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RAW In A Nutshell: It’s Good To Be Back As We Head To Backlash

It's our first RAW In A Nutshell in a bit, and it's good to be back...and just in time as we head to WrestleMania Backlash shortly!

It’s our first RAW In A Nutshell in a couple weeks, and it’s good to be back, just as we head to WrestleMania Backlash.

OK, so WrestleMania Backlash is not for a few weeks…but I liked it, so I went with it.

I do apologize, I had to take time off for good behavior last week. But, just like that, we are back with the Nutshell.

But yes, WrestleMania Backlash is the name of the game, the focus for the next few weeks.

We know we are getting Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins one more time.

There will also be at least an attempt to unify the men’s tag team titles, with RKBro and The Usos doing battle.

We can expect more follow-ups from WrestleMania, considering the name and all that.

But, for now, it’s time to get into our usual Monday fun. That means it is time, once again, for…

RAW In A Nutshell: It’s Good To Be Back As We Head To Backlash

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and see what’s good this week!

we head to backlash
source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Best Match of the night:

Theory-Balor for one.

Rhodes-Owens for another.

Only knock on Rhodes-Owens? It feels like we are seeing some intriguing matches happen with Rhodes fast, and with little build.

Like, Rollins at ‘Mania, we all knew it was coming, minus the requisite build.

But, you could argue that bouts against Owens could be a big deal…and even Miz too.

Owens they didn’t fully give away though, based on how it ended. And while the bump itself was not shown live, it seemed like Rhodes was either selling it really hard…or might have really taken a bad bump.

Worst match of the night:

Veer versus the jobber.

Honest question, but wouldn’t we expect the jobber match first, and THEN the attack on Dom?

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After attacking Dom…why revert to a jobber?

Honorable mention to the commitment ceremony. As entertaining as R-Truth can be…it’s entirely too much time provided to the folks mired in the 24/7 Championship running joke.

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Except…how did they suck Sasha Banks and Naomi…or even Los Lotharios…into that mess?

Crowd Chants of the Night:

Cody! Cody!

Star of the Night

Austin Theory (I will fight that name change for a while) wins the United States Championship, so he at least gets a nod here.

Hate the name change, hate the post-match “celebration”…but the win fits him with all the hype and all that.

Will this be the first of many title wins? If McMahon is as high on him as has been reported…perhaps he’s a 2023 Rumble contender or near-future MITB winner.

Spot of the Night:

Going with this one…

Jobber of the Night:

That poor guy who was fed to Veer. Jeff Brooks, I believe.

Though…I swear his tights looked like what Neville used to wear…

Upset of the Night:

Sonya Deville…as she learns that Bianca Belair DID get fined for putting her hands on a WWE official.

But that the fine was a mere one dollar.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Maybe not quite a true moment here, but one option-the sort of expected heel turn for Rhea Ripley.

Now…will she join Edge’s group, as rumored?

Botch of the night:

Rollins did fumble on a line or two, perhaps caught up or flustered. A wee bit surprised.

LOL Moment of the night:

OK, I know Seth Rollins is doing his thing with the goofy suits, some being more outlandish than others.

Tonight’s absolutely made me LOL…hence why it lands here.

Then again…how about how Adam Pearce handled Bianca Belair…issuing her a $1 fine.

Funny too, because it wasn’t that long ago that Pearce, as well as Sonya, looked poised for some heel run of his own.

Noteworthy Moment:

Maybe…just maybe…we can get the end to Sonya doing double duty? I think it’s been played out…and who wouldn’t love a new female authority figure?

we head to backlash
source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

I mean…Paige IS still under contract, right?

And, something else I do wonder…with AJ Styles being beaten up by both Edge and Damien Priest…could we see him get some backup at some point?

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If so…who? In terms of when, I’d guess no sooner than at, or after, Backlash, following the Edge/Styles one on one clash.

Overall lowlights:

I was off when it happened, so this is my chance to rip on a couple things.

One, WWE changing Austin Theory, now just calling him Theory.

I hated it when they did it to Matt Riddle…and while I’ve adjusted to Riddle…it’s still dumb.

And we’ve known him as Austin Theory…ON WWE TELEVISION…for months. It’s just a silly change for the sake of what?

Plus…being announced as the new US Champ? Just sounds even dumber…

Two? The whole Sonya Deville power trip.

Like, it was bad enough when she was tormenting Naomi and dragging that out way too long.

But to now skip over a number of far more deserving talents (namely, ANY active female Superstar on RAW), it’s just not fun booking.

And speaking of like, cringey moments? What the heck was this forced and pointless thing?

Overall highlights:

Hey, that Ripley turn finally happened…so…yay?

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Looks like Deville’s power trip won’t get her to Backlash. Instead, she gets her (undeserved) title shot next week…which feels like an opportunity for Becky Lynch to return.

The US title match was good, and the title change makes sense.

Main event was good too. Silly me, I had hopes for a unique or even a true surprise mystery challenger, but it was the logical choice of Rollins’ best bud, Kevin Owens.

After the final bell:

It was an eventful night as we head to Backlash, all things considered.

No shock to see The Usos show up on RAW again, and it’s curious to see the Street Profits upset Orton and Riddle.

Could we see a wrinkle at some point as we head to Backlash? Or could this all be leading to a possible Profits turn?

Now, we all know Ezekial is Elias…but…what if WWE actually had someone who looked identical? And trotted out “Elias” as a tag partner?

Maybe it’s just me…but could be fun. Or, I figure maybe eventually we get Elias back.

we head to backlash
source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

There has to be a reason, beyond a short term program, that they intentionally bring up that, right? I mean, if you plan on a full-on rebrand, you don’t immediately link new to old, do you?

Otherwise, as we head to Backlash, our next stop is Nashville next week. The big attractions there, so far?

Bianca defends against Sonya, in Bianca’s hometown. And, Omos versus Lashley in those riveting arm wrestling battles.

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