WWE RAW HITS & MISSES (4/15): Damien Priest video, Cody Rhodes Yeeting, Sami vs. Gable, Sheamus’s return, Ripley’s injury announcement

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch contributor


Opening Segment – HIT: It is a shame that Rhea Ripley got hurt and had to relinquish the Women’s Championship, but she is such a strong character that she doesn’t need the Title to be important. She rarely wrestles on Raw, so I was a little confused by her walking away like she won’t be on with The Judgment Day until she’s healthy. Shouldn’t she be with them like she is every other week on Raw when she doesn’t wrestle? The injury was handled well. She gave a strong performance on the mic. Shifting Liv Morgan to a heel made sense in the circumstances and that was well done. WWE has to have Ripley as a babyface when she returns.

Sheamus vs. Ivar – HIT: It was very nice to see Sheamus return after 8 months away with a neck injury. His first match back against Ivar was good. The fans were definitely excited to see him back. Ivar continues to do good work while his partner remains on the shelf. WWE has done a good job with him, when they so often have just ignored an entire tag team when one half gets injured. It will be interesting to see where Sheamus lands after the draft and what type of push he gets.

New Tag Title Presentation – MISS: I’m fine with WWE introducing new belts for the Raw (and presumably Smackdown) Tag Team Championship. But, the presentation wasn’t good. Triple H is overexposing himself. He should only be on for big moments and announcements and this one didn’t fall into that category. This should have just been Adam Pearce, especially since he was part of the presentation too. The humor from R-Truth didn’t hit this week. The whole thing didn’t click.

Creed Brothers vs. DIY vs. New Day – HIT: A triple threat match with three random teams isn’t a great way to name a #1 contender for the Raw Tag Titles, but I enjoyed the match. I appreciate the rules where each team had a member in the match and could only tag out to their own partner. I hate the triple threat tags where only two wrestlers are in the ring at a time and can tag out to anyone. I am a fan of DIY but they aren’t clicking with the fans. I don’t understand having three babyfaces in the match to win a Title match against babyface Champs. The Creeds are being wasted. Something needs to happen to shake up the tag division on Raw for sure. So, this will go down as a minor Hit for the good wrestling action with reservations for the overall presentation.

Damian Priest Video – HIT: This was a good video on the new World Champion, Damian Priest. He came across as a babyface in this video and later on when he didn’t seem happy about the rest of Judgment Day beating up Jey Uso. With Ripley getting face reactions and this video and the actions of Priest later in the show, it seems like WWE is moving towards a split in the faction.

Andrade vs. Mysterio – HIT: This was a good match between Andrade and Dominik Mysterio. It is weird to see a Canadian Destroyer on the ring apron not finish a match. I wish WWE and AEW did a better job of protecting those types of big moves. That should kill Andrade. Why does WWE allow those types of moves, but not a traditional pile driver? Getting back to the match, Andrade needed the win, so it was good to see him go over. It played more into the growing frustration in Judgment Day where nothing is going right other than Priest winning the World Title at WrestleMania. Ricochet making the save after the match was fine. I would like to see him continue to get a push after the string of victories before WM. How will the teaming with Andrade and feud against Judgment Day go?

Cody Rhodes – MISS: This wasn’t bad, and maybe it is hurt by the high standard that Cody Rhodes set for himself on his march towards finishing his story. But, this promo was weak. I like the idea that he would offer to have Jey Uso’s back going up against Damian Priest, and the way that Uso turned him down to do it on his own, although that seems a little stupid. I mean, Jey should know more than anyone what it is like to go up against a strong faction without any help. The Yeet stuff is also starting to wear thin already, especially when people like Cody are going overboard with the yeet puns.

Uso vs. Balor – HIT: Jey and Finn Balor put on a good match against each other. Uso clearly needed the win to continue to build momentum towards his eventual World Title match. Balor isn’t high on the card at this point, but he still has a lot of value in having these types of very good matches and putting over talent like Uso. This played into the potential growing issues within Judgment Day, but they are overexposed, appearing in too many segments each week.

Jey Uso In the Crowd – MISS: I understand what WWE was going for. It makes sense for Uso to escape through the crowd when Judgment Day attacked him after his match against Balor. But, the reset of it felt way too contrived. It was cheesy once he got up to the concourse. Obviously, WWE knew he was going to do that otherwise they wouldn’t have had the crowd under control. The way Jey just happened to walk up to the exit of the building right where Sami Zayn was standing before his main event match was too convenient. I loved Sami’s entrance through the crowd. But, I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I should have because I was already taken out of the moment by the previous bit with Uso.

Sami vs. Gable – HIT: The main event was well built to going back to the weeks before WM when Chad Gable trained Sami Zayn for his Intercontinental Championship match against Gunther. It was nice to see Sami getting a Raw main event in his home town area. The match was great as you’d expect. The outcome was never in doubt, but it was still fun to watch. They told a nice story with the constant work on Sami’s ankle which played into his failed attempts to hit the Helluva Kick. I wish he had won with a different move. It would have been good to sell those ankle locks, by having him never able to run across the ring to hit the big kick. That is my only complaint about the match. The heel turn for Gable who snapped as Sami was celebrating with his wife was great. He was classy in defeat, but he snapped when he realized that he had been destroyed by Gunther in front of his wife and kids, but Sami got to celebrate.

Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Raw Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw each week. Email him at jmezz_torch@yahoo.com.


RECOMMENDED NEXT: OVER & UNDERS – WWE RAW (4/15): Truth is Awesome, Sami Sees Things, Failed Dad Joke, Cody Carries His Belt Weirdly, Jey Yeets Somebody, more

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Sami Zayn vs. Chad Gable for the Intercontinental Title, Rhea Ripley forfeits the Women’s World Championship, Sheamus vs. Ivar, Jey Uso vs. Finn Balor

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