BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by Big Red Machine » May 1st, '17, 22:41

Just about the first sign we see says “I have Jeff’s tooth.” Well, I hope you’ve kept it in a glass of milk so the dentist can reattach it.

ALEXA BLISS! HOLDS A CELEBRATION OF HER AWESOMENESS WHILE ALL OF THE OTHER WOMEN ON THE ROSTER ARE FORCED TO STAND THERE AND WATCH- I know what you’re all thinking right now, and no, I am not secretly booking Raw. (But seriously, why did Kurt authorize this?)
There is a big podium in the middle, presumably for Alexa to stand on so everyone can bask in her glory (yeah, that’s right, Keith Lee. You heard me. You may now commence crying). Bayley is despondent while the other women all look mildly annoyed. Excellent.
Ah. And apparently Kurt Angle DID authorize this. That seems kind of heelish of Kurt to make a ridiculous celebration for Alexa and order all of the other women to attend. This seems like something I can totally see someone like Eric Bischoff doing as a GM. “LONG LIVE ALEXA BLISS!” indeed. She complained that the referee didn’t give her the belt in a respectful enough manner. What a fantastic heel.
Okay… this is getting EPIC. She buries Mickie James for being old (“even though your contemporaries; Mae Young and the Fabulous Moolah, are in a better place now”) then gets in Sasha’s face for “not knowing who I am- that’s okay, I’m bad with names, too- but now you can call me “champ!” or “the woman who pinned you to get to where I’m at.” Sasha gets angry and gets in Alexa’s face so Alexa, like a great heel, backs off… and bumps right into Nia Jax… and then both Nia and Alexa had the PERFECT facials, with Nia first being angry and then smugly smiling, waiting to see what this little pipsqueak will dare to say to her, while Alexa has this wonderful look that is a combination of being angry at herself for bumping into Nia and “oh sh*t, now I have to deal with this” and also knowing that she can’t say exactly what she really wants to say to Nia because she knows Nia will beat her up, but still trying to keep up a tough face the whole time… and then she turns around and finally looks up- all the way up- at Nia, and gets nervous, and then tries to buddy up to her. BRILLIANT!
So then Alexa gets up on her podium and starts to give her big speech, but then she notices Bayley, who hasn’t looked at her the entire time, and she starts to just pile it on and pile it on and pour about fifteen tons of salt into Bayley’s wound, saying “that’s why I’m up here and you’re down there” and talking about taking Bayley’s title and embarrassing her in front of her family and making fun of her nephews for crying and mocking Bayley’s usual optimistic outlook on life until Bayley snaps and flips over the podium with Alexa standing on it and a big schmoz breaks out and we head to commercial.
This has got to be the best talking segment WWE has done all year. And possibly in all of last year, too, excluding maybe one or two segments that were just Heyman cutting promos. And do you know how long this big talking segment lasted? From the moment Alexa came out to the moment we went to commercial after the schmoz started, it took less than eight minutes.

NIA JAX, EMMA, ALICIA FOX, & ALEXA BLISS! vs. SASHA BANKS, DANA BROOKE, MICKIE JAMES, & BAYLEY- 6.75/10
We start off with Alexa vs. Bayley and before any contact is made, Alexa tags out. Excellent. They’re trying to push this “goddess” nickname for Alexa, which can only hurt Alexa because, as everyone but WWE realizes, the harder that WWE tries to push a phrase or nickname, the more grating it becomes. At least they’re not having Cole insist on jumping in and saying “self-proclaimed goddess” like he’s worried that we won’t understand that she isn’t an actual deity or something.
Sasha’s Jackson Pollack gear somehow managed to not be an eye-sore, which was quite the impressive feat. The match was quite good, with most of the focus on Alexa (including lots of cuts to the apron during rest-holds and double-downs to get her reactions), but Sasha, Nia, and Bayley all had important parts to play, and everyone (well… aside from Dana Brooke) was given their part to play, even if it was as inglorious as Alicia Fox being the punching bag for our two top female babyfaces. Also, I really want to see Mickie James vs. Nia Jax now. Bayley looked to have Alexa beat via Belly-to-Bayley but Nia broke it up. Schmozage occurred until Alexa was able to rake Bayley’s eyes to counter a bodyslam, then hit her with a vicious DDT for the win. LONG LIVE ALEXA BLISS!

