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.
-Hey! Becky Lynch got some real mic time on Monday Night Raw and made her match at WrestleMania more interesting. Well, I’ll be damned. Lynch is a very good talker. The fact that it took this long for to grab a microphone and cut a promo like the one she did this week was criminal. Glad she got to do it and she helped sell the match. Thumbs way up.
-Vince McMahon-style WWE booking would lead you to believe that because Lynch defeated Iyo Sky this week, her team isn’t winning at WrestleMania. Wrong. It’s a new era and the outcome this week doesn’t have a bearing on where things go this weekend. Lynch and the legends are in the drivers seat.
-Well, when you have nothing left to utilize to try and build a match, play the origin story card with video packages. That’s what they did with Bianca Belair and Asuka this week. Look, there was more meat on the bone to get for this match, but things just didn’t click out there. At all. Rather than forcing something that isn’t genuine, the origin story play was the right call. Like usual with WWE, these were well-produced and very entertaining to watch.
-A fine little squash with Seth Rollins and Mustafa Ali, but the bigger story was Rollins on the microphone after it. I thought Rollins was about to put his career on the line against Logan Paul, but I’m glad he didn’t. No need to saddle that match with a stipulation that foreshadows the outcome. Rollins was great here. He outlined the stakes of the match perfectly and believably. Even got the song plug in too. What a guy.
-Ya know, the Brock Lesnar and Omos stuff was pretty damn good this week. I know, I know they didn’t do much, but what they did do was effective and realistic. Lesnar sold for Omos during the brawl and even showed a smidge of fear. Smart stuff on his part as it gave Omos more credibility than he’s had, well, ever. Omos was good too. He played his role and did his thing. When Lesnar F-5’s him at WrestleMania, the roof is coming off SoFi Stadium. Mark my words.
-Not a bad promo from Rhea Ripley ahead of her showdown with Charlotte at WrestleMania. It’s still not simmering at a main event level, though.
-I mean, the fatal four-way showcase stuff was on the show to fill time. That said, why not give it time? It’s on the WrestleMania card. Any heat is better than nothing. It’s a low bar, but they cleared it this week.
-Austin Theory looked great this week. The guy sold a match with John Cena on his own and did it in a very believable way. When you watch a promo like the one he cut, you can see why WWE has such high hopes for him. He’s got a major moment coming at WrestleMania.
-My goodness. Just insane heat for Dominik Mysterio. Insane. The match with Rey is ready to go and this week, the reaction to Dominik as he screamed into the microphone solidified why. Pro wrestling doesn’t have to be a complicated formula. Good guy, bad guy, and stakes. Go. This Mysterio feud checks those boxes.
-I gotta say, I was expecting Dolph Ziggler to sell those Gunther chops better than he did. C’mon Dolph.
-The main event left a little to be desired from an in-ring perspective — the match just wasn’t all that good. In terms of accomplishing the mission, they did. Cody looked like a strong babyface with the audience behind him and Sami & KO got some shots in on The Usos and Bloodline at the same time. Nothing wrong with that. Simple, but effective — kind of the theme for the show this week ahead of WrestleMania this weekend.