BRM Reviews the 7/24/2018 Raw (bad)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 7/24/2018 Raw (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 24th, '18, 02:40

The entire roster is already on the ramp, Smackdown wrestlers included. Also, Nikki Cross. VINCE is in the ring… and he introduces both Hunter and Steph to make the historic announcement. So we waste time with Hunter and Steph getting an entrance for no real reason other than to play Steph’s music and make Steph and Hunter look like bigger stars than everyone else.
Steph starts out her speech by saying “It’s a rare thing to be able to make history.” Really? Because you guys feel like you claim that do it at least once every three weeks. Hunter then gives the big “GO TEAM!” speech. In this, he talks about who when you “step through these ropes” you develop “the ultimate bond of trust when you put your life in someone else’s hands.” You know… because it’s all fake and the wrestlers are really trying to do their best to not hurt each other. Thanks, Hunter.
He then asks the women to step forward so that Steph can announce “the first-ever all-women’s PPV” but of course they both milked it f*cking forever, to the point where it got insufferable long before they got to their announcement. Steph in particular was a source of frustration to me, talking about “Give Divas a Chance” hashtag as if all of us wrestling fans just woke up that morning and decided we wanted to see the women treated like athletes instead of T&A. NO! We’d been calling for this for YEARS. There is a reason the TNA Knockouts Division was so beloved when it first started, and that’s because it was giving us something that WWE showed no inclination of giving us no matter how much we begged. And when WWE actually started to it in NXT- which, mind you, was a full year before that hashtag that was the thing that supposedly got WWE’s eye- we latched on to it immediately.
At least she actually remembered to thank the fans this time, as opposed to her speech announcing the Women’s Royal Rumble where she totally forgot to do that because she was so obsessed with hitting her talking points and stuffing in her branding buzzwords. I am sick and tired of this company’s self-righteous patting themselves on the back for making a change that they were WAY behind the curve on, and I am even more sick and tired of their doing everything in their power to try to force everything about this decision to fit into their bullsh*t PR narrative about it. If there are two people responsible for the success of the women’s division in WWE right now, it’s Triple H (who is standing back and letting Steph to the talking because she’s the one with the vagina, which is better for PR) and Sara Del Rey, who is nowhere to be seen. Again. You made f*cking Primo fly out to Smackdown to stand in the background for this even though 90% of the fanbase has probably forgotten he’s even still employed but you couldn’t fly Sara in to have her make the announcement?
Okay… I can’t take Steph’s bullsh*t anymore. THE ONLY OBSTACLE WWE HAD TO OVERCOME IN THIS FIGHT TO MAKE “DIVAS INTO THE SUPERSTARS THEY WERE BORN TO BE” WAS THE SEXIST PHILOSOPHY WITHIN THE COMPANY, SPECIFICALLY AS PUSHED BY VINCE MCMAHON AND KEVIN DUNN! And no account has Stephanie “I’m try so hard to be a feminist icon” McMahon using her position in the company to do anything to try to change that.
The big announcement is that we’re having the first-ever all-women’s PPV, called Evolution )just in case you’re not sick of their marketing bullsh*t already) at Nassau Coliseum on October 28th, with title matches from Raw, SD, NXT, and the finals of this year’s Mae Young Classic. First of all… if you want this to seem like a big deal, maybe don’t book it in an old, ratty, fourth-rate building with a history of disinterested crowds, even for their own hometown hockey team.
Second of all… I’m sorry, but this did not feel like a major announcement to me. Or at least not one that warranted this level of pomp and circumstance. Hunter’s entire speech was completely superfluous and pointless (and, broke kayfabe for no reason, irritating the hell out of me). It was a fine speech for backstage and should have been given there, especially when you realize that the only bit of it that it made any sense to do on TV- thanking the fans- was also covered by Steph in her speech.
Is this a big deal? Yes. Or more correctly, it should feel like it is, but it doesn’t. Because when you’ve spent the past two years constantly hyping up “the first-ever women’s *INSERT GIMMICK MATCH HERE*” or “first ever women’s main event” or whatever on your TV- things that fall somewhere around 5-7 out of 10 on the “yay! We’ve made progress” scale like they’re 12 out of 10s, it makes something that should be someone in the 8-9 range like “we have enough faith in the women’s abilities both in the ring and as draws that we’re willing to let them carry an entire card” feel overhyped, even if you do give it the appropriate amount of hype because everything else you have done in this vein has been overhyped. It feels like it’s just another gimmick PPV with combined with more of the usual “first time ever women’s THING X” hype.
And then, of course, there is Steph’s speech. I know already ripped it to shreds above, but it matters here, too, because it felt phony. I have no doubt that the expressed sentiments were real (in most cases, anyway) but it- like most things that Stephanie (and most other WWE executives, and the announcers any time they try to communicate with us on behalf of the company) says, felt phony. It was the sanitized, “make sure you hit every buzzword on the checklist” made-for-TV political rally speech that inherently comes off as fake. Compare this to Hunter when gives interviews and stuff, or even when he has given speeches before NXT shows. I believe that he is using 99% his own words. With Steph’s speech here, I think she and several PR expects and a team of speechwriters sat down in a room together and came up with this, after several days of revisions due to focus group feedback.
And, of course, there is the aforementioned fact that there is so much legitimate bullsh*t in the narrative she is pushing that it makes me predisposed to believe that everything else in there is also bullsh*t.
And now they’re showing us all of the women hugging and chattering together excitedly, as if there aren’t major rivalries going on, and Nikki Cross is making her debut on main roster TV acting like a completely normal person. WHAT. THE. F*CK.
(Also, I guess to show how equal all of the women are, neither champion has her championship belt- the very championship belts that will be defended at this historic PPV).

