HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 5/25: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show in a crowd free environment including McIntyre in the MVP lounge, Andrade vs. Crews for the United States Championship, women’s number one contender match, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR (@zheydorntorch)



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

HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
MAY 25, 2020
LIVE AND WITH NXT 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 Memorial Day tribute video package. When the video ended, the standard Raw intro played. When that finished, the announce team welcomed the audience to the program as NXT stars cheered while socially distanced around the ring.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, they finally caved. Sometimes it’s better to swallow your pride and give props to a good idea. WWE is doing that here. About time, but better late than never.

-The announce team hyped the major points of the show including Drew McIntyre in the MVP lounge, Apollo Crews vs. Andrade for the United States Championship, and the women’s number one contender match.

-When their intro finished, the action shifted to Kevin Owens who was in the ring for the Kevin Owens Show. As the NXT stars cheered, Owens spoke. He said that they were the future of the WWE and then welcomed the audience to the Kevin Owens show. Owens said that they were in for a treat because later in the show he would take on Angel Garza. Owens then shifted to the women’s number one contender match. From there, he welcomed Asuka to the ring. Asuka walked out and as she did, the announce team recapped how she became champion. Once she got into the ring, Asuka started a Becky chant and Kevin Owens spoke a callout to Lynch and called her “the mom.” Asuka spoke a little Japanese, but then Kevin Owens said he wanted to get a reaction from Asuka as to what happened last week between Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Nia Jax. He then cued up a highlight package that detailed those events. After the highlight package, Asuka had an angry look on her face. She spoke Japanese again and as she did Charlotte Flair hit the ring. Flair walked down to the ring and told Kevin Owens to hold the ropes open for her. From there, she got into the ring and Kevin Owens said that she lost a feather from her boa.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, I get that Owens is “showing respect” to Charlotte. Charlotte is a heel though. Why would Owens do that for her? 

Charlotte then spoke and said that the Raw Women’s Championship should have been handed to her. Charlotte said that Asuka has never beaten her and that she needed to manager her expectations. At that point, Natalya walked out. As she did, Kevin Owens removed parts of his set to protect it from Nattie’s destruction like she caused last week during the show. Nattie got to the ring and apologized for the tantrum she threw last week. Nattie said she was so frustrated and as she continued, Charlotte interrupted and said that sucking up to Kevin Owens wouldn’t help her win the match. Charlotte called Nattie irrelevant which then brought out Nia Jax. Jax spoke on the top of the ramp as the audience booed. She told them all to stop and said that she would be the next Raw Women’s Champion. Jax then walked to the ring and Owens left it. Jax said that she would bulldoze over Asuka at Backlash. In response, Asuka hit a spinning back fist on Jax. The four women then brawled as Owens looked on. Eventually, the ring cleared and Asuka stood tall inside of it as her music played.

Heydorn’s Analysis: A pretty paint by numbers segment overall. You didn’t get much context around the number one contender match later on tonight. Maybe there isn’t any, but I think Nattie and Jax in particular needed to go deeper into the importance of the match. Charlotte is Charlotte and captured that meaning with her line about how she should have been the one that was handed the title. A great line and consistent with the Charlotte character. 

-Apollo Crews was interviewed backstage. He was asked if he was mentally ready and in response, Crews said that tonight was the greatest night in his career. He said he would defeat Andrade and become the new United States Champion. Crews then confidently walked off. From there, Andrade made his way to the ring with Zelina Vega at his side. As he did, the show went to commercial break (c)

-Out of the break, Apollo Crews made his entrance to the ring. As he did, the announcers talked about his history in the company and how he got to this match. Once he got to the ring, official introductions were made, and the match began.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good framing of Crews by the announce team there. Talked about his hype coming in and how he got to his low point. The rise up is more impactful when that groundwork is laid. Really good stuff. Solid, confident entrance from Crews as well. 

