By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Riddle vs. AJ Styles: There was some quality in-ring work prior to the weak distraction finish. Riddle did a nice job of selling his foot injury throughout the match. And as much as I roll my eyes as the abundance of distraction finishes we get from WWE these days, I like that they advertised Styles and Omos vs. The Viking Raiders for the Raw Tag Titles two weeks in advance.
Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal: The match gets a soft Hit for the in-ring work. The idea of McIntyre feuding with Mahal does nothing for me. It feels like McIntyre is more likely to lose something in this feud than Mahal is to be elevated to a point where fans start to see him as a high level heel. I hope they can prove me wrong, but this feels like a risky feud for McIntyre if it lasts more than another week or two. By the way, when will McIntyre have enough stroke that he can safely tear up the bad promo scripts that he’s been given lately?
Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik vs. Mace and T-Bar: A solid match with the babyface duo working from underneath and scoring the surprise pin in the end. This was fine for what it was, but I have a bad feeling that the creative forces will go the parity booking route by giving Mace and T-Bar the win in a rematch next week.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. Bobby Lashley and MVP: More of an in the middle than a true Hit or Miss. The finish of Kingston pinning MVP was painfully obvious and didn’t give Kingston a meaningful boost heading into his WWE Championship match with Lashley.
WWE Raw Misses
Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair: What should have been a can’t miss feud has been ruined with confusing booking that continues to make both women look like heels. Perhaps this is all leading somewhere and both women will actually be heels who feud with Becky Lynch once she returns, but it’s currently making for some disappointing television. This rivalry started off so promising with the build to their WrestleMania 36 match, which was eventualy thrown off course by the pandemic.
Miz TV with the men’s MITB ladder match entrants: The segment didn’t generate additional buzz for the ladder match, nor did it set up anything meaningful for Raw. This has to rate as one of the most pointless opening segments in Raw history.
Ricochet vs. John Morrison: I want to care about this television feud, but the problem is that nothing feels like it matters to the Morrison character. He comes off like he’s more concerned with dropping Drip lines than he is about his feud with Ricochet or even winning the Money in the Bank contract. Morrison is such a uniquely talented in-ring performer. It would be interesting to see what would happen if he were pushed in a more traditional manner without all of the silly comedy regardless of how much he seems to enjoy doing it.
Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Naomi, and Nikki Cross vs. Eva Marie, Doudrop, Shayna Baszler, and Nia Jax: There was a lot going on in this match and very little of it was good. Demonic Bliss is somehow a babyface. Asuka and Naomi are spinning their wheels. Baszler, Jax, and Reginald continue to take turns falling under Bliss’s spell. You know this was rough when the Eva and Doudrop storyline was the most intriguing aspect of this match.
Mustafa Ali vs. Mansoor: Did anyone watching not see where this was going when Mansoor helped free Ali from the ropes? Congratulations to Mansoor on being initiated into the WWE babyface club by being booked to look like an oblivious idiot.
Cedric Alexander and Elias vs. Jaxson Ryker and R-Truth: I still wish that Ryker and Elias had joined R-Truth in chasing after the WWE 24/7 Championship. Instead, Alexander, who who strikes me as having the most upside of anyone in the match, stuck around and took a needless loss to Ryker.
Overall Show: Most of the Hits were on the soft side, and this was a completely missable episode. Raw is just spinning its wheels until they go back on the road. Or at least I hope that’s the case because I believe they are in for a rude awakening when it comes to attendance and live crowd reactions if they don’t make some big changes starting a week from Monday.