WWE RAW 7/8/2024: 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved

Welcome to Wrestling Inc.'s weekly review of "WWE Raw," the show that relentlessly keeps the soap opera in professional wrestling! With Drew McIntyre suspended and GUNTHER present only in video package form, that left the bulk of this episode to be about the "love triangle" between Liv Morgan, Dominik Mysterio, and Rhea Ripley, who returned to an absolutely ear-splitting pop so she could chastise her boyfriend for being seduced by her nemesis. Pro wrestling, ladies and gentlemen — this kind of thing is as much a part of it as Irish Whips and headlocks, and you'd better get used to it.


Of course, we do have opinions to offer you about the Liv/Dom/Rhea story, a well as several other things we felt particularly emotional about. As long as "Raw" continues to resolutely be three hours long, we'll never be able to cover it all in this column, but you can always check out our "Raw" results page for all the gritty details. In this space, we're concerned with other things. Did the backstage appearance of Bo Dallas have our eyes riveted to the screen? How did we feel about Sonya Deville finally appearing alongside Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark as a dangerous new trio? And most importantly, is there actually a chance Damian Priest beats GUNTHER at SummerSlam? Even a little one? Here are three things we hated and three things we loved about the 7/8/24 episode of "WWE Raw."


Hated: No reason for a rematch

Twice this week, we got the professional wrestling equivalent of leading a conversational point with, "All due respect," and then following up by saying, "but I think you're an a******" (or something of similar ilk). Once, when Damian Priest washed the slate clean with Seth Rollins in saying that their gentlemen's agreement effectively meant nothing, and again, which really grinded my gears, when Bron Breakker (WHO JUST LOST FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THIS MAIN ROSTER RUN TWO DAYS AGO) came out, admitted that there was no logical reason for a rematch with Sami Zayn for his Intercontinental Championship, and then — surprise! — delivered a Spear, and then another for good measure, setting things up for what will surely turn out to be a vengeful Zayn saying something like, "You want another shot? You got it! Blah blah blah!"


No. Please, no.

Will said match be great? Sure, of course it will, as was Saturday's. Will it be greater still if maybe Ilja Dragunov is involved? Maybe, although I'd love to see him split off here, as he doesn't really do it for me as the "I'm here for you, friend" type. But does this have to happen now? No. Please, no.

When you made the decision to beat Breakker at Money in the Bank, even against a made man in Zayn, to me that was the time to send Young Steiner off in a different direction. He's vicious. He's impressive. He's out for blood. To me, that means that maybe he shouldn't care about a title at the moment — and certainly not a midcard title (all due respect!) But if he does, ok. Fine. But he just lost. That means back of the line, buddy. You ain't special. Go kick the snot out of 10-12 more also-rans first and then re-state your claim. Instead, even attempting to jump right back in takes away from the purported beasthood they're wanting for Breakker. Why? Because if he wins ... HE STILL LOST! Then what? A third with Zayn? No. Please, no.


For the record, I'm glad he lost. These undefeated runs generally don't end well. But what it should do (and maybe it will — one can hope) is piss him off even further, and I'm here for the continued Bron Breakker Destruction Tour that will eventually, naturally, lead to title uppon title oupn title. For now, just keep destroying people. That's your thing.

Written by Jon Jordan

Loved: Bo Dallas makes real, raw appearance

What went on with the Wyatt Sicks and Bo Dallas this week was not what I expected, and I mean that in the best way possible. We didn't just get another incredibly well-produced video vignette, we actually saw Dallas, as himself, backstage for the first time since all this Wyatt Sicks stuff started to go down months and months ago. If you weren't paying attention, you almost could have missed it, as he was seated in "Raw" General Manager Adam Pearce's office after he got done hearing out a spooked Chad Gable. That little touch of realism early on was what I was looking for this week, because I really wanted to see something different from them. The fact he wasn't just sitting in the office all spooky, as Uncle Howdy, gave me Bray Wyatt's Firefly Funhouse characters vs. The Fiend vibes. It was jarring to see just ... Bo Dallas. Sitting. Normally. It was so simple. I can't wait to see where this goes next week, and it has my attention all because it's so simple. It's pretty genius when you think about it, the simplicity, compared to the complexity of all the months of QR codes and embedded URL clues.


Of course, I loved the video vignette, too. I felt like this week's was even better produced than in weeks prior. I was hoping maybe we'd get more lore on the other characters, but, for the first time, we did see their actual faces behind the masks, which was incredibly effective and visually appealing. And man, did Dallas ever look like his brother Monday night; it was almost sad to see.

I didn't think Dallas said anything too riveting in this particular promo, but I think what made me love it the most were those visuals of the masked characters alongside their actual selves. Dallas just kind of reiterated what he had already said — they're is family, they're the people nobody wanted, he gave them a purpose. The only thing really new was the dynamic between Dallas and Howdy, where Bo asked himself, "Do you think we are sick?" and Howdy responded "Yes."


The final line of the video, "Then sick is what we'll be," was just so unnerving, and then going almost right to Dallas in Pearce's office was just pure cinema. I hope I never stop loving this angle, and I'm so happy that Dallas gets to flex his creativity. Now I just want to see more of the others, and this week has me thinking we'll get that good Wyatt Sicks lore very soon.

Written by Daisy Ruth

Hated: Why even have stipulations then?

On Saturday, Damian Priest and Seth Rollins had a world title match. By stipulation, if Rollins won, Priest had to leave The Judgment Day. If Priest won, Rollins could never challenge for the belt again during his reign. And while Drew McIntyre Shenanigans meant Rollins didn't technically lose, Priest still technically won. Rollins was no longer allowed to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship, for which it would be very reasonable of him to blame CM Punk, who was involved in the aforementioned shenanigans. It made perfect sense for Rollins to confront Punk in the opening segment of Monday's "Raw," and it made perfect sense for Rollins to approach Priest later in the evening to tell him he planned on honoring the stipulation and not challenging Priest again.


