wrestling / TV Reports

Cook’s WWE Raw Review 4.26.21

April 26, 2021 | Posted by Steve Cook
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Cook’s WWE Raw Review 4.26.21  

Hey kids! I know you’re wondering why I’m here doing the live Raw coverage tonight, and apparently it’s because 411mania wrote into my contract that I have to do live Raw coverage a couple of times a year. We got a six-man match, a six-woman match, a re-match of last week’s epic tag team encounter, and three hours of good times coming up!

Last Monday, Drew McIntyre recapped the previous Monday before addressing MACE & T-BAR. He accused MVP of being their mastermind, but MVP denied any association with them prior to the two men attacking Drew yet again. This led to a match later in the evening, which was originally a handicap match before Braun Strowman showed up and made it a tag team match. MACE & T-BAR would have their masks removed before being shooed out of the ring.

Raw is live from the critically acclaimed Thunderdome! Adnan Virk, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton are on the call.

Tag Team Match: MACE & T-BAR vs. Braun Strowman & Drew McIntyre: MACE & T-BAR now wear face paint, which is fine because more face painted wrestlers is always something I’m in favor of. Before coming out, Braun wants a thank you & Drew is reticent to give him one. Braun tells the kid to follow his lead, Drew lists his accomplishments and says Braun is the one that should be listening. Braun says he can take care of this himself.

Handicap Match: MACE & T-BAR vs. Braun Strowman: Braun straightens out the ring announcer and starts things with BAR. It’s all Strowman early, taking it to the BAR & knocking MACE off the apron. Splash in the corner to T-BAR, and another. MACE comes in from behind and gets a little offense with a leg lariat. Tag to BAR and they work Braun over in the corner. Some solid tag teamwork with frequent tags that Jim Cornette would be proud of. Braun fighting back now, but BAR stomps the man down in the corner with RUTHLESS AGGRESSION according to Graves. MACE joins in, and there’s the disqualification for kicking too much ass.

Winner: Braun Strowman

Here comes Drew McIntyre to make the save! He goes to work on MACE, Braun & BAR face off, and both ALL CAPS boys are removed from the ring. Drew wants a thank you. Braun says he’s a funny guy as they go to commercial.

We return, and hey, it’s a tag team match again!

Tag Team Match: MACE & T-BAR vs. Braun Strowman & Drew McIntyre: BAR & Drew go at it. Big ol headbutt by Drew knocks both men down. MACE tags in, and here’s some more of that Cornette approved tag team work. MACE with the arm bar, and he continues the offense. Drew reverses the Irish whip and hits the Russian leg sweep, which kind of annoys me because he was getting whipped towards his own corner anyway. Drew makes his own comeback anyway, Clothesline off the top rope, does the ol’ kip up & T-BAR is in trouble. BAR fighting back, but gets his Future Shocked via DDT. MACE makes the save at two. Braun is back in and wipes MACE right outta there. Here comes the Express! He gets MACE, but Drew inadvertantly takes him out! This all leads to Drew getting counted out & ALL CAPS BOYS getting the win.

Match Rating: **1/2

I’m getting that name over, by gum. As for the match itself? Not bad work, I actually kinda dig the MACE & T-BAR. Could have done without the circuitous booking, but I guess that’s how we fill time on these shows.

Braun hits the running powerslam! He tried to help & teach Drew, and that’s how he gets repaid? Unbelievable! Braun asks when Drew will learn as he leaves to his music.

Make-A-Wish would like you to know that World Wish Day is this Thursday!

Drew tells Adam Pearce that he wants a match with Braun tonight. Adam says he can do that. Seems pretty unfair making Braun wrestle three times in one night.

Miz TV: Miz welcomes us to Miz TV and runs down everything going on, including his WWE 24 documentary & Miz vs. Mrs. We might be wondering why Elias & Jaxon Ryker are joining Miz. Johnny Drip Drip & MC M-I-Z congratulate Bad Bunny for his tour selling out, and take credit for their star power rubbing off on him. They didn’t get tickets, perhaps they should have given him a present! As it turns out, they will give the WWE Universe a concert. Elias talks about they’re musical genius and compares the New Day to a middle school band. Has Elias always had a lisp and I never noticed? Anyway, they start singing. That’s interrupted by the lights going out for Damian Priest’s entrance. He’s sorry he had to interrupt, it just felt like a concert he had to attend in person, like when he had a front row seat to watch Miz lose to Bad Bunny at WrestleMania. His performance moved Damian, and now they want to present Miz & company with something. Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston come out with a guitar case full of tomatoes, and now we’re throwing tomatoes. Where’s Taz to break this down?

