WWE RAW HITS & MISSES 4/13: McIntyre vs. Andrade, MVP Lounge, Jerry Lawler flies to Orlando, Asuka vs. Riott, Becky Lynch promo, Charlotte, promo, Baszler vs. Logan

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch contributor

MVP (photo credit Grant Gould © PWTorch)


Jerry Lawler – MISS: The technology exists to have live sports broadcasts with remote live announcers. The San Francisco Giants were set to use it (in fact they did during a few spring training games) this season. If WWE wasn’t live, it would be even easier to post dub announcers and cut down on the number of people in the building and possible exposure to Covid-19. They certainly don’t need to have a 70 year old heart attack survivor there in the building, sitting right next to two other announcers. At one point, Jerry Lawler said “if you ask me…” and my first thought was “nobody asked you.” He isn’t relevant to today’s product. He doesn’t add to the show. He takes away from it even in the best of circumstances. So the idea that he would have to be there is crazy. And that’s before he makes racist comments.

Opening Segment – HIT: Raw did get off to a good start with the promo from Drew McIntyre talking about beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania to win the WWE Championship and then having to defend the Title against The Big Show shortly there after. The interruption from Zelina Vega worked well. It was a good way to set up the main event of McIntyre vs. Andrade and it reminded the audience of that happened when they wrestled in NXT when Andrade won and injured McIntyre, which they would play into in the match later on. The follow up throughout the show to build anticipation for the main event was strong.

Asuka vs. Riott – HIT: Money in the Bank qualifying matches are a good way to add some purpose to undercard matches. This was the first of three qualifiers for the women’s MITB match and it was very good. Asuka dancing to Ruby Riott’s music before the match was worth the price of admission. These are two talented workers who put on a really good match start to finish. I wish Riott was able to be in the MITB match as well as Asuka.

VIP Lounge – MISS: I was not excited about two of the three qualifying matches that MVP announced for next week’s show. Rey Mysterio vs. Buddy Murphy should be very good. Mysterio certainly is deserving for the opportunity. The problem is that most of the wrestlers involved in those qualifiers don’t deserve a chance to get into MITB including Murphy. Aleister Black deserves it, but Austin Theory just got called up to Raw and lost two Tag Team Title matches. How is he in any position for this opportunity? Apollo Crews has never won a match in WWE and MVP hasn’t won a match since 2010. Why are either of them in this position? Why is MVP even wrestling when he has been playing more of this talk show host / possible manager role which is so much better for him at this point than an in ring career.

Black vs. Lorcan – HIT: The in ring work continued nicely with this match between Aleister Black and Oney Lorcan. I was glad to see this match go 10 minutes instead of 27. Lorcan has skill, but right now he just isn’t going to be in a position for a push on Raw. He might be better utilized on NXT or 205 Live, but for now I’m fine with him in this role.

Becky Lynch Promo – HIT: Becky Lynch got a chance to talk about beating Shayna Baszler at WM and the possibility of taking on the eventual winner of MITB. It was a good promo which worked well to follow up on one match while looking ahead to another.

Logan vs. Baszler – HIT: This was a short match to show Baszler’s dominance in beating Sara Logan via a ref stoppage when her arm was too injured to allow her to continue. That spot looked so painful that it was totally believable to have it stop the match. Unfortunately the ring announcer got the winner wrong which created some confusion. The way Baszler reacted made it seem like she was upset for losing, but she didn’t lose.

Seth Rollins Promos – MISS: I like the idea of having Seth Rollins do a series of short promos throughout the show to follow up on his loss to Kevin Owens at WM. The problem was the overt religious Easter verbiage was too over the top for pro wrestling. I get that it fits in with his Monday Night Messiah character, but for me it just points to the problems with the character. And then when he promises to do something by the end of the night, and he hasn’t been on otherwise, it made the ending of the show totally predictable. I’m also not a fan of a wrestler losing a high profile match and then just jumping the WWE Champion to “earn” a Title shot. Rollins may earn the shot eventually, but for now it seems like he will get a Title match when he lost his last big match and that doesn’t make sense.

