Kurt Angle started to say something about a post Paul Heyman made on Facebook (yes, really) that has apparently caused people to “speculate” about Brock’s status with the company. Does anyone really believe that they’d let Brock has the belt without a contract?
Roman Reigns comes out and interrupts Kurt… for no other reason than that he wants to hear what Kurt says face to face. This came off douchy. Kurt tried to talk again but was interrupted by Lashley, who used similar logic and also came off douchy. He then cut a promo on Roman that was much better than I was expecting from a WWE Lashley promo. He said that Roman has had three years’ worth of chances to beat Brock and failed, and that he should just move on.
Roman responds to this by saying “move on? Like you did ten years ago?” and telling us all that Lashley was in “the main event of WrestleMania” (a stretch) a decade ago, then “moved on.” Upon hearing this, the first thing that popped into my head was that unlike Roman, at least Lashley WON that match. Roman asks Lashley how his MMA career went, so I did some quick research and it turns out Lashley was 15-2. Seems pretty good to me.
Roman tells us all how he has main evented WrestleMania four years in a row and he’s going to make it five and how dare Lashley come into his ring and blah blah because Roman is here every single week. Is Lashley not? Are they just going back to the stupid Brock storyline? Lashley responds by telling Roman that he is the only one with “the legit tools” to beat Brock. You know… because he did MMA like Brock whereas Roman and the rest are fake pro wrestlers.
Kurt then breaks the news that the big multi-man #1 contendership match that they announced last week as the main event of Extreme Rules won’t be taking place due to “a snag in the contractual agreement with Brock Lesnar.”
1. This makes WWE’s lawyers look stupid. McDevitt et. al should sue for defamation!
2. Maybe don’t go on the air announcing something if you don’t have everything set in stone
3. HOW?! Why does Brock’s contract have any relevance to how WWE determines a #1 contender for him?
Roman again gives us the big speech about how Brock doesn’t care about WWE or the WWE Universe; he only cares about the money. So… yup. We’re doing this again, even though they tried it a mere three months ago and it didn’t make a difference. Look… you could make Brock into a freakin’ Nazi and it will get the people to boo him, but just because they’re booing his opponent doesn’t mean that fans are going to be cheering for Roman.
To be edgy, they had Roman also say the word “sh*t” on television, but Kurt cut him off. Yeah. That’ll definitely get him over. Is this what WWE TV is going be like from now until either Roman quits or Vince dies?
Lashley reemphasized that he is “legit” whereas Roman isn’t. Lashley told Roman that “Brock is tired of seeing your face, just like all of these people are.” That got a pop. Roman then said that because neither of them now has a match for Extreme Rules, that they should fight each other right now. What does the first part of that sentence have to do with the second part?
They get ready to fight, but Kurt… either booked the match for Extreme Rules or said he would think about it. He literally said “you can have a one-on-one match at Extreme Rules. I will take it under advisement.” WELL WHICH ONE IS IT?! Kurt then tells them that he has “other Superstars™ to attend to tonight” (do these writers really think the speech on their show comes off as natural?) and thus he doesn’t want to spend any more time than necessary dealing with this problem. Okay… so why don’t you just let them have a match right here, right now so you get a hot opening match that will go a long time so that you can go deal with your other business, and also you won’t have to spend all night worrying about these two having fights backstage?
Unfortunately The Revival then came out. WWE “Creative” then had them say the exact same sh*t as last week, leading to the exact same match as last week being booked again. This time it’s Corbin who books it… meaning that in this segment the babyface authority figure is the one who told the fans they wouldn’t be seeing a marquee match-up between two top stars and the heel authority figure who finally told them they were going to see some wrestling. This company is terrible.
So, to summarize this opening segment… it was the same segment as last week except instead of Roman and Lashley interrupting Kurt when he was making an announcement that we were going to have a big #1 contendership match at the PPV, then interrupted Kurt when he had come out here to tell us that that PPV match has been cancelled. So basically they undid all of the actual news from last week, we didn’t get the chuckle-worthy line of Roman calling Lashley “Bob,” they teased the live crowd with a match they wanted to see and then told them they weren’t going to see it, and instead are giving them a repeat match from last week, set up the exact same way but now with even less of a chance that anyone thinks The Revival have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning.