Some slow motion replays when we return, and now it’s time for a match!

Six-Man Tag Team Match: New Day & Damian Priest vs. The Miz, Elias & Jaxon Ryker: I just kind of assumed Morrison would be in the match, but no, we get Ryker instead. Be still, my heart. Woods gets worked over, puts down Elias with an elbow block for a two count. Miz tags in, drop toe hold into a headlock. Double teaming from Kofi & Xavier leads to a tag to Priest, which sends Miz towards a tag from Ryker. The big men go at it. Priest gets an advantage with a kick & a leg sweep. Most of the same for Elias & Miz. All three bad guys end up on the outside, Xavier plays the trombone, and somehow this isn’t the commercial break. Froggy crossbody from Kofi gets two. Kofi winds up in the wrong corner, and Miz with a big boot on the outside means that now is the time for that commercial break.

Miz dominates Kofi as we return, with some assistance from Morrison & a tomato. Egotrip suplex by Elias gets two. CHINLOCK! That’s what this match needs, more CAPS. Tag to Ryker, splash and a cover get two. Ryker with a sleeper, suplex, tag to Elias and a running forearm gets two. Back into the corner, Miz tags in and puts the boots to him. Xavier gets knocked off the apron for fun. Miz with the It Kicks! Kodi turns the tide with the SOS, and it’s time fot the tag to Priest. He gets it, and Priest is going all ham on these guys. Elias avoids some moves but can’t avoid the spinning lariat and that gets a two count. Up top, spinning heel kick gets two. Miz kicks him in the mush. Broken arrow to Miz, tag to Xavier, who jumps right into Elias’s knee. Elias gets a two count. Tag to Ryker, Kofi gets a tag, a dropkick/Russian leg sweep combo gets two. Priest with quite the flip dive onto the outside, but that leaves Ryker & Elias with Kofi. Kofi takes Elias out, Xavier rolls up Ryker and that’s a three count.

Winners: New Day & Damian Priest
Match Rating: ***

A little messy towards the end with a lot going on, but this was mostly cromulent.

Sonya Deville is outside her natural SmackDown habitat! She opens a door and here’s Charlotte Flair! Shenanigans seem afoot with these two.

We return from commercial, and WWE Official Sonya Deville is out here to introduce the suspended Charlotte Flair. Official Eddie Oringo is also in the ring, he was the referee in Charlotte’s match last week that ended up getting his keester handed to him. We look back at that. The audio track is not amused! Sonya thinks that Adam Pearce’s decision was a little rushed, and wants to hear Charlotte’s side of the matter. Charlotte understands the error of her ways and apologizes to WWE management, the Universe, and the official. Instinct took over, and she’s here tonight to take the high road. She’s sorry for manhandling him last week. Eddie accepts the apology, and admits that he didn’t see Rhea interfere. Sonya says that Charlotte’s suspension has been lifted! Tonight, she will return to in-ring action. Eddie will be the referee. Charlotte would now like an apology from the referee, and she gets one. Eddie opens the ropes for Charlotte & Sonya as they leave. All seems fair to me!

Adam Pearce is none too happy about all this, and doesn’t believe Sonya’s apology. A simple communication breakdown, don’t know why he’s all snippy.

United States Champion Sheamus makes his way to the ring, and after the commercial we’ll get an open challenge!

Braun Strowman is unhappy with Adam Pearce over what happened a couple of weeks ago. He wants a triple threat match at WWE WrestleMania Backlash for the WWE Championship if he beats Drew tonight. Does he have to ask Sonya first? Nah, Adam says it’s ok.

Last week, Sheamus issued an open challenge and beat the crap out of Humberto Carrillo. He’s pretty proud of it, in fact he can watch it over & over again. He’s a fierce fighter & a generous fella, and he’s decided to issue another open challenge. However, the title won’t be on the line this week. Humberto wants some more, as he makes his way down to the ring. Sheamus wonders if the kid is out of his mind. Sheamus with the cheapsot, and he stomps Carrillo down. That isn’t enough though, Humberto makes the comeback! Repeated dropkicks, then a tope suicida sends Sheamus flying over the announce table! Sheamus takes out his aggression on the announcer chairs as Carrillo’s music plays.

MVP & Bobby Lashley are walking backstage when a guy walks up to ask a question. MVP says he deals in reality, and they have some grievances to address in the ring.

