5/17 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s live review of the WrestleMania Backlash fallout edition, WWE Women’s Tag Champions Natalya and Tamina appear on Alexa Bliss’s Playground

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,460)
Live from Tampa, Florida at Yuengling Center
Aired May 17, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] Bobby Lashley was shown backstage with a woman on each arm. He was joined by three additional women who followed behind Lashley and the other two women… Adnan Virk, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary…

MVP stood in the ring and introduced WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, who was escorted to the ring by the five women. MVP claimed that Lashley won the Triple Threat with an injured fist caused by punching his challengers.

MVP started to issue an open challenge. Drew McIntyre made his entrance while the broadcast team pointed out that McIntyre didn’t factor into the finish because Braun Strowman was pinned by Lashley during the Triple Threat.

McIntyre joined Lashley inside the ring and said he couldn’t think of a better way for Lashley to impress “your lovely…ladies” than defending the championship against him. McIntyre said he accepted the challenge. MVP said McIntyre didn’t let him finish. He said the open challenge is for anyone in the locker room other than McIntyre and Strowman.

Lashley took a swing at McIntyre, who ducked it and then hit Lashley with a punch. Lashley rolled to ringside. MVP got in front of Lashley and tried to talk him down while saying that McIntyre goes to the back of the line…

The broadcast team hyped AJ Styles vs. Elias as coming up after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A brief opening segment that established the open challenge along with the fact that Lashley retained the WWE Championship at WrestleMania Backlash without beating McIntyre. The segment also showed that while the match won’t happen tonight, we haven’t seen the last of Lashley vs. McIntyre. My guess remains that they have their blowoff match inside the Hell in a Cell structure at the June 20 pay-per-view.

The broadcast team hyped Lashley’s open challenge for anyone other than McIntyre or Strowman…

1. AJ Styles (w/Omos) vs. Elias (w/Jaxson Ryker). Styles leapt over the ropes and hit Elias with a forearm at ringside. When Ryker approached Styles, Omos stepped behind Styles, which stopped Ryker in his tracks. [C]

Elias performed a nice spinebuster for a near fall coming out of the break. Styles came back and went for a Styles Clash, but Elias avoided it and hit him with a knee strike. Elias followed up with a suplex for a near fall. A short time later, Styles set up for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Ryker grabbed his legs for the DQ.

AJ Styles defeated Elias by DQ in 11:45.

After the match, Omos backed Ryker up the ramp. Meanwhile, Elias attacked Styles. Omos returned to ringside, causing Elias to run away and hide behind the broadcast team…

Alexa Bliss sat on her swing set with her doll Lily and said she was excited to have Natalya and Tamina on her show, and added that Lily is just dying to meet them… [C]

Powell’s POV: Does Styles working against a fellow heel mean that he and Omos are babyfaces and will now feud with Elias and Ryker? Or perhaps they will just take on all comers? More than anything, I’m just happy that the zombies didn’t turn everyone at Sunday’s pay-per-view. Do we know if The Miz and John Morrison are alive?

A video package featured Johnny Gargano talking about defending the NXT North American Championship against Bronson Reed on Tuesday’s NXT television show. Graves also plugged the match on commentary before the broadcast team switched to recapping Randy Orton dropping Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods after teaming with them and Riddle last week…

Backstage, Riddle was happy that Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods got his letter. The trio looked around for a snake. Randy Orton showed up and asked where Adam Pearce was at, then wondered why Kingston and Woods were there.

Orton said the snake that mentioned seemed like a shot against him. Riddle said he stretched the truth a little to get them together. Riddle said that even though they ended on bad terms last week, he hoped that Orton would apologize to the New Day duo.

Orton told him that it wasn’t going to happen. Kingston and Woods said they wouldn’t have accepted an apology coming from Orton. Kingston warned Riddle to watch himself or he would end up on the receiving end of an RKO. Kingston challenged Orton to a match. Orton accepted the match…

Alexa Bliss sat on her swing set with Lilly and was joined by Natalya, who sat on a swing, and Tamina, who stood. Natalya spoke about winning the WWE Women’s Tag Titles and noted that it was Tamina’s first title in WWE. Bliss said that was super duper. Tamina asked Natalya if they could leave. Bliss said she hadn’t asked the tough questions.

