Monday Night Raw
Date: May 24, 2021
Location: Yuengling Center, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Adnan Virk, Byron Saxton

We are on the way to both the Cell and the return of live fans, and last week’s Raw was downright tolerable. I’m not sure what that is going to mean for this week’s show, but at last last week’s effort wasn’t as bad. This week features a rematch between Tamina and Natalya vs. Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler for the former’s Women’s Tag Team Titles. Let’s get to it.

MVP opens things up and brings out WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, with some different women than last week. After a recap of Kofi Kingston pinning Lashley last week, MVP asks for a round of applause for the champ. At the same time, they are coming up on the return of fans, where you can see Lashley in person. That brings MVP to Drew McIntyre, who Lashley has beaten a few times now, meaning they are sick of him.

MVP likes the idea of Kingston rising up to face Lashley and he did, but that dark cloud got involved (cue Drew’s music) AGAIN. McIntyre says everyone knew he was going to be there last week and now he wants his one on one rematch for the title. He gets in the ring and asks the ladies if Lashley has the testicular fortitude to face him one on one. The women back off and Lashley isn’t having this but here is New Day to interrupt.

Kingston reminds up (multiple times) that he pinned Lashley last week, with Lashley bringing up McIntyre’s interference. With that win, Kingston thinks he should get a rematch, which he never got after losing his title. Why is McIntyre getting rematch after rematch after rematch? McIntyre isn’t cool with that but here is Adam Pearce to make a #1 contenders match, with the winner getting Lashley at the pay per view.

Braun Strowman is glad to have fans back.

Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston

MVP and Lashley are with the ladies in the VIP Lounge on the stage while Xavier Woods is at ringside as the winner gets Lashley next month for the title. Kofi’s headlock doesn’t get him very far as McIntyre throws him down without much effort. The toss suplex is countered with a knee to the head though and Kofi snaps off a Russian legsweep. There’s the slingshot splash for two on McIntyre, with Lashley approving.

Kingston sends him outside and nails the slingshot shot to the head. Kofi gets caught in an electric chair though and the reverse Alabama Slam sends him into the apron as we take a break. Back with McIntyre in control and snapping off a belly to belly suplex. Another knockdown gives McIntyre two but Kofi gets in a shot to the face to set up a middle rope dropkick. A quick guillotine attempt is countered into a suplex to give Drew two and frustration is setting in.

Kingston’s jumping double stomp gets two and, after headbutting Drew off the top, Kingston hits a high crossbody….which McIntyre rolls through into a Michinoku Driver. McIntyre gets distracted by Lashley through and we take another break. Back again with MVP and Lashley at ringside and McIntyre hitting a belly to back superplex for two. A spinebuster into a sitout powerbomb gets the same but McIntyre goes shoulder first into the post. Kofi sends him outside and dives onto McIntyre, MVP and Lashley at the same time. Back in and the SOS gets two, which draws in MVP and Lashley for the double DQ at 21:14.

Result: Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre went to a double DQ when Bobby Lashley and MVP interfered (21:14)

Post match the brawl is on, with McIntyre clearing the ring.

Rhea Ripley comes up to Charlotte in the back, with Charlotte saying she knows Ripley wants to be like her. A challenge is set, but here is Nikki Cross to say one of them can fight her instead. Charlotte is busy, but if she had the chance, she would beat Cross in two minutes. Ripley is free though and will do it later, much to Nikki’s delight.

Eva Marie talks about the people who work together to make her happen. Now she wants to be a hero instead of just playing one.

Rhea Ripley vs. Nikki Cross

Non-title and Cross wins if she survives two minutes. Ripley starts fast but Cross escapes and hammers away. A jawbreaker sets up a high crossbody for two on Ripley and there’s the running splash in the corner. Ripley dropkicks her down though with thirty seconds left. Ripley hammers away in the corner and stomps Cross down but time expires at 2:00.

Result: Nikki Cross b. Rhea Ripley when the time limit expired (2:00)

Post match here is Charlotte for her match, with Cross mocking her via funny faces and dancing.

