Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso vs. Damian Priest and Finn Balor for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles, Gunther vs. Bronson Reed for the Intercontinental Title


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

WWE Raw Hits

Gunther vs. Bronson Reed for the Intercontinental Title: A hell of a match. Gunther continues to rack up wins and yet he’s making the challengers he beats clean look strong in defeat. I thought they might give us a cheap finish to create the need for a PLE rematch, so it was a pleasant surprise to get a clean finish. We also had a clean finish for a big match last week when Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso beat Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in the main event. It’s refreshing to see some bigger television matches end with decisive winners as opposed to the ineffective approach of trying to protect everyone. By the way, Sami Zayn moves high on my list of potential candidates to end Gunther’s streak now that he’s working as a singles wrestler.

Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre: Another strong week for McIntyre. Rollins and Sami Zayn both told him to get over his obsession with The Bloodline. Although McIntyre hasn’t turned heel, his recent issues have been with the babyfaces, and Rhea Ripley insists that The Judgment Day faction keep their hands off of him. This new persona is compelling and there’s been solid logic behind the character’s actions. This is a huge step up from the giant sword carrying one dimensional babyface role that McIntyre had been saddled with.

Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso vs. Damian Priest and Finn Balor for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles: The main event finish was anything but clean this week, but it did conclude with a tag team title change. No complaints. Jimmy Uso taking out Jey with a superkick was an interesting move. When Damian Priest recruited Jey, he told him that the rest of the Judgment Day faction wanted to bring Jimmy into the fold. But I suspect this is more likely about Judgment Day and The Bloodline working together than it is about Jimmy jumping factions. The big question is whether the Roman Reigns character signed off on Jimmy making this move or if Jimmy went into business for himself again.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ricochet in a Falls Count Anywhere match: The athleticism of Ricochet combined with a gritty brawl that made great use of the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation. As much as both wrestlers need wins, I was pleased to see Nakamura get a bounce back moment after losing clean to Seth Rollins at WWE Fastlane. The creative forces invested a lot of time into making Nakamura matter again and another loss here could have pushed him right back into the position he was in before the rebuild.

Ludwig Kaiser vs. Johnny Gargano: A soft Hit for the obvious story of Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci using their numbers advantage to steal a win, which is clearly leading to the official reunion of the Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa tag team. Gunther continues to be a taskmaster, as his praise of Kaiser for winning the match was brief before he shifted to demanding that Gargano leave the ring on a stretcher after his match with Giovanni Vinci next week.

Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler in a non-title match: It was fun while it lasted. The outside interference saved them from having a clean finish, which made sense once it was revealed that Ripley will defend her title against Baszler, Nia Jax, Zoey Stark, and Raquel Rodriguez in a five-way match. Of the challengers, Jax feels the most established while the others still need character development. As someone who normally prefers to see a singles match over multi-person matches, the five-way match is actually a little more interesting. It feels like there’s a stronger chance of a title change in the five-way than there would be if Ripley were to face any of these wrestlers in a singles match. I still expect Ripley to win the match, but I can’t rule out the possibility that she will drop the title without being pinned.

WWE Raw Misses

Natalya vs. Piper Niven: A soft Miss for a decent match that involved two cold characters. Natalya is the Big Show of the women’s division in terms of the frequency of her turns. I assume the match was meant to lay the groundwork for Niven and Chelsea Green to defend the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles against Natalya and Tegan Nox. Speaking of Nox, her character received a minor reaction from the fans when she ran out, which is an improvement over the silence she’d been met with on recent Raw shows.


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