By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Theory vs. Cody Rhodes for the U.S. Title: Sure, the finish with Seth Rollins interfering was predictable. And it also seemed odd for Cody to deliver state his goal of winning the world championship only to be put in a secondary title match. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining match with good work from both wrestlers. Theory is in a good place right now, but I continue to feel that he will need to flip the switch and become more of a serious character when it’s time to move him up the card. Goofball heels don’t stick as long term main event players.
“RK-Bro” Randy Orton and Riddle vs. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins for the Raw Tag Titles: We’ve seen this match too many times for it to feel special, but these teams work well together and have good matches. Let me guess, Alpha Academy will beat the Profits to earn the next tag title match? It’s a three team division at this point.
Rhea Ripley vs. Liv Morgan: It was a good night for the Judgment Day faction. Edge delivered a quality promo and then Ripley destroyed Morgan in a lopsided match. I liked the post match scene with Edge nodding to cue Ripley to dish out further punishment to Morgan. Conversely, I rolled my eyes when Finn Balor and AJ Styles took their sweet time by making separate entrances and even made the too sweet hand gesture before finally heading to the ring to help Morgan. With friends like that, perhaps Morgan’s character should be next to join Edge’s faction. All kidding aside, how about a repackaged T-Bar being the next addition to Judgment Day?
Damian Priest vs. Finn Balor: The Judgment Day showcase continued in this match. Unfortunately, it felt like the Priest and Balor feud started before Priest joined Judgment Day and just never clicked. This felt a little flat, but it gets a minor Hit for being part of Judgment Day’s best night to date.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi vs. Nikki ASH and Doudrop in a non-title match: As much as the tag titles feel beneath Banks at this point, at least she and Naomi are getting more television time on both shows than most of the women’s tag team champions did before them. I’m also encouraged by Doudrop asking ASH if she was ready to be more serious last week and then scolding her for playing to the crowd this week. Here’s hoping that the superhero costume and the dreadful Doudrop name are both boing to be scrapped in favor of making them serious contenders to the tag titles.
Alexa Bliss vs. Sonya Deville: It was a pleasant surprise to see Bliss return, particularly without the Lady Fiend schtick. Sure, she still had the Lilly, but it’s a decent compromise for her to keep the doll while ditching the hocus pocus nonsense. While it was logical for Bliss to go over in her return, I hope that Deville gets a good push as a heel wrestler. She did strong work as an authority figure and it would be a shame to see her get lost in the shuffle.
Veer Mahaan vs. Frank Lomen: Veer’s weakness was exposed. He’s a sucker for a sob story. He destroyed his previous opponents during and after their matches, but Lomen mentioned that he’s a father to triplets and he ended up taking the tamest loss to Mahaan that we’ve seen yet. Okay, so the company is simply pulling back on the post match extras, as it’s been a while since we’ve seen one of Veer’s victims stretchered to the back. I’m ready for Veer to enter his first actual program soon.
WWE Raw Misses
Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair vs. Asuka in a non-title match: Anyone who looked at the clock had to know that this was going to be a throwaway main event. You can also tell when a main event will be more of an angle than a match simply based on how little hype the company gives it in advance. Becky Lynch’s interference was expected and yet still effective in terms of putting some easy heat on her. Are we getting a Triple Threat or are they more focused on building to Lynch vs. Asuka?
Mustafa Ali vs. Ciampa: Neither man received a televised entrance, but special referee Miz had one. Furthermore, it was not a good sign for Ali or Ciampa to have their match being thrown out there without fanfare. Will Ciampa’s character even get to explain why he’s apparently turned heel by attacking Ali multiple times?
Decent show. I’d love to see priest team with Ciampa (or Tbar as Jason suggested) take the titles from RK BRO. Lots of edge/Orton history to work with there
Btw KO makes this beyond stupid Elias story line work. Is there anything KO can’t make work?