Monday Night Raw – May 10, 2021: Magic Tomatoes!

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 10, 2021
Location: Yuengling Center, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Adnan Virk, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

It’s the go home show for Wrestlemania Backlash and that means it is time to push the rest of the card forward in a big way. There are currently two Raw matches set for the pay per view so in theory we are going to need some more stuff announced tonight. You can probably guess those matches from here and now we get to see how dull they can make the show that announces them. Let’s get to it.

Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.

The opening recap looks at Bobby Lashley beating Braun Strowman and then getting Claymored by Drew McIntyre. As a result: Lashley vs. McIntyre this week.

Opening sequence.

Charlotte/Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler vs. Mandy Rose/Dana Brooke/Asuka

Jax powers Mandy into the corner to start so Baszler can choke with the boot. Baszler grabs a standing armbar and takes Rose down without much effort. Asuka comes in and dropkicks Baszler down, with Mandy and Dana dropkicking Shayna and Nia to the floor. After Reginald backflips off the apron… is Alexa Bliss on her swing with Lily next to her.

Bliss is here to watch someone and we take a break. Back with Charlotte holding Rose in the Figure Four necklock and then Jax coming in to power her around even more. Rose slips over and makes the hot tag off to Brooke, who gets to clean a bit of the house. Baszler backbreakers her down….and then her knee gives out. It starts shaking and Baszler kind of collapses, allowing the legal Asuka to come in with the Shining Wizard for the pin at 8:40.

Rating: D. Oh boy we could be in for a long night. So the evil doll is now using magical powers to go after Baszler’s leg? Does this count as another story for Nia Jax? Anyway, this is not exactly looking like a great night and the fact that Rhea Ripley was barely mentioned here does not exactly give me hope. It was a bad match and the ending was even worse, which isn’t even that much of a surprise.

Post match Charlotte drops Asuka as Alexa laughs a lot.

Riddle scooters up to New Day in the back and talks about how RKBro is in the process of registering to be an official team. That’s better than AJ Styles and Omos, who aren’t even a real team. Randy Orton comes up and the three of them talk about how great it was when Orton got hit with tomatoes. Orton doesn’t seem to agree but finds the idea of ending careers and kicking people in the head funny. Violence is promised for later.

MVP comes in to see Braun Strowman, who tells him to get out. Strowman isn’t interested in talking business but MVP says that Bobby Lashley would rather lose the WWE Title to Strowman instead of Drew McIntyre (not that he’s losing of course). Tonight, if McIntyre would happen to get hurt, that would leave us with Lashley vs. Strowman on Sunday, with no McIntyre to interfere. Strowman doesn’t like MVP, but seems interested.

We recap Damian Priest beating John Morrison last week thanks to some botched Miz interference. Priest vs. Miz is set for Wrestlemania Backlash.

Priest is in Adam Pearce’s office when Miz and Morrison come in. Morrison seems to blame Miz for the loss last week so a deal is offered: the winner of Priest vs. Morrison tonight gets to pick the stipulation for Miz vs. Priest. Miz doesn’t seem happy, but Morrison knows tonight calls for a light shower of Johnny Drip Drip.

Jinder Mahal is back with Veer and Shanky (formerly Indus Sher in NXT) and is ready to get back on the throne.

Jinder Mahal vs. Jeff Hardy

Rematch from last week’s Main Event of all things and Veer and Shanky are with Mahal. Hardy gets taken down and stomped a lot to start before a suplex puts him down again. The chinlock doesn’t last long as Hardy fights up and hits his spinning mule kick to escape. A middle rope ax handle connects and Jeff gets to take his shirt off but the Twist of Fate is countered into a jumping knee to the face. The Khallas finishes Hardy at 3:25.

Rating: D+. Yeah it’s still Mahal. He has a good look and the eyes look crazy intense but it’s the same boring person who is still one of the all time worst WWE champions. I understand why WWE insists on pushing him but throwing him out there with a pair of lackeys isn’t going to be the big saving grace for his career. Mahal is technically fine, but he’s so uninteresting.

