WWE RAW HITS & MISSES 4/24: Rhodes vs. Balor hits, new title misses, more


WWE Raw analysis


Rhodes – Balor – HIT: Raw got off to a good start with Cody Rhodes coming out to address his upcoming match against Brock Lesnar at Backlash. I was not expecting Finn Balor to interrupt but he did a good job in trying to recruit Rhodes into The Judgement Day. The back and forth was good, but nothing great. It did set up a big match between Rhodes and Balor as a nice hook for the rest of the show.

The Bloodline vs. LWO – HIT: This was a good match which gave The Usos & Solo Sikoa a strong win over the Latino World Order who got in enough offense to keep it from being a total squash. I do hope that the end game of the LWO is the elevation of Santos Escobar who is very talented. I don’t want to see him always taking the pin to protect Rey Mysterio or the rest of the group always losing. Right now, they seem like losers even if they are good guys for helping Rey.

Bloodline – Owens & Zayn – HIT: WWE did a nice job throughout Raw of hyping the upcoming Tag Team Championship rematch with Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn against The Usos on Smackdown. They weaved a story during the show of Zayn trying to get into Jey Uso’s head, followed by Jimmy trying to get into Sami’s head. Everyone played their parts well here, including Matt Riddle.

Triple H’s Announcement – MISS: In general, I can see having two World Champions, one for each brand working as well as having one floating World Champion. So, I’m not opposed to this as something that WWE could do. My issue is the timing of it all. This should not happen while Roman Reigns is still the Unified World Universal Champion. it should not happen while Cody Rhodes is trying to finish his story. If the choice was having Reigns remain the Champion at WrestleMania only to introduce a second “World” Championship, or having Cody win the Title in the main event and keep him as the only Champion, then they should have made the other decision. There is no way that this new title will feel like anything other than a consolation prize. They better do a total brand split and do something to make Raw and Smackdown feel different from each other. Give them separate authority figures (in the Adam Pearce / William Regal mold). Give them different looks. And do away with any cross over at all. Don’t introduce a new world title just to water down the brand split in a few months.

Bronson Reed – HIT: I like what WWE is doing with the vignettes about Bronson Reed the last few weeks. They should have done it a few months ago, but better late than never. I like what they are doing with his feud against Bobby Lashley. I wish Austin Theory wasn’t involved. Hopefully his part in the story ends at the PLE and they get back to a singles feud between Reed and Lashley. Here, I was glad to see Reed standing tall over both Lashley and Theory in the end.

Balor vs. Rhodes – HIT: I’m sure under other circumstances that Balor and Rhodes could have a better match. It didn’t feel like the were trying to have a great match here. They were trying to have a good match and they succeeded. Obviously, Rhodes needed the win going into Backlash. He got a strong win over a fairly credible opponent. Cody continues to get strong reactions from the fans.

Rollins – Omos – MISS: I find it hard to care about any matches involving Omos, but when it is just a random PLE match, even against a great opponent like Seth Rollins, it is even worse. There is no storyline for this match. I don’t want to see it. This segment felt more like Rollins having a chance to talk about wanting to become the first World Champion than wanting to defeat Omos at the PLE. There was nothing wrong with the performances in this segment, but it still feels far too random and thrown together.

Mysterio vs. Priest – HIT: This was a good main event to set up the anticipated run in from Bad Bunny. Damian Priest is doing a good job playing his role. I hope he gets more of a rub from facing Bad Bunny than he did from teaming with him two years ago. I was assuming that we would get some type of tag match with Mysterio & Bunny vs. Priest & Dominik. The street fight aspect of the singles match leaves open the likelihood of the rest of Judgement Day getting involved, leading to the LWO getting involved too. Bunny did a good job with his kendo stick attack and challenge to Priest.

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: HEYDORN’S AEW DYNAMITE RECEIPT 4/26: Adam Cole saves an otherwise flat effort from AEW

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