WWE Raw results (5/20): Powell’s live review of Jey Uso vs. Gunther and Lyra Valyria vs. Iyo Sky in King and Queen of the Ring semifinal matches, Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn vs. Chad Gable in a non-title match

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,617)
Greensboro, North Carolina at Greensboro Coliseum
Aired live May 20, 2024 on USA Network

[Hour One] Iyo Sky arrived at the building in a sports car and was greeted by Dakota Kai and Kairi Sane. Lyra Valkyria was shown arriving separately at the venue. A shot aired of Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser walking backstage, then another showed showed Jey Uso’s arrival at the building…

Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were on commentary. Ring announcer Samantha Irvin introduced Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn. A fan held up a “Hire El Generico” sign. Cute. Zayn welcomed fans to Raw and then spoke about defending his title against Chad Gable and Bronson Reed in a Triple Threat at the WWE King and Queen of the Ring event.

Zayn said he had a very personal issue with Gable for suplexing him in front of his wife and father. Zayn said Gable has an ass kicking coming his way. Zayn said things are not personal between him and Reed, who wants to take the Intercontinental Championship from him.

Zayn said it’s a battle of mind, body, and soul with Gable being the mind, Reed being the body, and Zayn being the soul. Zayn said that in such a battle, he would put his money on soul every time. He said it’s the soul that helped him win the title and would help him retain it on Saturday.

Chad Gable made his entrance with Alpha Academy members Otis, Akira Tozawa, and Maxxine Dupri. Gable said he’s too damn nice while citing the way he selflessly trained Zayn for WrestleMania. Gable said he’s been way too nice to Zayn and “these three clowns behind me.”

Gable dressed down Dupri and Tozawa for blowing their recent chances. When he returned his focus to Otis, the crowd chanted Otis’s name. Gable said Otis blew it last week with Zayn and called him one of the biggest disappointments on the planet.

Zayn asked the Alpha Academy trio how much longer they would put up with Gable’s crap. Gable said Zayn was trying to drive a wedge, but the trio has already recommitted to him. A “you suck” chant broke out. Gable said he would take Zayn’s title and soul from him. Zayn called for their singles match to start…

1. Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn vs. Chad Gable (w/Otis, Akira Tozawa, and Maxxine Dupri) in a non-title match. Zayn sent Gable to ringside early. The sidekicks tried to help Gable, but he didn’t want their help heading into the first commercial break. [C]

Gable distracted the referee with the hope that Tozawa or Dupri would take a cheap shot at Zayn. When Tozawa didn’t act on it, Gable ejected him and Dupri from ringside. Zayn hit a distracted Gable with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. [C]

Gable hit a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Gable came back by rolling Zayn into an ankle lock. Zayn reached the ropes to break the hold. Zayn ended up on the floor. Otis wound up to hit him and then dropped his fist. Gable rolled Zayn back in the ring and then scolded Otis before slapping him across the face.

Zayn grabbed the Intercontinental Title belt and tried to hit Zayn with it, but Zayn avoided it and gave him an exploder suplex. The referee checked on Gable. Zayn set up for a Helluva Kick, but Otis clubbed him and then dropped off the apron. Gable hit the Chaos Theory on Zayn and then pinned him.

Chad Gable defeated Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn in 16:20 in a non-title match.

After the match, Otis looked sad while standing behind Gable. The fans chanted “you suck” to Gable’s theme…

Powell’s POV: I was surprised to see Otis hit Zayn, but he maintained his sympathy with his sad face afterward. By the way, an AEW Dynamite ad aired during the second commercial break.

The broadcast team spoke at ringside and acknowledged the recent QR codes that have appeared on the screen…

A subtitled Iyo Sky vignette aired. Sky said Lyra Valkyria is flying too close to the sun. Sky said she will soon be Queen of the Ring…

Cole and McAfee hyped the King and Queen of the Ring semifinal matches and the World Tag Team Title match for later in the show. They also announced another f’n four-way match to determine No. 1 contenders to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles…

Bron Breakker was shown walking backstage. Cole said Breakker would make his debut after the break… [C]

Jackie Redmond spoke with Chad Gable, Otis, Akira Tozawa, and Maxxine Dupri in the backstage area. Redmond asked about Otis getting involved in Gable’s match. There was a loud banging sound in the background. Redmond ended the interview and followed Rey Mysterio, Dragon Lee, and Joaquin Wilde, who ran to find Zelina Vega and Adam Pearce checking on an injured Cruz Del Toro. Redmond said there had been some type of altercation and she would work to provide additional details…

Bron Breakker made his entrance while his opponent was already inside the ring…

2. Bron Breakker vs. Kale Dixon. The bell rang. Breakker turned his back on Dixon and then grumbled about not being in the King of the Ring tournament. Breakker turned around and speared Dixon. Breakker tossed Dixon to ringside. Breakker ran around the ring and speared Dixon again. Breakker got Dixon back inside the ring, but the referee called him off and then ended the match.

