdown.
Rey Mysterio entered for his MITB qualifier. Murphy was up next as they showed a “Monday Night Messiah” graphic of Seth Rollins and Murphy has “Disciple” on his tights.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Murphy
Mysterio with a headscissors that sent Murphy into the ropes, Murphy avoided the 619 attack and Mysterio backed away. Murphy with forearms to the face while Mysterio was against the ropes. Mysterio went to the floor, so Murphy went after him and Mysterio whipped Mysterio into the barricade two times. Back in the ring, Murphy wrenched on the left arm/hand by sending it into the mat and Mysterio was grabbing one of his fingers that he may have hurt. Murphy brought Mysterio to the floor, Mysterio with an elbow, but Murphy knocked him down and Murphy stomped on Rey’s hand against the steel ramp, which made a lot of noise. They went to break with Mysterio down selling.
The match returned with Murphy continuing to work on Mysterio’s left hand by slamming it into the top of the steel steps. Murphy put Mysterio’s left hand on the ring post, then Murphy stepped on it, but Mysterio knocked Murphy off the apron to send Murphy to the floor. Mysterio with a headscissors off the steps on Murphy to send Murphy onto the ramp. Mysterio with two kicks to the head, seated senton and a cross body block off the middle ropes. Murphy slapped the injured left hand, Mysterio with a dropkick to the leg, Murphy back up and Mysterio hit a spinning DDT for two. They battled on the apron, Murphy with a kick and Mysterio dropkicked Murphy into the barricade. Mysterio with a headscissors that sent Murphy into the barricade with Murphy taking a great looking bump there. Mysterio sent Murphy back into the ring, Rey went up top and he hit a cross body block, but Murphy rolled through leading to a slam onto the knee. Murphy with a knee to the face followed by a brainbuster for a two count. Murphy went up top, Mysterio with punches, Murphy with forearms to the back, Mysterio with a kick to the face and Mysterio hit a Destroyer piledriver. Murphy with a 619 kick on Murphy against the ropes, Mysterio up top and he hit a Frog Splash for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a great match with Mysterio selling the left hand injury throughout the match, Murphy did a nice job of attacking it and then Mysterio found a way to make the comeback to win. They did well to have some high spots in there, some believable nearfalls for each guy and it was fun to watch. Should the older Mysterio put over the younger guy in Murphy there? I guess they could have put Murphy over, but I think Mysterio still has a lot left and the match can use his star power. I didn’t think Murphy was going to win anyway, so Mysterio’s win was no surprise to me.
That means Mysterio joins Daniel Bryan, Apollo Crews and Aleister Black in the Money in the Bank contract match. Two more Smackdown guys will be in it as well.
The official graphic was shown for Money in the Bank on May 10 with Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Title against Seth Rollins.
Angel Garza with Zelina Vega were interviewed by Charly Caruso. Vega criticized McIntyre for attacking Andrade when he could barely stand. Vega said that Garza is going to give Drew the lesson in nobility that he needs. Vega wondered if McIntyre could make it to Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank after Garza. Vega left, then Garza said after he wins, Caruso can ask him how it felt and Caruso said she was happy to do that. That continues the story that Charly has a crush on Garza.
Charlotte Flair entered as the NXT Women’s Champion that still gets to have matches on Raw.
Charlotte Flair vs. Kayden Carter
Flair with a boot to the face followed by a chop. Flair went for another boot, Carter moved and Carter hit a kick to the face. Carter with a crucifix bomb into a pin for a two count. Carter tried an octopus submission, but Flair managed to get back up to her feet and she elbowed Carter off her. Flair sent Carter into the top rope. Flair avoided a kick, ran the ropes and hit a Spear. Flair slapped on the Figure Eight submission and Carter tapped out to give Flair the submission win in under three minutes.
Winner by submission: Charlotte Flair
Analysis: * A quick win for Flair here. Carter has potential as a future star in NXT, but in this setting she’s there to put Flair over.
Charlotte Flair celebrated the win with the NXT Women’s Title.
Still to come is Drew McIntyre vs. Angel Garza. It does not feel like a big match to main event, but that’s what it is.
Bobby Lashley was shown in the weight room of the WWE PC trying to flip over a 450-pound tire. Lashley had trouble with it two times, but then Lashley flipped it over on the third attempt. Lana was happy that he got it done. Lashley said that the WWE locker room needs to fear that power.
Analysis: Lashley being strong is not a new revelation, but flipping a 450-pound tire (or whatever the actual weight was) did look impressive. Lashley has not really been elevated since being aligned with Lana. He’s not in a better spot than he used to be.
Andrade entered for a match. He is still the US Champion even though he rarely defends the title.
Andrade was in the ring with manager Zelina Vega. Akira Tozawa entered to lose a match.
Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Akira Tozawa
This is not for Andrade’s US Title, which is rarely defended.
Tozawa with a jumping kicking and a rising knee. Tozawa with a headscissors out of the ring. Andrade to the apron, Tozawa knocked him down and then Tozawa hit a running dive onto Andrade against the barricade. Back in the ring, Tozawa with a missile dropkick for two. Andrade got some offense on the floor, but then when they went back into the ring, Tozawa slapped on an octopus hold. Andrade hit a back elbow to knock down Tozawa. There was a jab from Tozawa, Andrade came back with a dropkick and Tozawa got an inside cradle for two. Tozawa with a hurricanrana for two and another rollup for two. Tozawa with a superkick. Tozawa went up top, Andrade tripped him up and Andrade hit a Hammerlock DDT for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Andrade
Analysis: **1/4 It was fun while it lasted. Tozawa got 90% of the offense, he was overly aggressive and looked great with a lot of cool looking moves. Andrade needs a feud and meaningful US Title defense soon.
