Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Battle royal for the vacant Women’s World Championship, R-Truth and The Miz vs. DIY for the World Tag Team Titles, New Day vs. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci


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

WWE Raw Hits

Battle royal for the vacant Women’s World Championship: The presentation of the battle royal was strong. They made the match feel important right out of the gate and continued to push it consistently throughout the night. The battle royal itself was mostly fine by battle royal standards. They got it right by having Becky Lynch, Liv Morgan, and Nia Jax be the final three entrants. I thought Morgan would win, particularly after they showed her moment with Dominik Mysterio in the backstage area. Lynch was a fine choice as well and her post match Diamond Dallas Page style celebration in the crowd made the title win feel like a big deal.

Drew McIntyre and Sheamus: A good verbal exchange with Sheamus telling his longtime friend that his obsession with CM Punk cost him the World Heavyweight Championship. McIntyre fired back with some jabs at Sheamus’s weight, and Sheamus fired back nicely by saying that he can lose the weight, but McIntyre can’t lose stupid. Sheamus beating Shinsuke Nakamura was fairly routine, but I like that they had McIntyre at ringside without having him get involved. McIntyre’s presence made it feel like something could happen, but it was nice to see them take their time with wherever this is going, especially with this segment airing shortly after Ludwig Kaiser attacked Giovanni Vinci.

Chad Gable: A good start to his heel run. Gable tearing down the other Alpha Academy members came off well in terms of making them sympathetic figures to put heat on him. I am really looking forward to seeing how Gable does as a heel without all of the campy schtick.

R-Truth and The Mix vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa for the World Tag Team Titles: A soft Hit for a solid match and the post match angle with Ciampa refusing to shake hands with Truth and Miz. The DIY reunion has been a big disappointment, so I’m happy they are moving in a different direction.

WWE Raw Misses

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci: The New Day duo were downright annoying. They had been showing a bit more of an edge, but they were just plain obnoxious during the verbal segment with Gunther. The match had a “been there and done that” feel to it. It’s a shame that creative never got behind Kaiser and Vinci as a meaningful tag team and instead pushed them as lackeys. The post match angle with Kaiser attacking Vinci was a big Hit. Kaiser has breakout potential as a singles wrestler and it looks like he’s about to get an opportunity to fly solo. I’m not sure what this means for Vinci, who is good in the ring, yet hasn’t shown the same level of charisma or mic skills as his tag team partner.

Ricochet and Andrade vs. Santos Escobar and JD McDonagh: The match had a couple of clunky moments, but the bigger issue was the live crowd’s flat reactions to Andrade and Escobar. They are both very talented and hopefully the creative forces can come up with ways to make their characters more interesting. The post match attack by Damian Priest on Ricochet and Andrade was solid. I also liked Priest’s basic verbal exchange with Jey Uso. It was nice to hear Jey say something other than “yeet” and catchphrases, and Priest is carrying himself well as the champion and the frustrated leader of Judgment Day.

Draft Hype: I’m surprised they didn’t do more throughout the night to build anticipation. WWE took the bare minimum approach by simply touting that the draft starts on Smackdown and ends on next week’s Raw. Perhaps they feel like the audience knows what to expect at this point, but they did a better job in past years of playing up the draft as a game changing event. This will be the first draft run by Paul Levesque with Lee Fitting handling the production end of things, so I am very curious to see what ideas they have to freshen things up. Will there will be any declarative statements about actually enforcing the brand split rules more than they did under the previous regime? Either way, the shows leading up to the draft were better than past years when it came off like everything was in limbo and they just phoned in those episodes.


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