Charlotte, who changed clothes in a hurry, comes in to see Sonya Deville.

Elias and Jaxson Ryker have tomatoes (yes, really) but AJ Styles and Omos come up to ask why they’re doing this. Elias loads up a song but AJ says we’re just going to be more serious. Omos crushes a tomato to prove his point.

RKBro/New Day vs. AJ Styles/Omos/Elias/Jaxson Ryker

Riddle tries an armbar on Elias to start but the rope break is good for an early save. Ryker comes in and gets kicked down by Riddle, which just seems to fire Ryker up even more. Omos tags himself in so Riddle goes after him, only to be shoved down in a hurry. A kick to the ribs is flipped away so Kofi comes in, only to get headbutted down. Orton comes in to try his luck and then rolls outside in a smart move as we take a break.

Back with Riddle getting knocked into the wrong corner for a stomping. Elias elbows him down and Ryker drops an elbow for two. Riddle fights up and gets over to Kofi to pick up the pace, with Woods coming in a few seconds later. Kofi tags himself back in for a high crossbody for two on AJ and it’s already back to Woods. AJ takes him down and hands it back to Ryker to hammer away in the corner. The chinlock doesn’t last long but Ryker plants him with a spinebuster for two.

Elias’ swinging suplex gets two and we hit the chinlock with a knee in Woods’ back. Woods fights out of that just like it’s a chinlock and the hot tag brings in Riddle to clean house. Omos makes a fast save and knocks Riddle out of the air with most of a right hand. Woods dropkicks AJ through the rope and New Day grabs an AJ leg each to run in a circle. Back in and Orton hits the RKO to finish Elias at 14:08.

Rating: C-. That is pretty easily the best thing on the show and it wasn’t really that good in the first place. Too much Ryker and Elias here, though Omos continues to look like a monster. Having Orton be scared of him meant more to him than anything he has done to New Day so they are doing things right with him. Not a good match, but it was an upgrade after the horrible first forty minutes or so.

Post match Orton hits the RKO on Kofi and Woods as Riddle isn’t pleased.

Rhea Ripley (hey she’s on the show) comes in to Sonya Deville’s office and gets in a showdown with Asuka. Tonight, they are going to have a match, which Ripley doesn’t seem to like. She saw Charlotte come in here earlier and she knows what that means. Asuka says she has already had a match but she is ready for Ripley anyway. Ripley says game on.

MVP doesn’t like the idea of Bobby Lashley having to beat Drew McIntyre again because it is like a sequel with a foregone conclusion. Lashley promises to win tonight and MVP won’t have any discussion over ongoing negotiations with Braun Strowman.

Sheamus vs. Humberto Carrillo

Non-title. Before the match, Sheamus talks about needing to prove his greatness with the Open Challenge, even if it means someone like Adnan Virk, who is way over his head on commentary, gets a shot. Tonight, Carrillo isn’t getting a title shot but he is getting a Brogue Kick to the face. Sheamus forearms him in the back to start but Humberto gets in a kick to the face. A dropkick puts Sheamus on the floor, where he catches a baseball slide and sends Carrillo into the barricade.

We take a break and come back with Sheamus hitting the forearms to the chest and grabbing a reverse chinlock. An Alabama Slam gets two on Carrillo so Sheamus takes him up top, only to get pulled down with a super hurricanrana. A sunset bomb to the floor connects, even though Sheamus lands on Carrillo’s knee. It’s actually too much and the referee calls it off at 9:10….with Sheamus winning, despite being down too.

Rating: C-. The ending really took away from this one but all that matters is if Carrillo is ok. That was a nasty landing and you could tell that something was wrong in a hurry. Hopefully everything is ok, as I’m not sure where things are going to go otherwise. Assuming Carrillo can do it, I could see this one getting a rematch on Sunday, though I’m curious to see where Mansoor fits into this, assuming he does.

Video on Lucha House Party. They’re Lucha Lit.

