As WWE Raw addressed Money in the Bank’s special edition inside its global headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, Raw’s April 27 edition concentrated solely on building up to the pay-per-view on May 10.
Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins have signed the deal for their battle with the WWE Championship. The Monday Night Messiah was trying to recover from his defeat to Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 36 and would do everything against the titleholder to get an advantage. Shayna Baszler, Asuka and Nia Jax battled in the Bank ladder match ahead of their participation in the women’s money. Just one woman could carry on building momentum towards the PPV.
After some tough defeats, Zelina Vega’s impressive trio of Andrade, Angel Garza and Austin Theory had to recover, while Aleister Black decided to continue its dominant path. The Street Profits continued to develop their title reign to a clash with the Viking Raiders, their most dangerous rivals. This Raw episode had the potential to jump-start the red brand that needed new excitation. It took some big moments and matches to describe the series.
Rey Mysterio, Aleister Black and Apollo Crews vs. Andrade, Garza and Theory
In the Bank ladder match, Montel Vontavious Porter announced the three Raw contestants who would compete in the Money: Rey Mysterio, Aleister Black and Apollo Crews. Zelina intervened to threaten the three guys, telling them to give up their chances to Andrade, Angel Garza and theory of Austin.
It started a brawl that transformed into a team match with six-man tags. Mysterio displayed his strength, ensuring that the entire Vega team was off-balance. To get the upper hand the heels managed to separate Black. Crews ended up with the hot tag and went home. He was able to take theory down but confusion followed. The underdog healed and laid out El Idolo to take the victory with a powerbomb.
Result: Mysterio, Black and Crews def. Andrade, Garza and Theory by pinfall.
Crews in the Bank ladder match felt like the odd man out in the Money, but WWE knew that. That’s why he was supposed to be a key figure in the build before events in Monday’s show later left a question mark about his involvement. Vega has created a stable out of necessity to wrestle a group of heels on a depleted roster each week. It was not an exciting match but a good showcase of key athletes who could be important down the road.
Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka vs. Nia Jax
Asuka cut a Nia Jax promo for injuring Kairi Stable before her competitors walked out to the ring. A brawl started before the bell could ring and Shayna Baszler knocked out The Empress of Tomorrow. As Asuka and The Queen of Spades locked punches, Jax knocked out both women with a ladder, standing strong as the women’s division’s dominant power. The match could never get underway. Charly Caruso interviewed Jax who said no one could stop her doing anything she wanted.
Keeping this Triple Threat for later when building in the Bank against Money makes sense. These three all have a legitimate shot to win the briefcase, and all should be secured to some degree.
This has felt too artificial, though. Hitting a woman who had beef in the match with another woman, Baszler preferred to fight rather than wrestle. It was a messy section which didn’t accomplish anything.
Bobby Lashley vs. Denzel Dejournette
Bobby Lashley told Lana to sit backstage because she’s too busy. The All-Mighty then dominated Denzel Dejournette, with a Spear taking out the victory.
Result: Lashley def. Dejournette by pinfall.
Lashley winning would have meant so much more if, after leaving Lana behind, he had overcome an actual hazard. His wife may be distracted, and she would not have stopped The All-Powerful from beating one of NXT’s enhancement talents. It is going to be fascinating to see where the newly wedded couple is going from here. Lana is intended first and foremost to be a boss. Holding her in the back undermines her desire to even be signed to WWE.
Liv Morgan vs. Ruby Riott
Liv Morgan tackled Ruby Riott’s early familiar attack in a rematch from last week, but she ran straight into the Riott Blow. Morgan somehow managed to step out of the final movie of her former friend. The effect left Morgan helpless. Riott stumbled at her and sent her to the ropes. Morgan reached Oblivion for three-count as she bounced back off the ropes. Byron Saxton subsequently interviewed Morgan who said she was sure that she can find out who she is.
Result: Morgan def. Riott by pinfall.
