Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: The Raw After WrestleMania with Cody Rhodes and The Rock, Drew McIntyre vs. Jey Uso vs. Bronson Reed vs. Ricochet for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship


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

WWE Raw Hits

Cody Rhodes and The Rock: An outstanding segment. Cody’s celebration received the time and attention it deserved. The Rock’s performance was excellent. The slow and deliberate pace of his speaking pattern was captivating and he generated strong heat from start to finish. The highlight was the unnerving manner in which Rock asked Cody if he could hold his newly won title belt. They set the table for their eventual showdown match. Rock’s movie schedule seems to suggest that the match won’t be happening soon, but this one is worth the wait.

Drew McIntyre vs. Jey Uso vs. Bronson Reed vs. Ricochet for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship: The build to the match left a lot to be desired. Unless I missed something, Reed simply mentioned during a second hour promo that the match would occur and then the broadcast team made the formal announcement without actually stating when the winner will get his title shot. Putting that aside, the match was well worked and the surprise appearance of CM Punk at the end added to the beef between him and McIntyre. Uso earning the first shot at new champion Damian Priest is a good move in that he can bounce back from the presumed loss and they’re not feeding a top wrestler to Priest in his first title defense.

Judgment Day celebration: Damian Priest’s championship celebration was certainly limited compared to the one Cody received, but that was to be expected. Priest cashed in a Money in the Bank contract, whereas Cody was celebrating that he finished his lengthy story by defeating one of the longest reigning champions in WWE history. In other words, this was somewhat forgettable and yet also fine for what it was. I got a kick out of R-Truth showing up to raise his title belt along with Priest and Rhea Ripley at the end to set up the next match.

John Cena, R-Truth and The Miz vs. Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, and JD McDonagh: A crowd pleasing surprise appearance by Cena. His involvement in the match was limited and very basic, which is all that it needed to be.

NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match: A good showcase for Dragunov in his first Raw appearance. It’s interesting that they said he declared for the WWE Draft. Does that mean that some NXT wrestlers will not declare for the draft or was this just the company’s way of saying that we should expect Dragunov to be called up? Either way, I’m anxious to see what Paul Levesque’s vision for the draft is and whether he will be better about actually enforcing the rules of the brand split than his predecessor was.

Jade Cargill vs. Chelsea Green: A basic squash match win for Cargill. If you watched her in AEW, this probably felt like deja vu, but it’s the right approach to take with Cargill now that she’s just getting started on WWE television.

Sami Zayn and Chad Gable vs. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci: A soft Hit for a good match with a highly predictable outcome. Here’s hoping that Kaiser and Vinci will finally be pushed as a strong tag team now that the tag team title belts have been split up. They are too good to be lackey sidekicks.

WWE Raw Misses

Paul Levesque opening: I get it. It’s a smart move to send the message of change while the company attempts to distance itself from Vince McMahon. I was happy that Levesque and Stephanie McMahon opened the two nights of WrestleMania. I was fine with the gushing over Levesque from Michael Cole and others because it felt sincere rather than scripted even if it was a strategic move. I also understand that all of the Raw viewers didn’t see WrestleMania, so it was logical to have Levesque appear on the weekly television show. Even so, as someone who watched all of the WrestleMania weekend events, it felt like overkill on Monday. I’m happy there’s a new era. I’m happy that Levesque is running the show and is doing a great job. But the message of change has been sent. We all know who is in charge and now it’s time to get back to normal by saving Levesque for special occasions.

NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez vs. Indi Hartwell in a non-title match: A soft Miss for a match that felt rushed. Perez got a little main roster exposure heading into the WWE Draft, but the focus seemed to be on Candice LeRae interfering again more than it was Perez. On a side note, there has clearly been an attempt made to give the Perez character and edge after they went too far in making her childlike in an attempt to play to young girls. Perez is doing a good job with her new heel persona, but I’m reminded of the failed kiddie act whenever they use the cutesy Pop Rox name of her finisher.


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