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Acero’s WWE Raw Review 4.12.21

April 12, 2021 | Posted by Tony Acero
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Acero’s WWE Raw Review 4.12.21  

I hope everyone is enjoying their Mania hangover! What a weekend. Such a fun weekend, in fact, that I’ve been cooking up something for a bit for everyone here, and what better place to announce it than here!

Coming soon….

It’s Monday…you know what that means.

Earlier today, Lashley walked into the arena, and singular fan seemingly took the time to walk through the numerous random talent to ask for an autograph, not say anything else, and walk away. Honestly, who considered that even necessary.

Riddle scoots up to challenge Lashley, showing that he can, in fact, remember lines, and quotes some Lashley words before getting slammed into the handlebars and Lashley accepting the challenge.

A note; we have a new looking set, as well as a new commentary team, with Graves and Saxton donning the new guy Adnan Virk on either side.

We head to LIVE and Lashley makes his entrance. Riddle scoots down the ramp next, but Lashley stops him as he circles the ring and knocks Riddle on his ass. Lashley sends Riddle into the barricade hard a few times, then tosses him across into another one.

Lashley is able to send Riddle in the ring and the bell sounds.

Match 1: Matt Riddle vs Bobby Lashley

Lashley sends Riddle into the corner, hitting shoulders to the midsection. He grabs Riddle and drops him across the rin, then leaves the ring and grabs Riddle’s scooter. He tosses it with one hand, then enters the ring and blocks some offense from Riddle. Riddle tries for a knee but Lashley grabs and slams, sends Riddle to the outside, then scowls. Lashley heads outside and tosses Riddle over the barricade as we go to break.

We are back, and Lashley is smooshing his fist into the face of Riddle. Riddle turns into the hold, hits rights, lefts, the ropes, Lashley hits ak nee, another knee, another then a flatliner type into the corner, then in the middle of the ring. Cover for 1..2…NO!!!! Riddle continues with the knuckles to the face. Riddle gets a rope break. Lashley stomps Riddle’s face, boot to the chin, under the rope as the ref counts. Lashley with another boot to the face, stepping on Riddle. Lashley whips Riddle to the ropes, hits a shoulder tackle. Lashley continues the onslaught, this time he grabs the chin of Riddle and presses on the top of his head. Riddle turns into the hold, hits right hands to the face, Lashley with a clothesline. Riddle escapes a spinebuster, kicks high, right, left, kick to the back, the side, the ribs, go behind, ripcord knee strike, Lashley is down.

He hops to the top rope and flies with a Floating Bro, but Lashley rolls out of the way. Full Nelson, and we get a tap out.

Winner: Bobby Lashley
On the one hand, seeing a dominant champion is refreshing, and after tapping out Drew, it should be no shock that he did the same to Riddle tonight. On the other hand, Riddle is one of the guys they’ve been protecting for some reason or another, so to see him in an elongated squash match was a bit odd.
Total Rating: **
Match Time: 10:28

We get a recap of Asuka vs Rhea.

The dude with two first names and an accent is backstage with Rhea, asking how she is prepared to defend her title tonight. Rhea says it’s all about confidence; the same that allowed her to beat Asuka last night to become champion. What we witnessed last night was the brutal new order of the Women’s Divison. As for tonight, she will prove that she IS ready for Asuka.

We are back to RAW, and we’re getting a tag team match coming up next, featuring…

The Viking Raiders

Match 2: Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin vs The Viking Raiders

