MIZ PROMO- good
We just got a nice long recap of the evetns of the PPV and the end of last week’s show to make it clear to us that Miz is deathly afraid (and justifiably so) of what Braun Strowman might do to him if he ever gets his hands on him… so of course Miz starts off this week’s show by talking about the bad things that Baron Corbin said about his wife for their PPV match that has absolutely nothing on the line and apparently therefore needs the heat of personal insults shared of social media.
Miz’s promo was actually a pretty great babyface promo for this heel vs. heel match. He implicitly referred to Smackdown as the minor leagues when compared to Raw, marking the first time we’ve heard that sentiment expressed in over a decade. If only they had thought to do this BEFORE Shane went on TV and justified his gang assault of unsuspecting people by claiming that the Raw crew always looks down on them.
MIZ TV WITH SPECIAL GUEST KURT ANGLE- terrible.
Kurt does not like Miz at all because Miz always says mean things about himself and his son… so why has Kurt consented to appear on Miz’s dumb talk show? Or even gave Miz this time at all? You know what? I’m going to try to be nice tonight, so I’ll help WWE out. From Kurt’s first line here (“I just want you to know that despite our differences, you have my full support with your match against Baron Corbin”), you could infer that maybe he has done this to show Miz that he is trying to get along with an support all of Raw’s wrestlers in their feud against Smackdown.
Miz responds to Kurt’s outstretched olive branch by spitting on it. He did this purely as a (rather clumsy) way to bring up Steph threatening to fire Kurt if his team lost and replaying the clip of it. Kurt insists that they won’t lose, then he starts to insult Smackdown. Again… we never, ever hear anyone from Raw say anything like this, then Shane comes on TV last week and insists that Raw people always say this, and now the only two people who have opened their mouths so far this show have said it. It almost feels like they’re piling this all on in an effort to make Shane look like a babyface by post-facto justifying his bullsh*t.
Among the things that Kurt said was that Shane has an inferiority complex, and between that and them only now giving us evidence of Shane’s claims that the Raw crew are hurting the Smackdown crew’s feelings, I’m convinced they read my review of last week’s Smackdown.
Miz brings up the siege and brings up last week’s attack on Daniel Bryan. Miz repeats Shane’s bullsh*t claim that Bryan was there to tell Kurt why Shane organized his Pearl Harboring of Raw. Miz is just being a dick here, and for no reason. I know he’s a heel, but he’s not an idiot, either, and how is antagonizing Kurt going to help him? He pissed Kurt off last week and Kurt made him defend his title, so why is he doing this same thing again?
Miz says that the Smackdown guys could show up again tonight looking for revenge for Bryan. Kurt’s response this was “THEY CAN’T! THEY WOULDN’T DARE!” I laughed my ass off. Kurt is coming off like a total idiot. He even denied any involvement in the attack on Bryan. What? Am I supposed to believe that Kane used his magical powers to turn off the lights and lock the door, then waited five minutes before showing up to attack Bryan? Did he magic the lights off and door locked while he was in the middle of taking a dump or something and had to finish before he could go attack Bryan?
Now Miz thinks there is a conspiracy against him. It was only now that I realized that Curtis Axel is wearing a neck brace after getting powerslammed a bunch by Braun. Miz antagonized Kurt some more. He thinks Kurt and Braun are working together to kill him, and sees Kurt picking Braun for the Survivor Series team as evidence of this. Kurt says that they’re totally unrelated, but he does reveal that in exchange for being on the Survivor Series team, Braun asked for one thing: a match tonight against The Miz.
1) Are you telling me that Kurt signed this match six days ago when he announced that Braun would be on the team, but hasn’t told Miz about it until right now? That’s f*cking bullsh*t! Miz has every right to be upset with Kurt about this.
2) If Braun wanted to murderize Miz, why didn’t he do it last week when he had every opportunity to do so?!
3) Why is Braun so fixated on The Miz when Kane was the one who initially turned on him, and Sheamus & Cesaro are just as guilty as Miz?
