It’s everyone’s favorite day once again; Monday! With it brings Monday Night Raw of course and as always I’ll be here to give you the live play-by-play of the show as it airs. Watch this space for the WWE Raw Recap!
We start with the recap of last week, where Bobby Lashley made his intentions for the WWE title match known and beat Braun Strowman to ensure it’d be one-on-one.
Drew McIntyre makes his way out to open the show proper.
As the WWE Raw Recap truly begins, an extremely fake sounding “DREW” chant is piped in. McIntyre says he still doesn’t quite understand why Sheamus stabbed him in the back. But they’ll beat the hell out of each other and it’s going to be an absolute war. Says he went through everyone at the Chamber only for our resident cockroach to cash in MITB. Drew says that’s right everybody, the freakin’ Miz is our WWE Champion. McIntyre looks longfully at the WrestleMania logo, well aware that his chance at headlining Mania might’ve slipped by.
McIntyre says no, he didn’t come this far just to get thrown off at the finish line. Whoever comes out of the WWE title match tonight with the gold has a hell of a target on their back.
The Miz interrupts.
Before he says anything he demands an official introduction. He gets one and then a huuuuge mountain of pyro, the biggest in years. This does well to convince me he’s losing tonight.
Miz says it was only a matter of time before he cashed in his contract and became WWE Champion once again. McIntyre congratulates him and suggests he come in here to get a big hug. Miz says no thanks, he knows he’s not his favorite person right now. But why would he be upset? Wouldn’t be mad at a dolphin for swimming or an eagle for flying. Why be mad at the MITB contract holder for cashing it in?! Says the man he should be mad at is Bobby Lashley!
McIntyre says he can’t manipulate him, he won’t do his dirty work tonight. He’s on his own against Lashley. If Miz somehow gets past him, then he’ll be Drew’s problem. Miz says he’s a victim that Lashley is threatening. Asks why Bobby should be the one to get the first shot at the title instead of McIntyre? Wants the two of them to work together.
Hurt Business music brings out MVP.
As the WWE Raw Recap rolls on, he comes to the stage to ask if this is the start of a beautiful business relationship. Asks if Drew is even considering this. McIntyre says MVP knows well enough, he turned him down a year ago. He doesn’t need or want anyone’s help in getting that WWE title back. MVP says the title match is happening at the start of the second hour. Well that’s got shenanigans written all over it.
Finally out comes Sheamus – him and McIntyre have a pull-apart brawl. This is very separate from the rest of this segment but sure we can close it like this. McIntyre clotheslines him over the barricade and rushes into the ring. The two will square off next in the opening match of the WWE Raw Recap after the break!
Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus
McIntyre and Sheamus clobbering the hell out of each other. Drew takes him in the corner and chops him. Whip, back elbow, cover for 1. Sheamus with a Short-Arm Clothesline, Second Rope Kneedrop for a nearfall! McIntyre fights out of a chinlock, snapmare, knee drop. Power whip in the buckles. Sheamus catches a kick, trips him up, knee drop. Lotta knee drops in this one. Grinding away at McIntyre.
Drew fights his way up, side headlock, drives him to the ropes. Sheamus gets caught up in them and McIntyre with the Ten Beats of the Bowery! Sheamus fights his way back in, reverses a whip and sends him to the outside. Gets him on the apron, hard kidney shots. McIntyre elbows himself free. Sheamus hits the ropes…
Brogue Kick sends McIntyre to the floor!
Commercial break, WWE Raw Recap will resume! As we come back, Sheamus has McIntyre in the ring, pounding his chest with elbows. Sheamus with a headlock, Drew fights his way up. Breaks free with chops, until Sheamus counters one with an Irish Curse, nearfall. Sheamus kicks him around the ring. Chokes him on the second rope, shot to the ribs. Another kneedrop to the face.
Drew manages to get to his feet, they trade hard slaps. Sheamus bounces McIntyre off the buckles but McIntyre with a big clothesline, leads to a series of Overhead Belly To Bellies! Clothesline sends Sheamus to the floor. Drew drives Sheamus into the post, then suplexes him right into the announce table, it’s a bad landing! McIntyre pulls Sheamus up and hits another suplex onto the table, the landing is much cleaner but the table still doesn’t break!
