Seth Rollins' first title defense as the reigning World Heavyweight Champion since winning RAW's top title belt at Night of Champions was a resounding success. But, while Rollins' performance was impeccable, as expected, it was his opponent, Damian Priest, who got most of the praise.
The latest Monday Night RAW episode, which was held in Harford, CT, bore witness to the first championship match in a RAW episode in nearly two years. It only felt fitting then that the match take place in a city that many wrestlers enjoy, saying that it has a different vibe compared to other metropolitan areas like Montreal or New York.
For more than 21 minutes, Rollins and Priest treated audiences in and out of the arena to a show in RAW's first televised championship defense in a while. All throughout, Priest's performance was the highlight of the night, especially within the WWE.
According to PWInsider, Priest received a ton of internal praise, suggesting that someone from the higher-up and other fellow wrestlers thought highly of his showing.
This is the second time that Praise has reportedly garnered plenty of applause within the WWE for his work. The first time was last month at WWE Backlash where he worked with and lost against Bad Bunny in front of his hometown crowd in Puerto Rico.
The match itself featured several interesting moments outside of Priest and Rollins. Finn Balor, Priest's stablemate with The Judgment Day, attempted to interfere in the title bout. This led to an awkward interaction between him, Priest, and Rollins. After the match had ended, Rollins invited Priest for a handshake, a rare gesture of respect from the defending champion. To the surprise of many, Priest "broke" character and obliged, leaving Balor in shock and disbelief.
This show of respect and the possible rift between Priest and Balor may hint at a possible push for Priest as a face on the red brand.
In any case, it's clear that Priest's strong performance recently has caught the eye of WWE officials and he's now seen as one of the company's top-level players. It won't surprise us if Priest continues to get pushed to see how over he can get with fans around the world.
Storyline-wise, the ending to the June 5 episode of Monday Night RAW hints at an intriguing possibility for the Money in the Bank premium live event on July 1. The unfolding drama between Priest, Balor, and Rollins hints at possible feuds that involve these three that could even threaten the dominating run of The Judgment Day, which is composed of Priest, Balor, Rhea Ripley, and Dominik Mysterio.
All eyes are now on the evolving Priest-Balor-Rollins storyline as WWE continues to build momentum for potential storyline matches on July 1 and beyond.