BRM Reviews the 7/11/2016 Raw

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 7/11/2016 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 12th, '16, 01:33

The show opens with a bunch of guys in the ring, Crews making his entrance, and Miz standing on a table. Apparently there is going to be a battle royale for #1 contendership to the IC Title at Battleground.

BATTLE ROYALE FOR A SHOT AT THE WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE AT BATTLEGROUND- 4/10
Undercarders only. From a certain angle, mistook Bo Dallas for Rhyno. Hey, look, Darren Young is back in matches. Goldust dumps Aiden English. Did I just see BOB BACKLUND standing at ringside? They’ve spent months on these stupid “Make Darren Young Great Again” vignettes and not only do they not hype Darren’s return alongside WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backlund, but they don’t even get their entrance shown on TV and don’t even call any attention to it before we see it on screen. It took them to a few moments after Bob’s second appearance on camera to even mention this.
Once Jack Swagger and the tag team division were eliminated, we were left with a final five of Darren Young, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, and Apollo Crews. Crews then eliminated Del Rio. Corbin and Ziggler had a big thing, scaring me that there feud was somehow STILL going, but Corbin eliminated Ziggler. Corbin’s new feud will probably be with Crews, as they tumbled over the top rope together. For those of you keeping track at home, this means that Darren Young’s big push starts with him winning a match completely by accident. Yeah. I’m sure that will get him over.
I am once again astounded by WWE’s incompetence. If you want to give Darren Young the shot at Miz’s title at Battleground, then why wouldn’t you have Darren use the Crossface Chickenwing which his new manager Bob Backlund taught him to make Miz tap out in a regular match? Why do this stupid battle royale to make him look like he won by accident when you could give him a clean win over the champion in the middle of the ring? And if the answer to that is that you don’t want Darren Young to beat The Miz, then you shouldn’t be giving him the title shot at all because losing his first big match with this new gimmick will completely kill him.
Now that I think about it, what they should have done was have it announced that Miz was being forced to defend his title tonight against a mystery opponent and have him run into Kane backstage to tease that Kane will be getting the title shot to actually follow up on that match from two weeks ago when Kane beat Miz by count-out in a title match, but then do the big swerve and have it be Darren Young coming out with Bob Backlund and have him tap Miz out clean in the middle of the ring?
(You can follow up on Kane by giving him a title shot on next week’s Raw with it being announced that Darren will face whoever the champ is when the PPV comes around [Darren would tap someone else out on Raw]. You can take three different routes with Kane’s title shot. The first would be Miz winning clean and going on to face Darren and the PPV, the second would be having Kane win and doing a triple threat at the PPV, and third and most interesting would be to have Miz get DQed or counted out or whatever… and then have Kane and Miz get drafted to separate shows in the draft, at which point you can either have Kane get angry that he won’t be getting another shot at the IC Title even though he deserves one and turn him heel, or you could use this almost title win to push him as a babyface and build him up for a title shot on the show he gets drafted to).

But yeah… this was a terrible way for Darren to become #1 contender. The fans chant “DARREN YOUNG!” and Cole buries Darren by saying “who would have thought that we’d be hearing chants of “DARREN YOUNG!” tonight.

Miz referred to Bob as “a legend in this injury,” and a few moments later Cole somehow managed to mispronounce Devon’s name. Then again, Cole also forgot to say “when Raw rolls on” when they went to commercial, so maybe it won’t all be bad. In fact, Miz not only mentioned his tag team with John Morrison but, even uttered the phrase “this is professional wrestling.” Maybe Vince isn’t there this week?

They keep saying “Smackdown live” like they’re changing the name of the show to “Smackdown Live.” Do they really still think that the reason people don’t watch Smackdown is because it isn’t live?

We are told that Vince “is on his way,” which explains why Miz got away with saying what he did. Also, Shane and Steph will be here. You’d think they’d be here already seeing as how they run the show. If one of those former Smackdown GMs showed up and started booking matches right now, do you think anyone would question their orders before the McMahons show up?

