5/18 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s live review of WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. King Corbin in a non-title match, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles, Edge’s response to Randy Orton, the axe-tossing contest between the Street Profits and Viking Raiders


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw (Episode 1,408)
Taped May 12, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired May 18, 2020 on USA Network

Powell’s POV: Tonight’s Raw review is dedicated to Larry Csonka, a longtime 411Mania.com pro wrestling writer, whose death was announced earlier today. I didn’t know Larry, but I admired his work and offer his family and friends my heartfelt condolences.

[Hour One] Raw opened with a recap of Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy and informing Asuka that she was the new Raw Women’s Champion following her Money in the Bank ladder match victory… The Raw opening aired…

Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe were on commentary. Phillips touted the brand to brand invitation and noted that wrestlers are allowed to travel from brand to brand four times per year…

Charly Caruso stood in the ring and doubled down on her line about a possible Edge vs. Randy Orton match being the greatest wrestling match ever. Caruso introduced Orton, who joined her in the ring. Orton asked if a straight up wrestling match is hard to understand. He noted that the second W in WWE stands for wrestling.

Orton once again conceded that Edge beat him in the Last Man Standing match. He said no one can do what he does in the ring. Orton looked into the camera and addressed Edge. He said doubt was all over Edge’s face when he challenged him to the traditional wrestling match last week.

Edge made his entrance and joined Orton in the ring (Caruso bowed out). Edge said it’s all just a game and a paycheck to Orton. Edge said this isn’t the live Orton wanted, it’s the life he was handed. He said Orton didn’t go to bed dreaming to be a wrestler or saving his money to go to a show each month like he did.

Orton tried to cut off Edge, who told him to shut his mouth. Edge said Orton never had an injury that he had to fight back from like he did. He said Orton doesn’t love the sport like he does. Orton cut him off and demanded to know if he was going to accept his challenge. “Yes, yes, I accept your damn challenge,” Edge replied. Both men dropped their microphones. Orton left the ring while keeping his eyes focused on Edge, who stared back at him…

Powell’s POV: I enjoyed the segment, but why in the world do they have Caruso and now the broadcast team saying this could be the greatest match ever? Why would they put that pressure on Edge and Orton? Even if they have a great outing, could it possibly feel like the greatest match ever while held in an empty venue?

The broadcast team recapped Seth Rollins attacking the eye of Rey Mysterio on last week’s show, which was followed by Rollins telling Aleister Black that he didn’t know what happened while they were in the ring for a tag match. This led to a brawl between Black and Murphy…

Seth Rollins was shown backstage dressed in a suit and tie when Murphy approached him and put his hand on his shoulder. “I’ve had a revelation, Murphy, and I want to tell the world,” Rollins said. “Take a walk.” Phillips wondered if the revelation would include an apology to Mysterio… [C] Phillips hyped the WWE Women’s Tag Title match for later in the show…

Seth Rollins and Murphy made their entrance. Phillips said Mysterio had a critical eye injury. He said that Mysterio may have suffered nerve damage, but they won’t know until the swelling goes down. Aleister Black vs. Murphy was hyped for later in the show.

Rollins said that sometimes in life you have to lose who you are to truly find yourself. He said that he thought he lost everything when he lost the WWE Championship match to Drew McIntyre at Money in the Bank. Rollins said that he fell to a place so dark that he wasn’t sure if he could escape, but without darkness there is no light. He said he saw the light shining brighter than ever before.

Rollins said it’s all thanks to Mysterio. Rollins said that what happened to Mysterio has been described as heinous, disgusting, and unforgivable, while others have described it as an act of penance for his disbelief in the Monday Night Messiah. Rollins said he doesn’t see it that way. Rollins said that what happened to Mysterio was “unfortunate but necessary” and called it a sacrifice for the greater good. He said he needed it for clarity so that he could be the leader that he was meant to be.

Rollins looked into the camera and addressed Mysterio. He said he knew Mysterio was home with his family and he was healing. He said that Mysterio can’t see it now, but he will come to realize that it was a blessing in disguise. Rollins said he had a message to deliver now so that it wouldn’t need to be said when they meet face to face again. “Rey Mysterio, you’re welcome,” Rollins said.

