WWE Raw Results - May 17, 2021: Bobby Lashley Open Challenge, Women's Tag Team Title Match

An improvement from recent weeks

Monday Night Raw has ranged from terrible to downright awful since WrestleMania 37, but the post-WrestleMania Backlash show was hopefully a new dawn for the red brand. There was still plenty of misses across the three hours, but Raw featured multiple hits and some quality in-ring action too. 

The show opened with the reigning WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP and The All Mighty headed to the ring flanked by five women.

MVP lauded Lashley's win at WrestleMania Backlash and claimed Braun Strowman was not at Raw because of broken ribs while Drew McIntyre was so devastated by the loss, he couldn't get out of bed this morning.

After some more lauding, MVP, on Lashley's orders, issued an open challenge to anyone in the WWE locker room. This immediately brought out Drew McIntyre and The Scottish Psychopath said there was no better way for Lashley to impress the women than by facing him tonight for the WWE Title.

MVP promptly halted McIntyre's declaration and revealed the open challenge was for anyone in the locker room but Braun Strowman and The Scottish Warrior. Lashley then took a swing at Drew but the two-time WWE Champion ducked and Clotheslined The All Mighty out of the ring to end the segment. 

MVP never said the open challenge would be for the title but this wasn't pointed out at the time and WWE plugged it as being a title match throughout Raw.

AJ Styles def. Elias by Disqualification

The first match of the show followed and AJ Styles went one on one with Elias. 

Both men put together a solid match and Elias got in plenty of offence on the two-time WWE Champion. Styles got rolling down the stretch, however, and he was about to deck Elias with the Phenomenal Forearm until Jaxson Ryker yanked him from the apron to draw the disqualification. 

The former Forgotten Son then got a couple of cheap shots in on Styles before Omos chased him off. This only gave Elias the opening to continue the attack, though, before Omos turned around and chased him off too. 

A Raw Tag Team Championship match looks to be in Elias and Jaxson Ryker's future despite their pretty terrible record as a team in recent months. 

The opening contest was followed by a backstage segment between The New Day and R-K-Bro as Riddle convinced Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston to come and look at his two-headed snake. The snake was, of course, a confused Randy Orton who was expecting to speak to Adam Pearce. Both teams then had a brief back and forth during which The Viper refused to apologise for last week's pair of RKOs and this set up Kingston vs. Orton for later in the show. 

Tamina and Natalya were then guests on Alexa's Playground. Bliss and Lily quickly unnerved the new Women's Tag Team Champions after asking them their favourite colour. This resulted in a threat from Tamina but they bonded over their shared hatred of Reginald. Bliss then went off on a tangent about flies and Natalya and Tamina escaped while they had the chance. 

Angel Garza def. Drew Gulak 

The rematch between Angel Garza and Drew Gulak was next on the show. Gulak fared no better than their first match and The Lethal Lothario picked up the win after two minutes with the Wing Clipper. Garza then shoved the rose into Gulak's mouth to end the segment. 

We also had a 24/7 Title change on Raw as Akira Tozawa snuck up on R-Truth and pinned him for the belt. 

Kofi Kingston def. Randy Orton

Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton kicked off the second hour and both men fought back and forth during the five-minute match. Kingston managed to pick up the win after Xavier Woods played his trombone and gave Kofi the opening to roll up a distracted Orton. 

Riddle lambasted The New Day for the distraction after the match and he pushed Xavier Woods to the floor to end the segment while a fuming Orton headed backstage. 

Charlotte Flair had a meeting with Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville next. The Queen claimed she deserved a singles match for the Raw Women's Championship but Pearce quickly reminded her that she didn't win at WrestleMania Backlash. Instead, Flair has to defeat Asuka in their match and the Raw authorities will consider her request. Rhea Ripley then appeared on camera and The Nightmare said she was ready for some new competition. 