Throws him into the ring, goes up top – Flying Clothesline for a nearfall! They’re both struggling. Sheamus does his flip up to the top rope, but McIntyre with a kip-up!
He goes up top with him, AVALANCHE OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY! Cover for a nearfall!
Commercial break as the WWE Raw Recap rolls on, this one got a lot of time. As we come back these two are on their knees pounding on each other. Chop exchange as they rise. Sheamus powers McIntyre up for White Noise but a sunset flip counters that for two. Spinebuster into a Jacknife gets another nearfall! Sheamus with a Pump Knee for a nearfall! White Noise lands! Clooose 2 count! Inside Cradle for a 2 count, McIntyre with a Future Shock DDT for yet another nearfall!
Sheamus ducks a charging shot, Reverse Hot Shot! Sheamus is quite tired as he drags himself up top. Drags McIntyre up there with him. Battering his back. Drew with a headbutt, powers Sheamus onto his shoulders! STEALS THE WHITE NOISE OFF THE SECOND ROPE! And another nearfall! Drew pulls Sheamus up slow. Wants another Future Shock but Sheamus blocks it, takes him to the corner, Drew wants a floatover but Sheamus blocks this, kick to the chest, leading to the Alabama Slam, another stolen move! Nearfall! Drew struggling to his feet, Sheamus charges for the Brogue, Drew with the most desperate Claymore of all time and that’s that!
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Man that kicked ass. And it made it so very clear that this should’ve been on PPV somewhere but it really feels like they just did the match they would’ve done at Mania, so I guess we’re not going that route.
WWE Raw Recap rolls on with our next match…
Naomi vs. Nia Jax
Naomi charges, attacks but Nia shoves her away, body block drops her. Big hair whip sends her flying. Naomi with a high kick, drives her into the buckles, Jawbreaker. Body shots, Nia shoots her away, big elbows. Pulls her into the Bear Hug. Jax with a Samoan Drop. Pulls her up for a Powerbomb, just tosses her down. Cover for an easy win.
Winner: Nia Jax
I’m struggling to have a comment.
Bobby Lashley backstage looks terrifying intense.
Another Rhea Ripley vignette.
Next up on the WWE Raw Recap…
WWE Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley is made to wait quite a while before Miz’s music finally hits. And even now he’s taking his sweet time coming out. Eventually the music fades. We see Miz backstage feigning pain. He claims stomach cramps but he’s definitely got his hand on his crotch. Adam Pearce is back there protesting, Morrison pleads to give him more time. Lashley races down the ramp and grabs Miz to tell him he will beat his ass for the WWE title. Throws him to the floor. Morrison asks for a towel. Pearce says even if he has to drag him out there himself he will be out there at 10 o’clock Eastern.
Match is postponed.
I did expect shenanigans and yet this still feels anticlimactic…
Braun Strowman comes to the ring. Says they had a stupid idea to have a Chamber match with only WWE Champions, without him in it, it sucks. Says now they’re putting him in a random tag match, doesn’t know who his partner is. He says they don’t understand that this is really pissing him off, they’re laughing at him.
Shane McMahon and Adam Pearce come to the ring.
Shane says they’re not laughing at him. But due to his inability to reach his goals, he’s a little mad, he’s a little upset. Says he’s been taking some MBA courses, making himself better. Some of them are in conflict management. Shane says the subject matter – which is way above Braun’s level, and Strowman is pissed at this – Shane says it was just a joke.
Says communication is key, that’s what his tag team match is about. Says Pearce didn’t book his match tonight, Shane did. He says he has to resolve his conflict with WWE management and the way to do that is to work with them, he must team with WWE management. Braun asks if Shane is gonna be his partner. Shane laughs this off, says his problem is with Adam Pearce so he’s teaming with Adam Pearce! I don’t think he ran this by Pearce first.
