War Raiders (art credit Matt Charlton © PWTorch)
SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE PERFORMANCE CENTER
MAY 4, 2020
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH SPECIALIST
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Byron Saxton
Top 10 Moments from Last Week’s Show
Items Advertised by WWE
- Street Profits and Viking Raiders clash
- Drew McIntyre set to battle Murphy ahead of WWE Money in the Bank
- Last Chance Gauntlet Match to determine Crews’ replacement at WWE Money in the Bank
Non-Title Match: Raw Tag Team Champions the Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders
It is my assumption this is a non-title match. Neither the Street Profits, Viking Raiders, nor WWE themselves indicated that the Raw Tag Team Championship is on the line.
Last week, the Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) pointed out that the current Raw Tag Team Champions the Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) have followed in their footsteps. They won the NXT Tag Team Championship after the Raiders surrendered in last year, and the Raw titles after they lost them (to Seth Rollins & Murphy earlier in the year). They said the Profits were second best and dared them to prove them wrong because they “want the smoke,” mocking their signature catchphrase.
Later in the show, the Profits came on and were more than willing to oblige. They made fun of the Raiders chewing on a turkey leg and doing carpool karaoke. They said if they want the smoke, that’s what they’ll get. These two teams go at it tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: It was refreshing to see the Profits serious, and a complete reversal from their annoying schtick on commentary the week before. I’m still down on how they’re presenting the Raiders. If it’s me making the call I’d have them lose the costumes, the red light, and the gravelly talk and just be the bad asses they can be.
Non-Title Match: WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Murphy
Last week, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins signed the contract for their upcoming championship match at Money in the Bank. It will technically be McIntyre’s second title defense as he successfully retained over the Big Show at WrestleMania after he defeated Brock Lesnar for the title.
Rollins once again emphasized that he must win the title since Drew is not a leader. He said he will be a great champion one day, but it’s not his burden to carry. He talked about “suffering” for the title and not wanting to see what happened to him (fans turning on him for acting like a scared little girl in a horror movie with Bray Wyatt) happen to Drew. Drew responded with the line of 2020, saying “Seth, you are completely full of sh*t.” After standing up and a little more dialogue, Drew slammed Rollins’ head onto the table. As he was about to deliver his Claymore Kick, Murphy showed up and attacked Drew. He and Rollins embraced, but Drew still gave him the Claymore. Tonight, Murphy takes on Drew in a non-title match.
Frank’s Analysis: Drew continues to be the highlight of Raw, and Rollins did a great job in his role too. It’s villain 101 when you think your actions are for the betterment of all, and that’s what Rollins thinks as he feels he must win the title. Drew shows week in and week out what being a champion means to him, something we haven’t seen in quite some time from a babyface champ and that includes Roman Reigns. Rollins did well last year after beating Lesnar, but he fell off the tracks for numerous reasons. Don’t sleep on Murphy potentially turning babyface, since Rollins got out of the way and allowed him to take the Claymore.
Last Chance Gauntlet Match to Determine Final Money in the Bank Ladder Match Spot
Until last week, Apollo Crews had qualified for the Money in the Bank ladder match as a result of defeating MVP two weeks ago. He was a guest of the MVP Lounge last week along with fellow participants Aleister Black and Rey Mysterio. Zelina Vega interrupted along with U.S. Champion Andrade, Austin Theory, and Angel Garza. This led to a six-man tag which was won by Black, Crews, and Mysterio. Crews pinned Andrade to score the win.
As Zelina and Andrade were yelling at each other backstage, Crews got involved. He said he could be Andrade twice in one night, and thus challenged him to a U.S. Championship match later in the evening. At the onset of the match, Crews “tweaked” his knee attempting a flip on Andrade. At around the 17-minute mark, when Crews was visibly showing pain in his knee, the referee stopped the match and thus Andrade retained the title.
Later in the week, WWE announced Crews would be unable to participate in the Money in the Bank ladder match, and thus a replacement would be determined via a last chance gauntlet match. As of this article, they haven’t announced the participants.
Frank’s Analysis: My guess would be Jinder Mahal, Austin Theory, Angel Garza, Akira Tozawa, and maybe a returning A.J. Styles could be involved in the gauntlet match? Given we’ve had Raw episodes that were taped and live, it’s hard to say if this was the plan all along, or WWE changed their mind on Apollo given how many other babyfaces are in the match (Black, Mysterio, Daniel Bryan, and now Otis). Either way, Apollo being pulled from the match may be a bigger story for him and put more gravitas on his feud with Andrade, although it’s hard to gauge that without a crowd present.
Other Match Results and News Items from Last Week
- Throughout the episode, they showed Triple H’s top 10 moments in his career to celebrate his 25th anniversary.
- Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, and Asuka wrestled to a no-contest as a result of a pre-match attacked on Asuka by Baszler. Nia Jax yelled at Charly Caruso later. (I know Wade Keller rolled his eyes at the completely unnecessary and ineffective yelling.)
- Bobby Lashley defeated Denzel Dejournette.
- Liv Morgan defeated Ruby Riott for the second straight week. After the match she said she is still trying to figure out who she is. Ok then.
- Jinder Mahal returned to Raw and defeated Akira Tozawa. Here’s Jinder in a WWE exclusive:
- Ricochet & Cedric Alexander defeated Ever Rise (Matt Martel & Chase Parker). After the match, MVP appeared on screen and “re-introduced” Shane Thorne and Brandon Vink. On behalf of Thorne and Vink, he challenged Ricochet & Alexander to a match next week (tonight). Ricochet & Alexander accepted. Here’s Ricochet and Cedric in a WWE exclusive:
As I mentioned Friday, I was a guest of Greg Parks on Wrestling Night in America last night giving a full preview of Money in the Bank. It was a lot of fun talking the show, talking with callers, and taking e-mails. Hopefully, WWE has something good in mind for the gauntlet match. I’m intrigued by the story with Drew, Rollins, and Murphy. It’s enough to make me want to watch the show.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.
CATCH UP… HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 4/27: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show in a crowd free environment including the Rollins and McIntyre championship match contract signing, Asuka vs. Baszler vs. Jax, and more