FOOTAGE FROM AFTER PAYBACK WENT OF THE AIR- I couldn’t really see it because of their dumb screen effect. We’ll get a medical update on both men later tonight.

ENZO & CASS PROMO- meh
There appears to be a Carmella cosplayer in the crowd.
They cut their promo, then they got jumped from behind by Gallows & Anderson, which just made me laugh. I’m not even sure why. There must have been something about the visual of these two big guys running up behind one eve bigger guy and one much smaller guy that I found inherently funny.
Anyway, if I might pick what probably seems like a very small nit to some people…
This whole thing was set up by first showing us Cass & Enzo walking through the hallway on their way to the ring before a commercial break, with the announcers saying “they beat Gallows & Anderson last night. Tonight Enzo goes one-on-one with Gallows,” and my immediate thought was “why?” We just had a match last night with a completely clean finish so why are we now having a singles rematch? Then, when the heels finally attacked, the announcers said “we’ve been hearing rumors all day that Gallows & Anderson wanted revenge,” and while that is logical, the presentation creates a disconnect for me because I, the viewer, have not heard any of these rumors and now I am only being told about them after have become immediately relevant to what I’m seeing on the screen. It feels like they pulled the “rumors” out of their ass after the fact to make this feud seem more heated. If I were booking this I would have had the announcers mention during Enzo & Cass’ walking scene that Gallows & Anderson requested the match because they want revenge and Raw GM Kurt Angle approved it. This not only preempts my initial question about why this particular match is being booked despite last night’s decisive finish and gets the necessary information about the revenge rumors out there earlier, but having Gallows & Anderson ask for a match and then jump Enzo & Cass from behind makes it feel like this whole thing was a devious trap that they set for our babyfaces, which makes them come off as even more heelish.

ENZO AMORE (w/Colin Cassady) vs. LUKE GALLOWS (w/Karl Anderson)- 5/10
Gallows wins after a distraction by Anderson allows Gallwos to hit his finisher, so we’re back to square one, with no advancement of any sort.

They’re advertising a “what’s next for Seth Rollins” promo segment. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s going to be another Samoa Joe sneak attack.

NEVILLE & TJP BACKSTAGE- good stuff. We’re getting Aries vs. TJP tonight.

SETH ROLLINS PROMO- He wants to challenge Brock for the Universal Title. That brought out Finn Balor who puts Seth over while bringing up that he beat Seth in the match to crown the first-ever Universal Title at SummerSlam last year. He also importantly mentions that he never actually lost that title in the ring, so he should get the first shot.
Then Dean Ambrose comes out and was actually pretty damn great for a change. He positions himself as the top champion on Raw because Brock doesn’t ever show up to defend his belt. Miz & Maryse then come out and I should probably change the name of this header, but I’m feeling kind of lazy so I’m not going to do that. Miz cut a promo saying that he should be getting a shot at Dean’s Intercontinental Championship because he is the one who made it important. Maryse was not pulling her weight during all of this. Her express was completely blank the whole time.
Balor brings up that he kicked Miz’s ass last night. Miz claims it was cheap shot then cut a promo on the others. He was fantastic here. The others were very good, too. Dean calls Kurt on his cellphone to get a #1 contendership match booked between Miz, Rollins, and Balor. EXCELLENT segment.

BRAUN-ROMAN RECAP- did these idiots really have Roman get his revenge on Strowman the very same night that Braun beat him? How dumb are they?

TONY NESE, BRIAN KENDRICK, & NAOM DAR vs. AKIRA TOZWA, RICH SWANN, & JACK GALLAGHER- 6.25/10

CESARO & SHEAMUS EXPLAIN THEIR HEEL TURN- good
“Swiss Cyborg” and “Alabaster Gladiator” are both nicknames that need to go away forever. They’re both wearing European Union jackets, so we’ve got two more guys doing the foreign heel gimmick. They gave a pretty good explanation for their turn. Basically the Hardys Boyz showed up at WrestleMania and stole their titles and then stole their fans. That catchphrase at the end was pretty terrible, though.

