BRM Reviews the 8/29/2016 Raw (great... and newsworthy)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 8/29/2016 Raw (great... and newsworthy)

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 30th, '16, 01:38

OPENING SEGMENT- decent.
Corey Graves is in the ring with the four guys in the Universal Title match sitting on stools, with the belt between them. Maybe it’s just me, but I HATE this set-up. I think they all look like dorks, sitting there on those stools like they’re waiting for their turn to speak at poetry night in the coffee house in the student union. I also don’t like this silly forced interaction. Just because they’re all in the same big match doesn’t mean you need to have them all in the ring in the same segment to cut promos. I think it would serve the show (and the wrestlers) a lot better to have them each cut their own promo backstage to hype up the match, interspersed throughout the show.
Rollins took credit for injuring Balor and creating this opportunity. Owens once again became my hero for mocking this whole set-up. He noted that Zayn wouldn’t be able to get in his way tonight- which Rollins immediately jumped in to take credit for. He then insulted both Roman and Cass. His comments on Cass were fantastic and worth watching this to see. His comments on Roman were meh, but his bursting out in laughter at Roman getting booed at the mere mention of his name was priceless. Cass’ response was meh. It’s clear they don’t trust him to do his own stuff, which is disappointing because he’s pretty good when he’s not reciting someone else’s words.
Seth jumped in with some great comments on all of them as well. When asked to talk, Roman just sucker-punched Owens. What a jackass. This started a schmoz which ended with Roman standing tall. The whole thing only went about eight minutes, which was good.

TOM PHILLIPS INTERVIEWS CHRIS JERICHO- fine
For some strange reason, they did this promo after Neville had entered. Why do they insisted on doing things in an order that makes them more awkward?

CHRIS JERICHO vs. ADRIAN NEVILLE- 6.75/10
Good opener. Jericho picks up the clean win via Liontamer (and called as such by Michael Cole).

BAYLEY WALKS AROUND BACKSTAGE- she introduces herself to a random person via hug. She bumps into the New Day. They are annoying together (Bayley should never be swiveling her hips or doing anything even vaguely sexual).
Dana Brooke shows up to criticize them. She gets in a hilarious Swerved plug. She tells Bayley that Bayley will fail in the WWE because she “doesn’t belong here.” Instead of Bayley getting to stick up for herself, New Day does all of the talking for her. This made Bayley look like crap. The result of this is Dana going to recruit Gallows and Anderson for a mixed tag match.

MICHAEL CONGRATULATES THE ROCK ON MAKING A LOT OF MONEY DOING THINGS OTHER THAN WRESTLING- I know Dwayne’s ego is a button of mine so you can take this with a grain of salt if you want to, but this annoyed the hell out of me for a few reasons. First of all, as someone who doesn’t have a lot of money, having them congratulate this doofus for making millions and millions is really annoying (I probably wouldn’t have gotten as annoyed if they didn’t give an exact number). Either way, though, why should anyone give a damn how much Rock made? Good for him that he made a lot of money acting. I’m happy for him. I really am. But I just don’t see why WWE should plug this. How does it benefit them to tell us that Dwayne made a lot of money acting? If he had made that money wrestling you could argue that telling us this will encourage people to consider wrestling for WWE as a potential career (although I still wouldn’t like them showing it), but this does absolutely nothing.
The thing that really annoyed me, though, was the end, when Michael Cole thanked all of the WWE fans for supporting The Rock. This makes it sound like the two are somehow tied together. That I, as a fan of WWE, should be supporting WWE’s favorite alumnus in his movie career simply because of who he used to be. It’s like they have this pathological need to tie themselves to Dwayne in any way they can in the hopes that they’ll fool non-fans into thinking that a popular movie star is associated with company in some tangible way and to fool fans into thinking that Dwayne gives a sh*t anymore (with all that f*cking money he’s got, if he wants to be an actor you’d think he’d help his old buddy Vince out by doing a movie for WWE Films every once in a while, right?)

ANDREA DEMARCO INTERVIEWS TONIGHT’S NIA JAX VICTIM- she is from Texas, where she says everything is bigger, including her heart… so Andrea casually says “I hope your heart is still beating after this match.” WHAT THE F*CK? She pretty much just said “Well… I hope you don’t die” in as pleasant a tone as if she were saying “good luck.”

