The Raw Rundown
Riddle continues to be the best thing on Raw. No matter what they throw at him, he keeps rising to the top. Riddle is a star. I love that Randy and Riddle are teaming up. When I said I liked RKBro last week, I never thought they would actually make them a team. I am happy they did though this is what Vince was searching for. This team could be Vince's Rock and Mankind. Hopefully, now Vince can stop looking for his odd couple superstar tag team. I think Randy and Riddle will be very entertaining in and out of the ring. Their match with the Hurt business was pretty good, and I think this is just the tip of the iceberg for them. Plus, when they are done, they can have a fantastic feud. Sad the Hurt business is enhancement talent now, but at least they got an entrance.
2. 6 Woman Tag Team
I was not looking forward to this match. However, I was pleasantly surprised watching it. I think it surpassed my expectations because of Rhea Ripley. Having Rhea Ripley in that match made it so much more important. Imagine if someone had pinned her. Also, the entire Heel team was champion, so if they had a loss, that would have to start a runway to a title match. So that gave this match stakes. In addition to that, the match was really good all the women put in work and had an enjoyable match.
The negatives of the match are heels joining forces just because they are heels. There is no reason for us to believe Rhea would tag with Nia and Shanya. In fact, they have a little history as rivals. Secondly, the Mandy and Dana spot was not good. Please stop with this slipping storyline; it is terrible. Find another way to push Dana and Mandy. On the positive side, that awful interference spot did not determine the match.
3. Alexa Bliss
I'm really starving to see Alexa Bliss back as a regular member of the roster. So i feel like her playground segments are working. I think next week is the perfect time to throw her in and re-debut her as this new demented bliss character so i hope WWE keeps their promise and doesn't try to prolong the promo push. I thought her whole jump scare this week was a little corny but overall the promo helped further her character and she is building to a good place so it can be forgiven.
4. Charlotte vs Mandy
I liked this match; this is what Flair should be doing. She should be elevating the other woman in the division by having good matches with them like Bayley does. Mandy is a capable talent, and I think she showed that with Flair. I am not mad that Mandy lost. She should not beat Charlotte just yet. I think the more wins Charlotte has on regular tv in good matches with multiple women, the better it will be when she puts someone over in a feud. I hope WWE thinks the same. Charlotte does not need to look super strong just for herself. I hope they have plans to make a star using Charlotte.
5. Braun wins a championship opportunity
I am not on the Braun train yet. I am still not as into him as I use to be, but he does seem to be back on track to being a semblance of the monster he used to be. I do not think the Braun and Drew tag-team ever made any sense, but I will leave that alone. I think putting Braun in the title match makes it more exciting. I do not want to see Drew vs. Bobby Lashley again.
Still, I am worried Braun was only given this distraction win because he will take the pin and keep Bobby and Drew strong. I think that is the worst possible outcome. Braun adds a new possible dynamic to the match, but Bobby or Drew needs to pin the other guy cause this feud needs to end so that both guys can move on and be interesting. The match was good, and the result was positive, so this main event match is a good thing for now.
Humberto Carrillo attacked Sheamus and got his revenge. It is a good thing; for now, we will see if it goes anywhere. Humberto is talented in-ring, and it looks like he has beefed up. He could have a really good match with Sheamus. I think WWE should let Sheamus do the open challenge but do it like Kurt Angle instead of Cena. It is not for the title, but if someone beats Sheamus, they get a title match.
Sheamus is on a run of great matches right now. He could elevate the midcard on tv with great matches. For the extraordinary talents, he could feud with them and have PPV matches with those talents. However, this is fine for now. Hopefully, this leads to more great tv matches and feuds. The mid-card desperately needs it, and so does the 3-hour Raw show.
Rob's What mattered
Riddle and Randy Orton continued their amazing chemistry in backstage segments. Orton begrudgingly agreed to team with Riddle. On the downside, RKBro got their win against Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander, who continue to not be booked as a threat in the tag division despite being the champions literally a couple months ago. On the upside, RKBro was such a fun tag team that I’d love to see more of. Riddle was hilarious, urging Orton to tag him in and celebrating alone after the win while Orton sauntered away. To everyone’s surprise, Orton didn’t backstab Riddle, and that’s how it should be. If WWE wants to build a feud, we can see RKBro tag for weeks and maybe even make a run at the titles before Orton betrays his partner. That way, the action is meaningful, and we care even more about the eventual single’s feud.
2. Braun Strowman earns his way in the title match
The two big guys beating the hell out of each other has never been my type of match, but this was a good one of those. Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre earned the main event spot tonight. It was a WWE-style main event full of distractions and theatrics, but Strowman won to earn his way into the title match at WrestleMania Backlash. This should be an absolutely gargantuan showdown between Strowman, McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley. I think it’s exactly what the title match needed too, something extra to make it different from the match at WrestleMania. This is also a great opportunity for Strowman, who has spent a lot of the last few months complaining about being left out of the world title scene. This is his chance to prove he belongs here, both in kayfabe and to internet wrestling fans like us.
3. Charlotte Flair
I’m a little biased because I’m more of a fan of Charlotte Flair than most WWE fans, but I think she is turning in excellent character work every week. Each segment is unique, fresh, and ripe with development. This week she continued to show off how entitled her character is, getting herself reinstated from suspension, demanding an apology from the referee, and causing more problems in her match too. The potential alliance with now-official Sonya Deville is intriguing, as it makes sense to have someone on the inside to help Flair with her favorable booking. I’m intrigued to see how Flair leverages this new character into her future feuds.