4) This whole negotiating doesn’t seem to be very in-character for Braun. He’s Braun f*cking Strowman! If he wants to fight someone, then he’s just going to go after that person, match or not, because he’s Braun Strowman and who the hell is going to stop him?!
5) If Braun wants a match with anyone, you’d think it’d be Kane. Not just because Kane was the guy who initially turned on him and is the guy who has been cutting promos on him, but because Kane clearly seems to be the most powerful force on the Raw roster right now, and Braun has spent his entire singles career demanding “competition.” Right now, there is no better competition on Raw than Kane.
DRIFTER PROMO & SONG- he’s so f*cking great! He sang a cappella because he didn’t have his guitar because it’s hanging on the pole for the next match.
GUITAR ON A POLE MATCH: “The Drifter” Elias Samson vs. Jason Jordan- 5.5/10
In this match you win by being the first person to hit your opponent with the guitar; no pinning necessary. The match was fun for what it was. Jordan won.
ANGLE, SHEAMUS, & CESARO BACKSTAGE- The heels accuse Kurt of showing The Shield favoritism because he made both Alexa Bliss! & Miz defend their titles last week but not The Shield. Kurt tells them not to try to manipulate him; if they want to represent Raw at Survivor Series then they should man up and just say that. They say it, so Kurt just gives them a title shot, even though they haven’t done a damn thing to earn one. This made Kurt look like an idiot! Is there anyone other than Kurt Angle that thinks that these two really care about “representing Raw” at Survivor Series? No! They just want a f*cking title shot, and despite Kurt saying “don’t try to manipulate me” he then immediately allowed himself to be manipulated.
Also, if all it takes to get a title shot is to tell Kurt that you want to represent Raw at the PPV, then there had damn well be a f*cking line forming outside the door to Kurt’s office because any wrestler who doesn’t immediately run to Kurt and spin this same line of bullsh*t to him is a moron (either that or they don’t care about the titles, which would bury the titles).
ASUKA vs. A JOBBER-
The jobber’s name was “Stacey Coates” which is really similar to the name of the jobber Asuka beat last week.
The jobber won clean in forty-five minutes with a Canadian Destroyer.
ALICIA FOX NAMES ASUKA AS THE NEXT MEMBER OF THE RAW WOMEN’S SURVIVOR SERIES TEAM- Fox pretending to be a f*cking airline pilot is making it impossible for me to care about this match.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS TITUS WORLDWIDE- She asks Titus why he asked for a match with Joe tonight… right after she showed them footage of Joe attacking Titus from behind. I think what they were going for was a “why in the world would you want to put yourself in the ring with this dangerous man who will clearly destroy you?,” but it didn’t come across that way at all. It just looked like Charly was an idiot. Titus’ promo was fine.
SMACKDOWN COMMERCIAL- AJ is challenging Jinder for the WWE World Heavyweight Title due to last week’s attack. Um… didn’t they announce AJ vs. Rusev for this week’s show during last week’s show? Making AJ wrestle twice doesn’t seem very fair to him. If the reason this match must be booked so quickly is so AJ can get revenge for the attack, then why not book this match at one of your many live events this week in Europe? We know those happen because you put them on the website, and we know you can have title matches at them because we saw AJ win a title at one less than six months ago.
SAMOA JOE vs. TITUS O’NEIL (w/Apollo Crews)- no rating, fine segment.
Joe jumped them from behind and choked Titus half to death. Joe cut an awesome promo here demanding a new opponent. He got BALOR. This wasn’t bad or anything but if I was booking this I would have just had Joe squash Titus like a bug in thirty seconds and then cut the same promo demanding a new opponent. Anyway we got…
SAMOA JOE vs. FINN BALOR- 7/10
They had a great brawl that ended in a disappointing double-count-out. This is why promotions need to have time-limit draws, which are a finish where neither wrestler wins but also neither wrestler loses, as opposed to crap like this where no one wins and both wrestlers lose. If I were booking this they would have beaten the sh*t out of each other for thirty minutes and gone to a draw, after which Kurt Angle would come out and say “WOW! You guys both just endured thirty minutes of constant punishment with no one to tag out to, and never got pinned or made to submit or even counted out or counted down. I want both of you on my Survivor Series team!
