HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 5/11: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show in a crowd free environment including Money In The Bank fallout, Becky’s big announcement, Orton, Edge, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR (@zheydorntorch)


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
MAY 11, 2020
LIVE AND WITHOUT FANS FROM THE WWE PERFORMANCE CENTER IN ORLANDO, FL
AIRED ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe, and Byron Saxton

[HOUR ONE]

-The show opened with a highlight video package that detailed the Money In The Bank ladder matches from last night at the Money In The Bank PPV. When the highlights ended, the official Raw intro video played. When it finished, the announce team welcomed the audience to the show. Tom Phillips hyped the appearances from Edge and Randy Orton, Murphy and Rollins vs. Aleister Black and Rey Mysterio, and a special edition of A Moment Of Bliss.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Interesting. A Moment Of Bliss is typically a SmackDown segment. Something to watch moving forward.

-After the hype was finished, Becky Lynch walked out for her announcement. Instead of carrying the Raw Women’s Championship, Lynch was carrying the Money In The Bank briefcase. She put the briefcase on a table in the ring and then posed. From there, she grabbed a microphone and was choked up. She said that tonight was not an ordinary night because she was torn. Becky Lynch said that she asked the decision makers to raise the stakes for the Money In The Bank ladder match last night. She said they did, but said she needed to address something else first. Lynch then talked about her history and cried as she did. She said she would never forget her journey and that it was always the fans who had her back. She said she grabbed onto those fans when she needed them most. At this point, Becky Lynch said that she needed to go away for a while. Right away, Asuka hit the ring. Asuka yelled at Becky and pointed at the briefcase. Asuka said that was hers and Lynch agreed. She told Asuka that she was the only person to beat her and that was why she was happy to give her the news. Lynch said the ladder match was for so much more. She said the match was actually for the Raw women’s championship. Lynch said she couldn’t fight anymore, but that Asuka could and that she was the champion. Asuka appeared surprised, but then celebrated as Lynch looked on in tears. From there, Lynch told Asuka to be a warrior because she was going to go and be a mother. Asuka told Lynch congratulations and then hugged her. Lynch cried again and then left the ring as Asuka stood inside of it. The shot stayed with Lynch for her entire walk back up the ramp. At the top, she looked into the camera and said “I’m going to miss you guys” before leaving. At that time, Asuka was shown celebrating in the ring again and the show went to commercial break.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Wow. That is tremendously huge news. First and foremost, congrats to Becky. Though sad about having to leave wrestling, she appeared to be thrilled and proud about impending motherhood. Good for her. On the WWE business side, this is quite the situation. Becky Lynch is one of their biggest stars and amidst ratings erosion like we’ve never seen before, they need all the stars they can get. Lynch losing the title was going to be an important card to play at some point and now nobody will officially get that rub either. As for Asuka becoming champion, it makes the most sense. Is it a good option? No. Given the circumstances though, they don’t have many others. Asuka won a big match last night and had recently been presented as a force on Raw. In addition, her act is “clicking” a bit during this crowd-less atmosphere. To me, it was either this, or a tournament to crown the champion that would have chewed up television time week to week. 

-Out of the break, the announce team played highlights of Becky Lynch’s announcement.

-After, Becky Lynch was interviewed backstage. As she was about to speak, Rey Mysterio, The Street Profits, Natalya, Bianca Belair, Cedric Alexander, Ricochet, and others congratulated her. From there, Bobby Lashley made his entrance. As he did, the announce team played clips of Lashley in the last chance gauntlet match last week including him spearing Humberto Carrillo after he was disqualified from the match. From there, Humberto Carrillo made his entrance. Once he got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.

