Monday Night Raw
Date: June 7, 2021
Location: Yuengling Center, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
We’re less than two weeks away from Hell In A Cell and that means it is time to start finishing up the build. This includes a contract signing between Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre, which is a trope we haven’t seen in at least a few weeks. Other than that, Shayna Baszler continues her issues with an evil doll. Let’s get to it.
A bunch of tag teams (and Lince Dorado, as Gran Metalik is injured) are in the ring for a #1 contenders battle royal. With that being so serious, cue AJ Styles and Omos to watch. AJ talks about how WWE is going to be back on the road next month and they are going to defend the titles against the best Raw has to offer. AJ: “And uh, WOW!”
We hear about how AJ and Omos could take care of all of the teams (or just Lince Dorado, as Gran Metalik is injured), save for RKBro. AJ talks about how great Orton is but Omos uses various adjectives to describe how great they are. New Day doesn’t think much of it and Riddle talks about wearing two snake shirts. One is designed by his Uncle Ron because he used to have a snake named Mr. Slithers…..so Orton tells him to zip it.
The invisible key is put in his boot so AJ asks if anyone else has anything to say. Cue Miz and John Morrison with the former in a wheelchair to say the tag division has gotten boring. Not to worry though, as Morrison is going to wrestle on his own. Morrison wheels Miz to the ring but stops to pose and lets Miz slide down the ramp in a funny bit.
Tag Team Battle Royal
RKBro, New Day, Viking Raiders, Mace/T-Bar, Lince Dorado, John Morrison
Both members have to be eliminated. Before the bell, Orton hits an RKO to both members of New Day and Dorado to send us to a break. We come back with….a look at Bobby Lashley and MVP with their women in the back and an ad for the contract signing. Back in the arena, we get the opening bell, meaning the three RKO’s had pretty much no impact. Dorado has to save himself to start and Morrison is sent over the top but hooks his feet in the ropes for the save.
Miz throws him the Drip Stick to spray Dorado and get rid of him in a hurry. Mace and T-Bar aren’t as vulnerable to the stick as they get rid of Morrison in a hurry. A double chokeslam plants New Day but Riddle saves Orton from being tossed. We get the Viking Raiders vs. Mace/T-Bar showdown but New Day jumps both of them and Mace/T-Bar are tossed. Back from a break with New Day, the Raiders and RKBro still in and Riddle kicking away at the Raiders.
The German suplex/springboard clothesline combination is enough to get rid of Riddle so New Day unloads on Ivar. Erik is back up to clothesline Woods out and the shotgun knees put Kingston into the corner. Ivar is driven into Kofi in the corner but Orton is back up to go after both Vikings. Erik tries to slam Ivar onto Orton but Kofi comes off the top with a double stomp to the back to break it up. Kofi loads up Trouble in Paradise…..and Riddle comes in to take the shot instead of Orton. The distraction lets Orton throw out Kofi and the Vikings toss Orton for the win at 10:31.
Rating: D+. The ending was a nice surprise but it’s a bad sign that your tag division is so thin that you can have two singles wrestlers and four teams with the champs (and their less than five matches together ever) involved in the same match. Miz was right when he said it was dry, but that has been the case for years now. They aren’t going to fix it, but at least the Raiders getting a shot is something new.
We look at Nikki Cross surviving two minutes last week, which somehow counts as a win.
Charlotte comes up to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville and asks for the loss to be removed from her record. That won’t happen, but Charlotte can have a rematch. Rhea Ripley comes up to say she wants one of her now it’s going to be a tag match with the two of them teaming up against Cross and a partner of her choosing. Charlotte says she can be professional about this and Rhea…stands there as we go to a break. This is one of the dumbest things going in WWE today and that is covering a lot of ground.
The Raiders are happy with their win and want to go get dinner. AJ Styles and Omos, carrying a turkey leg, come in to say the Raiders are wannabe Vikings. The champs mock the Raiders’ vikingness and Omos eats some turkey.
We recap Alexa Bliss going all evil and insane, allegedly thanks to the Fiend but really thanks to Lily. This has been another stupid Raw story.
