Welcome to The Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here.
We open the night with the return of the Godfather and the Ho Train. Wait, that’s Bobby Lashley with some ladies and not The Godfather. Anyway, MVP issues an open challenge on Bobby’s behalf and Drew McIntyre accepts. MVP says that Braun Strowman and Drew were excluded from the open challenge. Drew knocks Bobby out of the ring as the ladies run out of the ring with overly dramatic screaming. It was a different feel for the opener, so it’ll be interesting to see who accepts the open challenge.
Our opening contest had AJ Styles taking on Elias. Omos and Jaxson Ryker were at ringside. Elias actually looked pretty good in this match. He definitely looked better here. Then again, AJ can make anybody look good. The end came when Ryker got caught interfering for the DQ. I’m guessing we can pencil in this as the next tag title feud?
Backstage, Riddle tried to make peace between The New Day and Randy Orton. Instead, Kofi challenged Randy to a match for later.
Alexa’s Playground was up next with Alexa Bliss and Lilly hosting the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Natalya and Tamina. The whole Alexa Bliss gimmick has fallen off the rails as of late that it’s no longer interesting. Lilly wanted to know what their favorite color was. Natalya’s was pink (of course) and Tamina’s was black and blue. They then walked off, wise choice.
Up next are a couple of catering refugees, Angel Garza and Drew Gulak. Garza looked good again this week and Gulak did his job putting Garza over. No 50/50 booking this week as Garza picked up another victory over Gulak. Maybe someone in Creative realized they were going to make Garza the next Latino star and is going with it. There’s only so much Bondo and duct tape that can hold Rey Mysterio together.
Speaking of remembering things, 24/7 Champion R-Truth is back to find Akira Tazawa and the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for a 24/7 title change. I was okay with forgetting about the 24/7 title.
They replayed the Evalution video for Eva Marie from last week. Didn’t care about it then and still don’t care this week. It’ll likely be Emmalution 2.0.
Kofi Kingston took on Randy Orton next and wow, did it underwhelm. It was super short on top of it. Kofi beat Orton with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! (back again?) in under five minutes with a Xavier Woods trombone distraction. We know these two can work together, so let them. After the match, Riddle got into it with The New Day, so maybe we can make him a little more serious?
Backstage, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Lana, and Naomi were complaining to Adam Pierce and Sonya Deville about not getting a Women’s Tag Team Title match (um, the champs are faces) when Super Charlotte showed up to squash them. Charlotte then complains about not getting a one on one Women’s Title match. Rhea Ripley showed up to wish Charlotte luck against Asuka tonight. I agree that the Women’s Tag title scene needs new challengers and Charlotte should be nowhere near the title scene again.
The Women’s Tag Team titles are up for grabs next with Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax getting a rematch against Natalya and Tamina. I thought that the automatic rematch rule was eliminated two years ago? Anyway, we get another Three Minute Raw Special with the champs retaining after Lilly blew up Reginald. At least Reginald had to sell the doll’s attack this week, but where is Three Minute Warning when we need them? Oh yeah, free Shayna Baszler.
Up next is Sheamus taking on Ricochet in a non-title match. Finally, a great match on Raw. Only took us to get past the halfway point of the show. It was a hard-hitting affair. I did not see their WrestleMania Backlash Preshow bout. No 50/50 booking here as Sheamus picked up the win again. I was hoping Ricochet would have picked up the win, as he needs some kind of meaningful win this year. Also, what possessed Sheamus to take that Spanish Fly off the top rope? He shouldn’t be doing that and we all know that the fella needs to stay healthy to keep the US Title warm for Keith Lee.
Asuka and Charlotte squared off next. I’m not sure if Charlotte’s ring gear is supposed to be cow print or dalmatian print. Charlotte had trouble keeping her top on as the screen blacked out a couple of times. We ain’t got time for that. The match was good as expected and Asuka got about as clean of a win over Charlotte as she is willing to give a non-Four Horsewomen after a slight distraction from Rhea Ripley at ringside. At least Asuka won with a small package. Can we find someone other than Charlotte to challenge Rhea? Is that too much to ask?
Damian Priest took on John Morrison in a lumberjack match next. Thank God the match was not sponsored by Army of the Dead and we got actual lumberjacks and not zombies. I feel like Morrison makes Priest look better than The Miz. Speaking of Miz, shame to hear about the knee injury. For as much as I rag on him, I hope he has a speedy recovery. The match was pretty good and the lumberjacks did their usual spots. The crazy spot was Priest superplexing Morrison off the top rope onto the floor into a pile of lumberjacks. Priest also pulled out an impressive-looking top rope hurricanrana before finishing off Morrison with his Hit the Lights finisher.
Priest was interviewed on the ramp that he was moving on from Miz and Morrison (Thank God) and maybe will take Bobby Lashley up on the open challenge. That would be a great match and Priest has the tools to be the top guy.
Eva Marie was back talking about how she had to return to WWE because all of her outside opportunities dried up. Oh, she wants to be a hero little girls can look up to? I’m guessing she’s back because nobody wanted to do Total Divas and she said yes. Still don’t care.
Main Event time and Bobby Lashley’s open challenge was answered by…Kofi Kingston. Kofi was ready to unleash Kofimania 2 before MVP said that he never said that this was a WWE title match. The match was okay and gave Lashley a different opponent this week. The ROLLUP OF DEATH~!’s third appearance of the night leads Kofi to victory after Drew McIntyre showed up and poke Lashley with MVP’s cane.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows:
Sheamus/Ricochet was really good. I hope this feud continues with Ricochet picking up a win somewhere to earn a US title opportunity. I’m all for Ricochet getting more TV time.
The Lumberjack Match was also really good. John Morrison made Damian Priest look like a million bucks after that match. Morrison seems more compatible to Priest than Miz. Let’s hope the Priest push continues and bears some fruit for him.
The trifecta from the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! was just way too excessive. You shouldn’t have more than two matches end that way. The 24/7 spot does not give it a mulligan because that is its gimmick.
Why are superstars having to sell attacks from dolls?
That’s all I’ve got. Until next time.