This match was much too short and uninvolved for the rivalry, but it did a great job as Morgan was established. She was continuously reconstructed to become a credible candidate in the division of women Raw. What counts now is momentum forwards. If Riott’s rivalry is over she will look for a real chance. Even if she loses, a title shot against Becky Lynch could help to develop her.
Jinder Mahal vs. Akira Tozawa
In dominant fashion, Jinder Mahal has makes his return to in-ring action. The Modern-Day Maharaja wiped out Akira Tozawa with a high kick that ensured it was unlikely for the Japanese Superstar to make a comeback. He linked for victory on the Challas.
Result: Mahal def. Tozawa by pinfall.
The Maharaja of Modern Day has come back, and he’s in fine shape. He’s not added much to his repertoire of movements though. WWE would need to repair things quickly if there is any intention to view him as the heel who won the 2017 WWE Championship, rather than last year’s former 24/7 champion. Despite Tozawa’s participation in the interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament, making him consistently lose in lopsided bouts on Raw is an odd choice. This creates a Hierarchy that is redundant and degrading.
United States Champion Andrade vs. Apollo Crews
After his surprising win in the opener over Andrade, Apollo Crews tried a chance at the United States Championship. In the same night, Zelina Vega agreed. Crews tried early to accelerate the pace and then sent El Idolo out of the ring careening. A timely diversion from Vega, however, allowed the champion to take back control of the United States. Crews’ explosive suplexes held him in the fight, but Andrade hit hard with strong knees and elbows.
Andrade planted Crews to set up the hammerlock DDT with a DDT, but the challenger escaped. From the second rope, a headbutt sent El Idolo to the mat allowing crews to go for a frog splash, only to miss his knee and injure it. The accident has forced the referee to stop the match.
Result: Andrade def. Crews by referee stoppage to retain the WWE United States Championship.
This had been shaping up to become one of the best matches in Crews’ career before the injury. The two men connected on high stakes and the challenger made it sound more intimate than any match he’d ever had. Hopefully, if it wasn’t kayfabe the knee injury isn’t too bad. Crews were on the rise and had to show this moment that he was deserving of his drive. No one really wants to get injured, but this injury is incredibly untimely. If it was an accident to the storyline, it could be a major moment for crews to recover easily, even if he would lose out in the bank’s Money competition.
Ricochet and Cedric Alexander vs. Ever-Rise
By isolating Ricochet early, Matt Martel and Chase Parker demonstrated their tag team acumen, but a hot tag to Cedric Alexander quickly changed the tide. The faces hit a combination of dropkick and flatliner for the win. MVP appeared on screen to reveal that Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink, who wanted a rematch against Ricochet and Alexander, had drafted the first wrestlers to his party.
Result: Ricochet and Alexander def. Ever-Rise by pinfall.
Ricochet and Alexander’s new tag team match kept showcasing their potential as just a duo but it did not make the squash matches more exciting. A matching them with competitive tag teams will be more interesting.
For her first fight, Thorne and Vink are not the best pair. While the former has shown promise, his partnership with Vink is conventional and MVP can’t help that. It sounds like another false MVP start until the veteran discovers a wrestler that he can actually lift. In reality, pairing him with Ricochet and Alexander would have been more sensible.
Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins Sign Contract for Money in the Bank
Seth Rollins clarified that he did not pursue Drew McIntyre because he hated the WWE champion; he did so for the better. The Scot didn’t believe it, and told him to stop speaking. He had to go for his throat and not just make a comment. As he signed the deal, the Monday Night Messiah kept talking but McIntyre shut him up by smashing his head into the table. Murphy made a save but, for his trouble, he got a Claymore.
This was a great nighttime quiet finish. Rollins trimmed a powerful promo to sell his position. He’s always talking a big game but he’s not delivering. Here, though, he agreed that at Money in the Bank, the full picture would become apparent. It’s going to be fun to see what comes out of that match. It could be as easy as McIntyre spelling out The Messiah on his way to a triumphant reign of titles. However, it would be fascinating if something more came out of it all. Perhaps a new follower will emerge, or Rollins will take away the unimaginable and win.