The Street Profits entered and they are the Raw Tag Team Champions. Andrade was leaving with Vega as they entered.
The Street Profits are up next.
The Street Profits duo of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins introduced Bianca Belair, who is Ford’s wife.
Bianca Belair vs. Santana Garrett
Garrett tried a takedown grabbing the leg, but Belair stopped that. Garrett with a slap to the face, so Belair shoved Garrett on her ass. Belair with a waistlock takedown. Belair with a hiptoss across the ring. Belair blocked an armdrag, then Belair with a shoulder block and Belair went off the ropes with another shoulder block. The Street Profits were really loud on commentary. Belair lifted up Garrett for a delayed vertical suplex. Belair with a splash onto the back of Garrett. Belair with a forearm to stun Garrett on the apron, Garrett got a kick to knock Belair back a bit and Garrett hit a cross body block off the top for two. Belair came back with a kick to the ribs, then Belair sent Garrett into the turnbuckle. Belair with a slam off the shoulders for the Kiss of Death aka KOD slam for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair
Analysis: *1/4 Easy win for Belair. So many squash matches on this show. It is getting repetitive.
The main event of McIntyre vs. Garza is next.
The Money in the Bank commercial showed what it will look like on the roof of Titan Towers.
Angel Garza made his entrance with his manager Zelina Vega along with allies Austin Theory and Andrade. The WWE Champion Drew McIntyre was up next for this non-title match. There has been A LOT of Zelina Vega on the show, which is not a complaint because she’s a good looking woman.
Drew McIntyre vs. Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega, Andrade and Austin Theory)
McIntyre with punches and then an overhead belly to belly suplex. Garza to the floor, so McIntyre sent him into the barricade followed by two chops to the chest. Garza went back in the ring, Andrade tried to shove McIntyre into the ring post, but McIntyre stopped it and McIntyre managed to hit a headbutt on Garza. Theory went after Drew, so Drew had to knock him down and Garza hit a dropkick. Garza shoved McIntyre into the ring post two times. Back in the ring, Garza hit a missile dropkick. Garza tried working on the leg, but McIntyre powered out of it and McIntyre hit a kick to the head. McIntyre went up top and jumped off with a punch to the head. McIntyre signaled for the Claymore Kick, but Garza left the ring, so McIntyre took the pants off Garza to show off the tights. McIntyre hit a somersault dive over the top onto the three guys on the floor. Wow! That was impressive. McIntyre sent Andrade over the barricade and a Claymore Kick by Drew to Theory. McIntyre with a reverse slam on Garza, but Garza got a rollup. Garza got back up, they ran the ropes and McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: ** It was an impressive victory for McIntyre with Garza getting a bit of offense, but this result was never in doubt. I thought that somersault dive over the top onto three guys was great since I haven’t seen Drew do that before or at least not recently.
McIntyre went over to the announce team to say let’s give Garza another kick. McIntyre went back into the ring and hit another Claymore Kick on Garza. Drew told Zelina to keep bringing them in and he’ll keep knocking them down. Theory went back into the ring, so McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick to him again. McIntyre celebrated with the WWE Title while doing the Andrade pose and that was pretty funny. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: McIntyre comes off as likable and he continues to be booked as a strong champion. I think Drew is an easy guy to root for. Vega’s three wrestlers have been made to look like losers against him, but somebody has to take the beatings. It might as well be them.
Three Stars of the Show
- Rey Mysterio
- Drew McIntyre
5.5 out of 10
Last Week: 5.75
2020 Average: 6.42
This was just an average Raw with a lot of squash matches. I think there are too many of them. Drew McIntyre to look like a big deal as a dominant WWE Champion. I like how he was booked. Mysterio vs. Murphy stood out as the best match. The match with Aleister Black beating Austin Theory was pretty good, but the result was never in doubt. Zelina Vega was on a lot since her three wrestlers were in action, plus she did a promo too. The star power of people like Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens was missed. Rollins did a promo from home or wherever he was, but he wasn’t in the building.
They did build to some things at Money in the Bank like McIntyre vs. Rollins for the WWE Title. There’s a problem with that since Rollins lost clean to Kevin Owens at WrestleMania, yet Rollins is getting the next title shot. They need to work on explaining things better because you’re telling the audience that the wins don’t matter.
The problem with this Raw is that it’s just not that interesting watching a bunch of matches that are four minutes or less. If I wasn’t watching or writing about it live then I’d fast forward most of it and be done in 30 minutes. Every match had the obvious outcome and there’s nothing on here that the average fan would be interested in. I know it’s not easy for WWE to do these shows without fans, but it just feels like the creative team mailed it in this week. I was bored during most of it.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Money in the Bank on May 10. Here’s what we know so far:
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Universal Championship: Braun Strowman (c) vs. Bray Wyatt
Women’s Money in the Bank Match: Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax vs. Dana Brooke and two more wrestlers.
Men’s Money in the Bank Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Aleister Black vs. Apollo Crews vs. Rey Mysterio and two more wrestlers.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Tamina
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