Reverse Hipster and Rob list off what mattered and what didn't on Smackdown. Comment your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree?
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
Kofi and Mvp
This was easily the best part of Raw. Kofi cut a passionate babyface promo putting over himself AND Xavier Woods. He called Mvp out for being a leach and called Bobby soft. Mvp called Xavier out as weak and said Kofi was no threat to Bobby, and they were already looking past Kofi. I think it's time to elevate the public perception of Kofi's promo ability. He is one of the best talkers on the roster.
Mvp and Kofi didn't pull any punches. They showed us two camps whose ideology conflict making Kofi's feud even more interesting. At the end of the segment, Kofi knocked Mvp the hell out, and it felt like Mvp earned it.
2. AJ vs. DREW vs. Riddle
I wasn't a fan of these guys getting a second chance to qualify and was pretty sure Drew would win and get his win back from Riddle. However, I can't be mad because the match was epic, and they heavily protected Riddle in the loss. He had a match earlier that night, and he had an injured foot. So after a 5-star tv main event and a good addition to MITB, what's there to complain about?
3. The Battle Royal
I loved this because it gave everyone a chance to fight for money in the bank instead of just giving three guys another chance without giving other superstars a chance. Additionally, Riddle fighting for a missing Randy gave Raw a story for the night. Also, everybody in the match furthered their character for the most part. The tag champion Omos eliminated the tag challengers. Cedric eliminated his rival Jeff, who looked good before his elimination, and the 24/7 title returned and was fought for. Damien Priest and Riddle had an awesome final fight that kept Damien strong even in a loss.
4. 6 Woman Tag
I like how Charlotte acknowledged her feud with Natalya and Tamina when they were on the welcoming committee on Smackdown and when she tried to mentor Dana. I didn't expect anything from this match, but it way over-delivered. It started hot with a brawl that made these feuds feel way more developed and serious than they currently are. The women all looked strong in this match and had a hard-hitting impressive match. My only criticism is that Mandy and Dana should have pinned Natalya or Tamina instead of Charlotte pinning Mandy. That way, Mandy and Dana could be the number one contenders for Mitb, and the champs wouldn't have taken a straight-up loss ahead of a tag team title match.
5. Nikki Ash Prevails Again
Nikki defeated Shayna Bazzler this week, and I loved it. I like her new character. I hope she wins MITB. Alexa gave her a minor assist, but honestly, ASh did this 99% by herself. Alexa's distraction didn't decide the match. I'm glad Nikki got another legitimate win, but my only criticism is that she needs a finishing move. Also, I don't mind WWE ignoring the beef between Alexa and Nikki because it should be retconned; it was bad, and the enemy of my enemy is my friend. They have been careful to only bring them together by circumstance. They haven't been chummy.
6. Richochet vs Morrison
This did its job as an advertisement for MITB. I was excited to see the two former Lucha Underground wrestlers lock up, and they did not disappoint. Richochet stole this one(pun intended) with his springboard wheelchair hurricanerana and his crossbody from the ring to just over the barricade.
This is hard to judge because they fucked this story up so much. However, I'm going to say that this week was a step in the right direction. Dewdrop beat two former champions, so she looks very strong. Also, Eva put her in her place a bit by claiming the victory. So a step in the right direction, but Dewdrop still needs to be humbled back to being a subordinate in a way we as the audience can understand. Also, Eva needs to deliver on her rockstar prom. We still haven't seen her wrestle. She seems like a manager. For example, Dewdrop could do the work, then Eva comes in, does her finisher, and gets the pin. Show her in-ring at least a little.
8. Leather Strap match
We finally got to see Ryker fight, and he had a decent match. I don't think this feud needs to go on anymore. He had a good match with Elias, and now we know he is clearly superior to Elias after beating him three weeks in a row.
Rob’s What mattered
1. Kofi Kingston and MVP
Kofi Kingston’s redemption storyline has become the most compelling part of Raw. Kingston doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his promo work. This segment convinced me it was time to put the title back on him. MVP and Kingston have incredible chemistry on the mic, and they are selling this feud hard. They highlighted the contrast between the champion Bobby Lashley is and what kind of champion Kingston was, amplifying this feud with a moral conflict. Kingston attacking MVP was a great retaliation strike after Lashley brutalized Woods last week. It’s a great way to progress this feud without giving away the championship match.
2. Money in the Bank Qualifiers
The battle royal to open the night was unexpected and exciting. Even with the predictable result, I thought it delivered and advanced some other feuds and undercard talent. Damian Priest looked like a viable threat for most of the match, and the finishing sequence was awesome. The triple threat match could have main evented nearly any WWE show in-ring. Riddle continued his streak of having the best matches of the night. AJ Styles proved he can still go in a high-stake singles match setting. Drew McIntyre is just the guy who can do it all in WWE right now. McIntyre looks the part, speaks the part, and can have a great match on any given night. I think McIntyre was the right call to win. It advances Riddle’s story with Randy Orton, gives Styles an excuse for the loss while going back to tag with Omos, and McIntyre has a featured story while staying away from the world championship.
3. Riddle as Randy
This week, Randy Orton was unavailable, so Riddle took his place in a battle royal to earn his way into the main event triple threat match. After winning the battle royal and in a backstage segment with Damian Priest, Riddle did his best Orton impression- cold, aloof, unfriendly, and absolutely no jokes. As a viewer, it was funny to watch. As a character motivation, it gives Riddle a lot of nuances. Riddle believes Orton is better than him and that he has to try to be more like Orton to avoid letting the viper down. If that’s the case, Riddle must think this tag team with Orton is a huge opportunity for him, explaining why he is trying so hard to make this work.
4. THAT dive
I’m okay with any double count-out if the move before warrants it. Ricochet executed a suicide dive I don’t think I have ever seen in WWE, striking John Morrison outside of the barricade. Their match before was good already, and they did a great job selling their potential for big moves in the Money in the Bank match. I think Ricochet just wanted to remind everyone that he is a threat to win this, or at the very least, have the spot of the night.
5. Nikki Cross
It’s too early to say, but Nikki Cross is doing a great job getting her superhero character over and convincing us it's more than a gimmick. If she succeeds, she will be doing the same thing as Alexa Bliss with her spooky character, giving more variety to the women’s division which helps the whole division shine more as a result.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. Asuka and Naomi vs. Eva Marie and Doudrop
I didn’t like this segment because it was a direct rematch, and it didn’t answer any of the questions I had after last week. Why would Doudrop continue to fight for Eva Marie after she humiliated her and hasn’t helped in the matches? Why did these teams rematch with no consequences? The result was 50/50 booking, and I’m still not sure what the point of Eva Marie’s return is. I think she is actually fine in-ring, and her character is different from anyone in WWE. I just want to see her used correctly and to benefit the whole division.
Reverse Hipster What Didn't Matter
There wasn't anything here that was noteworthily bad. This is two good Raws in a row.
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