HEYDORN’S WWE RAW RECEIPT 5/15: Strong Seth Rollins interview shines up new world title


WWE Raw analysis
Seth Rollins (artist Travis Beaven © PWTorch)


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

-Sami Zayn was tremendous in the show opening promo this week. He did a great job tying together his and KO’s story with Roman Reigns, their story with The Usos, and The Bloodline story itself into a nice package that meant a lot. He was passionate while doing it, which added to the drama and success. No surprise to see The Judgement Day interrupt to setup the main event either. Judgement Day have a clear role on Raw these days and it’s top of the card level stuff.

-How about the heat for Dominik Mysterio. I’m unfortunately on record from way back when questioning whether or not Dominik had the chops to play a heel and obviously I was wrong. Great stuff that has helped position Judgement Day as strongly as they have been recently.

-Thumbs up to Miz vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. This was a strong WWE-style match that had the audience the entire time. Each week, cheers get a louder and louder for Nakamura. Paul Levesque may be able to ride that momentum to a strong run in a series of matches with Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship.

-Speaking of Gunther, hot dang! His presentation throughout the show this week was that of a top heel and a top company guy. Period. He was in multiple segments and protected in every way possible. Addressing the audience from atop the announce table was a nice touch and easy way to differentiate him from others.

-The WWE did a stellar job with the sit down interview pieces featuring Seth Rollins. These were wonderful. They worked to establish Seth’s history with world titles, why he’d be a good first champion, but they also defined how he got to where he is from an audience reaction perspective. Rollins has been all over the place throughout his WWE run in terms of being a heel or babyface and his explanation and end point of where he is now tied into that madness really well. By putting it all on the shoulders of the fans, that further ingratiates them into his success as well. He created investment. Plus, these types of videos around the new world heavyweight championship unquestionably makes it feel like a bigger deal.

-I’ll take Mustafa Ali as the number one contender for the Intercontinental championship, especially given the context of a Battle Royal. Ali is a babyface. For some reason he tries to be a heel, but it never works out. The guy has babyface written all over him and this match with Gunther is a perfect way to establish that.

-Did you forget how good of a promo Becky Lynch was? If so, her work this week reminded you quickly I’m sure. That was a strong performance and put some much needed juice behind the feud with Trish Stratus. When it happens, the Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley match is going to be big.

-At this point, JD McDonagh doesn’t have a huge ceiling on Monday Night Raw. However, the video package for him helped his presentation and introduction to the main roster. He’s stuck in the “ok, go wrestle Dolph Ziggler” spot, which hasn’t been kind to anybody, but the positive is he’s likely to win that feud and then go onto something larger with Finn Balor and Judgement Day. That’s a best case scenario for him.

-Indus Sher squashed some jobbers. These guys will be challenging Owens and Zayn for the tag titles before you know it.

-Cody Rhodes delivered another fantastic promo on Brock Lesnar. This was almost perfect and WWE continues to nail his presentation each and every week. Rhodes came across as more than Lesnar’s equal. He alpha’d Lesnar right out of the way and was likable in doing so. The line at the end about Lesnar being in his way was perfect and tossed the perfect amount of gasoline on an already hot program. Really good stuff.

-Just when the WWE gives the women’s tag division some time, the injury bug strikes. The division is snake bit! Hopefully Liv Morgan is ok.

-The main event? Good match, progressed storylines on two fronts = thumbs up.

CATCH-UP: WWE Raw Results (5/15): Keller’s report with analysis of Battle Royal to determine Gunther’s challenger, Nakamura vs. Miz

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