Ivar and Cedric start, and Ivar is hyped! He sends Cedric into the corner, tags in erik, drops Cedric, then we get Ivar bodyslamming Erik onto Cedric. Tag to Shelton, runs in with a knees trike to Erik. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Shelton with a body slam in the center of the ring. Another to Erik. Suplex to Erik. Cover for 1..2…NO!!! Tag to Cedric. Shelton grabs the leg as Cedric runs in and hits an elbow. Shoulders to Erik in the corner. Cedric mauls Erik in the corner, then runs with a knee. Erik with a hard right hand to the face. Cedric gets backed into the corner. Cedric attacks the back, drops some fists. Right hand to Cedric rocks Erik. Whip, Cedric misses a clothesline, hits some elbows to the right shoulder, tag to Shelton. Shelton in with a back suplex attempt, Erik escapes, attacks Cedric, turns to Shelton, Cedric with a surprise knee. Angle Slam from Shelton and a cover fort 1..2….NO!!! Tag to Cedric. He drops an elbow to the back of the head. Short whip sees Erik spin Cedric onto his knees. HUGE KNEE FROM ERIK! Tag to Ivar, tag to Shelton. They meet in the middle, and Ivar with rights, shoulder tackle, again, to the ropes, side walk slam! Ivar with a crossbody into a splash. He lifts Shelton, Shelton hits a knee. Whip to the corner, Ivar jumps up and sits on Shelton’s chest. Cartwheel, Cedric in. Double clothesline!

Tag to Erik, Ivar lifts him and sits him onto Shelton. The Viking Experience to Cedric. Pin for 1..2….3!!

Winners: The Viking Experience
Poor Shelton and Cedric. Nothing against The VR, I just never really was big on them. They had some good matches, but their characters were simultaneously forced and not given enough foundation. I’m sorry, but their twenty week fued with The Street Profits just soured them badly.
Total Rating: *
Match Time: 5:29

Ol Jimmy Two Names is with Asuka, asking how she will approach tonight. Asuka says tonight, it’s her turn. Losing to Rhea was a nightmare, but tonight, she will once again be champion.

WE return to Charlotte Flair’s music. She comes out in a romper and demands that someone hold the ropes for her. They try to get the new guy to do it, but a stagehand handles the duties.

Charlotte isn’t happy because she wasn’t welcomed to Mania. She wasn’t there last night. She knows what we are thinking – it’s just one Mania, she’s been on five. No, she is a franchise player, a genuine superstar, and what she does in this ring is sacred. She wasn’t on the show for things she couldn’t control. Was it her fault Asuka needed a tag team partner? That her dad showed up on Legends Night acting a fool? Was it her fault that lacey decided to get pregnant and she didn’t get to kick her ass? No. She tried. She challenged Asuka on RAW for the title; and Asuka didn’t respond. She responded to Rhea, though. Rhea beat Asuka, a star was born.

She knows every girl back there thought they had an opportunity to be on Mania, but kudos to Rhea who took full advantage. She is the biggest snake in the locker room. Asuka, of all people, was manipulated into this rematch tonight.

Charlotte goes full DMX and lists a bunch of women that were on Mania last night, then says no one compares to her. Charlotte doesn’t steal opportunities, she IS the opportunity. To all of us, the delusional, who think she steals opportunities from our favorites? No, she creates them. She will not apologize for being that good. We will bow down to our thirteen time champion. No more humble Charlotte. She wants us to show her some respect to what she has brought to this industry. She tells us to enjoy the title match that she should have been in.

I neither learned nor gained anything new with this promo.

Match 3: WWE RAW Women’s Championship
Asuka vs Rhea Ripley

Asuka backs Rhea into the corner, hits some rights, Rhea tries to do the same, Asuka shoots for a drop toe hold, but Rhea stops her and tosses Asuka across the ring. She grabs Asuka by the hair and hits a blw to the back. Another punch to the back. Asuka with a surprise cover for 1..NO! Kick to Rhea, another is blocked, Asuka rolls through into an arm bar. Rope break.

