By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Becky Lynch, Lacey Evans, and Charlotte Flair double contract signing: A quality segment with good mic work from Lynch and Evans. While the jury is still out in Lacey’s ring work, she is more than holding her own on the mic. Flair’s delivery is fine, but it seems like she’s run out of fresh material when it comes to working with Lynch. Can you blame her? Overall, the segment put good heat on the heels as they put Lynch through a table and then posed with her title belts.
Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn in a falls count anywhere match: I came away with mixed feelings regarding the outcome of the match. I like the decision to replace Strowman with Zayn in the Money in the Bank ladder match, and I actually see Zayn as a quality option to win the MITB contract. And while the thought of Strowman entering the match again didn’t do anything for me, I can’t help but wonder how this will be received by more casual viewers who would be more likely to be excited by Strowman’s involvement in the MITB ladder match.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cesaro: An entertaining match with Mysterio picking up a good win heading into his U.S. Championship match with Samoa Joe at MITB. While Mysterio winning here was perfectly logical, I really hope that WWE will book Cesaro as being more than just a good hand. Cesaro is a terrific wrestler and it’s a shame that he’s never been showcased as a meaningful singles wrestler.
Roman Reigns and The Miz vs. Bobby Lashley and Elias: A good opening tag match that put heat Lashley, Elias, and Shane McMahon heading into the pay-per-view. The Miz TV segment that preceded the match was interesting in terms of comparing promo styles. The Miz showed good fire as he spoke about his cage match with Shane, whereas Reigns played it overly laid back and cool and did nothing to sell me on his match with Elias. And it’s not just this match. It seems like Reigns is never called on deliver the big go-home promo to sell even his biggest pay-per-view matches.
Naomi vs. Dana Brooke vs. Natalya vs. Nikki Cross in a four-way: A minor Hit for the interesting dynamic established between Cross and Alexa Bliss. Still, it was odd to see the only woman not advertised for the women’s MITB ladder match win the four-way match on the go-home show. Does this mean Cross has the all important momentum heading into a match that she’s not even in?
WWE Raw Misses
Ricochet vs. Baron Corbin: Hit worthy in terms of match quality, but it’s frustrating to see Ricochet being positioned as just another guy with this loss to Corbin and another recent loss to Robert Roode. We’ll find out on Sunday if this is a case of having a guy take some losses because they intend to give him a big boost by winning the MITB ladder match. If not, then it looks like he could end up on the long list of “can’t miss” talent who were wasted once they arrived on the main roster.
Mojo Rawley vs. Apollo Crews: A minor Miss. After months of stops and starts with the Rawley mirror vignettes, the company opted to hold the Raw debut of his new persona following a stretch without any new vignettes.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Justin Credible discussing his sobriety, what triggered his PTSD, filming the Credible documentary, returning to the ring, his thoughts on WWE, AEW, the NWA Crockett Cup, and more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Court Bauer, who discusses MLW Saturday Night SuperFight, his mindset just days before the company's first pay-per-view, the $19.99 price point, future PPV possibilities, the free pre-show, former WWE and Lucha Underground creative force Chris DeJoseph joining the MLW staff, and more...