SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Jey Uso’s Ongoing Story – HIT: WWE did a good job in week 2 of the Jey Uso moving to Raw story. It started with the solid opening segment. We got to see Kevin Owens interacting with him which was different from how Sami Zayn did last week. It led to Judgment Day coming out to continue attempting to recruit Uso which led to him trying to show Owens his sincerity by teaming with him against Damian Priest & Finn Balor. That was a good match which built to the ending where Jey accidentally kicked KO, costing them the match. Later on we got to see Jey trying to apologize to Owens, but Owens wasn’t listening. We also saw a similar interaction with Uso and Drew McIntyre later in the show, plus more of Balor trying to recruit him despite facing in the opening tag match. It was all well done.
Miz vs. Tozawa – MISS: I love how WWE decided (several weeks too late) to give The Miz a win on Raw to show he’s a threat to LA Knight (who already beat him) by having him beat Akira Tozawa, who can’t even win a match on NXT. This did nothing for anyone and I continue to be bored by Miz vs. Knight and continue to not look forward to their rematch after their dull PLE match.
Imperium/Alpha Academy/Ciampa – MISS: There was nothing about last week’s Intercontinental Championship match which would suggest that Chad Gable was owed a rematch against Gunther. I’d be ok with them moving on to something new. Sure, it was a good match, but that doesn’t mean we have to see it again right away. Why not build up Gable more? Have him win more singles matches. Have him continue to move into a more serious direction with his character. Then, go back to him against Gunther. Going back right away is lazy when you didn’t lay the groundwork (similar to the problem with Shinsuke Nakamura and Seth Rollins). Gable blaming Gunther for making his daughter cry was stupid. Was Gunther supposed to let him win, because his daughter was in the front row? I wasn’t buying that. I also wasn’t buying Tommaso Ciampa getting involved. He felt out of place. The 6 man tag match was certainly Hit worthy. It was a really good match. I appreciate the fact that Gable finally (for the first time ever) made an opponent tap out to the ankle lock. That ending was very strong. I would give it a Hit, but the whole story didn’t work for me.
Woods vs. McIntyre – HIT: This was a good match, part of the story of the continued slow heel turn for Drew McIntyre. He and Xavier Woods had a nice interaction earlier on to set up this match. Woods was acting more serious also, not his typical New Day goofy self which is hopefully a good sign too. I wonder how much changed with Matt Riddle not at the show.
Nakamura – HIT: I continue to enjoy the new presentation of Nakamura. While I have reservations about his storyline with Rollins, the presentation of Nakamura himself, with the pre-taped videos using subtitles makes him come across so much better than when he speaks live. They are well produced. He looks good. He comes across like a sinister badd ass heel. This week’s story was at least a little better than last week’s, but still not great. I am not totally sure why Ricochet is involved either.
Seth Rollins – MISS: While I appreciate Seth Rollins trying to finally explain his character, I don’t buy the idea that he is finally being himself after trying to find himself with The Shield, with The Authority and as The Messiah (that’s a lot of “The”s). But, does anyone actually think that this is who he really is? It is such an unnatural character. So, I wasn’t on board for this promo.
Stratton – Lynch – HIT: This was a good short scene with Adam Pearce getting Tiffany Stratton and Becky Lynch to sign a contract for their NXT Women’s Championship match. It gave Stratton a chance to show off some of her personality in front of a larger tv audience, while encouraging fans to tune into NXT the next night to see Lynch in the main event.
Nia Jax – MISS: The main event was fine until the end. WWE did a nice job promoting Raquel Rodriguez vs. Rhea Ripley for the Women’s World Title. There was nothing wrong with the match, but I never bought Rodriguez as a legit challenger for Ripley’s Title despite the fact that Dominik Mysterio was banned from ringside. There are two other members of Judgment Day plus JD McDonagh trying to ingratiate himself to the group. So, the idea that it was going to have a clean ending was never a possibility in my mind. It turned out to be a surprise return of Nia Jax who cost Rodriguez the match. That seems to set them up to have a feud, but then she attacked Ripley too. I don’t need to see a triple threat between these three. I’m not excited about Jax being back. A face turn for Ripley seems long overdo, but WWE doesn’t seem interested in breaking her away from Dom Dom or Judgement Day. Maybe Jax’s presence will change things?
(Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Raw Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jon on Twitter/X @JonMezzera.)
OR CHECK OUT THIS AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Rodriguez for the Women’s World Title, Finn Balor and Damian Priest vs. Kevin Owens and Jey Uso in a non-title match, Drew McIntyre vs. Xavier Woods