WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (May 24, 2021) from the ThunderDome at Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for next month in the very same venue.
The only thing advertised for tonight as of post time: Natalya & Tamina take on Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler in a rematch for the women’s tag team titles. This was set up after Baszler beat Nattie on SmackDown. Also set for the show is Xavier Woods vs. Riddle to keep the New Day vs. RK-Bro program going.
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog will kick off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR MAY 24
Don’t talk to strangers, ‘cause they’re only there to do you harm. Don’t write in starlight, ‘cause the words may come out real. Don’t hide in doorways, you may find the key that opens up your soul. Don’t go to heaven, ‘cause it’s really only hell, and I’m here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you folks anyway.
The show opens with Montel Vontavious Porter in the ring and on the mic.
He introduces WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, who makes his entrance, flanked by several attractive women as per usual.
MVP asks for a round of applause and briefs everyone on the return to live touring in July before addressing a dark cloud that’s been following them in the form of Drew McIntyre. Porter talks about Kofi Kingston stepping up to face Bob last week and when he starts to speak to Drew’s interference last week—
Enter Drew McIntyre.
He says he wants his one-on-one rematch and he thinks deep down Lashley wants to give it to him to prove once and for all that he’s the number one superstar on Monday Night Raw. But maybe he’s wrong, maybe deep down Bob knows he doesn’t measure up to Drew McIntyre and maybe he just doesn’t have the balls. Drew asks the women in Lashley’s entourage if he has the balls, but none of them have microphones so we’ll never know.
McIntyre accuses Bob of making excuses—
Enter the New Day.
Kofi Kingston reminds everybody that he pinned Bobby Lashley last week, baby! He takes issue with Drew insinuating that he needed help to beat Bob, and the only ones he needs in his corner are your boys the New Day. He asks McIntyre to step to the side since he pinned Lashley and Drew hasn’t done that in months, which MVP agrees is a very valid point.
Enter five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce.
He says everybody’s making sense but there’s an easy way to settle the debate— Kingston vs. McIntyre, #1 contender’s match! MVP says that’s a brilliant idea and he’s gonna set the VIP Lounge up on the stage so he, Bob, and Bob’s ladies can watch in style, and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Braun Strowman cuts a promo about how he can’t wait to be back on the road in July and give folks These Hands.
Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship #1 Contender’s Match)
McIntyre overwhelms Kingston into the corner and breaks clean at referee Rod Zapata’s behest. Kofi into a test of strength, side headlock, arm wringer, Kingston reverses, side headlock of his own! Shot off, shoulder block, off the ropes, leapfrog, Drew catches Kofi and tosses him aside! Side Russian legsweep, Vader Bomb, McIntyre kicks out!
Big chops, Drew reasserting himself, stomping Kingston’s hand, but Kofi reverses a powerbomb into a Frankensteiner to the floor! Diving on McIntyre after, whip reversed, step-up into an electric chair, Drew has him... INVERTED ALABAMA SLAM INTO THE APRON! And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, McIntyre is in control and punching Kingston around the ring. Snap suplex, cover for two, pressing the attack in the ropes, huge belly-to-belly suplex sends Kofi crashing to the floor! Back inside, kneeling armbar, whip to the corner, Kingston explodes out of the turnbuckles with a springboard dropkick!
Chops, Drew with a big reversal into a suplex for two! Double stomp in the corner keeps Kofi in the fight, cover for two, shoulder thrusts in the corner, whip reversed, sidestep into a gamengiri, Kingston up top but McIntyre cuts him off. Jockeying for position, diving crossbody, Drew rolls through and reverses... MICHINOKU DRIVER SPIKES KOFI BUT CANNOT KEEP HIM DOWN!
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, in the turnbuckles, McIntyre clubbing away... AVALANCHE BACK SUPLEX! Cover for two, drawing Kingston up, trading punches, Future Shock reversed into a pin for two but Drew follows up with a spinebuster into a jackknife in... NOPE! Liger Bomb... STILL NO! Whip across, side slam reversed, Kofi sidesteps, Drew goes hard into the post!
