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.
-So, the 2021 WWE Draft has come and gone, but I’m stressed. Not much fits right now, rosters are smushed together like sardines, and a Crown Jewel card looms. We got the shakeup, but a mess was left behind for WWE clean up too.
-Becky babyface? It sure felt that way in watching her show opening promo this week. Lynch can pull anything off at this point and was well on her way to making the heel thing work. This is the right pivot, though. Why go against the grain? Fans want to cheer her so let them do that.
-The women’s divisions on both shows are in utter states of pandemonium. Champions on the wrong brand, a Crown Jewel event with a mix of stars from both brands in one match, and heel and babyface alignments that are out of whack. It’s a mess and my brain hurts thinking of ways to settle things back down. There are lots of stars in those divisions right now and it behooves WWE to figure out how and where they slot so as not to ruin or derail any momentum.
-A babyface Damian Priest vs. a babyface Jeff Hardy. Who does this help? Priest clearly is a project for WWE. Why dilute his reaction by pitting him against a legacy babyface in Hardy. Priest won’t win the hearts of fans in that scenario.
-I liked Austin Theory’s debut. The guy is going to get Vince McMahon’s attention and this was a nice reintroduction. He showed off some of his personality, but his physicality too with the stiff clothesline. NXT call-ups have a low bar to clear these days as far as debuts go, but this worked well.
-Anyone else feel like the RK-Bro stuff has started to run its course? I was a big advocate for the Orton and Riddle team, but man the intrigue dried up quick. The team gave Riddle range and an outlet to direct his silliness. Only so many times you can go to that well it seems.
-Shayna Baszler in what amounts to a squash match? Yes, please. The move to Smackdown should benefit her greatly.
-Big E vs. Drew McIntyre feels like a big time babyface vs. babyface matchup. The fact that it’s happening at Crown Jewel is less than ideal and the fact that it most likely will end in shenanigans is downright awful. Both guys enhanced each other’s star power in the promo this week even with a lot of interference dragging the booking of the match down.
-This Goldberg stuff is laughable, folks. He’s going to kill Bobby Lashley? A double down on last week’s debacle? Really? This type of nonsense hurts the build for this match. It’s not believable. Plus, given where the match is taking place and the recent history surrounding it, the comments are shockingly tone deaf. When is this over?
-Somehow Seth Rollins as the “drip god” is aging like fine wine. It started out rough, but he’s found his voice a bit and will have a fresh set of opponents to work with now that he’s on Raw.
-Well, you just knew that Belair vs. Flair in the main event wouldn’t have a finish to it and that’s a major problem for WWE as they try to collect eyeballs and ratings each week. The more they promote matches to drive a number, but not pay them off, the less effective that promotion will be.
-Flair vs. Belair was a good match bell to bell, but lacked significant context given both are on different brands and won’t be feuding anytime soon.