In short, if I was doing this, I would have had Hunter and Death Rey give a speech to the women backstage and recorded that and then aired it at the beginning of the show. I would have wanted to ensure that this was something that sounded real and authentic, not another clip for Steph’s PR reel.

On an entirely different note, I am slightly wary of this because I’m worried they will warp the entire booking of the women’s division around this show, taking things that were originally intended to end at other, earlier, PPVs, and drag them out until this show as well, resulting in lots of water-treading on Raw and SD. The bright side of that is that if they don’t have a big opponent for Ronda to defend the belt against, they might decide it’s best to have Ronda win the belt on this show, meaning a longer reign for Alexa. I also worry about the quality of this show because I think WWE is going to make the same mistake they usually make on big shows and try to fit everyone on and thus the show is going to get over-loaded with stuff and a lot of it will suck because they insists on finding matches for Alicia Fox and Billie Kay and Lana instead of constructing a card with fewer matches but with stronger workers and everything given the appropriate amount of time. As for what that card might look like:

SD TITLE: Becky Lynch(c) vs. Charlotte Flair
RAW TITLE: Alexa Bliss!(c) vs. Natalya (the match a few weeks ago was there only televised singles match)
NXT WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH: Kairi Sane(c) vs. Shayna Baszler (or possible Baszler(c) vs. Candice LeRae, with Baszler losing in either scenario)
FATAL FOUR-WAY NXT #1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH: Bianca Belair def. Toni Storm, Candice/Kairi, and ?
MYC FINALS: Jinny def. ? (let’s say Killer Kelly because I want to see Jinny get her ass kicked but still somehow pull out the victory)
WHATEVER THE F*CK IS GOING TO HAPPEN WITH SASHA AND BAYLEY- either they have a gimmick match or they win the maybe-created tag titles
FIRST TIME EVER (PROBABLY): Io Shirai vs. Mickie James
RANDOM SIX-WAY SPOTFEST OPENER: Ember Moon vs. Nia Jax vs. Naomi vs. Carmella vs. Nikki Bella vs. Nikki Cross-

Now, back to the show:

THE B-TEAM BACKSTAGE- In case you weren’t sure if you were supposed to be excited about the all-women’s PPV show, they had the B-Team tell us they were excited as well, with Axel coming off like a complete and total mark. To the point where he reminded me exactly of a BotchedSpot comic about how WWE seems to think its fans act (I have tried looking for the strip but sadly can’t find it), excited over every single thing and unable to make up their mind about which of the many WWE things they are super-excited for super-excites them the most.
Bo then gave Axel a pep-talk, which was good. They agree that “B stands for brothers.” I laughed my ass off when Bo called Axel “the brother I never had” when he was about to go have a match against his shoot brother. Just in case you were actually hoping you could start taking the B-Team seriously, they almost forgot to bring the tag titles with them.

Before the previous commercial we saw Matt and Bray do their “we’re here” video, and we’ve been showing a graphic saying the tag title match is “up next” and we just saw the champions grab their belts to head to the ring… so why the f*ck did Kurt Angle let The Drifter go out there to start a concert right now? The concert was interrupted by Matt and Bray’s entrance.

Coach buried the all-women’s PPV by saying that his word for tonight was “historic,” which he said described both the all-women’s PPV and Elias’ album, which I was shocked to find out is actually a real thing WWE did and not some sort of storyline gimmick. Based on all of his songs that we’ve heard, I imagine that the songs on Elias’ album consist of him going through every single municipality that WWE runs shows in and insulting each one by name. I’d totally buy that.

WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The B-Team(c) vs. Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt- 4/10
The B-Team won cleanly in what the announcers tried to make seem like something of a fluke. Hardy and Wyatt attacked them after the match, turning heel in a turn that absolutely no one will go along with (the fans even cheered when they attacked the B-Team after the match).

They recited clearly-scripted lines about how this women’s PPV was “huge news for everyone” and “incredible,” etc. It’s exactly sh*t like this that makes it hard to get excited for something that WWE wants to promote because it just makes all of the excitement feel fake. Gable asks “have you heard if they’re bringing back an old Superstars or if it’s just current Superstars?” G-d bless him for trying his darndest sound casual here (a stark contrast to Balor, who was doing his best to engage the craft of ACTING).
They then became distracted by random geeks who were taking Balor’s stuff. When they inquired what was happening, the geek revealed that Constable Corbin has ordered Balor moved into “a new locker room,” which was actually a play-house Corbin had brought backstage. You know… because Balor is short. Corbin showed up and made a joke about it, so this boring feud will continue, in the exact same way. Finn didn’t sell Corbin’s rib so Corbin got upset and told him he had better be ready for his match against Drew McIntyre tonight. It was at this point that I realized that WWE has booked Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre and managed to make me mostly unexcited for it.

They’re all smiley friends again. And they’re blushing. And they’ve been talking all week. But they insist that they’re just “best friends.” And, of course, it took them all of thirty seconds to start talking up “Stephanie’s big announcement” and how their “dreams keep getting bigger” and blah blah blah. Is every single backstage segment all night going to make a point of hyping this thing up?
Also during this, Sasha’s bling was backwards, and I couldn’t help but notice that it have freakin’ WWE logo imprinted on the back of it, which instantly took it from cool bling down to feeling like a cheap toy for playing dress-up.

During their entrance, Michael Cole referred to Sasha and Bayley as “pioneers and trailblazers in the current evolution of the WWE.” Get ready for a lot more of that over the next three months.
They squashed the jobbers, and hugged a lot.

THE DRIFTER TRIES TO HAVE A CONCERT AGAIN- but he is immediately interrupted by Braun Strowman. What a dick. Cole then told us how much “fun” everyone in India had meeting Braun Strowman. Mystique dead.

Even BRAUN STROWMAN has to come out and plug this all-women’s PPV before he does anything else. He said he wanted to congratulate all of the women, but especially his Mixed Match Challenge tag team partner, Alexa Bliss!... which resulted in the entire arena cheering for heel Alexa.
Braun then proceeded to cut a pretty decent promo telling us that it doesn’t matter who wins tonight’s main event #1 contendership match or if that person beats Brock at SummerSlam because he has the MITB contract.
Then Kevin Owens came out and cut a promo on Braun, saying that Owens kids are terrified because of the things Braun has done to their father. This was an excellent babyface promo vowing revenge on Braun, saying he will “take everything away” from him. The problem is that I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to see Owens as the babyface.
Constable Corbin then came out and explained that even though Steph is here tonight, she has “empowered” him to deal with that situation. Great heel heat. He said that Braun’s actions were reprehensible, made a predictable joke about Balor’s height, and then assigned Jinder Mahal to help Braun learn how to control his temper. Really.
As Jinder was making his way down to the ring (w/Sunil Singh), Corey Graves said something that sounded a lot like “liquor up a little bit.” At this point I suspect that might be an important piece of advice to get me through this show, so that’s what I’m going to do. Thanks, Corey!
Braun proceeded to attack Jinder and Sunil for no reason, but because this is WWE, they had to try to use comedy to set it up.

NATALYA vs. MICKIE JAMES (w/Alexa Bliss!)- 5/10
They had a good little match. Mickie got the win after interference by Alexa, all but undoing Nattie’s recent clean win over the champion.

We are now half of the way through the show, and finally we had a talking segment where someone didn’t say something along the lines of “wow! This all-women PPV is such an awesome idea!” I chalk this up to yet another scheme to get Roman cheered.
Roman cut a meh promo trying to explain to us that he wouldn’t lose to Lashley again. He came across more on the “arrogant” side of the arrogance/confidence line, which really isn’t a good thing. He also falsely claimed to be “the most decorated Superstar of this generation.” While defining one’s “generation” can be a hard thing, I think we can all agree that someone who has debuted the same year as you is in the same “generation,” and while Roman has won six titles, plus one major accomplishment (the Royal Rumble), Seth Rollins has won seven titles, plus one major accomplishment (MITB) (and that’s not including his NXT Championship. Additionally, we have a guy like Daniel Bryan, who debuted a few years before Roman but, due to injuries, has had the same amount of time on the main roster as an active competitor, and Bryan also bests Roman’s six titles and one major accomplishment with his seven championships plus one major accomplishment, and even if you want to disqualify Rollins because Roman has more world titles than Seth does (by one), Bryan actually has more world titles (four) than Roman does (three). Additionally, some wrestlers who debuted a few years after Roman (specifically Charlotte Flair and Kevin Owens) have just as many championships as Roman does. Without the major accomplishment, yes, but those two have both won a title in NXT while Roman has not, so if NXT counts then those are two more people who Roman doesn’t have beat. Basically, what I’m trying to say here is that Roman came across like an arrogant, self-important douchebag.