Damian Priest can’t wait to have fans back.

Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston come in to see Adam Pearce, who makes a rematch for the #1 contendership next week. Kingston is cool with that, as long as MVP and Bobby Lashley are kept out. McIntyre is down as well and the staring ensues.

Charlotte vs. Asuka

They go with the grappling to start with Charlotte having to escape an early Asuka Lock attempt. A kick to the face sends Charlotte to the apron but she twists Asuka’s leg around the ropes. The knee is sent into the steps to put Asuka down and we take a break. Back with Charlotte working on the leg but Asuka rolls her into an armbar. Some kicks to the back have Charlotte in trouble but she comes back with a shinbreaker.

Asuka snaps off a German suplex for a breather, so Charlotte drops her throat first across the top rope. The bad leg is sent into the post twice in a row but she manages a sliding knee off the apron. Charlotte sends the leg into the announcers’ table though and we take a break. Back with Asuka countering a big boot with a kind of Codebreaker and grabbing another cross armbreaker.

They fall outside again for a bit before coming back inside to slug it out. Charlotte misses the big boot but swings around to hit a spinning back elbow for two more. Charlotte goes for the knee again but gets kicked in the head. The Asuka Lock goes on but Charlotte flips backwards into the cradle for the pin at 21:23.

Result: Charlotte b. Asuka – Rollup (21:23)

Adam Pearce needs to see Bobby Lashley.

Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke are glad to have fans back.

Bobby Lashley and MVP come in to see Adam Pearce, who tells them to stay out of next week’s #1 contender match. If Lashley interferes, he is suspended without pay for ninety days. Lashley does not like that but MVP holds him back.

We look at Cedric Alexander joining the Hurt Business and being kicked out, along with Shelton Benjamin. Alexander blamed Benjamin and then lost to him a few weeks ago.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Cedric Alexander

Before the match, Cedric says he is tired of carrying the washed up Shelton. The Hurt Business kicked Shelton out and Cedric was just collateral damage. Cedric has a future and is in his prime but how much time does Shelton have left? Tonight, Cedric is getting his hand raised. The bell rings and Cedric bails to the floor as we take a break. Back with a fired up Shelton knocking him into the corner and turning Cedric inside out with a running shoulder. Shelton stomps away and send things outside and Cedric is whipped hard into the barricade.

They get back in with Cedric kicking him in the ribs but having to grab the ropes to block the exploder. A kick to the head slows Shelton down and a super hurricanrana gives Cedric two. We hit the headlock on the mat to slow Shelton down and Cedric switches to a cobra clutch. Shelton Hulks Up and sends Cedric into the corner but Paydirt is countered into a rollup for two. The Dragon Whip drops Alexander and the rolling German suplexes rock him again. A poke to the eye gets Cedric out of trouble though and the Neuralizer finishes Benjamin at 9:48.

Result: Cedric Alexander b. Shelton Benjamin – Neuralizer (9:48)

Video on the history of RKBro.

John Morrison is glad the fans are going to be back.

Riddle vs. Xavier Woods

They fight over the lockup to start with Riddle taking him to the mat but Woods drives him into the corner. Woods takes his glove off and is pulled down into the rear naked choke, sending Woods’ feet into the ropes. The rolling northern lights suplexes have Woods in more trouble but he grabs his own suplex for two. They go to a test of strength with Riddle going to the mat. He pulls himself up to try a sunset flip but Woods catches him on the shoulders and drops him with another suplex.

Riddle kicks away in the corner and it’s a double clothesline to put both of them down. Woods gets sent outside in a heap but gets back on the apron so Riddle can kick away. One of the kicks is blocked though and something like an AA drops Riddle again. Back from a break with Riddle hitting the running forearms in the corner but the backsplash lands on raised knees. Woods snaps off a headscissors and a middle rope dropkick gets two.

