SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
APRIL 26, 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
- The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin in a rematch from the previous week.
- Riddle defeated Randy Orton.
- Naomi & Lana defeated Women’s Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax in a non-title match. During the match Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke interrupted and showed video clips of Mandy slipping at WrestleMania during her entrance and Nia slipping multiple times in their match the previous week.
- Elias defeated Kofi Kingston, former WWE Champion from only two years ago.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Mace & T-Bar via DQ. Mace & T-Bar then went on to defeat Drew McIntyre & Braun Strowman via DQ.
- Damian Priest defeated the Miz.
- Asuka defeated Charlotte Flair with assistance from Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. Charlotte then attacked the referee and has been fined and suspended. I don’t want Raw Talk nor do I ever include anything from that, but I included the segment where Adam Pearce (well really Xavier Woods) announcing the fine & suspension as well as an exclusive with the referee:
Key Non-Wrestling Segments from Last Week
- In the opening segment, MVP denied to Drew McIntyre that Mace & T-Bar (formerly of Retribution) have any affiliation with the Hurt Business and had nothing to do with attacking Drew the previous week. At the end of the segment, Mace & T-Bar went after Drew again.
- Charlotte Flair cut a promo ahead of her match with Asuka, talking more about being the “opportunity.” Asuka interrupted followed by Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. Rhea said Asuka would beat Charlotte and Asuka called Charlotte a bitch.
- The Miz and his wife Maryse celebrated the premiere of Miz & Mrs. and bragged about he and John Morrison defeating Damian Priest in a handicap match. Priest interrupted and said Miz had no balls and threw champagne (which he said was trash) in his face.
- Alexa Bliss explained the background of her new “friend” Lily.
- U.S. Champion Sheamus issued an “open challenge” which was answered by Humberto Carrillo, whom we’ve mostly seen pursuing the 24/7 Championship. Sheamus absolutely tattooed Humberto.
Advertised Matches and Segments by WWE
We continue towards WrestleMania Backlash which takes place May 16. Thus far two matches are scheduled, one of which was announced before Smackdown this past Friday (Bianca Belair vs. Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship). For tonight’s edition of Raw, WWE has advertised a rematch from last week and a talking segment. Here’s the video hyping those segments:
Drew McIntyre & Braun Strowman vs. Mace & T-Bar
In a rematch from last week, Drew McIntyre & Braun Strowman will face former Retribution members Mace & T-Bar. All parties were heavily involved in the show last week as noted in the recap. Drew picked up a DQ win over Mace & T-Bar when he was illegally double-teamed. Later, after Braun showed up to rescue Drew, Mace & T-Bar were able to pick up the DQ win when Drew removed Mace’s mask and hit him over and over. Moments later, Braun removed T-Bar’s mask.
Here’s some Twitter trash talk from Mace & T-Bar and Drew firing back at T-Bar:
— MAIN EVENT M̺̤͍͓̮̼̟̂ͯ̽͒͐̋ͧA͈͋C͕̥̘̬̊̇ͪ͂E̳̽ (@MACEtheWRESTLER) April 24, 2021
Next time someone questions kick pads I have a video to show them.
— The Men Who Defeated Drew And Braun -BAR (@TBARRetribution) April 25, 2021
You’ve had more name changes than titles. You were just another guy on the indies when I was the guy. You won nothing in NXT and I was the Champ, and you’ve proved nothing since. Your mate’s highest accolade is commentating on my matches. Prove yourself in-ring. Not on Twitter. https://t.co/9ZmGlmAiYg
— Drew McIntyre (@DMcIntyreWWE) April 25, 2021
Frank’s Analysis: While it’s a “hallelujah” moment to see the silly masks removed, it didn’t feel like the big deal it should have felt. It should also be noted that in the video hyping Raw, they still have the masks on. We’ll see if Mace and T-Bar get elevated now and how they can move away from the stench of what was Retribution. Kane was once Isaac Yankem and the fake Diesel, and he went on to shake those awful gimmicks and have a Hall of Fame career. Granted, he did play off of the Undertaker which helped in a tremendous way.
WWE Champion Bobby Lashley Returns to Discuss Upcoming Title Match
Bobby Lashley, conspicuous by his absence last week, returns to discuss his upcoming WWE Championship defense at WrestleMania Backlash against Drew McIntyre. Lashley defeated Drew at WrestleMania to retain the title and has held it since early March when he defeated the Miz.
This will be their third televised title match within the past year. Ironically, they faced off at the 2020 edition of Backlash when Drew was the WWE Champion and Lashley was beginning to get involved with MVP. Drew defeated Braun Strowman and Randy Orton in a triple threat match two weeks ago to earn another shot at the title. As mentioned earlier, Drew teams with Braun tonight to face the former Retribution members Mace & T-Bar. Also, MVP has denied having any connection to Mace & T-Bar, who attacked Drew two weeks ago as well as last week after the opening “conversation” between Drew and MVP.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m curious to see what’s done here because it would be very odd for Drew to beat Lashley at Backlash when they could have just done that in front of fans. It would be odd for Lashley to beat Drew because that’s giving him two straight losses in a championship match. It’s hard not to imagine shenanigans being involved in order to protect Drew if they don’t want to put the title back on him.
Latest WWE Then and Now
I hope you’ve all had a chance to check out my latest edition of the PWTorch VIP exclusive show WWE Then and Now that dropped over the weekend. Torch columnist Rich Fann joined me to review WrestleMania 21 from 2005 as well as current events. We related the championship wins of John Cena and Batista during that event to Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair winning at the current WrestleMania, amongst other topics. What is the legacy of Eddie Guerrero and who can represent the Latin culture moving forward? Is there a Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle match on today’s roster? Is Randy Orton playing the role of the Undertaker now? Next week, Torch assistant editor Zack Heydorn returns to Then and Now to review WrestleMania 22 from 2006. We’ll have an in-person perspective as Zack was in the building. John Cena defended the WWE Championship against Triple H at that event. Is there a potential Cena-Triple H moment on WWE’s current roster? Can Edge give a rub to a younger star as hardcore legend Mick Foley gave to him on that night? Was having Vince McMahon wrestle a match past its expiration date, similar to where we may be with Shane McMahon these days? I look forward to discussing these topics and more with Zack.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!