BRM Reivews the 7/4/2016 Raw (Independence Day FAIL)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reivews the 7/4/2016 Raw (Independence Day FAIL)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 5th, '16, 02:39

OFFICIAL WWE 4TH OF JULY PARTY- time is wasted while babyfaces and heels celebrate together. Bill Watts would have an aneurysm. They even got a close-up of f*cking LANA AND RUSEV, whose gimmick has been that they hate America, at their big party.
The whole point of this was so the Vaudevillains could shoo Golden Truth off of the makeshift stage to replace their… rapping, I guess (but probably only due to a technicality, because it just sounded like they were making noise and not actually saying any real words) with “a musical rendition of the Declaration of Independence.” Because they have no spines, Truth and Goldust simply allow themselves to be shooed away by the heels instead of being stars and standing up for themselves.
Everyone boos Aiden English, presumably because they wanted him to start at the beginning but he started with “we hold these truths to be self-evident.” That’s why I was booing anyway. Someone threw food at English which splashed all over his face, because WWE Superstars have the emotional maturity of a three year old.
Well… at least there is one WWE Superstar who isn’t childishly immature: THE MIZ! Miz stood up and said that he would not let yet another WWE holiday party devolve into a food fight. “That’s the reason we can’t celebrate Thanksgiving on Smackdown anymore.” I thought this was a very funny line… or rather I thought it would have been if they hadn’t killed the joke by having Miz explain it by continuing “well… food fights and the fact that Smackdown LIVE will be on Tuesdays starting July 19th,” as if Miz needs to inform the rest of the roster of this fact. Everyone pops for Miz bringing up Smackdown going live because WWE wouldn’t know subtlety if it walked up to them and smashed them on the head with a shovel (which we all know that subtlety would never do. The problem is that WWE doesn’t know that).
So Miz says that he doesn’t want there to be another food fight… so of course someone sprays some sort of… chocolate syrup, maybe?... all over his face and clothes. Maryse scolds everyone for this, so of course she gets food thrown in her face, too. Then everyone laughs because G-d forbid someone should actually want to act like an adult here. Then everyone starts a food fight just because, and they all look like idiots (well… not everyone. AJ, Cena, Seth, and Dean were notably absent). Then, for some reason, the 1812 Overture starts to play.
Kevin Owens is the only smart one among them. He hides under a table. Jericho also didn’t want to get hit with food but he was too dumb to do anything other than stand there trying to eat, so when he got hit, he got upset. Other “highlights” of this include Nattie “Bret Hart is my uncle and we’re from Calgary, Alberta, Canada” Neidhart wearing an Uncle Sam hat.
This went on, uninterrupted for a minute and a half until Big Show tried to throw a piece of chicken at Kalisto but Kalisto ducked and the chicken hit Kane, who appeared to be miraculously otherwise clean. Apparently this was Kane’s favorite gear or something because he got very pissed and goozled Big Show (the 1812 Overture is still playing, by the way). Show goozled him back. Heath Slater took the opportunity to throw food in both of their faces, so he eats a chokeslam through a table full of food as the 1812 Overture ends. Seeing as how their apparently harmless food fight has just turned violent, with two of the men with the shortest fuses in WWE assaulting one of their colleagues… the rest of the WWE Superstars all laugh hysterically at Heath Slater’s fallen corpse. Then they resume throwing food.
It is revealed that, throughout all of this, Cesaro and Crews were stuck at a stalemate in their arm wrestling match and were so focused on it that they sat there and kept going despite everything going on around them. Remember that the next time someone comes out on the ramp and causes one of these guys to lose via distraction.
We waste more time with everyone filing out of the room. Then Owens emerges from his hiding place unscathed, laughs at Slater, and quips “you know, this would never happen on Canada Day.” Then we somehow cut to a camera that sees things from Owens' POV as he gets pied in the face by an unknown person who I guess he just somehow didn’t realize was standing right next to him with a pie and no, it wasn’t the cameraman because 1) WWE wants us to pretend that the cameras aren’t there, and 2) we’ve seen those cameras. They need two hands to hold and operate them. So Owens gets angry and just throws chairs and tables around instead of doing what we all know Kevin Owens would really do, which is pound the living sh*t out of whoever pied him in the face.
This was the standard WWE stupidity that just drives me nuts because it bring to the forefront so many things that I hate about this company:
1. Their childish sense of humor.
2. Their desire for comedy goes as far to do things like the POV pie-ing shot that defy any sort of logic and thus totally kill suspension of disbelief.
3. Pointless killing of kayfabe by sticking Lana and Rusev in here when their presence did nothing positive for the segment whatsoever.
4. Their double standards of behavior. Unprovoked food-throwing at heels Miz, Maryse, and the Vaudevillains is met with laughter, while heel Slater doing it to two babyfaces is cause for violence… and the response to that violence- a bump through a table which we are supposed to take seriously in matches- is met with laughter.
5. Their need to make all of their wrestlers look like completely immature goofballs/jerks.
6. Oh, whoops, sorry. Not ALL of their wrestlers. Cena, Ambrose, Rollins, AJ, Gallows, Anderson, Corbin, Sasha, & Charlotte (and of course Shane and Steph) were all absent from this idiocy. The only reason for them not to be there is, of course, because WWE really does know that being make to look like an immature goofball is bad for your character and reduces your starpower via the taint of midcard comedy bullsh*t, so they don’t want their big stars to do it… which just annoys the hell out of me because if you know being involved with this stupidity is actually bad for someone, then why are you doing it to ANYONE who isn’t a comedy jobber, never mind guys who you are actually trying to push like Zayn, Owens, Cesaro, Jericho, Titus, Crews, Sheamus, Enzo & Cass, Dana, etc.