Also, the assholes in the crowd need to stop chanting “TEN!” because it makes it a lot harder than it should be for me to follow the referee’s count. Why are you even chanting it, anyway? To support Tye Dillinger? He’s not even on this show, never mind in this match, and even if he was, what’s the f*cking point? WWE has made it quite clear that he’ll never be anything more than a jobber to the stars, and quite frankly, that’s about the best he’s suited for. Your support got a member of the Developmental 4 Life crew onto the main roster. Good job. How about next time you all choose to throw your support behind wrestlers whose potential peaks will be a bit higher than the bottom end of mediocrity? Emma sure could have used your help. Apollo Crews is in desperate need of it. Or basically any Cruiserweight. But no. You chose to put your efforts into ensuring that a man whose picture appears twice in the dictionary- first next to the word “generic” and again next to the word “replaceable”- is getting a slightly higher paycheck, because you find it fun to make it harder for actual fans like me to enjoy the show by hearing what f*cking number the referee is up to.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- they kept fighting afterwards until security broke them up. Kurt then put them over a bit and said he wanted them on his team. This would have been better if Kurt hadn’t been forced to introduce the whole topic by saying “Survivor Series is the one time of year where Raw and Smackdown compete in head-to-head competition,” because I guess Kurt somehow thinks that these two WWE wrestlers don’t already know that. Branding: the tactic of lazy morons incapable or unwilling to put in the effort to impress people by giving them a quality product.
Security releases them… and Balor runs and dives onto Joe for no real reason.
MIZ & THE MIZ-TOURAGE BACKSTAGE- Bo tried to give Miz a pep-talk. It wasn’t terrible, but Bo’s delivery was off. His voice was way too soft for the strong words he was delivering. Then Axel said your standard, trite clichéd WWE crap.
KURT TRIES TO LEAVE DANIEL BRYAN A MESSAGE- based on what he said here, it seems like this is the first time Kurt has tried to apologize to him, which is not at all what you would expect if Kurt truly were innocent in this like he claimed.
KURT MAKES JASON JORDAN THE FINAL MEMBER OF TEAM RAW- yeah. “Favoritism” sounds like the right word.
A NEW INTERVIEWER INTERVIEWS SASHA AND BAYLEY- he claimed that they were “two of the greatest Superstars on Raw today.” Sasha? Fine. But BAYLEY? Bayley has got to be the single biggest loser in the company! These two are facing Nia Jax & Alicia Fox, but the interviewer just wants to know if they’ve asked Fox is they can be on the team.
Bayley cut a lame promo in which she talked about how much she wanted to help Raw get revenge on Smackdown… and she’s doing this with a big goofy smile on her face and saying things like “the only hugs I will be giving out are the hugs of consolation when Team Smackdown loses.” Do they actually think this is good, or did they catch her molesting one of Vince’s grandkids and their only keeping her employed so that they can totally destroy any chance she has of being a star anywhere in the business before they fire her?
Sasha got to cut a promo that was only slightly better, but also came off a little heelish. Bayley then got to talk again, and I feel so badly for these two because it’s clear that the stuff they’re saying was given to them by someone else, who, based on what was written here, appears to be in about the ninth grade.
That being said, Bayley did mention in her promo that at last year’s Survivor Series, the Raw women’s team beat their Smackdown counterparts… which might well be the very first time that the results of any of last year’s matches have been mentioned in this feud- and probably even since the beginning the 2017- which shows you just how important this thing turned out to be when they did it last year, so why should I think anything will be different this time around?
NIA JAX & ALICIA FOX vs. SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY- 5.75/10
First Nia got her entrance. Then we went to a commercial and came back with first Sasha’s entrance and then Bayley’s… and then they did Alicia Fox’s. WHY?!
To hype up this dumb brand rivalry, Booker T mentions that many of the wrestlers in the back “really, utterly, and truly believe in Monday Night Raw: the red brand.” Have we ever even heard anyone say this?
