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.
-Drew McIntyre and Big E pulled off their babyface promo hype segment well. They both finessed alpha tendencies, but did so respectfully toward the other with believable, understandable truth behind their words. It’s too bad this match is taking place in Saudi Arabia.
-The Usos on Raw? Ok, I know WWE has a bit of runway right now to build to the full transition of both rosters coming out of the draft, but this is egregious. The Usos aren’t currently on Raw and weren’t drafted to Raw either. Yet, there they were. Is it so hard to explain their involvement in the show more effectively? Too much to ask?
-A good match between Ricochet and Xavier Woods. It’s good, but frustrating to see Woods go to a different place in the ring. We know he has another gear and more depth from a character perspective, but leans into other things instead.
-Is the Ali and Mansoor partnership over already? I liked this partnership, but it’s going out with a whimper. You could hear a pin drop in the building. Mansoor has to be a fighter moving forward or he may forever be lost as a babyface.
-WWE is trolling me with the lengths of these Queen’s Crown matches. Just what in the hell is going with this tournament? Even if a logical act wins, if it continues to be as laughable as it’s been, the win will be less than meaningless.
-It would be nice if we could see the Charlotte Flair that we saw in her backstage promo more often than say, 25% of the time. Charlotte was smooth, articulate, and star-like in how she spoke and within what she said – limited references to being a queen too. More of this, WWE.
-A solid night for Omos. Featuring new moves and added athleticism will help his presence and his matches. I thought he was better with facial expressions and body language against Riddle as well.
-What took Randy Orton so long to make the save for Riddle? From a story standpoint, I’d have understood him not coming out at all given their backstage encounter from earlier. But to wait all that time and then do it? Something off about that.
-Maybe Bobby Lashley really does need MVP by his side. Lashley sounded fine in his delivery of his promo, but seemed to lose his way from a content perspective. MVP and The Hurt Business helped hide some of Lashley’s weaknesses. Long promos have always been a big one and tonight is a good example as to why.
-On one hand, Austin Theory got a win. On the other, it happened in the middle of 24/7 Championship madness. Sorry, Theory. Not ideal.
-I would have liked to have seen Kofi vs. Xavier in a match. No question and that match just might have been able to add another layer to New Day’s act. That said, Woods has a clear heel to play off of in Mahal, which should make his next tournament match easier to engage with and enjoy.
-The backstage promos by Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte Flair were excellent and a nice addition to the grating format of Raw. These helped frame the match as a big deal, but also gave the combatants a chance to further their individual stories as well. Fingers crossed that WWE applies this strategy to other main event TV matches moving forward.
-Boy, that women’s tag team match was an absolute disaster. The audience booed the initial “we can’t get along” angle before the match started and even louder after things were restarted. It wasn’t heat. It was paying customers voicing frustration in the product. Almost worse than that? Nobody walking out of that match is better off than they were walking in. Each woman was completely unlikable in pretty much every way.
-A fine main event up until Big E and Drew McIntyre couldn’t get along. First, the exact same angle happened with the women on the same show rendering the impact of this minimal even if executed well. Like the women, the crowd booed Big E and McIntyre’s pettiness toward each other and then gave the heel Usos a pop when they interrupted the fighting babyfaces. Who is this stuff helping?
-This show had all kinds of problems from the beginning. Crown Jewel and the fact that WWE is trying to book that show with talent from both brands really shines a bat signal-esque light on those problems.