Monday Night RAW Review #18 (4/20/2020) by Anthony S. DiSalvatore
Welcome back to my weekly RAW Review! If you watched last week, you’ll know that show was pretty well done under the current circumstances. The balance between promos and matches was exactly right. Nothing dragged on, and nothing made me want to change the channel! Not only that, but Seth Rollins is also the top contender for Drew McIntyre’s world title! Even if you don’t like Rollins or McIntyre, you have to admit that match should be good. I wonder how they’ll follow up! Let’s see what they do next!
The show opens with yet another Drew McIntyre promo. Again, another standard babyface promo. I’ve heard this same verbiage over and over again. I wish Drew would come up with his own material for once. He knows how good Rollins is, so he’s gonna let him challenge for the title. I think that’s the gist of it. Zelina Vega and her crew interrupt. My jaw is on the floor! In this week’s Zelina Vega Outfit Watch, she has a fairly minimal approach. It’s nothing too flashy, but she makes it look great. Andrade interrupts and Drew disposes of him. He’ll face Angel Garza later on. I’m calling it now: Seth Rollins will interfere in the main event again.
Match #1: Aleister Black vs. Austin Theory
This is yet another qualifying match for the Money in the Bank match. Everybody should know which way this is going, I don’t think Aleister Black’s lost a match in about a year. It’s getting ridiculous at this point. Austin Theory has some growing up to do, and Aleister Black is limited in the ring. It’s a lot of kicks and not much else. One of the telltale signs of this match before the bell even rings: Austin Theory didn’t even get an entrance. The highlight for me is Zelina Vega on commentary. This girl can talk her ass off! She’s a good manager too. Not worried about getting herself over, she just wants to make her men look good. That’s rule number one as a manager. Zelina has to get up from commentary and make the distraction so her man can get the upper hand. After the standard fare you should expect from an Aleister Black match by now, the finish comes when he gives Austin Theory the Kick of Death. In Theory’s defense, it took two tries. After the match, Aleister gets some promo time. It’s more rambling nonsense. Something about sending everybody to hell or something. They shouldn’t let this guy anywhere near a microphone.
Match #2: Shayna Baszler vs. Indi Hartwell
This match was preceded by a promo during Shayna’s entrance. Weird! The interviewer chick shows up out of nowhere looking hot as shit and Shayna insists she didn’t break any rules against Sarah Logan. I have to agree there. As for this match, it’s totally one-sided and ends exactly the same way as the Sarah Logan match from last week. The announcers say this is sick, but I don’t see it. She’s not cheating, she’s not fighting dirty, she’s just winning by ref stoppage. After the match, Shayna goes outside and grabs a ladder. She traps the girl’s arm inside and presumably shatters it to pieces while the ref tries to talk her out of it. Don’t just stand there man, get involved! I always hate when the ref tries to be the moral compass.
Match #2: Ricochet & Cedric Alexander vs. Shane Thorne & ???
They kept saying the other guy’s name, but it’s hard for me to hear. Ricochet and Alexander had a good showing last week against the Vikings. They may have lost, but at least it didn’t take 20 seconds! This is your standard big guy vs. little guy match, just in a tag team format. The moves are too fast for the announcers to call. The babyfaces win with a double finish on Thorne.
Match #3: Nia Jax vs. Kairi Sane
Well, this one shouldn’t take long! At least I hope not, I’m getting sick of listening to Asuka scream in Japanese. Kairi Sane is game in the beginning, but it doesn’t take long for her get shitcanned by Nia. She’s just too strong! Kairi targets the leg. Remember, Nia was out for like a year because of double knee surgery. Even if you think Kairi and Asuka are very annoying, that’s smart wrestling. Kairi goes for the top rope elbow drop and comes up empty. Nia pancakes her with a Samoan Drop for the win. Keep the change. Some people are always trying to ice skate uphill. After this match, Rollins does a promo from his Tony Montana chair saying how much he and Drew have in common. He accepts Drew’s challenge, but he’s not doing it out of respect, he’s doing it to prove a point! Seth’s giving off serious Batman vibes in this promo. Watch it and come back, then you’ll understand exactly what I mean.
Match #4: Apollo Crews vs. MVP
MVP gives a hell of a promo before Apollo shows up! This guy is fantastic on the microphone. I don’t expect him to win this match, he’s primarily here now as someone to put the younger guys over. Having said that, he can still contribute a lot. He might make a good manager if he can work on putting his man over instead of himself when he talks. We come back from commercial and MVP is kicking Apollo’s ass and doing a promo during the match at the same time. Apollo hulks up and goes for a frog splash, but MVP blocks it. He does his finish and goes for a pin, but Apollo kicks out! SHOCKING! I thought MVP had him there. Apollo wins with a sit down powerbomb. He’ll be in the MITB match with Aleister Black and Daniel Bryan!
