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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (May 17, 2021): A new challenger?

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So, this was a weird show.

It feels like I say that a lot about Raw these days, but there was something that felt strange. I have a theory, and I’ll address that after talking about the big topic of this episode.

So... Kofi Kingston.

I did not originally have Kofi as my main feature, but this was that type of episode.

Bobby Lashley and MVP (and Lashley’s ladies) started the show, and MVP said that he and Lashley were so confident, that they would issue an open challenge. Immediately, Drew McIntyre’s music hit, but MVP had to stop him and say that what he was about to say was that neither he or Braun Strowman were allowed to answer it.

So McIntyre attacked him to try and get a rise out of Lashley.

Throughout the night, a few wrestlers addressed this open challenge - Sheamus, Damian Priest, and Shelton Benjamin. Sheamus and Priest won their matches, while Benjamin was a Lumberjack. Yes, a lumberjack tonight. We’ll get there in a bit.

Kingston also won a match, and it was against Randy Orton. So that story was done, and throughout the night we kept being reminded of this open challenge.

Main event time, and the man who answers the challenge is Kofi. Okay. So the bell’s about to ring, and then MVP gets on the apron and says that there was never anything about this being for the WWE title., and the heels do their hahaha we gotcha to Kofi.

I mean, of course WWE doesn’t see it this way, but it was also a hahaha gotcha to us, too.

Another bait and switch to keep us hooked for the main event and hopefully get some more viewers for the third hour, which, USA Network, you need to cut.

And Kofi won! Not clean, mind you. Via an assist from of all people, Drew. Drew knew exactly where to come in to stop MVP from attacking Kofi with his cane, and Kofi pinned the WWE champion.

Now you’d think that this big night for Kofi means a main event push, right? Here’s my theory.

WWE has no idea what the hell they’re doing right now on Raw. I would bet money that Kofi wasn’t even a choice to face Lashley before 6 pm the day of this show. Kofi was the only winner to never address the open challenge. On top of that, where does Drew fit in to all this?

And more importantly, why does Drew fit into this at all? It’s time for some freshness in the main event scene.

They have to be using Kofi’s two big wins to do something with him, right? He has to be a new challenger. But sadly, I could also see it just being this week’s booking, and maybe something next week and Kofi goes back to regularly scheduled booking.

I have very little faith in much of anything these days. This ain’t SmackDown!

Let’s get to the rest of the hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Claire Elizabeth!


Asuka’s still on top

Asuka and Charlotte, unsurprisingly, had a fun bout.

It was great to see at the start how much both women know each other. But Asuka got the better of her.

Rhea Ripley came out mid way and Flair was laser focused on her as she attempted a pin. Flair kept bouncing Asuka’s head off the mat and almost made Asuka land on her neck at one point.

Asuka had a near fall with a back slide and hip attack. Ripley was smiling and watching all of this as Flair would look back at her in frustration.

Flair went for a Spanish Fly but Asuka kept herself on the top rope. I don’t know if that was intentional or a botch. Flair rolled her up but Asuka just kicked out.

Ripley and Flair got into it and then shenanigans happened with with Charlotte making the same mistake as yesterday. She lost focus and her opponent took advantage. I did not expect to see Asuka win here.

Last night I said that Asuka was going to be off of the top of the women’s division on Raw, and it appears I was wrong! I’m genuinely happy to see that.

The Queen isn’t done, though. She always gets her way.


Rick O’Shea

Oh my God.

This was ridiculously fun.

When I was told Ricochet was wearing jeans yesterday, I became very sad. But actually I think it really looks good on him. Would be a great heel look for him.

I appreciate how much Sheamus loves his hat and jacket. So much so that he gets furious like someone stole a billion dollars from him.

Okay, yes this makes Ricochet look silly, but they’re not going to present him as anything else. I’m not holding my breath for a serious Ricochet push anymore. So I have to take what I can.

The two had a good match here. I recommend watching. High flying and brutal. I thought both men were legit injured at one point. One of the most brutal looking Brogue Kicks I’ve seen.


Change my mind

Natalya and Tamina were guests on Alexa’s playground.

I tweeted this today after seeing a sweet video with Tamina and Natalya getting their side plates on the titles: “Well this got me a bit emotional. I’ve not been a fan of this but I can’t deny that it’s meaningful to see genuine happiness for winning a championship. I hope that Nattie and Tamina have a good reign.”

I am sad.

Lilly asked the new champs what their favorite color was, and if hurting Reginald was fun. Nattie played along more than Tamina. Black and blue is Tamina’s favorite color because that’s the color Reggie will be if he interfered in their rematch.

The champs left and Alexa and Lilly kept talking to each other.

These bouts become much more interesting when Nia and Tamina are in the ring. Tamina knocked Jax off the ropes and then Alexa and Lilly lit one of the turnbuckles up in Reggie’s face. That distracted Baszler enough to get pinned.

Sure.

Comments are open. Tell me how this is all good. Change my mind.


The Rest

Kofi Kingston defeated Randy Orton

Continued awesomeness from the R-K-Bro saga.

Riddle baited New Day and Orton into meeting up with one another, and Orton wouldn’t apologize to them for the RKOs. Kingston demanded a match between the two old rivals, and Orton accepted. It was a standard match, but the biggest headline from this is Orton was fuming after getting pinned, and he heavily teased an RKO as Riddle’s back was turned. He fought with the voices in his head and decided against it, walking away from the ring. Riddle then got pissed and shoved Woods, so we know what next week’s match will be. That’s fine. This is good stuff.

Damian Priest defeated John Morrison

Hey this is still not over. What a surprise. Some of these lumberjack choices were a bit strange. MACE and T-BAR on one side, Ali on the other, a Titus O’Neil appearance, Mansoor fresh off his loss a few weeks ago, and... Nikki Cross. Yeah. Morrison did some creative parkour around the ring but ended up right back in the ring and down on the mat. Priest did a freakin Hurricanrana and Hit the Lights to win.

After the match, Priest declared that the Miz/Morrison feud is finally over (we’ll see about that!) and that he may accept Lashley’s open challenge. Obviously now we know it wasn’t him, but that was a good promo. I hope to see good things come from this.

Angel Garza defeated Drew Gulak

Angel Garza brought his rose down for me again. I will not be retrieving it from Gulak’s mouth however.

Yuck.

Disqualification station (AJ Styles vs. Elias)

Drop kicks are standard fare in wrestling, but Styles has one of the best in the game. Elias brought some much needed aggression and seriousness since the tomato throwing silliness. I will always pop for Ryker cowering away from Omos. It appears that Styles and Omos are now babyfaces? It was sure booked that way.

Akira Tozawa defeated R-Truth

Hey the 24/7 title exists again.


Grade: C

What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?