The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 05/17/21 Review


Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review for this week. This show follows the WrestleMania Backlash PPV on Sunday night. I thought it was a pretty good show thanks to solid in-ring action all night long, but I didn’t really like the zombie movie promotion during the Damian Priest/Miz match. That was the low point for sure. The other Raw matches saw Bobby Lashley retain the WWE Title over Braun Strowman & Drew McIntyre by pinning Strowman and Rhea Ripley kept the Raw Women’s Title over Asuka & Charlotte Flair by pinning Asuka. The next pay-per-view is Hell in a Cell on June 20.
This is the Raw Deal for episode #1460 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 WWE Champion Bobby Lashley in the backstage area with some lovely ladies on his arm and walking behind him.
Let’s Hear from Bobby Lashley and MVP
Montel Vontavious Porter, in a suit with a cane by his side, introduced the WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. That led to Lashley making his entrance in a suit with five ladies joining him out there. The Raw announce team was Adnan Virk, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton as usual. They showed a replay of Lashley’s win at WrestleMania Backlash.
MVP asked if he came through for him and Lashley said “absolutely” as he looked at the girls. MVP did a formal introduction of Lashley. MVP said that what Lashley did last night was Herculean because he beat two of the toughest men on the entire roster. MVP said that the Monster Among Men has broken ribs while the Scottish Warrior couldn’t even get out of bed this morning. MVP said that Lashley got thrown through an LED screen and still made it there tonight. Lashley showed off his fists that had damage on them. Lashley said that the All Mighty Era never ends and MVP said that we are blessed to witness it. MVP said that the champ wanted the night off and asked if Bobby really wanted to do this. Bobby said absolutely because there are no nights off. MVP offered up an open challenge…and here comes Drew McIntyre.
Drew McIntyre made his entrance in his wrestling gear with Drew going into the ring. Virk pointed out that McIntyre wasn’t pinned at WrestleMania Backlash. McIntyre said that’s a fantastic idea to impress the ladies by doing Lashley vs. McIntyre for the WWE Championship tonight. McIntyre said he accepts the open challenge. MVP said that it was an open challenge to anybody in the locker room except Braun Strowman or Drew McIntyre. Lashley tried to attack Drew, who ducked and Drew punched Lashley out of the ring. This only went about nine minutes.
Analysis: It was fine as an opening promo segment. MVP is a very good talker, Lashley barely said anything and then McIntyre showed that he wasn’t going to just disappear from the title picture. Lashley facing somebody other than Strowman or McIntyre later in the show sounds like a good idea as something different at least.
AJ Styles vs. Elias is next.

(Commercial)
AJ Styles made his entrance with the big man Omos. They are the Raw Tag Team Champions. Elias was up next with Jaxson Ryker.
AJ Styles (w/Omos) vs. Elias (w/Jaxson Ryker)
They are both heels. Elias ran the ropes right into a dropkick by Styles. Elias powered up Styles into a suplex. Styles gave Elias a backbreaker. Elias used his size advantage to wear down Styles with punches. Elias sent Styles towards the turnbuckle and then Elias did a sliding dropkick to Styles to send him into the ring post. Elias with a press slam that sent Styles into the ring apron. Styles came back with a clothesline out of the ring. Styles jumped over the top with a forearm on Elias on the floor.
(Commercial)
The match continued with Elias hitting a back body drop followed by a spinebuster for two. That looked good. Elias applied a chinlock, then a knee drop and Elias did some posing along with another knee drop. Styles fought out of a chinlock, then Styles hit an enziguri kick and a running forearm. Styles with another kick followed by the slam off the shoulders into the knee for a two count. Elias fought out of a Styles Clash attempt, then a jumping knee to the face and a spinning suplex into a neckbreaker for two. They replayed the knee to the face that looked brutal. Elias charged, Styles with a drop toehold into the turnbuckle and they exchanged chops. Styles wanted the Phenomenal Forearm, so Ryker grabbed Styles and threw him into the barricade. The referee saw that, which meant it was  DQ finish after 11 minutes.