LILIAN GARCIA SINGS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM- unlike the most recent rendition I heard, performed by a nine year-old girl at a minor league baseball game, Lilian managed to not f*ck up. Good for her. Then everyone chanted "USA!" until Rusev came out to interrupt. Cole informed us that Rusev told him that he wants to “rename the 4th of July ‘Rusev Day.’” This would be the same Rusev who we just saw celebrating with everyone in the back.

WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH: Rusev(c) vs. Titus O’Neil- 5/10
Before Titus came out, Cole reminded us that both Titus and Rusev “were involved in the world’s largest food fight earlier today.” Yeah. Because that’s going to make me take this seriously. This was also the second time in the four minutes since he signed on that Cole has said the phrase “world’s largest food fight.”
Lana is not with Rusev despite us seeing her in the early bullsh*ttery. Despite having gone back to being Bulgarian for over half a year now, Rusev is still wearing Russian-color tights. Titus, for his part, was in a very patriotic get-up. As he made his way down the ramp, JBL shouted “UNCLE SAM! MAYBE IT’S UNCLE SAM!” Every Monday I tune in hoping that this will be the day that JBL remembers to take his Concerta, but every week my hopes are dashed.
Byron is sure to let us know that in this match we will have “Titus representing America on its birthday tonight.” You know... in case them singing the Star Spangled Banner and then Titus coming out dressed like this didn’t clue you in. Remember what I said before about subtlety? Well now I wish someone would hit Byron in the head with a shovel.
Oh. There’s Lana. I guess they had her come out during the commercial because that makes sense. It’s astounding to me that they can be so angry at someone that they want to deny her the spotlight of an entrance, so they do things like this that make people look at their product and go “huh?” when it would be so much simpler to just TAKE HER OFF OF TV ALTOGETHER.
Parts of this were good and parts of it… not so much. Titus just isn’t that good in the ring. He’s been doing this for seven years now. At his age, I don’t think he’ll ever improve. He gets a false finish in, but Rusev comes out of this with the clean win. After the match, Rusev put Titus in the Accolade again just because he could, then cut a promo mocking the United States. For those of you keeping track at home, Titus vowed to beat Rusev on Father’s Day in front of his children, but tapped out. Then he came out on July 4th dressed in a patriotic costume, only to have Rusev kick out of his finisher and then make him tap out to the same exact move. In other words: TITUS O’NEIL IS A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FAILURE.

