By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar promos: The guy who the company seemed afraid to give a WrestleMania go-home promo to as a babyface delivered a great WrestleMania go-home promo as a heel. It really is astonishing in retrospect that WWE officials worked so hard to protect Reigns by scripting his promos or by limiting his mic time throughout his babyface run. Reigns has proven to be a terrific talker throughout his heel run and this was no exception. Meanwhile, Lesnar has done great work throughout the build to the WrestleMania main event, but his promo left something to be desired. As much fun as playful Brock has been, it felt like he needed to flip the switch into serious mode. That said, I got a kick out of the way he leaned into the “What?” chants that have thrown off many others, and it was a decent promo overall.
Kevin Owens: There was just no way that Owens could top the “Stone Cold” spoof from last week, but he delivered a top notch heel promo. With the exception of a brief video from Steve Austin, Owens has done a brilliant job of setting the table for their KO Show segment all by himself. How can you not want to see Austin open a can of whoop-ass on the Owens character?
Bianca Belair cuts Becky Lynch’s hair: This angle felt backwards in that the heel champion cutting the hair of the babyface challenger would have put strong heat on Lynch heading into the match. The less conventional approach didn’t make me want to see Belair win the championship any more than I did going into last night’s Raw, but it still left me anxious to see how Lynch will react and what comes next between the two.
Raw Tag Champions Randy Orton and Riddle vs. Smackdown Tag Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso: An enjoyable match that you had to know would conclude with a cheap finish. The Street Profits interfering to end the match was better than having Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs get involved after watching the entire match at ringside. Unfortunately, the post match angle with Orton and Riddle destroying Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins left me feeling numb about the Triple Threat for the Raw Tag Titles. The match looks really good on paper, but the build to it has made both challenging teams look weak.
Edge and AJ Styles: As rushed as the Edge turn has been, both men delivered quality final promos ahead of their WrestleMania match.
WWE Raw Misses
Sasha Banks, Naomi, Rhea Ripley, and Liv Morgan vs. Queen Zelina, Carmella, Natalya, and Shayna Baszler: A rough match built around the pettiness of Zelina and Carmella. I assume the four-way tag team match at WrestleMania will be better than this, but the build to the match hasn’t done anything to make me care about which team walks away with the tag titles.
Intercontinental Champion Ricochet vs. Austin Theory in a non-title match: That’s three losses on the last two television shows for the new Intercontinental Champion. Ricochet is such a weak champion that pinning him clean didn’t even give Theory a boost.
Omos vs. The Viking Raiders in a handicap match: It’s hard not to wonder if we’ll be seeing the return of War Machine outside of WWE at some point in the near future. On the bright side, Bobby Lashley’s return went well and it was interesting that he was not accompanied by MVP, who was shown in the WrestleMania match graphic. I continue to wonder if Lashley will be a babyface going forward, freeing up MVP to become the mouthpiece for Omos.
Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss in a handicap match: McIntyre can’t beat Happy Corbin quickly enough this weekend. There is some hope in that Moss’s latest jokes have upset Corbin, so hopefully that will lead to the end of “Happy” and “Madcap” and we’ll get a Baron Corbin vs. Riddick Moss feud coming out of WrestleMania. More than anything, I hope McIntyre ends up in something more meaningful post Mania and has a better spot on next year’s card.
Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz: The bulk of the heat in this feud has been placed on Miz, and yet we strangely saw the Mysterios get their revenge on him with the double 619 and back to back frog splashes. Rey even took his mask back just a week after Miz stole it. It’s clear that the payoff will be Rey and Dominik hitting the double 619 on Logan Paul, who just hasn’t generated any more heat though the storytelling than he had when this feud first started.