BRM Reviews the 9/10/2018 Raw (go-home show FAILURE)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 9/10/2018 Raw (go-home show FAILURE)

Post by Big Red Machine » Sep 12th, '18, 16:54

We open Raw with Michael Cole informing us that Renee Young is now a full-time commentator on Raw… and, of course, her being the first woman to do this means that they are, once again “making history.” You want to play the semantics game, WWE? Fine. I’ll play it, too. I submit to you that you are, in fact, NOT making history in this way at this moment. I will argue that in order for someone to count as having a “full-time” (i.e. non-temporary) assignment on commentary, said person must be on the job, in the non-temporary role, for more than one week (if you only last one week then you are, in hindsight, really just temporary). While Renee did commentary on last week’s show, she did so in a guest capacity, with no intention of making it official, and thus history is not being made tonight, but rather will be made next week. Either that or the history-making moment is the declaration of intention to have the first full-time female commentator, in which case the history was actually made earlier on Monday when WWE made the official announcement.
As for my thoughts on the actual change, as I’ve said elsewhere, I’m all for replacing Coach and if you want a woman to do it then that’s fine, but I think Renee isn’t a good choice. Not because I don’t think she’s competent, but because Renee’s value over her replacement as a backstage interviewer is MUCH greater than the value she gives you over Coach replacing him as a commentator.
I also worry that being stuck in that dreaded third chair will turn Renee into just another generic full of sh*t WWE announcer. And that would be a shame because Renee (like Charly to an extent, and in a similar vein to Drake Maverick and William Regal in their roles as GMs) has, through the combination of her own skills and the resulting freedom WWE seems to have given her to do her job as an interviewer without getting in her way, always come off like that rare person in WWE who isn’t full of sh*t and just spouting the company lines on things (in her job as an interviewer and on Talking Smack, anyway. The kick-off show panels are a different story, but that’s a hype show). She feels like someone who asks intelligent and hard questions and whose reactions to the responses she gets clue us in on how a “normal” person is supposed to be feeling about those things in the storyline. She has, in a way, replaced the role that the babyface announcer traditionally plays (because WWE produces their announcers in a way that makes them come off like they’re full of sh*t). And that is something that WWE DESPERATELY needs right now.
And, after watching just one episode of this year’s Mae Young Classic, it seems to me that if you want a female commentator who will do an excellent job, the woman in the company that WWE should have given this spot to is Beth Phoenix, who is not only better than Renee, but would provide a babyface “color commentator with in-ring experience” counterpoint to Graves’ heel one rather than coming off the way Renee has in her limited appearances, which is that she is, as I said above, just “the third person in the booth,” spouting generic commentary lines and the points that Vince wants hit over and over and over again. (And, personally, if you’re going to do a three-person booth in WWE’s style of announcing- or anywhere, really- I think the best way to do it is a “neutral” [but we all know he/she is a really still a babyface] play-by-play person calling the match and moderating the discussion between one color commentator of each moral disposition, which Cole/Graves/Beth would help provide, much like we get with Mauro/Nigel/Percy on NXT and Vic/Nigel/Percy on 205 Live).

And, of course, with my booker’s hat on, I do have to note that moving Renee to commentary rather than having her as a backstage interviewer does make it much harder to use the Renee/Ambrose relationship in a physical/visual way any time you might want to do so to give an Ambrose feud that extra little moment to help make it seem more real/personal, even if it’s just something as simple as that interview last year where Renee was interviewing Samoa Joe and Joe was bragging about putting Ambrose on the shelf just to be a dick to Renee and Renee shot him a nasty look.
Also with my booker’s hat on, I had an idea about what to do with Coach. I would have him be upset about getting usurped and have him ask Corbin for his job back on the commentary team. But this is a Divas’/Women’s R/Evolution thing so of course it was Steph’s idea and Corbin knows where his bread is buttered, so he doesn’t ask Steph for that, but instead he gets Coach a job as interviewer (“you’re still part of the team!” ) and we can have a bitter Coach as a heelish interviewer, which is something we haven’t had in a long time (and we’ve got former expert interviewer Renee Young on commentary to point out that Coach was clearly asking the heels softballs or twisting the babyfaces’ words or whatever whenever we come back from an interview where Coach has clearly been biased, and Steph wouldn’t actually want to fire Coach due to his bias because she herself is a heel).

Oh. Right. The actual show.

Them advertising “HELL IN A CELL THIS SUNDAY!” right next to the Connor’s Cure logo (with no explanation) really kills the theoretically dangerous feeling that even just the phrase “Hell in a Cell” should evoke.

