By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar: Lesnar’s unprovoked attack cost Lashley the U.S. Championship last week. Lashley got a measure of revenge by working over Lesnar in this week’s show-opening brawl. While it was simple back and forth booking as they build to a showdown match, the Lesnar character is typically so dominant that it really packed a punch to see him manhandled by Lashley.
Seth Rollins vs. Matt Riddle for the U.S. Championship: A good main event that was brought down by the presence of Elias at ringside. Obviously, they were telling a story involving Elias, but it took away any near fall suspense until he got involved in the match. The post match angle with Mustafa Ali running off Rollins was a solid follow-up to their angle from earlier in the show. It was hard to tell whether the idea of the angle was to show that Riddle, Ali, and Elias are all chasing Rollins for the U.S. Title or if they intend to start a feud between Riddle and Elias.
AJ Styles vs. Dominik Mysterio: Dom pinning Styles should have packed more of a punch than it did. Even so, the match was entertaining and helped with the transition of Judgment Day tormenting Edge and Rey Mysterio to now feuding with The OC. I got a huge kick out of the Rhea Ripley character continuing to manipulate Dom when Styles challenged him to this match. “Are you a man or are you a boy?” Ripley asked Dom. “Do it.” It was a nice touch that she said the line to Dom and it came off as if we just happened to hear it rather than having her state the line directly into the mic as part of a promo.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky vs. Bianca Belair and Candice LeRae in a non-title match: A soft Hit for a decent match with the tag team champions getting a credibility building win heading into their next title defense on Smackdown. Hopefully next week’s Belair vs. Bayley match can breathe some life into their feud.
The Miz and Dexter Lumis: A soft Hit for moving into phase two of the feud. Johnny Gargano telling Miz to tell the truth about his history with Lumis was a mildly intriguing development.
WWE Raw Misses
Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler: JBL did a terrific job of generating heat while building up Corbin during his in-ring promo and while sitting in on commentary. And while I’m all for the return of Baron Corbin after living through Happy Corbin and King Corbin, his latest persona got off to a rocky start. Corbin’s ring gear was rough, and he really should have been given a dominant win as opposed to having a competitive 13-minute match with Ziggler. If nothing else, I appreciate that they explained Rey Mysterio moving to Smackdown by sending Corbin back to Raw in a trade. But does it really matter when wrestlers are bouncing back and forth between brands without explanation?
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson: Their match with Alpha Academy was fine and the outcome was logical. But I nodded along with Finn Balor when he mocked The OC for still doing the “too sweet” hand gesture. I’d like to think that Balor’s line is a sign that Styles, Gallows, and Anderson are going to shake things up, but the fact that they are using The OC name seems to suggest that they’re not finished living in the Bullet Club past.