WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 11
On the heels of an unprecedented Money in the Bank pay-per-view, WWE Raw hit the USA Network airwaves with a broadcast featuring the returns of Edge and Randy Orton but highlighted by a major announcement from women's champion Becky Lynch.
The Man promised to confront women's Money in the Bank winner Asuka, but what earth-shattering announcement did she have for the WWE Universe as she continued her year-plus title reign?
How would The Rated-R Superstar and The Viper continue their heated rivalry, which many believed was over with Edge's victory at WrestleMania 36?
Find out the answer to those two pressing questions with this recap of the May 11 broadcast.
Asuka Is the Champ and The Man Is the Mom
Raw women's champion Becky Lynch kicked off the show melancholily, carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase as she made her way to the squared circle. She addressed the WWE Universe, telling the fans they supported her when no one else would and for that, they deserved to know that she had to go away for a while.
Asuka interrupted, none too pleased about Lynch carrying the briefcase she had captured just 24 hours earlier. The Man then revealed that the match The Empress won was for more than a title shot; it was for the championship itself.
An overjoyed Asuka celebrated with the title as an amused Lynch watched on. "You go be a champion because I'm going to go be a mother," she said, revealing her pregnancy. The longest-reigning Raw women's champion exited the arena as Asuka's celebration continued.
This was about more than championships and storylines, it was about the top star in the industry revealing she is going to be a mother at the height of her career and popularity. It was short, it was sweet and it was in line with Lynch's on-screen persona while showing a realness about her that has long made her one of the most beloved figures in all of WWE.
Asuka winning the title is fitting given her victory at Money in the Bank and just how extraordinary she has been during this empty-arena era of WWE television.
That she has a plethora of heel contenders to do battle with, not the least of which being Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, makes her the perfect option to carry the title for the foreseeable future.
No Disqualification Match: Humberto Carrillo vs. Bobby Lashley
A week ago, Bobby Lashley let his emotions get the best of him, costing him a win in a Gauntlet match against Humberto Carrillo via disqualification. Monday's first in-ring action saw Lashley battle Carrillo in a No Disqualification match.
Carrillo started quick, stunning Lashley ahead of the break. From there, though, The All-Mighty dominated the majority of the action. He smashed Carrillo spine-first into the ring post, but the young competitor recovered and blasted his larger opponent with a steel chair.
Back inside, Lashley snatched a flying Carrillo out of the air and applied the Full Nelson for the submission victory.
Lashley defeated Carrillo
The rebuild of Lashley continued here with a win over a guy who, despite uneven booking of late, was a top contender to the United States Championship not all that long ago.
The All-Mighty has been hugely wasted over the last year or so, left to wallow in mediocrity and cringe-worthy storylines rather than excelling as the dominant ass-kicker he should be. Thanks to some solid booking and some momentum-building performances, he finally appears to be on his way back to the level of competition he should have been at since returning to the company in 2018.
If this continues, a WWE Championship program with Drew McIntyre should not be ruled out.
Akira Tozawa vs. Angel Garza
Back from the commercial break, the match between Angel Garza and Akira Tozawa was in progress, moments after cameras caught a heated argument between Zelina Vega's stable of Superstars.
A dominant, one-sided victory saw Garza pick up the win with the Wing Clipper before engaging his teammates Austin Theory and United States champion Andrade in another argument. Vega attempted to separate them until WWE champion Drew McIntyre interrupted.
The Scottish Psychopath wiped out Theory and Garza with Claymore Kicks before coming face-to-face with El Idolo. The commentary team questioned whether we would have a champion vs. champion match heading into the next timeout.
Garza defeated Tozawa
What does it say about Tozawa, who is 2-0 in the cruiserweight title tournament, and NXT as a brand when he is on Raw getting squashed in uncompetitive matches already in progress?
That booking issue aside, this was as good a way as any to sell the idea of the unexpected and impromptu. McIntyre has the previous history with Andrade and Vega's crew, so it makes sense they would write the latest chapter in their story.
Even if the U.S. champion could do without another high-profile televised loss.
Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade
Fresh off a title defense against Seth Rollins in which his shoulder was the frequent target of The Monday Night Messiah's attack, McIntyre again found himself nursing the injury as Andrade focused his attack on it.
El Idolo worked on the joint, looking to force a submission out of The Scottish Psychopath, but the resilient champion refused to quit and kept on fighting.
McIntyre fended off the challenge of his opponent and dropped him with the Claymore Kick to earn yet another victory over his familiar foe.
After the match, McIntyre vaguely referenced the "Brand to Brand Challenge" and revealed that he would battle King Corbin on next week's show, promising to rip his head off.
McIntyre defeated Andrade
Even a shorter match between McIntyre and Andrade is a damn good time.
The psychology was smart, as Andrade not only capitalized on the work Rollins put in the night before but also revisited the torn biceps injury he inflicted on McIntyre during their NXT days. A cerebral performer whose in-ring work gets better with every week, the U.S. champion really should be consistently hanging around the top of the card rather than being the WWE champion's television program.
McIntyre nonchalantly referencing the inter-brand challenge when it has yet to be explained in any meaningful manner was a curious decision, but a hoss battle with Corbin sounds like a hell of a lot of fun.
The IIconics Return, Defeat Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
After months away, The IIconics returned to Raw, interrupting women's tag team champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross' "A Moment of Bliss" talk show.
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce took exception with being overlooked, upstaged and forgotten in favor of pregnancy announcements. They issued a challenge for the tag titles, and when Bliss and Cross denied them, they threw down a challenge for a non-title match.
Bliss and Cross accepted, and the match was underway.
A hot start by the champions came to an abrupt halt thanks to some well-timed teamwork from Kay and Royce. The heels isolated Cross, cutting her off from partner Bliss and erasing her unbridled energy. Cross finally created separation and made a hot tag to Bliss as the action broke down.
Eventually, Royce downed Bliss and picked up the win, instantly inserting her team into tag title contention.
The IIconics defeated Bliss and Cross
For two performers who have not seen regular in-ring action in months, Royce and Kay looked like they hadn't missed a beat. They cut a frenetic pace, always moving and providing the sort of energy and entertainment value that has been sorely missing in their absence.
They have such charisma and chemistry that they are an asset to any division. Considering the lack of genuine women's tag teams, their return is welcome.
If Monday's match was any indication, they work well with Bliss and Cross and will produce quality matches. Especially in a longer match, where they can slow down and let spots breathe a bit.
R-Truth, Ricochet and Cedric Alexander vs. Brendan Vink, Shane Thorne and MVP
A week after defeating Ricochet and Cedric Alexander, Brendan Vink and Shane Thorne rekindled their rivalry with the team, partnering with MVP against Alexander, Ricochet and R-Truth. Truth's TikTok alter ego, Pretty Ricky, made several appearances over the course of the tag bout.
Vink controlled the majority of the match, working over Alexander until a hot tag to Truth sparked the babyface comeback late.
As the action broke down, Truth dropped MVP with the Lie Detector to score the win for his team.
After the match, Bobby Lashley hit the ring and turned Truth inside out with a spear. "We need to go talk," The All-Mighty was overheard saying before exiting the arena with MVP.
Truth, Alexander and Ricochet defeated Vink, Thorne and MVP
What was the point of building momentum for Thorne and Vink by putting them over Ricochet and Alexander last week just to extinguish it in favor of subpar comedy out of Truth?
If the point was, ultimately, to introduce Lashley as the potential newest member of MVP's collective, why not just have him run in and bowl over Truth for the disqualification?
The booking here created more questions than answers, ruined the good thing Vink and Thorne had going for them after last week and left Lashley contemplating joining a team that just lost to a social media act. It was just wrong the whole way around and did nothing to benefit anyone involved.
Aleister Black and Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins and Murphy
A disheveled and despondent Seth Rollins, fresh off a loss to Drew McIntyre at Money in the Bank and the news of his impending fatherdom, watched from the ring apron as Murphy suffered a two-on-one beating by the team of Aleister Black and Rey Mysterio.
When the former cruiserweight and tag team champion did manage to catch Black, his offensive was short-lived. That is, until a perfectly timed kick that sent Black's head crashing into the ring post ahead of the break.
