BRM Reviews the 3/5/2018 Raw

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 3/5/2018 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Mar 6th, '18, 16:07

OPENING SEGMENT- hated it
Apparently we were supposed to realize that Kurt was being insincere last week when he claimed to have lied about the stuff Hunter and Steph said about Ronda. Well if he wasn’t convincing enough and the McMahons had ordered him to be so, why didn’t they just fire him?
Anyway, Kurt comes out to open the show and calls out Hunter. He gets Steph instead, who tells him that Hunter isn’t here yet. Steph brings up Kurt’s children. Unlike a certain other authority figure, the mention of his children (in what is clearly going to be a threat, no less) does not cause Kurt to fly into a rage and assault Steph. In perspective, this makes Shane look completely unreasonable now doesn’t it?
The reason Steph brings up Kurt’s kids is, of course, to remind him that they will surely starve to death if Kurt does something that causes The Authority to fire him from WWE, because we’re supposed to believe that Kurt Angle- WWE Hall of Famer, Olympic champion, and former sportscaster, wouldn’t be able to find a job if get fired from WWE. Oh come on. Not only does she bring up his kids, but also his alimony payments. You know, if they were REALLY clever, they would have waited to announce Jeff Jarrett’s Hall of Fame induction until tonight.
Steph even brings all of those accolades up and asks him if they are “really paying the bills.” I’m pretty sure they are, Steph. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and fire him, then give him a call in six months when the marquee on Levi’s Stadium reads “New Japan Pro Wrestling presents a first-time-ever international dream match: Kurt Angle vs. Kazuchika Okada.”
Steph claims that Kurt’s skills won’t pay the bills but being a GM will, so she suggests that he just take the punch as Hunter “getting even” for Kurt almost f*cking things up with Ronda and everyone just move on with their lives.
Ronda Rousey came out, and is all smiles. Smiley Ronda looks like some random fan. She needs to not smile anymore. I didn’t like her passive-aggressive attitude towards Steph. It just isn’t the right tone, just like the way Kurt delivered his lines the past two weeks hurt those segments for me. She should be thanking Kurt for opening her eyes and telling Steph to lay off of him or else because she’s Ronda f*cking Rousey and she’s made for life. She doesn’t need this WWE job: she’s here because she wants to be… and that means that if she feels that she no longer wants to be in WWE- like, say, because it’s not worth dealing with an asshole boss, she’ll just go right back to Hollywood or the UFC. Because like she said last week, her dream is not worth submitting herself to being treated like property.
Meanwhile, back in reality, Steph makes nice with Ronda. Ronda brings up her contract, which stipulates that she gets to pick her opponent at WrestleMania. Steph corrects her, saying she can pick anyone, who is both not a champion and is part of the active roster. Ronda replies “in that case…” then she turns right to camera and declares “At WrestleMania, your ass is mine, DANA BROOKE!”


Okay, not really. But can you imagine the reaction that would get?


Anyway, Steph tried to make a big production out Ronda announcing who her opponent would be, saying stuff like “wow, guys isn’t this exciting? Ronda’s going to announce her opponent for WrestleMania!” She was really funny, and even called for a drumroll. On a related note, WWE might want to send Ronda down to the Performance Center before Mania because she didn’t even wait for the drumroll to end before announcing who she wanted to face. I assume that’s the sort of thing they can teach her down there.
Ronda says she wants to face Steph. Is she daft? Steph hasn’t wrestled in three and a half years. She’s clearly not part of the active roster.
Then Kurt pipes up and says that Stephanie has an executive’s contract… but she also has a second contract which is a Superstar’s contract. WHAT? Since when? She never wrestles… so if this is true, has she just been sitting there and quietly collecting her downside guarantee with no intention of ever wrestling a match? That seems pretty crooked to me. Kurt says he’s the GM so he’s going to make the match. Hunter comes out and says that Kurt can’t do that, but Kurt says he can… and not only that, but Hunter has a talent contract, too, so if it’s okay with Ronda, he’s changing the match to Steph & Hunter vs. Ronda & himself. Despite the fact that it lowers her chances of winning, Ronda is okay with this because… um… she’s a big mark for mixed tag team matches, guess?
Steph tried to slap Kurt but Ronda blocked it. Hunter tried to diffuse things, then tried to sucker-punch Kurt again but Kurt was ready for it. This led to a series of spots where the babyfaces got the best of the heels at basically every single point, including ending with Kurt making Hunter tap to the scissored Angle Lock while Ronda gave Steph a Samoan Drop (and due to the restrictions on cross-gender violence, we got one or two moments where, for example, Hunter kicked Kurt in the gut and hooked him for the Pedigree… and Ronda just stood there, watching from three feet away, rather than trying to help Kurt). Well… now that I’ve seen the babyfaces get their revenge, what do I need to watch the PPV for?
This whole segment was convoluted and stupid, with a lazy-ass, deus ex machina of a way to rush to the announcement of this match.

