5/25 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s live review of WWE Champion Drew McIntyre on MVP’s VIP Lounge, Nia Jax vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya for a Raw Women’s Championship match at WWE Backlash, Andrade vs. Apollo Crews for the U.S. Title

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,409)
Taped earlier today in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired May 25, 2020 on USA Network

[Hour One] The annual Memorial Day video package opened the show… The Raw opening aired… A group of cheering spectator wrestlers were shown standing behind the barricade and plexiglass…

The broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe hyped the previously advertised matches. Phillips acknowledged the spectator wrestlers and said they have all been tested and are practicing social distancing…

Powell’s POV: It’s good to see that WWE finally gave in on having spectator wrestlers. The atmosphere is already better than it’s been since the empty venue started. Some of the wrestlers are from NXT and others are WWE PC trainees. The plexiglass is likely a face saver as much as it protective. Keep in mind that Stephanie McMahon was publicly critical in a thinly veiled jab at wrestlers appearing at ringside at AEW events.

Kevin Owens came to the ring for the KO Show and introduced Raw Women’s Champion Asuka as his guest. Asuka chanted for Becky Lynch. Owens plugged a new Lynch t-shirt.

NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair made her entrance. Flair told Asuka that the Raw Women’s Championship should have been handed to her instead. Flair boasted that Asuka has never beaten her.

Natalya made her entrance. Natalya said she wasn’t there to cause problems. She apologized to Owens and the crew for the temper tantrum she threw last week. She chalked it up to how frustrated she has felt lately. Flair mocked Natalya for sucking up to Owens.

Nia Jax made her entrance with a mic in hand and said everyone knows she will be the next Raw Women’s Champion. Jax entered the ring and said what she did to Kairi Sane was just a sample of what she would do to Asuka at WWE Backlash.

Owens said he knew those were fighting words, but he said whatever Asuka does next, she should not hit Jax in the face. Asuka threw a spinning back fist that cleared Jax from the ring. Flair and Natalya fought and rolled to ringside. Phillips hyped the Triple Threat to determine the No. 1 contender for later in the show…

Apollo Crews was interviewed by Kayla Braxton on the backstage set. She asked if he was ready mentally for the U.S. Title match. Crews said it’s the greatest night of his career. He said he would go out and become the new U.S. Champion…

Andrade and Zelina Vega made their entrance while the broadcast team hyped the U.S. Title match for after the break… [C] Apollo Crews made his entrance…

1. Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Apollo Crews for the U.S. Championship. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Phillips noted that Andrade won the title 150 days earlier. Angel Garza was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor.

Crews pressed Andrade over his head, but he dropped him when he spotted Vega on the apron. Crews avoided Andrade trying to hit him from behind and then threw a kick at him, which drove Andrade into Vega, who was knocked off the apron. Andrade checked on Vega as they cut to a brief, sponsored picture-in-picture break. [C]

As the match continued, they cut backstage to where Braxton spoke with Garza, who said a match is like making love to a beautiful woman. He mentioned something about two bodies coming together (yes, really). A short time later, Crews pressed Andrade over his head and dropped him, then followed up with a standing moonsault and a standing shooting star press and scored the pin…

Apollo Crews defeated Andrade in 8:20 to win the U.S. Championship.

After the match, Charly Caruso entered the ring and interviewed Crews who spoke about winning his first championship in WWE. After the promo, Andrade was shown trashing a backstage area while throwing a Natalya-like fit…

Powell’s POV: Congratulations to Crews on winning the right to lose a bunch of non-title matches on television. If he’s really lucky, he’ll lose a non-title champion vs. champion match. Fine, I hope this time is different, but seeing is believing.

Phillips hyped The Street Profits and Vikings Raiders meeting in a round of golf…

Seth Rollins was shown standing backstage and staring at a Rey Mysterio mask that he was holding in his hand… An NXT TV ad hyped Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher in a cage fight with Kurt Angle as special referee, plus Kushida vs. Jake Atlas vs. Drake Maverick to determine the block winner in the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Title tournament… [C]

Seth Rollins stood backstage and said he’s better than he has ever been. He held up the mask and said it’s all due to Mysterio. Phillips narrated highlights of Rollins attacking Mysterio and driving his eye into the edge of the ring steps during a Mysterio vs. Murphy match from two weeks earlier.

