WWE RAW HITS & MISSES 10/31: Trick or Street misses, Crown Jewel hype highlights night, more


WWE Raw analysis
Bobby Lashley (photo credit Wade Keller © 2019)


Belair vs. Cross – HIT: It was good to see Nikki Cross back to her old Sanity character if for no other reason than it isn’t her Almost a Super Hero character. Triple H has been finding different ways to start off Raw as opposed to Vince McMahon who started most Raws off with long talking segments. The variety is good with this week’s show starting off with this match between Cross and Bianca Belair following up on what happened between them at the end of last week’s Raw. This was a good match, although of course there was outside interference with Damage CTRL getting involved. That did work to have Asuka and Alexa Bliss return which also helped to set up the main event Women’s Tag Team Championship.

Lesnar – Lashley – HIT: I am not a fan of how this program started, with Brock Lesnar costing Bobby Lashley the United States Championship. As I talked about with Greg Parks on Wrestling Night in America this week, I have no problem with a babyface vs. babyface Lesnar vs. Lashley match, but was disappointed that they started off the feud with Lesnar in more of a heel role. At this point, it seems more like two alpha badass fighters wanting to destroy each other which is a good place to be going into the actual match on Saturday. This brief pull apart brawl worked well to tease the match and sell the intensity between them. The fact that Triple H came out to help break up the fight added some weight to the moment.

Rollins vs. Theory – HIT: It was a little odd to have this match between Seth Rollins and Austin Theory who seemed more like allies lately. This seemed almost like a trial to see if Rollins can work as a babyface. He does get babyface reactions with the humming of his entrance music. But, does the character work as a face beyond that? Time will tell what they do with him. In the moment, this worked as a good wrestling match between a great veteran wrestler and a good younger wrestler who has a ton of potential. The downside is that Theory continues to look like an unworthy holder of the Money in the Bank briefcase.

Reigns – MIZ: HIT: I would not have guessed that The Miz would be part of this segment with Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman, but it worked given Miz’s history with Logan Paul. It made sense. Everyone played their parts well. Reigns and whatever the Bloodline are involved in continue to be the best parts of wrestling each week. I’m glad they didn’t try too hard to recreate the spontaneously fun “Ucey” segment from Smackdown. It was referenced in a way here, but Reigns stayed focused on Paul. The interaction with Miz worked well leading up to the big Superman Punch from Reigns.

JBL – Corbin – MISS: I continue to not enjoy JBL’s act on Raw with Baron Corbin. I know that JBL is a heel, but the local cheap heat is dull and he is giving off major “get off my lawn” vibes. He complained about millennials in a promo talking up Corbin who is a millennial. Corbin hasn’t changed much in his new “wrestling god” persona. He just seems like Happy Corbin again. R-Truth is somewhat amusing as the guy who randomly pops up anytime someone says the word truth. But, his appearances don’t meant much and they make anyone he’s involved with feel insignificant just because they are working with R-Truth.

Riddle vs. Otis – MISS: The downward spiral for Matt Riddle’s character continued with this Trick-Or-Street fight against Otis. He and Otis could have a perfectly good match. But, this was silly crap with pumpkins. WWE could have kept the Halloween theme to a minimum with the fun pictures of fans dressed up as their favorite WWE wrestlers. Do we have to have this stupid stuff every year? Riddle is feeling less and less cool every week as his relationship with Elias continues. I did chuckle at Alpha Academy as the Patrick Swayze / Chris Farley inspired Chippendales dancers, but this hurts a potential major top star too much.

WWE Investigates – MISS: I did get a kick out of some of the humor in this expose as Byron Saxton interviewed Johnny Gargano about the truth of what has been going on between Miz and Dexter Lumis. I laughed when Gargano said that he welcomed Lumis into his NXT family as a son-in-law, or a pet raccoon. There were moments here which reminded me fondly of some of the very funny Gargano Way family videos that he did with Candace LeRae in NXT. But, I wasn’t buying the storyline of Miz hiring Lumis to pretend to kidnap him. The idea that he would lose to Lashley in the Steel Cage match on purpose didn’t make sense, and I wasn’t sure what the tone was supposed to be (was Gargano serious?). Gargano can be entertaining in these segments, and some of this was funny. But, this type of presentation is very limiting for someone who could be a star who really connects with the fans as he did once upon a time in NXT.

Kai-en-Sky vs. Asuka & Bliss – HIT: This was a good main event with Asuka & Alexa Bliss winning the Women’s Tag Team Championship from Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky. I do question having them lose the Titles so soon after winning them. Damage CTRL feels like a pretty weak faction going into Bayley’s Women’s Title matcha against Belair on Saturday. I appreciate that while Bayley and Belair did get involved, they were mostly fighting each other and then they took each other out with that table spot, so they weren’t involved with the end of the match. That worked well to hype their PLE Title match without taking away from this Title match. I don’t buy Kai & Sky as a team, but I don’t buy Asuka & Bliss either. At least it was a good match.

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: 10/31 WWE RAW TV RESULTS: Doucette’s “alt perspective” report on final live Crown Jewel hype, Reigns & Lesnar appear, and more

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