SHANE & STEPH BACKSTAGE- there were so many less annoying ways they could have gotten across the information and sentiment they wanted to get across, but we’ve got to have Shane and Steph bickering on the show somewhere, dammit.

SHANE, STEPH, & ROLLINS BACKSTAGE-
Seth claims to have “exclusive footage” that has something to do with Roman’s suspension. I assumed we're in for some sort of Katie Vick-esque segment with Seth dressed up as Roman “shooting up” and talking about how much he loves steroids. Maybe he’ll show “Roman” buying steroids from a fake Ambrose.
Shane says Seth can show the footage on the Ambrose Asylum. Thankfully, Steph steps in to shoot this down. Seth pitches “The Rollins Report.” Steph likes this idea, and Shane lets her make the choice. This will either be fantastic or horrible.

BROCK LESNAR VS. MARK HUNT STILLS- the announcers talk about something called a “decision” by “judges” and a fight in “rounds.” WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?! Anyway, I did some research on this “UFC” promotion (must be an indy), and apparently they don’t even have pinfalls! I knew some indies were weird, but this is way too strange for me.

RYDER WALKS BY RUSEV BACKSTAGE- he gets jumped from behind by Sheamus. Sheamus then tells Ryder that they have a match scheduled against each other, and that match is next. That’s weird. I just got done watching Smackdown and I could have sworn that Mauro and Lawler and Byron were acting like Rusev vs. Ryder was 100% official.

JBL started talking about who would get picked high in the draft and said that those people can “demand more money.” What does it matter WHEN you get picked and why should you be able to “demand more money.” If doing this draft nullifies your current contract then it would be horribly stupid of WWE to be doing it because what’s to stop everyone from going to work somewhere else?

ZACK RYDER vs. SHEAMUS- 3.5/10
Ryder is selling his arm from the backstage attack. He took it to Sheamus really hard and got a bunch of offense in, but then got cut off, hit with the Brogue Kick and pinned. If you’re going to beat the guy anyway, why not just let Rusev defend the title against him?! THIS WAS SO COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE!
Then Rusev showed up to attack Ryder. Ryder got a few punches in but then got beaten up by Rusev and put in the Accolade. Rusev started to shout “I accept your challenge!” repeatedly. Once again, I am 100% certain that Rusev already cut a promo accepting Ryder’s challenge on the Smackdown that I just watched. If WWE wants to know why people don’t watch Smackdown, it’s not because Smackdown isn’t live. It’s because of sh*t like this where the events of the show are completely ignored.

TYLER BREEZE & FANDANGO vs. THE LUCHA DRAGONS- 4.75
This was set up by a dumb backstage segment from “earlier today.” This also explains why none of these guys were in the earlier battle royale.
JBL is back to saying dumb sh*t about “your agent” being able to demand more money if you get picked higher. Meanwhile, Cole and Byron are hard at work pitching angles that can come out of the draft (what if you get picked a lot lower than you think you should be. That could make you resent the people picked above you or could drive you to work even harder to prove yourself).
Heat on Sin Cara, hot tag to Kalisto… who immediately botches a springboard. They recovered nicely though, and Kalisto ran wild… and then Breeze did that “use your body to trap your head against the turnbuckle and superkick your head through your own legs” spot that’s all the rage on the indies nowadays… and he got the clean pin on Kalisto. That was pretty darn unexpected. I guess they’re going to start the search for a new Hispanic babyface star all over again.