OPENING SEGMENT- didn’t like it
Strowman, Ziggler, and McIntyre come out with all of the heels from last week, including Owens, who apparently got rehired, I guess? They have created a video package that they want us to watch. Why didn’t they just open the show with this video package?
Braun’s promo was actually pretty good. Dolph’s pep-talk inspirational bullsh*t was annoying. Drew’s promo was almost condescending. You’d think he’d be smarter than that but apparently not. The Shield showed up and started a fight and OH MY G-D IS IT THAT HARD TO HOLD THE F*CKING CAMERA STEADY? No other promotion does this crap. The Shield pulled out some… broom handles? Field hockey sticks? Some sort of wooden thing. Drew, Dolph, and Braun ran off. This whole segment felt pretty pointless.

THE BELLAS DISCOVER THAT THE RIOTT SQUAD HAS LIGHTLY TRASHED AND GRAFFITIED THEIR LOCKER ROOM- Oh no! Petty vandalism! And of stuff that actually mostly probably belongs to the arena or to WWE rather than the Bellas themselves.
Anyone remember when the Riott Squad would walk around backstage and just knock sh*t over and smash people’s laptops and ruin their clothing for no reason and the announcers would always just laugh it off as the Riott Squad just doing their Riott Squad thing? Well apparently when you do it to the “valued backstage crewmembers” it’s okay, but when you do it to the Bella Twins it’s wrong. Anyone else remember when the Authors of Pain thought it was okay to push valued backstage crewmembers around and Titus O’Neil showed up to give them a lecture about how being a WWE Superstar doesn’t make you better than any other employee? You know… the segment that started the only feud AoP have even had since debuting on the on main roster? Well I think Titus might need to start giving his speech to a lot more people, starting with those in the creative, commentary, and marketing/branding departments.
And if you think I’m being facetious, Michael Cole literally described the situation thusly: “The calling card of the team known as the Riott Squad. But have their juvenile pranks gone too far this time by targeting the very proud veterans- the Bella Twins.” So the lesson here is not that “breaking people’s stuff is wrong.” The lesson is “breaking certain people’s stuff is wrong.” What a wonderful message.
Making matters worse was Brie & Nikki reacting to this by showing off their (lack of) acting skills. At one point Nikki almost hit a degree of anger that could be described as “mildly peeved.” If they can’t even give two sh*ts between them about this when it was their locker room that got vandalized, then why should I give even one single, solitary sh*t about this?

Corbin comes out to implore everyone to keep calm. He orders The Shield to vacate the premises immediately or else Roman and Seth will have to forfeit their titles and they’ll all go to jail for a long time. Roman stared down the police officers and made them back down. The Shield then dropped their weapons and left. So basically they’re doing last week’s show all over again, because well all know The Shield will come back in the end. Renee Young, seeing her kayfabe boyfriend/shoot husband and his best buddies being treated horribly unfairly, responded by casually saying “The Shield better check it before they wreck it.”

