WWE Raw Review – 5.25.20
Monday Night Raw kicked off with a great tribute video to all the men and women who serve America proudly, and this was an excellent video package.
There was a bit of a change to the show. The NXT superstars were spaced out in the performance center as “fans” with barriers up between them and the ringside area.
Once the show got underway, Kevin Owens was in the ring to kick the night off. While he started off hyping his match with Angel Garza, the real reason Owens was out here was to interview the Raw Women’s Champion.
After a rundown of what happened last week, Asuka was first interrupted by Charlotte Flair. Flair tells Asuka the title should have been handed to her, and she has not lost to Asuka in a singles match.
It was only a matter of moments before both Natalya and Nia Jax (the other two participants of the triple threat match) would make their way out to the ring. It did not take long for things to break down, as Asuka went after Jax.
Before the match even took place, it feels like it truly between Jax and Flair, with Natalya being in there to simply take the pin. Not really a match that gets me hyped, though.
United States Championship Match:
While the match above was not one I was looking forward to, the same cannot be said about Andrade vs. Apollo Crews. A few weeks ago, Crews looked like he had the U.S. Championship won before a knee injury cost him the match.
Apollo wasted no time going after Andrade, and he was in control early. However, a back elbow by Andrade nearly spoiled Crews’ pursuit of the U.S. Title. Crews later overcome interference by Zelina Vega and delivered an enzuigiri to Andrade, which knocked him into Vega, who fell to the floor.
After the break, Andrade took out Crews and threw him into the barricade. Apollo fought off the onslaught from Andrade and went up to the top rope, but Andrade countered with a double stomp and again nearly retained his title.
Just when it looked like Crews was done for, he kicked out of Andrade’s running knees and then lifted him up for a military press. Apollo then landed two standing moonsaults, which led to him capturing his first title in WWE!
It is nice to see Apollo getting a chance to show off his talents, he is one of the best in this company, and I hope he gets a good run with the Unites States Championship.
One thing I did not like during this match was the random backstage interview with Angel Garza. When a championship match is taking place, I’d like to watch the match, not hear someone talking backstage.
IIconics Aren’t Going Anywhere:
After Billie Kay slapped Peyton Royce last week following their loss against Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, the IIconics were out here to try and mend their relationship. The duo then goes on a rant about how they should still be the women’s tag team champions instead of a crazy lady and the office’s favorite blonde.
Nikki Cross would cut a rather passionate promo about how she has had to scrap and claw for every opportunity. But what Cross said did not sit well with Peyton and Billie as they attacked. With the IIconics standing tall in this segment, I can imagine we’ll be getting a Women’s Tag Team Championship match somewhere down the road.
VIP Lounge featuring Drew McIntyre:
MVP welcomes “the soon to be former WWE Champion” to the VIP Lounge, and McIntyre wastes no time destroying the setup. Drew wants to know where Bobby Lashley is but is informed Lashley will not be putting his hands on him until Backlash.
Drew is reminded that he once got an offer from MVP to be his friend, but instead he received a Claymore to the face. After that incident, MVP wanted to personally play a role in McIntyre losing the championship.
All of a sudden, Bobby Lashley’s music hit, and he makes a beeline to the ring. MVP turns his back on the champion, and this allows Drew to land another Claymore to MVP. Lashley pulls his mouthpiece out of the ring, and the two of them retreat up the ramp.
Lashley vs. McIntyre has a TON of potential, and while I wish this match could take place in front of a live crowd, it should still be a hard-hitting fight.
Angel Garza vs. Kevin Owens:
As Owens made his entrance, Angel Garza ran from the back and took out Owens’ knee. Owens was still able to fight, but he was clearly less than 100 percent. Garza went right for the knee and K.O. struggled to stay in the match early.
Owens got in a flurry of offense, later on, hitting a DDT, a lariat, and then a senton. Owens then would land a senton from the top rope and nearly escape with a win. A pop-up powerbomb turned out to be Owens’ downfall, as his knee gave out and allowed Garza to land the wing clipper for the win.
I have a feeling we have not seen the last of these two men facing off in the ring.
Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders Golf Match:
A segment full of shenanigans. The Viking Raiders struggle to even make contact with the ball, and they tear the course up. This leads to the group being thrown out, and they must now go play mini-golf. The Street Profits win easily, 28-144, and Ivar had to be held back from wrestling an alligator.
This segment was all sorts of wild.
Austin Theory and Murphy vs. Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo:
Seth Rollins’ disciples are out here in action for the first time, and Rollins is fixated with Rey Mysterio’s mask, which he is holding on his way to the ring.
Early on in the match, Aleister got Theory and Muprhy to run away with his flip off the ropes into the leg cross. This led to Humberto going airborne off the ring post, taking out both men with a crossbody.
Back in the ring, Aleister went after Theory, but Carrillo tagged himself in, and the disciples went after Humberto. However, Carrillo did not do much, but Black re-entered and ran over both heels.
But Aleister would be taken out of the match, and Carrillo would get hit with Theory’s ATL, and the disciples picked up the win. After the match, Black gets thrown into the timekeeper’s area, and Humberto nearly suffers the same fate as Mysterio. Rollins warns the two of them to back off because everything Rey Mysterio sacrificed would be in vain if they do not.
This may be Rollins’ best character work in years, this new Monday Night Messiah persona is taking on a whole new level, and I am a big fan.
Women’s Triple Threat No. 1 Contenders Match:
These three women were going all-out from the opening bell. It did not take long for the match to spill outside of the ring, and Natalya and Flair teamed up to throw Nia Jax through the announcer’s table, which was a cool spot.
However, Asuka would help Jax back into the ring, seemingly wanting her to be the winner of this match. With Jax still dealing with the effects of going through the table, both Nattie and Flair took their turns going after her, with Charlotte connecting with a moonsault.
Flair later went after Jax’s knee and locked in her figure-eight submission, but Nattie ran in to break it up and applied the sharpshooter onto Flair. Jax broke up the sharpshooter, and the match went on.
Nia and Charlotte were later battling on the ropes when Nattie got involved, and the three women went crashing to the floor. Flair would then try for the figure-eight on Nattie, but Jax broke it up. Jax would then scoop up Nattie and then deposited her onto the mat with a Samoan Drop for the win.
Asuka looked to be pulling for Jax during the match, and now she has her wish. It will be Jax vs. Asuka at Backlash, in a match that Asuka will likely have to carry.
MVP/Bobby Lashley vs. Street Profits:
After a confrontation earlier in the night backstage, this match wound up being the main event of Raw. MVP main eventing Raw in 2020, what a time to be alive.
Montez Ford went for Lashley, but Bobby spent the early part of the match beating down Ford. Throughout the match, Ford could not escape Lashley, as he would get blasted off the apron and into the barricade by Bobby, before the ‘All Mighty’ rammed Montez into the ring post. Later in the match, MVP would send Ford into the steel steps.
The Street Profits got a bit off a run in when Dawkins tagged in and ran wild with lariats to MVP. Dawkins then went after Lashley, knocking him to the outside, where Ford knocks Bobby into the barricade.
Lashley was fed up, and he locked in the full nelson and was disqualified. This would bring out McIntyre, and these two heavyweights went after one another. I guess they could not wait until Backlash after all.
The NXT superstars were brought in to try and pull apart the brawl, but to no surprise, they were unsuccessful at holding them back until about ten superstars were in the ring, barely holding these men back as the show goes off the air.
The Rey Mysterio retirement announcement surely seems like an angle, right? It has to be setting up his next storyline, right? I especially thought this when Rey’s son Dominic was mentioned during the broadcast. I am interested to see where this goes next week.
I will say, it was nice to see the 24/7 champion Rob Gronkowski back on TV, and we got a Liv Morgan video package, where she said she found what she was missing when she found WWE. I still am holding out hope WWE has big plans for Liv, she could be the breakout star of this division while Becky Lynch away.
Seth Rollins improving Monday Night Messiah character is one thing that really stood out to me on this episode as well as how much Lashley and McIntyre just want to tear each other apart. That is what the WWE title should be about. Two men willing to do whatever it takes to either hold onto the belt or win the belt. This is another excellent feud for McIntyre post-Wrestlemania.
My Raw rating: 3 out of 5