Winner by disqualification: AJ Styles
Analysis: **3/4 They had a solid match here with Styles working more like the babyface even though he’s a heel. Elias has improved in terms of the moves that he does in a match. He looks better in there. They worked well together. Then again, everybody works well with Styles. He’s great.
Post match, Omos walked after Ryker up the ramp. Elias stomped on Styles a bit, then Omos walked towards him and Elias ran away. Omos helped Styles get back to his feet.

Analysis: Styles and Elias are both heels, but maybe WWE is turning Styles/Omos into faces since the way their tag matches take place is to build to Omos coming in to kick some ass. It’s not a bad idea if they turned face.
Alexa Bliss hosts her Playground show up next.
(Commercial)
There was a video promoting Johnny Gargano defending the NXT North American Title against Bronson Reed on NXT on Tuesday. I think there could be a title change. I’ll have a review on TJRWrestling on Wednesday morning.
They showed last week on Raw when Randy Orton, Riddle and New Day won an 8-man tag team match. After the match, Orton hit New Day with RKOs.
Riddle was backstage with New Day asking him about a snake that he had. That led to Randy Orton aka The Viper showing up to say Riddle told him that Adam Pearce wanted to talk to Orton. Riddle said that they are all friends here with Riddle saying that he wanted Randy to offer an apology. Orton said it won’t happen. Kofi Kingston said that they wouldn’t accept his apology. Kingston said that if Riddle doesn’t wake up then he’ll be on the receiving end of an RKO. Orton warned Kingston he’ll drop him with an RKO right now. Kofi challenged him to a match just like in 2009 and 2019, but this time they don’t have to wait ten years. Orton accepted the match. New Day left happily, Riddle tried to say more and Orton made Riddle be quiet.
Analysis: It was a fine way to set up a match for later in the show.

Alexa Bliss Playground
Alexa Bliss was shown backstage on her Alexa Bliss Playground set with the new Women’s Tag Team Champions Natalya and Tamina. Alexa had her puppet Lilly. Natalya was sitting on the swing while Tamina was just making faces about how strange it is there. Natalya talked about their title win and Tamina’s first title win. Bliss said Lilly wanted to know their favorite color. Natalya said pink while Tamina said black & blue like she will put on her face if she tries something. Bliss mentioned Reginald and Tamina said that she will swat him again if he interferes in their title match against Jax/Baszler tonight. Bliss said that Lilly really likes bugs flying around. Bliss kept on rambling about things that Lilly likes, so Natalya and Tamina left. Bliss realized they left, then was like: “Was it something we said?” Bliss wished Natalya and Tamina good luck in their match while noting that they will be watching.
Analysis: This was okay, I guess. The evil puppet gimmick doesn’t interest me that much. It teased Bliss getting involved in some way during the women’s tag team match.
There was a commercial featuring WWE superstars telling people to get vaccinated.
(Commercial)

Angel Garza made his entrance with a rose in his hands. Drew Gulak entered as the opponent. They showed an image from two weeks ago when Garza put the rose into the back of Gulak’s tights. A promo last week set up this rematch.
Angel Garza vs. Drew Gulak
Gulak hit a running dropkick and then an overhead suplex across the ring. Garza with a hiptoss followed by a clothesline, slap to the face and then a clothesline. Garza hit a slingshot reverse suplex followed by a dropkick. Gulak tried to fight back, Garza with a punch to the face and then Garza hit a double underhook backbreaker. Garza with a running kick to the face of Gulak. Garza hit the Wing Clipper for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Angel Garza
Analysis: * It was basically a squash match to put Garza over Gulak quickly once again. It looks like the beginnings of a push for Garza, but I don’t know how far he’s going to go.
Post match, Garza grabbed the rose and shoved the rose into Gulak’s mouth.
Analysis: I guess that’s better than a rose in the tights.