CHARLOTTE, NAKAMURA, & RON SIMMONS PLAY POKER WITH THE BURGER KING MASCOT- Did you guys see this, too, or did I go a little overboard on the alcohol?

This was yet another segment that started with a Drifter concert getting interrupted. Akam demanded competition, and Rezar specified that they don’t want to it to be Titus Worldwide because “we’re done with those three.” I popped for this simply because I thought something was actually about to move forward, but then Titus Worldwide came out anyway. The look of frustration on Rezar’s face matched that on my own. Seeing Dana Brooke there reminded me that she is a competitive bodybuilder who has been reduced to T&A in nerdy glasses. Long live the Divas’/Women’s R/Evolution!
Titus put them over for being tough and strong, but said they had a lot to learn. The AOP laughed this suggestion off, wondering what Titus could possibly teach them over than how to fall down. And they’ve got a pretty good point. In his nine years in WWE, Titus O’Neil has one a grand total of one championship, which was a tag title reign that lasted a mere two months. Other than that, he has been a total failure- and often even portrayed that way, vowing to stand up for the USA on independence Day and losing, or in this feud when he tried to stand up for backstage workers who were being bullied and losing.
Apollo Crews mentioned how Titus was the Celebrity Mega-Dad of the Year that one time and has been a mentor to him, including “showing me how to put clothes on my daughter’s back with merchandise.” So does this mean that Apollo’s downside isn’t enough to clothe his family? What the f*ck, WWE? Pay the man a decent wage!
Apollo also told them how Titus has taught him to be “an asset to my community. He’s showing the whole world what it means to be an asset to their community.” He finished it off by telling them to respect the veteran Titus O’Neil and that “if you guys had half the class that Titus does, not only would you be champions, but you’d be championship-quality people, too.” If you want to make a difference so badly then go join the Peace Corps, you millennial pansy! The best part about this was one shot they had of the AOP just looking at each other and Rezar saying what I can only assume was Albanian for “can you believe these f*ckers? (For those wondering, the phrase, according to Google Translate is, “A mund t'i besoni këto fuckers?”)
(Side note: “How do you say f*ckers in Albanian” is definitely one of the weirder things I have had to Google for these reviews)
I so badly want to see the Authors of Pain obliterate these Men on a Mission wanna-be goofballs. Instead, Akam just told Titus to retire. Titus responded to this by punching Rezar in the face. Yes, quite the role-model he is. Apollo simultaneously punched Akam so they had a brawl… and f*cking Titus Worldwide somehow won.

We start, predictably, with Kurt praising Steph’s decision to book an all-women PPV. Corbin then showed up with Owens. Steph, with great concerned, asked him how he has been after taking that big fall EIGHT DAYS AGO. She didn’t bother trying to get in touch with him sooner?
Owens says he wants to face Braun at SummerSlam with the MITB contract on the line. Kurt declares this to be “absurd” but I have no idea why. Steph says she likes the idea and makes the match official. Steph then leaves, with Kurt opening the limo door for her like he’s her damn chauffer. Actually… he’d probably be better at that than at being a GM, so I’d be all for Kurt being Steph’s chauffeur.

Suspended Ronda once again managed to find a way to get on the show, as they showed a big, long, Tweet from her putting over Evolution.
Again. During this match the announcers conducted a split-screen interview with Bobby Roode, which should tell you how important the match was. Which was a shame, because it was excellent for the time it got. At least the interview was about stuff that Mojo said about Roode.

DOLPH ZIGGLER & MCINTYRE PROMO- They had apparently had a plan to take over the WWE. Like the nWo did in WCW, or the Cylons did in Battlestar Galactica. This promo was meh, but at least they weren’t forced to shoehorn in praise for a PPV totally unrelated to anything they’re doing.

