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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Apr. 27, 2020): The greater good

Raw ended with the best contract signing in a near decade.

Drew signed the contract quickly but Seth talked about how he took the challenge to face Drew out of necessity, not because he wanted to. Because the WWE championship match means something greater than both he and Drew.

He said that Drew will be a great champion someday. He’s a fighter, a warrior, an honorable man, but he’s not a leader. He’s suffered for the title and he doesn’t want Drew to suffer as he did. It was time for Drew to respond.

“It’s clear, you’re completely full of shit.”

He told Seth to stop talking, because no one wants to hear him speak.

Both men stood up and Seth started to say that Drew needed to have faith, but Drew slams his head on the table. Drew counted down for a Claymore kick, and Murphy popped up out of nowhere and took out Drew. Seth hugged him and Drew surprised us with a Claymore kick to Murphy! Drew stared down Seth as the show went off the air.

So here’s why this was the best contract signing.

Everyone’s role was perfect. Drew with that perfect line. Seth’s perfect analogy for the greater good of the WWE championship. Murphy’s perfect role as the Disciple. Everything was perfect. Seth is crushing his Messiah role right now. It’s the most believable he’s been in years. He has fully committed to this and I love it. Drew was fantastic as well calling Seth out for his bullshit. Gosh that was so great. I’m sold more on the match, even though I’d really prefer Owens to make an appearance or come to us live via satellite or something. Next week’s the go home so let’s see what happens.

Tired Tropes

Last Friday, I talked about some issues WWE seems to be plagued with creatively, and focused on start/stop pushes. Last Monday, I talked about how utilizing Zelina’s gang the way they did hurt the group long term, if they continued going down that booking path.

Little did I realize, I’d be tackling both issues at the same time this week.

MVP’s VIP Lounge started the show. Rey Mysterio, Aleister Black, and Apollo Crews (Raw’s side of the Money in the Bank match) were the guests. MVP asked Rey what would it mean to be Mr. MITB, and then answered the question and moved to Crews, who I’ve been waiting to get a promo out of.

So naturally, the Zelina gang interrupted immediately.

Zelina said that people don’t care about them, but about her trio. They used to be the new upstarts people cared about but they didn’t measure up to her men. They should just give up their spots in Money in the Bank for them and walk away. Rey said he knew that they weren’t really there to get spots they didn’t deserve, and the three jumped Zelina’s gang and oh well would you look at that, after the break it’s a six man!

Let me preface by saying, this was actually a very good match. The young upstart Austin Theory did very well with the veteran Mysterio, and with Crews as well. The gang worked over Mysterio after taking care of his tag partners, and it went to chaos from there. Each man got to take control, and Crews… yes, Crews, pinned the United States champion.

As the author of “Apollo Crews cannot be put back on the shelf”, I jumped for joy at my boy getting a crucial and important win. As a big fan of the rise of Zelina’s gang, I slumped down in my seat. Here’s why - Zelina’s gang were booked to perfection just a few weeks ago, when they ran through their own individual opponents and picked off the remaining flesh on the bone afterward. But now? Two weeks in a row they’re the ones picked apart. Color me conflicted. We had to get the “can the opponents in the upcoming pay-per-view work together” trope while stopping the started push of Zelina’s gang. Neither were necessary, even though the match was very good.

The Rest

Andrade def. Apollo Crews via ref stoppage - So for this match to even occur, Andrade and Zelina had to get riled up enough to give it to Crews. Naturally, Crews had to ask Andrade, “What did the five fingers say to the face?” You know, the standard question one asks in order to get what they want. THE ECHO ON THAT SLAP! Noticeably absent were Theory and Garza, whom Zelina and Andrade said were the cause of Andrade getting pinned before. We’re doing this already? After everything I just said about start stopped pushes?

Both men got offense in before the commercial and Andrade took an absolutely wicked spill to the floor over the top rope. Crews tweaked his knee but was still able to lift Andrade and do a standing moonsault, very similar to his first star making performance with Aleister weeks ago. Crews went for the Frog Splash and Andrade moved, causing Crews to come down hard on the tweaked knee and the ref stopped the match. FUUUUUUUU… ahem. Darn it. This was a fantastic match. There was actually a moment you thought the title change was going to happen, but that damn tweaked knee.