THE HARDY BOYZ COME OUT TO CONFRONT CESARO & SHEAMUS- Also good
Matt cut a short promo then they ran the heels off.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS MIZ & MARYSE- They both looked like giants next to Charly. Miz started to cut a good promo but suddenly Dean replaced Charly for a dull one-liner. This was the worst thing so far on this show. I wish all episodes of Raw could be this good.

F*ck. I just jinxed it, didn’t I?

HEATH SLATER (w/Rhyno) vs. APOLLO CREWS (w/Titus O’Neil)- 1.5/10
Cole introduced this match by saying “good thing our social media cameras were on hand to record this footage.” Dumb stuff happened in a backstage segment in which Apollo Crews joins the list of people who don’t realize that Heath Slater doesn’t actually have that many children. Then Titus showed up to get annoyed for no reason, but he thankfully didn’t get angry like you would normally see in a segment like this because WWE usually doesn’t understand how to book real people instead of cartoon characters.
The match was actually fine for the time it got. I even laughed at Rhyno sneaking into their victory picture.

KURT ANGLE GIVES US AN INJURY UPDATE- Roman has various re-injured injuries while Braun tore his rotator cuff. They still want to fight each other even though they can’t so Kurt needs to get advice from someone on what to do or something. Why is this even an issue? If they’re that injured then they can’t wrestle, why doesn’t Kurt tell them to stay home?
Then he got interrupted by Bray Wyatt. Fine. Let’s just get all of the stupid out in one segment. Bray said that “Randy Orton will forever be trapped in my House of Horrors.” I guess he doesn’t remember that whole part where Randy showed up in the ring by magic and hit him with a chair a lot.
He cut a promo warning Kurt about the evil that infects the world and saying that he is the only one who can help him and this is exactly the sort of promo that would be outstanding if they hadn’t spent Bray’s entire existence teaching us that nothing Bray says actually means anything.
Kurt vows to oppose him. If we’re not getting Bray vs. Kurt then what is the point of this. The fans want Kurt to “BREAK HIS ANKLE!” Personally, I’d like to see Kurt break Bray’s vocal chords so he can never talk again. Bray told Kurt “this may be your show but this is my world” and then he magicked himself away, off to start what will undoubtedly be another, long, boring, drawn-out, terrible feud. The good news is that at least it can’t possibly be any worse than the one that just finished.


DEAN IS GOING AROUND INTERVIEWING ROLLINS- he apparently just barged in. What a jerk. Dumb comedy rears its ugly head. They had some annoying banter. I really want someone to kick Dean’s ass. He then repeats the same “I don’t realize it’s not 1990” joke that he told earlier.

AUSTIN ARIES vs. TJ PERKINS- 6.25/10
Neville watches from backstage because not a week can go by where that doesn’t happen. The match was good, but Aries probably could have sold his knee better during his comeback. After the match TJP clipped Aries’ knee from behind and locked Aries in the knee-bar.

DEAN AMBROSE INTERVIEWS FINN BALOR- wow. Dean not only wasn’t annoying but even asked a good question. Then The Drifter showed up to fill the annoying quota for this segment. Dean immediately asks him “do you know any Pearl Jam?” and The Drifter walks off.

GOLDEN TRUTH ASK KURT ANGLE FOR A TAG TITLE SHOT- Kurt shuts them down because their “win-loss record just isn’t good enough.” HOORAY FOR WINS AND LOSSES MATTERING! Goldust cuts a good promo so Kurt books a Tag Team Turmoil #1 contendership match next week. Well… I guess if they start early enough so they have to go through a lot of teams then this could be enough.

ANGLE & JERICHO AFTER PAYBACK LAST NIGHT- Wait… so is Jericho getting to be on TV on Raw despite being a member of the Smackdown roster?

