The February 18th, 2019 edition of Monday Night RAW began with a great deal of optimism, as WWE COO Triple H opened up the show making several announcements. He began by speaking about Becky Lynch, the new Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor, the awesome performance of Kofi Kingston at Elimination Chamber and confirming ESPN’s report that D-Generation X would be headlining the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame class. As the Game’s speech continued, he would announce that 4 talents from NXT would be debuting on RAW on this night. The optimism of change rang loudly as HHH let the world know Ricochet, Aleister Black, NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa, and NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano would make their RAW debuts.
There is no doubt that these 4 stars are excellent additions to the main roster, but the way they were debuted left a lot to be desired. On the surface, it seemed pointless for the NXT Heavyweight and NXT North American champion to fight the new Raw tag team champions the Revival. Yes, they got the win, but it seemed like a lack luster way to debut these two NXT superstars on RAW. The same can be said with Aleister Black’s win against Elias and Ricochet helping Finn Balor defeat Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley. Were these debuts permanent? Was this a one time special attraction? Where do these debuts lead in term of rivalry? Overall it came across as quite confusing and honestly fell flat. It’s quite a shame because these are 4 spectacular talents, but it seems there initial appearances on the main roster could have had a much bigger impact, and when you add the poor crowd response last night in Lafayette, it didn’t come across well to the viewing TV audience.
Hopefully WWE can make the necessary adjustments moving forward. They clearly have had a good formula for debuting NXT talents on the main roster in the past, so hopefully they can revisit that and get this situation turned around.
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