Babyfaces won clean when Sasha made Fox top yet again, which let to Fox admitting that she needs Sasha on her team. I’m also certain that she referred to Sasha as “bossy b*tch,” and not one person in WWE noticed it.
BRAUN STROWMAN vs. THE MIZ (w/the Miz-Tourage)- no rating, meh segment.
Braun beat up Miz and pals for a while until Kane came out. The match randomly ended, even though Miz really should have been counted out long before it ended. Kane and Braun had a good brawl. Kane backed down, but then The Miz-Tourage came back and Braun killed them.
part of this was Renee Young declaring herself to be impartial). And which idiot thought it would be a good idea to cut a promo burying the two Europeans here on the European Tour?
And which idiot decided that it would be a good idea to make Renee Young look like a total dork loser mark by having her stick her fist out to pretend she is the third member of The Shield once Rollins and Ambrose walked away? It was either that or she was letting her shoot husband/kayfabe f*ck-buddy know that he’s getting a handjob later. Renee can kind of get away with this sort of thing because she’s likable and always comes off like a real human with real human reactions, but this sort of thing would be absolute death for anyone else, and it is definitely the kind of thing that can hurt even Renee in the long run if they keep doing it. She herself said that she’s supposed to be impartial, so why have her show partiality? If it was going to lead to something like Steph getting angry at her or some sort of segment with Sheamus & Cesaro being mean to her because of this then that’s one thing, but we all know that’s not going to happen, so all this does is hurt Renee’s credibility. The fact that she couldn’t keep a straight face didn’t help much, either).
ENZO AMORE PROMO- This would have been a pretty good promo except that it went on freakin’ forever. They even started to have Booker and Graves talk over him, which felt very different, and reinforced my belief that they were trying to set up for something really big here (like Neville returning or a major debut) but then all that happened was that Kalisto came out and I was let down.
Then they waited juuuuuuust long enough for me to be very disappointed (also long enough for Kalsito to get to the ring and Enzo to retreat from it, before PETE DUNNE came out and got a MASSIVE pop!
Or at least that’s what it seemed like was going to happen. Instead Kurt Angle came out and gave a lame little speech introducing Dunne and announcing that he had been booked to face “The Cruiserweight” tonight. So does that mean he’s facing Enzo or Kalisto? The announcers somehow seem to intuitively know that it’s Enzo, so we get…
PETE DUNNE vs. ENZO AMORE- 4.5/10, but…
Kalisto sat on a chair at ringside to watch the match, which I would usually say made him look like a dork, but it worked for me this time because he looked just as giddy as I was to see Dunne brutalize Enzo.
The match was fine for what it was, but I think what they did here was by far the wrong thing. Yes, Enzo’s only offense came after he cheated, but I would have had Dunne just completely destroy him here. It makes Dunne look like something special, and not having Enzo cheat on him makes him look like a little bit less of a babyface, which will make it easier for him to transition into the tweener role he should take as this becomes a three-way feud (Dunne did just pin the champ, after all), which makes it easier for him to then slip into his natural heel role after that without it feeling like he is turning. Yes, what WWE did allowed Kalisto to get involved which in some small way does build up Kalisto vs. Enzo (and Enzo shouting “snitches get stiches!” at Kalisto when Kalisto pointed Enzo’s attempt to cheat out to the referee was hilarious), but I think Kalisto just laughing at Enzo getting his ass kicked would be sufficient for tonight, because the real focus of tonight should be on Dunne.
I also didn’t like Dunne and Kalisto posing together afterwards. Dunne should be like Samoa Joe was when he debuted in TNA. 100% business.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS ALEXA BLISS!- great promo by Alexa.
Roman Reigns will return next week, so we’ll get our official Shield reunion next week. Why would you do this right before the PPV? Why not wait until afterwards to have them team together for the first time, when it can be the center of attention rather than the upcoming PPV?
WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose(c) vs. Sheamus & Cesaro- 6.5/10
Just when the match was getting good, some decided that New Day should show up. Their music played, which means that someone in the production truck knew they were coming, so Raw has a traitor in their midst… but this is WWE so I’m sure no one has thought of that. To them, if New Day are going to come out, someone has to play their music because that’s what happens when someone comes out, even if they come out through the crowd and no one knew they were coming. In fact, they’ve got microphones- blue Smackdown ones- that are hooked into the Raw sound system! And WWE wants me to believe there is a blood feud going on between these two shows?
Corey Graves immediately asks “what happened to the heightened security?” and I was thinking the same thing. Was Kurt really dumb enough to think that it was completely out of the realm of possibility that Smackdown would send people after the attack on Bryan? What a moron! Also, in a point of extreme irony, on every show that either Shane or Kurt claimed there was “heightened security,” we never saw a single security guard. Tonight, when we finally see some security guards (during the Joe vs. Balor brawl) is the night when we weren’t told that there was heightened security, and it turns out to be the time that the heightened security is finally needed.
So New Day start burying Raw. If their mics are hooked up to the sound system, why doesn’t Kurt order them cut?
The whole match just stops. Now that we know these invaders from Smackdown are here, we cut away from them- and from the tag title match- to see Kurt Angle walking backstage, picking up guys as he goes along. Kurt brings everyone out to the ring (aside from Braun, who seems to have totally ignored him when they passed in the hallway. Other absences included Miz and his pals, Alexa Bliss!, Asuka, & Bayley). New Day ran away. Then Sheamus nailed Rollins with a Brogue Kick and pinned him to steal the titles because the match had never ended.
This whole thing was idiotic. I don’t see what Smackdown gains by doing this. They troll Raw? So what? After beating the sh*t out of them, trolling really isn’t such a big deal. They’re just being dicks.
Then there is the fact that Raw didn’t have everyone out there. You’d think that Bayley, who had made such a big stink earlier about wanting to be on the team would have welcomed this opportunity to prove her value for the team. More importantly, though, were the people who weren’t out here. Specifically Alexa Bliss! and The Miz, both of whom got in trouble with Kurt for not fighting for Raw the last time this happened and were quite upset about it, so why wouldn’t they be out here now? And because I heavily doubt that they’re going to do the exact same thing they did on last week’s show on next week’s show, I don’t think their absence will ever be brought up. Also, there are guys like Kane and Strowman who didn’t show up, either, but you know Kurt won’t punish them because… well… because they’re big and scary and Kurt is afraid of them, and that is an atrocious reason for a babyface authority figure not to punish someone.
Then we’ve got the title change, which takes the tag title match from a babyface team vs. a heel team to yet another heel vs. heel match, which all four champion vs. champion matches now are (and we’ve still got heel vs. heel no matter who wins tomorrow’s tag title match on Smackdown). It does make some sense if they want to take Seth and Dean out of the tag title match to set up something for The Shield now that we know Roman will be back next week, and this certainly seems to build to The Shield vs. The New Day. The match does make a lot of sense from a booking perspective (The Shield need to win while New Day are in a position where they can easily lose, and New Day, Seth, and Dean would all be off the card otherwise and keeping Roman off of Team Raw would cut us down to only three of the same wrestlers in the men’s elimination match as last year, which makes things feel a bit more different)… but it’s just not a match that I find exciting. Sorry.
Another bad episode of Raw.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Booker T (at the end of the MizTV segment)- “Miz talked himself into a corner tonight.”
No he didn’t! The match was signed six days ago. Nothing Miz said tonight factored into Miz vs. Braun being booked in any way!
2. Booker T (about the Guitar on a Pole Match)- “My question is: why would Kurt Angle set up a match like this?”
Do we need to send Booker to Full Sail so that he can re-take Pro Wrestling 101?
3. Booker talks about when “Erik Watts came into the locker room and his dad tried to push him to the moon.”
Yes. He tried to “push” him, because wrestling is fake. Thank you for making it harder to me suspend my disbelief, Booker. That’s definitely not the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to be doing.
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