They’re advertising “Champion vs. Champion, Ambrose vs. Miz” for later tonight. You know… a match we just saw with a clean finish on Smackdown. Also advertised for later tonight is a John Cena promo, and a sixteen-man tag team match pitting Team USA vs. “The Multi-National Alliance,” because just billing this as “USA vs. The World” would have been way too intelligent for WWE. Team USA consists of The Dudleys, Apollo Crews, Kane, Big Show, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, and Zack Ryder. “The Multi-National Alliance” consists of Del Rio, Zayn, Owens, Jericho, Sheamus, Cesaro, Kalisto, and Sin Cara… all guys who we just saw celebrating Independence Day along with their American colleagues. It seems kind of douchy to now tell them that they must represent America’s opposition tonight. Here’s an idea: instead of wasting time on a stupid food fight, why not set this up with a segment at the beginning of the show where some foreign heels trash the USA (Jericho, Del Rio, Sheamus, Owens, Breeze,… hell, if you want it to be bigger, throw the Colons in there and actually justify their constant promotion of Puerto Rico by turning them into Puerto Rican separatists) and a group of babyfaces come out to oppose them?

The American Fails come out dressed as Continental soldiers. Bo is even carrying a toy musket. Apparently the theme of tonight’s show is that those trying to represent America come across as total losers. How very patriotic of WWE. Also, for those keeping score at home, that’s two matches so far, and both have involved someone coming out in a patriotic costume. Because it’s a holiday, so why should we put any effort into our show?
JBL, being his idiotic self, shouts out the names of various founding fathers (Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin) none of whom actually served in the Continental Army. When Cole throws out Paul Revere (because I guess he thought one more name was totally necessary), JBL decides to give Cole an unwanted history lesson, saying that Revere “was actually a member of the Sons of Liberty, but they worked with the Minutemen, yes.” JBL’s history lesson was, as you would expect, almost completely incorrect. Revere was a member of both the Minutemen and the Sons of Liberty. Furthermore, none of the three JBL named were actually Minutemen, and anyone with any knowledge of history will tell you that Snores and Stripes clearly cannot be dressed as Minutemen because the Minutemen did not have uniforms. So in conclusion, JBL needs to shut the f*ck up because every time he opens his mouth he embarrasses and disrespects his country by not knowing its history.
JBL followed this stupidity up by saying that he thinks “Heath Slater would make a great Paul Revere!” Well… I can’t argue with you there, JBL. Both have them have been buried for years.
I was quite surprised that, in his ever-present and ever-obnoxious attempts to show us all how on the cutting edge of pop culture he is, JBL did not mention “Hamilton.”
At least Slater’s arm is in a sling and his ribs are taped up selling the earlier double chokeslam through a table. JBL, in his astounding ineptitude, managed to call attention to this in a way that made it seem like a joke.
Bo then started to cut a promo, saying “We are dressed as Minutemen from the Revolutionary War.” G-d damn it, Bo! Didn’t you pay any attention to my lecture?! Thankfully, Enzo & Cass came out to put a stop to this idiocy. Enzo has the sh*t emoji on his ass. His promo was fine.
The match itself was inoffensive. Actually, let me rephrase that: The action in the match was inoffensive. The fact that the match happened at all was not. There is a guy in the front row holding a sign that appears to say “Terry Bollea 4 President.” Well… I guess we know that guy is voting for Trump (assuming he doesn’t actually write in “Terry Bollea.” He did use the numeral 4 instead of just writing out “for” despite having a very large amount of free space, so his IQ is clearly low enough that I wouldn’t put it past him). Michael Cole having to say “Badaboomshakalaka” every time Enzo & Cass do their finisher is the worst thing ever. Wait. Never mind. JBL just said “how you doin’?”

They hype up Rollins vs. Ziggler for later tonight. JBL tells us that Dolph specifically requested this match because it might be the last time before the draft “that Dolph can show off and defeat 'the architect.'” First of all, why can’t he do it on Smackdown? Or Main Event? Or Superstars? Or next week’s Raw? Secondly, that’s great that Dolph wants to win and all, but where did this desire to specifically defeat Rollins come from?
Also, you’ve got to love how WWE has to ensure that the phrase “show off” is inserted into Doph’s reasoning for doing things. It’s a good thing they stuck him with this idiotic “show-off” character or else he’d never have any motivation for anything.