NIKKI BELLA (w/Brie Bella) vs. RUBY RIOTT (w/the Riott Squad)- 4/10
Michael Cole tells us that for Ruby Riott, tonight’s match is “a chance justify all she’s been talking about: About changing the direction of the women’s division here in WWE; that it’s a new era that’s dawned.” When the hell as Ruby Riott ever said that?
Renee followed this up by claiming that the Riott Squad think the Bellas “are pre-occupied by too much stuff.” Again, when have they ever said this? Cole and Renee also made sure to tell us that everyone is just “jealous” of all of the Bellas’ “accomplishments.” The accomplishments that were listed were 1) “being at the forefront of the Women’s Evolution” 2) owning a wine company 3) having a clothing line. So yeah… no mention of something that a professional wrestler should actually be jealous of like winning championships. In their second go-around at this Renee finally mentioned the fact that Nikki is “the longest-reigning Divas Champion of all time,” but it was smushed in between being “trailblazers here in WWE,” “entrepreneurs outside of WWE,” and “breaking down barriers,” and Graves telling us that they have “really redefined what it means to be a woman here in WWE.”
Let’s look at that last one for a minute? They have “redefined what it means to be a woman here in WWE?” HOW?! I am so sick and tired of this nebulous bullsh*t, and that is what the entire essence of their beloved “Divas’/Women’s R/Evolution” is: nebulousness. And it is that way by necessity, because if you take all of WWE’s buzzwords and the narrative that WWE is spinning and actually look at them all together the way WWE would theoretically want you to, the story they’re telling doesn’t add up. At this point they have described at least 80% of the female roster from 2000 onward (and probably closer to 90% of those who stuck around for any period of time) as “trailblazers” and told us that they were super-tough and fighting stereotypes and main eventing Raw and so on and so forth, then we are forced to ask the question “then what has really changed between now and then that marks any sort of r/evolution in the treatment of the women?”
The answer to that, of course, is that the way the company chooses to portray the women has changed… and that betrays their dirty secret that the evil sexist patriarchal oppressors in this story are not society, but rather WWE themselves. And not only that, but a WWE where one of the chief executives- including, for a very long time, the head of Creative and then of Branding- was the 100% Y-chromosome-free matron saint of the Divas’/Women’s R/Evolution herself, Stephanie McMahon.
But they don’t want you to think about that. They just want you to think of them as this great, progressive company with all of these strong, empowered female role model heroines and that they have always had them throughout all time, so they just slap their “trailblazer” label on every single woman and shout buzzwords at you like “Women’s Evolution” and “redefining what it means to be a woman” and “empowered” and “first-ever” and “making history” etc. because (aside from Triple H), WWE really hasn’t changed their stance on women that much. Aside from Ronda and MAYBE Charlotte, I really don’t think Vince or Dunn or even Steph have much faith that any of these women can draw (and, in Charlotte’s case, I think they see her more as a draw to wrestling fans due to being Ric’s daughter and being pushed as a top star than due to her in-ring work alone). I think Steph and even Vince see some value in the idea of pushing women in the current climate, but I don’t think they have much faith in the abilities of the women themselves to get fans invested enough to buy tickets. And that’s why the Divas’/Women’s R/Evolution is constantly filled with an ever-increasing rampage of buzzwords (my mocking of the name by referring to it as the “Divas’/Women’s R/Evolution” is intended as a reminder that even the name of the thing has changed when they have seen fit to do so, and without any comment or explanation from the company, and as a reminder that even when they launched this whole “we’re going to treat our women as serious athletes now” marketing campaign, they were still so blind that they kept on the universally-derided “Divas” epithet as if they thought it was a good thing): because WWE’s “Divas’/Women’s R/Evolution” is not actually about pushing the women. That is an end result of it, and I am certainly not going to argue that things haven’t drastically improved, but that is merely a necessary step for the real goal of the Divas’/Women’s R/Evolution, which is for WWE to be able to tell everyone that they are pushing the women.

The match was fine. The Bellas won, just like last week. And, as I said last week, this does absolutely nothing to make me think the Riott Squad have a snowball’s chance in hell of beating Ronda and the Bellas at Super Show-Down and does nothing to make me anticipate the Bellas getting any sort of revenge on the Riott Squad at Super Show-Down, so why would you do it?

AoP are big, scary, and squash people. We already knew that.

TRIPLE H SHOWS UP- he’s late.

TRIPLE H PROMO- I’m sorry, but between Taker’s Mania “match” with Cena and Hunter basically saying that “Shawn thinks I’m going to win because I’m the one who is less old and broken down” makes it impossible for me to care about this match.

On commentary they told us that “Mick Foley is here to commemorate the twenty-year anniversary” of his famous Hell in a Cell Match against The Undertaker. Umm… does WWE realize that that match happened in June and it is now currently September?

WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre(c) vs. The B-Team- 4.5/10
Cole reminded us that The Revival were supposed to get last week’s tag title shot but Drew & Dolph took them out, and then noted that this would make them the presumptive #1 contenders for the wines of tonight’s match. That was good, but Cole’s claim that The Revival are still injured from last week’s light beating was not. If you’re going to have these guys be out for over a week, you need to do something more than what they did last week.
As for how to write The Revival out for this week, I would have had them attack Drew & Dolph before the match, then have Corbin come out and have them arrested/banished/whatever to serve as an example for how serious he is about The Shield not showing up and ruining things tonight. This would not only cement The Revival’s babyface turn and build up to an eventual match between them and Drew & Dolph, but it also allows you to suspend them until after the Rollins (w/Ambrose) vs. Ziggler (w/McIntyre) feud ends, explaining why they don’t try to get revenge on Drew & Dolph every week from now until the time when you’re ready for their big return, as well as creates a scenario for tonight’s match where Drew & Dolph are hurt going in so people might actually think Bo & Axel have a snowball’s chance of winning the belts back.
If I were booking this out long-term, I think I’d do it as follows:
Seth would retain clean at HIAC, and the next night on Raw would somehow set up a title shot (I’m reluctant to pin Drew, but Dean pinning Drew is the cleanest way to do it. Maybe after Drew gets hit by all three Shield individual finishers in a main-event six-man tag). This would set up Seth & Dean getting a title shot at Super Show-Down, and you can even do the angle where Dolph- who is out of rematches for the IC Title- goads Seth into putting the IC Title on the line in that match as well (which would also make giving The Shield a title shot more palatable to Corbin), making it truly a “Super Show-Down.”
Seth & Dean would win the belts in Australia, and we’d spent the next week or two building up to Dolph & Drew wanting their rematch, which would take place a few weeks later on the 10/22 Raw in Providence. This match would end in a DQ when The Revival make their big return, attacking Dolph & Drew, but doing so at a time when Seth & Dean already seemed to have them down. This would lead to a confrontation between them and Seth & Dean, which would quickly turn into a brawl because Seth & Dean are unhappy that the Revival interfered in their match and have now given Dolph & Drew an excuse for another rematch when this one was all locked up.
The next week’s Raw takes place in Charlotte, NC, which is close enough to where both members of The Revival are from for them to get the big babyface reactions we want here. The show would open up with them coming out and cutting a promo saying they want the title shot they are owed and they want some more revenge on Dolph & Drew. An angry Corbin comes out and yells at them, saying “we had a deal! I would unsuspend you and you were supposed to make sure The Shield lost last week!” The Revival would respond that they did, in fact, make sure that The Shield lost last week. Corbin never specified how he wanted The Shield to lose, so they decided to “kill two birds with one stone: The Shield lose by disqualification, and we get some revenge on the guys who stole OUR title shot” and won the tag titles with it.
This is soon interrupted by Seth & Dean, angry that Corbin tried to screw them out of the titles, and by Drew & Dolph, who want revenge on The Revival for attacking them and ruining their title shot. Corbin winds up booking The Revival vs. Drew & Dolph and (seeing an opportunity to set himself up for a win over the tag champs and thus a possible title shot) himself & some other random heel of his choosing (Owens? Jinder?) vs. Seth & Dean. Revival vs. Drew & Dolph would see the ref clearly losing control rather quickly, resulting in a double DQ and a big pull-apart. The main event would see Seth & Dean would win their match, but then get attacked by Dolph & Drew, which would bring out The Revival for a three-way brawl which The Revival would wind up standing tall at the end of.
The next day WWE would announce that the main event of next week’s Raw from Manchester will be a Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the Raw Tag Team Titles, and during the match you have the announcers push the idea that although Corbin’s stated reasons for this are reducing chaos and because this way there can’t be a DQ, his real reasons for doing so are because it reduces The Shield’s chances of retaining the belts, and he’s annoyed at The Revival for tricking him so he also doesn’t really care if they lose their long-awaited championship opportunity without even being pinned).
The Shield would win clean, pinning Dolph, with The Revival being unhappy they lost their title shot without being pinned, and they would come out and say as much on the next week’s Raw. Corbin- who has been f*cking with Seth & Dean because of his on-going feud with Roman and who has somehow managed to abuse his authority to help himself become the #1 contender to the Universal Title (yeah, I know, Roman vs. Corbin sounds awful, but the real main event of Survivor Series will be whatever combination of AJ/Bryan/Joe/Rusev/Orton/Hardy/Nakamura floats your boat the most for the SD world title)- tells The Revival that if they want another title shot then they’ll have to prove they deserve it by beating The Shield tonight… in a six-man tag, teaming with Constable Corbin himself. The idea here is that Corbin thinks The Revival will be able to pick Roman apart and injure him before their title match in six days at Survivor Series, and while they do manage to get some work in on Roman, they actually get the pinfall on Dean… but they did still win so Corbin gives them a title shot at Survivor Series.
At Survivor Series The Revival will get their big win in a long, grueling match, beating Seth & Dean completely cleanly, and then complete their babyface turn by offering them a handshake afterwards, which Seth & Dean tentatively accept. Roman will beat Corbin clean to retain later in the night, and we can put the exclamation point on the babyface turn the next night on Raw when Corbin comes out and confronts them over not coming out to help when he called for help in his title match and The Revival telling him to screw off; they’re not his lackeys, and he can’t fire/suspend/strip them of the titles because they’re the champions and that would damage the titles because everyone would know that they are the real champions. And from there you go into The Revival vs. Corbin & a partner, or some other Corbin plan to get the tag belts off of them so he can get revenge on them.