Humberto Carrillo came out and questioned if Rollins really thinks anyone believes him. Carrillo called Rollins a coward. Carrillo entered the ring. Murphy stood in front of Rollins. Rollins said he appreciated what Carrillo was trying to do. He said that he wasn’t dressed for a match, but his disciple Murphy was already dressed for his match against Aleister Black and would be happy to oblige… [C]

Powell’s POV: A well delivered promo from Rollins. I thought he might tie in the news of Lynch’s pregnancy since they acknowledged that he is the father last week, but he didn’t go there. I’m still not sure how much Rollins can get out of this Messiah character, but I’m still enjoying it at this point. It’s also nice to see Carrillo show a little fire, though we’ll wait to see how his match goes to decide whether this is a good night for him.

1. Humberto Carrillo vs. Murphy (w/Seth Rollins). The match was joined in progress. Carrillo sent Murphy to ringside and then performed a flip dive onto him. Carrillo tossed Murphy back inside the ring, then hesitated when Rollins approached him. Carrillo performed a springboard leap at Murphy, who kicked him and then hit his finisher and scored the pin.

Murphy defeated Humberto Carillo in 2:50 of television time.

After the match, Murphy kicked Carrillo and then ran him into the ring steps. Aleister Black’s music played and he charged the ring and went after Murphy. Rollins headed to the top of the stage while Murphy ducked a Black Mass kick. Murphy joined Rollins on the stage while Black checked on Carrillo…

Backstage, King Corbin complained to a crew member about not having his own locker room. Corbin sent the crew member off to address the issue. A referee showed up and noted that Corbin wanted to see him. Corbin complained about how no one bowed or opened the door for him, and how they wanted him to get his own food. Corbin complained about not being treated like a king, then said he wanted to talk with the referee about what he wanted him to do in his match… [C]

Powell’s POV: The match was fun while it lasted. Samoa Joe protected Carrillo by saying that he would have won the match had it not been for the distraction caused by Rollins. Corbin’s rant was well delivered, but I’m so over everything related to his tired King persona.

Liv Morgan sat backstage and said that her mom is her hero. She said she didn’t have a job or much of a savings account or a resume, but she had determination. Morgan said her mom never quit, and she is her mother’s daughter. Morgan recalled losing her match to Charlotte Flair on a recent Raw. She said she learned that she’s just like her mother and she is determined to one day become the Raw Women’s Championship…

Powell’s POV: I’m sure Liv’s mother is lovely, but is the lesson from this promo that it takes a lot of determination to go through life without holding a job?

Charlotte Flair made her entrance while footage aired of her confrontation with Bayley and Sasha Banks on Smackdown. She said she is the face of Raw, a mentor on NXT, and was a guest superstar on Smackdown. Flair said she is excited about facing Bayley because she will prove to her that there are levels to being a champion. Flair said she new that Ruby Riott had something to say to her and called her out. Ruby Riott made her entrance and joined Flair in the ring. Phillips said Riott and Flair would meet in a match. He also hyped the axe-throwing contest… [C]

Powell’s POV: I guess Riott didn’t actually have anything to say to Flair?

3. NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Ruby Riott in a non-title match. The match was joined in progress. Flair won the match using her Figure 8 submission hold…

Charlotte Flair beat Ruby Riott in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: Another brief match. I didn’t set the timer since it was once again joined in progress, but I’m guessing it was less than three minutes in length.

Caruso attempted to interview Bobby Lashley on the backstage interview set, but MVP cut them off. Once Caruso walked away, MVP asked Lashley what would happen if he put his Full Nelson hold on a WWE Champion. MVP asked when Lashley would free Lashley… [C]

The broadcast team stood by their desk and hyped Edge vs. Orton for WWE Backlash. Phillips said it could end up being considered “the greatest wrestling match ever.”

