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10/4/21 Raw Rundown: Draft Day 2

Updated: Oct 17, 2021

Reverse Hipster What Mattered

6. Shayna Bazler

Shayna Bazzler continues to look dominant, and I love it. This week she forced Dana Brooke to tap out and almost destroyed her arm after the match. However, Doudrop came out and saved Dana Brooke, and now it seems as if Doudrop and Shayna will be feuding, which should culminate in an excellent nontitle matchup for the women's division.

5. Bobby vs. Golberg

This week, Bobby and Golberg probably had their best segment so far. Golberg talks about how he will kill Lashley, and Bobby is like, yeah ok boomer, we saw what happened at SummerSlam. Also, I like how Bobby asked what Golberg would do if someone just jumped on his back, and then Bobby has the Hurt Business do just that. So even though Golberg beat them down and he looks strong, he proves Bobby's point, someone jumps on your back, you just react. Also, they announced that the match would be no holds barred, making it more exciting.

4. Damien vs. Jeff

Damien beat Jeff again in a quick match. I didn't mind this because we have seen this match a lot. Afterward, Jeff hinted at changing to his Willow personality when he goes to Smackdown. Also, Austin Theory came out and fanboyed all over Jeff, and I was interested in how that character would develop for Austin. However, then he beat up Hardy revealing it was all a ploy. It was a great bait and switch that I didn't see coming, but I am a little less interested in Theory now that he is just a bad guy trying to make a name off Jeff. Jeez, what is with new superstars and going after Jeff.

3. Women's Tag Team Championship Match

Finally, the women's tag team gets a decent amount of time and a conclusive finish. I enjoyed this match. It was fast-paced and exciting. Super Brutality retained the title, and I feel like these teams can finally walk away from each other and move on. My favorite spot was when Nikki jumped off the top rope to the outside. It was awesome. I see that Nikki and Rhea are working on tag team moves, and I hope they continue to do that, but I think they should just do a Riptide and then a splash from Nikki from the top for their finisher. That would fit their Super Brutality gimmick IMO.

2. Big & Drew vs. Dirty Dawgs

I loved that WWE had some continuity here, and had Dolph try and take credit for Big E's and Drew's success because they both started with him. I also think it was wise to give them heels to go at because they are both babyfaces who aren't going to go at each other just yet. I just wished Dolph would have said it should have been me; that would have been hilarious. However, the Dirty Dawgs are excellent workers who can have a good match with anyone, and they had a really entertaining match with Big D and Big E. Also, this match furthered tension between Big E and Drew, and now we have a confirmed title match for Crown Jewel.

1. Bianca vs. Charlotte

The women's segment was the biggest story of Raw. The night started with Bianca and Becky and Charlotte, where Becky instigated a match between Bianca and Charlotte later in the night. Charlotte and Bianca held back in the match but ramped up at the end of the match, and Bianca almost beat Charlotte, but Becky ruined the match. Everyone saw Becky's interference coming; nobody thought this match would have a conclusive finish. What was surprising was Sasha's interference; she came in and laid everyone out and stood tall. I want more Sasha; she feels part-time lately, and she is probably my favorite women's wrestler. I think tv would benefit from her being on the shows more often.

However, my biggest takeaway from RAW was that Bianca is a star in any room. She stood next to Charlotte, and it didn't affect her shine in any way. Becky broke up the match because she expected Bianca to fail, and when she didn't, Becky couldn't take it. Bianca continues to look like the top woman on both shows.

Rob's What Mattered

3. Top Draft Picks

Overall, I think the WWE did a good job shaking up the rosters. The smaller divisions, like the women's and tag divisions, were getting stale on both shows. On Raw, they were completely out of new options to challenge for the WWE Championship. The draft result is satisfying for us folks who watch a lot of weekly WWE. Because the shows are more mixed up, we can look forward to new interactions, feuds, and matches. Maybe we'll even see some old rivalries and alliances revisited. On Raw specifically, I liked that their top picks were Becky Lynch and the Usos because they highlighted those divisions' value.

2. Big E and Big D

I think this should be the standard for how WWE makes meaningful matches on weekly TV. Having two babyface opponents team-up is a common trope, but I love how they did it in this instance. Dolph Ziggler was the perfect not-too-consequential but worthy superstar to instigate this. They used a shared history between all the superstars in the ring to make stakes for the match. Everyone's character motivations made sense. The result was funny, fun-to-watch, and consequential without giving anything too major away and advancing the storyline for the PPV feud between Big E and Drew McIntyre.

