Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: The McMahon Family promises change, Raw women get the entire third hour, Baron Corbin repeat, four-way for a Raw Tag Title shot

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw Hits

Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin: This was essentially a repeat of Corbin’s “match” with Braun Strowman from Sunday’s TLC, as Angle was joined by Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, Apollo Crews, and even referee Heath Slater in giving Corbin his comeuppance. I have no problem with that since it was logical to give the television audience a satisfying payoff to the dreadful story that was Corbin’s reign as the general manager.

The Revival vs. AOP vs. B-Team vs. Lucha House Party: A minor Hit for The Revival getting the win after Seth Rollins praised them in his “Raw Sucks” promo. And bonus points for the announcement that the McMahons did away with the ridiculous Lucha House Rules gimmick. Now if only they would tweak the LHP act so that they continue to cater to kids without turning off adults by being so corny.

WWE Raw Misses

The McMahon Family returns and promises changes: A crowd pleasing segment thanks to the McMahon family star power and yet I came out of this segment with no real confidence that significant change is coming. Sure, the McMahons will apparently be appearing on television more often and it seems like they intend to play it straight at least to begin with (we’ll see how long that lasts). They promised new stars and announced six wrestlers who will be coming up from NXT. Only time will tell whether Vince McMahon realizes that his booking is the real problem. NXT has provided Vince with good, new talent for years now and he’s squandered most of it. Here’s hoping he gives the product a real shakeup. Pull back on the sports entertainment silliness and give people a smarter, more sports-like product where wins and losses actually matter, and the wrestlers are the stars rather than the company and the family that runs it. Basically, sit down and watch a few hours of NXT television or just hand over the creative reigns to Paul Levesque. I sincerely hope that Vince recognizes that he’s the problem and intends to change. He’s the most successful pro wrestling promoter in history, but he’s lost his way creatively. Vince stated during his promo that he can’t do it all on his own anymore. One can only hope that this was an honest statement and not just a line designed to set up the introduction of the McMahon family members. Based on the rest of Raw, I have my doubts.

Natalya vs. Alicia Fox vs. Dana Brooke vs. Bayley vs. Mickie James vs. Ember Moon vs. Ruby Riott vs. Sasha Banks in a gauntlet match: WWE gave the entire third hour to the women with the Ronda Rousey promo followed by the gauntlet match. The open challenge issued by Rousey was fine, but I hope this is the last time she attempts to define what makes a champion. The backstage shot that followed the open challenge and showed the women bickering at the Gorilla position was eye rolling material, and Stephanie McMahon barking “come with me” and having the women immediately fall silent and follow her lead was stomach turning. It was nice to hear Stephanie claim she’s not playing favorites, but then picking Bayley and Alicia Fox to start a gauntlet match seemed to counter this statement immediately. The actual match had some good moments, but it just went on forever. I had no expectation of this being the show closing match when it started and was actually disappointment once I finally came to the conclusion that it really was the show’s final segment. It’s not the the women are incapable of filling the time, it’s that the match featured undercard players and some of the most misused and abused talents in all of WWE.

Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler: Apparently Vince McMahon’s changes don’t include holding matches without announced finishes. Drew McIntyre interfering in this match should not have surprised anyone. And while the match quality should be good, it’s hard to be excited about an oddball three-way feud with nothing at stake.

Dean Ambrose vs. Tyler Breeze for the Intercontinental Championship: I’m begging for a mini web documentary that shows Breeze camping out by the Gorilla position at NXT and Raw for weeks in hopes of someone issuing an open challenge. And please let that footage include a frantic Breeze racing to Gorilla only to find out that he was just seconds late to accept Ronda Rousey’s open challenge. Anyway, the match was fine. The real issue was the predictability of Seth Rollins being dressed up as one of Ambrose’s swat team members. Don’t send the message of change and then run the same tired play again.

Check out the latest ProWrestling.net Live audio show with Jason Powell and John Moore taking listener calls and discussing WWE TLC and ROH Final Battle.


Readers Comments (10)

  1. I normally agree with most of the hit list you put out Jason, but this one does seem a little on the harsh side. Dont get me wrong it wasn’t a great show but for someone crying out for change, when the show comes where they are actually trying to build some changes in, baby steps, remember. You give more misses and less hits than on weeks where raw has been actually terrible.

    • I need signs of actual change. It’s lip service until they actually deliver. If and when they do then I’ll give them credit. I didn’t see it last night and I’m not going to praise a show I didn’t enjoy simply because they vowed change without being specific. I hope that explains it.

      • I get what you are saying, but it is hard to implement much into one show. I guess the time to really judge whether anything has actually changed will be after the Royal Rumble. Seeing how they build to a PPV and what they deliver under the supposed changes will be interesting.

        • I call them as I see them in the moment on a show by show basis. And for a show that promised change, I didn’t see much of it in areas where they could have started to send a message about the way they operate. It felt like a business as usual show. I also questioned the timing of this “change” show in audio last night. I don’t expect major changes on Christmas Eve or NYE, so you’re basically telling audience that change is coming and then delivering what will likely be missable holiday content. So why not just kick off the new year with the announcement when you can actually start to deliver on the promise for change?

          • I agree that the timing is very weird as christmas and New Year shows are always just phoned in anyway with no thought. I just pray that this is going to lead to real change post these 2 shows though. fingers crossed

    • Raw was terrible. It was literally the exact same garbage format that has sucked for years.

  2. Gauntlet matches are my least favorite matches of all. They are all too long and doesn’t help that the first two people seemed giddy instead of disappointing with their “bad draw”

  3. Sorry if this comes across dickish, but sometimes fans deserve everything they get. Why would you boo the hell out of Corbin and cheer Rollins when he says Raw sucks, then give a massive ovation to the guy who you know is responsible for it sucking?

  4. I tend to agree with John to an extent, Jason. The thing about it is that it all depends on who Vince and family ID’s as the fan base. No offence, but I suspect well meaning scribes aren’t on their radar – that is, they don’t care about who they THINK are smart marks and malcontents expecting what they want in an instant (which is where John was going to an extent). Sure – there wasn’t instant change and the gauntlet match did go for too long and so on. But I suspect that the McMahon’s are going to tween from now on and that has to be good long term, especially if Trips has more of the backstage say and we all know how good NXT has been compared to the main roster. Time will tell.

  5. >The backstage shot that followed the open challenge and showed the women bickering at the Gorilla position was eye rolling material<

    Give me a break. If it was the male wrestlers doing this exact same thing, you and all the other wrestling reviewers that have complained about it would've never said a word.

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