Coming off a forgettable Hell in a Cell pay per view, Monday Night RAW is touting actual wrestling match for tonight. We are going to get five, yes, five Money in the Bank qualifying matches. WWE would have to try mess this up on purpose.  We don’t have much time left, so let’s enter the ThunderDome!

The V*I*P Lounge

Well, if the VIP Lounge is kicking off the show you should be able to figure out that Bobby Lashley retained his WWE title. Lashley gloats over beating Drew McIntyre, and MVP reminds him that Drew can no longer challenge him for the WWE title. We all know that there are loopholes, though. MVP proposes a toast, but is interrupted by the NEW DAY!

Kofi Kingston comes bearing gifts, a tray full of toast. See they wanted to participate in the toast, but tossing toast into the lounge. MVP calls him a clown. Kofi tries to warn Lashley that he has surrounded him with people that just want to use him. Lashley says he has nothing to worry about, because he will never lose the title to someone like Kofi.

Kofi disagrees, seeing has he did pin Lashley last month. And he has the video receipts. Kofi issues a challenge for the WWE title and Lashley accepts. Lashley wants the match to be one on one, so he wants to take on Xavier Woods.

Woods has no problem accepting, as he is used to being underestimated. Woods informs Lashley that tonight’s match will be in Hell in a Cell. Man, WWE is really getting their money’s worth out of that cell.

AJ Styles w/Omos vs. Ricochet – Money in the Bank Qualifier

On paper, it makes the most sense for Ricochet to win this match, but since when has WWE done the thing that makes sense.

Earlier today, AJ insulted the number one contender tag team, the Viking Raiders. AJ may be a little over confident when it comes to winning the Money in the Bank and then the WWE Title, while holding the RAW tag team belts.

Ricochet knows AJ Styles will bring his best, but Ricochet is willing to do anything to win.

Ricochet kicks Styles off the apron and then has to back flip over Styles. AJ is able to pick Ricochet up and slams him into the ring post.

After an early commercial break, Ricochet is in full control, hitting two North Lights suplexes in a row, but Styles kicks out. AJ connects with a kick to the back of the head, following with a torture rack bomb. It’s not enough to get the pin. Ricochet fights off the Styles Clash and then avoids the Pele kick. Ricochet with a German suplex and bridges into a pin; Styles just kicks out.

AJ cinches in the Calf Crusher. Ricochet gets the ropes to break the hold. Styles hits an Ushigoroshi and calls for the Phenomenal forearm. The Viking Raiders run down, attacking Omos. The big guy tries to fight them off, but Omos is run through the security barrier. In the ring, Ricochet counters the Phenomenal Forearm with the Recoil in mid-air. Ricochet covers and gets the win.

Winner via pinfall: Ricochet

Riddle plans on using the Money in the Bank briefcase to hide his stash…of Whoppers. Orton has to snap Riddle back into focus. Riddle wants some Money in the Bank tips. Orton tells him to stay out of his way. Riddle is confused; what if they both win their qualifying matches? Orton stares daggers through him, telling Riddle it wouldn’t be good for him.

Eva Marie “debuted” last week; I’m so sorry I missed it. She didn’t wrestle, but had a proxy that looked a lot like Piper Niven from NXT UK. Kevin Patrick surprises Eva with an interview to get to the bottom of this. Eva talks about how she prepared for RAW last week, but she did catch a cold. Instead, she arraigned for her protégé to step in for her. Eva calls her Doudrop, but Doudrop looks confused.

Asuka and Naomi vs. Eva Marie and Doudrop – Money in the Bank Qualifier

So Asuka is the random tag team partner for any women that needs one, I guess?

Eva Marie starts off against Asuka. She circles the ring and immediately tags in Doudrop. Eva doesn’t even stay on the apron; watching the match from the floor. Nothing like leaving your partner high and dry. Doudrop hits Naomi with a cannonball in the corner. She covers, but Asuka makes the save. Doudrop drags Naomi to the corner and goes up top. Eva tags herself in and makes the pin. Naomi kicks out. Eva wants to tag out, but Doudrop drops off the apron; refusing the tag. Naomi rolls up Eva and gets the three count.