R-Truth was in the backstage area with his Raw Talk co-host Kevin Patrick there to interview him. R-Truth thought that there was an open challenge against him. While Truth was talking, Akira Tozawa was shown sneaking up behind Truth from a distance and Tozawa did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Truth to win the title.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Title: Akira Tozawa
Analysis: It feels like WWE ignored this title for a couple of months, but now it’s back. I didn’t miss it.
Randy Orton made his entrance with an excited Riddle supporting him on Orton’s way down to the ring. Riddle did some dancing to Orton’s theme song while Orton looked angry as usual. While Orton did his turnbuckle pose, Riddle did the pose in the ring as well.
(Commercial)

They aired the same Eva Marie video package that was shown last week.
The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made their entrance at the top of hour two.
Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Randy Orton (w/Riddle)
Kingston did a hip attack that sent Orton out of the ring. Back in the ring, Kingston did an armbar and Woods said that the legend is beating the Legend Killer. Kofi hit a splash off ropes for a two count. Riddle started a “Randy” chant on his own. Orton did an eye poke that the referee didn’t see, so Orton took over with punches and forearms. Orton applied a chinlock, Kofi with elbows to break free and Orton with a headbutt. Kofi went to the middle rope followed by a dropkick. Kofi with chops, then a dropkick and Kofi bounced off the ropes with Orton hitting a powerslam. Woods played the trombone, so Orton was distracted and Kofi did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Orton to win.
Winner by pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: *1/2 The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again. Orton hasn’t lost many matches in his career in five minutes or less. The distraction was the reason for it, but I’m still a little surprised that it happened. Kingston and Orton work well together. They just didn’t have much time here.
Post match, Orton lent angrily. Riddle got mad at Woods and Riddle shoved Woods on his ass. Riddle left.
Analysis: It feels like they're trying to create an issue with Orton/Riddle and New Day, which might be a way to make Riddle a bit more serious than he is.

There was a backstage scene in the office with Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose standing on one side while Naomi & Lana were on the other side. They were complaining to Adam Pearce & Sonya Deville about the Women’s Tag Team Title situation. Charlotte Flair showed up, so Sonya asked the four women’s wrestlers to move. Charlotte told Adam and Sonya that she was not pinned, so technically she did not lose. Sonya said if Charlotte beats Asuka tonight then they will consider Charlotte’s request. Charlotte said that won’t be a problem. Rhea Ripley showed up and said that she came there to say she wanted to face some new competition. Ripley said that Charlotte was yesterday’s news. Charlotte told Ripley to watch her match with Asuka and said history will repeat it’s when Charlotte beats Ripley to become the Raw Women’s Champion again. Charlotte left. Ripley said that she’ll be watching just to see if The Queen falls from her throne. Ripley left.
Natalya and Nia Jax entered for the Women’s Tag Team Title defense.
(Commercial)
A replay was shown of Natalya and Tamina winning the Smackdown Tag Team Titles on Smackdown last Friday.
The team of Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax entered with Reginald for this title rematch. Reginald had a Baszler/Jax t-shirt on.
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Natalya & Tamina vs. Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax (w/Reginald)
Jax ran over Natalya and then she hit a running hip attack. Baszler tagged in with a running knee. Baszler pulled back on Natalya’s left arm. Baszler hit a clothesline. Jax was back in with a body attack to knock Natalya down. Natalya avoided Jax, then Natalya hit two clotheslines and a discus clothesline. Tamina tagged in with punches, Jax with a headbutt and Jax delivered a clothesline in her team’s corner. Jax did a slow climb up the turnbuckle, Tamina blocked that and knocked Jax off the apron. Alexa Bliss showed up on the stage with Lilly. Bliss had a smirk on her face and some pyro went off on the turnbuckle, so Reginald sold it as if it hit him in the face. Natalya hit the Hart Attack clothesline while Jax was holding Baszler and then Natalya pinned Baszler to win after three minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Natalya & Tamina
Analysis: *1/4 It was good to see the Hart Attack clothesline used as the finisher. Bliss cost Baszler/Jax the win thanks to the pyro going off. It’s lame, but that’s what WWE wants to do with Bliss right now, I guess. I’m glad that the champs retained. I'm just tired of distraction finishes. They happen too often on Raw.
Post match, Alexa Bliss and her evil doll were laughing, so there were laughing noises in the arena. Reginald was down selling the pyro going off near him.

