Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles, Matt Riddle vs. Damian Priest in a MITB qualifier, Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz, Bronson Reed vs. Ricochet, Becky Lynch vs. Chelsea Green, Shayna Baszler vs. Raquel Rodriguez, Chad Gable vs. Erik


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

WWE Raw Hits

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles: A really fun main event with great work from all four wrestlers. This closed what was an in the middle show that went up against the deciding game of the NBA Finals on a high note. While there was no reason to believe Gunther and Kaiser would win the tag titles, the work was so good that it was easy to get caught up in the action.

Damian Priest vs. Matt Riddle in a Money in the Bank qualifier: This felt like a minor upset, as I really thought there was a chance that Riddle would win MITB and turn heel by targeting Seth Rollins. Rather, they are clearly sticking with Riddle as the next challenger for the Intercontinental Championship. What comes next for Priest is more of a mystery. He seems to be on the outs with the Finn Balor character, though it’s unclear what triggered the storyline rift between the two. Priest appears to be inching toward a babyface turn and it looks like Balor will end up aligning with JD McDonagh. I’m leery of where that leaves Judgment Day and surprised they would turn Priest given the brand’s shortage of meaningful heels, but the storyline is intriguing.

Bronson Reed vs. Ricochet: A quality match with a disqualification finish that seemed storyline driven rather than simply giving the creative forces an easy way out. Reed has taken some surprising losses and yet he still feels like a dominant badass. It will be interesting to see if the issues between Ricochet and Shinsuke Nakamura simply lead to a Triple Threat or if there’s more to this.

Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz: More of an in the middle. We get it. Cody can beat Miz. While they work well together, I continue to wish that the company would give Miz a credibility boost by having him win some television matches so that he feels like even a mild threat when he works with meaningful babyfaces. On a side note, I am really enjoying the build to the Cody vs. Dominik Mysterio match at MITB. Dom’s slap and run approach is perfect for his character and hopefully they will avoid having Cody get his hands on Dom until MITB.

WWE Raw Misses

Seth Rollins and Finn Balor: For all the talk of Balor waiting seven years to avenge the legitimate injury he suffered while working against Rollins, it feel like they revisited this story a dozen times aleady. The apparent lack of long term planning is troubling. If the creative decision makers knew this match was the plan for MITB, then it’s hard to imagine they would have had Balor lose clean to Rollins in a tournament semifinal match on Raw just last month. It’s a little better than Rollins pinning Damian Priest in a tag team match one week and then defending the World Heavyweight Championship against him the next, but things like this really make me wonder if it’s just sloppy booking or if Raw storylines are being booked on the fly.

Shayna Baszler vs. Raquel Rodriguez: A bad finish that made the babyface look foolish. Rodriguez was on the verge of hitting her finisher when she released Baszler to go after Rousey, who had climbed onto the apron. Why are the babyfaces always made to look like simpletons for taking the bait? I continue to hope that the creative team throws in the towel on smiling babyface Rodriguez. There’s also a need for meaningful heels in the women’s division, so I’m not really sure why Rodriguez continues to be miscast.

Chad Gable vs. Erik: This match felt like it’s actual purpose was to show Maxxine Dupri perform an arm drag takedown on Valhalla. As much as I would like to see Gable get a serious babyface run, there’s no denying the live crowds enjoy him and Otis as a team. But I don’t understand why the Viking Raiders have become glorified enhancement wrestlers. With the right push, Erik and Ivar could have been strong challengers for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Or they could have given fellow powerhouses Indus Sher a meaningful win as they climb their way up the ladder. Sadly, the Viking Raiders have lost so many times lately that teams that beat them don’t really get much of a boost.

Zoey Stark: It was tough to watch Stark struggle to hold up her end of the verbal exchange with Becky Lynch. I didn’t care for Lynch stating that Stark lacks a personality. That was on full display and pointing it out didn’t do any good. Here’s hoping that Stark can improve her mic skills because she has so many strengths in other areas of her game.


Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


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