Bron Breakker defeated Kale Dixon in 1:40.

After the match, Breakker ripped his arm away when the referee tried to raise it. The referee helped Dixon to his feet while Breakker ran the ropes and eventually speared Dixon. Breakker kicked Dixon out of the ring and then grabbed the top piece of the ring steps, but the referee and two producers talked him down. Breakker grabbed a chair from the timekeepers area and struck Dixon with it. Adam Pearce came out. Breakker told Pearce this was on him… [C]

Powell’s POV: I reacted similarly when I was left out of the sixth grade talent show (due my lack of any actual talent). A violent Raw in-ring debut for Breakker. This was well done. The only negative is that some fans in the live crowd were cheering and barking in support of Breakker. If Bron is going to be a heel, then McAfee should stop encouraging them by barking whenever he sees Breakker. Okay, fine, I just want McAfee to stop barking because it’s beyond obnoxious.

Backstage, Kale Dixon was loaded into an ambulance. Adam Pearce asked Bron Breakker what he was thinking. Breakker said Pearce didn’t put him in the King of the Ring tournament and this was on him…

A video package recapped the Raw quarterfinal matches in the Queen of the Ring tournament…

Lyra Valkyria was shown warming up in the Gorilla Position area. Becky Lynch showed up and gave Valkyria a pep talk. “I’ve got this,” Valkyria told Lynch before making her entrance. Iyo Sky made her entrance with Dakota Kai and Kairi Sane, but they did not accompany her to the ring…

3. Lyra Valyria vs. Iyo Sky in a Queen of the Ring tournament semifinal match. Valkyria favored her right leg during the opening minute of the match. Valkyria picked up a couple of two counts during the first 90 seconds of the match. [C]

Powell’s POV: There have been multiple graphics for Tuesday’s NXT matches shown already tonight. It seems like NXT is getting more love on Raw than usual, and with AEW advertising during Raw, it looks like both companies are reacting to last week’s rough NXT and AEW Dynamite television numbers.

[Hour Two] Sky was in offensive control until Valkyria suplexed her. Valkyria threw a series of strikes at Sky and then knocked her out of the ring with a step-up enzuigiri. Valkyria dropkicked Sky through the ropes. Valkyria sent Sky back inside the ring and hit her with a top rope crossbody block. Valkyria suplexed Sky and covered her for a two count.

A short time later, Sky hit a springboard dropkick. Sky went up top for her finisher, but Valkyria pulled her down. Valkyria went for a tornado DDT, but Sky pushed her to ringside and hit her with an Asai moonsault. [C]

Sky went up top for her finisher. Valkyria joined Sky on the ropes. After they jockeyed for position, Sky powerbombed Valkyria. Sky went for her finisher and landed on her feet when Valkyria moved. Valkyria hoisted up Sky on her shoulders. Sky skipped away and tried to roll Valkyria into a pin, but Valkyria sat down on her and got the three count.

Lyra Valkyria defeated Iyo Sky in 19:15 to advance to the Queen of the Ring finals.

The updated brackets showed that Valkyria will face Nia Jax or Bianca Belair in the Queen of the Ring tournament finals…

Jackie Redmond tried to interview Valkyria. Sky took the mic and said something in Japanese before leaving the ring. Redmond resumed the interview. Valkyria said she could not have imagined three weeks ago when she was drafted that she would be in this position. She said the key is believing that you can and now she is one win away from becoming Queen of the Ring…

Powell’s POV: A good back and forth match. It went longer than it needed to, but at least the stakes were high and the outcome didn’t feel overly predictable. The crowd was quiet, yet attentive.

R-Truth spoke with Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate backstage. The Miz showed up. Bate thanked Truth for the chat and said he hopes to see them down the line and maybe for the tag team titles. Miz spoke with Truth about facing Judgment Day. Truth said his buddy Andre the Giant would have their back. Miz reminded Truth that Andre passed away 30 years ago. Truth told Miz to trust him and walked away. Miz looked up and told Andre they could use some help…

Ilja Dragunov was interviewed in the backstage area by Kayla Braxton, who asked who would win the King of the Ring tournament. Dragunov said there’s no shame in losing to Jey Uso. Dragunov spoke of how Gunther broke him several times. Ricochet showed up and said that just because Dragunov got the best of him once doesn’t mean it’s over. Suddenly, Bron Breakker speared Ricochet into some production crates… [C]

Trainers tended to Ricochet while Ilja Dragunov and Adam Pearce stood by…

A video package recapped Gunther and Jey Uso winning last week’s King of the Ring quarterfinal matches…

Footage aired from earlier in the day of Gunther delivering a promo while walking down the steps in the empty arena. He spoke of how the seats would be filled with fans who would be filled with hope and illusion. Gunther said he’s in the business of taking people back down to reality. Gunther said it’s not about who is the more exciting act on their way to the ring, it’s about who is better once the bell rings. Gunther said Jey might be the best showman in WWE, but he is superior to him inside the ring…

Inside the Judgment Day clubhouse, Damian Priest spoke with Finn Balor and JD McDonagh about their tag team title match. Priest approached Carlito, who was standing with Dominik Mysterio. Priest said he heard about what Carlito did to Cruz Del Toro and said he would be out for a while. Priest said the LWO would be coming after Carlito.

Carlito said he decided to strike first and was now lying low with Judgment Day. Priest asked if he missed the APA sign. Priest said they are not Carlito’s personal security. Dom spoke up for Carlito, reminding Priest that he helped Balor and McDonagh. Priest said that’s why he was welcome this week and then told Carlito to keep earning his keep.

Balor told Priest he wished they were teaming up again, but said he gets it because Priest is the champion now. Balor left the room. Carlito said something to Priest, who asked what was wrong with him. A nervous Carlito asked if they were cool as Priest left the room…

The Miz and R-Truth made their entrance… [C] Footage aired of Baron Corbin rolling the first ball at the PBA playoffs (he knocked down nine pins). McAfee used the telestrator to break down Corbin rolling the first ball…

Zoey Stark and Shayna Baszler were getting ready backstage when they were approached by Soyna Deville, who introduced herself to Stark. Deville said she wanted to talk to them and asked if they had a moment to talk. Stark was interested, but Baszler said they weren’t interested in whatever Deville was trying to sell them…

Powell’s POV: It’s good to see Sonya Deville again. She’s been sidelined since tearing her ACL during a July 28 tag match.

Finn Balor, JD McDonagh, and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance and then Samantha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match…

4. The Miz and R-Truth vs. Finn Balor and JD McDonagh (w/Dominik Mysterio) for the World Tag Team Titles. McDonagh avoided a Skull Crushing Finale, but Miz caught him with a boot to the face. Dom distracted the referee, allowing Balor to clothesline Miz from the apron. [C]

Truth took a hot tag and performed John Cena moves on Balor. Truth and Miz hit simultaneous Five Knuckle Shuffles on their challengers. Carlito showed up and was knocked off the apron. Truth had McDonagh pinned moments later, but Carlito put McDonagh’s foot on the bottom rope.

Braun Strowman made his entrance and tossed Carlito into the barricade. Strowman chased McDonagh around the ring. McDonagh scurried inside the ring to avoid Strowman, but Truth hoisted him up, hit the Attitude Adjustment, and scored the pin…

The Miz and R-Truth defeated Finn Balor and JD McDonagh in 9:35 to retain the World Tag Team Titles.

Powell’s POV: The live crowd had a lot of fun with this match, especially once Strowman came out to torment the heels.

Backstage, Becky Lynch congratulated Lyra Valkyria as they crossed paths in a hallway. The camera stayed with Valkyria, who was greeted by Liv Morgan after Lynch was out of the camera shot. Morgan said she was surprised that Valkyria didn’t have Lynch help her again like last week. “Speaking of the devil,” Morgan said. Valkyria turned to look for Lynch and was instead hit by a Morgan punch… [C]

Bronson Reed entered Sami Zayn’s dressing room and told him that he doesn’t need to be concerned with Chad Gable’s mind games. Reed told Zayn to look into this eyes. Reed said he only cares about business and violence is how he makes his money. Reed said he will use his body as a weapon and get his biggest payday yet on Saturday. Reed left the room.

Otis approached Zayn, who said he thought Otis was better than what he did. Zayn asked Otis if he was proud of himself and told him that he should not be. Otis stopped Zayn from leaving and said that he was sorry. Zayn said he knows Otis was sorry because he’s a good guy, but Chad Gable is not a good guy. Gable said he’s been in Otis’s shoes before and said Otis would be better off listening to the fans than Gable…

Women’s World Champion Becky Lynch made her entrance for an in-ring promo. Lynch said she is dealing with a very different Liv Morgan. Lynch was interrupted by Morgan, who walked onto the stage area and spoke from there.

