Raw extends the Brand to Brand Invitation!
The King of the Ring, Baron Corbin, returns to Raw to take on WWE World Champion, Drew McIntyre! Will his warm welcome be in the form of a Claymore?
- Humberto Carrillo VS Buddy Murphy w/ Seth Rollins; Murphy wins.
- Charlotte Flair VS Ruby Riott; Flair wins.
- Bobby Lashley VS R-Truth; Lashley wins.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Bliss-Cross VS The IIconics; Bliss-Cross win by disqualification, and retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
- Submission Match: Shayna Baszler VS Natalya; Baszler wins.
- Kevin Owens & Apollo Crews VS Andrade Almas & Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega & Austin Theory; Owens & Crews win.
- Aleister Black VS Buddy Murphy w/ Seth Rollins; Aleister wins, by disqualification.
- Ax Throwing: The Street Profits VS The Viking Raiders; The Viking Raiders win.
- Brand to Brand Invitational: Drew McIntyre VS Baron Corbin; McIntyre wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Charly Caruso introduces Randy Orton.
The Viper made the challenge to the Rated R Superstar: Prove you’re back by having a wrestling match. No gimmicks, no extra stipulations. A default singles match between Randy Orton and Edge is set for Backlash, if Edge accepts. Orton grabs a mic as Charly asks him to explain this challenge. “Is the phrase ‘straight up wrestling match’ really that hard for people to comprehend?” WWE means World Wrestling Entertainment. Wrestling is the basis of everything they do in pro-wrestling. They get into the ring with the dream of being at WrestleMania. At WrestleMania, Orton and Edge tore each other and the Performance Center apart in a Last Man Standing match. Now while it paints Orton to admit he lost that match because Edge was the better man, Orton knows in his heart that Orton is the superior wrestler. He doesn’t need tables, ladders, chairs or to be the last man standing. He just needs a ref, and a ring.
Athletes come and go, but no normal athlete can do what superstars do. Just like no one in the WWE can do what Orton does the way he does, and that includes Edge. Orton directs this next part to Edge personally. “I know why you didn’t accept my challenge last Monday night on Raw. I saw it written all over your face.” It was in Edge’s eyes. Orton saw doubt. Edge’s grit and passion have faded away. What once was grit and passion is now doubt and fear. “You think you know me.” Edge is HERE! He joins Orton in the ring, with a mic, to give his response! “Randy, last week, you spoke a lot of truths. You gave me a lot to contemplate, to chew on, to internalize.” Orton is playing chess, so Edge couldn’t just rush into his next move. But that’s all this is to Orton. It’s a game. Orton smirks because this is just a paycheck. But Edge gets it. Orton is quite possibly the most talented person in a wrestling ring. But this isn’t the life Orton wanted. This is the life he was handed, as a back-up plan! Orton is different from everyone else, because he doesn’t care.
Orton didn’t go to bed dreaming of being champion like Edge. He didn’t save up his allowance to go to the monthly show like Edge. And Orton didn’t cry the night he won the WWE Intercontinental Championship like Edge did, because that title meant Edge was on the track to be one of the best workhorses in the history of this business! And Edge has done just that. In fact, Edge beat Orton for that title in 2004. One of Edge’s favorite matches, that’s for show. And they’ve both grown since then. Orton is getting annoyed by all this, but Edge tells him to shut up! Because most importantly, Orton has never had a career ending injury. Orton didn’t have to fight for NINE YEARS just to get back! Orton doesn’t love this sport like Edge and the rest of the roster does. So yeah, Orton can say the better wrestler didn’t win at WrestleMania. Orton wants Edge to shut up and answer the challenge. Edge’s answer is YES! Orton nods and leaves, having gotten what he wants. But will Edge expose Orton as the best wrestler with the least motivation?
Buddy Murphy finds Seth Rollins backstage.
Murphy is worried Rollins isn’t all there, but The Monday Night Messiah assures his disciple that he has had “a revelation.” And now, Rollins will tell the world. Rollins and Murphy head to gorilla, but what will this new message be?
Raw returns to Rollins and Murphy making their entrance.
Rollins and Murphy go to the ring and Rollins gets a mic. “Sometimes in life, you have to lose who you are to truly find yourself.” When Rollins lost to Drew McIntyre at Money in the Bank, part of Rollins felt he had lost everything. Rollins fell into a dark place. A place so dark, he wasn’t sure he would ever escape. But without darkness, there can be no light. Rollins has seen that light, and it is brighter than ever before! That is all thanks to one man: Rey Mysterio. What happened to Mysterio has been described as “heinous and disgusting and unforgivable.” It has been described by others as “an act of penance” paid to Rollins in Mysterio’s disbelief. Rollins doesn’t see it as either of those ways. What Rollins sees it as simply unfortunate but necessary. That was the cathartic moment Rollins needed for the clarity he needed to be the leader he was always meant to be.
Rollins speaks to Mysterio directly here. “I know you’re at home with your family right now, and you’re healing. And I know that you can’t see it right now, but soon you will come to understand that what happened to you was a blessing in disguise.” So from the bottom of Rollins’ heart, Mysterio, you’re welcome. But here comes Humberto Carrillo! Ultimo Ninja is furious. Does Rollins think anyone believes this? That Rollins cares about Mysterio? Mysterio is a hero to millions, and he is Carrillo’s idol! All that Rollins is, is a coward! Carrillo rushes the ring but Murphy stands in his way. Rollins tells Humberto that while he appreciates and respects this act of defending Mysterio’s honor, if he’s here to fight, Rollins is not dressed for the occasion. However, while Murphy has a match later on with Aleister Black, he will gladly oblige. Will the disciple pull double duty to defend his leader?
