By: Frank Hyden
Last night’s RAW was the fallout episode from Hell in a Cell and it…had some moments. Some GOOD, some BAD. It was more about wasted potential, though. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD/BAD- Drew McIntyre promo, The Miz and John Morrison interrupt
McIntyre came out and talked about how he lost the WWE Title, then Miz and Morrison came out and Miz talked some about winning the Money in the Bank contract. McIntyre then wiped both of them out and make them look like chumps, and they teased some kind of match later. Paint by numbers stuff here. It’s fine, but not really going to entice anyone to stick around and watch.
GOOD- A.J. Styles beat Jeff Hardy to qualify for Team RAW
This was a pretty good match between these two. It would be really hard to have a bad match with these two, they work well together. Jordan Omogbehin was involved in the match but not the finish, so Styles beat Hardy fairly cleanly, he’s the first guy on the RAW men’s team for the Survivor Series match.
BAD- Lucha House Party beat Drew Gulak and Akira Tozawa
They started having a match, which would probably have been really good, but then R-Truth came out looking for Little Jimmy and everyone started trying to pin him. Truth kicked out what felt like a million times and in the commotion, Lince Dorado pinned Gulak to win the tag match. Why wasn’t the match stopped when they all started going after Truth? This was just such a waste of talent.
GOOD- Keith Lee beat Elias to qualify for Team RAW
This was a pretty good match. Elias surprised me with some of the stuff he was doing and the way he was moving, he was quick and agile. Jeff Hardy’s music started playing and it distracted Elias, allowing Lee to hit the Spirit Bomb and get the win. Hardy then blasted Elias with his guitar. I imagine Lee will get a big show of dominance in the Survivor Series match before being eliminated in some way.
GOOD/BAD- The Hurt Business beat Retribution in an 8-man elimination match
I like The Hurt Business so I liked seeing them win here. However, Retribution again gets treated like chumps and lose. The faction is pretty much dead at this point. As for the match, MVP was eliminated first after Reckoning pretended to have a freakout seizure that distracted him and he got pinned. Slapjack then got eliminated after a Bobby Lashley spear. Lashley and T-Bar then got counted out. Shelton Benjamin eliminated Mace before Ali DQ’d himself for attacking Cedric Alexander with a chair. Afterwards, MVP and Lashley came back and Ali ran away like a pud. They’ve buried these guys so badly that I don’t think they can recover.
BAD- Drew McIntyre squashes Miz
Look, I like these guys but that’s the problem. Miz got squashed like a bug and Morrison was an afterthought. They deserve better. Morrison is great in the ring and Miz is great on the mic. They deserve better.
GOOD/BAD- Lana beat Lacey Evans, Peyton Royce, and Nikki Cross to qualify for Team RAW
This match was pretty good, I liked it. Royce looked really good with plenty of offense while Cross did her usual frenetic attacks, which I’ve always liked. Lana had a few rough moments but you can definitely see improvement in her and Evans was her usual quality self. The rest of Team RAW on the women’s side was announced as Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke, and the RAW Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax and they were all watching at ringside. Lana won by seizing the opportunity and throwing Royce out of the ring after she took out Cross and Evans, pinning Evans to become the 5th member. Of course, Jax then put Lana through the announce table for literally the 6th week in a row. What the hell? Way to kill a spot and run it into the ground.
GOOD- Sheamus beat Matt Riddle to qualify for Team RAW
This was a really good match. It was back and forth and very physical. Sheamus is a really good worker, as is Riddle, so you knew this would deliver if they were given time. Sheamus pinned Riddle after the Brogue Kick and becomes the third man on Team RAW. The final two members will be chosen later.
GOOD/BAD- Moment of Bliss leads to another Orton-McIntyre brawl
Randy Orton was the guest on A Moment of Bliss and Alexa Bliss was her usual excellent self, with great facial expressions and mic skills. Orton talked for a moment, asking where The Fiend was. But then, Drew McIntyre’s music hit and he came out and they started brawling. The lights went out and when they came back on, Bliss was gone and Orton was on the ramp with his belt. Orton did a good job himself with his expressions as he realized The Fiend was behind him. He charged at McIntyre in the ring, though, and they brawled some more as the show ended. How many times have we already seen these guys brawl? Having The Fiend be involved but also not at the same time, spiced things up a bit, though. However, I really do think WWE is missing the mark by not having Tom Phillips start yelling “Things are breaking down! We’re running out of time! We’ll see you next week!” or some variation of that as the show closes. I personally think that would be really cool and a better way to handle things rather than just fade to black with the little graphic in the bottom right corner of the screen. I might be wrong about that, though, but I think it would be cool.
Another uneven episode of RAW. With it being 3 hours, I don’t expect the whole episode to be great, though that’s certainly possible given the talent of the roster. I do wish WWE would adopt the way AEW does their main events, where the “main event” guys don’t always have to be in the main event. Because they also like to start the show with their top guy. For instance, it’s been Drew McIntyre so he’ll often open the show with a promo of some sort and maybe brawl with someone. And he’ll be in the main event because he’s the top guy. But it’s also a 3 hour show so he has to show up in at least one other segment because the show’s so long. And that middle segment is usually a brawl because how else are you going to set up the main event? And they just keep using this same formula over and over again. Now, I know that this isn’t always what happens but it feels like it happens a lot. I just think it would be cool if The New Day defended their RAW Tag Team Titles in the main event sometime. Or how about Asuka defend her RAW Women’s Title? Or Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax defend their RAW Women’s Tag Team Titles? How about a #1 contender’s match for one of those belts? It couldn’t hurt to do that sometimes.
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