Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Hope you enjoyed your weekend, stayed safe, enjoyed some food, and hugged your loved ones. I spent most of my weekend with people like Claire as we covered and watched all the wrestling. And guess what? We’re watching Raw this week! My co-pilot has you covered with her blog and I’m filling in the blanks below.
Let’s talk Raw!
Seth Rollins doesn’t like Cody Rhodes. He’s not feeling the new version of Cody. He disdains the pandering. He hates the cheers and chants from the crowd. More importantly, he despises Cody for leaving, doing all in his power to destroy WWE, and then come back when that didn’t work out so well for him. Fittingly, Seth called out Cody for taking a sledgehammer to the throne only coming back to take that same throne he once gleefully decimated. Cody might be the face here — even in Iowa — but Seth is correct on that last point. I like Seth pointing that out, even if he is the insane heel. I wish Cody engaged with those comments specifically. Instead, we got a nice fist fight between the two, complete with “WWE officials” pulling the two apart. One never goes wrong with cats throwing hands at each other and causing chaos.
It really is hard arguing against Seth. Cody bounced, spent years badmouthing WWE, created an “alternative” to challenge their position, and here he is now like nothing changed. Making matters worse, the crowd is eating him up. They love him. And, going off Seth’s context clues, he takes serious umbrage with management loving Cody too. There’s a lot to unpack there and I wish WWE saw the box before now. Or, at least acknowledge it as part of the story before now. The go home show before your next big event isn’t the time to really get at the heart of your heel’s motivation. Especially when we’re talking about the third match between two opponents.
But, alas. Here we are. The cell is the perfect place to finish this as these two cats dislike each other with a passion. I just wish we got more of this psychological angle before this week and less of everything else prior.
Allow me this time to rant: I hate the fact Asuka and Bianca Belair wrestled this week. For one, there’s zero reason for two people in a big PPV match this weekend to wrestle each other a mere days before. Call me old school, but that’s how I see things. Secondly, this sounds illogical. Bianca and Asuka willingly put their bodies on the line while Becky stays fresh on commentary. Why on earth would either woman agree to those terms? No matter how much Bianca wants to get a little payback on The Empress for the kick heard round the stadium last week, that can wait until Hell in a Cell where the stakes are higher.
Both women put themselves in bad spots. Asuka “suffered” an ankle injury doing the match, while Becky got the last laugh when the match ended with Bianca getting the win. Becky attacked both women and left them lying on their backs as she walked into the locker room, fresh as a daisy. The match itself was nothing to write home about but it was competent. Competency, however, does not supersede logic.
We got a six-man tag match between Kevin Owens & Alpha Academy and The Mysterios & Ezekiel. Guess what? It was pretty damn good. The core was Zeke and KO, which is why the latter’s miscue led to the former getting the victory for his team. With his team on a roll, KO accidentally kicked Chad Gable square in the face. The Mysterios took advantage of a shocked KO, while Zeke (Elias) pinned Gable with a very reminiscent move of something Elias did many moons ago. KO went agro after the match and tore up the commentary table while shouting in the face of anyone in his vicinity.
I wonder where this goes after Hell in a Cell. What does KO do if he loses? And what happens to Zeke if he loses? Just how long can we do this dance? We’ll find out.
Got It Twisted
Alexa Bliss and Doudrop wrestled an okay match. That “okay” is probably due to the fact they barely had any time to truly get busy. Alexa got the W, which makes me wonder exactly what they’re doing with Nikki ASH and Doudrop. Doudrop scolded Nikki on her lack of seriousness. Cool. And even last week, Doudrop dropped some knowledge on her partner after Alexa beat Nikki. How is any of that reinforced when Doudrop loses in an even quicker fashion than her partner? WWE is helping Alexa find her sea legs, which is fine and good. But, whew, Nikki and Doudrop are adrift at sea.
Friend of Mine
It’s not right how Tozawa treats Tamina. Your new 24/7 champ pinned the woman he loves after she beat Dana Brooke for the championship. The impromptu match broke out during an entertaining Miz TV featuring the Profits of Street. Even if it tickled my funny bone, I really dislike how they’re using the Profits right now. They went from challenging for tag gold to telling everyone to take them seriously … to getting the crowd hype for Hell in a Cell.
Do with that what you will.
Before I get into Ali vs. Ciampa, which turned into Ali vs. Theory for the United States championship, let’s shed a tear for Ciampa. The man is getting the non-televised entrance already. His stay on the main roster is about a month old and he’s already coming out to no fanfare with no real character or persona to speak about.
Anyway, Ali’s road to a title shot was simple: Beat Ciampa and get a championship match. Theory interfered early on, giving Ali a DQ win. Theory beat the living hell out of Ali and granted him a title shot this week. A weakened Ali did his best but c’mon. Theory manhandled him because of course he did.
After defeating Ali, Adam Pearce relayed word from the old man that Ali and Theory have a championship rematch at Hell in a Cell. Which is great for us but weird in context. McMahon is Theory’s mentor, right? And wants aggression from him, right? So why do this? Basketball reasons, I suppose.
The best part of this tag match between Riddle & Shinsuke Nakamura and The Usos is that Nak looked like the Nak of old. Meaning more aggressive, more vicious, and more on his grind. This was a championship contender’s match, after all. Rather than take a clean L, Jey hit Riddle with a scooter. So, Jimmy & Jey lost anyway, and unless I’m wrong, Riddle and Nakamura still get their unified tag titles shot. And if I’m wrong, I’m sure one of you lovely cagesiders will point it out in the comments. I thank you in advance.
This was hardly the match, or the finish, needed for a match commentary built up for an entire hour of the show. Complete with its own clock.
We Gon ‘Make It
AJ Styles, Finn Balor & Liv Morgan finally got a leg up on The Judgment Day. For the most part, this feud was the Globetrotters vs. Washington Generals, with AJ and co. playing the role of the poor Generals who are never in on the joke.
Liv and Rhea Ripley put on a pretty good match that, while not the most exciting, was successful in the evening the odds if only a bit. Once again, I take issue with the two women clashing ahead of their big inter-gender match at Hell in a Cell, especially since Liv getting the W for her team and pinning Rhea is a moment for a big event. But, maybe this is a case where the babyfaces get their shine now because the heels plan to block out the sun later.
Liv picked up the clean win, while AJ and Balor took turns dishing out revenge on Damian Priest. Notable by his absence? Edge. I’m curious to see how Edge handles his crew’s first real setback.
Raw finished this week with a contract signing between MVP, Omos, and Bobby Lashley. And it stunk. Hell in a Cell features a handicap match between these three men. MVP and Lashley expressed their hurt feelings towards each other — MVP calling Lashley his brother was the best part of the segment — and Lashley later signed on the dotted line. It’s wrestling, so you know a fight broke out. What you don’t know is Cedric Alexander showed up to annoy everyone, and Lashley speared Omos into a table.
Yup, it stinks.
Look, this is the go home show for Hell in a Cell and it felt like a run of the mill Raw. This was a boring show that had the urgency of a turtle. And not the teenage mutant ninja variety. To quote Claire, the one thing this show accomplished is telling everyone to “go home” and do anything but watch Hell in a Cell on the first weekend of June 2022.
But hey, just my thoughts and feelings. I’m sure you have your own.
That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.