Oh yeah. The title match…
WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre(c) vs. The B-Team- 4.5/10
Drew & Dolph win clean, then get attacked by Seth & Dean. Seth & Dean get a few good shots in before Dolph & Drew run away… and Seth & Dean inexplicably don’t follow. You know… because the scheduled segment is over, and it’s all fake. Either that, or all Seth & Dean really wanted was for the sound guy to play Seth’s music.
The announcers remind us that Seth & Dean are here against orders and that this means that- per Constable Corbin’s decree- both Seth and Roman will have to vacate their titles. My first thought was “if Corbin doesn’t want them out here, then why doesn’t he just send his army of heels back out here to beat them up again?

FOLEY VS. TAKER HELL IN A CELL VIDEO PACKAGE- is it just me, or have there been a lot more recap and/or video packages than usual tonight?

The crux of this was as follows: Seth points out a bunch of the plot holes from last week’s arrest angle and accuses Corbin of “falsifying a police report,” then brought in their pal the chief of police here in New Orleans and threated to have Corbin arrested for filing a false police report. I say “a bunch” of the plot holes from last week rather than all of them because the fact that 1) it was a federal holiday, 2) this all took place well after regular government business hours local time, and 3), it took them less than three hours to get through a process which often takes a lot more than that, but I will be as generous to WWE as possible here. We will accept the idea that not only did Corbin “falsify a police report” to get The Shield arrested, but he also paid people off to get him access to a courthouse, paid off the real police officers to have them take The Shield there (if people were impersonating the officers then there wouldn’t be a real police report), paid people to pose as a judge, stenographer, prosecutor, bailiff, and lawyers for all three Shield members (or hired crooked ones for all of those roles), AND convinced the officers to let The Shield leave in the police wagon so that The Shield would return to Raw and walk into his ambush, it still does not solve the following problems:
1. Why did no babyfaces come out to help The Shield?
2.WWE had Mike Rome reporting from the scene, and he was apparently fooled by all of this, as were Seth, Dean, and Roman, even though a large enough percentage of their fanbase that they felt the need to address it on Twitter immediately said “this makes no sense for lots of different reasons.”
3. No one else in WWE seemed suspicious about this, either- including, presumably their LEGAL DEPARTMENT- even though a large portion of their fanbase immediately said “this is fishy.”
And please keep in mind that this is all with me being GENEROUS. There was nothing said in this segment that actually indicates that Creative noticed anything wrong with a court hearing being held at 10pm on Labor Day.

1. While we don’t know what Corbin told the cops so it’s possible he lied and did file a false police report, a far more sensible thing for him to have done would be to just tell the cops the truth: The Shield are running around attacking people and disrupting this commission-licensed sporting event.
Seth’s comment that their arrest was invalid because of all of the brawls and other stuff in Raw history and yet no one has been arrested for it (which isn’t true at all, as I have many memories of Steve Austin being led away in handcuffs by the police, and that’s not even counting stuff that didn’t happen on Raw like Roman trying to murder Braun or stuff involving “fans” like Steph smacking the fired Brie, or stuff like Hunter going to Orton’s house) doesn’t sit well with me because the fact of the matter is that what The Shield did actually was breaking the law.
A much more palatable- and, I think, more nuanced, intelligent, and comprehensive- theory on the utilization of the authorities (or extreme lack thereof) in pro wrestling is that there is an internal code that says that instead of calling the cops on someone, you get your own revenge… and ideally you get it in the ring. This is “our” world and we settle things amongst ourselves, much like the Mafia would (the Corleones did not call the cops after someone tried to kill Don Vito; they went after the guys themselves). This also explains why only heels call the cops: doing so is essentially an act of cowardice.
2. That being said, there are certain categories of crimes that the police should be investigating no matter what. Attempted murder, for example (like, say, with a motor vehicle, Roman). Another one of these categories are things that involve the authorities themselves, like filing false police reports or impersonating an officer of the law. If Corbin did, in fact, do that, Seth and the New Orleans police chief making a deal with him really shouldn’t stop the Columbus Police Department from going after him. And they certainly should have been able to figure out that the crime was committed and put a warrant out for Corbin’s arrest a lot quicker than the seven days that have elapsed since then.
3. Along those lines, what jurisdiction does the chief of police in New Orleans, Louisiana have to charge someone for a crime that occurred in Columbus, Ohio? The only explanation that makes sense here is that Corbin actually did the same thing again this week and that is what the babyfaces and the police chief were talking about… which means that Corbin should still be a wanted man in Ohio.
We then cut to a shot outside the room to see Dean and the police chief (whose last name is Ambrose, because “it’s who you know that really counts” is a great message to be sending) leaving, with Seth remaining inside for a closed-door negotiation with Corbin, because apparently they think we’d rather watch Dean bitch and moan about having to obey traffic laws than see something that actually theoretically matters to the show we’re watching. Just think: if they hadn’t shown us this they could have actually made it clear that the fact the fact that they’re not pressing charges is coming in exchange for Corbin promising not to strip Seth and Roman of their titles like he had said he would and has the full and legitimate legal authority to do, regardless of the legitimacy of The Shield’s various arrests.

