Welcome to The Nerd Hub’s weekly breakdown of Monday Night RAW. This week, we’re icing our hands after watching RAW and SmackDown Women’s Champ Becky Lynch throw fists with Lacey Evans at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.
HEADLINE NEWS: LACEY EVANS GETS MAN-HANDLED
A day after lighting up dopes on Twitter, Becky Lynch decided to have a throw-down showdown with the biggest thorn in her side since WrestleMania. The Man called out Lacey Evans. The Lady of WWE has sucker-punched Lynch repeatedly in sneak attacks for the past three weeks. “Becky 2 Belts” then commenced doing what she does best, brawling with top contenders for the belts.
As a result, this rivalry seemed to get a bit personal for the first time. The heat between the two needed few words. Yet, fortunately for us, it resulted in a whole lot of punches, kicks, hair pulls and chubby referees getting tossed out of the way. The men need to take a page from this fracas. The fighting told the story without saddling either Lynch or Evans with long or boring dialogue.
It’s fair to wonder whether Evans has the in-ring chops to hold down a prominent role in the RAW women’s division. However, she’s killed the appearances she’s had so far. Furthermore, this feud continues to become one of the most heated heading into Money in the Bank on May 19 at the XL Center in Hartford. Evans may just become one of the breakout stars of 2019 with work like this.
Meanwhile, Lynch seemed to signal to fans Sunday that she’s back to business as usual. She called out Alexa Bliss on Twitter for appearing to confirm she was Ryan Satin’s source for the Bayley-Sasha Banks WrestleMania temper tantrum report. Lynch also teased the women’s division over their social media selfies. In addition, she promoted her upcoming match Tuesday with Bayley on SmackDown Live.
BEST OF THE REST – ZAYN ZINGS US AGAIN
Sami Zayn knows how to hurt us just right. As a result, he puts a new spin on telling us to go the hell while entertaining us just enough to hang on his every word. Sami scolded us this week for telling him on social media to quit WWE. Though he’d love to take us up on that, he’s having too much fun holding us accountable for our psychological entitlement. Who knew we’d use words such as “psychological entitlement” in a wrestling review?
That’s Sami’s superpower. He tells us each week how terrible we are as people, and we love him for it. This is easily his best work with WWE on the main roster. He’s gaining the sort of heel traction that “The New” Daniel Bryan did after claiming the WWE Championship from AJ Styles. Now, we must cross our fingers and hope WWE creative doesn’t turn down the thermostat on his heel heat by booking him to lose all the time in the ring.
BIG WINNER: AJ STYLES
The Phenomenal One kept his Red Brand roll going by laying out the Universal Champ in the main event segment. Styles punctuated his Universal Championship title match contract signing by putting Seth Rollins through a table with a Phenomenal Forearm. The two got surprisingly aggressive in the first week of their build toward Money in the Bank.
The dialogue featured in the segment only measured as borderline. We got what you would expect. Styles hyped his accomplishments from two years of SmackDown Live work. Rollins fired back that RAW is his brand and he’s keeping it that way. The Beastslayer added that he’s the one that beat Brock Lesnar at his best, and that proves he’ll beat Styles, too. However, we know neither one of these guys makes their money on the mic.
Where does that leave us? WWE creative needs to make this feud more than two of the best athletes on the roster thrown into a match. Styles made a little dig about The Shield breaking up, but we need more beef to this beef than Rollins trying to prove himself. He played that card against Lesnar.
BIG LOSER: THE REVIVAL
The run of terrible storylines continues for Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. First, we got the confusing and flat-out dumb Lucha House Party Rules angle. Dawson and Wilder repeatedly got cheated out of matches by the ever-changing rules. Then, we got the screwed-by-bad-referee-calls angle against Chad Gable & Bobby Roode. Next, we got the “Top Guys” of the RAW Tag Team division booked to lose to laughingstocks Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins at WrestleMania 35. Now, we get a legitimate rival for The Revival in The Usos and what does WWE give us?
We get a borderline homophobic joke about Wilder shaving Dawson’s back hair in the showers. The Revival officially got welcomed to The Uso Penitentiary, but they’ve had worse. Jail probably seems kind after the Hell WWE creative keeps putting them through with this garbage.