Rollins said he was in a dark place after Money in the Bank, but Mysterio presented himself at a time of need. Rollins said Mysterio was chosen to be sacrificed and fulfilled his duty to the greater good so valiantly. He spoke of the pain that Mysterio and his family must have felt and specifically mentioned Rey’s son Dominick by name.

Rollins said he doesn’t know what the future holds for Mysterio, but if that was his final act as a WWE wrestler then it was a courageous one. Rollins said it’s allowed them to move forward into the future. Rollins was joined by Austin Theory and Murphy. Rollins introduced Theory as his latest disciple. He said that they understand what it’s like to be underutilized and under appreciated, but now their ceilings are limitless under his guidance.

Murphy said he needed the Monday Night Messiah to lead him into the future. Theory said Rollins found him when he was abandoned. Rollins said they get to show Mysterio firsthand of the goodness that he’s brought to Raw when they make examples out of Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black…

The broadcast team hyped Black and Carrillo vs. Theory and Murphy for later in the show…

Charlotte Flair was interviewed backstage by Caruso on the interview set and was asked about the possibility of becoming a double champion. Flair said she’s the most consistent and prolific women’s champion in WWE history. She said she raised the bar for every female in the division and no one else compares to her. Asuka danced into the picture and paraded her title belt. “Red is not your color,” Asuka said before dancing away with the belt…

“The IIconics” Peyton Royce and Billie Kay made their entrance. Kay apologized for slapping Royce last week and said she didn’t want anything to come between them. Royce said they grew up together. Kay said they signed their contracts together. They said they had their opportunities taken away and should still be the tag champions.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross headed to the ring. Bliss said the IIconics have had every opportunity in the world and they blew it. Cross got fired up about how hard she’s worked to get to where she is. Kayden Carter was shown applauding along with some of the other spectator wrestlers.

Royce and Kay attacked Bliss and Cross once Cross finished her promo. Kay whipped Cross toward Royce, who threw a kicked at her. Royce and Kay double teamed Bliss, then performed their finisher on Cross, and left the tag champions lying…

Phillips hyped Drew McIntyre appearing on the VIP Lounge… MVP was shown standing backstage. He looked over and the camera showed that Lana was standing next to him. MVP asked if there was something she could hep with. Lana said they needed to talk. “Oh, no, we don’t,” MVP said before walking away… [C]

Powell’s POV: Cross continues to shine when she’s given the mic and gets to speak from the heart. I still miss the crazed Cross character, but she’s shown real versatility with her lovable babyface persona.

A graphic acknowledged the death of Shad Gaspard…

[Hour Two] MVP hosted the VIP Lounge segment in the ring. He told the NXT trainees that their tab is on him. MVP introduced WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, who made his entrance while Phillips hyped his title match against Bobby Lashley at WWE Backlash.

Once in the ring, McIntyre tossed the two couches out of the way and asked, “Where is he?” MVP played dumb and said McIntyre didn’t have to worry about it and recalled saying “no contract, no contact.” MVP told McIntyre to remember the last time he had him on the VIP Lounge and offered to give him his guidance only to end up being on the receiving end of a Claymore Kick.

MVP said he had two thoughts after taking the Claymore Kick. One, McIntyre would become the WWE Champion. Two, MVP said he would play a part in it when McIntyre loses the title. MVP said Lashley has waited nine years for a title match. McIntyre spoke about waiting 19 years to get his moment.

