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BRM Reviews the 5/28/2018 Raw (TERRIBLE)

Posted: May 29th, '18, 14:57
by Big Red Machine
Braun Strowman came out and cut a pretty great promo about how he was going to kick everyone’s ass at MITB and win the MITB match. It would have been even better if he didn’t refer to himself as “Mr. Monster in the Bank.” Finn Balor interrupted him to cut a promo about how he would win MITB, and I swear if I have to sit through two more promos in a row of guys talking about how they are going to “beat seven other men and climb that ladder” I’m going to be really annoyed.
Holy crap! Something else is happening! Braun makes fun of Finn for being small so Finn slaps him. They start to fight but are interrupted by Kurt Angle, who books them in a rematch for right here and right now, so we get…

Within moments of coming back from the opening commercial they showed up Kevin Owens now on commentary and Bobby Roode watching on a monitor backstage. I’m sure that over the next few weeks we’ll be seeing all four of these men take turns in all of these roles as WWE continues to tread water on the way to this PPV.
Owens grabbed a mic (that he had brought with him, I guess, because this is Raw and the announcers’ table is on the stage and not by the ring announcer) and did one spot for each guy where he encouraged him to beat up the other.
We eventually wound up in a situation where Finn was about to go for the Coup de Grace but Owens knocked him off the top rope for the DQ. While on the one hand I appreciate that they are at least setting up more of a reason for the Owens vs. Balor match we’ll undoubtedly get on Raw over the next two weeks than them just booking them together in a way that makes it painfully obvious that they’re just treading water, the way this was done feels like the frustrating “we’re doing a DQ because we booked two guys against each other and didn’t want to beat either of them.” There is definitely a world where this finish almost feels like a “best of all possible scenarios” where we get a finish that makes it look like Finn was going to get his win back if not for Owens but Braun doesn’t actually have to lose and we get a reason for Owens vs. Balor, but that is a world where the booker has a track record that has earned him/her/them the benefit of the doubt. That is far from the case with WWE.

Owens hit Finn with a ladder. He tried to do the same to Braun but Braun got the ladder and threw it very far as Owens retreated… so it’s Braun who gets to win in the end and Owens gets nothing.

Michael Cole attempted to use Kevin Owens’ presence to make the most WWE segue ever to Jinder attacking Rollins and Roman after last week’s match, saying that “Kevin Owens always seems to be in the middle of controversy,” then proceeding to show us footage of said controversy… in which Kevin Owens did not appear on one single frame, even in the background.

He yells at the valets. Kurt Angle shows up and asks Owens where he thinks he’s going. Owens says that doesn’t want to miss the fireworks and parade for Memorial Day. Kurt responds by telling him, “you don’t care about that stuff. You’re Canadian.” Um… Kurt? You do know that Canadians fought with us in both world wars, right? Maybe Kevin Owens even has some American family members who served in our armed forces? Basically what I’m saying here is that even though I knew Owens was obviously lying, Kurt still came off like a dick.
Kurt says that Owens can’t leave because Kurt has now just booked him in a match against Bobby Roode at Roode’s request. Why? Because Roode apparently came to Kurt to complain about the mean things Owens said about him on commentary… which was basically Owens just saying that Roode would lose the MITB match. What a thin-skinned little baby. If he was a real babyface he would have gone out to ringside and confronted Owens about it, not ran off to complain to the teacher that one of the other children was saying not nice thing about him. Owens went to go get changed for his match… and Kurt laughed like a f*cking dick.


THE DRIFTER SINGS- he doesn’t actually sing, just jaws with the crowd in his own special way. After a commercial break he is still in the ring. Rollins shows up and tosses The Drifter’s stool out of the ring (giggle). Drifter leaves peacefully… so I assume we’re getting a f*ck finish in this match, too. Oh goody.

WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: Seth Rollins(c) vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh)- 6.5/10
Jinder worked over Seth’s midsection, which was already injured from last week’s attack. He clearly saw Sunil trip Rollins up on the outside (he even shouted “I SAW WHAT YOU DID!” at Sunil) but merely ejected him from ringside rather than disqualifying Jinder like he should have. While the ref was dealing with Sunil, Jinder hit Rollins in the ribs with a chair that set up a good false finish.
Sunil came back immediately afterwards, and this apparently still was not cause for a DQ. Rollins pulle3d him into the ring and beat him up, Buckle Bombing him into Jinder. Rollins then grabbed a chair and hit Jinder for the DQ. For those of you keeping track at home, we are now one hour into the show. We’ve had two matches so far tonight- one a rematch of last week’s big main event and the other an Intercontinental Title match- and both have ended in a disqualification.
Remember when I used to go to sleep in the middle of episodes of Impact that had actually started off well and then I’d come back to them in the morning and they’d magically have turned to sh*t? Time to see if that process works in reverse, too.

Okay, I’m back.

And immediately I see The Drifter knock Seth off the announcers’ table with a guitar shot to the back. This marks the second straight week that Seth has been hit from behind with a weapon after a victory. He fell all the way down to the floor so they’re having him attende3d to by EMTs who want to stretcher him out… and the whole thing is ruined by what I assume is a group of young fans that came to the show to honor the birthday of one of their number, who picked this exact moment sing Happy Birthday. I laughed my ass off.

Coach refers to Nia as “one of the nicest, sweetest, most fun-loving women” you’ll ever meet, which completely contradicts all of those months when we were told that she was a big scary sadistic monster. She’s a babyface now. That’s fine. But that doesn’t mean you have to push her all the way to that end of the spectrum, and especially not if it so badly clashes with her established character. I don’t ever remember babyface Kane being described as “sweet.”
There was a woman in the front row of the aisle with a purple (lavender? Fuchsia? Whatever) sign that read “Nia Jax for President.” I bring this up to illustrate a point, which is that even with her heroine standing a mere five feet away from her, even Nia Jax’s biggest fan totally lost her sh*t when Ronda Rousey’s music started to play.
And yes, the fact that Nia was just five feet in front of this woman in the aisle when Ronda came out means that Ronda came out while Nia was still making her entrance, totally upstaging Nia for no reason at all. Not only did this make Ronda look like a dick, but it’s also the exact same thing Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton were doing to each other last month on Smackdown to set up their title match. Props to Nia for her facial reaction. She couldn’t believe the audacity of this asshole.
Ronda goes to the announcers’ table so I guess Nia is having a match now? We haven’t actually been told what is happening.
Ah. Apparently it’s an “exhibition” that Nia is putting on. You know… one of those things a heel does when they line up tomato cans to beat while explaining how said tomato cans represent his/her opponent? So I guess they’re both heels, then?
Nia feigns forgetting the word “armbar,” which we were supposed to take as a sign of her “disrespect” to Ronda… but it’s not like they had Ronda get upset over it. Instead we had the announcers saying the equivalent of “oooh! Did you hear that, Ronda! That was pretty disrespectful of Nia, wasn’t it?” like this was all one big plan to manipulate Ronda into getting upset for some unexplained reason, while Ronda just blew it off, saying “if she doesn’t remember the name, she probably won’t remember the defense.”
Nia had the tomato can put her in an armbar just so she could power out of it via powerbomb. Nia continued to egg on, taunt, and beat up this poor woman, as Ronda sat there bored but smiling, like she was spacing out and thinking of a funny memory rather than paying attention to what Nia was doing and saying.
Nia told Ronda to come down to the ring and give this poor tomato can some medical assistance, even chasing a referee off when he tried to help. Someone babyface Nia is. Anyone remember about five minutes ago when Coach was telling us now nice and sweet Nia was? Boy does he look like an idiot now.
By the time Ronda got to the ring, the jobber had totally disappeared. Ronda put on her murder-face, which the longer I look at it, it starts to look more like an “I’m about to cry” face than an “I’m about to rip someone’s limbs off” face. Nia told us she wasn’t intimidated by Ronda, laughed in Ronda’s face, and walked away. Michael then told us all that Nia had “manipulated Ronda.” Into doing what, exactly? Taking some extra steps down to the ring? Okay… I guess she did technically do that, but what does that actually accomplish?
So… yeah. This segment was horrible. Even if Nia had been a heel, this would have still sucked, but at least then I could praise her mic-work a bit, if not the planning and execution of this whole thing. She isn’t a heel, however, as we’ve had made clear to us over the past two months (painfully so, in fact, as they’ve beaten us over the head with their message of tolerance of all body types, which Nia became the messenger for overnight just because Alexa called her “large:”- not even “fat;” just “large- once).
This whole thing felt totally out of place in this feud. Not just because of the babyface/heel dynamic, but because this has always been more of a chickensh*t thing to do, and one thing Nia Jax has never been portrayed as is a chickensh*t. This is the sort of angle that would have worked much better with Steph doing the exhibition (and you do some sort of deal where Steph got a restraining order on Ronda so Ronda can’t touch her until Mania), and she’s in a gi with her hair tied back like the MMA fighters have and the opponents are all also dressed that way, rather than this woman who was in her regular pro wrestling gear. If you want to push the idea that Nia is too strong for the armbar, the way you do it is to simply have someone lock her in the armbar but then Nia immediately powers out of it DURING A MATCH, where it is clear to us that Nia isn’t facing some tomato can and thus the lessons we can learn from this segment are real rather than fabrications by Nia in a pathetic attempt to “get into Ronda’s head” or whatever bullsh*t they’re trying to spin this as.

