WWE Raw Review – 5.18.20
After an incredible Becky Lynch video package opened the show, Charly Caruso was in the ring to introduce Randy Orton.
Orton reiterates that while Edge was the better man at Wrestlemania, he is the better wrestler of the two men.
This brings out Edge, who is quite fired up. He tells Randy that this is all a game and a paycheck to him. This isn’t the life Randy wanted, according to Edge, it is his back up plan.
Edge later tells Orton he never loved the sport like he and the rest of the locker room do. When Randy cuts Edge off, this pushes Edge over the top, and he throws the mic down and accepts Orton’s challenge.
These two veterans clearly have incredible chemistry and are doing an excellent job of telling this story. This match could very well main event Backlash, and I wouldn’t have an argument against it being the main event.
Rollins explains himself:
After the Monday Night Messiah’s attack on Rey Mysterio last week, Rollins was in the ring to offer up an explanation.
Seth first says after he lost to Drew McIntyre, part of him believed that he had lost everything. Rollins had fallen into a place so dark he wasn’t sure he would ever escape.
Rollins then says thanks to Mysterio, he was finally able to see the light, and the attack on Mysterio a blessing in disguise.
Just as Rollins finished his explanation, Humberto Carrillo entered the arena. He called Seth a coward and was looking for a fight. However, Rollins wasn’t dressed for the occasion, but his disciple Murphy would be happy to fight.
Humberto Carrillo vs. Murphy:
The high-flying Carrillo got in a few good shots, including a springboard kick followed by a dive to the outside.
However, Rollins distracted Humberto as he was headed up top. This distraction was enough for Murphy to regain his composure and landed Murphy’s Law for the win.
The unlikely duo of Rollins and Murphy weren’t done though, attacking Carrillo post-match. This attack brought out Aleister Black, Murphy’s opponent later in the night, to make the save.
Before Murphy joined Seth’s faction, he was on a losing streak. But now with Seth, he is there to provide just enough “help” for Murphy to win, which only feeds into his Monday Night Messiah ego.
Charlotte Flair calls out Riott:
As The Queen made her entrance, Tom Phillips proclaimed she is the hardest working woman in any industry. I understand WWE sees Charlotte as the top women’s star, especially with Becky gone, but having her across all three shows? Talk about overkill. Sometimes less is, in fact, more.
Flair doesn’t want to bore us with her accolades, so she called out Ruby Riott, saying she knows Ruby has something to say to her, so she invites her out to say it to her face.
Flair smashed her hand into the post early on, and Ruby attempted to target it during the match. Riott hung around and even got a near fall, but in the end, Flair tapped her out with the figure-eight submission.
Riott is still struggling to find solid footing in WWE since her return. It seems like just last week, Flair and Riott put on an excellent showing at Fastlane, this match was the opposite of that 2018 contest.
As for Flair being on three shows, it’s not a smart move. Especially with many talented women on the roster, it’s time to utilize some of them instead of going overkill with Flair.
Asuka’s New Challenger:
A week after finding out that she won the Raw Women’s Championship and not the Money in the Bank briefcase, Asuka was out in the ring celebrating with Kairi Sane.
However, the celebration was cut short by Nia Jax. She was not happy about Asuka being “handed” the championship and will soon be replaced by someone far more worthy, herself.
Asuka wasn’t having it, and attacked Jax, forcing her out of the ring. Later on backstage, Jax stalked Sane and attacked. Asuka would return the favor later on, sticking up for her best friend.
Jax certainly makes sense as the first title feud for Asuka. But hopefully, better opponents and feuds are on the horizon for the Empress of Tomorrow.
Bobby Lashley vs. R-Truth:
Despite channeling his inner Pretty Ricky, Bobby Lashley dominated this match. First, he smashed Truth into the ring post, and then slammed Truth to the mat, before he locked in his full nelson submission.
But with MVP appearing to be the new voice in Lashley’s ear, Bobby could be headed for bigger fish real soon.
As for Truth, he’s got his eyes on sacking Tom Brady and getting his baby back.
Women’s Tag Team Title Match:
After picking up a win over the Women’s Tag Team Champions last week, the IIconics got themselves a title shot here.
This match went back and forth for the first few minutes until Alexa Bliss knocked Billie Kay down with a right hand. From here, she landed Twisted Bliss, but Peyton Royce breaks it up and repeatedly throws Bliss into the ring post.