(1) ANDRADE w/Zelina Vega vs. APOLLO CREWS – WWE United States Championship Match

Both men tied up to start the match. They each tried to take each other down, but ended up striking each other instead. Crews got an early upper hand with stomps in the corner and followed those with a shoulder strike. Crews then made the cover, but only got a one count. Out of the pin, Crews hit a stalling suplex on Andrade and covered again, but only got a one count once again. Out of that pin, Crews tried to keep momentum, but Andrade shifted it by connecting with a spinning back elbow. Andrade then made the cover, but only got a two count. After the cover, Andrade went for his Hammerlock DDT, but Crews countered it and tried for his press slam. As he did, Zelina Vega climbed to the top of the apron and distracted him. Crews dropped Andrade and addressed Vega. Andrade tried to capitalize, but Crews saw it and connected with an enziguri. Because Andrade got hit, he stumbled into Vega who fell off the apron. Andrade went and checked on her as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, the action continued as Vega was tended to on the outside by officials. Andrade fired up and beat up Crews with anything near him. He tossed him into the guardrail and picked up his title belt before rolling him back into the ring. There, he went for a cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Andrade locked in an arm submission. Eventually, Crews escaped and got offense in including a kick to Andrade who was perched on the top rope. Crews followed Andrade up and and tried for a suplex, but Andrade countered with his double foot stomp. Right after, Andrade tried for the cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Andrade gestured that he was the champion. From there, Angel Garza was interviewed backstage while watching the match. Garza talked about how a good match was like making love. He outlined that detail and then turned back to the screen to watch.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Huh? That was very much out of left field. It could be a way to show dissension between Vega’s group, but logically I’m not sure how. Very curious.

Back in the ring, Andrade connected with his running corner knee strike and covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, he lifted Crews for a move, but Crews countered with an enziguri. Crews followed that with his moonsault combination out of the press slam in the middle of the ring and covered for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Crews via pinfall and new WWE United States Champion

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good for Crews and tonight certainly seemed like his night given the hype. At the same time, the finish felt a bit flat. Crews sold a lot in the match, but didn’t have the strong moment where he fired up and overcame. Instead, he simply got the win. Not bad, but anticlimactic. 

-After the match, Crews was interviewed in the middle of the ring. The audience cheered as he talked about his journey. He talked about people doubting him and said that he never gave up. He said it took years of hard work and discipline, but that he finally won his first title in the WWE. Crews said he always believed in himself and now he could stand in the ring and say he was the new United States Champion.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good promo from Crews. It checked all the boxes. He detailed his time in the company, the ups, the downs, and what this comeback moment meant to him. All while staying personable. Well done. 

-Backstage, Andrade was shown destroying equipment in anger. Crews was then shown celebrating in the ring. The announcers congratulated Crews and then hyped other upcoming happenings on the show. From there, Seth Rollins was shown holding the mask of Rey Mysterio. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

-After the break, Seth Rollins was shown and said it was a night of celebration. He said the reason was because he was better than he’s ever been. He then thanked Rey Mysterio for helping him with that. Highlights of his attack on Rey’s eye then aired. When the highlights ended, Rollins spoke again and said that he was in a dark place. He said Rey fulfilled his duty and was sacrificed for Rollins. Seth continued and said he couldn’t imagine the pain Rey was in as his eye was injured. Rollins said he was sympathetic to Rey’s family and said that he wasn’t sure what the future holds for Mysterio. He said that if that act was the final act of his career, it was a courageous one. Rollins said that that act will allow Raw to move into the future. From there, he welcomed Murphy and Austin Theory into the shot. Rollins introduced those two and said that like him they understand what it means to be under appreciated. He said that under his leadership, their career’s will flourish. Murphy then spoke and thanked Seth for leading him when he needed it most. Theory talked next and said that when his friends abandoned him, Rollins found him. Theory thanked Rollins as well. Rollins acknowledged their thanks and said that they would make examples out of Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo later in the night. He said they would show the what happens when you stand in the way of the Monday Night Messiah.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good. The Rollins Messiah character has always needed context and a reason for being. This gave it that. Theory and Murphy telling the audience why following Rollins has helped them gives the gimmick something tangible and workable instead of just a batch of words.

