WWE RAW HITS & MISSES (6/17): Seth’s return, Breaker vs. Sheamus, Uncle Howdy & Friends, Gable vs. Strowman, Jey vs. Balor vs. Rey, more

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch contributor


Opening Segment – HIT: The post-PLE Raw got off to a good start with the surprise return of Seth Rollins. With so many injuries, Raw has been suffering from a lack of star power lately, so Rollins’ return was very welcome. This segment was well scripted to have it start with Rollins teasing potentially being in the Money in the Bank ladder match, only to be interrupted by Damian Priest, ultimately leading to the Rollins vs. Priest match for the World Title at MITB. It makes sense to have Rollins right back in the Title picture as he never got a rematch after losing the Title at WrestleMania. The performances from Rollins and Priest were good. It was interesting to once again see Priest acting mostly like a babyface. I am curious to see how it all plays out at MITB with Gunther waiting for the winner at SummerSlam.

Gable vs. Strowman – HIT: This is a minor Hit for a solid match between Chad Gable and Braun Strowman followed by Otis finally standing up to Gable. It still feels too late to me and it didn’t sound like it got quite the pop that people have been expecting. It was an important step in the story, and was pretty well executed, even if they waited too long to pull the trigger.

Zayn/Breakker/Sheamus – HIT: This was a good segment as Sami Zayn was confronted and challenged by Brawn Breakker for the Intercontinental Championship, only to have Sheamus interrupt to put his own claim in on getting a Title shot. They all played their parts well and it set up the Sheamus vs. Breakker match for later in the show which was a nice hook that fans should have been looking forward to.

Chance & Carter vs. Kai & Sane – MISS: This match was perfectly fine, but it only lasted 2 minutes. WWE set this match up last week. It is part of a larger storyline involving Lyra Valkyria and Damage CTRL. Kairi Sane & Dakota Kai are very talented. Katana Chance & Kayden Carter are good team with a lot of fun moves. I feel like they could have had a good match given more time. I’m not asking for 15 minutes. Can they get 8 or 9? It was good while it lasted. It feels like WWE doesn’t have faith in them, which is unfortunate.

Breakker vs. Sheamus – HIT: This was a good match with a disappointing ending. It isn’t surprising, but the post-match angle still could have worked without the disqualification. I am still giving it a Hit despite the ending for the strong work and high quality of the rest of the match. Also, the post-match angle worked well to put heat on Ludwig Kaiser. I appreciate that Breakker would go after Kaiser as well. He should be upset over Kaiser’s interference. Also, beating everyone up fits in with Breakker’s character. My one question was why was Sami Zayn just watching as Kaiser attempted to break Sheamus’ leg? It was a cool moment as Breakker ran around the other side of the ring to interrupt Kaiser with a spear, but Zayn should have been trying to help Sheamus before that. This is presumably setting up a fatal four way for the IC Title at MITB, but if so, does that mean none of them will be in the MITB match itself? Or do we get a triple threat without Zayn as the final Raw qualifying match in two weeks?

Uso vs. Balor vs. Mysterio – HIT: The main event qualifying match between Jey Uso, Finn Balor and Rey Mysterio was very good. I liked the brief story that was told earlier in the show between Balor and Priest talking about what would happen if Balor won MITB. I assumed Uso would win here, but Balor had at least an outside chance given that potential Judgment Day story. The action was good. The interference from Judgment Day trying to help Balor and more specifically stop Mysterio made sense. The ending sequence was strong. It made Uso look good for anticipating Balor’s coup de gras as he was ready to capitalize on it.

Uncle Howdy and Friends – MISS: I have not been looking forward to the return of Uncle Howdy and the debut of his new Wyatt Family redux. I wasn’t a fan of anything involving Bray Wyatt for the last few years of his life. The Fiend and Firefly Funhouse were terrible. The return with Uncle Howdy trying to tempt him or whatever was going on wasn’t good. I am plugged into the rumors, so I know the supposed identities of his group and they are a bunch of lower card wrestlers without a lot of talent. I wasn’t impressed with their debut. At least they didn’t lean into anything supernatural, but they also appeared to murder several people in the back. It isn’t realistic at all. Why not just arrest them and charge them with attempted murder (or actual murder if that one guy bled out)? I can appreciate wanting to keep that Bray Wyatt spirit alive and try to do something to sort of honor him in death. But, this isn’t it. I don’t look forward to seeing this develop over the next several weeks.

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.

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