SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
JULY 12, 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 from Last Week
- John Morrison defeated Ricochet via count-out. Prior to the match, there was an episode of MizTV where Drew McIntyre asserted that he would win Money in the Bank and face a champion of his choosing. Ricochet came out followed by Riddle followed by Raw Tag Team Champions A.J. Styles & Omos. Jimmy Smith yelled “are you kidding me?!?!?”
- Eva Marie & Doudrop & Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax defeated Asuka & Naomi & Alexa Bliss & Nikki A.S.H. Asuka, Naomi, Alexa, and Nikki are the Raw representatives in the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match.
- Mustafa Ali defeated Mansoor.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Jinder Mahal via DQ when Veer & Shanky (Mahal’s sidekicks) attacked Drew mid-match. Jinder and company confiscated Drew’s sword at the end. (I’ll tell you where Jinder can stick that sword.)
- Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado & Kalisto) defeated Mace & T-Bar.
- Riddle defeated A.J. Styles.
- Charlotte Flair, coming out on crutches, said she could potentially miss her Money in the Bank match in which she will challenge Rhea Ripley for the Raw Women’s Championship. Rhea came out on a crutch mocking Charlotte, and then they swung crutches at each other.
- Jaxson Ryker & R-Truth defeated Cedric Alexander & Elias.
- New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) defeated WWE Champion Bobby Lashley & M.V.P.
Tonight’s edition of Raw will be the last in the Thunderdome and has already been recorded. Next week they will be in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. It will be the first Raw in front of live fans since March 9, 2020. Six matches have been advertised for tonight, four of which we were made aware of during last week’s episode. Two matches were announced during Smackdown this past Friday.
Falls Count Anywhere: Ricochet vs. John Morrison
For the third week in a row, Ricochet will go one-on-one with John Morrison only this time it will be in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Two weeks ago, they worked to a double count-out when Ricochet did a high cross-body onto Morrison on the floor in front of the Thunderdome screens. Last week, Morrison won via count-out when the Miz blocked Ricochet from getting back in the ring with his wheelchair. There was use of the drip-stick and a distraction.
Both men are in the Money in the Bank ladder match.
Frank’s Analysis: If there were stakes to this series of matches, the drip-stick removed, the Miz somewhere else, Jimmy Smith not yelling at every little thing, and actual finishes then it would be enjoyable. It has the WWE stain of bad comedy and incessant crap finishes.
A.J. Styles vs. Ivar
Omos vs. Erik
Next week, when WWE returns in front of a crowd in Dallas, TX, the Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) will challenge A.J. Styles & Omos for the Raw Tag Team Championship. They earned that right several weeks ago when they won a tag team battle royal in which the winners earned a shot at the titles. Tonight, they will “split up” and have singles matches in which A.J. will face Ivar and Omos will face Erik. The Raiders got involved in the match between A.J. and Riddle last week and distracted A.J., enabling Riddle to score a leverage pin.
Frank’s Analysis: This is just to further the story, as much as it is a story, between the Raiders and A.J. and Omos. I’m curious to see Omos in a singles match, but don’t have a lot of optimism. I’m sure there’ll be shenanigans and a non-start. (We can say that a lot these days about WWE programming.)
U.S. Championship: Sheamus vs. Humberto Carrillo
Humberto Carrillo will challenge Sheamus for the U.S. Championship as both men make their return to WWE television. Carrillo was injured many weeks ago in a match with Sheamus. Sheamus was injured in another match where his nose was broken, and subsequently began wearing a face shield over his nose. Sheamus defeated Riddle for the U.S. Championship at WrestleMania. Carrillo began appearing more regularly on television after WrestleMania after mostly chasing the 24/7 Championship.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m looking forward to this but again, and I know I’m repeating myself, are we resigned to expect a crap finish setting up a match the following week or at Money in the Bank? By the way, wasn’t Ricochet involved in this program as well? They just dropped that. Not that it means a whole lot, but it’s frustrating how WWE just sweeps things under the carpet and doesn’t think we remember.
Non-Title Match: WWE Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Xavier Woods of New Day
In a match that originally supposed to take place last week, Xavier Woods of New Day will go one-on-one with WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. This coming Sunday, Kofi Kingston will challenge Lashley for the title he lost to Brock Lesnar on the premiere episode of Smackdown on Fox back in October of 2019.
Lashley has been involved in a series of matches and segments with New Day including a Hell in a Cell match against Woods the night after the titular PPV several weeks. I mentioned the tag match last week. Here’s Lashley on Twitter:
Frank’s Analysis: It’s the WWE formula where only people feuding can wrestle or interact with each other on television. If there’s an upcoming match, they must do variations of it with different people during the build. I’m still looking forward to Kofi vs. Lashley. I’m curious if there will be a break-up of New Day. It’s long overdue, but I know merchandise and their marketability are a factor.
Fatal Four-Way: Asuka vs. Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki A.S.H.
The above-mentioned women will take part in the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match this Sunday. Tonight, they will compete in a fatal four-way match. Asuka was the 2020 winner of the women’s Money in the Bank contract which ultimately turned out to be for the Raw Women’s Championship. Becky Lynch relinquished the title due to her becoming pregnant but did so before the 2020 Money in the Bank PPV. The women in the match did not know the match was really for the title. Alexa Bliss won the 2018 edition and cashed in the same night on then-champion Nia Jax.
Frank’s Analysis: Again, it’s the people wrestling each other in an upcoming PPV wrestling each other on TV as a means of building the match. What does win this match mean for the winner and the losers?
Jinder Mahal in Possession of Drew McIntyre’s Family Sword
WWE has advertised they will follow up on Jinder Mahal taking Drew McIntyre’s family sword after Drew defeated Jinder via DQ.
Frank’s Analysis: We’ve reached the point with Drew where they need to keep him occupied while being out of the title picture. This is what they have.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!