One night after the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, WWE put together the best Raw since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The show got off to a strong start with Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy and revealing that Asuka had not won a contract for a title shot when she won the Money in the Bank Ladder match but had instead won the Raw women's championship. After the emotional start, the show continued through a series of strong segments with very few missteps.
There were several matches that fell in the "very good" range, including a tremendous showing by Drew McIntyre and Andrade in an impromptu match. In addition, there were strong character beats hit through the night with Shayna Baszler and Seth Rollins hitting new heights -- or depths -- as heels. There were even some big returns as The IIconics had their first match since November 2019, and Edge and Randy Orton closed the show with a tense confrontation in Edge's first appearance since WrestleMania.
Let's take a look at everything that went down on a stellar edition of WWE Raw.
WWE Raw results, grades
Becky Lynch opened Raw with a special announcement. "Tonight is no ordinary night for me. I'm torn between joy and sadness," Lynch said during the opening of Raw. After Lynch said, "I have to go away for a while," she was interrupted by Money in the Bank winner, Asuka. Lynch said she was so glad Asuka was the one to win the match because the contents of the briefcase weren't what Asuka thought they were.
"The match last night was actually for the Raw women's championship," Lynch said before opening the briefcase to reveal the Raw championship belt. "I can't fight anymore, but you can. You are the champion." After Asuka celebrated the news, Lynch said she was "going to go be a mother." After Asuka celebrated the news with the now-former champ, an emotional Lynch left the building. This was the best possible way to handle the unexpected circumstances, with the only downside being the loss of a Money in the Bank holder chasing the champion. But that's a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. Grade: A
Becky Lynch was about to be interviewed backstage but was interrupted by most of the faces from the locker room, who all congratulated the mom-to-be.
Bobby Lashley def. Humberto Carrillo via submission with a full nelson. After early dominant offense from Lashley, Carrillo started a comeback after managing to avoid a spear. That served to frustrate Lashley, leading him to brutally drive Carrillo into the ring apron and try to hit him with a steel chair. Carrillo avoided the chair and used it himself to hit Lashley several times. Lashley would ultimately catch Carrillo coming off the top rope, locking him in a full nelson for the submission victory in a solid match as they continue to get Lashley ready for a big program -- potentially one with WWE champ Drew McIntyre. Grade: B
Asuka was interviewed backstage and was asked how it felt to be Raw women's champion as things developed so quickly over the past 24 hours. Kairi Sane entered the scene at that point and briefly celebrated with Asuka before the teammates walked off together.
Angel Garza def. Akira Tozawa via pinfall after hitting the Wing Clipper. Garza, Austin Theory and Andrade were shown arguing backstage before the match with Zelina Vega trying to settle her clients down. The bickering continued between the men during the match a Garza wrestled with an increased anger until picking up the win with the Wing Clipper while staring down Theory. Grade: B-
As Zelina Vega's group argued after the match, Drew McIntyre's music hit and the WWE champion entered the ring. McIntyre delivered a Claymore Kick to Theory and then one to Garza as he and Andrade laughed at Theory. Finally, McIntyre and Andrade stood toe-to-toe arguing and leading into an impromptu match.
Drew McIntyre def. Andrade via pinfall after a Claymore Kick. This was a hard-hitting, physical match between champions. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker onto the ring apron by McIntyre sent Andrade scrambling under the ring early, which Andrade used to attack McIntyre's arm as he reached under the ring. Andrade then focused his offense on the left arm of McIntyre, picking apart the big man's limb. Every burst of McIntyre offense was met by a return to the arm work from Andrade. McIntyre was able to persevere eventually, hitting the reverse Alabama Slam and a Claymore Kick for the win in an outstanding TV match. Grade: A-
After his win, Drew McIntyre cut an in-ring promo. McIntyre announced that the brand split was being loosened up and a SmackDown competitor had extended a challenge to McIntyre and he accepted. And next week he would be wrestling King Corbin. "I'm going to make you a promise right now," McIntyre said. "I'm going to have a Claymore fit for a king."
MVP confronted Bobby Lashley backstage, telling Lashley he was, once again, stuck in his own self-created issues while deserving a title shot. He then ran into Lana and said "If Lashley is looking for a way out, tell him to come find me."
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were out to host A Moment of Bliss. After opening the segment talking about Becky Lynch's pregnancy, they were interrupted by the returning Iiconics. "What's so special about a baby?" Billie Kay asked after Bliss pointed out that Lynch's news upstaged the team's return. "I've been a baby, you've been a baby and Nikki still acts like a baby." Things quickly broke down into the teams agreeing to a match immediately.
The IIconics def. Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss via pinfall. The IIconics isolated Cross until she was able to get a hot tag to Bliss. Bliss' comeback attempt was cut off when the referee was distracted and she took a cheap shot to the throat, setting up a tandem face-first slam from Peyton Royce and Billie Kay's shoulders for the win. The return of the IIconics brings in a new threat to Cross and Bliss' run as tag champions and adds some much needed personality back into the division, even if they aren't the best in-ring performers. Grade: C+
Seth Rollins interrupted a Rey Mysterio interview. Rollins did not say anything, even after Mysterio offered his sincere congratulations to Rollins for news of Becky Lynch's pregnancy, simply walking away instead.