-Charlotte Flair was interviewed backstage. Charlotte said that she was the most consistent and prolific women’s champion in WWE history. She said she raises the bar for everyone in the division. Asuka then danced into the shot and spoke Japanese to Charlotte. Asuka told Charlotte that red was not her color and then walked off.

-The IIconics made their entrance as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, the IIconics stood in the ring and spoke. Peyton Royce said she wanted to apologize, but was cut-off by Kay. Kay said she was caught up in her emotions and that she didn’t want anything to come between them because they came so far together. Royce and Kay went down memory lane and concluded that they should still be the women’s tag team champions. From there, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross walked out and onto the ramp. Bliss then spoke as she walked to the ring. She said they have had every opportunity in the world, but they blew it. Cross started to talk, but Royce told her to stop and stand there while looking grateful. Cross ignored them and spoke about her journey to the WWE as Bliss looked on. The audience cheered loud for this. From there, Cross talked about what Alexa Bliss did for her. She said that she and Bliss are tag team champions because Alexa helps balance her out. She said that she has taught Bliss something about friendship as well. Cross finished by saying that that was truly Iconic. As she said that Royce and Kay attacked and the brawl was on. The IIconics got the upper hand and destroyed the women’s tag champions as the audience booed. They then rolled out of the ring and grabbed the tag titles. They then held the titles over their head and posed.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, call me surprised. A very effective promo there from Nikki Cross. She showed fire and a passion that told the audience at home why beating Royce and Kay was so important to her. She also clued the audience and opened up as to why her and Bliss work so well together. Probably the best piece of business around the women’s tag team championships since their inception. 

-After the segment, the announce team hyped the McIntyre/MVP Lounge segment. After, MVP was shown backstage and was approached by Lana. He asked Lana if he could help her, but Lana didn’t say anything. Finally, Lana told him they needed to talk. In response, MVP said that they didn’t and then walked off as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, MVP stood in the ring and welcomed everyone to his VIP Lounge.

[HOUR TWO]

He thanked the NXT stars around the ring and said that their bar tab was on him. From there, he welcomed Drew McIntyre to the ring. Drew’s music hit and the audience cheered loudly. McIntyre confidently walked out and interacted with the crowd. Once Drew got into the ring, he destroyed the VIP Lounge and then spoke. Drew asked MVP “where is he.” In response, MVP said “who.” Drew told MVP that he knew what he was talking about and MVP said that there wouldn’t be an ambush. He said that Lashley would save that for Backlash. Instead, MVP talked about Drew’s last appearance in the MVP Lounge. MVP said he tried to be a friend to him and that Drew threw that back in his face with a Claymore Kick. MVP continued and said that he had two thoughts after that kick. One, Drew would be WWE Champion and two, when he loses it, he would play a role in that outcome. From there, MVP said it took Lashley 13 years to get a shot at the title. He said he now had that opportunity because of him. Drew then spoke and said that it took him 19 years to get his shot at the title and he did it in the main event of WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar. Drew then said that he doesn’t need anyone thinking for him, talking for him, or kissing his ass. He continued and said that the only way Lashley would take the title from him would be to pry it from his cold dead hands. In response, MVP said that that could be arranged. At that point, Bobby Lashley walked out. MVP made his introduction, but was then hit with a Drew McIntyre Claymore. Lashley pulled MVP out of the ring and then stared Drew down. McIntyre told Lashley to fight him and then stood tall with the belt in the ring as Lashley walked off with MVP.

Heydorn’s Analysis: MVP did a nice job setting the segment up and rooted everything in his history with Drew. While defining Lashley getting the title shot against Drew as his accomplishment, it waters down the moment for Lashley. At the same time though, it gives MVP credibility as a manager. For now, that works, but we’ll need to see Lashley take the reigns at some point as the main fixture opposite Drew in the match. As for Drew, he continues to carry himself like a star and present his promos in a very conversational and authentic way. 

