HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 5/10: Go-home episode for WrestleMania Backlash lacks in some areas, thrives in others

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR


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.

-I want to be of the opinion that Shayna Baszler’s leg wasn’t taken over by an Alexa Bliss voodoo mind trick, but I’m not sure I can, folks. Yep, the force is strong with Alexa Bliss. Good grief.

-Even though it was Baszler that felt the wrath of Bliss this week, based on all the happenings collectively, I’ll bet that Charlotte is her real target. Does this mean Charlotte will win the Raw Women’s Championship on Sunday so Bliss vs. Charlotte has the title involved? Sounds like a WWE thing to do, but one that would have significant consequences for Rhea Ripley. The more likely scenario is that we see Bliss cost Charlotte the match and the title at WrestleMania Backlash.

-Against my better judgment, I continue to like the Riddle and Randy Orton story. Riddle having to deal with the dark and violent Orton is nuance that should be fun to explore and it can work as long as the story isn’t Riddle mentoring Orton over to the good side.

-It’s a low bar, but MVP got a decent promo out of Braun Strowman this week. Can the mighty Shane McMahon say the same thing? I think not.

-A special public service announcement to WWE. Yes, Jinder Mahal is back. No, he isn’t a main eventer. Mahal has a great look and is serviceable on the microphone to carry a mid-card feud. That’s the sweet spot for him. Anything more, is too much.

-Boy, Jeff Hardy is getting jobbed out in 3-minute matches now? WWE might as well buy his plane ticket to AEW for him at this point.

-A better night for Rhea Ripley this week. Heck, probably her best showing since the main roster call-up. She has a long way to go and like Strowman’s promo, the bar was low, but she came across as a little more authentic this week and therefore, more believable.

-Sheamus cut a tremendous promo ahead of his match with Humberto Carrillo. The guy looks supremely comfortable out there and it makes for can’t miss performances week in and week out. If done right from here until the end, the star chosen to dethrone Sheamus will be a made man.

-Speaking of Carrillo, he was on the wrong end of a scary bump and you just don’t see many matches end abruptly the way his did with Sheamus. Here’s to hoping he’s ok.

-A Lucha House Party promo vignette? Surprising is an understatement, but I’ll take it even if the end game appears to be making sure their heated up enough to job out to Styles and Omos.

-Damian Priest delivered once again and will have a one on one match with Miz at WrestleMania Backlash. Priest looks confident in the ring and on the microphone and that confidence is likable. Priest vs. Miz is a smart first feud for Priest to have and a clean win will help catapult him to the next level.

-Are Miz and Morrison really breaking up? It looks like that’s what WWE is setting the table for, but it’s hard to imagine Morrison’s silly “drip, drip” vocabulary survive outside of the act with Miz. Bottom line? This is a risky split.

-Lashley and Drew delivered a good enough match in the main event to be worthy of that spot. The triple threat direction certainly exists as a booking crutch for WWE, but props to them for making all three guys viable threats to win the championship on Sunday.


CATCH-UP: 5/10 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Lashley vs. McIntyre, Styles & Omos vs. Elias & Ryker vs. New Day vs. R-K-Bro, Jax & Baszler & Charlotte vs. Rose & Brooke & Asuka

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