BOBBY LASHLEY & ROMAN REIGNS vs. THE REVIVAL- 5.5/10
Cole is immediately asking us “after what we just saw, how can Roman and Lashley possibly be on the same page?!” and “how can Roman and Lashley co-exist?!” A you’ll remember, this was the exact same point they tried to base last week’s match around, and Roman & Lashley won even without getting along, so it’s a moot point. Yes, I know I basically just said all of this in the previous paragraph, but if they can be redundant then so can I.
Well whaddaya know? They did it right this time. It still doesn’t undo the damage of The Revival losing to this non-team when they weren’t getting along last week, but at least they showed us that they understand that they made a mistake. Roman being the one to get pinned was pretty surprising at first, but it probably makes sense for Lashley not to lose just because I don’t think he has been pinned or submitted since returning.
MATT HARDY & BRAY WYATT PROMO- not has horrible as usual
CURTIS AXEL (w/Bo Dallas) vs. MATT HARDY (w/Bray Wyatt)- no rating, bad segment.
Just like last week, Axel & Bo cut a promo doing a parody of Matt & Bray.
They did stuff for a short amount of time before Matt was going for a second-rope Superplex but “slipped” and Axel turned it into a crossbody. While the execution on this was fantastic (especially Matt’s selling) and the announcers actually did a good job with it, the problem is that the premise here is that the goofball losers won because of a freak accident rather than anything that makes me think they have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the titles… whenever this title match is supposed to happen, exactly. It’s been several weeks since The B-Team won #1 contendership, and Matt & Bray have yet to defend their titles on TV or PPV since winning them TWO MONTHS AGO.
As if attempting to see what they can do to make this match even less interesting, Matt & Bray gave The B-Team a sincere round of applause for the supposedly clever technique Axel used to beat Matt.
We were shown Kurt Angle talking with Sasha Banks backstage, but with no sound. Sasha seemed quite unhappy, which probably means she’s teaming with Bayley tonight. Uch.
THE AUTHORS OF PAIN FINALLY SHOW UP TO WORK- They shove a dude backstage. Titus Worldwide then show up, and rather than giving us the epicness that would have been Titus O’Neil trying to recruit the Authors of Pain into his stable, we get serious Titus giving them a lecture about how “our backstage crew work very hard” and thus they should be treated with respect and not bullied. The Authors of Pain tried really hard to be intimidating while being dismissive. They almost pulled it off.
I’m not in any way disagreeing with Titus here, but it really bugs me that we got a lecture in this segment while the Riott Squad have been going around foe the past two weeks and doing the same kind of thing, and no one gave them a lecture. In fact, I distinctly remember the announcers all but putting it over as “causing mayhem” or some such sh*t like that. I also have distinct memories of Baron Corbin physically assaulting a backstage crewmember while the rest of the Smackdown roster- including the babyfaces!- not only stood by and watched, but even cheered him on! If you want to get on your high horse about something you can’t do it selectively.
AUTHORS OF PAIN VIDEO PACKAGE- sponsored by Sonic.
KURT ANGLE, ALICIA FOX, & BAYLEY BACKSTAGE- bad
Bayley and Fox are hugging and Bayley tells Fox “I’d so glad to see you!” Not only was Alicia Fox a heel the last time we saw her (and, I think for Bayley’s entire WWE tenure), but WWE has spent the past few years telling us that Fox is bat-sh*t crazy. But apparently now she’s one of Bayley’s best friends. Take that, Sasha! Bayley doesn’t need you anymore because she has a new black friend!
And if you think I’m kidding about that, when Kurt said he needed to talk to Bayley about Sasha, Bayley angrily said that she had no interest in talking about Sasha anymore. Kurt told her it was too bad because he needed her to team up with Sasha and Ember tonight to face the Riott Squad. The reason Kurt gave for why it was so imperative that Bayley be in this spot instead of Alicia Fox or Dana Brooke or Mickie James or anyone else on the roster was “because you and Sasha are too valuable to Raw.” Are they valuable to Raw? Yeah… but not as a tag team. They’re valuable as singles competitors, so the idea that Kurt could potentially book a hot match in a division where the two women they’ve spent the past six weeks building things around are off TV due to an injury and a suspension and the current champion also probably can’t wrestle this week due to an injury but Kurt is instead forcing these two women into a tag team together just makes me think that Corbin really should be the one running the show and Steph should save everyone the trouble and just fire Kurt’s incompetent ass.