WE ARE BACK and Rhea whips Asuka to the corner, hard. Rhea is all smiles. She sends Asuka back into the top buckle, head first, again, one more time. Rhea with a kick to the chest. Back elbow from Asuka. Kick to Rhea. Asuka to the top. Flies, dropkick! Rhea gets hit with a German! Asuka runs with a hip attack. Bulldog attempt, bu Rhea shoves her away. Kick to Rhea, spinning kick to Rhea, Shining Wizard and a cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Asuka to the top rope. She dives with a dropkick, but she misses! Rhea with a cloverleaf lift. Asuka escapes, they both attack, neither getting the upperhand. Rhea tries to sit Asuk on her shoulders, gets her up top, Asuk punches the head, fireman’s transition, but Asuka tries to hit a crucifix bomb. They both kind of fumble, landing hard. Asuka covers for 1..2.NO!!! Asuka tries for an armbar, Rhea spins out, Asuka Lock without the leg scissors. Rhea on her knees, trying to stand, runs into the corner, feeding Asuka some buckle. Rhea sits Asuka on her shoulders and slams her forward, face first. Cover for 1..2..NO!!!

On the apron, Asuka shoves Rhea into the buckle. Asuka lifts up and hits a modified DDT onto the apron!!!

Asuka grabs Rhea as the ref hits 2. They both stand, lock up, and here comes the predictable attack by Charlotte Flair. She shoves both women into the steps.

Winner: No Contest
A hell of a lot of miscommunication there, with a predictable finish. Charlotte is back to her annoying heel persona. Yay.
Total Rating: *1/2
Match Time: 11:53

Charlotte with big boot (foot?) to Rhea. She grabs Asuka and hits a suplex to her. Charlotte kicks Asuka into the ring apron, then does the same to Rhea.

Backstage, Miz and Morrison are happy about their social media. Miz walks up to his lovely wife to say hello. Morrison wonders why she is here. Miz informs him that she is the guest tonight, duh. Morrison says of course.

BACKSTAGE, Nia and Shayna are watching and re-watching Mandy Rose falling on her ass over and over. Mandy comes in, wondering if they are done. Nia sends Shayna away for some reason. Mandy says it was embarrassing, but really funny, she can laugh at herself. Funny when things happen like that – when you don’t see them coming.

SLAP! Dana comes out of nowhere and her and Mandy shove Nia into a trashcan.


She says Mania was fun, and she bets were wondering why she did what she did.

She said once there was a girl who was lost, until one day, she was rescued by the darkness. (this is interspliced with video of pre-dark Alexa, and Bray “saving her”). The darkness protected her and nurtured her and taught her everything – then the darkness went away. She wonders, is that when the little girl realized that she may have never needed the darkness after all? How do you think it made her feel when she realized she could do everything on her own. Was darkness helping her, or did she decide it was just in her way. Why else would she use what she was taught to try and destroy said darkness? Is it true what they say; is the female of the species the deadliest? They may never know, but there’s one thing they know – along the way, she unlocked something truly evil. Meet her new friend, Lily.

We pan over to a swing with a puppet on it. She says their fun is just getting started.

We get a zoomed in vid of Lily, who takes a bite at the screen and smiles.

WE HEAD TO THE RING where Miz is making his entrance. He welcomes his wife as her music plays.

Morrison is out next, and we get the trio making their entrance as Corey Graves gushes over Maryse.

WE ARE BACK, and wondering why Maryse is here. Miz is here to answer. Morrison knows why, but Miz should tell the crowd.

Maryse says that right after RAW, their show will be premiering. Morrison lauighs it off, then wonders if they’d be down for a spin-off. MMM will be the title. Miz says no, there’s no spinoff. Morrison is IN tonight’s episode where they make a commercial. Miz brings up Mania, saying he turned Bad Bunny into a superstar. Maryse says Miz is way too giving. Never before have we seen someone like Bad Bunny do what he did. Miz has some highlights.

We see Bad Bunny hitting the Falcon Arrow on Morrison, then the crossbody off the top rope. Miz says the pain was worth it because history was made, and without Miz, Bad Bunny would have been a flop.

Damian Priest comes out to interrupt. Priest says Bad Bunny shocked the world, because he put in the work. He trained day and night to live his dream, and if memory serves him right, Miz says Bad Bunny didn’t belong and now he’s trying to save face. Let’s remember the headline: “Bad Bunny Beats The Miz.”

Miz, in a good point, wonders where Priest’s name is in that headline. Miz has had many mania moments, so if Priest wants some of his star power, Miz will face him later tonight one-on-one.