This Friday on Smackdown: The Roman Reigns family drama with The Usos continues. Apollo Crews defends the Intercontinental Title vs. Big E vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens.
(Commercial)
Sheamus made his entrance as the United States Champion. He did a promo complaining about Ricochet, who put on the hat and jacket of Sheamus after the Kickoff Show match at WrestleMania Backlash.
Ricochet was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. Ricochet said he was having fun after the match. Ricochet said that the real fun is when he shuts him up. Ricochet walked away and put on his own jacket and brown hat. Ricochet said he felt like Ernest The Cat (Miller) and then did an Irish accent saying that after the match, maybe he’ll have himself a pint.
Ricochet made his entrance, Sheamus ran after him and Ricochet took him down on the stage. Back in the ring, Ricochet hit a dropkick and the referee called for the bell.
Sheamus vs. Ricochet
Ricochet went for a kick, but Sheamus got a hold of him and hit a clothesline. Sheamus hit a body slam. Ricochet jumped on the back of Sheamus for a sleeper, but Sheamus used his power to take Ricochet down. Graves was doing this over the top commentary about Ricochet disrespecting Sheamus and it was going on for too long. Ricochet with a jawbreaker, Ricochet drove Sheamus’ face into the knee and Ricochet hit a kick to the head. Sheamus was out of the ring, Ricochet jumped over the top onto Sheamus, who drove Ricochet back first into the ring post. Sheamus slammed Ricochet onto the floor as the show went to break.
(Commercial)

The match returned with Ricochet trying to fight back with punches, but then Sheamus hit him with a knee to the ribs. Sheamus delivered several forearms to the chest. Ricochet fought back with punches, then some forearms to the face and Ricochet charged right into a backbreaker by Sheamus for two. Sheamus did a slow climb to the top, Ricochet punched him up there and Sheamus punched him down. Ricochet jumped up to the top with Ricochet and Ricochet did a Spanish Fly slam off the top. Sheamus was grabbing his left leg and smacking the mat in pain, but Sheamus was trying to continue. Ricochet with a running forearm. Sheamus with a back body drop that sent Ricochet onto the apron. Ricochet hit a running Shooting Star Press on Sheamus for a two count. Ricochet with a moonsault off the middle ropes, Sheamus blocked it with his knees and got a two count. Ricochet avoided a Brogue Kick, then Ricochet hit a neckbreaker off the ropes. Ricochet went up top, but Sheamus rolled out of the ring to the floor. Ricochet jumped off the top and hit a cross body block on the floor although maybe it was a forearm to the head. Ricochet brought Sheamus back into the ring. Ricochet hit a springboard 450 Splash for a two count. Ricochet lifted up Sheamus, but Sheamus shoved him off and when Ricochet was going for an attack off the middle rope, Sheamus hit a pump kick (or knee) for a two count. That was a great nearfall. Sheamus said that Ricochet was no match for him, Ricochet with a hard slap and Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick for the pinfall match after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sheamus
Analysis: ***3/4 This was very good. No surprise there because Ricochet is one of the best in WWE when he’s given a chance to shine like that. Sheamus has consistently put on great matches over the last year or so. There was a bit of an injury scare when Sheamus took that Spanish Fly slam off the top rope and I don’t know if Sheamus needs to do a spot like that. The good thing is that Sheamus was okay after initially looking like he was hurt and smacking the ring as if he was in a lot of pain. Some of the nearfalls for Ricochet were believable, so that helped the match a lot. Sheamus finishing off Ricochet with a Brogue Kick made sense although I would love to see Ricochet get a big win soon.
Sheamus did a promo saying that the right shoulder has the US Title and that Bobby Lashley might want to keep an eye out because Sheamus might want the WWE Title too.

