SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
MAY 31, 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: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Match Results & Key Segments from Last Week
- Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston wrestled to a no-contest in a match to determine the challenger to Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship.
- Nikki Cross defeated Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley in a two-minute Beat-the-Clock challenge.
- Charlotte Flair defeated Asuka in a rematch from the previous week.
- After a long promo rehashing what happened while they were in the Hurt Business, Cedric Alexander defeated former associate Shelton Benjamin.
- Riddle of RKBro defeated Xavier Woods of New Day.
- Jaxson Ryker defeated A.J. Styles.
- U.S. Champion Sheamus defeated Humberto Carrillo in a non-title match. Sheamus continued to attack Carrillo after match until Ricochet came out for the assist.
- Natalya & Tamina defeated Nia Jax & Shayna Basler to retain the Women’s Tag Team Championship.
We continue to head towards Hell in a Cell with another edition of Monday Night Raw. The commentary team will sound different, again, as MMA announcer Jimmy Smith takes over for the recently departed Adnan Virk and will pair with Byron Saxton and Corey Graves. Three matches are announced for tonight, one of which has implications for the WWE Championship match at Hell in a Cell.
Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston; Winner Faces Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell
Last week we were to determine who would face Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell; however, both Lashley and his manager MVP simultaneously attacked Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston to cause the match to end in a no-contest. At the start of the show, MVP and Lashley were touting WWE’s return to touring and how Drew was a dark cloud hanging over their head. until Drew interrupted. He claimed if it weren’t for MVP, he’d of won the WWE Championship at WrestleMania and then blamed Braun Strowman for failing to regain the title at WrestleMania. Kofi then interrupted and touted his non-title victory over Lashley a week prior when he answered MVP’s open challenge. In addition, he talked about never getting a rematch for the title he lost back in late 2019.
After the match, Adam Pearce made the match for tonight where Drew and Kofi would face each other to determine who faces Lashley. Lashley and MVP took issue with Pearce in a later segment, and Pearce responded by banning them from ringside tonight otherwise Lashley would be suspended for 90 days without pay.
Frank’s Analysis: This should point to a clean finish between Kofi and Drew to determine Lashley’s challenger, right? One would think, although I don’t put it past WWE to do another screwball finish and set up ANOTHER triple threat match this time with Kofi, Drew, and Lashley. I’m not endorsing that. They should NOT do it. Pick a challenger and go with him. Kofi shouldn’t beat Drew, but do we want to see another Drew vs. Lashley match? It’s a weird spot. I don’t know the right answer.
MizTV: Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair
Before losing a Beat-the-Clock challenge to Nikki Cross last week, Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair had a backstage confrontation where she said Rhea wants to be like Charlotte. Rhea said she could beat her in two minutes, but Charlotte couldn’t do it because she already had a match. That’s when Nikki Cross walked in and suggested Rhea face Nikki. Charlotte would later beat Asuka as I mentioned earlier. After that match it was announced Rhea would defend the Raw Women’s Championship against Charlotte at Hell in a Cell. No stipulation was made for the match yet.
Tonight, the Miz returns alongside John Morrison after being eaten by zombies at WrestleMania Backlash and will have both Rhea and Charlotte on MizTV. Here’s Charlotte in a WWE exclusive:
Frank’s Analysis: It’s hard to really analyze what they have planned for these talking segments. I can see things getting heated to the point where a stipulation is added to their match at Hell in a Cell. I don’t think their feud calls for a Hell in a Cell stipulation, but WWE doesn’t care.
Shayna Baszler vs. Reginald
Reginald inadvertently caused a distraction last week that prevented Shayna Baszler from pinning Natalya to allow her and Nia Jax to regain the Women’s Tag Team Championship. Shayna then told him to get lost, and as he was making his way up flames shot up (as if Kane was making his entrance). Natalya then pinned Shayna with an inside cradle.
Shayna walked up to Reginald and said she was tired of him interfering in her matches. She called him a Cirque Du Soleil twerp and challenged him to a match. Here’s Nia and Reginald in WWE exclusive:
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t understand what they’re going for with Reginald. More importantly, this is another low for Shayna. She was mowing through everyone at Elimination Chamber and challenging Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania a little over a year ago. Now she’s wrestling Reginald.
Raw Tag Team Championship: A.J. Styles & Omos (champs) vs. Jaxson Ryker & Elias
On the heels of Jaxson Ryker’s two-minute victory over former WWE Champion A.J. Styles (who’s had numerous high-profile matches at WrestleMania against people like Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, and the Undertaker), Ryker & Elias will have a championship match tonight against Raw Tag Team Champions Styles & Omos. After the match, Omos attacked Elias who had given Styles a knee to the jaw during the match. As Elias was running away, Omos caught up to him and shoved him into an LED board. Here’s Ryker in a WWE exclusive:
Frank’s Analysis: I hate to point out what’s already been pointed out, but it is ABSURD to have Jaxson Ryker pin A.J. Styles in two minutes. ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS! I don’t care what story they’re trying to tell. That said, it’s the Raw Tag Team Championship, so anything is possible. I don’t know how invested WWE is long-term in the partnership with Styles & Omos. I get the sense Vince is dying to have Omos go on his own. The announcers continue to tout his size and speed.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!