SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Opening Segment – HIT: Raw got off to a good start with Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens addressing facing Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa at Night of Champions for their Tag Team Championship. I like the juxtaposition of Zayn always wanting to talk verses Owens always wanting to fight. Their interaction with The Judgement Day was strong. I laughed at the line “gentlemen… and Dom.” This continued to build to the Tag Title match while setting up the main event of Zayn & Owens vs. Finn Balor & Damian Priest.
Seth Rollins Interview – HIT: It is nice when WWE plays around with different types of interview formats. The two pre-tapes of Corey Graves sitting down to interview Seth Rollins were good. I look forward to seeing the second half of the interview next week. Rollins was good and the production was top notch. Now that we know that Rollins would be away for two weeks filming the next Captain America movie, the rushed first two rounds of the tournament last week makes sense. But with word that Roman Reigns is going to take off even more time this summer, and with Rollins doing this filming, it seems like WWE could find someone deserving on the roster who actually will be a reigning, DEFENDING, World Heavyweight Champion. I’m not surprised by the rumors that WWE is starting to hesitate on putting the title on Rollins.
Battle Royal – MISS: I was mostly bored with this battle royal to determine Gunther’s next challenger for the Intercontinental Championship. The first part was a series of eliminations where wrestler A eliminates wrestler B, then wrestler C eliminates wrestler B, then wrestler D eliminates wrestler C. There was no flow. There were no interesting stories. I don’t understand introducing JD McDonagh this way to have him eliminated so quickly, before we got a video package about him later in the show. There were some other Raw debuts in this match also which doesn’t make sense. It did get better at the end when there was focus on Bronson Reed. I can’t get too excited about Mustafa Ali as the winner. I do get a kick out of his Positive-Ali attitude, and he has been on a winning streak (I give WWE credit for giving him those recent wins before this). But, he is an obnoxious heel. I’m sure he can have a very good match with Gunther but he has been defined down as a joke for far too long to see him as a legit IC Title contender.
Becky Lynch Promo – HIT: Becky Lynch got a chance to remind the audience why The Man got over as the top star in WWE before she got pregnant. She has a way of connecting with the fans which gets them behind her. This was an effective way to build to her eventual match against Trish Stratus at the next PLE.
Cody Rhodes Promo – HIT: I really liked this promo from Cody Rhodes. He basically said that Brock Lesnar is great, but he is better. It wasn’t a fluke when he beat him by countering a wrestling move with his own wrestling move to get the pin. He put over Lesnar in a big way while also saying that Lesnar is in his way. It was a strong statement and Rhodes continues to get great reactions from the fans.
Rousey & Baszler Return – HIT: The Women’s Tag Team division has been in great need of an injection of some serious talent. Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler should be what the division needs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Chelsea Greene was ok. It was one of several matches on this show which was just ok, not a Hit nor a Miss (along with The Miz vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Dominik Mysterio vs. Xavier Woods, and the Indus Sheer squash). The Liv Morgan injury is unfortunate. I don’t know the extent of the injury, but hopefully she will be back soon to defend the Title. I would love to see them put the belts on Rousey & Baszler in a way that leads to Rodriguez turning on Morgan. I would much rather see her as a badass heel singles wrestler than in this chemistry free team.
Zayn & Owens vs. Priest & Balor – HIT: The tag team main event was definitely over booked with interference from Dominik & Rhea Ripley, the appearance on the stage by “visitor” Paul Heyman, and then a ridiculous amount of interference from Imperium. But, there was a lot of good wrestling action in this long main event, so I’ll call it a marginal Hit. I appreciate all the moving pieces with the Tag Champs being involved with The Bloodline, Judgement Day and Imperium. It makes sense that so many teams would want a shot at the Champs. I am looking forward to the six man tag next week, as long as Matt Riddle isn’t the mystery opponent. I’m assuming it will be Ali.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at email@example.com.
CATCH-UP: WWE to run live event in India
Leave a Reply