A week after seeing new WWE Champion Drew McIntyre defend his title against The Big Show, the champion’s next challenge came from a reemerging champion.
Preparation and buildup for the Money in the Bank pay-per-view took place in the form of qualifying matches.
Drew McIntyre addresses his WrestleMania 36 win
The WrestleMania 36 match between Lesnar and McIntyre was recapped with sounds and images from the WWE Network. Jerry “The King” Lawler returned to the announcer’s table and it was nice to hear his voice after Michael Cole, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves have had the lion’s share of the headsets.
The new WWE Champion issued a mission statement to future challengers saying if they wanted a shot at the title, they would get one. Andrade’s music hit before McIntyre finished his statement, and the United States Champion entered alongside Zelina Vega.
Vega spoke on behalf of her client and said that while impressive McIntyre made two WrestleMania moments, it would be a shame if someone injured him in a match for his new gold. The WWE Champion brought up his biceps injury during his last bout with Andrade in NXT and challenged him to a Champion vs. Champion match for later in the night.
Asuka vs. Ruby Riott
In three weeks, the Money in the Bank pay-per-view will take place and feature seven women competing for the briefcase that guarantees a championship match at a time of their choosing. The first of three women’s qualifiers saw Asuka take on Ruby Riott.
Riott took control once the action began. As Riott taunted and pushed the Kabuki Warrior, Asuka turned the tables and planted her opponent on the mat by holding Riott’s left arm. Riott connected with a Flat Liner and the two rolled around in several pin maneuvers. Asuka used the constant repositioning to lock in a submission for the win.
MVP’s VIP Lounge
Former U.S. champion MVP hosted a new edition of MVP’s VIP Lounge and announced three MITB qualifying matches next week on Raw: Rey Mysterio vs. Murphy, Aleister Black vs. Austin Theory, and Apollo Crews vs. MVP.
Aleister Black vs. Oney Lorcan
Moments after being announced for a MITB qualifier match taking place next week, Aleister Black was set for a singles competition against Oney Lorcan. Black hit a moonsault off the ropes, prompting Lorcan to briefly exit the ring.
Black challenged Lorcan with kicks, knee strikes, and hard elbow shots. Lorcan rolled Black up for a two-count after Black missed a moonsault. Regaining control, Black held Lorcan in the middle of the ring and connected with a Black Mass for the victory. In a post-match interview, Black said his game plan for next week’s qualifier against Theory was “to win.”
Becky Lynch addresses her WrestleMania 36 win
A brutal rivalry between Shayna Baszler and Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch saw its paramount two weekends ago. The challenger came into the match with high momentum, but could not come through with championship gold over The Man.
Lynch made her first appearance on Raw since WrestleMania 36 and said their fight was a battle of the mind. Lynch transitioned to addressing the future MITB winner, saying she always has a plan.
Charly Caruso interviews Andrade and Vega
Backstage reporter Charly Caruso checked in with Andrade before his Champion vs. Champion match. Vega talked up the U.S. champion before Andrade said it was sad it took McIntyre so long to ascend to the top of WWE.
Sarah Logan vs. Shayna Baszler
The second MITB qualifier match was set to kick off. Before Baszler came out, a backstage reporter asked her if she had a comment after what Becky Lynch had said moments prior. Baszler walked off and into the arena with no comment.
Logan struck Baszler with an early powerful shot. Baszler, unfazed and angry, delivered several powerful blows to Logan before stomping on her right arm. The referee declared Baszler victorious, and she left the arena through the empty seating area, throwing a chair in the process.
Akira Tozawa vs. Austin Theory
Zelina Vega sat at the announcer’s table in support of another of her clients, Austin Theory. Theory began the match by pushing Tozawa to the mat, but it did not take long for Tozawa to stand up and deliver leg strikes to gain an upper hand.
