HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 5/23: Riddle cuts a stellar promo with business and character its core

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

WWE Smackdown viewership declines over prior week
Matt Riddle (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

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.

-It was so damn refreshing seeing Riddle walk to the ring with his story in mind. He flashed his personality, but rooted that personality in the emotion he was feeling coming out of Smackdown. He sold the loss, his character, the RK-Bro tag team, and The Bloodline as a dominant faction. A really great piece of business when you break it down.

-The opening tag match worked nicely and was entertaining. Not really fresh given all we’ve seen from that trio of teams, but alas, it was good television. What’s Sami Zayn doing on Raw again?

-Ehhh, so I think we know why MVP was with Bobby Lashley for so long. Lashley was not good on the mic this week. Not good at all. He fumbled his words, but also meandered around the point to it all as well. Lashley’s presentation is stellar and at this point less is more when talking. Also, they are doing Lashley vs. Omos for a fourth time? I defended this feud for the first three matches, not sure I can for umber four.

-This Judgement Day thing needs restart. Maybe not even that. Scrapping it wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s directionless. They are happening and are a thing, but don’t have any focus to root their activity. Ripley gets elevated a bit, but Edge is defined way down and Damian Priest too. He was a much brighter star alongside Bad Bunny.

– Veer speaks and we still don’t know much about him? That’s ineffective use of time. It’ll be very difficult now to save what has happened to him. He’s flat and it’s not entirely his fault.

-Is Alexa Bliss, ok? She’s a lost act right now. I’m sure the dolls sell and she likes cashing merch checks every month, but she’s too talented to be this undefined.

-Really good promo work from Seth Rollins. He put emphasis and focus on what his obsession with Cody Rhodes is and why it matters so much for him to win inside Hell in a Cell. This created some stakes for the match. Well done.

-Not a good night at the office for Cody Rhodes and The Miz. They were discombobulated from the jump and really worked some ugly spots with one another. Easy to blame The Miz probably, but this was on both guys. Yuck.

-I know the Ezekiel thing has been entertaining and even I’ve chuckled, but c’mon. Kevin Owens against Steve Austin at WrestleMania and now Ezekiel? Like, *sigh*.

-A bad match from Rhodes, but a nice promo. It was a straight wrestling promo that showed him fired up, but also gave fans a lane for sympathy with the injured knee. Knowing Cody, they’ll lean into this injury during the match itself on June 5.

-You could see the shenanigan finish coming a mile away for Lashley vs. MVP. The right call, though the handicap stipulation announced feels like a step backward in terms of where the feud is at.

-Becky Lynch beat Asuka the week after Asuka beat her and will now join the Asuka vs. Bianca Belair championship match at Hell in a Cell. Triple threat time! I generally don’t like triple threats and I don’t love it here either, but you can reason your way into why this might make sense. A low bar to clear, I know, but it can be done. There are webs connecting these women going every direction and it should lead to an action packed match.

CATCH-UP: Hell in a Cell championship match changed on Monday Night Raw

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