SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
MizTV – MISS: The Miz and John Morrison can be entertaining and I have to admit to being amused by a lot of Morrison’s antics during this opening segment. The problem is that they come across as bottom of the card goof comedy acts. So, anything they are involved in, like the feud for the Raw Women’s Championship, immediately feels less important. Nobody came across looking well here. The title was hurt. The champion was hurt. The #1 contender was hurt. Nikki Cross looked like a fool for acting like she’d won the main event of WrestleMania just because she took a beating, but didn’t lose in two minutes to Rhea Ripley last week.
Cross vs. Flair – MISS: Watching a babyface run around trying to avoid fighting doesn’t make me want to cheer for that wrestler even if she’s being presented as being clever for her tactics. This just added to the poor job WWE did this week presenting their top women on Raw.
Orton vs. Woods – HIT: This was a good match that continued to advance the budding partnership between Randy Orton and Matt Riddle. Presumably we will be getting a tag match with RKBro vs. The New Day at Hell in a Cell, which has a lot of potential. I like the chemistry between Orton and Riddle and this week we got a good match following up on last week as Orton beat Xavier Woods with Riddle’s finisher the way Riddle won with the RKO.
Baszler vs. Reginald – MISS: I don’t think I have to do much to justify this miss. Reginald doesn’t belong in the ring. I don’t want to see men fighting women. I certainly don’t want to see Shayna Baszler taking a loss to a goof like Reginald, even if there was a distraction from some pyrotechnic voodoo or whatever it is that Alexa Bliss and Lilly do with their magic.
Main Event Hype – HIT: WWE seems to be doing a better job lately of building to and hyping their main events throughout Raw. That was the case this week as we got multiple replay videos of what happened last week involving Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, and Bobby Lashley. McIntyre and Kingston both got interview time to talk about the match and each other. Both delivered well to make fans want to see that main event. It isn’t a difficult formula, and overall, it’s pretty easy to build that anticipation and it was good to see this week.
Mace & T-Bar vs. Lucha House Party – MISS: The former Retribution member T-Bar continues to be wasted. I’m glad he isn’t wearing the mask any more, but he needs to go away and come back as Dominik Dijakovic and pretend that Retribution never happened. I’m not as concerned about Mace. Raw does need tag team depth, so if you want them to be a tag team, I can live with that. However, give them something other than the Ascension 2.0 gimmick. With the terrible gimmick and presentation, I would much rather see a push for Lucha House Party instead of Mace & T-Bar. So, seeing them get squashed here was disappointing.
Sheamus / Ricochet & Carrillo – MISS: I’d like what WWE is doing with Sheamus, Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo. I am a fan of all three of these wrestlers and Sheamus is doing great work. The wrestling tends to be good also, but the way the two babyfaces are being presented is a big miss. They keep cheating to help each other win. The heel is the badass who is taking on two challengers in back to back matches and those supposed face challengers constantly cheat to win. Like Cross earlier in the show, they are way too proud of themselves for what they are doing in two-on-one situations.
Benjamin vs. Alexander – MISS: The rubber match in their series lasted 20 seconds.
Styles & Omos vs. Elias & Ryker – MISS: WWE did a lot in the first two hours of the show to build anticipation to see Omos in the ring for the first time on Raw. Some fans might have actually been looking forward to it, but the focus of the match ended up being on a babyface turn for Jaxson Ryker after Elias left him. Omos did get in the ring eventually, but barely did anything. So, fans who wanted to see what he could do, who hadn’t seen the previous two PPVs, were probably disappointed. Trying to use Memorial Day to turn a veteran face feels really dirty to me. I was very bothered by that. Beyond that though, who wants to see Ryker vs. Elias going forward?
Alexa’s Playground – MISS: More of the same with Bliss playing this silly character, talking to a doll, and having creepy powers. I don’t want to see Baszler ultimately sacrificed to Bliss and Lilly when they eventually face one another.
Kingston vs. McIntyre – HIT: I talked earlier about the build to this match and the match itself lived up to the hype. The outcome of McIntyre winning was never in doubt. There was no way they were going to go with Kingston vs. Lashley at Hell in a Cell. But, they worked the match well to give Kofi enough hope spots and enough offense, especially in the later parts of the match, to make it look like he had a chance. It went a long time without ever feeling long and had that great ending with McIntyre hitting the Claymore on Kofi out of the air.
On a side note, I was fairly well impressed with Jimmy Smith on his first night as lead announcer.
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.