WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (May 31, 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.
Advertised for tonight: AJ Styles & Omos defend the Raw tag team titles against Jaxson Ryker & Elias, Xavier Woods vs. Randy Orton, The Miz returns to host Miz TV with special guests Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley, Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston to determine who challenges Bobby Lashley for the WWE championship, and more!
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 31
Should be waiting for the sun, looking ‘round to find the words to say. Should be waiting for the skies to clear, there ain’t time in all the world. Should be waiting for the sun, but instead I’m liveblogging this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with the obligatory Memorial Day video package.
Commentary welcomes Adnan Virk’s replacement, Jimmy Smith.
The Miz makes his return to Raw for an episode of MizTV, alongside John Morrison, who’s wearing a lei of garlic. Miz admits that he got injured in the lumberjack match at WrestleMania Backlash and Morrison says he’s wearing the garlic to be prepared for any other supernatural enemies that might attack, from aliens to vampires to plumbers.
He has a water cannon that he calls “the dripstick” and he and Miz affirm their love for one another. The A-Lister says he had an epiphany and he knew he had to get back to Monday Night Raw before they go on the road in July. He introduces his guest tonight, Charlotte Flair.
She says Rhea Ripley has had a good little story but real life isn’t a fairytale and sometimes dream turn into nightmares, and in three weeks she’ll send Rhea to hell.
Enter Rhea Ripley.
Morrison panics about her being a vampire but she explains that she’s not a vampire, she’s a nightmare for everyone else in the women’s division and if you interview her in three weeks, she’ll still be the champ. Charlotte goes to rebut her but—
Enter Nikki Cross.
She apologizes for interrupting MizTV because she’s a big fan but she couldn’t wait any longer. She points out that she beat Ripley last week, and Rhea stands up to her full height to intimidate her. Nikki continues and says she thinks it would be fair if she got to be the first one to challenge the winner after Hell in a Cell. Flair says if life was fair she’d be champ, and Ripley says if Cross got four minutes and not two, she wouldn’t be standing here.
But they’re cool and she earned Rhea’s respect. Nikki thanks her and then tells Flair she could beat her in two minutes, and then would she accept her challenge? Charlotte says she could beat Cross in one minute, Nikki slaps her, and Flair accepts the match!
And we go to break.
Back from commercial we get a hype reel for WWE’s return to live touring in July.
Charlotte Flair vs. Nikki Cross (2:00 Beat the Clock Challenge Match)
Cross charges under and bails to the floor, taunting Flair! Charlotte goes out, Nikki comes back in, Flair comes in, Cross goes out. On the floor, Nikki ducks behind Rhea and she and Charlotte bicker as referee Shaun Bennett counts. Flair returns to the ring, Cross off the ropes and she gets caught by a knee lift! Shove gets a lariat, Charlotte draws her up and sets her up top.
Nikki hangs in there, tornado DDT connects with seconds left on the clock, Flair gets the spinning toehold but...
Nikki Cross wins by lasting two minutes with Charlotte Flair.
We get a recap of RKBro vs. New Day business over the last couple weeks.
Matt Riddle and Damian Priest, actual friends from the beginning of Riddle’s time in the business, are hanging out backstage chatting and Matt asks Damian to teach him some Spanish, and Priest obliges until Randy Orton rolls up. Orton mentions him using the RKO last week and Riddle apologizes, saying it came out of nowhere. Randy says he impressed him but there’s some stuff he can work on and if they’re gonna be a tag team they need to be on the same page.
Orton invites Riddle to second him in his match tonight and Matt actually says “shucks” as he accepts, before Orton shushes him and throws away the key.
New Day make their entrance and send us to break.
Back from commercial we get a hype reel for SummerSlam, set for August 21.
