Charlotte vs. Asuka Again, Kofi Outshines Drew McIntyre, More WWE Raw FalloutMay 25, 2021
Charlotte vs. Asuka Again, Kofi Outshines Drew McIntyre, More WWE Raw Fallout
WWE Raw continued the build toward Hell in a Cell with a mixed bag in the May 24 edition of the red brand.
What was most noticeable Monday night was the flurry of rematches that have plagued Raw since it first went to three hours. Just one week after Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka unnecessarily fought again, they had a rematch that ended with the opposite result.
Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax again challenged Natalya and Tamina for the WWE Tag Team Championships. And Reginald distracted The Queen of Spades in a predictable manner that led to another heel loss.
Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston battled to crown the true No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship, but Bobby Lashley got involved. With all the sudden hype behind The New Day member, it is hard to get excited about The Scottish Warrior getting in his way.
Nikki Cross returned to action but in less-than-flattering fashion. She barely survived two minutes with Rhea Ripley and celebrated like she had won the Raw women's title. The former top contender deserves better.
Raw remains a unique show with great wrestlers and potential matches, but there are so many unnecessary steps to get to those contests. This edition displayed that clearly.
Rematches Remain Raw's Achilles Heel with Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka Again
Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka is a money match that should be protected. Instead, it happened on Raw—again. This match was one of their best yet but barely had any hype behind it.
The never-ending back-and-forth battle between the two has no appeal when it is hindering Rhea Ripley's progression. Both of these women have earned another shot at The Nightmare, but neither is the most interesting possibility.
This angle especially showed how Raw's parade of constant rematches holds back the show. Even the opener between Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston was to set up a rematch next week.
Three hours is so much wrestling to cover, especially with other brands to highlight, but WWE has made its roster look weak repeatedly with this booking. There are so many fresh matchups that can be used instead.
One of the best matches of the night was a first-time bout between Riddle and Xavier Woods. The two showed their ability together, and The New Day man highlighted the fact that he is underused on the red brand.
It is time to look at who is on this roster besides the immediate standouts and see what they can do with the spotlight.
Kofi Kingston Has Become More Interesting Challenger Than Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre was a great and worthy WWE champion for the past year. His two reigns in that time made him a massive star. But there's no reason to continue forcing him into the title scene.
The company has set up a fresh and exciting possibility for titleholder Bobby Lashley, and Kofi Kingston has more than earned a second chance in the spotlight.
While it would make sense for McIntyre to want one more match with The All Mighty, he's contending with a veteran and fan favorite. The New Day star has earned everything he has gotten and more.
It is more exciting at this point to speculate on whether Kingston could finally become WWE champion again rather than McIntyre. Perhaps he could get a better reign this time around that ends better than a swift defeat to Brock Lesnar.
The Scottish Warrior will return to the main event scene eventually, but it's time to give others a chance. Similar to Charlotte Flair and Asuka for the women's division, his reign has run its course, and fresh talent is waiting in the wings.
Nikki Cross Is So Much More Than an Over-The-Top Babyface
Charlotte Flair talked Rhea Ripley into a Beat the Clock Challenge against Nikki Cross.
The Nightmare had two minutes to defeat a former top contender to the SmackDown Women's Championship, but she failed as she lost track of time.
Ripley vs. Cross is a fresh matchup that many would love to see, but this wasn't that contest. Given a poorly conceived stipulation with little time to display their talents, they never got going. It was a situation that made both women look bad.
The champion did not play by the rules, and Cross wildly celebrated a nothing win. This is not how either should be treated.
Cross is one of the rare women on Raw with title match experience beyond the main event scene. She knows how to perform when the lights are brightest. WWE must use that to its advantage.
Unfortunately, the Scot has been stuck as the over-the-top happy-go-lucky face who just cannot be controlled. She has little care for herself, and it makes it hard to root for her.
Cross is one of several names who lost momentum while transitioning from NXT to the main roster. She and Alexa Bliss did succeed together for a while, but the Scot never got to be her best self. And she still hasn't found that fire.
Reginald Is an Anchor Who Never Needed to Be Strapped to the Women's Division
Reginald truly came out of nowhere. He was the sommelier for Carmella for a month before Sasha Banks caused him to break away from that role. He then allied with Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler but did little for them.
He does have the talent to succeed in WWE in the long term, though. His athleticism is unreal, and his smooth in-ring work is a sight to behold. However, he is far from complete as a performer.
This is what makes it so hard to explain his position. He is on television every week as the help to someone and is also the only man allowed to compete in intergender matches on the roster.
However, he is a weight on a women's division that is already struggling. There is no reason why his position could not be filled by a woman instead. He is mostly just an arrogant punching bag.
It's time to let him go. Baszler should not be forced to work with him. She is a dangerous MMA fighter with the skills to dominate anyone. She could be crossing intergender lines and making Raw men tap out if WWE let her.
Reginald would be better off returning to the Performance Center and then working NXT at a time when he can compete on his own merit.