KEVIN OWENS vs. TYLER BREEZE- no rating, meh squash
Meanwhile, Kevin Owens has been sitting in the ring doing nothing for over seven minutes. Seems to me that it would have made more sense to give the match or the brawl the extra forty seconds of Owens’ entrance that we saw, do Breeze’s entrance during the commercial break, and then have Owens come out after the segment. Or, even better, do both entrances after the segment so that not even the jobber has to sit around looking like an idiot.
Owens jumped Breeze from behind while he was posing for his entrance, and even though Breeze recovered and they were trading punches on even footing in the middle of the ring, the referee still refused to ring the bell. Okay… then he should be calling for people to help him break the fight up so the match can be started in the proper and official manner, not just standing there waving his arms impotently. Breeze got a strike or two in but Owens pretty much squashed him, even though the match never officially started.

KEVIN OWENS PROMO- He says that immediately after he quit last week, Corbin called him and begged him to come back, and he agreed to do so under the condition that he was “no longer held accountable for anything I do to my opponent.” Um… how is that any different than normal? Does it mean he can’t get DQed for illegal actions like a low blow or using a foreign object? That’s the best I can figure, but nothing Owens said even remotely hinted at that. He pretty much just said that he can go around beating people up whenever he wants… but as Seth said in the last segment, that already happens all the time, anyway.
Owens says that Bobby Lashley is to blame for all of this because he “intentionally injured” Sami Zayn. Well then why was Owens wasting so much time feuding with Braun Strowman instead of going after Lashley for the past few months? Sami was injured at Money in the Bank, which was MID-JUNE, and the first time he did anything to Lashley was the beginning of SEPTEMBER. Owens’ delivery was excellent, as always, but the ideas he was instructed to get across are full of problems.

Roode & Gable cut an inset promo where they were both dorks. Renee Young accused Gable of basically trying to ride Roode’s coattails. Isn’t she supposed to be a babyface?
This is the same pairing we saw last week, which is probably why they didn’t announce who Roode & Gable’s opponents were in advance and did The Ascension’s entrance during a commercial break. Is it really that hard for Creative to book Gable & Roode against a different undercard tag team this week (like, say, Slater & Rhyno)? This match got almost two fewer minutes than last week’s match (which didn’t even go five), and unlike last week where Roode & Gable dominated, this one had Gable spending most of the match as the babyface in peril. Gable tagged himself in when Roode had things won, then hit his finisher and “stole” the win. Yes, really. These guys haven’t even been a team for eight days and they’re already setting up for a break-up. This match combined with the commentary to do an effective job of getting the idea across that Roode does the heavy lifting and Gable is just a glory-hog dork who has to rely on others to do his work for him… but this is not a story I want to see told with these guys.

Their evil plan has fallen apart, and Seth & Dean are now getting a tag title shot at Hell in a Cell. Corbin won’t say why, but claims he has “one really good reason,” so… yup. Our babyfaces are getting a title shot via BLACKMAIL rather than by earning it. Also, is it just me, or was anyone else under the impression that Dolph was using his IC Title rematch at Hell in a Cell. I could have sworn they announced that at some point.
Braun declares that he is going to “go big dog hunting.” Corey Graves then felt the need to say, “Big dog hunting? I think I know what that means.” Congratulations, Corey. You’ve earned this here certificate certifying that your IQ is above the single-digits. Good job.