Here is Elias to talk about how much Jaxson Ryker has hurt things. We see Elias turning on him last week because Ryker had the ghosts of war in his eyes. Elias hits his catchphrase but here is Ryker from behind (now with shorter hair and American flag trunks) to take him out. Referees break it up but worry not because we’re still getting that sweet Elias vs. Ryker action.
Elias vs. Jaxson Ryker
Ryker jumps him to start, with Smith saying that both of them are going to war. The beatdown is on with Elias being knocked outside. Back in and Elias gets in a few shots of his own but Ryker runs him over again. The spinebuster is enough to send Elias running off for the countout at 2:03. Ryker as a face with the military stuff is going to be really, really hard to take.
We look back at Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston from last week with McIntyre becoming #1 contender to Bobby Lashley.
It’s time for the contract signing for the title match. Well in theory at least, as there is no Lashley. McIntyre talks about how he isn’t waiting because he knows how this is going to go. Yeah he has had a bunch of title shots (er, championship opportunities) and they remind him of a story from when he was a kid. He remembers the story of a Scottish King called Robert the Bruce who was once stuck in a cave for three months.
There was a spider on the roof of the cage and it never could put together a web. Finally he made it work and that inspired Bruce to go to battle one more time and he won Scotland’s freedom. There is a famous quote that Bruce said before the battle, and McIntyre is going to paraphrase it: “If at first you don’t succeed, beat Lashley’s a** at Hell in a Cell and get your championship back!”. McIntyre goes to sign but here are MVP, Lashley and the women to interrupt.
MVP asks what Lashley’s reward will be for not interfering last week. Maybe this should be McIntyre’s FINAL shot at the title, with McIntyre immediately accepting. However, he has something he wants to: no interference, no excuses, and inside the Cell. McIntyre signs and Lashley talks about how the real ending to the story is McIntyre tucking his kilt in shame and walking away.
Lashley signs as well so McIntyre talks about falling off the Cell before and being willing to go and do it again to win his title back. Everything seems to be set….so McIntyre whips out a sword and breaks the table. Well that escalated quickly. What didn’t happen quickly was the start of this segment, because NOTHING on this show can happen without five plus minutes of talking first.
Nikki Cross is excited about her success as of late and she has a partner for tonight. She even has a superhero cape and it’s…..Asuka. Sure why not.
Ricochet vs. Humberto Carrillo
The winner gets a future US Title shot against Sheamus, who is sitting at ringside with his broken nose. Before the match (of course), Sheamus complains about his injury and how this isn’t fair so Carrillo teases kicking him in the face. Ricochet knocks Carrillo outside and we go to a break before the bell. Joined in progress with Ricochet hammering away in the corner and Sheamus on commentary.
They forearm it out as Sheamus complains about his good looks being ruined. A powerbomb gives Carrillo two and they head to the apron, with Carrillo knocking him to the floor. Carrillo hits the big suicide dive but Ricochet is back with a kick to the face back inside. They head to the apron again for a chop off until Carrillo snaps off a Spanish Fly out to the floor for a double knockdown…and a double countout at 5:03.
Rating: C+. I was trying to praise this story as a way to get some people involved who have been siting around on Main Event for too long and then they do this. They’re going to do a triple threat at the pay per view and they have the pieces in place. So why do we need to have a second countout in less than an hour? Just make the match you know you’re going to make and stop dragging it out every chance you have. Why is that so complicated?
MVP comes up to New Day in the back and says Kofi Kingston impressed him last week. Two years ago, MVP was in tears when Kofi won the WWE Title and brings up the Deep South Wrestling days. MVP talks about how Kofimania ended with a whimper and this is still a business. Kofi doesn’t want to hear it because this isn’t about money. This is about inspiring people while Lashley fights for money. MVP: “Lashley fights for the WWE Championship.” MVP leaves and Kofi seems to be thinking about thinking about something.
The Eva-lution is here next week.
Mansoor is getting ready for his match with Drew Gulak when Mustafa Ali comes up. Ali laughs off the idea that Mansoor is ready, which he insists he is. Ali asks what Mansoor is going to do when Gulak pokes him in the eye or cheats. Uh, the same stuff he’s done in the 14 times he’s beaten Gulak on Main Event?
