By: Frank Hyden
RAW this week had some interesting moments but suffered from the same thing that’s plagued RAW for years, being 3 hours. Unfortunately, that’s not going to change but I enjoy the show overall. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Opening faceoff between Drew McIntyre and Goldberg
The Miz and John Morrison interrupted the WWE World Champion as he was hyping his match at the Royal Rumble against Goldberg, who himself came down to the ring to say a few words. The faces pulled the heels into the ring, where Goldberg speared Miz and McIntyre Claymore kicked Morrison, then they squared off again. It was short but did what it needed to. I was surprised that this wasn’t the final segment of the show, until we found out later in the show why something else was in the main event spot…
BAD- Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler
They started having a match until Nia Jax interfered for the DQ. That brought out Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke, then Lacey Evans came out to even things up for the heels. Of course, Charlotte refused to sell anything during this brawl… And of course, this also turned into a 6-woman tag team match. Why not just book it that way in the first place instead of wasting time?
GOOD- Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, and Lacey Evans beat Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, and Charlotte Flair
There was technically two matches here, the heels lost the first fall when Baszler barely missed entering the ring before the 10-count. The match was then “restarted” during the commercial break. This one ended when Jax hit a hellacious chokebomb to Brooke and pinned her. Too much nonsense with the brawl and it turning into a 6-woman match, then the countout before it finally finally getting to a pin but I did like most of the in-ring action.
GOOD- Xavier Woods beat Slapjack
It’s good to see Retribution getting some airtime, as Mustafa Ali has really been putting his all into this. After Woods won, they held him down and Ali addressed him, telling Woods that Ali is taking Kofi’s spot in the Royal Rumble. There’s no chance he wins, of course, but it should still be fun.
GOOD/BAD- The MVP Lounge is interrupted
The Hurt Business gave MVP a gold necklace to thank him for what he does for them. It was interrupted by R-Truth and the 24/7 gang, then Riddle ran in and gave MVP a jumping knee. He has a gauntlet match against MVP, Shelton Benjamin, and Cedric Alexander later to get a title shot against Bobby Lashley. This was just kind of filler, though I do like THB a lot.
GOOD- Sheamus beat John Morrison, (Not as GOOD)- Miz and Morrison beat Sheamus
The singles match between these two was really good. I’ve been a fan of these two for a long time, and they delivered. After Sheamus won, Miz challenged him to a handicap match. It was okay, I’m just glad Miz and Morrison won, I’m really sick of the one person in a handicap match beating the team. It’s stupid, unrealistic as hell, and makes the team look like total chumps. They didn’t look great here, as they barely won, but at least they won.
GOOD- AJ Styles beat R-Truth
This was another one of those Royal Rumble qualifying matches that only some people have to have. Anyway, the action was fairly good, no surprise there, but Styles won as expected. The most notable thing during this match was announcer Tom Phillips touting that Styles was 12-2 in matches since being drafted to RAW. One of the things I like most about AEW is them keeping track of wins and losses. I wish WWE would do the same so it was very weird to hear this. Cool, but weird. I know they likely won’t ever bring it up again but at least we got it once.
GOOD/BAD- Riddle beat Shelton Benjamin, MVP, and Cedric Alexander
They did an Alexa’s playground segment before this that recapped recent doings in that storyline. Bliss was fantastic as always. Anyway, this was completely predictable but still managed to be entertaining. At least, to me it was. One by one, THB members all fell prey to Riddle as they got distracted with their in-fighting. Riddle’s win gives him a future title shot but Lashley ran out and left Riddle laying in a heap, showing off his dominance. Real quick, I’ve said this numerous times to friends and family but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it online, but Bobby Lashley looks so much like a jacked-up Wayne Brady. I almost expect him to start dancing or singing during his matches.
GOOD- Edge promo
Edge talked about his return at last year’s Royal Rumble and his injury, then announced he’s returning to enter the Royal Rumble this year. Edge is a very good speaker and this was interesting but it did lack the excitement this would have had in front of a live crowd. I miss the crowds so much.
GOOD/BAD- Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss ends in a No Contest
The match was good. They had some good chemistry and the facials from Bliss were fantastic. As Asuka would have her in a shoulder-lock, Bliss would be smiling from the pain. Then she would get Asuka in a headlock and be all smiles again, like she was hugging a teddy bear. That was great. Then they went too far with it, for me. Others might really like this. It’s not so much that I hated it, Bliss is just doing way too good a job for me to hate it. It just goes too far for my taste. They did a spot where the old Alexa Bliss appeared in the corner, complete with her music and outfit. And she was crying and such. Asuka did a good job acting completely astounded. Bliss then goes into the opposite corner as the lights go out, when they come back, she’s Dark Alexa doing the spider hang (or whatever it’s called) off the ropes. She then starts no-selling and gets Asuka in the Mandible Claw, but Burnt Randy Orton shows up and RKOs her and the show ends.
It’s the right move to not have Alexa win the title. The character doesn’t need it and then you’re left with the problem of how do you have her lose it down the road? I’m not a fan of the show just ending like that, I’d rather have seen the ref calling for the bell or something. I guess Bliss would technically win by DQ but I suppose such matters aren’t important to WWE.
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank