Monday, 26 April 2021

WWE Raw Highlights 26 April 2021

 

WWE Raw 4/26/21 April 26th 2021




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WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 26

Sana Ejaz Khan

    Credit: WWE.com

    Monday's episode of WWE Raw was the halfway point between WrestleMania 37 and WrestleMania Backlash, so this is usually when management starts filling up the card for the upcoming pay-per-view.

    After not appearing last week, Bobby Lashley returned to the red brand to address the WWE Universe and the man who will challenge him for the WWE Championship in three weeks, Drew McIntyre.

    Speaking of McIntyre, he teamed up with Braun Strowman for a rematch against Mace and T-Bar after last week's bout saw the former Retribution members unmasked.

    WWE acted like it was a huge surprise to find out who was under the masks, but anyone with a memory better than that of a goldfish knew it was Dio Maddin and Dominik Dijakovic the whole time.

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on Monday's show.

T-Bar and Mace vs. Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre

1 OF 7

    Instead of starting the show with a longwinded promo segment like it usually does, WWE jumped right to the action this week with Mace and T-Bar taking on McIntyre and Strowman. The former members of Retribution kept the masks off but introduced face paint to their look.

    When The Monster Among Men came out, he said this would be a handicap match instead of a tag bout so he could prove that he could do what McIntyre failed to do last week.

    The Monster Among Men started off against T-Bar and began easily dominating his opponent. Mace came in with a burst of offense to turn things in his favor. The ref ended up disqualifying Mace and T-Bar when they refused to stop double-teaming Strowman. This brought out The Scottish Warrior to make the save.

    We returned from a break to see the tag team match we were originally promised taking place. Poor timing led to McIntyre taking Strowman down with a clothesline. This led to Mace and T-Bar winning by count-out. After it was over, Strowman powerslammed McIntyre and yelled at him for not listening.

         

    Grade: C-

                               

    Analysis

    Ditching the masks was the best thing Mace and T-Bar could have done. Now, they just need to get their original ring names back, and they should be set.

    From a storytelling standpoint, this was almost the same thing we saw last week. No new ground was trodden, and nobody gained anything from the disqualification and count-out finishes.

    What helped was the physical exchange these Superstars had between the moments of bad booking. This match was four powerhouses beating each other up, so it had some enjoyable moments. This was not a good segment, but that is on the people booking everything, not the wrestlers.

The New Day and Damian Priest vs. Miz, Jaxson Ryker and Elias

2 OF 7

    The Miz, John Morrison, Elias and Jaxson Ryker were in the ring for another episode of Miz TV. The A-Lister bragged about his WWE Network documentary and his reality show. Once again, The Miz and Morrison took credit for Bad Bunny selling out his tour.

    They tried to perform a song, but Damian Priest quickly interrupted them. The New Day joined him in throwing tomatoes at the quartet as the show went to a break.

    We returned right as the bell rang for this six-man tag match. The heels almost immediately cornered Xavier Woods to gain the upper hand. He eventually managed to tag Kofi Kingston and turn the tide in his team's favor.

    Having Morrison at ringside gave the heels a slight advantage at times. Whenever the good guys had control for too long, somebody from the other team would interfere to stall their momentum.

    After everyone got involved, Woods was able to get the pin on Ryker with an inside cradle.

         

    Grade: C+

                                 

    Analysis

    We all knew the feud with The Miz and Priest was going to continue, but this seems to confirm the feud with The New Day against Ryker and Elias will also move forward.

    Raw's tag team division is thin right now, so it's a little surprising to see a non-title storyline when we haven't even seen AJ Styles and Omos since WrestleMania. We also have The Viking Raiders possibly continuing a feud with Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin, so it's possible WWE is covering for one of the Raw tag champs being injured or sick.

    The wrestling itself was fine if a little forgettable. WWE's six-man matches usually follow a few formulas, and this was definitely one of those times. Ultimately, this win will mean nothing, but at least the match had a few decent sequences.

Another Non-Match Between Sheamus and Humberto Carrillo

3 OF 7

    Sheamus was out to issue another open challenge this week, but he said his U.S. title would not be on the line. Last Monday, he destroyed Humberto Carrillo for trying to accept the challenge and laughed about it during the replay. Carrillo came out for a second shot at The Celtic Warrior.

    Sheamus took a cheap shot at him and beat him down mercilessly. Carrillo recovered and jumped on the champion before backdropping him out of the ring. He hit three dropkicks and a huge suicide dive to send him over the announce table.

         

    Grade: C

                                       

    Analysis

    It's great to see Carrillo back in the mix and already in the hunt for the U.S. title, but seeing as how Sheamus just won the belt, it doesn't seem likely this will end with a title change.

    This segment didn't do much to move the storyline forward, but it did help Carrillo rebound a bit after being demolished last week. It might be 50-50 booking, but at least it makes sense in this situation.

    Next week will probably be when they have their first official match. If Carrillo wins, he will almost certainly earn himself a title shot at Backlash.

RKBro vs. Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin

4 OF 7

    Randy Orton had a backstage segment with Riddle and admitted he underestimated him last week. He offered to team up with The Bro this week to battle Alexander and Benjamin.

    Riddle started off with Alexander and almost locked in the Bromission right away. Alexander was able to counter and tag in Benjamin to take over. They kept Riddle grounded for a long time with quick tags and focused offense on his legs.

