HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 5/9: Predictable, but logical finishes hinder top matches

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

Analysis and notes on this week's Monday Night Raw
PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

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.

-RK-Bro continues to be a signature act and significantly important part of Raw each week. They bring a definitive energy to their segments and the crowd eats out of the palm of their hand. Street Profits are forced to take a bit of a backseat because of that, but that’s business sometimes. Both teams have chemistry together and put on the match of the night by a wide margin.

-How about that new interview format, eh? Loved it and it’s a long-time coming in a lot of ways. Theory did a nice job being a heel and hyping his Raw match with Cody. Very A to B, but effective. Stick with the format, WWE. Good stuff.

-Judgement Day is turning a corner. Edge, Damian Priest, and Rhea Ripley looked good standing together as one and can be a menacing faction if given the proper material. The association with Edge will help Priest, but significantly impact Ripley. She was a bit lost as a character and this run will not only stabilize her character development, but allow her to lean into what are natural heel tendencies.

-So, maybe I’m crazy, but the Omos and Bobby Lashley stuff is working for me. There seems to be a genuine disdain there and while it’s helping Omos more than Lashley at this point, it’s working. Omos has truly gotten something from his partnership with MVP. Lashley knows all about that. Showcasing that within the story gives MVP credibility and something for babyface Lashley to overcome. Next week’s cage match between both men will be interesting because of Omos’ limited in-ring capabilities, but also because the booking strategy needs a lot of balance.

-Alexa Bliss is back on Raw and the Lilly doll came with her. Until people stop buying that damn doll, she’s a part of the Bliss character as much as anything else. Bliss needs a mission statement now. What’s her purpose? Important for to define that right away or get sucked into the lane of traffic she goes.

-Sonya Deville didn’t have a great night this week. She sold the Bliss loss in overdramatic fashion and really loses something by not having the authority arc behind her as a WWE executive. Finding the character now is paramount to keeping her meaningfully active week to week.

-I just can’t believe Kevin Owens went from main event of WrestleMania with Steve Austin, to fake brothers and dress up with Ezekiel. Like, what a waste of momentum. Unfortunate. I can’t imagine Austin’s too happy about it either.

-Hey, Veer Mahaan was around this week on Raw ….. yeah, not much else to say, there. Ouch.

-WWE heavily hyped Cody Rhodes vs. Austin Theory with a specific time revealed so fans could tune in. That’s a big responsibility for Cody and there must be data that backs up that strategy given that we’ve only seen it deployed with him recently. A feather in his cap for sure.

-Cody vs. Theory as a match? Not much there and hard to get behind because you knew Rollins was getting involved. I’m ok with that, though. The feud needed a shot in the arm after the PLE match last night and this gives Cody a reason to want to fight Rollins again. Predictable, yes, but not overly cute either, which is important.

-The fact that Sasha Banks and Naomi as tag champs were on the show is a positive sign. At the very least, Vince McMahon hasn’t forgotten about them. Nikki A.S.H and Doudrop as their opponents shine a bright light on the lack of opponents they have waiting for them, though.

-Mustafa Ali vs. The Miz is fine. Miz as a special referee for Ali/Ciampa was a bit odd. The angle with Miz screwing over Ali with bad counts is played out, but it got things where they needed to go. Time to pay off the match, though. Miz vs. Ali just doesn’t have enough momentum to last all the way to the Hell in a Cell PLE in June.

-WWE needs to be smarter with their DQ finishes if they are going to do them. Case in point? The main event. Asuka vs. Bianca Belair. A big match, but WWE gives away the finish before it starts with Becky Lynch sitting ringside. Like, don’t have her sit ringside. At least then there is an attempt made to try and have a real match with a real finish. Lynch’s appearance told the audience all they needed to know. I’m sure some switched to the NBA Playoffs, too.


CATCH-UP: HEYDORN’S DYNAMITE RECEIPT 5/3: Lack of context for ROH on AEW television negatively impacting shows

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