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.
-The Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins stuff has entered a very strange territory. Owens comes out and heels to the max against the audience, Texas, and everything else. Rollins walks out and does the same. Then, they both team up against another heel team in American Alpha only to get loudly and passionately cheered? What are we doing here? I hated this match for that reason.
-A problem that compounded the above was that two babyface teams, Street Profits and RK-Bro, wrestled each other later in the night. Like, if WWE thought about things for 11 seconds longer, an obvious solution would have come to them.
-If I’m Steve Austin and the plan is to come in and work with Kevin Owens at WrestleMania, I’m livid with how things went this week and calling Vince McMahon immediately.
-Omos getting some mic time? I’m for it. I mean, why not? He’s clearly not the best talker in the world, but if WWE is going to continue giving him TV time and strong wins, hearing from him is important. This promo checked that box.
-A strong six-person women’s tag anchored by the Belair/Lynch WrestleMania program. The match was entertaining and Belair and Lynch both looked good. An absolute vicious whip to Lynch from Belair and her braid was the highlight by far. That was brutal stuff. With five weeks to go, this program is in a good spot and all indications point to it boiling at the exact right time.
-New music be damned, Tommaso Ciampa looked great out there this week and got a short, clean win. The start of something? Time will tell.
-Ya know, I still can’t fathom how the 24/7 Championship is still a thing. Sorry, I know some people get a kick out of it, but it really hurts the flow of the show and is jarring compared to serious happenings.
-Not a good night for Rey Mysterio on the microphone. He looked confused out there, but Miz saved things with a promo that properly articulated the feud. As long as this stays mid-card, it’s really fine for WrestleMania.
-Randy Orton and Riddle had a particularly strong promo this week. Riddle played his silly stuff out, but together, they were both able to get things to a serious place. It’s a fine line, but they walked it well.
-Carmella is trying WAY too hard with the sex talk. We get it.
-The finish to RK-Bro vs. Street Profits was clearly botched due to Orton seemingly suffering an injury. Ford connected with a frog splash, but awkwardly landed on Orton’s shoulder. Orton was foggy after and didn’t kick out or get to the ropes while pinned. Everyone in the match looked very concerned. Hopefully Orton is ok.
-So, if you were expecting Vince McMahon’s interview on Thursday with Pat McAfee to be newsworthy, recalibrate your brain and expectations. Austin Theory essentially teased showing up and WWE isn’t known for subtlety. Looking like Theory vs. McAfee at WrestleMania.
-Pleasantly surprised to see Finn Balor win the United States Championship. Really smart booking. This gives Balor juice and a fresh program, but also solidifies Priest’s heel turn. He now has definition and that was a key ingredient missing since his character was reworked. Priest turned strong and was unlikable, leading to true negative heat in the audience.
-A.J. Styles vs. Edge is set for WrestleMania. No surprise there, but still very intriguing.
-The Edge heel turn angle was unnecessary. Both guys had the audience biting with the babyface vs. babyface matchup. Because this doesn’t seem like a long-term heel turn for Edge, the depth and aggressiveness he went with on Styles to build the match lacked the right tone. They certainly have a personal grudge to settle now, but it seems too out of the blue to buy at this point.