Humberto Carrillo VS Buddy Murphy w/ Seth Rollins!
Raw returns, and indeed, Murphy will take on Ultimo Ninja before taking on Aleister Black later tonight! Will Carrillo defeat the disciple to avenge Mysterio?
The match is already underway as Carrillo whips but Murphy runs him over. Things speed up and Carrillo hurdles but Murphy leaps. Carrillo springboards for a flying arm-drag, and then huricanranas! Murphy ends up in a corner but puts Carrillo on a corner. Carrillo shoulders and slingshots over to keep moving, and ducks and dodges only to be sent back to the apron. Carrillo enziguris Murphy back, then goes up top, only for Murphy goes up! The two brawl and Murphy staggers back, and Carrillo BOOTS! But Murphy YANKS Carrillo down to the mat! Rollins smiles as Murphy stomps and KICKS Carrillo while he’s down. Cover, TWO! Murphy keeps his focus and drags Carrillo up to CLUB on the back. Murphy clamps on a chinlock but Carrillo endures. Carrillo fights up, spins around, and jawbreakers free! Murphy blocks the punch to fire off a strike fest! But Carrillo dodges the knee, swings a kick but hits the second!
Murphy flops to the apron, springboard enziguri sends him down! Carrillo FLIES and takes Murphy out, right in front of Rollins! Rollins no longer smiles as Carrillo puts Murphy in the ring. Carrillo hurries up top but Rollins is lurking. The ref reprimands Rollins as Carrillo springboards, into a KNEE! MURPHY’S LAW!! Cover, Murphy wins!
Winner: Buddy Murphy, by pinfall
The distraction allows the disciple to win, and Rollins joins him in the ring. But they’re not done with Carrillo, and Murphy KNEES Carrillo out of the ring! Murphy does his leader’s bidding as he throws Carrillo into steps, but here comes Aleister! These two brawl again, and Aleister puts Murphy in the ring! Aleister dodges Murphy’s haymakers to fire off his own strike fest! Rollins bails and Murphy hurries after. Aleister wants this fight now, but he will have to wait. Will Aleister avenge Mysterio for Carrillo?
Baron Corbin complains backstage.
The King of the Ring doesn’t get why he, the very special guest, doesn’t have his own locker room. He tells the staffer to go find him an individual dressing room. A referee walks over, and Corbin complains to him about how he was welcomed to Raw. There were fingerprint smudges on the crown, no one bowed to him, no one opened doors or brought him food. Does no one get how important the Wolf King is?! What is going on with Raw? That was rhetorical, so don’t answer. Corbin tells the ref what is going to happen in the match with Drew McIntyre later tonight, but Raw goes to break. Will this be the last time Raw lets Corbin answer the Brand to Brand Invitation?
Raw hears from Liv Morgan.
“What you may not know about me, is my mom is my hero. She didn’t have a job, or much of a savings account or a resume.” But what her mother had was determination. Liv’s mother never quit, and Liv is her mother’s daughter. A couple weeks ago, Liv had a match with 12-time champion, Charlotte Flair. THE Charlotte Flair, pride and joy of the WWE. Did Liv win? No. But did she learn? Yes. And what she learned is that she’s just like her mother. She is determined, and one day, she will become a champion. But when and where will that day come?
Charlotte Flair heads to the ring!
Speaking of the Queen, she brings her NXT Women’s Championship to the ring. Charlotte says that everyone at home is surely in awe. She won’t bore us with how she’s the hardest worker on all three brands as the face of Raw, the champion of NXT, and the very special guest of SmackDown. Instead, she will tell us about Bayley and her lackey- er, sidekick, Sasha Banks, challenging her to a Champion VS Champion match. Charlotte accepted, and is excited! She gets to show Bayley that there are levels to being a champion. As for Raw’s Ruby Riott, she must be dying to say something to Charlotte. Everyone has an opinion about Charlotte, so why not let Ruby share hers in person? Ruby appears, goes to the ring, and stares Charlotte down. The “opinion” Ruby has will be shared through action, because they have a match after the break!
Charlotte Flair VS Ruby Riott!
Raw returns and Charlotte CHOPS away on Ruby! She throws Ruby out of the ring then follows, to CHOP Ruby again! Ruby dodges and Charlotte chops post! Ruby goes after the hand and pulls on fingers. Ruby throws forearms while trapping the other arm. Charlotte reverses to POST Ruby in return! Charlotte puts Ruby in the ring at 7 and stalks her to ropes. Charlotte chokes Ruby on the ropes but lets up at 4. “Hey, Liv! You watching this?” Charlotte puts Ruby in a corner and pulls on her arms against the ropes. She CHOPS again, but Ruby elbows back! Ruby goes up and hits DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Ruby scrapes Charlotte down then climbs up, for the stage dive senton! Cover, TWO! Charlotte toughs it out but clutches the bad hand. Ruby is after that hand with stomps! Ruby wrenches but Charlotte ROCKS her with a right! Ruby runs and spins Charlotte around into a COMPLETE SHOT! Ghost pin, into a Rings of Saturn!
