HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 12/27: Kevin Owens anchors COVID-19 impacted Day One go-home show


WWE Smackdown analysis
Kevin Owens (artist Travis Beaven © PWTorch)


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.

-It’s fair to say that I’ve graded this show on a curve given the COVID-19 circumstances that WWE is facing at the moment. Good thing the company plans to thoroughly test talent during this infection surge to keep everybody as safe as possible while working. Oh wait ….

-Randy Orton and Riddle cut a nice little promo to open the show. It existed to showcased their likability and to that end, it succeeded. Did everyone see Riddle turn it on a bit as he challenged Gable to that match? That’s the Riddle that can make WWE the most money. Balance. It’s about balance and hopefully someone in WWE saw the pros of him acting in that semi-serious way.

-I just don’t get the feeling that Alpha Academy is getting setup for a featured role on Raw. They fit nicely as foil for the more popular RK-Bro, but that’s it. Not a bad spot, but not a rocket strapped to them either.

-It’s too bad that Big E promo couldn’t have been cut in front of an arena full of fans. Probably his best babyface promo to date. Big E personalized being WWE Champion in a serious way and that framing elevated the status of the championship and him as champion. Really good stuff from him amid strange circumstances.

-I’m not sure there are any two people in wrestling that bother me as much as Dana Brooke and Reggie. That is, until they teamed up. Yikes. Maybe they aren’t supposed to, but it regularly seems like both haven’t the slightest idea what to do in the ring as pro wrestlers.

-Match of the night honors go to Street Profits vs. The Mysterios. It was action packed, but with sensible psychology and selling as well. Montez Ford stood out in particular and not only due to his insane athleticism. His natural charisma was also on display in a “take notice” kind of way.

-If you were scratching your head after last week’s falling out between Omos and A.J. Styles like most people, Styles cleared that up this week. He’s a babyface and felt fresh acting as one. The match with Crews was fine, but more notable was his interaction with NXT 2.0’s Grayson Waller. Seems like those two are on a collision course. Someone thinks highly of Waller to give him that spotlight. Nothing wrong with running with it right out of the gate before Waller gets defined incorrectly due to main roster booking.

-At least the women’s tag team scene is getting time? Even if it’s certainly due to multiple talents missing? Yep, you caught me. I’m grasping at straws, but hey, if you’re going to have this division, it’s better to put something behind it, right? Sure, nothing on the show concerning Zelina Vega & Carmella and Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H was memorable, but it existed. A low bar to clear, but they did it.

-Kevin Owens was an MVP on the show tonight. Along with MVP, he did a nice job hyping the WWE Championship match at Day One without an angle due to Seth Rollins, Big E, and Bobby Lashley being away. Living up to that new contract right out of the gate.

-This new Damian Priest gimmick is mind-numbingly confusing. So, he’s got this rage that only gets him in trouble and costs him matches? And that rage shows up when he’s disrespected? What’s likable about that? Why shouldn’t every heel just disrespect him, so the rage comes and they win? This is silly. You go the route of the rage story if it’s going to help Priest win matches and give the bad guys their comeuppance. What we’ve seen thus far is backwards psychology that’s already been ineffective in helping elevate Priest higher than he was.

-Eric Bischoff’s “it’s great to be back in a WWE ring” line wasn’t an accident. Zing! Look out Tony Khan.

-Edge is doing mud baths now instead of blood baths, huh? I kid. The wedding segment was what it was and less over the top than what we usually get from WWE during this type of thing. Edge coming out was obvious, but the only way things could have gone. Miz and Edge have built a nice little program, but it’s certainly time to wrap things up and move on.

CATCH-UP: 12/27 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW REPORT: Hazelwood’s live alt-perspective on last Raw of 2021, final Day 1 build, Styles vs. Omos, Orton vs. Otis, Balor vs. Theory, more

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