We’re only half an hour into the show? :(( :(( :(( :(( :(( :(( :(( :(( :(( :((

Holy f*cking sh*t Dana Brooke in that top.
Charlotte cuts a good heel promo on Sasha. Sasha comes out and they have a really damn great back and forth. Apparently Charlotte has not beaten Sasha within the past year. Okay. So? She’s beaten her before that. Aside from that bit of silliness, Sasha was f*cking awesome here. Dana tries to cheap-shot her but Sasha sees it coming and knocks Dana down. Sasha having to deal with Dana leaves Charlotte an opening to lay her out with a superkick. Charlotte rubs the belt in her face and picks her up to hit some sort of move but Sasha escapes, hits the Bank Roll and locks in the Banks Statement until Dana manages to pull Charlotte to safety. The heels retreat up the ramp in disgrace while the fans all chant Sasha’s name. Even if the rest of this show is the same sort of dreck as the first half hour, this segment will have made the whole thing worth it.

Cole is giving the standard WWE spiel about the rules of Triple Threat matches- you know the one I’m talking about, where they emphasize that it’s the first fall that matters and thus the champ can lose the title without being involved in the decision- but he prefaces it by saying “remember the rules, Byron” before explaining them, completely burying Byron as being unable to remember something 99.9% of fans have already internalized. Why not just have Cole tell us the rules like a real sportscaster would. Byron is enough of dork already that he doesn’t need Cole burying him every time he plugs the PPV.

DEAN AMBROSE vs. THE MIZ (w/Maryse)- 6.75/10
Miz cut a promo before the match emphasizing that Maryse is French-Canadian. It was great.
Michael Cole described this as a “rare” champion vs. champion match. Indeed, such matches are so rare that the last time we saw one was FOUR ENTIRE DAYS AGO! Featuring these same two guys! Once the bell rang to get this rare match underway, the announcers immediately started to talk about something else entirely: the upcoming draft.
Cole explained to us the meanings of the two podiums on the stage to us (which we of course couldn’t see because unlike the announcers, the cameraman knows what he is supposed to be focusing on). If you want to have the podiums on the stage to serve as a symbol of the draft, that’s fine, but you shouldn’t feel the need to explain their meaning to us every show. A symbol is supposed to be able to speak for itself. If you feel the need to explain it to us, then it’s not a very effective symbol and thus it isn’t worth having in the first place.
The match was very good, but it served no purpose other than to bury Miz (and by extension the IC Title) again. Rollins showed up to have a stare-down with Dean. Ambrose went back to the ring and teased a brawl but instead he just went to do commentary.

After years of being very specific and making sure to call the unified title the “WWE World Heavyweight Championship,” the announcers are now suddenly referring to it as merely the “WWE Championship.” Within kayfabe, this is extremely strange. Outside of kayfabe, it completely telegraphs that we’re getting a double-pin finish at Battleground… so why do it?

Like with Rollins vs. Ziggler, they pushed this as possibly the last time we could see this match because these guys could get drafted to different shows after the brand split. And to both of those I say “so what?” We have no vested interest in seeing either match, so saying this doesn’t add any extra drama to it. If you’re going to focus on the possible consequences the draft could have for the roster (which you absolutely should), you need to focus on things people actually care about. What if The Usos are split up? What if Charlotte and Sasha get drafted to different shows so Sasha will never be able to win the title? What if Cena and The Club are drafted to different places and Cena never gets the chance for revenge? If New Day get split up, what happens to the tag titles? These are the types of questions WWE should be asking, not “what happens if we never get to see Random Guy A vs. Random Guy B again?”


