WWE Raw: 3 things that went right on the Sept. 13 episode


In a way, the Sept. 13 episode of WWE Raw mirrored a phenomenon that was commonplace during the Attitude Era.

What people often forget about those shows — if not outright ignore — is how inconsistently booked 80-85 percent of those shows were, but none of those miscues mattered once it was time for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s match or segment.

Fans got to experience a taste of that this past Monday.

Monday’s episode of WWE Raw featured one big (no pun intended) moment, but some other things went right, too.

Yes, there’s plenty to discuss regarding the closing moments of the show, but this otherwise mundane episode of Raw also included a couple of other positives that are worth discussing. So, get to dissecting those moments.

Big E wins the WWE Championship after cashing in Money in the Bank

Sure, booking Big E cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase to beat Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship was WWE’s response to AEW Dynamite besting Raw in the key demographic ratings last week. But that didn’t matter to any of the fans at the TD Garden nor anyone who watched at home, as they got to see the rise of a new top babyface.

Aside from WWE realizing that actually having a babyface follow through on a promise they made can lead to positive results, the promotion also handled Big E’s cash in well while protecting Lashley in defeat (another thing that seemed to fall outside of WWE’s bailiwick).

Yes, Big E — the babyface — cashed in on an injured champion who just competed in a WWE Title match against Randy Orton. However, the injury occurring only after Lashley decided to beat up Orton and Riddle after the match instead of taking his title and leaving (especially knowing that Big E planned on exchanging the briefcase that night) maintained the New Day member’s credibility as a babyface.

As previously stated, though, the injury still gives Lashley an out, as it now gives WWE the opportunity to tell the story that he could’ve retained had he been closer to 100 percent (which also gives them a chance to cement Big E as the real deal when he beats Lashley again).

There will be time to figure out where Big E goes from here. But for now, it looks like WWE is going all-in on him, and it’s great to see.

Jeff Hardy’s usage

Apparently, there is a DISCOURSE(TM) surrounding how WWE has booked Jeff Hardy over the last few months, specifically from those labeling fans who want to see a multi-time world champion somewhat booked like a multi-time world champion fickle whiners.

Believe it or not, there is plenty of fertile space between “Jeff Hardy shouldn’t have been the one to end Karrion Kross’ unbeaten streak” and “Jeff Hardy shouldn’t be chasing the 24/7 Championship with the other goobers (and R-Truth)”, and WWE found it this past Monday when Hardy challenged Damian Priest for the United States Championship.

After a pretty good back-and-forth match, Priest pinned Hardy to retain his title, but for Hardy, this is exactly how WWE should be using the veteran star.

No one’s saying that “The Charismatic Enigma” should win the WWE Title or beat every top star, but positioning him as an upper midcard gatekeeper who beats the set-in-stone midcarders and does select jobs to signify a wrestler’s ascent up the card is how WWE can get the most out of one of their few over babyface attractions.

Alexa Bliss

Again, this stuff with Alexa Bliss and Lilly isn’t going to be for everyone (it certainly isn’t for yours truly). And yes, it’s dumb that this feud between Bliss and Charlotte Flair revolves more around ugly felt dolls than the Raw Women’s Championship. But you can’t deny how over Bliss is, so something is clearly resonating with the audience.

As mentioned last week, much of that is owed to Bliss’ performance in this role, particularly her acting range. It also helps that WWE has elbowed out some of the things that made many fans dread her appearance on the show (no selling offense, hocus pocus nonsense with Lilly, some of the childlike overtones), but Bliss deserves much of the credit for making this work.

WWE: Big E defeats Bobby Lashley to become WWE Champion. dark. Next

Now, this doesn’t mean that Bliss should beat Flair for the Raw Women’s Title at Extreme Rules, namely because she doesn’t need the belt to stay over and Flair doesn’t need another short reign on her CV. But the fans seem to be into this, and that’s honestly all that matters.