WWE RAW 6/10/2024: 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved

Welcome to Rllegends's weekly review of "WWE Raw," the show where WWE broadcasts a dramatization of what will happen to you if you choose not to sign a new contract and jump ship over to AEW. Bronn Breakker is a tool of The Man, everyone, don't be fooled by the propaganda. Anyway, there's a lot to talk about this week, and there's some stuff we won't be getting into (sorry Lyra Valkyria vs. IYO SKY and Judgment Day vs. LWO and Braun Strowman; you were both perfectly fine) but we are definitely going to talk about Ricochet getting murder-death-killed to facilitate his (likely) exit from the company, don't you worry about that.

If you need to read about anything we missed, be sure to check out our "Raw" live results page, but be advised that it contains precisely none of the WINC staff's opinions and feelings. This column, though? Super heavy on the opinion of feelings. You've been warned. Did we appreciate the show's opening and closing angle involving Drew McIntyre and The Judgment Day? How are we feeling about this whole Liv Morgan/Dominik Mysterio thing after another week of Liv-loves-Dom content? And most importantly, did WINC really allow the site's resident Sami Zayn fan to write a bunch of words about Sami Zayn again? Spoiler: Yes. Yes, they did. Again, you've been warned; don't come back here and say you weren't warned, because you were. Here are three things we hated and three things we loved about the 6/10/24 episode of "WWE Raw."

Hated: Liv Morgan's title reign revolves around a man

At the King & Queen of the Ring PLE, Liv Morgan scored an upset win over Becky Lynch to become WWE Women's World Champion; two days later, she defeated Lynch in a rematch in what is currently "The Man's" final WWE appearance. Since Morgan's return from injury, she has been on the Liv Morgan Revenge Tour, which is all about taking everything from Rhea Ripley, from her beloved title to her beloved boyfriend. Morgan's entire mission in life now seems to revolve around seducing Dominik Mysterio — she's forced herself on him by kissing him, backing him into a corner, and rubbing his head. On "Raw," Morgan attempted to tempt Dom once again by leaving him with what is presumably her hotel room key. He turned her down and threw the key down in disgust. Later, she distracted him in his match and conveniently ended up straddling him on the outside of the ring.

Morgan's advances seem to make "Dirty Dom" feel somewhat dirty himself; if the situations were reversed, there would be outrage about a woman being treated this way. While we know that Morgan is doing this to get back at Ripley, it's still icky (especially from a company being investigated for sex trafficking).

That last match with Lynch was two weeks ago, and the new champion hasn't wrestled on TV since. She doesn't have a match at Clash at the Castle — in fact, there are no contenders currently for her championship. Morgan is carrying it around as more of a prop, because she's obsessed with a man instead. One could argue that "Mami" didn't wrestle much during her title reign, but that doesn't mean Morgan can't. She's treating the title as an afterthought, and the less she defends it, the more diminished her reign will become.

Written by Samantha Schipman

Loved: This is wrestling (clap, clap, clap clap clap)

It's not really a secret that the Sami Zayn/Alpha Academy storyline has been the best thing going on "Raw" for a while now, or at least had the most compelling character work. We've written about how much we love this storyline a lot in this space recently, but this week's episode took it to the next level for me.

It wasn't even really the Sami Zayn vs. Otis match, or the in-ring angles that preceded and followed it. Those were good, but they basically hit the same beats the story has been hitting for weeks — Gable is an abusive manipulator and it's anyone's guess as to how much longer Otis going to take it, especially with Sami actively trying to bring him around. But the thing that really struck me was actually a segment that happened before all that, where Sami talked to Otis, Maxxine Dupri, and Akira Tozawa backstage. In this segment, Otis laid out his motivation for sticking by Gable: Back in 2020, in the so-called Thunderdome Era necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Otis lost everything he had. Both his girlfriend Mandy Rose and his best friend and tag team partner Tucker Knight were drafted to "Raw" while Otis stayed on "SmackDown," and to add insult to injury, Knight turned on Otis and cost him his Money in the Bank briefcase at Hell in a Cell. That was the moment Gable first reached out to Otis, and they've been Alpha Academy ever since. Otis has had Gable by his side for well over three years now (nearly as long as Otis' entire WWE career before Gable); they've been tag team champions together. As we've seen week in and week out, Otis' relationship with Gable isn't something he can just casually toss away, and reminding us of this backstory is a masterful way of explaining why Otis is so unwilling to sever his connection with Gable.