[Hour Three] Morgan took issue with Lynch insinuating that she was afraid to fight. Morgan said the only thing she cares about is completing the Liv Morgan Revenge Tour. Lynch spoke about how she wrote about a book about her purpose and how she wants to leave WWE better than she found it.

Lynch said Morgan’s purpose is revenge and then asked what happens next if she gets it. Morgan said she was embarrassed for Lynch for talking about how she broke barriers. Morgan called Lynch the most selfish person in the company and said the only thing she cares about is herself.

Morgan said that once she completes her revenge tour, she will sit on top of the division as the new champion. Lynch said Morgan can’t trick the people who know what she gives her best for them. Lynch said she came looking for a fight and invited Morgan to come get it.

Morgan teased entering the ring and dropped back to the floor. Morgan said she would wait until their title match on Saturday to fight Lynch and then she will become the new champion. “Cry about it,” Morgan told Lynch…

Powell’s POV: As if Morgan wasn’t enough of an unlikable heel, it sounded like she borrowed the laugh of Sasha Banks at one point during that exchange.

Inside the Judgment Day clubhouse, Damian Priest asked the others what happened. Priest recalled telling Carlito to earn his keep. Dominik Mysterio spoke up and said he thought JD McDonagh was supposed to handle Strowman.

Priest told McDonagh to ask Adam Pearce for a match against Strowman. Priest said he didn’t recognize this anymore and then left the room. Finn Balor told the others that Priest was right. He told McDonagh to go talk to Pearce…

Kairi Sane and Dakota Kai made their entrance for the women’s four-way tag match… [C]

Backstage, a trainer examined the knee of Xavier Woods while Kofi Kingston stood by. The trainer told Woods that he was good to go. Kingston celebrated and then exited the room. Karrion Kross and Scarlett entered the room. Kross said Woods has been on a rough stretch, but there is always time to turn things around…

The remainder of the entrances for the four-way match took place…

5. Kairi Sane and Dakota Kai vs. Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark vs. Maxxine Durpri and Ivy Nile vs. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance in a four-way for a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. All four teams went at it once the bell started. Birthday girl Carter launched Chance onto all of their opponents at ringside. Carter got Stark back inside the ring and covered her for a two count. [C]

Carter and Chance hit the Afterparty on Dupri, but it was broken up by Kai. Sane tried to steal the pin, but that was broken up. There was a tower of doom spot and then Carter and Chance launched Stark onto (really over) her partner. Dupri threw Carter into the barricade and then looked satisfied with herself.

Dupri performed the reverse worm and an elbow drop on Kai. Dupri applied the ankle lock. Sane hit Dupri with an Insane Elbow and then went to her corner and took a tag from Kai. Sane went to a corner to set up for a move, but Baszler put her in a choke and then Stark tagged in. Stark launched Dupri into a knee strike from Baszler, and then Stark scored the pin. Cole said it was a good performance for everyone involved…

Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark defeated Maxxine Durpri and Ivy Nile, Kayden Carter and Katana Chance, and Kairi Sane and Dakota Kai in a four-way in 9:15 to earn a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.

Powell’s POV: All those random women’s tag team matches we get on Raw somehow seem to lead to nothing more than four-way matches for a title shot. The crowd was flat for the finish and it was hard to blame them.

Ludwig Kaiser was interviewed by Kayla Braxton in the backstage area. Kaiser sang the praises of Gunther and then said Sheamus is nothing more than a keyboard warrior. Kaiser said Sheamus could stay home and protect his legacy or Sheamus could come back so that he could put him down.

Drew McIntyre showed up after Kaiser made his exit. McIntyre said Adam Pearce decided not to use one of his biggest stars on Raw. McIntyre said the people want him and he would give himself to them. McIntyre called Damian Priest a paper champion and said he is spreading himself too thin like Seth Rollins did. McIntyre said he would beat Priest soon… [C]

Backstage, Chad Gable was talking with the Creed Brothers while Sonya Deville could be seen chatting with Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark in the background. Otis showed up and then Gable told the Creeds to think about what he said. Gable asked Otis where he had been.

