BRM Reviews the 8/15/2016 Raw (mostly bad)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 8/15/2016 Raw (mostly bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 16th, '16, 23:25

SETH ROLLINS PROMO OUTSIDE OF THE ARENA- goofy and bad.
This was your standard, forced WWE promo. If you’re going to have Rollins sarcastically call out “The Demon King” you should have had him do it in a dark basement with pentagram drawn on the floor. That would have given his words an air of comedic sarcasm that would have made this work.

OPENING SEGMENT- bad
Rusev & Lana refuse to leave the ring until Roman Reigns comes out to apologize to them, and that there will be no Raw and no matches until this happened. Seeing as how the fans all came to see their favorite WWE Superstars in compete in wrestling matches, you’d think being the top babyface and the face of the company dammit, Roman would want to come out right away to rectify this, either by apologizing or by forcibly removing Rusev and Lana from the ring… but instead he leaves it to Mick Foley to handle like a chickensh*t would.
At least this gave Rusev the chance to be a great heel and bury Foley for a while, including demanding to speak to “the real authority” Stephanie McMahon. Steph lectures Rusev for not respecting Foley, etc. etc. Then something AMAZING happened. Rusev didn’t give a sh*t and stood up to Steph. He said that if she didn’t respect his talent, then maybe he’d give “daddy” a call, or “your big brother, Shane.”
Only now did Roman come out, but rather than either try to remove Rusev from the ring or try to smooth things over he just stood there insulting Rusev and Lana with the same jokes as last week. Rusev fires some insults back at Roman, so now Roman feels like fighting, but Steph gets in the way, declaring that the US Title match MUST happen at Summer Slam.
At this point, Rusev brought up an extremely important point: It’s not just about the title. It’s about him defending his wife’s honor… and the more I think about it, the more it feels like WWE has gone wrong. If you want people (especially men) to cheer Roman, don’t put in a situation where he is facing a guy who wants to fight Roman because Roman has slighted his wife’s honor. They should have focused this on Rusev insulting the USA and Roman defending his country’s honor (plus, the Olympic tie-in seems like a pretty obvious thing to do. Hell… didn’t Roman just defend his title again former US Olympian Mark Henry two weeks ago?).
Foley solves this conflict by booking them in a non-title match tonight, with both Foley and Cole framing this match as “Rusev defending Lana’s honor.” So… Rusev is the babyface tonight, here?
Yeah… this whole thing made Roman look terrible.



We are told that Seth Rollins “will call out Finn Balor’s alter ego, the Demon King.” Unfortunately, it sounded like Byron said “The Demon Kane” instead of “the Demon King,” and between that and use the of the term “alter ego,” I was presented with the fantastic mental image of Finn Balor walking down the street, but then hearing an emergency siren and quickly ducking into a phone booth, only for the door to open a few moments later and Kane to emerge.

BYRON INTERVIEWS SHEAMUS IN THE RING- good promo by Sheamus building up both his feud with Cesaro and his match with Sami Zayn.

SAMI ZAYN vs. SHEAMUS- 6.5/10
Cesaro was on commentary. He distracted Sheamus to give Zayn the win… so now we’ll have to watch a feud between two guys who have been losing while Sami Zayn has nothing to do at Summer Slam.

JERICHO & OWENS PROMO- meh. The joke here was them calling the announcer a different name every time. It build up to the usual unfunny Jericho “it” joke. If you’re going to do this then at least be clever with it (with what? With… IT, okay?). Can you imagine the next time Hunter tells someone to “suck it” on the air. That’ll be fantastically awkward.
I thought the attempt at stupid humor here overshadowed their otherwise fine promo.

SHEAMUS AND CESARO ARE BEING SEPARATED BACKSTAGE- Foley yells at them for interfering matches, then books them in a best of seven series, which will start Summer Slam and, by my calculations, go until at last October… and that’s assuming that they face each other every single week.

