Welcome to the Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Hartford, CT. It was the follow-up to WrestleMania Backlash from Sunday night.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We kick things off with Promo Time with RK-Bro. Orton was disappointed, like all of the fans, that the four weeks of promotion for the tag team title unification match at WrestleMania Backlash ended in a pointless six man tag. So, RK-Bro was going to go to Smackdown to challenge the Usos for the title unification match. Personally, I’d love to see it. The hype leading into it was really good and both teams mesh well together. The Street Profits showed up for their scheduled Raw Tag Team Championship match and traded a few 420 barbs. Riddle’s “RK-Bro 4:20 says we just smoked your asses” was really funny. Great line.
The tag title match was great as you would expect. These two teams work well together too. The match was really competitive with a few believable nearfalls. The end came with Ford going for another frog splash on Riddle only to be countered into an RKO by Riddle. Riddle picked up the win off of that. Ford’s selling was perfect and you never saw the move coming. He’s going to be a big star in the future.
Theory cut a promo on how he was going to beat Cody Rhodes tonight to retain the US Title. Maybe in WWE 2K23 Theory but not tonight.
More Promo Time this time with The Judgement Day. Edge ran down the fans before Damian Priest welcomed Rhea Ripley into the group. They had a nice little initiation for her. The group needs a better message than the fans suck though. That could hurt them in the long run. Being with Edge should help elevate Priest and Ripley to the next level.
Liv Morgan comes out to lose her scheduled match with Ripley. I feel bad for Morgan as she’s going to be the odd person out in all of this. She had such promise at the beginning of the year and it’s all been derailed. At least this wasn’t a Three Minute Raw Special. Some days I wonder about Creative…
Finn Balor came out a tad too late after Morgan was destroyed to take on Damian Priest. AJ Styles came out to back up Balor. Poor Liv. The match was not really anything special. Priest lost by DQ when Edge interfered and Judgement Day destroyed Styles and Balor afterwards. Who didn’t see that coming?
The VIP Lounge is next with MVP hosting Omos. They gloated about beating Lashley at WrestleMania Backlash. The match wasn’t all that great though. Cedric Alexander randomly showed up so he could get annihilated by Lashley while MVP and Omos left. We will find out later in the show that Lashley/Omos III takes place next week on Raw inside a steel cage. I’m suspecting Omos is going to break through the cage to win.
Adam Pearce finally announced that Sonya Deville is no longer a WWE Official (thankfully) but can continue to be a WWE Superstar. Alexa Bliss returns as a normal person and takes Deville out with two moves. Not a good look there for Deville. Back to Jobberville for you.
Kevin Owens’s brother Ken Owens (aka Kevin Owens in a bad wig) is out to confront Ezekiel. The angle is still funny but is going to wear pretty thin soon. They need to do something but I’m not sure what.
Byron Saxton allows Frank Lowman Promo Time to provide his eulogy before Veer Mahaan mauls him. Nice chant by the crowd of “He’s got triplets” during the beating. They get it.
Theory defends his United States Championship against Cody Rhodes next. This was a really good match. The only problem here is neither man can afford to take the L, so Seth Rollins runs in for the DQ finish. Rollins destroyed Rhodes after the match and there’s the basis for their Hell in a Cell match. That should be another great match. Their WrestleMania Backlash match was great as well.
Sasha Banks and Naomi are out to take on Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. in a non-title match next. I don’t think this was announced as a Championship Contender’s match either. It doesn’t really matter as Sasha and Naomi win the match. Doudrop was upset at Nikki for not tagging her in. It looks like Nikki A.S.H.’s gimmick days are numbered.
Mustafa Ali took on Ciampa next. This should have been a great match. The match was ruined by Miz playing third wheel as the shady ref. It made the match hard to get into because you knew Ciampa was going to win after a fast count. Can we please get these two a proper match without The Miz?
More horrible acting by the 24/7 title crew. Can we just make it go away forever?
It’s main event time, with Bianca Belair taking on Asuka in a Championship Contender’s match. This should be a really good match, if there wasn’t less than five minutes left in the show with Becky Lynch at ringside. Hey look, Lynch stole Rollins’s idea and ended the match on a DQ so she could beat up Asuka. I think Lynch had more time to beat up Asuka than the actual match did.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The Raw Tag Team Championship match was the match of the night hands down. Both teams play off each other so well. Ford has it down pat how to fly into an RKO without actually just diving off the ropes for a belly flop. I see big things for him in the future.
The in-ring product was rather solid this week. The storyline advancement was really good this week as well.
Can we please end the 24/7 title? The segments are starting to get unbearable.
We could have used some better finishes this week with three matches all ending the same way, by DQ because someone ran in.
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time.