Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Austin Theory vs. Edge for the U.S. Championship, Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin, Seth Rollins vs. The Miz, Asuka vs. Nikki Cross, Chad Gable vs. Bronson Reed, Dolph Ziggler vs. Mustafa Ali, Omos challenges Brock Lesnar to a WrestleMania match


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

WWE Raw Hits

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn: A well played segment with the creative forces continuing to show patience by not rushing to the reunion. After everything these two have been through, it’s only logical that it would take some time for them to get back on the same page. If they play this right, the eventual reunion should be a key moment on the road to WrestleMania. Meanwhile, Zayn’s win over Baron Corbin served as a solid bounce back win following his loss at Elimination Chamber.

Cody Rhodes and Paul Heyman: While not nearly as good as their previous verbal exchange, this was a solid segment with Cody seething and yet also acknowledging that he still saw through the attempted head games played by Heyman and Roman Reigns. The most important aspect of this segment is that Cody was mostly cheered. It’s encouraging that a Canadian crowd didn’t resent Rhodes for being in the WrestleMania challenger spot that many fans wanted Sami Zayn to fill. If Cody didn’t get rejected in Canada, then WWE officials should feel pretty confident that he won’t be rejected by live crowds between now and WrestleMania.

Asuka vs. Nikki Cross: Another dominant win for Asuka as she works her way toward her WrestleMania match with Bianca Belair. I love Asuka’s new look and I continue to hope that there’s an actual character to go along with it. The Cross and Candice LeRae story became a little more interesting with Cross telling LeRae that she’s been following her because all of her friends are gone and she’s alone.

Seth Rollins vs. The Miz: A longer and even better match than I anticipated. There was no mystery regarding the outcome, but it was interesting that Rollins went over via ref stoppage after performing the Stomp three times. Were they simply showing how angry his character is with Logan Paul or perhaps warming up the audience for a ref stoppage finish at WrestleMania? On a side note, I like the minor hook of Miz’s anniversary gift. My best guesses are that Maryse has either lined up someone Miz views as a big celebrity guest for Miz TV at WrestleMania or Miz is actually going to be named the host of WrestleMania.

Becky Lynch and Lita crash Bayley’s talkshow: A soft Hit for a decent segment that also felt a bit clunky at times. It was interesting that Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai were unhappy with Bayley accepting the challenge for next week’s tag team title match. I think most of us expect this to lead to a six-woman tag match involving Trish Stratus at WrestleMania, but I wonder if this is ultimately leading to Sky and Kay attacking their Damage CTRL leader to set up a rebooted babyface Bayley for post Mania.

Bronson Reed vs. Chad Gable: More of an in the middle than a Hit. Reed got the decisive win, but too much of the focus was on the silliness of Maxxine Dupri distracting Otis at ringside, which in turn led to Gable being distracted in the ring. I get that Gable is an oblivious character, but the idea that even he would still think that Maxxine wants him to be a model after she’s already made it clear that she’s after Otis feels pretty far fetched.

WWE Raw Misses

Omos challenges Brock Lesnar to a WrestleMania match: Yawn. Sure, there’s some intrigue when it comes to whether Lesnar can safely execute German suplexes on a giant, but the fun ends there. I might be slightly more excited about this match if Omos didn’t already take a decisive loss to Braun Strowman. In fact, I’d rather see a Lesnar vs. Strowman rematch than Lesnar vs. Omos. There’s still time to sell me on this match, but in the moment it feels like a big letdown for Lesnar, and I can’t say that Bobby Lashley vs. Bray Wyatt does much for me on paper either.

Austin Theory vs. Edge for the U.S. Championship: The presentation of this match left something to be desired. Theory’s promo felt more focused on John Cena appearing in two weeks than his title defense. Speaking of which, that was the announcement for Cena’s return to Raw? Really? I know word spread online because of an email that WWE sent to fans to promote the show in Boston, but I can’t believe they just acted like it was common knowledge and unworthy of more fanfare. Anyway, I started to forget what the Raw main event was until Edge finally delivered a fairly forgettable promo during the third hour that made it feel like his character wanted to win the title, yet already has one foot out the door toward retirement. Both wrestlers came through with a Hit worthy match that was also predictable, plus everything around it felt so off that I had to give it a minor Miss. Finn Balor interfering created the latest example of Theory coming off like an opportunistic pest heel rather than a true main event player. I really thought we were past that when Theory’s character matured from the bumbling doofus he played while Vince McMahon was bossing him around. I continue to hope that a clean win over John Cena at WrestleMania can make up for the way Theory has been booked, but we’ll see about that clean part. Finally, I just watched Edge pin Balor in the mixed tag match at Elimination Chamber, and I currently have little desire to see their blowoff match at WrestleMania.

Bobby Lashley and Elias: Is Lashley a heel or a babyface? He felt like the heel during his feud with Brock Lesnar and then he was the guy who was kicked in the balls for the shitty DQ finish. Lashley is still making babyface entrances in that he slapped hands with the fans before he hit the ring to destroy Elias. If Lashley is facing Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania, then hopefully they will at least take the time to create a clear babyface vs. heel dynamic between the two. And I’m willing to give this Elias and Rick Boogs thing more time, but both acts feel ice cold at the moment.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Mustafa Ali: Both characters are so damaged that I’m not really sure they can get much out of working with one another. They might be able to win over some viewers with their in-ring work, but that wasn’t going to happen in a match that lasted just a little over two minutes.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. Miz’s dad will be the host of Wrestlemania!!

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