(1) HUMBERTO CARRILLO vs. BOBBY LASHLEY – No Disqualification Match

Out of the break, both men tied up until Lashley grounded Carrillo. Lashley then smacked Carrillo in the face. From there, Carrillo got some offense in and slapped Lashley. Lashley soon took control back with a sidewalk slam. The action spilled to the outside of the ring. Lashley picked up a steel chair to use, but as he tried to, Carrillo jumped off the ring apron and hit the chair into his face with a knee strike. With Lashley down, the show went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, the action continued. Carrillo connected with a kick on the outside of the ring and tried to follow that with a move of of the guardrail. Lashley caught Carrillo in mid-air and then slammed him into the steel post to counter it. From there, Lashley held control of the match and tried to crush Carrillo with a steel chair. Carrillo dodged it again and then picked up the chair and started smashing Lashley with it.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Great fire and intensity from Carrillo there. He needs this type of edge if he plans on continuing to move up the card.

From there, Carrillo springboarded off the ropes, but Lashley caught him and immediately put him into a full nelson hold. This caused Carrillo to tap out and give the victory to Lashley via submission.

WINNER: Lashley via submission

Heydorn’s Analysis: This was fine, though not sure how keen I am on Bobby Lashley no-selling 7 chair shots. Taking into account last night and the last 3 weeks of Raw leads me to believe Lashley is on a path to something. Drew? Brock? Time will tell, but his booking has changed dramatically. 

-After the match, the announce team played a video that detailed competition between the Street Profits and the Viking Raiders. The Profits were then shown hyping themselves up for a basketball game with the Raiders. From there, the Viking Raiders were shown. They looked at the basketball and complained about having to play. From there, the announce team hyped a basketball game between the Street Profits and the Viking Raiders for later in the evening. They then hyped Orton and Edge before going to a commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Wait, a basketball game? Seriously? I know there is television time to fill, but this is wrestling right? Have a match.

-Out of the break, the announce team one again recapped the events from earlier in the show concerning Becky Lynch. After, Charly Caruso congratulated her and then interviewed Asuka. Asuka spoke in Japanese and as then joined by Kairi Sane. Sane congratulated her and both celebrated together. From there, the announce team said that Edge and Orton would come face to face in the ring for the first time since their match at WrestleMania. They then cued up highlights of the WrestleMania match.

-After the highlights, the announce team cued up more highlights that showed the events concerning Apollo Crews during his United States Championship match with Andrade. After, Zelina Vega’s team was shown arguing with each other backstage. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: If highlight video packages are your thing, this Raw is for you. At least 6 so far and the first hour still has 15 minutes to go. 

-Out of the break, Angel Garza and Akira Tozawa were wrestling in the ring.

(2) ANGEL GARZA w/Zelina Vega, Austin Theory, & Andrade vs. AKIRA TOZAWA

Garza owned the match with strikes before whipping Tozawa into the ropes. Garza then tossed Tozawa into the air for a move, but Tozawa countered it into a hurricanrana. From there, Tozawa worked to control the match, but Garza stole it back after hitting Tozawa with a running PK in the corner. Garza then made the cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Garza put Tozawa in an arm submission until Tozawa hit the ropes to cause a break. Throughout the early part of the match, the announce team debated why Vega’s team was arguing backstage. Back in the ring, Garza hit Tozawa with the Wing Clipper and covered for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Garza via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: The Tozawa booking and presentation is beyond confusing. He’s a jobber on Raw, yet the Raw announce team talk about him having a career resurgence on NXT during the cruiserweight tournament. Pick a lane, WWE. He can’t effectively be either one of these things at the same time. 

-After the match, Vega, Garza, Andrade, and Theory all argued in the ring. From there, Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring. In the ring, he called Garza, Andrade, and Theory “bitches” before hitting the Claymore on Theory. Garza laughed and for good measure, he was hit with a Claymore as well. At that point, Andrade confronted Drew and stared him down as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: I loved the under the breath “bitches” comment from Drew. Not because it was a swear word, but because it felt authentic and like the exact thing Drew would say to someone if he needed to fight them outside of a bar. That said, his appearance in general is a bit out of the blue.

