Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review for this week. The Hell in a Cell pay-per-view is this Sunday night, June 20. That will be the last pay-per-view in the WWE ThunderDome because WWE is going back on the road in mid-July including the Money in the Bank PPV on July 18. Three matches WWE has advertised for this Raw are: Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Riddle vs. The New Day and Naomi vs. Eva Marie.
This is the Raw Deal for episode #1464 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the WWE ThunderDome at Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. 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 (including my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order) and present. Let’s roll.
The show began with Alexa Bliss on her playground on Monday Night Raw. Bliss said she got some “strongly worded complaints” about what Lilly did last week and even Alexa was taken aback by how far it went. That led to a video of Lilly the evil doll scaring Shayna Baszler including backstage scenes involving flickering lights, mirrors and more. Bliss claimed she was putting Lilly in timeout. Nia Jax showed up to tell Bliss to “cut the crap.” Jax said that Shayna will see Bliss at Hell in a Cell. Jax wondered what happened to Alexa, she said they used to be friends and Jax knew the real her. Alexa didn’t appreciate that while saying that they were never friends. Jax wanted to face Bliss in the ring tonight. Bliss claimed she didn’t mean to hurt anybody, then asked for forgiveness and fake tears turned into laughter by Bliss. Alexa accepted the match challenge.
Analysis: That Jax/Bliss match doesn’t interest me very much, but I can understand why they are doing it due to the Bliss/Baszler story.
The Raw announce team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show with a rundown of matches coming up this week. As usual, plenty of rematches.
Nikki Cross entered for a match. She won beat the clock matches against Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair in back to back weeks while Cross pinned Ripley in a tag team match against Ripley/Flair. That’s because Flair turned on Ripley.
Charlotte Flair was interviewed behind the curtain by Sarah Schreiber. Charlotte said that everybody knows she and Ripley will have the match of the night at Hell in a Cell. Charlotte talked trash about Nikki and Rhea. That led to Charlotte’s entrance as we got a reminder that Flair challenges Ripley for the Raw Women’s Title at Hell in a Cell on Sunday.
Nikki Cross vs. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte with a hair pull. Rhea Ripley showed up to watch on the ramp leading to Cross getting a rollup. Charlotte sent Cross out of the ring and Cross was sent into the barricade. Charlotte stared at Ripley as the show went to break.
Charlotte remained on offense with an aggressive headlock while Ripley was watching from ringside. Cross got a cradle for a two count, but Charlotte came back with a clothesline. Cross tried to fight back with headbutts, but Charlotte chopped her down. Charlotte stomped on Cross in the ribs repeatedly. Cross with a boot to the face and a Tornado DDT got a two count. Cross tried jumping on Cross on the floor, but Charlotte caught her and hit a fallaway slam on the floor. The referee was counting, Charlotte was taunting Ripley and Nikki Cross got back into the ring before the ten count, so Cross wins by countout. It went about eight minutes.
Winner by countout: Nikki Cross
The announcers tried to put this over as a “big” win for Cross.
Analysis: *3/4 Decent match by two good workers, but the lame finish hurts it. I realize they don’t want Charlotte losing clean before the title match on Sunday, but this was a weak ending to the match. Charlotte is a veteran wrestler that is apparently too stupid to get back in the ring before a ten count because of another wrestler on the floor? It makes Charlotte look dumb. I know it is four weeks in a row for Cross, but none of the wins were that impressive.
Post match, Charlotte hit a boot to the face on Cross. Charlotte wanted to do more, but Ripley saved Cross and hit Charlotte with the Riptide slam as payback for last week. Ripley left happily.
Analysis: Ripley saved Cross there, but you could also say it was just Ripley getting payback on Charlotte after Charlotte attacked her last week.
There was a backstage scene with Riddle talking to Jeff Hardy, who had face paint on. Jeff suggested that Riddle listens to Randy Orton because he’s been here for a long time. Jeff said he had a match with John Morrison. Riddle was fascinated that Jeff Hardy looked like he had four eyes since eyes were painted on Jeff’s face. Riddle did his rambling routine, so Jeff left. Randy Orton walked into the scene. Randy told Riddle don’t try to be another Randy Orton, try to be Riddle…whatever that means. Riddle asked if that means Orton likes him, Randy said no and left.
