HEYDORN’S WWE RAW RECEIPT 1/16: WWE turns in newsworthy show against major competition

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

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

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

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

-The Usos looked like stars on the show this week. No doubt about that. That said, I continue to not understand why they are positioned against another heel team in The Judgment Day? It’s making The Usos come across as supremely likable — a problem that The Bloodline is already navigating and has been for quite some time. At certain times during the year it was ok, but with WrestleMania around the corner, The Usos need to definitively be in the heel lane. This booking is sending mix signals.

-Dominik is just a damn blast right now. He’s a genuine heel who you want to see get smacked around for a segment or two on television. Is The Bloodline the group to do that, though? See above.

-Kevin Owens was as intense as I’ve seen him on the main roster in WWE and it resonated. The brawl between him and The Bloodline felt like a big time fight that was worthy of a pull apart. Thumbs up here and more fuel added to Reigns vs. Owens at the Royal Rumble.

-Smart to feature Bobby Lashley talking about what it would mean to get a shot at the United States Championship by winning the six-pack challenge main event. It gave the match context and the title importance. Good stuff.

-Elias and Ezekiel are both going to be in the Royal Rumble aren’t they?

-Good stuff from The Street Profits this week, but more of the same, too. I’d love to see them add something to or tweak the gimmick a bit. It’s not that it’s stale, but could use a fresh element so that Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins continue to stay strong in the tag division. I’d have looked their way for a match with The Usos instead of The Judgment Day for what it’s worth.

-Cody Rhodes will be returning at the Royal Rumble in two weeks. Smart to promote this ahead of time. Star power in the Royal Rumble is a good thing and fans were invested in the Cody injury and recovery. Giving them time to anticipate will help yield a strong pop on January 28.

-Great stuff between Bayley and Becky Lynch. They leaned on history AND recent happenings to frame up their match inside of a steel cage next week. The Karen stuff got a chuckle out of me and Bayley sold it well. Becky Lynch still gets one of the strongest reactions on the show and is in a big match next week. That said, she still feels a bit underutilized in this specific role. Look for the Royal Rumble to change that.

-I get a kick out of Omos destroying people in matches. Call me crazy, but it diversifies the match styles on the show that goes a long way in making the shows more watchable. Am I putting a title on him? No. He’s playing his part, though.

-Alpha Academy as babyfaces is going to work and work well. Chad Gable and Otis are so lovable and that is going to force the crowd’s investment in them.

-I really liked the Alexa Bliss and Bianca Belair angle until Uncle Howdy got involved. Just way too convenient of a spot. I also don’t want to see Belair afraid of Howdy. She’s a strong, fighting champion. Seeing her ignore Howdy in favor of those qualities first would be a better touch. Now, Alexa Bliss has something with this dark, twisted, but not silly character. Her body language shows off the character well and casts the proper tone for it.

-Holy Bronson Reed, Batman! What a showing for him. The guy looked like a star and Tozawa sold his butt off for him. One of the more memorable segments on the show this week.

-Bobby Lashley winning the opportunity to face Austin Theory next week was foreshadowed, but it also made the most sense, so no argument for me. Omos getting involved on Lashley’s behalf was interesting. That angle may be as simple as the babyfaces taking out the heel so the babyface can win. I felt something different, though. There was an element to that angle in which Omos was sympathetic for trying his best to help, but not being able to because of the babyfaces. WWE should clean that narrative up and be clear on how the audience is supposed to feel about Omos.


CATCH-UP: Another lawsuit filed against Vince McMahon

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