Tozawa vs. Theory – MISS: This match didn’t work for me. I was glad to see Theory actually get a win in a match. But, he isn’t ready for prime time. I just don’t see him as someone who should be on Raw at this point. The bump he took after Akira Tozawa missed with a kick by two feet was really bad. Vega on commentary was fine, but I think she adds more energy at ring side to the empty arena than being on guest commentary.

Charlotte’s Promo -MISS: I don’t understand the praise that I’ve seen for this promo. The delivery was fine, not very good, but better than Charlotte Flair usually delivers. The issue is what she had to say. Pointing out how many times you’ve faced top wrestlers like Becky and Bayley reminds the audience how shallow the women’s division has been the last few years despite the huge amount of talent that they have. Why remind the audience that Charlotte vs. Bayley and Charlotte vs. Becky have been done to death? Why bring up her being forced into the WM main event last year? I get that the idea of her “saving” the WM main event is a heel line, but it brings up bad memories of the fans who feel that Charlotte is the female version of Roman Reigns in how over pushed she has been by Vince McMahon compared to her talent and actual star power. That reminds fans of anti-WWE heat, not anti-Charlotte heat. The rest of the promo was better, but not good enough. It didn’t make me look forward to seeing her defend the NXT Title against Io Shirai.

Viking Raiders vs. Ricochet & Alexander – MISS: This is a marginal Miss. There was some good wrestling action in this match, but a lot of sloppiness too. On the plus side, the series of spots with Cedric Alexander being thrown into Ricochet at ringside, followed by the suicide dive by Ivar was great. On the negative side were the sloppy moments culminating in the botched ending with the bad looking Viking Experience. Another issue I had is that WWE is just now trying to establish Alexander & Ricochet as a team. It was important to give the Viking Raiders a win as they were returning to Raw after being off for several weeks. But, did that win have to come at the expense of a new up and coming team? And going with a babyface vs. babyface feud with the Raiders presumably taking on The Street Profits next doesn’t make a lot of sense either.

Street Profits Promo – HIT: I should probably have called this a Hit for Bianca Bel Air as she was great at the end of this promo. The Street Profits were good, but Bel Air was the star in getting over the point that they need to take the Viking Raiders seriously. I hope she brings out a little more of their serious side, while still allowing them to be fun and entertaining (there is a balance that they certainly can reach which would be very beneficial to their act). She is really good, and she should help their team, but hopefully her wrestling career isn’t sacrificed for her to be in their corner.

McIntyre vs. Andrade – HIT: It is a shame that this match only got 5 minutes. It had so much build with the opening segment and interviews throughout the show only to last 5 minutes. That was a let down. But, those were some very good 5 minutes of wrestling. I really enjoyed the physicality of the match. As I mentioned earlier, they played nicely into the history of Andrade injuring McIntyre’s arm a few years ago. The announcers helped to tell that story. McIntyre got the win in the end as he should, but it should have come after a much longer match, so we’ll call this a marginal Hit. The ending was predictable with the attack from Rollins as I talked about above.

RECOMMENDED: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 4/13: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show in a crowd free environment including appearances from Becky Lynch and Drew McIntyre, Money In The Bank hype, and more

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 him on Twitter @JonMezzera.

1 Comment on WWE RAW HITS & MISSES 4/13: McIntyre vs. Andrade, MVP Lounge, Jerry Lawler flies to Orlando, Asuka vs. Riott, Becky Lynch promo, Charlotte, promo, Baszler vs. Logan

  1. I’m guessing if Jerry Lawler was your favorite wrestling announcer, you suddenly wouldn’t be so concerned about his health being on the show.

    I think you want him off of Raw more because of your dislike of him rather than because your concerned for his health.

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