Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Triple H introduces a WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt, Bad Bunny returns, Rey Mysterio vs. Damian Priest, Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor, Bianca Belair, The Usos and Solo Sikoa vs. The LWO, Liv Morgan, and Raquel Rodriguez vs. Damage CTRL, Mustafa Ali vs. Chad Gable


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

WWE Raw Hits

Rey Mysterio vs. Damian Priest with Bad Bunny: Priest felt like a background player throughout most of Judgment Day’s run. He’s been pushed to the forefront during the build to Backlash and he’s delivered nicely both in the ring and with his mic work. The post match angle with Bad Bunny came off well. The kendo stick shots in the Britt Baker angle on Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite were tame, whereas Bad Bunny really laid them in while working over Priest. Finally, I really hope that Rey was supposed to put his hands up and simply didn’t have his balance on the ropes when Priest threw the chair at his head.

Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor: A good television win for Rhodes in a quality match. Cody’s pre-match promo extended his streak of strong mic work. I’m very curious to hear what Cody’s character has to say about the introduction of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It’s interesting that his segments took place prior to Triple H’s announcement. Perhaps we won’t hear anything from Cody because he’ll be moved to Smackdown to continue the pursuit of the title held by Roman Reigns.

Seth Rollins promo: Rollins did a good job of trying to make the new championship belt feel meaningful. I really hope the plan isn’t to have Cody Rhodes finish his story by winning a tournament for an inferior championship. For that reason, Rollins strikes me as a very likely candidate to win the new championship, especially given that he went out of his way to state that he’s not on the long list of people that Reigns has beaten during his title reign. If they want the new belt to feel important, then the first champion shouldn’t be someone who Reigns has already beaten.

Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Solo Sikoa vs. Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Cruz Del Toro: The LWO trio looked competitive in defeat and received the best crowd reactions they’ve earned since arriving on the main roster. I’m still not sure if the finish was off or if they really planned to have the referee get caught up with Sikoa before he went to Jimmy Uso, but they pulled it off either way. The Usos and Sikoa going over was obviously the right move heading into the tag team title match on Smackdown. The backstage segments involving The Bloodline members and the duo of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were all well done and did an effective job of setting the table for Friday night’s WrestleMania rematch.

Bianca Belair, Raquel Rodriguez, and Liv Morgan vs. “Damage CTRL” Iyo Sky, Bayley, and Dakota Kai: I hope this was the end of the road for the Damage CTRL faction even though I suspect we’ll get another lame duck period where they don’t enforce the new rosters for several weeks after the draft. Sky, Bayley, and Kai all have something to offer individually, but the faction is running on fumes. Still, they made good speed bumps for the team of babyface champions. My only complaint is that the match should have been laid out in a way that made Sky look stronger heading into her title match with Belair.

Bronson Reed: Austin Theory continues to come off like a flukey pest heel turnoff, and it’s hilarious that Bobby Lashley’s character is still butt hurt over not getting a WrestleMania match. Did anyone else notice that Lashley looked like he couldn’t have cared less about the new championship belt when he walked past it? Fortunately, Reed was once again positioned as a badass while taking out both men.

Mustafa Ali vs. Chad Gable: These two could have produced a hell of a match had they been given more time, but it was fine for what it was. Ali got a rare won in his hometown while attempting to get his new gimmick over.

WWE Raw Misses

Triple H introduces a WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt: A polarizing move. There’s a good portion of the fan base that wants a second world championship. I get it. I also see the record numbers that WWE is doing and feel like some of their success is attributable to the consolidation of the title belts, which has clearly made those titles more valuable. In fact, I was hoping that the women’s championships would also be unified. I don’t think this is a massive mistake and it should please potential television partners to know that each brand will have its own champion. But it does take some of the prestige away from the titles that Reigns holds and it will be hard not to view the new championship as a consolation prize. Does this end with the men’s singles championships? Will each brand have its own tag team champions again? I really hope my intuition is off, but my guard is up for a weird finish to Friday’s tag team title match that somehow results in both teams holding tag team title belts.

The WWE Draft: It’s hard to feel like anything is really changing when they haven’t bothered to clarify that the rules of the brand split will actually be enforced long term. I wonder how much different things would be if Vince McMahon wasn’t still meddling in the creative process. I could see Paul Levesque wanting to announce a firm split with every intention of sticking to it, yet not wanting to ruin his own credibility by making such an announcement only to have McMahon blow it off weeks later like he always does.

“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander: A match that only seemed to exist so that Corey Graves could talk about how the WWE Draft could be the end of various tag teams.


Readers Comments (4)

  1. I haven’t commented as of yet on the new title (I know you are all on the edge of your seat for my thoughts

    The belt looks great
    It could be used to really elevate someone like Gunther or reward someone like Seth or Drew

    At least at first it’s gonna seem like a secondary title. If booked well it could long term be significant (same happened back with the orig Big Gold Belt)
    It means Roman will only be on one show and I think part of the reason the bloodline works is Roman impact both brands. Again. I think I’m going to take a wait and see attitude.

    Overall im not thrilled but im also not outraged

  2. @jason

    That’s a laugh I needed today lol

  3. This belt is always going to be the you’re not Roman reigns title until he loses his. If he’s around for a couple ppvs a year they should’ve just doubled down and had him or Heyman unveil it and if you’re a good champ u can challenge him.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.