NIA JAX vs. PION- fine squash. I just wish it felt like they were actually going somewhere with this. If it takes much longer to actually get around to having her do something worthwhile, then what was point of bringing her up this early? It would be much better for both the NXT brand and for Nia herself if she was down in NXT having real matches.

ANDERSON & GALLOWS PROMO- I will admit to laughing at the “Octogenarian Leisure Destination For Aging Rehabilitation Treatment” joke. I will admit that they got me and I am actually enjoying these goofy Anderson & Gallows promos more often than not. That doesn’t mean that I think this is what they should be doing with them, but as long as they remain funny and remain pushed, I won’t complain too much.
When Dana had mentioned the earlier segment that she had been talking to them I was secretly hoping we would somehow get some footage of Dana attempting to recruit Luke & Karl to team with her because the comedic potential of a conversation between the “so straight laced it’s almost goofy” Gallows & Anderson, and the “so uncharismatic she has her own weird charisma” Dana Brooke was too great to pass up… but what we got here was EVEN BETTER. Giving Dana’s… anti-charisma… a cameo in a completely straight-laced Gallows & Anderson promo was brilliant. The only way they could have made this better was if they had responded to her “hello gentlemen” with a completely straight “hello, nurse” (got to get my Animaniacs reference in). I laughed my ass off at Dana with the one blue glove like the nurse on the cover of Enema of the State.

SETH ROLLINS VIDEO PACKAGE- very good.

SAMI ZAYN vs. JINDER MAHAL- no rating, effective segment.
They’re pushing that Sami’s ankle is still injured from last week. Holy crap injuries lasting longer than one match?! And fantastic attention to detail from Michael Cole! What crazy alternate dimension have I slipped into? (And can I stay here if it means getting more of Dana Brooke hanging out with Gallows & Anderson?)
Of course, Jinder still can’t win, even with an opponent coming into the match injured. The match served its purpose, though, which was to get Sami’s injury on TV while still giving him a win. Even if the injury is totally gone by next week (which it probably should be), this match will have been an important and effective part of the story of Sami’s injury and recovery, which is a perfectly fine story to spend two weeks telling.

SASHA BANKS MEDICAL UPDATE- this was weird. Sasha almost came off like a paranoid heel. The idea that Charlotte intentionally tried to end her career came off completely melodramatic. After all, no one is throwing such accusations at Seth Rollins, and Balor is going to need a lot more time off than Sasha. Her also talking about Dana and Ric like they mattered to this match made her seem like a crazy person. It feels like they played “generic Sasha Banks promo #53” that was recorded back in July or something. Charlotte was on commentary and pretty much refuted everything Charlotte said.
Also, Lita is almost as bad as Booker T when it comes to constantly mincing her words on the pre-show panel. Can someone please explain to me why they can’t just let Renee Young do all of the talking? The announcing in WWE would improve greatly across the board if they took Byron and JBL off of commentary and moved them to the pre-show with Renee, with Renee being the one who actually asks the wrestlers the important questions while JBL and Byron are limited to responses and analysis.

MIXED TAG TEAM MATCH: Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, & Dana Brooke vs. Bayley & The New Day (w/Xavier Woods)- 6.5/10
Bayley is dressed in New Day colors and is presented with one of the official New Day forehead dildos. If you had told me a mere year ago that I would need to go to Wikipedia to look up the proper pluralization of “dildo” for a WWE review, I would have thought you mad, but here we are.
I know I shouldn’t like it, but I love how Corey Graves contributes to The Club’s act by 100% believing everything they say and playing that completely straight.
They went for a while and into a commercial break. When we came back from commercial, instead of the match in the ring, the camera was focused Cole, Byron, Graves, and Charlotte, all sitting in their chairs and facing the camera… which meant they were facing AWAY FROM THE RING, AND AWAY FROM THEIR MONITORS! Meanwhile, we could see some movement going on over their shoulders in the background, which would be the wrestling match we are supposed to care about.
Dana’s personality actually comes out pretty well when she is trash-talking, which just adds an extra dimension to her wackiness.
WOW… Kofi overshot Gallows so he couldn’t catch him at all.
Bayley pins Dana again, which on one level is definitely the right move, but at the same time, Gallows & Anderson really needed a win. Couldn’t they have had Bayley wrestle in a different match?

TOM PHILLIPS INTERVIEWS CESARO- good promo.

