WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 10
With just six days to go until WrestleMania Backlash, WWE made sure to use Monday's Raw to highlight some of the most high-profile feuds.
Before he defends the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match, Bobby Lashley faced Drew McIntyre one week after battling Braun Strowman.
Randy Orton and Riddle's new partnership has proved popular with fans, so WWE continued it this week by having them team up with The New Day to face Jaxson Ryker, Elias, AJ Styles and Omos.
We also saw Asuka, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke team up to take on Charlotte Flair, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in a six-woman tag team contest.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on the go-home episode of Raw before Backlash.
Charlotte, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka, Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose
Instead of the usual long-winded promo, WWE jumped right into the action this week with the six-woman tag match that was advertised before the show.
Rose and Baszler started in the ring, and as expected, The Queen of Spades took control early. The Golden Goddess forced her to the corner so she could make the tag to Asuka.
A short scuffle led to all six stars having a standoff. That's when Alexa Bliss suddenly appeared on the stage with her swing set and Lilly doll. She said she wanted to keep her eye on someone but did not specify who.
We returned from a break to see The Queen keeping Rose grounded with a headscissor. Baszler came in and continued to focus on her opponent's extremities.
Baszler tried to make a tag but acted like her foot was stuck to the mat. Asuka took advantage and hit a shining wizard for the win.
While we have seen many great promos over the years, starting a show with wrestling instead of talking will always get things off to a better start.
The match began with a solid pace and good energy. Bliss showing up was slightly surprising, but if we are supposed to think she was responsible for Baszler's issue, WWE did not do a good enough job making that clear.
Everybody looked good in this match, but the storytelling left a little to be desired.
Jeff Hardy vs. Jinder Mahal
Former WWE champion Jinder Mahal returned to Raw this week with two new sidekicks. Instead of the cruiserweight Bollywood Boyz, he had legit heavyweights named Veer and Shanky by his side.
Jeff Hardy tried to get the upper hand with an early onslaught, but The Modern Day Maharaja turned the tables with a knee and a huge boot to the face.
Hardy fought back with a series of his signature moves, but Mahal countered the Twist of Fate and hit the Khallas for the win.
This was a short match with no storyline and no hype, but it was a solid outing for Mahal's return. It was basic in a way that made sense for such a short encounter.
Veer and Shanky had no impact on the result, so their presence felt like an afterthought. Seeing Hardy used as a jobber stinks, but he is at that point in his career when he could lose 50 matches and still be popular. He'll get a push eventually.
It will be interesting to see if WWE commits to Mahal's push or cuts it short like it has with so many Superstars.
The New Day and R-K-Bro vs. AJ Styles, Omos, Elias and Jaxson Ryker
Riddle and Elias kicked off this eight-man tag match with a furious lockup. The former MMA fighter went for an armbar right away, but Elias made it to the ropes to force a break.
Ryker came in but only spent about five seconds in the ring before Omos brought himself in with a tag. He single-handedly took out Riddle, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods while Orton avoided the fight. He was going to attempt an RKO but Omos saw him, and The Viper slithered back out of the ring.
We returned from the break to see Styles fight off an attack from multiple opponents. The heels kept Woods cornered with quick tags and double-team spots. He took a lot of punishment before he finally tagged Riddle.
Omos cleaned house but as soon as he was distracted by The New Day, Orton hit Elias with the RKO for the win. As the victors celebrated, The Viper hit Woods and Kingston with RKOs. Riddle yelled at him, but he left without saying a word.
Keeping Orton unpredictable is smart. He shouldn't just get along with everybody just because he isn't the biggest villain on the roster anymore. He should still hate Kingston for ruining his custom race car all those years ago, so the post-match attack worked perfectly.
The match itself was good but nothing special. Omos is still limited in the ring, so the way WWE has been using him in these matches has been the best way to hide his limitations. He is a monster and doesn't need to work a marathon when he can sprint.
The R-K-Bro pairing continues to produce entertaining moments. However, this week made it clear their alliance has an expiration date. At some point, Riddle is going to eat an RKO.
Sheamus vs. Humberto Carrillo
After a few weeks of back-and-forth attacks, Humberto Carrillo finally got his chance to take on Sheamus. Unfortunately for him, the United States champion used his power to control the initial exchange.
The high-flyer got in a couple of moves before The Celtic Warrior dragged him out of the ring and threw him over the barricade to send us into a commercial.
Sheamus scored a two-count with an Alabama slam. Carrillo countered his rival on the top rope and hit a hurricanrana to give himself some time to recover.
