Welcome one and all to Rajah.com's live coverage of Monday Night Raw. Here to save your Raw results and show you the way for the greater good is your Monday Night Mikessiah, Mike Hogan. Our official preview only has two matches listed tonight. Matt Riddle takes on Xavier Woods and in their contractually-obligated rematch, Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler challenge Women's Tag Team Champions Natalya & Tamina.
We'll have all this and more, right here and right now on Raw! So with all that said, let's get things started! For those of you who want just the results and not the novella, click here!
WWE Monday Night Raw Live Results (5/24/2021): ThunderDome III, Yuengling Center, Tampa, FL
Show Opener: WWE Champion Bobby Lashley with MVP and the Train
Adnan Verk welcomes us to the ThunderDome. MVP is already in the ring and on a mic. "WWE Universe, it is my honor to present to you the Chief Hurt Officer, my business associate, the Almighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley!" Out comes the Champ, decked out in yet another great suit. He's escorted down tot he ring by five women--the train. Lashley is all smiles as he helps the ladies into the ring. We're then treated to clips of Lashley and MVP from last week, also with the train. MVP issued an open challenge to anyone but Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman, then revealed during the main event that it was an open challenge for a fight--not the title. We return to the ring. The digital crowd boos Lashley loudly. MVP announces some exciting news. In addition to the fact that the Champ is here, in July WWE is going back on the road. Yay, now I get to guess the city they're in! MVP says that a petty, bitter, crass dark cloud--Drew McIntyre--and asks Lashley to run down their recent history. Lashley points out that he beat Drew at WrestleMania, then beat Drew & Braun Strowman at WrestleMania: BackLash. He declares Drew is done. MVP calls Kofi Kingston a "dreadlocked cartoon character" who thought he could take on the champion but Drew had to show his head again last week and...again! Out comes Drew McIntyre. Drew tells them not to act surprised as they knew, everyone knew, that he was going to come out. "Because your business is my business, and my business is getting back the WWE Championship." Drew points out that if it weren't for MVP, Drew would have won WrestleMania; if it weren't for Braun, Drew would have won at WrestleMania: BackLash. McIntyre tells Lashley that "maybe, deep down, you know you don't quite measure up to Drew McIntyre. Maybe, just maybe, the Almighty doesn't quite have the balls. Let me check--ladies, does the Almighty actually have any balls?" Weak cheap pop from the digital crowd as the ladies wave his comment off. Lashley fires back, telling Drew that he had to go to desperate measures, such as using MVP's cane, in their last confrontations. Time to cue the New Day!
Kofi starts on the mic, and tells them that they're making some incredible points out there. He admits things move fast around here but asks us not to forget that last week Kofi Kingston pinned the Almighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. He repeats it again, enthusiastically. Lashley asks if Kofi thanked Drew McIntyre. Drew adds in, "you're welcome!" Kofi takes offense to this and the New Day make their way into the ring. "What'd you say? What'd you say bro? It seems like you're insinuating...(that) I couldn't beat Bob Lashley (last week)." Again, McIntyre tells him he's welcome. Kofi tells him he doesn't need Drew, and the reason why Kofi came out last week is because Kofi never got his championship rematch. But Drew's had rematch after rematch after rematch. Kofi points out that he's did something last week that Drew hasn't done in months--pin Bobby Lashley. Music starts to play and out comes Adam Pearce! Pearce tells them that he's heard everything they've had to say and there's an easy solution. Kofi Kingston takes on Drew McIntyre for #1 Contendership. MVP says that's a brilliant idea and tells the ladies that they're going to set up the VIP Lounge at the top of the ramp so they have a great view of this match. Drew and Kofi jaw at each other, out of hearing, as Corey Groves plugs this big match and its ramifications--a title match at Hell in a Cell. We go to break with this match up next!
