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.
-I have to admit; I got a kick out of the academic challenge segment that kicked off the show. My constitution as a wrestling viewer tells me not to accept number one contenders to championships being crowned in comedy bits like this, but it was so well done, that I’ll let it slide. Just once, WWE – don’t make this a habit. All four guys were invested in the bit and when that happens with talent, good things happen.
-Alpha Academy with a solid win over Street Profits this week. Tag teams aren’t protected much in WWE – ask Street Profits, but a win like this is good if you’re Chad Gable and Otis. It appears as if Vince McMahon believes he has something with those guys.
-It’s a blast watching Bobby Lashley continue to shine in his top guy spot on Raw. The in-ring promo this week had hints of heel in it, but the mission statement at the end was telling and babyface in nature.
-Well, the heel turn is on for Damian Priest. I suppose that’s a positive given that his aura and presence have been obliterated since he went to this mean streak act. That didn’t have a prayer as babyface, but maybe he can spin it as a heel. Either way, they had something organic with him six months ago and now they don’t. Shame, WWE. Shame.
-I don’t hate the Seth Rollins gimmick right now. I swear I don’t. That laugh makes we want to jam a pen in my eye, though. It’s beyond obnoxious and frankly, unnecessary. What does that laugh add? It’s worse than the Sasha Banks laugh circa early 2021 and that’s saying something.
-Good to see Rey Mysterio involved in a personal feud of some kind that leans into his history as a legend in the business. The Miz is an effective heel opposite him to bring out the best. Dominik, wake up my friend. You’ve been in this spot for a couple years now and there hasn’t been much growth shown. Time to step up.
-Nobody says it enough out there, so I will. The 24/7 Championship should not exist on this earth any longer. Thank you, that is all.
-Another smooth win for Bianca Belair and it’s not an accident either. She’s priming to win the Elimination Chamber match and has a date with Becky Lynch at WrestleMania on the horizon.
-Ya know, I just don’t think the Vince McMahon coaching up of Austin Theory story works if Theory keeps losing matches. Like, if that is what’s happening, what good is Vince McMahon? We need to either see the in between stuff after the losses, or have McMahon’s words of wisdom become so effective that it morphs Theory to a different level.
-Not sure if it was the scripted nature of her promo or just feeling fresh in the ring, but Lita found herself on the microphone. This quite possibly was her best promo ever and the feud with Becky Lynch needed it. Both women wove personal feelings, the championship, and history into the fold and the result was an intriguing segment that built up their fight. Really well done across the board.
-Say goodbye to the top tier of the women’s division, Liv Morgan – at least for now. Doudrop? Welcome. Morgan still has an untapped upside, but the clean loss shows Vince McMahon’s cards as to how he views her.
-WWE spent the weekend hyping Seth Rollins vs. Riddle only for it to end in seven minutes thanks to a disqualification. WTF. In a world where drawing numbers and ratings is important to the bottom line, I simply won’t understand the concept of baiting and switching on these key matches. Rollins vs. Riddle was a reason to tune in and watch this show and it basically never happened. Just not a good strategy to hold an audience and entice sampling viewers to come back. Seems obvious, but I guess not.