Charlotte endures, powers up, and blocks any Iron Octopus with a grip. Ruby sunset flips but Charlotte fights off the grip. She STOMPS away on Ruby, the pain becoming anger. But Ruby just eggs Charlotte on! Ruby dodges the boot and rolls Charlotte up, TWO! Ruby wrenches the bad hand, but Riott Kick is blocked to a BOOT! Charlotte has the legs, Figure Four to Figure EIGHT! Ruby taps, Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission
The Queen keeps on winning, but she’s got a busy week ahead of her. On NXT, Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai do battle, which one rises up to challenge Charlotte for the title? And on SmackDown, will Charlotte prove she’s the better champion against bad and bold Bayley?
Backstage interview with Bobby Lashley.
The Rocky Mountain Machine is joined by MVP. They’ve been talking man to man, and they will not be doing business together because Lashley is too focused on clowns like R-Truth while his wife Lana runs the show. Lashley asks Charly to give him and MVP space. MVP doesn’t want trouble, and doesn’t want to feel the power of that full nelson. But MVP wonders what would happen if the full nelson was put on the WWE Champion. Lashley doesn’t know that because he hasn’t had a world title opportunity in 13 YEARS. But Lashley seems okay with that. Who needs the big beautiful title belt on his shoulder when there’s already a trophy wife on your arm? MVP isn’t trying to cause trouble, or wants anything in return. He just wants Lashley to think on when Lashley will finally be Lashley. MVP takes his leave, but what will Lashley’s response be?
The Street Profits go outdoors.
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins still feel good about ballin’ on the Viking Raiders last week. But what about today? Ax throwing can’t be that hard, can it? But then a “viking” on a horse comes in. There are many other Viking enthusiasts with Erik and Ivar today. The Profits are their guests. The quest for smoke leads you here, to a bonfire! “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!” No, they don’t mean literal smoke. Ford doesn’t want Dawkins to reject the gift from armed vikings. Right… And so, Ivar starts off, with an ax bull’s eye! Ford wants to forfeit but Dawkins says they can do this. The official ax throwing match will go down later tonight!
Raw goes to Kairi Sane is in the ring.
“Ladies and gentlemen!” The Pirate Princess says that tonight, we celebrate ASUKA~! Ms. Money in the Bank, Kairi’s partner and friend, and NEW Raw Women’s Champion! The Empress of Tomorrow heads to the ring where there are balloons all over for this special celebration! Kairi even presents Asuka with a bouquet of flowers! Asuka is so happy and thankful, and the Kabuki Warriors hug. Asuka thought winning MITB was great, but then last week’s Raw with Becky becoming a mother, Asuka is so happy. She really is, because now she’s Raw Women’s Champion! “I can’t believe it!” Kairi is so happy for Asuka-nee-sama, because now the show is all about her. Asuka has been NXT Women’s Champion, SmackDown Women’s Champion, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion, and now RAW Women’s Champion! That makes Asuka the Grand Slam Empress! GRAND SLAM!! Asuka dances for joy, and Kairi plays her theme song on a flute.
But here comes Nia Jax! The Irresistible Force goes to the ring and grabs a mic. “Seriously? Seriously?” There’s nothing to celebrate. Asuka was handed the title from Becky because Becky can’t fight anymore. Nia breaks it down for Asuka: Becky is on maternity leave. Asuka lucked her way into the greatest temp job ever. And soon, she will be replaced by someone far more worthy: Nia. Look at Nia compared to Asuka. There’s only one way this goes down in the ring. And when Nia becomes Raw Women’s Champion, she’ll have a real party. Asuka goes after Nia with furious kicks! And a hip attack! Nia is set from the ring, and Asuka dares her to get back in! Kairi has Asuka’s back, too! Will Nia really steamroll over a woman who beat her way back in NXT?
Backstage interview with Baron Corbin.
The Wolf King begins the Brand to Brand Invitational against McIntyre, but is Corbin having any doubts after seeing how dominant McIntyre has been? Doubts? Oh please. McIntyre may be champion, but he is no king. And Corbin is not going into this blindly. He chose McIntyre, because of how he carried McIntyre last year. Corbin knows what gets under McIntyre’s skin. But yes, McIntyre is dangerous. McIntyre beat Brock Lesnar for the title. But he still has the ability to make mistakes. Corbin will take advantage of those mistakes and defeat him. Then the next time they meet, it will be the main event of WrestleMania and Corbin will take the WWE World Championship! McIntyre was watching this interview. Will McIntyre take advantage of Corbin’s mistakes first?
Bobby Lashley VS R-Truth!
WWE Universe, what’s up?! Well Truth will tell you. Pretty Ricky told Truth that Lashley has been “a bad, bad, bad man.” Let’s look back at the tape. MVP has been recruiting Lashley, getting him to think on Lashley letting loose. Lashley did just that when he gave Truth a SPEAR after his match with MVP. And then the full nelson, as MVP alluded to. Truth says he does not want that nelson again. But his childhood hero, John Cena, would never give up when it comes to facing a mean man. So neither will Truth. Just like Truth isn’t giving up on his “baby.” Tom Brady better be watching so he’ll see what Truth does to Lashley. Then Truth will find and SACK Brady to take back the WWE 24/7, 487, 7/11, I-95 SOUTH, 401k Championship! Yeah, he said it. But is Truth about to get hit so hard, he’ll actually remember it’s Gronk who has the title?
