Monday Night Raw is live from the Performance Center tonight in Orlando, Fl, this comes off multiple weeks of taped content. It's also worth noting that the decision to return to live television was made after a phone conference with other sports leagues as well as the President of the United States.
Viewership has seen a decline on average of about 300,000 viewers however has seen a week over week marginal increase for the last three weeks. It will be interesting to see if the show returns to its normal average of 2.3m or higher this week or if it stays around the 2.0 average the show has had since taping.
As of this writing, WWE is only promoting "What's next for Drew McIntyre" and "The Man Comes Around". It looks like we should find out who the next challengers are for both top champions of Monday Night Raw.
First up we see a recap of the Wrestlemania 36 match between Drew McIntyre and Brock Lesnar. Drew starts off by thanking the audience for tuning and for the support he has received following his win. Drew says that it is surreal he beat Brock in 5 minutes and then 20 minutes later Drew retained his title against the Big Show last week. Drew gives commentary as we see a recap of him vs Big Show. He says he will be a different champion and he says that if they deserve an opportunity at the title you get an opportunity at the title. He is interrupted by US Champion Andrade and Zelina Vega. Drew remembers that the last time he faced Andrade, he lost the NXT Championship and Drew was out 6 months. He calls out Andrade for not talking and says that the match will be tonight! Andrade says we will no longer see Mr. Nice Guy. Tonight we will have qualifying matches for the Women's Money In the Bank. Asuka will battle Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan will battle Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane will battle Nia Jax. Asuka and Ruby Riott is up next.
Asuka vs Ruby Riott
Asuka comes out first and then dances to Ruby Riott's music. The bell rings and Asuka continues to talk in Japanese while Ruby tries to get a handshake. Ruby goes for a stronghold and Asuka breaks out. Ruby begins to punch Asuka and gets one count. Asuka takes her down and begins to work on Ruby's left arm. Asuka slams Ruby into the corner and Ruby tries to battle back but is caught by a kick. Asuka uses the ropes to take advantage and then bumps Ruby into the floor and catches her with a knee strike. Ruby sends Asuka over the barricade and then Asuka catches her with a kick and we see Asuka celebrating on top of the barricade.
Ruby Riott battles back and she throws Asuka into the corner and does a forearm. Asuka catches herself and punches Ruby onto the floor. Ruby then brings down Asuka and goes for the cover but only gets a two count. Asuka goes for the armbar on the left shoulder but breaks it because her shoulders are on the mat. Ankle lock by Asuka into a German Suplex. Asuka does a Shiny Wizard but Ruby kicks out at two. Ruby brings Asuka down from behind but Asuka kicks out at two. Ruby goes from the top rope and falls straight to the floor and Asuka goes for the Asuka lock but Ruby counters and Asuka is forced to break it up. Back elbow by Ruby into a flat liner and Asuka kicks out at two. Ruby turns it into a submission and both women continue to counter the other. Asuka gets the Asuka lock-in and Ruby is forced to tap.
We see MVP in the MVP winning lounge and says that there will be three qualifying matches for the men's Money in the Bank next week. Rey Mysterio will face Murphy, Aleister Black will face Austin Theory and Apollo Crews will face MVP.
Aleister Black vs Oney Lorcan
Lorcan usually teams with Danny Burch. Both men go for more technical holds and they both move and try to break the other's hold. Lorcan falls to the ground and he kicks out at two. Lorcan goes for a chokehold and Black takes him down multiple times. Lorcan catches Black with a big uppercut. Moonsault from the middle rope from Black to Lorcan and he kicks out at two. Lorcan leaves the ring and we go to commercial. Once back Lorcan is battling back but Black kicks out at two. Black puts in a kneebar but is forced to break after Lorcan touches the rope. he then sets up an armbar but once again Lorcan escapes after he touches the bottom rope. We see multiple chops from Black and Black drops Lorcan. Lorcan gets him down with a clothesline but a kick out at two by Black. Lorcan goes for a suplex and Black kicks out and we see both men chop at each other and then Black kicks him. Black mass and Aleister Black wins. Up next The Man is Back!
Winner: Aleister Black
We see a recap of Becky Lynch vs Shayna Baszler at Wrestlemania 36. Becky Lynch rolled through and beat Shayna Baszler after a fast hard-hitting match. Her reign has surpassed 365 days. She states that shocked as Shayna was Becky's heartbeat Shayna's skill. Becky says that while she has been called arrogant she used it all to her favor to play mind games with Shayna. She says that she got close to the Queen of Spades because Shayna thought of Becky as the joker. Becky challenges whoever wins Money in The Bank to challenge her. She will shock the world by winning whoever wins the Money In The Bank contract. Next, we will see the two remaining women in the Bank qualifying matches. Charly Caruso interviews Andrade and Zelina Vega. Zelina mentions how everybody has to remember that Andrade has had a long reign and that the last time he faced McIntyre he beat him.
Sarah Logan vs Shayna Baszler
Sarah Shreiber asks Shayna for her comments on Rousey's latest comments and Shayna does not say anything. Sarah hits Shayna and Shayna Baszler takes her down and has complete control and is beating down Sarah. Shayna stomps at Sarah's right arm/elbow and the referee stops the match. Sarah Logan wins by disqualification is what is announced. Shayna leaves and commentary mentions how Shayna should be the one to have won.
Winner: Shayna Bazler
We see Seth Rollins alone backstage and he says that after his loss to Kevin Owens his career has been crucified. After the break, the announcers say that it has been corrected that the winner tonight is Shayna Baszler.