Singles #1 Contender Match: Drew McIntyre vs Kofi Kingston with Xavier Woods
The winner of this match will face Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell. When we return from the break we start straight with the match. Graves calls this power versus speed. McIntyre and Kingston lock up. Drew shows hints of his power in an attempted back drop but Kofi's quickness helps him elude, and his athleticism and agility are on full display as he rolls and flips out of an arm bar. Drew flatten's Kofi. Kofi and Drew with an off-the-ropes segment that sees Kofi leap frog before attempting a standing cross-body, but Drew catches Kofi and slams him with little effort. Drew looks for a working lock but Kofi gains separation with a knee to the skull. Kofi with a Side Russian Leg Sweep followed by a rope-assisted splash for a two count. Kofi goes for a kick to a knelt McIntyre, but Drew counters with a big chest chop. The Highlander's up to his feet. Kingston dropped with another big chest chop. McIntyre pulls Kingston up and looks for a Powerbomb but Kingston counters it into a headscissors toss, sending Drew out of the ring. Kofi dives over the top and crashes into Drew. The digital crowd starts a "New Day Rocks" chant. Kofi looks to run up the steps and along the apron but is intercepted by Drew. Drew hits a Reverse Alabama Slam on Kofi, sending Kingston face-first into the apron! Drew rolls in and out of the ring to break the ref's count as we go to break!
Back from the break. At the top of the ramp is the VIP lounge, from which the Champ, MVP and their friends watch from leather couches. In the ring, McIntyre is in control and comes at Kofi aggressively. Powerful blows are followed up by a use of the ropes to stretch Kofi's back. Huge Exploder Suplex out of the corner that catapults Kingston across the ring. Drew kicks Kofi's body on the apron, kicking him off to the floor. Drew takes it back into the action after a quick face strike. Drew lines up and stomps on Kofi's face. McIntyre with a long Stalling Suplex; Drew points at Lashley, mocking him, then drops the suplex and makes a pin attempt. Kofi kicks out. Drew puts a rear shoulder/chin lock on Kofi. Kofi struggles to get to a vertical base. Kofi throws rights as he attempts to gain some separation. McIntyre with a kick to the gut. Drew whips Kofi to the corner but Kingston runs up the middle turnbuckle and hits a springboard roundhouse to drop Drew. Both men up. Kofi with a double-hand chest chop, and another. Kingston with a dropkick. Kofi goes for the Guillotine! Drew tweaks his grip and converts it into a suplex, covering for another close two. Drew charges Kofi in the corner; Kofi uses the ropes to assist in a double stomp to the chest that drops Drew. Kofi covers for a one. Kingston pulls Drew up into the corner. A right fist followed by a right chop and a shoulder thrust. Kofi looks for an Irish Whip but Drew reverses it and follows. Kingston counters with a step-up kick. Kingston heads up top. Drew intercepts him on the middle rope and looks for a Superplex. Kingston fights him off with a series of headbutts, sending McIntyre down. Kofi dives off for a cross-body. McIntyre catches him, rolls through and uses Kofi's own momentum to plant him with a Michinoku Driver! Drew covers but Kofi kicks out! McIntyre points up the ramp at Lashley, who takes off his suit jacket. Drew calls for Lashley to come down to the ring. MVP and Lashley start heading down as Lashley and Drew start yelling at each other. Drew yells something unintelligible; Lashley yells "huh?" a few times and we go to break!
Back from the break. Once again, both men are in the corner. Drew pounds forearms on Kofi's back then hoists him up and falls back with a hard back drop off the middle rope. Drew covers for two but Kofi kicks out! McIntyre is visibly frustrated. He starts to pull Kofi up by the chin, shaking his head. Kofi throws off a series of rights but Drew takes control back. Drew with several forearm strikes. Drew goes for the Future Shock DDT but Kingston holds on, rolls through and gets a close two! Drew with a huge spinebuster and rolls through to bridge for a close two! Drew immediately follows up with a sit-out Powerbomb for another close two! Drew is tired and looks at Kofi oddly. Drew pulls Kofi up and whips him into the ropes. Drew looks for a titl-a-whirl backbreaker but Kingston escapes! Drew charges Kofi; Kofi sidesteps and Drew goes shoulder-first into the ring post! Kofi climbs, slowly, and hits a Frog Splash on McIntyre's back as he tries to rise! Kofi covers for a close two of his own! We get replays of that beautiful Frog Splash across the back! Kingston throws McIntyre over the top rope and to the outside. MVP and Lashley are sitting at the announcer's table, FYI. Drew exchanges words with Lashley and turns back to the ring just in time to catch Kingston diving off the top! Kingston flies sky-high and connects with the elbow drop on Drew and the champ, wiping them both out! Kingston takes it back inside and hits the SOS on McIntyre, covering for a close two! Lashley and MVP hit the ring and attack both men. Xavier Woods hits the ring to help his friend. Lashley flattens Woods; Kingston fires back with an Enziguri that drops Lashley! McIntyre with a Claymore on the Champ! MVP helps the champ alongside as Corey Graves, Adnan Verk and Byron Saxton try to figure out who won and who advances.
