Powell’s Raw WWE Hits List: Miz and Maryse renew their wedding vows, Damian Priest vs. Dolph Ziggler for the US Championship, The Street Profits vs. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio for a Raw Tag title shot, AJ Styles vs. Apollo Crews, Randy Orton vs. Otis

By Jason Powell, editor of ProWrestling.net (@prowrestlingnet)

Raw WWE Hits

The Street Profits against Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio in the tournament final for a chance at the Raw Tag Titles: The highlight of a tough night for WWE. With so many wrestlers and executives missing the show due to COVID-19 issues, WWE has had to scramble to fill this pay-per-view show without having many of the brand’s top stars. It actually turned out to be a blessing that this game which was originally scheduled to take place two weeks earlier had to be postponed. The Profits Going Over sets up the most high-profile tag team match available on the Raw brand with the defiant duo RKBro at the WWE Day 1 event on Saturday.

AJ Styles vs. Apollo Crews: The game wasn’t as smooth as you might expect from these two (there was even one location that was downright scary), but there was more good than harm. I wasn’t a fan of the bait and announcement of Styles against Commander Azeez only to come back from the break with this game, but this game, with its flaws and everything, was surely better than Styles against Azeez l ‘would have been.

Randy Orton vs. Otis: They told a good story on TV by causing Orton to fail to take out Otis with multiple RKO attempts to stage this match. And while I wish they’d stretched him out longer, it was still better than Orton beating Otis in a random, no-fuss TV match.

Riddle vs. Chad Gable: A great televised match. It’s just a shame that there is no mystery about the outcome of most of Gable’s singles matches. He’s been defined as the guy of the fall for his tag team, and you just know he’s going to lose to bigger names in games that have a clean finish. The worst part is that the tag team division on Raw doesn’t have any credible heel teams at the moment. Gable and Otis could be that team if the creative forces simply took the time to make Gable an equal Otis rather than positioning him as the weak link.

Kevin Owens vs. Cédric Alexander: The heel-to-heel dynamic was a bit awkward, but I can’t imagine that’s what the creative team would have done with Owens if they had had a full crew. In other words, it was good for what it was.

WWE’s raw misfires

General show: WWE did what they could under the circumstances. And while there were a number of light hits, this episode was clearly a few notches below the good show from last week. How could it not be with Big E, Becky Lynch, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins and other notable names being sidelined?

Miz and Maryse renew their wedding vows: Miz had some comedic moments and it was fun to see Eric Bischoff on WWE TV again after several appearances for AEW. But that wasn’t enough to save this painfully predictable segment. Worse yet, none of this made me want to see Miz take on Edge on pay-per-view.

Damian Priest vs. Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship: Viewers have no reason to see Ziggler as a threat to win the championship. Sure, he’s won a lot of titles in the past, but spends most of his time losing tag team matches with Robert Roode. And I’m still not sure what to take away from Priest’s contradictory promo about whether his obscurity is a good thing or a bad thing.

The injured company: I could have sworn that Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin joined the faction before the WWE Crown Jewel event. The fact that they are wearing Hurt Business clothes seemed like a strong confirmation. However, based on a promotional exchange involving Kevin Owens and MVP, apparently Alexander and Benjamin are not actually part of the faction. I didn’t understand the decision to take them out of the group in the first place, and I really don’t understand how they got reinstated and seemingly taken out again. I mentioned the lack of credible tailgating teams on Raw. Alexander and Benjamin could play this role if they were pushed consistently.

Dana Brooke and Reggie vs. R-Truth and Tamina: None of this appeals to me. The comedy division is rarely a good laugh, and I just don’t care about that title joke.

Listen to “11/18 Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast With Jason Powell (Episode 136): Court Bauer on Rebooting MLW, Pandemic Precautions and More” on Spreaker.

James B. Helms