A tag to Mysterio brought the babyfaces back while Rollins continued to watch from the apron, stoically.
That changed when Mysterio struck Rollins, snapping him out of his funk. The Monday Night Messiah caught Rey in a 619 attempt and slammed him into the barricade. He did the same to Black and demanded Murphy "Stay the hell back!"
He drove Mysterio eye-first into the steel steps, exclaiming, "It's not your fault, Rey!"
Rollins, like a madman possessed, looked on without remorse while medics and officials checked on the fallen future Hall of Famer. A closeup revealed a man content, relieved even, by his actions.
Black and Mysterio defeated Rollins and Murphy via disqualification
Rollins is a man in the midst of a crisis.
Not only is he about to be a father, but the shocking revelation also comes as he is processing another high-profile loss despite labeling himself The Monday Night Messiah. He is lost, uncertain of who and what he is. It is taking its toll and leading him to lash out in shocking and violent fashion, as Mysterio found out tonight.
It is a great bit of character development and storytelling, even if the disqualification made no sense. Rollins was, after all, involved in the damn match and couldn't really be DQ'd for doing what he did by breaking up the 619.
The mangling of Mysterio after the fact? Maybe.
After the break, Rollins approached Black backstage and claimed not to know what happened to him out there. That he simply walked off and did not get involved in the brawl between Black and Murphy that ensued suggests he may be telling the truth.
Either way, the Rollins character is a hell of a lot more interesting after tonight's show than it has been in weeks.
Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler
After Shayna Baszler's unapologetically harsh comments on Becky Lynch's pregnancy announcement, Natalya sought to silence The Queen of Spades and teach her some respect.
A focused Baszler overcame a vengeful Natalya, targeting her arm. When she tried to stomp on it, the third-generation Hart family member rolled her up for a two-count. Baszler rolled through and blasted her with a knee to the face for the win.
After the match, a distraught Natalya kicked the ropes out of frustration following yet another loss.
Baszler defeated Natalya
There was nothing to the match, really, and the outcome was exactly what one would have expected.
What was not expected was the frustration Natalya demonstrated after the bell.
After losing to Liv Morgan as part of the WrestleMania Kickoff Show, she returned to the squared circle here and was beaten in short, definitive fashion by a woman she was so determined to silence. Could we be preparing for another heel turn that freshens up her character and prepares her as a potential challenger for Asuka?
Baszler looked absolutely fierce and should be the first to step up and compete against Asuka for the women's title.
Randy Orton Lays Down a Challenge to Edge
Edge returned to Raw for the first time since WrestleMania and immediately sought to dismiss the idea that he was still hunting Randy Orton. He claimed that chapter was behind him, but before he could move on, The Viper interrupted.
Orton claimed the better man won at The Show of Shows and walked off...only to return and say the better man won, but not the better wrestler. He made excuses for his loss, denouncing the idea of a violent fight at the expense of a wrestling match.
"I don't think you've got it in you anymore," Orton said before pointing out the doubt he saw in Edge's eyes.
The Viper reminded Edge of the numerous compliments he paid him, looking to egg his former tag team partner into a WrestleMania rematch. "If you've got the guts, then at Backlash, it will be Edge vs. Orton in a straight up wrestling match."
A conflicted Edge stood silent as the show went off the air.
Orton was great here, turning in an excellent promo that poked and prodded at Edge's pride while trying to sucker the Hall of Famer back into the squared circle for another go-round. He was manipulative and cerebral, and the result was the heel excellence we have come to expect from him.
If there were one issue with the entire segment, it was the reluctance with which Edge approached Orton's challenge.
After nine years off, he was fine challenging Orton to a much more dangerous, potentially career-threatening Last Man Standing match, but a pure wrestling match? Oh, hell no. He doesn't want any part of that savagery.
Yes, such a match might test his self-confidence as an in-ring performer, but still, shouldn't a guy who prides himself on grit be willing to step up and accept any challenge any man brings his way?
It was just a bit tonally and logically off, even if the rest of the segment was straight fire to close out the best episode of Raw since the empty-arena shows started in March.