-After the break, Drew and Andrade faced off as the bell rang for their “impromptu” match.

(3) DREW MCINTYRE vs. ANDRADE

McIntyre took Andrade down to the mat early on. He locked in a submission, but Andrade quickly escaped it. Instead, Drew hit Andrade with an elbow. Eventually, Andrade countered Drew and connected with a flurry of chops to his chest. From there, Andrade worked to keep momentum, but Drew halted it with a kick to the midsection. The action then spilled to the outside of the ring. There, Drew hit his own chops on Andrade. Eventually, the action spilled back into the ring where Andrade held control of the match. Andrade worked on Drew’s arm and targeted his submission moves to that arm. Drew countered the hold and lifted Andrade on his shoulders, but Andrade slipped free and hit Drew with a back elbow strike.

[HOUR TWO]

Andrade worked to keep momentum, but Drew countered it and connected with a series of suplexes that he followed with a boot to the face. From there, Drew climbed to the top rope and jumped off. He connected with a chop and covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Drew hit a spinebuster and covered, but only got a two count. After, Drew attempted the Claymore, but Andrade rolled out of the ring to avoid it. Drew tried to grab him and bring him back in, but Andrade pulled his neck onto the ropes. Andrade held control from here and hit Drew with his running corner knee strike. Andrade then covered, but got a one count. Out of the pin, Andrade tried for the Hammerlock DDT, but Drew countered with the Glasgow Kiss. From there, he connected with a flying elbow and tried to follow that with a reverse Alabama Slam. Andrade blocked it and hit a move, but it didn’t daze McIntyre for long. In the end, McIntyre finally connected with the reverse Alabama Slam and then hit the Claymore for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: McIntyre via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Putting aside the fact that we have absolutely no clue as to why Vega’s crew was arguing, this was fine as  Drew looked strong like he should. That said, this missed context in a big way. Why are these two fighting again? It’s not as if Andrade and company were running down Drew. They were arguing amongst themselves? What about that would make Drew get involved? Dots aren’t connecting here, but I liked the Drew presentation once again. 

-After the match, Drew spoke and said that he didn’t plan on having a match, but that he always comes prepared. He said the Claymore part was fun too. From there, Drew spoke about the MITB PPV. He gave Rollins some respect and said that he really brought it. He said that he’ll line up all opponents and knock them all down one by one. From there, Drew spoke about the Brand To Brand Invitation. He said that a Smackdown superstar requested a match with him and revealed that that superstar was King Corbin. Drew said that he would have a Claymore fit next week and that the audience wouldn’t want to miss it.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The Brand to Brand Invitation. So, like, the wild card rule? WWE is playing with fire. For one thing, it’s hard enough for them to put together coherent stories on separate brands. This makes that challenge even harder. At the same time, they need star power more than ever so this simply may be a necessity at this point. However. King Corbin? King Corbin is the first guy you bring over? That’s not the star power that WWE needs from SmackDown to make a difference and draw a number. 

-When Drew’s promo ended, Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss were shown backstage. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, Lashley was shown talking to MVP backstage. MVP praised Lashley and questioned Lashley facing Carrillo. He told Lashley that he shouldn’t be fighting Carrillo and that he should be fighting for the championship since its been so long since he has. MVP told Lashley to marinate on that and get back to him with his thoughts. From there, MVP left the shot and walked past Lana. He basically told Lana that she was keeping Lashley down. Lana screamed and then the action went back into the ring.

-Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross made their entrance for A Moment Of Bliss. Alexa told the audience that their eyes were still working and that they were on Raw. From there, Bliss and Cross congratulated Becky Lynch on her announcement and then wished all the Moms a happy Mother’s Day. At that point, the IIconics made their entrance. They joined Bliss and Cross in the ring. Bliss said that Lynch’s baby stole their return’s thunder. In response, the IIconics asked what was so great about babies. They told Bliss and Cross not to disrespect them and that they should worry about defending the tag titles tonight. Bliss and Cross disagreed and said that they didn’t deserve a shot at the championships. In response, the IIconics said that they didn’t need the titles on the line to prove how much they wanted to win. They said they weren’t leaving without a fight. From there, Bliss and Cross appeared to accept the non-title match as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Man, that was tough to watch. Cross and Bliss were unbearable and the IIconics didn’t help. Why are the heels talking about wanting to fight and the babyfaces skirting a challenge? That is an open reversal of tried and true babyface and heel characteristics. I’d love to see what this segment did to the ratings. It was that bad. 

-Out of the break, the IIconics and Bliss/Cross stood in the ring across from each other. From there, the bell rang, and the match began.

(4) THE IICONICS vs. ALEXA BLISS & NIKKI CROSS

Cross and Bliss took control early, but the momentum shifted to the IIconics. Billie Kay pounded on Cross in the middle of the ring before locking in an arm submission. Alexa Bliss got the hot tag from Cross and cleared the ring, but in the end, Kay and Royce connected with their finisher on Bliss for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: IIconics via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Not much from a match perspective. The announce team alluded to the fact that if the IIconics get a win they may get a shot at the titles. Safe to say that thats where they are going with this. 

-After the match, Rey Mysterio was interviewed backstage. He was asked about MITB and said he felt great. He said that he hyped himself up last night by telling himself that the risk was worth the reward. He said he saw his life flash before his eyes as King Corbin tossed him off the roof. He then said he realized that it was too late to win the match. Rey said he tried his best, but that he couldn’t get the job done. Rey also congratulated Otis on winning. From there, Seth Rollins entered the shot and stared at Rey. Mysterio looked at him and congratulated him. Rey said he was happy for him and Becky. In response, Rollins walked away without saying a word. In response, Rey called him a “dick.”

Heydorn’s Analysis: It’s been a while, but since WWE put Lynch and Rollins together on camera, it could be difficult to keep Rollins a heel as he’s about to become a father. This was a good step in that direction though. Rollins really looked like a dick and having an over and credible babyface in Rey Mysterio call him one was a helpful touch. Good stuff. 

-When the interview ended, R-Truth was shown and said he had a special partner. He then revealed he was wearing costume teeth and the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, R-Truth made his entrance as Ricochet and Cedric Alexander waited for him. Vink, Thorne, and MVP were also in the ring already and once Truth got there, the bell rang, and the match began.

(5) R-TRUTH, RICOCHET, & CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. BRANDON VINK, SHANE THORNE, & MVP

The match went back and forth with R-Truth turning into his Pretty Ricky character throughout the match. Eventually, Alexander and Ricochet handled Vink and Thorne on the outside. Inside, R-Truth hit his Lie Detector finish on MVP for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Truth, Ricochet, and Alexander via pinfall

-After the match, R-Truth celebrated but was interrupted by Bobby Lashley. Lashley hit Truth with a spear and then put him in the full nelson as MVP beat him up. Eventually, Lashley released him and then told MVP that they need to talk. Both men then left the ring together.

Heydorn’s Analysis: A nothing match. It’s quite the sight to see Ricochet fall as low as he has. Now, Lashley and MVP is intriguing. MVP could be the serious mouthpiece that Lashley needs to get him into the main event picture successfully. Very well done. 

-Jinder Mahal was interviewed backstage. Mahal said he was honored to be back on Raw and that it had been a long road back from knee surgery. Mahal said he was elated to see Drew prosper, but that he deserves respect from the WWE Universe like Drew. Mahal said that he will redeem himself and that this time his journey back to the top will be a heroes journey.