    The former MMA fighter drilled Alexander with a knee to the face so he could tag The Viper. After an initial salvo, Orton lined up for the RKO. He ended up hitting an RKO to Alexander as he flew off the top rope. Riddle begged for the tag, so Orton obliged and spiked Benjamin with a DDT.

    Riddle followed up with the Floating Bro to score the pin. He went in for a hug, but Orton backed him off and left him to celebrate by himself.

         

    Grade: B+

                               

    Analysis

    Riddle can be annoying with his gimmick, but the exchange he had with Orton backstage was just the right amount of dumb to be funny. The Viper's deadpan delivery is what really sold it.

    The match that followed was surprisingly straightforward. Orton did not turn on Riddle, and this wasn't an excuse to get revenge. He actually seemed to want to make this work even if he finds The Bro annoying.

    As usual, Alexander and Benjamin looked great. This was a solid match and one of the better things Riddle has been involved with in quite some time.

Asuka, Lana and Naomi vs. Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler and Rhea Ripley

5 OF 7

    Asuka and Shayna Baszler started for their teams. Asuka grabbed Baszler by the arm and tried to make her tag out to Rhea Ripley, but it temporarily backfired on her.

    Ripley ended up tagging in, and Asuka managed to get the upper hand. As soon as Lana took a turn in the ring, the Raw women's champion regained her composure and started dishing out punishment.

    Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke came out to watch from ringside, so Baszler tried to run them off. They threw a bucket of water on her. When Nia Jax tried to help her partner, she ended up slipping in the water a few times.

    We returned from a break to see Lana make the hot tag to Asuka. The Empress knocked Ripley off the apron with a running hip strike before going after the legal woman, Baszler. Jax ended up getting the win with a big leg drop.

         

    Grade: C-

                                  

    Analysis

    The booking of everything we saw with Rose and Brooke was beyond moronic. Jax falling in some water was not nearly as funny as WWE wanted it to be.

    However, the six women in the match actually put on a decent show when they weren't trying to make this into a cartoon. Ripley and Asuka looked especially aggressive at times.

    Also, the sudden turn of Ripley into a heel since WrestleMania seems ill-advised. The WWE Universe likes her, and it's unlikely a live crowd would boo her right now.

Charlotte Flair vs. Mandy Rose

6 OF 7

    Sonya Deville brought Charlotte Flair and the official she attacked last week to the ring. Deville reminded The Queen that she was suspended and fined, but she also said Adam Pearce rushed his decision and gave her the floor to give an apology.

    Charlotte started by apologizing to management and the fans before she got to the ref, Eddie Orengo. She specifically apologized for attacking him, and he accepted. He admitted that if had he seen Rhea Ripley interfere, she would have won the match.

    Deville said Charlotte's suspension had been lifted and announced her return to the ring tonight. The Queen stopped her and demanded an apology from Orengo. He said he was sorry, and she gave a glib smile before telling him to hold the ropes for her as she left. Pearce saw them backstage and expressed his anger that Deville would do this behind his back.

    Later in the show, Deville booked her former bestie, Mandy Rose, to face The Queen. Shockingly, The Golden Goddess was able to get in a lot of offense early in the match. A close call with the official almost cost Charlotte.

    The Queen was able to get the win, but she was still irate at the ref for almost costing her the victory.

         

    Grade: B-

                               

    Analysis

    Deville has been showing signs of wanting to make a play for Pearce's job for weeks, and it is finally starting to be a bigger part of the ongoing story. This could lead to some interesting moments in the coming weeks.

    The segment with Charlotte and the ref was good. It let her be the pompous heel she has become and allowed Deville to show a few of her true intentions.

    Rose has consistently been improving in the ring ever since she got to the main roster. Being able to hang with Charlotte in this bout move-for-move shows how far she has come.

    This bout wasn't too long, but it did enough to tell the story it needed to tell.

Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman

7 OF 7

    The main event of the night saw Strowman and McIntyre meet for a singles match. Strowman worked out a deal with Pearce to earn a spot in the Backlash WWE title bout if he won this match.

    After a few minutes of back-and-forth action, Lashley came out to watch the match for himself. We returned from a break to see Strowman send McIntyre into the corner with a huge Irish whip. No, we won't call it a Scottish whip just because McIntyre is from Scotland. We're saving that for a PPV.

    The Scottish Warrior blocked a clubbing blow and hit the Glasgow Kiss to get a comeback going. MVP and Lashley got involved at one point, but they were knocked off the apron.

    Mace and T-Bar tried to interfere and were able to distract McIntyre long enough for Strowman to hit a powerslam for the win.

         

    Grade: B+

                               

    Analysis

    If you like matches where two big dudes beat the life out of each other, this is for you. McIntyre and Strowman know how to work snug and always make their fights look great.

    This was easily the best match of the night because it was simple and effective. The way it was booked at the end fell apart a little, but the majority of what we saw was solid.

    Adding Strowman to the WWE title match at Backlash was predictable but necessary. If The All Mighty is going to retain, he will probably pin Strowman to protect McIntyre for a future encounter.

    This wasn't a great episode, but it was definitely better than the last two weeks. That might be a low bar to clear, but at least it's something

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