WWE procession to the 2022 Royal Rumble pay-per-view continued with this week’s episode of WWE Raw from Tulsa, Okla. Unfortunately, though, the three-hour broadcast provided as many head-scratching matches and segments as it did productive ones.
There will be plenty of time to talk about the negatives scattered throughout this show. For now, let’s focus on the positives.
These are the top two things that went right on the Jan. 17 episode of WWE Raw.
Brock Lesnar/Bobby Lashley video package
There are plenty of issues to address when discussing the builds to the two world title matches at the Royal Rumble, but the hypes for the Bobby Lashley vs. Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns bouts have made good use of video packages to get fans excited about these matches.
The Lashley/Lesnar promo particularly highlighted the similarities of both men’s strengths as wrestlers and their relatively parallel career paths, which makes sense considering how fans have compared the two for years, especially when Lashley returned to WWE in 2018. It was easily the best part of Raw.
This shows that, when WWE sets its mind to it, the promotion can take the necessary measures to promote an anticipated match as a must-see event instead of cobbling together a bunch of campy segments to fill TV time.
Now, if only WWE applied this effort to the rest of the roster.
Maryse hits Beth Pheonix with a brick-filled purse
So, this upcoming Miz/Maryse vs. Edge/Beth Phoenix match still isn’t doing much for yours truly, but the heel duo deserves some credit for producing good bits in consecutive weeks during segments with “The Grit Couple”.
Last week, it was Maryse briskly abandoning Miz while the former WWE Champion talked her up to Edge and Phoenix. This week, we got Maryse pulling out an old heel trick as though she spent the weekend watching 1980s Boston Garden house shows: hitting Phoenix with a purse that she loaded with a brick (she and Miz, of course, bragged about knocking out Phoenix with “one shot” later in the show).
Look, there’s not much to get excited for here other than seeing Phoenix back in the ring, but kudos to “The It Couple” for at least playing their roles well.