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.
-Stupid babyfaces aren’t any fun! Nikki Cross is one of the few members of the Raw roster that seems to have a genuine connection with fans — a connection that makes her a natural babyface. Yet, all we’ve seen for the last few weeks is the WWE spinning a narrative around her that’s not believable and frankly, a little pathetic. Not losing to Charlotte and Rhea Ripley in less than two minutes is NOT winning a match. She’s not on a hot streak and she’s not a future contender to the world title. This nonsense hurts her credibility and the longer it continues, the quicker the natural connection she has will fade.
-Nothing like a retirement match booked with five minutes notice. Who are you trying to fool, WWE? If Jeff Hardy is primed to retire, there’s business to be done. We know you. With money on the table, you’re going to grab it. In this instance, that recognition derailed all intrigue about his match with Cedric Alexander.
-Speaking of Alexander? Another week, another giant eleven steps backward. He can’t be cutting promos the way he does and saying what he says in them, but then losing the ensuing matches in three minutes or less.
-Hey everyone! It’s Eva Marie from five years ago! Given all the attention paid to her re-debut, her appearance was flat and without meaning. The fact that she looks to be the same exact character as before induces bigger eye rolls than usual.
-Welcome to Monday Night Raw, Piper Niven – if that is your real name. Like, announce her damn name! In an NFL game, if the fifth string quarterback comes into the game for the Chicago Bears, the announce team will tell the audience who that person is. Yes, he’s random, but he’s out there. In this case, it’s even more ridiculous as Niven is a star on the NXT UK brand. Many folks may not watch that show, but reward the ones that do. Her time in NXT UK is a smart way to define her as meaningful out of the gate. It may just convert a few fans over to the NXT UK product as well.
-New Day vs. RK-Bro was an excellent match. All four guys have chemistry, but Riddle and Orton in particular.
-Finally, a little heat between Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair. The pull-apart brawl worked effectively and the visual of Charlotte bleeding gave it an added boost of intensity. Rhea Ripley needs to get her babyface act on track, but this was a positive and needed step to get the match in the vicinity of a boil ahead of Sunday.
-It was nice to see Alexa Bliss in the ring for a match again, but c’mon folks. How many different magical powers does she have? She can take over minds now? I know people defend this stuff, but how can you defend this? Mind control?
-Jaxson Ryker, the babyface, is still a thing, though, definitely not a good thing.
-The main event between Drew McIntyre and A.J. Styles into the six-man tag was a paint by numbers way of building McIntyre vs. Lashley at Hell in a Cell. I’ll take it. After last week’s high school level horror show close, a simple, to the point, and pro wrestling-esque finish to the show was refreshing.