WWE RAW HITS & MISSES (6/10): Ludwig Kaiser on the mic, Breakker vs. Dragunov fierce battle, Alpha Academy-Sami Zayn, Drew-Priest exchange, Miz & Truth vs. AOP, more

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch contributor


Opening Segment – HIT: Raw got off to a pretty good start with the in ring segment with Drew McIntyre and Judgment Day. Everyone played their parts well. It was effective in hyping the World Championship match at Clash of the Castle. It also set up the main event of McIntyre vs. Finn Balor with a stipulation that if Balor lost, Judgment Day will be banned from ringside at Clash of the Castle. The problem is the heel vs. heel aspect of this feud. McIntyre will be cheered in Scotland, but he’s more of a heel than Damian Priest who has been at least showing some babyface traits lately. CM Punk might show up to cost McIntyre the Title, but that’ll get him booed. So, it is a bit messy. But, this still worked well enough to get a Hit.

Sky vs. Valkyria – HIT: This was a good match between Iyo Sky and Lyra Valkyria There are a lot of Ys in their names. Sky is great in the ring and Valkyria is good. They worked well together and had a good match with the rest of Damage CTRL playing a part as well. In the short term, they are setting up a six woman tag with what happened after the match with Carter & Chance saving Valkyria. That should be fun. I am all in favor of two tag teams feuding, with one ultimately being elevated towards a Women’s Tag Title match. Hopefully that is in the works here.

Alpha Academy / Zayn – MISS: A lot of people are fans of this story, but it is starting to drag for me. I said last week that Sami Zayn shouldn’t be forgiving of Otis for beating him up, but here he was perfectly friendly with him. I do appreciate how Otis explained why he still works with Gable since he was there for him after he lost everything. That part worked, but it would have worked better a few weeks ago to move the story along quicker. Maxxine Dupri and Akira Tozawa just act sad all the time and don’t seem to have a reason for staying in Alpha Academy unlike Otis. There’s no development. And in the end, after a fine match, Otis still sided with Gable despite getting slapped by him multiple times. I guess fans are on board and will pop big when he finally stands up for himself, but he’s lost me already.

Ludwig Kaiser – HIT: I like that WWE is starting to hype potential Money in the Bank winners. This video from Ludwig Kaiser greatly stood out. He gave a very strong performance following up on his big win over Sheamus last week. I don’t think he’ll win MITB, but he has a bright future.


Strowman, Mysterio & Lee vs. Mysterio, McDonagh & Carlito – HIT: This was a fun 6 man tag match. There was a lot of talent in the ring, and Carlito. It was good to see Dominik Mysterio back in the ring. I wasn’t sure the extent of his injury, so I’m glad he’s back. There was plenty of action throughout. Braun Strowman teaming with and tossing around smaller partners is always fun. The standout spot of course was Liv Morgan getting knocked off the ring apron onto Dom. That whole storyline with her room key was nicely done throughout Raw. Morgan vs. Rhea Ripley in a Dominik on a Pole match is going to be great when Ripley returns.

Stark & Baszler vs. Fyre & Dawn – MISS: I don’t understand having this match on the go home show before both of these teams are to be taken seriously as challengers to Bianca Bel Air & Jade Cargill. Quite frankly, I was expecting a non-finish with a big brawl at the end. I don’t want to complain about a clean finish, but Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn (there’s a lot of Ys in these names too with Zoey and Shayna) are the least established of these three teams. They needed a win to justify being in the match. I don’t understand having them lose clean and so quickly. It was a 3 minute match. I would have had each of these teams beat other teams. At least Fyre & Dawn should have gotten a win over another team. I don’t understand this booking at all.

Breakker vs. Dragunov – HIT: This was a very good match which isn’t surprising. I am not as high on Bron Breakker as most seem to be, but he can have good matches, especially against talent like Ilja Dragunov. It went a very good length for a tv match, and was hard hitting from start to finish. Dragunov lost, but got in so much offense against Breakker who has been having much shorter matches, so he didn’t lose much in the loss. He took it to Breakker like nobody else on the main roster. This feud isn’t over. The way it built with the spears, first to knock Dragunov out of the ring, then on the outside, then back inside the ring for the win was a great sequence. The post match angle writing Ricochet off of WWE worked very well too.

Awesome Truth vs. Authors of Pain – MISS: I was definitely rooting for AOP to take the Tag Titles off of Awesome Truth. That is such a tired act. Miz looks pathetic in trying to join in with R-Truth on their entrance music. WWE wants the focus to be on this Final Testament vs. New Day feud, but wouldn’t an AOP vs. New Day for the Tag Titles make the feud more important? Why not put over AOP in a big way and get the titles off the goofy champs?

McIntyre vs. Balor – HIT: This was a good main event with McIntyre getting the win over Balor to ban Judgment Day from ringside for his World Title match against Priest. This match could have gone longer and I wouldn’t have complained, but it was a fine length. The booking is odd. McIntyre was basically booked as a babyface and will get that babyface reaction on Saturday. Without Judgment Day, CM Punk will potentially get involved. I wonder if Carlito will cheat to finally earn a spot in Judgment Day. They could argue that he isn’t a member yet, so his involvement doesn’t break the stipulation here. That wouldn’t put heat on Punk in front of the Scottish fans and would give Drew more to complain about come next Monday.

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. He’s on Twitter @JonMezzera.


PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents the Tuesday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast with guest co-host Jason Powell from ProWrestling.net. They discuss these topics:
  • A change in WWE locker room culture when it comes to locker room contract renewals, the change in the pace of re-signing wrestler, and how wrestlers are showing how aware they are of the money WWE is raking in these days.
  • Clash at the Castle hype analysis and show predictions including extended discussions on Chad Gable, Otis, Sami Zayn, Cody Rhodes, Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill, and other key wrestlers on the card.
  • A look at the choices Paul Levesque will make regarding booking decisions the rest of the summer and how unpredictable it appears to be.
  • AEW Forbidden Door’s line-up and whether it looks like it’ll be a success.
  • The tough call between Swerve Strickland and Will Ospreay winning the AEW World Title match.
  • The good and bad so far from MJF since his return.

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