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.
-Really good opening battle royal and I don’t say that about battle royal matches often. This worked. Storylines move themselves forward within the framework of the match, The Miz injury angle created a meta level of drama that peaked the audience’s interest, and Riddle was able to get a major win and big reaction to that win. Hot start.
-John Cena needs to find a tone that is more adult when giving advice. The way he spoke to The Street Profits presented them as starstruck kids instead of true contenders. On Cena to be more effective in that regard.
-Keep your eye on Montez Ford on WWE Raw. He’s reaching new levels of work in the ring and is beginning to have a swagger out there that confirms he knows it. Look out.
-Goodness, ANOTHER heel turn tease for Dominik Mysterio. This time, The Judgement Day came calling. At this point if you’re Rey Mysterio, shouldn’t you be a little on guard? I’ll believe it when I see it, but next week, Rey’s hometown of San Diego – it writes itself.
-The Miz is the single greatest time filler in the history of everything. Like, he doesn’t say much out there and what he does say is usually plugs, but he’s eloquent in making it seem like he’s not filling time. Dare I say a skill in 2022 WWE.
-Pretty good stuff between John Cena and Ezekiel. Nothing memorable, but solid in the moment and right up Cena’s alley in terms of the comedy he likes to do.
-A better WWE Raw for Bianca Belair on the microphone. I thought she spoke about Carmella in a way that put her over, while establishing her dominance as champion. She relied less on the corporate branding phrases and more into the authentic personality that those phrases were created from.
-Three years ago, I would have said that beating Alexa Bliss was a major indicator that X talent was fully in the middle of push mode by WWE. It doesn’t feel like she means as much today. So, that’s unfortunate for Liv Morgan because big wins have alluded her time on the main roster. Nonetheless, a win is a win and heading into Money in the Bank, Morgan will be one of the more intriguing underdog stories of the match.
-Vince McMahon was back in the ring again and it was hard to burst out laughing at the obnoxious hubris of that dude. Just, next level.
-McMahon introduced John Cena, but then was nowhere to be found as to not soil Cena’s gold reputation. The Cena promo was a Cena promo. Rinse and repeat. I expected Theory to be involved in a bigger way than just a backstage segment, but maybe Cena’s calendar all of a sudden got booked up instead of Summerslam due to what is happening at the top of WWE’s corporate ladder. Either way, Cena was good and entertaining, but just didn’t delivering anything noteworthy.
-Lashley looked good against Otis and Chad Gable. WWE has a tough booking call on their hands at Money in the Bank. Lashley or Theory? Pros and cons to going with either as United States Champion.
-Remember Cody Rhodes everyone? WWE doesn’t do the injury feature story for every talent, so it’s not notable that they pulled it out here and indicative of how they see Cody Rhodes. Rhodes should be encouraged by that. It was a nice little update by Rhodes, but the biggest takeaway was Cody leaving the door open for another Seth Rollins match. For the WWE Championship, perhaps?
-Ok, I swear Becky Lynch turned babyface on Raw this week. Maybe she didn’t mean to, but she did. Listen to the crowd pop AND the way the announce team spoke about her. I know she cut a bit of a heel promo after the show went off the air, but her booking this week screamed “Hey! Over here! Cheer me again!”