Michael Cole began his standard spiel informing us what tonight’s “Connor’s Cure” auction item would be by saying “I want to call your attention to the shirt Alexa Bliss! is wearing.” You might think this phrasing sounds awkward, but I assure you it was completely necessary because without someone specifically telling you to look away from it, there was no possible way anyone would have not been transfixed by whatever the f*ck that was that Alicia Fox was wearing. It was like a grey dress covered in some sort extremely refractive jewels. There is no way in hell she should be allowed to wear that thing at night on the sidewalk because she’d be reflecting drivers’ headlights back into their eyes left and right, causing a heretofore unfathomable numbers of collisions.
Michael Cole felt it was necessary to specify that “Ronda Rousey is 1-0 in tag team matches.” Not only would it have been both more impressive and no less true to instead say that Ronda was “undefeated” in tag team matches, but it also wouldn’t have required flipping the bird to every fan who has bought their ticket to see Ronda Rousey at a house show, where she wrestles almost exclusively in tag team matches.
To make matters worse, the reason Cole brought up that stat was so he could then make a transition to reminding us that WrestleMania also took place in New Orleans, asking, “remember the victory that she had in this city across the street at the Superdome when she tagged with Kurt Angle to beat Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania earlier this year?” Seeing as how you guys spent weeks building it up as one of the biggest matches of the year on the biggest show of the year, and it hasn’t even been six months since the match happened…
No, Cole, I don’t remember it at all… which I guess means that either the match wasn’t really that memorable, or WWE’s commentary and marketing teams suck at their jobs and they should be replaced by people who will try an approach that actually works. Perhaps one where you don’t bash us over the head with the same basic points over and over and over and over again? Or you could just double down on what you’re doing now and keep condescendingly asking me if I remember how retired 40+ corporate executive Stephanie McMahon managed to last longer in Ronda Rousey’s armbar than the various younger wrestlers who are active full-time members of the roster? If you want to up your game and pick up some tips about how to call a wrestling show while being even more obnoxious and condescending than you already are, contact

Alexa and Nattie once again did a spot where Alexa went for the Stratusfaction Bulldog but not only did none of the announcers notice it but Nattie countered it anyway. This is two weeks in a row now. This can’t be an accident. That means that either:
1. None of the agents have noticed it, so they don’t recognize Trish’s finisher
2. The agents have noticed it but none of them have told the two of them that having Nattie counter Alexa’s attempt at Trish’s finish is a bad idea.
3. The agents think it’s a good idea but even after they missed it last week, they didn’t make sure to smarten the commentators up to the spot before this week’s match.

Alexa was once again made to look like a total chump by Nattie, despite the fact that Alexa is getting a title shot in less than a week. The Hart Attack spot was great, and the story of the work on Ronda’s ribs sets up a believable reason for us to think Alexa has a chance of winning at the PPV (compare this to the Bellas vs. Riott Squad feud). They really did a good job with that. They even had Ronda selling that her ribs being hurt made it harder for her to keep up her punches because she couldn’t rapid-fire well. This was BY FAR the most compelling Ronda Rousey has been as an in-ring wrestler during career so far… but then they kind of defeated the purpose of it all by having Ronda make Mickie tap to the armbar anyway. Shockingly, we’re well over two hours into the show and haven’t had a single DQ yet, so doing one here wouldn’t overkill on f*ck finishes, and would make the story work better, as you could have Alexa go after Ronda’s ribs with a chair or something to really drive home the advantage, and without anyone having to lose… but instead they chose to go with RondaWinsLOL.

THE DRIFTER SPITS COFFEE INTO A VALUED BACKSTAGE CREWMEMBER’S FACE- and no Titus O’Neil in sight to lecture him about it.

BRAUN STROWMAN TERRORIZES VALUED BACKSTAGE CREWMEMBERS- He’s looking for Roman but they don’t know Roman is, so Braun manhandles them. No lecture for Braun, either.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS RONDA ROUSEY (& NATALYA)- Good babyface promo by Ronda. Ronda Rousey’s Friend Natalya was just window dressing.

THE DRIFTER GETS INTERRUPTED BY MICK FOLEY- Foley tells us all that he went to Steph to ask if he could be part of Roman vs. Braun in some way, so she made him the Special Guest Referee. Because even in WWE’s ultimate blow-off match, we still need to have a f*ck finish. If you don’t want to beat either guy clean then DON’T BOOK THEM AGAINST EACH OTHER. And if that means that you either don’t put the belt on Roman or don’t have Braun win the briefcase, then one of those things is going to have to give. This announcement has killed my interest in the Universal Title match.
The Drifter insults Foley so Foley reveals that Steph also decided to let him book one match of his choosing, so he is now choosing to book The Drifter vs. Finn Balor. Because who wants to see Balor vs. Rollins or Lashley vs. Strowman or Sasha Banks vs. Ember Moon when we can watch the f*cking Drifter (and that’s me being generous and assuming that Mick only got this power this morning rather than before people like McIntyre, Owens, Nattie, Roode, and Gable were booked).

Braun is still breaking sh*t backstage. At this point he has made it clear that he’s looking for Roman, so we have two possibilities: either Roman is not in the building, or Roman is a coward. The match was often slow and wasn’t particularly good, but it wasn’t particularly bad, either. Somehow it has been the best match of the night.

