By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Drew McIntyre vs. Big Show for the WWE Championship: A soft Hit for a segment that really should have been presented differently. WWE hyped “shocking footage” a few times, but the show dragged so much that I wonder how many viewers actually stuck around to see it. The actual match was fine for what it was. McIntyre selling as much as he did for Big Show didn’t bother me because the story was that Show was fresh whereas McIntyre had just fought Brock Lesnar twenty minutes earlier.
Asuka vs. Liv Morgan: A nice match to open the show. Morgan’s WrestleMania win over Natalya was presented as an upset and she followed that up with a strong showing against Asuka. Asuka’s losses should be few and far between and it felt like Morgan gained something by being so competitive in defeat. Morgan has been impressive in the ring and appears to be in line for a solid push.
Seth Rollins vs. Denzel Dejournette: A spotlight match for Rollins that allowed him to show off his frustration over losing to Kevin Owens at WrestleMania.
Nia Jax vs. Deonna Purrazzo: A nice comeback squash win for Jax coming off a year-long absence after undergoing double knee surgery.
WWE Raw Misses
Overall show: This may have been the dullest of the shows that WWE has produced in the empty WWE Performance Center. They were extremely light on in-ring star power and most of the matches felt inconsequential and/or like they were there to eat time. It was nice to get a full show without WWE resorting to airing classic matches, but they just didn’t have enough going on to keep things interesting. Most of the post WrestleMania interviews were generic, yet they were still more interesting than most of what happened in the ring on this show.
Aleister Black vs. Apollo Crews: Good work from the wrestlers, but this just didn’t accomplish much beyond filling time. I guess the idea was to make Crews look good in defeat. The problem is that Black isn’t a made man yet and therefore it felt like this made him look worse than it made Crews look good. Going 27 minutes in an empty WWE Performance Center is a tough task for anyone, but this may have worked better if Crews had been wrestled a high level heel star such as Seth Rollins, though in fairness this wasn’t the right night for the Rollins character to be put in in a long, competitive match coming off his WrestleMania loss.
Bianca Belair, Montez Ford, and Angelo Dawkins vs. Zelina Vega, Austin Theory, and Angel Garza segments: Much like Black vs. Crews, these six wrestlers filled a lot of time but they overstayed their welcome with viewers. It all felt very formula in terms as they took a long path to the inevitable six-person tag match and I’d simply stopped caring by the time they finally got there.
Cedric Alexander and Ricochet vs. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan: After sitting through a 27-minute match, a quick and decisive win for Alexander and Ricochet was more than welcome. Unfortunately, Alexander and Ricochet have been beaten down severely as singles wrestlers, so it’s going to take some time before viewers see them as a meaningful tag team.
Humberto Carrillo vs. Brendan Vink: This match and the Alexander and Ricochet tag team match would have been perfectly acceptable spotlight matches on a typical show that had a lot of other things going on. On this night, both just added to the monotonous feel of the entire episode.