Morrison says he was about to do the SAME THING! Miz says no. They bicker. Maryse says they can both fight Priest.

Priest sees what’s going on, calls them idiots, says he’s down for the handicap match. Here’s the headline: “Damian Priest beats The Miz and John Morrison.”

Match 4: The Miz and John Morrison vs Damian Priest

Priest sends Morrison out of the ring and attacks Miz in the corner. Neither Miz or Morrison are dressed for the match. Miz catapults the tagged. In Morrison, who flies in with an elbow. Cover for 1..2..N!O!! Morrison removes his jacket, kicks the back of Priest, then gets a chinlock from behind. Priest boxes the ears, Miz misses a clothesline in the corner. Kick from Priest. Flying elbow to Morrison, one for Miz, one for Morrison, locks the head, Broken Arrow, kicks to Miz, right to Miz, leg lariat to Miz. GOOZLE! Chokeslam to Miz. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Miz just flies his dick into the face of Priest. Tag to Morrison who comes in and gets a clothesline. Priest to the top rope. Morrison rolls to the apron. Priest rushes the corner, grabs the ropes, and flips over the top rope onto Miz and Morrison! He sends Morrison inside the ring, hits an elbow to Miz, stomps Miz down, climbs the corner, right hand from Morrison. Priest hits the mid section, then heads to the top rope, spinning leg lariat from the top rope and a cover for 1..2…NO!!! Tag from Miz. Hit the Lights! Miz rushes in, Skull Crushing-reversed!!! He locks The Miz’s head, but Maryse is there to pull Miz’s leg out, and he escapes Priest.

Priest grabs the pants of Miz and rips them off. Maryse hops on the apron. Miz rolls Priest up, uses the ropes, gets the 1..2…3!!!

Winners: The Miz and John Morrison
I don’t think any one man should be winning against two men, particularly a new dude, but at the same time, I also saw no point in having this match to begin with, and no amount of Maryse will make it ok.
Total Rating: *
Match Time: 5:33

Backstage, ol Double Handle wants to remind Nia and Shayna of what happened…like 20 minutes ago. Seriously?

Nia reflects upon my issue with them replaying this in its entirety even though we saw it 20 minutes ago. Nia says they did this to deflect from the blunder Mandy had. Mission accomplished. After the beating they give Mandy and Dana, though, no one will be talking about either of them.

Match 5: Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler

Dana and Nia to start. Nia tosses her like nothing then squashes her in the corner. Boot to the chin. Nia rubs Dana’s chin on the rope, then shoves her head. Nia grabs the head, tags in Shayna. She whips Dana into a check by Nia, sending her down hard. Knee from Shayna. Cover for 1.2…NO!! Shayna appears to have hurt the leg. She gets a stretch muffler, hanging Dana upside down. Tag to Nia. Shayna swings Dana’s head into the corner. Cover for Nia as Graves and the new guy argue over what a pendulum is. Nia with a submission move in the center of the ring. Dana swing kicks, tag to Shayna, Shayna cuts the ring in half, lifts Dana, Mandy gets a tag and flies off the top rope with a dropkick. Clothesline to Shayna, another, flapjack. Mandy lifts Shayna, sends her into the corner hard. Running knee is missed, Shayna with a knee, missing that as well. Shayna locks the head, double underhook, Shayna lands on her feet and locks in The Clutch. Shayna sends Mandy to the outside. Nia tags, heads out of the ring. Nia climbs up the apron. Nia slips off the apron, falling on her hole. Nia is pissed. She crawls into the ring, incredibly mad.

Dana and Mandy walk backwards up the ramp. Dana tells Mandy it’s not worth it. The ref hits 6. Ref calls for the end.

Winners: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
This was stupid. I get it; ya wanna make Mandy feel better after her folly, but not at the expense of character development. It’s not worth it to continue a match against the champs, but it’s totally fine to attack in a 2-on-1? I thought they were fighters, trying their darndest to earn the titles?
Total Rating: NR
Match Time: 4:34

We return to MVP in the ring wondering who can beat Lashley. He gets a jab at Drew.