THE DUDLEY BOYS vs. THE NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)- DUD!
After both teams had made their way to the ring but before the match started, we got another video from Gallows & Anderson that was like last week’s but a lot less funny because 1) the wordplay wasn’t as good, and 2) we just heard this joke last week. Not only was this video not good (Anderson and Gallows shouldn’t come off as comedy dorks), but playing it at the time that they did is just weird. If this were real, why would they play a video like this AFTER both teams had made their entrances?
The Dudleys lost in a minute and a half. Here’s an idea: if you want to get across that New Day’s titles in jeopardy at the PPV because Big E. won’t be there and that Gallows & Anderson’s video is going to affect them via mind-games or whatever such bullsh*t, why not have THE DUDLEYS win. This would accomplish all of those goals, as well as not burying a legendary tag team and setting up your #1 contenders for after SummerSlam.

GALLOWS & ANDERSON VIDEO PART 2- now that the match is over we got back to Gallows & Anderson like this is some sort of sketch comedy show. They make more of the same jokes that we heard last week before deciding that they need more test subjects, and the segment ends with an implication that they are coming for Kofi and Xavier’s genitals. You may insert you own “choppy-choppy your pee-pee” joke here. Actually… you know what? I will forgive these videos if at some point tonight we get a backstage segment where Kofi and Xavier are attacked by Kaientai.

NEW DAY PROMO- Kofi starts out serious but that last all of three sentences before they, too, start making jokes.

SETH ROLLINS LOOKS FOR THE DEMON KING- he is wandering the hallways looking for the Demon King. Instead he bumps into what appears to be Adrian Neville’s pedophile older brother. He warns Seth that he might think he is ready for the Demon King… but he isn’t.

NIA JAX vs. RACHEL LEVY- squash
Byron interviewed Levy whose promo gave us our Olympics tie-in for the night. I actually thought her promo was pretty great for what it was supposed to be. There could be a role as an always optimistic jobber in her future. Then Nia squashed her like a colorfully-attired bug.

HEATH SLATER INTERRUPTS BROCK & HEYMAN- *pauses show to go make popcorn.*
How many limbs do you guys think Heath will be missing when this is over? I’m going with two.
Heath wants to face Brock Lesnar tonight, thinking he will get a Raw contract if he wins. Okay then. I’ll go edit Heath’s Wikipedia page to include his date of death.
Heath keeps saying that his children depend on him, so it’s the same joke as on Smackdown. Didn’t we also establish on Smackdown that said children were fictitious? I mean… they’d have to be, right? Isn’t that pretty much a perfect illustration of Darwinism in action?
Brock seems to be buying Heath’s story about needing to provide for his children. He says that he can understand this. This is the most talking Brock has done in a WWE ring since 2004, and they’re wasting it on this?
Wait! It’s a swerve! Brock gets in Heath’s face and says “I don’t give a f*ck about your kids.” Brock is the best! Brock tells him to leave. Heath tries to jump Brock but Brock beats him up. BRM cackles.

PAUL HEYMAN PROMO- awesome.
Also, it included the phrase “the beast is in heat.” That was something I didn’t need to know.

ENZO & CASS PROMO- good

COLIN CASSADY (w/Enzo Amore) vs. KEVIN OWENS (w/Chris Jericho)- 5.75/10
DQ finish. Heel beat-down after the match. It builds to SummerSlam, I guess. In a really lazy and uninteresting way.

TOM PHILLIPS INTERVIEWS ROMAN REIGNS- Roman is a douchebag. Thankfully, Rusev showed up to jump him from behind and beat him up. Road agents and referees came in to break it up.

THE SHINING STARS vs. THE PRIME TIME PLAYERS (w/Bob Backlund)- 1.5/10
What he f*ck?! Weren’t Darren and Titus feuding with each other? Did I hallucinate that?
Okay. Apparently there is footage from the pre-show to explain this. A tip for WWE: you might want to air the footage explaining a jarring scene before you air the jarring scene itself. Apparently Titus just walked up to Bob and Darren and suggested a one night only reunion, which Bob accepted with no suspicious whatsoever. After a few seconds, Darren gave up his suspicion as well. These f*cking idiots are so completely getting stabbed in the back tonight, and they are the only two people in the world who don’t see it coming.
Or not. Instead we got Darren accidentally knocking Titus off of the apron, so Titus turned on Darren but he actually had a legitimate reason to do so.

