Lame DQ Finish Damages Bianca Belair, Doudrop's Big Moment, More WWE Raw Fallout
WWE Raw set the final stage for Crown Jewel in its October 19 edition.
Bianca Belair fought Charlotte Flair to a disqualification after The EST of WWE stole a chair from her rival and laid her out with it. But it was just the latest in lame finishes to exciting women's main events.
The Queen's Crown has made little impression with short matches and lackluster results, but Doudrop may be in line to benefit ultimately after defeating Shayna Baszler in a surprise semifinal win.
Drew McIntyre has set his sights on Big E before his move to SmackDown. While both men are babyfaces, they have not been able to get along and barely survived a tag team match together against Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode.
Xavier Woods called his shot before the King of the Ring tournament, and he set his spot in the finals against Finn Balor in Saudi Arabia on Thursday after defeating Jinder Mahal.
Monday night's Raw was more about setup than payoff, which made it less exciting to watch than usual. However, it did make Crown Jewel all the more intriguing.
Bianca Belair Should Be the One to Dethrone Charlotte Flair
Since her loss to Becky Lynch at SummerSlam, Bianca Belair has been on a roll. She has competed against some of the best WWE has to offer and pushed them. However, she has failed to get a win for one reason or another.
Disqualifications have thwarted The EST of WWE's journey back to gold since August. She has been unable to legitimately defeat Flair or Lynch in recent weeks despite frequently outmatching them.
This could have been a clean moment to give the Raw Women's Championship to a Superstar from the red brand. However, Belair neither won or lost. She just competed until a non-finish interrupted some great action.
If the plan is to crown Belair again, it is already time. Delays help no one and only further emphasize that the company has no clear plan for one of its rising Superstars.
Belair could win at Crown Jewel, but it seems more likely Lynch or Sasha Banks will leave their Triple Threat match with the gold instead.
This leaves The EST in the awkward position of still waiting for her new moment. Hopefully, Flair vs. Belair III will finally give us a clear result.
Drew McIntyre Must Put over Big E Ahead of SmackDown Move
Drew McIntyre was the stalwart of Raw through one of the toughest years in WWE history. He carried the flag for the red brand in an empty arena against the best wrestlers in great matches every week.
Now, ahead of his move to SmackDown, it is important the Scot helps to solidify the biggest name on Raw: Big E. The WWE champion is still learning and growing, and he needs moments to sell his dominance beyond doubt.
McIntyre is the perfect opponent to lose to him clean at Crown Jewel on Thursday. It would be a special moment and a worthy end to the former titleholder's time on the brand.
While McIntyre will likely compete with Roman Reigns sooner rather than later, he has the credibility to take a loss, but Big E cannot afford this major title defense to be clouded by a messy finish.
It must be clear who the best on Raw is. That way, the WWE champ can head into battle at Survivor Series next month as the rare man who could truly give The Tribal Chief a memorable loss.
Balor vs. Woods Is Rare Opportunity to Raise Underused Star
It is so unusual these days to see a matchup as lopsided as Finn Balor vs. Xavier Woods on pay-per-view.
The Prince is a former universal, NXT and intercontinental champion. He has challenged the best of the best.
Woods is a veteran without any singles success to his name. He has never won any gold, except with Kofi Kingston and/or Big E in his corner. He is a tag team purist who has watched his friends fly higher.
However, there is a special quality to Thursday's King of the Ring final that could indicate a major upset. Woods has been calling for this tournament more than anyone else and has made clear he would rather be KOTR than anything else in WWE.
Balor has won his big matches. He looks dangerous enough, even when he is not employing The Demon to defeat the best of the best. The tournament will not change that.
WWE has a chance to capitalize on an opportunity to make a new top player in the scene. Will the company do so? It's unlikely, but it would be special to see it happen.
WWE Fails Doudrop and Zelina Vega with Poor Booking
There's been enough complaining about the match time in the Queen's Crown already. No matter how much fans beg for more, WWE will not give it. Instead, it is more interesting to look at who is left standing for Crown Jewel.
At the start, the safest bet was Shayna Baszler vs. Liv Morgan in the final. Instead, it is Zelina Vega vs. Doudrop, two women who could have easily been eliminated in the first round.
Both women will benefit hugely from winning the first Queen's Crown. "Queen Doudrop" could be a gimmick the young star needs, while "Queen Zelina" would lean into her own previously set aesthetic to begin a fresh run on Raw.
It is a shame that the road to get to this moment was paved with bad booking. It would have been fun to see two underused women earn this spot with longer hard-fought victories, like Xavier Woods had in the King of the Ring tournament.
At the very least, one of Vega and Doudrop will no longer be ignored. They can etch their name in history and establish a run that could lead to gold before long.