Rhea Ripley is asked to comment on Charlotte Flair’s apologetic return. Charlotte’s apologies never mean anything. Maybe one day their paths will cross, but tonight she’s busy with a six-woman tag team match.

Bobby Lashley & MVP make their way to the ring. We see PICTURES of his match with Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania, which reminds me of the good ol days. Lashley talks about how he walked out of WrestleMania as WWE Champion. He held the title up high and demanded respect. The respect he received from the live audience was like a dream come true, and making it even better was Drew lying at his feet. Now, Drew’s like that piece of bubble gum stuck on the bottom of his shoe he can’t get rid of. He’ll get rid of him at WrestleMania Backlash, but now he & MVP are upset that WWE would dare add Braun Strowman to the match. They can’t do these types of things without seeking the opinions of Lashley & MVP. MVP points out that Lashley lost the US Championship this same way. Nobody pinned or submitted Lashley. The idea of this happening again is disrespectful and not fair. Lashley will have to observe his business interest tonight. Nobody will stop him, he’ll leave Backlash as champion.

Last week, Riddle took on Randy Orton and actually got the three count on the guy. This week, Riddle is riding circles around bro interviewer and talking about how he’s on cloud 12. Randy appears while Riddle is in the middle of a rant, and let him know that he underestimated him last week. He sort of earned Orton’s respect, and Orton thinks that “RKBro” is kinda catchy. So if Riddle’s interested, they can have a tag team match tonight. Orton is not a fan of the snakeskin speedo idea, and wants to see how things go tonight. Riddle & bro interviewer smile.

Last week, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke made fun of Nia Jax, which sent Nia to the back while Shayna Baszler was alone with Naomi & Lana. This week, Nia is not impressed with Charlotte Flair, who is a spoiled brat just like Mandy & Dana. Shayna says to forget all that, and it’s time to leave all these distractions behind, including Reginald. They have a match tonight, so no more distractions! Somebody delivers flowers, and Angel Garza appears to take credit for them. Nia uses them to hit Mandy with.

Braun Strowman works out and tells MVP to talk. MVP talks, but Braun isn’t listening. There’s nothing MVP or Lashley can do to stop him.

Tag Team Match: Randy Orton & Riddle vs. Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander: Riddle starts off quick with a gutwrench on Alexander. Goes for the Bromission, little too early for that. Dragonscrew by Cedric and a tag to Shelton. Riddle tries a comeback, but Shelton works the knee and gets Riddle to the other side of the ring. Alexander continues the leg work & keeps Riddle on the mat. Shelton & Cedric with the double team, and still working that leg. Shelton with the ol’ kneebreaker into a half applied half crab. Riddle fights back, and makes the tag to Orton, who cleans house on Shelton. Shades of Bad Blood 2004 here. Including that spinkick from Shelton and the powerslam from Randy. Orton sets up for the RKO, Cedric jumps into one! Shelton sets himself up for the draping DDT, hits it, and Riddle tags in for the floating Bro and the three count.

Winners: Randy Orton & Riddle
Match Rating: **1/4

Not really long enough to go anywhere, but solid enough work from Cedric & Shelton. At least the company still thinks enough of them to let them put people over on TV.

To the shock of many, we end the segment without Randy Orton attacking Riddle.

Later tonight: Alexa’s Playground

Six-Woman Tag Team Match: Asuka, Lana & Naomi vs. Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler & Rhea Ripley: Reginald is out with the Women’s Tag Team Champions to serve as a distraction for somebody later on. Lotta history between Ripley & Baszler, and who knows where Jax’s head is st. Shayna & Asuka start. Ripley looks keen to tag in once Asuka has her back to her, but gets her head kneed soon enough. Naomi comes in with a splash in the corner. Nice doubleteam from Naomi & Lana gets two. Lana gets a rollup on Ripley, but then gets a big headbutt. Vertical suplex gets two for Rhea. Bodyscissors wears Lana down. Mandy & Dana make their way down to ringside, and Shayna comes over to ger doused with water! Nia slips in the water and we go to commercial with the announcers laughing at the hilarity of it all.

Shayna has regained control of her faculties & is dominating Lana as we return. Asuka makes the tag, she sends Rhea & Nia to the floor and introduces her hip to Shayna’s face for a two count. Repeated kicks by Asuka, Shayna answers with a couple of her own & rocks Asuka. Tag to Nia, big slam & elbow drop get two. Nia with the Samoan drop! Misses in the corner though, and Naomi tags in. Crossbody gets two, she knocks Shayna off the apron, and fires away on Nia. Spin kick , a headscissor DDT by Naomi gets two. Reginald with the distraction! Nia tags in Rhea, who plants Naomi face first. Asuka breaks it up, gets tossed outside. Naomi with the blind tag to Lana, Rhea hits the Riptide on Naomi, but it doesn’t count! Lana with the crossbody for two. Asuka taken out on the outside, nearfall for Lana, but Rhea eventually hits the Riptide. Tag to Nia, who legdrops Lana for the three count.

