Monday Night Raw
Date: July 5, 2021
Location: Yuengling Center, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
We have two Raw’s left before both the return of fans and Money in the Bank, meaning that it is time to start kicking things into a higher gear. WWE needs some momentum on their way back into normal and I’m not sure if they know how to do that at the moment. We are also likely getting some more hard pushes towards the ladder matches so let’s get to it.
We open with MizTV with Miz and John Morrison in the ring. Miz’s guests this week will be the four entrants in the men’s Money in the Bank match, starting with Morrison as you might expect. Morrison says it is time for the Aquaholics to get soaked as he becomes Senor Dinero En El Banco. This brings out Drew McIntyre to say he has been fighting back to the title since Miz cashed in Money in the Bank. McIntyre recaps the Money in the Bank concept and since the show is in Texas, it is time for McIntyre’s History Lesson. This week is about the Alamo, because he is a distant relative of Davy Crockett. Morrison: “……REALLY???”
McIntyre hopes that Morrison is wet for Money in the Bank, because McIntyre is sticking Morrison’s head inside Miz. Morrison says you can kick the ocean and all you’ll get is wet, but here is Ricochet to cut them off. Miz calls Ricochet rude and reckless and we see a clip of Ricochet’s huge dive last week. Ricochet promises to do whatever it takes to win but here is Riddle to interrupt this time.
With his foot taped up, Riddle climbs the ladder because this is the Money in the Bank edition. Riddle: “I’m really high.” He failed last week so now he is dedicating his Money in the Bank performance to Randy Orton. That’s too far for Miz, who wants to know why Orton hasn’t kicked Riddle’s head in yet. Riddle: “Because we’re best buds!” McIntyre can respect that but Miz wants Jinder Mahal to take McIntyre apart tonight. Cue AJ Styles and Omos to say last week’s triple threat shouldn’t have happened because Orton was out. But no, instead of Styles vs. McIntyre, it was a triple threat where he wasn’t pinned.
Riddle thinks AJ is really annoyed down there, hopping around like a little rabbit all nimbly bimbly like (Ricochet can barely hold it in on that one). That’s enough for Omos to shove the ladder, and Riddle, over for a crash onto the bad foot. The ladder is thrown out and it’s a big circle staredown. AJ kicks Riddle in the leg and the brawl is on with Ricochet throwing Morrison out. Omos gets clotheslined outside by McIntyre and Ricochet hits a triangle dropkick to put Morrison down again. This was your standard, long, everyone come in and chat about the match before fighting segment and it wasn’t very good.
Ricochet vs. John Morrison
Ricochet has even made this one personal by BREAKING THE DRIP STICK. Morrison gets sent into the corner to start and there’s a running clothesline to put him down. We hit the reverse chinlock with a knee in Morrison’s back but Morrison reverses into a chinlock of his own. This is so thrilling that we look at Ricochet’s big dive last week until Morrison hits a flipping neckbreaker for two. The chinlock goes on again but Ricochet fights up and sends is sent outside, with Ricochet sliding back after him.
Ricochet has to jump over Miz (in his wheelchair), only to have his hurricanrana countered into a powerbomb against the apron. We take a break and come back with Ricochet hitting a faceplant but walking into a Spanish Fly. A crucifix gives Ricochet two but he gets caught in the ropes. Morrison misses a slingshot elbow and Ricochet hits a running crossbody to take Morrison down HARD to the floor. Morrison rolls back in but Miz wheels in front of Ricochet so he can’t beat the count at 12:13.
Rating: C+. Yeah it was another countout ending but they certainly had a creative way to get there. Miz interfering to help Morrison at least helps up set that prospect for Money in the Bank, though I wouldn’t trust those two to be smart enough to make a cheese sandwich. Ricochet is only going to be in the match for the high spots, but that’s better than slumming on Main Event.
Jinder Mahal arrives on a motorcycle and talks about how he and Drew McIntyre were friends once. McIntyre was there with him when he bought this motorcycle to celebrate a WWE Championship victory. The other day, Mahal sent McIntyre a text asking if he wanted to go riding for old times’ sake. McIntyre took THREE DAYS to reply, saying he was “2 busy”. And yes he used the number 2! Tonight, Mahal is proving that he was always the better man.
Reginald comes up to Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, saying Alexa Bliss is behind them. Bliss is nowhere to be seen, so Baszler yells at him for being a mostly grown man scared of shadows. The three walk off and of course Bliss is there now.
We look back at MVP and Kofi Kingston’s argument last week.
Last week, Nikki Ash (just go with it) pinned Shayna Baszler thanks to an Alexa Bliss distraction.
Asuka and Naomi are happy to be part of a team with Nikki Ash, but she insists that she isn’t a hero. Now she has a chance to win Money in the Bank, though the other two aren’t so thrilled with the idea. Nikki runs off for her match when Alexa Bliss comes in to say Naomi and Asuka should lower their expectations for Money In The Bank.