THE ROLLINS REPORT- AWESOME!
Seth claims to have conducted a sit-down interview with Roman Reigns, so rather than Katie Vick, we’re getting the Kurt Angle’s “interview” of The Rock from No Mercy 2000, which everyone should go watch when you’re done reading this review because it’s f*cking HILARIOUS!
Using footage from an interview where Roman is holding the WWE World Heavyweight Title belt was a clever way to make it clear to everyone what Seth is doing. Unlike Rock and Angle, they had Seth playing this completely straight. He also tried to drive a wedge between Ambrose and Reigns.
Seth uses Roman’s “statements” to say that Roman himself doesn’t even think he should be in the triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title at Battleground and thus Roman should be removed from the match and we should be getting Rollins vs. Ambrose 1-on-1.
Ambrose comes out… but rather than yell at Seth or point out Seth’s falsehoods, Dean commends Seth for “trying to have fun for once in your life.” Yeah. Because that’s totally how someone would react if someone else showed a worldwide audience footage that was doctored with the intent of making his best friend look like a terrible person and trying to ruin their friendship.
Seth cut a fantastic promo on Dean, who responded with a pretty awesome promo of his own. This ended with a very strong implication that we’re getting a world title match next week. For some reason this time instead of automatically assuming that any challenge made and accepted is official, Cole says we’ll have to wait to hear what “the powers that be” say.


We got a commercial to hype the Balor vs. Nakamura match on this week’s NXT. I don’t remember them ever doing anything like this for a match that wasn’t at a Takeover show.

ROLLINS VS. AMBROSE FOR THE TITLE NEXT WEEK IS OFFICIAL- hooray!

KEVIN OWENS vs. CESARO-
Not Jericho, despite everything that happened on Smackdown. Sami Zayn is on commentary. Owens isn’t coming out when his music plays. Instead, he is backstage complaining to the referees that Zayn being on commentary creates an “unsafe working environment.” Steph shows up and tells the refs to get Sami off of commentary. Sami complains that he got authorization from Shane McMahon to do commentary. Owens and Zayn have a short brawl on the ramp that is broken up with nothing even close to a decisive winner.

VINCE PULLS UP- Renee asks him why he’s here. He says he is here to “name the new COO of Smackdown live.” Then he changes his mind and says he’ll name the new “commissioner” instead because apparently he thinks that a commissioner is bigger than a COO. He also says that he doesn’t even know who he will pick because he might just change his mind a bunch of times. That’s not very confidence-inspiring. Then we cut a commercial without getting our Cesaro vs. Owens match. It would have been nice for Cole to assure us that were going to get the match after this commercial, considering that the last time Vince showed up he just interrupted the scheduled match and it never happened.

KEVIN OWENS vs. CESARO- 8.25/10
Much more noteworthy than anything that happened in this match were Michael Cole’s comments about John Cena. He said, among other things “how many great years does John Cena have left?” (i.e. WWE finally acknowledging that he’s getting up there in age) and talking Cena having so many other commitments nowadays that he might not be around as often.
An awesome match that went quite a long time (edit: apparently it was only fourteen minutes, but it felt a lot longer). The match escalated very well and told a good story with Owens working over Cesaro’s neck. Owens picked up the win with the Argentine neckbreaker. Cesaro grabbing JBL’s hat and wearing it was pretty stupid, though.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Owens cuts a promo on commentary but gets jumped by Zayn. Zayn throws Owens back into the ring but refs tell him not to pursue Owens. Then Cesaro gave Owens the big swing, which made Cesaro look like a sore loser. It would have been a lot better to have Zayn pursue Owens and have Owens run off while Zayn is held back by a legion of referees.

RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS THE CLUB- good.
This also established that John Cena isn’t here tonight because he is at a “rehearsal” for the ESPYs. It’s a f*cking award show for sports. It’s not like there are musical performances or anything. What is there to rehearse?
More interestingly, The Club teased crashing the ESPYs.

TITUS O’NEIL vs. HEATH SLATER (w/the Social Outcasts)- 0.5/10
Before the match the Second City Taints cut a promo burying Titus for being a failure… and they’re right. Then they killed an otherwise great promo by talking about muffins.

RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS SASHA BANKS- Renee brings up the segment from Smackdown when Dana challenged Sasha to a match. So apparently that challenge being accepted happened but Rusev accepting Ryder’s challenge didn’t. Unsurprisingly, Sasha’s promo was awesome. She’s got to be one of the top five talkers in the company.

We’re getting MizTV with special guests Darren Young and Bob Backlund on Smackdown. I can only assume that Bob Backlund will be Bob Backlund and turn Darren into a joke.