Eva Marie wants to prove herself so she is back where it all began. Coming soon.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Cedric Alexander

Cedric flips around to start but the threat of Paydirt sends him outside. Shelton takes him back inside where he gets caught with a dragon screw legwhip, meaning Cedric can start in on the knee. Benjamin manages to reverse into a modified Sharpshooter so Cedric goes straight to the rope. With Shelton being knocked to the floor, Cedric loads up a dive but runs into a jumping knee to the face. Back in and Paydirt is countered into a rollup, followed by the Neuralizer to drop Benjamin. Cedric takes WAY too long trash talking though and walks into the exploder suplex for the pin at 4:22.

Rating: C. The ending was a bit of a surprise, but then again I’ve long since given up on believing the idea that Alexander is ever going to get a push on his own. I’m not sure what WWE doesn’t see in him, if nothing else as a good hand in the ring. Shelton isn’t likely to get a push either, but at least the match told a story. A short story, but a story nonetheless.

We recap Angel Garza kicking a rose, uh, up Drew Gulak.

Gulak interrupts Garza’s photo shoot and asks if he is going to be serious. Garza doesn’t seem to mind and threatens to do it again, if they have a next time.

Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka

Non-title. Ripley drives her up against the ropes to start but has to duck a shot to the face. A standoff lets Ripley stick out her jaw for a free shot, only to have Asuka sweep the leg. Ripley blocks a drop toehold into the corner and then has to go to the ropes to block a cross armbreaker. They head outside with Ripley getting in a shot of her own….and here is Charlotte for a distraction so Asuka can hit a spinning backfist.

We take a break and come back with Charlotte on commentary as Ripley steps on Asuka’s back. Some clotheslines drops Asuka again but she sends Ripley outside. The knee off the apron has Ripley in trouble but she blocks the Asuka Lock back inside. Asuka is knocked outside where she glares at Charlotte, allowing Ripley to nail a headbutt.

Back in and Riptide is countered into a Codebreaker for two. Ripley heads outside to yell at Charlotte, allowing Asuka to hit a hip attack off the announcers’ table. Back in and a missile dropkick gives Asuka two but the hip attack in the corner is pulled out of the air. Ripley kicks Asuka in the head and hits Riptide for the pin at 12:15.

Rating: C. I’m really not sure what it means when I’m relieved that Ripley got a win. The title reign has been a near disaster for her, as Ripley has gone from being the brand new big deal to playing third fiddle to these two (and maybe even fifth fiddle to Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss). It will help a bit if she retains on Sunday, but it isn’t going to matter if we just get another Charlotte story out of the whole thing.

Here’s the same video on Lashley vs. Strowman which opened the show.

Drew McIntyre isn’t worried about Braun Strowman tonight because he’s moving on to Wrestlemania Backlash to get the title back.

John Morrison vs. Damian Priest

Miz is here with Morrison and the winner picks the stipulation between Miz and Priest on Sunday. Priest starts fast with a side slam but Morrison kicks him in the ribs. Morrison can’t pull him quite into a rollup so he hammers away instead. A spinning knee to the face gives Morrison two and we hit the chinlock. Miz turns into a cheerleader, making it clear that in fact, drippin ain’t easy.

Back up and Morrison misses a charge to wind up on the apron, where Priest misses some kicks to the head. Morrison hits his own kicks, but Priest is right back with a pop up forearm to the face. The rope is grabbed for the break and Miz pulls Morrison to the floor for a chat. Miz and Priest tease a brawl and we take a break. Back with Priest being knocked outside again, where Miz gets in a big boot.

Morrison adds in a few kicks to the ribs for two, followed by a Russian legsweep for the same. We hit a neck crank (like Morrison is loading up a neckbreaker but just pulls instead of dropping down) but Priest escapes and hits his own kicks to the head. The Broken Arrow gives Priest two, followed by the top rope spinwheel kick for the same. Miz offers a distraction so there is no count when Morrison grabs a crucifix. Instead Priest hits a clothesline and Hits The Lights for the pin at 12:57.