McIntyre said he doesn’t need anyone thinking or talking for him, and he doesn’t need someone like MVP kissing his ass. McIntyre recalled Lashley saying one thing that was true, the only way he’ll take the title from him is if he takes the belt out of his cold, dead hands. MVP said that can be arranged.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance. Once Lashley was at ringside, MVP introduced him and then turned into a Claymore Kick from McIntyre. MVP ended up at ringside and tried to hold back Lashley while McIntyre begged him to get in the ring. MVP and Lashley headed backstage together…

Powell’s POV: A short and sweet segment. McIntyre continues to be smarter than the average heel, and I really like the MVP and Lashley pairing. Still, I hope that Lashley will get some promo time and won’t be silent while MVP does all the talking. Lashley showed back in 2016 in Impact Wrestling that he can deliver on the mic under the right circumstances.

Caruso attempted to interview Natalya on the interview set, but she excused herself to take a phone call. Natalya told “TJ” (husband TJ Wilson) that she apologized and can’t focus on what he wanted because she had a match…

Kevin Owens made his entrance and was attacked from behind by Angel Garza. Phillips said they were scheduled for a one-on-one match… An ad for Smackdown hyped Jeff Hardy vs. Daniel Bryan, and Elias vs. AJ Styles in the semifinals of the Intercontinental Title tournament… [C]

2. Kevin Owens vs. Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega). Owens was selling a knee injury after being chop-blocked before the break. Owens barked at the referee to ring the bell and the match was on. Garza targeted the bad knee. Owens came back with a DDT.

Owens went on an offensive roll, but he stumbled and sold the knee while going for a superkick, which led to Garza regaining offensive control. Owens fought back and performed a Swanton. Owens went for a Popup Powerbomb, but his knee gave out. Garza hit the Wing Clipper and scored the pin…

Angel Garza defeated Kevin Owens in 3:35.

Powell’s POV: It was nice to see an upset win on Raw. If this match had been advertised, most viewers would have assumed that Owens would win. He was obviously protected via the pre-match attack, but it’s still nice to see something unexpected.

A brief video package recapped the recent games between the Street Profits and Viking Raiders…

Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were on the golf course when Erik and Ivar arrived. They had two guys there to keep score and remind them of golf etiquette. Ivar hit another player with one of his shots. The Viking Raiders jumped in a golf cart and the back end collapsed. The scorekeeper ejected them all from the course.

The match was moved to a mini golf course. All four men and the extra guy danced for a moment, then started playing. The Viking Raiders got in trouble with the woman who ran the course, but she said she’d let it go because Ivar is cute. The Street Profits won 28-144. The Viking Raiders assumed they won because their score was higher.

The Street Profits corrected them and celebrated, as they are up 2-1 in the head-to-head battle. Ivar reached into the hole and started pulling out various objects, including what appeared to be a turkey leg. An alligator from the pond on the course approached, and Ivar had to be pulled back…

Powell’s POV: Another corny sports entertainment skit. But make no mistake about it, mini golf is the true sport of kings. I would have watched The Match had it taken place on a good mini golf course. Let’s see how good Tiger and Phil are when they’re ten beers deep and have to sink a putt into a clown’s mouth that opens and closes.

Backstage, Lana gave MVP a bag of ice and said she was so sorry for what McIntyre did. MVP said that what McIntyre did was a disgrace not to her, not to him, but to her husband Lashley. MVP said Lashley has his first title opportunity in 13 years of Backlash. MVP handed the ice bag back to Lana, who threw it down and yelled once MVP and Lashley left the picture…

Rollins was shown firing up Murphy and Theory heading into a break… [C]

3. Austin Theory and Murphy (w/Seth Rollins) vs. Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo. Rollins held the Mysterio mask in his hand at ringside. The babyfaces jumped out to a quick start. Black did his mid-ring pose and then Carrillo performed a cross body block from the top rope onto both heels at ringside.

Later, Black went up top and was shoved to the floor by Murphy. Carrillo took out Murphy, but Theory hit Carrillo with his ATL finisher and scored the pin.

Austin Theory and Murphy beat Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo in 4:20.

