The Raw Rundown
Reverse Hipster What Mattered
1.Kofi Beats Randy and Bobby in the same night!
The New Day has been on a losing steak lately, and I have not been a fan of it. However, their fortunes changed in one night. First, they had a backstage segment with RKBro which led to Randy and Kofi reigniting their feud and having a match. Xavier had a hilarious distraction with Francesca 2, and Kofi rolled up and beat Randy Orton. I was super hype to see Kofi get the W. However, they were not done yet. Riddle and Woods had words over Xavier's distraction, and Riddle ended up pushing Xavier down, so I cannot wait to see the fall out of that rivalry.
At the top of the night, Bobby issued an open challenge. This development was exciting because it gave Raw a storyline throughout the night, and multiple superstars talked about taking Bobby's open challenge on. When the time came, Kofi answered the call, and I was on 10. Kofi and Bobby actually had a perfect match together, and I was on the edge of my seat rooting for Kofi the entire time. When Kofi pinned Bobby, I went from ten to one hundred. This was the best Raw main event of the year. I hope Kofi challenges Bobby at hell in the cell for the title, and even if Kofi does not win and but they have a competitive match, it will be a win for Kofi and Bobby. Bobby will show that he can have meaningful, exciting matches without Drew, and Kofi will have competed at the main event level again without it being a bland squash.
2. Asuka vs Charlotte
Oh, My God! Asuka and Charlotte went off. If you missed this match, you need to go back and watch it. They were actually given time to work, and they went out there and had a PPV level match, maybe their best match yet. Counter after counter kick out after kick out, these women knew each other well and refused to lose to each other. Until finally, Charlotte tried to talk shit to Rhea, and Asuka took advantage. Charlotte almost recovered, but at this level, even a half-second window of opportunity is enough to cost you the match. I loved this for Asuka, who had to take the pin at Backlash. This keeps Asuka strong, and keeps Charlotte out of the title picture, and gives Asuka a win she should have gotten a long time ago.
3. Sheamus vs Ricochet
I think Ricochet is totally wrong in this feud I agree with the heel commentator Cory graves. Ricochet is a thief. He stole Sheamus clothes made fun of him being Irish, and all because of what? Sheamus beating him clean on the preshow. However, the match was phenomenal. Sheamus continues his hot streak of matches. He beat Ricochet with a stiff kick, and he has bolstered his reputation as a great u.s champion so much that it is getting me more hyped to see who will finally beat him. If he stays on this path, he may surpass John Cena.
4. The woman's Tag Team championship
Natalya and Tamina successfully defended their tag belts and cemented their reign as champions. I loved that they are using the hart attack to finish opponents. I also loved how they brought in Alexa bliss, and they have mixed storylines. It definitely makes things more interesting when story's overlap. It's clear to me that Alexa is going after Nia Jax. She took away Shayna's legs last week, and she burned Reginald this week. The common denominator is Jax.
We got another Evalution vignette, and I am here for it. We got to see her on set for her movie, taking more pics like the super role model she is. I am glad they got her new music and ditched Bayley and Sasha's. I just love Eva's presentation. I cannot wait to see her come back. I have no idea whom she will face. I have heard some rumors online that she is a babyface, but I hope that is not true. I think she is set up well for a delusional heel role.
6. Nikki cross returns
Apparently, Miz is hurt and will be out for a long time with an ACL tear. I think he was supposed to be in this spot, but because he was hurt, they used Morrison. I think this match did several things well. First off, it gave us a proper match to blow off the feud. Second, it gave everyone who was not booked in a larger story something to do and a way to advance their stories.
Nikki Cross came back, and even though I think she deserves a more significant presentation than this for her return, I am happy to see her on tv. Plus, it does go with her character to be the only lumberjill in a lumberjack match. Also, Cedrick attacked Shelton and started a brawl that led to a contentious backstage interview between the two where Cedric said there is a reason all your partners leave you behind, and Cedric punched him in the chest. Also, The Viking Raiders and Mace and T-Bar teased a battle, and as you know, that is something I am very interested in seeing.
7. AJ and Omos
I did not want to see a match between AJ and Elias. To me, AJ has no character, and Elias can be so so in the ring. However, they proved me wrong they had an entertaining match, and Elias did not win, but Elias and Ryker got one over on the champions and beat up AJ. So it seems like they are starting a feud, and if they can keep surprising me, I am down for it. I do not think Elias and Ryker will win, but they can have a good title match that will give both teams more credibility.
8. The 24/7 Title returns
R truth returned with 24/7 title and hilariously thought he had an open challenge. However, once he realized it was Lashley, he let his guard down, but unfortunately for Truth, the 24/7 title is always an open challenge. Akira took that challenge and defeated R truth. I am happy to see the 24/7 back because it brings in some comedy segments, and it is another chance to use more superstars, and it is unpredictable.
