Welcome once again to the weekly RAW and SmackDown Live Quick Hits Recapatory! Each week, co-editor Mark Blake and editor-in-chief Marc Madison and I take a look at WWE’s main roster programming. We boil it down to just the good stuff and let you know what to sift through to find. The wrestling fandom has a tendency to focus on the negativity and declining ratings. We here at the Pro Wrestling Post focus on all the good and positive things in wrestling to enjoy!
Monday Night Raw
Opening Contest: The show and Recapatory opened with a mega-hot match. On paper, it’s still smokin’ as The Mask would say. This would be the first of two triple-threat matches. The winners of these matches would square off in the main event of RAW. Whoever wins that match will go on to challenge Seth Rollins at Money In the Bank. The first match would feature AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio, and Samoa Joe. As typical with AJ Styles matches, it was of high quality and filled with fun moments, including the ending of the match. AJ Styles advances to the main event! This match is definitely one to seek out to watch, as it is not a typical WWE Monday Night Raw kind of match.
Lessons from Sami Zayn: Midway through Raw (or thereabouts), Sami Zayn comes out to cut a promo on the crowd. Zayn’s new heel character, while not overly devious plays in the grey area of identification. You want to hate him because he’s saying these things about you (the fans). However, you can also understand and empathize with his feelings. The crowd ate every bit of it up, and by the end, we were all wanting more. Heel Sami Zayn, part two is ready to be a star.
The liberation of stars: Cesaro, fresh off another tremendous tag team run in The Bar has moved over from SmackDown Live. Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander has run the gamut of options offered on 205 Live and has also joined Monday Night Raw. While outwardly, it may appear to be a mismatch, as Cesaro is much larger than the compact Alexander. However, as shown in previous outings with smaller opponents, Cesaro can adapt and make them shine. Alexander also is able to adapt to showing off good elements about Cesaro that can be forgotten about in a tag team. Together they put on a wonderful match to catapult them both onto new journeys in their careers.
Dream Match Set: AJ Styles was able to overcome Baron Corbin in the main event. Corbin qualified for this main event spot by defeating The Miz and Drew McIntyre. Despite the challenges of working with Baron Corbin, AJ Styles did what AJ Styles does. That’s to make the best of whatever situation he is in. While the match itself is no Dave Meltzer special, it accomplished what it needed to. It moved Styles along into the #1 Contender’s spot for the WWE Universal Championship. At Money In The Bank, a dream match of epic proportions will go down between The Beast Slayer and the Face That Runs The Place.
Another Hot Open: The opening contest on SmackDown Live portion of the Recapatory was also stellar. In a non-title match, Finn Balor took on Andrade, who was accompanied of course by Zelina Vega. These two are both bonafide stars and were given ample time to shine. They also worked well together, with Zelina completing the overall package on the outside. Hopefully, a nice long feud between these two is on tap for the summer.
Bayley Asserts Herself: Bayley challenges Charlotte Flair for the right to take on Becky Lynch. Bayley has always been a bit more passive, especially in comparison to (former?) tag team partner Sasha Banks. And out of the Four Horsewomen, she is also the calmest and most passive of those personalities as well. Now that she’s on SmackDown Live, Bayley is taking the bull by the horns early. She’s not going to stand idly by while Charlotte attempts to be Becky’s only competition. While Charlotte did end up with the victory, we can only hope that Bayley will get more of a chance moving forward. She also reminds you that she’s damn good in the ring, right up there with Becky and Charlotte.
Main Event + Final Segment: Last week on SmackDown Live, Kevin Owens won over Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. Big E may be out due to injury, but their merry band is once again three with Big O! Owens accompanies Kofi to the ring along with Xavier. Kofi Kingston takes on Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title contest as the main event. Nakamura is of course accompanied by Rusev and Lana. The two have a pretty good match until Rusev gets involved to save Nakamura from losing. This causes Nakamura to lose anyway, but only via disqualification.
It didn’t end there, because the players around the two competitors descended into a brawl. Woods is taken out, and Kofi makes the save for Big O. Instead of gratefulness, Kofi is rewarded with an attack by KO. Owens lays Kofi out and poses with the WWE Championship. After, he antagonizes Kofi again. Kofi attempts to fight back but KO stands tall at the end. A well-executed heel turn proves that no matter where he is, it’s still The Kevin Owens Show.
As things continue to roll on in this new, post-Shakeup world in the Recapatory, I imagine we’ll still see a few tweaks to the rosters. Infamously, this week had several brand switches after the Shakeup last week. We’ll see the championship matches start to build on the way to Money In The Bank. Hopefully some serious programs for the mid-card and tag team championships will also begin. Well, that’s it for this edition of the recap special! Come back next week when our editor-in-chief Marc Madison takes over.
What did you think were the best parts of RAW and SmackDown Live this week? Sound off! Reach out to me or the rest of the team on social media: For Pro Wrestling Post, this is Brandi Wagner for the WWE Raw and Smackdown Live Quick Hits Recapatory.
To read last week’s edition of the WWE Raw and Smackdown Live Quick Hits Recapatory click here.