SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Bobby Lashley Situation – MISS: This Miss is for what WWE did on Raw to add Bobby Lashley to the WWE Title match at Day One. As I wrote about last week, I’m not a fan of adding him to the match. There isn’t a big difference between a triple threat and a fatal four way, but it feels like there was a natural story with Big E, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens, whereas Lashley feels forced. There were some good individual moments in the story, like the mic work from Lashley and MVP at the start of the show, but I didn’t like the direction. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea that Lashley would be facing (and likely defeating) all three of the others. That’s exactly what happened. So, you end up with the WWE Champion and two of his challengers all losing in one night. That was stupid. The bickering between Rollins and Owens while fun at times, also paints them in a bad way. They look childish. If they had to get Lashley into the match, there were other ways to do it. I like the idea of a Beat the Clock challenge where they all have singles matches and if Lashley has the best time, he gets added. That way, they all get wins, you can still have the banter between Rollins and Owens, Owens could cause a DQ in Rollins’ match to try to help him set a fast time, and Lashley’s dominance over a different wrestler at the end to win the Beat the Clock challenge and look super strong without hurting the others.
Riddle vs. Otis – MISS: There was good wrestling action in this match, but it muddies the waters in a way that isn’t needed. Alpha Academy lost in the Bro-nament last week, so they won’t become the #1 contenders for RK-Bro’s Tag Titles. But by having Otis beat Matt Riddle, it seems to set them up for a future Title shot. I’d rather see the Champions kept strong. I have no problem with setting up Alpha Academy as a challenger for RK-Bro, but don’t do it at the same time that you are setting up another team to get that title shot in a tournament.
Bel Air vs. Doudrop – HIT: This match is getting a Hit because it was a good match. But, it makes me question why they had the tease of the match last week, just to have a regular clean finish match this week. They wanted to protect Doudrop by having her walk out of the match, but this week she lost clean to Bianca Bel Air. She attacked her afterwards, but that is problematic as it points to the fact that the matches don’t matter, since the loser stands tall in the end. But, it was a good match. I just wish it happened in some other context.
Lynch – Morgan – HIT: This was a good way to follow up on the Women’s Title match from last week between Becky Lynch and Liv Morgan. Morgan was great as usual on the mic. Morgan was good too. She has improved for sure, but there is still something missing with her presentation where she just doesn’t seem to have “it” enough to be the Women’s Champion. Having a rematch at Day One is fine, and the attack from Lynch at the end worked well. Morgan just isn’t ready to be the Champion. Having Lynch as a heel isn’t helping either.
Priest & Balor vs. Dirty Dawgs – HIT: Half of the match was on the commercial break which is disappointing, but it was a good match. It furthered the budding feud between Damian Priest and The Dirty Dawgs, while also furthering the Austin Theory vs. Finn Balor feud which started last week.
Ripley vs. Queen Zelina – MISS: I get that WWE is telling a story about how Nikki Cross is the weak link in her team with Rea Ripley. I like seeing Queen Zelina & Carmella kept strong as the Women’s Tag Team Champions. But having Ripley losing any match under any circumstance in under a minute is a mistake. She needs to break away from Cross ASAP. As long as this continues to drag out, damage will continue to be done to her.
McMahon and Theory – MISS: While I was initially intrigued by the relationship with Vince McMahon as Austin Theory’s mentor, the scenes the last two weeks haven’t been as good as the first week. I do want to see a match between Theory and Balor, but I’m now worried that McMahon’s involvement will hurt instead of enhance the feud.
MizTV – MISS: There was some good stuff here, and I appreciate the idea that The Miz is trying to induct himself into the WWE Hall of Fame. But the verbal exchange between Miz and Edge felt like more of the same. The angle started out pretty hot two weeks ago, but they are already running out of things to say. This wasn’t bad at all, it just didn’t inspire me in any way to look forward to their match. They had the physicality at the end which was ok, but I wasn’t interested in Maryse’s involvement in what I can only assume is a big swerve.
Big E vs. Lashley – HIT: While I didn’t like what WWE did with the whole Lashley situation, the main event was at least a good match between Big E and Lashley. It was a nice long no disqualification match. I liked how Rollins and Owens got involved in the match to try to help E, but he wanted to win the right way. The way he and Lashley fought them off worked well. I loved E’s fire that he showed at that point in wanting to finish the match man to man with Lashley. Of course, at that point, MVP got involved to cost E the match. Again, the problem with the match was the context and larger story that they were telling. But, it was enjoyable to watch.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at email@example.com.