By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Bobby Lashley and Goldberg: A decent verbal segment by Goldberg standards. He’s never been a great talker, but he brought his usual intensity. MVP did his usual good with his promo and it was interesting to see him taunt Goldberg’s son Gage at ringside. Did Goldberg spearing MVP to save his son mark the end of Gage’s involvement in the story or is there more to come?
Raw Women’s Champion Nikki ASH vs. Charlotte Flair in a No Holds Barred, Championship Contenders Match: The ASH persona is still too Pollyanna for my taste, but it’s clearly an act that plays to the younger fans. ASH and Flair worked a good main event match and the most important thing is that they had the live crowd engaged and rallying behind the babyface.
Rhea Ripley vs. Nia Jax: A good outing for Ripley in that she hit her finisher on Jax and scored the pin. I’m still not sure how Jax was cut, but hopefully it was something minor. The post match angle teasing a Jax and Shayna Baszler split was really well received by the live crowd to the point that they even booed when they didn’t get the breakup.
Omos vs. Riddle: A solid Omos match. The match was laid out in a way that let Riddle show some heart by fighting to avoid being counted out on multiple occasions before he ultimately took the pinfall loss. It’s odd that WWE advertised Randy Orton in the Chicago market, yet he did not appear again this week.
Mustafa Ali and Mansoor vs. Mace and T-Bar: Another case of WWE parity booking with the heel duo avenging last week’s loss. If nothing else, they are telling a story with Ali appearing to slowly come around on the overzealous Mansoor, even going so far as to save him from the post match attack that he ended up taking instead.
WWE Raw Misses
Drew McIntyre vs. Veer and Shanky: Creative continues to do a disservice to McIntyre. As if those cornball stories he told during past promos weren’t bad enough, now he’s running around with a giant sword. I sense zero interest in McIntyre’s feud with Jinder Mahal, and showing Jinder and his henchmen running to leave the building in fear of the sword didn’t help the cause.
NXT Champion Karrion Kross vs. Keith Lee in a non-title match: The NXT Champion appearing on Raw should be made to feel like a big deal. WWE has yet to make a big fuss over Kross and can’t be bothered to advertise his matches in advance. Even if the creative team has an idea for Kross losing matches on Raw such as the rumored debut of Scarlett showing up and somehow turning things around, you can’t tell me that this needed to start before NXT Takeover 36 when he will defend his title against Samoa Joe. This makes Kross look bad while also making the NXT brand and its Takeover main event look weak, and Raw isn’t getting what they could out of yet another top NXT talent.
Doudrop vs. Tamina: No one seems to understand the dynamic between Doudrop and Eva Marie. There are shows when Doudrop seems annoyed by Eva, and then there are shows when she seems to be happily following her lead. The actual match was flat and it was tough to even care about the outcome.
Miz TV with Damian Priest: I thought we were done with Priest segments involving Miz and John Morrison. They ran these into the ground previously and it was way too soon to go back to this combination. The only positives from the two matches that followed were the comedic waterslide spot at ringside and Priest winning both matches.
Reggie vs. Akira Tozawa for the WWE 24/7 Championship: Same story, different show. Reggie’s acrobatics impress the live crowds, but none of thee live crowds have shown any sign that they actually like his oddball character.