WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 9

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2022

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 9

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    Credit: WWE

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of WWE Raw on May 9.

    WrestleMania Backlash featured some great matches, but the only title that changed hands was over on SmackDown, so Raw was mostly unaffected by Sunday's event.

    One major change we did see was Rhea Ripley joining Edge's new Judgment Day stable after interfering in his match against AJ Styles.

    Monday's show dealt with the fallout from Backlash and began the buildup for Hell in a Cell, and it also featured a U.S. Championship match between Theory and Cody Rhodes.

    Let's look at what happened on Monday's show. 

RK-Bro vs. Street Profits (Raw Tag Titles)

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    After a relatively quick recap of what happened in the main event of WrestleMania Backlash, RK-Bro came to the ring to defend the Raw tag titles against The Street Profits. Before Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins came down, Randy Orton and Riddle addressed the crowd.

    The Profits came down and talked a little trash before the show cut to a break. We returned to hear the announcer give the official introductions. Ford and Riddle started for their teams with a quick exchange that led to Ford getting a little bit of heat from the crowd. 

    The Viper got the hot tag after a commercial break and took out both Profits before Riddle tagged back in. The Bro accidentally took out Orton with a Broton, and it led to Ford almost getting the win with a huge frog splash. Orton barely managed to make the save. 

    The high-flyer tried again, but Riddle caught him with an RKO as he flew off the top rope, allowing RK-Bro to get the win and retain the titles. This was an energetic contest that got the crowd in the right mindset for the rest of the show. Everybody seemed to enjoy the action in the ring. 

    Grade: B


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Orton said he and Riddle still wanted to unify the tag titles during his promo. It seemed like he was looking past Ford and Dawkins, but the Profits did a good job getting the crowd on their side. 
    • When Orton hit Dawkins with European uppercuts in the corner, he made it look like he was hitting him as hard as possible. It looked really good. 
    • Ford's frog splash is nuts. He gets more elevation than just about anyone else who has ever done it.
    • Orton's pre-match promo about going to SmackDown to challenge The Usos for the titles kind of telegraphed the outcome of this match. That speech would have been better if it happened after the bout was over. 

Liv Morgan vs. Rhea Ripley

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    Edge, Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley came to the ring for a promo. The Rated-R Superstar said he was bigger than the Hall of Fame and began insulting the crowd. He said nobody could touch Judgment Day.

    Ripley specifically called out Liv Morgan, who eventually came out to face her in a match. They got started after the break. Ripley was in control from the moment they made contact. 

    The Adelaide, Australia, native looked like she would make quick work of Morgan before the underdog began making a comeback. She hit a flurry of quick offensive maneuvers but failed to keep Ripley down for the three-count.

    The Queen of Brutality locked her in the standing reverse cloverleaf she has been using to score the submission victory. This wasn't quite a squash match, but it wasn't far off.

    As nice as it would have been to get a less one-sided bout, this was the right way to book Ripley, so she looks like a force to be reckoned with. They will have more chances to fight in the future, so we will probably see Morgan get some revenge at some point.

    Grade: C+


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Edge seemed to lean less into the supernatural stuff for this promo and came across as more of an angry and resentful heel instead. It's too early to tell if it's a permanent shift for his character, but it might be for the best. 
    • Ripley kicked Morgan in the face at one point, and it looked like she almost took her head off. It was vicious. 
    • Ripley should come up with a name for her submission. It doesn't seem like the announcers know what to call it. 

Finn Balor vs. Damian Priest

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    While Judgment Day celebrated Ripley's win, Finn Balor made his way out for his match against Priest. AJ Styles was there to make sure Edge did not try to pull anything funny. 

    The Prince tried to use an armbar and headlock at first, but Priest easily put him down with a shoulder block before he hit a series of strikes. 

    They had a much more competitive exchange than Ripley and Morgan. The offense felt more evenly distributed between the two competitors. In fact, it looked like Balor might win before Edge attacked him and caused a disqualification.

    Judgment Day proceeded to take out Styles and Balor. Ripley didn't do anything to them, but she did help distract Styles so Edge could get the upper hand.

    It was probably for the best that WWE did this right after the Ripley vs. Morgan match. Devoting one block of time to this group instead of two separate segments worked better. 

