5 Big Takeaways from WWE Monday Night RAW - March 13, 2023
WWE was on the 'RHODE' to WrestleMania, as this week's RAW took place in Providence and provided plenty of action heading toward The Show of Shows in Hollywood
The latest edition of Monday Night RAW was presented LIVE from the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence, Rhode Island, as we continue on The Road to WrestleMania. With their marquee event about to take place in Tinsel Town, the promotion wanted to release an Oscar-worthy effort this week.
WWE has been striking gold with most of its programming recently, and this one was no exception. Of course, the primary topic on everyone's mind right now is what will happen when Cody Rhodes finally steps through the ropes to face Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns on Night 2. Most fans and observers believe that it's The American Nightmare's destiny to capture the gold and fulfill the dreams of his father.
In the meantime, the rest of the card is really starting to take shape as we get closer and closer to that magical time in April. It's the flipping of the WWE calendar, and you can sense that everyone involved knows what a strong year the company is coming off of. Improved ratings, excitement, steadily-rising stock prices, and an imminent sale have all been dominant stories regarding World Wrestling Entertainment. But the TV product may be the biggest headline of all. After years of stagnant booking, Triple H has sent a charge through the promotion.
With all that momentum, it's not surprising that this week's show delivered the goods in terms of getting us to where we need to go. Let's take a ride down the Road to WrestleMania, and take a closer look at five big things that really stood out about the latest episode of Monday Night RAW.
#1 - Edge taking on Judgment Day doesn't have the kind of luster that it should have
The Rated-R Superstar is, and always will be, a WWE legend. The Hall of Famer kicked off the show with a great ovation from the audience, and he looks great. Now, it appears he is looking to wind down Act II of his totally awesome career. And the next chapter in his comeback will come against Finn Balor at WrestleMania.
Unfortunately, Edge's homecoming hasn't exactly set the world on fire, and he's been dropping hints lately that he might be calling it quits again... but for the final time. Because of that, and the strong run Judgement Day is currently on, it's doubtful that he'll take down Balor at the big event.
Seeing Edge return and some more time in the spotlight has been great, but the magic's not really there anymore. His greatness will live forever, but sadly, it's getting close to time to go home again.
#2 - Is Brock Lesnar going to 'do the favor' in his 'Mania match-up with Omos?
This battle of two monstrous mountains of men should move Heaven and Earth when they finally collide. And although Brock hasn't always been known to work and play well with others, he seems to be getting behind this 'Mania match with the biggest man in WWE.
Omos will never be a great in-ring performer. But to be fair, he's probably already better than The Great Khalil, and they put the belt on him, for goodness sake. The huge but raw prospect can be a true WWE Superstar, but only if the creative team and his peers give him a soft push. In other words - slow and steady, with plenty of time to grow.
Lesnar originally nixed the idea of facing spooky Bray Wyatt at The Show of Shows, which is what led to this colossal contest. It's widely believed that The Beast Incarnate is willing to take the loss in order to help push WWE's powerful pet project... but we shall see.
#3 - Cody Rhodes is a maestro on the microphone once again
The American Nightmare certainly looked like a future WWE Universal Champion in a terrific encounter with LA Knight. While it would have probably been better to save these two guys for later - as LA Knight will likely be a future title challenger - this was a great showing between two outstanding talents.
With all due respect to the two men's efforts, it's Cody Rhodes' ability to spin a story on the microphone that really is adding to the build-up to his showdown with Roman Reigns. He cut another masterful promo this week, and the WWE Universe just eats it up.
This is an audience that's basically heard it all from a promotion who spent years leaning on promos to fill time. But Cody's delivery and demeanor are so unique, that the people don't mind it. In fact, they relish it.
It's clear that Cody knows what the fans 'want to talk about', and his verbal proficiency is both prodigious and punctuating. His eloquence is outstanding, and his diction is deliberative.
In other words? He's a bad mofo on the mic.
#4 - When will Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn finally reunite?
Kevin Owens battled Solo Sikoa, and as can be expected, the Usos got involved, which led to KO taking another beatdown. This is starting to get to the point of being old already, especially considering everyone knows where it's headed. These foolish run-ins and unwinnable challenges are making Owens look dumb, instead of dominant.
We all know that the storybook ending has to happen in Hollywood, right? The two brothers put betrayal behind them and join forces to topple the title holders. That's got to be the conclusion to this part of The Bloodline story, doesn't it?
Of course, it does. And it's about 99.9% likely that 'Zayn-O' will be the team that finally ends the Usos historical title reign. So there's really no point in all of this when there is a lot more to the angle we need to get to in a hurry now. It feels like it's going to be a thrown-together rush leading to Los Angeles.
There's no need to try to get any more heat for this match because it's already been building for a virtual millennium by now. So, let's go ahead and get the 'Sami Save' for his oldest friend, have a handshake and a hug, and get this thing rolling forward.
#5 - Austin Theory SHOULD win his showdown with John Cena at WrestleMania
Earlier in the show, Austin Theory had mocked the Street Profits, leading up to a match with Angelo Dawkins. The backstage vignette provided plenty of jaw-jacking, and whatever verbal whipping that the young star received on the mic last week didn't seem to phase him. He delivered some sharp remarks aimed at the duo, before Dawkins got in his face, looking to fight.
The 'Youngest United States Champion in WWE History' got the win with A-Town Down, but the bigger story here is what lies ahead of him at WrestleMania 39. For quite a while now, we have watched this young star develop, and he's often been compared to one of the promotion's icons. Now, he will face that legendary figure on the biggest stage in sports entertainment.
This is a match that Theory NEEDS to win if he is truly what the promotion believes he is: A young star who has the opportunity to possibly carry the WWE banner someday. For Cena to give him that kind of honor in such a huge spotlight would be the rocket that Theory needs. He's got all the tools and looks of a young Cena, as has been pointed out a number of times. That chatter is what led to a few random confrontations between the two over the last couple of years or so.
But now, it's time for the new version to face the old version. And the youth should rule the day.
Despite being treated like toilet paper by John Cena in a promo last week, it's only right that the kid gets a victory on the 'Mania stage. His win this week was a no-brainer, and the WWE brass will surely want to keep him looking strong leading all the way up to the biggest match of his life against one of the kings of the industry.
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