Jinder Mahal Returns, Another Braun Strowman Heel Turn, More WWE Raw Fallout
WWE Raw has always been chaotic, but it showed a special propensity for massive action during the May 10 edition. It was a night of surprises, teases and unfortunate moments ahead of WrestleMania Backlash.
Jinder Mahal has been out of action for most of the past year beyond a brief appearance at Superstar Spectacle in January. His return was an emphatic victory over WWE legend Jeff Hardy, thanks to the imposing support of Shanky and Veer.
Braun Strowman made his presence felt throughout the night. MVP tried to convince him to take out Drew McIntyre, and his words sunk in to such an extent that The Monster Among Men seemed hell-bent on hurting the Scot. This near-heel turn is the latest in his rocky WWE run.
Alexa Bliss called her shot on one of the women on the Raw roster, but her target remains unclear. If she has a particular focus, it should be on Charlotte Flair, who could help elevate her new character to a higher level.
Humberto Carrillo took his chance and fell short. The Mexican injured himself in a match with Sheamus that could put him out of action for a while. Once he does return, WWE should consider pushing him as far as he can go.
Monday's Raw worked as a go-home show for WrestleMania Backlash, though it left a few too many questions unanswered for the pay-per-view.
Jinder Mahal Has Chance to Redefine Legacy Again with New Stable
Jinder Mahal returned Monday and brought two massive men to help him. Veer and Shanky watched closely as The Modern Day Maharaja defeated Jeff Hardy in dominant fashion.
Not everyone is a fan of Mahal: He's not an exciting performer in the ring and does not have the personality of a top name. However, he does add a fresh act to a Raw brand that has grown increasingly stale.
He should not be in the WWE Championship picture, but he can be a reliable and safe rival to some of the best on the red brand in need of a heel foil. There is potential in a feud with his friend, Drew McIntyre, or a young up-and-comer such as Damian Priest or Mansoor.
The Maharaja was WWE's first step in reaching out to India, an effort that continued with the signing of several stars from the country.
The Singh Brothers were entertaining with Mahal previously, but he needs monsters to be feared. Veer is one half of the former dominant team Indus Sher and has been repackaged to work with the 7'1" Shanky.
They could be forces in WWE with time, but they need someone like Mahal to teach them the ropes. He's a veteran with mic skills that can help them grow comfortable in the WWE format.
It will be interesting to watch this stable grow.
Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair Could Be Huge Angle for Raw Women's Division
Alexa Bliss warned last week that Lilly had her eyes on someone. This week, she made clear Lilly was focusing on someone in the six-woman tag team match of Charlotte Flair, Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax vs. Asuka, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke.
The two most obvious answers would be The Queen or The Empress of Tomorrow. The Goddess is in a limbo state between heel and face that could allow her to face either. Both are great rivalries to come, but Charlotte vs. Bliss has great potential.
They have long been kept on opposite shows. Bliss often ruled the brand that Charlotte did not control. When concussions slowed The Goddess' dominant run, it kept them apart even longer. They faced off previously at Survivor Series 2017, a strong singles match and an introduction to something more.
Both have evolved, especially Bliss, and Charlotte could be the perfect rival for her. She needs to dominate a truly top name. The Queen has been protected at every stage of her career to fall at a moment like this.
This angle would also benefit Charlotte, who has often cycled through the same stories over and over again. She needs someone to let her fully tell a story away from the women's championship. Rhea Ripley vs. The Queen can always wait.
Humberto Carrillo Deserves Renewed Push Upon Return from Injury
Humberto Carrillo finally got his chance to battle Sheamus, and he did not flinch from the challenge. The two fought around the ring and out of it.
However, the Mexican injured himself on a sunset flip powerbomb to the outside, forcing the match to be cut short.
This was a tough spot that may lead to serious time off for the 25-year-old. It's a shame on many levels, especially since Carrillo had gotten in great shape for this run. It appeared to be his time to shine.
Injuries can happen at any time, though, and it should not stop WWE from embracing his potential. In fact, it could be a moment to begin building him up for the future.
At this time, it is unclear how long Carrillo will be out for: It could have been a storyline, a scare or a serious injury. Regardless, it was a moment that will define his run in WWE.
His injury can be a refresh that allows him to look more dominant upon return if he does take time away. Carrillo was rushed to the main roster from 205 Live too early, and he's never looked fully prepared until now. WWE should tell the story of his rehab and chance at redemption.
People will latch onto that tale because Carrillo is so naturally likable. He has the charisma to elevate himself to heights he has never reached before.
Braun Strowman's Latest Potential Heel Turn Is Another Failed Angle with Him
After a talk with MVP earlier in the night, Braun Strowman snapped in the main event. He attacked Drew McIntyre, laying him out on the mat with repeat running powerslams. He also took out Bobby Lashley, though his near-heel ferocity was focused on the Scot.
It's unclear whether this should be seen as a true heel turn for The Monster Among Men ahead of the WWE title match between the three at WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday.
It's not uncommon to have Triple Threat opponents attack each other, but after the momentum he gained from a dominant face win over Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 37, laying out Raw's leading face is a bad look for Strowman.
WWE has repeatedly struggled to decide what to do with The Monster Among Men. He has been dominant but has also struggled to win big. He can be a fan favorite one week and a heel another. Nothing is clear with him, which makes it tough for fans to latch onto his story.
This is similar to a man who helped shape his legacy in WWE: Big Show. He was a giant who made the most of every moment, but he could not become a true mainstay on any brand. What hurt him most was the company's persistent flip-flopping with him.
If there is a plan to put the world title on Strowman again, he cannot continue on this trajectory. He had something potentially special in a face run after The Show of Shows, and WWE should not lose sight of that.