Updated: May 9, 2021
Reverse Hipsters What Mattered
1.Sheamus and Drew do it again
I was against these two having a rematch. How could Drew and Sheamus top themselves? However, they defied my expectations and had another great match. It was a violent no Dq match with plenty of false finishes and each man refusing to give up. Who would win this match? Could Sheamus ego take a second loss, could the feud? Would a win by Sheamus undermine Drew's win last week?
However, the finish was everything. Sheamus and Drew charge each other with steel steps, and they knock each other out; it was brutal. That finish also preserved the feud. Now it is time to advance the story outside of the ring.
Rob’s What mattered
1. Lashley is on fire
The WWE Championship match kicked off the show. Miz gave a passionate, logical promo about how he was cheated out of the championship that made up a little bit for how he was embarrassed last week. Bobby Lashley came out to a fire new entrance with graphics, video editing, and pyro that made him look like the main event. The ringwork backed up the claim too. Lashley showcased athletic powerhouse moves and sequences that made me feel like he could have a five-star match. Lashley looked like a dominant champion. My only complaint is that if this is the Lashley WWE could have given us from the start, why are we just seeing this now? If WWE’s video editing team has the capacity to make this type of entrance for everyone, why aren’t we getting that? Regardless, I’m excited to see what comes out of Lashley as WWE Champion. Namely, who will he face at WrestleMania?
2. Riddle vs. Slapjack (yes, really)
For absolutely no reason, Riddle had a fun, fast-paced match with Retribution jobber Slapjack. This is a testament to Riddle’s ability to have a good match with anyone at any time. That’s not something you can say about a lot of superstars on WWE’s roster right now, and it’s exactly what a mid-card champion should do. This match had me excited to see what Riddle and the recently underutilized Mustafa Ali can do in their United States Championship match next week.
3. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Naomi and Lana
After weeks of ragging on the Women’s Tag Division, I think this was a step in the right direction. There is long-term storytelling in this feud, with Lana still seeking full retribution for going through a table 8 times. Naomi and Lana had a fun team entrance, and I felt like I finally saw their full potential as a tag team. Naomi looked really good in the ring. I’m not completely sold on Reginald and Nia Jax, and I think Reginald is quickly becoming a detriment to the talent in the women’s division. Regardless, I think the distraction finish creates intrigue in this feud. Is it possible that Jax and Shayna Baszler weren’t able to beat Naomi and Lana without the distraction? My only complaint is that I would have preferred this spot on Raw be used to build Naomi and Lana as a team and then have this match on Fastlane instead of the planned match against Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair.
Reverse Hipsters What Didn't Matter
1. What really didn't matter
If you thought both Shane and Braun looked really dumb last week, and it couldn't get worse, you are wrong. They have topped themselves. Shane and Braun are continuing this feud that nobody asked for. This week made no sense. Shane's promo was so bad that I genuinely feared for his health at one point. However, it seems like he was just wasting time.
Braun promos are bad. I do not believe anything he is saying. Braun has always been a guy to wreck things and disregard authority, and now he is listening to Shane. Also, he has never cared about money before, but now he is worried about being fired. Braun seems more man than monster. Shane, What is he right now? As a character, he stops Miz from getting away with cheating last week, but he is also calling Braun stupid for no reason. How is this getting either one of them over?
2. International Women's Day
On International Women's day, the woman could not buy any attention in the program. The woman had one match and one segment on a 3-hour show on international women's day, and it is ridiculous. Also, both moments were bad. They had a tag match that was not made to feel like a big deal and instead seemed like they were squashing the program. The match was not very long, and the finish was bad. Lana bumps into Naomi, which should have been considered a tag, but instead, they ignored it and treated Lana as the legal woman, and she got pinned.
The woman's segment was such an afterthought, Dana and Mandy saying they want a title shot and Charlotte telling them they have to prove themselves to her. However, who died and made her Queen? She is not a champion of anything. She is not the number one contender. Why do they need to prove themselves to her? They have equal rights to facing Asuka. Also, you know it is not good when Charlotte barely gets tv time. She could not even get a decent segment with a guest spot on Stone Cold Steve Austin's show coming on right after Raw. The Raw woman's division is in shambles, and it should not be because there are many talented women on the roster.