And of course, if anybody is going to understand and sympathize with backstory like that, it's Sami Zayn, who once found his own twisted, abusive family in the form of The Bloodline — something he, too, mentioned during this backstage segment. Suddenly it was all so clear; Sami isn't just fighting this fight because Gable turned on him. He sees himself in Otis, forever struggling to prove his loyalty and devotion to an abusive father figure for whom no proof is ever enough. And he knows from very recent experience that anything is possible once you break free from those abusive relationships and become the fully realized version of yourself. Also in that backstage segment, Sami talks to Otis about how great he could be outside Gable's shadow — Sami doesn't just want to protect the Academy, he wants them to get away from the person keeping them down so they can flourish and become spectacular.

My prediction for Clash at the Castle is that Otis and the Academy will finally turn on Gable, who will then win the Intercontinental title thanks to his new stable, comprised of a newly-heel Creed Brothers and Ivy Nile. What I really want, though, no matter how it happens, is a babyface faction with Sami leading the Academy members, shepherding this bizarre stable of misfit toys and bringing out the best in them. That has to be the logical endpoint here, right? Sami becoming the non-abusive father figure to a group of people as low on the WWE totem pole as he once was, demonstrating how to help them realize their potential by being an actual good leader and friend? If that's where this angle is headed, there's probably no better alternative in terms of Sami Zayn character arcs. And if it's done right, it would mean we start seeing stronger, more formidable versions of Otis, Maxxine, and particularly Tozawa, who was widely considered one of the best wrestlers in the world until Vince McMahon made him a comedy sideshow.

Also, you know what the best part about this is? Back in 2020 when Otis was losing his friends and his briefcase, at the exact same time, Roman Reigns was in the middle of his first feud after regaining the Universal Championship, a feud against his cousin, Jey Uso, that would eventually lead to the formation of The Bloodline. That Hell in a Cell show where Otis got betrayed, right before he joined up with Gable? That was the same Hell in a Cell that saw Reigns retain his title against Jey, with the family elders formally anointing him afterward. And at that exact same time, Sami Zayn (the paltry, conspiracy theorist heel version of Sami Zayn) just happened to be Intercontinental Champion. Because time is a flat circle.

You can keep your five-star dream matches. This right here is why I love wrestling. Can't wait for Clash.

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Hated: A poorly booked women's tag team match

As individual competitors and teams, Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn, and Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark, are enjoyable to watch. Having the two challenging teams for Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill's WWE Women's Tag Team Championship at Clash at the Castle is a good idea on paper; in execution, though, it came off as WWE doing some last minute build up for two teams they haven't legitimized enough as challengers.

Baszler lost her NXT Underground match just one night ago to Lola Vice with a divisive finish at Battleground, and the need to rebuild her in order to keep her strong makes perfect sense. This tag team match, however, did not feel like the right way to do that. It just looked the way it would look if someone realized at the last second this was an issue, with their solution then being to have Fyre fade when Baszler locked in the Kirifuda Clutch. Apart from that, with all of Baszler's appearances on "NXT" over the past few weeks, Stark has kind of dwindled into the background and to some extent feels less important.

It's nice that Fyre and Dawn will get to compete in their home country of Scotland and have been featured on television over the past few weeks. However, the last match prior to Monday that they both competed in (as separate competitors in a Battle Royal to determine the last entrant into the Women's Elimination Chamber match back in February) and their last match as a tag team was back in January when they challenged then-titleholders Kayden Carter and Katana Chance for the Women's Tag Team Championship. WWE can feature Fyre and Dawn in speaking segments and have them attack Belair and Cargill all they want, but if they don't have Fyre and Dawn back up their actions or what they're saying with actual tag team wins, it makes it much harder to take them seriously as challengers.

Written by Olivia Quinlan

Loved: Breakker and Dragunov tear each other up

The post-2024 WWE Draft era has been a little hit or miss, but one thing I think most everyone can agree upon is that both Bron Breakker and Ilja Dragunov have been treated like gold since being permanently called up from "NXT." It's pretty clear that WWE has both of these men targeted as prime time players for the foreseeable future, and despite Monday night's loss for Dragunov, there's absolutely no limit to how far either can go.

Breakker is being positioned as an absolute beast — a reckless, bull-in-a-china-shop, loose cannon monster who cares neither about anyone's well being nor any rules put in his way by "Raw" GM Adam Pearce, or anyone else for that matter. Dragunov, at the moment, might be the only one who can match Breakker's intensity, as evidenced by not just his overall fierceness but also the fact that it took not one, not two, but three spears from someone who delivers that move probably better than anyone in the game (sorry, Roman, and the 413 other folks in the industry who use it) to put him down. And while I'm at it, does anyone hit a clothesline better than Breakker's Steinerline? Answer: No.

