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Acero’s WWE RAW Review 4.5.21

April 5, 2021 | Posted by Tony Acero
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Acero’s WWE RAW Review 4.5.21  

It’s the final RAW before Mania, and I’m more excited about this jury duty notice I’m about to ignore.

It’s Monday…you know what that means.

WE start live with Drew McIntyre. He scowls as we see Baron Corbin showing up last week, and our reminded that Drew and Lashley are in the main event of Mania.

Drew says in five days, he’ll be going to Mania. He calls last year unique, yet once again he is fighting for the WWE Championship. So much going through his head. Drew says he and Lashley have similar journeys. He says he is willing to sacrifice a lot. They both sacrificed a lot. The difference is Lashley goes home to make up for lost time. Drew can’t. He left at 22 to come to the WWE and become Champion. Trust him, times got hard, they were not easy. He wished he had the luxury to go home. He remembers his mother, sick from chemo, on Skype, telling him that this is his dream, and if he comes home, she will kick his ass herself. Keep pushing, sacrificing. How can you beat a man that will sacrifice everything? Tonight, he will run through Corbin, then put his foot between Lashley’ eyes and end the Almighty Era.

Lashley comes out, wondering if Drew is done about last year. 17 years to get to the top. It took him 16, so he gets it, but only one can be on top. Drew’s time is over. It’s now his time. Everyone in the back is afraid of Drew, but he saw something different last week in Drew’s eyes – fear. On top of that, when he locked in the Full nelson, he felt Drew shake and quiver then go out. At Mania, that’s what will happen and there is nothing Drew can do about it.

Drew calls Lashley tough, says he wasn’t afraid, he was passing out. The Hurt Lock is no joke. Drew says they are at a 7 or 8, they should just fight right now.

MVP stops the match, says this is not how this works. Mania. Saturday. That’s when this happens. We know where Drew will be, in the center of the ring with Lashley where he will lose dignity, consciousness, and the match. Drew says nevermind, maybe he’ll be an uber driver, or maybe he can go into Mania, run Lashley down, and get back his title.

Everyone talks over everyone, MVP says that’s a lot of tough talk considering Drew might not even make it to Mania.

Corbin comes out to say something or other.

BACKSTAGE, Riddle, Kofi, and Woods talk about getting high on Mania weekend.

So there’s that.

Match 1: Xavier Woods vs AJ Styles

Woods with a hard arm drag off the ropes, slamming Woods down with roughness. Woods hits rights, AJ shoves him away, then rolls through for a calf crusher. He gets it, and Woods tries to break it.

Outside the ring, Kofi grabs a mic, yells at Omos, then throws the mic at Omos.


Kofi enters the ring, Omos hops on the apron, AJ releases the hold. Omos gets down just as Woods rolls AJ up for 1..2….3!

Lol. What in the world was that? Ah yes, the power of positivity definitely screams, “Throw an object at an unbeknownst man.”
Total Rating: -*
Match Time: 1:22

Bad Bunny shows up in an expensive car.

Braun shows up as an inexpensive train.

There’s a cage around the ring. Braun, his gloves dangling from his belt, comes out with a scream and a choo choo.

After a video package, Braun cuts a promo in the cage about being bullied, again. He brings up the report card from last week, but here’s the thing: Shane doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into. Shane can run his mouth all he wants, but when the door closes, the running ends. He’s not just fighting for him at Mania. He’s fighting for all of us who have been called stupid.

He says the last thing Shane will hear is “here comes the body bag,” because at Mania, Shane is going to get these hands.

Shane’s music hits, and he comes shuffling out with a smile. Shane is all grins. He says there is a lot of anger coming from Braun. What did Shane ever do to him? Shane says when he gave Braun the opportunity to pick the match, it was a test of his intellect. A steel cage match at Mania is not that stupid. On paper, this match favors Braun, and it would, if Shane was any other man, but he is a McMahon. He will outwit and defeat Braun at Mania.