Braun says this idea sucks. Shane suggests the two of them go after the tag team titles. Strowman says if Pearce screws this up, he’ll destroy them. Now, next up on the WWE Raw Recap…
WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin (c) vs. Braun Strowman & Adam Pearce
I wasn’t under the impression this was happening immediately but it is. Dickhead Shane isn’t even letting his friend Pearce go back and get dressed to wrestle, he’s there in a suit. I swear to God if Cedric and Shelton just up and drop the titles like THIS…
Strowman goes HAM and takes both of the champs out of the ring. Freight Train spot takes them both out. Throws Cedric into the ring, tosses him around. Strowman tossing Cedric and Shelton around like toys. Cedric side-steps a corner charge and Strowman posts the HELL out of himself. Shelton tags in, Cedric with a dropkick to Strowman’s knee, Shelton with a pump knee! Strowman breaks this up, nails Cedric with a forearm, Running Powerslam to Shelton! Oh God. Shane on the apron, demands Strowman tag in Pearce.
Braun yells, says no, it’s over! Finally he tags and asks if they’re happy. Adam slips into the ring hesitantly and Shelton cradles him for the win!
Winners: Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin
Thank God. I really would not have put that past them.
Braun afterwards is shouting at Shane saying he’s the puppet master and he did this, he keeps jerking him around.
Elias and Ryker meet up with Bad Bunny and Damian Priest. Elias acts like he relates to Bad Bunny as they both know what it’s like to be at the top of the charts. Says he doesn’t expect anyone to touch the dominance of Universal Truth on Apple Music but Bunny is well on his way! Says he’s got a ton of potential, suggests they collab on a single! If people thought they cried tears of joy when they first heard The Beatles, imagine when they hear them!
Bunny whispers something to Priest. Priest says it’s a no.
Elias and Ryker appear in the ring later.
Elias is angry, says that his album was snubbed from the Grammy’s. It’s like if his buddy Tom Brady was snubbed for Best Championship Performance, it’s ridiculous. Wants to remind everyone that WWE stands for Walk With Elias.
Elias vs. Damian Priest
Priest takes Elias to the corner, clean break. Wristlock from Priest. Elias into the ropes for the break. Priest just keeps hold of the arm, trying to take him down but Elias stands his ground. This is a loooong wristlock spot. Elias finally breaks free, whip, Priest with a kick off a back body drop attempt, Rolling Elbow, Rolling Heel Kick, nails him and sends him to the floor. Count-out starts, ref for some reason resets, commentary was laid out for an awkwardly long time and it feels like there was a missed commercial queue.
Commercial break finally happens. WWE Raw Recap rolls on.
When we come back, Elias has him in a side headlock. Priest shoots him off, shoulder tackle from Elias. Priest with a big arm drag, arm wringer. Elias fights back, series of blows, whip, wants a High Knee but Priest avoids this, another arm drag and arm wringer. This match was definitely put together by people who have no idea what Priest does. Elias forces him to the ropes, rips him shoulderfirst into ’em. Elias clobbers him in the corner, facewash. Drags him out and slams him repeatedly into the apron. Charging knee to the face. Big lariat in the ring for a nearfall.
Second facewash, Elias grinding the knee into the face. Pulls him up, forearm drops him. Elias distracts the ref, Ryker with a cheap shot. Elias covers for 1. Side headlock cinched in. Cover, 1 count. Back into the headlock. This… didn’t need to be a two segment match. Priest eventually powers up, judo throws him. Blocks Elias’ shots with hard blows of his own. Kick combo, Discus Punch, lariat. Charging elbow in the corner, Broken Arrow for a nearfall!
Ryker with the distraction, Elias rolls him up for 2, Priest awkwardly reverses this for an eventual 2, the kickout sends him to the apron. WWE Headkick, Priest springboards in but eats a High Knee out of the air! Nearfall. Elias wants a suplex, Priest escapes, Dragon Whip avoided, Elias forces him into the corner for kidney punches. Powers him up for the Electric Chair but Priest escapes, Bell Clap, Roundhouse Kick, Hit The Lights for the win!
Winner: Damien Priest
That match would’ve been better if you cut it in half.
Bobby Lashley vignette, we’re allegedly getting the WWE title match when the WWE Raw Recap comes back.
BUT FIRST Randy Orton has a backstage promo. He’s asked about the strange events he’s been subjected to since the Inferno match. Orton says he doesn’t know what the Hell happened last week but he does know that Alexa Bliss had a part to play. We see a replay of Orton vomitting black liquid. Orton says unless Alexa wants to end up like the Fiend he suggests she move on and stay out of his life, or he’ll have no compassion for what happens next.