Your Result, No Contest--Double Disqualification
Previously on Raw...
We see clips from last week in which Rhea Ripley distracted Charlotte Flair, allowing Asuka to defeat Flair and put her name back in contention for the Raw Women's Championship.
Backstage: Charlotte Flair, Nikki Cross and Raw Women's Champion Rhea Ripley
Flair is walking backstage, all smiles, presumably texting Andrade. Rhea walks up and tells Flair that Flair should be worried because she'll probably lose tonight just like last week. They exchange words. Nikki Cross comes up and says that she can beat either one of them. Flair tells Cross she's lucky, because Flair already has a match against Asuka tonight. Flair then challenges Ripley to take on Cross and beat her in two minutes. I guess that's happening!
Singles Non-Title Women's Beat-the-Clock Match: Raw Women's Champion Rhea Ripley vs Nikki Cross
Rhea comes out first. The 24-year-old champ is starting to seem more comfortable in her role and less nervous. A 2:00 clock is put on screen as we go to break. After a break and another commercial for Eva Marie's "Eva-lution" coming soon. Back in the ring, Cross is in the ring for her first match since the night after the Royal Rumble. Cross is looking slimmer and full of energy, literally bouncing in place. The announcer states Cross wins if she makes it two minutes. The bell rings and Cross charges in. Rhea shoves her down with one hand. Cross looks to pick the leg from Ripley but Ripley reverses with a knee to the face. Cross growls and charges in place for a half second, like a cartoon character, and charges Ripley. Ripley lifts her up but Cross wiggles out. Cross with a forearm to Ripley's face that pisses off the champ. Rhea reaches for Cross but Cross hits a Jawbreaker. Cross goes up top and hits the Cross Body for a close two! Forty-five seconds to go! Cross with a clothesline in the corner on Ripley! Ripley shoves her off and storms out the corner, taking Cross down with a dropkick. Rhea sends Cross into the corner and attacks her with strikes and shoulders. Fifteen seconds left. Rhea pulls Cross out of the corner and shoves her back to break the ref's warning. Rhea pounds away at Cross as the ref warns her and the timer keeps going. Finally the buzzer goes off and Cross slips out the ring, running and skipping around the ring as she's just defeated the Raw Women's Champion!
Your Winner, Nikki Cross!
After the Match: Charlotte Flair
Rhea shoots a "you got me" smug grin at Cross and nods her head, not upset with her opponent as she lost control of her own self and lost track of time. Flair comes out to Rhea's chagrin and poses on the ramp for pyro. Cross puts her thumb to her nose and mocks Flair like a child. Meanwhile, Flair stands outside the ring laughing at Rhea. Flair/Asuka is up after this break!
25-City Tour Plug: Damian Priest
After a plug for the start of the 25-city tour, including SmackDown on July 16 in Houston, and the Dallas area for Money in the Bank and the next night's Raw, we get a Spanish-language promo from Priest telling us to come out and see the Archer of Infamy in person.
Backstage: Adam Pearce, Kofi Kingston and Drew McIntyre
McIntyre and Kingston both angrily come upon Pearce. He tells them that he's set a rematch for the two next week, with the winner going on to face Lashley at Hell in a Cell. Kofi tells Pearce to find a way to make sure Bobby's unable to have interference. The match is set for next week.
