Eva Marie Shockingly Returns, Mansoor Primed for Success, More WWE Raw Fallout
WWE Raw has begun to rebuild, with fresh talent revealed on Monday's show. This was a chance to gauge how the red brand would look for the future.
All Red Everything is back. Eva Marie did not impress in her first WWE run, but she did leave a lasting impression. After four years away, she has been given a fresh chance to succeed. It's just a question of whether she has improved, especially enough to make up for the recent losses of talented women.
Another star finally got a chance to make an impact on Raw. Mansoor has impressed in Saudi Arabia and remains undefeated, but this is the first time he has gotten a chance to make his mark beyond 205 Live.
In his debut, Mansoor faced Sheamus, but Humberto Carrillo got in the way of a conclusive result. The Celtic Warrior has been helping to elevate many of the lesser-known names on Raw and can continue to do so here.
Charlotte Flair inserted herself into another title match, turning the contest between Rhea Ripley and Asuka at WrestleMania Backlash into a Triple Threat.
Monday's Raw did not surprise much, but it did set the stage for a fascinating future.
Eva Marie Is Back with So Much to Prove
A brand-new vignette reintroduced the WWE Universe to Eva Marie.
She struggled to deliver during her first stint with the company between 2013-17, particularly as it transitioned to a stronger wrestling product in the women's division.
The return of All Red Everything comes on the back of Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Mickie James and Chelsea Green being released by WWE. Based on her performances the last time she competed, she cannot live up to the talent of any of those women.
However, four years is a ton of time to improve, and rumors have swirled for months about Eva Marie being seen at the WWE Performance Center.
Raw needs more women to elevate the division. Few expect All Red Everything to improve the roster, but she has captured everyone's attention. That interest won't go far if she cannot compete, though.
Does Eva Marie bring anything more than short-term controversy?
Charlotte Flair Cannot Be Set Up to Overshadow Rhea Ripley
WWE official Sonya Deville allowed Charlotte Flair to speak her case for being included in the Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania Backlash and was impressed with her argument.
And despite the frustration of Asuka and Rhea Ripley, The Queen was added to the contest on May 16 to make it a Triple Threat.
This isn't the first time Charlotte has been added to a title match to make it a Triple Threat, but it does make sense considering the history between the three women. And The Queen could not miss successive major pay-per-views.
What matters most in this case, though, is that she does not overshadow the others. She has history with Ripley that should be explored, but it's vital that it does not lead to another title run for Charlotte.
The Queen is a 12-time women's champion and can afford to go for a few years without more gold. The division as a whole needs to be allowed to thrive.
Ripley's title run will mean so much more if she can overcome both Charlotte and The Empress of Tomorrow. It would be a true foundation to build off of when the next challenger comes calling.
Sheamus Continues to Elevate Raw's Underused Talent
Sheamus made it clear that he does not feel Humberto Carrillo is worthy of challenging him, but the fight in his fresh challenger has aggravated him.
The Celtic Warrior attacked Carrillo backstage, leading to the Mexican Superstar interfering in his match later in the night.
Few stars have the talent to elevate others like Sheamus. He is a veteran performer with a wealth of gold in his history. He could win any championship at any time, but he can also lose to anyone in a way that makes them look dangerous.
And Carrillo is benefiting from that spotlight now. The United States champion set the tone by beating his rival down rather than facing him. When the time comes for them to fight, it would not be surprising if Carrillo stole a victory.
Raw has a wealth of underused talent: Ricochet, Mustafa Ali, Angel Garza, Drew Gulak, Cedric Alexander and others could all be worthy challengers to Sheamus.
The U.S. title picture should be about this young talent, but WWE has lost track of that in recent years. Hopefully, it all changes soon.
Mansoor Has a Chance to Finally Prove Himself on Raw
Mansoor officially signed a contract with Raw on Monday night and immediately stepped up to challenge Sheamus. While he took a beating, he kept getting up, only for the interference of Humberto Carrillo to leave the fight inconclusive.
The Saudi Arabia-born Mansoor has shown his talent, but WWE has struggled to find the right spot for him. If he needs to be too protected for the sake of WWE's politics with the country, he can never truly thrive.
However, this does seem like the right moment to strap a rocket to his back. He may be far from a main event act yet, but he can compete against top stars like Sheamus with legitimacy. He's built a stunning undefeated streak that can be used as a storytelling tool.
Mansoor's matches with Cesaro and Dolph Ziggler in Saudi Arabia felt like a waste of time despite the quality. If WWE uses that momentum properly, those matches can be a foundation to create a star in a country that has rarely had that representation.
Regardless of plenty of warranted concerns on WWE's relationship with Saudi Arabia, representation and opportunity are key to the future of the sport. It is vital that wrestlers like Mansoor get a chance to succeed based on their talent.