-Natalya was interviewed backstage. Right after the question came in from Charly, Nattie stopped and took a call. She told “TJ” that she did all she could and apologized. She said she had to go and then went back into the interview. Charly Caruso told her they were out of time though and the action went back to the ring. There, Kevin Owens made his entrance. As he did, Angel Garza attacked him from behind and the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, Kevin Owens stood in the ring and writhed in pain due to the Garza attack. He told the referee to ring the bell anyway and the referee did.

(2) KEVIN OWENS vs. ANGEL GARZA

Garza attacked Owens right away and targeted his already injured knee. Garza worked over the knee for the first quarter of the match until Owens finally stopped it with some offense of his own. Garza shifted the tide back his way again, but that momentum was halted after Owens hit Garza with a Swanton off of the top rope. Out of that, Owens tried for his pop-up powerbomb, but his leg gave out. This allowed Garza to hit the Wing Clipper and make the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Garza via pinfall

-After the match, Garza continued to beat on the injured leg of Owens. He then left with Vega at his side.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Though Owens is protected because of the pre-match attack, this is a big win for Garza. He appears to be a focus and it makes sense that he would be given his charisma and style in the ring. 

-Out of the break, the announce team cued up a highlight package that detailed the “anything you can do, I can do better” challenge between the Viking Raiders and Street Profits. When it ended, the Street Profits were shown on the golf course with the Viking Raiders. They were taught about golf etiquette and then the game began. While on the real golf course, the Vikings Raiders proved to be bad at golf and caused a lot of destruction on the course because of their anger. They then moved things to the mini golf course. There, the Street Profits won with a low score of 28.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Total silliness. I haven’t liked it and this wasn’t any different. So much more here

-When the golf ended, MVP and Lashley were shown walking backstage. Lana stopped them and called Drew a monster for kicking MVP in the face. Lana then handed MVP ice and said she was sorry. From there, MVP asked Lana if she thought this was all a joke. He said that Lashley has his first title opportunity at Backlash and that they need to send a message back to Drew McIntyre. MVP then walked off and Lashley stared at Lana before leaving and following MVP. In response, Lana yelled.

Heydorn’s Analysis: That’s a meaningful and heelish response from MVP while at the same time weaving Lana into the fold to give some sort of consistency to the Lashley act. It also sets a hook for later in the show to see how they do respond to Drew. 

-Seth Rollins was shown pumping up his team as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, Seth Rollins made his entrance with Austin Theory and Murphy at his side. Once they got to the ring, Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black made their entrance. Once they got down to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.

(3) AUSTIN THEORY & MURPHY w/Seth Rollins vs. HUMBERTO CARRILLO & ALEISTER BLACK

Carrillo got the upper hand early and dumped Murphy over the top rope and onto Theory. From there, Black tagged into the match and tried for a dive, but held up when Murphy and Theory moved. Instead, Carrillo connected with massive splash off the top rope and out of the ring. After, he rolled Theory back into the ring. There, Black took over and officially tagged Humberto back into the match. Humberto held control for a bit until Murphy took over with an enziguri. At that point, both sides made simultaneous tags. Black hit the ring first and destroyed Theory and then Murphy for good measure. He hit his moonsault and followed that with strikes. Carrillo tagged back into the match and worked to keep control, but couldn’t. Austin Theory hit the ATL and covered for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Theory and Murphy via pinfall

-After the match, Theory and Murphy attacked Black and Humberto. As they did, Rollins got on a microphone and yelled that Humberto needed to learn. Theory and Murphy set Humberto up for the same move on the steel steps that hurt Rey Mysterio’s eye. Black tried to attack with a chair, but Rollins said that Carrillo would lose an eye if he came a step further. Rollins asked Black to not make him sacrifice Carrillo like he was forced to sacrifice Rey Mysterio. Rollins then dropped the mic and walked up the ramp with his group.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The match was it was, but the post-match angle was the key. Rollins was threatening as a heel and used his thugs to get heat. Like the promo earlier in the show, this gave the group and the Rollins gimmick credibility which it had been lacking. In addition, this had good drama and intensity as well. 