[Hour Two] Footage aired of the basketball game between the Street Profits and Viking Raiders from last week…

Footage aired from “earlier today” of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins outdoors. A person on a horse drove between them. Erik and Ivar were standing with a large group of other viking cosplayers. They presented them with “the smoke”, which was a campfire. Dawkins was going to explain what they actually mean, but Ford cut him off to say thank you. One of the Viking Raiders threw an axe that landed on the target. Ford said they should forfeit. Dawkins said they have this…

Kairi Sane stood in the ring and introduced Raw Women’s Champion Asuka for her championship celebration. There were balloons inside and outside the ring. Asuka made her entrance. Asuka spoke briefly. Sane pointed out to shots of Asuka on the big screen wearing the various title belts she’s won in WWE. Sane said that Asuka has been the greatest women’s champion. Sane pulled out a recorder and played it. until she was interrupted by the entrance music of Nia Jax.

The entrance music of Nia Jax interrupted Sane. Jax took issue with Asuka being handed the title because Becky Lynch can’t fight anymore. Jax said Lynch is on maternity leave, so Asuka is a temp champ whom she will replace soon. Jax said that they would have a real party once she wins the title. Asuka attacked Jax and knocked her down with some kicks, then cleared her from the ring with her hip attack. Asuka yelled in Japanese and then her music played…

King Corbin was interviewed backstage by Caruso, who asked him if he was having any doubts going into his match with Drew McIntyre. Corbin said he wasn’t being forced into the match, he asked for it. Corbin claimed he carried McIntyre for over a year. McIntyre was shown watching the promo on a backstage monitor. Corbin said he would take advantage of McIntyre’s mistakes and beat him, then he would step into the ring with him at WrestleMania and take the WWE Championship. McIntyre didn’t look very impressed… [C]

Philips hyped Kevin Owens returning for the first time since WrestleMania with a KO Show involving Zelina Vega, Andrade, Angel Garza, and Austin Theory…

R-Truth stood in the ring and sang the end of his song. Truth said his cousin Pretty Ricky told him that Bobby Lashley has been a bad, bad, bad man over the last few weeks. Truth set up footage of Lashley spearing him and putting him in a Full Nelson, which led to MVP kicking Truth. Back in the ring, Truth said he didn’t want Lashley to put him in the “Nelson from the Simpsons” again.

Truth said his childhood hero John Cena never gave up. Truth said he hoped that Tom Brady would watch what he was going to do to Lashley because once he finished with him, he’s coming for the WWE 24/7 Championship. Lashley made his entrance without MVP…

4. Bobby Lashley vs. R-Truth. Truth backed into the corner and ended up going to ringside where he put his Pretty Ricky teeth in. Lashley headed to ringside. Truth took the teeth out and threw some punches at Lashley, who cut him off quickly and hoisted him onto his shoulders before running him into the ring post.

Back inside the ring, Lashley tripped Truth and teased hitting him. When Truth flinched, Lashley slapped him a few times. Truth fought back, but Lashley knocked him down with a clothesline. After a few knees to the gut, Lashley applied the Full Nelson and then slammed Truth. Lashley reapplied the hold for the win.

Bobby Lashley defeated R-Truth in 2:25.

After the match, MVP walked onto the stage and applauded Lashley from a distance. Backstage, Lana was shown screaming while throwing around various objects…

Powell’s POV: I could do without the Pretty Ricky nonsense, but I like what I’m seeing with Lashley and MVP. I assume that Lashley is being groomed to be fed to Drew McIntyre, but hopefully this more serious approach will continue with him even if that’s the plan.

Asuka and Kairi Sane were shown celebrating. They went separate ways and then Nia Jax entered the picture… [C] A sponsored ad recapped Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross beating The Kabuki Warriors to win the WWE Women’s Tag Titles…

5. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. “The IIconics” Peyton Royce and Billie Kay for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles. Royce and Kay spoke on their way to the ring and set up footage from last week’s Raw of their non-title win over the champions. There were no in-ring introductions for the title match. Cross cleared Royce from the ring, then ate a big boot from Kay. Bliss drilled Kay with a punch that knocked her down. Bliss went up top and hit her Twisted Bliss finisher and had the pin, but Royce returned to break it up. Royce ran Bliss through the ropes and into the ring post a few times. The referee called for the bell…

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated The IIconics by DQ in 2:45 to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.

