Braun Strowman Added to WWE Title Match, Birth of R-K-Bro, More WWE Raw FalloutApril 27, 2021
Braun Strowman Added to WWE Title Match, Birth of R-K-Bro, More WWE Raw Fallout
The April 26 edition of WWE Raw threw out some surprising twists en route to WrestleMania Backlash. With plenty of time before that event on May 16, the red brand changed the dynamic of a few key matches.
Braun Strowman barrelled into the night with fire in his eyes. Thanks to a miscommunication between him and Drew McIntyre, they lost against T-Bar and Mace. However, The Monster Among Men did manage to pin the Scot in the main event and added his name to the WWE Championship contest at the next pay-per-view.
Charlotte Flair quickly returned from suspension, thanks to a new ally. Sonya Deville helped her overturn Adam Pearce's ban. The Queen now looks ready to force her way into the Raw Women's Championship scene, and Deville will take more power along the way.
The Raw tag team division is in shambles with AJ Styles and Omos out of action, but Riddle and Randy Orton seem to have found an accord and defeated Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin together. It's possible R-K-Bro could help keep the division afloat.
With a few key moves, Raw has reshaped itself, but there is more work to come. This show needs big surprises in the coming months.
Braun Strowman's Addition to Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley Unnecessary
What began with Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman teaming together ended with the two fighting. Thanks to the distraction of T-Bar and Mace, The Monster Among Men defeated The Scottish Warrior and inserted himself into the WWE title match at WrestleMania Backlash.
Lashley vs. McIntyre was a clearly established contest for the PPV that did not need anything more to draw attention. While Strowman deserved better than he was getting, his sudden inclusion in this rivalry adds nothing to a story that remains flat.
Raw is contending with so much to compete with SmackDown and NXT creatively. One of the biggest areas of needed improvement is attention-drawing angles.
There is not a single story on the red brand that is causing fans to tune in. Bray Wyatt is the closest it has to a unique attraction at the level of Roman Reigns, but The Fiend has disappeared from television to let Alexa Bliss dominate air time.
While Strowman can be in the WWE Championship picture, he should not be taking away from the main event angle. There are so many moving pieces here, and it's time to use those elements cohesively to commit to something better.
Sonya Deville's Bid for Power Should Lead to a Return to the Ring
Sonya Deville made a rare trip to Raw to address the suspension of Charlotte Flair.
She reinstated The Queen after she apologized to the referee she attacked. Adam Pearce was not happy, but Deville did not care and booked Charlotte in a dominant win over Mandy Rose.
Pearce has been on TV in his authority role for around 18 months, but every management position in WWE changes. Deville's addition was obviously a way to set up a clash of styles that would either break up the two on separate brands or end Pearce's current run.
Especially now that she is working with Charlotte, Deville should get more screen time. She is ready for any role WWE throws at her, but it should all end with her returning to the ring.
Before she had to step away last summer, Deville was on the roll of her career. Her in-ring work was elevating even some of WWE's less-impressive talent such as Rose and Lacey Evans. Especially after recent releases, the Raw and SmackDown women's divisions need more depth.
Deville could team with Charlotte or fend for herself. She and Rhea Ripley could be a fun rivalry to execute at the right moment.
The potential with Deville on Raw especially is tantalizing.
Raw Tag Team Division in Dire Need of a Jolt
AJ Styles and Omos have still not returned to action since winning the Raw Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 37. No one has seen them, and no explanation has been offered for their absence. In the meantime, the division is in shambles.
The New Day remain in a rivalry with Elias and Jaxson Ryker. T-Bar and Mace are building some momentum, but it is halfhearted until they pick up clear victories. John Morrison has still not returned to television to help The Miz against Damian Priest.
The newest tag team on the scene is Randy Orton and Riddle. After teasing a feud between them, WWE has pivoted to the idea of a tag team. It is not the first odd pairing of The Viper's career, who has won tag team gold with Edge, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper in the past.
However, this one is perhaps the wackiest pairing. They should deliver in the ring, though the chemistry is lacking outside of it. It's not an alliance that should be able to defeat Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin, but it did.
Something needs to come through with the tag division to add some interest. Perhaps the return of the Raw tag team champions will do it. Perhaps R-K-Bro can find their chemistry. Perhaps The New Day will feud with more interesting tag teams.
It's all a matter of waiting to see what comes next.
Adnan Virk Failing to Flourish in WWE Commentary Role
Adnan Virk began on commentary as the new play-by play man for Raw right after WrestleMania. This is a tough role for anyone to fill, especially given how ingrained Michael Cole has been in the position for the main roster for years.
However, Virk has not looked or sounded confident since arriving. He often makes odd comparisons and lacks a clear wrestling knowledge that is important with play-by-play.
Flanked by two color commentators in Corey Graves and Byron Saxton, he has a difficult job in navigating the smaller elements of the show. The other two are simply focused on entertaining and engaging fans on the storytelling side.
If Kirk wasn't ready for the role, WWE should not have taken the risk. If Tom Phillips is ready to get back to commentating, the company should let him do so.
Phillips is a veteran in this position and can help the newcomer until he is ready to get back into the chair. This is a learning business where Virk can succeed, but WWE needs to move fast to correct a failed experiment.