Welcome to Monday Night Hell in a Cell Raw.
I was 7 years old the last time there was a Hell in a Cell match on Raw. So that’s pretty wild.
Before getting into it, I just want to put this quick thought out. I have been watching Raw for the entirety of the pandemic and a big portion of them have sucked.
They’ve felt lazy, uninspired, boring, repetitive, all of these words and then some. If you’ve been reading my recaps, you’ve seen these words. A lot.
All of a sudden June 21, 2021 rolls around and Raw... was good.
No, actually... great. I can’t remember the last time I said that about the red brand. There may not have been more than a handful of times this year so far.
So why was this show great? Every part of it mattered. All matches had stakes or something important, all matches were relatively fresh, and there were winners that went against the norm. THANK YOU!
I realize that it can’t be like this every week, but let’s keep this positive momentum going. Please.
On to the show, which is formatted a little differently to accommodate its structure. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Claire Elizabeth!
It’s only been two weeks, but guess what I have to feature!
Two weeks ago I said that I would never feature the Alexa Bliss angle again, unless something happened that forced it.
If you’ve ever heard of the phrase “monkey’s paw” it’s where you wish for something without realizing the potential consequences.
So Nikki Cross won matches against both Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair for about a month, and I said that it would be foolish of her to not demand to be put in a title match. Well silly me for thinking something like that would happen.
Instead, Cross has transformed into... a superhero. Yeah. Very “Marvel-like” of them, huh?
She tagged with Alexa Bliss, whom she feuded with last year when Bliss turned to the dark side. And none of that was really mentioned, nor did Bliss or Cross show any contempt for one another. It’s almost like that... never happened?
Now, onto Bliss. She has new music, and Cagesiders, I’m just going to come out and say it, it sounded rad. It’s infinity times better than her using the Fun House music. She also did some more mind control and almost got Reginald to slap Nia Jax, but stopped at the last second.
Anyway, Cross rolled up Shayna Baszler because Baszler doesn’t win matches anymore, and Alexa and Nikki are on to Money in the Bank.
My head hurts. I just want to clarify, as of now, I’m not feeling the superhero Nikki Cross thing. But could this be leading to something with Alexa and Nikki? I can’t believe I’m saying this but... I’m interested to see what happens next.
Nothing really happened here but a rematch scheduled for the next pay-per-view.
However, I wanted to feature this because while the finish was stupid as hell, they are attempting to tell a story. And it’s actually a good story to tell.
Rhea Ripley’s character has been pretty shit since WrestleMania, and Charlotte Flair’s for the most part has been great. Now they dropped the Charlotte/Sonya Deville pairing for some reason, but it’s not the only moment in Charlotte’s career where she’s been given things without earning them.
So the story here that Rhea intentionally disqualified herself because that’s exactly what Charlotte would have done as champion makes sense. She gets to break the rules and be handheld throughout, but Rhea gets a whole segment being talked down to? That’s not fair.
Now, I kind of wish we didn’t have to wait to Money in the Bank for the rematch, because they could have just done the rematch on Raw. And if they wanted to do the match in front of fans, they could have just done the match then.
I kind of just wish they did a different DQ to get here, but we’re here now. Let’s see how it progresses.
Bobby Lashley is a bad man.
He came out to celebrate his victory against Drew McIntyre and was interrupted by New Day. And toasted bread. I started getting worried about where this was going.
So after the toast was thrown, Kofi Kingston said that he was facing Lashley at Money in the Bank. Yay! But Xavier Woods was facing Lashley for the main event of this show... inside the Cell.
A bit random (maybe not if you’ve read rumors) but I was willing to give it a shot. And boy was it a good match.
Woods repeatedly had Lashley’s number and hit him with kendo sticks and chairs. He did an incredible dive from the top rope to Lashley through a table.
But in the end, Lashley locked the Hurt Lock in and Woods had to tap.
And then the bastard MVP locked the Cell again, preventing Kofi from getting in to help as Lashley choked Xavier. And the show ended beautifully.
This was a well done angle to get me invested in next week’s show. Very good job by all performers, and credit to WWE for a compelling, non-Lilly related cliffhanger. Now, Xavier may be out for a while and Lashley will indeed get Kofi alone at Money in the Bank.
And Kofi’s aggressive side should be a great thing to watch leading up to the show.
Money in the Bank qualifiers
Naomi and Asuka defeated Eva Marie and “DouDrop”
They actually made it right by having Eva Marie name Piper Niven DouDrop in a smart way. It was frustrating to think that Niven would just come out as DouDrop without recognition of her real name, and they just had Marie name her and Niven was sad about it. Good stuff.
See? Sometimes we wrestling fans get too into our own heads and need to let it play out.
Marie tagged Niven in immediately and the match was okay. She looked to her side of the ring and saw Marie wasn’t there, but Marie then tagged herself in when she thought she would get the easy win. And then Niven abandoned her and Naomi pinned her! Hahaha this was actually great. So is this a short lived pairing? I’m actually interested in seeing the fallout from this.
Ricochet defeated AJ Styles
Ricochet continuing to look Fight Club with the black jeans and boots is a great look. Absolutely gorgeous Northern Lights suplex from him for a near fall. Styles targeted the back of Ricochet’s head throughout the match to knock the high flyer off his feet to benefit him. The Calf Crusher didn’t do anything since it was locked in for a few seconds. Erik and Ivar distracted Omos and Ricochet countered the Phenomenal Forearm to win! Ricochet in Money in the Bank is a great choice. Ricochet on my screen is a great decision. Gonna stop thirsting now I’m just really excited that he’s in this match. If he wins (I know he probably won’t)... whew.
Okay Okay I’ll stop now fine.
John Morrison defeated Randy Orton
I’m surprised that this is the first time Orton and Morrison have faced each other. Morrison is actually a great opponent for Orton. He was flipping around and making sure not to be in an RKO position. And he was quite aggressive with Orton, too! More so than I remember seeing from Mr. Drip Drip as of late. Orton tried pulling Morrison’s hair to get him to break the hold but that didn’t work, so they traded punches and Orton came back with a clothesline. Miz squirted Morrison with the Drip Stick and Riddle came out to help Orton, but ended up costing him because Orton decided to get distracted. This was not Riddle’s fault. Orton should have known better.
Riddle defeated Drew McIntyre
McIntyre said words before the match, but his words suck so I didn’t listen to them. Live blog, y’all! McIntyre rag dolled Riddle around. Riddle had a hilarious delayed reaction to a chop.
It was funny though.
(By the way Drew’s chops mean nothing because I saw Matt get chopped by WALTER a few years ago. Yeah, WALTER. Multiple times.) McIntyre started to get more hurt as the match went on, selling his match with Lashley. Riddle kept bringing the fight to him, and Riddle took a nasty fall on a suplex from the top rope. And then Orton came out. Riddle countered a Claymore kick with a Bro-mission and won the match with a roll up which was smart because McIntyre’s back was hurting bad. So fantastic it deserves your eyes. This match was excellent. Orton gave Riddle the silent treatment after. This team is so great. I hope they don’t break up soon. Drew being done here makes me wonder what they’ll do with him. More intrigue!
That’s all folks. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this good watching Raw, even if some things were... questionable. But even though they were questionable, I’m actually interested in seeing how they progress. Weird. This is Monday night?
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?