By Jason Powell
WWE Raw Hits
Paul Heyman: Heyman delivered a terrific promo that put over Goldberg in a big way while building up his inevitable match with Brock Lesnar. Heyman hasn’t been given a lot of great material to work with this year. WWE finally gave him something big to discuss and he nailed it.
Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho: A good main event with with a nice hook in the form of Jericho having a chance to earn his way into the Universal Championship match. In fact, I hope they still get to that. I’m more interested in the Jericho and Kevin Owens dynamic than I am in watching Rollins challenge for the championship right now. Rollins made a little progress as a babyface with his sit-down interview last week, but the fans are not with him yet in his quest to regain the championship. It’s a shame that there are not some Triple H and Stephanie henchmen that he has to go through to get a title shot so that he would have a chance to get the fans behind him before he goes right back into the title picture.
Roman Reigns and Sasha Banks vs. Rusev and Charlotte: I despised the bad mid-card mixed tag matches that WWE presented, but this was a good example of how far the women have come. Charlotte and Sasha feel like they are on pace with their male counterparts in terms of star power. This was a unique way to include both storylines in one match. I have no idea why Charlotte tapped out to Sasha’s finisher. Shouldn’t they be making Charlotte look strong heading into her championship rematch?
Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston: The Hit of the match was the creative way that Sheamus conveyed his disinterest in his rival/partner’s match by sitting at ringside and goofing around on social media. The bickering between Cesaro and Sheamus was generic and made them both look petty, so it’s good that they are finding new ways to tell the story.
TJ Perkins vs. Ariya Daivari: A good match with the champion going over. Brian Kendrick sitting on commentary was a nice touch. I was not a fan of the backstage segment between Perkins and Kendrick if only because Perkins had to work in video game lingo into what was supposed to be an otherwise serious conversation. By the way, I hope we see more of Daivari in WWE.
Sin Cara and Lince Dorado vs. Tony Nese and Drew Gulak: A minor Hit for the in-ring work and this crowd sounding more into the match than some of the previous crowds have been for the cruiserweights. It’s nice to see WWE working to establish the babyface vs. heel dynamic in these matches. Unfortunately, some of the work they do feels undone due tot he Code of Honor handshake they continue to use for the cruiserweights. In one scene, they establish Nese and Gulak as heels, and then they send the message that they’re not such bad guys after all by having them shake hands with the babyfaces prior to the match.
WWE Raw Misses
Mick Foley rewards the women: Hell in a Cell match was presented as a reward for the women by, of all people, Mick Foley. Think about that for a moment. The man who was thrown off the top of the Hell in Cell structure is the last person who should be asked to present this match as a reward. At the very least, Foley should have been reluctant to give the women the match due to the risks. I would have gone so far as to have had Foley decline their request while putting over the danger of the match only to have Stephanie McMahon overrule him. I’m happy the women are getting another high profile match, but Hell in a Cell should be promoted as the most dangerous match in WWE, not as a feel good moment.
R-Truth vs. Titus O’Neil: Wrestlers fighting over a candy bar endorsement spot. Enough said.
Braun Strowman vs. The Splash Brothers: Were the jobbers heels? They seemed to be spoofing NBA stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who play in the same area that hosted Raw. And why is WWE making me think about the enhancement wrestlers rather than the guy they were supposed to enhance?
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Richard Holliday discussing The Dynasty faction in MLW, MJF's departure, the addition of Gino Medina, training under Paul Roma, and much more. Check out MLW Fusion Saturdays on beIN Sports and on the MLW YouTube Page...