-Edge was shown sitting backstage as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, Edge spoke and directed his attention to Randy Orton. He said Randy caught him flat-footed. Edge said Orton laid the bait and he bit. Edge then said he now finds himself doubting his ability. He said he wondered whether or not he could hang because he was retired over 3,000 days. Edge said that during that time Orton competed in 1,026 matches. From there, Edge said he needed to prove himself to himself. Edge then thanked Orton because he forced him to contemplate things that he kept buried. Edge continued and talked about figuring out when it was time to hang up the boots. Edge said “deadman – I get it” before addressing Orton again. He said that he has kept pace with Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, and more. He said he pulled people up to his level and that he taught guys how to get to the next level. Edge said he was a five tool workhorse for the company. He continued more and told Orton that everything he said was in the past tense because he doesn’t know if he can do those things anymore. At Backlash though, Edge promised to dig to the depths of his soul to try. He said that was all a man can do.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Excellent. Edge was able to frame his doubt within the confines of his tremendous success. In addition, the way he darted his eyes around as he spoke really drove home the doubt that he spoke of. Well done. 

-Asuka made her entrance and sat on commentary. As she did, the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, the Street Profits and the Viking Raiders were debating their next challenge. MVP and Lashley approached them and talked down to them because they didn’t respect clowns. MVP was about to walk away until the Street Profits asked him how his face was. MVP then challenged Dawkins and Ford to a match with Lashley as his partner. They then walked out of the shot.

[HOUR THREE]

-Charlotte made her entrance as Asuka joined the commentary team. From there, Natalya and Nia Jax made their way to the ring. Once they got there, the bell rang, and the match began.

(4) CHARLOTTE FLAIR vs. NATALYA vs. NIA JAX – WWE Raw Women’s Championship Number One Contender Match

Nia Jax took over early and slammed both Charlotte and Nattie to the mat. Soon after, Nattie and Charlotte joined forces to toss Jax out of the ring. They then mat wrestled each other in the middle of the ring with both countering each other’s moves. From there, both women tied up again and Charlotte dropped Nattie with a shoulder tackle. Eventually, Nattie whipped Charlotte into the corner and Nia Jax pulled her out of the ring and cracked her face on the ground. Jax took apart the announce table for a move, but was distracted by Nattie. After, Jax and Charlotte battled with the hood of the announce table until Jax slammed Charlotte into the ring with it. Jax and Charlotte continued to battle on the ring apron. Charlotte chopped Nia until Jax lifted her on her shoulders. Jax tried for a move, but Nattie attacked her knee. From there, Charlotte and Nattie lifted Jax in the air and power bombed her on the announce table. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, the action continued. Asuka tossed Nia Jax back inside of it and as she did, the announcers questioned that move.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I agree announcers. I agree. Hopefully we get some closure on that.

From there, Charlotte took control of the match on Jax. She hit her top rope moonsault and covered, but Jax kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Charlotte stomped Jax, but was then hit by cross body off of the top rope from Nattie. Nattie then covered Charlotte, but only got a two count. Right out of the pin, Jax got to her feet and clotheslined both Nattie and Charlotte. From there, Jax tried to lift them both on her shoulders, but couldn’t. Jax then charged Charlotte in the corner, but Charlotte dodged it which sent Jax crashing into the ring post. After, Charlotte locked in the Figure 8 submission, but Nattie broke it up. From there, she put Charlotte in the Sharpshooter. Charlotte writhed in pain, but the hold was broken by Jax who rushed Nattie with a strike. Jax then lifted Nattie for the Samoan Drop, but Charlotte broke it up with a boot to the face. Charlotte then tried for the cover, but only got a two count. Back in the ring, Charlotte kicked Jax in the face Eventually Jax held Charlotte on the top rope for a suplex, but Nattie came in and power bombed her and Charlotte off of the top rope. Nattie proceeded to cover Jax and Charlotte, but only got two counts on both. In the end, Nia Jax was able to connect with her Samoan Drop on Nattie with Charlotte on the outside of the ring due to a Jax leg drop. Jax then made the cover on Nattie for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Jax via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match. A little sloppy at times, but sloppy in a way that conveyed a fight. Asuka rolling Jax back into the ring was very odd and not mentioned again. You have to wonder how that will play out moving forward. Jax is a logical opponent for Asuka at this point in time. Nobody else on the Raw roster is ready for a quick turnaround championship match and Jax can benefit as the monster heel in this story for the newly crowned babyface champion in Asuka. 