NIA JAX vs. ASUKA- 6.75/10
In the middle of this match they had Charly interview Alexa Bliss! backstage, in an interview that went on WAY too long for a promo in the middle of someone else’s match. Why did they even do this during the match anyway? Why not do it before the match?
The match was very good and exciting, even though the outcome was never really in doubt. After the match they cut to Alexa and Mickie watching with concern backstage. Because she is now Alexa’s lackey, Mickie has changed her style of dress to match Alexa’s.

IF THE REVIVAL WIN, THEY GET A TITLE SHOT AT WRESTLEMANIA: The Revival vs. Sheamus & Cesaro- 6.5/10
This was extremely disappointing, but none of it was the wrestlers’ faults. When they announced this I assumed it was going to go eighteen minutes and The Revival would win to set up an even better, more epic match at WrestleMania… and then they did this match and Sheamus & Cesaro won clean in less than ten minutes, so now there really, truly are no teams left for Sheamus & Cesaro to face, just a few weeks out form the biggest show of the year. What the f*ck?


JOHN CENA PROMO-
Credit where it’s due, they found a perfectly logical explanation for why Cena didn’t just cut this promo on Smackdown (the others in the title match would never let him get through it without interrupting him). He noted that he would break Flair’s record if he won the title at the PPV. He gave a speech that felt WAY too much like something you’d hear back when the anti-Cena crowd was at their height, talking about how he had earned everything through hard work and how he had only been given “opportunities” rather than just being given championships, etc. etc. He swung it back to the Mania angle by suggesting that if he wins, AJ wait until Mania to involve his rematch clause so the Mania match would be Cena vs. AJ vs. Nakamura (rather than AJ getting his rematch earlier, creating the possibility that Cena would lose and thus once again be out of a match at Mania… although if that happens, why can’t Cena just invoke his rematch clause at Mania to make it a three-way?).
Anyway, Goldust came out to interrupt him- yes, GOLDUST interrupted JOHN CENA- and cut a movie promo. He felt like he was back to being that R-Truth feud Goldust where he felt like he had real potential as a character. He said he, too, wants to have a major role at Mania, so he going to stop Cena from doing so and taking his spot.
Goldust’s promo was pretty great, and Cena did a great job of being weirded out by Goldust, but not in the usual way. In the “this guy has really lost his mind” kind of way. He even whispered “this is weird,” which got picked up by Goldust’s mic. Goldust took advantage of Cena’s distracting to nail him with a sucker-punch, and when we came back from commercial, we got…

JOHN CENA vs. GOLDUST- 1.5/10
The match was short and not very good, and Cena’s selling of the low blow wasn’t very good, either.