After the match, Theory and Murphy continued the attack and ended up putting Garza’s face next to the edge of the ring steps. Black grabbed a chair and was ready to make the save, but Rollins told him to put it down or Carrillo would lose an eye. Black obliged. Rollins told the babyfaces not to make him sacrifice the two of them like he did Mysterio. Rollins walked away, then Theory and Murphy released Carrillo and followed their leader…

Edge was shown sitting backstage while Phillips said something about the greatest match ever… [C]

Powell’s POV: I dig the trio of Rollins, Theory, and Murphy and the attempt to make them seem violent and dangerous.

Edge delivered a promo while seated in a backstage area. He said he got caught flat footed two weeks ago. He said he might have been basking in the glow of WrestleMania at the time, but now he finds himself doubting his ability. Edge said he was retired for 3,212 days, and during that time Orton wrestled in 1,126 matches.

Edge said now he realizes that he must prove himself to himself. Edge said the strange thing is that he wants to thank Orton because he made him contemplate things that he hadn’t contemplated or had buried very deeply.

Edge recalled watching the first part of The Last Ride documentary series and seeing himself pontificating about when it’s time to hang up the boots. He said he was retired at the time and now here he is. “So, Deadman, I get it, I get it,” Edge said.

Edge ran through a long list of legends he’s faced and said he’s adapted to every style and when it was his job he pulled people up to his level. He said that was his job and he was damn good at it. He said he was a five-tool workhorse for the company.

Edge noted that he was speaking in past tense because he doesn’t know if he can do any of those things anymore. “But I am going to dig to the very depths of my soul and try,” Edge said. “That’s all a man can do”…

The broadcast team immediately kicked in the “great match ever” hype. Asuka made her entrance while Phillips hyped the Triple Threat to determine her challenger at WWE Backlash… [C]

Powell’s POV: I love that Edge isn’t playing into the awful “greatest match ever” hype. In fact, he’s telling a story of doubt, which contradicts the ridiculous slogan that sets the bar way too high. Edge continued the trend of great promos from this ongoing feud.

The broadcast team spoke about WWE’s involvement with The Real Heroes Project…

Backstage, the Viking Raiders tried to claim that they let the Street Profits win again. The Street Profits asked them to come up with another challenge. Ivar wanted gator wrestling, but Dawkins said anything other than that. Erik picked bowling.

Once the Viking Raiders left, MVP said it was another case of extraordinary talent that would go to wast because they’d rather golf than act like champions. MVP said he and Lashley don’t respect clowns.

[Hour Three] MVP said he and Lashley had more important things to worry about, namely the WWE Championship. Ford and Dawkins asked him how his face was and mocked him over the Claymore Kick. MVP challenged them to a tag match and told them to bring the smoke…

Powell’s POV: For a second there, I thought this might be leading to MVP recruiting the Profits to join him and Lashley. As charismatic and fun as the Profits can be, I would have welcomed them turning heel just to avoid the sports entertainment silliness they’ve done more often than not since being called up to Raw.

4. Nia Jax vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya in a Triple Threat for a Raw Women’s Championship match at WWE Backlash. Asuka sat in on commentary, and Phillips hyped Flair vs. Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley for NXT Takeover: In Your House. At 4:20, Flair and Natalya teamed up for a double team powerbomb that drove Jax through the broadcast table. [C]

Natalya caught Jax in an armbar in the middle of the ring. Jax powered up Natalya and slammed her to break the hold. Flair tried to steal the pin, but Natalya kicked out. Flair performed a top rope moonsault on Jax for a near fall. Flair overshot it a bit and Phillips said it didn’t look like Flair got all of it, and that’s why Jax was able to kick out.

Later, Flair put Jax in a figure four. As Flair was bridging, Natalya returned and kicked her to break the hold. With Jax at ringside, Natalya put Flair in the Sharpshooter, but Jax returned to the ring to break it up. Jax tried to pick up Natalya, but Flair caught her with a boot to the face.

Flair tossed Natalya to ringside and started to go up top. Natalya tried to cut off Flair, who saw her coming and knocked her back to the floor. Jax caught Flair on the ropes set up for a superplex. Natalya slid underneath Jax and they performed the tower of doom spot. Asuka chanted for Natalya. Natalya covered Jax for a two count, then did the same with Flair.