    Grade: B-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Balor seems to have some extra pep in his step when he fights certain people. Priest is one of them.
    • Why do you think Priest started wearing that vest? He has a great physique, so it's not like he is doing it to hide a few pounds or anything like that.
    • Styles pulling back his punch when he saw Ripley should have ended with her decking him right in the face. She is more than capable of knocking most men on their butts, so WWE should use that in her character. 

Alexa Bliss vs. Sonya Deville

4 of 10

    MVP hosted another episode of The VIP Lounge this week, but it was just an excuse for him to give a promo about Omos beating Lashley. Cedric Alexander tried to ride their coattails, but he was eventually taken out by an angry Bobby Lashley when he crashed the show. Omos and MVP retreated instead of engaging. 

    Next up was Sonya Deville having a match against a mystery opponent that ended up being Alexa Bliss. She came out looking like her old self again, but she was still carrying that creepy doll with her.

    Deville tried to take a quick shot at her, but Bliss dropped her with a DDT and hit Twisted Bliss for the pin and the win. 

    This wasn't much of anything, but seeing Bliss get such a warm welcome back was nice. Deville was about to lose it at ringside after the loss.

    As great as it was to see The Goddess again, we have to be fair when grading this stuff. A two-move match will never be satisfying, especially when it's an established star and not somebody who is brand new.

    Grade: D


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • The "Welcome back" chants for Bliss were genuinely nice to hear. The people have missed her.
    • Deville's little freakout after the match was good. She really looked like had a meltdown.
    • It seems like WWE is going to have Bliss play something closer to the character she used to be, but having her carry the doll around is just going to remind people of that gimmick. She needs to ditch that thing soon. 

Ezekiel vs. Kevin Owens

5 of 10

    After weeks of accusing Ezekiel of actually being Elias and not his younger brother as he claims, Kevin Owens finally got a chance to take out his frustrations on the man he called a liar.

    KO actually came out in a wig and claimed to be Ken Owens, Kevin's older brother. He kept the joke up for about a minute before he admitted he was Kevin and tried to get Ezekiel to admit he had been lying.

    The Prize Fighter attacked him, but Zeke fought back and got him in the corner. Alpha Academy ran down to attack him and help KO stand tall to end the segment. The match never ended up taking place, so there isn't really anything to grade here. 

    Grade: Incomplete


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • The wig Owens had on was perfectly terrible for this segment. 
    • Has WWE established why Alpha Academy is helping Owens? Did that $150 Canadian buy Owens that much loyalty from Chad Gable?

Veer Mahaan vs. Frank Lowman

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    It has been a few weeks since Veer started running through jobbers on Raw, so he has firmly established himself as somebody you don't want to meet in a dark alley. It's time to move his character forward.

    Squash matches only work for a new talent for so long, especially these days. Fans used to be fine watching their favorites rip through local talents every week, but times have changed. Today's fan wants more character development and better physical performances.

    This week's victim, Frank Lowman, was just as big as Veer, but he was still defeated with a quick series of power moves followed by the cervical clutch to give Veer the submission win. This was slightly better than his usual squash matches, but not by much. 

    Grade: C-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Lowman kind of looked like AEW's Wardlow if he grew his beard out a bit more. 
    • WWE calling Veer's clothesline The Million-Dollar Arm but refusing to acknowledge Veer's actual connection to that movie is such a weird choice. 

Theory vs. Cody Rhodes (U.S. Title)

7 of 10

    The second title match of the night saw Theory defend the United States Championship against Cody Rhodes. Before the fight, Rhodes spoke about moving on from his feud with Seth Rollins in a backstage interview.

    They locked up and fought for control until Theory scored a takedown and did a cartwheel to celebrate. The American Nightmare made him pay with a few well-placed strikes, but Theory fired back with a cheap shot while they were in the ropes and the ref was distracted. 

    They maintained a quick pace until the show cut to a commercial. We returned to see Rhodes come close to getting the pin with a moonsault. As he was setting up to hit Cross Rhodes, Rollins came out of nowhere to attack him and cause a DQ. 

    After beating him down, The Visionary delivered a Stomp on top of the announce table. This feud has become more personal with each match, so they will likely settle this once and for all at Hell in a Cell. 

    The match between Theory and Rhodes was fun, and the DQ ending was probably the only way this was ever going to end, but it would still have been nice if WWE had come up with something else. 