As if this couldn’t get any worse, Kurt then lectured Bayley that “these things are dangerous, so you and Sasha had better be getting along.” Thanks, Kurt. I’m sure Bayley wouldn’t have known that without you telling her.
THE AUTHORS OF PAIN vs. RICH & REX GIBSON- squash
Just wait until their older cousin James and uncle Robert come to get revenge on the Authors of Pain for this humiliating defeat they have inflicted on the Gibson family!
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- terrible!
The Authors of Pain beat up the jobbers after the match. Titus and Crews came out to make the save, and the freakin’ AUTHORS OF PAIN BACKED DOWN FROM TITUS WORLDWIDE! Whoever suggested this segment should have been fired.
KURT, CORBIN, & OTHERS BACKSTAGE- terrible!
Kurt and Corbin are arguing about the matches Kurt has booked for tonight. Corbin points out that both of them have been “tag partners who don’t get along” situations. Kurt defends it by saying that it makes for exciting TV. Guys… I think Kurt Angle is being possessed by Vince Russo.
This was just the pointless backdrop for Finn Balor showing up
And yes, Finn was cheerful, walking around all smiles despite the fact that the reason he said he came here was to find out why Brock cancelled the multi-man #1 contendership match where Finn was hoping to win a chance to challenge for the championship that he never lost in the ring. Instead of actually getting some sort of explanation about this, Corbin made fun of Balor for being short and for losing to him last week. Balor responded by making fun of Corbin’s ugly vest.
Then Braun Strowman showed up. He started off by saying- seemingly extremely sincerely- that he was “sorry for barging in.” That has got to be the least Braun Strowman thing I have ever heard Braun Strowman say. Braun- again, sincerely- says he feels really bad about what he did to Owens last week and so he wants to make it up to him by being his partner this week.
Kurt says “this whole show is turning into a runaway train, just like last week!” then asks Braun who he wants to face tonight… and then Kurt’s face seemingly froze, as if he was completely shocked by Braun’s response… except that BRAUN HADN’T EVEN SAID ANYTHING YET. Braun finally said he wanted to face Balor and Corbin, so Kurt booked the match. Braun left, so Balor and Corbin had a stare-down, which ended when Balor got one last dig in and left.
ALEXA BLISS! & MICKIE JAMES PROMO- Hey, look! Someone remembered that Mickie James exists this week! After these two made their entrance, we then cut to a video package of the Ronda/Alexa from MITB and last week’s Raw that went OVER THREE AND A HALF MINUTES, while Alexa and Mickie presumably just stood there in the ring. How about you air the recap package to get everyone up to speed on the storyline BEFORE the segment starts so the wrestlers aren’t just standing in the ring like goofballs? Also, apparently live in the arena they had Alexa’s music playing the whole time, which must have been odd to have playing during a video package of Ronda beating her up.
There is a guy a few rows back in a Ronda Rousey t-shirt who has brought a large and clearly Photoshopped picture of Ronda as a poster. I know it’s Photoshopped because in the picture, Ronda is wearing the WWE Raw Women’s Title but in reality- unlike Alexa, who, as Mickie reminded us, is now a three-time champ- Ronda Rousey has never, ever been the Raw Women’s Champion, so instead of spending your money on materials for a poster, why don’t you spend it on tissues so that you have something to blow your nose with when you go home and cry about it!
They got an EXCELLENT shot that started on the title shot around Alexa’s waist and then panned up her body to her smirking face. This NEEDS to be the very first thing in her TitanTron from now on. Alexa then proceeded to a promo first on Ronda and then on Nia. The Ronda stuff wasn’t very good, with the words feeling kind of forced, and the repetition of the “Ronda doesn’t understand the rules; my MITB cash-in was perfectly legal” bit feeling totally unnecessary. This wasn’t helped by the fact that Alexa kept saying “in the planet” instead of “on the planet” when referencing Ronda’s “baddest woman on the planet” nickname.
The Nia stuff was the usual Alexa Bliss! greatness, getting excellent heat. Mickie was excellent in her usual role as suck-up/lackey. If Nia wants some help in crafting her response to Alexa’s claim that real life doesn’t work Hollywood, she might want to give former WWE Creative Team member Jimmy Jacobs a call. He cut one of the greatest promos of all time in which he asserted exactly the opposite.