Mace & T-Bar did a promo in the backstage area. They said that tonight, Bobby Lashley pays his debt and now is the time to strike. Mace wondered which one of them ends the title reign of Bobby Lashley. They flipped a coin. T-Bar said instead of all mighty, Lashley’s WWE Championship will be all gone.
Asuka made her entrance for her match.
There was a commercial for The Ultimate Warrior’s A&E Biography. I’d rather watch the Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD again. That made me laugh.
(Commercial)
PLUG TIME: I posted two retro WWE PPV reviews over the last month. First up was WWE Armageddon 2000 featuring the only six-man Hell in a Cell match featuring Kurt Angle, Steve Austin, Triple H, The Rock, The Undertaker and Rikishi. It’s an awesome match with a hot crowd. There isn’t much else on the show that’s very good, but I definitely enjoyed the main event…I also reviewed WWE In Your House 8: Beware of Dog from 25 years ago this month. My favorite match on the show was Savio Vega facing Steve Austin in a Caribbean Strap Match. It was a bit of a shock that Shawn Michaels didn’t have a better match with the British Bulldog (explanation is in the review) and the main event was Goldust facing The Undertaker in a Casket Match, which ended with interference. The most notable thing about that event is that the power went out during the Sunday night broadcast, so they had to re-do some of it on Tuesday. That makes it pretty unique…You can find a listing of all my WWE PPV reviews listed in order from when they took place right here on TJRWrestling. Thanks for reading.
Charlotte Flair made her entrance for a match with Asuka. They did it last month. They’ll do it next month, the month after that and so on. I like these women, but it gets repetitive.
Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte with a back elbow. Asuka came back with a hip attack while Charlotte was on the apron. Asuka was going for an armbar, Charlotte got out of it and bailed to the floor. Charlotte kicked Asuka on the apron to knock her down. Rhea Ripley made her entrance with her theme song as Charlotte tried to pin Asuka and got a two count.
(Commercial)

Charlotte with a chinlock, Asuka broke free and Charlotte stomped on Asuka. Ripley was watching on a leather chair at ringside. Charlotte did an overhead suplex. Charlotte pulled back on Asuka’s head across the top rope. Charlotte did a cartwheel into a kick for two. Asuka came back with forearms, back elbow, kick and a running clothesline. Asuka with a crucifix pin attempt and they each got two counts after that. Charlotte with a backbreaker, then she sent Asuka into the ropes and Charlotte hit a neckbreaker for two. Charlotte used her legs to wrap around Asuka’s neck and drive her into the mat. Asuka got a rollup for two. Asuka got a backslide pin for two followed by a kick to the head. Asuka with a rising knee along with a German Suplex across the ring. Asuka with a hip attack followed by a bulldog. Asuka with a running knee leading to a two count. Charlotte with a back elbow to the face, then Asuka ran at her and Charlotte hit a boot to the face for a two count. Charlotte was frustrated that she couldn’t beat Asuka. Charlotte went for the Natural Selection, Asuka avoided it and Charlotte hit a back elbow for a two count. They went up top, Charlotte wanted a Spanish Fly, Asuka held onto the rope and Charlotte hit the mat hard. Asuka hit a missile dropkick for two. Asuka went for a kick, Charlotte moved and got a rollup with tights for two. Charlotte with another back elbow, Asuka went off the ropes and Asuka applied a kneebar submission. Charlotte powered out of it, then Asuka went for a triangle choke submission, but Charlotte managed to get out of that and Charlotte applied a Boston Crab submission. Asuka countered that for a two count. Asuka went for the Asuka Lock submission, Charlotte rolled away and Charlotte got to the ropes. The screen went black for a second or two maybe due to a wardrobe malfunction for Charlotte, but I don’t know (I'm sure the Reddit folks are all over it). Charlotte applied a kneebar submission against the ropes. Charlotte argued with Ripley on the floor. Asuka tried to attack, but Charlotte was ready for her. Charlotte went for a kick, Asuka moved and Charlotte kicked Ripley off the apron. Asuka got a rollup, Flair wanted the Figure Eight, but Asuka got an inside cradle for the pinfall win after about 16 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Asuka
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match as usual between these two women that wrestle often. It wasn’t a completely clean win for Asuka because Charlotte had to deal with Ripley on the apron although it was done in a way where Asuka moved and Flair kicked Ripley at that point. Asuka kept going for submissions throughout the match, Flair did a nice job of countering throughout the match and then I thought they did well in terms of setting up some nearfalls. I thought Flair was going to win, but Asuka needed a win, so I’m fine with that result.
Charlotte Flair was furious about the loss. Asuka was happy about it while Ripley was laughing because Charlotte lost.

