The tag team division takes centre stage tonight on Raw with a SmackDown invasion and two spurned Raw teams. There’s also a new challenger for Bianca Belair and, maybe you’ve heard, Cody Rhodes is wrestling on Monday night for the first time in a while. It’s Monday Night Raw from Detroit, MI.

With Corey Graves away from the show along with Carmella for their honeymoon, is it possible that Raw will try out a two-person commentary team, just for old times’ sake? No, that would be too much to ask for, like wishing for a two-hour show instead of three. Speaking of old times’ sake, though, Jerry Lawler is here in place of Graves.

First through the curtain is The Miz, who is slated tonight to face one of the newest faces of Monday Night Raw — sort of — in Cody Rhodes. The Miz is not in his ring gear yet, though, so that means it’s MizTV to open the show. Wait, Miz is still being booed after turning on Logan Paul? I figured that was an automatic face turn.

The guest on MizTV is, in fact, none other than Rhodes, who is definitely still basking in a hero’s reception from the fans. Miz questions Cody’s lengthy, egomaniacal entrance while Rhodes questions how much Miz has really changed over the past six years, while he himself has learned and evolved over that same time. Now, he’s back to beat the best wrestlers in the WWE, though Miz corrects him and suggests “Superstars”. Cody’s fine with that.

As Rhodes sets to leave the ring, Miz tries a sneak attack but he’s thrown through the ropes for his troubles.

Dominik Mysterio VS. Veer Mahaan

Time for Dominik to do his best carpenter work here and let Mahaan throw him around. Mysterio lands a chop, and Mahan proceeds to pound him into the mat, growling all the while. Dominik lands a couple of shots — including a superkick, which I’m sure used to be a finisher — but Mahaan grabs him out of the air as Dominik tries to crossbody him on the floor, levelling him with a clothesline shortly thereafter.

Jimmy Smith refers to Mahaan’s “million dollar arm” after the clothesline, which does not mean that Ted DiBiase is soon to be Veer’s manager. Rather, Smith was referring to Mahaan’s previous career as a minor-league baseball player, after he’d won a televised contest in India called “The Million Dollar Arm” and was signed into the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system (and yes, his story was made into a Disney movie).

Back to poor Dominik as Mahaan spplies his cervical clutch submission and Dominik taps out nearly immediately.

Winner via submission: Veer Mahaan

After celebrating his victory, Mahaan reapplies his submission hold twice over, as Dominik is taken out on a stretcher.

Veer Mahaan makes an example of Dominik Mysterio. Photo: WWE

Backstage, after a commercial break, Kevin Patrick tries to get an explanation from Mahaan for his actions, but his only words are that he strikes fear in the hearts of men. Elsewhere, Dominik is taken out of the arena by ambulance.

In a clip from earlier in the day, AJ Styles interrupts his own interview to go chasing after Damian Priest and getting into a backstage brawl.

Almost inconceivably, most of the same clip is shown after a commercial break and before their match.

AJ Styles VS. Damian Priest

This has the makings of a really fun rivalry — and throwing in an unleashed Edge is the cherry on top. Styles goes on the attack early, taking a strong uppercut by Priest and some kicks before clotheslining Damian over the top rope. Styles chases him down and throws him into the commentator’s table, returning to the ring and leaping over the ropes himself for a Phenomenal Forearm onto the floor.

Coming back from a break, Styles drops Priest with an inverted-DDT and another forearm low to the mat. Priest fights back and delivers a lifting flatliner for a two-count, kicking Styles to the ground and then kicking him some more. A Pele Kick staggers Priest, but another kick from Damian interrupts another Phenomenal Forearm attempt, sending Styles to the floor.

Priest, alone in the ring, drops to a knee, raises his hands, the lights dim, and a purple spotlight lands on him as we go to break.

Returning, the match has apparently been suspended.

Match result: No Contest

Oddly, this is how the match ended. Up until then it had been quite good. Photo: WWE

The Miz VS. Cody Rhodes

Just moments into the match, Seth Rollins’ music hits and he gyrates his way down the ramp to watch from ringside. Miz tries to take advantage of the distraction, but Rhodes soon scoop slams him and dropkicks him to the floor. Not long after, Rhodes tries for a Cody Cutter which is almost reversed into a Skull-Crushing Finale, but Rhodes finishes the sequence with a stalling suplex.

Miz takes back control with solid boots and an extended chinlock, continuing his simple attack through a break. Rhodes takes the hammer again with a suicide dive, but when he tries an attack off the top rope in the ring he lands awkwardly and grabs at his knee, which Miz immediately assaults with a figure-four leglock. Rhodes reverses it as Lawler suddenly shifts into heel commentator mode, and soon afterwards a Cody Cutter and Cross Rhodes lead to the win.

Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes

After the match, Rollins gets in the ring and calls for a rematch, to which Rhodes responds with a resounding yes.

Backstage, Kevin Patrick welcomes Tommaso Ciampa to Monday Night Raw, as does Ezekiel — reminding everyone that he’s Elias’ younger brother. Kevin Owens stomps in to tell Ciampa not to believe him, but the Raw newcomer seems to be taking Ezekiel at his word.

Naomi (w/ Sasha Banks) VS. Liv Morgan

This was supposed to be a tag team match including Morgan’s partner Rhea Ripley, but the Australian was said to be off the show due to “protocol” — though not which protocol, so I suppose we have to wait on news about that. The two open the contest with a series of reversals and escapes, save for a big kick by Naomi and a hurricanrana by Morgan.