RONDA ROUSEY’S FRIEND NATALYA INTERRUPTS ALEXA BLISS! & MICKIE JAMES-
Nattie came out and said the following: “The countdown is on, Alexa: twenty-three days. Twenty-three short days, my friend and training partner RONDA ROUSEY comes back to deal with you.”
Alexa buries Nattie for “posting every moment of your life on social media.” Is there anything this woman isn’t the best at (other than correctly saying the phrase “baddest woman on the planet”)?
(And speaking of Ronda Rousey and things Alexa Bliss! is the best at, I think we can all agree that Alexa has the most devastating punch of any woman on the main roster, right? You know who else has a devastating right-handed punch? This gal:
Alexa tells Nattie that she made her point and can go f*ck off now but Nattie tells Alexa that she was talking to Kurt earlier and Kurt said booked her vs. Alexa for tonight. Are you f*cking kidding me? Kurt booked a match without telling one of the competitors? And it’s babyface Kurt Angle putting heel Alexa Bliss! at a disadvantage? How could you possibly be this incompetent?
Nattie also told us that Nia was here with her tonight. You’d think Nia would want to get some revenge on Alexa for stealing her title- or at least confront her and respond to her promo- but apparently she was content to just sit in the back until Nattie brought her out. Kurt presumably told Cole over the headset that Alexa vs. Nattie would up next because Cole somehow knew it was.
NATALYA (w/Nia Jax) vs. ALEXA BLISS! (w/Mickie James)- 2.75/10
Kevin Dunn’s insane insistence on changing cameras just about any time anyone makes contact has created the odd situation where I’m more ready to believe that Alexa’s kneedrop of Nattie looked just fine but Dunn’s cutting made it look like crap rather than the usual assumption in wrestling that the camera cut was to hide something that looked bad. Basically, the assumption with WWE is that the (over-)production actually makes the matches look worse and not better even though the entire point of it is to make the matches look better.
They had a short match which Nattie won via sharpshooter after Nia tripped Alexa up as she tried to run the ropes (after Mickie tried to do the same to Nattie).
Well… at least we got an explanation for something tonight. Or at least some of us did. An NYC market commercial for the MSG house show explained that Ronda has only been “suspended from Monday Night Raw” but not house shows, so they can advertise her for the MSG house show. The match there is Ronda vs. Nia, with Alexa as special guest referee. This sounds like a trap. If I’m Alexa, I’m calling in sick that day.
So anyway, Ronda is only suspended from Raw… so does that mean she can show up at Extreme Rules? And also, suspending her from just Raw for four weeks seems really weak. That’s not a thirty-day suspension, it’s four days! That’s less than two hours for every referee or authority figure or backstage official she attacked!
There is a guy in the crowd with an “I’m a Maria Kanellis Guy” shirt. This a perfect example of something that has just been taken way too far. The “I’m a Paul Heyman Guy/Girl” shirt was a good shirt. The “I’m a Paul Levesque Guy/Girl” shirt was very clever. The “I’m a Stephanie McMahon Guy/Girl” shirt was already a stretch, but when you’ve gotten to the point where not only do you not have “Paul” or “Heyman” on your shirt but the name on your shirt has no discernable connection to any know Paul or Heyman, the joke is already more than dead and buried.
They showed us a recap of the finish of last week’s IC Title match, with Cole emphasizing to us that Dolph “stole the victory” by pulling Seth’s tights on the pinfall, with the rest of the announcers totally ignoring that Seth did the same thing to The Drifter at the PPV.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS SETH ROLLINS- great promo by Rollins about wanting to win his title back.
THE RIOTT SQUAD INTERRUPT A JINDER MAHAL PHOTOSHOOT- They ask the photographer if they can take some pictures. He is either an idiot or doesn’t watch the show (and neither of which is makes WWE look good), so he gives them the camera. Neither Jinder nor Sunil move to stop him, so they, too, are either idiots or don’t watch the show. Ruby took a few pictures, then smashed the camera on the ground, with Jinder looking shocked and angry. So… is this going to lead to Jinder getting his revenge on the Riott Squad for ruining his photoshoot? And where was Titus Worldwide to pop out and lecture the Riott Squad about not being mean to the hard-working WWE crewmembers?
Jinder and Sunil then did their Yoga/inner-peace gimmick from last week, which apparently wasn’t a one-time thing designed to lull Chad Gable into a false sense of security like it seemed last week.