Yeah… so that was pretty freakin’ awesome. I might be overrating this a bit just because I’m so happy this show has turned around, but it’s at most a very slight overrating.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Seth got up on the announcers’ tables and cut a GREAT promo on Roman, saying he was a cheater and a bad role model and should be removed from the Triple Threat match at the PPV. Dean got up so Rollins cut a great promo on him, too, vowing to lay Dean out like he did last week and reclaim the title that Dean stole from him at the PPV. Douchebag Dean then threw the title belt at Seth to distract him so that he could assault him because that’s totally a babyface move apparently. Seth winds up eating Dirty Deeds on top of (but not through) the Spanish announcers’ table.

THE WYATTS CUT INTO THE FEED- and I really mean they cut into it because they interrupted Cole in the middle of a sentence. They said nothing new, important, or interesting.


VICKIE GUERRERO SHOWS UP- Unlike the rest of them, Vickie actually gives good reasons why she should run Smackdown. She also came off like a complete and total megalomaniac. It was FANTASTIC. Then security showed up to take her away. Is it really that easy to sneak backstage (never mind out onto the stage) at a WWE show? Like… did no one at the Gorilla Position see Vickie and try to stop her?

BIG SHOW GIVES HIS TEAM A PEP TALK- meanwhile, a patriotic tune plays in the background. Specifically, Battle Hymn of the Republic… which, as its name should have clued WWE in, has no association with Independence Day because THERE WASN’T A REPUBLIC YET! (The official song itself is a parody of a song sung by Union soldiers called “John Brown’s Body”- as in John Brown the famous abolitionist. It’s a Civil War song.)
While giving this entirely pointless and stupid speech, Big Show points out that Kane is “from the depths of Hel.” I have spelled Hel with only one L here because that’s the only way this statement makes sense, as hell is not in the United States, but Hel is. It’s in Michigan, and being from there would actually make Kane a neighbor of Chris Sabin’s. You learn something new every day.

They plugged the Cruiserweight Classic Bracketology show hosted by Daniel Bryan this Wednesday at 9.


Tyler Breeze and Fandango are watching from ringside. WHY IS THIS F*CKING FEUD STILL GOING ON? I hope that when the draft comes, Goldust gets drafted to Raw, Breeze gets drafted to Smackdown, Truth gets drafted to Main Event, and Fandango gets drafted to Superstars.

LIFE LESSONS WITH COACH BOB BACKLUND- Bob bestows the Crossface Chickenwing upon Darren Young as his new finisher. Hopefully this will be the end of these dumb things.

Cena cuts a promo. Then AJ comes out and cuts an awesome promo in which he gives a kayfabe explanation for why John Cena never has any friends to come out and help him. Then The Club started talking about all the different times of the year they’d enjoy beating up John Cena. I know I’d probably have despised this if it came from New Day or Ambrose or Golden Truth or Big Show or pretty much anyone else on the roster, but these guys totally made it work. Then again, I think a big part of that is that these three engage in shenanigans so infrequently that this came off like them trying to be jerks to Cena instead of them trying to be funny.
So The Club beat up Cena until Enzo & Cass come out to make the save.

COLONS PROMO- they bury the rest of the US.

Summer tried to hit Becky with a vertical suplex which accidentally became a DDT. That was scary. The match was short, but Summer’s facials always make things fun. They showed us Nattie watching backstage.

MULTI-NATIONAL ALLIANCE BACKSTAGE- predictably, they find something idiotic to bicker over. There is much yelling until Owens out-yells them all, giving a good speech. Then we had to get more dumb comedy with Jericho. Then, once all of the heels were gone, the babyfaces assured us that WWE totally isn’t being xenophobic by booking this match because they really understand that foreigners are mostly nice people and America is all about diversity.

ENZO & CASS SHILL FOR SONIC- apparently Enzo brings his lunch in a lunchbox like a kindergartener.

NEW DAY PROMO- they were actually funny at the beginning when they were telling incest jokes. Once they started up with the Booty-O’s crap, I stopped caring. Thankfully, the Wyatts cut into the feed (and can also apparently control the lighting in the arena) so they could cut a promo that was better than their usual. Then Xavier Woods cut a fantastic promo imploring the others to take the Wyatts seriously “because if you don’t, I don’t think that The New Day will be able to survive.” And then he walked off alone.