-The announce team plugged a special look at the new Undertaker special. A.J. Styles was shown getting prepared to watch it with popcorn as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, the announce team played highlight clips of Becky’s announcement. From there, Shayna Baszler was interviewed. Baszler called Becky Lynch stupid for getting pregnant while being champion. Baszler said Lynch threw away her title reign to house a parasite. Baszler said that the kid will suck because she knows who the father is.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Boy, that was harsh. Vince McMahon’s true feelings perhaps? Joking aside, this type of verbiage fits Baszler’s character nicely. The delivery was good too. 

-The announce team played the special look at the Undertaker series and then Styles was shown backstage. The threw his popcorn on the ground and then angrily left the room.

-Rey Mysterio made his entrance and was followed by Aleister Black. As Black posed in the ring, the show went to commercial break. (c)

-After the break, Becky Lynch was shown hugging Vince McMahon.

[HOUR THREE]

From there, Seth Rollins made his entrance and looked disheveled. Murphy walked to the ring with him and looked at Rollins questionably. Once Rollins got to the ring, he stood on the apron in a stoic fashion as the Murphy started the match when the bell rang.

(6) SETH ROLLINS & MURPHY vs. ALEISTER BLACK & REY MYSTERIO

Black started things off against Murphy. He quickly got the upper hand and tried to tag Rollins into the match, but Rollins wouldn’t do it. From there, Murphy continued to get beat on by Black until Black tied Mysterio into the ring. Rey hit a few moves including an enziguri before tagging Black back into the match. Black hit a stiff kick and then then charged at Murphy in the corner. Murphy moved out of the way and then stomped on Black in the corner. From there, Murphy tried to tag Seth again, but failed. Murphy and Black exchanged moves again before facing each other in the middle of the ring face to face. Murphy called for Seth, but Seth didn’t move. This allowed Black the opportunity to crush Murphy with a flurry of strikes. After, Black tried for a pin, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Black locked in an arm submission, but Murphy countered. He hit a few punches, but was then kicked out of the ring by Black. Black followed Murphy to the outside of the ring and rolled him back in as Seth looked on. Black confronted Rollins, but Seth didn’t react. From there, Black turned his attention back to Murphy, but Murphy caught him with a kick. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, Black hit Murphy with a big boot to the face as Rollins stood quiet on the apron. After, Black tagged Rey into the match. He hit Murphy with a springboard cross body and followed that with a stiff kick to the face. After, Rey hit Murphy with a hurricanrana off of the apron before rolling him back into the ring. From there, Rey climbed to the top rope and tried for a cross body. He hit it, but Murphy rolled through and made the cover for a two count. Out of the pin, Murphy went for Murphy’s Law, but Rey countered it into a bulldog. Rey then made the cover, but only got a two count. From there, both Murphy and Rey battled near Rollins and Rey accidentally hit Rollins which caused Rollins to fall off the apron. Rey then attempted the 619 on Murphy, but Rollins caught him and slammed him to the outside of the ring. This caused the referee to call the match.

WINNER: No contest

-After the match, Rollins fought Rey and gouged his eye. Black attempted to help him, but Rollins dispatched him too. From there, Murphy tried to help Rollins, but Rollins told him to stay back. Rollins slowly walked to Rey and smashed his eye into the steel steps. Rollins then walked away as WWE officials tended to Rey. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Some good stuff there. Now, I’m not sure why the referee stopped the match, but the angle at the end worked well to showcase Rollins as a dangerous heel. The eye spot was unique and albeit a little cheesy. It was different though and framed Rollins as someone off the deep end. Well done. 

-Out of the break, the announce team played highlights that recapped the events between Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio. From there, Rey was shown being examined in the trainer room as Aleister Black looked on. Rollins walked in and asked for Rey. As Black confronted him, Rollins told him that he didn’t know what happened out there. Black tried to go after Rollins, but Murphy got in the way. He and Black then brawled until officials broke them up.

-From there, the announce team discussed Seth’s actions. They then cued up the video of Street Profits and Viking Raiders practicing for their basketball game. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Raw needs to flow better than this. The serious Rollins angle right next to a poor attempt at wrestling comedy between the Viking Raiders and Street Profits? This type of inconsistency creates an environment where nothing gets over as the audience is moving too quick from one spectrum of emotion to another. It doesn’t work and is jarring. 

