By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes: A strong closing segment with Cody getting in the head of Reigns by laying out how the house of cards that is The Bloodline would fall if Reigns loses the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania. Reigns’s lines about Cody running away were compelling, and Cody did a nice job of responding to those jabs. The only thing that didn’t really connect was the idea that Cody as a pro wrestler while Reigns is a fighter, though at least Reigns didn’t label himself a sports entertainer. The build to the WrestleMania main event has been strong and I’m anxious to see what’s in store for the final few television shows.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn challenge The Usos: A crowd pleasing segment with the reunited Owens and Zayn challenging the Usos to a tag team title match at WrestleMania. Jimmy rejecting the match only for Jey to accept was an interesting move that came up later during the uncomfortable backstage exchange between Jey and Reigns.
Seth Rollins and Logan Paul: It turns out that the guy who has made millions of dollars from people who want to see him and his brother get punched in the face is actually a good heel. Who knew? Paul did a solid job with his promo, and I like the idea of doubling down on the heat by having him knock out Rollins again.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Johnny Gargano: A rare clean win for Mysterio, albeit with protection for Gargano, who sold a rib injury throughout the match. Dom’s post match promo set the table for the big angle on Smackdown with the entire Mysterio family scheduled to appear.
U.S. Champion Austin Theory vs. Montez Ford in a non-title match: Theory completed the sweep he started last week by scoring back to back clean pinfall wins over the Street Profits. The focus should be on Theory heading into his WrestleMania match with John Cena. But the decisive nature of the outcome made me question whether Ford’s will be getting a post WrestleMania singles push.
Ricochet vs. Chad Gable: A well worked match that felt fairly meaningless given the way both wrestlers are booked.
Omos vs. Mustafa Ali: More of an in the middle than a Hit or a Miss. The creative video package on the Omos vs. Brock Lesnar match was well done. The match doesn’t do a thing for me, but they are putting in the work to make it feel like a spectacle.
WWE Raw Misses
Rhea Ripley vs. Bayley: An awkward match involving two heels that followed a long and flat from from Ripley about Charlotte Flair. I felt for Ripley, as there’s not much left to be said about the one-dimensional Flair character that hasn’t already been said by other opponents. It was interesting to see Ripley and Becky Lynch nod at one another afterward. Is this the beginning of a Ripley babyface turn? Babyface Mami?!? What happens to Dom?!?
Bianca Belair and Asuka vs. Chelsea Green and Piper Niven: Ripley and Flair had a great pull apart brawl on Smackdown that breathed a lot of life into their feud. Meanwhile, the Belair vs. Asuka build continues to feel like it’s stuck in second gear. On the bright side, Green’s new Karen character continues to be a blast. One can only imagine how much heat she might get if she wasn’t booked to lose every match.
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