THE DRIFTER & KURT ANGLE BACKSTAGE- The Drifter wants Kurt to cancel the “Symphony of Destruction Match,” because “music is supposed to bring us together,” and thus a match where musical instruments are intended to be used as weapons “sends the wrong message.” Kurt says he’ll consider it and The Drifter heads off… and he only gets about two steps because Kurt says “Okay, I’ve considered it: I’m not cancelling the match.” The Drifter then put on a brave face and told Kurt “whatever happens to Braun tonight, that’s on you.” Kurt then makes the Symphony of Destruction Match a Falls Count Anywhere Match. I found this whole thing amusing, but it would have been better if the match was already Falls Count Anywhere in the first place so Kurt didn’t look either stupid or spiteful.

HILLBILLY JIM IS GOING INTO THE HALL OF FAME- who cares?

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS BAYLEY IN THE RING- Charly flat-out asks Bayley if by refusing to let Sasha tag her in in Sasha’s time of need last week, she was “sending a message? Or ending a friendship?” Bayley started to respond, noting that while both the Rumble and Elimination Chamber matches were technically everyone woman for herself, “what Sasha did was really hard for me t-“ And then she was cut off by Paige’s music. This framing seems to make Bayley out to be unreasonable, but I think it actually works here because- especially at Elimination Chamber- Sasha’s actions came off as worse than “I eliminated my friend from the match.” They were downright deceitful, so Bayley’s reaction is very understandable.
Anyway, the She-ield comes out and Paige called Bayley stupid for pushing Sasha away, but then seemed to be trying to recruit her to join D-Gyneration X. Also, apparently it was time for the already-scheduled…

BAYLEY vs. MANDY ROSE (w/Absolution)- 3.5/10
Bayley overcame all of the NexSisters’ attempts to interfere and distract her and got the win via roll-up.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- meh
Femolition attacked Bayley after the match. Sasha Banks came out (sans music) to make the save, but while she was on her way to the ring, Graves, being a great heel, was certain she was just coming out to join in the beat-down. Once Sasha had fought off the Radic-Galz on her own, Graves insisted that she only fought them off because she wanted to beat Bayley up on her own. When Sasha didn’t beat Bayley up at all, Graves accused her of trying to steal the spotlight that Bayley had rightfully earned with her victory. That was great.
Sasha offered Bayley a hug and Bayley snubbed her. I didn’t like that part. Sasha just saved her from a beating. If she wasn’t truly her friend, she didn’t have to do that. It seemed a little too far for Bayley to go. I think it would have been better to have Sasha run out with a chair before the beat-down started to scare the heels away, but also have Bayley flee from Sasha, too because she didn’t know if Sasha was coming after her or not. You get to the same place where Sasha’s feelings are hurt, but Bayley is still having trust issues rather than being slightly unreasonable.

Cole insisted to us that “Mandy Rose is constantly bragging about all of the fitness magazine covers she has been on.” Really? Because she’s been on TV for three months now and I’ve never heard her do so once. This is exactly the sort of thing that if they let Mandy do on TV, it would let her have some actual personality rather than being “Generic Attractive Blonde Heel #3.”

ALEXA BLISS! CHECKS ON NIA JAX- Nia is icing her arm. Mickie came in, too, but Alexa sent her away. Alexa tells Nia “I don’t want you to feel like a failure and I don’t want you to feel like you let yourself and your family down,” etc. etc. and talking about everything Nia has overcome. She’s really sorry Nia isn’t going to be on the Mania card, but she can’t give up now or else everyone will lose all respect for her. Nia started crying during all of this… and then it just ended.
I’m in the camp that a big scary monster should not be crying, so that was bad. I thought where they were going with this was that Alexa was going to convince Nia that although she can’t have a match at WrestleMania this year, her best shot at having a featured position on the card would be to be in Alexa’s corner for her title defense… and they seemed like they were setting up for that but the recruitment speech never came. Watching this felt like Lexi Kaufman tried to give Savelina Fanene a motivational speech and instead accidentally made her best friend cry and WWE cameras accidentally broadcast it. Not good.


BRAUN STROWMAN PHONE PROMO WITH STUPID WORDS ON THE SCREEN- This would have been a really great promo if not for the words on the screen and the shaky phone.

