Monday’s episode of WWE Raw — which broadcasted from the very same Barclays Center that hosted the 2021 Survivor Series — certainly ranks among the odder editions of the promotion’s flagship show.
Of course, a show that’s centered around a prop from a movie that happened to star one of WWE’s greatest main eventers has little chance of proceeding as normal, but that doesn’t mean that Raw was without its redeeming qualities. In fact, let’s talk about those positives.
These are two of the things that went right on the Nov. 22 episode of WWE Raw.
Becky Lynch with a microphone in hand.
One night removed from putting together another classic match with SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch once again showed why she’s such an invaluable part of WWE’s distaff division, this time via her incredible promo skills.
Lynch began her evening by addressing the Brooklyn crowd in the ring. As you would expect, “Big Time Becks” had the fans hanging on every word, deftly transitioning from roasting Flair to roasting the fans who did the wave during the women’s elimination match to roasting number one contender Liv Morgan without fraying from her “success has gone to her head” heel character.
As great as Lynch was there, she topped herself later in the night during her backstage interaction with Morgan. The champion once again dissected the challenger’s failure to make the leap that Lynch hoped she would and hilariously (and correctly) pointed out how Morgan holding the title a week ago meant nothing since she allows kids to have the same luxury during autograph signings.
This Lynch/Morgan program is a fascinating one. Obviously, the idea behind Lynch’s consistent barbs is to rile up Morgan and the fans who have clamored to see the former Riott Squad member receive a push.
The physical retaliations from Morgan to Lynch — countering the Manhandle Slam last week, a forearm to the face this week — have at least shown that she’s not a complete pushover (that should be the baseline expectation, though, given that she’s challenging for the world title), and it’s clear that Lynch wants to ensure that Morgan is in a better place on the card after this match than she was before. But so far, Lynch has been the highlight while Morgan has sort of just been along for the ride.
At some point, Morgan is going to have to deliver with something that cements her as someone who belongs in high-profile storylines like this one. There’s still plenty of time for that to happen, though, and Lynch will surely give her plenty of chances to match “The Man” on the mic before doing so in the ring.
Damian Priests United States open challenge
So, it turns out that Damian Priest’s attack on Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs wasn’t a heel turn, but an instance of his character’s “dark side” bubbling over. WWE should consider saving those moments for when Priest is facing a heel instead of a popular babyface, but whatever.
Nevertheless, Priest got back to the business of defending his United States Championship on Raw with an open challenge. While Apollo Crews teased answering the call before rejecting Priest’s offer, we ultimately saw Sami Zayn volunteer for the title shot.
Zayn — a SmackDown star who was there because of the egg Whodunnit — was an acceptable opponent for Priest as a skilled worker who could boost Priest’s aura as a powerhouse despite not being a true threat to win the title (boy, that last part was sad to type up).
Aside from the cartoony faces Priest made to announce his personality shift, this reified him as a fighting champion who can back up his bold challenges with decisive victories.