Singles Women's Match: Charlotte Flair vs Asuka
Back to the ring. Flair disrobes as Asuka makes her way out. The bell rings and the first minute and a half see both women jockeying for control. Asuka nearly steals the win with a quick roll-up. Charlotte looks for her thigh-face smash but Asuka rolls through and escapes. Asuka starts to take control, smashing Flair's face into the turnbuckle. Asuka whips Flair into the ropes; Flair catches the ropes to put on the brakes. Asuka quickly adjusts and nails the Hip Attack! Asuka runs off the opposite ropes and leaps for the Hip Attack again, but Flair dives and chop-blocks Asuka's left knee out from under her mid-air. Flair puts a leg lock on Asuka's left leg as its extended outside the ropes. Flair hangs back as the ref counts and warns. Flair breaks the lock and comes inside. Flair begins working holds, continuing to work on the vulnerable leg. Flair lifts Asuka's leg up and slams it into the mat before applying an ankle lock. Asuka flips Flair off and to the outside. Asuka tries to run along the apron and dive on Flair but the Queen easily dodges it. Flair sends Asuka flying into the steel steps, knee first, and we go to break as the ref continues to count.
Back from the break. Flair continues to work on Asuka's leg, using kicks to the back of her thigh and her knee before slamming her down. Flair drapes the left knee over the middle rope and pulls it inward by the ankle, using the rope to apply more tension until the ref warns her. Flair backs up and dropkicks the rope-hung knee. Flair goes for a cover but only picks up a two. Flair with fists to the knees. Flair puts Asuka in an elevated Boston Crab (think WCW Jericho's Lion Tamer). Asuka rolls through and attempts a cover. FLair punches Asuka's knee; Asuka counters by grabbing Flair's arm and applying an arm bar. Asuka transitions, mounting Flair from behind until Flair gets a bottom-rope break. Asuka starts the It Kicks to Flair's back. Asuka goes for another Hip Attack but Flair catches her and takes her down. Flair returns to kicking and striking the injured knee. Flair lifts Asuka up and places her on the top turnbuckle, then drops her down into a Tree of Woe. Charlotte climbs to the top rope and begins to stomp down on Asuka's left knee as it holds her in the tree of Woe! Flair sends Asuka down and looks for a top-rope Moonsault. Asuka rushes over and hits a snap German Suplex on Flair! Asuka with a Hip Attack and a close pin attempt. Asuka and Flair are both down and slow to their feet. Flair looks for a middle-rope shoulder thrust but Asuka avoids it. Flair catches Asuka with a top rope neckbreaker, then drags Asuka along the canvas to the ring post. Flair slams Asuka's knee into the ring post twice. Asuka immediately fires back with a sliding knee along the apron, then sends Flair face-first into the announcer's table as we go to another break.
Back from the break. Again, Verk gives props to Asuka for having over a thousand days in combined championship reigns. Flair gets sloppy and Asuka looks for the Asuka lock. Flair escapes. Both women with a brief fight outside before taking it back in. Flair and Asuka exchange blows on their knees, each throwing rights that rock the other. They continue throwing fists as they rise to their feet and transition to throwing haymakers. Asuka misses with the spinning backhand. Flair with a running spinning elbow of her own that drops Asuka and gets a close two. Flair positions Asuka's left leg on the bottom rope and jumps on it. Flair goes for it again but Asuka dodges. Asuka sends Flair to the corner. Asuka looks for a splash but Flair dodges. Flair charges in, Asuka looks to counter but Flair drops her with a middle rope-assisted backbreaker to shut down Asuka's offense. Flair goes up top and Moonsaults off, landing on her feet as Asuka rolls out the way; Flair quickly hits a Standing Moonsault, crashing on Asuka in her new positions. Flair only picks up two. Asuka goes for the Asuka Lock but Flair rolls it through and picks up the pin!
Your Winner, Charlotte Flair!
Backstage: the VIP Lounge
MVP and the Almighty WWE Champion, Bobby Lashley, are backstage with the Real Housewives reject. An official comes up and informs Lashley that Adam Pearce wants to see him. We head to break.
Backstage: Adam Pearce with WWE Champion Bobby Lashley & MVP
Pearce confronts Lashley and MVP and asks if this is how a champion would represent Raw. Lashley claims he was trying to help Pearce out. Pearce announces the McIntyre/Kingston rematch is tonight and if either man goes out and interferes, he'll suspend them for ninety days and dock their pay...and as much as Lashley makes, he'd be out of a lot of money. Lashley is incensed but MVP tells him over and over to save it for Hell in a Cell and gets them out of there.
25-City Tour Plug: Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke
Something something Dana's flexible something in Texas something. Expect a lot of these plugs for their upcoming tour.
