WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 18

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistMay 19, 2020

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 18

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The May 18 edition fully introduced the brand-to-brand invitation to WWE Raw. King Corbin headed to the red brand to challenge Drew McIntyre, and the WWE champion was glad to humble The King.

    McIntyre wasn't the only champion competing Monday night, as Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defended the Women's Tag Team Championships against former champions The IIconics. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay had one win over the champs to their name, but this was their moment to make an impression upon their return to action.

    The Viking Raiders challenged The Street Profits to an ax-throwing competition in their continued rivalry. This was out of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins' wheelhouse, but they would not back down to Erik and Ivar.

    Becky Lynch made a shocking announcement last week when she relinquished the Raw Women's Championship, leaving Asuka atop the women's division waiting for her next challenger.

    Off the back of the best Raw in months, this show had a chance to be a letdown or a triumph. Only the booking would decide.

Edge Accepts Randy Orton's Backlash Challenge

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    Randy Orton continued his questioning from last week. He mocked Edge for his fear of performing against the best.

    The Rated R-Superstar told The Viper he was done with his games and he would show Orton what it meant to truly love this business.

    Edge accepted the challenge of a match at Backlash on June 14, ready to prove The Viper wrong again.






    This segment accomplished nothing more than what already happened last week. It was just an attempt to keep fans tuning in to see Edge and Orton.

    The promos from both men were solid, but it was an overlong extension of the already-overlong segment the previous week.

    It would be nice if WWE stopped using the tagline "greatest wrestling match ever" for a contest that has only been good at best.

Seth Rollins Explains His Actions; Murphy vs. Humberto Carrillo

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    Seth Rollins called his attack on Rey Mysterio last week "cathartic and necessary." He spoke to The Master of the 619 directly, telling him that he would see clearly the blessing he had bestowed upon him.

    Humberto Carrillo interrupted to challenge The Monday Night Messiah, but Murphy took the fight instead.

    Carrillo fought valiantly, but he got sidetracked with Rollins at ringside. He dived right into a high knee from the Australian, and Murphy's Law put an end to the match.

    Afterward, the two tried to do more damage until Aleister Black ran off the heels.



    Murphy def. Carrillo by pinfall.






    Rollins has reinvented himself as The Messiah, and his promos land much better now. He seems better-suited to this style and stands out from the rest of the locker room. It is easy to look forward to his promos as more than generic heel insults.

    Carrillo is talented and can put on a good match with anyone. While he did not get enough time Monday, he and Murphy made the most of their minutes. It was a solid way to keep the Mexican Superstar relevant, even in a losing effort.

Charlotte Flair vs. Ruby Riott

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    Charlotte Flair taunted Bayley about their match Friday. She was excited to take the SmackDown women's champion down a peg.

    She then called out Ruby Riott, hoping her opponent for the night would speak her mind before losing.

    Riott wanted to fight instead, and The Queen made her pay for it.

    While the former Riott Squad leader admirably went after the hand of Charlotte, the NXT women's titleholder refused to give up.

    The Queen stomped on Riott and then locked her in the Figure-Eight for the tapout.



    Charlotte def. Riott by submission.






    It was only a few years ago that Charlotte and Riott had an exceptional match on a pay-per-view together. It established Riott as one of the biggest rising stars in the women's division, while Charlotte added another great win to her record.

    This was far from that effort. It was short and sloppy. The Queen has always had a tendency to look unrefined in the ring, but she especially shows that in shorter efforts. Riott still needs to find her groove since returning to action.

    Charlotte has been wildly overexposed lately. She is on Raw, NXT and SmackDown while many other female wrestlers cannot get TV time on one show. This is only going to backfire.

Nia Jax Ruins Asuka's Title Celebration

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    Kairi Sane introduced Asuka for a big celebration in which she put over her friend's accomplishments.

    The two celebrated Asuka's Grand Slam Championship as The Pirate Princess played The Empress of Tomorrow's theme on her shakuhachi flute.

    However, Nia Jax ruined the fun and promised she would be Raw women's champion soon. The Empress responded by sending her running after a series of strikes.

    Later in the night, The Irresistible Force ruined Sane's music, throwing her into a nearby crate. Asuka found Jax and laid her out with a stiff kick.






    The celebration of Asuka and Sane was bizarre but fun. They just wanted to provide some entertainment. It would have been great if they were allowed to just speak more in Japanese, as The Pirate Princess is such an awkward English promo.

    Jax is a temporary resolution to the question of Asuka's first title challenge. Hopefully, The Empress of Tomorrow is not working with her too long. It is a fresh angle that can work for the moment, but it won't get people excited.

Bobby Lashley vs. R-Truth

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    Earlier in the night, MVP offered to help Bobby Lashley find his true self, tapping into his inner aggression.

    R-Truth mocked Lashley repeatedly as Pretty Ricky, but it did not help the former 24/7 champion. The All Mighty assaulted him and made him tap out with his full nelson. MVP clapped from the stage.

    Lana freaked out backstage, throwing items around in her wake.



    Lashley def. Truth by submission.






    Truth is a naturally funny performer, but Pretty Ricky is a bad idea all-around. It is more insulting than humorous and simplifies one of the best comedy acts in WWE.

    The squash match was nothing special but served its purpose. Lashley is accepting the help of MVP and winning in dominant fashion. He may be on the rise toward a WWE Championship opportunity as early as Backlash next month.

WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics

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    The IIconics were not quite ready for the unpredictable energy of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross at first. After Cross took out Peyton Royce, The Goddess hit Billie Kay with a stiff right hand and Twisted Bliss.