Riddle is back up with the Bro Derek attempt but they trade counters until Woods ties him in the Tree of Woe. The running delayed dropkick connects and a gorilla press gives Woods two. Woods heads to the apron but gets kneed in the head, setting up a rather scary looking apron German superplex for two (with Woods nearly landing on the top of his head). The Floating Bro misses and Woods nails a rolling elbow. With nothing else working, Riddle busts out an RKO for the pin at 12:48.

Result: Riddle b. Xavier Woods – RKO (12:48)

Charlotte gets the Women’s Title shot against Rhea Ripley at Hell In A Cell.

AJ Styles vs. Jaxson Ryker

No seconds here and AJ hits a dropkick to start. Ryker grabs a suplex though and we hit the bearhug to slow Styles down. That’s broken up and Styles sends him outside for a baseball slide….and here’s Elias to knee Styles in the face. Back in and a swinging Boss Man Slam gives Ryker the pin at 2:04.

Result: Jaxson Ryker b. AJ Styles – Swinging Boss Man Slam (2:04)

Post match Omos finds Elias in the timekeeper’s area and then chases Elias and Ryker to the stage. Elias falls down and then gets Pounced into the set to break up some electronics.

Video on Humberto Carrillo vs. Sheamus.

Jeff Hardy is glad fans are going to be back.

Sheamus vs. Humberto Carrillo

Non-title and Sheamus knocks him to the floor to start. The whip into the barricade has Carrillo in trouble and they’re quickly back inside with Sheamus hitting a quick clothesline. A gorilla press puts Carrillo down again and the forearms to the chest (seated version) keep him in trouble. Carrillo manages to knock him outside though and there’s the suicide dive to send Sheamus into the announcers’ table. Back in and Sheamus counters a victory roll into a cradle with tights for the pin at 3:44.

Result: Sheamus b. Humberto Carrillo – Cradle with tights (3:44)

Post match Sheamus stays on Carrillo but Ricochet runs in for the save. Ricochet’s Lionsault sets up Carrillo’s moonsault (mainly onto Sheamus’ face) which sets up Ricochet’s 450 to send Sheamus rolling away.

We recap last week’s screwy finish to the Women’s Tag Team Title match, plus Shayna Baszler making Natalya tap out on Smackdown, setting up tonight’s rematch.

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler and Reginald are in the back.  Baszler wants Reginald to stay in the back tonight and threatens violence if he comes to ringside.

Eva Marie is in great shape and likes helping people get in great shape too.

Women’s Tag Team Titles: Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler vs. Tamina/Natalya

Tamina and Natalya are defending. Baszler and Tamina start, with Baszler shoving Natalya on the apron. That means it’s Natalya coming in instead, with Baszler grabbing the arm. They go into a pinfall reversal sequence with Baszler putting on a keylock to slow things back down. Baszler grabs a quickly broken Sharpshooter so she loads up the arm strong but freaking Reginald comes out, allowing Natalya to roll away. We take a break and come back with Baszler still working on Natalya’s arm but Natalya slips out.

The tag brings in Tamina for a low superkick to Nia, but a second attempt is countered into a sloppy rollup for two. The stomping is on in the corner but Tamina hits Baszler in the face. Everything breaks down and Tamina gets backdropped over the barricade. Natalya hits the discus lariat on Baszler but Reginald gets on the apron for a distraction, meaning Baszler’s small package only gets two. Reginald goes up the ramp but fire goes off to knock him down, allowing Natalya to small package Baszler for the retaining pin at 11:44.

Result: Tamina/Natalya b. Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler – Small package to Baszler (11:44)

Post match Shayna helps Reginald up and then grabs him, saying that she wants the “Cirque du Soleil Sommelier” next week, where she will make him wish he died in that explosion.

Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston went to a double DQ when the Hurt Business interfered
Nikki Cross b. Rhea Ripley when the time limit expires
Charlotte b. Asuka – Rollup
Cedric Alexander b. Shelton Benjamin – Neuralizer
Riddle b. Xavier Woods – RKO
Jaxson Ryker b. AJ Styles – Swinging Boss Man Slam
Sheamus b. Humberto Carrillo – Rollup with tights
Natalya/Tamina b. Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler – Small package to Baszler

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.

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