Bliss said Lily wanted to know their favorite color. Natalya chose pink, and Tamina said black and blue, which would look good on Bliss if she tried anything weird. Bliss said that wasn’t very nice, but Tamina was lucky that Lily liked her and brought up the way she took out Reginald. Tamina said she would have no problem doing it again if he got involved in the rematch. Natalya and Tamina walked off while Bliss spoke to Lily. Bliss asked Lily if it was something they said, then wished the champions luck and said they would be watching… [C]

Powell’s POV: What would happen if a zombie bit Lily? Anyway, it was nice to see NXT get a little more hype than the usual teaser video.

Asuka was featured in an Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month video…

2. Angel Garza vs. Drew Gulak. Both entrances were televised and footage aired of their recent butt rose drama. Garza dominated the match and won clean following a Wing Clipper.

Angel Garza beat Drew Gulak in 2:10.

After the match, Garza grabbed a rose from her corner and then shoved it in Gulak’s mouth…

Powell’s POV: A rose in the mouth isn’t so bad unless that’s the same rose that Garza shoved up his backside.

R-Truth was shown backstage with his eyes closed. Kevin Patrick interviewed Truth, who said he was a lot shorter at his desk. Truth said he heard that there was an open challenge for his title. Patrick said that was Lashley, who Truth called Ricky Bobby. Akira Tozawa snuck down the stairs behind Truth and then rolled him up and pinned him to win the WWE 24/7 Championship…

Powell’s POV: I really hoped that we were done with this repetitive nonsense when the title disappeared from television for several weeks. Where are the damn zombies when you need them?

Randy Orton and Riddle made their entrance for Orton’s match against Kofi Kingston… [C] Last week’s Eva Marie video aired…

[Hour Two] Woods and Kingston made their entrance…

3. Randy Orton (w/Riddle) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods). Late in the match, Orton performed a powerslam on Kingston. Woods played his trombone to distract Orton, who was then rolled up and pinned by Kingston.

Kofi Kingston defeated Randy Orton in 5:10.

After the match, Riddle tried to keep the peace between Orton and the New Day duo. Orton left the ring while Riddle was talking with Kingston and Woods. Riddle turned to follow. Woods grabbed Riddle’s arm. Riddle shoved Woods to the mat and followed Orton to the back…

Powell’s POV: I like this development. I’d love to think that Riddle is breaking bad and ditching his dimwit gimmick, but I’m not holding my breath.

Backstage, Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville listened to Lana and Naomi bicker with Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke over who should be next in line for a tag title shot. Charlotte Flair showed up and said they’ve had a million chances and they’ve blown them all. “Like you did last night,” Brooke said under her breath. When Flair confronted her, Brooke declined to say it out loud.

Deville told the teams that Flair had a private matter to discuss, so both teams left. Flair told Pearce and Deville that she deserves a singles match with Rhea Ripley rather than a Triple Threat. She said she wasn’t pinned and therefore didn’t lose. Deville said the decision wasn’t just hers and they would take it under advisement.

Rhea Ripley showed up and told Flair that she’s looking for competition and Flair is nothing but yesterday’s news. Flair told Ripley to watch her match with Asuka closely because it will be a preview. Flair said she would become the new champion. Ripley said she would watch just to see if the queen falls from her throne…

Natalya and Tamina made their entrance for their tag title match… [C] A sponsored recap showed Natalya and Tamina winning the WWE Women’s Tag Titles and then the challengers made their entrance…

4. Natalya and Tamina vs. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax (wReginald) for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles. A few minutes into the match, Alexa Bliss walked onto the stage holding Lily. Baszler put Tamina in the Kirifuda Clutch. Pyro shot out of one of the ring posts, which led to Reginald acting like he was burned even though he was on the bottom ring step. Baszler released the hold. Natalya and Tamina performed a Hart Attack clothesline on Baszler and then Natalya scored the pin.

Natalya and Tamina beat Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax in 3:15 to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.