Tozawa escaped arm submissions and flipped Theory out of the ring. Theory walked to a side barricade, and Tozawa executed a running front flip off the apron of the ring. The action returned to the ring and Theory escaped the Octopus submission to land an ATL for the win. Andrade and Angel Garza joined Theory to celebrate the win and continue a post-match beatdown of Tozawa.
Rey Mysterio interview
Mysterio, set to take on Murphy next week in a MITB qualifying match, reflected with Charly Caruso on his championship win in 2010. Mysterio said his reign was cut short when Kane cashed in his MITB contract and beat him. Mysterio said Murphy does not want a victory as much as he does, and he looks to add MITB briefcase holder to his impressive career resume.
Angel Garza vs. Tehuti Miles
Shortly after joining fellow client Austin Theory after his victory, Garza was billed for a singles match of his own against NXT superstar Tehuti Miles.
The two displayed impressive acrobatics in the early part of the match, and Garza connected with a dropkick in mid-air just as Miles also went for a similar air move. Soon after, Garza hit the Wing Clipper for the win. Just like after Theory’s win, Andrade and Theory joined Garza for a post-match beatdown of Miles.
The Kabuki Warriors interview
Sarah Schreiber asked Asuka her thoughts on her qualifying win earlier in the night. Schreiber turned to ask Sane her thoughts on her upcoming match, to which she replied “confidence.”
Drew McIntyre interview
Charly Caruso asked the WWE Champion his thoughts on preparing for his match. McIntyre told Caruso that no matter how close he was to losing everything, he continued to fight toward success. He promised to hurt Andrade with a Claymore.
Kairi Sane vs. Nia Jax
Looking to follow her friend Asuka into the MITB Ladder Match, Sane had a big challenge in Nia Jax. Sane began the match by running toward her opponent, only to be thrown completely aside by the much bigger Jax.
Sane used elusiveness to escape Jax, but eventually was caught, bodyslammed and clotheslined. Jax picked her up and delivered the Annihilator for the win.
Charlotte Flair addresses her WrestleMania 36 win
Flair defeated Rhea Ripley two weekends ago to win the NXT Women’s Championship. The Queen discussed her thought process behind her decision to pick a champion to face at WrestleMania and prided herself on beating “the next big thing” in Ripley.
Flair also said Io Shirai is the next woman in line and finished her statement saying “everyone bows down to The Queen.”
Bobby Lashley vs. No Way Jose
After Lana seemingly guided Lashley to a WrestleMania loss, Lashley looked to start anew against No Way Jose. With Lana cheering and ordering her husband outside the ring, Lashley tried to focus on gaining control over Jose. At one point Lashley exited the ring to tell Lana to shut up, and connected with a powerful spear upon reentering to win the match.
The Viking Raiders vs. Cedric Alexander and Ricochet
In the first tag team match of the night, former Tag Team champions The Viking Raiders clashed with Alexander and Ricochet.
The Viking Raiders subject to acrobatics from their opponents. Ivar showed his high-flying ability by running and jumping through the ropes after Erik was able to throw their opponents out of the ring.
Alexander made a hot tag to Ricochet, who hit a standing shooting star for a two-count. Ivar and Erik countered with a double-team slam to earn the victory in an impressive match.
The Street Profits interview
The Raw Tag Team champions introduced Bianca Belair to their team to create a trio. The champions addressed The Viking Raiders’ victory by offering Viking history. Belair reminded the two they have never beat The Viking Raiders, leaving them speechless.
Andrade vs. Drew McIntyre
A determined and hungry McIntyre controlled Andrade as the match began. The action spilled outside the ring, and Andrade targeted the left arm of the champion as he drove it into the ring post. When the two met back in the ring, Andrade pulled McIntyre’s arm as he hung on the ropes. McIntyre answered with powerful blows to the back.
The champion delivered an Alabama Slam to Andrade and set up a Claymore. An uncontested three count earned McIntyre a win.
As McIntyre stood after his win, Seth Rollins’s music hit and he ran to the ring and took out the WWE Champion. Rollins delivered two curb stomps and looked toward the championship belt as the show drew to a close