Sane was shown playing her recorder backstage when Jax grabbed her and threw her into a production crate…

Powell’s POV: The night of brief and forgettable matches continues. Hey, maybe WWE can have Kairi Sane stand at ringside and play her recorder during every match to help create a better atmosphere. No?

The IIconics were yelling backstage. Kay said this was their one chance to get the tag titles back and Royce blew it. Kay slapped Royce across the face, then apologized. They both cried and hugged…

Powell’s POV: That’s exactly what it’s like after my girlfriend and I lose to her siblings in mean game of badminton. Hey, at least she apologizes after slapping the piss out of me. Help me, er, don’t judge us.

Footage aired from The Last Ride documentary series… Highlights aired of Shayna Baszler beating Natalya after last week’s match. Footage aired of Natalya throwing a fit in the ring afterward. Philips hyped Baszler vs. Natalya in a submission match as coming up after a break…

Backstage, Asuka and a trainer tended to Sane. Asuka fired up and stormed away… [C] Jax was shown walking backstage. Asuka got in her face and yelled in Japanese. Jax walked past her, but Asuka turned her around and delivered a kick to the head. With Jax down, Asuka yelled at her and stormed away…

6. Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya in a submission match. Phillips questioned if the match stipulation benefitted Natalya. Joe questioned her logic and said that Baszler’s wheelhouse is the submission game. Baszler applied an early ankle lock, but Natalya kicked herself free. Baszler removed her mouthguard and checked her teeth.

A short time later, Baszler stomped Natalya and set up for a Sharpshooter, but Natalya countered out of the hold and applied her own Sharpshooter. Baszler reached the ropes. Natalya didn’t release the hold while Phillips explained there are no rope breaks. Baszler got to the floor and escaped the hold. Back inside the ring, Natalya applied a knee bar. Baszler rolled onto Natalya, escaped the hold, and then applied the Kirifuda Clutch for the submission win.

Shayna Baszler defeated Natalya in 3:45 in a submission match.

Natalya remained down in the ring and looked dejected. Meanwhile, the crew started preparing the ring for the KO Show by rolling a carpet into the ring. Natalya threw another fit and tossed the KO Show signs and both chairs to ringside. Joe said this was beneath Natalya and called her conduct ridiculous. He said it’s beneath her and the legacy that she represents. Joe said she may need to take a little time off.

Powell’s POV: I’ve been okay with a lot of the brief matches tonight, but these two definitely could have filled more time and kept things interesting. I’m mildly intrigued by Natalya’s meltdowns and where they will lead.

Phillips set up footage from last week of the argument involving Andrade, Angel Garza, Zelina Vega, and Austin Theory. Footage also aired of Garza and Theory bickering after Garza’s match… Backstage, Theory was arguing with Andrade and Garza. Vega showed up and said she’s sick of the fighting. She said they would go out there as a cohesive unit. She asked Andrade if he understood her. Andrade smiled and said he understands her. Vega asked Garza if he understands. “Yes, of course,” Garza said. Vega asked Theory if he understood and made him say, “yes, ma’am”… Phillips hyped the KO Show for after the break… [C]

Phillips spoke of Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy while a montage of media headlines and wrestler tweets were shown…

Kevin Owens made his entrance for the KO Show. Owens stopped and surveyed the damage caused to his set by Natalya. Owens thanked Natalya for “getting all the junk out of the way.”

[Hour Three] Owens said he hasn’t been around lately and people have asked why. He spoke about getting banged up during his WrestleMania match against Seth Rollins. Owens said the good news is that he’s back. Owens introduced Zelina Vega, Andrade, Angel Garza, and Austin Theory as his guests. The foursome had to move Natalya’s set debris out of the way to get to the ring. Vega said people who think that her empire is crumbling are wrong. She praised all three of her men, then said she is the best that the business has seen in a long time.