Alexa appears on the screen behind him laughing. She’s still sitting in that pentagram, and is now holding a Jack-In-The-Box with a pentagram on it. She cranks it for a bit, says “bring him back”. Tells Randy there’s something he should know.
We then see Randy watching himself on the screen, confounded as Randy cuts a promo on himself. Says he will come face to face with everything that he has ever done. He cackles as the actual Orton again starts choking.
And now, allegedly, we have this on the WWE Raw Recap…
WWE Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Bobby Lashley
They wisely had Miz come out first this time and he is indeed in the ring. Lashley makes it to the ring too, is this real? Bell rings, even with MVP and Morrison still in the ring. Miz gets on the mic though. He says Lashley is a professional, let’s talk about this. MVP is mad, Miz says he’s in the Hurt Business, let’s talk business!
Miz says seventeen years Lashley has waited and yearned to be WWE Champion! But this isn’t the stage! Says Lashley needs to do it at the grandest stage of them all! Think about it! The challenger Bobby Lashley, the champion The Miz in the main event of WrestleMania! Weeks of the WWE Universe yearning for this match! MVP says he can’t fool them, they want it right now.
Ring introductions are made.
Actual bell rings and Miz immediately powders, grabs the WWE title and runs. For some unGodly reason Lashley doesn’t follow him. He just waits for the ten count.
Winner: Bobby Lashley (by countout)
Bobby is furious. I have no idea why he just stood there.
We come back from break to see Lashley upset backstage, Shane says the Miz pulled a fast one over them all. But he won’t let it slide. There WILL be a real championship match tonight. MVP drops a “bullshit” as he says twice they went out there and got screwed. Shane says if Miz doesn’t go out there and defend the title, he’ll consider stripping the title from the Miz and awarding it to Lashley.
Charlotte Flair makes her way to the ring. Says she came back from being injured to be Asuka’s tag partner, she didn’t actually want to be in the title picture. Says all she wanted was to be her partner, Asuka’s been an amazing champion. She told her dad to go home. But here she is on Raw thinking, we’re six weeks away from WrestleMania, the biggest show of the year. Bianca Belair has chosen the Boss, Sasha Banks to challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. So who is Asuka’s challenger?
Says you wanna know her true colors? She does want the Raw Women’s Championship, she wants to challenge Asuka! But no, she’s at home injured. Wanna see what happened? We’re shown a replay of Shayna Baszler’s brutal kick that knocked a tooth out of Asuka’s head. Flair says Asuka will come back stronger than ever, she’s a fighting champion. And when she does come back, she’ll challenge her for the title.
Shayna Baszler interrupts.
This is evidently already gonna be a match but they both have promos first. Shayna says Charlotte might like to call herself the Queen but she’s fighting an uphill battle and she’s an army of one. The locker room probably wants Charlotte to just go home. Nia says the power in this division has shifted and she needs to get it in her head. It’ll be Shayna – or more likely her who challenges Asuka when she returns.
Nia says Charlotte has a nice smile, is she sure she wants to have this match? Punky Brewster might not be asking for more appearances after Shayna gets done with her. Flair makes clear that she’s not afraid.
Shayna and Nia get in the ring, they just jump her and take her down, Nia with a big legdrop. Commercial break, WWE Raw Recap will continue.
Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler
Shayna battering Charlotte around. Reverse Gutwrench Suplex, cover for 2. Combination of blows, Charlotte with a back body drop to avoid a powerbomb. Flair with a series of chops, Fallaway Slam, kip up. Chops continue. She hits a legbreaker, chop block, different kinda legbreaker. Jax on the apron has to be knocked off. Figure Four, Shayna blocks it and kicks her out of the ring. Nia charges Charlotte but she side-steps and sends her into the steps. Back into the ring, Shayna with a kick, wants the Kirifuda Clutch, Charlotte escapes, kick to the leg takes her to a knee, Natural Selection for the win!
Winner: Charlotte Flair
Still feels like Shayna and Charlotte should be a bigger deal than this but eh.