The bell rings and Truth stays back in a corner. Truth needs a minute. “You gonna Debo me?” Truth bails out, then becomes PRETTY RICKY! Ricky dares Bobby to fight him! Lashley goes out, chases Ricky, and they start brawling! Truth kicks but misses, and Lashley RAMS him into barriers! Then scoops and fireman’s carries, to bring Truth over and RAM into a post! Truth writhes and clutches his forehead but Lashley drags him up into the ring. Lashley sweeps Truth’s legs and feints, to slap him around. Truth gets up and throws more haymakers, then forearms and elbows. Truth runs, into a LARIAT! Lashley brings Truth up to throw knee after knee into the ribs and stomach, then puts on the FULL NELSON! He thrashes and SLAMS Truth down! But Lashley isn’t done, he puts the full nelson back on until Truth is a ragdoll! Truth taps, Lashley wins!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by submission
The All Mighty decimates Truth, and again impresses MVP. MVP applauds Lashley, but has he successfully recruited him?
Lana watches this backstage.
She is furious! She throws whatever she can get her hands on. But is this rage, or fear that she has lost her Bobby to another manager?
Asuka and Kairi still celebrate backstage.
But Nia is lurking. She may have gotten lit up by Asuka, but her eyes seem to be on Kairi Sane. We’ve already seen Nia A-Nia-Late Kairi before, but will she sink the Pirate Princess once and for all?
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Bliss-Cross VS The IIconics!
The two-time champions, Alexa and Nikki, welcomed Billie Kay & Peyton Royce back last week, but the Aussie mean girls didn’t reciprocate the sentiment. Billie & Peyton have mics as they head to the ring to say, “Well, well, look who’s back.” Did the champions not learn their lesson from last week? That is to say, the match the IIconics essentially cheated to win this opportunity. But Billie & Peyton are glad Bliss-Cross is here to drop off the titles and just be gone. “We appreciate you. PFFF.” But the future of these titles is here, and that future is IICONIC! Will that all be true after this rematch?
The title are raised, the teams sort out, and we begin with Billie and Alexa.
Billie and Alexa tie up, go around, and Billie brings Alexa to the corner. Tag to Peyton, but Alexa avoids the double team to throw forearms! Alexa throws Billie out, spins Peyton around for an STO! Knee drops and tag to Nikki for a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Nikki keeps on Peyton with an armlock, but Peyton pulls hair. Peyton whips, Nikki reverses, but Billie tags in. Nikki dodges Peyton to hit Billie! Nikki tackles and thrashes Peyton but Billie knees Nikki low! Billie brings Nikki up for a suplex slam! Cover, TWO! Billie argues the count but Nikki flounders to ropes. Nikki dodges Billie’s boot and tags in Alexa! The Five Foot Fury rallies on Billie, SLAPS and ROCKS her with a right, then dropkicks her down! Another knee drop, and Insult2Injury! Cover, but Peyton breaks it! Peyton goes after Nikki but Nikki DECKS her first! Nikki baits Peyton into throwing her out, but Billie BOOTS Nikki down! Billie turns around into Alexa’s RIGHT!
Alexa drags Billie into a drop zone, climbs up top, and leaps for TWISTED BLISS! Cover, but Peyton breaks in just in time! Peyton POSTS Alexa, and AGAIN! The ref reprimands but Peyton POSTS Alexa a third time! The ref disqualifies the match!!
Winners: Bliss-Cross, by disqualification; (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
Such fury from the Venus Flytrap! But in the end, it costs her and Billie, and Nikki and Alexa keep their titles! Will Peyton and Billie shriek their way into a second chance? Or are Bliss-Cross headed back to SmackDown to find new competition?
Kairi plays flute all alone backstage.
And that leaves her vulnerable to Nia! Nia SLAMS Kairi into road cases! Nia leaves Kairi down and out, but perhaps Kairi is fortunate that’s all she did. Will Asuka hear about this and come looking for revenge?
Raw returns to the IIconics arguing backstage.
Billie is upset with Peyton, and Peyton is upset with herself. This was their one chance to get those tag titles back! And Peyton blew it! Billie SLAPS Peyton!? Even Billie regrets doing that. The IIconics cry and hug it out. Will the future still be standing after this apparently devastating loss?
Raw shares highlights of Undertaker: The Last Ride, Chapter 2.
Just hours before WrestleMania 34, Taker and wife, Michelle McCool, rode into town to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It was the hush-hush mission of getting Taker in to surprise John Cena and the WWE Universe. It was some Spec-Ops stuff for Mark Callaway. What tonight was about was performing at the level the world expects him to be at. He wants to leave us thinking, “This guy’s got a lot left in the tank.” That alone was enough for him.
Asuka finds Kairi backstage!
Medics are already attending to Kairi and assure Asuka that Kairi will be okay. Asuka asks what happened, and Kairi just whispers, “Nia.” Now Asuka is pissed! Is Asuka about to shred Nia to pieces?
Raw returns and Asuka finds Nia!
Asuka demands to know why Nia went after Kairi and not her. Nia just goes to leave, but Asuka grabs the ponytails! And ROUNDHOUSES Nia down! Asuka says that’s what Nia gets! But is this going to only escalate things?
Submission Match: Shayna Baszler VS Natalya!
The Queen of Spades trumped the Queen of Harts not with a grapple but a stiff knee to the head! But now, there might be a chance Shayna gets Natty to #TapNapOrSnap! Will Shayna add on to all the insults and injuries so far?