Jeff Hardy doesn’t like Cedric Alexander being disrespectful.
Jeff Hardy vs. Cedric Alexander
Hardy starts fast as commentary explains the difference between Hardy and Shelton Benjamin: Shelton will throw you through a wall to win a match but Hardy will throw himself through a wall to end a match. Have commentary say more things like that than the nonsense they usually say. Cedric hits a dropkick and sends Hardy into the corner, setting up a boot rub to the face.
Hardy manages to kick him out to the floor but Cedric is back in to cut off a dive. The chinlock goes on but Hardy fights up and manages a headscissors out of the corner. The Twist of Fate is broken up and Cedric hits a quick suplex for two. Alexander goes up and mocks Hardy’s pose, allowing Hardy to catch him with the Twist of Fate. The Swanton finishes Cedric at 6:03.
Rating: C. These are two guys from North Carolina who had a match on Raw. I’m not sure what else there is to say here, though the old vs. new idea worked well enough. Cedric is another guy who could be a little something but here he is losing to Jeff Hardy in 2021. Maybe we get a rematch down the line to give us some 50/50 booking, but you never can tell with these people.
Hardy mocks Cedric post match.
Charlotte tells Rhea Ripley to follow her lead but Ripley sees it differently.
Nikki Cross/Asuka vs. Charlotte/Rhea Ripley
Charlotte lets Rhea start so she can take Cross down, followed by a quick tag to Asuka. A headbutt rocks Asuka but she is right back with the Black Widow, which is broken up just as fast. Charlotte comes in for a slam and cartwheels her way out of a wristlock. Rhea gets knocked outside though and Charlotte goes out to mock her. They get in a fight of their own and we take a break. Back with Ripley hitting Cross in the head as Charlotte continues to yell from the apron.
Charlotte comes in to kick away at Cross and we hit the chinlock. It’s back to Ripley to wave at Charlotte during a delayed vertical suplex for two. Cross misses an enziguri so Charlotte picks her up, with Cross’ feet knocking Ripley to the floor. Ripley comes back in but gets bulldogged down, allowing the hot tag to Asuka. A running knee gets two on Rhea and Cross’ middle rope crossbody gets the same, with Charlotte making the save. The Rhea vs. Charlotte fight is on (because EVERY MATCH LIKE THIS ENDS THE SAME WAY) and Charlotte hits Natural Selection on Rhea. Cross comes in to steal the pin at 14:22.
Rating: D. I lost track of the amount of heavy sighs during this match because it wasn’t about being entertaining. This was about spending as much time as they could setting up the most obvious ending in the world. Anyone who has ever watched wrestling knew how that was going to end and they took almost fifteen minutes to get there. Cross isn’t getting anything out of this, but at least Ripley got to take ANOTHER fall while Charlotte looks like the smartest person in the division.
Asuka and Cross dance on the announcers’ table to celebrate.
Alexa Bliss says Shayna Baszler is wrong about Lily. Tonight, the Playground is going to be a scream.
Mansoor vs. Drew Gulak
Gulak wastes no time in taking him down to start. That means something like a half crab but Mansoor fights up to grab a rollup. Gulak does the same and tries grabbing the tights, only to have Mansoor reverse into one of his own for the pin at 2:24.
Randy Orton hands Riddle the key to his mouth and it turns into a commercial for Burger King. Riddle goes too far with the ideas though and Orton locks his mouth again. Then Orton drops the key in the trash.
Riddle vs. Kofi Kingston
Xavier Woods is at ringside as Riddle throws Kingston around to start. The Broton gets two and it’s time for Woods to play the trombone. Riddle: “Not now Bro!” Kofi fires off the chops and here is Randy Orton, with Kofi dropkicking him through the ropes to save Woods. A dropkick sends Riddle outside and Woods starts playing the trombone again. Orton drops him onto the announcers’ table so Kofi dives onto Orton and Riddle as we take a break.
