A focused RAW, an Ace and the Mixed Match Challenge highlight the best of WWE this week.
Monday Night RAW
The seeds were sown for turmoil within RAW’s two warring factions. Braun Strowman and his crew were trying to get inside Dean Ambrose’s head and convince him that his brother don’t have his back.
In retaliation, Seth Rollins tried to turn the tables on Drew Mcintyre and convince him that he is too good to be used by Dolph Ziggler. An episode long focus is always welcome and the fact that we sowed the seeds for not one but two potential turns will keep us guessing. Props must go to Ambrose for his character work, constantly ready to fight and acting like a caged dog.
Malicia vs Hug Demons
Batten down the hatches, folks, because Jinder Mahal is entertaining. His inner peace gimmick is perfectly obnoxious when you have Alicia Fox screaming about Basanti in the background.
Bayley got a big pop for showing some mean streak when she evened up the odds and tripped Mahal. Always good to see Balor get a win and Bayley getting some non-Sasha TV time but Fox and Mahal are entertaining together.
Babyface variations of these talk shows are always good fun. Carmella continues to play well off of Truth, but it was Daniel Bryan’s reactions that stole the show.
The look of sheer confusion at the random dance break was perfect. When Miz came out to spoil the party the fun stuff transitioned into an angle and a match. The perfect TV segment, eat sometime, entertained and had a purpose.
Becky Stirring the Pot
Becky Lynch again attacked Charlotte Flair which is becoming too repetitive. On the bright side, we got to see her stick her nose into Lana’s business and just be delightfully evil and stir the pot. Lynch feeling entitled to mess with any woman in “her” division could lead to fun interactions and continue to push her as the baddest badass the women’s division has ever seen.
Mixed Match Challenge
Consider me Sports Entertained
The mixed match challenge is mostly pointless and last time out it was the quirkiness of the teams that made people tune in. This year they have taken off all the shackles and the performers are just having fun. Jinder Mahal and Lashley having a push-up contest until Sunil sat on Jinder was great. As was Alicia Fox’s “I’m embarrassed too”. We then got to see another dance break, this time Asuka joined in and Miz showed off his “moonwalk”.
Limitless vs The Finest
Kona Reeves’ acting was good and came off as entitled and egotistical. In came the star of the show Keith Lee, whose charisma has transitioned well to NXT. Lee is already a catchphrase-spouting machine and looked good in this backstage segment — something which bodes well for his main roster future.
Mae Young Classic
The ace debuts
Io Shirai finally made her WWE debut against 19-year-old Xia Brookside. There was no playing around as Xia went right after Io. From there, Io proceeded to unleash her arsenal on Xia. Throughout the assault Io continued to have the biggest smile, clearly enjoying inflicting pain on her opponent. Finally, Io “The genius of the sky” Shirai pulled off a nice moonsault for the win.