Natalya set up Jax for a Sharpshooter, but Flair rolled her up. Flair put Natalya in the figure four and was leg dropped by Jax, who then performed a Samoan Drop on Natalya and pinned her…

Nia Jax defeated Natalya and Charlotte Flair in a Triple Threat in 15:00 to earn a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship at WWE Backlash.

Powell’s POV: Jax seemed like the likely winner, and you had to assume that Natalya was going to lose the match due to the frustration story they are telling with her. It was interesting that Asuka was cheering for Natalya. Granted, she was the only babyface in the match, but I wonder if Natalya’s frustration story will somehow lead to her feuding with Asuka.

Drew McIntyre was approached by Kayla Braxton, who informed him of the Lashley and MVP vs. Street Profits match. He acted like he didn’t know. McIntyre said he left something in the locker room and wouldn’t find it until after Lashley’s match was over… [C]

The broadcast team sat at ringside behind their collapsed table and hyped Asuka vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship at Backlash. They transitioned to recapping Rob Gronkowski winning the WWE 24/7 Championship at WrestleMania…

A pre-taped R-Truth promo aired. He said it’s come to his attention that Tom Brady is not the 24/7 Champion. Truth said it hurts losing to a friend. He said he would go through any football men he had to in order to get his title back…

A pre-taped promo aired with Gronkowski wearing shades while sitting in a gym and telling R-Truth to bring it on. He said he was the host with the most at WrestleMania 36. He cracked his neck a couple times and said Truth fought hard for the belt and had a lot of memories with it, but that was the past. Gronk said playing in the NFL and growing up with four brothers prepared him to be champion. Gronk put the shades on the back of his head, then said the title is staying with him because he has eyes in the back of his head while pointing to the shades…

MVP was flexing his jaw while talking with Lashley. Braxton asked him why he’d want to be in a tag match when he was already hit with a Claymore kick. “That’s why,” MVP said while pointing to Lashley…

A brief Ric Flair highlight clip aired. Saxton hyped that Flair would join them next… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m stunned that they haven’t hyped Flair’s appearance throughout the show in an attempt to keep viewers watching the third hour, which usually takes a big hit in the ratings.

Phillips hyped the Edge vs. Orton match and then set up a clip of Flair, who checked in from his home. Flair said he’s participated in more great wrestling matches than any man who has ever walked the aisle. He said WWE reached out to him to ask him for his prediction on “what many consider to be the greatest wrestling match ever.” Flair said that ever since he hung up his tights, the greatest in-ring performer is Orton. Flair predicted an Orton win at Backlash…

Powell’s POV: I take back my previous POV. While it was nice to see Flair, he wasn’t in the building (which is the right move for safety reasons) and it was a quick and basic segment that would not have lived up to a couple hours worth of hype.

Highlights aired from Undertaker’s “The Last Ride” documentary and included some comments from Steve Austin and Edge… Phillips spoke about the documentary series while some mainstream media headlines were shown…

Liv Morgan sat backstage and said that what might surprise you about her is that her biggest stumbling block in his life has been her own self-worth. She said she can’t ever remember feeling that she was good enough. She said she finally found what she was missing when she found WWE and bought her first piece of wrestling gear with her name on it. Morgan said she may not have all the answers because life changes all the time, but she knows she’s alive and will fulfill who she’s always been destined to be. “I’m living my best life,” Morgan concluded…

Powell’s POV: I’m all for character building promos, but the last couple weeks of Morgan promos have felt more strange than endearing.

The Street Profits made their entrance. Phillips set up footage from earlier of Ford and Dawkins after MVP and Lashley walked away. Ford recalled MVP telling them to bring the smoke. Ford said he was quoting the great Brahma Bull by telling them to just bring it… [C]

Saxton hyped Aleister Black vs. Seth Rollins for next week. Phillips said he was just informed that Rey Mysterio will have his retirement ceremony on next week’s show… MVP and Lashley made their entrance for the main event…

Powell’s POV: Did they bring up Dominick earlier because he’s going to show up and talk his father out of retiring again? Here’s a long shot idea. What about Dom becoming a Rollins’ disciple?

