SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE PERFORMANCE CENTER
MAY 11, 2020
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH SPECIALIST
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
Top 10 Moments from Last Week’s Show:
Money in the Bank Results Pertinent to Raw
Bobby Lashley defeated R-Truth. MVP was to have been R-Truth’s original opponent. Here’s a WWE exclusive with Lana detailing the win (seriously):
Drew McIntyre defeated Seth Rollins to retain the WWE Championship. This was Drew before the match:
Asuka defeated Carmella, Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Shayna Baszler, and Nia Jax.
We move past Money in the Bank and head towards Backlash, which we learned will take place on June 14 next month. Backlash first took place in 1999 and was frequently the follow-up to WrestleMania. It was dormant from 2010 to 2015 and returned in September of 2016 and has been randomly placed in WWE’s PPV chronology. The last event took place two years ago following the first WWE Saudi Arabia show, the Greatest Royal Rumble.
Items Advertised by WWE
Becky Lynch to confront Women’s Money in the Bank contract holder Asuka this Monday on Raw
Edge is on the hunt for Randy Orton
How will the Street Profits-Viking Raiders rivalry evolve?
Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch to Confront Money in the Bank Contract Holder
Sunday: Before we get on with the (Quarantine) Mother’s Day festivities, I started the Raw primer as I do usually every Sunday. Last week, they told us Becky Lynch would confront the Money in the Bank winner on Raw next week (tonight). Is that a tell that either Nia Jax, Asuka, or Shayna Baszler are winning the match? What happens if Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, or Carmella wins the match? Do they or whomever wins Money in the Bank have the right to cash in on the champion of their choosing? If I remember correctly, I thought Edge went from Raw to Smackdown in 2007 when he cashed in on the Undertaker. I could be wrong. That said, WWE acknowledged Becky’s Raw title run with 397 days being the most days holding it in history. The championship became brand specific during the second iteration of the roster split which began in July of 2016.
Monday: We know now that Asuka won the Money in the Bank contract. Asuka has been a longtime rival of Becky Lynch after defeating her at the Royal Rumble in 2019 to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship at the time. One year later, Becky would return the favor at the 2020 Royal Rumble and defeat Asuka to retain the Raw title. At the time, Becky claimed Asuka was “one more debt” she had to pay as the loss hung over her head for a year. She would subsequently defeat Asuka on Raw.
Just when Becky thought she rid herself of a monkey on her back so to speak, Asuka now looms as the Money in the Bank contract holder. Tonight, Becky confronts Asuka.
Frank’s Analysis: Given how they’ve built up Asuka in recent times, I’m not surprised she got the nod last night. To be honest, when she stood above everyone during the entrances last night, I knew she was winning. I’m good with this. Asuka is a talent and should be pushed as such. I’ll admit I wasn’t ready to go back to the Becky-Asuka feud so soon, but Asuka is a different character than what she was a few months ago at least to me. I’m curious how it plays out. I am concerned about how they feel about Shayna Baszler, as she was a non-factor at best. I would think she, Asuka, Becky, and even Nia Jax would be the players for the Raw title over the next year. We’ll have to watch and see how things play out.
Edge on the Hunt for Randy Orton
When we last saw WWE Hall of Famer Edge and Randy Orton, Edge defeated Orton in a Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania. At the time it was the culmination of a longtime friendship and rivalry which reignited when Edge returned at the Royal Rumble earlier in the year. Edge eliminated Orton, and Orton RKO’d him the following night on Raw after it appeared they were going to start working together again as Rated RKO. As we headed towards WrestleMania, Orton went so far as to RKO Edge’s wife and fellow WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix. Orton’s claim was he loved Edge like family and wanted to take him out so he could be home with his wife and children and not put his health at risk wrestling.
Here we are a little over a month after WrestleMania (it feels like a year), and WWE has told us Edge and Orton will be on Raw tonight. They said Edge will be “on the hunt” for his longtime friend and rival, but it’s not clear as to whether they will have a match. Here’s the video WWE showed us, which Orton retweeted:
NEXT WEEK.#WWERaw @EdgeRatedR @RandyOrton pic.twitter.com/mB5Xh0pNN7
— WWE (@WWE) May 5, 2020
Frank’s Analysis: Greg Parks and I talked about what may be next for Edge when I was on Wrestling Night in America last week. My thought was he would likely be at SummerSlam, perhaps involved with A.J. Styles or someone like that. I didn’t he’d be back now, much less getting involved with Orton again. It is the night after Money in the Bank, and I don’t care what anybody says. Edge made the cash-in cool. That said, I don’t suspect a match is on the docket for tonight. They could be setting something up for the next PPV or planting seeds for something at SummerSlam.
The Next Phase of the Raw Tag Team Champions the Street Profits and the Viking Raiders
Last week, the Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) defeated the Raw Tag Team Champions the Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) in a non-title match. The Viking Raiders last held the titles from October of 2019 until January of this year when they lost to Seth Rollins & Murphy. The feud between the two teams has been rooted in the Profits “following” the Raiders becoming tag team champions but not actually defeating them. The Raiders surrendered the NXT Tag Team Championship last year following their call-up to Raw. The Profits would subsequently win the championship at Takeover 25. They were moved to Raw and won the titles from Rollins and Murphy.
There’s been a back-and-forth on Twitter between the teams. WWE’s website has the full docket of tweets. Here’s a sample:
Well, we have won more titles than you two, all around the world… we can beat you guys at anything. Ax tossing, Feast Eating, Boat Rowing, Combat, Cartwheels, and People Tossing@MontezFordWWE @Erik_WWE @AngeloDawkins #WeWantTheSmoke#JoinTheRaid https://t.co/CNNhk8UXPX pic.twitter.com/MEYcH8w0Is
— Ivar (@Ivar_WWE) May 9, 2020
WWE is not advertising that there will be a match tonight, instead questioning how their “rivalry will evolve.” I can’t help but think we’ll get a title match, if not tonight but soon.
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t have much to add other than I like the fact we’re getting a serious feud budding between the teams. I like when the Profits stay in the lane of being serious with their comedy mixed in with the right dose. I’m down on the Raiders, but I wonder if they’re moving away from their costume-wearing grovel-talking weirdness and heading towards just an ass-kicking top-end team.
Other Match Results and News Items from Last Week
A.J. Styles won a Last Chance Gauntlet match to earn the final spot in the Money in the Bank match which was ultimately won by Otis of Smackdown. Styles had the briefcase but dropped it into Otis’ hand. I suppose you have the “maintain possession” of the briefcase to win it. WWE should have had Mike Pereira from the NFL on hand to explain possession the way he has to explain it during the broadcast of football games. Maybe they’ll bring him in this week, I don’t know.
Brandon Vink & Shane Thorne defeated Ricochet & Cedric Alexander.
NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair defeated Liv Morgan in a non-title match.
In advance of defending the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre defeated Murphy in a non-title match.
I enjoyed Money in the Bank in the grand scheme of things, and I’m genuinely curious where they go with Asuka and Otis. I can’t be sold that Otis is going to hold on to the contract given the controversy, and we’ll see if they address it tonight with A.J. Styles being on Raw. I’m very intrigued by the handshake between McIntyre and Rollins after the WWE Championship match and what it means. Outside of that and everything else discussed in this report, we chug along with the empty arena shows.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.