A sunset flip powerbomb ended with a botched landing, leaving the Mexican unable to continue the match. The ref called for the bell and declared Sheamus the winner.
This match ended prematurely because of an injury, so it doesn't feel right to grade it like any other bout. This is especially sad for Carrillo since he just recently returned after a long absence from TV. Let's hope this isn't serious.
Cedric Alexander vs. Shelton Benjamin
Two former tag team partners looked to settle their differences in the ring when Shelton Benjamin took on Cedric Alexander.
The former cruiserweight champion avoided Paydirt early and went after Benjamin's knee with a dragon screw leg whip over the middle rope.
They traded control a few times before Alexander hit a kick to the head. He screamed at Benjamin about how he was better than him. The Gold Standard popped up and hit a T-bone suplex out of nowhere for the win.
There is nothing better than putting two incredible athletes in the ring and letting them work. The only thing that would have helped was an additional five minutes, but WWE is probably building up to a final encounter and needs to leave room to build.
Breaking up The Hurt Business was an unpopular decision, and breaking up Benjamin and Alexander was met with equal scorn from fans. If we get more matches like this, though, it will help soften the blow a bit.
Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley and Asuka locked up, and the Raw women's champion pushed The Empress of Tomorrow to the corner for a clean break.
The Nightmare avoided a spinning backhand and taunted Asuka by offering a free shot. The Empress went low with a leg sweep instead.
Charlotte came out to watch the action, and the distraction allowed Asuka to take down Ripley with a brutal shot to the face. The Queen joined the commentary team during the commercial break.
Ripley continued to keep Asuka on defense for a long time. The Empress fought back, but a distraction from Charlotte allowed the Australian to take her down at ringside.
Asuka hit a missile dropkick for a close two-count, but Ripley recovered and hit Riptide for the pin and the win.
This was a physical match between two of the best workers on the roster, but the stuff at ringside with Charlotte added nothing in the end.
Ripley turning heel out of nowhere a few weeks ago has made her character feel inconsistent, especially since she doesn't tend to cheat too often.
The Triple Threat at Backlash between these three Superstars could be one of the best matches on the card if these recent encounters are anything to go by.
John Morrison vs. Damian Priest
Before this match, Adam Pearce declared that whoever won would get to choose the stipulations for Sunday's match between Damian Priest and The Miz.
John Morrison had The A-Lister with him for support as he battled The Archer of Infamy. The Guru of Greatness took the first shot, but it was all downhill from there. Priest literally beat him corner to corner.
JoMo hit a big knee to the face for a two-count. After a commercial, The Miz hit Priest with a kick while Morrison had the ref distracted in the ring.
The A-Lister inadvertently cost Morrison a pin when he distracted the ref for too long, and that allowed Priest to get the victory. The Miz pounced on him but failed to hit the Skull Crushing Finale.
This is the feud that never ends. Priest has been at odds with The Miz and Morrison in one way or another since he debuted at the Royal Rumble in January. This needs to end at Backlash.
That said, Morrison and Priest were good together. While they use different styles, they have more in common than you might see at first glance, especially when it comes to their kicks.
This was one of the best singles matches this feud has produced. In fact, it might have been the best. It's hard to imagine The Miz will be able to do better Sunday.
Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre
The main event of Raw was a WrestleMania rematch with Lashley taking on McIntyre.
The All Mighty went for the Hurt Lock right away but was unable to completely lock it in because of McIntyre's power. Lashley showed off his own strength by keeping a headlock applied no matter what the Scot tried to do to break it.
We returned from a break to see Lashley doing his best to beat the life out of McIntyre. The Scottish Warrior sent the charging WWE champion into the corner to even the playing field. They traded punches as they got to their feet.
McIntyre hit a spinebuster for a two-count as MVP lost his mind at ringside trying to warn Lashley. As they built toward the finish, Strowman attacked the Scot to cause a DQ. He helped Lashley to his feet before hitting him with a powerslam.
If you look at how things have played out over the past few weeks, Lashley, Strowman and McIntyre have the same storyline as Asuka, Ripley and Charlotte. The repetitiveness has been especially noticeable in the post-WrestleMania feuds.
However, this feud has produced some hard-hitting encounters, so it's hard to be disappointed with it. Whenever Lashley and McIntyre are in the ring together, they bring out the best in each other.
The DQ finish was not ideal, but at this point, there was no way this was ever going to end clean. Strowman was always going to be the deciding factor.
Overall, this week's Raw did little to make Sunday's PPV more interesting, but we did get to see some solid wrestling. At the end of the day, that is the most important thing WWE needs to do.
After Backlash, though, it needs to create some new title feuds.