By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
WWE Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Cedric Alexander in a non-title match: As much as I remain baffled by the decision to pull Alexander and Shelton Benjamin from The Hurt Business, this was a good showcase for Lashley. The match went ten minutes and Alexander got some offense in, but the WWE Champion never felt like he was at risk of losing his final match before WrestleMania.
U.S. Champion Riddle vs. Mustafa Ali in a non-title match: A well worked match. Riddle is still one of the most annoying characters on WWE television, but he’s still terrific once the bell rings. It’s great that Retribution is finished. I just hope that the talented Ali won’t be the fall guy for the failed faction and that the rest of the members get to ditch their bad costumes and revert to their previous personas. Unfortunately, they are listed by their Retribution names in promotional material for Friday’s Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
WWE Women’s Tag Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Rhea Ripley and Asuka in a non-title match: I’m not crazy about the idea of making Ripley the heel. She clicked as a babyface in NXT, and it feels like the time is right for an Asuka heel turn. But for the direction they chose, the idea of Ripley setting up Asuka by accepting this match with a plan of attack in mind was solid. I remain shocked that Charlotte Flair wasn’t added to the Raw Women’s Champion match.
WWE Raw Misses
Drew McIntyre vs. King Corbin: Forget about the match quality. The challenger for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania needed 18 minutes to beat a guy who is advertised for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Really? On the bright side, McIntyre delivered a good go-home promo during the opening segment.
The Miz and John Morrison paint Bad Bunny’s car: Could anyone watching the show actually relate to the heels painting Bad Bunny’s $3 million car? The fact that Bad Bunny supposedly spent over $3 million on a car will make him a heel in the eyes of most viewers. If this continues beyond WrestleMania, maybe those dastardly heels could really get to Bunny by disguising their voices while calling his butler and giving him an unscheduled day off. If that doesn’t create sympathy for the babyface then nothing will!
Braun Strowman and Shane McMahon: Strowman showed good fire while delivering his “win one for the stupid people” promo, but it was too little too late for this lousy feud.
AJ Styles vs. Xavier Woods: An 80-second match? Take eight minutes away from the needlessly long main event and give it to these guys. The final push for this feud was actually about Tom Phillips freaking out because Omos didn’t flinch when Kofi Kingston threw a microphone at his abdomen. Gee, I’m sold.