WWE Struggling to Book Roman Reigns, Finn Balor Levels Up, More WWE Raw TakesMay 3, 2022
WWE Struggling to Book Roman Reigns, Finn Balor Levels Up, More WWE Raw Takes
With WrestleMania Backlash fast approaching, the May 2 edition of WWE Raw needed to take the final step forward to sell big matches that did not have enough story to sell the pay-per-view.
Roman Reigns and The Bloodline opened the show, only to meet resistance in Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton and Riddle. The Head of the Table seems to be on a downward track, even though The Scottish Warrior represents the perfect challenger.
Finn Balor finally added himself to one of Raw's biggest angles. He helped protect AJ Styles from Edge and Damian Priest, but The Prince may work better as a heel by joining Judgment Day.
Bianca Belair, Asuka and Liv Morgan main-evented the show against Becky Lynch, Rhea Ripley and Sonya Deville. Despite the three distinct feuds highlighted in the match, none of those involved are on Sunday's Backlash card.
After a messy interaction with the 24/7 Championship, Nikki A.S.H. was left down in the dumps until Doudrop arrived. The two could be a perfect tag team in a messy women's tag division.
This show had some promise, but it also highlighted the faults with the WrestleMania Backlash card.
Roman Reigns' First Month as Undisputed Champion Has Been a Waste
Roman Reigns has now been the universal champion for over 600 days, and his long reign is, in some ways, a breath of fresh air in an era when the company often hot-shots gold between top contenders.
However, WWE made an odd decision to unify the world championships, making The Head of the Table the WWE champion as well after defeating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38. Since then, though, both Raw and SmackDown have suffered as has the titleholder himself.
With so much behind Reigns, it is difficult to set up challengers for him. Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins are feuding at the moment, Edge and AJ Styles are keeping each other busy, and Shinsuke Nakamura briefly stood up but disappeared without any explanation.
While Drew McIntyre is a great challenger for Reigns, it is clear by WWE's booking that it does not want to rush that match. Instead, four championships have been thrown together into one six-man tag team match on Sunday with nothing at stake.
Protecting big matches as well as the champion who holds all the gold leaves Raw and SmackDown vulnerable. Every week since WrestleMania, Reigns has been simply there and not a serious part of the programming. Everyone else is picking up the slack without the reward of gold.
This does not mean it will last forever, but it may be time to let Reigns lose to open up the spotlight again. His run as unified champion already comes off as poorly conceived, and it's only a month in.
Finn Balor Would Be Intriguing Addition to Edge's Stable
Finn Balor has been through a messy time in WWE. He was off TV for months of programming, only to return in time for WrestleMania 38 and become United States champion, only to miss the card for The Show of Shows.
The Irishman lost the U.S. title to Theory two weeks ago, and it seemed he might disappear again. Instead, he has stepped up by helping protect AJ Styles from an attack after defeating Damian Priest.
The Archer of Infamy is now banned from ringside at WrestleMania Backlash, supposedly setting up a fair fight between Edge and Styles. However, The Prince is a unique wild card and could easily turn on The Phenomenal One to help The Rated-R Superstar win.
While there are many interesting names on Raw who could join Edge's group, Balor is the best option. He has always been better as a heel, and he needs a fresh character. It also wouldn't be the first time he has played a supernatural character.
All around, Balor makes sense for the Judgment Day stable. It would be the right way to keep him involved while further showing that Styles is fighting a losing battle against this dangerous faction.
Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. Can Add Spark to Women's Tag Team Division
Nikki A.S.H. has been unable to catch a break since winning and losing the lowest title in WWE, the 24/7 Championship.
Meanwhile, Doudrop got her first TV time in weeks by just asking her fellow Scot backstage if she wanted to start taking things more seriously in her career.
The Raw women's division may have a ton of talent, but there is no excuse for barely using Doudrop or Nikki lately. The two are talented singles competitors who have brought their best in big moments.
The two are also both Scottish with a wealth of chemistry to explore together. Pairing up would benefit both, giving them a chance to add a necessary element to a lacking women's tag team division.
Sasha Banks and Naomi have proved themselves already to be capable champions, but they need challengers.
Doudrop and Nikki have the ability to be the team that dethrones The Boss and The Glow as long as WWE takes it slow. Build these two up as a group in which Nikki can be the high-flier to complement her teammate's power in the ring.
Raw Women's Division Deserves a Presence on WrestleMania Backlash Card
The women main-evented Monday's show and showed why they are among the best on Raw. The six-woman tag team match was easily the in-ring highlight of the night while servicing several interesting rivalries.
But why no one in the match got a spot on the WrestleMania Backlash card for Sunday. Bianca Belair is still dealing with Sonya Deville; Liv Morgan picked up a win indirectly over Rhea Ripley while calling out her former friend; and Becky Lynch and Asuka are set for a memorable clash before long.
Any of these matches could add a necessary spark to a flat card. There is certainly no excuse for The EST of WWE to miss out after stealing the show at WrestleMania, even if she is likely to beat Deville in any fair bout.
WWE could be trying to preserve many of these contests for a spotlight of their own, but not everything is going to get what it deserves with limited spots.
Ripley is likely to fly by Morgan before long, and they aren't going to get a main event slot in singles action any time soon.
Lynch and Asuka may be the best women's wrestlers in the world today, and they could have stolen Sunday's show while reintroducing The Empress of Tomorrow to the WWE Universe after a lengthy injury layoff.
There's no reason for Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss and Bobby Lashley vs. Omos to get a spot on this card while all these women are left without a spotlight.