WWE Raw returns tonight (June 24) from Everett, Washington in the Angel of the Winds arena, which is its real name. This is the fallout show for the Stomping Grounds pay-per-view (PPV).
The WWE product has been stale as of late. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t at least admit creative is lacking to some degree right now. Much of that has to do with long feuds involving people who probably shouldn’t be in extended championship feuds.
Primarily, that would be Baron Corbin in the Universal title feud and Lacey Evans in the Raw Women’s championship feud.
Stomping Grounds was a chance to close the book on those stories and give the talented champions Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch something better to do. You could argue that last night’s PPV was so close to Super ShowDown (and that Super ShowDown is pretty much a big house show in Saudi Arabia), that the feuds were inevitably going to continue into Stomping Grounds. Then when they finished up with Stomping Grounds, they could finally reset these championship angles.
Unfortunately, that does not look like it’s in the cards.
The finish of Stomping Grounds indicated that those two championship feuds are going to go on for at least another month. And that’s a damn shame.
Last night, Baron Corbin chose Lacey Evans to be the special guest referee for his Universal title, leading to a match that the Tacoma, Washington crowd crapped all over. It ended with Becky Lynch taking out Lacey so her boyfriend Seth Rollins could defeat Baron Corbin.
In essence, they took Rollins/Corbin feud, which needed to end a month ago, and combined it with the Lynch/Lacey feud, which also needed to end a month ago. This new combination of stale feuds will probably go at least another month, likely in mixed tag form at the Extreme Rules PPV.
Another feud that should be ending that isn’t is the Roman vs. Shane McMahon & his league of evil. Last night, Roman pretty much defeated Drew McIntyre in a 2 on 1 handicap match given Shane was very active in the finish of the match. Tonight, they’ve already advertised the actual 2 on 1 handicap match. It could blow off the feud, but it’s more likely we see Shane face Roman at a PPV down the line.
So this Roman/Shane (and sometimes Drew) feud that takes up too much time on both Mondays and Tuesday is going to continue to do so.
Basically, Stomping Grounds set the stage for another month of the same ol’ shit. Using Corbin and Lacey in feuds that should be reserved for stronger opponents is a big part of the reason that Raw has been lackluster at best the last few months. The Shane McMahon/Roman stuff takes a large portion of the blame as well. Unless there’s a sharp reversal of direction, expect the same for the foreseeable future.
The Title Scene:
Ricochet is the new United States champion after besting Samoa Joe for the title last night. Now he’ll face AJ Styles in a non-title match tonight. While battling Samoa Joe one more time would not have been the worst use of a rematch given they only had a week to sell their match, AJ vs. Ricochet is a match to get excited for.
The Raw tag team champions the Revival were not on the PPV last night. They’ve got a variety of challengers on Raw, including the Usos and the Viking Raiders. But they may just continuing to go to Shane McMahon’s private parties.
The IIconics still hold the Women’s tag team championships and actually defeated a real team in Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross last week. But they still haven’t been in a real story since winning those titles.
Other things to keep and eye on:
- Nikki Cross was hot at Bayley during Bliss’ title match last night. Her temper got the best of her and Cross ended up costing Alexa the title. Is that the beginning of the end of this odd couple? Or are they going to turn their focus to new gold - singles or tag?
What will you be looking for when Raw blows into Everett, Washington tonight?