He’s overcome Lio Rush pointing at his butt, he’s overcome Lana cucking out Rusev, he’s overcome his three beautiful sisters – my god, they’re so beautiful, wait, that’s AEW’s Max Caster – so of course Bobby Lashley was going to beat The Miz for the WWE Championship in the main event of last night’s Raw.
Just over a week after losing his US title to Riddle at the Elimination Chamber without being pinned, freeing him to enter the WWE Championship picture, Lashley beat the man he helped cash in their Money in the Bank briefcase, making it the first time Lashley has won a world title in WWE, if you don’t count the ECW title, which you shouldn’t.
Lashley declared “THE ALMIGHTY ERA IS HERE!!!” on Twitter after the show, which MVP followed up with “I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!” Thank you MVP, Bobby, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander for making the Hurt Business the absolute best thing on Raw.
I don’t know about you, but it makes me think about that video of MVP and Shad Gaspard reacting to Kofi Kingston’s Mania win two years ago – where you can see how much it means to them. As though MVP thought right there and then, I’m going to do all I can to make sure this is a lasting change, not just a one-off.
Because amongst the many milestones Lashley’s title win marks, chief amongst them is being the third ever African-American WWE Champion. Congratulations to Bobby, to MVP, to the wrestlers that paved the way and for WWE for ultimately making it happen.
Fightful also points out Lashley’s win means he’s held top titles on TV brands across three decades with ECW in the 00s, TNA in the teens and Raw in 2021 – making him and RVD to capture the top championships in each company. It also makes him a triple crown champion in both TNA and WWE. And, in a sign of the times for WWE, Lashley is now the oldest first-time winner of the belt, apart from Mr McMahon.
Former champ Drew McIntyre praised Lashley on Raw Talk, saying “He’s worked hard for it, the man is an absolute animal in every possible way, in the gym and ring. He’s earned this moment.”
But WWE’s plans seem to be for Drew to challenge for the belt at WrestleMania 37, going onto say: “The idea of Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley is pretty big for me… There’s no way I’m not going to try and work myself into the main event of WrestleMania.”
Twitter, however, wants someone else: Brrrrrrock Lesssssnar.
Quickly after Lashley won the title, Lesnar began trending on Twitter with fans calling for Bobby vs Brock at WrestleMania 37 for the WWE Championship. Lashley had said back in 2018 that he was told he would get a Lesnar match for returning to WWE.
Lashley seemed to temper people’s expectations to Gary Cassidy of Inside The Ropes, though:
“Of course Brock is that kind of mystery match, dream match that everybody has wanted us to have for some time now but right now, I’m looking to be the best and right now the best is Drew. Drew is the top guy. If I beat Miz, or when I beat Miz, I think Drew is the guy.”
But Bobbles also teased going for the United States championship again at Mania to become a double champion, likely on night one – so the Hurt Business would hold every major men’s championship on Raw.
Who do you want to see Lashley face at WrestleMania for the championship? Let me know in the comments because I’ll be replying FROM OUTTA NOWHERE.
Make WrestleTalk.com your homepage for loads more wrestling stories I didn’t get to cover. Because right now it’s time for my review of Monday Night Raw… in about 5 minutes.
WWE Raw Review
After giving Bobby Lashley a little roar noise at the end of the opening video package – because we’ve had sister Bobby, we’ve had ‘look at his butt’ Bobby, it’s now finally time for Tiger Bobby, roar – the show began with a Drew McIntyre promo saying that he wants to face whoever ends up champion tonight at WrestleMania.
Miz and Morrison interrupted, making the WWE Championship feel like the Intercontinental Championship, just with pyro, and then MVP reminded everyone the Miz/Lashley title match starts at 9pm sharp. Please watch us.
Once half the roster had come out to say one thing, it was finally time for Raw’s opening match of Drew vs Sheamus – a blood feud that’s been built up for six months. It’s a shameful day, lobster head they didn’t get a pay-per-view match like they wanted, as it really undermines Sheamus’ character, as the whole story was how WWE don’t think he’s got enough star power to main event a show, and then they kind of just confirm that rather than overcome it by having the pay-off match as the opening bout on Raw, but both guys didn’t let that dishearten them, and they had a terrific back and forth match – with belly to belly suplexes on the announcers table, Drew falling out the ring off a Brogue Kick, and even the age-old insults of doing each others’ moves, with Sheamus hitting an Alabama Slam, and Drew doing the White Noise.
