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Raw Rundown: The Almost Era

Updated: Jul 30, 2021

Reverse Hipster What Mattered

8. The Kansas City Crowd

This crowd was the best so far; the crowd gave Nikki a warm reception. They cheered and booed at all the correct times and seemed hype all night. When you have a crowd like this, it dramatically enhances the show.

7.R Truth vs. Reginald

This match makes the bottom of the what mattered section because it was a mixed bag. I wouldn't say I liked R Truth having his mic on during the match. I also didn't think the match was great. However, it got Reginald over as a capable champion, and it was a decent spectacle match.

6. Natalya's Injury

The Tag champs faced off against Doudrop, and Eva and Lilly gave the champions a distraction win. This match was a number one contender's match, so it had stakes. Also, the Champs looked strong with a win, and Eva and Alexa advanced their feud when Lilly distracted Eva with a LilyLution montage. However, during the match, Natalya got hurt, tagged out, and didn't return. No official word on her injury, but based on her Twitter quote, "Thank you to everyone for the kind words about what happened on #WWERaw. There are the beatings you can plan for and the ones you can’t. That’s the job. But I’m willing to give whatever bones, muscles, and tendons I have to continue doing what I love. Good thing I’m UNBREAKABLE." This tweet could be an indication that Natalya will be able to bounce back without dropping the titles.

5. John Morrison vs. Riddle

This match wasn't exactly fresh, but at least it had been some time since we last saw them fight. We got to see Morrison get a win after Omos broke Riddles scooter, which is always good. Also, AJ jumping Riddle progresses the feud between RKBro and the tag champs. The crowd was begging for Randy to come out and save Riddle. When he finally does, the crowd should explode.

4. Damien Priest vs. Sheamus

I think these two held back a bit because they didn't want to give it away for free. However, they still had a good match. The big headline here is Damien Priest straight-up defeated Sheamus. Sheamus has not lost much lately, so this loss is enormous. I'm very interested to see the blowoff to this feud between these two top dogs in the midcard.

3. Bobby Lashley

Even though Raw is copying Smackdown, I still like that Bobby didn't accept Golberg's challenge. Goldberg isn't even at Raw. He hasn't had any matches and hasn't been here. What makes him worth a match with the almighty? Bobby had an open challenge last week, but Golberg waited till after the match to step up. Now the handicap match is where this gets iffy. Bobby destroyed his former stablemates, and they looked terrible. I didn't like that because I think both guys have potential. However, they were already at jobber status, so I'm going to say the benefit to Bobby outweighs the damage done to them. He is getting into Lesnar status, and I like having a Lesnar that shows up to Raw.

2. Mansoor & Ali

I love this team. They are exciting wrestlers in the ring. Also, they have a good story. This week we see that the story translates in the ring. We see Mansoor is talented but Naive, and we see Ali saving him from things he just doesn't see coming. Also, they won. They beat Extinction. The highlight of the match was Ali's suicide dive tornado DDT.

1.Nikki Ash vs. Charlotte

This seems tailor-made for me to hate it with Charlotte disrespecting the new champion beating her up night one. However, I don't Charlotte is killing it as the villain in this story. She is absolutely insufferable in the best way. She has established that Nikki isn't good enough to beat her. But that gives Nikki something to aspire to. I think Nikki had a great match. The crowd was on her side, and she did almost beat Charlotte. This match main-evented, and it should have. I am all in on Nikki, and I think she is doing a great job so far. Maybe Charlotte can finally launch someone else. However, I'm not sure how I feel about having a rematch next week. You'll have to wait to see a verdict on that one in next week's Rundown.

Reverse Hipster What Didn't Matter

4. Opening Segment

I want Nikki to embrace her gimmick finally. I feel like she spends a lot of time explaining why she dresses up like a hero, but I want her to go for it. Like she said in her promo, don't be afraid to fail and just go for it and start living in character as Nikki Ash. I also don't like management just coming out and making a triple threat. Nikki won fair and square by contract rules. Also, rematches aren't contractually obligated, so what should have happened is Charlotte and Rhea should fight for the right to face Nikki. Also, I didn't particularly appreciate how much Nikki let Charlotte run her down without interrupting. That's not realistic. Also, Rhea feels out of place. The story is Charlotte vs. Nikki; there really is no place for Rhea in this match. I don't want to see her take the fall. It's time for Nikki to rise or fall against Charlotte at Summerslam.