They had a commercial advertising that Bryan would respond to Miz on Smackdown. Fingers crossed for an un-retirement.

COLIN CASSADY VIDEO PACKAGE- decent

SHEAMUS PROMO- good

MATCH #2 IN THEIR BEST OF SEVEN SERIES: Cesaro(0) vs. Sheamus(1)- 7.25/10
A great match and HOLY CRAP what a finish. That backdrop into the ringpost looked SICK, to the point where the ref was legit concerned, which you can tell because the camera picked him up saying “Claudio?” instead of Cesaro.

MR. FUJI VIDEO PACKAGE- fine… I just hate the fact that they feel the need to refer to him by his shoot name, too.

KEVIN OWENS VIDEO PACKAGE- awesome

BYRON SAXTON INTERVIWS AMERICO- Strowman shows up early, and Americo is so scared of him that he can no longer answer Byron’s question.

BRAUN STROWMAN vs. AMERICO- squash.
Strowman rips his mask off afterwards, just because. Americo took the Reverse Chokelsam type of thing REALLY well.
CRUSIERWEIGHTS COMMERCIAL- we’re getting Ciampa, Cedric, and Gargano.

STEPH & HEYMAN SEGMENT- I laughed my ass off at Steph shutting down the “ECW!” chants by reminding everyone of the Invasion angle. Heyman has come here, “hat in hand, to pay my client’s most reasonable fine of $500.” Then Paul whips out a big bundle of singles to pay with. I laughed my ass off at this as well, as I come from a family where you unleash your frustrations in a game of Monopoly via paying outrageously large rents in $5 bills. I will also confess that, when annoyed by the service in a restaurant, my friends and I used to pay bills of upwards of $40 using only coins. Steph got pissed and slapped the money out of Heyman’s hands. That was great.
Then it got bad when Steph had be Steph and mark her territory. She asks Paul Heyman what value he provides her show. Um… the best promos in wrestling to help sell Brock Lesnar’s matches? She threatened to fire Heyman, which she can’t do because he doesn’t work for her. He works for Brock.
Heyman then turned the tables on Steph by making a decent point about corporate appearances. He said that exposing Steph’s in ability to control her roster “set back the female empowerment movement,” at which point Steph interrupted him and said “female empowerment movement?” as if she couldn’t believe that someone would say something so clumsy and forced in an attempt to get Steph over as a feminist, and I was all prepared to make some comment about irony, but it turns out that Steph’s outrage was not because Paul’s phrasing and his attempts to connect it to Steph sounded pathetically forced, but rather because Heyman didn’t use the right stupid catchphrase and say “women’s revolution.” At least “female empowerment movement” is a more accurate description. This “women’s revolution” in WWE hasn’t meant much of anything (just look at the time the average non-title women’s match gets: we’re back down to under five minutes in 99% of cases) and Steph certainly doesn’t deserve any of the credit for whatever success there has been. But no. We’ve got to get our stupid WWE-speak catchphrase buzzword out there, dammit!
Steph declares herself to be the “women’s revolution” and this has apparently cowed Paul Heyman. Steph walks off… and so what was the point. This doesn’t feel like it has anywhere to go. It was just a segment with Heyman and Steph yelling at each other.

ROMAN REIGNS VIDEO PACKAGE- this had pretty much no substance, it was more like just a highlight video set to lame music. He didn’t even speak aside from one soundbite of him saying “The champion. The guy. Next to the other three, this made Roman look like a much lesser star. Like a guy who just doesn’t have as much going on.

TITUS O’NEIL vs. DARREN YOUNG (w/Bob Backlund)- 2.5/10
Um… I’m pretty sure Corey Graves just accused Bob Backlund of forgetting that he wasn’t “a fictional character” or something like that. Darren wins with a roll-up but Titus attack him and Bob after the match, so we’re back at square one.

MICK FOLEY & STEPHANIE MCMAHON BACKSTAGE- they decide to ban everyone from ringside “to preserve the integrity of the match. Steph accidentally called it “the first ever Universal Title match.” Rollins showed up and Steph gave him a pep talk and a hug.

