By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Bianca Belair vs. Carmella for the Raw Women’s Championship: There was no mystery regarding the outcome, but I give the creative forces credit for getting three matches out of the makeshift Belair vs. Carmella program. They also did a nice job of shifting the focus to Belair defending her championship against Becky Lynch at SummerSlam. Despite that praise, the negative of stretching out the Belair vs. Carmella feud is that they haven’t left themselves a lot of time to make Belair vs. Lynch feel as big as it should.
Rey Mysterio vs Damian Priest: It took an assist from Corey Graves on commentary, but the story of Priest and Finn Balor seeing through Dominik Mysterio’s offer to join Judgment Day was fine. It effectively set up next week’s tag team match for the 20th anniversary of Rey Mysterio celebration. By the way, is there a reason why Priest sounded like he was doing bad community theater when he spoke inside the ring, yet sounded like himself when he delivered a backstage promo?
Theory vs. AJ Styles: The match was fine, though it did feel a bit underwhelming considering the two wrestlers involved. Theory has clearly been coached to slow down the pace of his matches given some of the basic moves he was using. The count-out finish set up by Dolph Ziggler superkicking Theory would have been fine had it not followed matches with back to back disqualification finishes. I remain curious to see if Ziggler is being recast as a long term babyface or if he will eventually end up aligned with Theory with the explanation being that he is trying to teach him not to make the same mistakes he did.
WWE Raw Misses
Logan Paul appears on Miz TV: Logan Paul is a natural heel. It’s going to take a lot of work to get the crowds to react in his favor, but WWE seems hellbent on giving it a shot. And maybe they’ll get there, but in the meantime it’s awkward to see a disliked social media influencer trying so hard and failing to make the fans like him. It seems like the far easier path would have been to lean into his natural heel charisma. All of that said, Paul had a really good performance at WrestleMania and I am looking forward to seeing if he can do it again at SummerSlam.
Seth Rollins vs. Ezekiel: A Hit from a match quality standpoint. The issue is that the live crowd was eerily quiet throughout the majority of this match. The creative forces got more out of the Ezekiel and Elias are not the same person gag than I ever thought they would have thanks in large part to Kevin Owens. But it also feels like they have reached a point where the joke has been run into the ground and there needs to be more to the character.
Omos vs. Angelo Dawkins: This was really par for the course in terms of WWE going with a cheap finish in a singles match to set up an impromptu tag team match.
The Street Profits vs. Omos and MVP: But then they followed up the cheap DQ finish in the singles match with a cheap DQ finish in the tag team match. Meanwhile, Angelo Dawkins was pinned by Omos last week, and they followed that up by having Omos kick out of Montez Ford’s impressive finisher at one this week. Regardless of whether the Profits are winning or losing at SummerSlam, why not send them into their title match with momentum?
Asuka, Alexa Bliss, and Dana Brooke vs. Nikki ASH, Doudrop, and Tamina: Can anyone explain why Bliss pinning ASH in the ring counted as a WWE 24/7 Title change, yet didn’t count a finish to this six-woman tag match? Putting the 24/7 silliness aside, is this really the best that creative can come up with for Asuka and Bliss? And why did they drop the story of Doudrop asking ASH if she was ready to get serious? Raw could have a strong women’s division if they would just put in the time to come up with some compelling storylines for the wrestlers when they are not in the title picture.
<I give the creative forces credit for getting three matches out of the makeshift Belair vs. Carmella program.<<
CREDIT is given for making three matches between Belair and Carmella? Ooooooooooooook….
3 hits and 5 misses. I take it you didn’t care for this show overall, or is that count deceiving?
Meh. It wasn’t their best, but I didn’t expect them to give their best while running opposite the HR Derby.