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.
-The Judgement Day found their voice in the show opening promo this week. They clicked together and seemed to feed off of each other’s energy, which enhanced their work. They have a clear feud as well and one that fans are invested in against The Mysterios. This stuff isn’t flashy and who knows the long term benefit it will provide Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley, but it’s become a more than serviceable mid-card story on a three hour Raw.
-Good to see the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament matches getting time. There is a lot of repairs on the horizon to get those titles credible again, but providing the matches with space to breathe positions them as something talent wants and something that is tough to secure. Of course, Sasha Banks & Naomi returning will help in this endeavor as well.
-Theory is back! Look, folks. He was Vince McMahon guy, yes, but he was a Paul Levesque guy first. Big things still on tap for him it seems.
-Oh, the wonder of a good video package. The hype for Bobby Lashley vs. A.J. Styles worked wonderfully to establish the stakes and history of the match. Small stuff, but incredibly effective stuff that significantly benefits the flow and importance of the show.
-Mustafa Ali working to outperform Darby Allin in the suicide dive category, I guess? He was a missile this week. Wow. Ali & Alexander worked well as a team and made Ciampa & Miz look really good. If they can show value in that role, they certainly can be a team that can heat up and challenge for the tag team titles.
-Bravo Kevin Owens and Drew McIntyre. THAT was a pro wrestling promo segment, ladies and gentleman. Both guys brought intensity, realism, and a fierce competitive spirit to how they spoke and it resonated in a big way. The match that followed was as equally entertaining. It was hard-hitting and primed the audience for a second match down the road.
-Ok, about that DQ finish. Sometimes those finishes make sense, but only when they aren’t overdone. Vince McMahon beat that finish deep, deep, DEEP into the ground. It made sense here, though. It accomplished the following: reformed the Kevin Owens prizefighter character, presented Drew as a star, added heat to Reigns vs. Drew, set that table for Owens/Drew rematch, and was just a damn blast to watch.
-How about that visual of Riddle in the audience? Not quite Becky Lynch from a handful of years ago, but big time nonetheless.
-Good match from Styles and Lashley. Another chapter in the Dexter Lumis story, too. They are pushing the Lumis/Styles narrative, but I’m guessing curveball and it ends of Lumis/Miz.
-Theory and Dolph Ziggler brought it in the WWE Raw main event. Theory can go, folks. Ziggler is Ziggler, but Theory held up his end of the bargain. With Ziggler past him, he’d benefit from a big blood feud with a clear babyface like A.J. Styles to further heat him up as a top guy.