Match 2: Elias vs Braun Strowman

Braun hits Elias with a right, sending him into the corner. He wrestles with his own shadows of bullying in the corner, then goes right back to Elias in the corner. Right hands to the chest of Elias. Braun lifts Elias, but the force of music stops the move. Elias hits the ropes, then a knee to the back of Braun. Braun gets dropped, then Elias with an impressive back suplex. Stomps to Braun leave him down. Elias mounts and tries to pin, but a gale of wind gets in the eye of Braun, slowing him down. Elias with an elbow drop and a cover, but Braun powers out of it.

Shane walks down the ramp removing his jacket. Elias with a bunch of boots to Braun. Braun stands slowly, gets up and sends Elias flying. Braun turns, and Shane backs up the ramp hurriedly. Elias gets sent into the corner, splash from Braun, then a huge blow to the corner.

Braun scoop slams air to show Elias what’s coming. Powerslam to Elias. He covers Elias. 1..2….3!!!

Winner: Braun Strowman
Total Rating: NR
Match Time: 2:35

Miz and Morrison are walking backstage with paint cans. The Briterviewer, Kevin stops them to ask what they are carrying. We see that Miz and Morrison are by the Bugatti. Miz notices a scratch, says they have matching paint, then dip into the paint, and write “Hey Hey Ho Ho” onto the hood, then continue to paint the car with paint that looks about as permanent as a Ric Flair marriage.

BACK FROM BREAK, and Bad Bunny is a Mad Bunny. He heads to his car, covered in paint worse than a dyed egg, and shows immense anger. He cannot believe it. In Spanish.

Miz and Morrison attack from behind, then send Bad Bunny into the so much cheaper Nissan next to the Bugatti. Miz says he doesn’t respect Bad Bunny or the car, punching Bad Bunny over and over. In come Pearce to chase Miz and Morrison out. Priest is next, to check on him, then a medic that Pearce screamed for.

Backstage, Rhea cuts a promo about teaming with Asuka, and if she wants payback, Asuka will have to wait till Mania.

Match 3: Asuka and Rhea Ripley vs Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler

Asuka and Baszler to start. They get rough fast, and end the back and forth with a hard shoulder tackle from Asuka. She steps on the face of Baszler, grabbing the arm, and pulling on it hard before looking for a tag. Rhea doesn’t reach out for it. Shayna shoves Asuka, and Rhea blind tags herself in. Lockup from behind, Shayna stops it, spins, Rhea lifts Shayna and tosses her into the corner .Tag from Nia. Rhea is all smiles. Nia shoves her, Rhea attacks with rights, then goes to body slam Nia. Yes, she does. Nia sends Rhea into the corner, Rhea tags Asuka on her head. ASuka enters the ring, works the arm, hits a right, gets shoved, Samoan Drop attempt from Nia, but Asuka drops down and kicks then locks in an Octopus to Nia. Asuka stares own Rhea, Nia sends her into the ropes then hits a tackle and covers for 1..2..NO!!! Nia shoves ASuka into the corner and hits a splash. She kicks Asuka. Asuka shoves her away, then hits a codebreaker out of the corner. Tag ot Shayna, tag to Rhea. Rhea with a big boot, then sends Nia off the apron. Reggie on the apron, Rhea grabs his hair, Baszler attacks from behind, hitting the knee. Rhea to the outside. Nia drops down and grabs her, then pulls her towards the table. She shoves Rhea into the apron.

We come back to Shayna stomping the ankle of Rhea. Rhea kicks Shayna away, but Shayna kicks Rhea in the thigh and covers for 1..2..N!O!! Tag to Nia, and Shayna tosses Rhea into a body slam from Nia. Nia with an elbow drop and a cover .1..2..NO!!! Nia grabs Rhea by the neck, tag to her partner, Shayna with aright hands in the corner. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Baszler want sa heel hook, working the leg, and trying to twist the ankle. Rhea kicks Shayna away, so Shayna stands and drops an elbow to the lef, again, another. She steps on the leg the ndrags Rhea into the corner and tags Nia back in. Nia steps on the leg then leg drops it. Nia with a submission attempt, but Rhea elbows out then hits a low dropkick. She reaches for a tag to Asuka, aSuka gets it. She hits a dropkick to the entering Baszler. High kick to Nia, hip attack to Shayna, one for Nia, Shayna runs int oa kick to the face. GERMAN to Shayna. Shining Wizard and a cover for 1..2…NO!!! Asuka to the top rope, but Rhea hops on the apron and shoes Asuka off the top rope to the outside.

