By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins: A strong segment that started by giving Rhodes his well earned moment following his remarkable performance at Hell in a Cell. I was very intrigued when Rollins simply shook Cody’s hand and it seemed like there was a chance that losing three times to him would spark a character shift. Rather, Rollins ended up sending Cody away with a big beatdown angle. Sure, part of me wishes that they would have used this moment to turn Rollins and then had someone such as Kevin Owens attack Cody, but the approach they took is the most practical. Rollins got a measure of revenge for his three losses to Rhodes, and while the feud may feel like it has run its course today, it should feel fresh again by the time Cody returns from surgery. It will be interesting to see who Rollins works with in the meantime.
Riddle vs. The Miz: A really fun segment. Miz and Maryse did a great job of being obnoxious heels, and the gag about the size of Miz’s balls was good for a laugh. Maryse defending her husband by saying that he has average sized balls was the line of the night. Somewhere in all of this, Riddle indicated that he wants to take the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship from Roman Reigns, which is a fresh and compelling match.
Judgment Day turns on Edge: Did the Cody Rhodes injury cause a ripple effect that caused plans to change with Edge? Whatever the cause, this was the right move for Edge, who went from being main event player to becoming the head of a mid-card faction that lacked purpose beyond its members sitting under his learning tree. Meanwhile, Finn Balor was ice cold and needed a change. So as much as the story of how the new version of Judgment Day came together is a hot mess, I like where it leaves everyone involved. Edge has some work to do when it comes to winning over the fans again because it’s not like his character saw the light and turned babyface, he was simply attacked and booted out of his own faction.
Rhea Ripley vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Liv Morgan vs. Doudrop in a four-way to become No. 1 contender to the Raw Women’s Championship: A quality main event with the right wrestler going over. While the first version of Judgment Day didn’t go well for Edge or Damian Priest, it has actually breathed some life into the criminally underutilized Ripley. Belair and Ripley work really well together and I am looking forward to their title match at Money in the Bank.
Unified WWE Team Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. The Street Profits in a championship contenders match: Another case of the creative forces having the Usos lose a championship contenders match without having them take a loss by pinfall. The cheap finishes will understandably irk some viewers, but I actually think it beats the alternative of making the unified tag team champions look soft by having them take frequent clean losses in non-title matches. The Profits became background players when RK-Bro caught fire, so it’s good to see them back in a meaningful position now that Randy Orton is taking time away.
Bobby Lashley and Theory: Lashley seemingly moving into contention for the U.S. Title was an unexpected development. As much as the secondary title feels beneath Lashley, he would give the title a big credibility boost at a time when the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion rarely appears on Raw.
WWE Raw Misses
Dana Brooke vs. Becky Lynch for the WWE 24/7 Championship: I assume that Lynch will destroy Brooke soon to make up for this distraction loss. Can she destroy the WWE 24/7 Championship belt while she’s at it?
Ezekiel and Kevin Owens: KO did everything he could to get the Ezekiel gag over. I was really hoping that he would move on following his win over Ezekiel on Sunday, but they are having a rematch on next week’s Raw. We’re not at the point where I can’t take another week of this. My concern is that they are going to drag this out because no one else on the Raw roster can make the single joke Ezekiel gag work even half as well as Owens has. By the way, if Ezekiel was able to lie his way into getting Owens to accept the rematch, what’s stopping the Owens character from saying that he was lying when he agreed to the match?
Omos vs. Cedric Alexander: Alexander’s speech at Hell in a Cell about being his own man led to him being destroyed in 12 seconds the next night. Let this be a lesson, kids. It’s better to be a follower than it is to stand up for yourself. Or something like that. Anyway, Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler being interviewed on the platform and interrupting MVP and Omos either sets the table for a strange tag team feud that no one asked for or The Dirty Dawgs are about to meet the same fate as Alexander in singles matches or even in a handicap match with Omos.
Veer Mahaan vs. Dominik Mysterio: A soft Miss for the match going on longer than it needed to. It looks like they are setting up Mahaan for a match with Rey Mysterio, which is far more appealing than watching him repeatedly destroy Dom.