1.Drew vs Randy vs Braun
This match was probably the best thing on the Raw after mania show. It was exciting and, except Drew (who did not belong in this match), rewarded guys who had won their mania matches. I liked this because it made their feuds more meaningful. The match was pretty good, but I was not crazy about the result. Drew vs. Booby again, since Bobby won their match, How about we let him breathe and face someone new instead of immediately going to a Drew rematch? I feel like Drew has been right behind Bobby his entire reign. I would rather have seen Riddle take this spot and have him or Orton win and preferably Orton because he just beat an immortal at Wrestlemania. I like the result, however. Drew Claymoring Orton as he was pinning Braun keeps Orton strong even in the loss.
2.Alexa sets her sights on the Fiend
The Fiend and Alexa bliss feuding, has the potential to be cool. However, that in no way makes up for what occurred at Wrestlemania between Bray and Orton. It was still absolutely atrocious. This development actually confuses me because The Fiend could have beat Orton at Wrestlemania in a Firefly Funhouse match, and then the next night on Raw, Alexa could have betrayed him. That actually would have been more impactful and made a bigger splash the day after and at mania.
However, I do like Alexa feuding with the Fiend. I wonder what that will look like. I hope to god they give us more substance and less cooky nonsense. Bray is my favorite superstar of this era and has been since he debuted on Smackdown, and I have been a massive fan of Alexa since her nxt days. I hate seeing these two in feuds like the one with Orton when they have so much potential as characters. I am going to be cautiously optimistic that the dry spell is over.
3. Bray Wyatt is back
There were some obvious shots at Alexa in Bray's promo that are expected because they are feuding. The part of this promo that intrigued me was the not-so-obvious things. For example, he says no more clout chasing and that he will be getting stronger. That seems like a direct statement to the back. Vince may not have liked all his references. Also, getting stronger is an idea that seems in line with the stereotype of the kind of guys Vince likes to push. I wonder if that was a reference to Bray maybe being punished at mania.
Also, Bray was talking like a preacher and saying he would have a new cast of characters. I wonder if Bray is hinting to us that he is bringing back the cult leader and recruiting new followers. If so, I am so down the cult leader is my favorite version of Bray.
4.Damien Priest loses his undefeated streak
Damien Priest had been undefeated until recently. Personally, I do not particularly appreciate that they did not make a big deal out of his undefeated streak. I also do not like that they just gave it away on tv without much thought. However, the way they did it was entertaining. He lost in a two-on-one to two former world champions, and he still had to lose by distraction from the stunning Maryse (Always a plus when she is on). Also, Miz got the most hilarious and pathetic win I have ever seen. He had to cheat and be helped by Maryse, and his pants were falling. I know it is juvenile, but I laughed hard at Miz running away with his pants at his ankles, hiding behind his wife before falling over.
Rob’s What mattered
1. Charlotte Flair is back
She wasn’t gone for very long, but Charlotte Flair was excellent in her return. She cut a good promo making sense of how her road to WrestleMania fell apart. She was on pace to challenge Lacey Evans before her pregnancy, and she never got a response from her challenge to Asuka. I had completely forgotten that even happened. Flair went on to insist that she was still the best, and she was going to have to prove it. After Flair’s promo, Rhea Ripley and Asuka went on to have a match that was on pace to be as good as their WrestleMania match before Flair crashed it. This angle did a perfect job showcasing Flair’s character. She is best as a heel, and she’s leveraging her reputation for overshadowing the women’s division by making it a part of her character to insert herself. Even though I think Flair is the most overexposed woman in the division, I think she’s the most talented all-around woman in WWE, so I love this angle.
2. New commentary team, new set
It’s always nice to get a new feel to Monday Night Raw. The nature of the show is that it’s every single week, so you get used to it if they don’t change it too often. And if you get used to it, it makes the product feel kind of stagnant. I’m cautiously optimistic about the commentary team of Adnan Virk, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton. Graves and Saxton are known for having distracting squabbles that detract from what’s happening in the ring. Virk is new to WWE from the MLB network. It has never worked out for WWE to get commentators outside of wrestling, but this may be different since Virk seems to have a passion for WWE and history as a fan. The new set is cool on the surface, but it’s more important looking forward if production will find creative uses for it.
3. Viking Raiders return
I love the returns and debuts on the shows after WrestleMania. I popped hard when the Viking Raiders music hit, and they looked great in their match vs. Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. They should be a highlight of the deeply talented Raw Tag Team Division. I hope the WWE finds a way to use everyone involved, including Benjamin and Alexander, because the Raw Tag Team Division has so much potential.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. Damien Priest loses his undefeated streak
Here’s the good of this segment: the Miz and John Morrison shined again in their promo work. Maryse was back too! I hope she stays around for a while because she adds so much to Miz’s character. They bounced back great after losing to Bad Bunny and Damien Priest, framing themselves as star makers putting over Bad Bunny. After the great promo segment, Priest interrupted, and they challenged him to a handicap match. I hate that Priest accepted the clearly unfair challenge. Babyfaces don’t have to accept every challenge just to be noble; it actually makes them look stupid. Priest lost due to a distraction by Maryse and silently lost his undefeated streak without much spectacle. I can’t help but feel it was a missed opportunity by Raw creative.
2. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax vs. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke
I like that WWE tried to make chicken salad out of chicken shit. Mandy Rose slipped on WrestleMania last night, and they acknowledged it and tried to turn it into an angle. I even like the concept of the angle. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax are mean girls who ostracize Rose for an honest slip-up. Rose tries to own it, while any time Baszler or Jax slip up, they don’t acknowledge it. However, the execution of the angle was overdone, tacky, and honestly embarrassing. Jax’s slip was so obviously fake, too coincidental to be real, and Jax overacted in her reaction. Baszler and Jax still destroyed Rose and Brooke, so it didn’t really accomplish anything to try to make the feud an option in the future either. Every week, I continue to reiterate that WWE needs to get a plan with its women’s tag division or risk losing it’s audience for it completely.
3. No major surprises for Raw after WrestleMania
Aside from the Viking Raiders and Maryse, there were no major surprises for a show that’s typically unpredictable and exciting. It’s a little bit of a letdown. The Raw after WrestleMania is usually what gets you excited about upcoming championship storylines and gives a chance to exciting young superstars. Charlotte Flair and Drew McIntyre certainly can’t be touted as up and coming young superstars. It was a Raw that was perfectly serviceable but really underwhelming for the Raw after WrestleMania.
Reverse Hipster What didn't Matter
Tag Team Tomfoolery
Ilike both Shayna and Nia and Dana and Mandy. So when I saw Dana and Mandy taking it to the champs and owning the embarrassing moment, I was happy for them, even rooting for them. However, the booking of their match ruined it all. Nia slipped for the second time(Sigh), and Mandy laughed at her but then ran away, and they said it is not worth it. Apparently, the two wrestlers who attacked Nia earlier that night were so afraid of Nia's anger they ran away in the middle of their match, undoing all the work they did and losing by count-out. Cole tried to sell that this was better than a win, but I am not buying it. Dana and Mandy looked like cowards, and they forfeited a chance at the tag team titles. If anything, this puts them in the back of the line for a title shot. I wish they had not leaned into Mandy's fall and instead leaned into Dana slip and started a too hot for tv heel run.
2. Charlotte goes from Heel to Heel.
This promo takes delusional heel to a new level. It lacked a lot of self-awareness, and I cannot really tell if it is just the character or not. I say that because there was a lot of Charlotte's social media real talk and Andrade interview mixed in here. So from a fan point of view, it feels like to some extent, Charlotte actually feels the things she is saying are true. Obviously, I can't know that it is just the way it seems as a fan on the outside looking in.
Charlotte says it was not her fault she was not on mania and that she does not take opportunities away from other superstars. However, I struggle to think of anyone she has made over the years in her title reigns and success. The mania she missed gave us the main event where the woman she went over time and time again on regular PPV, and mania thirty-two tore the house down and put over a new star in the main event. We had two women's championship matches, something we did not get in 2018 because Charlotte was shoehorned in the main event(history-making singles match, something Becky could not do because of Charlotte), and she needed Asuka Smackdown title to do it, leaving the entire smackdown woman's division without a true title match. Also, Charlotte did not take the pin in that match.
Asuka, the woman who had her undefeated streak snapped by Charlotte at Wrestlemania, put over Rhea as champion, something Charlotte did not do last year when Rhea was on fire. Also, the tag team titles that Charlotte won on day one of her return and then completely ignored after winning provided not just one but two mania matches for the woman on the Wrestlemania Charlotte missed.
So given Charlotte's history, it just seems ridiculous for Charlotte to say she does not take opportunities. She is the opportunity. Also, it was ridiculous when she said she was going to stop being humble. She has not been humble since 2015. She has been telling superstars she was genetically superior and to bow down for years. This was a heel turn for a heel. The only positives are that Charlotte has now identified herself as a definite villain because before, it felt like she got to act like a villain, but we were supposed to cheer her anyway. Also, she saved us from a pointless rematch of a match we had just seen yesterday.
3. But why??
Retribution seems to be working for the Hurt Business, and I cannot fathom why? They just got rid of their leader, so why would they go work for someone else? Also, it is not like Mvp is a better boss he just got rid of his goons harshly. It kind of seems like both groups should have never had their respective breakups in the first place.
4.Viking Raiders and New day matches
Neither one of these matches was super amazing in the ring, and also, while I like both teams, both of their matches did nothing for me. New Day beat a team in Elias and Ryker, who has been beat one on two and have not seen a victory in a long time. The Viking Raiders are cool, and I am glad they are back, but that is where it stops. They beat the hurt business whom WWE has not put any push behind, and it just did not do much for me.
4. Bobby vs Riddle
On the positive side, this made Bobby look Dominate. However, it seemed like a wasted opportunity. We have seen that Riddle is a great wrestler, and he has excellent chemistry with Bobby, so why just squash Riddle instead of leading off the show with a great match. Years from now, people will not remember this squash match, but it could have been memorable if they had an excellent match. Also, Why does Bobby continue to not be on last as Champion he should be in the Raw main event way more often than he is.