John Morrison made his entrance for his match while wheeling out The Miz in a wheelchair since Miz is dealing with a knee injury. Morrison wheeled Miz down to the ring.
This was a commercial for Hell in a Cell on Sunday featuring the Universal Title HIAC match between Roman Reigns and Rey Mysterio.
Jeff Hardy made his entrance for the match. The Miz was on commentary while in his wheelchair. Morrison sprayed Hardy with some water before the match.
Jeff Hardy vs. John Morrison
Hardy with a running splash on Morrison against the turnbuckle, but Morrison kicked him away. Morrison did an impressive cartwheel move leading to a clothesline. Cedric Alexander made his entrance to his music so it was the second match on the show where that already happened. Hardy beat Alexander last week. Morrison with a kick to the ribs. Jeff hit a double leg drop on Morrison for a two count. Jeff with boots up to the face and he tossed his towel at Miz. Jeff hit a Whisper in the Wind dive off the top onto a standing Morrison for a two count. Hardy was on the apron, Morrison with a kick to the ribs and a neckbreaker on Hardy across the top rope. Morrison hit the Starship Pain splash off the top onto Hardy for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: John Morrison
Analysis: *1/2 That was quick. Good to see Morrison getting a clean win, which is so rare for him. I’d like to see Jeff Hardy used better too, but somebody has to get beat in a match like that.
Post match, Cedric Alexander did a post match promo saying he grew up idolizing Jeff Hardy. Cedric said that Jeff Hardy was a sore winner after he won his match against Cedric last week. Cedric said he apologized for not sending Jeff to retirement last week. Jeff said he’ll retire if Cedric can beat him in a match right now…after a break.
Analysis: We know WWE loves rematches on Raw especially and here we get another one with Jeff putting his career on the line in an impromptu match like this.
Cedric Alexander vs. Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy said he would retire if he loses this match.
Alexander was aggressive early on with a leg whip against the middle rope. Jeff hit a jawbreaker, then a back elbow and Jeff sent Alexander into the middle turnbuckle. Jeff with a dropkick to the face while Alexander was against the turnbuckle. Alexander countered a move by Jeff and hit a Michinoku Driver for two. Alexander up top, he went for a Swanton Bomb (Jeff’s move) and Jeff moved out of the way. Alexander with a jumping knee, but Hardy avoided the Neuralizer kick. Hardy hit a Twist of Fate neckbreaker. Hardy went up top and hit the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Analysis: *1/2 Jeff gets the win right after he just lost a match. It’s not like Jeff is going to retire in an impromptu match on Raw. I don’t know how losing to Jeff Hardy is supposed to help Cedric Alexander’s career, but knowing WWE booking they will probably do the match again with Cedric getting the win.
Post match, Hardy did some of his dancing routine to celebrate the win over a fallen Alexander.
There was a video package about the WWE Championship match at Hell in a Cell (in a Hell in a Cell match) between champion Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre.
Naomi made her entrance for the match against the returning Eva Marie.
There was a commercial for SummerSlam on August 21. Pre-sale codes are out and all tickets go on sale this Friday.
Eva Marie made her entrance for her much-anticipated WWE return. Eva was joined by Piper Niven as her muscle so to speak. The announcers had to act like they didn’t know who Piper was.
Piper Niven (w/Eva Marie) vs. Naomi
The announcers had to act like they had no idea who Piper Niven is even though she’s a signed wrestler. I’ll use her name. Eva Marie was in wrestling gear while standing on the floor. Niven with a headbutt, then a senton splash and a running splash. Piper hit a Michinoku Driver for the pinfall win after about one minute.
Winner by pinfall: Piper Niven
Eva Marie announced herself as the winner of the match.
Analysis: 1/2* Squash match. It sucked for Naomi, but it was done to get heat on Eva Marie for not wrestling a match she was advertised for. I just wish Naomi was utilized better. Anyway, good for Piper Niven making the main roster.
Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose were doing a photoshoot looking terrific. They were distracted by some background noise. It was Women’s Tag Team Champions Natalya and Tamina working out in a practice ring. That led to some bickering between the two teams. Natalya trashed them saying that it wasn’t their brains that opened their doors for them, which means Mandy/Dana got hired because of their looks. Mandy fired back saying that Natalya and Tamina’s last names opened doors for them. Natalya said if that’s how you really feel then get in the ring, so the four women got into a fight in the practice ring until referees and officials broke it up.
Analysis: I think they are the only teams in the women’s division at this point, so they might as well start a rivalry. I like everybody involved. It was a fine way to set up an issue between them.
The New Day made their entrance for a tag team match.
Drew McIntyre was interviewed backstage by Kevin Patrick with Drew talking about facing “Trashley” on Sunday. Drew said Hell in a Cell is not just about the physical or mental aspect. Drew mentioned William Wallace from the Braveheart movie for his courageous ferocity and his huge, gigantic brain. Drew talked about how Wallace outsmarted his enemies. Drew said that this has nothing to do with his Bobby Lashley match, but he won’t tell us his strategy. Drew said it will end up with Drew McIntyre as the WWE Champion once again.
Randy Orton and Riddle made their entrance to Orton’s theme song, which Riddle loves. Riddle did his routine kicking off the flip flops while Orton did the rope pose and Riddle did the pose too. Riddle was wearing the brand new RK-Bro shirt as well.
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle)
Riddle started for his team as New Day got some offense against him and then Orton tagged in. Orton took down Woods with a side headlock. Kingston made the tag and hit a cross body block off the top on Orton for two. Kofi hit a dropkick off the middle rope. Riddle ran into the ring, so Woods hit a belly to belly suplex on Riddle across the ring. New Day teased dives onto their opponents on the floor, but then they stopped in the ring. That led to a break.
The match continued with Woods hitting a forearm, then Riddle hitting a forearm, then another forearm from Woods and Riddle hit a flying knee. Riddle with a suplex into a pin for two. Orton with an armbar on Woods and Riddle back in with a kick to the ribs. Riddle with a broton splash on Woods. Riddle tried an arm submission, Woods fought out of it and Orton tagged back in with stomps on Xavier’s head. Orton applied a chinlock, Woods slipped out of a slam and Kingston tagged in. Kofi was on fire with a chop to the head, a dropkick and Kofi hit a jumping clothesline on Orton. Kofi hit the Boom Drop leg drop on Orton. Riddle distracted Kofi, Orton ducked a Trouble in Paradise kick and Riddle tagged in with forearms followed by an overhead suplex on Kofi. Riddle with a running kick on Kofi followed by a ripcord knee to the face. Riddle up top with a Floating Bro on Woods and Orton knocked Woods out of the ring to prevent a save. Kofi kicked out at two. New Day regrouped on the floor while Orton/Riddle were in the ring. They went to break there.
Riddle was up top, Woods with a superplex and Kofi was the legal man with a Frog Splash off the top for two. It was like the Power & Glory finisher, but not exactly. Orton saved Riddle and sent Woods to the apron, but then Kingston sent Orton out of the ring. Riddle inside cradle on Kofi for two. Woods was back in with Riddle hitting a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Orton was back in with Riddle assisting on a double team Powerbomb on Woods for two. Kingston saved Woods from a DDT attempt, Woods with a kick to Orton and Riddle tagged back in, but Woods avoided a suplex off the ropes. Kofi tagged in with a foot across the chest of Riddle (who was on Xavier’s shoulders) and that got a two count after Riddle bridged up as a kickout. Woods was back in, Riddle broke free to shove Woods into the turnbuckle and Kofi jumped off the top right into a knee by Riddle. Riddle lifted up Woods, Orton with a blind tag and Woods got a rollup for two. Orton was ready for the Honor Roll by Woods, Orton stepped back and Orton hit an RKO on Woods for the pinfall win after 22 minutes. Great finish. Timed it perfectly.