Rhea grabs Asuka on the outside and slams her face first into the mat, then sends her into the ring where Asuka gets a hard knee from Shayna. Shayna covers for 1..2….3!!!

Winner: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Nia is just..NOT good. Shayna has become a shell of her former self, doing ok work, but nothing substantial, and the “turn,” if you can even call it that, comes off as forced as hell simply to show some sort of heel/face dynamic that didn’t exist before, yet not enough to make anyone care.
Total Rating: *1/2
Match Time: 11:32

Backstage, Shelton and Cedric run up on MVP. Cedric grabs the lapels, tells him that his greed is going to cost him. Last week, MVP called them an embarrassment, and incompetent. MVP is a parasite. Without them, MVP is nothing but a past up has been. Cedric may not beat Lashley tonight, but he will give him a scar to remember him by, and he can’t wait for Drew to kick his teeth in and expose MVP for the fraud he is.

Yeesh, that was rough.

Shelton gets the last word, telling MVP to stay his crippled ass out of the way.

Sarah, just watching in the corner, runs up on MVP to ask if he is concerned. MVP is disappointed in the arrogance of Shelton and Cedric. It’s because of MVP that they became tag team champions and dress up nicely, and are even relevant again. Before –

IN comes Lashley, wondering what happened. Lashley says he’s going to break Cedric’s ass in half.

AFTER THE BREAK, Nia and Shayna are asked if they are sure they’re going to be able to defend their title this Sunday. Nia says they are ready, but in comes Lana and Naomi. Shayna laughs them off. IN comes Dana and Mandy, asking what about them. Nia laughs them off, as well, but Tamina and Nia come in, followed by Ruby and Liv. IN comes Billie with a head shot.

Nia informs them all that there is a tag team turmoil match on Saturday, and they’ll face the winner on Sunday, and since women are catty, they all talk over each other before we head to the ring.

Match 4: Bobby Lashley vs Cedric Alexander

We start the match with an attack on Lashley in the corner. Shleton isn’t dressed, but he’s joining in on the fun. They beat Lashley into the corner, until he fights them off, hitting knee after knee to Shelton, then sending him to the outside. My feed goes out and comes back with Lashley chasing Cedric into the ring. Cedric attacks, but Lashley sends Cedric flying and landing on his stomach. Lashley turns to mad dog Shelton then rushes the corner with a hard shoulder. Lashley locks the head, delayed suplex, and Cedric goes down. Cedric on the apron. Lashley stands Cedric up, sends him into the ring then right back outside. Lashley leaves the ring, He lifts Cdric and send him into the post.

WE ARE BACK, and Lashley hits a Flatliner. Lashley send Cedric outsid,e just like he did before the break, and follows, just like he did before the break. Shelton talks shit, like before the break, and Lashley lifts Cedric again. This time, Shelton pulls Cedric off the shoulders. This distracts and Cedric sends Lashley into the steps. Cedric enters the ring at 8 then hits a suicide dive to Lashley. Again. He gets sent into the ring, Cddric hits the ropes, flips and hits a spinning kick to the head of Lashley. Cedric to the corner, gets sent to the apron, high kick to Lashley. Cedric to the top rope. He flies. Huge kick and a cover for 1…NO! Cedric attacks the back of the head. Lashley sends him up hard then slams him down harder. Gutrwench onto the shoulders and a slam to the mat.

Lashley waits, calls for it, Shelton screams for Lashley to stop. Lashley sends Cedric into the ropes. Spinebuster to Cedric. Full Nelson to Cedric, and the match is over.

Winner: Bobby Lashley
Easily the best match thus far, but it’s truly not seeing much, and it’s almost disappointing to see The Hurt Business just not a thing anymore.
Total Rating: **
Match Time: Stopwatch Issues

Shelton enters the ring and attacks Lashley. Lashley with a Flatliner to Shelton.

BACKSTAGE, Bad Bunny is fixing his hair while Priest talks to him. They are addressing the public next.

They are in the middle of the ring, now, and Priest says that The Miz is so concerned with Bad Bunny that he couldn’t hold the title for more than one week. They haven’t seen anything yet. It’s easy to beat down a man two-on-one, so how about we even up the odds and make this a tag team match – Miz and Morrison v Priest and Bad Bunny.