R-Truth, Ricochet & Cedric Alexander def. MVP, Shane Thorn & Brendan Vink via pinfall after Truth hit MVP with the Truth Detector. Truth was going in his "Pretty Ricky" alter-ego both in a pre-match promo and during the match. Late in the six-man match, Truth took out the gimmick teeth to hit MVP with the Truth Detector to score the win for his team. After the victory, Bobby Lashley came to the ring and helped MVP take out Truth, establishing a new partnership between the two. It remains a very positive thing for TV to have managers and stables forming to create new threats. Grade: B-
Jinder Mahal was interviewed backstage. After saying he was happy for former teammate Drew McIntyre's recent success, he promised his journey to the top this time would be "a hero's journey."
Shayna Baszler was interviewed backstage and ran down Becky Lynch's pregnancy. "Here's a fact: 10 out of 10 mothers will try to tell you pregnancy didn't ruin their careers," Baszler said before moments later adding extra sting to her rant. "The kid is going to suck. Do you know who the father is? I rest my case"
Rey Mysterio & Aleister Black def. Seth Rollins & Murphy via disqualification. Rollins was disheveled, with his hair an unkempt mess and a blank expression on his face. Murphy tried to tag Rollins in early, but Rollins did not move or show any interest in taking the tag. As Black and Mysterio continued to work over Murphy, Rollins continued to stand in the corner refusing to reach for a tag. Murphy put up a good fight in what was effectively a two-on-one match until Mysterio elbowed him in the stomach. Rollins then snapped out of his trance and grabbed Mysterio as he attempted to hit a 619, throwing him to the floor at ringside, resulting in a disqualification. Rollins then delivered several shots to Mysterio's eye before telling Murphy to stay back before slowly shoving Mysterio's eye into the corner of the ring steps, drawing blood. Rollins then wordlessly walked back up the entrance ramp. The Rollins character continues to evolve in interesting -- and terrifying -- ways. Mysterio, meanwhile, went from being thrown off a roof at Money in the Bank to having his eye driven into the corner of the ring steps 24 hours later. Grade: B+
Rollins and Murphy tried to see Mysterio as he was being tended to by medical staff backstage. As Rollins was held back he looked at Black and said, "I don't know what happened out there." Rollins then walked away as Murphy and Black began to brawl.
The Street Profits played The Viking Raiders in a game of basketball. The game was a result of the Raiders saying anything the Profits can do, they can do better. The "action" of the game actually hit well from a comedy standpoint, with the Profits completely dominating the Raiders but the Raiders claiming they won by hitting the last shot, despite the score being 74-2. This was largely a throwaway segment, but at least it was entertaining. Grade: B
Natalya confronted Shayna Baszler backstage, scolding her for disrespecting motherhood with her earlier comments toward Becky Lynch. Baszler then asked Natalya what she knew about being a mom, saying Natalya would never have a kid and the Hart Dynasty would die with her. This deserves a grade simply for being the second viciously effective heel promo from Baszler on the night. Grade: A
The fallout of the basketball match between The Viking Raiders and The Street Profits was shown, with the teams sharing a handshake before the Raiders said they let the Profits win. Ivar then hit a series of three-point shots before saying they told the Profits that they can do everything better before Ivar ended the scene with a dunk.
Shayna Baszler def. Natalya via pinfall after a knee to the face. Baszler and Natalya engaged in a bit of mat wrestling before Baszler finally began to let loose with combinations of strikes in the corner. Baszler tried to hit the stomp on Natalya's arm but Natalya countered. That only resulted in Baszler hitting a knee to the face for the pin. Grade: B
Baron Corbin was interviewed backstage. Corbin said McIntyre knows that Brock Lesnar didn't make him the champion he is today. Corbin said he did by taking Drew under his wing for a year.
Edge and Randy Orton closed the show in the ring. Edge was out first, discussing his first time back in the ring since WrestleMania and overcoming any doubts that he could come back to wrestling. Edge said he knows WrestleMania was not the end for him, but despite reports, he is not "hunting The Viper" because he got his pound of flesh when he beat Orton. Orton's music then hit and he made his way to the ring and he said he only came to the ring to say one thing: congratulations. "At WrestleMania, the better man won," Orton said, before immediately leaving the ring. Orton stopped halfway up the ramp and laughed and said he couldn't lie to himself. "It is true, the better man won at WrestleMania," Orton said. "But the better wrestler didn't." Orton said Edge still hasn't laced up his boots and just had a wrestling match before saying he doesn't believe Edge has it in him to actually wrestle anymore. Orton closed challenging Edge to a "straight-up wrestling match" at Backlash. Edge was asked for a response but didn't say anything as the show went off the air. Grade: B