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 that we haven’t seen an opening segment like that before, because we have and in a lot of ways, it’s supremely overdone. Let me advocate the other side of the coin, though. WWE was introducing a new Raw roster and trying to establish the main tier of the show. This worked to that end and setup a big main event too. If this is the start to every Raw for the next month, I’ll show myself out and I apologize in advance.
-Street Profits and RK-Bro on the same brand is counterproductive. Evidence? The Profits having to lose to Roode and Ziggler in order for RK-Bro to take on heels. Where do The Street Profits land with another top babyface team on the show? A clearer lane would be beneficial.
-Dear god. Royalty gimmicks stocked with crowns and capes on both Raw and Smackdown. We can’t escape. Silver lining? Zelina Vega beat Doudrop. Not a given considering how much WWE loves its 50/50 booking on Monday nights.
-Sidebar. What’s with Zelina Vega’s accent? It’s British now? Kind of? Sometimes? What gives?
-Bianca Belair is figuring out the nuance of her character and presentation. It’s working incredibly well. She sported a calm, but confident demeanor that radiated her star power in an almost perfect way.
-A new entrance for Damian Priest? Sign me up. Priest’s arrow shooting was forced, over produced, and unnatural from the beginning. Yes, this was generic, but it also provides Priest with a higher ceiling to reach for.
-I’m taking a wait and see approach on Priest’s newfound aggression. He played the cool guy well, but this aggression may help in growing his ceiling like the entrance. It could also backfire and take away part of his natural personality and therefore, natural charisma.
-The Bearcat addition to Keith Lee is obviously forced, but if it consistently goes along with dominant performances and a showcase of Lee as an unstoppable force, he can be a player at a high level.
-This week we saw the most character development and personality that we’ve seen from Dominik Mysterio yet. He’s got a long way to go and yes, he lost to Austin Theory, but it’s a positive step in the right direction. Finding a voice has been a central issue in him connecting with audiences.
-A repackaging of Veer is on the horizon. How excited are you? Not a bad teaser vignette, but Veer has yet to show he’s worthy of a hype video like that one. The video itself was more entertaining than anything we’ve seen from him. Best case scenario? Veer can be built up to feud with a babyface Big E for the championship. Worst? Veer vs. Karrion Kross in a “these monster acts aren’t monsters” match.
-A good tag team match between RK-Bro and Dirty Dawgs, but it reeks of a lack of meaning thanks to how the division is constantly defined. It’s a one tag team act show in RK-Bro. Orton and Riddle are already cooling off and if keeping them hot is a priority for WWE, they have to build impactful opponents they can work with.
-Seth Rollins is a really strong fit for Monday Night Raw right now. He’s a fresh star that the brand needed. A visionary indeed. Ironic. And hilarious.
-Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, and Rey Mysterio pulled out a lot of stops to make their main event ladder match memorable. It was action packed and delivered in the big spot moments.
-Rollins as the number one contender to Big E is no surprise and the absolute right call to make. Rollins and Big E showed chemistry together and should be able to tell a logical heel vs. babyface story. If done right, this feud could last for quite some time.
-This week’s Raw felt fresher than usual thanks to the new talent all around the show because of the WWE Draft. After feeling stale for the better part of five months, Raw needed a jolt and got it. Is it sustainable? It’s all in the follow-up.