Reverse Hipsters what mattered
Riddle upsets Orton
This match was the best thing on Raw. I am usually not a fan of Riddle's stoner bro promos, but next to Randy, who is such a serious character, it was hilarious. Also, Their match was the match of the night as well. I Felt their styles meshed well, and they pushed each other. Highlights for me were when Randy threw Riddle into the table instead of dropping him and the finish when Riddle reversed the RKO with the Crucifix pin. I have never seen someone counter the RKO like that.
Also, it is nice to see Riddle getting much-deserved shined after being a great u.s champion and having the match of the night on night 2. We can all forget he was squashed last week. I hope Riddle moves on to better things instead of being punished for beating Randy for weeks.
2. Asuka defeats Charlotte
I am glad Asuka got the win over Charlotte. Charlotte cut a promo reminding us how she has taken everything from Asuka snapping her streak and taking her title over the years, and it would have been embarrassing if Charlotte won yet again. Also, these are not new facts. These are the exact reasons they never made sense as a tag team. Anyways Rhea helped Asuka, which shows that they have gained mutual respect and that Charlotte is so hated in the locker room that she helps rivals bond over kicking her ass. The downside to that promo she cut last week on everyone. Asuka gets away with the victory, and she deserves it. Charlotte, meanwhile, went nuts and attacked a ref. She has been fined and suspended. I do not know where this is going, but I would be shocked if it led to Charlotte actually being away for a while because she just came back.
I like that they are explaining Alexa Blisses' back story. She is starting to become more relevant as her own twisted character outside of Bray. The majority of the stuff she did with Bray was sadly nonsense. It got dreadful when Bray left, and she had to carry on for him. However, now that she only has to worry about herself, I think both she and Bray are better off.
Alexa explains that lily has always been with her, and they show childhood photos with Lily, and it is clear Lily is meant to represent Alexa id like her most evil thoughts and desires. I am interested to see how this plays out.
4. Damian Priest gets his win back
I like that Damien got his win back, but it kind of makes last week pointless. Why take away his streak if it was not leading to anything. Also, why would he kick out the same move that ended his streak? That means he could have done it last week. Regardless he looks strong again, and that is a good thing. Hopefully, he can keep climbing the card.
5.Elias scores victory
Xavier Woods really can do it all. In addition to all his other talents, he can play guitar. I say that first because New Day's antics kept me in this match. The match was ok and a little messy at times. Also, why are they even fighting? This barely made the cut for what mattered. That being said, Elias won, and that is good for his credibility. Maybe he is not a jobber after all.
Rob’s What mattered
1. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair’s new character direction is perfect. We should never want to cheer for Flair: she’s a second-generation superstar and she won’t let you forget it, she’s one of the best women on the roster and she knows it, and gosh that promo voice just makes you want to mute your TV. Flair is at her best as a heel: annoying, cocky, and ego-driven. She makes good points too. She didn’t get her WrestleMania match through no fault of her own. She has beaten both Asuka and Rhea Ripley, and she’s certainly booked such that it’s an opportunity just to face her. It was the perfect heel move to frame the women’s roster as a bunch of fake women who don’t actually like each other. Her attack on the referee at the end of the night was the perfect cherry on top. She is frustrated with her current position, unhinged and entitled in her behavior. I know a lot of people think Charlotte Flair is overexposed and that’s true, but I can’t get over just how good she is every time she gets an opportunity to main event again.
2. Riddle vs. Randy Orton
The backstage segments between these two were hilarious. I love Riddle annoying everyone backstage with his random ideas and riding around on his scooter. Randy Orton was the perfect straight man to play off of him, not even giving him the time of day. These two had good chemistry in the ring too with a great match for Monday Night Raw. Riddle’s roll up win implies that this feud isn’t over, and it would be a great feud for both parties. Riddle needs to rebuild legitimacy after losing his title, and Orton needs to move on from the feud with the Fiend.
3. Alexa Bliss
It looks like Alexa Bliss is sticking with her spooky character, despite the split with Bray Wyatt. She didn’t elaborate much on why she split with the Fiend, other than telling us about Lilly, her creepy childhood doll that has stayed with her and whispered directions in her ear. Bliss is one of the most successful women on the roster in a short period of time, so it’s cool to see her taking her character in a new direction. I think Bliss played her role with the Fiend perfectly, so I’m intrigued to see where it goes if she sticks with this character. It’s definitely a creative risk, but that’s what makes wrestling fun. If it pays off, this character will be huge for the women’s division, and if it doesn’t, I would still give Bliss credit for trying something different.