NO DISQUALIFICATIONS FOUR-WAY ELIMIANTION MATCH TO CROWN A NEW WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens vs. Colin Cassady vs. Roman Reigns- 8/10
I liked Enzo coming out with Cass even though he knew he couldn’t stay at ringside.
I thought eliminating Cass first was a big mistake. He’s the lesser of the stars here by far, so the best thing for him here (other than putting the title on him, obviously) is to do your best to make people think that he really has a chance to win. I’d have him eliminate Roman first and have him last to the final two, eliminating whichever heel you aren’t putting the belt on (which should be Rollins, as putting the belt on him after he lost to Balor would be bad for the belt, IMO), and then have Owens manage to hit him with the pop-up powerbomb for the win.

Anyway… HOLY F*CK! I definitely did not see THAT coming.
That second one I actually did suspect as a possibility once the first thing happened, although I was actually expecting a third one as well.

Well… we’ve got some direction now, so that’s nice.

A pretty great episode of Raw.


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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/29/2016 Raw (great... and newsworthy)

Post by cero2k » Aug 30th, '16, 11:26

Big Red Machine wrote:
MICHAEL CONGRATULATES THE ROCK ON MAKING A LOT OF MONEY DOING THINGS OTHER THAN WRESTLING- I know Dwayne’s ego is a button of mine so you can take this with a grain of salt if you want to, but this annoyed the hell out of me for a few reasons.
the more i see these segments and just look at how The Rock is outside of WWE, i don't think it's Rock's ego here, but WWE wanting to piggy back on Rock's stardom.

STEPH & HEYMAN SEGMENT- I laughed my ass off at Steph shutting down the “ECW!” chants by reminding everyone of the Invasion angle. Heyman has come here, “hat in hand, to pay my client’s most reasonable fine of $500.” Then Paul whips out a big bundle of singles to pay with. I laughed my ass off at this as well, as I come from a family where you unleash your frustrations in a game of Monopoly via paying outrageously large rents in $5 bills. I will also confess that, when annoyed by the service in a restaurant, my friends and I used to pay bills of upwards of $40 using only coins. Steph got pissed and slapped the money out of Heyman’s hands. That was great.
Then it got bad when Steph had be Steph and mark her territory. She asks Paul Heyman what value he provides her show. Um… the best promos in wrestling to help sell Brock Lesnar’s matches? She threatened to fire Heyman, which she can’t do because he doesn’t work for her. He works for Brock.
Heyman then turned the tables on Steph by making a decent point about corporate appearances. He said that exposing Steph’s in ability to control her roster “set back the female empowerment movement,” at which point Steph interrupted him and said “female empowerment movement?” as if she couldn’t believe that someone would say something so clumsy and forced in an attempt to get Steph over as a feminist, and I was all prepared to make some comment about irony, but it turns out that Steph’s outrage was not because Paul’s phrasing and his attempts to connect it to Steph sounded pathetically forced, but rather because Heyman didn’t use the right stupid catchphrase and say “women’s revolution.” At least “female empowerment movement” is a more accurate description. This “women’s revolution” in WWE hasn’t meant much of anything (just look at the time the average non-title women’s match gets: we’re back down to under five minutes in 99% of cases) and Steph certainly doesn’t deserve any of the credit for whatever success there has been. But no. We’ve got to get our stupid WWE-speak catchphrase buzzword out there, dammit!
Steph declares herself to be the “women’s revolution” and this has apparently cowed Paul Heyman. Steph walks off… and so what was the point. This doesn’t feel like it has anywhere to go. It was just a segment with Heyman and Steph yelling at each other.
This felt like the same segment we've been seeing for the last 5 years where they hint Paul and Brock going on their own business against WWE, which as we've seen never goes anywhere because both of them are likely gonna be gone again til survivor series


NO DISQUALIFICATIONS FOUR-WAY ELIMIANTION MATCH TO CROWN A NEW WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens vs. Colin Cassady vs. Roman Reigns- 8/10
I liked Enzo coming out with Cass even though he knew he couldn’t stay at ringside.
I thought eliminating Cass first was a big mistake. He’s the lesser of the stars here by far, so the best thing for him here (other than putting the title on him, obviously) is to do your best to make people think that he really has a chance to win. I’d have him eliminate Roman first and have him last to the final two, eliminating whichever heel you aren’t putting the belt on (which should be Rollins, as putting the belt on him after he lost to Balor would be bad for the belt, IMO), and then have Owens manage to hit him with the pop-up powerbomb for the win.
i'm not entirely happy that Owen's title win was gifted by Triple H, it makes it seem lesser than it should, especially since he didn't even know the swerve was coming. I do wonder if this (Owens winning, Steph not knowing) will lead to Hunter bringing in his NXT alumni stable vs RAW and Smackdown
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/29/2016 Raw (great... and newsworthy)