As if Breakker couldn't be elevated any further, his involvement in what seems like a swan song for Ricochet puts even more feathers in his cap, especially with his dominance playing a part in seemingly writing off Mr. Samantha Irvin in fun fashion. Rehashing the old Rey Mysterio/nWo "lawn dart" spot by throwing him head first into a WWE production truck (and into Jimmy Hart's mouth, which is neither here nor there), and following that up by powerslamming him through a car windshield was equal parts destructive (boosting Breakker's intimidation factor) and productive (sending Ricochet off to the Parts Unknown that are wrestling Wednesday nights — I mean, most likely anyway). Great stuff all around and kudos to all of Breakker, Dragunov, and Ricochet, and to the latter, fair winds, sir, wherever you may roam.

Written by Jon Jordan

Hated: The Truth is, it's time for new champions

I'm a put-all-the-cards-on-the-table-type guy, so let's do that first here: 1) I love R-Truth. His work since returning from injury at Survivor Series last year might be the best of his career. And if you think I'm just talking about the comedy stuff (which is great), you're wrong. He's a 52-year-old dynamo in the ring still as well, so all credit to him all around, hands-down. 2) All respect to The New Day as one of the greatest tag teams in the history of the business. That said, if there was ever a time to shake them up, it's now, and Karrion Kross attempting to lure Xavier Woods to the Dark Side that is The Final Testament is just as good as any other device WWE might use to split up the remaining pair with Big E still on the shelf. Hell, it beats them actually fabricating some beef between the two — people wouldn't buy that, anyway. 3) Kross, AOP, Scarlett and (I guess) even Paul Ellering had built some momentum for once heading into this impromptu tag team championship match, even if it came about thanks to Truth's latest malapropism, thinking AOP were APA and all that.

But we dropped the ball tonight, WWE. Especially with that finish, distractions aside. The Miz rolling up Akam for the win is just plain stupid. The latter is a monster. The former is The Miz (again, all due respect). There's not a single person that was involved in this soiree tonight that I don't value in some way or another (including Ellering, legend that he is, about whom I've just not really been able to figure out a reason for being there with Kross and Scarlett seemingly leading and speaking for the group).

Boiling it all down, the titles on AOP here could have made a real impact. I know that can certainly still happen but this just felt like a missed opportunity. Instead, the storyline will continue, the tease toward a Woods defection being the connective tissue throughout. And The Awesome Truth will trudge on, not needing the titles whatsoever but carrying them nonetheless, when they could be used at this point to transfer some equity and spark a hot run for another pair that really needs it. Wait much longer and AOP, Kross, Scarlett, AND Ellering are all dead in the water (again).

Written by Jon Jordan

Loved: Priest plays himself

If I'm being honest, I think WWE has some pretty sucky go-home angles most of the time. Most "Raw" or "WWE SmackDown" episodes are filled with predictable contract signings, the usual beatdown, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about here. There hasn't been anything on a go-home show that has made me excited going in to a premium live event in recent memory. Monday night, there was something a bit different — enough to catch my attention. It was the fact that it was World Heavyweight Champion Damian Priest to bring up the stipulation that if his Clash at the Castle opponent, Drew McIntyre, couldn't beat his Judgment Day stablemate Finn Balor, than Judgment Day would be banned from ringside in Glasgow. Bold strategy, Cotton, let's see if it pays off for him!

It's impressive that Priest would make such a match setting up an angle that would put him at a direct disadvantage, but for me, it works. Priest has acted like the leader of The Judgment Day for awhile, even for a bit before Rhea Ripley's injury put her on the shelf, so this makes sense. He wants to seem like a dominant champion and a dominant faction leader — but I'm sure, in character, he thought Balor could get the job done. So for insurance, it was Priest to cause the distraction by coming down the ramp, then the rest of Judgment Day (including Carlito; I'm including him in their faction at this point) attempted to get the jump on McIntyre. And it almost worked. I really thought Balor had him rolled up.

Judgment Day screwed Judgment Day on this one. But the look on Priest's face to end the night didn't seem too terribly upset. Maybe he's thinking this will give him a chance to prove his worth against McIntyre on his home turf. Then again, I still expect shenanigans during their match in Glasgow. Because technically, Carlito isn't a real Judgment Day member — and of course, neither is CM Punk, who has been a thorn in McIntyre side since even before he cost him the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania with Priest's Money in the Bank cash-in.

If I was a betting person, I'd say it's Punk helping Priest once again. I hate that, not just because I'm not a Punk fan whatsoever, but because I think McIntyre needs to win in Scotland. Maybe that happens, getting the title on him now for his eventual match with Punk. But for now, I'm happy with my fun little go-home angle on this week's "Raw" that makes things even more intriguing going in to Castle at the Castle.

Written by Daisy Ruth

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