Kingston off the top, Shadows Over Hell... MCINTYRE KICKS OUT! Sidestpe the charge, Drew crashes over the ropes and to the floor, staring Lashley and MVP (who’ve moved to be by the commentary desk) down, Kofi off the top and to the floor, wiping everybody out with a trust fall senton! Back inside, SOS... NO GOOD! Lashley and MVP hit the ring and attack both guys...
The match goes to an unannounced no-contest, presumably.
Post-match Xavier Woods hits the ring but gets beaten down, Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise on Lashley, McIntyre hits the Claymore.
We get footage from earlier today of Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair bickering when Nikki Cross rolls up to say she could beat either of them, so who’s gonna step up? Charlotte says she already has a match and wouldn’t deign to fight Nikki anyway, Rhea gets on her for talking down to everybody and accepts the match.
Ripley makes her entrance and apparently there’s a two minute time limit involved? Anyway, we go to break.
Back from commercial we get an Eva Marie vignette.
Nikki Cross vs. Rhea Ripley (2:00 Beat the Clock Challenge)
Cross charges in, Ripley shoves her down. Shooting in for a leg pick, Rhea fights her off again and gestures to an invisible watch. Catching her on the third try, crossbody, scoop her up, Nikki slips out and nails her with a forearm! Jawbreaker, Cross goes up top, diving crossbody... NOPE! Stinger Splash, bulldog denied, Rhea with a dropkick!
Thirty seconds on the clock, Ripley beating her down in the corner, shoulder thrusts, elbows, punches in the corner, warned by referee Eddie Orengo as she puts boots to Cross and the clock runs out...
Nikki Cross wins by virtue of lasting two minutes against the champ.
Enter Charlotte Flair, all smiles, she’ll be in action after the break.
Back from commercial, Damian Priest gets a promo, first in Spanish, and then English, promoting WWE’s return to live touring.
We get a recap of our opening match, because Raw is three hours long. (Three hours long.)
Backstage, Drew McIntyre rolls up on five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce to demand an answer.
Kofi Kingston joins him, Pearce has a solution— they’re running the match back next week. Kofi says he’s cool with that as long as MVP and Lashley are kept away.
Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
Collar and elbow, Flair wrestles her down into a pin, intense jockeying for position, waistlock, standing switch, drop toehold into a front chancery but Asuka reverses and Charlotte gets the ropes! Circling, Flair shoots in for a single leg, no good, monkey flip, leg trip, Charlotte with the figure four headscissors! Rolling her around, Asuka breaks out and smashes Flair face-first into the turnbuckles!
Whip into the ropes, running hip attack connects, off the ropes, a second hip attack is countered into a chop block and the Queen puts boots to her knee! Wrenching the leg over the ropes, kneebar in the ropes, Flair poses on the floor, back inside and she applies an Achilles lock, wrenching hard on the knee! Asuka rolls over, Charlotte posts her knee into the mat and grabs an ankle lock!
Asuka kicks her into the ropes and to the floor, Flair sidesteps the dive and Asuka’s legs go out from under her! Shinbreaker into the steel steps connects and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Flair is still working on Asuka’s knee, dropping her own knee across the pit of it! Scissor toehold, wrenching it in, shifting gears, high-angle Boston Crab in the middle of the ring! Asuka crawling, reaching, rolling through and reversing to a victory roll for two! Shifting to a cross armbar, Charlotte refuses to let her grip break and she rolls to the ropes for the break!
Empress off the ropes, Flair catches her on a hip attack and counters with a shinbreaker! Tree of Woe, Charlotte climbs up top and stomps the knee before perching... NOBODY HOME ON THE MOONSAULT! GERMAN SUPLEX GETS ASUKA SOME SEPARATION! Hip attack goes through Flair’s head but can’t keep her down! Snapping Asuka’s neck over the top rope, Charlotte posts her knee!
Asuka with a sliding knee, hobbling out after Flair and she gets put into the announce desk as we go to break!
Back from commercial, Flair is laying chops in, Asuka ducks under, burst of adrenaline and she counters a big boot with a shoulder kneebreaker for two! Into the cross armbar, Charlotte keeps her hands clasped, Asuka shifts gears, she can’t get the Asuka Lock, into the corner, back out, jockeying for position and they crash through the ropes and to the floor!
