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.
-Nothing like a bland, overly scripted, and boring talking segment between a batch of poorly defined tag teams to open the show coming out of one of the worst ratings ever. Like, seriously?
-Good for the Viking Raiders. Going over in that slot helps them get something solid to sink their teeth into, but also allows for Styles and Omos to get firmly planted in the heel lane ahead of a showdown with RK-Bro later in the summer.
-Can Charlotte and Rhea Ripley co-exist? Does anyone care? That’s the question. While the story takes up time, it’s nonsensical. Just like Banks and Belair ahead of WrestleMania … why do they need to coexist? Where is the intrigue?
-Rhea Ripley as the WWE Raw Women’s Champion playing second fiddle to and obeying Charlotte Flair’s orders in the ring to start their match as a team is an unforgivable way to book Ripley. That’s your champion? To date, that’s the worst presentation of the Ripley act by far.
-Ryker the babyface week one? Moving on …
-Storytelling Drew McIntyre and babyface champion wrestler Drew McIntyre are too far away from one another on the consistency spectrum. The story was cute and got the point across, but it left out the key issue of McIntyre getting opportunity after opportunity and not winning. What is the effectiveness in calling that out for fans? McIntyre drilled his mission down by the end to something fans can follow and get on board with, but it took a while. Plus, the character’s credibility is on the line now too. Drew needs this win, but Lashley does also, so get the popcorn ready. It’ll be fun to see how Vince McMahon books himself out of this madness.
-Lashley gets a huge thumbs up on his performance this week. He looked comfortable and wasn’t trying to do too much. He’s found his groove and it’s fun to watch.
-Ricochet vs. Humberto Carrillo teased a really great match and Ricochet adding some striking to his offense is a nice touch to freshen up the act. A triple threat between these two and Sheamus is looming large.
-What a promo from MVP and Kofi Kingston. It was authentic, well acted, well written, but a little out of left field too. Are we supposed to think heel turn for Kingston? Is Kofi, Lashley’s next challenger and they’re setting the table? Who knows, but WWE needs more of this type of angle — the “what ifs” give the audience something to explore and debate for a week.
-Mansoor and Mustafa Ali together is an interesting proposition. Ali has the promo chops to make Mansoor relevant.
-Man, Cedric Alexander losing to Jeff Hardy who hasn’t won since January? Not a ringing endorsement for the new Alexander direction.
-Kingston vs. Riddle was excellent, but the framing of their respective teams against the other is curious. Babyface vs. babyface? Not that it can’t work, but I’d like to see both teams work with others that can enhance a babyface reaction instead of dilute it.
-Leave it to WWE to overdo a good thing. In a matter of weeks, the key deal with Riddle and Orton is already a forced spot instead of an authentic, fun, character nuance.
-Sorry, I get that WWE is in the ThunderDome and that the voodoo stuff works for some. It doesn’t for me and the show-closing segment between Shayna Baszler and Alexa Bliss was that type of sorcery on steroids. Yes, I’m glad that Bliss is focusing this nonsense on an actual opponent, but as far as I’m concerned, just get it in the ring already.