By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Kari Sane and Asuka vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles: A good early tag team match with The Kabuki Warriors going over when Asuka got another win over Lynch. Shayna Baszler watching from ringside was a nice hook. Bayley attacking Baszler only to quickly have her ass handed to her did nothing to erase the feeling that Bayley is a third wheel in the champions match at Survivor Series, but it’s probably too late in the game to change that perception anyway.
Randy Orton, Ricochet, and Humberto Carrillo vs. AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson: The Orton and Ricochet dynamic is interesting with Orton toying with the paranoid wannabe superhero. I hope the creative forces don’t think that pinning Styles was a big star making moment for Carrillo. It felt like a pat on the head win with Orton doing the work by hitting the RKO on Styles before tagging in Carrillo, who hit the moonsault that resulted in the pinfall. It definitely beats Carrillo losing again, but it didn’t feel like anything special either.
Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Montez Ford, and Angelo Dawkins vs. Walter, Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner, and Marcel Barthel: The Rollins vs. Walter match was fun while it lasted, though I could have done without Rollins being on the verge of hitting his finisher on the WWE UK Champion before the rest if Imperium interfered. And I definitely could have done without Rollins referring to the championship as “that little title” as if it’s a worthless title that carries no value. The actual eight-man tag match was entertaining and I didn’t come away feeling like Imperium was damaged in a way that will stick with them on NXT UK television.
The Viking Raiders vs. Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster in a non-title match: A fun while it lasted tag match with the NXT UK duo getting some flashy offense early before the Viking Raiders hit them with their usual power moves. It is odd that creative has gone out of their way to turn fans against the Vikings Raiders’ squash match victims by having their dress as rival team baseball players or preppy pretty boys, yet in this case they had them work against two home area heroes.
Andrade vs. Cedric Alexander: Andrade getting showcase match wins is still helpful at this point given all the matches he lost on Smackdown. That said, I hope there’s an actual plan in place for him and he isn’t getting the Drew McIntyre treatment (more on that below).
Erick Rowan vs. Soner Durson: Please let Rowan’s new pet be a ferret that he found nesting in his beard one cold Minnesota morning. And please don’t let the new pet be the remains from one of the 75 times that the Ramblin’ Rabbit puppet was killed.
WWE Raw Misses
Rusev, Lana, and Bobby Lashley: Sex. Apparently, WWE thinks that having a character say the word repeatedly leads to ratings. On the off chance that writing the word leads to more website traffic: Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. With that out of the way, the Lana promo was a groaner and this bad daytime talkshow program isn’t doing anything for me. Lana lying about being pregnant feels like the peak of things that she could do to torment Rusev, so hopefully it’s time to get to Rusev vs. Lashley match.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sin Cara: The days of praising WWE for giving McIntyre a showcase win are over. They’ve been giving him wins like this one and often go out of their way to protect him when he takes losses for a long time now and it hasn’t led to anything. It’s all just wheel spinning until the creative forces come up with an actual plan to maximize his potential.
Samir Singh and Sunil Singh vs. R-Truth in a handicap match for the WWE 24/7 Championship: The weekly dose of R-Truth comedy feels tired and repetitive. I haven’t been a fan of the 24/7 Title since it returned, but it seems like many of the fans who enjoyed it have cooled on it.
Aleister Black: The weekly “Deep Thoughts with Aleister” segment took a step back with Black reverting to hoping that someone will knock on his door and challenge him to a fight. Will this ever move forward?