HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 7/26: Crowd reaction lacking for Nikki A.S.H character that desperately needs it

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

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.

-Not a great start for Nikki A.S.H as the new Raw Women’s Champion. The act needs a crowd reaction. Period. With so much of the character rooted in being a comedy cartoon, a strong and positive crowd reaction is the only thing that can make it somewhat credible. The Kansas City crowd didn’t provide that and Nikki was exposed because of it.

-Stop it with the championship contender match nonsense. It’s not a thing. Plus, why would Charlotte Flair vs. Nikki A.S.H be a championship contender match when Flair was already declared a championship contender at Summerslam? Riddle me that, WWE. Riddle me that.

-Heck of a match between Sheamus and Damian Priest. Priest continues to carry himself like a star and a United States Championship run is an effective way to test the waters on a potential longer term move up the card.

-Drew McIntyre is wrestling Veer on Raw? Veer?! Look, it was apparent that McIntyre needed to take a break from the title picture after over a year in that spotlight. This is all that they have for him, though? Veer? McIntyre is a face of the company and should be treated as such. This means better opponents than Jinder Mahal lined up and waiting. Just an awful look for WWE concerning one of the pillar stars of Raw.

-Here’s to a speedy recovery for Natalya. Whatever happened didn’t look good.

-A year ago, Keith Lee and Karrion Kross were two of WWE’s hottest NXT acts. Fast forward and both are flat and without direction on the main roster. Kross got the win, but has lost the allure that propped him up in NXT. Lee looks disinterested all together. Not the scenario that anyone envisioned for either guy.

-WWE doesn’t know it yet, but Ali and Mansoor are going to get over as a tag team. You heard it here first.

-Between Lashley rolling through Cedric Alexander and Sheldon Benjamin, and Goldberg on the horizon at Summerslam, WWE will have a new lead babyface on Raw in about four weeks’ time. Now, that’s not WWE’s endgame, but in fairness, that’s only true if you think they have one. See what I did there?

-A big pop for Riddle this week. One that Vince McMahon will notice. So, here’s how it goes down now. Option one? McMahon looks at Riddle differently for getting the comedy stuff over to generate the big reaction and books him more seriously because of it. Option two? Even more comedy. More comedy and stoner tropes than ever before. I’m not ready for the latter, but there is money in option one. Big time.

-This week’s show didn’t have a major talking point of significance. I know that the competition is the Olympics, but in a world where buzz matters, WWE needs to manufacture some on a regular basis. Based on how the show went, Nikki A.S.H was the focus, but the crowd reaction didn’t confirm that focus was in the right place.


CATCH-UP: 7/26 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW REPORT: Hazelwood’s alt-perspective on Nikki A.S.H.’s championship celebration, Lashley’s response to Goldberg, Tag Team Championship match, more

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