Raw airs tonight (May 10) live from the ThunderDome in the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. This is the go home episode for the upcoming WrestleMania Backlash event that’s taking place on May 16.
Another WrestleMania rematch
Tonight’s main event is a non-title WrestleMania 37 rematch pitting WWE champion Bobby Lashley against Drew McIntyre. That’s right, it’s yet another WrestleMania rematch. WWE wants you to think that a WrestleMania rematch is a big deal, but the last four weeks show that it is a common occurrence.
When WWE first announced that the name of the May 16 event was WrestleMania Backlash, a lot of people assumed the card would feature several rematches from WrestleMania 37. But WWE couldn’t even wait the full five weeks to run many of those matches back. Check out how many WrestleMania 37 rematches have been booked on Raw and SmackDown over the last month:
- Apr. 12 (Raw): Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka
- Apr. 16 (SmackDown): Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
- Apr. 30 (SmackDown): Apollo Crews vs. Big E
- Apr. 30 (SmackDown): Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax vs. Tamina & Natalya
- May 3 (Raw): Omos & AJ Styles vs. New Day
- May 7 (SmackDown): Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
- May 10 (Raw): Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre
- May 14 (SmackDown): Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax vs. Tamina & Natalya
Assuming tonight’s main event between Lashley and McIntyre is not changed during the show, the above list shows that 7 of the 14 matches that took place at WrestleMania 37 will have already been given a rematch on TV prior to the very next pay-per-view event.
Of the remaining seven WrestleMania matches that have yet to have a rematch, six of them feature a performer who has been largely absent (or released) from WWE since WrestleMania 37. This includes Bad Bunny, Shane McMahon, Edge, The Fiend, Sasha Banks, and Billie Kay. So it was never really possible to book rematches on TV in those cases. The only obvious WrestleMania 37 match that WWE could have easily booked a TV rematch for yet resisted the temptation is Sheamus vs.
WWE just can’t help themselves with booking so many rematches. The next time they try to tell you that that a WrestleMania rematch is a big deal, keep in mind that it’s only a big deal if it includes a part-timer or someone who seldom wrestles.
Getting back on track to tonight’s Raw, Lashley vs. McIntyre will almost certainly be affected by the presence of Braun Strowman. McIntyre got involved in Strowman’s match against Lashley one week ago, and smart money says that Strowman will return the favor tonight.
Or maybe Braun will instead opt to have a WrestleMania rematch against Shane McMahon.
The title scene
AJ Styles and Omos will team up with Elias & Jaxson Ryker to take on the New Day & R-K-Bro in an 8-man tag team match. Is WWE already veering into a Raw tag team championship pursuit for
Matt Riddle and Randy Orton?
The Women’s tag team champions, Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax, will team up with Charlotte Flair to take on the team of Asuka, Dana Brooke, and Mandy Rose. It looks like a lopsided match that heavily favors Flair’s side. Perhaps the Raw women’s champion Rhea Ripley will have to come out to the ringside area and scout her scheduled opponents for WrestleMania Backlash.
Sheamus had a great night one week ago; the United States champion had his way with both Mansoor and Humberto Carrillo. Maybe WWE will go ahead and book the heel in a handicap match this week and try to achieve a full burial of the babyfaces.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Is Lilly finally going to make Alexa Bliss attack someone this week, or will we just get more bark and no bite?
- Will the Damian Priest / Miz & Morrison storyline find its way onto WrestleMania Backlash?
- Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin formally split up last week, but I bet they cross paths once again sometime tonight.
- Which wrestler’s butt is going to have a flower shoved into it by Angel Garza? I’m thinking it might be Ricochet’s turn.
- The Viking Raiders have not wrestled on the last two episodes of Raw. Has creative already forgotten about Erik & Ivar? Or does Adnan Virk just need more time to finally get the name of their finishing move right?
This is the final Raw before WrestleMania Backlash!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?