THE RIOTT SQUAD vs. SASHA BANKS, EMBER MOON, & BAYLEY- 4/10
Ruby rolled Sasha up for the pin in a situation having nothing to do with Bayley at all.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- great!
Bayley assaulted Sasha right afterwards, which got a huge pop. She continued to utterly obliterate Sasha for several minutes. No one came out to help Sasha… none of the wrestlers, not security, no one. The fans all started to cheer for Bayley, which probably wasn’t what WWE wanted. This was pretty great. And yet…
Bayley doing this does make some sense, as I can see Bayley’s mindset being that her job is to win the match so she will try her best to win but once the match is over, anything goes, and I actually kind of like the idea that Bayley attacked Sasha after a match where there were no miscommunications or screw-ups or arguing with each other of any kind because that actually does make this feel more final… and yet in a feud where they have hit each other and cost each other matches so many times- both accidentally and on purpose- that we would get this final eruption on a show where Parejas Increibles seems to be a theme and yet not have this stem from any sort of miscue between them just feels weird.
KURT ANGLE TALKS TO A REFEREE IN HIS OFFICE- He says “I need to do something about this Sasha/Bayley situation. Let me know when you find Bayley.” Dude… she’s at the Gorilla position right now! We all just saw her at ringside less than a minute ago!
KURT ANGLE & KEVIN OWENS IN KURT’S OFFICE- dumb
Owens doesn’t want to team with Braun now because of all of the stuff that Braun has done to Owens recently. Owens is convinced that Braun isn’t genuine. It makes sense for Owens to be skeptical, but you’d think that in his evidence of why he is skeptical Owens would include the stuff that happened last week rather than only including things that happened BEFORE Owens offered Braun his partnership and friendship last week (which Braun then violently turned down). Kurt tells Owens that he has to be Braun’s partner because “Braun seemed sincere.”
MOJO RAWLEY vs. NO WAY JOSE (w/his conga line)- no rating, bad segment.
Mojo cut a promo on whose and his conga line, singling out a loser named Todd to make fun of. Mojo told Jose he wouldn’t give him a rematch… but that’s too bad for him because Kurt already booked the match. Jose tried to get in Mojo’s face but Mojo slapped him and Jose didn’t do sh*t about, just staying there holding his face while Mojo walked off. This segment made Jose look like sh*t, and Mojo was written to be way too much of your stereotypical heel bully for this to feel in any way interesting. It also didn’t help that I happened to totally agree with Mojo that Jose’s friends here are geeks and this Todd guy should be ashamed to be dressing up in a cheeseburger costume and holding maracas on worldwide television.
KURT ANGLE & BAYLEY BACKSTAGE- HORRENDOUS!
The first words out of Kurt’s mouth were angrily telling Bayley “You don’t care about Raw or the Women’s Evolution!”
How the hell do they expect ANYONE (other than maybe children ages 5-10 to take this seriously after that? Does anyone actually give a sh*t about “the Women’s Evolution?” as this stupid, nebulous kayfabe concept that is clearly a meaningless buzz-phrase that the branding department came up with? No! You don’t see “Women’s Evolution” t-shirts in the crowd. It’s the Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss! and Bayley and Asuka and Ronda Rousey merch that sells. Because people care about the wrestlers, not your stupid branding strategies!
And if you want to somehow claim that Kurt means that Bayley doesn’t care about “the Women’s Evolution” as in the concept of pushing the women and treating them like the male wrestlers, both that and the claim that attacking Sasha after the match means that Bayley doesn’t care about Raw are not only laughable, but make Kurt look like he has no understanding of what his own job entails! Bayley waited until after the match so she certainly didn’t hurt either Raw the Women’s Evolution by ruining a supposedly important match (even though they did nothing beforehand to make the match itself feel important- just it’s place in the Sasha/Bayley story). But what Bayley did do is drop a hot feud between two of Kurt’s five biggest female stars right in his lap (and at a time when one of those five is suspended, to boot)! He shouldn’t be yelling at Bayley at all. He should be thanking her and getting to work on figuring out which show he should book the long-anticipated Sasha vs. Bayley grudge match for! (And even if we follow WWE’s stupid though processes then this is still good for the Women’s Evolution because Extreme Rules is coming up so now Kurt has an excuse to book the “first ever women’s Coal Miner’s Glove Match” or whatever they haven’t already done in the past twenty months)
And if you want to claim that Kurt is saying that Bayley doesn’t care about Raw or the Women’s Evolution because she has injured Sasha, then why the f*ck didn’t Kurt send anyone out to stop the assault? Kurt himself got between Ronda and Alexa last week, and Bayley had only just wrestled a match but is also lighter than Ronda and not a trained judoka like Ronda, so Kurt probably wouldn’t have had much trouble holding her back. Seems to me like it’s not Bayley who doesn’t care about Raw or the Women’s Evolution so much as it’s Kurt Angle who doesn’t care about Sasha Banks.
