Best and Worst of RAW: WWE finally beginning to push underrated 37-year-old star, Triple H does a bad job with replacing former champion (March 20, 2023)
Welcome to the best and worst of the penultimate episode of RAW to WrestleMania 39. Penultimate means that it was the second-last episode - and that also means that we are less than two weeks away from The Showcase of the Immortals.
The road to WrestleMania is quickly winding down, and it should come as no surprise that more matches have been made official for The Grandest Stage of Them All. Perhaps even the main event of Night 1.
With that said, the show was solid. The beginning and ending were the best parts by far, with the show falling off in pace and riddled with more inconsistencies than usual. These were the ups and downs from RAW this past week:
#3. Best: The Chad Gable vs. Ricochet match on RAW
Chad Gable is perhaps the most underrated star on the WWE roster. At 37, he is rumored to be on Triple H's list of superstars to get a big singles push. With Otis phasing out of The Alpha Academy and into Maximum Male Models, post-WrestleMania seems to be the perfect time to give Gable a serious push.
That was certainly hinted at even in defeat to Ricochet on RAW. It was the match of the night and both men put on a clinic. This was one to be remembered and a huge sign that Gable is ready for the next big step in his career.
#2. Worst: Hyping up the replacement Piper Niven only for her to get pinned?
Without much explanation, Chelsea Green told Adam Pearce that Carmella wasn't present and replaced her with the powerhouse Doudrop. Doudrop is unfortunately one of the stars who hasn't benefited much from Triple H taking over, and he hasn't been handling her all that well either.
RAW Women's Champion Bianca Belair teamed up with her WrestleMania opponent Asuka to face Chelsea Green and Piper Niven. Within minutes, Belair lifted Niven and hit her with a KOD.
It felt pointless to hype Niven up as a powerhouse only for her to lose in minutes. Why was she the one to get pinned, anyway?
#2. Best: The Sami Zayn and KO vs. Usos story
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens opened RAW and they are now finally a unit again. They challenged The Usos to a match for the Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania and it was accepted.
The story has been exceptional, and everything involving these men has been gold. Jey Uso snubbing Roman Reigns when he said "I love you" caused quite a reaction from fans, but it was a brilliant moment of storytelling.
We can't wait to see what happens in the match, and we hope this will be the main event of WrestleMania 39 Night 1.
#1. Worst: Johnny Gargano lost despite hyping up the Stand & Deliver match so much
Johnny Gargano had quietly been undefeated on RAW in singles matches for the last four months. That streak came to an end this week when Dominik Mysterio defeated him.
The only thing we don't understand is why WWE spent so much time on RAW, hyping up Gargano's Stand & Deliver match against Grayson Waller only to have him lose in this manner.
#1. Best: The Roman Reigns-Cody Rhodes promo
Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes closed the show in an incredible promo. Reigns subtly referenced AEW and fans went crazy about it on Twitter. However, he didn't bury AEW - he simply referenced the fact that Cody Rhodes ran away from there just as he did from WWE when he was Stardust in 2016.
Cody Rhodes hit back with his rhetoric and forced Reigns to leave the ring. We can't remember the last time in this historic title reign that The Tribal Chief has been outdone or has taken a step back in respect. He has quietly put Cody over as his biggest threat without fans realizing it.
Solo Sikoa tried to stand up to Cody, and Reigns made him stop - which was the ultimate sign of respect, even if it wasn't meant to come across that way.
Overall, this segment was an easy 9 or 10 out of 10, which built a lot of anticipation for their upcoming clash at WrestleMania 39.
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