WWE Raw Review – 5.4.20
Money in the Bank is this Sunday, which is difficult to believe, considering it feels like Wrestlemania was just last week.
Despite the pandemic forcing WWE to change their plans for MITB, it seems they have come up with a solid backup plan. There is plenty of intrigue surrounding the two ladder matches, and I’m looking to see how WWE can pull this show off on Sunday.
But first, we have the go-home episode of Raw to get through.
After last week’s VIP lounge segment broke down, MVP was once again in the ring ready to conduct another rendition of his show.
This time, he welcomed the three women from Raw competing in the MITB match to the ring.
Nia Jax, Asuka, and Shayna Baszler all take turns to speak up. Jax says she’s a relentless competitor, while Asuka cut a promo in Japanese, and Baszler simply said she’d instead let her actions do the talking.
Baszler and Asuka came face-to-face, but then momentarily work together as they knock Jax over a table and out of the ring.
This is when it hit me, that is the go-home angle for the women’s MITB match. This is an angle that should have been done a week or two ago, while the brawl last week should have been the go-home angle.
With Apollo Crews being out of the men’s MITB match, a third competitor from Raw needed to be determined.
The winner would be decided by a gauntlet match, and Bobby Lashley started things off by quickly running through Titus O’Neil and Akira Tozawa. Next up was Shelton Benjamin, who managed to put up a bit of a fight against Lashley, but he too met the same fate as the first two men.
Humberto Carrillo (who we haven’t seen in a few weeks) was the next superstar to take on Lashley. He and Carrillo went back and forth for a few minutes before Lashley would gain the upper hand.
However, Lashley kept going after Carrillo in the corner, and when the referee attempted to pull him off, Bobby responded with a shove. Lashley took things too far, as this shove resulted in a disqualification.
Lashley, though did not go quietly and hit Carrillo with a spear on his way out. This left Humberto at a disadvantage, as Angel Garza (Carrillo’s cousin) was next up.
Humberto was able to overcome the beatdown from Lashley and then a physical match with Garza and was able to advance after countering the Wing Clipper with a victory roll.
Up next was another member of Zelina Vega’s stable, Austin Theory. This was another match where Humberto withstood a good deal of punishment, but in the end, he was able to roll up Theory off of a superplex to advance, but more trouble lay ahead.
After being buried alive by the Undertaker last month at Wrestlemania, AJ Styles was back! Carrillo endured a ton of punishment throughout his run in the gauntlet match, and after another gutsy showing against Styles, he ultimately tapped out to the calf crusher after A.J. hit a gutbuster on him moments earlier.
After the match, just to make a point, Styles slammed Carrillo’s leg into the post several times before exclaiming he’ll do anything it takes to win on Sunday, including throwing someone off the WWE headquarters roof.
So, Styles is the sixth and final man in the men’s MITB match. I’m all for this, as Styles does need a new direction following the departure of his O.C. friends. I don’t think A.J. needs to win come Sunday, but his presence in the match definitely will improve its quality.
Australia’s Finest vs. Raw’s Flyest:
Last week, MVP endorsed Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink and gave them a pep talk backstage.
Vink and Thorne wasted little time bringing the fight to Cedric Alexander. However, he and Ricochet fought back into the match.
Alexander had the upper hand until he was blasted off the apron by Thorne and then thrown into the barricade by Vink.
Once again, Ricochet was able to tag into the match and ran wild. He hit a springboard crossbody, then a dropkick into an enzuigiri.
Chaos filled the final moments of this match with all four men running wild, but Vink would land a massive boot to Ricochet to pick up the win.
This win was a bit surprising, but could it be possible WWE wants to build another tag team up? Hopefully, that’s the case and not a burial of Ricochet and Alexander.
Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders:
A frog splash from the top rope by Ivar nearly ended the match, but Montez Ford kicked out at two. Dawkins then entered the match, and this briefly turned the tide for the Street Profits.
Erik and Ivar quickly regained momentum and continued to beat down Ford. It wasn’t until Dawkins got back into the match that he slowed down the Raiders.
After being dominated early, the Profits really found their footing in the second half of this match, and it reminded you how good of a tag team they really are.
But the same could be said about the Viking Raiders, as they fought off all the Profits threw their way. In the end, the Raiders got Dawkins up and hit the Viking experience for the win.
While this wasn’t for the tag team championships, I fully expect these two teams to meet again soon, with much more at stake.
Liv Morgan comes at the Queen:
Charlotte talks about her upcoming NXT championship match this week vs. Io Shirai, but is cut off by Liv Morgan.
Morgan brings the heat on the mic and tells Charlotte that she was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Morgan then says she also didn’t need her daddy to push her to the front of the line in her career of choice.
Liv calls for a referee to come down so they can see what happens.
Morgan put up an impressive fight here against the queen. Charlotte threw a lot of Liv, and she kept getting up and returning fire.
Early on, Liv hit a shotgun dropkick, and then hurricanrana put Charlotte in the corner. Morgan later landed a springboard knee to the face of the champion.
Morgan nearly had Charlotte beat when she landed double knees to the face of Flair off the top rope. However, Charlotte would kick out, and after Liv missed Oblivion, Flair locked in her figure eight submission for the win.
Liv was quite impressive here despite the defeat. Morgan proved she could hang with the best women’s wrestler on the roster.
Murphy vs. McIntyre:
Earlier in the night, Seth Rollins said he has the utmost confidence in his disciple Murphy.
Rollins also said in his sit down interview, he is the man to take the WWE championship & lead WWE into the future, not McIntyre. Seth would again say he is trying to save Drew and take the burden of being WWE champion off his shoulders.
As for the match, Rollins watched from a distance from the top of the ramp. Early in the match, Drew would land a big boot on the entrance ramp.
McIntyre was not done, as he picked up Murphy and slammed him into the barricade and the ring apron. Drew then deposited Murphy over the barricade and onto the concrete floor.
Drew, however, took his eyes off of Murphy, and he attacked with a dropkick. Despite Murphy striking with several offensive moves, they did little to affect McIntyre.
However, just one chop from the champion sent Murphy to the mat. Drew then knocks Murphy off the top rope and sends him to the floor.
Murphy fought back a bit but Drew recovered in time to deliver a Claymore for the win. Rollins snuck up on the champion to deliver a superkick, but was caught when going for a stomp and scampered away.
Obviously the big match this weekend is Money in the Bank, but the match between Rollins and McIntyre has been well built. These two men should put on a show, despite no fans in attendance.
Overall, I thought this was one of the better shows WWE put on since this whole pandemic started. While there was some promo work, the majority of the show was filled with…wrestling!
Several stories were told throughout the gauntlet match, and AJ Styles returning (and winning) the gauntlet was a good booking decision.
Liv Morgan put up a heck of a fight against Flair, she is starting to look like a real player in the women’s division. The two tag team matches were both solid, though I’m not sure what’s going on with Ricochet and Alexander. It’s another case of 50/50 booking.
Raw also announced they are bringing back the big guns next week. Becky Lynch, Edge, and Randy Orton all will be on next week’s show.
If Lynch is being advertised, my guess is the winner of the women’s MITB match comes from Raw (Baszler).
But that’s next week, this week’s Raw was better than I expected.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5.