BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

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BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 30th, '18, 00:24

OPENING SEGMENT- The show predictably opens with a big, honkin’ Ronda Rousey video package, then a shot of the WrestleMania sign, then Steph coming out to talk about the Women’s Evolution and women’s Royal Rumble and all associated things. In his very first sentence, Cole referred to Steph as a “trailblazer of the Women’s Evolution.”
Coach has replaced Booker T on commentary, so at least that nightmare is temporarily over. Cole and Graves also tell us that Roman is getting his IC Title rematch tonight.

OPENING SEGMENT- meh
I almost threw up in my mouth when Steph referred to Naomi’s efforts last night as “some of the most incredible athleticism I’ve ever seen.” I guarantee you that 90% of the people watching this show could have done what Naomi did with ZERO PRACTICE. She is not even CLOSE to being Kofi Kingston so please stop trying to tell me that she is.
After she is done masturbating (though to thoughts of Ronda or thoughts of herself I’m not sure), Steph brings out the Royal Rumble winner Asuka- the very same woman she booked to look totally inconsequential last night by the way she booked Ronda- who also happens to be her own rumored WrestleMania opponent, of course- as the real focus of the spotlight.
Steph says that Asuka can pick which champion she will challenge. Didn’t they say on Smackdown that you don’t have a choice? Anyway, Steph announces that in four weeks, Alexa Bliss! will defend her Raw Women’s Title at Elimination Chamber 2018 in- you guessed it!- the first ever women’s Elimination Chamber match, which means that we’re now going to get four more weeks of them rambling on about how the women are “making history” instead of doing what they should be doing which is telling stories to make me care about the individual women involved in the match. If it’s all about “making history” that it doesn’t matter who wins the match because everyone- even the women not in the match- all wins by mere virtue of the match having occurred because history has been made.

Steph was kind enough to let Asuka have a turn to speak. She spoke Japanese, but she sounded excited and said the word “champion.” Then she pointed to the WrestleMania sign, which pleased Steph greatly. Then Asuka spoke English and said she’d win the belt at Mania because the amount of people who are adequately prepared for Asuka equals zero.
Sasha Banks came out and she talks about how “last night was a dream come true” because- you guessed it!- they got to “make history” “yet again.” Shouldn’t Sasha be disappointed that she lost or angry at the Bellas for betraying her or angry at herself for not seeing it coming or something like that? Nope. She’s got to talk about how she got to “share a ring with twenty-nine incredible women” last night. Can we please keep this mutual admiration society circle-jill crap in the back and pretend this is a f*cking INDIVIDUAL SPORT please?
Ah. Finally. Someone being angry at someone else! Sasha was kind of a jerk and insisted that she is, in fact, ready for Asuka… so Steph books the match for tonight and we’re apparently throwing away Sasha vs. Asuka for the first time ever, on free TV with only a few hours’ build. They got in each other’s faces and Steph did her best Dana White impression getting between them and holy crap we finally got an opening segment that didn’t drag on forever.

They announced several Elimination Chamber qualifiers, including Matt Hardy vs. The Drifter, Kane vs. Braun in a Last Man Standing Match for some reason, and Cena vs. Balor in their first-ever singles match.

LAST-MAN STANDING ELIMINATON CHAMBER QUALIFYING MATCH: Kane vs. Braun Strowman- DUD!
Yeah. They’re doing this match with exactly one commercial break’s worth of hype. The match got, like, three minutes of airtime and ended when Braun flipped the entire section of the stage where the announcers sit over on to Kane… except that it was quite clear that either Kane was squashed as flat as a pancake and dead or that there was some gimmickry at work here. Throw in the fact that the referee just ordered the bell to be rung and didn’t even count to ten, and I’m giving this one a dud.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- The medical people get Kane out from under the pile and try to get him onto the stretcher when Braun comes back out… but he’s not here to flip anything over; he’s just here to give Corey Graves an interview. Corey asks him “Braun! What did you just do? That’s a human being!” Braun says that he did exactly what he was supposed to do to win the match according to rules. And he’s not wrong. Once again, if I were Braun I’d be pretty annoyed that everyone treats him like he’s a terrible person for doing otherwise normal things (like doing something big to win a match or a backstage brawl) but no one ever posed this sort of question to any of the five different men who tried to murder him last year.

After a commercial we now have the announcers standing on the stage using microphones, and I guess they have to stand all show. Enjoying your first day back, Coach?
We also saw Kane being stretchered to an ambulance while Cole emphatically told us that Braun has once again “crossed a line,” and I’ve got to call bullsh*t on this one. As Braun explained above, he did nothing illegal or even immoral, and everything he did was within the confines of the match. If it wasn’t a Last Man Standing Match then he wouldn’t have done it. If you want to blame someone for this then blame Kurt or Steph for randomly booking these guys in a dangerous gimmick match.

KURT YELLS AT BRAUN BACKSTAGE-
He’s screaming at Braun for “putting people in danger every single week.” Dude… this is on you and Steph. You wanted to punish the guy two weeks ago then just gave in to him when he started threatening people, and now you’re shocked he injured someone again? This is why you never negotiate with terrorists. Because once you’ve shown that you’re willing to give in, they have the upper hand because they know exactly how far they need to push you to make you give in.
Braun responds to Kurt by yelling right back at him that he did exactly what Kurt told him he had to do to win the match, and he says he’s going to win at Elimination Chamber and then beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.
They seem to want Braun to be the heel here, but the more this goes on, the more trouble I have understand why I shouldn’t just side with Braun. He is getting yelled at for doing things that are much less severe than what others have tried to do to him, and they never got yelled at for doing those things. This is Braun Strowman fighting back against those WWE assholes and their corporate favoritism. Go get ‘em, Braun!

THE DRIFTER SINGS- amusing

ELIMINATION CHMABER QUALIFYING MATCH: Matt Hardy vs. “The Drifter” Elias Sampson- 4.5/10
The announcers called this match while kneeling by the ring while another announce table was constructed for them near the ring. The match was going fine until Matt Hardy got distracted by a magical Bray Wyatt screen effect which allowed The Drifter to hit a big boot and then hit Drift Away and win. After the match, Bray showed up on the TitanTron and laughed at Matt.

Coach explains to us that the winner of the men’s Elimination Chamber match will go on to challenge for the Universal Title at WrestleMania. If Brock doesn’t have to defend his title at Elimination Chamber then why should Alexa?

MIZ PROMO- dull. Also, why is he doing this on his phone? He is clearly at the arena at their interview set! Are all of the interviewers and all of the camera operators sick today?

MIXED MATCH CHALLENGE PROMOS- I was so hoping they would zoom out and reveal that Alexa was, like, standing on a counter in order to get close to Braun’s height.

WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: The Miz(c) (w/the Miz-tourage) vs. Roman Reigns- 7.5/10
Miz was won an exciting dog and pony show type of match. One would think that Kurt should give Roman another rematch after this but I doubt it will ever happen.

THE REVIVAL vs. HEATH SLATER & RHYNO- 4/10
Good for the time it got. I love The Revival.

CHARLY INTERVIEWS THE REVIVAL IN THE RING- Charly has never heard of the Brainbusters. Lame. The Revival buried the Philly fans for being unable to move on from ECW.

THE DUDLEY BOYZ ARE GOING INTO THE HALL OF FAME- they had better let Joel Gertner introduce them!

BALOR CLUB PROMO- they, too, are filming this on their phone. Are the camera people all on strike this week? Balor’s promo was meh.

RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS SASHA BANKS- We’re well over an hour and a half into the show and this was the very first backstage interview. Just wanted to note that.
Sasha’s promo was good, if a little heelish. After last night, I really do want to see her turn heel.

