SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.
-Ok, the Matt Hardy stuff is a nice little low to mid-card program. He fits in that space and I give AEW credit for progressing stories in the mid-card so that there are some stakes behind them when the payoff matches happen at the PPV events. Dark Order? Same thing. It’s nice to see them find their footing as a babyface unit. Adam Page isn’t a low to mid-card act, though. Right now, his involvement in these stories isn’t elevating the other players around him, its defining him down. If this was part of Page’s hero journey from the depths of rock bottom, maybe I could get on board, but that story isn’t being told. The feud is fine, the main player? A miss.
-Thank you Riho and Serena Deeb. That’s a wrestling match, folks. Both women were fighting out there and that tone enhanced the stakes of the tournament. Riho can sell with the best of them. The work she puts in during that part of her matches primes the audience up for her comeback. She delivers there too.
-Can we give Orange Cassidy something better to do than dust Luther in a few minutes? I know there aren’t huge crowds around to react to him, but he was a hot act coming out of the feud with Chris Jericho. Now Luther? What gives?
-The Young Bucks vs. Santana & Ortiz was a very good match and planted some seeds of doubt on the Bucks retaining even though conventional wisdom told you they would. A sign of a good match to be sure. Still, it’s hard to tell what you’re supposed to feel about the Bucks as a team. The Good Brothers running out late to save them gives some clues and puts sympathy on Matt and Nick, but the story in its entirety continues to be muddy.
-Just leave the lights on, Tony Khan. Fight the urge and leave the lights on for moments like Jurassic Express appearing for vengeance on FTR. Is it a big deal? No, not really. That said, when the time comes to use that trick for a truly huge surprise, the trick will be watered down and not as effective.
-Jon Moxley can bring it on the microphone. Given all we’ve seen between Moxley and Eddie Kingston, there isn’t a logical reason why I should be interested in seeing them fight anymore. Moxley rebuilt that anticipation in 20 seconds and that’s the idea. Tremendous.
-An Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match? Well, to quote Ron Burgundy, “Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast.” Agreed, Mr. Burgundy. AEW is in a pickle with this one. Omega vs. Moxley 3 needed a unique touch to separate it from their other matches. This stipulation certainly gives it that. The question becomes, can you payoff what you’re selling with the stipulation and do you want to pay it off given the violence that comes along with it. Either way, to set the table for this, AEW must build this seriously and in a focused way. It has to feel like the biggest and most important match they’ve ever done by the time the match arrives for this stipulation to matter. With only two episodes of Dynamite left to go before Revolution, they have some work to do.
NOW CHECK OUT HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT: HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 2/15: Gauntlet match a good watch while setting foundation for Elimination Chamber