Austin Theory vs Tozawa
Zelina Vega joins the commentary table and it is mentioned how she is the manager of Andrade, Angel Garza, and Austin Theory. Austin Theory is facing Tozawa. Theory is on the attack and is manhandling Tozawa. Tozawa kicks out at two. Theory continues to stranglehold and a backbreaker to Tozawa and he somehow kicks out at two. Vega at commentary highlights how long Theory and Garza have known each other. Tozawa battles back and does a centaun to Theory on the outside. Tozawa catches Theory with a kick and then does a jump from the top rope but only gets a two count. Tozawa sets in the Octopus and Theory counters wins after an Austin Theory launch. We see all of Zelina Vega's associates join Theory in the ring and they beat down Tozawa. We will see the Queen tonight on Monday Night Raw.
Winner: Austin Theory
Charly Caruso interviews Rey Mysterio backstage and says that winning Money In the Bank has alluded him. He reminds us that in 2010 Kane cashed in and he lost his title. Rey mentions he has all the respect for Murphy but Murphy does not want it as much as he does. Seth Rollins wants us to know that he is still here for us and that the Messiah has truly risen.
Angel Garza vs Tehuti Miles
Angel Garza does a mid-air dropkick to Miles. He then does a kick to the face of Miles. He says that he does everything for the ladies watching at home. Garza does a kick right into the midsection of Miles in the corner. He wins after a wing clipper. Andrade, Theory, and Vega come out. Andrade and Theory once again join in and beat down Miles.
Winner: Angel Garza
Asuka and Kairi Sane join Sarah Schreiber backstage. Asuka says that Ruby was not ready for Asuka. They both laugh when Sarah asks what Kairi's confidence is as she faces Nia Jax up next.
Kairi Sane vs Nia Jax
Match starts and Nia Jax throws Kairi across the ring. Nia then tossed Kairi out of the ring with one arm. We see Asuka cheering on Kairi backstage. Nia tosses Kairi and then she continues to slam Kairi into the ring multiple times. Nia does an annihilator and pins Kairi. Up next The Queen is here.
Winner: Nia Jax
Charlotte Flair the new NXT Women's Champion comes out to the ring. She says that tonight is a history lesson with The Queen. It starts with her win at Royal Rumble, she had to pick Rhea after she was the one to challenge her. She says that Ripley lacks humility and there will always be something faster and better. She will remind NXT of humility and up next to learn that lesson is Io Shirai.
Bobby Lashley vs No Way Jose
Bobby Lashley beats down Jose. Lana continues to scream at him and Lashley leaves the ring to ask Lana to be quiet. No Way Jose battles back but is caught by Lashley who sends him across the ring. We see a spear from Lashley and he wins with a pin.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Seth Rollins says that to all the nonbelievers tonight he will stomp out any doubt. The Viking Raiders return up next.
Viking Raiders vs Cedric Alexander and Ricochet
Ivar gets moonsaulted by Ricochet and Alexander takes out Rowan. Ivar battles back and Alexander does a DDT but he kicks out at two. Alexander tries to prevent Ivar from tagging in Rowan. Ivar tags in Rowan and Alexander slows him down with a big forearm punch. Ricochet is tagged in and he gets a two count and then tags in Alexander once again. Rowans tosses Ricochet into Alexander and then Ivar takes down both men on the outside. Once back Rowan works on Alexander but he battles back. Ivar is tagged in and takes down Alexander and goes for the cover but only gets a two count. Rowan and Ivar continue to tag in and out and Ivar drives his shoulder into Alexander's stomach. Rowan tags in and Ivar does a drop but Alexander kicks out at two. Alexander does a dropkick into Ivar and is able to tag in Ricochet. He goes on the attack against both members and Rowan somehow kicks out at two after a standing shooting star. Rowan catches Ricochet with a kick and Ivan is tagged in. He does a clothesline to both Alexander and Ricochet. Alexander tries to battle back and both Raiders go on the attack on Alexander. Rowan pins Alexander!
Winner: The Viking Raiders
Charly Caruso interviews The Street Profits and they introduce Bianca Belair. She is welcomed officially by Charly and ask the Profits about the Raiders. They say that they really respect the Viking Raiders but also Vikings in general. Bianca Belair interrupts and asks when was the last time they beat Raiders. She tells the Profits to stop with the games and get that smoke!
Main Event: Andrade vs Drew McIntyre
Andrade comes out with Zelina Vega, Austin Theory and Angel Garza. Andrade starts with the match with a chop that Drew continues to return. Drew breaks the count and rolls into the ring. He chops Andrade all around the ring. Garza distracts and Andrade uses the distraction to attack Drew's left arm. Andrade then gets in and breaks the count. He then slams Drew's left arm into the steel steps. Once in the ring, Andrade focuses on the left bicep. Drew battles back with one arm and does a boot to the face. He takes out Andrade with an elbow from the top rope. DDT from Andrade and a back elbow. McIntyre ducks and Andrade takes out Theory and Garza. McIntyre chops at Theory for grabbing his boot. Vega goes for the distraction and we see Andrade setting up McIntyre like he did when he won the NXT Championship. McIntyre then Alabama slams Andrade and does a Claymore kick to win. Rollins music interrupts Drew's celebration and Garza attacks. We then see a superkick by Rollins followed by a curb stomp. Raw ends after another curb stomp from Rollins.
Winner: Drew McIntyre