Naomi blocks an ObLIVian and powerbombs Morgan before they trade pinning attempts, with Naomi getting the last laugh.

Winner via pinfall: Naomi

Proving what friends and co-champions are for, Banks joins Naomi in the ring for a dancing celebration, peeling her partner’s press-on eyelash off of her nose for her.

After a break, Bobby Lashley is in the ring, crashing the VIP set, awaiting MVP and Omos’ arrival. He wants MVP to explain himself, but it’s not until he threatens to destroy the VIP set that MVP strolls out along with Omos. MVP suggests that Lashley should be thanking him for all he did to build him up as The All Mighty, but Lashley counters that MVP simply latched on and rode his coattails. He promises that when he’s done with Omos he’s coming for his former manager, and proceeds to toss the furniture around.

Still images of people throwing couches always looks weird. Though, to be fair, this may be the first picture like this that I’ve ever seen. Photo: WWE

Elsewhere, R-Truth, Reginald, and Akira Tozawa emerge from Tozawa’s bachelor party, but Truth is only worried about what’s happening with the 24/7 title so off they go to Dana Brooke’s bachelorette party to check on it.

After ads, Austin Theory is reminding Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville that he has a United States title opportunity awaiting him, as promised by Vince McMahon. He also says that he and McMahon have agreed that he should simply go by “Theory” from now on. Pearce promises that Theory will get his title match next week. Kevin Owens enters next, suggesting that next week he sets up Ezekiel with a lie detector test. Deville thinks that’s a great idea.

Bianca Belair (C) VS. Queen Zelina

Right off the bat, Zelina tries a roll-up, but Belair simply backflips out of it. The champ powers the Queen up with a press slam before wasting Zelina with a quick KOD.

Winner via pinfall: Bianca Belair

As Belair celebrates, Deville comes to the ring to announce the next title contender for the champ. Belair says she’ll take on anyone, and Deville reveals that she has an open contract in her hand and that if Belair signs it she’ll bring out her opponent. Belair does, and Deville reveals dramatically that it’s her as she attacks the champ from behind before signing the contract.

Looking forward to seeing Deville get back into the ring on a regular basis, and this should be a fun feud. Photo: WWE

The camera finds its way to the bachelorette party, where Angel and Humberto bring their kiss cam, planting smooches on the cheeks of Tamina and Dana before Nikki A.S.H. tries to set up Brooke for a pinfall. Tamina breaks it up and here comes the ordained R-Truth, who says he’ll officiate a double wedding next week for the engaged. Methinks he has something up his sleeve.

Adam Pearce catches up with Deville, who’s feeling confident about her chances against Belair.

RK-Bro (Riddle & Randy Orton) (C) VS. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis)

Gable talks a lot of smack on the way down to the ring, presumably inadvertently poingint out the stupidity of Championship Contender matches, saying that they will beat RK-Bro and get one step closer to winning back their tag team titles. Why should there be another step after beating the champions?

Riddle drops Gable with a strong kick, tags in Orton and lets his partner flip him onto their opponent. Riddle gets back in and is levelled by the incoming Otis, which is presumably the beginning of the part of the match where Riddle takes a lot of punishment before finally tagging in Orton for the win. We’ll see.

Back from break, that’s what’s happening as Gable brings Riddle down with an underhook suplex, followed by a splash from Otis. Riddle finally does make it for a tag and Orton enters. Clothesline, clothesline, scoop slam, hangman’s DDT, RKO … punch the clock because that’s it.

Winners via pinfall: RK-Bro

The Usos make their way to the ring and officially lay down their challenge for a tag team championship unification match. Before Orton can officially reply, though, The Street Profits want to be a part of this conversation. They get in the ring and Orton makes a match for right now — I think for the #1 Contendership for the Raw tag titles.

The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) VS. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)

Dawkins and Jimmy do battle early in the match as RK-Bro watch from ringside, and as Jimmy traps Dawkins in his corner, Jey tags in to deliver a leaping punch, though Dawkins responds right away with a flying forearm of sorts. A blind tag brings Jimmy back in and he soon has Dawkins’ neck draped across the bottom rope.

A high kick on the side of the head sends Dawkins spinning to the mat next in this strangely uninteresting match. The Usos take Dawkins to the floor and jaw it up with RK-Bro before Ford leaps over the ropes and takes the cousins out before a break.

Ford gets a hot tag and enters the ring with a high cross body on Jey and a clothesline for Jimmy. A blockbuster for Jey is next for a two-count, and Dawkins tags himself in to set up the Profits’ assisted blockbuster for another near-fall. Ford lands a big splash off the top rope onto Jey, but Jimmy breaks up what seemed to be a sure three-count. The Usos follow with a double-team bulldog for the win.

Winners via pinfall: The Usos

A bit of a melee wraps up the evening, with Orton giving an RKO to Ford before The Usos both superkick the Viper and pose over top of him.

The Usos arrived on Raw and made their intended statement. Also, 60s Batman camera angle rules. Photo: WWE


Monday Night Raw, April 11, 2022

Some interesting build in here, from Lashley’s solo push without MVP to the good work (with a weird ending) by Styles and Priest. Deville versus Belair is also an intriging thing, so there was a lot to like in tonight’s show.