HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 11/1: Proper hype and presentation elevates top matches featuring Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, and Big E


Becky Lynch talks celebrities in WWE


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 went all out to make sure that their opening Raw match between Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch felt like a major deal. Hype vignette? Check. Promos? Check. They set the hook right away. Smart.

-With the audience engaged thanks to the hype, both Belair and Lynch delivered a heck of a match with a suitable finish – a rarity in WWE’s booking cadence. Lynch put urgency and energy into selling Belair’s power spots. Lynch got the win, but Belair still looked strong coming out.

-Austin Theory has had an effective couple of weeks. He’s authentically obnoxious and the selfie gimmick fits that authenticity nicely. Mysterio is so over as a babyface and Theory opposite him enhanced his ability to get heat.

-We’re back to the Mysterio father/son turn dynamic? I’m willing to see this play out, but they’ve been flirting with it for quite a while now. I don’t know that Dominik has a heel bone in his body, so I’ll believe the success of this when I see it.

-Give me a hell yeah for that Rollins/Big E confrontation. Things felt main event. Both guys came across as stars and because they haven’t feuded for months on end, their interaction felt fresh. Rollins has a genuine lack of likability surrounding his gimmick, and Big E as the fighting babyface champion contrasts him effectively. Sign me up for more of this. It was natural, A to B, main event level, pro wrestling promo work.

-I’m a hard “no” on the fake British accent for Queen Zelina Vega. It’s astronomically silly in and of itself, but worse when she only hits on it for 50% of her promo. Look, she shouldn’t go with this at all, but if she is going to, go all the way.

-Rhea Ripley, meet WWE main roster lane of traffic. From NXT Champion and a top NXT star to a sidekick act along with a fake superhero in Nikki A.S.H. Ripley’s failure to produce on the main roster is one of the reasons why NXT 2.0 is a thing. She’s another name on a list of stars that hit the main roster and then fizzled. A lot of that responsibility falls on Vince McMahon and the main roster product. Ripley has to look in the mirror as well. She’s young and not unsalvageable, but this positioning is tough to overcome.

-Finn Balor vs. Chad Gable was a great match. Should it have been? That’s the question. I’ll hear arguments from both sides. Go. Joking aside, this certainly had its moments and was a fun watch. The issue is, is this level of match how Vince McMahon sees Finn Balor? Unquestionably, Balor has a much higher upside than a Chad Gable feud. It’s all in the follow-up and the follow-up here will be telling.

-So, did Orton run over to attack Omos at the end of Street Profits vs. Dirty Dawgs match or not? Before their interaction, the picture just cut to a video package and Orton was gone. I demand answers!

-Monday was a great night for Damian Priest. First, he told the audience about his newfound dark demeanor and where it came from. It’s a miracle! This was infinitely important as he let the audience into his growth as a character. He made them a part of his journey. Second, the match folded right into that dark place, exactly like Priest defined it. Great stuff. Priest had a ceiling with the archer gimmick; he has a bigger one now.

-Good to see you T-Bar! Welcome to Raw. T-Bar has the size and look that we know Vince McMahon adores. He’s saddled with an impossible gimmick, but had a really good match with Damian Priest. If this doesn’t change the perception around him and thus, his fortunes, I’m not sure anything will.

-Big E vs. Kevin Owens was an excellent main event that capped off another good episode of Raw. It was fresh, and fresh is key right now for this brand.

-Big E was a little hard on Kevin Owens don’t you think? On the surface and in a vacuum, yes. Typically, I’d argue that as the babyface Big E should be more reasonable and likable given how Owens was reacting toward him after the finish of the match. But. But, but, but. Too often WWE makes their babyfaces look stupid – so stupid, that it’s difficult to get behind them. Because of that history and the history that Kevin Owens has as a backstabber, it was nice to see Big E get ahead of things and not fall for tried heel tactics.

CATCH-UP: 11/1 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW REPORT: Hazelwood’s alt-perspective on Becky Lynch defending against Bianca Belair in opening match, next in the Big E vs. Seth Rollins feud for WWE Championship, more

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