Randy Orton vs. Xavier Woods
Orton with a side headlock, shot off, shoulder block, roll through, arm drag into an armbar but Randy stands right up in it! Sending Xavier to the floor, smashing his face into the commentary desk over and over before hitting the back suplex into the announce table and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Orton is in control with a side headlock but Woods fights to his feet and breaks the hold. Big dropkick, off the ropes, rolling elbow lays the Viper out! Sliding reverse STO... ORTON KICKS OUT! Randy gets under him, big powerbomb... NOPE! Hanging DDT blocked, Xavier with a double knee armbreaker into a Fujiwara Armbar!
Hanging DDT connects this time, RKO blocked, backslide for two! Penalty Kick, off the ropes, Orton catches him and hits Riddle’s fall-forward Tombstone...
Randy Orton wins by pinfall with the fall-forward Tombstone Piledriver.
Post-match, Riddle jumps in the ring and celebrates with his pal Randy.
We get a video package covering the women’s tag title stuff of late.
Shayna Baszler makes her entrance to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Montel Vontavious Porter leads Bobby Lashley’s entourage into a suite, followed shortly after by Lashley himself.
Nia Jax gives Reginald a pep talk in Gorilla, but he says he’ll be fine and kisses her hand before asking her to watch the match from there.
Reginald vs. Shayna Baszler
Reginald ducking and dodging but Baszler lays him out with a lariat! Reggie with a schoolboy for two, Shayna grabs his arm, whip reversed, drop down, into the ropes, Reginald evades a forearm and slams her! Leg pick, backflip, sidestep a forearm, elbow, Baszler DDTs the leg! Going to work on his knee, wrenching away, standing on his knee and stomping his heel!
He runs away, Shayna picks the leg, ankle lock applied but he rolls through and she goes face-first into the turnbuckles! Duck under a boot, standing tornillo takes Baszler off her feet! Moonsault, nobody home and Reggie’s leg buckles under him! She grabs him from behind, Kirifuda Clutch but pyro goes off in the ringpost and Reginald capitalizes...
Reginald wins by pinfall with a victory roll.
Backstage, Drew McIntyre is interviewed.
He says tonight is all about him and Kofi Kingston, and he respects Kofi so much, they’ve known each other for a long time and everything he’s got, he’s earned. Maybe two weeks ago, Kingston could have won on his own, sure. He talks at length about the sacrifices he’s made and the mentality he’s had to make his name in this business.
Extinction (They said it like it was a team name once and I’m never letting go of it, I swear) make their entrance and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Extinction get a promo where they paint themselves as predators and Lucha House Party as their prey.
Extinction (Mace & T-BAR) vs. Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado)
Dorado and T-BAR to start, a big shoulder block cuts the luchaman off and he follows it up with a shoulder thrust in the corner and a fireman’s carry. Lince reverses with elbows, sleeper hold applied, tag to Metalik and he comes in with an enzuigiri. Chopping the big man down, falling splash off the Lynx’s shoulders! Looking for a suplex, T-BAR blocks and tags out.
Mace comes in, they hit a version of Total Elimination! Mace with a lifting vertical suplex, elbow drop, only two! Quick tags, working Gran over, Dorado cuts them off with a dropkick, low-bridge sends Mace to the floor and Lince dives on him but gets caught into a Bossman Slam! Metalik dives, right into a boot, tag made...
Extinction win by pinfall with the sit-out double chokebomb.
In her playground, Alexa Bliss is swinging and chatting with Lilly about Reginald’s big victory.
She wants him to be on her show tonight and formally invites him.
Sheamus makes his entrance and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Sheamus gets on the mic and talks up his most recent victory.
He can’t wait to go on the road and defend his title in every major city, but there’s a problem in WWE where nobody wants to lose like real men. Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo would rather embarrass him than embrace the honor in their defeat and he wants to take a closer look at their lack of character from last week.
After the footage he says where he comes from, two fellas jumping one lad is scumbaggery. He asks which one of them wants to come out for his asskicking first, and Ricochet obliges.
Ricochet vs. Sheamus
Off the ropes, Ricochet kicks him in the face, dumps him to the floor, baseball slide but Sheamus sidesteps, scoops him up, and fallaway slams him into the barricade! Back inside, looking for White Noise, Humberto Carrillo with the distraction...
Ricochet wins by pinfall.
And so we go to break.
Humberto Carrillo vs. Sheamus
Whoops, copy/paste error lost the detailed liveblog for this match, sorry folks— suffice it to Sheamus put a beating on Humberto, Carrillo came back and busted him open with a forearm to the nose, and then the Celtic Warrior got distracted taunting Ricochet and lost the match...
Humberto Carrillo wins by pinfall.
Another Eva Marie vignette follows.
Lana and Naomi make their entrance and we go to break.
Lana & Naomi vs. Sexy Muscle Friends (Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose)
Natalya and Tamina are on commentary for this one.
Lana and Brooke to start, off the ropes, feeling out, bridging pin and a leg drop off the blind tag but Dana kicks out! Quick tags, Brooke counters a wheelbarrow into a facebuster and tags Rose in! Mandy with waistlock takeovers, whip to the corner, Naomi hammers her with a forearm and follows it with a fireman’s carry jawbreaker... NOPE!
Lana legal, she kicks out of an O’Connor roll, folding press for two, jackknife pin, no good, backslide denied, whip to the corner, but Brooke and Rose overwhelm her! They get a double-team I don’t quite catch...
Sexy Muscle Friends win by pinfall on Lana.
Shelton Benjamin makes his entrance to send us to break.
Back from commercial we get footage of Bad Bunny talking about his love of wrestling.
Cedric Alexander vs. Shelton Benjamin
Starting off hot, Alexander slips out of a powerbomb attempt with a thumb to the eye and spikes him with the Neuralyzer...
Cedric Alexander wins by pinfall with the Neuralyzer.
Backstage, Elias is talking to Jaxson Ryker about the huge opportunity they have tonight and impressing the importance of winning on him and the need to develop a game plan against Omos. Ryker stares stock ahead and gives him a line about having a snake on his back.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Kofi Kingston is interviewed backstage.
He rebuts Drew McIntyre’s promo, saying his connection to his family and friends is WHY he’s able to achieve his success, and he doesn’t know why Drew thinks he can take these cheap shots. He knows what happened between Brock Lesnar and him, everybody does, but you wanna sit here and take cheap shots, let’s recall what happened right here on Raw two weeks ago when he pinned Bobby Lashley, a thing McIntyre has not been able to do in these past three months.
AJ Styles & Omos (c) vs. Elias & Jaxson Ryker (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Styles and Elias to start, AJ out of the corner with forearms and stomps, snap suplex, cover for one. Elias drops a knee across his face, off the ropes, Ryker tags in and the Drifter is surprised. That gives Styles a chance to capitalize, whip reversed, slide under, AJ picks Elias off the apron and goes back inside to cut Jaxson off and then drop both men with a dropkick through the ropes that sends us to break.
Back from commercial, Ryker suplexes Styles for two! Reverse chinlock applied, grinding AJ down, Styles gets away and hits the Pele Kick for some separation! Paths clear, crawling for tags, but Elias abandons Ryker! Omos legal, stalking Jaxson from behind... THE IRON CLAW! HE THROWS RYKER INTO THE TURNBUCKLES AND HAMMERS HIM WITH AN ELBOW!
Elias leaving, Omos with another big elbow, jawing at Ryker, drawing him up for a short-arm lariat! Tag to AJ, lying in wait...
AJ Styles & Omos win by pinfall with a Phenomenal Forearm to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship.
Backstage, Reginald limps with his knee bandaged up when Nia Jax approaches him.
She says he’s proven he can handle himself, but does he really want to accept an invitation to Alexa’s Playground? He asks what could possibly happen, she says she’s weird, he reassures her and she says she’ll put champagne on ice for them to celebrate later and to take care of himself.
We see Alexa Bliss backstage to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Elias is walking backstage when he runs into an interview.
He says he abandoned Jaxson Ryker because he’s become unhinged and unpredictable, and that worries him. The idea of spending time with Ryker makes him sick, and he doesn’t want him around anymore.
