By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio in a non-title match: An entertaining match with a buildup that left a lot to be desired. I really wanted to hear Dom make excuses for losing to Cody Rhodes at Money in the Bank, and there was a lot more fun to be had with him getting cocky heading into his match with Rollins. The bit with the crowd booing whenever Dom tries to talk in the ring is fun. But I’d love to see some good backstage bits where Dom can actually talk and say over the top things like he did when he was in Prison Dom mode.
Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, and Brock Lesnar opening segment: There was a lot of star power in the opening segment even though we never got to hear what was on Seth’s mind before Cody interrupted him or why Cody joined Rollins in the ring before Lesnar came out. Rollins even stuck around after the break and I still didn’t get a real feel for what his character had in mind. The Cody and Lesnar brawl was brief and yet somewhat surprising, as I mistakenly assumed that Lesnar would get the better of Cody whenever he came back from his latest hiatus. By the way, what was the point of having Cody come out again for that brief and needless interview with Jackie Redmond later in the show?
Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya for the Women’s World Championship: A well worked match regardless of the fact that there was no reason to think that Natalya was going to win the championship. This was more about her character getting some redemption after losing in dominant fashion to Ripley in their two previous matches. I was surprised that Ripley threatened Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez for saving Natalya. I assumed the new champions would be busy doing their thing in the tag team division while Ripley worked with others. I guess we’ll see if that goes anywhere. Either way, I loved the way Ripley didn’t flinch when Iyo Sky taunted her with the briefcase and even told her that attempting to cash in on her would be the biggest mistake of Sky’s life.
Damian Priest vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: One thing that stood out in the post main event angle is that the fans don’t seem to be buying into the threat of Damian Priest cashing in successfully. Priest has been damaged with his recent television losses to Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes, and having him with in the MITB contract wasn’t enough to erase those losses from the minds of the fans. Beating Nakamura was a start, but Priest really needs to rattle off a slew of quality wins and regain the swagger he had during the build to his match with Bad Bunny.
Matt Riddle vs. Giovanni Vinci: There was a lot of filler on this episode and yet they could only find 100 seconds for this match? The match itself wasn’t really a Hit or a Miss, but the post match angle with Drew McIntyre dominating Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser and then showing no fear of Gunther was well done.
Chad Gable, Otis, and Maxxine Dupri vs. Erik, Ivar, and Valhalla in a six-person tag match: Another in the middle type of match. The mid-card comedy program isn’t doing much for me, but the live crowds seem to being enjoying it. Otis always gets a great reaction and the fans are reacting to Dupri’s move of the week spot.
WWE Raw Misses
Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler: I gave the Baszler turn the benefit of the doubt on Saturday. I wanted to believe that while the turn came out of nowhere, the creative forces had something in mind to help explain her character’s actions. Sadly, they took the lazy approach by having Baszler complain about how hard she had to work to get her WWE career started while Rousey was thrust into a WrestleMania main event. Really? After all this time and a tag team title win, now Baszler is pissed about this?
Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green vs. Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae vs. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance vs. Dana Brooke and Tegan Nox vs. Nikki Cross and Emma in a tag team turmoil match to determine the No. 1 contenders to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles: Will the women’s tag team division ever get to the point where the challengers work their way up the ladder to earn title shots? Or are we stuck with these random multi-team matches whenever there’s a need for a tag team title match? I was pleased to see Deville and Green go over and I’d actually love to see them win the tag team titles.