    Royce recovered to break up the pinfall and got involved despite not being the legal competitor. She threw Bliss repeatedly into the turnbuckle, causing a disqualification.

    Kay and Royce argued backstage, and the former slapped her friend before the two hugged.



    Bliss and Cross def. IIconics by disqualification to retain the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships.






    This match barely got going before it was over. The flat finish added nothing to the rivalry beyond potentially setting up Kay and Royce to split. This would be an odd move, but it would mean WWE has plans for at least one of them.

    Hopefully, a better tag title match is on the horizon. The IIconics' return already feels deflated, which may be entirely intentional.

Submission Match: Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya

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    In a rematch from last week, Natalya and Shayna Baszler got personal in this submission match.

    The Queen of Harts thought she had the edge when she caught her opponent in the Sharpshooter. Baszler broke out, though, and went after the leg of Natalya to wear her down until she was easy to trap in the Kirifuda Clutch. Nattie held on but ultimately tapped out.

    Afterward, as the crew attempted to set up "The Kevin Owens Show," Natalya freaked out and destroyed the set in frustration.



    Baszler def. Natalya by submission.






    Baszler is great, but this feud was not built well enough to sell this as a personal match. It fell flat throughout while ending far too quickly for how much Natalya seemed to need the win. These two could have a great submission match at some point.

    The post-match freakout was better than the contest itself. It is nice to see some real story development with The Queen of Harts. She has been floating with no direction for far too long.

Kevin Owens and Apollo Crews vs. Andrade and Angel Garza

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Kevin Owens announced he was fully healthy and taking back his show.

    He introduced his guests for "The Kevin Owens Show," who were bickering backstage. Zelina Vega led out Andrade, Angel Garza and Austin Theory only for KO to reveal he had another guest.

    Apollo Crews arrived and attacked El Idolo while KO kept Theory and Garza away. This led to an impromptu tag team match.

    Theory got on the apron during the match, and Crews threw Garza into him. This allowed Crews to pick up a big win with a spin-out powerbomb.

    Afterward, Vega let Andrade and Garza beat down Theory and throw him into the timekeeper's area.

    Charly Caruso interviewed Crews backstage, and he challenged Andrade for the title next week.



    Crews and Owens def. Andrade and Garza by pinfall.






    While the execution of the segment was lackluster, the point was clear: Crews is back and a danger to the United States champion. Theory is now out of Vega's stable and likely forging his own path from here on out.

    It was good to see Owens and Crews back in action. KO should be in world title contention soon, while Crews has to be the most likely man in WWE right now to dethrone Andrade.

    Theory did not fit with Vega at all, so it was the right time to have him split from the group. It is hard to see him playing a serious babyface, though.

Aleister Black vs. Murphy

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    As Austin Theory remained laid out at ringside, Seth Rollins came out with Murphy, hyping him up for his second match of the night.

    Once again, though, Aleister Black had Murphy's number, but The Monday Night Messiah found his disciple a way out. He offered Theory a spot in his stable, and the lost man accepted. He attacked The Dutch Destroyer, causing a disqualification.

    The two took out Black, and Rollins hugged his newest follower.



    Black def. Murphy by disqualification.






    Rollins remains the best part of Raw by bringing in Theory and immediately making him more interesting. The 22-year-old may still have much to still learn, but his character works better under the tutelage of The Messiah.

    It was a shame to tease Murphy vs. Black and then deliver so little, but this was a theme of the night. The wrestling took a backseat to storytelling.

Ax-Throwing Competition: The Viking Raiders vs. The Street Profits

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    The Street Profits were not prepared for The Viking Raiders' dominant ax-throwing display.

    They made Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins' impressive basketball form from last week look less impressive. While the Profits managed to hit the final target and Dawkins hit a bonus behind-the-shoulder shot, the Raiders were clear victors.

    The police got involved after one of Ford's bad throws went into their car. The officer let them off with a warning, stating that she thought Ivar was cute while Erik was not.



    Raiders def. Profits by dominant ax-throwing.






    I applaud WWE for doing something interesting, even if it's bad television. This whole thing just didn't work, but it was nice to keep the tag team division relevant. It was difficult to figure out the point of any of this beyond doing something more than random matches on Raw.

    The involvement of the police was a far less fun end to this segment than last week. This time, the Profits clearly lost, though Erik also got burned.

Drew McIntyre vs. King Corbin

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    Credit: WWE.com

    With MVP at his side, Bobby Lashley put Drew McIntyre on notice and promised he would soon be going after the WWE Championship.

    MVP taunted the Scot and King Corbin on the stage as their brand-to-brand battle commenced.

    The Lone Wolf used underhanded tricks to get an edge on McIntyre occasionally, but the WWE champion was competing at a higher level.

    The Scot refused to stay down. He hit a Future Shock DDT but ran into the Deep Six for two. Finally, the WWE champion got what he wanted, planting Corbin with a Claymore. Afterward, the champ taunted Lashley as MVP barely held him back.



    McIntyre def. Corbin by pinfall.






    McIntyre has been bringing his best to every match in 2020, though it was tough to pair him with Corbin and Lashley back-to-back. He had a solid main event clash with The Lone Wolf, but it was far from the special moment WWE promised with the night's buildup.

    The Scot's forthcoming clash with The All Mighty will work for a major show. These two strong dominant men could have an intense physical clash, but it will require Lashley to step up as this story has repeatedly pointed out. He can't just rely on his size to make an impact.