-Out of the break, the Street Profits and Viking Raiders played their basketball game. The Street Profits won easily in strictly comedic production.

-After the game, Shayna Baszler was shown backstage. Nattie confronted her and shamed her for talking bad about Becky and motherhood. Baszler countered back and said that the Hart Dynasty would die with her because she would never have a kid.

Heydorn’s Analysis. More cold words from Baszler. Good stuff, especially ahead of a match. 

-Out of the break, the announce team showed what happened after the Street Profits/Viking Raiders basketball game. The Street Profits talked trash, but then Erick told them that they let them win. Ivar then proceeded to hit all kinds of shots as Ford and Dawkins looked on in disbelief.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I supposed this is supposed to further their rivalry in that the Viking Raiders are still the only true foil for the Street Profits. This failed miserably within the framework in that story. Why would the Street Profits care? Basketball isn’t the point of all this. Until both teams are framed in a serious way, this is destined for bad. 

-When the video ended, Shayna Baszler made her way to the ring and was followed by Nattie. Once Nattie got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.

(7) NATALYA vs. SHAYNA BASZLER

Both women talked trash as they exchanged holds in the ring. The match was 50/50 in control until Baszler took over. She tried to break Nattie’s arm, but Nattie countered it. Instead, Baszler crushed Nattie with a knee to the face and covered for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Baszler via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Basically a squash, but a meaningful given that it’s Nattie. Baszler needed a run of these types of matches as soon as she debuted. 

-After the match, King Corbin was interviewed backstage. Corbin talked about MITB and said he proved yesterday that he would do anything to win. He said those drastic measures were needed to win the match. Corbin then talked about Drew McIntyre. Corbin said that he has what it takes to take on Drew. He said he took Drew under his wing for over a year and that Drew wouldn’t be champion without him. From there, he said that next week he will prove why he is the king. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, Edge was introduced by Charly Caruso. He then spoke and said he hasn’t stood in the ring for six weeks. He said the last time he did was at WrestleMania for his first match in nine years. Edge continued and said he came back to retire on his terms. He then asked “what’s next?” To answer, he said that WrestleMania was not the end for Edge. Edge then spoke about Randy Orton and said he got his closure at WrestleMania even though Orton gave him a fight. Edge said he was ready to move on and was about to address the locker room until he was interrupted by Orton. Orton stared at Edge as he entered the ring and then spoke. Orton said that he came out to say one thing. Orton then got in Edge’s face and said congratulations. He said that at WrestleMania, the better man won. Orton then left the ring as his music played. Orton then laughed on the ramp and then climbed back in. He said he tried to be the better man, but he couldn’t do it. He said he couldn’t lie to himself or to Edge. He said the better man won at WrestleMania, but the better wrestler didn’t. Orton said that at the Royal Rumble, Edge made his miraculous return and hid behind many superstars. Orton then said that the Last Man Standing match was Edge’s stipulation and that even after getting smashed in the head, it didn’t take him nine years to get back on his feet. Orton said that the Royal Rumble and Last Man Standing matches weren’t traditional matches. He said its still been nine years since Edge laced up boots and wrestled and that he didn’t think Edge had it in him anymore. Orton then said that hearing that cast doubt in Edge. He said that Edge’s grit and passion wouldn’t help him and couldn’t compare to his born talent. From there, Orton goaded Edge and said that if he had the guts, he should face him at Backlash in a straight up wrestling match. Edge was asked for a response, but didn’t say anything. Caruso then said that if the match happens it would be the greatest match ever. The show then faded to black.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Very well one. Orton put on a show there and not only hyped their inevitable match, but started another chapter in the story. Edge sold well with his body language and left the audience wondering as to what his answer would be. Good stuff. 

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