Otis said he apologized to Sami Zayn. Gable said Otis was tugging at Sami’s heartstrings and softening him up for when they win the Intercontinental Championship together on Saturday. Gable made Otis say he would win “no matter what.” Gable smiled and told Otis he would see him on the flight…

Cole and McAfee spoke at ringside. McAfee said Gable sucks and Otis is caught in the middle of everything. Cole said King and Queen of the Ring will start at Noon CT/1ET on Saturday and then ran through the card…

Jey Uso delivered a backstage promo while the crowd said “yeet” whenever he would pause. Jey said Gunther would check a Yeetdown while he would catch a crown. Jey said it was main event time, then put on his Yeet glasses. The camera followed Jey as he walked through the backstage area and pumped up the crowd before he made his entrance. Gunther’s entrance followed while Cole hyped Raw being in Savanna, Georgia next week… [C]

6. Gunther vs. Jey Uso in a King of the Ring tournament semifinal match. Jey got off to a fast start and hit Gunther with a suicide dive. Back inside the ring, Gunther sidestepped Jey and sent him through the ropes and into the ring post casing. Gunther put Jey’s arm behind his back and then ran him into the ring steps, the barricade, and the ring post. Gunther picked up Jey and dropped him on the barricade before dumping him into the timekeepers area. [C]

Gunther continued to target Jey’s right arm coming out of the break. Gunther went to the ropes, but Jey got up and punched him then sold his right shoulder. Jey joined Gunther on the ropes. Gunther wrenched on the bad arm, but Jey put Gunther on his shoulders and performed a Samoan Drop from the middle rope.

Jey executed a tope rope crossbody block for a near fall. Both men stood up and then Gunther blasted Jey with two chops. Jey fired back with his left hand, but Gunther dropped him with another chop. Jey dropped Gunther with a step-up enzuigiri. Gunther stuffed a superkick and then chopped Jey, who came right back with a superkick that resulted in a two count.

A short time later, Gunther caught Jey with a dropkick and then powerbombed him and got a two count. Gunther applied an armbar. Cole said no one would think any less of Jey for tapping out. Jey escaped the hold, but Gunther caught him in a sleeper. Jey backed onto Gunther to get him in a pinning position to force him to break the hold.

A short time later, Gunther dished out more punishment and then jawed with the referee. Jey speared Gunther, which knocked the referee over. Jey hit an Uso Splash. The referee was slow to make the count, allowing Gunther to kick out. Gunther grabbed Jey from behind and punched his bad shoulder, then put him in a submission hold. The referee checked on Jey, who faded, causing the referee to call for the bell.

Gunther defeated Jey Uso in 17:40 to advance to the King of the Ring finals.

Cole said Gunther will face the winner of Randy Orton vs. Tama Tonga in the finals of the KOTR tournament and then the show went off the air…

Powell’s POV: The finish occurred just seconds before the show went off the air. I enjoyed the match, but it played to a tough live crowd. It felt like the wrestlers really wanted the crowd to pop when Jey would kick out after taking so much punishment, but the crowd just didn’t budge. The outcomes of tonight’s King and Queen of the Ring tournament matches have me (and probably everyone else) assuming that Nia Jax and Randy Orton will advance to the finals on Smackdown. We’ll see if they throw us a curveball.

The King and Queen of the Ring tournaments came at a great time. It’s allowed the creative team to shift the focus to the tournaments while they are low on star power due to Cody Rhodes moving to Smackdown and while Rhea Ripley and Seth Rollins are sidelined by injuries. That said, they really need to heat things up from a storytelling standpoint coming out of the tournaments. I will be back later tonight with my weekly same night audio review of Raw for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Raw by grading the show below.

WWE Raw Poll: Grade the May 20 episode

pollcode.com free polls


Readers Comments (7)

  1. Liv vs Lyra is far more interesting to me than liv vs becky. then again, who can they throw at Becky right now? Deville?

    • You know what bro, that’s not a bad idea. They’ve already been building some friction between Liv and Lyra that it’ll make sense to have Liv’s first title defense come against Lyra.

      This is why this is not the best time for Becky to have the title, not many options to throw at her plus Liv needs the title for when Rhea comes back later this summer.

  2. It would’ve been really interesting if we didn’t know who would win between Zoey Stark & Shayna Baszler against Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill. We pretty much know Bianca & Jade aren’t losing their tag titles anytime soon, probably not until SummerSlam at the earliest.

    Maxxine Dupri has improved a lot in the ring in a short span of time. Congrats to her, and happy birthday to her and Kayden Carter, Kayden’s birthday was last night on Raw, and Maxxine’s was on Sunday.

    For the Queen of the Ring, it’d be interesting to see who wins. I might give it to Nia Jax and have her act like a queen until she beats Bayley for the title. Lyra should face Liv for the title at Money in the Bank.

  3. Anyone else think it’s ironic that they’re going to “crown” a “Queen” of the ring in a country where they suppress women and their rights? You can’t make this crap up.

  4. Well they did it there a few years ago with Zelina Vega..

  5. Liv been frying and cooking on that mic, she better get the title from Becky

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.