ADRIAN NEVILLE vs. JOBBER MAHAL- squash.
Why bring Jinder back and pay him a real salary when you’re going to give him the same treatment you gave the jobbers you feed to Nia and Strowman?

STEPH & FOLEY BACKSTAGE- bad
Foley says that he just got off the phone with Jon Stewart and said that he would be their “guest” at SummerSlam. Mick Foley, the consummate babyface, was all excited about his, asking Steph “do you remember the great job he did last year?” This “great job” would include screwing John Cena out of the both the US and WWE World Heavyweight titles.

SETH, STEPH, & FOLEY BACKSTAGE- more of Seth searching for The Demon King. Steph and Foley are all but mocking him. Foley suggests that he go into the ring and call out The Demon King, and when Seth says this is a silly idea, Steph implies that not doing so would mean that Seth is scared. This made Rollins look like a complete and total dork.

SETH ROLLINS CALLS OUT THE DEMON KING- Seth cuts a promo. Actually, no he didn’t. What Seth did here was gave a grand speech that was completely out of place. Then some sort of… thing appeared briefly in front of him. It looked to me like a fan in a black miner’s helmet had tried to jump Seth but got tripped up and pulled out of the ring from behind.
Then the lights started to flicker and we heard a voice start to speak in tongues over the PA. Then the lights went off completely, then we returned with Balor doing his entrance all in demon paint. I didn’t like this one bit. If I am someone who doesn’t watch NXT, my first thought during all of this is the same as my first thought the first time I saw it in NXT: “why the f*ck is Balor crawling around like weirdo?” I tuned in to Raw to watch professional wrestling, not interpretive dance. Am I supposed to believe that Finn Balor is currently possessed by a demon? If not, then why is he dressed up and acting like a weirdo?
The live crowd seems to have reacted to this better than I did. They even chanted “holy sh*t!” which seemed quite excessive to me. They also chanted “this is awesome” for a face-off we’ve seen a few times already now.
There was a brawl. Balor won.


GOLDEN TRUTH vs. THE CLUB- 2.25/10
Anderson & Gallows are now wearing their labcoats to the ring and carrying jars full of preserving fluid for Kofi, Big E., and Xavier. They have a competitive match against the f*cking Golden Truth. They win, but they shouldn’t be having competitive matches against comedy jobbers.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- bad
After the match, Kofi and Xaiver jump them from behind like heels. In the only good bit of this, New Day tried to get revenge for Big E. via Kofi holding Anderson’s legs open so that Xavier could hit him in the nuts with his trombone but Gallows pulled his partner to safety. Then The Club retreated, but made sure to protectively grab the jar labelled “Big E.” before leaving, as if that really is Big E.’s pickled testicle in there and they legitimately need to save it for scientific experiments.

CHARLOTTE & DANA BACKSTAGE- fine
First Charlotte bounced around for seemingly no reason other than to test how much she jiggled. Then Dana showed up and tried apologize for failing last week but Charlotte was very mean to her.

CHARLOTTE vs. ALICIA FOX- 0.5/10
Sasha Banks was on commentary.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Charlotte called Sasha out so of course Sasha responded… and when she got into the ring, Dana Brooke came out of the crowd and tried to attack her from behind! But Sasha saw it coming and stopped her with a forearm… which was all of the distraction that Charlotte needed to take her knee out from behind. Charlotte then locked in the Figure Eight while Dana stomped away on Sasha. It took the refs a while to break it up. This was a great go-home angle… and FINALLY something worthwhile on this show.

BRAUN STROWMAN VIDEO PACKAGE- fine.

