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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Apr. 20, 2020): Claymore kicks for all

Drew McIntyre started off Raw and touted the history and prestige of the WWE championship. He realizes that he’s at the top of the mountain and because of that, there’s a target on his back. He talked about Seth Rollins, who attacked him last week, and said that he sees that he wants another shot at his championship. Even though some say he doesn’t deserve it, he decided that he will give him an opportunity at Money in the Bank.

Zelina, Angel Garza, and Austin Theory come out and Zelina said she’s sick of Drew’s speeches and chastises him for focusing on Money in the Bank, when he has a match with Garza tonight. All of a sudden Andrade attacks Drew from behind, but Drew gets him back and Claymore Kicks him over the top rope. Zelina told Theory and Garza to help Andrade but they don’t go for him until he was on the floor outside.

This segment was very well done. Andrade attacked Drew from behind, pleasing his business associate and cronies, but he got caught. Zelina yelled at Garza and Theory to jump in and help but they were too afraid since Drew was on high alert. They openly attack when they can to someone like Tozawa or Tehuti Miles last week, because those little guys are nobodies. But Drew? Drew’s the top dog and they’re treating him as such. Last week and this week they attacked him only from behind. It’s brilliant, and it’s booking that makes EVERYONE smart. Later on, however...

During the main event, all of Zelina’s associates were out to support Garza. Drew was vicious to Garza from the start and was well aware of his surroundings as he fought off both Theory and Andrade, but Garza was able to get some offense in. Drew laid waste of the trio and defeated Garza. Drew decided to have a bit more fun and Claymore Kick Garza a second time, then Theory when he attempted to attack. He ended Raw posing tranquilo style on the ramp.

This was a mixed bag, to say the least. The interactions between all players were very good. The opening segment was wonderful, but then the closing segment was odd. Last week Zelina’s associates dominated the show. This week, Andrade won his match and all three men were taken out by Drew. I wasn’t feeling that excitement and eagerness from last week. In fact, I’m a bit worried. We’ll get to more of this later.

The Rest

Seth Rollins accepts McIntyre’s challenge - Rollins cuts a promo while sitting in a truly God-like chair. He said he knows what it’s like to walk in a champion’s shoes as he also slayed the beast Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. He accepts Drew’s challenge out of necessity because the WWE needs a proven leader.

Seth is firing on all cylinders with the Messiah character right now. Another very good talking segment from him. Not exactly thrilled that he’s already in the main event picture after losing at WrestleMania but let’s see how it goes.

Aleister Black def. Austin Theory - Theory was able to evade some of Aleister’s moveset and when he got in trouble, Zelina was there to rescue him. Zelina has been killing it on commentary putting over her associates. The Black Mass is a thing of beauty when the opponent can sell it right, and Theory did a good job.

Aleister was the right pick, but I don’t like seeing Theory take another loss again. Aleister has been effortless these past few weeks and I’m really excited to see him in his first MITB match.

Apollo Crews def. MVP - Before the match MVP put over Apollo but said he knows how to climb the corporate ladder and make money deals. MVP certainly put Apollo’s offense over after trash talking him into aggression.

I know we need to fill time, but there’s better ways to do it than have Apollo sell this hard for MVP. Nothing against MVP but after the clinic Apollo put on with Aleister two weeks ago, I expected a near squash, especially after MVP’s promo.

Rey Mysterio def. Murphy - Rey got out of the ring with an apparent finger injury but Murphy took real advantage of it toying with the whole arm. He dominated for the whole first half but Rey got momentum by slamming Murphy into the barricade. With a sick Destroyer and 619, the vet gets a shot at MITB.

I did not expect Rey to win here. I like being surprised but I thought that having Aleister and Murphy in the ring for MITB was what we were getting and I’m a bit let down.

Shayna Baszler def. Indi Hartwell - Another ref stoppage squash match. Shayna has a very intriguing point in her matches since being beat by Becky where a switch flips and she decides to attack instead of wrestle. I’m… actually enjoying it.

Ricochet & Cedric Alexander def. Brendan Vink & Shane Thorne - Vink started with some serious offense throwing Ric all over the place. This was fast paced and really fun. The Recoil into the Lumbar Check is a nice finisher! RicoRic have a great vibe and exude more confidence as a tag team, so hopefully this lasts a while.

Nia Jax def. Kairi Sane - Well this was advertised and I was excited thinking we’d be getting something more exciting than last week… and it was slightly better. Kind of. They did a knee injury angle throughout the match to give Kairi a potential upset victory, but it didn’t lead to much. Asuka was shown in the back yelling at the screen and was the highlight of this whole match. Nia looked bored and that was my general feeling on this.

Liv Morgan def. Ruby Riott - Before the match Ruby tells Charly Caruso that the Riott Squad was only about her having to carry Liv and Sarah. Ruby always fights with motivation. Her elbows look stiff as hell and have purpose. This was a surprise win for Liv. I’d like to see these two go at it for a bit. Wish this one got the length of time Nia vs. Kairi got.

Viking Raiders - VIKING RAIDERS! VIKING RAIDERS! I have no words for this one. Felt like The Revival’s rumored repackaging was given to these guys.

Charlotte Flair def. Kayden Carter - So ok I’ve not seen Carter before and I really liked her in this match. Charlotte gave her a STIFF elbow to the jaw and I thought she was done there. Charlotte saw that Carter was stepping up and you could sense the quickness in trying to put her away. This was a quick win for Charlotte but now I want to see more from Carter!

Andrade def. Akira Tozawa - Tozawa started off with some real babyface fire, countering Andrade’s moves left and right. Zelina distracted Tozawa for Andrade like she did for Theory earlier. Both Andrade and Zelina did a great job putting Tozawa over and this was a great showing for him, even in defeat.

Bianca Belair def. Santana Garrett - Street Profits introduced Bianca and were on commentary for her match. This was a quick match but the main attraction was the insane electricity coming from commentary. It was a bit draining to be honest. Decent showing for Bianca but man were the Street Profits turned up to 11,000.

Lashley and Lana - They’re in the PC gym and Lashley is flipping tires. It feels like every week, WWE doesn’t know if they want to break these two up or keep them together. It’s pretty boring.

So you’d think that judging from last week, it seemed Zelina’s stable was going to be a dominant force, right? Apparently not if you go by Raw this week. Andrade is the United States Champion, and Angel Garza and Austin Theory have shown that they are capable hands. All men had very good showings in their matches. However, they were pretty much fed to Drew McIntyre. I’m worried about where this leads for them once this feud is over.

WWE is doing a disservice by not having it be explained clearly why Seth Rollins is getting a title shot over Kevin Owens. Kevin Owens hasn’t even been mentioned since his promo on the Raw after WrestleMania. While babyface vs. babyface doesn’t feel like the right first title defense for Drew, it still would make more sense than having Drew say “some say Seth doesn’t deserve an opportunity but I’m not going to make Seth jump through hoops.” Yeah, he’s a decorated superstar, but he doesn’t deserve an opportunity! And if not Kevin Owens, why not roll with Andrade to Money in the Bank? He’s a title holder himself, and the rest of Zelina’s stable would have made an entertaining few weeks trying to play as foils for Drew.

Finally, this week I found myself missing people. I miss Randy Orton, Edge, AJ Styles, and Kevin Owens. Their absence is being felt. As negative as I might be at the end of this, I did enjoy the show for the most part.

Grade: B-

What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?

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