By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,510)
Live from Greensboro, North Carolina at Greensboro Coliseum
Aired May 2, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] Highlights aired from Friday’s Smackdown of the contract signing segment that led to the new WrestleMania Backlash match of Roman Reigns and The Usos vs. Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton, and Riddle…
Roman Reigns’ entrance music played. “The Bloodline” faction of Reigns, The Usos, and Paul Heyman made their entrance while the broadcast team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in on commentary. The Bloodline held up their title belts and then ring announcer Mike Rome introduced Reigns.
Once in the ring, Heyman delivered the “welcome to Monday Night Raw” line. Heyman presented Reigns with the mic. Reigns told North Carolina to acknowledge him. Suddenly, Randy Orton and Riddle entered the ring and put the Usos down with simultaneous RKO’s. Heyman escaped to ringside.
Drew McIntyre’s entrance music played and he headed to the ring, where Reigns showed concern while alone in the ring with Orton and Riddle. McIntyre brought his stupid sword to the ring with him, but let it fall to the floor as he stood on the apron. Orton and Riddle left the ring.
McIntyre entered the ring and worked over Reigns until the Usos returned. Orton and Riddle also came back to fight with the Usos. A group of referees and producers ran in to attempt to restore order heading into a commercial break… [C]
Powell’s POV: A strong opening segment with a lot of star power. The big brawl made for a nice hook heading into the first break.
Coming out of the break, Smith stated that order had been restored. The broadcast team narrated highlights of the opening segment. Saxton hyped that all six men would be in the same building for Friday’s Smackdown and questioned what might happen…
Powell’s POV: Well, that was a deflating post commercial break development. Not only was the ring cleared, but Saxton hyping all six men for Smackdown seemed to suggest that the fun is over for Raw, at least involving those six wrestlers.
Footage aired from “earlier today” of The Street Profits having a red solo cup drink with Ezekiel. Kevin Owens and Alpha Academy showed up. Owens once again accused Ezekiel of being Elias. The Profits led a toast. Owens took Ezekiel’s cup and threw the contents in his face…
1. Ezekiel and “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Kevin Owens and “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis. All six men had televised entrances. The babyface trio was in offensive control heading into a break a couple minutes into the match. [C]
Late in the match, Otis performed a fallaway slam that sent Ford over the top rope. Dawkins knocked Otis out of the ring. Owens superkicked Dawkins out of the ring. Ezekiel took Owens down and threw punches at him. Owens escaped to the floor. Moments later, Owens tripped Ezekiel and then Gable caught Ezekiel in a cradle and scored the pin…
Kevin Owens and “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis defeated Ezekiel and “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in 9:45.
AJ Styles was shown talking with Kevin Patrick on the backstage interview set… [C]
Powell’s POV: It was good to see Alpha Academy get a rare win. I believe this was their first televised win since late February.
Backstage, AJ Styles spoke about the stipulation that was added to his Raw match with Damian Priest. He said that if he beats Priest, then Priest will be barred from ringside for his WrestleMania Backlash match against Edge. Styles said it would be an uphill battle if he failed to beat Priest tonight…
A video package recapped the drama involving Bianca Belair and Sonya Deville…
Deville told Adam Pearce backstage that she’s done everything by the book. Pearce told her that upper management is investigating her behavior and want to see her perform without any authoritative power. Pearce announced that Deville would team with Becky Lynch and Rhea Ripley to face Asuka, Liv Morgan, and Bianca Belair. Deville tried to make it a no holds barred match, but Pearce told her that she had no power…
Veer Mahaan made his entrance… [C] The broadcast team hyped the six-woman tag match or later in the show…
Byron Saxton stood in the ring and interviewed Burt Hanson, whom he identified as a Greensboro native. Hanson said Mahaan scared the hell out of him, but he’s dreamed of competing in front of his hometown crowd. He also worked in a plug for a local BBQ joint that he said he works at…
2. Veer Mahaan vs. Burt Hanson. Mahaan destroyed Hanson and finished him off with the Cervical Clutch.
Veer Mahaan defeated Burt Hanson in 1:30.
Afterward, Mahaan continued to assault Hanson and reapplied his submission hold while Hanson was in the ropes.
Powell’s POV: Yes, I did write that match description before the match was finished. I’m digging the squash wins that Mahaan is getting. It will be interesting to see who his first main roster feud will be with when the time comes.
Edge and Damian Priest made their entrance for Priest’s match against AJ styles… [C] Edge delivered a promo in the ring coming out of the break minus the usual lighting. Edge insulted the local fans and heeled on AJ Styles. Edge turned his back to the hard camera and told the live crowd to bring it.