Bad Bunny says he just came here to follow his dreams, believing in them, because he loves this business and loves and respects everyone in the back. He remembers watching every week, watching with his dad and brothers and friends, and has a lot of good memories with the WWE, but now…now he doesn’t know how to feel or what to think with this experience. He came here to do his job, perform, and he is very grateful with the opportunity to perform at Rumble a song he made for Booker T, because he respects and loves Booker the same way he loves SCSA, HHH, Taker, Flair, all the legends of his country, and he used to respect and love The Miz. But he doesn’t respect Bad Bunny. He is not a professional wrestler, but he is a man. He broke his DJ, disrespect his career, his dj, his music, his fans, with no reason. He knows Bad Bunny jumped from the top rope, but wouldn’t you? He goes into Spanish, and comes off much more natural. He knows The Miz’s accolades – he’s a legend, he respect that and him, but Miz doesn’t respect Bad Bunny. He crossed the line. He doesn’t know why and he doesn’t care. This Saturday, at Mania, he will show Miz how to respect him. He will shut Miz’s mouth and whip his ass.

Miz and Morrison on the tron. They say Bad Bunny doesn’t belong here. This Saturday, they will embarrass and hurt him. They will send him crawling back home, and they accept the challenge. They hop in a limo and leave.

The limo blows up.

Just kidding.

BACKSTAGE, Ali walks down the halls of the arena. Ali isn’t wearing black. Sheamus comes up to Ali to talk about Riddle. Ali says tonight, he owns Riddle. Sheamus tells Ali to take it easy. He says they don’t have much in common, but one thing. They dislike Riddle. Sheamus calls him a burnout. Sheamus says he will be out there rooting for Ali. He will be on commentary.

Riddle scoots his way in between both men.

Match 5: Matt Riddle vs Mustafa Ali

They lock up with the knuckles. Ali steps Riddle down, works the left arm, twists the wrist, but Riddle pulsl through for a triangle! Ali gets a pin, 1..2.NO!!! Ali goes behind, Riddle switches, Ali with another, pulling the hair of Riddle into the corner. Ali with a right hand, Riddle shoots the legs. Ali kicks him away, gutwrench suplex, and he holds on, ut Ali spins into a rollup for 1..2..NO!!! We miss a kick because apparently, we need to see AND hear Sheamus on commentar.y Ali with a side headlock. Riddle with a gutwrench, Ali punches the head, Riddle sends Ali flying to the outside. Riddle to the corner, jumps to the apron, running kick to the shoulder. Riddle sends Ali into the ring then grabs Sheamus’ hat and does a little Irish jig. Ali with a Side Russian Leg Sweep to the distracted Riddle.

We are back, and Ali is forcing his boot to the neck of Riddle in the corner. Riddle stands out of the corner, trips Ali hard, hits a right, left, palm strike, attack, misses a kick, Ali shoves, Riddle rolls with a sunset flip, Ali looks to kick fakes out, stomps the foot, then kicks the gut. Riddle coughs a bit on the extra side. Ali covers for 1..2..NO!!! Leg scissors to the mid section, Riddle stands and lands backwards onto Ali. Riddle with a kick to the head, high forarm, pele kick, sending Ali to the corner, running forearm, and another one, Exploder out of the corner, misses a kick, alnds on his feet off a moonsault, broton! Riddle with a cover, but Ali turns this into a submission! Lights out, Ali calls it, but Riddle hooks the head, switches out, hooks the leg, and hits a sick suplex and a cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Arm bar, but Ali turns, so Riddle get sa triangle! Ali gets to the bottom rope! Ali sends Riddle into the otom rope nec first, then hits a sick ass gutbuster and a cover for 1..2..NO!!!

Ali slaps Riddle a few times, but Riddle kicks him into the corner, then runs into an elbow. Ali off the middle rope for a DDT, but Riddle catches him, pounts to Sheamus, BRO DEREK! Pin for 1..2…3!!!

Winner: Riddle
No offense to Sheamus, because I’m sure they’ll have a banger come Mania, but I’d pay good money to see Ali vs Riddle again. That was a banger. Nice.
Total Rating: ***3/4
Match Time: 10:32

MVP is on commentary.