ROMAN REIGNS vs. RUSEV (w/Lana)- 8/10
If Roman and Rusev have both been in the ring at the same time and they’re already fighting, why not just ring the f*cking bell and start the match? What’s the point of trying to separate them so that you can order them to fight when they’re already fighting?
Anyway, this match was awesome. They made me forget that this wasn’t the PPV. Roman wins clean here to show us that he can beat Rusev at the PPV.


A mostly bad episode of Raw. Watch Brock stuff and then watch the last forty minutes or so. Screw the rest of it.


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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/15/2016 Raw (mostly bad)

Post by cero2k » Aug 17th, '16, 09:18

I hated the idea of revealing the Demon on a RAW right before the PPV, not only was it spoiled, but are we now getting the same paint on sunday? idk, Balor just looked stupid out there
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/15/2016 Raw (mostly bad)

Post by KILLdozer » Aug 17th, '16, 09:49

Great alter ego display by WWE. Great putting it over..."he just crawls around the place.,"
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/15/2016 Raw (mostly bad)

Post by Serujuunin » Aug 17th, '16, 15:43

I am on my phone so forgive me for the lack of quotations.

I thought Heyman's promo was okay until that "the beast is in heat" like because it immediately made me think of a housecat in heat and it ruined the whole image. I think Heyman should do a bit more research before saying something like that, because only female animals experience heat.

Also, as I feared and predicted, they're RUINING Finn Balor. I think for the whole paint and dramatic entrance to be over, it should have been shown on PPV first, and maybe even be the first time we saw Balor at all. And for them to refer to the "demon king" as an alter ego ruins the whole gimmick for me. It's not like a superhero-in-hiding situation where the term is appropriate. It's just a creative outlet that allows him to change his mindset for a big match. Push it as that. It's more believable, less cartoony, and all in all, doesn't leave as bad a taste in my mouth as what they actually did.

After the last few RAWs this one was super disappointing.

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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/15/2016 Raw (mostly bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 17th, '16, 16:56

Serujuunin wrote: Also, as I feared and predicted, they're RUINING Finn Balor. I think for the whole paint and dramatic entrance to be over, it should have been shown on PPV first, and maybe even be the first time we saw Balor at all. And for them to refer to the "demon king" as an alter ego ruins the whole gimmick for me. It's not like a superhero-in-hiding situation where the term is appropriate. It's just a creative outlet that allows him to change his mindset for a big match. Push it as that. It's more believable, less cartoony, and all in all, doesn't leave as bad a taste in my mouth as what they actually did.
The term Bryan Alvarez used to describe this was "WWE-ized" or Dolph Ziggler being "the show-off..." and he's totally right. Their way of "getting something over" is to repeat it a million times, just like they did with "the Divas Revolution." What they fail to grasp is that making sure people know a phrase does not mean that the idea behind it is over. Otherwise, Roman Reigns would be the top babyface. Instead, it makes it irritating and heavy-handed.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/15/2016 Raw (mostly bad)

Post by Serujuunin » Aug 17th, '16, 19:59

Big Red Machine wrote:
Serujuunin wrote: Also, as I feared and predicted, they're RUINING Finn Balor. I think for the whole paint and dramatic entrance to be over, it should have been shown on PPV first, and maybe even be the first time we saw Balor at all. And for them to refer to the "demon king" as an alter ego ruins the whole gimmick for me. It's not like a superhero-in-hiding situation where the term is appropriate. It's just a creative outlet that allows him to change his mindset for a big match. Push it as that. It's more believable, less cartoony, and all in all, doesn't leave as bad a taste in my mouth as what they actually did.
The term Bryan Alvarez used to describe this was "WWE-ized" or Dolph Ziggler being "the show-off..." and he's totally right. Their way of "getting something over" is to repeat it a million times, just like they did with "the Divas Revolution." What they fail to grasp is that making sure people know a phrase does not mean that the idea behind it is over. Otherwise, Roman Reigns would be the top babyface. Instead, it makes it irritating and heavy-handed.
Heavy handed is absolutely the right term. They can get away with mentioning something only occasionally and get the idea into people's heads, they don't have to do it a million times every week.

And it's still super childish to me, on top of that.

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