By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Bobby Lashley and Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre and Damian Priest: The first forty minutes were dedicated to Lashley and Priest and this “impromptu” tag match. The only disappointing part of those forty minutes was that the interference in the Lashley vs. Priest happened just 90 seconds in, depriving us of a chance to get a better feel for how the two champions mesh inside the ring. Lashley walking out on Sheamus was an interesting development, and I was legitimately surprised that they announced a match between the two of them for next week. The surprise was partially due WWE booking a heel vs. heel match, but mostly because they actually announced three matches a week ahead of time. Hopefully this is a sign that WWE is going to start to book further in advance rather than doing so much on the fly.
Riddle vs. AJ Styles: The RKBro championship celebration was a little underwhelming. I didn’t expect it to be as good or as long as the classic Mick Foley and Rock segment from back in the day, but I thought the segment would have a little more to it. Riddle and Styles work well together and delivered an entertaining final match. But what’s up with this repeated spot of Riddle becoming distracted by Omos just standing at ringside? Can’t Omos do a head fake or make a mean face or just something to justify Riddle freezing whenever he looks at him?
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Rhea Ripley and Nikki ASH: An entertaining tag match that gave Ripley and ASH a bounce back win after they lost to Charlotte Flair in the Triple Threat. The match also featured another moment with Jax and Baszler not being on the same page as they continue working toward their split.
The Miz turns on John Morrison: I really hope that this is the end of cornball Morrison. I have no faith that it will be because he’s shown this quirky personality outside WWE. It’s who he is and while I’m sure it’s endearing out of the ring, it’s always held him back from being a bigger deal in WWE. More than anything, this Hit is for the Miz and Morrison act finally being put out of its misery. They are both talented guys, but they’ve been booked as losers for so long that they developed “go away” heat with this viewer. They were pest heels who were put in their place weekly, which really defeats the purpose. Here’s hoping that the split will breathe some life into both wrestlers.
Elias: Elias is dead, but new Elias has a white hat and is alive. He wants to be a wrestler rather than an entertainer. Okay, so it’s not the most exciting story, but I’m still cool with the idea of Elias ditching the musical gimmick and trying something new.
Overall show: This was a slightly better than average edition of Raw. That said, this was not a loaded post SummerSlam edition, so I can’t blame anyone who got their hopes up for something bigger and came away from this episode feeling underwhelmed.
WWE Raw Misses
Logan Paul: WWE got lucky that Paul wasn’t booed more during his previous appearances. They have an army of writers and it’s hard to believe that none of them told the out of touch people at the top that Paul is a heel. I suspect that there are a lot of people thinking “I told you so” mode today at WWE Headquarters. Yes, Paul gets a ton of attention and social media attention. And, yes, his boxing pay-per-views draw really big money. But the gimmick is that the bulk of the audience is paying with the hope of seeing him and his brother get their asses kicked. If you’re going to bring in a celebrity, you should really know what you’re getting and slot the celebrity appropriately. Paul could still be a fun heel celebrity for WWE, but company officials should be embarrassed after revealing how out of touch they are.
Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss: Flair delivered a quality promo. She didn’t cover any new ground, but it was a well delivered gloating promo coming off her latest title win. The Miss is for Bliss coming out with Lilly to set up an apparent feud with Flair. While only time will tell how it plays out, I’m cringing at the thought of Flair being hypnotized or having to take part in campy horror skits with the possessed doll.
Karrion Kross vs. Ricochet: Hey, look, the Raw creative forces are booking Kross as they should have until he dropped the NXT Championship. It’s disappointing that Ricochet was chosen to be the squashed wrestler, but no one should be surprised. Sure, they teased us with a Ricochet push to give him a minor credibility boost heading into the Money in the Bank match, but unfortunately that’s all it was. But the real Miss is for Kross’s lousy new attire. Who thought that look was a good idea? Leave his look alone and add Scarlett to his act.
Jinder Mahal vs. Mansoor: We’ve seen it all before. A babyface asking his buddy not to get involved regardless of what happens to him means that the babyface is going to take an ass kicking. It’s pretty formula stuff, but the beatdown in this case was so half-assed that it just didn’t register.