1. Belair, Flair, Becky, and More

The women's feud right now is sort of messy, spilling across Raw and SmackDown. Am I supposed to be paying attention to the tension between Charlotte Flair and Bianca Belair, the history between Becky Lynch and Flair, or something else? Is Sasha Banks even a factor in this match anymore? Is this all just building up to the cross-brand Survivor Series match? I don't know, but I think that the unpredictability in this feud is novel and a welcome change of pace. In the segments on Raw, I think WWE is succeeding in making Belair a major player on the level of Flair and Lynch. She main-evented both of the shows in-ring, and it's clear she's in Flair's head. While many people are focusing on the tension between Flair and Lynch, I'm starting to think WWE might have featured plans for the EST of WWE.

Rob's What Didn't Matter

3. Randy Orton and Omos Doesn't Happen

After spending a couple of segments promoting this match, it just didn't happen. I think they did good promo work with no payoff. In this instance, Randy Orton and Omos wouldn't be giving away too much. We've already seen singles matches like AJ Styles/Riddle and Styles/Orton. Heck, we've already seen the tag team match. With other meaningless matches on the card, I'm wondering why WWE didn't pull the trigger so we could see Omos in one-on-one action and advance the feud in some capacity.

2. Damian Priest vs. Jeff Hardy

This was an okay match, but it was largely a rerun. The reason it lands in what didn't matter is that fans seem to be unironically rooting for Jeff Hardy to win. When he doesn't, it makes it hard to root for babyface Damian Priest. The finish didn't help either. WWE has to be careful with booking Priest, who has sort of lucked his way into a win in three recent matches for his championship.

1. Problems with the WWE Draft

On the flip side, there were a lot of problems with this draft. I've already mentioned that the timing makes no sense. The picks don't go into effect for three weeks, so why are we doing it now at all? I hate how they executed this WWE Draft especially considering it could give away future results like matches at Crown Jewel. It also means that the Raw vs. SmackDown theme of Survivor Series will hardly make any sense. It's harder to invest in a fight over brand supremacy when the superstars have only been on for a month.

Another problem is public knowledge of real relationships in the WWE. They kept Naomi/the Usos, Seth Rollins/Becky Lynch, and Bianca Belair/Montez Ford together. They even reunited Corey Graves and Carmella. It's good for employee morale, but it ruined some of the results. Finally, we have to talk about the draft order. Because they gave us no criteria, I assume it is based on how good a wrestler is and how big of a draw the superstar is. If that's the rationale, there is absolutely no excuse to draft Xia Li, who is relatively unproven on NXT, before Finn Balor, someone who nearly beat the most protected champion on WWE one week ago. Stellar wrestlers like Cesaro and Sami Zayn went even later than that. Because they don't publish the eligible superstars, are we to assume they drafted these NXT stars over current and former NXT champions and bigger draws historically? WWE has a lot of problems to address with their draft format. Stars that wrestle every week for WWE were drafted off TV. I know that this is pre-determined, but it has a real implication on how fans know that WWE perceives those talents. It's the number one reason the WWE Draft didn't quite click with fans.

Reverse Hipster What Didn't Matter

4. New Day vs. Hurt Bussiness

This match was good, but the match was kind of ruined before it started. I mean that we just saw the Hurt Bussiness get beat in a two-on-one, so there was little doubt who was about to win the match. Also, we still don't know why the Hurt Bussiness is back together, which is ridiculous given how recent and public the Hurt Bussiness feud was. On the positive side, Xavier is campaigning for King, and I hope he gets it.

3. Randy vs. Omos

They hyped up this big match all night, only for it to be a beatdown segment. That was a huge letdown and took away from the show.

2. Ali and Mansoor vs. Humberto and Jinder

This was a copy-and-paste rematch, where the same team won. How is this even a feud right now? Ali and Mansoor have lost both matchups even though they are the more experienced and, in my opinion, better team.

1. Corey Graves Burying Dana Brooke

For some strange reason, Graves or someone in his ear thought that during Dana's match with Shayna would be an excellent time to make a case for why Dana should be fired. Graves just buried Dana, saying she had been here for years, but hadn't accomplished much of anything, and when she lost, something Graves knew was coming as an insider, he used that to justify his burial of Dana Brooke. As someone who usually enjoys Graves commentary, this felt out of place and distasteful. It made Dana and Graves look bad. Heel commentators are supposed to cheer on the heels and antagonize the faces, not bury them.

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