SASHA BANKS vs. ASUKA- 8.5/10
Sasha fell on her head and almost died again.
This was a really, really, awesome wrestling match that I just wish they had saved for a time when I would have had some doubt about the eventual outcome. That being said, while Sasha might have lost tonight, she did come out of it as the first person who actually looked like she was on Asuka’s level.

JOHN CENA PROMO- would have been fine if it hadn’t been shot on a moving cellphone while Cena roamed the halls, making this feel so goofy.

WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Sheamus & Cesaro(c) vs. Titus Worldwide (w/Dana Brooke)- 5.75/10
They had a fun match but the Fella-ship of the Swing retain the belts. I really want Titus & Crews to in the belts at WrestleMania.

ELIMINATION CHAMBER QUALIFYING MATCH: John Cena vs. Finn Balor (w/Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)- 8/10

This was a pretty good episode of Raw in a vacuum, but the lack of follow-up to the PPV was disappointing. I guess the women all made so much history last night there was only room for two of them on tonight’s show, meaning we got none of our champion, and there was no follow-up whatsoever to Sasha seemingly finally turning on Bayley. No Cruiserweights, either.


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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by cero2k » Jan 30th, '18, 09:13

Bayley's burial was completed tonight, Bayley made her Main Event debut
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by XIV » Jan 30th, '18, 09:49

Why is it that Elias has become the most entertaining part of Raw lately?
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 30th, '18, 09:51

cero2k wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 09:13
Bayley's burial was completed tonight, Bayley made her Main Event debut
I'm not laughing at the fact that she got buried, but your phrasing is hilarious. That place is quite the hell-hole. I remember Kofi and Cesaro getting heat for having too good a match on Main Event once even though it was a freakin' title match. And that was when they used to allow matches on that show to go more than five minutes.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by cero2k » Jan 30th, '18, 10:15

XIV wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 09:49
Why is it that Elias has become the most entertaining part of Raw lately?
he turned out to be a great talker and a heat magnet. I still don't want to see him wrestle tho
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 30th, '18, 11:52

cero2k wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 10:15
XIV wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 09:49
Why is it that Elias has become the most entertaining part of Raw lately?
he turned out to be a great talker and a heat magnet. I still don't want to see him wrestle tho
Exactly. He needs to be like Enzo or Lefort or Lana- strictly a manager, but one who knows how to bump for when it is necessary.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by KILLdozer » Jan 30th, '18, 12:00

So we've got Cena in the Chamber instead of Balor. Ok, great. Nevermind the whole match was pretty much about "Cena goin' crazy over the crowd."...
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 30th, '18, 12:05

KILLdozer wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 12:00
So we've got Cena in the Chamber instead of Balor. Ok, great. Nevermind the whole match was pretty much about "Cena goin' crazy over the crowd."...
On the bright side, this means Balor will get to win at Elimination Chamber.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by KILLdozer » Jan 30th, '18, 12:18

I'm still hoping for somehow someway Strowman finally defeating Lesnar at WM, something different than Reigns finally winning it again. Part of me though above all other rumors regardless, feels Strowman finally ultimately undeniably puts Kane away at WM, possibly even for good.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 30th, '18, 12:38

KILLdozer wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 12:18
I'm still hoping for somehow someway Strowman finally defeating Lesnar at WM, something different than Reigns finally winning it again. Part of me though above all other rumors regardless, feels Strowman finally ultimately undeniably puts Kane away at WM, possibly even for good.
I was beginning to think a three-way might be possible at Mania with Braun winning, but your mention of Braun vs. Kane at Mania now has me fearing that they'll protect from losing in the Chamber by having Kane pop up through the ring to cost him the match and then set up your proposed Kane vs. Braun blow-off.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by Serujuunin » Jan 30th, '18, 14:05

Big Red Machine wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 12:05
KILLdozer wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 12:00
So we've got Cena in the Chamber instead of Balor. Ok, great. Nevermind the whole match was pretty much about "Cena goin' crazy over the crowd."...
On the bright side, this means Balor will get to win at Elimination Chamber.
What kind of match is he supposed to be having at EC? Or do we know yet?