5. Raw Tag Champions “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Bobby Lashley and MVP in a non-title match. Lashley performed an early Flatliner on Ford and covered him for a two count. A short time later, Lashley hoisted up Ford on his back at ringside and ran him into the ring post. [C]

Ford got the better of MVP and made a hot tag. Dawkins worked over MVP and then knocked Lashley off the apron. Ford ran Lashley into the barricade. In the ring, Ford hit a frogsplash on MVP. Lashley ran Dawkins into the post, then broke up the pinfall. Lashley put Ford in the Full Nelson and didn’t release the hold before the referee’s five count, so he was disqualified to end the match.

The Street Profits defeated Bobby Lashley and MVP by DQ in 11:15 in a non-title match.

After the match, Drew McIntyre came out and fought with Lashley. McIntyre took control and was on top of Lashley throwing punches when the referee called for help. A couple of trainees ran in and were quickly taken out by McIntyre, who was then speared by Lashley. The referee called for more help. Four trainees ran to the stage and then headed to the ring to pull apart McIntyre and Lashley.

McIntyre and Lashley fought off the trainees and went back to fighting. Eventually, there were enough trainees to keep McIntyre and Lashley in opposite corners as the show went off the air…

Powell’s POV: A good brawl to close the show. They are doing a good job with the build to McIntyre vs. Lashley. It started as a tough sell because Lashley has been wasted for such a long time, but I’m slowly gaining more interest in the match with each week of build.

Overall, Raw was a better product with the spectator wrestlers at ringside. The plexiglass feels over the top and kinda silly if they were going to have so many wrestlers run out for the pull apart brawl, but it was nice to hear some fan-like noise again. This episode felt light on in-ring action with just the single match in the first hour, but most of the segments felt like they served a purpose beyond just filling time. I will have more to say about the show in my same night audio review coming up shortly. Let me know what you thought of Raw by assigning it a letter grade in our weekly post show poll.


Readers Comments (11)

  1. Write This Way May 25, 2020 @ 7:18 pm

    The plexiglass is going to turn heel before the end of the show.

  2. If the PC people get into their role I hope they boo and chant boring.

  3. Only Vince would do some psycho shit like make the “audience” stand for the duration of the show. Because that’s a totally natural look.

  4. I can already picture Nia Jax tapping or passing out to the Asuka-lock or taking a couple of knee strikes/kicks to the side of the head and being pinned for a three count. Booking her to win title opportunities is a waste of time when you know she’s just going to be treated like a jabroni in the title match itself.

    • They almost have to go this route. Jax is credible enough where Asuka gets to beat someone relevant in her first defense. Asuka almost has to win, being she was handed the belt. Without rushing into Shayna, who probably can’t afford an L, I don’t know where else they go? Charlotte isn’t going to be booked to do the job, and Nattie… I don’t even know what’s going on there.

      It’s not ideal, I’ll grant you.

  5. And on an unrelated note these “look at me whether you want to or not” ads have got to go. You see it at the top of the page so you mute it and scroll down as there is no way to close it, only to have it follow you to the bottom of the page and show up again. Only in the case of the bottom of the page there is a way to actually close the damn thing but still it’s pretty annoying and is likely turning people off.

    • Simple fix: Reader Mode on Safari and whatever the equivalent is on Chrome (“Simplified View”?) will only show text and it’s such a better overall experience for longer articles, regardless of ads

    • Hopefully Jon T. saw this before he died of annoyance.

      Can you install uBlock on an iPad?

  6. It may be considered “insensitive” but I’m personally not a fan of Asuka on commentary. She “speaks” gibberish like she has shit in her mouth. It’s actually a bit embarrassing when I’m watching the show and a non wrestling fan comes into the room while she’s yelling incomprehensible gibberish on commentary during a match. It’s hard to say whether anyone other than Vince McMahon perhaps finds it in anyway “funny” or “amusing.”

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