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 31st, '16, 00:33

cero2k wrote:
Big Red Machine wrote:
MICHAEL CONGRATULATES THE ROCK ON MAKING A LOT OF MONEY DOING THINGS OTHER THAN WRESTLING- I know Dwayne’s ego is a button of mine so you can take this with a grain of salt if you want to, but this annoyed the hell out of me for a few reasons.
the more i see these segments and just look at how The Rock is outside of WWE, i don't think it's Rock's ego here, but WWE wanting to piggy back on Rock's stardom.
I'm sure it's WWE in this case. Rocky's own ego just makes it even more infuriating to me that this is the guy they pander to.

STEPH & HEYMAN SEGMENT- I laughed my ass off at Steph shutting down the “ECW!” chants by reminding everyone of the Invasion angle. Heyman has come here, “hat in hand, to pay my client’s most reasonable fine of $500.” Then Paul whips out a big bundle of singles to pay with. I laughed my ass off at this as well, as I come from a family where you unleash your frustrations in a game of Monopoly via paying outrageously large rents in $5 bills. I will also confess that, when annoyed by the service in a restaurant, my friends and I used to pay bills of upwards of $40 using only coins. Steph got pissed and slapped the money out of Heyman’s hands. That was great.
Then it got bad when Steph had be Steph and mark her territory. She asks Paul Heyman what value he provides her show. Um… the best promos in wrestling to help sell Brock Lesnar’s matches? She threatened to fire Heyman, which she can’t do because he doesn’t work for her. He works for Brock.
Heyman then turned the tables on Steph by making a decent point about corporate appearances. He said that exposing Steph’s in ability to control her roster “set back the female empowerment movement,” at which point Steph interrupted him and said “female empowerment movement?” as if she couldn’t believe that someone would say something so clumsy and forced in an attempt to get Steph over as a feminist, and I was all prepared to make some comment about irony, but it turns out that Steph’s outrage was not because Paul’s phrasing and his attempts to connect it to Steph sounded pathetically forced, but rather because Heyman didn’t use the right stupid catchphrase and say “women’s revolution.” At least “female empowerment movement” is a more accurate description. This “women’s revolution” in WWE hasn’t meant much of anything (just look at the time the average non-title women’s match gets: we’re back down to under five minutes in 99% of cases) and Steph certainly doesn’t deserve any of the credit for whatever success there has been. But no. We’ve got to get our stupid WWE-speak catchphrase buzzword out there, dammit!
Steph declares herself to be the “women’s revolution” and this has apparently cowed Paul Heyman. Steph walks off… and so what was the point. This doesn’t feel like it has anywhere to go. It was just a segment with Heyman and Steph yelling at each other.
This felt like the same segment we've been seeing for the last 5 years where they hint Paul and Brock going on their own business against WWE, which as we've seen never goes anywhere because both of them are likely gonna be gone again til survivor series


NO DISQUALIFICATIONS FOUR-WAY ELIMIANTION MATCH TO CROWN A NEW WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens vs. Colin Cassady vs. Roman Reigns- 8/10
I liked Enzo coming out with Cass even though he knew he couldn’t stay at ringside.
I thought eliminating Cass first was a big mistake. He’s the lesser of the stars here by far, so the best thing for him here (other than putting the title on him, obviously) is to do your best to make people think that he really has a chance to win. I’d have him eliminate Roman first and have him last to the final two, eliminating whichever heel you aren’t putting the belt on (which should be Rollins, as putting the belt on him after he lost to Balor would be bad for the belt, IMO), and then have Owens manage to hit him with the pop-up powerbomb for the win.
i'm not entirely happy that Owen's title win was gifted by Triple H, it makes it seem lesser than it should, especially since he didn't even know the swerve was coming. I do wonder if this (Owens winning, Steph not knowing) will lead to Hunter bringing in his NXT alumni stable vs RAW and Smackdown
That would be way too much of a forced attempt at pandering to hardcore fans, as the reality is that 99.9% of invasions suck.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
WWE in 2005
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
TNA Victory Road 2008
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

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