Rating: D+. You know why this didn’t work? There is no reason for these people to be fighting. This feud should have wrapped up at Wrestlemania but it’s still going because the script decided it does. Priest has beaten them both up multiple times, but here we are again, because WWE would rather keep this not very good in the first place feud going instead of trying something new. That isn’t interesting to anyone but them, and it explains a lot of WWE’s issues.

Post match Miz runs in to go after Priest but he breaks away, sending Miz running. Another Hit The Lights plants Morrison and Miz is terrified. No stipulation is announced yet.

Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman bump into each other in the back.

Eva Marie talks about looking like a supermodel but wanting to be a role model.

Priest picks a lumberjack match.

Backlash rundown.

Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre

Non-title and MVP is here with Lashley. It’s a brawl to start but Lashley can’t get an early Hurt Lock. Instead he snaps McIntyre’s throat across the top and grabs a neckbreaker for two. Some choking on the ropes keeps McIntyre in trouble until he gets in a shot to the face to take things outside. McIntyre snaps off an overhead belly to belly and we take a break.

Back with Lashley puling McIntyre off the middle rope for a crash, followed by the Downward Spiral for two. We hit the chinlock but Lashley’s suplex attempt is countered into one from McIntyre. Lashley runs him over again though and they head outside with McIntyre being posted this time. Back in and McIntyre sends him flying into the corner, followed by a pair of belly to belly suplexes.

There’s a jumping neckbreaker into the nipup and the Glasgow Kiss rocks Lashley again. MVP is panicking as McIntyre grabs a spinebuster for two. Lashley is back with a crossbody but the Hurt Lock is blocked. Instead Lashley suplexes him down, only to walk into the Claymore. Cue Braun Strowman to jump McIntyre from behind for the DQ at 13:27.

Rating: D+. They might as well have had a big clock over the ring here, counting down until Strowman ran in. There was little drama here and the WWE Title match at Wrestlemania should not feel like a tired match thirty days after the show. This feud has been a nightmare for everyone involved, including the people watching it, and this was the latest boring piece added onto the top.

Post match, Strowman gives McIntyre a running powerslam, followed by one to Lashley for daring to hug Strowman. Another powerslam plants McIntyre, and another sends Lashley through the part of the barricade designed for destruction. A third powerslam plants McIntyre to end the show.

Overall Rating: D-. This show felt so lazy. You had two Wrestlemania rematches tonight, and both matches were designed to make me see two triple threat matches on Sunday, albeit with Charlotte and Braun Strowman added. Throw in that the other Raw match is a stripped down version of the big tag match from Wrestlemania and this doesn’t feel so much like Wrestlemania Backlash, but rather Wrestlemania’s direct to video sequel with the same plot slightly dressed up. In no way does this make me want to see Sunday’s show, but rather it just makes me think there is nothing to the Raw half of the pay per view.

You know what else makes this show look bad? Smackdown, which also has three matches set, but all of them are fresh matches. It makes me think that they are trying over there, which is a heck of a lot more than I get watching Raw. There is nothing here to make me think that Raw is going to be a good show week to week, and that is leaving out the magic and tomatoes. Raw is just horrible at the moment and the mixture of lazy and bad is striking. There were a few minor pieces in here that worked, but the repetitive storytelling and uninspired build have made me want to watch a test pattern instead of Backlash. Do better.


Asuka/Mandy Rose/Dana Brooke b. Charlotte/Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler – Shining Wizard to Baszler

Jinder Mahal b. Jeff Hardy – Khallas

RKBro/New Day b. AJ Styles/Omos/Jaxson Ryker/Elias – RKO to Elias

Sheamus b. Humberto Carrillo via referee stoppage

Shelton Benjamin b. Cedric Alexander – Exploder suplex

Rhea Ripley b. Asuka – Riptide

Damian Priest b. John Morrison – Hit The Lights

Drew McIntyre b. Bobby Lashley via DQ when Braun Strowman interfered

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4 Responses

  1. Tyler Owens says:

    Does the same writing staff that pens Raw book Smackdown as well, or are they completely different creative teams? I keep hearing conflicting stories there.

  2. Sebastian Howard says:

    Did jay h get purged?

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