Back inside, hands and knees slugging it out forearm for forearm, to their feet, Asuka with palm strikes, Flair ducks the Uraken and knocks her over, cover for two! Asuka fights out of some leg work, kick puts Charlotte into the corner, sidestep the charge, boots up, STO backbreaker in the corner! Flair up top, nobody home on the moonsault, lands on her feet, standing moonsault... SO CLOSE!
Spinning toehold reversed, Asuka Lock, reversed...
Charlotte Flair wins by pinfall, reversing the Asuka Lock into a pin.
Backstage the women are fawning over Bobby Lashley when a crew member rolls up and informs him that five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce would like to see him.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial we get a media hype reel for WWE’s return to live touring.
Sexy Muscle Friends are the next to get a promo hyping up how excited they are about it.
MVP and Bobby Lashley answer five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce’s call.
He asks them if this is really the way he wants to represent Raw as WWE Champion and Bob says he was trying to help Adam out because neither Drew nor Kofi can represent Raw as well as he does. Pearce tells them if either of them so much as go to ringside, they’ll be suspended for 90 days without pay. Lashley is mad but Porter backs him off.
A video package covering the rise and fall of Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin follows.
Alexander gets on the mic before his match and says he’s gotta get something off his chest. He and Shelton had something— they were tag champs, part of the Hurt Business, and remember when MVP took them in from obscure nobodies to the top of the mountain? But then they got kicked out, and why did that happen? Because Benjamin is washed up.
He’s young, fresh, and in his prime, but how long has Shelton been here? How many years does he have left? Tonight ends with his arm being raised in victory, and this is the last time anybody’s gonna see Benjamin’s face because he’s gonna be gone for good.
Cedric Alexander vs. Shelton Benjamin
Alexander taunting Benjamin from the floor and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Benjamin in control, beating Alexander down, whip to the corner, carrying on in control and laying Cedric out with a back elbow when he starts to rally! Dumping Alexander to the floor, following out after him, dumping him into the barricade! Back inside, Cedric with a solebutt, Neuralyzer blocked, T-Bone denied, jockeying for position in the turnbuckles... AVALANCHE FRANKENSTEINER AND BENJAMIN KICKS OUT!
Cedric with mounted punches, a grounded side headlock into more punches, head and arm triangle, trying to grind him down. Wristlock kicks, taunting Shelton, he fires up, big thrust spinebuster and he’s feeling it! Lying in wait, blocked, catch the kick, Benjamin gets him on the rebound! German suplex follows, hanging onto the waistlock, another one, Cedric breaks away, Shelton tries for Chaos Theory but Alexander puts a thumb in his eye to block!
Cedric Alexander wins by pinfall with the Neuralyzer.
We get a video package for the saga of RKBro.
Matt Riddle makes his entrance and we go to break.
Back from commercial, John Morrison is the latest to cut a promo about how excited he is to get back on the road.
Matt Riddle vs. Xavier Woods
Locking up, Woods backs Riddle into the corner and breaks clean. Back to the lockup, front chancery, gator roll, Riddle reverses into a bodyscissors and Xavier forces the break! Shooting in, double leg attempt, Matt counters with a guillotine choke, into a triangle but Woods has a foot in the ropes for the break! Rolling Karelin lifts from Riddle, Xavier with a suplex in return!
Matt with an armbar attempt, Woods pops him up directly from a test of strength into a suplex drop! Trading forearms, double lariat and both men are down and out! Riddle with a bodyscissors that sends Xavier to the floor, jockeying for position on the apron... WOODS WITH A DEATH VALLEY DRIVER ON THE APRON AND WE GO TO BREAK!
Back from commercial, Riddle with charging forearms into the exploder suplex, Woods ducks the Penalty Kick, rolls away from the standing moonsault and gets the knees up on the senton! Strikes in the ropes, whip reversed, duck a lariat, duck a backfist, tijeras connects! Whip to the corner, back body drop, missile dropkick... NOPE!
Ripcord knee connects, up for the Tombstone, reversals on reversals, Xavier rams him into the corner and hangs him in the Tree of Woe! Charging in, hesitation dropkick connects, pulling Riddle in, military press... DROPPED INTO A DOUBLE KNEE GUTBUSTER FOR TWO! In the ropes, knee staggers Woods, Matt gets on the second... DEADLIFT GERMAN SUPERPLEX BUT XAVIER KICKS OUT!
Riddle off the top, nobody home, rolling elbow from Woods, kick to the knee, Matt shoves him off, Xavier slips out but Riddle is ready...
Matt Riddle wins by pinfall with an RKO.
Post-match, Riddle tells the camera that was for Randy Orton.
AJ Styles is walking backstage with his Big Buddy Omos to send us to break.
Back from commercial, commentary informs us that Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair is official for Hell in a Cell.
AJ Styles vs. Jaxson Ryker
Styles with a dropkick out the gates, setting Ushigoroshi up... NOPE! Ryker with a strong comeback, bear hug (I can hardly bear it!), AJ fights out with elbows but gets caught by a knee. Slingshot suplex, Styles lands on his feet and low-bridges Jaxson to the floor, off the ropes, baseball slide! Elias with a cheap shot, Ryker takes advantage...
Jaxson Ryker wins by pinfall.
Post-match, Omos comes down and pulls Elias out of the timekeeper’s area and shoves him down before giving chase to both him and Ryker, pouncing the Drifter into the LED boards!
We get a video package recapping the Sheamus/Humberto Carrillo feud.
Sheamus makes his entrance to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Jeff Hardy is ready to traverse the universe and take things to the extreme, which I think means he’s excited to get back to live touring.
Humberto Carrillo vs. Sheamus
Circling, Sheamus with a boot into clubbing blows, dumping Carrillo to the floor and following after, putting him into the barricade and then back inside! Humberto with strikes to back him into the corner, short lariat from the Celtic Warrior, following it up with a kneeling armbar, fishhooking the nose, and so on.
Carrillo fires up, off the ropes, suicide dive sends Sheamus crashing into the announce desk! Back inside, diving elbow... NOPE! Kick from the apron, la casadora but the Celtic Warrior sits down, handful of tights...
Sheamus wins by pinfall with a victory roll and a handful of tights.
Post-match, Sheamus attacks Carrillo but Ricochet makes the save and the two high flyers trade dives on the Celtic Warrior!
Backstage, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are interviewed.
Baszler blames Reginald for their recent string of bad luck, Jax defends him, and Shayna asks her to leave him behind to prove that they’re still as unstoppable as ever. Reggie begs off and says he was only trying to help.
Natalya and Tamina make their entrance to send us to break.
Back from commercial, we get a new Eva Marie vignette where she talks about her training mindset.
Natalya & Tamina (c) vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
Tamina and Nia to start, but Jax immediately tags out. Circling, Shayna piefaces Nattie and she tags in! Bit of light mat grappling, trading pins, heels in control and Nia tags in with an arm wringer into a leg drop. Baszler back in, Reginald comes down, Neidhart gets away and hits a German suplex as we go to break.
Back from commercial, Baszler has Natalya in a top wristlock, grinding her down. Tags made, Tamina lays Jax out, cover for two, up top but Nia cuts her off. Fireman’s carry, Snuka fights out, sidestep the superkick, folding press... NOPE! Heels isolate Tamina, quick tags, working her over, Snuka gets free with a powerslam and tags Neidhart in!
Nattie in hot, catapult into a superkick... JAX BREAKS IT UP! Nia and Tamina on the floor, Jax back body drops her over the barricade! Neidhart sidesteps Shayna, discus lariat, Sharpshooter attempt reversed into a pin but Reginald distracted referee Chad Patton and cost them the match! Baszler demands he leave, but as he walks up the ramp the pyro goes off around him, stunning him!
Natalya takes advantage...
Natalya & Tamina win by pinfall with a small package from Natalya on Shayna Baszler to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
Post-match, Shayna checks on Reggie before losing her temper and grabbing him by the lapels! She calls him a son of a bitch and says she’s tired of him interfering in her matches and she wants to see how he does in a match against her next week! If he has the balls, she’ll make him wish he was in that explosion!
That’s the show, folks.