After the match, a Bliss laugh track played while Reginald covered his eyes at ringside…

Powell’s POV: I guess the idea is that Lily has it in for Baszler and Reginald, so Jax is probably next in line for the hocus pocus nonsense.

Saxton hyped Sheamus vs. Ricochet in a rematch from the WrestleMania Backlash Kickoff Show… An ad for Smackdown focused on the Roman Reigns and Jimmy Uso drama, and the four-way for the Intercontinental Championship… [C]

Sheamus made his entrance and cut a promo about Ricochet doing something to his jacket. Backstage, Sarah Schreiber set up footage of Ricochet putting on Sheamus’s jacket and hat after their match. Schreiber told Ricochet it looked like he was having fun. Ricochet said that he was. He said the real fun would come when he shuts him up forever. Schreiber asked about the accusation that he stole Sheamus’s hat and jacket. Ricochet left the set and returned wearing the hat and jacket, then spoke with an Irish accent before heading off for the match…

5. U.S. Champion Sheamus vs. Ricochet in a non-title match. Ricochet made his entrance and Sheamus charged him on the stage, but Ricochet avoided him and went to the ring. Sheamus ran in and was dropkicked. Ricochet removed the hat and jacket and the match started. Ricochet went for a dive, but Sheamus caught him at ringside. Sheamus ran Ricochet into the ring post and then dumped him into the timekeepers area. [C]

Sheamus performed an Irish Curse backbreaker for a near fall. Sheamus sold jaw pain as he went up top. Ricochet cut him off, but Sheamus punched him away. Ricochet ran up the ropes and performed a Spanish Fly that led to a near fall. Sheamus came up holding his left thigh. Graves said the replay showed that Ricochet landed on the leg.

Ricochet performed a springboard clothesline and followed up with a standing shooting star press for a two count. Ricochet went for a Lionsault, but Sheamus put his knees up and hooked him in an inside cradle for a near fall. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick. Ricochet avoided it and then knocked Sheamus down with a kick. Ricochet went up top. Sheamus rolled to ringside.

Ricochet dove onto Sheamus on the floor. Ricochet rolled Sheamus inside the ring and then performed a springboard 450 for a near fall. Ricochet tried to power up Sheamus, who avoided it. Ricochet went for a springboard move, but Sheamus blasted him with a kick and covered him for a near fall. Sheamus acted shocked and then jawed at Ricochet, who slapped him across the face. Sheamus blasted Ricochet with a Brogue Kick and pinned him…

U.S. Champion Sheamus defeated Ricochet in 13:30 in a non-title match.

After the match, Sheamus put his hat and jacket on and delivered a promo. He said one of his shoulders felt a little empty and then warned Lashley that he might accept his open challenge…

Powell’s POV: The highlight of the night. That’s not saying much on what’s been an otherwise forgettable show, but this really was an entertaining match that extends Sheamus’s streak of strong ring work. Now let’s hope they follow up on this by doing more with Ricochet rather than have him return to WWE Main Event matches.

Backstage, Mace and T-Bar delivered a backstage promo. T-Bar said Lashley’s title reign has an expiration. Mace spoke about making Lashley pay for his debts. They flipped a coin to determine which one of them would face Lashley… Asuka made her entrance… An ad aired for the A&E biography on Ultimate Warrior… [C]

Charlotte Flair made her entrance. A video package recapped Rhea Ripley winning the Triple Threat at WrestleMania Backlash to retain the Raw Women’s Championship…

6. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka. Flair took offensive control. Rhea Ripley made her entrance and smiled while staring down Flair as she walked to ringside. [C] Ripley was seated at ringside coming out of the break.

[Hour Three] Flair was distracted by the smirking Ripley, but she wrapped her legs around Asuka’s head and drove it into the mat several times. Graves scolded Virk for stating the obvious about the importance of the match. Asuka came back with a backslide for a two count and then threw a kick that the broadcast team had to explain away.

Asuka caught Flair with a knee to the head and got another near fall. Flair avoided an Asuka lock attempt and knocked Asuka down with an elbow and then covered her for a two count. Flair placed Asuka on the top rope and went for a Spanish Fly, but Asuka held onto the top rope.