[Hour Two] Edge spoke briefly about the stipulation that was added to the Priest vs. Styles match, but he was interrupted by the entrance of Styles…
3. Damian Priest (w/Edge) vs. AJ Styles. If Styles wins, Priest is barred from ringside for the Styles vs. Edge match WrestleMania Backlash. Styles hit an early flying forearm on Priest at ringside. Styles came up selling shoulder pain to play off his previously established injury. Priest came back by launching Styles into the ring post. [C]
Styles performed a nice powerbomb for a close near fall, which Edge helped sell by showing concern at ringside. Priest came back and set up for a crucifix bomb, but Styles escaped and put him down with a Pele Kick. Styles sold his left shoulder again.
Styles glared at Edge before going his finisher, but Priest caught him and chokeslammed him for another close near fall. Styles ducked a ripcord kick and tried to roll Priest into a Calf Crusher, but Edge distracted him. Priest went after Styles, who rolled him into a pin for the win.
AJ Styles defeated Damian Priest in 11:00.
Afterward, Edge attacked Styles and told Priest to take out the shoulder. Edge grabbed two chairs, but Finn Balor ran out and made the save. Styles and Balor did the too sweet hand gesture and then hugged…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining television match with a couple of good near falls. With Priest now banned from ringside, my guess is that we get the reveal of another member of Edge’s faction. Balor got physical with Edge and Priest, and I don’t think that was a swerve, but I could be wrong. Rhea Ripley is definitely a candidate for the group, but I wonder if they will add another male wrestler too.
Backstage, Cedric Alexander tried to speak with MVP, who was standing with Omos. MVP was dismissive of Alexander talking about The Hurt Business until he said that he wanted to prove himself by facing Bobby Lashley later in the show. Alexander started talking about wanting a chance to prove himself. Omos told him it was time for him to go…
The Miz made his entrance for a Miz TV segment with guest Mustafa Ali… [C] The broadcast team wished The Rock a happy 50th birthday while tweets from various wrestlers and celebrities were shown…
The Miz introduced Mustafa Ali as his guest. Ali’s music stopped playing and Miz acted surprised by the technical glitch. Miz asked Ali a question. Ali’s mic wasn’t working, and Miz acted like it was another glitch.
Miz told Ali not to go to Twitter to complain about the technical problems. Ali took Miz’s mic and said the only thing to complain about is that Miz still works for WWE. Ali said the difference between them is that when Miz is unhappy, he goes backstage and whines to the powers that be, whereas Ali said he goes to the fans. Miz took a mic back and it wasn’t working. He took the good mic and said Ali will regret that.
U.S. Champion Theory made his entrance. Miz said Theory is a young man with manners and a microphone that works. Theory entered the ring and said it bothered him that Miz had a match last week even though he wasn’t able to prepare or warm up for it.
Theory said he spoke to Mr. McMahon to have Miz’s loss to Ali stricken from the record books. Theory said Ali doesn’t deserve a U.S. Title shot. Ali told Miz and Theory that they talk too much. Ali said Miz is embarrassed that he beat him last week. Ali said he doesn’t want an opportunity handed to him, he wants to fight for it.
Theory said his mentor agreed to give Ali a championship contenders match later in the show. Theory said he doesn’t know if Ali can handle his heat. Ali said that if anyone backstage can handle the heat, it’s him. Ali accepted the match. Theory announced that the match would actually be Ali against him and Miz in a handicap match… [C]
4. Mustafa Ali vs. U.S. Champion Theory and The Miz in a handicap match. The match was billed as a championship contenders match and was joined in progress. Graves mistakenly called Theory by his old first name and caught himself (old habits die hard).
Late in the match, Theory tossed Ali to ringside. Ali pulled Theory to the floor and then returned to the apron. Theory grabbed Ali’s leg. Ali kicked Theory off, but Miz pulled Ali back inside the ring and dropped him with a Skull Crushing Finale and then pinned him.
U.S. Champion Theory and The Miz beat Mustafa Ali in a handicap match in 2:50.
Theory and Miz went to the stage and took a selfie. Ciampa entered the ring from the other side and put Ali down with a forearm to the back of the head…
Powell’s POV: It was a handicap match loss, but it still felt like a strange call for Ali’s second week back. I wonder what casual fans are thinking when they keep making these references to Ali’s complaints that led to him taking time away from the company.
