Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Austin Theory cashes in Money in the Bank for a shot at the U.S. Championship, Solo Sikoa, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso vs. Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Matt Riddle, Dana Brooke vs. Nikki Cross for the WWE 24/7 Championship, Johnny Gargano vs. The Miz, Austin Theory vs. Shelton Benjamin

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw Hits

Seth Rollins vs. Austin Theory for the U.S. Championship: I despise the idea of a Money in the Bank winner being permitted to cash in the contract for anything less than a world championship. It’s silly enough that the winners don’t save their contract for a WrestleMania main event, but it’s absurd to cash in for a secondary championship. Putting that aside, this was a strong closing segment. Bobby Lashley attacking Rollins and leaving him prone for the Theory attack was really well done. And I was truly surprised when Lashley pulled the referee out of the ring to prevent Theory from winning the title. It looks like Rollins has turned babyface and having him survive the MITB cash-in and overcome the Lashley beatdown was an effective way to get the fans even more behind him.

Nikki Cross drops the WWE 24/7 Championship in the trash: That was a babyface turn, right? Any chance Nikki can win the AEW All-Atlantic and Impact Wrestling Digital Media championships too?

Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Solo Sikoa vs. Matt Riddle, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods: A good opening match that played to a flat crowd (more on that later). Sikoa continues to be established as the badass enforcer of The Bloodline. While they could have gone with the formula finish of one of the New Day duo pinning an Uso heading into their tag team title match, I like that the company has pulled back on having their champions take so many non-title losses.

Mia Yim returns to help The OC: Yim’s return moment was awkward, as they missed the shot of her attacking Ripley at ringside. Worse yet, they acted like viewers should be totally familiar with Yim even though she worked as Reckoning when she last appeared on the main roster. Even so, I like the idea of Yim joining The OC to help counter Rhea Ripley.

Johnny Gargano vs. The Miz: A soft Hit for a good Miz match that was also an ordinary Gargano match at the same time. The Gargano character is still an early disappointment. I want to see the hard working underdog who overcomes the odds, not the guy who is way too proud of himself for comedically outsmarting The Miz.

Austin Theory vs. Shelton Benjamin: An in the middle match rather than a real Hit or a Miss. A quick showcase match for Theory and nothing more.

WWE Raw Misses

Baron Corbin vs. Cedric Alexander: I’m baffled by the early lack of tweaking to Corbin’s act. JBL continues to paint a certain picture of Corbin as a wrestling god that is immediately contradicted by Corbin’s smiling entrance and his bad hat.

Elias vs. Otis: It was a pleasant surprise to see Otis go over, but the Elias act continues to feel cold. I wonder if Elias losing due to a Chad Gable distraction will lead to Elias using heel logic by blaming Matt Riddle for not being in his corner. Elias is a fine undercard novelty act, but I really have no interest in seeing him team or feud with Riddle, who continues to lose steam. Riddle’s bongo drum joke was cute the first time and now it’s being run into the ground.

Live Crowd: I don’t know if I’ve ever given a live crowd a Miss before. We’ve all seen bad shows that understandably play to flat crowds, but this was a solid episode overall with some good peak moments. I don’t know if the fans were suffering a World Series hangover after the Phillies came up short or what was going on, but this crowd was just plain lethargic.

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Readers Comments (11)

  1. No crown jewel hit list?

    • I addressed it previously. Not this time. I finished audio for that show and then drove four hours to Des Moines to pick up our new dog, then turned around and drove four hours home, so I was completely wiped out and trying to show the dog the ropes on Sunday. A live podcast yesterday, recording Wade’s show today. Plus, I’ve had some other stuff going on that’s kept me busy. Everything on Crown Jewel was Hit worthy for what it was. I gave the show a B grade. I’ll get back on schedule for Full Gear and Survivor Series.

  2. I wanna see pics and hear about the new doggo. A twin cities to Des Moines run means it’s gotta be a special doggo…

    • I’ll definitely post some on Twitter eventually. He’s a five year-old Boston Terrier rescue. A Kansas breeder released him and he went to a foster home in St. Louis for a few weeks. The rescue said they could get him to Des Moines and asked if I would mind going to get him. They do some great things for these dogs, so I felt like it was the least I could do. He came with the name Nate and didn’t know it, so we switched it to Obi. He’s awesome. He is very timid and is just trying to figure out how to be a dog. We went through this with our first dog Ada, who passed away last year. She was afraid of her own shadow and it was super rewarding to help her break out of her shell. Her adopted sister Bitty came from a breaking background as well, but she was more outgoing and really helped Ada more than we did. Bit had to be put down in September, less than a year after Ada died. I didn’t think we’d get another dog this soon, but our house felt so empty. It’s great to have Obi and we’ll find him the right companion once he settles in. Selfishly, I hope I don’t have to drive back to Des Moines for the next one!

  3. I was at the show live. I didnt get a chance to rewatch the segments but i will say this. When the wrestlers spoke on the mic, its very hard to understand what they are saying which im sure is some of the reason why it came across as flat. While not the hottest crowd Wilkes Barre has had, it certainly wasnt as dead as a lot of sites have pointed out. I wonder if it just wasnt mic d right.

  4. I disagree with you on every level regarding the MITB cash in. For one, saving it for the WrestleMania main event is just antithetical to the anytime-anyplace nature of the contract. Second, what better way to elevate the secondary titles than to have the briefcase holder target them?

    • Agree to disagree. What equates to the legal stealing of the championship is fine for a pest heel, but who wouldn’t want to headline the biggest show of the year and in theory get the biggest payday of the year (outside of Saudi Arabia)? And while the secondary titles have been elevated, I feel that Theory cashing in for a secondary title makes MITB feel less important more than it boosts the secondary title. Perhaps we’ll get to a point where the title will mean enough that I’ll feel differently, but I’m just not a fan of it in the moment.

  5. “Here’s a bunch of hits that include explanations as to why they shouldn’t be hits, and then I’ll give a miss to a flat crowd.”
    Yeah, that makes sense.

  6. Thomas I agree with the “saving it for Wrestlemania makes no sense if its an ‘anytime anyplace’ type of deal”, but the cashing in for less than the big belt doesn’t elevate the secondary title, it just makes people think, “Why the hell would a guy or girl who has the chance to cash that in for the most prestigious belt in the company settle for a lesser belt?”. I get what you were trying to say but it just makes no sense.

  7. Well atleast they still have the Eagles.lol

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