WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 4
It feels strange to say this, but this week's Raw was the go-home episode before another fan-less WWE pay-per-view.
Money in the Bank will take place Sunday from both the Performance Center and WWE Headquarters. The traditional ladder matches have been replaced with a new match that will see participants fighting their way to the briefcase on the top of WWE's corporate building.
Monday's Raw featured WWE champion Drew McIntyre taking on Murphy, The Street Profits meeting The Viking Raiders for a fight and the final spot in the men's MITB bout getting determined in a gauntlet match.
With Monday in the Bank less than a week away, much of this week's show was spent hyping the PPV as a unique event.
Let's look at what happened on Monday's Raw.
The VIP Lounge
Raw opened with MVP in the ring for another episode of "The VIP Lounge." His guests this week were Asuka, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, who will be the Raw competitors in the women's MITB match.
MVP asked a few standard questions and got the kind of answers you would expect from these three competitors. It was all very routine.
Asuka and Baszler almost came to blows before they both went after Jax together. MVP had to separate them while Jax recovered outside the ring.
MVP is great at what he does, but nobody in this segment had much to work with. The small amount of physicality didn't do much to make the segment better.
Asuka is always entertaining, and Baszler still comes across as one of the most dangerous people on the roster. Jax was the odd woman out, as she barely spoke and ended up getting kicked out of the ring.
Last Chance Gauntlet Match
Following a storyline injury last week, Apollo Crews was taken out of the MITB contest. A gauntlet match determined his replacement.
Titus O'Neil and Bobby Lashley kicked things off. Despite an early onslaught from O'Neil, Lashley defeated him in less than a minute to make way for Akira Tozawa.
Once again, Lashley destroyed his opponent with a Spear to advance. Shelton Benjamin ran down as the next competitor and took it to the powerhouse with a flurry of moves. The All Mighty put him away with a third Spear to defeat three opponents before the commercial break.
Humberto Carrillo was up next and managed to last through the break. The high-flyer started to gain some momentum with a dropkick from the top rope and a rolling moonsault, but Lashley recovered and went on the offensive. He ended up getting himself disqualified but made sure to hit a Spear before leaving.
Angel Garza had a big smile on his face as he came to the ring. After another commercial, he was in full control of Carrillo. Somehow, Carrillo withstood several minutes of punishment and scored the win with a victory roll.
Austin Theory was the next participant, which was convenient for Zelina Vega since she was already at ringside. Carrillo countered a superplex to get one more win before AJ Styles returned to Raw as the final entrant.
We returned from yet another break to see Carrillo giving it his best shot while a fresh Styles controlled the pace. The Phenomenal One locked in the Calf Crusher to get the win and earn a spot in the MITB match.
If the goal was to push Lashley without putting him in the MITB match, WWE accomplished that goal with this gauntlet match.
He should always be dominating his opponents, and he finally got a chance to shine as he destroyed four competitors before his DQ.
It was also nice to see the feud between Garza and Carrillo get some attention after being put on the back burner for quite some time.
Carrillo also had a good showing, but as soon as Styles walked onto the stage, we all knew who was winning in the end. This match may have gone on a little long, but it managed to tell a few different stories at once.
Too Fly vs. Brendan Vink and Shane Thorne
Newcomers Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink were given another chance to impress the WWE Universe with a match against Ricochet and Cedric Alexander. MVP showed his support for the new team backstage but did not accompany Thorne and Vink to the ring.
They started with a quick pace and did not ease up until Thorne drove Alexander into the barricade. Vink and Thorne had the power advantage, so they slowed things down when they took over.
After a short but competitive bout, Vink hit a massive boot to the face to get the pin on Ricochet.
This was a good showing for all four men, but Vink and Thorne definitely surprised a lot of people by scoring the win in this one.
Having MVP support them without being at ringside was a strange decision, but it allowed them to pick up a clean win without any questionable tactics from him.
With The Forgotten Sons also getting a push in recent weeks, it looks like WWE is beginning to build up the tag team division by introducing more duos to the mix.
The Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders
Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford gave a quick promo before a commercial break. When we returned, Ford was taking it to Erik with more aggression than expected.
The Viking Raiders eventually took control and scored a two-count when Ivar hit a splash from the top rope. It took a long time before Dawkins was able to tag in and give his partner a break.
After another break, Dawkins brought Ford back in while Erik tagged Ivar. After both teams scored several near-falls, The Viking Raiders hit their finisher for the win.
This will likely earn them a title shot in the near future, possibly at the Money in the Bank PPV on Sunday.
Ford and Dawkins did an especially good job keeping the more powerful Viking Raiders at bay by adopting a more aggressive style of offense in this bout.
With the way WWE has been forced to books its recent shows, you would be forgiven for forgetting The Street Profits were the tag team champions, but this match served as a reminder of how good they are.
The Viking Raiders were equally important to this being a good performance. There may have been one too many false finishes, but this was a fun match overall.
Charlotte vs. Liv Morgan
Charlotte Flair was giving a promo when Liv Morgan interrupted her. Morgan reminded Charlotte of how their last encounter inspired her to change everything about herself.
She challenged The Queen to a match, and Flair quickly accepted. After a break, the bell rang and they locked up. Charlotte easily pushed Morgan to the corner to show off her power.
While the former Riott Squad member managed to get in some offense, The Queen dominated most of the match while talking trash the entire time.
Morgan didn't begin making a comeback until after another commercial. After fighting through a powerbomb and a Bostom crab, Morgan was forced to tap out to the Figure-Eight.
Morgan did a great job with the pre-match promo, and it was nice to be reminded of how Charlotte is the one who originally inspired her to change her gimmick.
Flair predictably controlled most of the action but Morgan got in a few nice moves of her own. This was a strong showing for both Superstars, but Morgan definitely benefitted the most by coming so close to beating the NXT women's champion.
This is a feud WWE could use to turn Morgan into a real main event player in the near future. She may have lost, but she likely earned the respect of a lot of fans in the process.
Drew McIntyre vs. Murphy
The main event of the evening saw Drew McIntyre take on Murphy. Seth Rollins spoke earlier in the night about his feud with McIntyre, and Murphy gave a quick interview promising to make Rollis proud.
The Juggernaut showed no fear as he locked up with the WWE champion and even slapped him at one point. McIntyre did not take that show of disrespect lightly.
The Australian Superstar tried some of his best moves, but McIntyre just brushed them off. Murphy tried to counter his power with speed to no avail. McIntyre got the pin with a Claymore after about seven minutes.
Rollins tricked McIntyre into thinking he had left before returning to hit a superkick to the face. McIntyre managed to avoid the Stomp.
Murphy is one of WWE's most gifted performers, and it will always be nice to see him in a main event, even if he is being sacrificed for the sake of a bigger feud.
McIntyre as a dominant babyface is already losing some of its appeal without a crowd to give him reactions. His style of overpowering his opponents is better suited for a heel.
While this was a decent bout, it certainly did not need to be the main event. This would have been better as the opening bout, while the gauntlet match should have closed the show.
In the end, this was a decent if uneventful episode of Raw. It did not feel like the go-home show before a PPV at all.