The Raw after WrestleMania is traditionally one of the must unpredictable nights of the year in WWE. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forcing the promotion to pre-tape its weekly flagship show, it was uncertain how WWE would manage to bring the same level of drama to the show this year. The answer was a few minor surprise appearances and airing a secret WrestleMania match.
While the majority of Raw pivoted between squash matches and bouts given far more than the normal amount of time in an effort to fill the show’s three-hour run time, it closed with one of the most unique moments in the recent history of WWE television. Footage aired showing Drew McIntyre coming to the ring for an interview, just 20 minutes after defeating Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania 36 to become WWE champion. The Big Show would interrupt McIntyre, throwing down a challenge for a title match, leading to the first time WWE had ever hosted a secret title match at WrestleMania.
Among the other notable moments from the empty WWE Performance Center, Nia Jax returned after nearly a year out of action, Apollo Crews made the jump from SmackDown to Raw and Bianca Belair made her Raw in-ring debut.
Check out the full results and grades for the shows below.
WWE Raw results, grades
Asuka vs. Liv Morgan: Morgan was put in a big spot to deliver against one of the best wrestlers in the division all while coming off a win over Natalya at WrestleMania. Morgan gave it a go, but Asuka was able to lock in the Asuka Lock. Morgan attempted the same counter into a pin that allowed Becky Lynch to beat Shayna Baszler at WrestleMania, but Asuka kicked out before locking in the submission again, this time adding a deep chicken wing and forcing the submission after nearly 15 minutes. Asuka def. Morgan via submission — Grade: B-
Raw Tag Team Championship — The Street Profits (c) vs. Angel Garza & Austin Theory: This was a rematch of their match from this past weekend’s WrestleMania. It played out almost exactly the same as the first go-round until Zelina Vega interfered, grabbing Montez Ford’s leg as he ascended the turnbuckle, resulting in a disqualification. The challengers attempted a beatdown of the champs, just as they had the night before before Bianca Belair ran in to make the save — just as she had the night before. After tossing Vega from the ring, Belair challenged Vega to a match. Street Profits def. Garza & Theory via disqualification to retain the titles — Grade: C
Bianca Belair vs. Zelina Vega: This was Belair’s first Raw match and she seemed to make it clear she is a part of the Raw roster now. During the match, action broke down with The Street Profits and Angel Garza & Austin Theory brawling before Theory and Ford ended up in the ring, resulting in another disqualification. After the match, Ford challenged the heels to restart the match once again, this time as a six-person tag as the show went to commercial. Belair vs. Vega ended in a no contest — Grade: C+
The Street Profits & Bianca Belair vs. Angel Garza, Austin Theory & Zelina Vega: After two non-finishes, the six competitors threw down in a mixed tag match. As Theory, Garza, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins brawled through the Performance Center, Vega finally fell victim to Belair’s K.O.D. for the pinfall. The entire situation between the six would have been better handled without all the starting and stopping as it eventually began to feel more like a giant time fill than anything meaningful, somewhat tainting Belair’s in-ring debut on Raw. Street Profits & Belair def. Garza, Theory & Vega — Grade: C
Bobby Lashley was interviewed backstage. Lashley said it might be time for him to begin looking for new management — or a new wife. At that point, Lana interrupted before Lashley walked off, leaving a confused Lana in his wake.
Apollo Crews vs. Aleister Black: Crews was announced as having moved to Raw as a result of “draft picks about to expire.” With every match seeming to be serving the goal of filling the three hours, the men were given plenty of time, with the match going through multiple commercial breaks, allowing both men far more time than they are usually given on televised matches to show off their full range. Black eventually began targeting the leg of Crews, eventually using the opportunity presented by a hobbled opponent to go for Black Mass, but Crews countered with a kick of his own, dragging the match out longer. After an incredibly long match, Crews’ knee began to give out more and more until Black was finally able to explode with a Black Mass for the win, spoiling Crews’ move to Raw in the process. Black def. Crews via pinfall — Grade: B
Cedric Alexander & Ricochet vs. Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan: Ricochet and Alexander continued to get some shine as a new team on Raw, taking on NXT staples Burch and Lorcan. The match was kept short — a change from much of the rest of the show — before Ricochet hit Recoil as Alexander hit a dive to the outside. Alexander & Ricochet def. Burch & Lorcan via pinfall — Grade: B-
A pre-taped promo from Kevin Owens aired. Owens addressed his win over Seth Rollins at WrestleMania, saying everything he endured in his career was worth it to get a WrestleMania moment he could be proud of. He said no matter what happens from here on out, his message and mentality will remain the same.
Denzel Dejournette vs. Seth Rollins: Fresh off his loss to Owens at WrestleMania, an angry Rollins came to make a point against NXT member Dejournette, running through the former NCAA wrestler in short order before hitting a stomp for the win. Rollins def. Dejournette via pinfall — Grade: C+
Nia Jax vs. Deonna Purrazzo: Jax returned to action after nearly a year out of action due to an ACL tear in both knees. She hit Purrazzo with a big Samoan Drop and a the Rampaige for the quick win. Jax def. Purrazzo via pinfall. Grade: C+
A surprise WWE title defense by Drew McIntyre from WrestleMania aired. The segment showed what happened to McIntyre after he won the WWE championship from Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania. McIntyre returned to the ring for an interview. McIntyre said it had only been 20 minutes since he won, so the moment had not yet set in. McIntyre thanked Paul Heyman for telling Lesnar that McIntyre would stay down if he kept hitting him with more F-5s. McIntyre said his career flashed in front of his eyes in that moment and he stopped getting hurt and started getting angry. During his promo, The Big Show’s music hit and he dragged a referee to the ring. Big Show said he wasn’t out to challenge McIntyre for the title, but he did want to take on McIntyre since both men were dressed to compete.
McIntyre said he didn’t want to wrestle after beating Lesnar moments ago, leading Big Show to say McIntyre was afraid of him. McIntyre said there was nothing Big Show could say to convince him to fight, so Big Show delivered a slap, leading McIntrye to take off the belt and start up a match for the WWE championship.
WWE Championship — Drew McIntyre (c) vs. The Big Show: Show took the fight to McIntyre immediately, dominating the new champion early. Show continued his beating while demanding McIntyre show what he’s made of. McIntyre hit a body slam on Show to start a comeback, but moments later jumped into a Big Show Chokeslam for a near fall. Show went for the knockout punch only for McIntyre to duck under the strike and hit a Claymore Kick to retain the title in the first ever secret WrestleMania match. And how can you really complain about a secret championship match? McIntyre (c) def. Big Show via pinfall to retain the title — Grade: B+