The bell rings and the two circle and tie up. Natty headlocks, Shayna reverses to her own headlock, and throws Natty down. Shayna taunts Natty but Natty fights up. Natty powers out but Shayna runs her over! Shayna wants Natty to get used to looking up from the mat, then runs. Natty stays low but Shayna drops on her for the Kirafuda! Natty slips out the back, has the legs, and goes to lace the legs up. Shayna trips Natty to an ankle lock! Natty claws and crawls as the two talk trash. Shayna cranks but Natty turns around and boots her away! The two back off, checking ankles and teeth, respectively. Shayna comes back to knee low! She twists Natty’s arm all around but Natty refuses to quit. Natty rolls, handsprings, but Shayna throws her down by her hair! Shayna talks trash then stomps Natty over and over! Shayna goes to STEAL the Sharpshooter, but Natty blocks! Natty uses that to put the Sharpshooter on herself!!
Shayna endures as Natty sits deep! She claws her way to ropes but Natty drags her away! Natty wants Shayna to give up but Shayna powers up to crawl again. Shayna gets to the apron but there are no ropebreaks, so she pulls Natty into the ropes herself. Natty can’t hold on any longer so Shayna gets away, only for Natty to wreck her with a dropkick! “Was that better for you?!” Natty drags Shayna up and into the ring and wants after her! Shayna covers up as Natty grounds ‘n’ pounds! Then she shifts to a KNEEBAR!! Shayna endures, shifts position, and hammers Natty to get the KIRAFUDA!! Natty endures, but she’s caught! She reaches for ropes, but Shayna traps it with a leg! Natty fades, but taps! Shayna wins!
Winner: Shayna Baszler
The Queen of Harts checks off one of Shayna’s boxes, and Shayna has another win. Is Natalya ever going to figure out how she can make Shayna eat her words? She throws a bit of a tantrum while the crew sets up for the next segment. She goes after the Kevin Owens Show stands and throws them out of the ring! And then throws an armchair out! And another! Is this the last straw for the last Hart in the WWE?
Zelina Vega’s stable is arguing again!
Andrade Almas, Angel Garza and Austin Theory are at it again, and again she comes in to shut it all down. She has had enough of this in-fighting! They are going to go on The KO Show, on the same page. It is her business that they are a cohesive unit. Does Almas understand? Yes, because he is the champion. Does Angel understand? Of course. Does Theory understand? Yes. “Yes, what?” “Yes, ma’am.” Well, the situation has been defused for now, but will it explode once they’re in the ring?
The KO Show returns to Raw!
Kevin Owens finally returns after his victory at WrestleMania, but it isn’t quite the return he hoped. The set is still a wreck after what Natalya did to it, so he just goes to an empty ring and smooths out the carpet. “Well, first of all, thank you, Natty, for getting all the junk out of the way.” How nice of her…? Well, Kevin knows he’s been gone for a bit and people are asking why. Kevin got what he was looking for with that WrestleMania Moment, but it came at a price because as he defeated Seth Rollins, he got pretty banged up. But the good news is, Kevin is okay and is back! And tonight, with a reduced set, this is a major edition of the KO Show because of his special guests! Come on out, Zelina Vega, Almas, Angel and Austin! El Idolo and La Muneca lead the way to the ring, and they’re careful to step over the wreckage of Kevin’s set.
Kevin applauds the four as they enter the ring, and apologizes for that mess. But he wanted them to be on the show- Vega knows why. He was hoping for some Jerry Springer going on. Vega is so sick of people like Kevin and Drew and the entire WWE Universe. They see one single argument and assume there’s dysfunction, that Vega’s empire is crumbling. They’re all wrong. Now, let’s talk about a real champion in Almas. He is a god among insects! Then there’s the Lethal Lothario that breaks men’s faces and women’s hearts. And of course, Austin Theory, the 22-year-old prodigy! And tying it all together is Vega, the best this business has seen in a long time. Talk about a come-up, they all came from the streets and now they’re here. But the street isn’t for everyone. That’s why they invented sidewalks. Sidewalks are for people like Kevin. What is he even doing on the apron? Show respect to your guests by being in the ring.
Well, one could argue that Kevin is showing respect by letting them have the ring. But also, the last few months have taught Kevin that things go off the rails when he’s in a ring with multiple people. But the real reason Kevin is on the apron is because he doesn’t want the ring to be crowded. He has another guest that they’re all very familiar. Here’s Apollo Crews! Crews returns and TACKLES Almas! They fight but it takes a moment before Theory and Garza even try to help. Things spill out of the ring and even Kevin tries to help separate Crews from Almas. Raw goes to break, but are we going to return to a rematch from a few weeks ago?
Kevin Owens & Apollo Crews VS Andrade Almas & Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega & Austin Theory!
Holla holla, it’s even more than that, playa! Kevin’s return to Raw is now in the ring, alongside the furious Crews! Will they take the fight to El Idolo y El Latino esta noche? Or will Vega’s stable hold it together to be victorious?
The bell rings and Crews chases Almas back to the corner. Garza tags in and Crews has to back off. Almas doesn’t want anything to do with Crews right now so Garza circles with Crews. Crews rushes Garza but Garza backs away to an open corner. The ref backs Crews off again, and Garza throws off the pants! They tie up, Crews clubs Garza then drags him down for more. Crews facelocks and brings Garza up to suplex! And hold him! Crews drops Garza after 10, then stares Almas down. Almas stays back and Crews brings Garza over. Tag to Kevin and he fires off on Garza! Kevin stomps and drops a senton! Kevin taunts “tough guy” Almas before he CHOPS Garza. He scoops but Garza slips out and tags Almas! Almas forearms and hotshots Kevin, then runs to basement dropkick! Almas stomps Kevin to a corner then throws hands. Kevin CHOPS back! Almas knees and forearms back then whips corner to corner. Kevin comes back to clothesline!
