Raw recap & reactions: The Daddy Dom dilemma (2024)

Against All Odds

What should @DomMysterio35 do tonight?! #WWERaw pic.twitter.com/eoaf6xoc0T

— WWE (@WWE) June 11, 2024

When Rhea Ripley stepped away, I wondered how Judgment Day might fair without her. The group just seemed more interesting with her around and a complete mess when she wasn’t. But I judged (no pun) too quickly. Understandably, it took everyone time to find their new rhythm, along with a compelling story that gave everyone a role. Who knew that all it took was a little push from Liv Morgan, Drew McIntyre, and a little internal strife to put them back on top.

Let’s start with Drew. His usual trash talk and blame game made Damian Priest write a check that his friend couldn’t cash. Damian, once again showing a penchant for making moves without checking with anyone, put Finn Balor in a match with Drew. A Drew win bans Judgment Day from ringside at Clash at the Castle, but a Finn win means Judgment Day can accompany Damian to the ring if they want. Not because Drew needs them, mind you, but because he wants to give them the pleasure that comes from watching him successfully defend his championship. Drew’s thesis statement is that the World Heavyweight champ is nothing without his crew, so that meant a loss in Finn’s future. Damian has to do this dolo to not only prove Drew wrong, but back up his own talk.

The Judgment Day is BANNED from ringside at #WWECastle this Saturday! pic.twitter.com/wnHHLiCjIm

— WWE (@WWE) June 11, 2024

Plus the last time Damian defended that championship, Finn & JD McDonagh saved the day. Can he win a big match without them? We’ll find out. But recent history says probably not, and that’s the intrigue. And Finn’s loss potentially puts more friction between he and the champ. One wonders how long their drama turns into resentment, which morphs into a fight.

But catalyst for the group’s other problem is Liv. She took so many steps forward this week. She not only gave Dom her hotel key and told him to come through, but she popped up during Dom’s tag team match:

Who knows what happens if Zelina Vega doesn’t show up! And even before that, Damian & Finn gave Dom the same advice they did last week, while Carlito and JD kinda sorta encouraged Dom to holla at Liv. Well, they didn’t say he shouldn’t.

All this drama keeps pulling the group further apart, despite how often they project unity. the story has everything: comedy, soap operatics, action, character development, and a couple characters faced with very big choices. Whichever route they choose will determine the group’s fate as a whole because, brilliantly, everything is connected.

B-Sides

Control

IYO SKY, along with the rest of Damage CTRL, have so many bones worth picking with Lyra Valkyria. Now, obviously these issues are their own; they can’t get over the fact she defeated their whole crew, advanced in the Queen of the Ring tournament, and just makes them look silly.

With that in mind, it made perfect sense that IYO started this match aggressively, which continued last week’s beatdown that led to this match. IYO wanted a quick end to this thing, while also hoping to teach the former NXT Women’s champ a message. That extra stink continued but Lyra staged her comeback, resulting in a more back and forth match. But Damage CTRL lurked on the outside. They held back for most of the match until this happened:

It's ALL about the numbers...#WWERaw pic.twitter.com/enqobns2TR

— WWE (@WWE) June 11, 2024

And that’s the story. Lyra put this thing in the bag until Dakota KAI & Kari Sane snatched victory from defeat’s jaws. Even with that interference, Lyra still had a shot. Then she put IYO in a Fireman’s Carry, only for IYO to pull her hair and change everything. IYO got the W with a crucifix pin, and Lyra looked stunned and incensed. Rightly so, for obvious reasons.

That segued into a Damage CTRL beatdown, which stopped when Katana Chance & Kayden Carter made the save.

Solid opening match that gave IYO a win, and introduced Katana & Kayden into this. Lyra needed backup and their NXT ties, along with a mutual hatred of all things Damage CTRL, makes this a good fit. Plus, with people getting fed to the Women’s Tag Team champions at the moment, this is a good way to get some tv time for those not involved in the title picture right now.

What I Represent

Next to anything popping with Judgment Day, Otis and Alpha Academy is my favorite story on Raw. Otis’ performance this week cemented that. First, he got this great moment backstage:

OTIS APPRECIATION POST (Share your favorite Otis memory)#WWERaw pic.twitter.com/UjrZdHJzvK

— WWE (@WWE) June 11, 2024

Throughout this whole thing, we got Chad Gable’s perspective. How he felt, why he felt that way, and how he justified his actions. Otis took the brunt of those actions but finally got his feelings across. It’s not Stockholm Syndrome as the announcers keep saying. Otis’ loyalty to Chad runs deep; Chad picked him up when Otis lost everything, including his “peach.” Props on the Mandy Rose reference. Just made me miss Toxic Attraction on NXT. But even mentioning her, along with everything else Otis was before Alpha Academy, shows how much the union means to Otis.

But he also has confidence issues, since he doesn’t think he amounts to much without Chad. That’s not Stockholm Syndrome; that’s a toxic relationship. Chad isn’t holding Otis, Akira Tozawa, or Maxxine hostage. But he is making them think that they’re squat without him. And because their careers improved once “Master Gable” stepped in, I get it. Sami Zayn’s powerful words might work a little, and it looks like they are, but we’ve gotta go through this crucible first.

We got part of that the week when Sami faced Otis in a very short match. Otis dominated most of it until Chad started coaching. That distraction led to a Helluva Kick out of nowhere, and Sami taking a trip to the pay window. Then this:

Another week. Another .#WWERaw pic.twitter.com/0G6RFcq4zE

— WWE (@WWE) June 11, 2024

Whenever this break happens, the catharsis will make the audience erupt. Me too, because I’m hooked.

Back in Black

I’m not surprised Bron Breakker and Ilja Dragunov worked their usual magic this week. This showcased what they did in NXT against one another in a marquee feud. Honestly, I’ve written about their matches so much that it’s hard coming up with new things to say about them. But I will say Bron’s decisive victory is a bit of a wrinkle, especially given the current storyline. I didn’t expect a definitive winner, or a lack of shenanigans. Bron’s win lends credence to those rumors about elevating the Big Bad Booty Nephew during the Netflix-era, and I’m all for it. Both men looked great here, but Bron has that extra unquantifiable thing that takes him to another level.

Watch the match if you missed their NXT clashes, or even if you caught every bout. Then stick around for the end, which transitioned into Bron effectively writing Ricochet off of WWE television. How did he do it? Glad you asked.

Following the vicious attack from @bronbreakkerwwe, @KingRicochet & @SamanthatheBomb have both left the arena for the night.#WWERaw pic.twitter.com/ZUBELwxj8n

— WWE (@WWE) June 11, 2024

Bravo to everyone involved. Breakker looks even more beastly, Ricochet goes out on his sword, and Samantha Irvin provided the emotion. If that’s truly a wrap on Ricochet in WWE, God bless. Can’t wait to see what he does next and where.

Singles

  • Awesome Truth defeated AOP thanks to some New Day help. I still don’t get why Karrion Kross is recruiting Xavier Woods. And that’s not a diss to Xavier at all. It’s just so random.
  • Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark took out Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn pretty quickly. That doesn’t bode well for the latter team going into their match at Clash at the Castle.
  • Sonya Deville is up to something and I really want to know what she’s planning. The cameras caught her and Natalya chatting this week.

Raw is on a quality streak that pleases me. Each show gives me what I want, comes with a lot of good character moments, and teases future action. I don’t know if I’m excited for Clash at the Castle as much as I’m excited for what comes after it. That’s a testament to the show and its consistency.

What say you, Cagesiders? And if you were Dom, what would you do? Honest answers only!

Raw recap & reactions: The Daddy Dom dilemma (2024)
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