SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
APRIL 19, 2021
TAMPA, FL. AT THUNDERDOME IN YUENGLING CENTER
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Adnan Virk, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Match Results from Last Week
- WWE Champion Bobby Lashley defeated Riddle in a non-title match. Riddle challenged Lashley to a match as he arrived at the Thunderdome to open the show.
- The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) returned and defeated Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin.
- Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley and Asuka wrestled to a no-contest when Charlotte Flair attacked both women. Earlier new Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley was interviewed following her win over Asuka at WrestleMania. She said the win was the start of the “brutal new order” of the WWE women’s division.
- Miz & John Morrison defeated Damian Priest in a handicap match. Earlier Miz & Morrison had Miz’s wife Maryse as their guest on MizTV. Morrison suggested they have a spin-off to their USA series “Miz & Mrs.” called “Miz, Mrs., and Morrison.” Priest interrupted which led to the handicap match.
- Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke via count out. Jax keep slipping akin to Mandy slipping during her entrance at WrestleMania. When Jax was angry at the slips, Mandy & Dana walked away from the match.
- New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) defeated Elias & Jaxson Ryker after interrupting them and being annoying.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Braun Strowman and Randy Orton to earn the right to face Bobby Lashley at Backlash for the WWE Champion. After the match he was attacked by T-Bar and Mace with MVP looking on. Earlier MVP said that Lashley would have an announcement on the heels of his victory over Drew at WrestleMania. Drew interrupted and admitted his mistake during their match and said when he gets a rematch he will connect with his Claymore. Braun interrupted and wanted Drew to go to the back of the line. Randy interrupted and said now that he’s free of the Fiend, he wants a title match. WWE official Adam Pierce made a triple threat match for the right to face Lashley at Backlash.
Other Non-Wrestling Segments from Last Week
- Charlotte Flair returned and talked about her not being at WrestleMania. Her key points included not stealing opportunities but rather she is the opportunity, and that she won’t apologize for being that damn good (hey Triple H) and all will bow down to their 13-time Women’s Champion.
- Alexa Bliss talked about her betrayal of “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania. She questioned whether the darkness was helping her or standing in her way. She introduced her new friend, a doll named Lily.
- Bray Wyatt was back in the Firefly Funhouse and said he feels reborn, and the Funhouse will be big, bad, and strong.
Advertised Matches and Segments by WWE
We’re now fully past WrestleMania week and the post-WrestleMania fallout and on our way to Backlash with another edition of Raw. Last week I had the pleasure of joining Wade Keller on his post show, and I hope you all had a chance to listen. WWE has advertised two matches for tonight as well as a confrontation:
- Braun Strowman and Randy Orton to clash for first time ever.
- Drew McIntyre demands answers from MVP this Monday.
- Asuka aims for payback against Charlotte Flair on Raw.
Braun Strowman vs. Randy Orton
Randy Orton was near earning a shot at the WWE Championship last week when he hit an RKO on Braun Strowman in the triple threat match recapped earlier. Drew McIntyre broke up the pin and covered Braun himself to earn the right to face Lashley at Backlash for the title.
Braun and Randy had both won their matches at WrestleMania. Braun defeated Shane McMahon in a Steel Cage match while Randy Orton defeated “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt when Alexa Bliss betrayed Bray. Randy had a recent short reign with the title when he defeated Drew at Hell in a Cell back in October. Braun held the Universal Championship last year and lost it, ironically, to Bray. Braun and Randy have never wrestled one-on-one, but last week was not their first time in the ring together. Randy teamed with Roman Reigns to face Braun and Bray on Smackdown when Braun was a member of the Wyatt Family back in late 2015. If you so desire to watch a clip of that, here you go:
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t have particularly strong feelings on tonight’s match. I get the sense this will be a short-to-medium term program between these two men, which I’ll admit will be interesting to watch. Anything is better than seeing Braun face Shane and Randy face Bray. In a sense, I guess you can call this a redemption feud.
Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
I mentioned earlier about Asuka’s rematch with Rhea Ripley for the Raw Women’s Championship and Charlotte Flair’s promo. Tonight, because of Charlotte’s interference in that match, Asuka will take on Charlotte in a one-on-one match.
Charlotte originally challenged Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania, which would have resulted in the second time they wrestled for a women’s title on the “big stage.” Charlotte retained the Smackdown title over Asuka at WrestleMania 34 in 2018. They have wrestled several times since including Charlotte beating Asuka for the Smackdown title ahead of WrestleMania 35 the following year and several times last year. They briefly held the Women’s Tag Team Championship after defeating Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler at the 2020 TLC before losing it back to them on the 2021 Royal Rumble kickoff show.
Frank’s Analysis: Wade and I talked Charlotte extensively last week. Charlotte’s promo was great and clearly established her as a heel, at least to me. Based on the interruption and the rough match Rhea Ripley and Asuka had last week, I see this leading to a triple threat match at Backlash. It wouldn’t surprise me if Charlotte gets the title back, Rhea gets a little more time having one-on-one matches and developing her character, and they build towards Charlotte vs. Rhea one-on-one at some point.
Drew McIntyre Wants Answers from MVP
MVP: “Deep down in places you don’t talk about you want Lashley to hold that title. You NEED Lashley to hold that title.”
Drew: “Did you order T-Bar and Mace to attack me after the triple threat?”
MVP: “You want answers?”
Drew: “I want the truth!”
MVP: “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”
Alright that’s not 100% the scene but you know you all TOTALLY want a re-enactment of the scene from A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise’s character interrogated Jack Nicholson’s character about the code red he ordered on a fellow marine in the movie. If you haven’t seen that movie, stop reading, and go watch … now! Anyway, Drew McIntyre wants answers from MVP after what happened following the triple threat match, where he won to earn the right to face Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship. T-Bar and Mace, formerly of Retribution, attacked Drew before the show went off the air.
It’s interesting because when the Hurt Business was in full force (MVP, Lashley, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin) they feuded with Retribution in their early on Raw. In face it was Lashley that tapped out T-Bar to the Hurt Lock in an eight-man tag team match. Don’t look at me, here’s the clip of the match (oh yeah, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt was involved for reasons never explained):
Frank’s Analysis: It would have been so much better if T-Bar and Mace ditched the masks. They would have looked like new wrestlers, even if people would have known them. Even though Retribution is no more (was that ever officially said on TV by the way), the stench of them remains. It’ll be interesting to see if they acted on their own or if they’re in cahoots with MVP. More importantly, it’s interesting to see Drew getting another title match. While I think he was the best choice, affiliating him with Braun and Randy in a triple threat match does somewhat define him down. In addition, does he take another loss, or do they do shenanigans to protect him? My guess is the latter. It depends on whether they want Drew to win the title back at some point. Looking at the Raw roster, I can’t see that not being the case.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!