WWE RAW HITS & MISSES 7/8: Cedric under a mask, Becky & Seth vs. Andrade & Zelina, Heyman teases Lesnar, Rey vs. Lashley, Mike and Maria, Bayley-Nikki

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist

A.J. Styles talks new world championship
A.J. Styles (art credit Joel Teach © PWTorch)


Lynch & Rollins vs. Andrade & Vega – MISS: I wish Andrade had beat Seth Rollins in the second fall of this elimination mixed tag match, so that he would have had to face Becky Lynch one-on-one. The very idea of an elimination style mixed tag match was so stupid to begin with. Bring back the commercial breaks interrupting matches if this is what you have to do to avoid it. The actual wrestling in the match was fine, but nothing great. Andrade & Zelina Vega are too talented of an act to be used as jobbers here just because WWE needed another couple to feed to Rollins & Lynch in prepping for their winner take all mixed tag at Extreme Rules.

Corbin – Evans – MISS: This was a bad, but thankfully short, scene in the back with Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans bragging about attacking Rollins and Lynch after their match. This was some bad acting from Corbin and Evans. They just aren’t good enough to be in the main event picture of Raw, so they better not win on Sunday.

Heyman Teases Lesnar – MISS: It feels like desperation at this point to have Paul Heyman tease that Brock Lesnar will be at Elimination Chamber to cash in Money in the Bank. We’ve heard it before and it definitely falls into the category of the law of diminishing returns. He’s teased it enough times without following through that it doesn’t work any more.

Revival & Elias vs. Usos & Miz – MISS: Another forced 2 out of 3 falls stipulation ruins what could have been an otherwise good six man tag match. Why did Elias walk out on the match? Will there be any follow up to that? We didn’t see follow up last week to Kevin Owens walking out on Sami Zayn the week before on Smackdown, so why would I expect to get follow up to this? The Revival can’t win matches despite being Raw Tag Team Champions. It is more evidence that WWE doesn’t know what it is doing.

Drake Maverick’s Honeymoon – HIT: I got a kick out of the video of Drake Maverick taking his new bride to Orlando (where they already live) for their honeymoon, and then always holding his 24/7 title in front of her face in their pictures from Universal Studios. Unfortunately, the stuff they did with the 24/7 title during the actual show wasn’t as amusing, other than R-Truth giving the referee a piggy back ride to chase Maverick in the end.

Mysterio vs. Lashley – MISS: WWE did a nice job of teasing that the returning Rey Mysterio would have an open challenge. It was well built to and made Mysterio seem like a big deal. But then, Bobby Lashley was the one who accepted the challenge and then beat Mysterio in about a minute. What was the point of that? Did they really want to build Lashley up that much that they had to have him wrestle a week after the big stunt bump through the exploding screen and squash a future hall of fame wrestler like Mysterio? He no sold the explosion. This was a terrible way to follow up on that huge angle from last week. It was a terrible way to use Mysterio on his first night back after being away for 6 weeks with an injury.

Mike and Maria – MISS: So the point of these segments seems to be that pregnant women are terrible to their husbands. They have weird cravings for food. They are insecure about gaining wait. They are bossy and rude. This felt so cliche in the way that Maria Kanellis was bossing around Mike. I don’t care about the fact that Mike might not be the baby’s father. I can’t imagine anyone caring.

Ricochet vs. The Club – HIT: This was the best part of the show, but it had problems too which shows how bad this show was. Ricochet’s promo wasn’t good. He needs to vastly improve his mic work. Luckily he is so talented in the ring that the fans will be behind him, but with better mic work he could really connect with the audience. His match with Luke Gallows was too short to amount to much. It was predictable how short it would be given their new policy of no wrestling on commercials. His match against Karl Anderson was better and lasted longer. The real Hit was for the Club beat down of Ricochet after the matches. That was all very well done. AJ Styles is doing a nice job as a heel. Despite being a popular babyface, and the Club having potential to be a cool popular heel faction, they are getting booed which is a good sign that the fans are behind Ricochet and against the Club.

Bayley – Cross – MISS: The idea of a beat the clock challenge between Bayley and Nikki Cross to determine the stipulation for Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss is ok. The execution of the angle was not ok. The interview that started it all off was more of the same that we’ve heard the last few weeks. This storyline overall has been good, but it is starting to drag and get repetitive. Then you had the matches which weren’t particularly good. Sarah Logan hasn’t been on tv in months, but we are supposed to take her as a serious threat? You had a disinterested fan base chanting for CM Punk instead of paying attention to the match. You had Dana Brooke acting like a heel in doing the waste time bit. That wasn’t a heroic babyface type of a move, and Bayley looked bad too for giving her a high five for those tactics. After Cross won and added herself to the Smackdown Women’s Title match, making it a handicap match, Bayley came across as a heel. Cross wasn’t acting like a babyface, but they both were jerks to each other. So, it was hard to get behind either of them. I wonder if somehow Cross wins the match and becomes the Champion at the PPV, revealing that she has been playing both Bayley and Bliss the whole time.

Mystery Opponent Storyline – MISS: The entire storyline involving Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre trying to find a mystery partner for Roman Reigns in their main event tag match was terrible. The way WWE shot the scenes with them trying to find the partner wasn’t good in the way that a cameraman would just happen to be filming a janitor or garbage man for a little while right before Shane and Drew happen to come across him was ridiculous. The story that they came up with to explain why the lame janitor would wear a mask during the match made no sense. It was like it was supposed to protect his identity, but they came up with this plan in front of a camera showing his face, and they used his real name, so why would the mask do anything? Roman Reigns acted like he had this great plan to outsmart them, but how could he have that plan before they had found the janitor and told him to wear a mask? It was obviously going to be a wrestler under the mask. By the time we got to the main event, there was only 5 minutes left in the show. The whole point of the plot for Shane and Drew was to have a handicap match against Reigns. So, why would they want to beat the janitor? Why would beating the janitor with Reigns on the outside be a good thing for them? That wouldn’t injure Reigns before their PPV match. They should have shoved him back into the corner to make him tag back out to Reigns. Instead, they tried to beat him up. We got the fun pop with him starting to hit moves and do cool things in the ring. But, then he lost. Isn’t the purpose of this type of angle to humiliate the heels? The janitor is supposed to win, then unmask to make the heels look bad. Instead, he lost despite the fun showing he had hitting some cool moves. After the loss, he unmasked to reveal that he was really Cedric Alexander. He and Reigns acted like they got some big one over on Shane and Drew, but they lost. Hopefully this will be a start of some type of push for Alexander who is far too talented to just be part of the joke 24/7 title.

Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at jmezz_torch@yahoo.com.

Follow me on Twitter @JonMezzera(pretty clever handle right?). Just be aware that I don’t live tweet Raw, I don’t tweet much about wrestling, and I don’t tweet much at all.

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