Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Damian Priest vs. Rey Mysterio in a non-title match, Sheamus vs. Ludwig Kaiser, Bron Breakker vs. Ricochet, Finn Balor vs. Dragon Lee, AOP vs. New Day

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

WWE Raw Hits

Chad Gable, Alpha Academy, and Sami Zayn: Another strong segment featuring the abusive coach and his shellshocked students. The crowd came to life in a major way when Otis teased that he was going to stand up to Gable. Everyone involved played their parts well, and Zayn is the perfect person to encourage Otis, Maxxine Dupri, and Akira Tozawa to stand up for themselves given his history in The Bloodline.

Sheamus vs. Ludwig Kaiser: The best match of the night and a big win for Kaiser. I was worried that Kaiser was in for another year of being Gunther’s lackey when they were kept together in the draft, but it looks like Kaiser is getting a chance to shine as a singles wrestler.

Bron Breakker vs. Ricochet: A good match with a clean finish. My only complaint is that the company really went overboard to protect losing babyfaces by having them sell injuries or be on the wrong end of outside interference. You can’t protect everyone. The post match angle with Breakker and Ilja Dragunov set up a strong match on paper for next week’s Raw.

Finn Balor vs. Dragon Lee: An enjoyable match despite the Judgment Day interference. This was the first match of the night that had outside interference, so it was more tolerable here than it became as the night went on.

“AOP” Akam and Rezar vs. “New Day” Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods: Karrion Kross’s attempts to drive a wedge between Kingston and Woods has made for a solid mid-card storyline. The match was laid out in a way that played into this perfectly with Kross luring Kingston to ringside and causing him to miss Woods attempting to tag out.

Braun Strowman vs. Carlito: A soft Hit for the brief match. It was interesting to see Dominik Mysterio sporting a sling for his injured arm earlier in the show and then not wearing it and taking bumps after this match. The post match scene was the best thing about the match with Finn Balor “saving” Dom from Liv Morgan. Speaking of which, everything involving Dom and Morgan was fun and it’s good to see them taking their time with this storyline as opposed to going for shock value by having them reveal a relationship out of nowhere.

WWE Raw Misses

Damian Priest vs. Rey Mysterio in a non-title match: The match was decent, but the outside interference felt like overkill by this point in the show. Drew McIntyre’s post match attack on Priest followed by Judgment Day getting the better of McIntyre was forgettable. While I am looking forward to Priest vs. McIntyre at Clash at the Castle, this segment did nothing to increase my level of interest in the match. It’s also making for some awkward television with two heels facing off when the fanbase is conditioned to seeing traditional babyface vs. heel matches with an occasional babyface vs. babyface match. While McIntyre will obviously be the babyface to his home country fans in Glasgow, the company seems to be presenting this in a way where the fans are being asked to choose. So far it feels like the live crowds are uncertain and might need a bit of a nudge.

Kiana James vs. Natalya: It was good to see James go over in her Raw debut match. But no matter how much Michael Cole tries to sell viewers on the idea that beating Natalya means something, regular viewers know that Natalya loses far more than she wins. That said, it was encouraging to hear Natalya tell Sonya Deville that she’s ready for a change. I don’t know where the Deville story is going, but she is a good talker and I am intrigued by it.

Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill vs. Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles: The dominant champions were on the verge of winning when Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre ran in for the weak no-contest finish. It seems like the idea was to protect Baszler and Stark, but were they really protected when Belair hit her finisher on Stark and was clearly going to beat her? This appears to be setting up a Triple Threat tag match for Clash at the Castle. WWE has had this date booked for months and yet they waited until now to push Scottish wrestlers Dawn, Fyre, and Piper Niven when they could have actually spent time building up those acts for their Clash at the Castle matches.


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