Match 6: King Corbin vs Drew McIntyre

Lockup and a stalemate. Corbin with a side headlock. To the ropes, and Corbin gets shoevd to the ropes and hits a shoulder tackle. Both men up as MVP says hello to Drew. Drew with a go-behind. Corbin tries to break it as Drew gets a half nelson into a cravat and finally a side headlock. Corbin hits the ropes. Drew drops Corbin with an elbow and a cover for 1. NO! Stomp to the abdomen. Drew with a suplex to Corbin, snapping his ass down to the mat. Another cover, and this one barely gets 2. Chop to Corbin. Right hand to the face. Whip to the corner, reversed, Corbin slides outside, slides back in, hits a clothesline and covers for 1…NO! Corbin stomps in the corner. Whip to the corner, hard, to Drew. Drew gets Baron to the outside and sends him into the steps as we go to commercial.

WE are back, and Drew hits a Northern Lights into a bridge for 1..2..NO!!! Drew beats down on Corbin in the corner. Drew grbs the arm, sends Crobin into the ropes, Corin sends him to the paron, Drew grabs the head, right hand from Corbin. Corbin sends Drew into the post hard. Corbin sends Drew into the announce table, and MVP loves it. He sends Drew into the ring, then grabs the head and drops an elbow to the shoulder. Again. Another. Right hand to Drew. Drew tries to fight from his knees, chopping away, locking the head, then Corbin reverses into a suplex. Corbin locks the arms behind, into a crucifix, then drives some elbows into the jaw of Drew. Drew up. Corbin with a chokeslam! Pin for 1..2…NO!!! Drew is up. Spinebuster! Cover! 1…2…NO!!! Drew tries to double underhook, but Corbin sends Drew into the corner. Back elbow from Drew. He runs into a sidewalk slam! Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Headbutt from Drew. Future Shock DDT. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Corbin to the top rope. Corbin with a right elbow. He grabs the head, hits a right to the forehead. Corbin climbs the corner. Right hand. Corbin locks the head. SUPERPLEX TO DREW!! Cover for 1..2….NO!!!! Drew stands. Right hand from Corbin. Kick from Drew. Right from Corin. Kick from Drew. Right from Drew. Chop. Deep Six from Corbin! Cover for 1..2….NO!!!!

MVP says Corbin needs some clarity, and leaves commentary. He shouts for Corbin to take out Drew, then hands Corbin his cane. Ref yells at him, Corbin goes for the cane shot, misses, CLAYMORE! Pin for 1..2…311!!

Winner: Drew McIntyre
The finish was never in doubt, but the quality of match was, and I’ll readily admit that Drew and Corbin had a pretty good – a surprisingly good – main event. Corbin seems to have gotten better, and that’s a great thing, because I had every intent to just hate this. Thankfully, they ended an otherwise INCREDIBLY LACKLUSTER RAW with a pretty decent main event.
Total Rating: ***1/2
Match Time: 17:49

Lashley comes out to stare down Drew as the mania sign hands in the background.

End Show

The final score: review Bad
The 411
Maybe I'm being excessively hard on the show because it's the last one before Wrestlemania. Maybe I've been brainwashed by AEW and motivated by the Khan checks I supposedly receive. Maybe, just maybe, this was one of the worst RAWs I've seen since Covid hit. Or maybe it's all of the above. Either way, tonight's episode was an incredible chore to get through. It seriously felt like there was a distinct lack of effort, almost as if they just want to get through Mania weekend to to start anew and finally get crowds back - which I could respect if the product, as a whole, was at all entertaining. Simply put; it's not. Not even a little bit. There was one highlight of tonight, and that was Ali vs Riddle. Everything before that was straight garbage, and everything after that was hardly tolerable. Corbin and Drew put on a surprisingly decent main event, but it was still a seventeen minute filler with no suspense, drama, or surprise as to who would win, how they would win, or why. Nothing, not Drew's just ok promo, not the Ali v Riddle banger, not Shelton's few words to MVP, not even a preview of the Sasha vs Bianca video package saved tonight. Straight trash.

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WWE Raw, Tony Acero