Asuka threw a missile dropkick from the middle rope and covered Flair for a two count. Asuka threw a series of kicks at Flair, who avoided one and then rolled her up for another near fall. Asuka rolled Flair into a kneebar, but Flair powered out of it. Asuka applied a triangle submission. Flair countered into a Boston Crab. Asuka rolled onto her for a two count.

Asuka went for her finisher. The screen went black a couple of times, and Flair reached the ropes when the picture returned. Flair went to ringside and then pulled Asuka with her and slammed her head onto the broadcast table. Flair went face to face with the still smirking Ripley and pointed at her title belt.

Asuka showed up and was rolled inside the ring by Flair, who followed. Flair went for a figure four, but Asuka kicked her off and she ended up bumping into Ripley, who had climbed onto the apron. A short time later, Flair went for the figure four, but Asuka rolled her into a pin for the win…

Asuka defeated Charlotte Flair in 16:45.

Powell’s POV: The usual quality match from Flair and Asuka. Asuka really needed the win. Graves said as much while pointing to her loss at WrestleMania Backlash, but she also lost at WrestleMania and to Ripley in a match last week. Having said that, it feels like they are going in circles by having Flair take this loss rather than another wrestler. Meanwhile, I don’t know if they want viewers to like smirking Ripley because she’s confident or dislike her because she’s arrogant. It could go either way and we still don’t know anything about her character.

Backstage, Kevin Patrick interviewed John Morrison, who wore “Drip Drip” shades. Morrison was asked if he could even attempt to explain what happened the night before. Morrison said he has a rotting feeling and it’s like he’s dead inside. He said Miz may never be the same and therefore he was dedicating his match to Miz’s memory…

Damian Priest made his entrance for a lumberjack match with Morrison. Graves said last night was unusual, whereas this would be more traditional… [C] John Morrison made his entrance…

7. Damian Priest vs. John Morrison in a lumberjack match. The lumberjacks included Nikki Cross, Erik, Ivar, Cedric Alexander, Mace, T-Bar, Titus O’Neil, Shelton Benjamin, Akira Tozawa, Mansoor, Mustafa Ali, Lince Dorado, and Gran Metalik. Cross rolled Morrison back inside the ring at one point.

Morrison ended up back at ringside. Tozawa tried to throw him back inside, but Morrison shoved him in the ring instead. Morrison did some parkour at ringside and then ended up back in the ring where he took a uranage slam. [C]

Morrison caught Priest with a springboard kick that sent him to ringside. The lumberjacks rolled him back inside the ring where Morrison blasted him with a knee strike and covered him for a two count.

A short time later, Priest dove onto T-Bar and Mace. Alexander entered the ring and dove onto Benjamin. Alexander and Benjamin fought, which distracted some of the lumberjacks (and gave them a reason to move into position). Priest suplexed Morrison from the ropes onto the pile of lumberjacks. Cross and O’Neil were the only two lumberjacks who were present for the suplex.

Back inside the ring, Priest caught Morrison on the ropes and gave him a huracanrana. Priest followed up with Hit The Lights and scored the clean pin…

Damian Priest beat John Morrison in 12:10 in a lumberjack match.

After the match, Schreiber came out and interviewed Priest on the stage. Priest said Miz and Morrison are in the past now. Priest said he wants to live forever. Priest said may he’ll accept Lashley’s open challenge and his next moment will be becoming WWE Champion…

Bobby Lashley was shown warming up backstage… A brief Bronson Reed promo aired in response to Gargano’s from earlier in the show to promote their cage match for NXT… [C]

Powell’s POV: It finally sounds like Priest will finally start working with someone other than Miz and Morrison. Call me crazy, but it sure looked like the wrestlers could have escaped via the hard camera side of the ring since they didn’t appear to have any lumberjacks there. Then again, I’ll take that over the zombie madness that we had at the pay-per-view. While it’s been referenced for those who saw it, they haven’t showed any footage from the pay-per-view unless I missed it.

