WWE RAW HITS & MISSES 8/8: Lumis mystery story misses, Lashley and Ciampa hit with title match, more

BY JON MEZZERA, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Analysis of this week's WWE Raw
Bobby Lashley (photo credit Wade Keller © 2019)

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

Opening Segment – HIT: This was a good, but not great start to Raw. The mic work from Bayley was mostly good, but she messed up some of her lines. She was good at covering the mistake and turning it around on the fans. I still like the potential of her faction with Iyo Sky (really, Iyo?) and Dakota Kai. They successfully set up a big match for the Clash at the Castle PLE as these three will face off against Bianca Belair, Asuka and Alexa Bliss which has potential to be very good.

Rollins vs. Dawkins – HIT: This was the 2nd Raw in a row with a good match between Seth Rollins and one of the Street Profits, this time with Angelo Dawkins. Montez Ford’s ejection from the match continues his potential heel turn as his anger is getting the better of him. It will be interesting to see where they go with the Profits in the long run. Hopefully they both end up in a good place, because they have a lot of talent and a strong connection with the fans.

Ciampa Interview – HIT: The build of the United States Championship continued this week with this interview with Ciampa where he talked about Harley Race and his influence over his career. Race was part of the history of the US Title video that they played last week. They were also trying to give the fans a reason to think that Ciampa might be able to defeat Bobby Lashley. I’m not sure it worked, but I give them credit for the attempt. These types of interviews are a simple way to hype an upcoming match which WWE hasn’t done enough of.

RIP Ezekiel – HIT: I don’t want to see Elias return in a few weeks to get revenge for his brother’s career ending injury. We will see what happens with his character going forward. For now, I am giving this a Hit for the great way that Kevin Owens was portrayed here, both in the physicality of destroying Ezekiel and sending him to the hospital, and the interview later where he reminded the audience who he is and the fact that Raw is the Kevin Owens show. I greatly look forward to seeing where WWE goes with KO now.

Continuing Mysterios Saga – MISS: I continue to not care about what is going on with Dominik Mysterio. We saw the fall out from Edge’s accidental spear last week as Dominik was mad at him this week. He got upset at Rey for taking Edge’s side, which I can understand given Edge’s recent time as a heel. I don’t think I’d trust him either. The big reveal that he had been attacked by Rhea Ripley during Rey’s match against Finn Balor worked ok. There is still the chance that they were faking it, but I don’t care. That’s a big problem.

Mysterio vs. Balor – HIT: Speaking of that match, it was a good one. But, there was a lot of bells and whistles with Damian Priest and Edge getting involved, before the bit at the end with Ripley carrying Dominik out to distract Rey. So while it was a good match, I can only give it a minor Hit due to the overbooking.

Kai-En-Sky vs. Brooke & Tamina – MISS: Kai & Sky are new to the main roster, being introduced to the larger audience. Having them struggle to beat two women who are presented as jokes as part of the 24/7 crap (come on Paul, get rid of it!) was a mistake. This is their 1st match. They needed to destroy Dana Brooke & Tamina in half the time without help from Bayley. That’s better for their characters and the overall product than a longer more competitive match.

Lashley vs. Ciampa – HIT: The US Title match between Lashley and Ciampa was very good. It had some shenanigans with The Miz and AJ Styles getting involved, but luckily it didn’t distract too much from the actual match. Like I said, they tried hard to give the fans a reason to think that Ciampa had a chance to win. They worked well together to put on a very good match. I was particularly intrigued by the sly references to Johnny Gargano with Ciampa using his old submission hold while Corey Graves said something along the line of “sometimes you have to do it yourself.” I wonder who will be next to challenge Lashley for the Title. A reinvigorated KO?

Omos – MISS: I haven’t missed Omos. There is hope that Triple H will drop certain acts and tropes that have been hallmarks of Vince McMahon. That seemed to be the case last week, but this week we saw the 24/7 title and Omos back in a boring squash handicap match. A lot of fans were hoping for some name changes which haven’t happened yet, or a lessening of the corporate speak. We have heard the word wrestling quite a bit which is good, but not much else has changed. What creative genius is going to come up with something interesting for Omos?

Rollins’ Interview – HIT: I enjoyed the Rollins interview about Riddle returning next week, especially his great Riddle impersonation. Fans should be looking forward to Riddle’s return and to see him getting revenge on Rollins. I’m enjoying this program.

Gable vs. Ziggler – MISS: The wrestling action between Dolph Ziggler and Chad Gable was perfectly Hit worthy. The problem was that the fans were dead for it. WWE hasn’t done enough to make the fans care about Ziggler as a babyface since his return. He’s cold. There was a time when Alpha Academy was over as a strong tag team, but they are also cold. So, there wasn’t a reason to get into this match which is a shame given the talent of Ziggler and Gable which was on display. It also makes me wonder about Theory. What happened to his feud with Ziggler?

Miz vs. Styles – HIT: I had mixed feelings about the main event, so I will call it another marginal Hit. The action was good with Styles and Miz playing into the no DQ stipulation well. They used the weapons but didn’t seem to over rely on them. I would have rather seen the match go on without Ciampa’s interference. He had a reason to be absent given his match against Lashley. I would like to see him split up from Miz, and not coming out to help here would have been a good way to start a split up storyline. We had a lot of interference in earlier matches so it was disappointing seeing it here in the main event, even if it was allowed given the No DQ rule. I also didn’t like Styles kicking out of the Skull Crushing Finale, especially after getting hit in the head by a chair. I would rather see them protecting finishers, even Miz’s. But, it was a strong win for Styles and I am hopeful that this is the end of his feud against Miz and Ciampa.

Dexter Lumis – MISS: I was excited to see Triple H’s first few moves from a talent relations stand point with Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai. I was looking forward to other potential moves that he might make in terms of NXT wrestlers getting called up, or other recent cast offs being brought back. Unfortunately, on Smackdown we got Karrion Kross’ return (yawn) and on Raw we got Dexter Lumis (double yawn). The way they introduced him is intriguing with the odd car crash in the back and him getting stopped by security, with the announcers mentioning his name under their breath at the end of the show. It is interesting what they did, but that doesn’t change the fact that Lumis is not a good wrestler with no mic skills (I assume since he never talks). I wasn’t a fan of his act in NXT. It is hard to get excited about his promotion to Raw.


CATCH-UP: 8/1 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Lashley vs. Ciampa for U.S. Title, Seth vs. Dawkins, Mysterio vs. Balor

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