I hope this is the start of something great with Apollo. They did this on purpose. Neither men should’ve lost. Apollo with a win over a champion going into Money in the Bank rather than a clean loss looks much better. WWE did the right thing here. I’m not expecting him to win the briefcase. And that’s okay! I’ll settle for a United States title run. Let’s hope that’s what we get after the pay-per-view.

Later, Apollo is shown walking on crutches in the back and cried when Charly asked him a question. I’m… concerned about that one, and we’re going to talk more about this soon.

Liv Morgan def. Ruby Riott - Rivalry re-renewed! Morgan stiffed Riott a few times before the first and only Riott kick, which Morgan sold great. Riott sold the shock like Undertaker did for Shawn Michaels. I expected 50/50 booking (another trope!) but alas, I was swerved and Morgan won. This was too short. I really enjoy these two together, but Liv’s stock keeps on rising while Ruby’s keeps on dropping. Let’s let this truly be the end of the rivalry for now so Ruby can pick it back up.

Liv’s promo afterward… not great. They’re doing the relatable “trying to figure yourself out” thing with her, seemingly trying to make us remember she was Lana’s secret lover. Yeah, remember that? No one wants to. Supposedly, recently released Sarah Logan may be back? If she is, where does she fit in here?

A scheduled triple threat that never happened - Keeping with the theme of tired tropes, here’s three women that will be opponents at the upcoming pay-per-view, only this week, they’ll be in a triple threat!

Nah we’ll just have some fighting and Nia Jax standing tall over Shanya Baszler and Asuka.

No bell rings to start the match, no one questions why Jax’s music plays and a match never started. And we just end there. Cool! No trope then. Just… confusion as to why this was even a thing. Later, Charly Caruso approached Nia and Nia made it clear that no one can do anything about her actions.

Bobby Lashley def. Denzel Dejournette - Before the match, Lashley told Lana he didn’t want her to come to the ring with him because “she’s too beautiful and distracts him.” Denzel got one shot in, and then as Samoa Joe (so ridiculously happy he’s back and replacing Lawler) eloquently put it, mistakes were made tonight. Lashley quickly put him away after. Fine. Glad to see Denzel get some screen time these past few weeks. Lashley and Lana bore me.

Ricochet and Cedric Alexander def. Chase Parker & Matt Martel (Ever-Rise) - First time showing for Ever-Rise, and I like them! Both men were hot right off the bat and able to keep Ricochet down. Once Cedric got the hot tag he slowed their momentum. A new team finisher for RicoRic here, a double stomp-assisted hammerlock reverse STO. (Thanks to our Rev Claire for the description!)

After the match, MVP is on the tron and introduced his new clients, Shane Thorne and Brandon Vink. He announced a rematch against the two teams and RicoRic accepted. It appeared that MVP was going to offer his services to RicoRic until Thorne and Vink were shown. I’m glad that didn’t happen. There’s no need to make them heels right now.

Jinder Mahal def. Akira Tozawa - There were performance center dudes and NXT talent around, but they decided to feed Tozawa to the returning Mahal. All I can say is, thank Maharaja I don’t need to see Jinder AND Corbin on the same show.

Extras - Throughout the night, a top 10 of Triple H’s best moments were shown in honor of his 25th anniversary. Also, some footage from Becky Lynch’s WWE 24 documentary was shown to keep her relevant since she’s not been on Raw for a few weeks.

If you haven’t seen the news yet, WWE has announced that Apollo Crews will not be participating in Money in the Bank due to his injury from the Andrade match. Now I could be concerned because WWE could shelf him for a bit, cool him down, and then bring him back only to lose and fade away and classify him as obsolete again. However, I’m a bit more optimistic. I am pressing on under the assumption that because of how he was booked on this show, he’ll be positioned into a contendership role for the United States championship after Money in the Bank. I don’t see how you take him out of the match without having him be featured elsewhere. I’ll be checking his Twitter this week for sure for updates and pray for a segment on next week’s show.

Raw was well paced tonight, I thought. More segments were a hit than a miss, with the United States title match being my favorite. MVP’s opener was a miss for me as it was very clear what was coming, as was the usage of Akira Tozawa. Lashley and Lana bore me. The triple threat “match” was rubbish to clearly have Nia Jax stand tall for Money in the Bank. Wasn’t it enough sacrificing Kairi Sane for two straight weeks?

Grade: B-

What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?

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