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.
-Becky Lynch has the language thing down, doesn’t she? Her walk to the ring on Raw this week perfectly balanced the heel Becky Lynch character she was and the new character that she found after turning babyface at Summerslam. It wasn’t a jarring pivot, but something that felt like a transition of sorts. Just great stuff from one of the best in the business.
-The Man is coming back. I liked the nuance of Becky Lynch alluding to that character, but her rival Bianca Belair, outright calling it out and calling her by that name directly.
-Bianca Belair vs. Bayley is going to be a thing of beauty. The program already feels hot, partly because it feels fresh due to Bayley’s absence. Belair needed a heel like this to work with and it should help her grow as a babyface. Io Sky and Dakota Kai are a solid support group for Bayley, too.
-How about the finish to Ali/Miz/Styles. Ali hits the 450 off the top rope and THEN ROLLS INTO Styles who catches him for the Styles Clash and the win? Bravo, gentleman.
-Anyone else kinda done with the Rollins shtick? I’m not sure he knows the gimmick anymore. He goes for cheers, then boos – it’s all over the place. That said, The Street Profits working with Rollins is an indicator that big things are planned for them. But, Montez Ford as a heel is the plan? Of all the plans, WWE!? Ford a heel? Look, he doesn’t have a heel bone in his body. The guy is likable. Period. Fighting against that is a mistake. Great match.
-Good to see Ciampa getting to show what he’s capable of out there. Not sure where his push is going, but with Triple H in charge of creative, this is the best shot that he’ll get. So far, he’s doing his part to keep it going.
-Ya know, I’ll take that explanation from Edge. Sure, there are holes all around it, but he got it, explained things, and got out. He didn’t linger and now the feud between Edge and Judgement Day is on.
-Bianca Belair vs. Io Sky on Monday Night Raw. Pretty sure that wouldn’t have happened with Vince McMahon at the helm. A good match and while I don’t like non-finishes, this made sense and felt right given the story being told between Belair and Bayley Co.
-Ciampa vs. A.J. Styles? With a Ciampa win? Duck! Flying pigs!
-The Ciampa win sets up a hefty number of storyline directions. They can pivot right to Ciampa vs. Miz if Miz costs Ciampa the title next week. They can hold on that feud and have Miz help Ciampa win. Or, Lashley can simply beat Ciampa clean to further the relationship between he and Miz. Either way, Ciampa is setup and that is way more than you could say about him three weeks ago.
-The tag team main event between The Usos and Mysterios had its moments with a couple interesting near falls, but in the end was just, you know, solid. Nothing outlandishly good and nothing shockingly bad either. There are so many starts and stops with Dominik in terms of his story. Another one started this week with the Spear from Edge. They need to find a lane for him and stick with it.
-Overall, this week’s episode of WWE Raw felt fresh and relaxed. The talent looked at ease, which seemed to translate to better performances top to bottom. A really good night for Triple H and his first night truly in charge of creative direction in WWE.