HEYDORN’S WWE RAW RECEIPT 6/28: Riddle presented front and center throughout the night and delivers in the spot


WWE Smackdown viewership declines over prior week
Matt Riddle (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)


This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.

-I can admit when I’m wrong, folks. I wasn’t thrilled about Riddle wrestling on Randy Orton’s behalf, because you just knew it would devolve into a silly Orton impression by Riddle in the end. Fast forward to the finish of the opening Battle Royal and there’s Riddle posing like Orton on the ropes. I should have wanted to toss my laptop out the window like a frisbee, but I didn’t. Riddle pulled off the imitation in a likable and genuine way, so I guess I’m on board? For now, anyway.

-Shayna Baszler is getting a good chunk of television time thanks to her program with Alexa Bliss. Can you call it that? Why not. Regardless, time on television is certainly a positive, but she doesn’t have much to show for it at this point either. Space away from Nia Jax would help freshen her up to see if she’s able to stand on her own again.

-Nikki Cross is going to get this insane superhero, not superhero gimmick over isn’t she?

-An effective piece of business between Kofi Kingston and MVP. MVP brought out the serious Kofi Kingston and that is always a smart lane for him to stay in. It’s there where he’s able to tap into his connection with the fans, showcase his charisma, and sell a match on a major level. Look, nobody really believes Kingston is taking down Lashley, but he planted a seed of doubt. That’s enough at this point.

-Ricochet’s diving cross body from the ring and over the guardrail onto John Morrison will go down as a signature WWE ThunderDome spot. Pretty impressive.

-The women’s six-woman tag team match displayed all that’s wrong with the Raw women’s division these days. Unlikable and undefined characters galore. Helps us Becky Lynch. You’re our only hope.

-Ryker and Elias in a strap match just doesn’t say “stay on the channel and keep watching,” does it? It really doesn’t. Ryker isn’t the babyface the WWE wants him to be and Elias drags down everything he’s involved with due to his overall presentation and nature. On one hand? This is over and we all made it through. On the other hand? Ryker seems to be in the midst of a push. Thank goodness for fans, as that push could be quickly and severely derailed depending on how crowds react to him.

-Just a heck of a triple threat main event to close the show. Styles, Riddle, and McIntyre all worked well together and not only told a good story, but told one with unique spots in the match that served each participant at one point or another. McIntyre winning was the right call. He deserves a big moment in front of fans and weaving him into the MITB ladder match to try accomplish that is a serviceable direction to take him in with the belt around the waist of Bobby Lashley.

-Speaking of Lashley, where was he? Doesn’t matter. Leaving the champion off the show from time to time is effective in showcasing a star. Absence makes the heart grow fonder right? The perception of Lashley will increase in credibility as the champion if he stays protected from overexposure.

-This was the Riddle show. Raw started with him and even though he didn’t win in the main event, the show ended with his story too. He delivered across the board. Vince McMahon is behind the guy and one of the more fascinating narratives to follow when fans return will be whether or not the crowds are too.

CATCH-UP: 6/28 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Second Change MITB Qualifier with Drew vs. Orton vs. Styles, plus Kofi confronts MVP, Ryker vs. Elias strap match

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