Winners by pinfall: RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle)
Analysis: ***3/4 This was a great match and this show needed it. There were lots of cool spots here, plenty of believable nearfalls and guys kicking out of some big moves. I really liked that spot with Riddle bridging out of a pin attempt. You don’t see that very often, but it shows how different of a guy Riddle can be at times. I don’t think Kofi & Xavier are going to be hurt too much by losing a match like that. Orton beating Woods with the RKO the way he did was set up really well, so I liked it as a finish. I think Orton/Riddle will probably get a title shot at SummerSlam in front of the big crowd and maybe they’ll win the titles too.
Riddle celebrated in the ring, Orton did not pose with him and instead left the ring. They watched the replays together.
There was a clip of Nikki Cross beating Charlotte Flair by countout earlier in the show. After the match, Rhea Ripley hit Charlotte with the Riptide slam.
Rhea Ripley was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber in the backstage area. Ripley said that obviously Charlotte can’t control herself when Rhea is around. Ripley said it was funny watching somebody that’s powerful like Charlotte crumble like that. Ripley was rude to Sarah in telling her to leave since Rhea had a match.
Asuka made her entrance.
Rhea Ripley made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion. Some quick research by me revealed that Rhea Ripley is 2-0-1 vs. Asuka since WrestleMania two months ago. It’s 3-0-1 if you count pinning Asuka in the WrestleMania Backlash triple threat match.
Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka
This is not for Ripley’s title. Asuka went for a bridging pin for two and then Ripley got a crucifix pin for two. Ripley tossed Asuka across the ring. Asuka with a boot to the face, then a chop and Ripley hit a headbutt to the face. Asuka applied a submission pulling back on the arm, but then Ripley powered out of it. Asuka applied a sleeper on Ripley, but then Ripley fell back to get out of it for a two count. Ripley went for a running dropkick against the turnbuckle, Asuka moved and Ripley hit the turnbuckle. They left the ring with Ripley putting Asuka on her shoulders and sending Asuka into the barricade.
The match returned with Asuka hitting a kick to the chest. Asuka charged right into a kick by Ripley. Asuka fought Ripley off from a move by the turnbuckle and Asuka came back with a missile dropkick off the top. They exchanged strikes, Asuka with a rising knee strike and a clothesline for two. Asuka with a running hip attack for two. Ripley reversed a move by Asuka and Ripley hit a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Asuka with a spinning back fist and a release German Suplex. Asuka with a sliding kick for two. Asuka with kicks to the chest, Ripley caught a kick attempt and there were more strikes. Ripley caught a charging Asuka and applied a leg lock submission, but Asuka rolled through. Asuka wanted the Asuka Lock, Ripley fought out of it and Ripley avoided a back fist. Ripley hit the Riptide slam for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Rhea Ripley
Analysis: ***1/4 It was the usual very good match between two women that have wrestled a lot in the last two months. The result was the same as usual with Ripley beating Asuka again. Asuka got a lot of offense, Ripley was able to keep fighting back and then it took one move for Ripley to win the match. They have done a nice job of making Ripley’s Riptide look like a deadly finisher that is able to put her opponent away whenever Ripley hits it.
Post match, Charlotte Flair attacked Ripley and they got into a brawl. Flair was in a different outfit and had heels on, so she tossed the heels off. That led to a brawl between Ripley and Flair as they exchanged punches. The led to WWE Officials like Shawn Daivari, Pat Buck, Adam Pearce, Jamie Noble and Shane Helms along with several referees to break them up. Charlotte was really aggressive. Both women were separated on opposite sides of the ring, but then Charlotte screamed. Charlotte was shoving the officials including Pearce. Ripley kicked Charlotte. I think Charlotte said “get the fuck off me” to the officials and they muted it. Charlotte had a bloody nose. Charlotte: “I’m gonna kick your ass.” Ripley told her to get in the ring right now. The scene ended there.
Analysis: That was very intense. Great job by the ladies involved with the WWE Officials selling it as a wild situation. I liked Charlotte swearing also because it makes it feel more real than what we usually get on a WWE show.