NEW DAY VISIT THE WYATT FAMILY’S COMPOUND- terrible.
Lots of quick cuts and screen effects and tilted camera angles here. New Day drove their car to the middle of a clearing in the middle of the night and got out. A woman in a sheep mask holding a lantern appeared. A bunch of vehicles all turned their lights on at the same time, showing that New Day were surrounded. Then ONE OF THE CARS TRIED TO RUN THE NEW DAY OVER. They got out of the way. The Wyatt Family then emerged from this car and they had a fight. Weapons were used. We saw Big E. and Kofi getting taken out.
Then we went to black momentarily, got a creepy Wyatt sheep-face screen effect, and then we saw Xavier Woods hiding behind a tree. BRAY WYATT TRIED TO MURDER HIM WITH A PICKAXE. Woods eventually got knocked out and carried away.
Then we cut back to where the other fight was apparently still going on. Guys got slammed onto the ground. Strowman put a big dent in a windshield when his attempt to spear Big E. was dodged. Bray dumped Woods on the ground, then rejoined the other fight. Chokeslam on top of the roof of a car to Big E. Xavier came back and ran wild for a few moments but the Wyatts tossed him into the back seat of a car. Bray smashed a window with his pickaxe. Now he’s smashing in a windshield. Xavier somehow gets the drop on all of the Wyatts. He saves Kofi from… something.
We got some more screen effects, then saw Xavier (flanked by his compatriots) throwing what appears to be some sort of antlered animal skull at the feet of the kneeling Bray, who responds by laughing. We hear a weird sound that is apparently not supposed to be part of the score because the New Day can hear it, too, and they get concerned. A legion of overall-wearing Wyatt Family members, all sporting sheep masks and carrying lanterns, step out of the surrounding cars. The surrounding forest is also filled with lantern lights. New Day back off. Bray shouts for them to “FOLLOW THE BUZZARDS!” and that was the end of it.

Everyone will probably judge this segment both on its own merits and as a comparison to The Final Deletion. To start off with the big thing question that I’m sure everyone will be debating: “Was this a rip-off of The Final Deletion?” In my opinion it was not. It was certainly inspired by it, but it was not a rip-off. It looks like they saw The Final Deletion and said “I wonder what it would be like if we used the same theatrical feel but everywhere that they zigged, we zag REALLY hard?” They did an action movie; we’ll do a horror film. They had a one-on-one confrontation; we’ll have a gang fight. They interspersed some comedy; we won’t have any. They had a little bit of goofy fun with their weapons and surroundings; ours will be deadly serious.
Unfortunately, there were several other major places where TNA zigged but WWE zagged that made this MUCH worse than The Final Deletion.
1. WE WERE EASED INTO THE FINAL DELETION; THIS WAS ABRUPT.
The Final Deletion didn’t just start with Matt and Jeff shooting fireworks at each other. They spent months easing us into it, both in terms of setting up the hatred in the feud and in establishing the extremely quirky nature of the “Broken” Matt Hardy character. Even on The Final Deletion episode of Impact itself we didn’t start off with a Swanton out of a tree or an attempted drowning. We got the “prepare the battlefield for massacre” segments, then we got the drone attack, and the set-up for the fire, and so by the time the referee showed up, you had a feeling of what to expect.
This had no such transition. The New Day were invited to the Wyatt Family compound, and when they showed up, the Wyatts immediately tried to murder them. I understand that this probably done for the purpose of accentuating the “horror” feel, but it made the things we were seeing (especially the f*cking PICKAXE!) feel jarringly out of place. That’s ATTEMPTED MURDER. I know it happens all of the time in wrestling, but this didn’t happen at a wrestling show. This happened out in a field in the middle of nowhere. Raven jumping Dreamer and trying to throw him off the Crow’s Nest at the ECW Arena is one thing. Raven jumping Dreamer and trying to throw him off of an overpass onto a busy highway is another. This felt more like the latter.