Back with Riddle hitting the running forearms in the corner and a PK drops Kingston again. Kingston is back up and tries the run the corner into a spinning hurricanrana but can’t quite finish it because that’s kind of a nutty move. The slingshot Vader Bomb gets two and the top rope splash to the standing Riddle’s back connects for the same.
Riddle sends him outside and then knocks him off the apron for a bonus. This time a fired up Riddle follows him out and unloads with strikes, followed by an Orton hanging DDT back inside. Orton: “FINISH HIM!” Riddle’s RKO is countered but he avoids Trouble in Paradise. Kofi is back up and Trouble in Paradise connects for the pin at 12:08.
Rating: B-. I heartily approve of Kofi getting ring time against talented opponents for good matches like the last two weeks. This was another pretty awesome match and that shouldn’t be a surprise. Orton and Riddle continue to be one of the few gems around here and I heartily endorse them facing New Day, probably at the pay per view.
We recap Reginald beating Shayna Baszler last week, with Baszler then jumping him at Alexa’s Playground and calling Lily a stupid doll.
Shayna Baszler runs into Nia Jax, who says she knows things have been messy as of late. They get in an argument over Reginald, with Baszler saying she isn’t worried about the stupid little blonde with a doll.
And now, Alexa’s Playground to wrap it up. Bliss talks about how she and Lily could make a new friend tonight but here is Shayna Baszler to interrupt in a hurry. She blames Bliss for everything that has been going wrong as of late, including Reginald’s “accidents”. Baszler can make it all better by apologizing to Lily, but that isn’t happening because it’s just a doll. That’s too far for Bliss, who jumps Baszler to start the fight.
Baszler sends her outside and, with an extreme closeup of the shoe, stomps on Lily’s head. Bliss freaks out and the video screens go all wacky. Then fire starts shooting out of the posts and Baszler freaks out and runs to the back. We go into horror movie mode with Baszler running through the back and saying it’s just a stupid doll. She hides in a locker room but sees Lily in the mirror. Baszler screams a lot and breaks the mirror as the lights go out to end the show.
I’m not going to bother telling you that this is dumb because you already know that. Shayna Baszler, probably the most successful woman in NXT history, is now in a bad horror movie because Alexa Bliss’ evil doll doesn’t like being called stupid. This was another good example of WWE trying to be WAY too smart for their own good and having a horrible ten minutes as a result, but in their minds this is probably gold. You knew it was coming and then it was even worse than expected, which is WWE in a nutshell these days. Absolutely awful, again.
Overall Rating: D. I wasn’t sure what to do with this one because there is definitely good stuff on here. Some of the wrestling was good and the contract signing did exactly what it needed to do. Throw in the good main event and a few other pieces and this show would have been a pretty easy success.
Then you have everything involving a woman tonight. To be clear, this is absolutely not on the wrestlers themselves. The Raw women’s division has some amazing talent and if they are left alone, their matches are rather solid most of the time. The problem with this division is completely in how it is presented, because there has not been a serious thing in months.
Instead, we’re getting more of the Charlotte Show, as she gets to not only talk down to Ripley every chance she can, but also be presented as a far bigger deal in the division. Their feud isn’t interesting and it hasn’t been in a long time, mainly because WWE has given us nothing to care about. Tonight’s match was about as lazy of an idea as you could have and for some reason it was one of the longest things on the show. At least try to do something fresh for once?
And then there is the huge monster in the room, as the main event segment was about an evil doll and Shayna Baszler being in a horror movie (after losing to a wine expert acrobat last week). This is the kind of thing that gives WWE the reputation it has today and it’s the kind of thing that I would be embarrassed to be seen watching. I’m not sure if this is continuing when fans are back, but I kind of hope it does, just to hear how loud the bottoms of the seats clanging when people walk out can be.
Viking Raiders won a tag team battle royal last eliminating Randy Orton
Jaxson Ryker b. Elias via countout
Ricochet vs. Humberto Carrillo went to a double countout
Jeff Hardy b. Cedric Alexander – Swanton Bomb
Nikki Cross/Asuka b. Charlotte/Rhea Ripley – Natural Selection to Ripley
Mansoor b. Drew Gulak – Rollup
Kofi Kingston b. Riddle – Trouble In Paradise
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