Nikki Cross/Alexa Bliss/Asuka/Naomi vs. Eva Marie/Doudrop/Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax
Oh boy. First of all, it has gone from Nikki Cross to Nikki ASH to Almost A Superhero Nikki Cross. Second, this could be an all time train wreck. Reginald is here too because you just need nine people here for a match. Doudrop and Naomi start but Eva tags herself in and actually drives Naomi into the corner. A single forearm sends Naomi into the corner and it’s already back to Doudrop. Naomi kicks Doudrop to the floor and hits the dive onto everyone else.
The parade of dives is on until Eva is left alone in the ring. Bliss comes in and screams her to the floor as we take a break. Back with Bliss forearming Doudrop but getting headbutted down for her efforts. Jax comes in to hammer on Asuka and it’s off to Baszler to work on the leg. That doesn’t last long so Bliss channels Reginald, with Baszler breaking things up. Eva comes in, ducks a kick from Asuka, and hands it back to Baszler again. Everything breaks down with Nikki’s top rope splash connecting for two, only to have Jax (Nikki Jax according to Smith) Samoan drop her for the pin at 12:24.
Rating: D-. There were botches, there were timing issues, there were too many people involved at once and none of them were interesting, plus Cross loses so NIA JAX can get some momentum? This division is in a complete nose dive and feels so silly most of the time these days. It’s turning into the Divas Era where most of the women are either goofy or horrible in the ring and that’s a scary thought. It’s also very disappointing, though I really don’t think WWE cares.
MVP isn’t sure how Kevin Patrick keeps getting into his dressing room but promises to take out New Day tonight. Bobby Lashley promises to do the same.
Mustafa Ali vs. Mansoor
Ali takes him down with an armbar to start, including some trash talk, but Mansoor is right back up. A spinebuster out of the corner gives Mansoor two and he whips Ali into the ropes, with Ali’s foot getting tied up. Mansoor helps him out….and gets rolled up for the fast pin at 2:54. Ali: “I TOLD YOU! THE HIGH ROAD WILL ONLY GET YOU SO FAR!!!”
Drew McIntyre explains that his sword is made from the Loch Ness Monster’s tooth and a great story talks about how a warrior will use it….to beat Jinder Mahal and go on to Money in the Bank in Fort Worth, Texas.
Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal
Veer and Shanky are here with Mahal. McIntyre drives him into the corner to start and hits a running shoulder to drop Mahal. Another shoulder does it again and McIntyre runs him over a third time, setting up a release overhead belly to belly to the floor. The goons offer a distraction though and Mahal drops McIntyre onto the announcers’ table as we take a break. Back with Mahal holding a chinlock but McIntyre is right back up with another suplex. There’s a nip up into a 3MB reference and Futureshock plants Mahal again. The Claymore is loaded up so Veer and Shanky come in for the DQ at 10:13.
Rating: D+. Yep, he’s still Mahal and he has some enhanced Singh Twins. That’s not a good sign for what we’re going to be seeing in the future but WWE loves Mahal and we’re getting him no matter what. I hope this isn’t the start of some kind of a story but it feels like exactly what we’re getting.
Post match the beatdown is on….and Mahal steals McIntyre’s sword because this is continuing.
New Day is ready to fight Bobby Lashley and MVP because they are not going to stay down. What matters is getting to Money in the Bank and seeing the fans’ pleasure at watching Kofi Kingston becoming WWE Champion. Kingston channels Kevin Garnett by shouting ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE and says after Money in the Bank, MVP and Lashley can take some vacations because they won’t have those championship responsibilities.
Mace/T-Bar vs. Lucha House Party
Lince Dorado is in a Kane inspired mask. Dorado hammers on T-Bar to start and snaps off a running hurricanrana. T-Bar catches a high crossbody without much trouble though and Dorado is sent outside. Mace sends him into the announcers’ table, setting up a heck of a big boot from T-Bar back inside. Gran Metalik saves Dorado from High Justice though and hits a step up dive to drop T-Bar on the floor. Back in and a hurricanrana finishes Mace at 3:35.
Rating: D+. What even is this show anymore? I’m not sure what WWE thinks of Mace and T-Bar, but losing to Lucha House Party is not a good sign for their future. This was another short and not awful match, but it does not exactly seem like something that is going to be leading anywhere.
Riddle checks on his foot but Damian Priest interrupts. Priest is worried about Riddle’s foot but Riddle says he has fallen off higher things than that. One time he dive off a roof and broke his foot diving into a pool. Priest: “That’s rough. Not sure what it has to do with tonight.” Riddle isn’t done though because he did it again the next year and landed in the deep end. He isn’t scared of ladders and he’ll win tonight. For Randy Orton.
AJ Styles vs. Riddle
Omos is here with Styles, who goes straight for Riddle’s injured foot. An armbar attempt sends Styles bailing to the ropes so he takes the foot out all over again. Cranking ensues but Riddle is back up, meaning it’s another shot to the foot to take him back down. Riddle hits a jumping kick to the chest and hammers Styles down in the corner for a bit of a surprise. A gutwrench suplex drops Styles again but Omos sweeps the leg to take over.
