By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
AJ Styles vs. Ricochet: Despite everything the creative forces have done to ruin Ricochet, this match was still the most appealing on paper. And that makes it all the more baffling that WWE didn’t even bother to advertise it in advance. Putting that aside, the match was entertaining and the finish was especially cool.
Charlotte Flair vs. Peyton Royce: As absurd as the story of Ric Flair turning on his own daughter for a piece of side action is, it’s somehow one of the most entertaining storylines going on Raw. Granted, that says more about the sad state of the brand than it does about the storyline, but I do get a kick out of seeing Ric Flair back in playboy mode.
WWE Raw Misses
Overall show: Raw continues to be the worst pro wrestling show on television. It’s sad to see just how far the mighty flagship show has fallen. I’m sure the excuse will be that they didn’t have Drew McIntyre in the building, and there was no sign of Sheamus or Keith Lee. And while those three wrestlers certainly could have made the show better, this is more than a one week issue. Raw is in a terrible place. So many characters are severely damaged and there’s no sign that the creative forces have any idea how to get themselves out of this mess. Vince McMahon’s usual tricks of putting legends or family members on the show to pop a rating won’t lead to a long term ratings resurgence because the rest of the actual product is so damn bad.
Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss in a non-title match: WWE needs to get back to the basics. The hocus pocus nonsense is going to turn off more fans than it turns on. I wish WWE was playing to an actual arena filled with fans because I have no doubt they would get the message quickly either by crowd reaction or via the larger number of empty seats that Raw would be playing to right now.
The Phantom of the Orton: Has he stopped talking yet?
The Dirt Sheet with Gillberg: I get a kick out of Gillberg and all, but WWE pulled a bait and switch by advertising Goldberg and not delivering. The creative forces have to know that Miz teasing Money in the Bank cash-ins actually does more harm than good at this point because fans have no interest in seeing him winning the WWE Championship.
The Hurt Business vs. Riddle, Lince Dorado, and Gran Metalik: Sheamus and Keith Lee were bickering tag team partners last week. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are bickering tag team partners every week. Do we really need another bickering tag team?
Xavier Woods vs. Mace: My condolences to Woods for becoming the new Ricochet in that he’s the guy who has to lose to Retribution members in meaningless matches every week now that Kofi Kingston is sidelined.
Shayna Baszler vs. Mandy Rose: We get it, Baszler and Jax are better than Rose and Dana Brooke. We don’t need a weekly reminder.
Jeff Hardy vs. Jaxson Ryker: Hardy felt like a teflon wrestler for years in that the company couldn’t ruin him no matter how bad his creative was. It’s as if 2021 Vince McMahon stepped forward and said hold my beer. What a waste.