Drew comes out, says Mania would come down to a few things: Claymore, Hurt Lock, and who makes the first mistake. MVP distracted him, but he has no excuses. Lashley’s finisher is devastating. Drew loves the ego, keep Lashley in the suits, the sunglasses. Milk the cash cow. Make his head as big as possible; Drew will get his rematch and he will knock Lashley off the biggest pedestal ever. He wants Lashley to fall as far as possible, and he will look up at the new champion; Drew McIntyre. MVP Says nothing is given…

An annoying train is heard, and out comes Braun.

MVP tells Drew to get back in line. Braun agrees. He says he deserves the shot after the annihilation of Shane.

Randy Orton is here! He says The Fiend and Bliss are done, which means no more mind games, which also means he can focus on what he is great at – being the Legend Killer, being the Viper, and being the Champion. MVP is highly annoyed.

Adam Pearce is out, says he can see where this is going – duh.

He says there will be a triple threat tonight and the winner faces Lashley at Backlash.

You’d think Pearce would have a little more aggression towards Braun and any type of opportunity for him, all things considered…

AFTER THE BREAK, Drew is walking backstage. In comes Braun, brings up his cage match. Drew says great match, but this is a triple threat. Drew explains the problems with triple threats, while Braun says he knows how it works; he’s not stupid. He knows how badly Drew wants a rematch, but he is in Braun’s way. This means there is a monster-sized ass whoopin coming Drew’s way.

Elias is in the ring by himself; with no one else. He wants to dedicate this song to Shane for his unmatched bravery. He strums the guitar, but Francesca is heard. Elias blames Lance. Fuckin Lance.

New Day interrupts, and of course, we get no ill will towards the idea that they lost their titles. Elias does eventually bring that up, as he wonders how high Kofi was before he got his ass slammed down.

Woods says what we have here is a failure to communicate. They nod to DMX. And ready themselves to fight.

Match 6: Elias vs The New Day

Woods starts with a phantom, getting the beatdown in the corner. He faces the winds of a thousand worlds, then kicks Elias in the gut as he enters. Kofi tosses Elias to the outside, then he and Woods fly over the top rope to the outside.

We come back and Elias and Woods are in the ring. Woods dodges a move, but trips and falls back hard onto his back! He lays there, flailing for a bit, as the ref counts a pin. Weird. Woods reaches over to tag Kofi in as Elias stands on the apron like a fool. With Woods in the corner, Elias takes advantage and enters the ring then slams Woods down with a modified powerslam. Cover for 1..2.NO!!! Elias grabs the hair and talks some shit to Woods. He grabs a headlock. We get a quick promo for the new moview with Better Call Saul in it, MID MATCH! Man, I hate that shit.

We come back to Elias hitting a sliding knee to the back of Wood’s neck. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Elias hooks the head of Woods and suplexes Woods! Ref counts for a pin but only gets 2. Woods practices Yoga, doing an interesting upward dog for a bit.He hits a backflip for no reason, then does a pushup before tagging in Kofi! He hits Elias square in the forehead. Chop to Elias. Dropkick to Elias. He hits the ropes, jumps up, Elias catches him, Elias rolls through, stomp from Kofi to Elias. Pin for 1..2…NO!!! Kofi hits the ropes. Boom Drop. Kofi is distracted by the winds of racism, but Woods is there to baseball slide through the ropes. Elia sits Kofi on the top of his shoulders, kofi backs into a pin. Kick to Elias. Kofi lifts him. Woods with a stomp to the chest of Elias. Cover for 1..2…3!!!

Winners: The New Day
A shame Elias had to go at it alone, but thems are the breaks, I suppose.
Total Rating: **
Match Time: Stopwatch Issues

Backstage, Randy orton is basking in the glory of blue light. He says he has been distracted for the past six months. That ended last night.