Video Package: Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander
We get an in-depth package showcasing Benjamin and Alexander's recent history, from joining the Hurt Business and winning the Raw Tag Team titles to their eventual expulsion from the Hurt Business and dissolution of their team, leading to a series of attacks and matches between the cocky, arrogant Alexander who claimed that Benjamin was the weak link since day one, and the wiley veteran Benjamin.
Singles Match: Shelton Benjamin vs Cedric Alexander
Out first is one half of the World's Greatest Tag Team, Shelton Benjamin! Out next is the younger, far-more arrogant Alexander, talking trash his entire way to the ring. Alexander gets on the mic as he stands on the apron. He tries to reminisce on their past. He asks Shelton, "why do you think (we were kicked out of the Hurt business) that happened, Shelton?" Cedric demands that Shelton look at Cedric when he's talking to him. Cedric continues the talking point from last week, stating that they kicked Shelton out and Cedric was collateral damage. But Cedric is young, fresh, and in his prime. He has years ahead of him. He asks if Shelton's in his prime, then asks how long has he been here? How many years does he have left? What does Shelton have to show for all his hard work? He goes on to claim Benjamin got a lucky, fluke win a couple of weeks ago. The ref has to keep Shelton from engaging Cedric. Cedric claims that, unlike Shelton, he's an evolving athlete. He tells tonight ends with Shelton defeated, Cedric's arm raised, and Shelton gone for good. The ref holds Shelton back as he urges Cedric to get in the ring. Even Corey Graves is rooting for Benjamin over Alexander. The bell rings, both men begin to engage--and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the break. We get hype for the "Million Dollar Face-Off" tomorrow night on NXT between Ted DiBiase and Cameron Grimes. Back in the ring, Benjamin whips Alexander and runs him over with a huge shoulder that spins Cedric in the air. Shelton pulls Cedric up in the corner and strikes him with fists and a kick. Benjamin pulls Cedric out the corner; Cedric tries to fight back with rights but Shelton shuts him down with a spinning elbow. Benjamin stands over Cedric, talking trash to the arrogant youngster. "Where's all that mouth now," he asks. Shelton stomps and kicks Cedric. Cedric flees to the outside. Shelton kicks him then uses a Strong Irish Whip to send Alexander hard into the barricade, so hard it dislodges the barricade slightly. Benjamin takes Alexander back into the ring. Cedric tries to beg him off. Benjamin looks for a scoop slam. Alexander escapes and yanks the top rope down as Benjamin charges, sending Benjamin over the top! Benjamin grabs the top rope as Cedric turns his back. Using some incredibly impressive core strength, Shelton hoists himself backwards and over the rope into the ring. Benjamin and Alexander clash.
Both men begin to battle on the turnbuckle. Benjamin puts Alexander in a Fireman's carry on the middle rope. Cedric stops Shelton with a series of elbows, then uses a Hurricanrana to send Benjamin down. Pin attempt but Cedric only gets two. "Prime" Alexander (new nickname?) mounts and pounds Benjamin. Cedric puts a side headlock on Shelton and talks smack while tossing fists. Alexander with a dropkick to floor Benjamin again. Cedric goes back to working holds to weardown Benjamin, using head and chin locks to sap the strength of the veteran. Cedric holds Shelton's left arm and yells trash to him as he kicks Benjamin in the face and chest. Benjamin is visibly getting pissed. Cedric yells at him, asking if he's mad and continues to do soft, disrespectful kicks to Benjamin's face. Shelton's had enough and flattens Cedric with a huge clothesline. Shelton whips Cedric to the corner and hits a running splash. Shelton with a big spinebuster! Cedric is slow to his feet, and Benjamin posts up. Benjamin charges in; Alexander with a counter, and Benjamin counters that with a big spinning kick that drops Cedric like a sack of potatoes. Cedric grabs the bottom rope as Shelton pulls his feet. The ref says nothing about this, by the way. Shelton breaks Cedric's hold and hits a German Suplex! Benjamin keeps Cedric wrapped up and hits a second German Suplex! Benjamin wants a third but Alexander throws elbows to get some separation. Cedric jabs Shelton with a thumb in the eye when the referee is out of view, before Alexander can go for the third German Suplex, then hits the Neuralizer to pick up the win!
Your Winner, Cedric Alexander!