3. AJ & Omos vs. The Viking Raiders

The match was good, but it was a rematch. We have seen this multiple times. I don't think we needed to see it again, especially with the same result.

2. NXT

A lot of people probably won't agree here. I'm not pacified because Kross won a match against another NXT guy. After all, Jeff got covid and can't give him his heat back. Lee is now 0-2 since returning, and we still haven't seen Kross beat any established main roster, guys. So for all, we know this could be another dig at NXT. Regardless putting two guys who needed to establish themselves against each other just wasn't the move.

1.Veer vs. Drew

Nobody looked good here. Veer didn't really get to show off his skills, and Drew didn't win the match outright. The DQ just felt like a giant waste of time. I think they are making Drew looks too strong, and it's hurting the program. If Drew has to always look strong, then the Heels can't establish themselves, and then what is he overcoming? I mean, Drew literally kicked a chair into Veer's face in front of the ref, and then Drew was declared the winner via DQ. Absolutelly ridiculous what are we doing?

Rob’s What mattered

5. Eva Marie and Alexa Bliss

I think I’m in the minority here, but I’m still enjoying the teased feud between Eva Marie and Alexa Bliss. They are two of the best characters in the women’s division, allowing them to tell different stories. Now, I think it’s time for WWE to strike with something in-ring between these two.

4. Damien Priest, Number One Contender

Damien Priest defeated Sheamus this week to become the number one contender for his US title. This match should be a great addition to the Summerslam card. Priest is deserving of a push, he has a unique look, and everything he has done in-ring has been great. My only complaint is that I wish Priest could have earned this another way so that the in-ring action would have been fresh at Summerslam.

3. Riddle vs. John Morrison

I thought this was the match of the night from a work-rate perspective. I only think it’s worth mentioning because Riddle and John Morrison have consistently been in that spot. When you’re putting on match of the night every week, you deserve

recognition and a push as a reward.

2. Bobby Lashley Puts an Exclamation Point on the End of the Hurt Business

Bobby Lashley and MVP didn’t really answer Goldberg’s challenge, and well, they shouldn’t have. WWE has an issue with returning stars declaring themselves in championship matches. It puts the champions in a weird place to respond when officials should be making these matches, and number one contenders should earn their spot. Regardless, the match that followed was a result of a challenge from Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. Lashley dominated them in a handicap match, which continued to build him as THE dominant champion in WWE right now. I thought the whole segment was good to build Lashley as a worthy foe of Goldberg in kayfabe, and it put some closure to an upsetting break up to the Hurt Business earlier this year.

1. Nikki A.S.H. and Charlotte Flair

I feel bad knowing Nikki A.S.H. is already facing haters this early in her reign. If you’re on the fence about Nikki, look at how she came out to start the show this week and held her head high, continually committing to her new character. I didn’t care to see Nikki and Charlotte Flair wrestle again this week, but it made me more invested in their feud than ever. Flair won via outsmarting Cross, but her post-match promo went mega-heel, and it was impossible not to feel bad for Nikki based on her reaction. WWE could take it all away if Flair wins at Summerslam, but right now, this is on pace to be a career-defining feud for Nikki.

Rob’s What didn’t matter

2. Lackluster follow-up

This whole show felt like a lackluster follow-up to last week’s Raw that featured returns, cash-ins, and debuts. There were many non-event matches, and the stuff in the what mattered section is more lukewarm than white-hot.

1. Well, Yes but Actually No

Karrion Kross got his first main-roster win over Keith Lee. I know we said we wanted Kross to dominate in his main roster debut, but WWE can’t take that back. They still have done no work to tell us who Kross is and why he is dangerous. To have him beat Lee felt like a win and a loss because Lee is also a recent NXT call-up starting to gain criticism over how he is used on the main roster. It also means if there was a deeper story to tell with Kross’s loss, they’ve already abandoned it. There are so many options for wrestlers they could have used instead. I genuinely wonder why they rushed calling up Kross and sacrificed Lee for this.

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1 Comment

Jul 29, 2021

I hope they trade Rhea to Smackdown and get her away from Charlotte

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