The latest Eva-lution video aired. She said she wanted to be a heroine like Angelina Jolie, but now that she is she doesn’t want to just play a hero, she wants to be one. She said a star’s purpose is to show people the way…

Shelton Benjamin was interviewed by Kevin Patrick in the backstage area. Benjamin blew off a question about Cedric Alexander and said he wanted to talk about challenging Bobby Lashley. Alexander showed up and mockingly applauded. Alexander said that Benjamin is a legend in his own mind. Alexander said there’s a reason why everyone around Benjamin ends up abandoning him. Benjamin punched Alexander, who laid on the ground and held his jaw…

The broadcast team set up highlights from the opening segment… Bobby Lashley and MVP made their entrance for the open challenge match… [C] Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Tamina, Natalya, and Angel Garza were advertised for Raw Talk…

MVP stood in the ring and wondered who would accept the challenge. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods came out together. Woods pointed at Kingston. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Just before the referee was about to call for the bell, MVP stood on the apron and pointed out that neither he nor Lashley said anything about it being a championship match. MVP said Kingston wasn’t worthy of a championship match and wished him luck in his endeavor. Kingston attacked Lashley. The referee separated them and then called for the bell…

8. WWE Champion Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) in a non-title match. Lashley performed a one-armed spinebuster for a near fall at 0:08 (yes, really). Kingston caught Lashley with a superkick that sent him to the apron. Kingston dropkicked Lashley off the apron, then dropkicked him through the ropes. Kingston performed a dive over the top rope onto Lashley on the floor. [C]

Coming out of the break, they replayed MVP’s comments from earlier to show that he did not mention Lashley defending the WWE Championship. Lashley took offensive control. Kingston eventually came back with a chop and a clunky looking DDT for a two count.

Lashley rallied and picked up Kingston in suplex position and dropped him face first to the mat and then got a two count. Lashley placed Kingston on the ropes. Woods played the trombone, which distracted Lashley, who stuck his head through the ropes to jaw at him. Kingston leapt from the ropes and drove Lashley’s head into the apron.

Kingston went for an SOS, but Lashley stuffed it and slammed him to the mat. Lashley tossed Kingston to ringside and followed him. Lashley put Kingston on his shoulders and then ran him into the ring post. Lashley tossed Kingston back inside the ring and then tossed him out of the ring again.

Lashley hoisted up Kingston on his shoulders, but Woods pulled him down. The referee ejected Woods, who protested on the apron. Lashley held Kingston on the ropes. MVP wound up to hit him with his cane, but Drew McIntyre popped up and stopped him. Lashley grabbed McIntyre, who jabbed him with the cane. Kingston rolled up Lashley and pinned him.

Kofi Kingston defeated Bobby Lashley in 10:55 in a non-title match.

After the match, McIntyre celebrated with Kingston and Woods on the stage. Lashley held up his title belt to close the show…

Powell’s POV: This was hardly the rebirth of Kingston’s singles push. McIntyre’s involvement means he’s still the top babyface. Lashley was protected thanks to the lame distraction from Woods and the McIntyre interference. I assume Kingston will get a title shot and will be destroyed, and they will still get to Lashley vs. McIntyre at Hell in a Cell.

Overall, Raw got off to a slow start, but things picked up starting with the Sheamus vs. Ricochet match. The show was better than usual from that point on. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of Raw by grading it in our poll below. Stop back and join John Moore for his live review of NXT on Tuesday night.

WWE Raw Poll: Grade the May 17 edition

 
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Readers Comments (8)

  1. Chris Johnson May 17, 2021 @ 8:56 pm

    See, you kept mocking the Zombies throughout the night and now we have another lumberjack match with Damian Priest vs. John Morrison.

  2. Johnny Drip Drip sounds like and STD you’d pick up at a bar in Minot

  3. Patrick Peralta May 17, 2021 @ 10:41 pm

    Cheers the 24/7 title is back.

  4. I didn’t see Raw but just read the review. Seems like the usual 90% of matches ended with a distraction finish.
    Sheamus vs. Ricochet sounds like it was worth watching though! I’ve always enjoyed Sheamus’ ring work, I am glad he is getting another proper run.

  5. I’m fairly sure Charlotte was exposed and that’s why there was a blackout..

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