HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 2/22: Lashley’s big night a big clue as to the WWE Championship plans at WrestleMania

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

Bobby Lashley (photo credit Wade Keller © 2019)

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.

-Well, we know The Miz has that opening promo in him. He’s perfected that throughout the years. The fact that he can cut a promo like he did Monday night further emphasizes just how silly it is to constantly see him outside of that zone and in regular comedy bits instead. The promo didn’t save his overall credibility, but it attempted to set a different tone and succeeded in that effort. Will it matter? Remains to be seen.

-Great to see you Bobby Lashley. Both of his promos on the show were short, sweet, but also confident, collected, and meaningful. In just some short words, he got over his act, the Hurt Business, and presented as a viable WWE Champion. Maybe the best promo work of his WWE career.

-Riddle rides a scooter now? Nobody should be surprised at this turn of events. Yes, his match with John Morrison was refreshing and a good reminder of just how much he can bring it in the ring. The character paralyzes all growth potential, though. WWE can’t have it both ways.

-Watching this Retribution angle is like trying to argue with my two year old about eating her vegetables at dinner. Head meet door. I give Ali credit. He’s trying, but the booking just won’t get out of his way. It’s over.

-So, it looks like we’re on the road to Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon at WrestleMania. Unless Shane McMahon is getting launched off the big pirate ship inside Raymond James Stadium, does anyone care?

-More of the same from Damian Priest and Bad Bunny. That’s not a bad thing, though. Priest continues to look the part and the more he stays strong with Bad Bunny at his side, the longer he’ll stay away from the 50/50 lane of traffic that the WWE main roster has become for so many NXT call-ups.

-Stellar hype video for Rhea Ripley. WWE does not deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to how they might handle her given the debacle that was her run with Charlotte last year. However, with the Raw women’s division in the state it’s in, there is a giant gap to be filled at the top. Ripley fills it and my gut tells me she’s in for a big year.

-Here’s to hoping a doctor checked on Randy Orton. Choking up black tar? C’mon, WWE. I’ll wait to judge until we hear an explanation, but this is a far stretch in an already stretched thin story from a believability perspective.

-I say this while dodging a pig flying around, but that Charlotte promo was pretty darn effective. I caveat that opinion with the recognition that it was all in an effort to pivot from a defective and imperfect angle with Lacey Evans, but for the first time in a long time, she was authentic. Kind of a jerk? Yes. Arrogant? Yes. But, real. Given her robotic tendencies, that’s a step in the right direction.

-The best part of Sheamus matches is the bruising nature of them when the stakes are entirely meaningless. Example? His match with Jeff Hardy this week.

-It was the Bobby Lashley show in the main event. He and Strowman had a really fun big-man style match that cultivated drama along the way because of the stakes behind it. Not many guys get to go over Strowman as definitively as Lashley did. He appears primed for not only a WWE Championship run, but also a top-level match at WrestleMania.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S RAW RECEIPT: HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 2/15: Gauntlet match a good watch while setting foundation for Elimination Chamber

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