Winners via pinfall: Asuka and Naomi

Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville are in the ring discuss the RAW Women’s title match from last night. They ask the champion, Rhea Ripley, to come to the ring. Adam tells her that getting herself disqualified is unacceptable. Rhea just did what Charlotte Flair would of. That summons Flair to the stage, who isn’t even mad, she’s kind of proud. She calls Rhea clever; just like her. Flair vows to still destroy her. Sonya grants Flair a rematch at Money in the Bank.

The Women’s tag team champions, Natalya and Tamina had another run in with Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke. This time Dana and Mandy’s sparring interrupted the champs. It’s the opposite of the last week! Well, well, well. How the turntables… The champs get suckered into getting drop kicked off the apron. Tamina will take on Dana Brooke later tonight.

Randy Orton vs. John Morrison w/The Miz – Money in the Bank Qualifier

The Miz joins the commentary team and despite being in a wheel chair, he gets involved in the match. Miz trash talks Orton as Morrison slams him into the ring steps. Morrison keeps the pressure in the ring with some good old fashioned mat wrestling. Orton explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. Morrison runs into a powerslam and Orton looks for the draping DDT. He connects and stalks Johnny Drip Drip. Miz shoots Orton with water. Orton turns his focus on the Miz and Morrison almost gets a roll up.

Riddle rolls down to the ring on his scooter, chasing Miz around the ring. Morrison takes advantage of a distracted Orton, hanging him up on the ropes. He hits Starship Pain and covers Orton to get the win.

Winner via pinfall: John Morrison

Kevin Patrick asks Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler and Reginald if they are concerned that tonight will be a repeat of last night versus Alexa Bliss. Shayna says she isn’t scared of anyone, but Jax can tell that something is different about Alexa.

Nikki is ready to show us the spark in her heart. And she is doing that by dressing like a super hero? Okay.

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax w/Reginald

Shayna is not impressed by Nikki’s new outfit. A head butt from Nia Jax sends her to the mat. Nikki dodges a spear, and Nia crashes and burns to the floor. Shayna and Reginald check on her, allowing Nikki to take them all out by flying over the top rope. Cross with a bulldog to Shayna and tags in Alexa. Shayna rakes the eyes and then drags Alexa face first across the ropes, focusing on the eyes. Baszler with a headlock, but over the eyes of Alexa.  Bliss fights her way off the top turnbuckle with a Code Red.

Shayna almost hits Jax when Nikki dodges a punch. The two argue, allowing Cross to hit a suplex. Bliss goes to the top turnbuckle and locks eyes with Reginald. He falls under a trance and Nia has to snap him back. Cross takes them both out with a drop kick. She twists around Baszler and is able to roll her up to get the three count.

Winners via pinfall: Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss

Drew tells Sonya and Adam that he will win his qualifying match tonight. They tell him that he doesn’t have to wrestle because of what he went through last night. McIntyre is no quitter.

There’s a bunch of upset superstars in the back that want to be in qualifying matches. Jinder Mahal and Jeff Hardy make their cases to Adam Pearce. Cedric calls them antiques. Sonya understands their anger, but the matches are set and final. Sheamus wants a match. Pearce asks him to defend the United States title if he is healthy. Sheamus changes his tune very quickly. Mahal apologizes for his outburst and wants to be considered as an alternate if one of the entrants cannot compete.

Riddle vs. Drew McIntyre – Money in the Bank Qualifier

Riddle leaves his RK Bro mug on the ring steps. Drew powers Riddle into the corner and the two break clean. Riddle strikes McIntyre in the back, still wounded from his Hell in a Cell match. McIntyre hits a suplex. The fights spills to the floor. Riddle shoves McIntyre into the ring post and follows with a Northern Lights suplex as we go to commercial.

