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.
-Is it just me or has it been an inordinately long time since we’ve last heard a true go-home babyface promo ahead of a major match in WWE? Drew McIntyre brought it in the opening segment. He articulated all the key talking points about his journey, history, and the WWE Championship, but did so in a way that painted him as more likable than usual. McIntyre elevated the intrigue for his match at WrestleMania with this piece of work and that’s the point, folks.
-To the credit of Xavier Woods, Big E, and Kofi Kingston, the New Day act has outperformed all expectations and turned into a staple piece of WWE programming for the last five years. That doesn’t mean it can’t get stale and it has. In watching Kingston and Woods this week, it felt that even they were going through the motions of the gimmick just to go through them.
-Well, t-minus five days until Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon is over. And you thought you weren’t looking forward to WrestleMania….
-Those darn kids painted the sports car again. Alert the authorities. As juvenile as the Crayola car painting was, the angle worked to get to get the story of Miz vs. Bad Bunny into tag team match territory for WrestleMania. Bunny teaming with Damian Priest is the right call. Not only can Priest protect him from an in-ring perspective and handle most of the physicality in the match, he can get the true rub from Bad Bunny on the WrestleMania stage as well.
-So, Rhea Ripley is a heel and that’s ok. A bigger worry would have been a Ripley character without definition, so this is a step in the right direction. She has a babyface run in her, to be sure, but starting as a heel shouldn’t hurt that potential.
-It doesn’t matter how good Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin are in backstage segments, matches, or whatever else they do on Raw – and they were very good on this week’s show. Breaking up the Hurt Business was a mistake. They helped make Lashley and all involved are better off together.
-Flying AR birds are now part of Riddle’s entrance? WWE is trolling me. That’s the only explanation and I’m not taking the bait. Riddle analysis ends there.
-Drew McIntyre vs. King Corbin served its purpose in building hype for McIntyre vs. Lashley at WrestleMania. Like Lashley did earlier in the night against Cedric Alexander, McIntyre got to get some standard offense in and win a match before the showdown. At the end, having McIntyre and Lashley face off, but not get into a physical brawl was effective in fanning the flames of anticipation for Saturday. Overall, a simple A to B close, but simple works when done right. This was.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S RAW RECEIPT: HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 3/29: Bad business in breaking up the Hurt Business ahead of WrestleMania