Kevin Owens Hosted The Kevin Owens Show with Raw Women's Champion Asuka, NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair, Natalya and Nia Jax
This was basically a last-ditch effort to get viewers to care about the Raw Women's Championship number one contender's match later on in the night. Owens and Asuka were entertaining together, but the rest of the segment with Flair, Natalya and Jax was nothing special whatsoever. Flair is overexposed, Natalya is insufferable, and Jax's mic skills are below average. Asuka brawling with Jax and not the other two made it obvious who was winning that Triple Threat.
Apollo Crews def. Andrade to Win the United States Championship
It's rare that Crews is given a chance to showcase his skills and prove to people just how talented he truly is, so I'm glad he and Crews were able to have the match they were capable of here. It was an enjoyable outing and Crews taking the title was pleasantly surprising. He has been constantly looked over in WWE over the last five years, so this was a cool moment. Granted, the United States Championship means absolutely nothing, so I don't have a ton of faith that he'll be any better of a champion than Andrade was (and we all know how many non-title matches Andrade lost while champ).
The IIconics Attacked WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
Billie Kay started this segment by apologizing to Peyton Royce for slapping her last week, so it appears all is good between them... for now. Bliss and Cross also did well in their respective roles and Cross' fiery promo was terrific albeit a bit random. The IIconics standing tall would seem to indicate that a rematch for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship is coming, presumably at Backlash.
MVP Hosted The VIP Lounge with Bobby Lashley and WWE Champion Drew McIntyre
I really, really loved MVP acknowledging how he offered to be McIntyre's manager a few months ago on The VIP Lounge and how McIntyre refused his services. Now, MVP is sending his new client after him instead to take his title from him. It's a story that makes sense. McIntyre once again delivered on the mic and managed to get one over on MVP without ever coming in contact with Lashley. I hope that Lashley will be more than just a challenger of the month and will continue to be featured prominently on Raw even after he likely loses to McIntyre.
Angel Garza def. Kevin Owens
Garza targeted Owens' previously injured knee before the bout, giving Owens an out for losing. I feel Garza has been overshadowed by Vega's other clients since WrestleMania, so I liked that he scored some much-needed momentum and attention here. The match was decent while it lasted with Owens attempting to persevere but ultimately coming up short. Better yet, Garza winning keeps their feud alive.
Austin Theory and Murphy def. Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black
As I said last week, Theory is the perfect fit for Seth Rollins' group. He's already off to a stronger start with Rollins than he ever was with Zelina Vega's stable and I appreciate that WWE is at least attempting to make them a threat. Speaking of Rollins, he cut an excellent promo beforehand about Rey Mysterio, so I'm sure they'll be facing off at some point. The match itself was well wrestled and Carrillo taking the pinfall loss for his team as opposed to Black was the right call.
Nia Jax def. NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and Natalya in a Raw Women's Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match (Non-Title)
This received a ton of time and quite frankly I have no idea why (aside from filling the three hours, of course). Jax and Asuka already established that they're feuding, Natalya is on a losing streak, and Flair is the current NXT Women's Champion. In other words, it was painfully apparent that Jax was winning here. To their credit, the effort was there and they tried to create some suspense with the many nearfalls, but I never doubted that Jax was becoming the new number one contender to the title. If anyone can get a quality match out of her, it's Asuka.
Bobby Lashley and MVP def. Raw Tag Team Champions The Street PRofits (Non-Title)
Part of me was hoping that MVP was trying to court The Street Profits to join him earlier in the evening, but no such luck. This was a solid main event, but I'm not a fan of Street Profits losing in non-title action. On the bright side, MVP finally won something and Lashley looked like a beast. His post-match brawl with McIntyre was well done and left me looking forward to their Backlash bout.
The latest skit with Street Profits and The Viking Raiders on the (mini) golf course had its moments but was underwhelming overall. I appreciate that they've been trying something new with them outside of the ring, but it just isn't working in my opinion and doesn't make me want to see them clash again for the Raw Tag Team Championship. The Edge promo backstage, however, was a gem and it was refreshing to not hear him feed into that "Greatest Wrestling Match Ever" garbage. The rest of the show was solid and the less-is-more approach was effective along with the Backlash build. There wasn't anything I'd point to as being must-see, but the title change was notable and the stuff with Lashley, MVP and McIntyre succeeded as the focal point of the episode. Above all else, the Performance Center recruits serving as the crowd (much like what AEW's been doing since the quarantine started) was a welcome change. It added to the atmosphere and is a vast improvement over the silence in the building.
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