By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Randy Orton, Riddle, Cody Rhodes, and Ezekiel vs. Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins: Everyone in the building knew what was coming. That’s typically not a positive in pro wrestling, but in this case everyone wanted to see Orton hit a series of RKO’s to cap off his 20-year celebration and he delivered. It was a nice night for Orton with the video package and the ceremony to start the show, followed by his barrage of RKO’s and a clean win to close things out.
Becky Lynch and Asuka: This was unexpected fun with Lynch selling her loss to Bianca Belair at WrestleMania. And just about the time Lynch started to get her mojo back, Asuka made her unadvertised return to set up a feud that should keep Lynch away from the Raw Women’s Championship for the time being. Lynch vs. Asuka should be a blast, and it will be interesting to see what that means for Belair.
Bianca Belair vs. Sonya Deville for the Raw Women’s Championship: Could Bailey be the next to make a surprise return on Raw? Belair plowed through Deville, who even had help from Carmella and Queen Zelina. There was nothing about this match that made it seem like they intend to run this back at WrestleMania Backlash. Even if Belair doesn’t defend the title on next month’s event, Belair needs a fresh challenger and she’s already run through most of the Raw regulars.
Miz TV with Theory (and Mustafa Ali): Another surprise return with Ali making his first appearance since he publicly announced that he had requested to be released from his contract. He picked up a win over Miz and all signs pointed to him being next in line for a U.S. Title shot, but then Ciampa (whose first name has fallen victim to the WWE name editing office) blindsided him with a forearm shot on the stage. Ali went from being on the outs with the company to suddenly having multiple potential opponents, including Miz given the way that Corey Graves was quick to say that Miz didn’t have a chance to prepare for this impromptu match. By the way, I’m all for the push of Theory, but if WWE is serious about turning him into a top guy, his character’s IQ needs a big boost. Theory’s simpleton character was cute in NXT and has been fine for a main roster mid-card wrestler, but it’s not a main event act.
Veer Mahaan vs. Sam Smothers: Why did the heel monster bump fists with Randy Orton during the opening segment? Anyway, this was another all out squash win for Mahaan, but they mixed up the formula a bit after basically doing the same angle the two previous weeks. If nothing else, Smothers can boast to his grandchildren that he was too much of a badass to be stretchered out of the building unlike Mahaan’s two previous opponents.
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos in an arm wrestling challenge: More of an in the middle. The feud feels a little flat because there’s only so much excitement that I can muster up for watching Omos wrestle. Lashley and MVP have their work cut out for them.
WWE Raw Misses
Reggie and Dana Brooke vs. Akira Tozawa and Tamina in a mixed tag match: The live crowd’s near silence said it all. On the bright side, they kept the weekly comedy gag brief.
Damian Priest vs. Finn Balor: The distraction finish of Edge standing up from his throne on the stage made Balor look like a moron. Was he afraid that Edge was going to magically turn off the lights again? I continue to hope that Judgment Day grows on me. I enjoy the work of Edge and Priest, but they just haven’t clicked together yet.
Judgement day needs to do something evil and not just talk about being evil and having different intro music. Could be a great stable but where is the heat?
Could it be that the Demon will join Judgement Day? Hmmm
I am hoping that Bianca’s opponent will be Rhea Ripley. They have history in NXT’s locker room (remember the NXT after last year’s Mania with Rhea and Bianca joining Raquel’s celebration?).