Bengaluru, April 23: Building new storylines was the prime focus of this week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw hosted at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
Following Superstar Shakeup, the show started from scratch to create the angles for the next pay-per-view event named Money in the Bank. Plus, a new challenger emerged to face Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship.
Here are the highlights from Raw in Iowa:
We went live into Raw to know that there will be two triple threat matches with the winners facing each other in the main event. The winner of that match will get a chance to face Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank PPV for the Univesal title.
Triple H kicked off the show by having a confrontation with the champion Seth Rollins before all the six title aspirants gathered inside the ring. They engaged in a verbal war before the first triple threat match got underway.
WWE United States Champion Samoa Joe took on Rey Mysterio and AJ Styles in the opening contest. Mysterio hit a 619 on Styles in the closing moments but missed the frog splash. Styles caught him while performing an Hurricurana and dropped him with a powerbomb on Joe. He followed up with the Styles Clash to pin Joe successfully to move on to the main event of Raw.
Next up, the new Raw women's division member Naomi was in action next against one half of The IIconics, Billie Kay. Before the match started, the IIconics cut a promo on Naomi who now has no backup on the Raw roster. But that did not stop Naomi from winning the match as she fought out of a lock-hold with a clothesline. A back elbow and Sunset Flip was enough to put Kay down for the three counts.
Drew McIntyre vs. The Miz vs. Baron Corbin was the next match on Raw which was to determine the opponent of AJ Styles in the main event. McIntyre was in control of the match until Miz dropped him with a DDT. Corbin also suffered a DDT from Miz who called for a Skull Crushing Finale. But McIntyre caught him with a Claymore Kick. Corbin pushed McIntyre off the ring and pinned Miz to pick up the win.
Later, Sami Zayn was out to continue his trash talk against the members of the WWE Universe. He showed pictures of himself from Instagram hiking in Switzerland, in Norway, on a beach in Mexico, and in front of a castle in Scotland. These visits were apparently the best times of his life until he came back to WWE. He blasted the WWE Universe again before he left the ring.
Next up, Cedric Alexander competed in his first match as a Raw superstar against Cesaro. The former 205 Live member connected with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. He dropped Cesaro again with a Summersault Senton outside the ring. In the end, Alexander went for a springboard, but Cesaro caught him with a uppercut in mid-air for the win!
The Usos had a backstage confrontation with the Revival and the latter team also mentioned Raw is the Top Guy's Territory.
Meanwhile, The Viking Raiders were supposed to compete in a match against the Lucha House Party next. But the match never started as they double slam/powerbombed Gran Metallic and Kalisto. They followed up with flapjack turned into powerslam before they left the ring.
Raw and Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch made her entrance to compete in a match against Alicia Fox in a non-title affair. Foxy tried to hit a Head-Scissor but Lynch sent her outside the ring. The champ connected with a series of Bexploders followed by the dis-arm-her on Foxy to get the submission win. But, Lacey Evans hit Becky with two Women's Rights after the match was over.
Ricochet made his entrance to feature in a match against Robert Roode (previously Bobby Roode). He was in early control of the match after taking Roode out with a moonsault off the second turnbuckle to the floor. Roode then flattened Ricochet with a spinebuster for a near fall and the high-flyer came back with a knee to the face. But he missed the 630-splash after which Roode planted him with the Glorious DDT for the win.
AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin was the main event of Raw with the winner getting a shot at Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship at WWE Money in the Bank on May 19. Styles applied the Calf Crusher on Corbin to almost pick up the win. But Corbin smashed his head onto the mat and delivered a big boot. But Styles still moved out the way and delivered the Phenomenal Forearm for the victory. He will now face Rollins for the Universal Championship. These two had staredown to close this week’s episode.