FINN BALOR vs. DREW MCINTYRE (w/Dolph Ziggler)- 5/10
The Drifter tried to do his concert once again but got interrupted. At this point I think it’s clear that Kurt is dicking with The Drifter by having JoJo cue him to start his concert, then sending the next match out once The Drifter starts.
Is there anyone in WWE whose entrance music is anywhere near as awesome as McIntyre’s?
These two were having what looked like it could go on to be a really awesome match… and then Ziggler just ran in for the DQ in 7:07. The heels beat Balor down until Rollins came out to make the save. Kurt came out and ordered this turned into a tag team match, so we got…

Coach said he “never thought we’d see Seth Rollins and Finn Balor on the same side.” They teamed together three times on Raw in the month of April alone. The match went thirteen minutes, with the babyfaces winning. Why couldn’t we get one twenty-minute match instead of one seven-minute match and one thirteen-minute one?
Michael Cole accidentally said “fans” instead of WWE Universe, dooming himself to a ten-hour session in the reeducation booth.
The announcers also talked up how Kurt probably “felt pressure” to do something big like make this match tonight because Steph showed up and announced the all-women’s PPV as well as booking the Owens vs. Strowman SummerSlam match. If Kurt needs Steph to not only be looking over his shoulder but threatening to make him look bad by comparison just to get him to do his job well then why doesn’t she just fire him?

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS BOBBY LASHLEY- Charly gave an excellent sports reporter stage-setting bit before the interview. I like when they let the interviewers do this because it makes them feel like actual “correspondents” rather than just “the interview lady.” Lashley’s promo was very good.
SARAH LOGAN IS BARRED FROM RINGSIDE: Liv Morgan vs. Ember Moon- 3.75/10
Ember Moon cut a selfie inset promo in which she, of course, plugged the all-women’s PPV. At least she tried to do something clever with the name of the show in her promo rather than just telling us how wonderful it will be. They had a short match which Ember won cleanly with the Eclipse.

Rollins first put over the all-women’s PPV, then he said that Kurt Angle has granted him a match against Ziggler for the IC Title at SummerSlam. Okay… now HOW ABOUT DOING SOMETHING TO MAKE SURE MCINTYRE DOESN’T INTERFERE AND RUIN THE MATCH AGAIN?!

THE DRIFTER FINALLY SINGS- When he starts, Kurt Angle’s music hits. Kurt comes out and assures The Drifter that “I didn’t come out here to interrupt you.” Rather, Kurt says, he came out here to tell The Drifter that he could play his song now. HE WAS DOING THAT ANYWAY, AND YOU INTERRUPTED HIM JUST TO TELL HIM TO DO THE THING HE WAS ALREADY DOING?! If I were Elias I would have smashed that guitar over Kurt’s head, then sodomized him with every single one of the pieces.

Brock will be back next week. Also, we’re getting Rollins vs. McIntyre.

#1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH: Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns- 6.75/10
Tonight’s crowd was shockingly pro-Roman. The match had some really good parts and some parts that were kind of boring. Roman won, making the result of the PPV match completely worthless, which is never something you should do to a PPV match. Roman and Lashley shake hands after the match.

Yet another bad episode of Raw, with a whole new set of things to get annoyed about. Hooray for WWE!

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Re: BRM Reviews the 7/24/2018 Raw (bad)

Post by KILLdozer » Jul 24th, '18, 14:08

Yeah that fuckin' opening was out of control. I thought she was gonna collapse from emotion.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 7/24/2018 Raw (bad)

Post by KILLdozer » Jul 25th, '18, 21:17

Watching the opening...I said "Man I've gotta catch up on LU..." I'm still only seen two seasons lol.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 7/24/2018 Raw (bad)

Post by XIV » Jul 26th, '18, 05:22

Roman vs Brock... predictable and I'm all out of fucks to give about that scenario.
Saying that I also fail to care about the possibility of Lashley vs Lesnar too so...
The only acceptable outcome of Summerslam is Strowman killing both Lesnar and Roman, cashing in the MITB and taking the title.
I would however pop a lot harder if Roman loses against Brock and then Strowman shows up and pre-announces his cash-in (however, I don't feel like they've got Brock after Summerslam after the whole UFC Cormier square up)

On the subject of the women's PPV. It's good. now build your women towards it and don't water it down with 1000 legendary female competitors segments. Have your legends (Sable, Lita, Trish, Blayze, Phoenix etc) sat in the front row. It will be a classier way of doing this.
Get Del Rey on Colour Commentary. I would go mental for it because most of the women in the WWE main rsoter now, has had some level of training/mentoring from Del Rey and who better to put these competitors over than her?

McIntyre are one turned John Cena away from being the new nWo and I am secretly really hoping for it... and I'm not even sure why.

Kurt Angle looks more and more incompetent each and every week. It's gone beyond comical into pathetic.
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