2. THE FINAL DELETION WAS FRAMED AS PART OF THE SHOW; THIS WASN’T
What I mean by this is that they established a reason why the cameras would be there at The Final Deletion. This was framed as just a regular WWE backstage segment, except that instead of backstage it happened outside. There was no reason for the cameras to be there to follow any of this. This was trying to feel very different from Raw, except that this made it feel 100% like I was watching Raw. The Wyatt family screen effects also contributed to this.
Now we get to the less BRM’s personal quirks and more major issues that I think would hurt this segment in most people’s eyes (and not just mine)

3. THE FINAL DELETION TOLD A COHERENT STORY; THIS DIDN’T
It’s been almost a week since I watched The Final Deletion, and yet I can still give you an accurate synopsis of the major moments of that mini-movie in order (they started in the ring, they used the ladder, Jeff did a Swanton out of a tree, Matt shot fireworks at Jeff, Jeff shot them back at Matt, they fought by the lake and the gardener tasered Jeff. Matt tried to drown Jeff but he emerged from the lake as Willow. Willow beat up the gardener and dressed him as Willow to use as a decoy, they fought in the dirt pit, Matt set the big thing on fire and Jeff fell off of it).
I just finished watching this fifteen minutes ago and I barely remember any of it. The Final Deletion was a story. This was just a montage of scenes that probably could have worked in any order aside from the end. Things being dark didn’t help much, either, as I often confused Bray and Strowman, and often couldn’t tell which New Day member was on screen because I couldn’t see their faces.
The choppiness was a big factor in this as well. When we got the fade to black right after Kofi and Big E. got taken out, I assumed that meant they were unconscious and Woods was the only one left. Once Bray hunted Woods down I figured the action part of the segment was over, so I was completely shocked to discover Kofi and Big E. still fighting. Things kept jumping around so much that I had no idea how anyone got anywhere or any feeling for the layout of the terrain so it felt like guys were just appearing and reappearing and random times in random places. They did a bunch of stuff, but it didn’t feel like there was any sort of story, and none of it made any impact on me aside from that first time Bray swung the pickaxe. In terms of a pure television watching experience, this issue was BY FAR the biggest strike against this segment.

4. THE FINAL DELETION HAD A CONCLUSION; THIS DIDN’T
The Final Deletion went until there was a clear winner and a clear loser in the battle, and there were consequences at the end. Here they just decided to stop fighting for no real reason. The fact that it came after your standard Wyatt Family creepy stuff was even more baffling. So Bray wanted to murder the New Day and he’s got a million dudes… and then he just decides to stop? So what was even the point of this whole thing?

The other thing that I hated about this ties into the above “lack of conclusion” problem, was the specific ending they chose: Bray shouting “follow the buzzards!” We just passed the third anniversary of the Wyatt Family’s debut, and that phrase has just as little significance now as it did three years ago. At this point we know that it’s not a code or a hint or a statement of Bray’s philosophy of life or something like that. It’s just a thing that Bray says that at the end of his spooky promos. Ending this segment with Bray saying this after we got our random appearance by a bunch of other Wyatts and a bunch of spooky Wyatt screen effects… this was really nothing more than another spooky Bray Wyatt promo, except this time there was fighting instead of talking, and when you are trying to do something different, having it feel like “just another” of anything is a massive failure.

The announcers try to discuss this, and the psychological effects it could have on the New Day. Do we have it confirmed that they’re even still alive? Also, the crowd cared so much about what they had just seen that they broke out into a dead-heat chant of “LET’S GO CENA!”/“CENA SUCKS!”

COLIN CASSADY & ENZO AMORE vs. LUKE GALLOWS & KARL ANDERSON (w/AJ Styles)- 5/10
We got a fine exchange of promos before the match. The match itself was disappointing. This could have been a chance for a break-out performance for Enzo and Cass but instead it wound up as a DQ to set up a Cena save. Yes, that’s right, a Cena save. Apparently he is here tonight. This story is MUCH more interesting if AJ interferes to help The Club win and then they beat down Enzo and Cass and JBL gets to argue that Cena really doesn’t care even though Cena has a pretty valid excuse.