Match #5: Liv Morgan vs. Ruby Riot
Moving right along, the Riot Squad is about to EXPLODE! Liv Morgan is about to cause a train wreck! The story of this match is Liv is finally becoming an adult and Ruby is mad jelly about it. Looks like Liv is really coming along in the ring. She’s made major strides since the first time I saw her in the ring. I like the aggression of Ruby in this match, but Liv catches her napping with the facebuster off the ropes. They may be going a little heavy with the short matches tonight, but it makes the show go by faster, and it’s still possible to tell a story in that amount of time, so I’m ok with it.
Match #6: Rey Mysterio vs. Buddy Murphy
This is the final MITB qualifier of the night. Buddy Murphy is here with his awesome entrance music, and he’s apparently still carrying a torch for Seth Rollins, even though I haven’t seen them team up in weeks. I thought that team was over with. This should be a good match, these two are comparable in size and ability. Rey gets some kind of injury and has to leave the ring, but Buddy is merciless. He follows Mysterio to the outside and hits him from behind. Great move! Buddy’s in control now! Maybe he won’t have to sleep on Seth’s couch tonight! Even so, he’ll still need Seth to give him a ride home.
We come back from commercial, and it’s confirmed Mysterio has suffered some kind of hand injury. Rey gives Murphy his comeback, then goes for the 619 and misses. Murphy counters, but Mysterio turns it into a DDT. They go back to the outside, where Murphy gets closely acquainted with the barricade wall. Mysterio goes for a cross body block in the ring, but Murphy blocks it and gives Rey a brainbuster. Another kickout and this thing continues. Seth’s gonna be so mad if Buddy loses this thing! Murphy goes to the top rope, but Rey meets him there. Flippity flop piledriver off the ropes, followed by a 619 and a frog splash for the win. Looks like Murphy’s gonna be eating Seth’s table scraps tonight!
Match #7: Charlotte vs. Kayden Carter
Josh DeBord is loving this! Charlotte’s doing a promo on this girl while she’s beating her up. I thought her matches were getting tough to watch, but these promos are cruel and unusual punishment. Charlotte finds her herself in an octopus hold, but don’t worry. She’s much too powerful for that! Charlotte gives her a spear, then applies the Figure 4 leglock for the tap out win. Good thing Charlotte invented the spear or she might have lost this thing!
Match #8: Andrade vs. Akira Tozawa
The strangest thing about this match to me is that Andrade is STILL the US champion. I could be wrong, but I don’t think he’s defended it in months. If he did, I guess it wasn’t very memorable. Was it in one of those Carrillo matches? Tozawa does a flippity flop to the outside of the ring! Perfect form on that one. Andrade looks like he’s backing down. Zelina Vega again gets involved to help her man. They’re pretty much running the show at this point. Tozawa applies the octopus hold in the middle of the ring. Andrade fights his way to the rope. He’s really getting his ass kicked here. A series of near falls for Tozawa, then he goes to the top rope and Zelina makes the distraction so Andrade can give him his DDT and win this thing. This match wasn’t very long, but it was a nice showing for Tozawa. He let Andrade have it with both barrels, and he would have won this thing had Zelina Vega not been there.
Match #9: Bianca Belair vs. Santana Garrett
I know Bianca from her performance in the Royal Rumble, but it’s impossible for me to focus on this match with the Street Prophets on commentary. They sound like the hyenas from the Lion King. Bianca wins. I don’t know how, and I don’t care. Please don’t put these guys on commentary ever again.
Main Event: Angel Garza vs. Drew McIntyre
Don’t forget, Garza has all of his people with him also. They only have eight minutes for this match, so I’m still thinking Rollins will interfere before any pin or submission takes place. Drew’s still pissed about what happened earlier tonight, so he’s not taking any of Garza’s shit. Andrade and Zelina each try to distract Drew, but it doesn’t work. I like McIntyre so much more when he’s focused on winning instead of playing to a bunch of people who aren’t even there. Drew goes for the Claymore, but Garza bails out of the ring. Drew tries to stop him, but much like a lizard losing its tail, Garza leaves only his pants behind. Drew’s had it with this nonsense and does a flippity flop to the outside on all of them. These guys are like gnats, I swear. Drew wins with the Claymore. Maybe these guys will finally stop trying to bite off more than they can chew.
My Final Thoughts on RAW (4/20/2020)
This show wasn’t as good as last week, but there was still a lot of wrestling, which is what we all watch this show for, in theory. I think Apollo and MVP was the match of the night. Even though all this bad shit’s going on, it’s nice to see some new faces getting some opportunities. The show wasn’t bad at all, except for the Street Prophets on commentary. Who thought that was a good idea? That wasn’t even commentary, it was just noise! My head hurts. Hopefully they won’t do that ever again. What will they do next week? Will the Street Prophets get caught in a time warp and never return? I can only hope so!