Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Solo Sikoa vs. Kevin Owens, Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus vs. Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed, The Usos vs. Alpha Academy, Iyo Sky vs. Piper Niven vs. Michin for a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship, Rey Mysterio vs. Finn Balor

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

WWE Raw Hits

Rey Mysterio vs. Finn Balor: A good opening match with a clever finish. It was cool to see them work Balor’s wound into the match by having Rey target Balor’s head at different points. And by reminding viewers of the injury, it didn’t feel contrived when the referee checked on Balor, which allowed Dominik Mysterio to interfere and cost his father the match. As much as I love Dom’s heel run, I really enjoy the resurgence that Rey has had as a result of the feud with Dom and the boost that his Hall of Fame induction provided.

Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis: This match exceeded my expectations. The Alpha Academy near falls were strong and suspenseful now that the Usos have dropped the tag team titles. It felt at least possible that Gable and Otis might be booked to pull off the upset to bury the Usos even deeper in the doghouse of Roman Reigns.

Cody Rhodes promo: Cody continues to be at the top of his game on the mic. Cody telling fans to point the finger of blame at him for his WrestleMania loss because he underestimated how low Roman Reigns would go felt slightly off if only because so many of Roman’s title matches end with outside interference. But it reminded me of a head coach of a sports team refusing to blame a bad referee call for his team losing because the game shouldn’t have been close enough for the bad call to matter. Fans know damn well that the the referee blew it and the wrong team won, but a smart coach wants to turn the page and move the focus to the next game rather than let his players get caught up in feeling sorry for themselves. So while Cody’s character has a legitimate gripe over the way he lost to Reigns, it’s time for Rhdes to turn the page and focus on doing whatever it takes to climb back into the title picture, even if that means having to go through Brock Lesnar.

Solo Sikoa vs. Kevin Owens: The creative forces went a bit overboard when it came to giving Owens outs for losing the match. Even so, it made for a pretty good story that a wounded Owens flew solo while going against Sikoa, who had the Usos in his corner. Sami Zayn and Matt Riddle running in to make the post match save created a happy ending to the show even though the heel won the main event. Here’s hoping that Sikoa will rack up some quality clean wins to make up for the odd story that was Cody Rhodes stating that Solo wasn’t ready and then beating him during the week that led up to WrestleMania. The fans see Sikoa as the badass enforcer of The Bloodline. Why mess with that?

Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus vs. Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles: A decent match with title change that felt overshadowed by the Trish’s post match heel turn. The likely red herring of Rodriguez and Morgan being the first people to find Lita injured in the backstage area was a nice touch. I’m curious to hear Trish’s heel logic for turning on Lynch and presumably being the person who laid out Lita.

Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed: A solid first chapter with the big men battling to a double count-out. I’m hoping for a lengthy program as opposed to Lashley winning their first PLE match and moving on. Reed is talented and his Tsunami finisher is over. The creative forces are protective of Lashley, as evidenced by how hard they tried to make up for his WrestleMania match being scrapped. As such, it’s hard to imagine Reed winning the feud, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be elevated by a competitive feud with Lashley.

Iyo Sky vs. Piper Niven vs. Michin for a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship: It was an interesting night for Damage CTRL (I can’t remember the last time I wrote those words). Bayley claiming that she tried to get Sky and Dakota Kai a tag title shot yet somehow came out of her meeting with a spot in this match was a sleazy heel move. So it was actually very surprising when she made good on her claim that she would try to get Adam Pearce to replace her with Sky or Kai. Sky seems to be gaining momentum and she was the right person to win this match. Bayley played it well afterward by forcing fake enthusiasm over her underling earning the title match that she wanted for herself.

WWE Raw Misses

None: This was not a red hot episode, but it featured quality matches, good mic work, and was somewhat newsworthy due to the tag title change and the Trish Stratus turn. I’m not sure what was planned and what had to be dropped due to the travel issues that prevented a number of wrestlers from appearing, but the company made the best of things with the crew they had and put together a quality show.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. I agree with you about Cody’s “blame me” promo being the right thing, however at some point they have to start acknowledging how Reigns never wins matches on his own. His “final boss” presentation is at odds with his booking and that has already gone on way longer than it should have.

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