HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 11/15: Big E finds balance, shines as champion and top babyface on Raw

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

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.

-Big E has found it. He’s found the correct balance between the serious and comedic side of his act and that finessed character is now a true main event talent in WWE. Big E juggled a ton of content in his show opening promo this week and delivered in a credible way as champion. Raw has three opponents lined up for him in Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns on Sunday. Lots of potential there.

-A solid round of tag team action to kick things off. The reaction that Riddle got shows the audience is ready for more from him. Whether or not that means more stoner comedy or a true competitive push remains to be seen.

-Speaking of strong reactions, hello Randy Orton. Orton can’t escape the cheers as one of WWE’s signature legacy stars.

-Anyone a little worried about Bianca Belair? Nothing wrong with essentially a squash win over Tamina, but being bogged down by the women’s Survivor Series match on Sunday has hurt her momentum as a strong babyface figure on the show. It’s only one week, but Belair needs a regular feud going constantly. Doudrop qualifies somewhat, but that program runs the risk of Doudrop dragging Belair down instead of the reverse.

-Becky Lynch launched a missile at Charlotte Flair with her promo in the ring. That promo was “The Man” on full display. WWE can pipe in boos all they want, but Lynch is getting cheered universally on Sunday. The program between these two has been intriguing given the backstage news surrounding them. At the same time, Lynch performing the way she has opposite Flair is hurting the already limited momentum she had on Raw as a heel.

-Poor Liv Morgan. She finally gets her push to a title match and she’s entirely watered down by Lynch’s superb mic work. Sorry Liv, you’re not getting cheered over Becky and your story seems whiny opposite Lynch. Yes, blame WWE, because it didn’t need to be this way.

-My ears are going to bleed if I have to hear Zelina Vega’s fake British accent anymore. She’s not good at it and it just makes no damn sense. Enough is enough I say!

-Like Big E, Seth Rollins has found a bit of balance with his character as well. When he finesses serious into his promos, it accentuates the annoying part of the act more, giving him more layers. Balance is key and when balanced properly, Rollins is always a top contender and name on the show.

-The slow burn of Big E vs. Rollins for the WWE Championship is smart. Rollins regularly reminding Big E and the audience that he has a title shot builds anticipation for that match whenever it takes place. Because WWE has lined up Big E opponents, they can afford to hold on this program until it breathes a bit.

-Really good match between Kevin Owens and Finn Balor. I’m certainly not breaking any news with that statement. Owens getting the victory tunes him up for Big E, but clearly is also WWE’s attempt to invest in him ahead of his contract expiring later this year and AEW looming as a possible destination.

-The seeds are being planted for Omos to turn on A.J. Styles. When it happens, it’ll be significantly better than anyone expected it to be. Omos deserves a ton of credit for delivering In his spots and Styles of course deserves some too for carrying a lot of the action in their matches so Omos shines when he gets involved.

-Bobby Lashley continues to look strong with his win over Rey Mysterio in the main event. Strong, but directionless. Like Bianca Belair, Lashley is a former champion and needs to have something impactful going on at all times.

-Ok, what’s with Adam Pearce? Cheering for Raw, dismantling the team that he built, and then replacing Rey Mysterio with Austin Theory? That Brock Lesnar beating still stinging, I guess. Pearce as a level-headed manager in charge was a fresh way to present authority on WWE’s weekly shows. It’ll take a lot of convincing to get on board with a heel direction for him.


CATCH-UP: HEYDORN’S DYNAMITE RECEIPT 11/10: Kenny Omega and Adam Page head back to basics for effective go-home contract signing

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