4. Mace and T-Bar
Very little about this segment made sense. I’m not really interested in the continuing feud between Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley with MVP. It made no sense that Braun Strowman came to rescue McIntyre. Instead, I’m going to focus on the positives. Mace and T-Bar looked like a real threat to McIntyre and Strowman. They showed good teamwork, and the wrestlers behind the masks are actually tremendously talented. Winning by DQ and getting unmasked and embarrassed, I’m eager to see what it means for those talent. Will they go back to their old names? Will they be given an opportunity to compete with talent like McIntyre and Strowman? They looked really good here, and WWE would be wise to capitalize on that momentum.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. Cold Raw with pointless rematches
WWE Creative often gets lazy and continues feuds by having rematches that are a little different with no real feud progression. Rematches without nuance are pointless. If the same superstar(s) win, then we already knew that they were the better team. If the other superstar(s) win, then we’re doing 50/50 booking where nobody really gets put over. See this week: Viking Raiders vs. Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander, Elias vs. Kofi Kingston, and the Miz vs. Damien Priest. It made the whole show feel kind of boring to watch and inconsequential.
2. Women’s Tag Teams
The booking here is sloppy and lazy. The wrestling portion of the match didn’t get enough time to shine, and the storyline portion was overbooked and messy. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are a really good team when they get time to wrestle. Naomi and Lana were treated like they couldn’t win without the distraction, which is a bad look for them. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke distracted the tag champs way too easily. If it was that easy to distract them, somebody else should have won the title by now. Jax is still entangled with Reginald, but he hasn’t been present in a couple weeks and now she’s starting a thing with Angel Garza too? I can’t really even keep track of what the storyline is at this point, and that’s not a compliment to the booking the women receive.
3. Men’s Tag Champs absent
I don’t think AJ Styles and Omos have been on WWE TV since winning the titles at WrestleMania. That’s a terrible way to capitalize on the momentum they made when they destroyed the New Day, the best tag team of the last decade. I’m not sure why WWE would make them look so dominant and not showcase them on weekly TV.
Reverse Hipster what didn’t matter
I hate that Sheamus is here, but this was the absolute worst thing that happened on Raw. After the recent firings, it's been rumored that some of these great talents have been cut because they complained about their position. This flies in the face of everything WWE says that it is. You are supposed to grab the brass ring and advocate for yourself, but it gets you fired when you do. So let us look at Humberto, a guy who must not have complained about his position cause he is still there. How is he rewarded for toeing the line? He was utterly destroyed on Raw without getting a single bit of offense. He is made to look like a jobroni. Let us not forget this is the same guy who was verbally run down just before mania by Drew in the brass ring 2.0 promo in the locker room.
2. The Viking re-experience
Once again, Shelton and Cedric, former tag champions, do not even get an entrance. Once again, the Raiders beat them, so if nothing has changed, why did we need to see this again?
The women’s tag match was an absolute clusterfuck. I like all the women involved, but I disapprove of their usage. I‘m happy Lana and Naomi won, but I cannot pretend it was not the least important thing that happened based on how they told the story.
Mandy and Dana continued their awful angle from last week, showing nearly the entire segment between them and Nia in the middle of the match. It was ridiculous, and the whole time they are doing this, Lana has to pretend she is stuck in an armbar from Shayna even though they are clearly watching the replay and the match no longer matters. It gets worse. Nia then leaves her partner to chase Mandy and Dana and then is shocked when Shayna loses a two-on-one. Are you kidding me? Nia is a tag team champion, and she is more intelligent than that. This segment did nothing for anyone involved.
4. The unveal of retribution
Secondly, why Braun of all people. Drew ran him down in the locker room before mania and defeated him last week. Now their friends? How about Ali, who has a bone to pick with Retribution.
Lastly, this is one of the tropes I hate when you give someone a win, but you do everything you can to undermine the win and make it worthless. Yea, Retribution beat Drew and Braun but by DQ after a two-on-one assault. Yea, Retribution unmasked but only because Drew and Braun ripped their mask off and beat them with it. Anything that could have made this moment special for Retribution was undermined to keep Drew and Braun strong.
5. No Bray Wyatt
Just last week, we were told we would be getting all this new stuff from Bray. This week he is not even on the show. Very disappointing, Bray's firefly funhouse was what I was looking forward to most.
Creative fan section
Did you like the unmasking of T-bar and Mace or did you think it was poorly done?
What are your thoughts on Raw?