Vega grows worried as Kevin flounders up to throw haymakers and CHOPS! Kevin whips, Almas reverse but Kevin kicks back! Crews tags in and Almas runs away to tag in Garza! Garza gets in but gets clobbered by Crews! Crews rallies on Garza then BOOTS Almas down! SPINE BUSTER for Garza and Crews is fired up! Crews drags Garza up, fireman’s carries, but Vega distracts. Garza escapes and shoves Crews to ropes. Theory is there, but Crews gets away, the forearm shot DECKS Garza! Crews reels Garza in, for the CREWS MISSILE!! Cover, Crews and Kevin win!!
Winners: Kevin Owens & Apollo Crews, by pinfall
Vega is freaking out! Her team’s teamwork fell apart and now Crews has another win on her stable! Will Crews get that 1v1 with El Idolo soon enough? As for Vega and her stable, Theory does his best to explain but they don’t believe him. Almas CLOBBERS Theory and stomps him down! Vega wants #AllDay out of the team, and Garza helps out! They beat down Theory then throw him into barriers! And again! Garza and Almas continue to mug Theory, and Garza CHOPS him down! Vega says Theory is useless, and should have never believed in him. She SLAPS Theory before Garza throws Theory into chairs! Will Theory be sent crawling back to NXT? Or will he be wanting payback of his own?
Backstage interview with Drew McIntyre.
The WWE World Champion is feeling fantastic, but how does he remain focused with new challenges constantly arising? McIntyre isn’t sure if he is finding the fight or the fight is finding him. But either way, he’s having fun because every Monday night is a good time for a Claymore party. But regarding tonight’s match with Corbin, the Brand to Brand Invitational allows for dream matches. And that number one dream match has fallen into his lap. It’ll be him and Baron- Er, sorry, he’ll do this right. McIntyre VS King Corbin. They’ve been around, from airports to hotels to the general public. Corbin is genuinely a terrible, terrible person. But he also does terrible things to his opponents, and do whatever it takes to win. But King Corbin chose McIntyre, thinking he can go from SmackDown to Raw and beat McIntyre in McIntyre’s yard. Is he out of his damn mind?! McIntyre already said he has a Claymore fit for a king, and he’s going to get it tonight. Will the first ever Brand to Brand Invitational go the home team’s way?
The ax throwing continues!
Erik and Ivar are showing off with side throws and double axes! Even a backwards throw! But now, Ford steps up to show what he can do. “Vikings. Can we have golf rules and have some silence while we throw?” Time to go Tiger Woods on this. Tigers in the woods?! No, Ivar, relax. But Erik understands this is Ford’s first time. He’s having performance anxiety. Performance anxiety?! No, sir! Watch this. Ford swivels the hips and throws the ax… Way out of the field. The vikings all have a good laugh, but this doesn’t bode well for the actual showdown.
Raw returns and now Dawkins tries his hand at the ax. Ford claims he was aiming for the trees, but Dawkins can aim for the target. Ivar asks what’s wrong. Is there too much smoke? That means they built too big a fire. Guys, cool it down. The other vikings do as asked. Dawkins can’t relax with all the vikings clowning him, and even that horse teasing him! Dawkins sees you, horse! But it’s okay, Dawkins. Dawkins has got this! The vikings boom-boom-clap at Dawkins as he winds up, and… He hits the barrel of ale! Now the vikings are upset. Erik and Ivar calm the crew down, and Ford says they can share his. Fam, this ain’t Thor. How are Dawkins and Ford going to get them out of this hairy situation?
Aleister Black VS Buddy Murphy w/ Seth Rollins!
The Embodiment of the End wanted after his rival earlier tonight but could not keep Murphy in the ring. But now, Murphy cannot run away from this. Will Aleister make that bright light of revelation #FadeToBlack in one fell swoop?
The bell rings, Aleister throws his jacket at Murphy and then fires off haymakers! He backs Murphy down but the ref backs him off. Aleister comes back but gets a BOOT! Murphy clubs away on Aleister in the other corner and now the ref backs Murphy off. Aleister rushes Murphy and the brawling continues! Murphy knees low, but Aleister throws body shots and kicks. Aleister whips but Murphy blocks and kicks back, only to run into a KICK! Murphy bails out, Aleister builds speed but Murphy gets away. Aleister bails out to KICK Murphy against barriers! Aleister stalks Murphy around the way and KICKS him again. Aleister puts Murphy back in the ring, but Rollins finds Theory still down and out? Theory was still in the timekeeper’s area, but Aleister focuses on Murphy with more kicks! Murphy ducks and Aleister kicks the POST! Murphy slams the leg into barriers then puts Aleister in the ring! Rollins stays with Theory as Murphy goes after Aleister.
Aleister kicks Murphy off his legs, but Murphy BOOTS back! Murphy hops up, leaps, but into a BOOT of Aleister’s! Both men are down, and Rollins reaches out to Theory. Theory takes Rollins’ hand and Rollins helps him up. Murphy goes after Aleister but gets a boot and a KNEE! Aleister grits his teeth, lifts Murphy with a foot, but Theory springs into action! Theory CLOBBERS Aleister!!