Vega said they came from the streets and they survived. She said the streets aren’t for everyone and they make sidewalks for people like Owens. She noted that he was standing on the apron. Owens said you could argue that he was giving them more respect by standing on the apron. He also said bad things tend to happen when he’s in the ring with more than one person. Owens said he was on the apron because they weren’t his only guests. Owens introduced Apollo Crews, who charged the ring and attacked Andrade heading into a break… [C]

7. Kevin Owens and Apollo Crews vs. Andrade and Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega, Austin Theory). Philips noted that Crews’s knee was wrapped, as he continues to sell the “injury” that took him out of the Money in the Bank ladder match. Owens tagged in Crews, which led to Andrade immediately tagging out. Crews got the better of Garza, then released him when he spotted Vega on the apron and jawing at the referee. Theory tried to interfere, but he ended up hitting Garza. Crews hit his finisher on Garza and pinned him.

Kevin Owens and Apollo Crews defeated Andrade and Angel Garza in 2:50.

After the match, Theory tried to apologize to Garza, but Andrade attacked Theory from behind. Theory fought back, but Garza kicked him from behind. Andrade and Garza worked over Theory and ran him into the ringside barricade.

Powell’s POV: Another match that was more than capable of filling more time. I’m all for eliminating the needlessly long matches that feel like they go on for an eternity without fans present, but it feels like they are going too far in the other direction. As for the angle, I like the idea of Theory becoming a babyface if that’s what they’re going for, though I guess I can’t rule out that they are writing him out with the intention of sending him back to NXT.

WWE Champion Drew McIntyre was interviewed on the backstage set by Caruso. He said the brand to brand invitations can create some dream matches. McIntyre said King Corbin is a terrible human being, but he also does terrible things to his opponents in the ring and will do whatever it takes to win a match. McIntyre looked into the camera and asked if Corbin was out of his mind for thinking that he was going to beat him on his home turf. McIntyre said he had a Claymore with Corbin’s name on it…

Footage aired from “earlier today” of the axe-tossing. Erik and Ivar were throwing bullseyes. Ford asked for silence and said he had to get his Tiger Woods on. Ivar wondered if there was a tiger in the woods. Erik told him no and then questioned if this was Ford’s first time and brought up performance anxiety. Ford was taken aback. Ford threw an axe that sailed high into the air and way beyond the target, which led to laughter from the Viking Raiders and their Renaissance Festival reject buddies… [C]

Angelo Dawkins took his turn tossing an axe. He hit a barrel with liquid in it rather than the actual target. The Renaissance Festival rejects got pissed and had to be held back by the Viking Raiders…

8. Aleister Black vs. Murphy (w/Seth Rollins). Murphy’s entrance was not televised. Black stormed to the ring and went right after Murphy to start the match. Austin Theory was still down at ringside. Rollins spent his time staring at Theory. Rollins offered Theory his hand and helped him to his feet. In the ring, Black was setting up for his finisher. Rollins motioned to the ring. Theory charged the ring and attacked Black for the DQ.

Aleister Black defeated Murphy by DQ in 2:35.

After the match, Black tackled Theory, but Murphy attacked Black from behind. Murphy blasted Black with a knee to the face. Rollins had Murphy tossed Black to Theory, who gave him his ATL finisher. Rollins walked over to Theory and hugged him…

Powell’s POV: So Theory is a Rollins disciple. I didn’t see that coming. It’s not the babyface push that I was hoping for, but Theory’s character basically failed forward by going from being a lackey for Vega to being a lackey for Rollins. I like it.

A sponsored video package spotlighted Bianca Belair… The broadcast team spoke about Belair briefly, then segued into setting up more of the axe-tossing madness…

It was finally time for the actual axe-tossing contest. Erik and Ivar continued to make bullseyes while Ford and Dawkins continued to miss the board. Ford made his final toss and celebrated with the Viking Raiders. A cop car showed up with an axe in the windshield and asked who was responsible. One of the cops said the only way to find out was to watch them throw axes. Dawkins threw one with his back facing the target and made a bullseye…

Powell’s POV: Why is this happening? I mean, I get that they are trying to fill time, but shouldn’t these skits actually make viewers want to see these teams wrestle each another?

Apollo Crews was interviewed by Caruso on the interview set. Crews said he couldn’t figure out whether the injury or giving up his spot in the MITB ladder match. Crews said the last three weeks have been the longest of his life while he wondered what could have been. Crews said he had to look inside himself and he realized he had to make something happen. Crews challenged Andrade to a U.S. Title match on next week’s show.