Natalya & Tamina def. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler – Women's Tag Team Championship

The Women's Tag Team Title match followed and both teams fought back and forth for a couple of minutes before Baszler locked in the Kirifuda Clutch on Tamina. The challengers looked set to regain the championship but Alexa Bliss and Lily stood on the stage and fire shot out of the ring post as soon as Reginald stood on the apron. 

A stunned Baszler immediately loosened her grip and the champions picked up the win moments later with the Hart Attack. Lily's laugh then played over the titantron as Raw went to break. 

Sheamus def. Ricochet

Next up was a rematch from WrestleMania Backlash between Sheamus and Ricochet. 

The Celtic Warrior was furious about Ricochet stealing his jacket and hat and he used that anger in the match after the former United States Champion wore the apparel to the ring. 

The two men then put together a quality 13-minute bout and Sheamus picked up the win with a Brogue Kick. The Celtic Warrior thought he had the match won moments earlier after he caught Ricochet with a knee and the referee counted to three, but Ricochet actually kicked out at two. The defiant babyface then slapped Sheamus after the United States Champion got in his face and he ate a Brogue Kick for his insolence. 

Asuka def. Charlotte Flair 

Another quality match followed and Asuka and Charlotte Flair once again displayed their excellent in-ring chemistry. 

Rhea Ripley headed to the ring halfway through the contest and The Nightmare impacted the finish after Flair caught the champion with a big boot while she was stood on the apron. This allowed Asuka to roll up Flair for a near fall and Charlotte tried to lock in the Figure Eight but The Empress Of Tomorrow reversed into an Inside Cradle for the 1-2-3. 

The broadcast then moved away from the irate Flair and Kevin Patrick caught up with John Morrison. The Prince Of Parkour said he was feeling dead inside and had a rotten feeling after being eaten by zombies. He then noted The Miz may never be the same again and dedicated his upcoming Lumberjack match against Damian Priest to The A-Lister's memory. In reality, Miz wasn't on the show because he reportedly suffered a knee injury at the pay-per-view.

Damian Priest def. John Morrison – Lumberjack Match

Speaking of the Lumberjack match, it was next on the show. The lumberjacks weren't zombies this time thankfully and were instead a bunch of male Superstars like The Viking Raiders, T-Bar, Mace, Mansoor, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. Nikki Cross was also there. 

The lumberjacks didn't have too much of an effect on the match, though, as Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander started brawling on the outside after 10 minutes. The other Superstars tried to pull them apart, but Priest did the work for them after he Superplexed Morrison to the outside. 

This left Johnny Drip Drip and Priest to fight on alone and while there was no Miz there to cost him the win this week, Morrison still couldn't defeat Priest and The Archer Of Infamy picked up the victory with Hit The Lights. 

Next up was the latest Eva Marie vignette. Marie said she is a heroine and now she wants to be a hero and show others the way.   

Shelton Benjamin then put his name in the hat to challenge Bobby Lashley but Cedric Alexander mockingly applauded his former tag team partner and insulted him until Shelton slapped the former Cruiserweight Champion to the floor. 

Bobby Lashley's open challenge followed and it was answered by Kofi Kingston. The match was even announced as being for the WWE Championship and the official held up the belt, but MVP made it clear before the bell that he never said it was for the title. 

Kofi Kingston def. Bobby Lashley

An infuriated Kingston then went straight after Lashley but The All Mighty quickly gained control and dominated the former WWE Champion for much of the 10-minute match. 

Kofi Kingston did manage to fight back in spots but Lashley continued to dominate down the stretch and he looked to decimate Kofi some more until Xavier Woods pulled his partner off the WWE Champion's shoulders. 

The official immediately ordered Woods backstage following the interference and while he was doing that, MVP tried to deck Kofi with his cane but Drew McIntyre appeared from out of nowhere and stopped the attack.  

Lashley then lunged at McIntyre and Drew drilled him with the cane which allowed Kofi to roll up The All Mighty for the win. 

Drew and The New Day then celebrated as Raw went off the air. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons