Kofi Kingston Shockingly Gets His Shot vs. Bobby Lashley, More WWE Raw Fallout
Just one day after WrestleMania Backlash, Bobby Lashley and MVP announced an open challenge for anyone in the WWE Raw locker room to take up—except Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman.
Kofi Kingston answered the call after winning a grueling match with Randy Orton and took advantage of this rare shot. He managed to catch the WWE champion with the help of The Scottish Warrior to enter himself into future title contention.
Another man ready for title contention is Damian Priest. He put The Miz and John Morrison behind him for good and now just needs the right opponent.
Sheamus might be that man after defeating Ricochet in the match of the night. The One and Only showed what he can do, but he remains underutilized on the red brand.
Rhea Ripley wants her own fresh competition, but she is stuck in neutral with Charlotte Flair and Asuka. The Empress of Tomorrow may be challenging The Nightmare against after defeating The Queen on Monday. Regardless, the Raw women's champion's reign won't truly start until she faces someone else.
This night was all about refocusing. Champions watched new challengers emerge, and those who stepped up stamped their date with destiny while potentially keeping down others.
Kofi Kingston Becomes Newest Needed Main Event Star on Raw
Kofi Kingston talked his way into a match with Randy Orton. In the latest battle of these long-time rivals, The New Day member won with a roll-up. He later answered Bobby Lashley's challenge and managed to defeat the WWE champion.
It feels like a lifetime since Kingston was in the main event scene. His incredible run to the WWE title was one of the most important moments in modern WWE history, but Brock Lesnar destroyed his momentum in a matter of seconds when he took the belt from him in October 2019.
With Raw clearly low on main event talent, The New Day man is an ideal competitor to slot in. He can compete with Lashley legitimately, has the talent and expertise to make the story work and can help legitimize younger wrestlers as future top names.
Kingston is unlikely to stay in the scene forever, but he should stick around for the rest of the year. It will be best for everyone involved. This was an emphatically booked moment that few could have executed so effortlessly.
It's unclear what the immediate plan is, though. Lashley vs. McIntyre is certainly possible again, but The All Mighty vs. Kingston would be the fresh option.
Ricochet Remains One of WWE's Best Untapped Talents
Ricochet stole Sheamus' hat and coat following his defeat to the Irishman at WrestleMania Backlash, which set him up for a rematch on Raw.
While The One and Only pushed The Celtic Warrior near to his limit, the United States champion still caught him with a Brogue Kick to make a definitive statement about Ricochet's status in comparison to him.
Ricochet is one of the most consistent performers in WWE and delivers every time out. It's a shame that we don't get to see him in longer matches more often. He can steal the show despite limited booking and storytelling.
Sheamus continues to elevate underused talent. Ricochet might not have needed the chance as much as Humberto Carrillo last week, but the opportunity will always be welcome.
On a three-hour Raw, there is no reason why The One and Only can't get a weekly 10-minute match. Win or lose, performances like this prove his value to the brand.
Rhea Ripley Needs New Competition Beyond Asuka and Charlotte Flair
Rhea Ripley implored WWE officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville to give her fresh competition. Instead, Charlotte Flair talked her way into a match with Asuka to earn another Raw Women's Championship shot, but The Empress of Tomorrow rolled up The Queen to win.
While Asuka needs to start picking up wins, her victory over The Queen just continues the cycle between these three women. Eventually, Ripley vs. Charlotte has to be the plan, but its continual delay just leaves the rest of the division with nothing.
As The Nightmare clearly indicated, it's time to let other female wrestlers shine. If WWE does not trust the Raw women's division, it is time to make a dramatic change to the entire roster.
Asuka and Charlotte could help elevate this roster outside the title picture. They have done so much at the top of the division, and it's time for them to take a step back.
Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax and Nikki Cross all have championship-match experience. Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke and Lana have gotten some recognition over the year, but they have never been granted a genuine chance.
Ripley opens up so many opportunities to fresh talent.
Damian Priest Ready to Move Beyond Comedy Angles
Damian Priest followed up defeating The Miz in a Lumberjack match at WrestleMania Backlash by taking out John Morrison on Raw. Afterward, he made clear he was done with both men.
The Archer of Infamy has been stuck in some odds angles since his main roster debut, but he came out with victories. It is important now to let him refocus on the future.
Priest is immensely talented and provides a unique skill set. His height and striking background make him one of the freshest competitors to step into a WWE ring, and he's not just a promotional tool for WWE.
He needs to get the opportunity to step out of the shadows. Morrison and Miz are good competitors and can be great with the right stories, but both sides brought each other down in the end.
The Archer of Infamy could easily be the next man to step up to Sheamus and thrive.
The Shaman of Sexy also seems to be going through his own transformation. Wherever he goes next, he's performing at the highest level he ever has in the ring for WWE. The company has to be paying attention to that on a roster that often feels thinner than it actually is.