Everyone is accounted for as Ramblin Rabbit gives us the return of Bray Wyatt. He enters and waves to us all, saying hello. It’s so good to be back with all of his true friends. Rabbit says it’ll be so lonely in here without Alexa. Wyatt grabs him and kisses him, then tosses him. He says no matter what has happened lately, they have each other. They will always have each other. He feels great. He thinks this could be anus tart. A new start, sorry. He says this can be a brand new him. He feels reborn. He heals Huskus, heals Mercy, and everthing will be fine because he shall return. No more clout chasing in this here simulation. The Funhouse will be big, bad, and strong.

See ya.

Match 7: Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton v Braun Strowman

Drew and Orton start with a double team, double suplexing Braun down. Drew stomps Braun in the corner, but Orton attacks him, allowing Braun to stand and attack both of them. He sends Orton to the outside, then Drew. Braun leaves the ring, he looks to truck both men as he typically does, but Drew has the steps and bangs em on the head of Braun. Orton with a back supelx to Drew onto the table.

Back from a break, and Orton is attacking Drew. He stomps the foot. Drew with a clothesline. Another. Whip to Orton, belly to belly! He hits another out of the corner! In comes Braun with a big boot to Drew. He hits a asplsh in the corner with Orton. Headbutt to Orton, a splash attempt in the corner, but Drew messes up a neckbreaker, getting mostly beard. Drew to the apron. Orton just trips him up. Orton with a kick. He chops Drew hard across the chest. Drew hits Orton with one. Kick from Orton. He slams Drew’s head into the top of the barricade, then into the post. Orton slams Drew into the announce table. Again. Another. Orton tosses Drew across the table onto a chair. Orton turns, and there’s Braun with a shoulder tackle. Braun grabs the steps and clocks Drew in the face with them. He then grabs Orton and drags him across the apron, clubbing the chest. He grabs the steps again and clocks Orton one time with them, and another one for Drew. Braun tosses them then sends Orton into the ring. He hops on the apron, Orton kicks him and grabs the head. DDT to Braun.

Orton waits, RKO TO BRAUN! Cover for 1..2….NO!!! CLAYMORE TO ORTON TO BREAK THE PIN! Braun rolls out of the ring. Cover on Orton for 1..2…..3!!!!

Winner: Drew McIntyre
While the match wasn’t bad by any stretch, it seemed incredibly tacked on to the show. The positive is we have a main event for the Mania Redux and shouldn’t be surprised that it’s essentially a rematch on the show that is always nothing but.
Total Rating: ***
Match Time: 11:18

After the match, Drew celebrates, but the music of MVP hits and he comes out….only for T-Bar and Mace to grab Drew and hit a chokeslam to Drew.

MVP stands at the top of the ramp staring at the scene.

End Show

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
About two years ago, the WWE figured out that the RAW after Mania is a special one, and in true fashion, they buried it into the ground with over-the-head hammering of epic proportions, leaving that unique feel of nostalgia, burgeoning adoration for wrestling, and the heightened excitement of debuting rookies all in the dust. Although one could readily assume that this also can be blamed on the pandemic, the WWE could have just as easily put on compelling television in an attempt to assure that we understood this was a new start, and while I did see some of that, there was also far too much "more of the same," to feel any different about anything. First, the wrestling was subpar to average, with the main event getting the nod for match of the night, but only just. The continued stories are anything but fresh. Case in point; Charlotte coming out to claim this is a new version of herself, when it's the same tired persona she's been using for years. The Miz and Morrison give us more of the same in MizTV that is more promo than anything. We even get a revolving door promo that Larry loved so much, but wow, they did it in the middle of the show! Wild! Very little was actively bad in tonight's episode, but a bulk of it was just not entertaining, in some cases boring, and at times just downright asinine (Shayna walking away for no reason, faces double teaming a heel, Kofi and Woods continuing to be very consistent in simply being consistent, Riddle essentially getting squashed, etc). I didn't expect a new guard; I didn't expect a HUGE debut; I didn't expect Brock Lesnar, but most importantly, I did not expect Retribution, unchanged, not even a slight alteration in their look or demeanor, to end RAW. Man...

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