Winner: Aleister Black, by disqualification
Rollins has a second disciple?! Theory stomps and punches Aleister then backs away for Rollins to have an opening. But Aleister tackles Theory first! Murphy goes after Aleister and both disciples clobber him. Rollins has them bring Aleister up, and Murphy hits AUSSIE-GOYE!! Now Theory gets his turn, with the A T L!! Rollins hugs Theory, and he is now accepted into the flock. Is Rollins’ vision for Raw’s future only going to become clearer as his stable grows stronger?
Raw checks in on the Profits and Vikings.
It seems things have calmed down at the camp, but now it is game time. One throw at a time, 10 axes per team, and only bull’s eyes count. “Let the games begin!” The horns are sounded, and Ivar is first. Bull’s eye! Bull’s eye! And even more bull’s eyes! Ivar chugs some ale out of Ford’s spare Solo cup, but now it’s the Profits’ turn! “Make the smoke be rich!” Dawkins misses. And misses. And misses. That’s 5-0 in the first half, and now Erik tags in. Erik throws and hits the bull’s eye. And again, and again, and again. That’s another 5 for 5 for a perfect 10! Dawkins hypes Ford up, “All we see is bull’s eyes.” Ford throws, and misses. And misses. And misses. Ford is on his last ax, so the Vikings even help him out. They chant, “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!” for him, and Ford takes his final throw. BULL’S EYE! Huzzah! But um, the cops come? An ax somehow hit their car?! But with everyone blaming everyone else, the only way to prove who was throwing axes is to see who can actually hit the target.
Erik takes the ax, gives it to Dawkins, and lets him have the first throw. Backwards, BULL’S EYE! Told you, horse! This a bad, bad man! Wait, were the Profits hustling the Vikings back? And, doesn’t that mean they’re in trouble now?
Backstage interview with Apollo Crews.
Crews is back and victorious, but does he feel he has more to prove after missing out on MITB? Of course. But to be honest, Crews isn’t sure what hurt more: The actual injury, or missing out on MITB. After spinning his wheels for so long, it felt like things were finally clicking. These last few weeks have been the longest in his life with all the wondering of what could have been. But he looked deep inside himself and realized he can’t waste time on the what if. All it took was stepping in the ring and he made something happen. Now he knows that final piece falls into place. Crews again challenges Almas for the WWE United States Championship! “Man, that feels good to say out loud.”
But Vega comes along, having heard this. She tells Crews he has a choice here. He could cut his losses and walk away on one good knee. Or he could go against Almas again and never walk again. What does he say? “Andrade better be ready next week.” Speaking of which, where is he? Is he scared Crews was going to slap his face off again? But to finish this interview, Crews will have the final piece to the puzzle, when he becomes the NEW United States Champion.
Raw once again checks on the Profits and Vikings.
The police are eyeing the line-up. Did none of them realize how dangerous this ax throwing stuff is? Someone could’ve gotten seriously hurt. They will let everyone go with a warning, only because the female officer thinks Ivar’s cute. Oooh~! Erik, not so much. Ouch. “She hearts Ivar~!” Ivar can only shrug at his buddy, but at least no one’s arrested. Will the Profits and Viking find something safer to settle the score?
Brand to Brand Invitational: Drew McIntyre VS Baron Corbin!
A new phase in the WWE Brand Split begins! Wild Card this is not, but McIntyre is ready to be the man to trump the Wolf King! Who wins this first-time-ever match-up in the first-ever Brand to Brand Invitational showdown?
But wait, Bobby Lashley is making an entrance? He and MVP are on stage, and MVP has a mic. “Gentlemen, if you’ll pardon my intrusion for just a moment.” They have a personal interest in this match. Corbin is a very capable adversary who retired Kurt Angle. MVP could spend 10 minutes going on about all the great things Corbin’s done. And then McIntyre, he is the WWE World Champion, and that’s all that needs to be said. But as MVP said, they have a vested interest. Lashley speaks for himself and says McIntyre is on notice. Lashley is coming after McIntyre and that title. If he needs to pry it from McIntyre’s cold, dead hands, then that’s exactly what he’ll do. “Make it good, gentlemen. We’ll be watching.” The stakes might have just been raised on this first-time-ever match! And we’ll see who comes out the better, after the break!
Raw returns once again with the bell, and McIntyre circles with Corbin. They tie up, go around, and McIntyre gets Corbin on the ropes. They go along the ropes and around again, and end up in a corner. The ref calls for the break and McIntyre honors it cleanly. Corbin shoves but McIntyre shoves back. The two circle again and tie up. Corbin and McIntyre are in a dead lock so Corbin knees low. McIntyre CHOPS Corbin, then ducks to CHOP again! Corbin kicks the legs then throws haymakers! Corbin has McIntyre in a corner for body shots, but the ref counts. Corbin lets up at 4 only to ROCK McIntyre. Corbin runs and runs McIntyre over, then stalks him to a corner. He whips McIntyre but McIntyre goes up and over and runs to run Corbin over! McIntyre clotheslines Corbin out of the ring! He pursues Corbin to clothesline him over the barriers!
McIntyre hurries to go after Corbin and MVP is applauding. McIntyre clotheslines Corbin back over to ringside! He CHOPS Corbin into the ring, then aims from a corner. Corbin bails out but McIntyre goes out the side. McIntyre goes around the way but Corbin gets back in. Corbin boots and blasts McIntyre off the apron into barriers! Corbin hurries out after McIntyre to bring him up. MVP likes Corbin’s aggression as he POSTS McIntyre! Corbin gets in the ring to applaud himself, but McIntyre gets in before the ring count begins. Corbin taunts McIntyre, but McIntyre throws body shots! Corbin clubs McIntyre on the back, then has him against ropes for forearms to the back! Corbin stomps and punches McIntyre but McIntyre kicks and CHOPS back! McIntyre whips, Corbin reverses, but McIntyre dodges. Corbin slides out, in and LARIATS! Cover, ONE!! Corbin grows frustrated but McIntyre grits his teeth.