Unfortunately for the IIconics, this causes a disqualification. After the commercial, Kay and Royce are backstage fighting. Billie slapped Royce before immediately regretting it and apologizing.
Is WWE setting up a split of this IIconic duo? I would certainly hope not, but now their return has already hit a snag. Both of them likely can’t survive as single stars, and they just are better as a team.
Shayna attacked early, stomping Nattie into the mat. However, Nattie would counter with the sharpshooter, and Bazler dragged herself to the outside.
After connecting with a baseball slide, Nattie got Baszler back in the ring and locked in a kneebar. Ultimately Baszler would lock in her Kirifuda Clutch for the win.
This loss affected Nattie, as she tore up the Kevin Owens show set. This could have a good feud, but honestly, it just felt rushed. The frustration from Nattie doesn’t make sense since her beef with Baszler just started last week.
The Kevin Owens Show:
After not being seen since Wrestlemania, Kevin Owens is back! His first guests on the KO show are Zelina Vega’s stable.
Before berating Owens, Vega put over her trio and said she’s sick of people like Owens, who thinks her empire is crumbling because of an argument.
KO made more room in the ring because he has a surprise for them all, a returning Apollo Crews. He and Owens attack as the show heads to a commercial break.
After the break, an impromptu tag match between Crews/Owens and Garza/Andrade was in action.
Andrade and Owens went after each other early, before Crews and Garza would tag into the match. Vega tried to run interference, but Theory connected with Garza and not Apollo.
This allowed Apollo to hit the Blue Thunder Driver for the win. After the match, Garza and Andrade attacked Theory, slamming him into the barricade.
What was once a promising trio, is now in shambles. Andrade and Garza have promise, but will WWE give them the proper booking? Who knows.
Later on, Apollo announces he’s going for the U.S. Title next week against Andrade. This feels like the time to give Apollo a belt and see what he can do.
Aleister Black vs. Murphy:
Early on, Aleister Black was rolling until he missed with a kick and connected with the ring post.
As both men were down in the ring, Seth Rollins extended a hand to Austin Theory, who was still down at ringside. This gesture is exactly how Rollins got Murphy to join his group months ago.
Rollins appears to have a new disciple in Theory, which will only make his faction better as he will get to learn alongside Rollins. This is a good move for all parties.
When it’s all said and done, Theory and Murphy could cross paths if one gets jealous of the other.
Street Profits can’t handle the smoke:
After torching the Viking Raiders in basketball last week, the Raiders got their turn to dominate a competition.
This is a nice change of pace, and I find the Street Profits hilarious. These competitions are ultimately going to lead to a tag team championship match, I assume. Until then, who knows what contest will be up next?
McIntyre vs. King Corbin:
Before the match even began, Bobby Lashley and MVP interrupted. Lashley put Drew on notice saying he’s coming after the WWE Championship.
Once the match got underway, these two big men both came out swinging. It wasn’t long before the match spilled outside, and Drew deposited Corbin over the barricade.
Corbin would take over when he knocked McIntyre off the apron and then sent him into the ring post. Later on, Corbin landed a lariat, but McIntyre kicked out at one! A superplex from the King again resulted in a one-count.
Drew fought back and took Corbin’s best offense, which he would later counter into a future shock DDT. However, Corbin countered the Claymore with the Deep Six.
Finally, someone was smart enough to realize Corbin’s slide out of the ring move, and this led to a Claymore kick and a win for the champion.
Raw started off with what could be the best feud of 2020. Both Edge and Orton are putting their all into this one, and it shows. Charlotte really does not have a feud on Raw, she is just there because WWE wants her on all three shows. Meanwhile, Asuka is entering her first title on Raw, and here’s to hoping WWE finally does right by her and gives her a good title reign.
As for the WWE Champion, a feud with Bobby Lashley on paper looks like it will rock the house. Lashley has not had a legit shot at WWE’s top title since returning, and McIntyre is a worthy opponent. Though Seth Rollins does not appear to be in the title feud now, he still is delivering some of his best work, especially on the mic in years.
Overall, Raw is doing a good job at pacing their show, nothing really dragged, and the feuds they are setting up look to be promising.
My rating: 3.25 out of 5