WWE RAW HITS & MISSES (6/3): Liv Morgan-Dominik Mysterio, Dragon Lee vs. Balor, Sheamus vs. Kaiser, Pat McAfee, Rey vs. Priest, Jey Uso declares for MITB

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch contributor


Opening Segment – HIT: WWE is doing a nice job with this storyline involving Liv Morgan and Dominik Mysterio. It is a good way to keep Rhea Ripley’s name on the show while she recovers from injury. The story works in giving Dominik enough plausible deniability that he isn’t actively pursuing Liv. Liv on the other hand, has made her intentions to steal Dominik away from Mami that she is clearly positioned as the heel. The rest of Judgment Day’s involvement works ok as Finn Balor in particular is acting like a big brother to Dominik, trying to keep the temptress away from him. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out once Ripley returns. For now, without Becky Lynch, there isn’t an obvious opponent for Morgan’s Woman’s Title.

Sheamus vs. Kaiser – HIT: I continue to enjoy the different ways that WWE is presenting TV in the new era. I like these pre-match interviews leading to a wrestler’s entrance like they did with Sheamus. Ludwig Kaiser’s attack on Sheamus’ knee worked well. The match was very good. Sheamus showed so much fire in fighting back against the odds as Kaiser kept his focus on the wounded knee. So often in these situations, the babyface wins the match despite the odds, so it was good to see Kaiser picking up the win here. He needs some strong wins like this as he is establishing himself as a singles wrestler. Plus it doesn’t make sense for Gunther to keep him around if he doesn’t win more often.

Lee vs. Balor – HIT: This was a good match which isn’t surprising given the talent of Dragon Lee and Finn Balor. It was short at only 8 minutes and we missed about half of that on the commercial break. So, I can’t praise it too much. However, what we saw was very good. The distraction from Carlito made sense given his continued attempts to ingratiate himself with Judgement Day. Judgment Day has a lot of angles going on right now with the whole Dominik / Liv Morgan thing, Carlito’s attempts to join the group which is tied into a feud with the LWO, the feud against Braun Strowman who is helping Rey Mysterio, plus Damian Priest being the World Champion with his upcoming Title defense against Drew McIntyre. There are a lot of balls to juggle, but so far, WWE is doing a pretty good job with it all.

Alpha Academy / Sami Zayn – HIT: This is a marginal Hit. Everyone played their parts well. They are building to another Sami Zayn vs. Chad Gable Intercontinental Championship and to Otis eventually breaking away from Alpha Academy. This segment built well with the tension and seeing Akira Tozawa and Maxxine Dupri showing signs of standing up to Gable. The crowd was definitely excited anticipating Otis finally standing up to Gable, but he didn’t. He attacked Zayn instead. That is fine to stretch this story out longer, but for me it is going to be hard to ever really cheer for Otis after this. He is weak. He is a coward. He attacked Zayn. I never want to see Zayn talking nicely to Otis again. He shouldn’t have any sympathy for him any more. I am calling this a marginal Hit because I don’t fully trust the story going forward.

Breakker vs. Ricochet – HIT: This was another short match, but this time it made more sense given the story that they are telling with Bron Breakker. It was good, and allowed Ricochet to have a pretty good showing despite the loss. I also appreciated the build to the match with the scenes earlier in the show with Ilya Dragonov and Ricochet, and Breakker with Adam Pearce. Presumably, they are heading towards a Dragonov vs. Breakker match which should be good, but I am worried that they may be going to it too quickly as both need to be protected.

Pat McAfee – MISS: I have mixed feelings about Pat McAfee in general. I appreciate his enthusiasm. He can be funny, but often times his humor can also be off putting. I sometimes enjoy his announcing. Sometimes, I cringe. I usually don’t comment on his announcing since it is Hit or Miss for me. But, I am giving him a Miss for his stupid “white son of a bitch” comment about Braun Strowman, doubling down on his controversy in “real life” from earlier in the day when he called Kaitlin Clark a “white bitch” on his ESPN show. He had a lot of criticism for that comment, and apologized for it, but then doubled down on it with that flippant remark.

Judgment Day Beats Down Strowman – HIT: As I mentioned earlier, Judgment Day has a lot of stories going. The aftermath of the Carlito vs. Strowman match worked well to continue the Morgan/Dominik story, and finally give the heel faction a win over Strowman in the way they ultimately got the better of him in a three on one beating with the chair. Strowman had gotten the better of them in each encounter before this, so this was a good next step in the feud.

Cargill & Bel Air vs. Stark & Baszler – MISS: This should have been a Hit. This was a perfectly good Women’s Championship match that was well on its way to being a Hit. But, then the ending happened with Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn causing a crap non-finish by attacking the Champions as they were about to get the win. WWE has done at least a little to build up Zoey Stark & Shayna Baszler as the #1 contenders to face Jade Cargill & Bianca Bel Air. They’ve had a nice little story to lead to this match coming earlier than expected on Raw instead of the PLE. But, they haven’t done anything to build up Fyre & Dawn. I’m a fan of their team. I’d love to see WWE get behind them and give them a push. I’d love to eventually see them getting a Title shot. But, they have barely been on tv in months. The groundwork for this hadn’t been laid. And now, we will likely get a triple threat match which nobody was hoping for.

Jey Uso – HIT: Jey Uso keeps getting Main Event babyface reactions from the live fans. I guess his lack of 5 star matches hasn’t hurt him with the fans. I love this presentation with him being among the people to cut this promo declaring his intention to win Money in the Bank. It is good to start laying the groundwork for that PLE even with Clash of the Castle coming up first.

Mysterio vs. Priest – MISS: This was a solid main event, but I feel like it should have been better than just solid. There were some sloppy spots and a few times when they were off. The fans were also quiet for a lot of the match. Rey Mysterio had do keep doing the 10 punches in the corner to get the fans engaged counting along with him. They were more engaged at the end, but it seemed like they were not invested for a long stretch of the match. The aftermath with McIntyre getting involved and ultimately being put through the announce table was ok. The heel vs. heel nature of the feud is working against it.

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. Follow on Twitter/X @JonMezzera.

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