There was a shot of Bobby Lashley’s championship dressing room with MVP. They had five lovely ladies with them. Kevin Patrick stormed into the room asking questions. MVP talked about Drew McIntyre facing AJ Styles while noting that the only thing the WWE Champion Bobby Lashley is concerned about is Hell in a Cell. Lashley said that when Drew steps into Hell in a Cell, he’ll wish never uttered Bobby Lashley’s name. Lashley said he liked what Drew said about William Wallace earlier. Lashley said that Drew has committed a capital offense and his crime is trying to take the WWE Championship. Lashley said he’ll publicly execute Drew and mount his head on a stake. Lashley shoved the microphone into Patrick’s chest and that was it.
Alexa Bliss made her entrance with her creepy theme music.
Nia Jax made her entrance alone.
Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax
Bliss with a kick to start the match. Jax was able to slam her down. Bliss with a double knee attack to the leg of Jax. Bliss with more kicks, but then Jax ran her over with a two handed shove. Jax tossed Bliss across the ring. Jax with a running hip attack against the turnbuckle. Jax with a gentle body slam on her friend. That looked soft. Jax with a chinlock, Bliss got out of it and Bliss avoided a leg drop attempt. Bliss was making creepy faces. Bliss went to the middle rope, then Reginald showed up on the apron and Bliss still managed a dropkick to the knee. Bliss delivered a DDT to Jax. Bliss went up top and hit the Twisted Bliss splash, but Reginald pulled Bliss off for the DQ after four minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Alexa Bliss
Analysis: *1/2 The positive thing is that Bliss got to work that match like a regular person. If Bliss was like this all the time then I would no problem with the silly gimmick she is doing. They got through it fine with Jax selling well for her friend. It’s not great, but it was passable.
Post match, Bliss and Reginald squared off with Bliss moving her hand side to side, then Reginald moved his head/hand the same way, and then Bliss left. Alexa’s creepy music played as Alexa went up the aisle.
Analysis: More mind games from Bliss.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were standing backstage with MVP approaching them. MVP told Kofi that he is wasting his career in tag teams with people that don’t measure up. MVP said in a singles match when you lose, you only have yourself to blame. MVP said that Woods lost tonight, so Kofi was the loser. Woods and Kofi talked back to MVP. Kofi said he’ll never agree with MVP. Kofi said that MVP isn’t hearing him while noting that Kofi had a special bond with his brothers. Kofi told MVP to move on, so MVP said he’ll go. MVP wanted to wish him good luck at Hell in a Cell and then said oh yeah Kofi doesn’t have a match. Woods told MVP to get out of there.
Analysis: I feel like they are planting the seeds for Lashley vs. Kofi as a feud post Hell in a Cell. It could happen whether Lashley is champion or if he loses, but it makes me think Lashley will retain at Hell in a Cell. Just a hunch.
Elias made his entrance for a match against Jaxson Ryker because WWE loves rematches as I have written many times.
Jaxson Ryker made his entrance. They had a pre-tape promo from Ryker where they focused on his eyes to show that he’s intense. Elias walked out on the match last week.
Elias vs. Jaxson Ryker
Elias with a running back elbow and punches. Elias whipped Ryker into the turnbuckle followed by a hard chop to the chest. Ryker came back with a double axehandle. Ryker with a running knee to the ribs. Elias with a boot to the face, but then Ryker came back with a huge spinebuster. Ryker tossed Elias out of the ring leading to Ryker driving Elias into the ring post again. Elias nearly got back in the ring at the count of eight, but then he backed away to lose by countout again.
Winner by countout: Jaxson Ryker
Analysis: * Yawn. I swear as I was watching this and they left the ring, I was like “there’s no way they can book the same shitty finish as last week” but then they did it. I should have known. I get that they do it to make Elias look like he’s scared of Ryker, but it’s not the kind of finish that’s going to excite the fans watching at home.
There was a video reminding us about how violent and brutal Hell in a Cell matches can be.
Drew McIntyre made his entrance for his advertised match against AJ Styles.
There was a commercial about Tuesday’s NXT with William Regal saying it was time for a change. The rumor is that Samoa Joe will be the new NXT General Manager. Find out on NXT and read my review on TJRWrestling on Wednesday morning.
