The OC Becoming WWE's Hottest Faction, Ricochet Rises Again and More Raw Fallout
A brand new vision for WWE Raw was presented on Monday's edition as the wrestling came first. With multiple major matches and a steady stream of pure action, this was the red brand at its finest.
While fans were talking about the brutal attack on Seth Rollins by Brock Lesnar, the real fallout from the show was the rise of The OC. Just one week removed from getting embarrassed by a bunch of legends who can't take a bump, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson turned it all around.
As AJ Styles watched backstage, The OC captured more gold as The Good Brothers defeated The Revival and The Usos in a Triple Threat to claim the Raw Tag Team Championships.
The Phenomenal One also scouted his competition after Ricochet earned a chance to reclaim the United States Championship. Both are important moments for The OC that help frame the stable as vital to Raw's success in the coming months.
They were even involved in the main event as Cedric Alexander helped Roman Reigns and The Usos lay out a dangerous group of heels including Samoa Joe and Drew McIntyre. The Lumbar Legacy looked as much like a star as he ever has, and it will be interesting to see if he can capitalize.
As SummerSlam approaches, Becky Lynch and Natalya continued to ramp up their own drama. However, their story has lost its direction, leaving both women scrambling to establish their characters in the rushed presentation.
These were the important moments that highlighted a major week of Raw, which may have given new hope to those anticipating The Biggest Party of the Summer on August 11.
The OC Has Taken over Raw Faster Than Expected
The Revival was forced into the unenviable position of defending the Raw Tag Team Championships in a Triple Threat match. While they managed to connect with the Shatter Machine to The Usos, Gallows and Anderson snuck in and hit the Magic Killer to win and take the titles.
It was expected AJ Styles would pick up more gold as a heel with backup, but it was harder to tell just how much The Good Brothers would benefit from working with him. Luckily, the answer came early on.
When Gallows and Anderson came into WWE, they were portrayed as a huge deal, yet years later they are now only on their second title reign. Even if their leader loses his gold, it is imperative The OC have a big run with the tag titles.
This is the time to solidify the enforcer duo as a lethal force that can take down anyone. Gallows and Anderson should steamroll through the division even convincing some unlikely forces to team up in an attempt to take them down.
This is the first time in a while the tag team champions have felt relevant. That's not a slight on the talent involved but rather the stories they were given. Gallows and Anderson could main-event any week allied with Styles. WWE needs to capitalize.
Ricochet Predictably Returns to Title Picture and Gets Exciting New Rival
In a five-man Gauntlet match, Rey Mysterio eliminated Cesaro and then sneaked in a pin on Sami Zayn with a small package.
However, The Master of the 619 was outmatched by Andrade, who put him down with a hammerlock DDT. Ricochet then took down El Idolo with a 630 splash to become No. 1 contender for the U.S. title.
The One and Only was clearly not done with AJ Styles after their last match. It would have been more interesting to force him to run through a few opponents rather than getting the easy route, but he at least had a quality showing with Andrade.
The two have great chemistry and are among the best in the business. It would be a waste to not pair them together. If Ricochet does reclaim the United States Championship, his next rival should be El Idolo.
This may be looking too far ahead, though, as the focus is now on Ricochet vs. Styles. The two have had nothing but strong matches together. However, there's still untapped potential. It's time for the rivals to take it to the next level.
This will be the clear front-runner going into SummerSlam for match of the night, but it may lose the interest of fans if the two don't elevate the story next week.
Becky Lynch and Natalya Both Playing Heels in Their Face vs. Face Feud
During "A Moment of Bliss," Alexa Bliss showed a video of Becky Lynch attacking Natalya in training.
The Man then punished The Goddess in a dominant showing inside the ring until Bliss rolled her ankle and the match was stopped. Nikki Cross challenged the champion to a second match which Lynch won.
Bliss revealed she faked the injury as she ambushed The Irish Lass Kicker. Cross joined in until Natalya ran them off only to immediately trap Lynch in a Sharpshooter. Backstage, the challenger offered The Man a chance to prove herself in a submission match before second-guessing the offer.
The Raw Women's Championship feud started as a familiar face vs. face feud. The two friends got a little personal but still showed why they are fan favorites. That has been thrown out the window lately.
The Man is assaulting The Queen of Harts during training, and Natalya is taking cheap shots at Lynch after winning back-to-back matches. Neither is taking the higher ground despite supposedly being friends. All it took was a few snide remarks to turn them both bad.
Clearly, Lynch is still the babyface in their feud, and Natalya likely will also not fully turn. It's just a shame WWE has taken shortcuts to make people care about the rivalry.
This could have been a genuinely engaging story if the heat came through more naturally. The two have been feuding for almost a month now. There was time to get here.
Cedric Alexander Looks in Line for a Legitimate Singles Push
A brawl started backstage that led to Samoa Joe coming out to call off the Samoan Summit. Roman Reigns marched to the ring to start a brawl before Drew McIntyre, Cedric Alexander, The Usos and The OC got involved. The babyfaces ended up holding the ring.
While it was expected that Reigns and The Usos would find more ways to work together, it was surprising to see Alexander get involved. While his feud with McIntyre is ongoing, it is a big deal for him to be main-eventing again with The Big Dog, this time without a mask.
He had the biggest spot of the night with a diving cross-body off the LED board and looked like he belonged alongside the biggest acts on Raw. He also adds a much-needed fresh element to a feud between Joe and Reigns that has grown stale.
If this pans out as expected and the babyfaces emerge victorious at SummerSlam in an eight-man tag, Alexander will get the biggest victory of his career. Moreover, he will get a spotlight to show he belongs.
If The Lumbar Legacy can make the most of the moment, he might soon be the most recognizable callup from 205 Live. He deserves the opportunity to prove his worth among the best.