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.
-WWE was smart in utilizing their opening Raw segment to really set a hook for the Raw Women’s Championship main event between Charlotte and Bianca Belair. Both women delivered and defined a clear babyface and heel lane for the audience to root for.
-Belair is finding her stride as a babyface. Sure, she’s using her catchphrases, but that’s WWE. She’s finessing them into what she’s saying though. The promos don’t exist to get them in; she’s fitting them in where they apply best in the broader scope of what she’s trying to get across. Belair comes across as a badass in doing so.
-A year ago, I would have told you that nothing could be more annoying than the King Corbin act. Here we are, though. King Xavier Woods is already making me roll my eyes in frustration and he hasn’t even officially won the tournament yet. Woods is a talented performer. This shtick is simply too one note and wears thin quickly.
-So, Austin Theory won, but did he really? Due to his look, Theory clearly is a guy that WWE brass is going to attach themselves too – right or wrong. I want to see the guy pushed. What good does it do for him to trade wins and/or one-upmanship perception with Jeff Hardy? If he’s going to be a thing, position him as that and let the booking follow suit.
-Rewind! It’s as if WWE realized the ridiculousness of last week’s Big E and Drew McIntyre angle and was in full on “correct this immediately” mode this week. The results were infinitely better. Big E and McIntyre were likable in their dealings with one another — A novel concept for two babyfaces, right? The likability made them come across as bigger stars, but also made for more drama around their match when they respectfully stared each other down to close their segment.
-Good to see you Mansoor. His promo was unexpectedly effective and showed off a little range at the same time. Shout out to Mustafa Ali for brilliantly selling Mansoor’s newfound seriousness with well-timed and believable facial expressions. Are we allowed to bet on Crown Jewel matches? Mansoor is the sure victor.
-Goldberg and Bobby Lashley participated in a sports-like interview segment that worked right up until Goldberg said that he was going to kill Bobby Lashley on Thursday. What’s going on here? They had “it” before that line. Too cute and too “Goldberg.” Lashley has really thrived opposite Goldberg, though it’s a shame he’s likely doing the job on Thursday.
-Is the RK-Bro thing getting a little stale? Perhaps, though the audience reacted big for Orton and Riddle this week. Nuance helped their relationship on-screen and as the act has gone on, the nuance has been stripped away in favor of typical Riddle nonsense. I’d like to see them get back to what got the act hot in the first place.
-Queen’s Crown has been an abomination of epic proportions. The entire tournament probably didn’t clock in at over 20 minutes of ring time. Just an out of touch miss on WWE’s part. Queen Vega and Queen Doudrop both drum up the nausea at this point given we know what’s coming in terms of crowns, capes, and obnoxious references to royalty.
-Ahead of Thursday, Finn Balor and Xavier Woods had a nice final faceoff. At this point, it’s a miracle they did something to build up the match, so I’ll take it.
-I never thought I’d say this and will most certainly regret it, but get John Morrison The Miz immediately. He’s lost in his quirkiness and can’t get out.
-Bravo to Charlotte Flair and Bianca Belair. A stellar match, but one watered down with a non-finish DQ escape hatch. I’ll say it again; WWE won’t be able to draw with these big-time matches on television if they never pay them off. It may be a year from now or 10 years from now, but the chickens will come home to roost at some point.