SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Becky’s Promo – HIT: Raw started off well with Becky Lynch’s in ring promo. She did a good job of addressing her place as the top of the division with so many challengers from each brand, plus hyping her and Charlotte Flair’s upcoming Tag Team Championship match against The Kabuki Warriors.
Lynch & Flair vs. Kabuki Warriors – HIT: That opening match was also a Hit. This was far better than the non-title match that set it up last week. I’m not sure I would have had this match to begin with. It was supposed to be Natalya teaming with Charlotte, but she wasn’t at the show, so Becky was inserted as her replacement. It seems like they could have just waited. That being said, it was a good long match that was fun to watch from start to finish. Shayna Baszler and Bayley getting involved was predictable, but worked to distract Becky so that Asuka could get a surprise roll up for the victory.
24/7 Crap – MISS: You probably could guess that this was a Miss based on the title including the word “Crap.” I’m over the 24/7 title. I mean, I’ve been over it since it started. There have been some amusing moments and some clever things that have happened with it, but none recently. It feels like time that could be used in so many other useful ways. When neither the WWE Champion nor his challenger for the Title at the next PPV appear on the show, it really jumps out how the time given to this segment could have been used for something better.
Rollins’ Promo – MISS: Seth Rollins seems lost as a character right now. The fans are turning on him and I can’t blame them. He wasn’t helped here with a script talking about Raw vs. NXT where the fans don’t care about that brand vs. brand feud as much as WWE wants them to, and so many fans in attendance at Raw love NXT. Walter accepting his open challenge was fine, but I still feel that saving him for a bigger moment down the line would have been smart. Their match was fine, but ultimately just a 5 minute set up for the 8 man tag that would follow.
Rollins & Owens & Street Profits vs. Imperium – HIT: That eight-man tag that followed after Kevin Owens and The Street Profits came to Rollins’ aid as he was being beaten down by Imperium was a good 7 minute match. Again, I would have saved Imperium and not used them as part of the silly NXT Invasion angle, but I want to give the wrestlers credit for a good stretch of entertaining in ring action which includes the initial Rollins vs. Walter match.
Andrade vs. Alexander – MISS: I appreciate Andrade continuing to get wins, but after having so much trouble beating the perpetual loser Sin Cara, how was he able to beat Cedric Alexander in 3 minutes? Getting a strong win here was a smart way to go, but why did it have to come at the hands of Alexander? He has so much talent, and has also been losing lately. He needed a win also to help rebuild himself.
Lana’s Pregnancy – MISS: This continues to be the worst storyline in WWE. I don’t remember the last time a wrestler sped through a promo like that. Was the time for the segment cut at the last minute, but she still had to get the entire speech out, so she powered through it? Or was she trying to talk without a pause so that the fans couldn’t give her the What? treatment? It was odd. The content of her promo wasn’t any better than her speedy delivery. It was a long way to go just to get Rusev in the ring so that Bobby Lashley could beat him up. The sooner this angle ends, the better.
Viking Raiders vs. Webster & Andrews – MISS: The 4 minutes of wrestling that we got in this match was perfectly fine. These are two talented teams. But, it hurts the credibility of NXT UK to have one of their teams lose so quickly to The Viking Raiders, even if the Raiders are the Raw Tag Team Champions. Give us an 8 minute match instead. We saw Imperium lose earlier in the show, so this was another instance of NXT UK wrestlers losing to Raw wrestlers. If it had least been a longer match, then they might have gained something in the loss.
Orton & Ricochet & Carillo vs. The OC – HIT: The set up for this match worked well with The OC getting into a bit of a backstage altercation with Ricochet and Umberto Carillo, only to have Randy Orton step up to volunteer to be their partner in the six man tag match. Orton did some very good character work throughout this show, from that scene, to the later scene where he told Ricochet not to let him get into his head, to the match itself. It was a good long match that played well into the idea that Ricochet doesn’t trust Orton and Orton doesn’t seem to want to work with Ricochet either. The ending was strong with Orton teasing an RKO on Ricochet, only to hit it on AJ Styles instead to set up his other partner, Carillo to get the win.
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Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonMezzera