Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Miz and Maryse renew their wedding vows, Damian Priest vs. Dolph Ziggler for the U.S. Championship, The Street Profits vs. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio for a shot at the Raw Tag Titles, AJ Styles vs. Apollo Crews, Randy Orton vs. Otis

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw Hits

The Street Profits vs. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio in the tournament finals for a shot at the Raw Tag Titles: The highlight of a tough night for WWE. With so many wrestlers and executives missing the show due to COVID-19 related issues, WWE had to scramble to fill this pay-per-view go-home show without having most of the brand’s top stars. It actually turned out to be a blessing that this match that was originally scheduled to take place two weeks earlier had to be pushed back. The Profits going over sets up the most high profile tag team match available on the Raw brand with the duo challenging RKBro at Saturday’s WWE Day 1 event.

AJ Styles vs. Apollo Crews: The match wasn’t as smooth as one might expect from these two (there was even one spot that was downright frightening), but there was more good than bad. I wasn’t a fan of the bait and switch of announcing Styles vs. Commander Azeez only to return from the break with this match, but surely this match, flaws and all, was better than Styles vs. Azeez would have been.

Randy Orton vs. Otis: They told a good television story by having Orton fail to put Otis down with several RKO attempts to set up this match. And while I wish they would have stretched it out longer, it was still better than Orton beating Otis in a random television match with no backstory.

Riddle vs. Chad Gable: A nice television match. It’s just a shame that there’s no mystery regarding the outcome of most of Gable’s singles matches. He’s been defined as the fall guy for his tag team, and you just know that he’s going to lose to bigger names in matches that have a clean finish. What’s worse is that the Raw tag team division has no credible heel tag teams at the moment. Gable and Otis could be that team if the creative forces would just take the time to build up Gable as an equal Otis rather than positioning him as the weak link.

Kevin Owens vs. Cedric Alexander: The heel vs. heel dynamic was a little awkward, but I can’t imagine that this is what the creative team would have done with Owens if they had a full crew. In other words, it was fine for what it was.

WWE Raw Misses

Overall Show: WWE did what they could given the circumstances. And while there were a number of soft Hits, this episode was clearly a couple of notches below last week’s good show. How could it not be with Big E, Becky Lynch, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, and other notable names sidelined?

Miz and Maryse renew their wedding vows: Miz had some comical moments and it was fun to see Eric Bischoff back on WWE television again following multiple appearances for AEW. But that wasn’t enough to save this painfully predictable segment. Worse yet, none of this made me want to see Miz face Edge at the pay-per-view.

Damian Priest vs. Dolph Ziggler for the U.S. Championship: Viewers have no reason to see Ziggler as a threat to actually win the championship. Sure, he’s won a lot of titles in the past, but spends most of his time losing tag team matches with Robert Roode. And I’m still not sure what to take from Priest’s contradictory promo in terms of whether his darkness is a good thing or a bad thing.

The Hurt Business: I could have sworn that Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin rejoined the faction prior to the WWE Crown Jewel event. The fact that they’ve been wearing Hurt Business gear seemed like strong confirmation. However, based on a promo exchange involving Kevin Owens and MVP, apparently Alexander and Benjamin are not actually in the faction. I didn’t understand the decision to remove them from the group in the first place, and I really don’t understand how they were reinstated and apparently pulled again. I mentioned the lack of credible heel tag teams on Raw. Alexander and Benjamin could play that part if they were pushed consistently.

Dana Brooke and Reggie vs. R-Truth and Tamina: None of this appeals to me. The comedy division is rarely good for a laugh, and I just don’t care about this joke of a title.

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