By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Riddle and The Street Profits vs. Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Sami Zayn: It was a great night for Riddle. He showed range with his emotional promo regarding Randy Orton’s injury and had the live crowd with him every step of the way. He was showcased nicely during the actual match and picked up the win for his team. As much as the match was about Riddle, Zayn still managed to stand out in a fun way. His over the top dancing on the stage during the Usos’ entrance was a blast. The Usos walking out on Zayn seemingly sets up a fun Paul Heyman tall tale as he tries to keep Zayn in the pocket of The Bloodline.
Becky Lynch vs. Asuka: The Triple Threat for the Raw Women’s Championship was not the original plan for Hell in a Cell, so I’m cutting the company a bit of slack for this match outcome feeling highly predictable. Asuka inadvertently kicking Bianca Belair creates some needed friction between those characters, which still need to be amplified on next week’s go-home show. The story of the Triple Threat feud feels a little flat despite featuring three of the top women in the industry, but it’s hard to imagine them not producing a strong match together.
AJ Styles and Liv Morgan vs. Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley: A decent mixed tag team match that set up the obvious heel beatdown due to their numbers advantage. The promo that preceded the match went on longer than it needed to, particularly when Damian Priest rambled at the beginning. Priest claimed that they delivered a mission statement last week, but it lacked a specific big picture goal beyond feeding the Edge character’s ego by amassing more followers. Do they want to win all of the titles? Do they want to take over the company? Or are they just content beating Styles, Morgan, and Finn Balor in a mid-card feud?
Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz: More of an in the middle segment than a Hit or a Miss. It felt underwhelming when this rematch was announced. Cody beat Miz clean in his first night back on Raw, and nothing has happened since then to create interest in a rematch. The actual match turned out to be a step down in quality from their previous encounter. The DQ finish seems to suggest that they intend to run this match back again next week. The thing that saved this from being in the Miss section was Rollins hitting Cody with the belt shot followed by a wounded Cody still bringing the belt back to kid at ringside in a great babyface move.
WWE Raw Misses
Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki ASH: Apparently, it wasn’t enough to have Doudrop confront ASH about taking a more serious approach to their careers. No, we need to see ASH make the repeated mistake of losing focus and playing to the crowd before she loses matches. The story of ASH falling on hard times has already been told and doesn’t need to be cemented. Meanwhile, I have no idea what they are going for with Bliss. Graves calling her out for lacking a sense of urgency just moments before she won the match was strange. I hope this makes more sense as the character moves forward.
Bobby Lashley vs. MVP: Lashley feels like he’s cooling off. He’s carried Omos to the giant’s two best in-ring performances, but it feels like a big step back for Lashley to go from being in the WWE Championship picture for so long to having a meaningless feud with Omos. Lashley and Edge feel like the characters who are hurting the most without having a world championship to target. MVP stealing the win to earn the right to select the stipulation for Lashley vs. Omos at Hell in a Cell just isn’t compelling. I wish that stipulation would be that it will be the final match between Lashley and Omos no matter what happens, but I have a bad feeling that they will continue to stretch out this program.
Ezekiel vs. Chad Gable: A rushed repeat match. Kevin Owens continues to do a good job of squeezing whatever he can out of the one-note joke that is the Ezekiel character. But what happens when Owens moves on? Is there a plan for Ezekiel to somehow connect with the crowd beyond the gag that he’s Elias’s brother?
Veer Mahaan on The King’s Court: The biggest issue with the segment is that it lacked any sense of danger. While it built to Mahaan teasing that he was going to attack Lawler, it just never felt like that was really on the verge of happening. Mahaan’s cartoon villain voice was comically cliche and awful. It’s also hard to get excited about Mahaan feuding with both Mysterios. It would be different if Rey was prominently featured as the legendary wrestler that he is and they were entering a singles program, but Rey’s character seems happy teaming with his son and no longer seems to have any individual goals.