We take a break and come back with Styles grabbing an ankle lock. The Calf Crusher is broken up though and Riddle blasts him with a knee. The Broton gives Riddle two but Styles is back up with something like a reverse Death Valley Driver for two. Then the Viking Raiders pop up to distract Omos and Styles, allowing Riddle to grab a rollup for the pin at 13:01 (though Styles’ shoulder was very close to being up in time).
Rating: C. This match had the most potential of anything announced tonight and this is the best they can do? I get that it’s just a Money in the Bank momentum match, but the ending felt like it was stapled on, which was about as good as you would expect. They were rolling until then but the legs being cut off like that didn’t help things.
Here is Charlotte, on a crutch after getting chop blocked by Rhea Ripley last week. She talks about the NBA Playoffs being ruined because of all of the injuries, and now she might miss Money in the Bank. Ripley must be scared because she is trying to hurt hurt in advance and that is exactly what Charlotte would do. Cue Ripley with a crutch of her own (Charlotte: “You’re taking my entrance too?”) and it’s time for a crutch fight. Charlotte knocks Rhea’s away but Ripley gets it back and sends Charlotte running (with the knee looking fine). I guess that counts as Ripley outsmarting her?
Cedric Alexander/Elias vs. Jaxson Ryker/R-Truth
Hold on though as 24/7 Champion Akira Tozawa runs into the ring so Truth can roll him up for two, with the usual gang of imbeciles chasing after him. Truth joins the chase and that means a handicap match. Ryker throws Alexander around to start and it’s off to Elias…..who runs off. The swinging Boss Man Slam finishes Cedric at 1:03.
Bobby Lashley is warming up.
Next week: Ricochet vs. John Morrison falls count anywhere and Sheamus defends the US Title against Humberto Carrillo.
In two weeks: the Viking Raiders get their Tag Team Title shot against AJ Styles and Omos.
New Day vs. MVP/Bobby Lashley
MVP works on Xavier Woods’ arm to start and then powers him down without much effort. Woods goes after MVP’s recently healed knee though and hammers away on the mat. Kofi Kingston comes in off the top with a shot to the knee and then slaps on a hammerlock. That doesn’t last long so Lashley comes in to unload on Kingston in the corner.
A neckbreaker gives Lashley two but Kingston slips power of a powerslam and kicks him in the face. Lashley isn’t having that and pounds Kingston down in the corner, allowing MVP to come back in for some right hands of his own. Kingston knees his way out of a delayed vertical suplex though and it’s into the corner for a short form Unicorn Stampede.
New Day sends them outside for the big dives and we take a break. Back with Lashley snapping off a suplex to Woods, setting up an armbar. MVP comes in to work on the arm as well but Woods shoves him away without much effort. If’s back to Kofi to clean house, including a Ballin Boom Drop to MVP. Everything breaks down with Lashley being knocked outside, allowing Trouble in Paradise to finish MVP at 14:36.
Rating: C-. This felt like a house show main event and I believe it is the match that was advertised for the house show main event when things come back later this month. The match itself was a fine way to get Kingston ready for the title match, but it wasn’t exactly something that got my interest up very high.
Overall Rating: D-. The opener was pretty good, AJ vs. Riddle was ok and the main event was acceptable. The rest of the show on the other hand was what happens when Raw does not try. WWE has made it clear that NOTHING matters until they get the fans back next week, which made this show feel even more pointless than usual. As bad as this was, that has me terrified for next week, which could be an even bigger chore to sit through.
I can handle bad shows and bad ideas, but the worst thing is when it feels like no one cares. That is what we had here, and it made for one of the worst shows I have sat through in a good while. Outside of the eight woman tag, nothing was overly terrible, but it felt like a show where most of the stories and segments were there because they had to be, and that is an awful feeling.
All night long, the message this show went was that what you’re watching doesn’t matter and keep waiting until next week. That’s fine in theory, but based on this show, I have no reason to believe that anything is going to be getting better in the near future. WWE, at least Raw, is just so bad right now and there is nothing to suggest that it is improving. What on here is supposed to make me want to keep watching? The scary part is I think WWE believes everything is supposed to, and that isn’t going to improve things.
John Morrison b. Ricochet via countout
Nia Jax/Eva Marie/Shayna Baszler/Doudrop b. Nikki Cross/Asuka/Naomi/Alexa Bliss – Samoan drop to Cross
Mustafa Ali b. Mansoor – Rollup
Drew McIntyre b. Jinder Mahal via DQ when Veer and Shanky interfered
Lucha House Party b. Mace/T-Bar – Hurricanrana to Mace
Riddle b. AJ Styles
Jaxson Ryker/R-Truth b. Elias/Cedric Alexander – Swinging Boss Man Slam to Alexander
New Day b. MVP/Bobby Lashley – Trouble in Paradise to MVP
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