John Morrison was shown was walking backstage with Kevin Patrick asking him about what happened last night. Morrison spoke about the zombies about how dirty they were, said that Miz would never be the same and he loved him. Morrison left for his match.
Damian Priest made his entrance for his match with Graves saying he was the talk of the WWE Universe. That’s because people hated the zombie match and felt bad for the guy. Anyway, Priest is in action next.
(Commercial)
wrestlers surrounding the ring. Even Nikki Cross was there too. They all look better than zombies.
Lumberjack Match: Damian Priest vs. John Morrison
It feels like Priest is about 10-1 in matches against Miz or Morrison, so here we go again. Morrison sent Priest out of the ring and some of the heels stomped away on Priest on the floor. Morrison bailed to the floor to get away from Priest, so Nikki Cross threw Morrison back into the ring. Priest with a corner whip, Morrison moved, Morrison with a kick and Priest blocked a move. Morrison jumped over the barricade, then tried to get back into the ring by avoiding the lumberjacks around the ring. When Morrison got into the ring, Priest hit a Chokeslam leading to a break.
(Commercial)

The match continued with Morrison trying to connect with strikes, Priest blocked, Morrison went for a submission and then Priest applied a head/arm submission. Morrison came back with a springboard kick. Priest went to the floor, Viking Raiders sent him back in and Morrison hit a running knee for two. Priest with a flapjack into the mat and then Priest hit a reverse powerslam for a two count. Morrison sent Priest out of the ring, so T-Bar and Mace attacked Priest and then sent Priest back into the ring. Priest with punches, Morrison sent Priest into the ropes, so Priest jumped off the middle rope and over the top onto Mace/T-Bar. Cedric Alexander ran across the ring to go after Shelton Benjamin. Priest went up top, Morrison was up there with him and Priest suplexed Morrison onto the pile of wrestlers on the floor. Ivar and Titus O’Neil sent the wrestlers back into the ring. Morrison with a running forearm. Morrison charged and Priest avoided it. Priest hit a hurricanrana off the top rope. Priest hit the Hit The Lights neckbreaker for the pinfall after about 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Damian Priest
Analysis: *** It was another win for Priest over Miz or Morrison, which has happened many times in the last few months. Some cool spots from Morrison as well. Priest hitting that top rope hurricanrana was very impressive and then Priest finished off Morrison as most of expected.
Damian Priest was interviewed on the ramp. Priest said that Miz and Morrison are in the past now. Priest said that maybe tonight, he accepts Bobby Lashley’s open challenge and maybe tonight his next moment is to become WWE Champion.
Bobby Lashley was shown warming up in his dressing room with MVP by his side. Lashley is in action up next.
There was a Bronson Reed promo about his NXT North American Title match against Johnny Gargano on NXT on Tuesday night.

(Commercial)
There was a video about Eva Marie showing her doing a photoshoot and doing some acting. Eva said that she might be a star, but a star’s purpose is to show others the way. Eva said that she wanted to be a hero that little girls look up to. The “Evalution” is coming soon. Good.
Shelton Benjamin was interviewed backstage by Kevin Patrick. When Patrick brought up Cedrick Alexander, Benjamin said he’s not talking about him. Benjamin said he wanted to challenge Bobby Lashley. Cedric showed up saying that there’s a reason why everybody around Shelton abandons him and Cedric told Shelton he was worthless. Shelton punched Cedric to knock him down on his ass. Shelton left.
Analysis: That should probably set up Shelton vs. Cedric again next week.
There was a video recapping the Bobby Lashley/MVP open challenge from the opening segment.
Bobby Lashley made his entrance in his wrestling gear with his buddy MVP by his side. That match is next.
(Commercial)