Cena, Enzo, & Cass vs. The Club for Battleground. Huh.

SIXTEEN MAN TAG TEAM ELIMINATION MATCH: Team USA (Big Show, Kane, The Dudley Boyz, Jack Swagger, Zack Ryder, Apollo Crews, & Mark Henry) vs. The Multi-National Alliance (Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, the Lucha Dragons, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, & Sheamus)- 6.25/10

Everyone enters their country’s national anthem, except, for some reason, for the Americans. They got a generic patriotic song.
CMLL did basically this same concept on Friday and it went fifty minutes. In WWE... we got, well...
Just over a minute in we had our first elimination (Sin Cara ate a 3-D). Bubba Dudley was eliminated eleven seconds later after Brogue Kick from Sheamus and a springboard splash by Kalisto. Then we had a commercial break, and about a minute after we got back from that, Cesaro made Devon tap to the Sharpshooter.
Cesaro and Swagger face off and do the Real Americans’ “We the people!” salute. That reminds me… wasn’t part of the story for why Cesaro was accepted into the group that he got his American citizenship? That just makes WWE look like even bigger assholes for putting Cesaro on the world team. Jericho was at least nice enough to give Swagger a bunch of offense before eliminating him with the Codebreaker. We’re still less than eight minutes into the match.
We actually went a decent amount of time (six minutes, though most of that was a commercial) before our next elimination, which was Kalisto being pinned by Mark Henry. A few seconds later, Henry was eliminated VIA POP-UP POWERBOMB FROM KEVIN OWENS! That was cool.
Owens & Zayn fought, so Owens was DQed for hitting his own teammate with a chair. That was weird, but then Owens hit Kane, too, so things were all fine and dandy. Then they got un-fine-and-dandy-fied when Kane was DQ for hitting Owens with a chair, even though Owens was no longer a legal participant in the match. Kane chokeslammed Zayn before walking off. Then Crews came in and hit Zayn with his standing moonsault and we’ve now had eight people eliminated in fifteen and a half minutes. Make that nine people in just under sixteen (Sheamus pins Crews via Brogue Kick).
The non-Americans argued about dumb crap so Cesaro turned on all of them. Then Cesaro went for the Gotch-style Neutralized on Ryder but ZACK RYDER ROLLED CESARO UP AND PINNED HIM (I can just hear Vince’s snickering now: “those smarks like Ryder so much, do they? Well let’s see how much they like it when he pins funny accent guy! HA!”)
Ryder made a hot tag to Big Show, who pinned Jericho and Del Rio in quick succession. Ryder eventually got the pin on Sheamus at the 22:17 mark. In that time, FOURTEEN WRESTLERS got eliminated. At this point in CMLL’s version of the match, only three wrestlers had been eliminated, the earliest of them 13:52 in. CMLL gave their match time to be epic, with everyone who participated coming out looking the better for having been involved in such a huge match. WWE did an elimination match for the hell of doing an elimination match, and wound up burying pretty much everyone in it.

A very up and down from WWE. Basically whenever they tried to do something to celebrate Independence Day, it was f*cking horrible. Whenever they tried to actually push angles for their PPV, it was great. Hmm… what does this say about what our priorities should be?

1. Cole- “JBL, you were part of the draft back in 2002. In fact, thanks to the draft, you became the longest-reigning WWE Champion in Smackdown history.”
Actually, Michael, JBL was drafted to Raw, where he wrestled for a few months before getting injured and then, when he recovered, he just showed up on Smackdown with no explanation whatsoever, so you bringing this up actually just reminds everyone that WWE is perfectly willing to ignore the rules of the brand extension whenever they feel like it. (And, you know, it’s not like the draft made JBL champion. He had to win a bunch of matches first).

Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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Re: BRM Reivews the 7/4/2016 Raw (Independence Day FAIL)

Post by KILLdozer » Jul 6th, '16, 10:42

Lol you don't like "We're gonna make Darren Young great again!!!"
When they come, they'll come at what you love.

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