HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 3/22: Rhea Ripley succeeds in official debut on Monday Night Raw

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

Rhea Ripley celebration (courtesy WWE.com)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

This week’s episode of Monday Night Raw has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.

-Sheamus delivered another good match this week and Bobby Lashley continues to look the part of a dominant champion. Being booked to be on the outs with the team that helped get him to the dance is curious. Alexander and Benjamin can still bump around for the babyface in Drew McIntyre while maintaining a clean spot at Lashley’s side to keep enhancing his act.

-Anyone else see the pig fly overhead? How refreshing was it to see a babyface Drew McIntyre accept a silly match on his terms and with stakes that will benefit him if he wins? The answer? Very refreshing. Smart babyfaces are easy to get behind. Well done here, WWE.

-So, Rhea Ripley didn’t necessarily earn her Raw Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania. That’s ok. Look, part of WWE’s problem with NXT call-ups is regular, merge into lane of traffic treatment of sure-fire stars. Sometimes, its ok to feature your stars as stars and just go. Ripley’s debut was an example of that. If you had doubts about how to perceive her, those are cleared up. She’s a top act on Raw and she should be, especially given the depth of the women’s division on the show.

-Bad Bunny vs. Miz in a singles match it is, I guess. That announcement hurts Damian Priest. Priest was getting a nice rub from his association with Bad Bunny and delivered in the spot. Not being around for the payoff is strange given what we’ve seen to this point.

-Certainly there is something better for both A.J. Styles and The New Day at WrestleMania. What is this story?

-True or false? If crowds were present, Sheamus gets a pop for decking Riddle with his scooter?

-I could watch Cedric Alexander sell Drew McIntyre’s Claymore for hours on end. A thing of beauty and the work of a guy who’s invested in the role he’s asked to play. It made Drew look like a million bucks.

-Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose need to show some improvement in their craft. Both women have been around too long to keep churning out the same less than mediocre performance.

-Ok. Ok, ok, ok. Train sound effects for Braun Strowman moves during a pro wrestling match? C’mon, folks. How is this a good idea? How is this AN idea at all? There should be 50 people backstage that know how nonsensical and damaging this is to the product. The fact that it made air is laughable.

-Well, more of the same for the Fiend/Orton story. At this point, the angle is what it is. Is it for me? No. If I take those glasses off, its clear that WWE has told a logical, long term story with talent that are giving it their all in an effort to get it over. It has to a certain extent and to certain fans. To that end, it’s worth seeing this all through to the end and we now know the end is a WrestleMania match.


NOW CHECK OUT HEYDORN’S 3/17 DYNAMITE RECEIPT: HEYDORN’S DYNAMITE RECEIPT 3/17: Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa deliver in star making, first-time main event

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