WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 24May 24, 2021
WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 24
With just under four weeks until WWE Hell in a Cell on June 20, management has yet to book a single match for the show. That means we should start seeing the card come together over the next couple of weeks.
Monday's Raw featured yet another encounter between the former and current women's tag-team champions when Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler fought Natalya and Tamina.
We also saw Riddle take on Xavier Woods after their respective partners, Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton, battled last week.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Monday's Raw.
Due to a technical malfunction, Cedric Alexander vs. Shelton Benjamin, Sheamus vs. Humberto Carrillo and AJ Styles vs. Jaxson Ryker were left off the coverage.
Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre
Raw opened with MVP introducing Bobby Lashley. The WWE champion was flanked by five beautiful women just as he was last week.
They recapped what happened during last week's main event before talking about Drew McIntyre. Like clockwork, The Scottish Warrior came out to respond. He even made a joke about how predictable it was for him to show up.
Kingston and Woods eventually joined the conversation. Adam Pearce came out and booked McIntyre vs. Kingston to determine who gets to face Lashley for the WWE title next.
The match got going after a break. McIntyre pushed Kingston to the corner a couple of times to establish his dominance in the power department. After a quick exchange of holds, McIntyre began to manhandle his opponent.
McIntyre hit a reverse Alabama slam onto the apron as the show cut to another break. We returned to see McIntyre in complete control. MVP and Lashley watched from the stage as Kingston tried to make a comeback.
The Scottish Warrior countered a flying crossbody with a Michinoku driver for a two-count. After a third commercial break, we came back to see McIntyre hit a back suplex from the middle rope.
After several more near-falls, MVP and Lashley interfered to cause a disqualification.
The term lampshading refers to when somebody calls attention to something illogical or silly. It's done to make light of a situation, and that is what McIntyre did when he acknowledged the predictability of his arrival. It still came off as slightly forced.
While the pre-match exchange was nothing special, the bout Kingston and McIntyre had was a great showcase of both men's ability and arsenal. They went for 30 minutes and looked like they could go for 30 more.
Later in the show, Pearce booked a rematch for next week to find the No. 1 contender.
Nikki Cross vs. Rhea Ripley
Nikki Cross threw down a challenge to either Charlotte or Rhea Ripley. Since The Queen was already scheduled to face Asuka, Cross faced Ripley in a two-minute Beat the Clock challenge.
Ripley used her size and power to dominate early, but the resilient Cross refused to go down easy. She took the champ down with a crossbody for a two-count.
Ripley nailed her with a dropkick and beat her down in the corner. She seemed to forget about the time limit and ended up letting the clock run out, making Cross the winner.
Cross did laps around the ring to celebrate. All Ripley could do was smile when she realized what happened.
While it's clear WWE still doesn't see Cross as a major player, it was still great to see her get some time in the ring after going months without a match on Raw. She is way too talented to let sit on the sidelines.
This was too short to be anything memorable, but that was sort of the point. This will probably lead to a rematch next week, and that will be a much different story. Ripley will almost certainly destroy Cross the next time they meet.
However, it's not impossible for WWE to push somebody out of nowhere. If management wants to give Cross a shot to succeed, this was an interesting first step to take
Charlotte vs. Asuka
Charlotte and Asuka locked up and struggled for a long time before breaking in the corner. They worked a technical style for quite some time and favored holds and counters over strikes.
The Empress was the first to hit any significant offense, but a chop block from The Queen took her down as she attempted a running hip attack. She began to focus all of her attacks on Asuka's leg.
Charlotte dropped Asuka onto the steel steps right on her bad knee as the show went to a break. We returned to see The Empress still being decimated.
She began to build up a head of steam before Charlotte hit a shinbreaker to stop her in her tracks. They started throwing punches and the exchange ended with The Queen drilling Asuka with an elbow to the face.
Asuka avoided a top rope moonsault but Charlotte followed up with a standing moonsault for a two-count. The end came when Charlotte countered Asuka into a pinning combination for the win.
While WWE has booked this match quite a bit recently, it's hard to be mad when Asuka and Charlotte keep putting on great performances together.
This was another great match in the series they have had recently, but it seems like The Queen has come out on top a disproportionate number of times.
Asuka continues to be awesome. It just feels like WWE doesn’t have any plans for her at the moment. Hopefully, the rest of 2021 sees her find a new purpose and a new direction.
Riddle vs. Xavier Woods
After Orton and Kingston fought last week, Riddle took on Woods Monday night. Oddly, Kingston and Orton were not at ringside for this encounter.
They locked up and battled for control in what almost appeared to be a legitimate shoot grapple. They continued to work a grounded style by using holds, takedowns and counters. It was an interesting approach that showed off their technical ability.
Riddle was the first to hit any kind of big offense with a pair of gutwrench suplexes. Woods answered back with a beautiful vertical suplex for a one-count. Woods popped Riddle up from the ground for another suplex in an impressive show of power.
They kept trading near-falls and big moves until Riddle uncorked an RKO out of nowhere for the win.
Keeping this as a match between Woods and Riddle without their partners at ringside was the right call in this situation. It allowed the two men in the ring to be the sole focus of the story, which is rare for Woods after spending so many years with The New Day.
Anyone who says Woods is not a viable singles star has not paid attention. He is arguably one of the most underrated workers on the entire roster. He can have a great match with just about anybody, and he can do it as the winner or loser.
This was highly entertaining and gave us a glimpse of what kind of encounters we can expect in this feud going forward.
Natalya and Tamina vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (Women's Tag Titles)
For what felt like the tenth time this month, Natalya and Tamina faced Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler for the Women's Tag Team Championships.
Nattie and Baszler started with a furious exchange that seemed more personal after their encounter last week. They looked more aggressive than usual.
Tamina and Jax eventually brought their family feud into the ring as a still-injured Reginald watched from ringside. He was wearing sunglasses after his eyes were injured during an explosion last week.
The Queen of Harts and Queen of Spades tagged back in and Reginald cost Baszler a pin by distracting the ref at the wrong moment. She told him to leave and as he walked up the ramp, another explosion blinded him. The distraction allowed Natalya to roll Baszler up for the win.
After making sure he was alright, Baszler told Reginald she was going to fight him next week.
Rinse and repeat. At this point, it's hard to imagine WWE doesn't realize it is repeating the same story beats with this feud.
The in-ring work was solid but everything else about this was unoriginal. The only good thing came after the match was over when Baszler ripped into Reggie for being an idiot.
It will be interesting to see what this does to her partnership with Jax since she is the one who favors Reginald. This could be the end of the former tag champs' time as a team.