Raw Winners And Losers: McIntyre Gets Past Kingston, Will Face Lashley At Hell In A Cell
This week’s Raw would determine which WWE Superstar — Drew McIntyre or Kofi Kingston — would move on to face Bobby Lashley at Hell in a Cell. The main event match between the two men didn’t disappoint.
Also on the show, Raw got a new lead announcer, Alexa Bliss and Lilly seem to have an issue with Shayna Baszler, The Miz returned, Randy Orton goes tit-for-tat with Riddle and Sheamus winds up losing twice and breaking his nose in what wasn’t an eventful night for the United States Champion.
Here are your winners and losers for Monday Night Raw, May 31, 2021:
Winner: Jimmy Smith
Raw got a new lead announcer on Monday as Jimmy Smith of MMA and American Ninja Warrior fame was introduced to the WWE Universe. He did just fine for his first night on the job.
He didn’t talk much, at least not early on, and was likely using the first hour to sit back and watch how things work. He got comfortable as the show progressed. A few too many “on my God” calls, but otherwise a fine job.
Winner: The Miz
The A-Lister is a trooper. If he’s really as injured as it appeared during the opening segment of the show, it’s hard to argue there’s a more loyal soldier for WWE. He’s back on television and promoting the brand as Raw gets set to go on the road.
He did his best to make the segment entertaining, but as you’ll see, it wasn’t a great way to open the show.
Loser: One-Minute Beat-The-Clock Cross Vs Charlotte
The opening segment itself was extremely mediocre. There wasn’t much accomplished as the ring got more and more crowded. John Morrison might have been the best thing about it as he was so preoccupied with warding off vampires and plumbers with his garlic necklace, he stole the attention from any build-up towards Hell in a Cell.
When all was said and done, Cross was granted a one-minute beat-the-clock challenge match with Charlotte. It was a mess.
There’s nothing to be gained from these segments. Cross walks away proving nothing more than that she can avoid getting crushed in a couple of minutes and both Charlotte and Ripley look like they’re too dumb to remember there’s a point to taking the match in the first place. Not to mention, in a minute, there was no time for the competitors to get warmed up. This 60 seconds was full of botched spots and distractions.
Winner: Orton Throws It Back At Riddle
Likely looking to capitalize on the strong match between Riddle and Woods last week, Orton got his turn on Monday and asked Riddle to come down to the ringside area to root him on and take a few notes.
This match wasn’t the top-notch technical masterpiece last week’s contest was but that wasn’t the point here. Orton finished off Woods with the Bro-Derek just to show Riddle that he wasn’t the only one who could steal someone else’s finisher. Riddle seemed to think it was a tribute, while Orton was probably subtly throwing back a lack of respect.
Winner/Loser: Reginald Pins Baszler
A good chunk of the WWE Universe is absolutely going to hate the fact that Reginald got a three count on Shayna Baszler. It certainly isn’t ideal. If we’re looking for a silver lining, we can say the match was half decent and the seeds are firmly planted for a Baszler and Jax split.
When Reginald came back to the Gorilla position, Jax was elated that he got the win and that’s not going to sit well with Baszler. WWE needs to show that this is on a clear path to these two finally being at odds and taking out their frustrations on each other.
Baszler later attacked Reginald during the Alexa Bliss Playground segment and got right in Bliss’ face, setting up a segment for next week.
Winners: Mace And T-Bar
It’s been a while since we’ve seen the former members of Retribution in a match, but Mace and T-Bar picked up a dominant win over Lucha House Party. The size was just too much for the speed of Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado. The fact that one of these teams might be getting a push is good news.
The best part of the match might have been when new commentator Jimmy Smith asked, “is it just me or did these guys look less scary when they had their masks on?” It got a clearly audible pop from Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
Not only did Sheamus take two pins on Monday night, which doesn’t make much such sense from a creative standpoint, he took a stiff forearm from Humberto Carrillo which broke Sheamus’ nose. The Celtic Warrior continued to do his job like a champ and finish out the segment, bloodied and literally broken.
Winner: Mandy Rose And Dana Brooke
Two tag teams that actually looked like tag teams (how refreshing) matched up on Monday as Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose took on Naomi and Lana. It’s not clear who the underdog was, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit surprised that Brooke and Rose picked up a clean win with a new finisher.
The champs were on hand to watch the contest and it seems clear a title match is in Rose and Brooke’s future. They haven’t exactly earned it by winning more than once, but it’s a good opportunity for them.
Loser: Alexander Vs. Benjamin
Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Benjamin clearly wasn’t thinking about how low Alexander would stoop and a quick thumb to the eye led to an even quicker win.
The idea here was to sell Alexander as a talented wrestler who is just as willing to cut corners and cheat to win as he is pick up the win via his skill. Still, this was far too short.
Loser: Jaxson Ryker
Before his tag match against the Raw Tag Team Champions, Ryker wasn’t himself. In some sort of PTSD trance, he wasn’t responding to Elias as the songster was trying to motivate his partner. When Elias asked if Ryker had ever been through a war, Ryker snapped out of it, turned to Elias and said, “I served in Iraq”.
Perhaps this is the babyface turn for Ryker as Elias bailed during the match and left Ryker to feel the wrath of Omos and AJ Styles by himself.
Elias said in a backstage interview that Ryker has become unhinged and was no longer someone Elias could mold. He called him unpredictable and the idea of sitting in a car for hours at a time and traveling during live tours makes him sick.
Winner: McIntyre Vs. Kingston
This was an excellent match to close the show. No outside interference meant these two men could go to-toe-toe with the better man coming out on top and moving on to the pay-per-view. McIntyre pulled out the victory with a Claymore Kick as Kofi was coming off the top rope.
The main event is now set between McIntyre and Lashley. We can only hope this is the last time these men step in the ring together for a while. Their matches are fine, but this just feels like rematch after rematch with no end in sight.