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RAW HITS AND MISSES
Cody and Seth – HIT: The injury to Cody Rhodes is obviously very unfortunate with very bad timing. But given the bad circumstances, things couldn’t have gone better for Rhodes who put on a great and gutsy performance in Hell in a Cell and got a hero’s reaction when he started off Raw. He did a nice job as did Seth Rollins in his fake sincere interruption. But, WWE does these things so frequently that his attack on Cody was very predictable. I fully understand why they did that, but I don’t need to see Rhodes vs. Rollins 4 down the line. But, it was well executed and got more sympathy on Cody. The announcers were a little heavy handed with the “nobody has ever been tougher than Cody” type statements. So, I had a few issues with it, but it was still a good way to send off Cody who should get a top star reaction when he returns.
Lynch vs. Brooke – MISS: I get that WWE is trying to tell a story with Becky Lynch being in a major tailspin before presumably having a rise. But, I don’t understand ever giving her a loss under any circumstances to Dana Brooke who is one of the biggest losers in all WWE. I wouldn’t put Becky anywhere near the 24/7 Title. This didn’t make me want to see her in another match against Asuka.
MizTV – HIT: I seldom give MizTV segments Hits, but this was a good one. Miz and Maryse did a nice job of plugging the season premiere of their silly reality show. But the real Hit came with Matt Riddle’s interruption. Riddle continues to show a more serious side while retaining the essence of who he has been as the ultimate bro and I am definitely on board for it. I look forward to him eventually challenging Roman Reigns for the World Title(s). I liked how he presented himself here, and it led to his match against The Miz (which was solid) after being attacked by Ciampa. But, that was a little confusing. I hope they do something in the upcoming weeks to explain why Ciampa attacked Riddle. I certainly would take Riddle vs. Ciampa.
The Street Profits vs. The Usos – HIT: This was a really good match which isn’t surprising as these are arguably WWE’s two best tag teams (I don’t even know who else would be in the conversation). The problem is that about half of the 16 minute match came on the two commercial breaks. I wish they could have changed up the timing to only have one break in this match so that we could see more of it. What we saw was good enough to get a Hit and I look forward to the eventual Title match down the line.
Lashley – Theory – HIT: This Hit is for the potential in a feud between Bobby Lashley and Theory over the United States Championship. The segment that set up the feud was fine. Lashley was better on the mic than he has been recently in his feud against Omos, but he wasn’t great. Theory was good in his interruption. It was all pretty simple and straightforward, with nothing particularly good or memorable. But, it was serviceable and sets up a match up I look forward to seeing.
Mahaan vs. Dominik – MISS: I actually liked this match to a point. Dominik Mysterio’s early strategy of using his quickness to avoid Veer Mahaan to frustrate the big man and get in some hit and run offense worked well. The match probably went on a little too long, but that’s not that big a deal. It was nice to see Mahaan in something other than a short squash. The problem is that I wasn’t a fan of Rey Mysterio attacking Mahaan and causing a blatant disqualification. That didn’t seem called for at that point in the match and they didn’t need to protect Dominik from another loss. Just have him tap out and then Rey could make the save.
Judgement Day – MISS: I don’t mind Edge leaving Judgement Day as he hasn’t been working as a heel. But, the way WWE went about it was all wrong. They need some more top babyfaces in the wake of Rhodes’ injury, but I’d rather see Finn Balor given the chance. I am ok with him as a heel, but again the way it happened didn’t work. Having a heel become a face after being kicked out of a heel faction never works. See Seth Rollins in the Authority or Randy Orton in Evolution. It makes the newly turned face seem weak. Why cheer for Edge now? He’s still the same jerk right? But now he’s a loser of a jerk. It didn’t make much sense for Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley to kick out Edge who won the match at the PLE the night before Raw in favor of Balor who lost. The actual beating was very well done, but that’s the only thing I liked about this.
Ezekiel – Owens – MISS: I didn’t expect the match between Ezekiel and Kevin Owens at HIAC to be the end of their story, but I was hoping it would be. Owens has done the best anyone could possibly expect in a bad situation to make it enjoyable to watch, but that doesn’t mean that I want to see it continue. The match at HIAC was solid, but nothing that made me want to see a rematch next week on Raw. And, I doubt the rematch will be the end of it either. I don’t see a great way out of this at all.
Morgan vs. Bliss vs. Doudrop vs. Ripley – HIT: This was a pretty good main event to determine the #1 contender to Bianca Bel Air’s Women’s Championship. I would have liked to have heard Bel Air on commentary, so I’m not sure why she just sat at ringside. I appreciate that she wasn’t involved in the match. With the turn in Judgement day earlier in the show, Ripley made the most sense to be elevated to win this match. Everyone in the match performed well. It had a strong ending with Ripley’s show of strength with a Riptide on Doudrop.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at email@example.com.