By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Seth Rollins vs. Sami Zayn in a non-title match: A minor Hit despite the flawed presentation of having an “impromptu match” in the main event slot. The match was entertaining, but we’ve now seen Zayn beaten by Braun Strowman, Kofi Kingston, and now Rollins in the last week. Zayn is a great talker and a fun pest heel, but part of the fun of a pest heel is the wait to see someone put the pest in his place.
Ricochet vs. Cesaro: Another entertaining match from these two. Cesaro got the win while Ricochet was injured coming out of the Money in the Bank ladder match last week, and Ricochet got his win back this week. Will WWE book a rubber match?
Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Funhouse: WWE hyped the segment several times throughout the night, which is likely a sign that they are excited by what they are doing and/or the segments are performing well in the minute-by-minute ratings. The segments continue to be intriguing, but the lingering question remains of whether Wyatt’s new persona will be booked properly once he leaves the children’s show set and returns to the ring.
WWE Raw Misses
Brock Lesnar toys with Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston: The new Brock Party version of Lesnar isn’t doing much for me. I’m all for doing something different with Lesnar, but watching him treat the Money in the Bank briefcase like a boom box is a cute little gimmick to sell boom box briefcases and “Brock Party” t-shirts rather than a real character shift. Lesnar vs. Kingston feels fresh. Lesnar vs. Rollins feels flat and that’s mostly due to the repetitiveness of Lesnar being in the WWE Universal Title picture. On the bright side, at least they didn’t have Lesnar cash in his MITB contract for a shot in Saudi Arabia. It would have been a waste to have him cash in for a title match that the company could have simply booked him for.
Braun Strowman vs. The Miz vs. Baron Corbin vs. Bobby Lashley in a four-way elimination match: An elimination match that ended with a single pinfall? If they creative forces wanted to protect Strowman and Lashley by having them brawl to the back, why didn’t they make this a standard four-way match rather than an elimination match? By the way, any event that features Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler challenging for the top singles titles is not bigger than WrestleMania no matter how the company attempts to spin it.
The Electric Chair interview with Sami Zayn: Third hour lighting changes (that make the show look more dreary than raw), the WWE 24/7 Title (comedic nonsense), and now the electric chair interview segment. WWE creative seems to be throwing a bunch of ideas at the wall in hopes that something will stick. The actual electric chair prop looked corny. Zayn bringing up AEW after the fans in the crowd failed to do so all felt a little desperate. Vince McMahon needs to forget all the gimmicky silliness and hot-shot booking. Get back to the basics and deliver logical storytelling. There is no quick fix for the mess that he’s created with years of bad storytelling and misusing the mid-card wrestlers.
The Usos block party: Vince McMahon just can’t get through a holiday without booking sports entertainment silliness. Perhaps the segment not ending in a food fight is a sign that Vince’s sense of humor is maturing at the age of 73. Nah. It’s downright distressing that WWE has two of the best tag teams in the world and have opted to feature them in a back shaving segment, an Ucey Hot skit, and a game of cornhole. And whatever happened to the actual Raw Tag Champions?
The IIconics vs. Becky Lynch and Nikki Cross in a non-title match: We waited all these years for WWE Women’s Tag Titles only for the company to put the belts on a duo that loses to everyone? On the plus side, I like that they are establishing a partnership between Lynch and Cross. If they take their time and develop a friendship between the characters then Cross turning on Lynch someday could be a money angle.
Shane McMahon vs. Lance Anoa’i: A minor Miss for how bad the segment made Roman Reigns look. It would have been different if the match started fairly and then Drew McIntyre interfered down the stretch. Instead, McIntyre attacked Anoa’i before the match, and yet we didn’t see Reigns come out until after the heels had their way with his cousin. On a side note, it was a nice touch to have Anoa’i on the show given that his father Samu is battling liver cancer. WWE is sending Samoa Joe, Kassius Ohno, and others to a fundraising event for Samu that will be held on Wednesday night. For more details, check out WWE.com.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Gursinder Singh (a/k/a Tony Gill), who explains why he asked for his release from Impact Wrestling. He also discusses his background, being trained by Lance Storm, being in the Desi Hit Squad, his future, and more.
The Best of The Boom features Jim Ross joining Jason Powell in this May 9, 2018 discussion regarding his relationship with Vince McMahon, why Vince sticks with Roman Reigns, how Triple H has changed over the years, and more. New episodes of the Boom are typically available mid-week...