Vega showed up and told Crews he had a choice in that he could cut his losses and walk away or enter the ring with Andrade and never walk again. Crews said Andrade better be ready next week. Crews questioned where Andrade was and wondered if he was afraid he was going to slap him again. Crews said he would become the new U.S. Champion next week…

Drew McIntyre made his entrance for the main event… [C]

A female cop scolded the Viking Raiders for tossing axes. She said she was letting them go with a warning because Ivar is cute. Erik? Not so much, she said…

King Corbin made his entrance while Phillips once again explained that wrestlers can go from brand to brand just four times per year. Bobby Lashley’s music played and he and MVP walked onto the stage. MVP said he and Lashley took an interest in the match. MVP said he could probably take ten minutes discussing the impressive things that Corbin have done. MVP also praised McIntyre, then handed the mic to Lashley, who told McIntyre that he was putting him on notice. Lashley said he’s coming after McIntyre and the WWE Championship and said he would pull the title belt from his cold, dead hands if need be… [C]

Phillips hyped Andrade vs. Apollo Crews for the U.S. Championship for next week’s Raw…

9. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. King Corbin in a non-title match. McIntyre set up for a Claymore around 2:30, but Corbin ducked to ringside. McIntyre followed Corbin to ringside and then back into the ring where Corbin caught him with as hot and went on the offensive. Corbin ran McIntyre’s head into the ring post. Corbin did his slide to ringside and rush right back inside the ring bit and hit McIntyre with a clothesline that led to a one count.

Corbin superplexed McIntyre and covered him for another one count. Corbin barked at McIntyre for once being his follower. McIntyre came back and knocked Corbin down with a double axe-handle from the ropes. McIntyre kipped up and then told Corbin to get his ass up. McIntyre hoisted up Corbin, who slipped out, only to be put down with a spinebuster that led to a two count.

McIntyre set up for a Future Shock DDT, but Corbin drove him into the corner. Corbin performed what Phillips called “this move” and got another one count. McIntyre fired back with strikes and then ran into a boot in the corner. Corbin leapt from the ropes into a boot from McIntyre, who gave him a Future Shock DDT. McIntyre followed up with a Claymore Kick attempt, but Corbin countered into a Deep Six for a near fall. McIntyre came right back with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt and followed up with a Claymore Kick, which led to the pin.

WWE Champion Drew McIntyre defeated King Corbin in 9:10 in a non-title match.

MVP applauded from the stage. McIntyre barked that he wants to fight Lashley, who had to be held back by MVP. McIntyre held up his title belt to close the show…

Powell’s POV: I guess they couldn’t start the McIntyre vs. Lashley feud without having Baron Corbin there to remind everyone who sucked the oxygen out of the room whenever they were featured as a heel trio. That said, McIntyre going over clean was the right approach. I’m still down on his countdown to the Claymore Kick because it’s making him look foolish whenever the heels counter it, but I doubt that’s going to change. It was a solid main event and it was nice to see a match get more than a few minutes on this show.

Raw is clearly still struggling to find the right approach during this empty venue era. They kept every match brief until the main event. While that’s better than trying to fill time with lengthy matches that overstay their welcome, they still need to work on finding a better balance. Dot Net Members will hear my audio review of the show roughly an hour from now. Let me know what you thought of Raw by assigning it a letter grade in our weekly post show poll available via the main page. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.


Readers Comments (4)

  1. RIP to Larry. His reviews — along with yours and Brandon Stroud’s — were my absolute favorites to read.

  2. I don’t see Drew’s Claymore countdown as a negative necessarily. In some ways it reminds me of how HBK would tune up the band before the superkick. I get your point though about the heels countering it, but the heels should never really counter it. Getting hit with the Glasgow Kiss for instance should be disorienting.

  3. Macintyre’s WWE title run to this point is historic for all of the wrong reasons. He never defended the WWE Championship in front of an audience. He won it in an empty arena and his few defenses/matches since becoming champion have also been in empty arenas. If things keep going as they are his entire title reign could involve him never appearing as champion in front of a live audience.

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