THE DRIFTER PLAYS A PANIO- But… he can’t drift with a piano. It’s not portable. Then again, this does just confirm what we already figured was true. I mean… I’ve been saying that he’s a dick for a long time now, but now we have visual confirmation that Elias is a pianist. (Cliché? Of course. But so is doing a f*cking match with musical instruments to use as weapons and calling it something like a “Symphony of Destruction Match.”)
His pre-match stuff was great, as usual.

SYMPHONY OF DESTRUCTION MATCH: Braun Strowman vs. “The Drifter” Elias Sampson- 3/10
Elias tried to run away before the match even started and got all the way to his car… except apparently Braun beat him to hit and was holding his car back from starting. Elias then got out of the car and ran away back into the arena (let’s assume his master plan is to make a full loop and get to the car again before Braun can). Braun caught up to him on the ramp and the match officially started. Elias got some offense in, but then Braun made a comeback and murderized him.

BRAY WYATT vs. RHYNO (w/Heath Slater)- DUD!
Coach claims we’re seeing “a new, serious, physical” Bray Wyatt. I have seen no evidence of this whatsoever. Bray squashed Rhyno- RHYNO- like a bug. And yes, I’m giving it a dud even though it’s a squash because Rhyno is f*cking RHYNO and they’re trying to get BRAY WYATT over as a serious threat by having Bray squash him, as if the problem with Bray Wyatt was that they haven’t given him in-ring credibility rather than… well… everything else about him.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Bray cuts a promo on Matt saying their war isn’t over. Matt shows up on the Tron and suggest they have the fight at the Hardy Compound, so we’re getting “The Ultimate Deletion.” Uch.

MIZZIE AWARDS- holy crap it didn’t suck!
Miz’s awards were surprisingly entertaining. Rollins came out and had some lame WWE verbiage. Then Balor came out to interrupt Seth, seemingly for no reason other than to be a jerk. Miz cut a great promo on both of them that resulted in him challenging them to a three-on=-two handicap match, which Seth and Finn both accepted

HANDICAP MATCH: The Miz & The Miz-tourage vs. Finn Balor & Seth Rollins- 6/10
The match was fine for what it was. Balor was about to hit Miz with the Coup de Grace when Seth tagged himself in, hit the Curb Stomp, and got the win. Kurt Angle then came out and announced a Triple Threat match for the IC Title at WrestleMania.

PAUL HEYMAN PROMO- I’m sure I’ll be in the minority here, but I didn’t think this promo was that great. It was fine, but wasn’t great, either.
Anyway, once Heyman was done, Roman came out, and only at that point were we told that “there were rumors that management had asked Roman Reigns to stay away tonight, afraid of what he would do.” Again… what rumors? I haven’t heard any until just this moment. This is the sort of thig you should mention earlier, and it would also explain why Roman wasn’t even booked tonight. Also, if you want to push the idea that there were actual consequences to Broman saying things he wasn’t supposed to last week, then you can’t let me know about them at a moment where they are made to have no consequence.
Roman came out and told Brock ready to show up to fight next week. This really didn’t get me excited.


This was a pretty boring episode of Raw. There was important stuff that happened, but it was mostly limited to the opening segment and the end, with the stuff in the middle feeling either like water-treading or, in the case of the Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Revival match, counterproductive. They seem to have already dropped their “long matches,” kick, too, which was disappointing, as it made the show feel longer and choppier.


Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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Big Red Machine
Posts: 21066
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 15:12
Favorite Wrestler: Kane

Re: BRM Reviews the 6/5/2018 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Mar 6th, '18, 20:02

Can someone please tell Matt to teach his wife about kayfabe?

Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
WWE in 2005
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
Beyond Flesh
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

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cero2k
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Re: BRM Reviews the 6/5/2018 Raw

Post by cero2k » Mar 6th, '18, 22:38

Big Red Machine wrote:
Mar 6th, '18, 20:02
Can someone please tell Matt to teach his wife about kayfabe?

forget kayfabe, this woman needs her twitter account confiscated.

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