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.
-Cody Rhodes tiptoed on the line of over indulgent with his return to WWE promo, but never crossed it. The result was a mission driven promo that not only articulated his purpose in WWE, but the emotions around it concerning his Dad and his history. He juggled a lot and got it right without being too, ya know, Cody….
-What was with the Seth Rollins stuff? A red herring? It seemed pretty genuine on Seth’s part, so it was well acted, but this ultimately leads to Rollins vs. Rhodes 2 at WrestleMania Backlash.
-I forgot what it felt like to have a “can they get along” story going in WWE within a tag team. Thank you, Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley. Look, if this leads to a Ripley heel turn and her jumping up the card to face Bianca Belair, it’s worth it. Morgan has to find a way not to be gullible. Period.
-Sasha Banks and Naomi make the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships shine a bit, but if all the tag teams around them break up, what good is it? WWE has to find opponents for them, especially if a talent like Banks is going to be busy anchoring the division and not in the main women’s world title scene.
-Ezekiel? Excuse me? EZEKIEL? What are we doing here and how does this find its way to Kevin Owens after Owens just participated in a main event segment at WrestleMania with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin? If you were looking for Kevin Owens to build on that Mania momentum, this wasn’t that.
-We’re going with Logan Paul as a babyface? Really? Haven’t we been here and done that already? The guy is worse than Randy Orton when it comes to lacking a babyface bone in his body. He’s a heel. Paul may not like it, but that’s what he is and frankly, that’s what happens when you play con man in a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
-A strong championship victory promo from Bianca Belair. Really confident, but extremely likable too. Time to line up heel opponents and have her mow them all down.
-Bron Breakker winning the NXT Championship on Monday Night Raw was a nice surprise, but the audience just didn’t seem ready? They didn’t reject Breakker, but they didn’t necessarily welcome him into their lives with open arms either. Breakker needs work and is being asked to get over on Raw without any effective framing. To that end, I think he’s done just fine and continues to show the flare and charisma that a top guy in WWE needs.
-MVP’s turn on Bobby Lashley was pretty darn obvious, pretty darn good, and pretty darn effective. Lashley is ready to go out on his own as a babyface and Omos needed a mouthpiece if he was going to successfully jump to a next level. This turn accomplishes both goals.
-Whoa, whoa, whoa. TWO “can they get along” tag team storylines? On the same show and on the same night? What a treat! Thank you, Queen Zelina and Carmella. Save something for the rest of the year, WWE. Geez.
-Austin Theory had a really good showing this week. We saw a serious promo from him and some nice work in the ring. Theory going on an aggressive, Kurt Angle-esque, mean streak run, with the McAfee loss as it’s foundation would be an effective way to pivot him out of WWE comedy land, which he’s currently mayor of.
-Thumbs up to the Edge and Damian Priest pairing. It’ll be good for Priest, elevating him and leaving a pretty big program on the table with Edge at some point. Thumbs down to the Edge heel gimmick. Nobody is buying this and it’s coming across exactly like it looks – Edge “playing” bad guy. There is zero authentic depth with what’s going on with him right now.
-Good action in the Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy tornado tag, I swear we’ve seen this match before, though. If it’s me, get Street Profits into some kind of serious blood feud yesterday. RK-Bro has the titles, but Ford and Dawkins have something that needs to be nurtured.
-Roman Reigns owned the look and moment of walking out on Raw as the Undisputed World Champion. He’s a next level performer right now, knows it, and the audience reacts as such. The content of the promo was a little weak. It feels like WWE doesn’t know where it’s going next with the story, so the can was kicked down the road to Smackdown on Friday night.