Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: WWE Draft night two, NFL star Patrick Mahomes appears, Jey Uso, Ricochet, and Andrade vs. Damian Priest, Finn Balor, and JD McDonagh

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

WWE Raw Hits

NFL star Patrick Mahomes appears: It was a big get to land one of the biggest names in all of sports to appear on the show. It’s baffling that Mahomes hung out with and helped the heels in Kansas City where he walks on water, but they got their SportsCenter style moment when he passed off his Super Bowl rings to Logan Paul.

Sami Zayn vs. Bronson Reed for the Intercontinental Title: WWE didn’t give this much hype prior to the show, so it was not a surprise when the match ended with Chad Gable’s interference. While all signs point to a Triple Threat match between these three, the match was not announced for Backlash. On a side note, Gable tearing into his Alpha Academy pledges has been effective. I’m not sure if the sympathy approach will work for Otis, Akira Tozawa, and Maxxine Dupri, but Gable is generating good heat.

Gunther vs. Xavier Woods: On paper, the match went longer than it needed to at 16:30, but it seemed like the idea was to show Gunther toying with Woods while ruthlessly destroying him as opposed to just beating him quickly and moving on.

Candice LeRae vs. Maxxine Dupri: A soft Hit for a finish that cemented Indi Hartwell as a heel. It seems odd that the feud felt like it was just getting started when LeRae and Hartwell were drafted to Smackdown along with Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. Ciampa seemed to be breaking bad last week. Please tell me that they are not going to overestimate the appeal of The Way faction from NXT again by putting the band back together on Smackdown.

WWE Raw Misses

WWE Draft: As I stated in my Raw audio review, this was the biggest disappointment of the Paul Levesque era. If the creative forces didn’t want to shake things up, then they should have saved the draft for a later date and simply made a couple of trades and/or called up some wrestlers from NXT. In retrospect, it feels like this draft was held because company officials wanted to counter the NBA and NHL playoffs and the NFL Draft. The WWE draft was such a buzzkill that it feels like there is at least some risk that the company’s momentum could stall and trigger a slightly delayed WrestleMania hangover if they get lazy and fail to produce good bounce back episodes of their weekly television shows.

Jey Uso, Ricochet, and Andrade vs. Damian Priest, Finn Balor, and JD McDonagh: A throwaway main event. Even the final shot of Priest and Jey going face-to-face to push their match for Backlash was underwhelming. Jey is challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship and the only thing he had to say to the champion was “yeet”? Andrade feels ice cold and it’s beyond time to give up on the black mask entrance that means way more to him than the average viewer. While the disappointing draft will get more attention, this was also the worst go-home show that Raw has produced for a PLE since Levesque took over creative. There was not a single thing about this show that made me more excited about Backlash than I was going in.

R-Truth and The Miz vs. Otis and Akira Tozawa for the World Tag Team Championship: As if two comedy teams meeting for the tag team titles wasn’t bad enough, the match received the “joined in progress” treatment. R-Truth winning his first title in WWE at WrestleMania was a nice gold watch moment, but it’s time to move the titles and get serious with better booking of the tag team division.

Liv Morgan vs. Nia Jax: A soft Hit for a match that seemed to confuse the live crowd. Morgan has been acting heelish lately and Jax gets more heat than anyone in the women’s division, so the fans had no rooting interest. The finishing sequence was rough with Jax awkwardly taking the Codebreaker and Morgan’s Oblivion finisher.


Readers Comments (3)

  1. After Jax vs Morgan, tune in next week to see Braun Strowman lose clean via pinfall to Noam Dar.

  2. >

    Nothing “baffling” about it, my friend. It’s not an issue because, sadly, everyone knows it’s a show. Takes a LOT of the fun out of it….

  3. I read that the NFL guy has a contract with the drink company, and was there on WWE TV for that, not as a guest directly of WWE.

    I would be fine if Maxxine, Otis and Akira became a badass faction. It would prove Gable right, and get everyone out from comedy, which has a ceiling.

    If they go the route that Gable berates them, and they rebel, it proves Gable ineffective, and gives the 3 a nowhere to go from there Virgil gimmick.

    I liked the Way in NXT, but so many NXT call ups got hobbled by McMahon, they should find something new.

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