Backstage Shane says he’s decided, wants Pearce to let Lashley know if Miz doesn’t defend the title they WILL strip him of it and award it to Lashley. The stip had literally been “Or else Shane will CONSIDER stripping the title and awarding it to Lashley” up until this point, now it’s definitive. You couldn’t possibly have more padding.
Riddle & Lucha House Party vs. Retribution (T-Bar, Mace & Slapjack)
T-Bar with an immediate Chokeslam Backbreaker for a nearfall! Slapjack tags in, takes Riddle up top, flips him to the mat! Cover for 2. Mace tags in, Sidewalk Slam for a nearfall. Tag to T-Bar. Swings him around, Backbreaker Hold. Goozles him up, Riddle with a high knee out of the air. Low bridges Mace. Tag to Lince. Riddle with a tope, Dorado with a Crossbody to Slapjack, dropkick, nails T-Bar. Slapjack sends him to the corner but he rebounds for a Superkick! Metalik tags in, rides on Dorado’s shoulders for a wild splash and an easy win!
Winners: Riddle & Lucha House Party
Ali yells at his troops again, demands that Riddle stick around, he wants to show them what Retribution’s all about. Riddle leaps into the ring, ref is separating them, looks like we got an impromptu match up next on the WWE Raw Recap.
WWE United States Champion Riddle vs. Ali (Non-Title)
Riddle wants a triangle as the bell rings. Ali slips free, gets sent hurdling with a Gutwrench Suplex. Ali with a boot up off a charge, dropkick to the elbow! Elbow drops to the arm. Whip to the corner, hits the ropes, Neckbreaker for a nearfall. Hammerlock. Riddle fights up, Ali with a cradle for a 2 count. Riddle with a combination of palm strikes, Pele Kick, kip up! Charging forearms in the corner ensue. Overhead Belly To Belly, Standing Moonsault misses but the Broton lands, PK for a nearfall.
Riddle wants a German, it’s blocked, Final Flash lands instead! Slapjack up on the apron. Reckoning distracts the ref. Mace distracts Riddle, Ali attacks Riddle from behind, I think a Super Backstabber or something was supposed to happen here but Riddle might’ve fallen too early. Looked impressive in it’s own way though, Ali pins him for the win.
I really expected Ali to just lose there and have it be the end of the group but it looks like he’s got a US title match in his future.
Miz goes up to Shane backstage complaining about the match. Says he already defended the title, he did what any champ would do and that’s keep the title by any means necessary. Asks what the stip is, No DQ? Shane says he hasn’t decided yet. The match is in four fucking minutes you dork. Miz loses it, says you think you want a monster as champion but you need a champion like him doing public appearances. Says that he deserves to headline WrestleMania and deserves respect.
Alright let’s get this over with. This has really worn down my patience.
WWE Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Bobby Lashley
Miz yanks the WWE title out of the ref’s hands as he’s holding it up. Shane’s music hits and he comes to the stage I guess to give a stip. He says he thought of something to make sure the title is contested fairly. He makes it a lumberjack match. Bell rings, Miz grabs the title and swings it at Lashley but he blocks it and takes the title away! Tosses it aside, Miz had just tried to get himself disqualified.
Miz wants to leave but the lumberjacks are there to stop him. He rushes back in when Bobby has his back turned, swings at him, no effect. Miz powders but the lumberjacks throw him back in. Lashley finally has his hands on Miz, lariat, takes him to the corner for shoulder thrusts. Biel toss! Miz rolls outside, begging for mercy from Ali. Shelton and Cedric throw Miz into the ring, nice. Lashley shoves him to the mat. Pulls him up, Flatliner! Mounted punches! Miz with body shots, just bouncing off. Lashley pulls Miz up, Military Press out of the ring – T-Bar and Mace catch him! And they force him right back in.
Lashley drives Miz headfirst into the buckle. Whip, HUGE Main Event Spinebuster! Stalking for the Hurt Lock. And there it is! Miz taps.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Boy that was an exhausting road to get there, it’s like they did an entire title chase angle in a single night. I guess that’s exactly what they did really but whatever. Happy for Lashley. Afterwards, the Hurt Lock is re-applied because seriously screw him. Throws Miz away and holds the title aloft.
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