HEYDORN’S WWE RAW RECEIPT 8/22: Smart Johnny Gargano debut succeeds in crossing paths with Theory


WWE Raw gets major matches next week


This week’s episode of WWE Raw has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.

-Alright Triple H, let’s not get too carried away with all this violence to start shows, ok? This worked and was fine, but can’t be a crutch as a means to start things off hot. Riddle and Seth Rollins were the reason it worked, by the way. These guys continue to feud over, well, nothing, but their mannerisms and body language articulate the hatred of the other very well. Looking at potential show stealer there at the Clash at the Castle event.

-WWE needs to find something else for Trish Stratus to do when she returns to the company. Stratus was never a great promo or even a good promo, yet she continues to get mic time. Stratus lacked energy this week and though the crowd was excited to see her, it made for awkward interactions with the current stars.

-A pretty good WWE Raw for Bianca Belair out there, right? She looked strong as the star of the segment as champion. We need more of this. I understand they are holding on Bayley vs. Belair. It’s the right call, but Triple H needs to be creative in how he features Belair with that major program on the back burner.

-Once again, the women’s tag tournament matches get time. 18 minutes? Hallelujah! When new champions are crowned, the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships will mean more than they ever have.

-I liked Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler. The action was good and the booking gave Balor a needed victory.

-The show this week was full of long matches. While good, Triple H should take into account the context around which those long matches are happening. If they have a reason to go long, fine, but matches shouldn’t go long just to do so. Triple H, if you doubt me, ask Tony Khan how that has worked out on his show.

-Inject The Prizefighter Kevin Owens into the veins. Who’s with me? This is a presentation of Owens that can have a run at the top of the card.

-Bayley made Aliyah looks about as good as she can look, but she’s still missing on multiple levels. I mean, what is the Aliyah character? Does anyone know? Does she know?

-Here’s the thing, I’m not sure you should have kidnapping angles on WWE television in 2022. They are tough to buy. That said, IF you are going to do one, it needs to look good and Lumis dragging Miz into the crowd and out onto the building concourse was executed brilliantly.

Johnny Gargano in the middle of the ring on Monday Night Raw. Who would have predicted that ten years ago? Per the usual, Gargano was articulate and believable with his words and got a loving reaction from the Toronto crowd. Crossing paths with Theory made perfect sense and is a smart first program for him on the main roster.

-Look at this, though. Gargano vs. Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Finn Balor, The Miz, A.J. Styles, Rey Mysterio, Seth Rollins, and Riddle. All really good matches that are fresh as can be on WWE Raw.

-For the second week in a row, WWE did a very nice job positioning the main event as a big deal. Edge got a tremendous reaction and Priest played his role well as the heel. It doesn’t look like Edge’s feud with The Judgement Day is over. I’m thinking we get Edge, Mysterio, & Beth Phoenix against Finn Balor, Damian Priest, & Rhea Ripley sometime in the near future.

CATCH-UP: Update on backstage environment in WWE post Vince McMahon

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