Alexa Bliss welcomes us to Alexa’s Playground and tells us Lilly gets impatient when she’s excited.
She introduces Reginald and bids him make himself comfortable. She congratulates him on his win over Shayna Baszler earlier and asks him how he feels. Aside from what she did to his leg, he feels great, and Bliss cuts him off for a question from Lilly. The doll doesn’t say anything but Bliss asks like she did and is confused briefly before realizing that he can’t hear her.
She asked about his time at Cirque du Soleil, but before he can answer, Baszler attacks and beats him down! Alexa says Lilly doesn’t like her very much, and Shayna says she’s become a problem and before it gets out of hand they need to have... “a chat.” Baszler says she’ll see her next week before kneeling down to Lilly and staring at the doll.
She calls her a stupid doll and leaves.
Viking Raiders are giving Mansoor a pep talk about what it’s like to be touring live, telling him he needs a chant or a war cry to get the crowd behind him. They get him to try “RAID!” and he does, and they like it, welcoming him to Raw. They leave, and he turns to see Mustafa Ali.
Ali tells him to be careful making friends because everybody wants to stab him in the back and he shouldn’t trust anyone. Mansoor asks why he should trust him, and Ali slaps him on the shoulder and tells him he’s getting it.
We see Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston backstage ahead of their match, and we go to break.
Back from commercial, we see MVP, Bobby Lashley, and the entourage partying backstage when an interview rolls up.
He asks if they have a preference as to who wins tonight, and MVP says they’re excited to find out who’s gonna lose to Bob at Hell in a Cell but he wants to focus on the positive, and they respect both men and their stories but they don’t respect them as opponents. Tonight they party, but at Hell in a Cell, nothing can be done to end the All Mighty era.
Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship #1 Contender’s Match)
McIntyre right in, taking him to the corner and hammering him with strikes! Whip across, Kingston wants a crucifix but Drew blocks, sunset flip works but no dice! A bridging pin, still no, McIntyre chops him down and tries to dump him but Kofi reverses and hits the trust fall senton to the floor to send us to break.
Back from commercial, McIntyre with a delayed vertical suplex, only two! Kingston looking for a guillotine, reversed, reversed back into a small package, Kofi with a roundhouse kick and a boot, following it up with a Vader Bomb... NOPE! Corner forearm, off the ropes, Drew with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex! Drawing him up, scoop and a reversal into another small package for two!
McIntyre with a boot, right hands, Kingston fires back with SOS for two! To the floor, Kofi with the trust fall senton but Drew catches him and suplexes him over the timekeeper’s barricade and into some LEDs to send us to break!
Back from commerical, McIntyre in control, nearfall into a kneeling surfboard! Kofi out, jockeying for position in the turnbuckles, sunset flip powerbomb, cover... NOPE! Kingston with strikes, a dropkick, Drew with a boot, whip to the corner but Kofi pops up for a dropkick and a two count! Calling for it, McIntyre ducks Trouble in Paradise, blocks SOS, underhooks... SPINNING FUTURE SHOCK CAN’T KEEP KOFI KINGSTON DOWN!
Drawing Kingston up, fireman’s carry, he slips out with elbows, boots up in the corner. Charging in, spinning spinebuster connects... STILL NO! Underhooks, Kofi slips out, superkick, only two! Headed up top but McIntyre recovers and cuts him off! SPIDER BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX! Lying in wait... KOFI COUNTERS WITH TROUBLE IN PARADISE BUT DREW GRABS THE ROPES!
Another kick takes McIntyre off the apron, double stomp, fighting Drew back inside, headed up top... MCINTYRE COUNTERS THE DIVE WITH A CLAYMORE! IT’S OVER!
Drew McIntyre wins by pinfall with a Claymore, becoming #1 contender to the WWE Championship.
Post-match, Kingston offers a handshake and McIntyre accepts.
Bobby Lashley comes to the stage with Montel Vontavious Porter and holds the title high, staring Drew down.
That’s the show, folks.