As the story continued, Dawson and Wilder remained so upset from The Usos’ prank that they lost their match against Ryder and Hawkins. I know RAW lasts three hours and that makes for a lot of time to fill, but this wasted our time and the time of the wrestlers involved.
Drew McIntyre – The Scottish Psychopath must win the Money in the Bank ladder match if it’s won by a RAW Brand competitor. He and Ricochet, Baron Corbin and Braun Strowman got announced as part of the field during the opening segment of RAW. McIntyre makes the most sense to win from RAW and perhaps for both brands.
Bray Wyatt – Episode Two of the Firefly Fun House reboot of The Eater of Worlds featured a painting, a new puppet, and more creepiness. So, Wyatt performed at his best. Wyatt painting a picture of a burning house, introducing us to Rambling Rabbit and making “sociopath” a word of the day works in ways it probably shouldn’t. It underscores the fact that WWE creative can turn out new and interesting stuff when challenged.
The Good Brothers – The Superstar Shake-Up hit week 3. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows explained to us in a pre-taped promo that they were now on RAW. Like much of 2018, they remained off of TV all month, so we got no previous announcement of a brand switch for them prior to Monday. However, Abs and Big Luke commenced to giving Jimmy and Jey Uso an entertaining match in the mid-card segment of the show. The Usos won, but the match served as a reminder that Gallows and Anderson should be factored in the RAW tag team scene going forward.
The Miz – The A-Lister worked double-duty this week and managed to showcase how big of a load he can carry. That load being Bobby Lashley. The Almighty Bore remained without personality or ability to excite on the mic or in the ring this week, but Miz made the most of two segments with him. The A-Lister managed to make Miz TV a decent promo for a match by brawling with Lashley over trash talk about his dad. Then, Miz faced interference and an ambush from Shane McMahon. Though he lost to Lashley in dirty fashion, Miz then announced a steel cage match against Shane at Money in the Bank.
The Viking Raiders – Erik and Ivar squashed Lucha House Party for the second straight week. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik tried to sneak attack, but our NXT Champions proved too powerful. This segment served its purpose by building up the newcomers to the main roster. However, the Lucha House Party gets booked so poorly that it’s hard for fans to get too excited for whoever beats them.
Women’s MITB Ladder Match – Alexa Bliss announced herself, Naomi, Natalya, and Dana Brooke as the RAW portion of the pay-per-view match. Conspiracy theorists believe Brooke may get jumped or otherwise replaced by Sasha Banks. I understand this if that’s the case. They did it with Lana to get Becky Lynch in the Royal Rumble. If Brooke competes, I am ticked off. Ruby Riott needs to be a part of this match and should be one of the favorites. Sarah Logan deserves a shot as well.
United States Champion Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio – WWE played the 50-50 booking rule. These guys worked a tremendous match with AJ Styles last week. They turned in a sloppy snoozefest this week. Most importantly, WWE needs Samoa Joe to be a monster for headline matches. Thus, they took a creative dump with booking him to lose to Mysterio which slams the brakes on his momentum.
Alexa Bliss – Miss Bliss makes the list twice. WWE doubled up on her this week. She announced a questionable women’s MITB field and then got goaded into a confusing match with Naomi. Bliss gets booked to be smarter than her opponents, but this time she accepted a match without proper ring gear. The Goddess ends up eating a Rear View because her shoes repeatedly come untied.
Bobby Lashley – He brought absolutely nothing to the table with his appearance on Miz TV. Furthermore, his answer to The Miz saying that many call him an underachiever predictably underwhelmed. Lashley threw out he’s a two-time Intercontinental Champion. The fact that that’s the best thing he can say for his first year back in WWE speaks for itself.
The Lucha House Party – Several great tag teams wind up not making TV every week. Why do these guys appear on RAW all the time? They provide a staunch reminder that the show labors through three hours. WWE fails to know what to do with all that time. Ratings continue to sag for RAW. So, they just turned in an episode with no title matches of consequence. Paying customers at Rupp Arena in Lexington can feel justified if they felt ripped off. This episode featured three great segments and a lot of mediocre to bad ones.