Footage aired from earlier in the day of Reggie trying to talk Dana Brooke into going on a honeymoon with him, but she was upset that he tried to take her title. They came across R-Truth, who was talking with Tamina and Akira Tozawa. Brooke demanded an apology from Truth.
Truth told her it was a test and then said he was sorry, but he needs his baby back. Truth held Tamina and Tozawa back while saying they should be in the honeymoon period. Nikki ASH jumped off a production create and hit Brooke from behind before pinning her to win the WWE 24/7 Championship. ASH an away. Brooke yelled at Reggie, saying that he was supposed to protect her. Brooke said that if Reggie wanted to save their marriage, he better get her a rematch tonight…
Dana Brooke and Reggie made their entrance… [C]
5. Nikki ASH vs. Dana Brooke for the WWE 24/7 Championship. Reggie, R-Truth, Tamina, and Akira Tozawa were at ringside. Yes, Dana performed her handspring elbow. She followed up with a neckbreaker and scored the pin.
Dana Brooke beat Nikki ASH in 1:30 to win the WWE 24/7 Championship.
Afterward, Tozawa tried to pin Brooke, but Truth pulled him off. Truth went for a pin, but Tamina pulled him off. Brooke went to ringside where Reggie rolled her up. Reggie apologized, but Brook hit him. Brooke stood on the broadcast table and told Reggie that she wants a divorce. Graves said he hopes that Reggie had a prenup…
Powell’s POV: Brook and Reggie are supposed to be babyfaces, but they are the least likable people in these segments.
Backstage, Becky Lynch was interviewed by Kevin Patrick about Asuka’s return. Lynch recalled telling Asuka to go be a warrior when Lynch was heading home to have a baby. Lynch said she lived up to her end of the bargain, but Asuka did not live up to hers. Lynch said Asuka showed up once she felt Lynch was down on her luck and vulnerable. Lynch said it’s her comeback story and it starts with ending Asuka…
Powell’s POV: A good promo. Lynch did a nice job of tying that moment from her past with Asuka into the current storyline.
Seth Rollins made his entrance for his appreciation night… [C] A sneak peak at the Dr. Strange movie was shown… The broadcast team recapped the opening segment and hyped the six-man tag match for WrestleMania Backlash…
Rollins stood in the ring for his own appreciation night segment while the broadcast team hyped his match against Cody Rhodes for WrestleMania Backlash. Rollins said the time has finally come, Monday Night Rollins has begun. He recalled celebrating twenty years of Randy Orton last week. He said it made him think that they should celebrate someone deserving, which led to his own appreciation night.
[Hour Three] Rollins stood under a spotlight in the middle of the ring while the crowd chanted his entrance theme. Rollins said it was giving him chills and then laughed. A “Cody” chant broke out briefly. Rollins said it was funny they should mention that jerk. He accused Cody of trying to steal his spotlight at WrestleMania.
Rollins said he would show the world at WrestleMania Backlash that the spotlight can’t be stolen from him because he is the spotlight. Rollins barked at the crowd to shut up. Rollins said some of the fans have forgotten just how good he is.
Rollins said they are so caught up in the American Nightmare that they’ve forgotten that he is the standard bearer in the industry. Rollins said he had his people put together the greatest highlight reel in the history of highlight reels. Rollins pointed to the stage, but the video didn’t play.
Cody Rhodes made his entrance dressed in a suit and headed to the ring. Rollins asked Cody why he was sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. Cody asked Rollins what this was all about. Cody asked Rollins what was up with the “hideous Johnny Polo getup.”
Cody said he’s been a gentlemen since he returned, even after Rollins shoved him off the top rope. Cody said Rollins is one of the best over the last twenty years and said he’s also delusional. Rollins said the delusional line was rich coming from Cody.
Rollins brought up the late Dusty Rhodes and said he wrestled hundreds, if not thousands of times in the host venue. Rollins said that Dusty was an egomaniac. Rollins said Dusty was delusional and so is Cody. Rollins said Dusty wanted to be WWE Champion, but he wasn’t good enough. He added that as long as he was there, Cody wouldn’t be good enough either.