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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by KILLdozer » Jan 30th, '18, 14:35

I didn't even think of what might happen between them at the Chamber, what got me thinking about WM finally ending it was that we obviously just CAN'T get away from Kane and Strowman no matter lol.

What reason were they even fighting now?

Qualifier? Kane lost last night, who cares about him.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by cero2k » Jan 30th, '18, 15:26

ok, so if Asuka is 'waiting' for the elimination chamber to see who she would pick for the WM match, wouldn't waiting for whoever wins and then choosing Charlotte make it seem like she's running away from whoever wins the EC, or completely bury the RAW champion by waiting and then realizing it's not a worthwild match?? I kinda feels that regardless who wins, she going for Charlotte would make Asuka look bad, so I feel she NEEDS to now challenge for whoever wins.

The only solution I see now is that since Asuka has a win over Alexa, she should use that to challenge Alexa, and the Rumble to challenge Charlotte at the same time. Triple threat with 2 pins, whoever scores each pin earns a title. A la Eddie vs Angle vs Jericho. Then Ronda can fight Steph, and put all the women in the first ever Chyna Memorial Battle Royal like the geeks they are.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by KILLdozer » Jan 30th, '18, 17:04

"First ever Chyna Battle Royal" isn't long enough in comparison though lol
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 30th, '18, 21:55

Serujuunin wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 14:05
Big Red Machine wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 12:05
KILLdozer wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 12:00
So we've got Cena in the Chamber instead of Balor. Ok, great. Nevermind the whole match was pretty much about "Cena goin' crazy over the crowd."...
On the bright side, this means Balor will get to win at Elimination Chamber.
What kind of match is he supposed to be having at EC? Or do we know yet?
We don't know yet, but whatever it is I can't imagine him losing because all (or at least most) of the other top guys will be in the Chamber and Rollins will likely be doing tag stuff.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by cero2k » Jan 30th, '18, 22:41

Big Red Machine wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 21:55


We don't know yet, but whatever it is I can't imagine him losing because all (or at least most) of the other top guys will be in the Chamber and Rollins will likely be doing tag stuff.
i honestly wouldn't be surprised if they do Balor Club vs MizTourage or something like that
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 30th, '18, 22:49

cero2k wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 22:41
Big Red Machine wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 21:55


We don't know yet, but whatever it is I can't imagine him losing because all (or at least most) of the other top guys will be in the Chamber and Rollins will likely be doing tag stuff.
i honestly wouldn't be surprised if they do Balor Club vs MizTourage or something like that
Could be. I was thinking that the only circumstance under which he would lose would be if he challenged Miz. Balor Club vs. Miz-tourage would set up for Balor vs. Miz for the IC Title at Mania, and I actually don't think that would seem like a "demotion" for Balor. Roman managed to feel like a main eventer while he was IC Champion, so it's not impossible.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by cero2k » Jan 31st, '18, 09:25

Big Red Machine wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 22:49

Could be. I was thinking that the only circumstance under which he would lose would be if he challenged Miz. Balor Club vs. Miz-tourage would set up for Balor vs. Miz for the IC Title at Mania, and I actually don't think that would seem like a "demotion" for Balor. Roman managed to feel like a main eventer while he was IC Champion, so it's not impossible.
Meltzer is set that Miz vs Strowman is happening at WM. I've been expecting Miz vs Balor since neither man seem to have anything...unless....
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by KILLdozer » Feb 1st, '18, 21:57

What does Miz and Strowman have to do with anything going on? Besides, "oh fuck it, road to WM, let's do it." ?
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/29/2018 Raw (Sasha vs. Asuka, Cena vs. Balor!)

Post by cero2k » Feb 2nd, '18, 08:52

KILLdozer wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 21:57
What does Miz and Strowman have to do with anything going on? Besides, "oh fuck it, road to WM, let's do it." ?
it's WWE, "No Sense Necessary" is a big banner they have in the creative team's room
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