Rob’s What mattered
1. Kofi Kingston
Early in the night, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Riddle, and Randy Orton all shined in a hilarious but heated backstage segment trying to resolve what happened last week. Riddle’s reactions the whole time were hilarious, and he was funny again tagging along behind Orton in his entrance. Kingston and Orton had a good match for Raw. They have a unique chemistry defined by their conflict throughout Kingston’s on and off rise to the top of the card. Kingston beat Orton after distraction from Woods and with a roll up, but he still won. Kingston’s win is a great indication that WWE still sees him as a valuable single’s star. Kingston went on to answer champion Bobby Lashley’s open challenge, and he won the match but not for the title and not without help from Woods and Drew McIntyre. It was exciting to see Kingston back in the main event picture. Every time he gets a chance like this, he knocks it out of the park, which is a sign to WWE that he should get one more big KofiMania-like run.
2. Sheamus vs. Ricochet
I didn’t see their match on the pre-show at WrestleMania Backlash, so this match was completely fresh to me. Ricochet showcased more personality than he ever has on the main roster in his backstage interview, stealing Sheamus’s hat and jacket and mocking his accent to anger the champion. Sheamus seemed genuinely pissed off, and the match that followed was the perfect clash between the bruiser champion and acrobatic high-flying challenger. Sheamus is continuing his trend of trying to have the best match every night as mid-card champion, and Ricochet is an awesome challenger for him.
3. Alexa Bliss and Lily finally strike
Alexa Bliss had a uniquely creepy and hard to take your eyes off of interview backstage with new champions Natalya and Tamina. Bliss was threatening and chill at the same time, asking Lily’s hard-hitting questions like, “What is your favorite color?” During the tag team championship rematch, it seems like Bliss and Lily finally made their move. A column of fire erupted from the corner of the ring during the match, nearly burning Reginald and distracting Shayna Baszler. It seems like Bliss has her eyes set on Baszler and/or Nia Jax, which is a great first feud for Bliss’s new character and a good feud for the team that recently lost the belts.
4. Angel Garza is a man of his word
I shouldn’t love this feud as much as I do, but I love a silly undercard feud when the guys involved are really selling it. Angel Garza and Drew Gulak are so talented it’s just nice to see them on TV. Garza got a new CGI rose animation in his entrance, highlighting the beauty and the thorns of his symbol. Garza defeated Gulak with the wing clipper, which is one of the most devastating and creative looking finishing moves in WWE today. This week, Garza followed through on his promise to shove a rose down Gulak’s throat. If I were Garza, I would start making promises for championships.
5. R-Truth is back!
It seemed like for no reason the 24/7 Championship was just missing for weeks along with champion R-Truth. He came back this week and had another hilarious backstage interview. R-Truth got pinned by Akira Tozawa, losing the title again, but if we learned one thing, Truth will always find his way back to his baby. I hope this is a chance for WWE to go back to featuring talent with that title and trying creative backstage ideas with the 24/7 premise.
Reverse Hipster What Didn't matter
1.Angel Garza vs Gulac
I know Rob loves this one, but I just do not feel the same. Angel is talented, but so is Gulac. I actually think Gulac is better. Watch his cruiserweight classic matches and his matches with Daniel Bryan. Also, because of his PowerPoint presentations, we have seen that he has a sense of humor. However, I just think they have made him look terrible beaten and embarrassed twice. I get that they are more invested in Angel, and that is fine, but I think you can make Angel look good without making Gulac look like a joke.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. More roll up, distraction, and disqualification finishes
Elias vs. AJ Styles ended in a disqualification. Xavier Woods distraction led to a Kofi Kingston roll up win over Randy Orton. Natalya and Tamina defeated Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax over an exploding pyro distraction. Asuka rolled up Charlotte after she was distracted by Rhea Ripley. Kingston rolled up Bobby Lashley after interference from Drew McIntyre. It all sounds like too much when you list it out like that, right? WWE lately has been defined by these sort of dirty finishes that do nothing to progress the story. Some of them are excellent, but too much is exhausting. WWE needs to put someone in charge of monitoring the finishes on the whole card to make sure that there is enough differences in the matches.
2. Continuing feuds
Even after a PPV, it felt like all the big feuds were just going on the exact same. Drew McIntyre is still involved in the championship picture, as he has been for over a year now since winning the title over Brock Lesnar. I don’t know what McIntyre and Bobby Lashley have left to do. Likewise, Charlotte Flair faced Asuka again trying to face Rhea Ripley. I know Flair’s character will find a way to get back to the championship, but putting her right back against her two foes from Sunday was lazy and uncreative. I would have rather seen her face Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose, Lana, or Naomi after their confrontation backstage. John Morrison faced Damian Priest again, despite Miz or Morrison facing Priest in some capacity nearly every week since WrestleMania. It’s not the talent’s fault, but enough is enough with these straight up rematches every week. Even in the segments I liked, New Day was still tangling with RKBro, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler were facing Tamina and Natalya AGAIN, and Drew Gulak and Angel Garza were tangling for the third week in a row.
3. Elias and Jaxson Ryker
I can’t take these two seriously, and I don’t know why they are facing the tag team champions when the Viking Raiders are waiting backstage. They are thrown together, and their validity is dead after the Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman feud. I don’t know anything about Jaxson Ryker’s character. Elias is ice cold after a pretty great initial run on the main roster. They need to find their characters and their angle as a team.