(Side note: they NEED to create a Steph-backed four woman heel stable- I’m thinking Nattie, Nia, Horsewomen turncoat “mercenary for hire” Shayna Baszler, and Flair-style centerpiece Jinny, they absolutely MUST call it “Women’s Evolution.”)
Anyway, back to the segment…and it somehow managed to get EVEN WORSE! Kurt is furious because Bayley put Sasha “in the trainer’s room.” Really? Just the trainer’s room? She shouldn’t have had to go to the f*cking hospital to make this actually feel like big deal and maybe keep Sasha off TV for a week or two?
Kurt then tells Bayley that she will be fired if she doesn’t go to “mandatory counselling” next week. For beating up another wrestler? Did Kurt have this conversation with the Authors of Pain, too? Or is it different for some reason if you attack someone who was on your team instead of an opponent? How about The Riott Squad? They’re running around backstage bully people and breaking things. Remember a few weeks ago when Roman Reigns started a fight with Jinder Mahal backstage that resulted in Jinder- just like Sasha tonight- being send to the trainer’s room… and then Roman attacked him a second time after that? That actually could have in theory ruined Raw because Jinder was scheduled to compete in the main event, but no one made Roman go to counselling after that. Or after he TRIED TO MURDER BRAUN STROWMAN BY SMASHING A TRUCK INTO THE AMBULANCE HE HAD JUST PUT BRAUN IN (we’ll give Kane, Miz, Sheamus, & Cesaro a pass because they only tried to murder Braun DURING a match). All of those things are perfectly okay and result in no punishment of any sort, but this Bayley is one bad apple it is imperative for everyone’s continued safety that she not be allowed back on Raw until she attends counselling next week.
Oh… and does anyone remember what happened the last time WWE sent someone to “counselling?” It was Enzo in late 2016. He got sent to sexual harassment training and proceeded to not only be a huge dick to everyone there, but kept hitting on the course instructor… and he somehow passed this course (which we were meant to believe was WWE-run, but the way). Based on that, why would anyone think that sending Bayley to counselling for her anger will result in anything but Bayley beating up everyone else in her therapy group while the instructor nods with approval?
And by the way… why the hell would Kurt order her to go to counselling next week? Doesn’t she have house shows to be at? Or Raw? Why wouldn’t he send her somewhere this week so she can be back for her house shows? (Because as we all know, in the world of WWE it only takes one session and then you’re totally cured).
KEVIN OWENS & BRAUN STROWMAN vs. FINN BALOR & BARON CORBIN- 6/10
JoJo introduced Braun as “Mr. Monster in the Bank.” Uch. In related silliness, the Wikipedia article for Alexa Bliss! insists on adding “Ms. Money in the Bank” as one of her nicknames even though she had the briefcase for less than three hours, in which time I doubt they called he that more than five times. Owens and Strowman won when Balor and Corbin started to fight each other on the outside and got counted out. Seeing as how they are fighting their partners after a match, one would assume that we’ll see both of these guys in mandatory counselling with Bayley next week.
Owens offered Braun a handshake after the match, and despite everything he said earlier, Braun didn’t accept the handshake. Owens ran away, and Braun chased after him. That was dumb… and then it got dumber.
OWENS RUNS AWAY FROM BRAUN BACKSTAGE- idiotic
Braun is screaming at a poor concession-stand worker (who is walking around backstage for some reason) and demanding to know where Kevin Owens went. The guy told Braun that he has no idea who Kevin Owens is… so WWE once again buries their own talent for no reason. Braun walked past the room that Owens was hiding in.
When we got back from a commercial, Owens decided to peak his head out (what a coincidence that timing is!). He asked some security guys to escort him to the door. I’m not sure how he already had his suitcase with him but he did. He decided that he would no longer need them once he got outside of the arena so he sent them away. He then walked up to the valet and asked for his keys. The valet insisted that he didn’t have Owens’ keys. When Owens demanded to know why the valet didn’t have his keys, the valet pointed off the side and said “he does!” And there was Braun just standing there right out in the open about ten feet away, making me wonder how the hell Owens managed to miss him.