Video Package: the New Day/R-K-Bro
We get a video showing the formation of the odd couple-tag team, R-K-Bro. We also see the contention between the New Day and Randy Orton last week, in which Riddle was torn between his friends and tag team partner--and chose to have his partner's back. Great recap of the events of the last month in regards to these four men.
25-City Tour Plug: John Morrison
John calls himself the most moist wrestler in the WWE and tells people to bring a tarp (or something) as they're gonna get the drip drip when they come see him live.
Match: Matt Riddle vs Xavier Woods
Matt Riddle comes out first as we head to break. When we return from break, Riddle and Woods are set up in the ring--and unaccompanied. The ref calls for the bell. Riddle rushes Woods, who backs off and circles. Woods and Riddle head to the corner and counter each other repeatedly. Riddle muscles Woods back into the opposite corner then both men attempt to find purchase on one another, countering each other's grappling attempts. Riddle with a takedown but Woods forces Riddle back into the corner. The ref breaks the hold. Woods and Riddle lock up. Woods looks to convert it into an arm hold but Riddle's technical prowess is on display as he counters it and converts it into a submission attempt. Woods catches the rope to force the break. Riddle looks for a Triangle submission but Woods blocks it long enough to reach the ropes. Both men are up again and lock up. Riddle with a gut-wrench suplex, holds on and rolls through to hit a second! Riddle charges Woods in the corner but Woods ducks. Woods with a suplex and a pin attempt for barely a one.
Woods looks for another suplex and attempts to hang on. Riddle counts an armbar attempt and looks for one his own. In an incredibly, incredibly impressive spot, Riddle attempts to leap up for an armbar--and woods uses his own momentum to seamlessly float it into a suplex. Wow. After both men recover, they take it back to the corner. Riddle with kicks. Woods fights out with loud rights. Both men exchange rights. Both men charge and double-clothesline each other! We get repeats of the move that leaves both men down for a moment. Woods takes Riddle to the Apron and hits a modified Death Valley Driver right onto the apron! Riddle's body thunks to the floor and Woods follows him down, catching his breath as we go to break!
Back from the break. with a running forearm in the corner, followed by another and capped off with an Exploder Suplex. Riddle goes for the PK (Punt Kick) and a Bro-ton but Woods gets his knees up. Woods takes control with a few stiff Flair chops and a flurry of fists once again. Woods off the ropes; Riddle goes for a clothesline but Woods ducks. And a second time! Woods fires up, hitting a back toss on Riddle. Woods with a Shotgun dropkick that lives up to its name as Riddle flies back! Woods starts to pull Riddle up. Riddle counters with a Ripcord Knee and looks for the Bro Derek. Woods wiggles his legs and flips over, holding Riddle in the Tombstone position. Riddle wiggles himself, floating over and into the position . Woods counters it once more before sending Riddle to the corner. Woods hoists Riddle up high over his head and tosses him up, dropping him across his knees with a Gut Check and a close two! Our announcers praise both men's performance tonight. Woods is slow to climb up top, hoping to put away Riddle. Riddle is up quicker and runs up the turnbuckles. Both men battle on the top rope. They headbutt and Riddle falls to the ring, Woods to the apron. Woods attempts to come into the ring and Riddle catches him with a knee. Woods is reeling. Riddle with a German Suplex from Woods (on the apron) into the ring with Riddle off the middle rope! Riddle covers for a close two but Woods gets the arm up! Riddle looks for the Floating Bro but Woods counters. Both men struggle and execute another series of great counters until Riddle hits an RKO out of nowhere! Riddle with the
RKO! Riddle picks up the win!
Your Winner, Riddle!
"Breaking News" aka Hell in a Cell Match Announced
Charlotte Flair will meet Rhea Ripley at Hell in a Cell for the Raw Women's Championship because Flair beat Asuka this week...even though Asuka beat Flair last week...so yeah.