DANA BROOKE SELFIE PROMO- hey, look! After nine months they have finally decided to try to make Dana’s “statistician” gimmick relevant to something!

During this match I determined that Michael Cole is the only babyface here because he is the only one who doesn’t care for any of this bullsh*t. The match was boring

KURT ANGLE & THE B-TEAM BACKSTAGE- Bo and Dallas are idiots and think they have to invite the other tag teams to a BBQ in order to get their permission to challenge for the tag titles, despite Kurt Angle repeatedly telling them that this is not the case. If this BBQ doesn’t end with The Revival maiming the entire team, I will be very unhappy.

RIOTT SQUAD SELFIE (stablie?) PROMO- This was actually pretty good. Ruby is always great, but Liv and especially Logan delivered here as well. I could be wrong, but I think the idea was that they were filming themselves breaking the other women’s stuff. Either that or Sarah Logan is tearing her own clothes because she’s a crazy woods-lady.

Owens wins a sub-ten-minute match via cheating. As he is going to leave, Braun Strowman shows up, and Owens becomes trapped between Roode and Strowman because he has apparently suddenly lost his ability to move right or left and can now only move in a straight line. He got beaten up for no reason. Braun then did the same to Bobby Roode. This sucks.

Sami Zayn is being made to apologize for bringing out actors claiming to be Lashley’s sisters last week. If the company didn’t like what Sami was doing, why did they let him go out there with what were obviously three dudes in drag? Also, does the fact that Sami is being made to apologize here imply that every other segment like this (say, like “Bayley, This is Your Life”) was totally kayfabe true and Bayley really did need her father to sit in class with her in fourth grade?
Wait… no. Apparently Sami is being made to apologize for having a bad segment, not for lying. This is even stupider. Sure, he said he was apologizing for lying, but all of the criticism he says he got was for having a “cringe-worthy” “embarrassing” segment, and the like.
Sami was good at what he was sent out here to do. Then Lashley came out. Did he confront Sami Zayn for his lies? Nope. That would be silly. Instead he took this time to honor Memorial Day. How about we don’t do this in the middle of a segment where it makes no sense for his mind to be on this and when we’re not interrupt the worked show for a random moment of reality before we start working again?
Lashley then turned to Sami and cut a promo that despite being very short and consisting of him challenging Sami to a wrestling match at the PPV, still managed to be very boring. They shake on it, then Sami cuts a promo on Lashley, then Lashley totally embarrasses him by doing the “I squeeze your hand too hard on the handshake to the point where you fall to your knees.” How does this build heat for the PPV match?

So apparently all of these women haven’t been just sending their own promos in but rather are cutting them only after hearing the previous woman’s promo. Does ANYTHING happen not during the three hours this show is on the air?

CHAD GABLE vs. DREW MCINTYRE (w/Dolph Ziggler)- 4/10
Gable loses again.