SASHA BANKS vs. DANA BROOKE (w/Charlotte)- 6.25/10

CHARLOTTE PROMO- she says Sasha doesn’t deserve a title shot, but maybe she will if she beats Dana yet again on Smackdown. This was pretty dumb.

VINCE ANNOUNCES WHO WILL RUN RAW AND SMACKDOWN-
JBL introduces Vince by saying that “the bodyslam heard around the world (at WrestleMania III) was orchestrated by this man.” What was the f*cking point of that? Just breaking kayfabe for absolutely no reason.
So Steph is running Raw and Shane is running Smackdown (after Shane cut a promo to convince Vince to let him stay). Vince wants them to compete, and even encouraged them to BREAK THE LAW. Well… at least we’ll only have to see them bicker once every few months instead of every damn week. Then Vince told them they’d need to pick general managers. WHY? Why not just have one damn authority figure on each show?
Vince left and his kids cut promos on each other. Shane says Steph is hiding something. Steph slaps Shane and dares him to slap her back, but he kisses her instead.
Steph slipped on the steps on her way down, so at least something here was entertaining.


One awesome match, some great promos, and a lot of frustration.

STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. The announcers wonder “how” you would go about drafting someone like Brock Lesnar or Undertaker because they usually just show up and do whatever they want to.
You draft them like normal and punish them when they break the rules. DUH! If the rules are nullified by someone’s ability to “do whatever they want” then this whole draft would be absolutely meaningless.

2. JBL (about the European uppercut)- “European wrestlers learned that uppercut because the closed fist was banned for so many years.”
IT’S STILL BANNED NOW!


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Re: BRM Reviews the 7/11/2016 Raw

Post by KILLdozer » Jul 12th, '16, 10:58

Yeah, no, Rusev had just said "don't challenge a guy when he's not around You... challenge him to his face on RAW."
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Re: BRM Reviews the 7/11/2016 Raw

Post by KILLdozer » Jul 12th, '16, 11:19

JBL just admitted he called Crews Titus O'Neil ...


Well then....
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Re: BRM Reviews the 7/11/2016 Raw

Post by KILLdozer » Jul 12th, '16, 11:27

At the end of the Battle Royal when Crews hit the floor , at first I thought he was mad for going over...then his face showed happiness...it was almost like he figured he won since Corbin touched first...so did he actually forget about Darren Young?

Lol , uh, yeah...sure.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 7/11/2016 Raw

Post by KILLdozer » Jul 12th, '16, 11:28

Saxton has to go sooooonnn.

Off BOTH teams! For real.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 7/11/2016 Raw

Post by KILLdozer » Jul 12th, '16, 11:40

"Not a Bad guy, not a good guy...The suspended guy."

Lmao!
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Re: BRM Reviews the 7/11/2016 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 14th, '16, 21:53

I'm a little surprised that Dozer and I are the only two people with thoughts on the Wyatts vs. New Day thing. I figured that be a pretty hot topic of conversation.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 7/11/2016 Raw

Post by cero2k » Jul 15th, '16, 09:29

Big Red Machine wrote:I'm a little surprised that Dozer and I are the only two people with thoughts on the Wyatts vs. New Day thing. I figured that be a pretty hot topic of conversation.
i was trying to tackle this and a response to the Jim Cornette comment from the TNA section, but it became a bit big to tackle. I personally thought this was terrible in execution, but awesome in idea, (while the Broken Hardy i think is awesome in both things). This made The Wyatts look strong, both brawling, but it showed that the Clan is actually quite quite big, you would think that with those numbers Bray should be World Champ by now.

The execution however, showed exactly what I expected from WWE, they saw the Final Deletion and figured "Ha! we can do that with better production" completely missing the point in Hardy's delusion. All these cuts and grainy filters made this look cheesy, like a lot more cheesy than the final deletion.

going back to your review, i agree with the 4 points you made, even if they hinted this since last week, it felt really out there with not a lot to build. In Alvarez' words, they did a compound falls count anywhere match to build up the normal match. pretty backwards.
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