4. Sheamus and Humberto Carrillo
I know some people are knocking this segment, but I actually love Sheamus’s Open Challenge. This week, Sheamus explained it even better. He goes out there looking for a fight, and if you somehow bring it to him, he may reward you with a title match. This week, Humberto Carrillo responded again and rebounded. This could be a good feud in-ring for Sheamus’s first challenge as Carrillo is tremendously talented and underutilized in-ring. After that, I’d love to see Sheamus’s Open Challenge continue to evolve with his gritty US Champion character.
5. Baby steps for the Women’s Tag Division
The backstage segment between Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, and Reginald is exactly what I’ve been asking for the past few weeks. It developed the characters of everyone in the team and better explained what we are seeing in the ring. Baszler is the focused badass, who wants Jax to stop messing around. Jax is the bully champion having fun. Reginald is mostly infatuated with Jax, but there is new conflict with Angel Garza giving Jax flowers. Even the simple act of Jax throwing the flowers at Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke garnered more sympathy for them as babyfaces than any of the in-ring work. The six-woman tag match was good with help from Lana, Naomi, Asuka, and Rhea Ripley. I’m still not sure where they’re headed for booking, but I think this was a step back in the right direction for the Women’s Tag Division.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. The New Day and Damien Priest vs. The Miz, Jaxson Ryker, and Elias
This six-man tag was an uncreative way to continue two feuds that don’t really have any momentum to begin with. The singing segment with the Miz, John Morrison, Elias, and Jaxson Ryker was genuinely hard to watch and terrible in a go-away heat kind of way. The New Day and Damien Priest chucking tomatoes at them had the tinge of sophomoric humor that reeks of Vince McMahon. The two teams did the best they could in-ring, but the segment just wasn’t set up to succeed. I don’t know where Miz and Priest go from here. It doesn’t really seem like their feud has any new ground to cover. It’s also shocking to see the WWE not get more usage out of Morrison, who can absolutely shine in-ring when he gets time to showcase his athletic parkour style. Morrison has spent most of the time in his return as backup for Miz; they don’t even really have the aura of a tag team with equal standing. The New Day vs. Elias and Ryker is also a pointless feud that we have now seen three weeks in a row in varying ways. AJ Styles and Omos are still missing since WrestleMania, and I hope WWE starts to build focus in the talented Raw tag division.
2. Mace and T-Bar vs. Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman
These superstars did good with the in-ring work. I’m still optimistic about the direction of Mace and T-Bar without their silly masks, and they could be a force in the tag division. Still, I have to put this segment in the what didn’t matter section because it didn’t add anything from the same segment last week. This was another disqualification finish that WWE has been using way too much lately. It was really just a segment to set up the main event match between Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman.
3. The fact that the next PPV is called WrestleMania Backlash
We already know WrestleMania was last month, and that’s what the Backlash is from. Does WWE think they have to spell everything out for us? Are they just trying to leverage the brand from WrestleMania? The name of the PPV just doesn’t roll off the tongue, and it makes it sound less prestigious to me.
Reverse Hipster's What didn't matter
1.Extinction or whatever
I know Mace and T-bar won, but their matches were bad. They did the same thing they did last week. It was not creative, and it did not help Mace and T-bar. Nobody is intimidated by this team because they got count-out victories and could not win clean in two-on-one situations. Their promos are nonsense, and their matches are boring, and it is a shame because they are very talented.
Also, after getting embarrassed in their unmasking by Braun and Drew, why would they show up and help either one of them in the main event? It makes zero sense. Mace and T-bar should change their names and get out of the feud they are in. I would much rather see them go to war with the Viking Raiders and have both teams elevate each other.
2.Charlotte and Sonya deville
This segment was supposed to do two things one thing was make me us mad, and it was effective with that part. However, it was not effective in getting us interested in this Sonya and Charlotte alliance. It made no sense. First off, what kind of suspension only last for the days you are already off. Next, Why would Eddie accept Charlotte's apology? It was clear she did not mean it, and it just made Eddie look like a chump. Also, I can't believe they actually made the ref apologize and say Charlotte should have won. Are you fucking kidding me? Can Asuka not have anything! Even the one win she got over Charlotte on tv, they had to have the official of the match say that Charlotte should have won; it is ridiculous. Nobody in the history of wrestling except maybe Bruno and Hulk hogan have been kept this strong at all cost.
Also, Adam was so upset with Sonya for reinstating her but not mad enough to just resuspend Charlotte, which he could totally do. I do not even think there is a payoff to the Sonya Adam feud, just a lame way to bring Charlotte back.
3. No Bray Wyatt
The best character is missing yet again from Raw. They made all these -promises about the new season of the firefly funhouse, and so far, there has been no Bray Wyatt, no firefly funhouse. I hope The fiend goes back to Smackdown Raw is consistently bad at using Bray. Most of his success and compelling storylines have come from Smackdown.
4. Bobby lashley
Bobby is not having a good title run. If you disagree, think about how he would be remembered if he loses the title at WrestleMania Backlash. He has only had one real feud, and he has not been able to move on. He also does have many main event storylines. Most of the time, he is watching Drew, the non-champion in the main event, or some other superstar. Cm Punk is was right as the champion it should be about you. I want to see Bobby more prominently featured, and I want to know more about his character.
5. Rhea Ripley
I believe everything about Rhea until she opens her mouth and gives a bland scripted promo. She either needs to be able to speak for herself, or they need to come up with better stuff for her to say. Because none it feels like Rhea Ripley. She is a remarkable talent, but she is not coming across like that in these promos. Let her be herself.
6. The Mighty Morphin Mid Card
Yes, they have taken all the story's with no direction and combined them to make a six-man tag match. However, unlike the woman, there are no champions, so there is no greater implication. It did not matter who won this match; nothing would change, which is why this ends up here. The match was good. The wrestlers did a good job and put together a pretty good match; I just did not have any reason to care about the story or lack thereof.