Apparently Owens’ attack last week injured Lashley’s ribs. Lashley was lifting weights. Lio was being annoying but then Lashley seemed happy to see him. Why was Lio Rush even there?

It was only a few minutes ago that we saw Braun storming around and destroying everything and everyone in sight simply because he couldn’t find Roman Reigns… and some higher-up on the Raw totem pole thought it would be a good idea to send Charly Caruso to go interview him. Did no one give any thought to the possibility that Braun might accidentally splatter little Charly across the wall in the midst of his Luxan hyper-rage? Or did they think it was a possibility but thought that getting an interview with Braun while he was in a state of uncontrollable fury would be worth it?
Fortunately for Charly- and her cameraperson, and really everyone else within a four-block radius- Braun has calmed down now. Well... relatively calm. He did snatch the microphone away from her and begin interrogating her as to Roman’s whereabouts and get angrier when she couldn’t provide them. I really hope this doesn’t end with Braun grabbing Charly and doing a King Kong impersonation on the roof of the building. I know that sounds absurdly stupid, but please keep in mind that this is WWE we’re talking about.
Charly suggests that Braun go out to the ring and call out Roman. Is there not some sort of match scheduled? Or did Corbin think that a Drifter concert and a Mick Foley promo would carry him through the final half hour of Raw when they’re going up against Monday Night Football?

BRAUN STROWMAN CALLS OUT ROMAN REIGNS- Roman doesn’t show up, so Braun starts to cut a promo calling Roman a coward, but saying that Roman will not be able to run or hide or get help from his buddies or even Mick Foley when he is locked in Hell in a Cell with Braun on Sunday.
Roman politely waited for Braun to finish his promo before having the sound guy play his music and showing up on the announcers’ table. They brawled on the stage for a bit until Roman gave Braun a Samoan Drop through the stage. Roman eventually gets up and raises his title high in the air and Michael Cole is going all “just imagine the punishment these two will inflict on each other inside Hell in a Cell” and blah blah blah.
This was their go-home segment for the Universal Title match on a PPV inside Hell in a Cell, and it was just so meh. Yes, I do realize I’m saying this about a segment where a guy went through the stage, and no, I’m not jaded. This just felt… generic. This whole feud has felt generic. They haven’t been doing segments to build up to a Hell in a Cell Match between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman; they’ve just been doing generic segments to build up to some random match that happens to be between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman for the Universal Title and happens to be a Hell in a Cell Match.
And ditto for Seth & Dean vs. Drew & Dolph, and Alexa vs. Ronda, and… um… whatever else is on this PPV from the Raw side. I don’t even know what other matches there are, but I know that Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Sasha Banks, Ember Moon, Chad Gable, Bobby Roode, the Authors of Pain, and Bobby Lashley all don’t have anything announced. Nor does The Drifter, despite the amount of TV time he has gotten this month. As you might remember my lamenting, my attitude going into SummerSlam (especially on the Raw side) was that I just wanted it to be over already so things could change. And things have changed (well… aside from the Women’s Title picture and Balor vs. Corbin, anyway)… and yet it STILL feels like they’re floundering around with no real direction and constantly repeating themselves. How the f*ck have they managed to be this frustratingly BAD.

This was one f*cking sh*tty show from WWE. It was boring, redundant, stupid, lacked good wrestling or good promos, and added a stipulation that totally killed any interest I had in the PPV main event. WWE’s flaws- especially on the Raw side- feel nearly overpowering at this point. I've seen shows that were worse because I found them more frustrating due to squandered potential (ROH) or maddening stupidity (TNA), but with WWE this year they are managing to be bad more than anything else by being mind-numbingly BORING.

Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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Re: BRM Reviews the 9/10/2018 Raw (go-home show FAILURE)

Post by KILLdozer » Sep 14th, '18, 13:39

Outside the box HIAC theories...who thinks Foley screws over Reigns and starts managing Strowman?

REALLY really long shot to see anything but a face Foley at this point...but at least have some reason for him to be there.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 9/10/2018 Raw (go-home show FAILURE)

Post by cero2k » Sep 14th, '18, 13:48

KILLdozer wrote:
Sep 14th, '18, 13:39
Outside the box HIAC theories...who thinks Foley screws over Reigns and starts managing Strowman?

REALLY really long shot to see anything but a face Foley at this point...but at least have some reason for him to be there.
I could see it, the one thing I just can't see is taking the title off Reigns soo quickly.

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