SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE PERFORMANCE CENTER
APRIL 27, 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
- Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins to sign WWE Money in the Bank contract
- Triple H 25th Anniversary Celebration continues
- WWE hasn’t advertised any other matches or segments for tonight’s show as of this writing.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins Contract Signing
Last week in the opening segment of Raw, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre challenged Seth Rollins to a title match. This was as a result of Rollins’ attack on him a week earlier. He would subsequently be interrupted by Zelina Vega along with Angel Garza and Austin Theory, and then attacked by Andrade. Later in the evening, in the main event, he would defeat Garza in a non-title match.
Seth Rollins would accept Drew’s challenge remotely via video. He compared Drew’s defeating of Brock Lesnar at a WrestleMania to his doing so last year. He talked about them having a lot in common in commanding respect of their peers and passion for the industry. He pointed out that their similarities stopped when it comes to leadership, meaning he is a leader and Drew is not. That’s why he must accept his challenge.
This isn’t Drew and Seth’s first time on the dance floor. They worked together in late 2018 when Rollins was still in the Shield (with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose) and Drew was paired with Dolph Ziggler and Braun Strowman. They’ve had singles matches on Raw for different reasons. Here’s highlights from their March 18, 2019 match, in the run-up to Rollins challenging Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania for the Universal Championship. Rollins was the babyface, Drew was the heel, and Renee Young was still on commentary:
Frank’s Analysis: I should take bets on outcomes when they do these contract signings. Will the table be flipped, someone go through the table, will they brawl, or will they stare each other down? Will Rollins stay remote and not show, and Drew get attacked by Zelina’s contingent? Come on, you have to have some fun with these contract signings considering how many of them we’ve seen through the years. In all seriousness it still bothers me that Rollins lost his match at WrestleMania and still gets a title match. At least have the guy earn it some way. On the other hand, Rollins is a good opponent, so I’ll deal with the situation.
Triple H 25th Anniversary Celebration continues
After Friday’s second hour Smackdown dipped below 2 million for the first time on Fox, which included the Triple H 25th Anniversary Celebration with Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon in person, and cameos from Stephanie McMahon, Ric Flair, and B.G. James (Road Dogg), another group of fans who missed Friday can see part two tonight in front of even fewer fans (Raw has been drawing around 1.7-1.9 million in the third hour lately). There’s no hint of what’s in store for viewers, and whether it’ll be a comedic roast like Friday or a more serious overview of his career highlights.
There were a series of WWE exclusive videos from last week. Here’s Rey Mysterio after defeating Murphy to get into the Money in the Bank ladder match:
Here’s Apollo Crews, also after qualifying by defeating MVP:
Shayna Baszler defeated Indi Hartwell after stepping on her arm, like how she defeated Sarah Logan a week earlier. She then smashed her arm into a ladder. Here’s Shayna talking about why she’s breaking peoples’ arms:
Other Match Results and News Items from Last Week
- Aleister Black defeated Austin Theory to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match. Zelina Vega was on guest commentary and got into it with Black at one point. I think he forgot to pick up milk the night before.
- Ricochet & Cedric Alexander teamed once again and defeated NXT’s Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink
- Bobby Lashley flipped two truck-sized tires for some reason, and everything seemed good between he and his wife Lana. I guess he’s not looking for new management or a wife anymore. Hey, give the guy a break, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Nobody is meeting for drinks or dinner since the restaurants and bars are closed. Where would Bobby take a potential date?
- Nia Jax defeated Kairi Sane of the Kabuki Warriors, again in a short match. There was as scary spot where Nia threw Kairi neck first into the bottom turnbuckle as you could hear Kairi yell “I’m not set.” She appeared genuinely hurt after the move. I must credit someone on Twitter for pointing that out as I didn’t recognize it the first time around. I just don’t remember whom it was.
- The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) were shown driving while one of them was eating a turkey leg. It looked like a toy you’d get your dog, but what do I know. They yelled and talk about what they wanted to do.
- Liv Morgan defeated her former Riott Squad leader Ruby Riott. Before the match Charly Caruso interview Ruby. She talked about having to carry both Liv and Sarah Logan on her back and how they were never really a team. I couldn’t tell if this was a push for Liv or punishment for Ruby. Ruby has lost quite a bit during her main roster run and especially since she returned a few months ago. Liv has won most of her matches since her “repackaging.” The problem with the repackaging is I still don’t understand Liv’s character.
- NXT Champion Charlotte Flair defeated Kayden Carter in a non-title match. She said she would try to “swing by” NXT in a few nights. How nice of her to offer that, considering she’s the champion of that brand. I watched NXT but I don’t remember if she ended up doing so, and I don’t care to look it up.
- U.S. Champion Andrade defeated Akira Towawa in a non-title match.
- Bianca Belair defeated Santana Garrett. Raw Tag Team Champions the Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) were on guest commentary. As a writer of the Raw primers, I feel responsible not to fast forward through any parts of the show no matter how bad they may be. I shucked that responsibility for this segment. Good lord the Profits were annoying!
Typically, I’m cranky when WWE doesn’t have their preview up the day of the show, and for a good reason since I write the primers. These days I’m forgiving of it considering there may be travel issues and they may not know whom they can get to Orlando. There’s not much excitement in hyping established Raw talent taking on lower-end NXT people, no offense to NXT. They send people lower on the card who may or may not be “on the rise.” I expect “variations” of the upcoming Money in the Bank ladder match, such as maybe a rematch between Apollo Crews and Aleister Black? Rey Mysterio vs. Apollo? In addition, perhaps Drew McIntyre finds a partner and takes on two of Zelina Vega’s crew? Anything is possible as we continue towards the Money in the Bank event.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.