After going through two adbreaks, the finish was effectively two guys hitting each others’ swords and seeing which one shatters: with Drew’s Claymore hitting before Sheamus’ second Brogue Kick.
Nia Jax then squashed Naomi – which wasn’t just uninteresting because it’s a badly told story, but also because Raw overtly told us the Miz vs Lashley match would happen in ten minutes time, making it obviously filler. I would’ve much preferred they just do some analysis build for the title match, get Samoa Joe or MVP’s takes.
But we did get this shot of Bobby going into the break. What a difference an MVP makes. Compare that right there to Lashley’s sister loving face from three years ago.
It clearly scared off Miz, who faked a stomach ache backstage. Lashley beat him up, and the match was postponed an hour. Restart the timer! It’s like me hitting the snooze button.
When the 10pm match finally began, Miz just grabbed the title and ran away, taking the countout loss and retaining his championship. MVP said a naughty word backstage, screaming it was bull s, so Shane McMahon – who, remember, isn’t an authority figure, those don’t exist – said if Miz didn’t properly defend his title by the end of the night, it’d be stripped from him anyway and given to Lashley.
This was actually a really fun episode long story, which, crucially, WWE actually paid off on in the end.
But juggling more than one feud at a time can be hard. And it resulted in WWE telling a very muddled storyline between Braun Strowman and THE OMNISHANE
Braun cut a pre-match promo saying how pissed off he is with authority figures, even though there’s technically no authority figures, so Shane booked Strowman in a tag match with Adam Pearce against the Hurt Business to resolve their conflict. Because feuding wrestling stars then becoming a team and winning the tag titles has such a good track record.
Because nothing says ‘WrestleMania season’ like putting Braun in a random team in a shot for the Raw tag titles, and Shane McMahon.
Strowman squashed the champs, hit a running powerslam on Shelton Benjamin, and tagged in Pearce on Shane’s command to give Adam the winning pin. But Benjamin rolled Pearce up and retained – meaning no-one looked good!
Additionally, Shane then sold this with ‘acting’ – seemingly putting over that he’s upset, implying he’s a babyface, like how he was against Miz running away, but that doesn’t explain why he’s acting like such a heel elsewhere.
In just over a month, Damien Priest has gone from a main roster debuting storyline with mainstream megastar Bad Bunny and looking like a monster, to helping Bunny win the 24/7 title and have a way too competitive match against Elias.
Sure he beat him eventually, but having Elias get so much offence in slots Priest in at Elias’ level: which is technically the undercard. But what I really didn’t like was Priest doing rest holds in the opening minutes. WWE, stop doing big guys wrong.
Many veterans have often said if you could build a wrestler from the ground up, they’d look like Randy Orton. So why not do him twice.
In the latest chapter of this ridiculous feud with The Fiend and Alexa Bliss, which is almost 80% recaps right now, Orton watched another Randy Orton talk to him in a low voice on a screen at a ridiculously awkward angle, and then started choking again. This is like a meta feud of how bad WWE angles are.
Charlotte announced that she respects Asuka, Asuka’s her best friend, and she feels sorry for her because Shayna legit kicked her tooth out last week. So that’s why she’s waiting until she’s back to challenge her at WrestleMania for the Raw Women’s title. What a friend, what a babyface!
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler then beat up Charlotte before the bell, but Flair quite easily beat Shanya in the actual match.
Mace, T-Bar and Slapjack were made to look even more idiotic, quickly losing to Riddle and the Lucha House Party, so Ali showed them how it was done, and beat Riddle thanks to their interference with an insane 2nd rope backbreaker.
With under 10 minutes of the show left, we finally got Miz vs Lashley, with now babyface Shane making it a lumberjack match to stop Miz escaping again.
And this was exactly what it needed to be. Lashley absolutely squashing Miz, where even the heel lumberjacks wouldn’t help Miz, he’s that much of a dick. Bobby made him tap in the Hurt Lock, and Lashley pointed to the WrestleMania sign. A great night long story, and a fantastic pay-off at the end.
What did you think of Raw? Let me know in the comments down below, and vote in our Poll on a Pole match on the community tab, where 75% of you are happy the Almighty Era has begun!
Whereas Jack C has fantasy booked: “Miz vs Shane 2 at Mania: MIZ DAD ON A POLE MATCH”.
The opening match between Drew and Sheamus was brilliant, and the nightlong Miz story was fun with a terrific Lashley win payoff. The rest of the show was pretty awful, I thought, but overall – this week’s Raw is four out of five.