WINNER BECOMES #1 CONTENDER TO THE WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz (w/Maryse)- 8/10
They told a great story throughout with The Miz’s chickensh*tishness and heel antics, and Seth took some scary bumps. I actually liked the Joe run-in, as it allowed him to have some impact on this show and his feud with Rollins did not feel anywhere near done after a roll-up finish on PPV. Unsurprisingly, what I didn’t like was Bray Wyatt’s interference. I understand that it sets up a feud with Balor but I really would like to limit interference and we know all of Bray’s feuds are just going to consist of him talking and doing magic tricks for weeks on end and the next PPV isn’t for over a month so does it really matter if he talks and does magic tricks for three weeks of four weeks after he attacks Finn? Could this really have not waited until next week, and just let Miz get some sort of chicken-sh*t win on Seth after Joe’s interference? Did we really have to waste Balor’s first main-roster loss on THIS?
Also, I think Bray’s interference would be a lot more palatable to me if it didn’t involve him teleporting. Why can’t he ever just run down to the ring like a normal person? It’d probably even help him work off some of that fat gut.
Even with Bray’s interference, though, this was an awesome main event that capped off what has got to be the best episode of Raw in many, many, many, months. The stupid was kept to a minimum, with many of the usual offenders (Ambrose, Golden Truth) actually being used effectively, Kurt Angle trying to make wins and losses matter, and the explanation for Cesarmus’ heel turn being much better than the usual “we don’t like you fans anymore.” The Cruiserweights were solid, the women were awesome, a real effort was made to elevate the IC Title, and even the commentary was pretty darn good for most of the night (if you ignore some of the repeated Vince-isms like “Austin Aries is fun to watch”). A great episode of Raw, and one that actually gives me some hope for the future.

STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Booker T (about Dean having Angle’s phone number)- “I GAVE IT TO HIM!”
This was about a minute after Dean had explicitly stated that Mick Foley gave him Kurt’s phone number. I know this is a very minor thing, but it seems to confirm my theory that Booker T does not actually pay attention to anything while he is on commentary, and thus he should be replaced ASAP.

2. Michael Cole claimed that the IC Title “launched” Booker T’s career.
That’s quite the burial of WCW.


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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by KILLdozer » May 2nd, '17, 00:36

Ya-ho for more Bray Wyatt!
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by KILLdozer » May 2nd, '17, 07:32

As much as I hat to say it... it almost sounds like that Bray Wyatt stuff is a prelude to a Braun Strowman feud. With Strowman in the position he is he'd almost have to be involved with him.....

....,.......

Hey wait, maybe Braun Strowman will just BREAK HIM!!!!!
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by Big Red Machine » May 2nd, '17, 07:47

KILLdozer wrote:As much as I hat to say it... it almost sounds like that Bray Wyatt stuff is a prelude to a Braun Strowman feud. With Strowman in the position he is he'd almost have to be involved with him.....

....,.......

Hey wait, maybe Braun Strowman will just BREAK HIM!!!!!

I saw it more as having the possibility of being the two of them reuniting than feuding.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by KILLdozer » May 2nd, '17, 08:24

Big Red Machine wrote:
KILLdozer wrote:As much as I hat to say it... it almost sounds like that Bray Wyatt stuff is a prelude to a Braun Strowman feud. With Strowman in the position he is he'd almost have to be involved with him.....

....,.......

Hey wait, maybe Braun Strowman will just BREAK HIM!!!!!

I saw it more as having the possibility of being the two of them reuniting than feuding.


There's not even a hint of s possibility of that happening to me. Definitely not the levels Strowman is reaching.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by KILLdozer » May 2nd, '17, 08:25

It's WWE though and the points don't matter!
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by Big Red Machine » May 2nd, '17, 08:50

KILLdozer wrote:
Big Red Machine wrote:
KILLdozer wrote:As much as I hat to say it... it almost sounds like that Bray Wyatt stuff is a prelude to a Braun Strowman feud. With Strowman in the position he is he'd almost have to be involved with him.....

....,.......

Hey wait, maybe Braun Strowman will just BREAK HIM!!!!!

I saw it more as having the possibility of being the two of them reuniting than feuding.


There's not even a hint of s possibility of that happening to me. Definitely not the levels Strowman is reaching.

I don't think that will happen either, but based on what Bray said tonight it seems a lot more likely to me that they would reunite than feud. But I don't see either thing happening.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by XIV » May 2nd, '17, 10:05

A feud for the sake of having their mystical guy Bray Wyatt chat his usual boring business, and then Finn Balor uses the Demon King persona to overcome it.

Calling it.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by Big Red Machine » May 2nd, '17, 10:13

XIV wrote:A feud for the sake of having their mystical guy Bray Wyatt chat his usual boring business, and then Finn Balor uses the Demon King persona to overcome it.

Calling it.

Right. Which is sad when you realize that if they had spent some time fleshing out what Balor's "demon" part means- is it some hidden evil inside of him or a darker place he goes to or whatever- then you could have Bray almost seem like maybe he does have some sort of mystical knowledge and maybe would be doing us all a favor in the long run by getting rid of Balor, but because WWE has no idea how to handle either character, they just jumped right into it, and Balor's "demon" will continue to be nothing but a catchphrase for the announcers to say while Bray will continue to spout drivel rather than having a feud that actually takes some effort by the bookers to set up and then to execute in an interesting way. I've said it about Bray, I've said it about the "Divas Revolution" the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale, and so many other things: WWE would rather put their effort into shouting at the top of their lungs that something is important in the hopes that people will just believe them than actually go through the effort to make that thing important. It's kind of sad, really. It's an amazing combination of disrespect for their own customers combined with either laziness or a lack of confidence on their own part, and it is slowly killing their product.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by XIV » May 2nd, '17, 12:11

Big Red Machine wrote:
XIV wrote:A feud for the sake of having their mystical guy Bray Wyatt chat his usual boring business, and then Finn Balor uses the Demon King persona to overcome it.

Calling it.

Right. Which is sad when you realize that if they had spent some time fleshing out what Balor's "demon" part means- is it some hidden evil inside of him or a darker place he goes to or whatever- then you could have Bray almost seem like maybe he does have some sort of mystical knowledge and maybe would be doing us all a favor in the long run by getting rid of Balor, but because WWE has no idea how to handle either character, they just jumped right into it, and Balor's "demon" will continue to be nothing but a catchphrase for the announcers to say while Bray will continue to spout drivel rather than having a feud that actually takes some effort by the bookers to set up and then to execute in an interesting way. I've said it about Bray, I've said it about the "Divas Revolution" the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale, and so many other things: WWE would rather put their effort into shouting at the top of their lungs that something is important in the hopes that people will just believe them than actually go through the effort to make that thing important. It's kind of sad, really. It's an amazing combination of disrespect for their own customers combined with either laziness or a lack of confidence on their own part, and it is slowly killing their product.



Exactly.

And if they took the time to have built Bray up properly so that he kept getting the upper hand on Finn in a believable manner, and then have Finn pull the old Cactus Jack reveal "Finn Baylor can't beat you Bray, but I know someone who can" cue Demon King.

Sadly, they've fucked Bray Wyatt up so badly that this would have no effect.

They won't build it properly and the Demon King will pop out easy because as you say, they don't know how to handle that angle/persona.

It should be a rare used thing for the most brutal and built up of feuds where Finn needs to dig to that extra level to get the win.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by KILLdozer » May 2nd, '17, 13:24

How'd the ref miss the eye rake?

Lol come on, the replay showed him just standing looking over their shoulders.

He shouldn't be out of position like that anyways... don't the refs ever learn about what happens when they do that? Lol
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by KILLdozer » May 2nd, '17, 14:07

I love how quickly they turned everything purple for the cruiserweights lol.

What the hell is going on with TJP?

I haven't been Watching 205 live and Hulu actually usually always cuts out the cruiserweights. Plus Enzo and Cassidy so it's fair lol.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by KILLdozer » May 2nd, '17, 14:15

Yeah Dana's pretty horrible...she was like a worse version of the 80's wrestlers with the "YEEEEAAHHHH! YEEEEAAHHHH!" ,Lol .
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/1/2017 Raw (best in months)

Post by KILLdozer » May 3rd, '17, 12:07

Did anyone actually see the full conversation with Angle and Jericho after the title win? It led to an impromptu interview by Mike, and Tom, with Jericho flipping out and finally coming to grips with the fact they were actually different people. It was hilarious, one of the most naturally funny things I've seen on WWE in a while.
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