-After the match, Drew McIntyre was interviewed backstage. He said he didn’t plan to Claymore MVP, but that it was worth it. From there, Drew was told about Lashley being in a tag match later in the night. Drew said he forgot something in the locker room and that he wouldn’t find it until Lashley’s tag match was over. He then walked off as the show went to break. (c)

-Out of the break, R-Truth and Rob Gronkowski cut promos on each other over the 24-7 Championship.

Heydorn’s Analysis: So the 24-7 title does still exist then? Good to know. Truth was truth, but Gronk cut a decent promo there and showcased a little of the charisma he’s known for. Low card, but effective for low-card 24-7-esque stuff. 

-MVP was interviewed backstage as he and Lashley discussed strategy for their match. MVP said the reason he felt ok having a match was because Lashley was on his team. From there, the announce team hyped an appearance from Ric Flair as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, Ric Flair was shown via Skype. He talked about wrestling the best of the best for decades. Flair then talked about what he thought the outcome would be between Edge and Randy Orton. Flair called Randy Orton the greatest in-ring performer right now and said that Orton would beat Edge at Backlash.

Heydorn’s Analysis: They are really pushing this greatest match ever thing aren’t they? Just beyond ridiculous. 

-Highlights of the newest episode of the Last Ride aired. From there, Liv Morgan was shown and talked about herself. She talked about being lost, but finding herself once she got wrestling and the WWE. Morgan said she was alive and that she would fulfill her destiny. She then said she was living her best life.

-Once the Morgan promo wrapped up, the Street Profits made their way to the ring. As they did, the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, the announce team announced that next week would be Rey Mysterio’s retirement ceremony. From there, Bobby Lashley and MVP made their entrance. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.

(5) BOBBY LASHLEY & MVP vs. THE STREET PROFITS

Lashley took over early in the match until the Street Profits hit him with a double dropkick. After, Ford tried to hit him with a dive, but stopped when he moved. Instead, Lashley bounced him off of the ring apron and into the guardrail. From there, Lashley took control of the match on the outside of the ring as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, MVP and Lashley held firm control over Montez Ford. Lashley taunted Ford before connecting with a sidewalk slam. From there, he covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Lashley tossed Ford out of the ring and then tagged MVP into the match. MVP followed Ford out of the ring and tossed him into the ring steps before rolling him back into the ring and making the cover. Ford kicked out at two and in response, MVP locked in a submission. Eventually, Ford broke the hold and made the hot tag to Dawkins. Dawkins demolished MVP with a flurry of offense including a spinning splash and bulldog. He fired up the crowd after that and punched Lashley in the face. Lashley fell off the apron and Ford shoulder tackled him into the guardrail. Ford then hit a big time frog splash on MVP. Dawkins tried to cover, but Lashley got back in the ring and made the save. In doing so, he put Ford in the full nelson and ignored the referee who tried to control the action. Because Lashley disobeyed the rules, the referee ended the match.

WINNER: No contest.

-After the match, Lashley continued to beat on the Street Profits until Drew McIntyre made the save. McIntyre walked down and fought with Lashley. The brawl was on and continued until members of the NXT audience rolled into the ring and tried to break it up. They tried, but Lashley and Drew battled them off. Finally, enough NXT members were able to slow the fight down as the show went to commercial break.

Heydorn’s Analysis: A fine match overall, but it existing to facilitate the show closing angle. The brawl was fine, but the NXT folks rolling in to break the brawl up seemed late and therefore awkward. In the end, I think they accomplished the goal of putting heat and interest on the Lashley/Drew match and framed it as a big-time brawl between big men. With another week to go, this was a fine next chapter in their story.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 5/18: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show in a crowd free environment including McIntyre vs. Corbin, IIconics vs. Bliss and Cross for the women’s tag team titles, an axe throwing contest, and more

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