WWE RAW HITS & MISSES 8/1: Becky Lynch kicks off show with hit, Edge return promo misses, more

BY JON MEZZERA, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

WWE Raw hits and misses
PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Opening Segment – HIT: It always sucks when a wrestler gets hurt, but sometimes the timing is particularly bad as is the case with Becky Lynch injuring her shoulder at SummerSlam right when she was set to turn babyface (in a much needed move) and work with Bianca Belair against Bayley’s newly formed faction with Dakota Kai and Io Sky. At least she had a chance to address the fans to kick off Raw. She did a very good job of pivoting away from her Big Time Becks heel persona, back towards being The Man. I liked her promo quite a bit. Her interaction with Belair was strong too. The attack from the heel trio worked well to put more heat on them.

Ali vs. Styles vs. Miz – HIT: WWE put a lot of emphasis on the United States Championship on this episode of Raw. It makes a lot of sense. With only one World Champion between Raw and Smackdown who isn’t on each week, making the secondary Titles feel more important is the way to go. They had a nice video package on the history of the Title. They had two good triple threat matches to set up a #1 contenders match starting with this one with The Miz, Mustafa Ali, and AJ Styles. It is too bad that Ali hasn’t been on Raw in awhile, so he seemed a bit out of place. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for him as he looked strong despite taking the loss. The match was a lot of fun to watch. The ending was phenomenal with Styles catching Ali on a rebound off of the 450 splash right into a Styles Clash for the win.

Ford vs. Rollins – HIT: The promo from Seth Rollins that set up this mach was fine. It wasn’t good enough to get a Hit, but wasn’t bad either. With the Street Profits interrupting to stand up for their friend Riddle, it did play further into the idea that they are going to break up and go solo. I hope that they don’t turn Montez Ford heel (Angelo Dawkins should probably stay a face too – they can go solo and stay friends). Ford showed in this match why he will make a very good singles wrestler when given the chance. He and Rollins had a good match. Rollins is still feuding with Riddle and also angling to face Roman Reigns, so he had to win here. Also, the loss will play into Ford’s story going forward.

Bliss vs. Asuka – MISS: Luckily this match was kept short as Bayley’s crew interrupted to attack both Alexa Bliss and Asuka. The action in this short match was not good while it lasted. I don’t know if the plan was to have Asuka or Bliss join with Lynch and Belair. Presumably one of them was going to join before Lynch’s injury and the other is being added now because of it. I hope the plan was for Asuka to join, because Bliss isn’t nearly as good in the ring as the other six. Her moves looked weak and showed a lot of light. Why does she insist on doing the double summersault move which always looks like crap? While I liked the attack to end this bad match, going right to Belair vs. Sky on this show felt rushed to me. Stories can be told over time, and saving that match to give a hook for next week would have made more sense to me.

Gable vs. Ciampa vs. Ziggler – HIT: This was the second good triple threat setting up Bobby Lashley’s next challenger for the US Title. There was arguably more talent in the ring in this match than the first with Chad Gable, Dolph Ziggler and Ciampa. The action was good throughout. It was nice to see another heel getting a clean, strong win on Raw. I wasn’t sure who would win this match. You figured one of the heels would win, since Styles won the first. With Lashley as the Champ, you figured they probably wouldn’t have a face win the whole thing, so the winner of this match would likely win in the end, and I wasn’t sure they would go with either Gable or Ciampa. Ciampa winning (here and in the next match) was a nice surprise and a sign of Triple H’s power as it is doubtful he would get this opportunity under a Vince McMahon regime.

Edge – MISS: The Judgement Day vs. The Mysterios was by far the weakest part of SS. I didn’t pop for Edge’s appearance. I am glad that he is back to being a babyface, but the damage has been done. I appreciate that he kept things short and to the point, but something was lost in the brevity of his promo. He acknowledged being an asshole the last few months, but didn’t give a reasonable explanation for his actions. His words about Judgement Day didn’t ring true. I think I will be happy in the long run with his next moves as a face, but this wasn’t good enough.

Belair vs. Sky – HIT: While I still feel this match should have taken place next week, it was a very good match which isn’t surprising. It is good to see Sky finally on the main roster. She should have been called up a long time ago. She and Belair worked very well together. It felt inevitable that the ending would have some type of interference from Bayley and Kai. The no-contest with all the women getting in the ring and fighting worked well for what it was. I don’t want to endorse non-finishes, but this one did make sense and the actual fight with all six in the ring was well done.

Styles vs. Ciampa – HIT: Just seeing Styles vs. Ciampa in an important match on Raw was great to see. They had a very good match which isn’t surprising. As I said above, it was nice to see Ciampa winning the mini tournament. I don’t think he’ll beat Lashley, but being in the match is an elevation of a deserving talent. While it would have been nice to see Ciampa winning totally clean, I feared that Styles would get counted out because of Miz’s interference. So, I was happy that at least Styles got back in the ring and took a Fairy Tale Ending for the (cleaner) loss.

The Usos vs. The Mysterios – HIT: While far from a great match, this Tag Team Title main event was good enough to get a Hit. WWE continues to put the Usos over strong. They could have had Judgement Day getting involved to cost the Mysterios and continue their feud, but they saved them for after the match when they attacked Rey and Dominik leading to Edge’s save and the accidental spear on Dominik. I really don’t have a clue who could potentially beat the Usos for the Titles down the road. Part of that is a good thing, because of how well they’ve been presented and protected. But part of that is bad, because WWE hasn’t done a good job of building up potential challengers now that you’ve gotten past the Street Profits feud.

Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at jmezz_torch@yahoo.com.


CATCH-UP: 8/1 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Miz vs. Styles vs. Ali and Ziggler vs. Gable vs. Ciampa for U.S. Title shot, Mysterios challenge Usos for belts

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