Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: CM Punk and Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Drew McIntyre vs. Jey Uso, Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley vs. Maxxine Dupri in a non-title match


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

WWE Raw Hits

CM Punk and Seth Rollins: An outstanding segment that set the table for their eventual showdown match. There was no mystery regarding which brand Punk would sign with, but I enjoyed his stroll down bad memory lane relating to his pro wrestling history in Cleveland. Rollins nailed his end of the promo. Rollins spends most of his time cackling and being over the top in his persona, so it really packs a punch when out when he drops the schtick and speaks in his real voice. Rollins playing on the Hangman Page line that started the drama in AEW was a nice touch. It was a line that fans who followed the drama picked up on, yet it also plays nicely to a more casual viewer as opposed to making them feel late to the party.

Drew McIntyre vs. Jey Uso: An enjoyable match with a logical cheap finish that further cements McIntyre as a heel. Oddly, the grudge between the two feels one sided. While Jey’s actions in The Bloodline is one of the motivating factors behind the McIntyre character’s turn, Jey’s character hasn’t reached a point where he is expressing the same level of animosity toward McIntyre. Jey still seems content playing to the fans and it comes off like he’s approached his matches with McIntyre as he does any other match. It will be interesting to see if McIntyre beating Jey for the second time will bring out Jey’s intensity or if what we see is what we get from Jey as a performer.

Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: The DQ finish was logical in that there was no reason for Cody to simply beat Nakamura and move on after the weeks that have been invested into setting up the feud. Cody isn’t going to take a clean loss to Nakamura, so the competitive match with the mist finish was a good way to extend the feud that seems designed to keep Cody busy until the Royal Rumble. On a side note, it felt a little awkward to see Julius Creed and Brutus Creed run out to save Cody since they haven’t established an on-air connection between the characters, but hanging out with Cody is a big upgrade over the Creeds yucking it up in bad backstage skits with the comedy tag teams.

The Miz, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa vs. “Imperium” Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci: An enjoyable six-man tag team match. The key moment of the match was Gunther being unable to escape Miz’s figure four on his own (Vinci eventually broke it up). I can’t say that I need another Gunther vs. Miz match, but it’s fine for an end of the year television feud. On a side note, I really like the way that the creative forces haven’t taken their foot off the gas. WWE really phoned things in during the month of December in past years. WWE isn’t going with their A programs, but they have created some compelling television feuds that have kept things interesting heading into the holidays.

Becky Lynch and Nia Jax: A solid segment to set up their first singles match. Speaking of which, was I the only one who was surprised when they said Lynch and Jax have never had a singles match? I assume these two will have a television match that will somehow extend their feud into the Royal Rumble match.

Bronson Reed vs. Ivar: A good battle of the big men. This was a step up from their previous match. They had the tough task of following the hot Punk and Rollins segment, but they got the live crowd invested. Although Reed went over clean, it felt like they did it in a way where they can run this back again.

WWE Raw Misses

Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley vs. Maxxine Dupri in a non-title match: If the match listings are Cagematch.net are correct, this was Dupri’s second singles match and just the sixth overall match of her career. It showed. I don’t think she adds so much to the mid-card comedy Alpha Academy group that she needs to be on the main roster. It’s not a knock. It simple seems like it would be beneficial to her long term career to move back down to NXT where she can get more training and reps.

Kayden Carter and Katana Chance vs. Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell: More of an in the middle. The match was fine, but the crowd’s apathy was noticeable. The women’s tag team division feels like it’s all about the champions and their challengers of the month. I continue to believe that the best thing they can do is put the work in to establish their chosen champions with a lengthy reign to make fans actually care about the titles.


Readers Comments (6)

  1. They’re clearly trying to get the Creeds as over as possible and that’s probably why they ran out to save Cody.

  2. Rollins brings up AEW and its a “nice touch”. When someone in AEW brings up WWE its a bad move.
    Got it.

  3. I don’t want to come off too Jim Cornette and I take no pleasure in saying it, but they shouldn’t have women’s tag team titles, and you can tell they don’t really want to have them either.

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