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.
-Bianca Belair got a really nice pop from the Lincoln audience, but I’ve never felt more like she was going through the motions than on this promo. Between the corporate lines and just her overall demeanor, she seems a little disinterested? Fair?
-Carmella probably won’t reignite any interest in Belair, but she’s a suitable fill in opponent on a B show without a lot of other options knocking down the door. That said, Belair needs a major opponent. Not someone who is filler fodder, but a genuine top-level act.
-Thumbs up to the women’s fatal five-way match that Carmella won, though. Pretty darn good stuff that had the Raw audience engaged.
–Vince McMahon appeared on television again. This week it was Raw to seemingly gloat about Raw’s tenure on the air and hype John Cena’s appearance next week. Oh and thumbing his nose at being investigated as well. Can’t forget that. The due has …. Issues.
-I liked the way Riddle was able to thread the needle through his loss to Roman Reigns on Friday night. He was confident, but truthful in his assessment of what happened and looked strong out there even while taking that loss on the chin.
-Now, losing to Omos? Mistake. Sorry, even if Riddle is going to play the sympathetic underdog babyface, he needs credibility and can’t be losing matches all the damn time. Most acts aren’t Daniel Bryan. And to Omos? Omos is running to the main event anytime soon and Riddle might be. I get not wanting to have Omos do the favors for Riddle, but just don’t book the match.
-Theory was really good off the cuff as he was getting booed ahead of his posing. It’s little detail work like that, which tells me he has something. Lashley vs. Theory at Money in the Bank always seemed to be the direction on this and now it’s official.
-The Usos and Street Profits have wonderful chemistry together. The age-old challengers get the win story going on here, but the pieces are set and a good match between both for the tag titles is on the horizon at Money in the Bank.
-I thoroughly enjoyed the Ezekiel/Elias stuff. WWE did a nice job pulling out the stops to truly have both on screen at the same time. The nuance with it was that it wasn’t completely over the top and felt like two brothers having a conversation together. Kevin Owens put the cherry on top of the segment. The way he’s leaned into the story sells it. I haven’t liked this on Raw lately, but this was a triple for sure.
-The Miz vs. A.J. Styles isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s obvious this match was thrown together at the last second for Money in the Bank. The question isn’t so much about this match and more about what matches could Styles be involved in if he wasn’t involved with Miz. There is opportunity on the table with a gaping hole at the top of the card for babyfaces. Styles could snag that slot, but isn’t being positioned to do so.
-Good interview segment with Veer. He showed more range than ever and with the format of the interview in the Raw arena, it visually looked major league too.
-The Becky Lynch decent to rock bottom continues on. Asuka is heading to Money in the Bank and Lynch isn’t. Unlikely, but Lynch is doing all she can to get this over. Her facial expressions and desperate pleas resonate effectively and the climb back up to the top of WWE will be something.