3. The Miz and Bobby Lashley
The Miz cut a great promo that actually sold me on the title rematch, but none of that matters cause the match itself did not matter. Why did we need a rematch where nothing changed in an age where we were told there were no more automatic matches. This just made Miz look worse, and it did not help Bobby look any better because the Miz has been booked weak, and Bobby already defeated him. Lastly, why wouldn't the biggest title main event the show?
4. Randy Orton vs AJ
I could not have cared about this match any less. I still do not know what AJ wants or why he does anything; his character is dead. Randy is in a dead feud, and it is ridiculous that they did the blood thing again. Even more ridiculous, how can a competitor coughing up blood not have caused the ref to stop the match? However, who cares that AJ won its not like this match mattered. There was nothing on the line in terms of titles or character development.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus Draw
This was a good No DQ match with creative spots, but I have to put this in the “what didn’t matter” section by definition. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus had one of the best matches on weekly TV in recent memory last week, and there was no way they were going to top it. McIntyre went decisively over in the match, and both men came out looking better than they did going into it. What more could you ask for? A follow-up to this and straight-up rematch (even adding the No DQ stipulation) did nothing to serve either of them. In my opinion, McIntyre should have gone straight to the WWE Championship picture again. He didn’t even lose it fairly, to begin with. Sheamus could have been rewarded for how he pushed McIntyre to his limits by getting into the United States Championship picture. Even worse, this match ended in a draw, which means McIntyre is still winning the series, and there is no reason for this to continue. Again, I understand they have great in-ring chemistry, but I’m just not interested in seeing this match again unless the storyline necessitates it.
2. The main event
By definition, the main event should never be in the what did not matter section. I’m finding myself again griping about why you would ever have a championship match on weekly TV and not have it main event. Even if the Bobby Lashley/Miz rematch was purely to put over Bobby Lashley, you could have built it throughout the night, and it would have made a more impactful main event than AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton, in my opinion. In fact, when Styles and Orton finished, I was surprised it was the end of the show. No disrespect to those two competitors, but in the storyline, why would you ever not have the biggest championship on your show defended in the main event?
Watching Orton, I found myself upset at how boring he has become despite being one of the most naturally talented wrestlers of all time. I’m also just not excited to see The Fiend return and launch right back into a feud with Orton. We’ve seen that played out twice now, including one WrestleMania match. Styles with Omos also feels directionless right now, despite being one of the best wrestlers of the last decade. The only canonical excuse I can see for putting this last is how anybody could wrestle in the ring after Orton threw up all that black goop on the mat? I hope I’m quickly proven wrong, and these two get exciting feuds going into WrestleMania.
3. Braun Strowman and Shane McMahon feud
Is this on anyone’s list of dream matches for WrestleMania? This storyline feels thrown together and not compelling in any way. Neither Braun Strowman nor Shane McMahon delivers strong promos, so I don’t know why you would give them two promo segments in one week. Unless this feud takes a quick 180 or these two absolutely overperform in the ring, expect this to stay in the what didn’t matter section.
4. All the things that didn’t happen
For a three-hour show, Raw sure has a lot of things that don’t happen each week. I’m not saying I need to see every superstar every week, but multi-segment matches and promos meant that we didn’t see Raw Women’s Champion Asuka at all this Raw. Charlotte Flair appeared briefly to interrupt a backstage segment with Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose. Rhea Ripley still hasn’t debuted. I feel like superstars completely disappear with no mention for weeks. Where have Andrade, Angel Garza, Drew Gulak, Humberto Carrillo, and Jinder Mahal been? These are all guys that have been in title pictures in the past. Where have Keith Lee and Richochet been? These are some of the most talented wrestlers on Raw’s roster. I’m begging creative to put them to good use, so we don’t have to see the same matches every week.