After the break, Riddle with an exploder suplex in the middle of the ring and follows with a kick to the injured back. McIntyre gets his knees up to block the Bro-ton. Drew runs Riddle into the turnbuckle and then tosses him across the ring with a suplex. He follows up with a neck breaker. Riddle counters the DDT into a jackknife cover, but Drew kicks out. McIntyre takes Riddle up to the high rent district. Riddle fights him off and hands Drew in the tree of woe. McIntyre quickly powers up and suplex Riddle to the mat. Randy Orton walks out on stage as we go to another commercial.

After the second break, Riddle connects with a knee, but its not enough to get a cover. McIntyre blocks a kick and hits a Michinoku driver. Drew goes back up top. Riddle catches him in mid air and tries to lock in a triangle. Drew powers out and hits a Future Shock DDT. Riddle collapses in the ring as McIntyre looks for the Claymore. Riddle floats over and hits the ripcord. Riddle goes up top and misses the Floating Bro. Drew looks for a Claymore, but Riddle counters into a sleeper. Drew escapes but eats a flying knee. Riddle takes a Glasgow kiss head butt. Drew looks for the pin, but Riddle pulls off a victory roll and gets the three count.

Winner via pinfall: Riddle

After the match, Riddle can’t understand why Orton won’t talk with him.

Mansoor thinks better of trying to get some advice from Jaxson Ryker, but Ryker offers this gem, “Never let your enemy escape.” That’s why next week he is facing Elias in a strap match. Ali approaches Mansoor, telling him he is asking all the wrong questions. He should be asking why neither of them got a Money in the Bank opportunity.

Xavier Woods w/Kofi Kingston vs. Bobby Lashley w/MVP – Hell in a Cell Match

This match is clearly meant to appease the suits at the USA Network, since Smackdown has a HiaC match on Fox. The big difference here is that the title is NOT on the line. What does it matter that this is in a cell.

Woods opens by drop kicking Lashley into the corner. Lashley bounces back, tossing Woods into the corner and pummeling him. A clothesline takes down Woods. On the floor, Woods looks for a chair shot, but Lashley punches the chair into Xavier’s face. Bobby wants a spear, but Woods is able to dodge and Lashley catches all ring post. He drop kicks Lashley into the cage, repeatedly. Woods clocks him in the head with a chair and then goes to work on his back.

After the commercials, Lashley crashes to the floor after a low bridge. Woods goes for a baseball slide, but Lashley traps him in the ring apron. Woods is smashed into the cage as Lashley grabs a kendo stick. Lashley grinds his boot into Wood’s face. Lashley blocks a roll up and stomps on Woods. Xavier bounces off the ropes, slides under Lashley and connects with a low drop kick. Woods delivers strikes with the kendo stick on the floor. Lashley catches the kendo stick, only to have Woods hit him in the face. Xavier with a gourd buster. He follows with an enziguri off the apron and a tornado DDT. It’s not enough for a pin, though.

Woods fights out of a power bomb with a table looming under him. Lashley is laid on the table and Woods goes up top. Xavier connects with an elbow drop by spring boarding off the top rope, flying almost all across the ring. Lashley kicks out. Lashley smashes Woods into the bottom turnbuckle. He stalks Woods and hits the spear. Lashley applies the Hurt Lock and Woods taps out.

Winner via submission: Bobby Lashley

Lashley refuses to break the hold. All Kofi can do is yell through the cage. See you next week in the ThunderDome!


Monday Night RAW 6/21/2021

The ThunderDome at Yuengling Center, Tampa, Florida

When Monday Night RAW focuses on the wrestling the show is at least half decent. Tonight’s show gets one star for each match that needs to be watched. The AJ Styles versus Ricochet MitB qualifier, the Drew McIntyre versus Riddle MitB qualifier and the Hell in a Cell match. Bobby Lashley and Xavier Woods put on a show, despite nothing being on the line. Everything else is skippable, and unfortunately that involves the Women’s tag team qualifying matches.