Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: CM Punk and Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins and Gunther, Drew McIntyre vs. Damian Priest, Becky Lynch and Nia Jax, New Day vs. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci

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

WWE Raw Hits

CM Punk and Cody Rhodes: An excellent promo exchange. Punk stating that his story makes him more the American Dream than Cody was terrific, and Cody responding that following through on what Punk spoke about in his Pipe Bomb promo makes him more punk than Punk was equally good. They did a great job of increasing the intensity as their verbal duel went on. Punk asking the question of whether they would still be friends on Sunday and outright saying that he was coming for Cody in the Rumble match really set the stage perfectly for whatever they do on Saturday.

Seth Rollins and Gunther: Rollins did a great job of showing the type of emotion with the watery eyes that would lead viewers to believe that he would have to miss WrestleMania. He ultimately delivered the good news while having a compelling exchange with Gunther, which surprisingly ended with a handshake. Gunther remains a fun dark horse pick to win the Rumble or Elimination Chamber to set up a title vs. title match at WrestleMania.

Becky Lynch and Nia Jax: Another good verbal segment. They are clearly setting up a key moment in the Royal Rumble match and it’s quite possible that it will be the finish. Bayley’s involvement in the segment didn’t amount to much.

Ivar vs. Chad Gable: An enjoyable match with a fairly predictable finish. There was just no reason to have Gable go over because it would have meant nothing coming on the heels of Akira Tozawa’s upset win over Ivar last week. Nevertheless, both wrestlers worked hard and produced the best match of the night.

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci: This match was all about establishing the intensity of the feud. The double count-out finish kept the program going and the big brawl afterward more than satisfied the live crowd. Kingston challenging Gunther later in the night was a strange twist, as the New Day issues with Imperium have primarily been limited to Kaiser and Vinci.

Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz: A soft Hit for a decent television match. Dom got a lot of help from Finn Balor and JD McDonagh to soften the blow for Miz taking a loss. It felt underwhelming to have Balor vow to live up to Ripley encouraging him to show off his vicious side only to perform basic interference in the match.

WWE Raw Misses

Drew McIntyre vs. Damian Priest: It’s rare that a Raw main event lands in the Miss section. It has nothing to do with the performance of the wrestlers, who were put in the tough position of having a heel vs. heel match. Worse yet, the involvement of R-Truth felt out of place. I have enjoyed most of Truth’s humor since he started messing around with The Judgment Day, but it just didn’t work in the television main event and ended the episode on a flat note. This was so awkward that I actually missed old school big locker room clearing brawl that was known for closing past Royal Rumble go-home shows.

Ivy Nile vs. Valhalla: A brief and forgettable match. Maxxine Dupri’s character is annoying. I hope it’s intentional because I’d rather see her turn on Nile than team with her. Meanwhile, Nikki Cross’s involvement may have been random, but she and Vahalla are both crazy characters and I could see them forming an alliance.

Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell vs. Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark: The random women’s tag team match of the week didn’t do much for this viewer. The wrestlers worked hard, but these matches just feel trivial. It doesn’t help that the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles do not feel important. There’s clearly an effort to do more with the women’s tag team division, but so far it all feels very uninspired.


Readers Comments (3)

  1. I’m sure I’ll be accused of something but generally the women’s wrestling these days is missing the mark. Becky and her “generation” feel stale and very few of the new wrestlers have managed to get over the hump – Bianca still has the biggest potential but needs a drastic makeover and Rhea basically is more of a force in the men’s division

    Truthfully the AEW crew isn’t any better They are either stale or silly characters.

    For what ever reason WWE feels obligated to give us multiple women’s matches every week and it really feels like a requirement rather than joy

    • for a while there, the women’s division was just fantastic. Creative seems adrift in the last 6 months. All the pieces are there, they just aren’t using them right.
      E.G. Bayley was pure fire before her injury; since she’s been back creative just hasn’t booked her well. Rhea has everything needed to become a super superstar but they just can’t seem to pull the trigger.

      Time for a shake up.

  2. Like I said yesterday, I love R-Truth but that was just a bad piece of creative. He’s a great worker and funny as hell but that was not right place/right time.

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