This week's episode of RAW will, unfortunately, go down as one of the weaker ones this year. While there was a lot that happened in the show, there wasn't too much in the way of storyline progression.
What's shocking about the handling of the post-WrestleMania season is the complete lack of debuts, or even returns, for that matter. Either way, the build to WrestleMania Backlash is on, and RAW was a mixed bag with its ups and downs.
Let's jump right into the best & worst of RAW:
#3. Best: Charlotte Flair's ruthless heel side on RAW
Certain superstars in WWE are simply better as heels than they are babyfaces. Edge's recent run was an example of that. While he will always be loved and admired by the WWE Universe, he's better off being a heel as it's a role that comes more naturally to him.
The same goes for Charlotte Flair. Given the number of times she has flip-flopped between being a heel and face, she's likely giving The Big Show a run for his money. But the decision to have Flair return as a heel was a great one, in hindsight.
Charlotte Flair lost to Asuka thanks to Rhea Ripley in the main event of RAW. While losing to The Empress is a rare occurrence for Flair, it was the aftermath that left the biggest impact.
RAW ended with Charlotte Flair assaulting a referee, and the commentators said that she will get a hefty fine for doing so. It was confirmed that Flair was fined $100,000 and suspended indefinitely.
We fully expect the RAW Women's Title match at WrestleMania Backlash to be a Triple Threat. While The Queen doesn't need to win the RAW Women's Title, it wouldn't be surprising to see her win her 14th overall title.
We hope that Charlotte Flair continues this run, as it could end up being the best of her career.
#3. Worst: The WWE Championship picture on RAW
Perhaps the biggest news coming out of RAW was the stunning unmasking of T-Bar (Dominik Dijakovic) and Mace (Dio Maddin). The duo faced Drew McIntyre in a handicap match, but it turned into a tag team bout when Braun Strowman interfered.
McIntyre and Strowman unmasked the duo, revealing their faces for the first time since their debut with RETRIBUTION. While that isn't a bad thing, the overall WWE Title picture seems bland.
The WWE Champion Bobby Lashley wasn't even present on the show - nor were the RAW Tag Team Champions AJ Styles and Omos. It was a big mistake not to have the WWE Champion appear in only the second RAW after WrestleMania. As a whole, the WWE Title feud hasn't been interesting on RAW.
Would adding Braun Strowman make the rivalry more fun? Or would it be too much? Especially since the RAW Women's Title feud already appears to be heading in a Triple Threat direction. Either way, it should be fun to watch.
#2. Best: Sheamus' role on RAW
Backstage on RAW, Adam Pearce suggested that Sheamus follows the John Cena model of being the United States Champion. Cena's incredible US Title run in 2015 set the standards - and none have been matched since then.
Sheamus is essentially the reverse Cena. While he went to the ring to have an open challenge, he ended up rejecting his potential opponent Humberto Carrillo. Carrillo is in great shape, but he was assaulted before the bell could ring or any referee could come out.
Sheamus was great in his role, and it proved that the decision to put the United States Title on him was the right one. The Celtic Warrior has had great momentum since coming to RAW last year, and despite losing out to Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, he is presented as one of the best superstars on the roster.
Hopefully, this kickstarts a great run for Sheamus and he gets a few squash matches along the way. He could even have a long run with the Title.
#2. Worst: The Women's Tag Team Title picture on RAW
The Women's Tag Team Championship gets the most TV time on RAW and SmackDown combined, but there isn't much clarity or straightforwardness. On SmackDown, it appeared as though Natalya and Tamina were in line to challenge for the Titles.
On RAW, Lana and Naomi ended up defeating the Champions in a Non-Title match, and to nobody's surprise, Shayna Baszler took another pin. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke appear to be in the picture as well, shaming Nia Jax for her slip. They don't seem like babyfaces anymore, but they are.
The worst part is the level of confusion in the Tag Team Title picture. There was no clarity before WrestleMania, nor is there any after it. Jax and Baszler aren't bad champions, but the initial cracks are beginning to appear, as Shayna Baszler threatened her tag team partner.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but we expect more confusion. Also, a romantic angle between Nia Jax and Angel Garza may have begun.
#1. Best: Riddle defeating Randy Orton on RAW
It's always good to have upsets on RAW. While this certainly wasn't at the level of 1-2-3 Kid vs. Razor Ramon, this was an upset nonetheless. Randy Orton was originally scheduled to face Braun Strowman on RAW for the first time ever, but for some reason, the match was quietly pulled.
Instead, Riddle approached Orton backstage on RAW and asked him if he wanted to form a tag team called "R-K-Bro". Orton didn't take kindly to it, and they met in the ring.
It was undoubtedly the best match of the night and the best part of RAW this week. The two had a great pay-per-view-worthy match-up that ended with Riddle getting the victory over the 14-time World Champion.
This could be the start of a feud, but the fact that Riddle pinned Orton means that his loss at WrestleMania was only a stepping stone for bigger things. Many consider The Original Bro to be one of the big future stars in RAW, and at this rate, it may only be a matter of time.
#1. Worst: No clarity on the Alexa Bliss situation on RAW
While we're admittedly more excited now about Alexa Bliss' direction on RAW than we were before, there's too much vagueness. We understand the appeal of trying to keep a character like this as mysterious as possible, but there hasn't been too much depth added to the story.
Bliss was in her playground, where she explained the importance of "Lily" in her life. Revealing that Lily didn't like "him" (The Fiend) nor does she like any others, there seems to be an indication that she will start competing regularly again.
For the last four months, Alexa Bliss has been doing Bray Wyatt's bidding. She's her own character now, and after she turned on The Fiend at WrestleMania, big things await her on RAW.
We expect Alexa Bliss to eventually re-enter a feud on RAW, with Nikki Cross perhaps the best choice as an opponent, given their history together. However, there wasn't enough explained, and an overall lack of clarity in what could be one of the most incredible stories on RAW.