WWE RAW HITS & MISSES (7/8): Seth and Punk exchange, Sami-Breakker-Dragunov, Dom & Liv vs. Rey & Zelina, Priest and Gunther videos, more

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch contributor


Punk – Rollins – HIT: The post-Money in the Bank episode of Raw got off to a good start with CM Punk coming out to talk about what he did to Drew McIntyre at the PLE. We learned that McIntyre had been suspended for his actions on the MITB post show. In a classic pro wrestling troupe, the babyface has asked the authority figure to lift the suspension so that he can get his hands on the heel. WWE is complicating things with Seth Rollins’ reaction to Punk at MITB and sure enough, he came out to interrupt. The verbal exchange between Rollins and Punk was very good. Each gave a strong performance on the mic. It was a babyface vs. babyface encounter, which worked here as both got in good lines and got good reactions from the crowd. Clearly, the money match at SummerSlam is Punk vs. McIntyre, so hopefully they aren’t going to make this a triple threat match with Rollins. Rollins vs. Punk should happen down the line.

Uso vs. Gable – MISS: This was a minor Miss. The match was too short to amount to much at only 7 minutes with a commercial break (although it did continue during the commercial on split screen). The action between Jey Uso and Chad Gable was good as is to be expected. The ending with a distraction from the Wyatt Sicks’ light flicker brought down the match. Gable doesn’t need to be protected. A clean loss to Uso isn’t a bad thing. I understand the story they are telling with the Wyatts and Gable, but that light flicker followed by his freakout could have happened after the match. I have mixed feelings about Uso running away. The way he did it was funny, with the Yeet and run. But, I don’t like the idea in general of a top babyface like Uso running away from anyone, even when you are trying to build up a faction as being very scary.

Dunne vs. Reed – HIT: This was also too short of a match when half of it takes place on a commercial break. Like the first match, what we saw was good. I am giving this one a Hit considering it had a better ending, and I’m intrigued to see where WWE is going to go with the story between Pete Dunne and Sheamus. It was also good to see Bronson Reed get a win.

Zayn / Breakker / Dragunov – HIT: WWE did a nice job of following up on Sami Zayn’s successful defense of his Intercontinental Championship over Bron Breakker at MITB. You knew that the feud wasn’t over. WWE had to do something to start to build to a rematch considering the clean win for Zayn. We saw Zayn addressing the fans, only to be interrupted by Breakker. Their encounter worked well as Breakker seemed sincere at first, only to attack Zayn. The physicality was good. The save from Dragunov worked to set up their match for later in the show. Dragunov vs. Breakker was good, although the DQ finish wasn’t great. But, it wasn’t too bad as it fit in with Breakker’s character to just try to destroy Dragunov instead of getting the win at that point. It was all well done.

DX Humor – MISS: This Raw was full of Triple H’s DX humor when it came to Dominik Mysterio and Liv Morgan. We’ve seen this type of humor in this story all along, but it was over the top here. Yes, it was amusing the way the rest of Judgment Day walked in on Morgan helping Dominik stretch, but the way they fixated on it with so many references to Dom’s crotch throughout the rest of the show got tiresome. Did we need references to Dom being hard? Did we need to have Pat McAfee telestrate Dom’s crotch? Did we need Micheal Cole making puns about nuggets? There were too many DX humor jokes throughout the show. The original scene could have stood on its own without the humor overstaying its welcome.

Priest / Gunther Videos – HIT: WWE already has their World Title match set up for SummerSlam as Gunther will challenge Damian Priest, a match he earned by winning the King of the Ring tournament. It will be interesting to see how WWE builds to the match. The first week was good with videos from each wrestler. Each was well done. Priest’s focused on the controversy surrounding his reign, with him putting it aside to build himself up as a worthy Champion. Gunther’s focused on his dominating history and his desire to uplift this glorious sport of wrestling. They were good.

Damage CTRT vs. Valkyria, Carter & Chance – HIT: This was a fun six woman tag match. It had a lot of energy and good wrestling action. There was a lot of talent in the ring. Damage CTRL needed the win, so it was good to see them getting one without cheating. The match built well, with some good double and triple team moves from the babyface trio, but they weren’t quite able to get the win. Then, the heels took over and got the win. The attack from Shayna Baszler, Zoey Stark and Sonya Deville was good too. But, I question the roles. I assume they are supposed to be heels, but so are Damage CTRL. Later on, they were confronted in the back by Women’s Tag Champs Isla Dawn & Alba Fyre who are also heels. I think. So, it would do WWE some good to better define some of these roles, and to stay away from too many heel vs. heel matches, especially in a division where the fans aren’t as into the acts as you would like.

Mysterio & Vega vs. Mysterio & Morgan – HIT: WWE did a nice job of hyping this main event throughout the show, even if too much of that hype focused on Dom’s crotch. The match was good. I am not a fan of mixed tags. The format is dippy. But, I don’t want to see the men wrestle the women either, so I guess this is better. The wrestling was strong. The storytelling was compelling. It was interesting to see Dominik finally getting his first win over his dad, but only with the help of Liv. His celebratory hug after that made sense, but he also pulled away pretty quickly, continuing to sell the idea that he is not trying to hook up with her. WWE also teased Rhea Ripley’s return with Priest saying he had a surprise for Dom for later in the show. The fans were very excited to see her return. Liv and Dom’s reactions were great. It was good to see Liv run away. The sudden end of the show once Ripley got in Mysterio’s face was a bit jarring though. It seemed like WWE intended for the show to last another 30 seconds or so.

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: WWE RAW RESULTS (7/8): Keller’s report on Money in the Bank fallout, Breakker-Sami fallout, Jey vs. Gable, Rey & Zelina vs. Dom & Liv, more

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Mami’s back, Dominik Mysterio and Liv Morgan vs. Rey Mysterio and Zelina Vega, CM Punk and Seth Rollins, Bron Breakker vs. Ilja Dragunov, Jey Uso vs. Chad Gable

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