SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Flair & Jax & Baszler vs. Rose & Brooke & Asuka – MISS: As soon as Alexa Bliss and Lilly showed up at the top of the ramp, this match was not likely going to be a hit in my book as I lost interest in it. Now, WWE has found another way for Shayna Baszler to lose after Lilly apparently put some type of hex on her causing her knee to give out on her. I didn’t really care much about this match to begin with given how poorly WWE has used the women’s roster on Raw for the last few months. Bliss’ appearance made a bad situation worse.
Orton’s Sense of Humor – HIT: I am still not sold on the concept of Team R-K-Bro, but I do get a kick out of the relationship between Matt Riddle and Randy Orton. I laughed when Orton listed all the things that he finds funny like ending careers, kicking people in the head, and setting things on fire.
Mahal vs. Hardy – MISS: WWE will never be able to get me to be excited about Jinder Mahal’s latest push. He just isn’t good. He’s proven that over and over again. That said, I’m happy for him that he’s healthy now. I appreciate that they didn’t feel the need to have him cheat to win with his two new bodyguards Veer and Shanky. It’s sad how they used Jeff Hardy at this point in his career and the bottom line is I don’t look forward to seeing whatever they are planning for Mahal.
New Day & R-K-Bro vs. Styles & Omos & Ryker & Elias – HIT: Omos did not look good in the ring in this match. He is very limited in what he can do. He had plenty of others to do most of the work here which is good, but even that action was just fine. I particularly liked how Orton acted in the match. He was the only smart one on his team to not just run blindly at Omos. He was cerebral here which fits his character. He took advantage of the situation in the end to get the win for his team.
Lucha House Party – HIT: Better late than never on doing something like this to actually connect Lucha House Party to the WWE audience. They are super talented and fun to watch as a team and this gave them a chance to talk and show some personality beyond the generic “Lucha-Lucha-Lucha!” chants.
Alexander vs. Benjamin – HIT: After their team broke up last week, a week in between to build to a match next week would have been better than just going to this match this week. While it was shorter than I imagined it would be, I enjoyed the match between both guys. They told a story of the young cocky Alexander being over confident which cost him when Benjamin surprised him with the T-Bone Suplex for the win. I look forward to the next step in their feud.
Ripley vs. Asuka – HIT: Rhea Ripley and Asuka had a better match here than at WrestleMania. They have had some in ring chemistry problems in the past, but they worked well together here. Charlotte Flair did a nice job on guest commentary. I was pleasantly surprised that there was a clean ending to this match. It couldn’t possibly end without Flair getting involved. I was amazed to see Ripley pin Asuka. I probably shouldn’t praise WWE for doing something that they should do more often. It should be the rule, not the exception. The issue is that you want Asuka to stay strong going into the triple threat Women’s Championship match on Sunday. At the same time, you have to have Ripley strong too. So, this is why WWE normally doesn’t do a clean finishes. I’m glad they did here, but it would have been better to not have the match at all.
Priest vs. Morrison – HIT: This was a good match. I suspect that this match between Damian Priest and John “Johnny Drip Drip” Morrison will end up being better than Priest vs. The Miz at Backlash on Sunday. Morrison and Priest worked well together and incorporated a lot of impressive athletic moves into the match. They continued to do a nice job teasing the eventual break up of Miz & Morrison and might actually be able to position Morrison as a babyface. I am not particularly excited about the lumberjack stipulation being added to Miz vs. Priest.
Lashley vs. McIntyre – HIT: Like Asuka vs. Ripley, this match should not have happened. WWE needs to protect their talent more. They gave us a clean finish to that match, but here it was too predictable in that they wouldn’t do it again. The run in from Braun Strowman was solid. It worked well for what it was and came after a good match between Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre. Strowman standing tall in the end worked well, but presumably he was only added to the match to take the loss to protect McIntyre. He should have been the only opponent for Lashley from he start. This match was like this whole show – a lot to like, but some to dislike too. So, despite my overwhelming Hit to Miss ratio, I didn’t feel like this show was that good.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at email@example.com.