Singles Match: Jaxson Ryker vs AJ Styles
Out first is the Phenomenal One, fellow Georgia boy AJ Styles! He comes out alone, surprisingly. Saxton even points out the absence of the 7'3" giant Omos. Styles poses in the ring and out next is his competition. Jaxson Ryker comes out alone as well, to Elias' music and Elias' 3D name graphic. Ryker and Styles ready up and the ref calls for the bell. Styles immediately rops Ryker with a dropkick. STyles then hits a leaping forearm in the corner before slamming Ryker and looking for a quick pin. Ryker kicks out. Ryker rams Styles into the corner and begins a focused attack on the midsection. Styles attempts to fight back but Ryker drops him down again. Ryker with a top rope-assisted Slingshot Suplex and a cover for two. Ryker pulls Styles up by the hair. Styles with a kick to the gut; Ryker hoists Styles up into a bear-hug waistlock. Styles fights him off with rights. Ryker with a big fist of his own to slow Styles. Ryker looks for a second top rope-assisted Slingshot Suplex but Styles escapes. Styles takes Ryker to the outside and takes control of the match. Styles sends Ryker into the ring. As the ref checks on Ryker, Elias comes out of nowhere and attacks Styles from behind! Elias hauls ass and Ryker quickly capitalizes, picking up the win.
Your Winner, Jaxson Ryker!
After the Match: Omos
Omos runs down the ramp to help his partner. Elias and Ryker escape the ring and flee up the ramp. Omos, showcasing incredible speed for a 7'3" giant, chases them up the ram and shoves Elias into the bank of LCD screens! Omos heads back to the ring and checks on his friend, helping Styles to his feet.
Video Package: Sheamus' Open Challenge
We get a short video highlighting Sheamus' open challenge--but not an open challenge for his title. We see the recent history of Sheamus and Humberto Carrillo, including Carrillo being beaten before the match in their first encounter and savagely attacked by the Celtic Warrior. We also get clips of Carrillo fighting back against the United States champion.
25-City Tour Plug: Jeff Hardy
And the plugs continue. Hardy is excited to have a Hardy party or something. They're definitely stoked to get back to a live audience. Good for them.
Singles Non-Title Match: United States Champion Sheamus vs Humberto
Sheamus makes his way out as we go to a break. After a short break, Carrillo makes his way out. The bell rings and both men circle each other. Sheamus strikes first with a right kick and two clubbing forearms before tossing Carrillo outside. Sheamus rams Carrillo into the barricade and sends him back inside. Carrillo with a gut kick and a series of rights. Sheamus shrugs them off and flattens Carrillo with a clothesline. Sheamus begins to taunt his opponent, yelling that Carrillo should've just stayed at home, all while delivering knee strikes and fists. Sheamus with a basic scoop slam as he continues to talk smack. Sheamus drops a knee across Carrillo's face then hooks the left arm. Sheamus grinds his forearm into Carrillo's face, and grinds Carrillo's face against the mat, scrubbing it back and forth. After a few moments, Carrillo fights to his feet with a series of forearms. Carrillo comes off the ropes and right into a shoulder tackle. Sheamus kneels over Humberto and delivers a prone/seated Ten Beats of the Bodhran. Sheamus points at Graves and yells "that one's for ya, fella" and Graves thanks him. Sheamus talks more smack over Carrillo. Carrillo uses Sheamus' arrogance to his advantage and starts his comeback sequence. Carrillo unleashes a series of strikes, followed by a dropkick that sends Sheamus outside! Carrillo with a textbook suicide dive between the ropes before taking Sheamus back inside. Humberto climbs up top stands, and dives off with a unique flying elbow strike for a close two. Carrillo looks to roll up Sheamus, but Sheamus drops to his knees, pinning Carrillo beneath him while holding the tights behind the ref's back to pick up the win!
Your Winner, United States Champion Sheamus!
After the Match
Afterwards Sheamus immediately starts to attack Carrillo. Sheamus looks to hurt the youngster with a submission until Ricochet makes the save! Ricochet and Carrillo both head up top and dive halfway across the ring, connecting with aerial moves including a 450 from Ricochet. Sheamus crawls out the ring and back up the ramp, a look of unbridled anger and shock on his face as he stares at Carrillo & Ricochet in the ring.
Previously on Raw...
We get a quick video from last week's match between tag team champions Natalya & Tamina and former champs Big & Nasty. A fiery distraction on Reginald the Sommelier last Monday led to the champs retaining. A singles win by Baszler on Friday set up tonight's tag team title match.
Backstage Interview: Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, and Reginald the Sommelier
Jax and Baszler are asked about their title shot tonight. Baszler immediately begins to blame Jax, telling her that she doesn't have her head in the game--she's distracted constantly by Reginald. Baszler tells Jax to come out, just the two of them. Reginald says he's just trying to help. Baszler warns Reginald, informing him that if she sees him at ringside for another one of her matches, she's going to destroy him. They head out to the ring for the title match!
Women's Tag Team Championship Main Event Match: Natalya & Tamina(c) vs Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
Out first are our Women's Tag Team Champions, Natalya Neidhart and Tamina Snuka! We go to break. After the announcements and bell, we start with Tamina and Jax, who tags in Baszler immediately. Baszler taunts Tamina, using her speed to duck in and out of range. Natalya, again wearing new ring wear, asks for the tag and comes in to square off against the submission magician Shayna Baszler. Baszler and Natalya with an impressive, albeit short, series of counters. Baszler looks for a Hammer Lock; Natalya counters it with a knee bar. Natalya yells, "you like that?" Baszler answers by kicking her in the face. Baszler then looks for the Sharpshooter on Natalya! Natalya escapes. Baszler with a wicked arm yank. Jax is tagged in and grabs Natalya's injured arm. Jax leaps up and leg drops the arm! Jax takes Natalya to the corner and tags in Baszler. Baszler stands on Natalya's hand, threatening her hand/elbow stomp when out comes Reginald! Baszler yells at him; Natalya uses the distraction to hit a snap German Suplex that lays out Baszler and we go to break!
Back from the break. Baszler holds Natalya in a rear arm hold. Natalya throws a few fists in an effort to escape but Baszler takes her back to the mat and again works on the left eblow and shoulder. Natalya, easily over fifteen feet away from her corner, reaches out for a tag. Eventually Natalya hits a high-angle slam to drop Baszler. Both women make hot tags and their partners, cousins Tamina and Nia, come in and begin to brawl. Big uppercut from Tamina. Jax looks for a possible Alabama Slam on Tamina. Tamina escapes and drops Jax with a dropkick. Tamina with a two-count. Tamina heads up top but Jax is up fast and stops her with a big right. Jax picks Tamina up in a Samoan Carry; Tamina escapes. Tamina and Jax continue to battle, with Jax creeping them into their corner. Jax works on the midsection and tags in Baszler. Baszler continues to work on the middle. Series of fast tags between Jax and Baszler as each woman takes shots at Tamina. Baszler with a weak snapmare and a pin attempt. Baszler loses control and Tamina stuns her with a wild, big right. Baszler streaks over, presumably to attack Natalya, but Tamina uses the distraction and drops Baszler. Natalya is tagged in. Natalya looks to pick up the win but Jax comes in to make the save. Tamina and Jax brawl to the outside, shoving each other back and forth by the barricade. Jax with a back body drop that sends Tamina over the barricade and into the digital crowd! Baszler charges in and right into a strike from Natalya. Baszler takes control and has Natalya rolled up for the win but Reginald distracts the ref! Shayna is incensed and yells at him, yelling she had Natalya beat, and yells for Reginald to go to the back. As he does, pyro goes off in his face again for hte second week in a row! Natalya promptly rolls up a shocked Baszler to steal the win and retain.
Your Winners and STILL Women's Tag Team Champions, Natalya & Tamina!
After the Match
We get replays of the pyro going off in Reginald's face. Baszler leaves the ring and heads up the ramp to check on Reginald. She helps him to his feet as he seems blinded. She then grabs his collar, screaming in his face. "You son of a bitch! I am tired of you interfering in my matches! Let's see how you do, huh? You, the Cirque du Soleil sommelier twerp, versus me next week. And if you have the balls, I'll make you wish you were in that explosion!" She shoves Reginald down and walks up the ramp as our program ends!
And there you have it, folks, another Raw episode for the history books and the best Raw I've covered in my year here at Rajah.com. Most of the matches were long, but exciting. The workers seem really rejuvenated by the prospect of live matches and, fingers crossed, the booking will continue to be at the least as good as tonight's! Be sure to tune in tomorrow for NXT, where the real fun is as we have our huge Balor/Kross II NXT Championship match. Next week's Raw has a big rematch between Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston to determine Lashley's opponent for Hell in a Cell. Alright folks, stay safe out there! Quick recap will be up by 11:10pm EST. See you tomorrow night!
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