The announcers went over the Hell in a Cell lineup:
* WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre – If McIntyre loses then he can’t challenge for the WWE Title as long as Lashley is champion.
* Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley
* Raw Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
* Alexa Bliss vs. Shayna Baszler
* WWE Universal Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
That’s it for now with just five matches. There might be another one or two matches added to the show on Smackdown or later in the week.
Drew McIntyre was anticipating his opponent for the main event, but instead, it was WWE Champion Bobby Lashley with MVP and the five ladies. There were couches on the stage as Lashley, MVP and the girls sat down to watch the main event.
AJ Styles made his entrance with Omos. They are the Raw Tag Team Champions that walked by Lashley, MVP and the ladies. Omos liked one of the ladies, but then he walked down to the ring with Styles. This started with over 30 minutes left in the show, so there’s plenty of time for a long match.
Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles (w/Omos)
Styles with shoulder tackles to the ribs, then Drew with a corner whip and Styles got a knee up to block a charging McIntyre. Drew tossed Styles into another turnbuckle followed by a hard chop and a huge back body drop. Drew went for a backslide pin, Styles flipped out of that and Drew hit a Future Shock DDT. Drew taunted Lashley. Omos pulled Styles out of the ring and then Lashley was on the apron. That led to the Viking Raiders making their entrance in their wrestling gear.
I thought it might be turned into a tag team match, but it’s still a singles match. Drew with a hard whip that sent Styles into the turnbuckle. Drew with a backbreaker for two. Drew continued to stay in control with a punch that rocked Styles. Styles got some offense going with a double thrust to the chest and then a back body drop to send Drew into the top rope leading to a bump on the floor. Styles sent Drew face first into the ring post. Styles tried a suplex from the apron into the ring, Drew blocked it and Drew choked Styles across the top rope. Drew charged at Styles, who got the feet up and knocked Drew down. Styles with a chinlock, but Drew broke out of it with a jawbreaker. Styles with a jumping kick to the head followed by McIntyre hitting a running clothesline. The couches on the ramp and the women that were up there were all gone now. Drew got back up with elbows, a clothesline and an impressive brainbuster for two. Drew hit a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Styles slipped out of a Superplex attempt, AJ sent Drew into the turnbuckle and Styles hit the Ushigoroshi (slam off the shoulders into the knee) for two. Drew powered out of a Styles Clash attempt by hitting a back body drop over the top to the floor. Drew sent Styles into the ring. Lashley charged at Drew, who punched him with a jab and Drew sent Lashley into the barricade. Back in the ring, Drew hit a clothesline off the top rope, but then Lashley was in the ring with punches on Drew. That led to the DQ. It went 14 minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: *** Nice work for an incomplete match. I didn’t expect a clean ending considering all of the guys outside the ring. Drew and AJ always work well together.
After the match, the Viking Raiders went after Lashley and tossed him out of the ring. McIntyre hit Lashley with a belly to belly suplex on the floor. That led to a break.
This week’s Smackdown commercial featured Roman Reigns beating up Rey & Dominik Mysterio again. It has led to Reigns vs. Rey at Hell in a Cell in a Hell in a Cell match.
There was a six-man tag team match set up by WWE Officials as expected. Bobby Lashley went backstage to put on his wrestling gear before competing.
AJ Styles, Omos & Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Drew McIntyre, Erik & Ivar
Erik was in control of Styles with a waistlock takedown. Ivar tagged in with a body slam and then Erik slammed Ivar onto Styles. Bobby Lashley showed up in his wrestling gear, he pulled Drew off the apron and tossed Drew into the barricade. Lashley tagged in with a running forearm to Erik’s face. Styles back in with punches. Omos tagged in for the first time with a knee to the ribs of Erik and then Lashley was back in. Erik with elbows, then a knee lift (with a hard leg slap) and Lashley hit a flatliner on Erik. Lashley knocked Drew off the apron, Erik punched Lashley and Ivar tagged in with a spinning splash. Ivar with a running cross body block on Lashley. Ivar with a cartwheel to avoid Lashley, then Bobby went for a Hurt Lock, Ivar got out of it and Lashley hit a spinebuster. Erik with a running knee on Lashley. There was a lot of chaos including Lashley hitting a belly to belly suplex on McIntyre. Omos tagged in, Ivar ran the ropes and Omos hit a shoulder tackle.