They’re doing IN THE RING. Why did Kurt even let them come out to the ring and do this? The Revival are just standing there like idiots. Curtis Axel blanked on who the tag champs were. The announcers were openly laughing at him. Titus denigrated the quality of their BBQ, then said that their plan was idiotic. Heath Slater started to talk. The announcers laughed at him, too.
Dumb things were said. Then the grown adults in the ring dumped food on each other. This was one of those moments where you just pray that no one else walks into the room and sees you watching this sh*t. The B-Team got to put someone through a table at the end so they could “stand tall,” but that image was marred by them having food poured all over them. If we had not been up to the main event, I would have shut the show off right here. For the second time in less than two months: DIVISION DEAD. Someone tell The Revival that if they get their releases in the next few days, the non-competes will expire in time for them to go be the top heels at All In.

We’re getting Owens vs. Balor and Roode vs. Strowman next week in matches that we all know won’t matter. Also, we’re getting Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey’s Canadian Friend so that Nia can get some heat going into the PPV without Ronda having to look weak in any way.

They demand a tag title shot for having gotten food dumped on them. Kurt says that the other teams “won’t just let you cut in line.” What is this “the other teams won’t let you cut them in line” stuff? They have no decision-making power in this. Kurt is the one making these decisions! Secondly, doesn’t this bury the women because they are essentially all letting Ronda cut to the front of the line?
Anyway, Kurt decides to book a #1 contendership battle royale for next week, because that’s much easier than actually trying to book a functional tag division. Also… where the hell have the Authors of Pain been?
They are so happy that they hug Kurt in thanks, getting food on him. Preemptively responding to the critics, Coach (presumably under direct orders from Vince McMahon) insists that “there is no such thing as a stupid food fight).

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS BAYLEY- an okay promo responding to all of the previous selfie promos.

MONEY IN THE BACK QUALIFYING GAUNTLET MATCH: Bayley vs. Liv Morgan vs. Sarah Logan vs. Ruby Riott vs. Dana Brooke vs. Mickie James vs. Sasha Banks- 5.75/10
Of course they had to show us the previously-qualified women watching on monitors in the back. They’re clearly not going to be wrestling tonight because it’s the main event and they’re not involved, but they’re all still wearing their ring gear for some reason.
Bayley immediately hit Liv with her finisher and pinned her. She pinned Sarah Logan with a roll-up soon afterwards, the got beaten up by Morgan and Logan, then Ruby Riott came out and beat Bayley up. This is the sort of thing that not only feels a little too contrived, but also basically buries both Liv and Logan for no other reason than the desire to get this long match over with quicker (Bayley herself didn’t last long past the return from the commercial break that immediately followed Ruby’s entrance).
Dana was eliminated quickly as well. Mickie James came out and got a big pop in her home town. She got to at least do some stuff before getting rolled up with a handful of tights for the pin. Sasha was eventually able to overcome Riott Squad interference to get the win. Everything before Mickie vs. Ruby existed just to say they got the other women in the match.
The story behind this match was that these women were all getting a second chance to qualify. You’d think this would be a good time for Roman Reigns to point out that management was giving all of these people a second chance but gave Kurt Angle specific instructions not to give him one, but Roman was nowhere to be found. All night, in fact. If I had to guess as to why that was, my guess would be them attempting to internally cover Roman’s ass by not having him appear on this show that they know is going to tank in the rating.

This show was F*CKING TERRIBLE. Just about every single segment was either stupid or pointless. Do yourself a favor and don’t watch it.

Re: BRM Reviews the 5/28/2018 Raw (TERRIBLE)

Posted: May 29th, '18, 16:12
by Big Red Machine
Props to Meltzer and Alvarez for pointing out that Nia's actions tonight show us that Alexa has actually been completely right for characterizing Nia as a bully.

Re: BRM Reviews the 5/28/2018 Raw (TERRIBLE)

Posted: May 30th, '18, 10:31
by Serujuunin
I don’t think the people singing happy birthday were singing it to their friend. It was Seth’s birthday on Monday too lol

Re: BRM Reviews the 5/28/2018 Raw (TERRIBLE)

Posted: May 30th, '18, 11:46
by Big Red Machine
Serujuunin wrote:
May 30th, '18, 10:31
I don’t think the people singing happy birthday were singing it to their friend. It was Seth’s birthday on Monday too lol
Really? Well that just makes them sh*tty fans to do that in the middle of what is supposed to be a big angle.