This week’s WWE episode came with heightened anticipation as it featured six advertised segments, a noticeable escalation from its typical weekly offerings.
Among the trio of announced bouts, two boasted titles and spotlighted members from Judgment Day. Dominik Mysterio faced off against Dragon Lee to defend the NXT North American Championship, while his comrades, Finn Balor and Damian Priest, fought to retain the tag belts against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.
Bronson Reed’s clash with Otis was another highlight announced by WWE. In distinct segments, Cody Rhodes, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Drew McIntyre also had their moments.
Here’s a recap of the happenings from this Monday’s Raw:
Opening Segment Cody Rhodes was the first to grace the stage, receiving a thunderous applause. Before he could delve deep into his speech, he was interrupted by Judgment Day members, which led to a heated exchange of words with Dom. However, with the arrival of Jey Uso and others, the odds turned against The Archer of Infamy, concluding the segment on a high note. Overall, it effectively set the tone for the night and furthered several storylines.
Otis vs. Bronson Reed This battle between two behemoths, each tipping the scales at over 330 pounds, was a spectacle of raw power. Despite being short, the match was thoroughly enjoyable, showcasing Reed’s victory with a Tsunami.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Ludwig Kaiser In his pursuit of IC gold, Ciampa had to prove his mettle against Kaiser, resulting in a match that highlighted both athletes’ technical skills. Ciampa emerged victorious, positioning himself as a formidable challenger to Gunther’s reign.
Natalya vs. Tegan Nox Nox and Natalya, both vying for a title shot, delivered a decent match with Nox showcasing her seasoned skills. However, the abrupt ending left something to be desired.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Dragon Lee Dirty Dom successfully defended his NXT North American title against Dragon Lee, marking Lee’s main roster debut. The match allowed Dom to display his evolved skills, culminating in a victory that left the audience chanting in approval.
Nia Jax vs. Zoey Stark An altercation turned official match saw Jax return to form at the expense of Stark. The encounter was an average spectacle, serving as a medium to reintegrate Jax into the storyline.
Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre This match stemmed from a heated confrontation over McIntyre’s actions. The familiarity between the two resulted in a decent match, with McIntyre’s aggression paving the way for victory.
Judgment Day vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn The main event featured a fierce battle for the Undisputed Tag Team Championship. The match, involving seasoned veterans, lived up to expectations, ending in a chaotic but entertaining fashion with Judgment Day retaining the titles.
Final Thoughts While WWE Raw maintains a level of consistency, it runs the risk of monotony. This week’s episode, although satisfactory, followed a familiar pattern. The company needs to reinvent its approach to make the shows indispensable viewing. Despite having a plethora of talents and several platforms, the utilization of these resources remains a challenge. This week’s highlights were the matches involving Judgment Day and the Reed vs. Otis bout, but the show must strive to be more compelling, especially during football season.
Overall Grade: B-