WWE RAW HITS & MISSES (7/1): Drew vs. Dragunov vs. Sheamus, Karrion vs. Xavier, Jey Uso promo, Sami-Breakker exchange, Dom vs. Rey, more

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch contributor


Opening Segment – MISS: Raw started off well enough with the Jey Uso through the crowd entrance to talk about being in Money in the Bank on Saturday. He was interrupted by Chad Gable. All of that was fine, but not particularly good. Then the Wyatt Sicks made their presence felt with the lights going out, the music, and the weird silhouettes. I am not a fan of the gimmick and there are too many logic holes in it for me to overlook just because a lot of fans find it cool. Why would anyone on the production crew help them by playing their music or turning off the lights after they tried to kill everyone in the production area two weeks ago? Why do they play their videos? I can’t look past all of that. So, they ruined the opening segment for me. I don’t care about the videos either. I’m also not looking forward to their eventual matches, because none of them are actually good wrestlers. And the gimmick sort of calls for no selling which didn’t work to create good matches for the Fiend or Funhouse Bray.

Kross vs. Woods – MISS: The match was ok, but I’m not into the story. I am bored by The New Day, so this might lead to something new for the group which would be nice. But, Karrion Kross is dull. I like AOP, but Paul Ellering is being wasted. So, I am not interested in their faction. I don’t buy into the idea that Xavier Woods will actually leave New Day and join The Final Testament. The story isn’t clicking for me at all.

Judgment Day Developments – HIT: There were some big developments in terms of both the Liv Morgan / Dominik Mysterio situation, as well as the growing tension between Damian Priest and Finn Balor. There were several scenes involving the group throughout the show and they all worked. I liked the idea that Dominik lied to Priest about being in touch with Rhea Ripley. The rest of the group hanging out with Morgan worked well and made sense after what happened last week as she helped Balor & McDonagh win the Tag Team Championship. Dominik “accidentally” helped Morgan beat Zelina Vega. But, Morgan accidentally cost Dom against Rey later on. That was a bit of a twist. We also got the good scene between Priest, Balor and Seth Rollins which worked to hype the World Title match while continuing the story around Priest possibly having to quit Judgment Day and the problems he’s having with Balor. So, this Hit encompassed much of Raw. There are a lot of moving parts moving into MITB and beyond.

Kai vs. Nile vs. Stark – HIT: This was a good triple threat match to determine the final entrant into the women’s MITB match. WWE is starting to tell a story about Dakota Kai being frustrated over the lack of her own personal success. I’m curious to see where they go with that. I have been a fan of Zoey Stark, so I was glad to see her win. The wrestling action was good. I appreciate that while there were shenanigans involving Damage CTRL plus Isla Dawn & Alba Fyre at ringside, they didn’t actually physically get involved in the match.

Mysterio vs. Mysterio – HIT: I touched on this match a little already, but it was good enough to get a Hit on its own, beyond the role it played in the Morgan / Dirty Dom story. Rey and Dom work well together. I don’t think the fans will ever get tired of seeing Rey getting his hands on his son. Dominik has the best heel mustache in the game. The interaction between Dom and Liv worked very well as a reverse of what we saw a few weeks ago when she fell on top of him. When Ripley returns, she’s going to get a huge pop as the fans are going to be desperate to see her kick the crap out of Morgan.

Zayn – Breakker – HIT: This was a good simple segment with the Intercontinental Champion talking to his challenger. Both Sami Zayn and Bron Breakker performed well here. They showed fire and both made good points about why they will win at the PLE on Saturday. The physicality at the end worked very well. It was great how Zayn was able to avoid the spear on the outside. But, Breakker still stood tall in the end when he was able to hit the spear to avoid a Helluva Kick. These stories don’t have to be overly complicated. This is a great example of a simple segment with good execution to sell a big Title match. I’m not sure what is going to happen in that match which is great.

Hype for the Main Event – HIT: WWE did a nice job with the hype for the main event thought the show. Each of the participants got to cut promos on why they will win the match to advance to MITB. Sheamus, Drew McIntyre and Ilya Dragonov all performed well in these videos. Like Zayn-Breakker, they didn’t do anything ground breaking or special. They just did what wrestling promoters should always do. Make the match feel important. Make the fans want to stick around to watch it.

Sheamus vs. McIntyre vs. Dragonov – HIT: The match itself lived up to the hype as this was a very good triple threat match. It was hard hitting and intense from start to finish. McIntyre was the most obvious winner, but they still had some very good near falls for the other two also. All three got in plenty of offense. Despite taking the loss, Dragonov looked like he could hang in the ring with Sheamus and McIntyre which was huge. They protected Dragonov by having Sheamus take the loss. This should be a boost for his career. Hopefully, WWE follows up well with him next week. McIntyre certainly has a strong chance to win MITB, but I’m far from convinced that he will. There is definitely some mystery to me in who will win that match which adds to the fun.

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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