McIntyre kicks and CHOPS Corbin back again. Corbin pushes but McIntyre boots! McIntyre is put on the apron and Corbin hotshots him! Corbin grins now as McIntyre sputters. Corbin stalks McIntyre to a corner and bumps him off the post! The ref reprimands but Corbin drags McIntyre up. MVP whispers things to Lashley as Corbin gets McIntyre up top. McIntyre and Corbin brawl as Corbin climbs. Corbin reaches the top rope, brings McIntyre up, and hits the SUPERPLEX! Corbin crawls to the cover, ONE?!? McIntyre is driving Corbin insane with his toughness! Corbin says he led McIntyre to this, because McIntyre is just a follower. But McIntyre catches Corbin to an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! And then a BOOT! Corbin flops to his knees and McIntyre goes up top. McIntyre leaps to hit a flying ax handle! And then he kips up! “Follower?!” McIntyre dares Corbin to stand. He hauls Corbin up, but Corbin fights free of the fireman’s carry.
Corbin elbows McIntyre but runs into a SPINE BUSTER! Jackknife cover, TWO! McIntyre keeps his cool and keeps looking at Lashley and MVP. MVP applauds again while McIntyre tells Corbin that he wanted the champ. Corbin wanted to prove himself, so get up! Corbin rams McIntyre into the buckles, then POSTS Him the other way! Corbin scoops for a BIG sidewalk slam! Cover, ONE!?! McIntyre continues to shock Corbin, but Corbin throws body shots. McIntyre kicks back, CHOPS again, and runs into the corner. Corbin boots back then hops up, and leaps, into a kick! Underhooks, FUTURE SHOCK! But McIntyre isn’t done here, he goes to a corner to start the countdown! Corbin gets up, to get the- DEEP SIX!! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives again and Corbin is furious! Corbin drags McIntyre and reels him in, but McIntyre slips out to GLASGOW KISS! Corbin slides out, in, but gets a CLAYMORE!! Cover, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
Raw’s Scottish Stud stuns the Wolf King of SmackDown, but that seems to be exactly what MVP was hoping for. McIntyre says the WWE Universe has been waiting for Lashley to step up and be “the killer” he is. When and where will McIntyre face that Lashley for THE WWE Championship?
A pretty good episode for Raw, with a lot of interesting moves. Opening with what was basically part two of last week’s ending segment was weird. It all felt like they didn’t meter out the right amount of time for last week and needed to use the opening segment to finish it up. But either way, we got the obvious in a normal singles match of Orton VS Edge for Backlash. I’m sure that match will be really good, but the response Edge had tonight was strong. Bold claims to say Orton didn’t want to be a wrestler, after he’s accomplished so much. Then there’s a lot of great story weaving between the growing factions on Raw. Kevin bringing Crews back to take on Almas and Garza, Theory getting kicked out of Vega’s stable only to join Rollins’, and how Humberto and Aleister are fighting on Mysterio’s behalf, I’m really intrigued to see where this all goes. I hope it isn’t just for Backlash. A story this complex should go into Extreme Rules and SummerSlam, in whatever form we’re going to get those PPV’s.
There were great moves in the Women’s Division tonight. The Tag Team Championship match didn’t go quite how I expected, and in a good way. Bliss-Cross retains because Peyton loses her cool, and then Billie loses her cool on Peyton for a moment. That crying hug bit was a good touch, too. I don’t see the IIconics breaking up, and they shouldn’t ever do that, but them getting a bit of edge and drama to balance out their usual sarcasm and sassy attitudes is a good move for them to keep going. Charlotte beating Ruby at the same time as she was mocking Liv shows there is promise for that story on Raw, but I’m wondering if there comes a point when being on as many brands as possible comes around to bite her. And Asuka’s celebration was admittedly subpar, but it makes sense given the current circumstances. The back and forth of Asuka, Kairi and Nia with the attacks is good stuff, but I’m sure hoping Asuka still looks strong against Nia. Even Kairi helping out is fine. I don’t want the Kabuki Warriors losing their own edge just because they’re Faces by default.
Shayna beating Natty seems to be working out for both of them, actually. Natty’s frustration is a good development in her story. It hearkens back to Natty taking on Charlotte in NXT to see if Natty’s “still got it.” The Street Profits and Viking Raiders were a bit better in the ax throwing segments tonight. I think the only thing that really hurt last week’s basketball shtick was Erik & Ivar revealing a hustle, because the way it was done was just ridiculous. This was a bit better in that there was no outright hustle, but perhaps just some luck on Dawkins’ side. Plus, the bit with the lady police officer thinking Ivar is cute was a funny little twist. I just hope the tiebreaker is the title match and then that’s the end of it. MVP and Lashley were also a great part of the show, and Lana’s rage this week was justified by the context. Last week, she was doing it just because and it came off awful. This week, it’s appropriate because MVP bumped her out of the way as manager. McIntyre VS Corbin was a good match, but I’m going to love seeing McIntyre VS Lashley.
My Score: 8.2/10