So far, so good. Except then Priest told Rollins he planned on disregarding the stipulation, and that after he beat GUNTHER at SummerSlam, he'd give Rollins another shot at the gold.

So to sum up, WWE actually came up with some really smart booking for Money in the Bank that simultaneously advanced the Punk vs. McIntyre storyline and reintroduced the pre-injury Punk vs. Rollins beef, and two days later, they undermined the entire thing in a two-minute backstage segment. Punk didn't just cost Rollins the world title, he cost him the opportunity to challenge for the world title in the future. Now that element of the storyline is just ... gone.

And why, exactly? Why introduce this stipulation, only to take it away? Is it just to make Priest look even more like the babyface he's clearly becoming, or is Paul Levesque considering extending Priest's reign past SummerSlam? Pretty much everyone and their mother has been expecting GUNTHER to be crowned in Cleveland for a while now, but Priest has been racking up good-to-great performances lately, and we know the office has been high on him in the past. To be honest, he deserves the chance to continue proving his doubters wrong, but man, WWE are going to make a whole lot of people on the internet really mad if that happens ...


... you know what, no, they should definitely have Priest beat GUNTHER at SummerSlam. Do it, cowards. I dare you.

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Loved: Three bad*** ladies

My life's been more wrestling-heavy of late than usual, either covering WWE and "NXT" in print here, on the WINC Podcast, or both, for what is now the fourth straight evening. I have no complaints, other than to say that maybe I haven't been able to see the forest for the trees, and the best example there is that I kind of jumped all over Zoey Stark more than once this past weekend over her inclusion in the women's Money in the Bank ladder match for the second consecutive year after she and Shayna Baszler have been toiling around together in relative obscurity for as long as I can remember. While I'd love to say that what I was trying to do was put it all out into the universe that these two needed a shift in direction, I was basically just ranting, and Stark took the brunt of it. For that, I apologize. Upon a second viewing of said ladder match, while her start was indeed a little off-kilter, Stark put together a remarkable showing, taking several cringeworthy bumps that deserve all of our respect. But even so, that wasn't going to change her trajectory, nor was it going to do anything for Baszler's.


But now, with their alignment with Sonya Deville made official and an ensuing feud with Damage CTRL (a faction with which all three women have extensive history), plus the shot they fired toward the entire women's division, claiming they run this s***, I think we've got something stellar lined up for the entire triumvirate. They all looked the part too, dominant in their Damage CTRL beatdown (post-match, from-behind though it was), and their collective demeanor was as intense as it was intentional. The follow-up is the key, of course, but this is a great start for a pair in Baszler and Stark who needed a pivot, and for a returning Deville in place as the leader, which bodes well for group success in the short-term and an eventual split and showdown between Baszler and Deville, two legitimate mixed martial artists who have never had a one-on-one wrestling match to this point, in the long term.


Written by Jon Jordan

Hated: Money in the Bank fallout show delivers an IOU

Money in the Bank was 48 hours ago, but you wouldn't really know that based on how "WWE Raw" went outside of the opening segment and the segment with Sami Zayn and Bron Breakker. The show was fine, but there wasn't much happening. There were matches involving participants from the men's MITB match, but there weren't any stakes involved. With the mixed tag team match between Rey Mysterio and Zelina Vega and Dominik Mysterio and Liv Morgan getting the main event slot, everyone was waiting on the return of Rhea Ripley, especially after Damian Priest received a mysterious phone call.


Ripley's return, however, was held until the closing minute of "Raw," which got cut off early for the second time during a big moment in this angle. Fans waited for it all night, and got only a glimpse of it. The rest of the segment can be found online, but it was anticlimactic — Ripley ignored her "Papi" and walked away. In another online clip, Morgan is seen watching what was going down between Ripley and Mysterio from behind the curtains before turning away, smirking. It's a hook to tune in next week, but didn't actually happen on air. We're on the road to SummerSlam; the shows should be making fans excited for it.

Written by Sam Schipman

Loved: Mami's back

Mami has returned to WWE ... and she's out for blood!

I'm sure that I won't be alone in saying that the angles of the slow implosion of The Judgment Day in Rhea Ripley's absence and the (for lack of a better term) fling between Liv Morgan and Dominik Mysterio were starting to get old as the weeks went on, with the latter storyline at times getting a little uncomfortable or awkward to watch. The two angles were inevitably going to lead to the return of Ripley, but until she came back, there was only so far WWE could take them without Ripley physically being there.


Ripley's return may have taken up little television time and it would've been nice to have seen it given a little more time, but everything that needed to be accomplished was done so in an effective manner. Between Dominik being scared for his life as Ripley was chewing him out and subsequently begging for her forgiveness, Morgan running for her life through the crowd to get out of Ripley's path, and Damian Priest having received the call from Ripley earlier in the night to tease the return, it was nice to see everything finally tie into each other and set up what's next.

Also, showing Morgan smiling in a video posted to WWE's X account after retreating through the crowd was a brilliant move. Ripley came off looking strong, enraged, and dangerous in her return. While that normally wouldn't be good news in terms of not weakening Morgan as Women's World Champion with there being a very real possibility of Ripley recapturing the title as soon as SummerSlam, that little quick video was the perfect way to show that the Liv Morgan Revenge Tour was still going exactly as she planned, and Ripley's return went exactly the way she wanted it to go.


Written by Olivia Quinlan