Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Jey Uso vs. Ilja Dragunov, Gunther vs. Kofi Kingston, Lyra Valyria vs. Zoey Stark, Iyo Sky vs. Shayna Baszler in King and Queen of the Ring quarterfinal matches

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

WWE Raw Hits

Jey Uso vs. Ilja Dragunov in a King of the Ring quarterfinal match: A strong main event match with some mystery regarding the outcome. It was a nice touch to tease the Dragunov vs. Gunther match earlier in the show. I loved their NXT UK work and as much as I look forward to seeing them renew their rivalry, it was wise to save it for a time when Dragunov means more. There’s clearly a significant portion of the Raw audience that lacks familiarity with Dragunov’s NXT work. While having another classic with Gunther could have jumpstarted Dragunov, the match will mean a lot more if they save it for when the time is right. Next week’s semifinal match is a big one for Jey, who followed up his disappointing WrestleMania match with Jimmy Uso with a solid, yet not particularly memorable match with Damian Priest at Backlash.

Damian Priest and Drew McIntyre: It was a good night for Priest. He fired some good verbal jabs at McIntyre, and came off like a strong leader during the clubhouse segments with Judgment Day. McIntyre came through with more fun heel zingers delivered at the expense of CM Punk and Punk’s fans.

Gunther vs. Kofi Kingston in a King of the Ring quarterfinal match: An enjoyable bout with Kingston showing heart before Gunther forced him to submit. The match would have felt needlessly long had nothing been at stake, but it being a KOTR match justified the length and competitiveness.

Iyo Sky vs. Shayna Baszler in a Queen of the Ring quarterfinal match: A good match with the expected outcome. As much as I’d love to see Baszler get the meaningful main roster run she should have had when she was called up from NXT, so much damage has been done. Sky’s win sets up an interesting semifinal match with Lyra Valkyria.

Lyra Valyria vs. Zoey Stark in a Queen of the Ring quarterfinal match: Perhaps the most encouraging part of the match was the “Lyra” chant that broke out. Valkyria never connected with the NXT audience, but perhaps things are looking up for her on the main roster. Her generic promo with lines in Gaelic and then about flying like a crow showed that she’s still a work in progress, but the creative forces are clearly high on her.

Bronson Reed vs. Akira Tozawa: Chad Gable is doing excellent work as the overbearing taskmaster. Gable has dropped the comedy bits and is now generating great heat for himself and sympathy for his pledges. In this case, it was a little too easy to see things from Gable’s perspective given that Tozawa was on a bit of a roll when he opted to play to the crowd by tearing his shirt off.

Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn vs. Otis in a non-title match: Gable was especially tough on Otis. It’s going to be a big moment when Otis finally stand up for himself if they do this right. While Otis defied Gable by performing the Caterpillar, I like that it was Gable telling Otis to perform his finishing move that backfired and led to Zayn winning the match. Gable was right about Tozawa, but they balanced it out in this match to avoid sending the message that Gable is always right and his pledges are always wrong.

WWE Raw Misses

Becky Lynch vs. Dakota Kai in a non-title match: The bad disqualification finish was a real head scratcher. Lynch was on the verge of forcing Kai to submit to the Disarmer when Iyo Sky and Kairi Sane ran in for the DQ. This didn’t put heat on the heels, nor did it set the table for a rematch that anyone wants to see. Why not have Lynch go over clean and then have the others attack her to set up the Lyra Valkyria save? On the bright side, Liv Morgan’s hit and run attack on Lynch was quick and effective.

Finn Balor and JD McDonagh vs. Julius Creed and Brutus Creed vs. “New Catch Republic” Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate vs. “AOP” Akam and Rezar in a four-way for a shot at the World Tag Team Titles: The Miss is all about the format rather than match quality. Pro wrestling in general has gone crazy when it comes to having random four-way matches determine No. 1 contenders. It’s especially frustrating in the WWE tag team division, as it feels like none of the tag team matches involving contending teams matter since the company will inevitably book a random four-way (or some other multi-team match) to determine who will get the next title shot. Paul Levesque has done a lot of good things since he took over the creative, but his work in the tag team division leaves a lot to be desired.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. I really thought things would look up for Shayna once HHH took over. When booked right, she can be one of the best heels in women’s wrestling. The fact that she is still languishing in this position while Liv Morgan is in the title picture again is depressing indeed.

  2. Andrew Guerrero May 14, 2024 @ 3:00 pm

    Love the RAW hit list Jason. Been following them since the PW torch days. It’s a part of my Tuesday ritual. With that said, any chance of a Smack down hit list ever happening?

    • Andrew, Thank you very much. I appreciate your long term support. I have been doing near weekly bonus blogs for members that often include my random thoughts on Smackdown. I’m just trying to give them another perk for membership. I will definitely bring back the Smackdown Hit List if the show changes nights. There’s so much content to keep up with now and I do my best to limit my Saturday work when possible to give myself a break and to keep my gal happy.

  3. Andrew Guerrero May 14, 2024 @ 3:51 pm

    I completely understand. Here’s hoping they move smack down to a weekday. Dot Net member for Life sir.

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