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.
-MVP announcing Lashley to start the show is an ode to last week and it worked because Lashley’s presentation last week was successful and star-like. The line about the return of fans though? WWE needs to clean that up. MVP hyping up the viewers about that fact is babyface in nature. Unless he’s going to spin that point back to his or Lashley’s character, leave the ra-ra stuff to the babyfaces.
-Look, I like the idea of a long match to start Raw. Maybe not every week, but Kingston vs. McIntyre felt important and set a fresh tone for the show right out of the gate. A shenanigan finish after 30+ minutes ruined any equity the company may have built to that point with their audience. The chickens will come to roost at some point. WWE is in the promotion business. If they don’t pay off what they promote, their ability to draw fans will continue to diminish.
-Next week Kingston vs. McIntyre with the stakes of becoming the number one contender on the line is an effective hook. I’d like to see WWE frame this as a huge deal throughout the week. Promos, hype vignettes, other acts talking about the bout – time to roll out the red carpet in terms of promotion to build anticipation.
-Let me see if I got this right. So, the heel Charlotte Flair is arrogantly dismissive of Nikki Cross and above facing her in a match. Rhea Ripley attempts to counter that point and accepts the match, but then dismisses Cross in the ring with her body language that screamed she was above facing her too? Yep, that’s as convoluted as I thought. Nobody at the top of the Raw women’s division looked good there. Ripley continues to lack confidence and Charlotte lacks the recognition and need to sell for her opponent when they’re face to face. It’s a mess. Getting the belt back on Charlotte Flair and building Ripley up to chase her as a clear babyface is the only fix at this point. It’s unfortunate that Ripley already needs a reboot.
-It appears as if I’m the only one in the entire universe who enjoyed the Cedric Alexander yelling promo. Any type of passion out of him is important at this point. The yelling, while obnoxious, gives him an avenue to display some intensity. Can it happen every week? No. For now, it’s an effective way to build a foundation for his new singles act.
-Xavier Woods vs. Riddle was fantastic. Riddle continues to shine when he’s inside the ring and Woods wrestled like he had a chip on his shoulder all throughout the match.
-One of the crowd reactions I’m anxious to hear come July 16 is Riddle’s. What is resonating more – the backstage vignettes in a bad way, or the in-ring dominance in a good way? Hearing true feedback will dictate where and how high he will get. See what I did there?
-A.J. Styles lost to Jaxson Ryker on Raw this week. That’s a sentence I should not be writing.
-Ok, it was fresh to see the women’s tag team championship main event this week’s show. Why not try that and work to position those belts as meaningful. I’m on board.
-A new Shayna Baszler? A tease? Time will tell, but the way she demoralized Reginald was a flash of her old attitude on display. That’s where the money is at with her.