Rollins punched Cody, who battled back. Cody performed the springboard Cody Cutter. Rollins rolled out of the ring and headed to the stage. Cody threw Rollins’ jacket into the crowd. Graves said it was a $1,200 jacket. “Oh well,” Saxton replied…
Highlights aired of last week’s arm wrestling challenge segment involving Bobby Lashley and Omos… Bobby Lashley made his entrance for his match against Cedric Alexander… [C]
Graves plugged “Young Rock” while shots from Tuesday’s episode showed the show’s version of Mankind, Triple H, and an awful Undertaker…
6. Bobby Lashley vs. Cedric Alexander. MVP and Omos walked onto the stage. MVP taunted Lashley over the house mic, allowing Alexander to go on the offensive. Lashley rolled to the floor. Alexander went for a suicide dive and came up short when his feet hit the top rope. Lashley hoisted up Alexander and swung him into the post. Back in the ring, Lashley speared Alexander and then put him away with the Hurt Lock.
Bobby Lashley beat Cedric Alexander in 2:35.
Afterward, Omos took a step toward the ring, but MVP put his cane in front of him and pointed at his watch…
Liv Morgan was shown standing backstage. Sarah Schreiber approached her while Smith said they would have “an exclusive interview” with Morgan after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Wow, what a coup for WWE to get an exclusive interview with Liv Morgan on Raw!!! Anyway, it looked like Lashley was supposed to stuff Alexander’s suicide dive, but it was still a clunky looking moment. Lashley needed this dominant win because this feud with Omos has cooled him off a bit.
The broadcast team acknowledged Gable Steveson, The Miz, Happy Corbin, and Titus O’Neil making selections for teams at the NFL Draft over the weekend…
Schreiber asked Morgan why she blindsided Rhea Ripley last week. Morgan said she did the same thing that Ripley did to her. Morgan said she can’t take the blame for Ripley’s problems and won’t take another beating from her…
The broadcast team recapped highlights of the AJ Styles vs. Damian Priest match, including Finn Balor saving Styles from a post match attack by Priest and Edge. They followed up by running through the WrestleMania Backlash lineup…
Becky Lynch made her entrance while Saxton worked in another Dr. Strange plug… [C]
Backstage, R-Truth tried to give Reggie a pep talk. Reggie said he blew it with the love of his life. Truth said he also had the love of his life, but now Dana has it. R-Truth asked Reggie if he had a prenup. Reggie didn’t know what that was. Truth said Reggie needs his services as a divorce lawyer. They walked past Nikki ASH.
Doudrop showed up and asked Nikki ASH if she’s done fooling around and ready to start taking things more seriously. ASH said yes…
Powell’s POV: Hopefully this means a gimmick change for ASH, and a name change for Doudrop.
The remainder of the ring entrances for the main event took place. Smith emphasized that Deville had been stripped of her executive powers during the match… [C]
7. Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, Asuka, and Liv Morgan vs. Becky Lynch, Rhea Ripley, and Sonya Deville. Smith noted that the match was sponsored by the Dr. Strange movie. Ripley had Belair down and then took a cheap shot at Morgan, who was on the apron.
Morgan got a measure of revenge later when she performed a suicide dive onto Ripley at ringside. Lynch took out Morgan with a sliding kick and then rolled her back in the ring. Lynch performed a top rope leg drop and covered Morgan for a two count. [C]
Morgan avoided a Manhandle Slam and put Lynch down with a float over DDT. Morgan tagged out. Belair put Ripley down with a shoulder block and a vertical suplex and then covered her for a two count.
A short time later, Deville tagged in and joined Ripley in a double superplex on Belair. Deville went for the pin, but Morgan broke it up. Asuka tagged in and put Deville down with a running knee that resulted in a two count. Morgan made a blind tag. Asuka hit Deville with a hip attack that knocked her off the apron and into a Codebreaker from Morgan on the floor.
Morgan brought Deville back in the ring and went for the pin that was broken up by Lynch. Deville ended up blasting Morgan with a knee to the head and got a two count. Deville dodged Morgan’s finisher and then tried to cover her with her feet on the ropes, but the referee spotted it.
Belair shoved Deville’s feet off the ropes. Deville threw a fit about it and was hit by Morgan’s Oblivion finisher. Morgan covered Deville and got the three count.
Bianca Belair, Asuka, and Liv Morgan defeated Becky Lynch, Rhea Ripley, and Sonya Deville in 15:15.
A graphic showed Cody Rhodes, Alpha Academy, and Omos as the guests for Raw Talk…
Powell’s POV: A solid television main event with a crowd pleasing finish that did nothing to push WrestleMania Backlash. The main event also could have used a better build than Adam Pearce just telling Sonya Deville that it was going to happen. Why not give these six an actual segment to set it up like they do for most of the Raw main events?
Overall, a decent show that didn’t feature many new developments heading into WrestleMania Backlash. I will be back with my Raw audio review, which is available weekly for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
Join me for my live review of WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday night.