By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins for the right to host the WrestleMania talkshow segment: Although the stipulation was a groaner, Owens and Rollins came through with a good match. The live crowd was a little flat early on, but Owens and Rollins won them over to the point that there were “this is awesome” chants down the stretch. Credit to Dot Net reader Mac Miller for catching the show closing lines from the broadcast team. “All of Seth Rollins’ hopes and WrestleMania dreams were dashed tonight on Monday Night Raw,” Corey Graves said. Jimmy Smith followed up by adding: “The vision has become an absolute nightmare for Seth Rollins. He’ll be watching the most stupendous WrestleMania of all-time from home.” In other words, they didn’t go with the fun of Cody returning in AEW’s home city, but it still feels like it’s only a matter of time until he arrives and works a WrestleMania match with Rollins.
RK-Bro, The Street Profits, and Alpha Academy: The Hit is more about the overall story of RK-Bro championship celebration that was crashed by The Street Profits, followed by Alpha Academy taking out both teams at the conclusion of the match. It looks like we’ll get a Triple Threat for the Raw Tag Titles at WrestleMania. As much as I prefer straight up tag matches, I welcome this match because all three teams have earned meaningful roles on the WrestleMania card, and it’s hard to imagine them not coming through with a strong match.
Edge promo: It feels really late in the game to fully establish this new persona in time for WrestleMania. Perhaps that’s why Edge’s introductory promos have been brief, as he’s focused more on selling the intensity of his new feud with AJ Styles than fleshing out the details of his new character. I continue to enjoy the unique production work, as well as Edge’s new entrance, complete with the new music.
Omos vs. Commander Azeez: I remain baffled by the company not advertising their battle of the giants prior to the show. The audience that focuses most on match quality wouldn’t care, but this is the type of spectacle match that could lure in some casual viewers. The match didn’t last long and it was fine for what it was. With Omos going over strong, it will be interesting to see what they have in mind for him at WrestleMania. Is there another giant? Veer Mahaan doesn’t really qualify as a giant, but perhaps you’ve heard that he is coming to Raw. Even if the plan is for Omos to win the battle royal rather than have a singles match, I’m surprised that they had him plow through the other big man on the Raw roster.
Liv Morgan vs. Queen Zelina: More of the same with Carmella showing more interest in Corey Graves than what her partner is doing. It’s a silly story and yet it’s also effective when it comes to creating the perception that it’s a lock that the tag titles will change hands at WrestleMania.
Razor Ramon video package: It was a tough night with the news of Scott Hall’s death spreading just minutes before the show, which opened with a memorial graphic. The production team did excellent work, and credit to the entire WWE crew for coming through with a quality show despite the loss of a man who clearly meant a lot to so many people within the company.
WWE Raw Misses
Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop: They work well together so this has nothing to do with the match quality. Rather, it’s about WWE running this pairing into the ground. They’ve had singles matches on two of the last three Raw episodes, and even when they didn’t meet in a singles match, they were in the same tag team or multi-person matches on every show since Valentine’s Day. Belair performing her finisher on Doudrop was really cool the first time it happened on television, but they’re quickly making it feel routine.
U.S. Champion Finn Balor vs. Damian Priest in a non-title match: I assume that Priest getting the win sets up his U.S. Title match with Balor at WrestleMania. But too much of the focus was taken away from Balor and Priest in favor of Austin Theory with his post match beatdown. They did all of those oddball segments with Theory in Vince McMahon’s office that didn’t lead to much. But now that I actually want to hear what Vince’s character thinks about Theory’s match with Pat McAfee, Vince’s character has gone MIA.
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin: This was about Rey and Dom getting their win back along with showcasing their WrestleMania match with The Miz and Logan Paul. The WrestleMania tag match feels like it’s missing something. It’s fine for an undercard match, but it just doesn’t feel like much of a celebrity attraction match for some reason.