    Grade: B+


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Theory was either getting serious heat during his entrance or WWE did a slightly better job than usual editing in boos. 
    • It sounded like Rhodes lost his voice last night. He was a little raspy during his backstage interview. 
    • It has been really great to see how the crowd has accepted Rhodes back in WWE. There was fear from some that he might be booed for some reason, but he has proved to be popular. 
    • Theory does this suplex/neckbreaker move that takes just slightly too long to set up. It's one of those moves that nobody could ever actually hit in a real fight because it requires too much cooperation from the opponent. 
    • The jacket Rollins was wearing was way too short. 

Naomi and Sasha Banks vs. Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H.

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    Sasha Banks and Naomi no longer have Morgan and Ripley to feud with, so they took on the newest team in the women's division, Doudrop and Nikki ASH.

    Naomi had a little fun with Doudrop at first, but the powerhouse nearly crushed her to completely cut off her momentum and take control. 

    The champs eventually managed to corner Doudrop for a double-team move, but she caught Banks flying off the top rope in a crossbody and slammed her to the mat. Nikki tagged in and went ballistic on The Boss. 

    Noami tagged in and hit their with Banks double-team finisher to score the win. This was short and predictable, but at least Nikki and Doudrop were back on TV, so that's something.

    However, their team already appears to be having issues. Doudrop yelled at Nikki after the match was over.

    Grade: C-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Nikki and Doudrop did not get a proper entrance. 
    • Doudrop's gear is significantly better than the last time we saw her. It matched her character better than what she wore before. 
    • The Miz made his entrance while Nikki and Doudrop were still arguing in the ring. It felt like WWE was running short on time. 

Mustafa Ali vs. Ciampa

9 of 10

    The Miz served as the referee for this match between Mustafa Ali and Ciampa. He said he would call it down the middle and even said he thinks Ali has been treated unfairly by WWE, but he clearly didn't care about Ali or his plight.

    The A-Lister wasn't in a position to count a couple of pins for Ali, so Ciampa kept taking control after he would eventually kick out. 

    The high-flyer missed a 450 splash, but he drilled Ciampa with a superkick and spiked him with a DDT. The Miz made a very slow count that allowed Ciampa to kick out. Ciampa took Ali down, and The Miz made a quick count to give him the win.

    With enough time and a real ref, Ciampa and Ali could give us a Match of the Year candidate without even trying. This match, however, felt like a stepping stone to something else, so it wasn't anything special. 

    Grade: B-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Ciampa seems so watered down compared to how he was portrayed in NXT. He's not even Ali's main rival in this match. Let's hope WWE has something in mind for him and is just waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on a push.
    • The crowd clearly loves Ali, but having him get screwed over two weeks in a row is not going to generate as much sympathy as it should. The company keeping a babyface down only works when it's a fake storyline, not when it reflects what actually happened to the wrestler. It might work eventually, but it's not clicking yet.
    • We are almost certainly going to get Ali vs. The Miz at HIAC. 

Asuka vs. Bianca Belair

10 of 10

    After teaming up last week in a six-woman tag match, Asuka and Bianca Belair found themselves on opposite sides of the ring this week in the main event. Becky Lynch sat with the commentary team to watch the match up close. 

    Both of the women competing are babyfaces, so they were working in a respectful style that was more about grappling and less about punches to the face.

    As expected, Lynch's interference caused a disqualification. She pulled Belair out of the ring and threw her into the ring steps before taking out Asuka in the ring.

    WWE did not give this much time, but that might have actually been for the best. If we had gotten a long, entertaining performance before the DQ, it would have made people even angrier.

    Keeping Lynch in the hunt for the title is smart, but WWE should not overlook Asuka. A program between her and The EST would produce some awesome matches. 

    Not everything we saw this week was good, but WWE packed significantly more wrestling onto this show than what we saw last week, so that's an improvement most fans will appreciate. 

    Grade: C


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • When the show cuts to a break with just 10 minutes left, and the competitors in the main event haven't even made their entrances yet, you know it will be a short match.  
    • Corey Graves did make a good point. Asuka has only been back for a couple of weeks and already had a chance to earn a title shot. 
    • Asuka countering a Glamslam into a victory roll looked smooth. The Empress is known for her strikes and submissions, but she is also good at every other part of pro wrestling, too.