Lashley was in control against Ivar with a chinlock leading to Lashley jumping on Ivar’s back. Lashley was taunting McIntyre a lot. Lashley tripped up Ivar, then Bobby worked over Ivar with elbows. Omos was back in with a running back splash on Ivar. Styles back in with a chinlock, then Ivar with punches, Styles with a kick and Ivar with a stomp on Styles to get out of the corner. Drew got the hot tag against Omos, who laughed about it. Omos choked Drew with Drew selling it well, then Drew with kicks to the legs and punches. Omos shoved Drew away and Styles tagged back in. Drew with two belly to belly suplex on Styles. Drew with a third belly to belly suplex across the ring. Omos did a hair pull on Drew. Omos sent Ivar over the barricade and Omos tossed Erik over another barricade around ringside. Styles looked like he was going to tag in Omos, but he was fatigued, then he tagged in Lashley, who didn’t look ready for it. Lashley got the tag, he thought Omos was going to get tagged and Lashley turned around right into a Claymore Kick by McIntyre. Drew pinned Lashley for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre, Erik & Ivar
Analysis: ***1/4 Good action here with a bit of a surprising finish because you don’t see Bobby Lashley getting beat that often. I like how it was done with Lashley looking shocked that Styles tagged him and then Drew McIntyre capitalized to get the win. There was no attempt at a save from Omos, who moves really slow, so I guess that’s his excuse. The win by McIntyre gives him a lot of momentum going into Hell in a Cell on Sunday.
McIntyre stared at Lashley, who was out on the floor. McIntyre said he’s going to see Lashley in hell and Drew kept saying “I can’t wait” to him. That was the end of Raw.
Analysis: I think Lashley was going to be my pick at Hell in a Cell before this show. With the way this main event was booked, I’m definitely going with Lashley. Plus, I think he’s got the feud with Kofi Kingston post-HIAC as well since those seeds have been planted for a few weeks now. I could be wrong on all that, but we’ll find out on Sunday. I’ll have more thoughts on it in the Hell in a Cell preview this weekend.
Three Stars of the Show
- Drew McIntyre
- RK-Bro/New Day
- AJ Styles
6.75 out of 10
Last week: 5
2021 Average: 5.86
This was a decent episode of Raw with several good matches in the final two hours. I thought Orton/Riddle vs. New Day was the best match that also went over 20 minutes. Lots of Drew McIntyre and AJ Styles in the last 40 minutes thanks to their singles match that turned into a tag and both matches were pretty good. McIntyre pinning Lashley clean is a big deal that likely solidifies a Lashley win at Hell in a Cell on Sunday, but you never know for sure. Rhea Ripley and Asuka had a competitive match too. The first hour was less interesting, but a strong second half means I liked the show for the most part.
It was cool to see four women’s matches on the show. I don’t remember the last time WWE had that many women’s matches on Raw. Some of the finishes sucked for sure, but at least they are giving the women wrestlers more chances. The intense brawl between Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair made me care more about their match, so it was successful in that way. Speaking of successful, great win by Eva Marie as Piper Niven took her place and beat Naomi easily. The announced winner…Eva Marie. Yes! What a win!
There was less of the goofy stuff this week, which is a positive thing. Alexa Bliss wrestled a normal match and then had the mind games stuff with Reginald, but at least it was after the match. One thing they need to improve on are match finishes because there were two disqualifications and two countouts this week. They happen far too often. I’d like to see some more creativity out of the creative team. That’s their job after all.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Hell in a Cell this Sunday, June 20. Here’s what we know so far.
WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre – If McIntyre loses then he can’t challenge for the WWE Title as long as Lashley is champion.
WWE Universal Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Raw Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley
Alexa Bliss vs. Shayna Baszler
We will have a preview on TJRWrestling on Saturday and then I’ll have a live review on Sunday night.
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