The guests on Raw Talk this week are: Natalya & Tamina (they were on Talking Smack last week), New Day and Angel Garza.
The man that answered Lashley’s open challenge for the WWE Title is…Kofi Kingston with Xavier Woods. It was announced as a WWE Championship match. MVP said that he never said anything about it being a championship match and Lashley didn’t say it was a championship match. That means it’s non-title.
Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods)
Kofi charged at Lashley, who hit a huge spinebuster. Kofi fought out of a suplex attempt and hit a dropkick. Kofi kicked Lashley to the apron. Kofi dropkicked Lashley to the floor. Kofi with a baseball slide dropkick and then Kofi jumped over the top with a dive onto a standing Lashley. They went to break there.
(Commercial)

The match returned with Lashley hitting a back elbow and then he punched Kofi against the turnbuckle. Lashley with repeated shoulder tackles to the ribs. Lashley hit a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Lashley applied a bearhug of sorts, Kofi fought back with elbows and then he sent Lashley into the ropes. Kofi managed to counter Lashley with a DDT for two. Kofi with a boom drop legdrop, but then Lashley got right up and did a lifting slam into a flatliner for two. Kingston went to the turnbuckle, Woods distracted with some trombone playing and Kofi hit a neckbreaker against the ring apron. Kingston went for the SOS slam, but Lashley caught him and hit a Dominator slam. Lashley sent Kofi out of the ring leading to Lashley sending Kofi into the ring post. Lashley sent Kofi to the floor. Woods saved Kingston from a slam, but then the referee argued with Woods. Drew McIntyre showed up, he stole MVP’s cane and jabbed Lashley in the ribs. Kofi got the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Lashley for the pinfall win. It went about 13 minutes.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: **3/4 The match was okay. It’s just frustrating seeing a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! finish again. It’s the second time on the show. Kofi winning in a cheap manner because of Drew hitting Lashley is a way for Kofi to celebrate the win, but I doubt Kofi becomes WWE Champion by beating Lashley. I think Lashley will be champion for a long time.
A replay was shown of Kofi pinning the WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. McIntyre celebrated on the ramp with New Day while Lashley was in the ring holding up the WWE Title.
Analysis: This can probably lead to another Lashley vs. Kingston match on Raw and Lashley will get his win back. I don’t see Lashley vs. Kofi as a PPV Title match.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Sheamus
  2. Ricochet
  3. Asuka/Charlotte Flair

The Scoreboard
6.25 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2021 Average: 5.84

Final Thoughts
It was a typical Raw with the same issues that continue to exist. This week, the problem seemed to be with match finishes. There was a disqualification in the first match, then a 20 year veteran like Randy Orton was distracted by a trombone, which somehow made it tough for him to kick out of a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! The Women’s Tag Team Title match ended due to another distraction, this time when pyro went off because of Alexa Bliss and her crazy doll. Asuka beat Charlotte Flair because of Rhea Ripley causing a distraction. In the main event, Kofi Kingston beat Bobby Lashley in an extremely cheap manner after Drew McIntyre hit Lashley with a cane Kofi won with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the second time in the same show. I expect Lashley to get his win back over Kofi on Raw next week or the week after and then Lashley will have to deal with McIntyre again. Anyway, can we cut back on the number of distraction finishes? It’s way too many. One per show is fine. Doing four or five in three hours is way too much.
There were some very good matches on the show that saved it from being a really bad show. The Sheamus match with Ricochet was excellent and even though a Ricochet win would have been nice, it was another win for Sheamus. The Asuka/Charlotte Flair match was fun to watch as usual even with the cheap finish. Damian Priest and John Morrison had another entertaining match together although that’s probably the end of their matches. The Kofi/Lashley match was fine as well.
Raw remains a tough show to get through at times. At least there weren’t any zombies like we saw on Sunday’s show. That’s progress, I guess.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Hell in a Cell on Sunday, June 20.


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Thanks for reading.
John Canton
Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com
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