Winners: Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler & Rhea Ripley
Match Rating: **1/2

A few bumps in the road, but the champions still find their way to victory. This felt less clunky than most of these women’s tag team matches lately, I enjoyed it fine.

Sonya Deville is none too impressed with Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke’s actions. She’s decided that Mandy will be Charlotte’s opponent tonight, and that match is next!

Alexa Bliss talks about how her doll Lilly is her BFF. We can have one of our own, we just have to ask nicely. She tells the audience to look into her eyes & think dark, twisted thoughts. Something tells me most of her fans already do that. Repeat Lilly’s name three times, then relax. Take a deep breath and think about how peaceful it is, or not. Alexa thinks it’s time to unleash Lilly to play with the rest of WWE, but don’t blame her for what happens next. Lilly made her do it!

The whole Alexa thing is totally not my bag, but it’s whatever. Hope the people enjoy it!

Charlotte Flair vs. Mandy Rose: We get the recap from last week and a replay of the apology earlier. Adnan calls Mandy a promising young woman after I promised to be nice to him. These people make it hard sometimes. Charlotte works the arm of Rose early, Rose cartwheels out, but Charlotte can do that too. Clothesline sends Mandy down. Dana Brooke gets all up in Charlotte’s business and Mandy takes advantage. Repeated shoulderblocks in the corner, Charlotte responds with a shot, then places Mandy up top. Bad idea, Mandy comes off with a dropkick! Two count! Mandy sends Charlotte into the corner, kicks away on her, delivers a big forearm. Mandy tries to whip Charlotte into the referee. Charlotte avoids that, kicks Mandy down, gets the two count. Charlotte doesn’t appreciate Eddie’s counting skills, and Mandy takes advantage with a couple of near-falls. Charlotte with an STO into the corner, then hits the Natural Selection for the three count.

Winner: Charlotte Flair
Match Rating: **

Charlotte makes sure Eddie opens the ropes for her. Not much to this one, but it was a pretty decent time while it lasted. Mandy looked fine & Charlotte is Charlotte.

Drew McIntyre is walking when bro interviewer asks him about the whole Braun thing. Braun is all about getting handouts and is a monster complainer. It can only end one way, with a Claymore.

Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman: Braun with a slight strength advantage here. Runs into an elbow in the corner. Shoulder tackles on Braun aren’t the best idea, but Braun can siure hit one of his own. Heh, Braun with a forward roll! Sadly, that’s immediately forgotten as Drew works the knee. We do get a replay of the roll, so that’s nice. Braun tosses Drew off the top rope and out of the ring. He sets up for the Express, but here come Bobby Lashley & MVP! Fashionably late, I suppose. We go to commercial.

Braun is on the offensive as we return. He misses in the corner and Drew hits a big ol belly to belly suplex! Take a drink everytime somebody reminds us Braun is 385 pounds. MVP gets up and tells Drew to handle his business. Doesn’t he want to be champion? Drew goes for the Claymore, and Braun catches him! Hits a power bomb for two. Braun goes for the club across the chest, Drew fights back. Big headbutt sends Braun down! Drew hits a spinebuster for a two count. Braun places Drew up top, follows him up, goes for the superplex and hits it! Drew kicks out at two. Not the most graceful superplex of all time, but what the heck. Big club across the chest, Drew gets up, Braun splashes him in the corner. MVP pulls Drew out of the powerslam while Lashley distracts the referee! Drew with the Future Shock, sets up for the Claymore, but here’s MACE & T-BAR! That distraction leads to a powerslam and a three count for Strowman! It’s gonna be a three-way at WrestleMania Backlash.

Winner: Braun Strowman
Match Rating: ***

Decent enough match but didn’t quite hit that next level for me. Could have gone a lot worse though.

Drew & Braun staredown in the ring while Lashley stares from the outside to end the show.

The final score: review Average
The 411
I always talk about Raw being super long whenever I do these reviews, but this one didn't drag on as long as usual. Wouldn't say there was anything must see on this show, but there wasn't anything completely awful either. Perfectly serviceable episode of Raw.

article topics :

411's WWE RAW Report, Steve Cook