Also, how did Braun get Owens’ keys? The guy clearly knew who Owens was as he was able to tell him that the keys Braun had Owens’, so did the valet knowingly give Braun someone else’s keys, or did Braun take them by force… which would require Braun to know exactly what Kevin Owens’ keys (presumably to a rental car, no less) looked like.
Braun then tossed the keys to Owens and said “I hope you have insurance, because there’s your car” and he pointed behind Owens and there, maybe fifteen feet away, was Owens’ car, flipped over.
1. How the hell did Owens not noticed an overturned car?
2. Why did Braun then need Owens’ keys?
3. Why did Braun even do any of this? If he wanted to hurt Owens, why did he go through this elaborate ruse of getting a tag match set up, then wait until after the match to try to attack him, only to decide that rather than attacking him, he would flip his car over instead of just BEATING HIM UP? And if Braun has such a hair-trigger that something Owens did after the match set him off like this, you’d think that Braun is the guy they’d send to counselling!
Braun then walked off, laughing evilly. I fail to see how Owens is not the babyface here and Braun not the heel.
Corey Graves- the heel commentator- was immediate in his condemnation of babyface Braun Strowman for this act of car-flipping… and yet Graves could not muster up one single word of condemnation a mere eleven months ago when babyface Roman Reigns ATTACKED BRAUN STROWMAN AFTER HE LOST A MATCH TO HIM AND TRIED TO MURDER HIM WITH A TRUCK.
Trying to out-do Graves, Coach, who I think is a babyface, insisted that Owens “brought this upon himself” (to which Corey Graves responded by shouting “HOW?!”). Then Michael Cole, who I know is a babyface, changed the subject while also conceding that Owens had at least “maybe brought this upon himself.” Yeah. And those people whose stuff the Riott Squad have been destroying totally deserved for just being there, and Palmer Cannon totally deserved everything JBL did to him, and that slut in the office shouldn’t dress that way if she doesn’t want people grabbing her ass without permission. What a wonderful place to work WWE must be.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: Dolph Ziggler(c) (w/Drew McIntyre) vs. Seth Rollins- 9/10
This match was really, really, awesome. It was fun and exciting and epic and felt important and the crowd was into it… and I should have known better. The moment Seth hit that Superplex and they accidentally got a shot of the ejected Drew coming down the aisle, I completely lost it. Not just at WWE, but at myself. What a f*cking moron I was for thinking that we’d get a moderately well-built title match in the main event that got true main event time and would have a clean finish. Because that’s what a good wrestling company would do, and for almost half an hour, Seth and Dolph made me forget that I wasn’t watching a good wrestling company. And then f*cking Drew McIntyre had to come and violently pull me back to reality when he pulled the referee out of the ring at the 27:47 mark for a f*cking DQ.
And WHY did we have to get a DQ here? So that Dolph & Drew could beat Rollins up so that F*CKING ROMAN REIGNS would get a pop for coming out to make the save. Because Roman is a good friend, right? That’s why, upon seeing his friend in danger, he took a casual stroll down to the ramp rather than, you know, running or even powerwalking to be able to aid Seth more quickly.
Dolph ran at him and got speared. Drew got a few good shots in before Roman was able to send him out of the ring with a Superman Punch. At least Drew was smart enough to land on his feet on the outside to save some face.
This was shaping up to be one of those truly epic WWE TV matches that you remember forever. And I am certainly going to remember this one forever, but for all the wrong reasons. This won’t go down as the night Rollins and Ziggler had possibly the single best Intercontinental Title match on WWE television. It’s going to go down as the night that WWE ruined an amazing main event title match because G-d forbid Roman Reigns not be the top babyface and all of the fans cheer him.
This was another terrible episode of Raw, even with the epic main event, Bayley’s beat-down of Sasha, and great promos by both Alexa Bliss! and Seth Rollins. Even The Revival getting a relatively clean pin on Roman Reigns (they didn’t cheat and no one cheated on their behalf) could make me happy during this show. This was yet another reminder that the people who book this show HAVE NO F*CKING IDEA WHAT MAKES A GOOD PRO WRESTLING SHOW.