This week's Monday Night RAW opened with a lovely video package featuring Becky Lynch's pregnancy announcement from last Monday. It was a sweet way to open the show and to remind fans that Lynch might be gone for the moment, but her influence is still very much there. Edge and Randy Orton kicked things off with an in-ring promo, building hype for their upcoming match at the next WWE pay per view — Backlash. Edge accepted Orton's challenge, with both men acknowledging this could be the best match of their career. After their drawn-out-yet-show-stopping match at this year's WrestleMania, this seems a little much.
Seth Rollins and Murphy came out to the ring next. Rollins very calmly spoke about the darkness he thought he would never escape, but he found joy and peace in regards to his attack on Rey Mysterio last week. To be fair it was really gross. This was an interesting promo but honestly, one that bored me. Thankfully Humberto Carrillo came out to interrupt. Carrillo came out defending Mysterio, calling Rollins a coward. One can now guess that this is the start of Carrillo's baby face transformation. This will absolutely cause a rift in the Zelina Vega stable, something many fans have been vying for. Carrillo calling out Rollins would lead to a match between Carrillo and Murphy, a good 30 minutes into RAW.
Carrillo looked strong, with Murphy selling his high flying moves well. Murphy took the win, and then attacked Carrillo after the match. Aleister Black came out to take down Murphy post-match, setting up a new storyline between the three. After the match, Liv Morgan gave a great video promo where she emotionally spoke of her mother's determination, which led to Morgan revealing her own determination to become RAW Women's Champion.
NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and Ruby Riott had a decent match. It says something about the lack of faith creative has in the women who are currently in Orlando for WWE when they have Flair moving between NXT, SmackDown, and RAW all within a week. To Flair's credit, she is a master on the mic and she has real in-ring talent. The match was fun but left Riott looking mostly like a lower mid-card talent jobbing out to Flair.
MVP and Bobby Lashley cut a promo backstage, with MVP asking Lashley why he hasn't gone after the WWE Championship yet. This current storyline for Lashley is honestly working well with the addition of MVP. Their chemistry is real, and MVP isn't afraid to carry the whole thing on his back.
After an exciting introduction by Kairi Sane, Asuka came out to the ring to celebrate her new RAW Women's Championship. Sane would give Asuka a large bouquet of flowers and celebrate her many titles wins in her WWE career. This was a fun celebration, only to be crashed by Nia Jax. An unimpressed Jax came out to the ring, tearing into Asuka and Sane for celebrating. After all, Asuka was essentially handed the belt since Lynch is on maternity leave. It really is nice to have Jax back. She is a polarizing WWE talent, but I personally love her. Her ongoing story with Asuka and Sane will likely cultivate into a title match at an upcoming pay per view.
R Truth and Lashley had a follow-up match, but the real joy was the promo Truth cut before. Truth called out Tom Brady over the 24/7 Championship, demanding its return. While Truth was used to make Lashley look strong and imposing, I would like to see Truth win a match that isn't for the 24/7 title. Lashley took the win. Meanwhile, backstage Lana was throwing a fit, screaming, and throwing whatever she could get her hands on. This could be the beginning of the end of the Lashley / Lana storyline.
The WWE Tag Team titleholders Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross took on the returning Iiconics. This match wasn't terribly good and you could easily skip over it. Bliss and Cross retained their title via disqualification. It is great to have the Iiconics back. There's no doubt they'll win the tag team titles sooner rather than later. Following we had a submission match between Natalya and Shayna Baszler. Both women are exceptional grapplers and are strong in their own rights. Baszler took the win.
Kevin Owens was back on RAW this week, this time interviewing the Vega stable on the Kevin Owens Show. It's nice to have Owens back for in-ring action. He was sorely missed. The talk show segment was great — I genuinely laughed at parts as Owens is good at comedic timing. The show quickly went south tho, resulting in a match between Owens pairing with the returning Apollo Crews as they went against Andrade and Angel Garza. Both teams brought their A-game, resulting in a fun welcome back match for both Owens and Crews, who would take the win.
Aleister Black and Murphy had a proper match after their run in earlier in the night. These two are a lot of fun to watch in-ring and they work well with each other. This match had a surprise twist, with Austin Theory jumping in to join in the new Rollins stable, attacking Black alongside Murphy and Rollins. Black took the win due to disqualification.
My favorite part on tonight's RAW was the ax-throwing contest between the Street Profits and the Viking Raiders. This time the Profits went to a miniature LARP encampment (or a miniature renaissance festival) full of mirth, merriment, and Vikings. This was a funny segment, with both teams making the most of it. The Vikings took the win, as ax-throwing is something Vikings are probably good at.
The main event for the night was between the WWE Champion Drew McIntyre against King Corbin, who was visiting from SmackDown. I know fans love to shit all over Corbin online but give the guy credit. He's been a successful heel for the better part of two years, and he plays it up. This was a good match to close out an otherwise long Monday Night RAW, with McIntyre bringing his A-Game yet again. This was an easy win for McIntyre, but Corbin did he best.
Overall this was a good week for RAW, with a lot of focus on the women. I just wish WWE was using this time to build up the lower to mid-card talent that has been working the past few weeks. Riott, for example, could be a very real threat to the women's locker room, but instead, she's being used as enhancement talent for the more than established Flair. Here's hoping WWE figures out what they're going to do over the next few weeks.