Quick Takes on Becky Lynch's WWE Future, Cesaro in AEW, Directionless AJ Styles, More
Even as WWE Money in the Bank draws closer, Monday's Raw left fans with more questions than answers, specifically what the future holds for Becky Lynch.
Big Time Becks was unsuccessful in both becoming the number one contender for the Raw Women's Championship and qualifying for the women's Money in the Bank Ladder match. She's done more losing lately than she has in several years, but one feud in particular would easily put her back on the right path.
AJ Styles had also had an interesting last few weeks on Raw. He emerged from his feud with Edge on the losing end and appears to be entering a rivalry with The Miz, which feels like a definite downgrade for The Phenomenal One.
Although his booking remains questionable, there can be no doubt that Zack Sabre Jr.'s opponent at All Elite Wrestling and NJPW's Forbidden Door this Sunday must be the former Cesaro of WWE fame. He fits the bill for who Bryan Danielson was describing on Dynamite and would be an excellent addition to an already loaded Blackpool Combat Club.
This installment of Quick Takes will discuss why Cesaro should be All Elite, AEW's next move with Ring of Honor being overdue, defending Bianca Belair vs. Carmella at Money in the Bank, and more.
Alexa Bliss Is Ideal Next Rival for Becky Lynch
After spending so many years in the top title picture on both Raw and SmackDown, it's perfectly logical for Becky Lynch to be taking a step back for the foreseeable future and focus on other feuds where gold is not up for grabs.
She wasn't gone from Raw long enough following her loss of the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania 38 for her absence to mean as much as it should have, but it was wise to have her rekindle her rivalry with Asuka instead of immediately re-entering the title hunt.
With Asuka decisively defeating Lynch in their rubber match on Monday's Raw and Lynch's meltdown continuing afterwards, it shouldn't be long before she kicks off her next storyline, and Alexa Bliss makes as much sense as anyone to be her next rival.
Lynch mentioned on Raw recently that Bliss cost her the Money in the Bank briefcase the last time she vied for it in 2018. Lynch can return the favor by costing Bliss the briefcase at this year's installment and feud with her heading into SummerSlam.
It's many years since they last went one-on-one, and the roles have since been reversed. It would also give Bliss something significant to do, so booking a bout between them for SummerSlam would be the best use of everyone involved.
Bianca Belair vs. Carmella at Money in the Bank Actually Makes Sense
Injuries are plaguing the WWE and AEW rosters right now, and the Raw women's division is no exception.
Raw Women's champion Bianca Belair announced on Monday's Raw that her Money in the Bank opponent Rhea Ripley is out injured and that a new number one contender had to be determined. A Fatal 5-Way match was then held and won by Carmella, who felt like the least likely choice to earn the opportunity of everyone involved.
There's nothing overly exciting about Belair vs. Carmella on paper. Carmella was gone from WWE TV for over two months and is hardly a threat to Belair's title, so there's no uncertainty surrounding the outcome.
However, with only one week remaining until the pay-per-view, Belair's opponent for the event shouldn't be anything other than filler. A bigger match shouldn't be rushed into on such short notice.
Granted, either Liv Morgan or Alexa Bliss would have been better choices, but both are busy in the women's Money in the Bank Ladder match. Carmella has credibility and can be beaten with ease so Belair can move on to other challengers at SummerSlam.
Although this new match isn't nearly as appealing as Belair vs. Ripley, the Ladder matches are what sell the show, and it will be another notable win for Belair to put on her record.
Cesaro Is the Only Suitable Replacement for Bryan Danielson at Forbidden Door
The injuries that have affected the Forbidden Door card for this weekend have been supremely disappointing, but some good may come from it after all.
Bryan Danielson revealed that while he isn't medically cleared to compete at the event against Zack Sabre Jr., he has found a suitable replacement. He went on to heap heavy praise upon this mystery person, calling them one of the very best technical wrestlers in the world.
All signs point to it being one man, and anyone else facing Sabre on Sunday might be considered disappointing. It can't be anyone other than the artist formerly known as Cesaro from WWE.
Cesaro has kept a low profile since departing WWE when his contract expired in February. There has been zero indication what his next career move will be, though this could prove to be the best way for him to be introduced to the AEW audience.
On his own, he would without a doubt get lost in the shuffle on the AEW roster with how stockpiled with stars it currently is. That said, he'd have direction from the get-go as a member of Blackpool Combat Club, not to mention that he'd be a legitimate threat in Blood and Guts and would be an entertaining opponent for Sabre.
Sabre can have a great match with just about anyone, but a bout between him and Cesaro would provide a strong start to a run in AEW for Cesaro.
AEW Must Start Making Moves with Ring of Honor
Friday's edition of Rampage felt like AEW's way of reminding viewers that Ring of Honor exists after Tony Khan purchased the promotion back in early March.
ROH's sale wasn't finalized until just recently, but that's still no excuse for AEW doing nothing of note with the brand in the last four months. The only thing that has kept ROH from being completely forgotten is the occasional defense of the ROH World Television Championship or the ROH World Tag Team Championship on AEW TV.
Otherwise, ROH has been out of sight and out of mind for most fans, which is why a proper platform for the stars of the show is necessary now more than ever.
A streaming deal of some sort is the most likely route to take unless it replaces either Dark or Elevation on AEW's YouTube channel for the time being. Rampage's ratings have gradually declined in the last year, and thus a television show for ROH doesn't seem plausible.
AEW's bloated roster would benefit from having a whole other promotion to appear on. Randomly featuring figures like Brian Cage and Jonathan Gresham on AEW TV once every three months isn't the answer, and if AEW doesn't figure out how to keep ROH alive in a meaningful manner, then its sale could soon be considered an overall waste.
WWE Seems to Have Given Up on What to Do Next with AJ Styles
AJ Styles has been established as such a star in WWE over the last six years that, from a booking standpoint, he's practically bulletproof. He can endure almost anything and emerge from it unscathed.
That doesn't mean he should be slotted as a midcarder for the rest of his career.
The Phenomenal One spent his entire 2021 attempting to elevate Omos. When that experiment failed, he branched back out on his own at the onset of 2022, and so far, his latest singles run has been fairly underwhelming.
None of the matches with Edge were as exceptional as they had the potential to be, he hasn't won on pay-per-view all year, and worse yet, WWE seems to have no idea what to do with him now that the rivalry with Edge has apparently concluded.
Perhaps the Judgement Day shakeup also altered plans with Styles, but for him to be feuding with The Miz in the weeks preceding Money in the Bank instead of competing for the briefcase or doing something of higher importance is certainly baffling.
During Monday's Raw, Miz mentioned the slump Styles has found himself in lately, so unless that ends up leading somewhere in the coming weeks, it appears WWE has nothing compelling creatively in store for Styles. That's an alarming issue that needs fixing now.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.