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.
-I know. Nobody will believe me, but the typical scripted robots used on Monday Night Raw were replaced this week by living, breathing, humans! Bobby Lashley, MVP, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston, take a bow. The opening promo segment felt authentic and featured human emotion from all four men — just a really nice foundation setter for the main event and the championship match at Money in the Bank.
-I’ll take Ricochet vs. A.J. Styles any day. The match was a fun watch, but the finish itself was most interesting. Ricochet should shine in the Money in the Bank ladder match setting. Being booked for that match is the best thing that has happened to his character in years. He’s got a chance to turn some heads during it.
-Dissension already within RK-Bro? It’s too early for that. Look, WWE. Not every team has to have cracks in their foundation. It can be fun watching teams gel and grow together. Riddle and Randy Orton have a friendly chemistry. Let’s see that play out, if for no other reason to make the inevitable Orton turn more memorable and impactful.
-So, I can’t believe the name Doudrop is a thing. I also can’t believe that Corey Graves spent time on commentary detailing why the name was what it was — major props to him for that and to WWE for recognizing the need to connect those dots for fans. I’m willing to see where this Eva Marie thing goes. Dissension between her and Doudrop already is a worry, but it’s still too early to judge.
-Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley will go at it again for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship at Money in the Bank. Yay. Tell me, WWE. What is stopping Rhea Ripley from getting disqualified on purpose again in this one?
-If Nikki Cross is behind the new look and gimmick, I suppose I am too. I don’t trust WWE to finesse it from a booking perspective, but Cross has equity in putting her all into whatever she is. This could be Bo-Lieve 2.0 or The Hurricane. That’s the spectrum. Time will tell.
-Really good match between Riddle and Drew McIntyre. McIntyre is on the redemption tour it seems and based on the promo he cut before this match, the role suits him well. Can WWE string the comeback story through the summer and into the fall? Well, that’s the question. Their recent history says, “no.”
-The men’s Money in the Bank ladder match, thus far, is stocked with underdogs. Nothing against underdogs or the underdog story, but too much is too much. Wrestling works when big stars are put in high stakes matches. Money in the Bank has tremendously high stakes, but can only shine as bright as the stars will let it. Ricochet, Riddle, and John Morrison are all underdog acts and they each took out the true stars of the show to get into the match. What gives? Why not make this match the match where the biggest stars go to earn a shot at the big prize. We’ll see what the Smackdown side brings to the table, but on Raw the psychology is already off.
-A fine Hell in a Cell match to close the show. The visual of Lashley manhandling Woods in the cage while Kofi looked on was effective in progressing their story. One week in, Lashley vs. Kingston has some heat to it and already has more intrigue than Lashley vs. McIntyre.